Macron foreign policy Steffi Loos/Getty Images

The Macron Doctrine?

French President Emmanuel Macron has invited Vladimir Putin to Paris as his first foreign guest, while Donald Trump will attend this year’s Bastille Day celebrations. By reaching out to these two world leaders, neither of whom wanted him in the Élysée Palace, Macron has set the stage for a new and ambitious French foreign policy.

PARIS – French President Emmanuel Macron invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to Paris as his first foreign guest, while US President Donald Trump will attend this year’s Bastille Day celebrations. By reaching out to two world leaders who made no secret of their hope that he would never make it to the Élysée Palace, Macron has set the stage for a new and ambitious French foreign policy.

The message Macron is sending is that he will remain open to new opportunities for compromise – talking to anyone who is willing, but without glossing over disagreements. His foreign policy seeks to restore France’s central position on the world stage, while remaining firmly committed to Europe.

Macron’s foreign-policy effectiveness will depend on his ability to bring about a domestic economic turnaround – a lesson learned from Macron’s predecessor François Hollande. Beyond a military intervention against Islamist militants in Mali, Hollande achieved little on the international stage, precisely because he lacked credibility at home, owing to France’s economic weakness.

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