Restoring Europe’s credibility
German Chancellor, Angela Merkel, posing with new French President, Emmanuel Macron, in Berlin on May 15, 2017. / Tobias Schwarz/AFP
Charles de Marcilly, Brussels director of the Fondation Robert-Schuman, outlines the challenges ahead for new French president Emmanuel Macron in changing Europe’s treaties.
Through his dynamism and firm attachment to Europe, Emmanuel Macron is giving Europeans reasons for hope. Still, an immense challenge awaits the new French president, whose partners want him to be resolute, and not just in his speeches.
By hinting at treaty modification, Merkel gave out a sign of support. Before anything else, Macron must make sure France’s regains its credibility, especially when it comes to the economy, by embarking on reforms.
He must also make sure France wins back the confidence of its partners. This can only happen after work on Eurozone governance moves forward under Franco-German impetus.
On defense issues, Macron will have to help show that Europe is now able to protect itself. This means prioritizing solidarity and rapprochement.
Finally, he needs to move forward on various issues related to “a Europe that protects”, which include commercial aspects, such as strengthening commercial defense instruments in the face of uncompetitive behavior, and social aspects, with the ongoing revision of the directive on the rights of posted workers.
Macron has already stressed that in his eyes the EU is not just a big market, that there are also common values. In Brussels, we feel that this reminder goes without saying.