Emmanuel Macron’s victory in the French presidential elections is not only a relief for all Europeans because of the catastrophe avoided (Le Pen President), but a rational signal of hope that France will regain its role as a dynamic factor of integration, as it did in the days of Jacques Delors and François Mitterrand. Three elements must be highlighted.
To have won more than 60% of the electorate with a programme emphasising, against defensive and protectionist temptations, on European recovery is an unexpected result. Not enough attention is drawn to the fact that many democratic leaders are under the illusion of fighting extremists and populists with moderate populism; Macron has not conceded anything: the rules of European economic governance cannot be changed unless the national economy is put in order first by reforming it. There can never be enough credibility in negotiations with creditor countries and Germany if the indebted countries do not recognize this priority. The German comments and logic do not allow any illusion on this point.
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