Macron and Europe, audacity of power

In the urgency of the war in Ukraine, sketching the prospect of a new European advance may seem daring, even risky. Emmanuel Macron tried there on Monday, May 9, in Strasbourg, at the end of the conference on the future of Europe, and we can only greet him.

Remote rather confidential, this exercise of participatory democracy on the scale of the twenty-seven was intended to feed the debates on how to relaunch European construction, after fifteen years of endless crises: euro zone, migrants, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Brexit, Pandemic of Covid-19 and, now, invasion by Russia of a Ukraine anxious to enter the Union, failing to push the doors of NATO.

Without preempting the debates, which only opened, the Head of State has tried to lay a few milestones, in order to increase “independence” and “efficiency” of a powerful Europe which would claim to be such. He pleaded in favor of a reform of the treaties, claimed by the MEPs, in order to learn from recent crises.

One of the challenges, warned the Head of State, would be to “generalize the votes with a qualified majority”, that is to say to free themselves, where it still exists-in matters Taxation and foreign policy for example -, the rule of unanimity, which allows a single capital to block a decision. By the way, Mr. Macron tried to restore an old French idea, that of a Europe with several speeds, allowing a “avant-garde” of more voluntary states to show the way, without being hampered by others, more reluctant but likely to join them.

favorable moment

The President of the Republic also advocated the establishment of a “European political community”, a kind of confederation intended to bring together countries which aspire to enter the European Union, so as not to oppose enlargement and reform . It would be a question of associating with the European family Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia and the countries of the Western Balkans, without rushing their membership, it can take “several decades”, according to Mr. Macron. The perspective will undoubtedly disappoint them, but it is realistic.

In doing so, the Elysée is taking a project presented in vain just after the fall of the Berlin Wall by François Mitterrand, in 1989, while standing out on a fundamental point, since Russia would not be vocation to join this set of democratic countries. Receiving the President of the Republic in Berlin on Monday evening, Chancellor Olaf Scholz cautiously described the idea of ​​”very interesting”.

Two weeks after his re -election, the moment is favorable for Mr. Macron, even if French public opinion remains divided on community issues. The national rally was not long in denouncing a “federalist flight” of the winner of Marine Le Pen.

The Head of State is also in search of leadership on the continent, when the Russian aggression against Ukraine renews the balance of power between the twenty-seven. Germany is on the defensive, little comfortable with security issues and disabled by its dependence on Russian hydrocarbons.

The approach of the Head of State has the merit of raising the imposing questions, but it is not without danger. To want to force the unit, Mr. Macron risks the division. Thirteen member states, including Poland, Romania and Sweden, have not waited for the end of its Strasbourg speech to reject “reckless and premature attempts” to review the treaties. The “rearguard” must be convinced.

/Media reports.