Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

moisi169_Aurelien MeunierGetty Images_macron Aurelien Meunier/Getty Images

Macron’s NATO Mistake

In a world with little or no strategic leadership, French President Emmanuel Macron's coherent and imaginative vision for Europe is welcome. But it will remain so only if he is not carried away by his own temperament.

PARIS – Who in Europe today has a strategic vision of the world that takes account of radical changes to the global order and transcends lazy and comfortable conventional wisdom? At the risk of being accused of national bias, only one name comes to mind: French President Emmanuel Macron. Yet, in his boldness, Macron must be careful not to isolate himself from France’s European allies.

Some observers, mostly in France, praise Macron, while many more in Europe and the United States criticize him. But supporters and critics alike seem to perceive a continuity between his recent foreign-policy pronouncements and the thinking of former French President Charles de Gaulle.

If Gaullism is taken to mean realism, then the comparison is justified. But if it refers to an attempt by France to distance itself from the US and the project of European integration in order to regain some independence and sovereignty, then Macron is no Gaullist.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.


Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.;

Edit Newsletter Preferences