Emmanuel Macron understands that the European elections this year will be different. In spite of their name, normally European elections are predominantly national, low-turn-out, low stakes affairs. But this election will have a transational element, as the Salvini-Orban-Bannon axis tries to turn it into a referendum on migration. The nationalists hope to mobilise millions of ‘left behind voters’ behind an anti-European platform and to start dismantling the EU from within. Macron’s article is the beginning of a reponse to their threat. Macron sees the three main battlefields as the main dimensions of a future-orineted European project: democracy (protecting elections from external interference), protection (a common border for Schengen and a European Security Council that includes the UK), and progress (European Climate Bank, regulation of Global tech companies, an EU innovation fund). The challenge will be to use this vision and concrete ideas to appeal to Europeans who feel that the current system is broken. Will he be able to show that his goal is to revolutionise Europe so that it can live up to the promise of democracy, protection and progress – rather than looking like a champion for the status-quo in Brussels? Mark Leonard - Director European Council on Foreign relations
Sovereignty entails obligations as well as rights, and where compliance cannot be induced, pressure must be applied. And though positive incentives to encourage and enable compliance would be preferable, Brazil's government is showing that there must be sticks where carrots are not enough.
Although populism in Western democracies is nothing new, resentment toward elites and experts has certainly been on the rise. Does this trend reflect a breakdown in the system, or a system that is actually working too well?