Emmanuel Macron announced the French presidency after the pro-european campaign.
Robert siegel, host:
Emmanuel macron held his victory celebration at the Louvre last night and performed Beethoven’s “ode to joy”. This is the anthem of the European Union. What does mark long’s election mean for his country’s relations with the European Union? We want to ask Sylvie Kauffmann, a columnist and editorial director of Le Monde, the French daily newspaper. You are welcome to join the program again.
Siegel: if heller won the French presidency yesterday, we would write an obituary for the European project, and the relationship between member states has been deepening for decades. France’s partners can now say that we have escaped a bullet; Nationalism and anti-immigrant sentiment have peaked; Can we go back to business as usual?
KAUFFMANN: I don’t think it will open as usual. I think this is a very serious warning to all eu members and to Germany, which is France’s biggest and most important partner in the eu. So Emmanuel Macron is certainly looking for a reformed eu, and as he says, he is looking for change. So he wants a more unified coalition, absolutely a more integrated eurozone, but I think he will also ask for some reforms.
Siegel: you know exactly what these changes will be.
Kaufman: he has been focused on the euro zone. That’s one thing. You know, the euro zone is smaller than the European Union. That is important, of course, because members outside the euro zone may be a little worried. But he wants to start in the eurozone, which means he will soon take it to Berlin.
What he wants – he wants a government for the eurozone. He wants a euro-zone finance minister, a euro-zone finance ministry and a euro-zone budget. He wants European money funds to face crises like the Greek crisis and help the euro.
Kaufman: the European Union has 28 member states, and soon it is gone. The euro zone has 19 members, which means 19 of the 28 members use the euro as a common currency.
Siegel: so macron is going to start the reforms in France and make proposals for reform for the European Union. Do you think the rest of the eu is ready to accept these proposals and take action?
Kaufman: I think it depends on the member states we are talking about. Several northern countries are also interested, so Germany must be interested in talking about eu reform. I think there is a sense within the eu that things cannot go on forever like this, because this populist wave is very strong on the continent.
Although we have managed to stop it – the Dutch general election, the Austrian election, now France, these are very powerful parties. You see the national front got 34 percent of the vote in this election, so it’s not completely wiped out. The threat is there, euroscepticism is there.
Moreover, globalisation has been very keen on Europe. As a result, most governments in the European Union know that they know this is a threat, and they must fight it. The only way to beat it is to reform the eu.
KAUFFMANN: nice to be with you.