French Presidents generally hold two views of Europe: a place where what they are unable to do in France is possible (Europe as a better France), and a place where what they are able to do in France should be replicated (Europe as a greater France). Emmanuel Macron in essence calls for a “Great European debate” to circumvent populism, exactly what he has done with his “Great National debate” to counter the “yellow vests” movement. He also calls for stronger European climate action, but France’s emissions have been on the rise for the last three years and the energy transition in France is, according to existing estimates, 90% off the mark (https://www.ofce.sciences-po.fr/pdf/pbrief/2019/OFCEpbrief52.pdf ). But the main problem of this text remains its final words: Emmanuel Macron, alone, offers to “chart together” the road to European renewal. In a way, this is unity.
Éloi Laurent is a Senior Research Fellow at OFCE (Sciences Po Center for Economic Research, Paris), Professor at the School of Management and Innovation at Sciences Po, and Visiting Professor at Stanford University. He is the author of the forthcoming book The New Environmental Economics – Sustainability and Justice.