There is no one else but him, and it is exactly for this reason that he exasperates so many people in France as well in the rest of Europe. There is no one else but Emmanuel Macron, because the French left and the right are in not such great shape, because Mrs Merkel is soon to retire, because Great Britain is leaving, because the German economy is running out of steam and because crises are creeping up in Madrid as well as in Rome.
He is so alone on the European scene that not only the French trade unions wish that their strike against the pension reforms planned for the 5th of December should expand, last longer and cause difficulty to the president. More than one European capital would rejoice over it, but if this would occur, there would be nobody else carry weight on the international scene apart from Mr Trump, Mr Putin and Mr Xi.
It would be better not to get that far, but what should Emmanuel Macron do now?
Well, after thoroughly stirring up the hornet’s nest, he should surprise everyone by putting forward propositions that oblige his 26 partners to accept the debate.
To those who reproach him for having weakened the NATO by declaring it “brain dead”, he must now ask if remaining silent has been better than relaunching our efforts. He must urge them to come up with their own ideas, tell them that without a European pillar, the Atlantic alliance is not able to tie America to Europe any more, and above all, announce that the day when a credible European Defence based on a common diplomacy is set up, France will line up its nuclear arsenal for the common deterrent force of the Union.
Many people in France will be shocked to death by this. Others, in the rest of Europe will ironize about the advantages it would bring to swap the American arsenal with a much smaller firepower. But OK,.let’s discuss this. Is it better to turn the French nuclear deterrence into a European one or to live with the incertitude of any American commitment? And, today, which solidarity is deeper and more certain: that of the United States whose interests no longer lie in Europe or that which binds together, in every field, the states of the European Union?
The answer lies in both of these questions and the president of the Republic should then call on the Union to give up the rule of unanimity on diplomatic and financial questions. “New USSR!”, people will say. “A coup of the laxists!”, others will tell, but how would you go forward with 27 rights of veto in foreign policy and with a single currency put on top of 27 different economic policies?
If someone has another idea, let them put it forward; otherwise, let us discuss for real this time, the way to harmonise our fiscal policies, to speak with one voice to the rest of the world, or to envisage a multi-speed Union which should not be “the table for the parents and the table for the children”, but the freedom for both to advance further and faster
As for the need to invest to boost our growth, to create jobs and to demonstrate the advantage of unity, it is not enough to have budgetary leniency. Where the deficit capping must be respected is in the area of operating expenses. And where we are in that other century that Emmanuel Macron talked about is in the field of defence and research in the industries of the future. So, Mr President, what if you came and said these things in Parliament?
What if you came to open the debate with the whole assembly of its political groups, to ask for its help and to call it on to put all its power to the service of a general mobilisation?