“Despite Emmanuel Macron’s presidential election victory, France remains one of the main risks for Europe. The prospects for necessary reforms are uncertain, and support for extreme political forces is worryingly high. France is a pivotal country: should Macron fail, his redeeming effect would turn into the opposite.
For Europe, his presidency may have profound but ambiguous consequences. Economic and eurozone reform will enjoy priority but will also mean hardship for citizens. To ease the pain, Macron may be tempted to embark on a protectionist agenda within the EU: boosting the EU’s social pillar, fighting social dumping, and imposing restrictions on labor mobility. He would find supporters in Western Europe, for example in Austria, but would deepen divisions between East and West at the same time. Also, even if his domestic policy succeeds, Macron cannot redeem the EU or the eurozone on his own.
Much will depend on Germany and its ability to support Macron by relaxing the bloc’s economic orthodoxy and opening up to more ambitious reforms of the eurozone’s architecture. The key factor would be not so much a victory for the Social Democrats’ candidate for chancellor, Martin Schulz, in Germany’s September parliamentary election as the party’s grab for the Ministry of Finance in a new coalition government and the departure of current conservative Finance Minister Wolfgang Schäuble.”
Komentarz Piotra Burasa jest częścią artykułu Judy Dempsey pt. “Is France Europe’s Redeemer?” opublikowanym na stronie Carnegie Europe.