The Corner

World

Macron: L’Europe C’est Moi

French President Emmanuel Macron in N.Y., September 26, 2018. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

With the good ship Brexit veering unsteadily between the Scylla of  Theresa May’s dreadful Withdrawal Agreement and the Charybdis of a “no deal” departure, it was kind of France’s president Macron to come out with some ideas that, if there is nothing else good about them, ought to act as a useful reminder to Brits that the EU’s mantra of “ever closer union” means what it says — and that there will always be somebody to push it along.

The full text of his message — perhaps proclamation would be a better word — can be seen here, but at its core it is a call for the creation of a fortress Europe in which the rights of the EU’s member-states would be reduced still further, while those of their citizens would be subject to something of a trim too.

To give a sense of the alternate reality in which Macron would like EU citizens to believe they lived, they are asked, apparently with a straight face, how they would “resist the crises of financial capitalism without the euro.”

“How indeed?”, they ask in Athens, Rome . . .

Note the sneer, long present in France, about “financial” capitalism.

There is, of course, the inevitable appeal for censorship, to be managed by a proposed European Agency for the Protection of Democracies, a body with powers that, in Macron’s view, should include “banning all incitements to hate and violence from the Internet”, a plan that sounds innocuous enough until one stops to think how flexibly hate is defined these days.

Protectionism, naturally, makes an appearance:

We need to reform our competition policy and reshape our trade policy with penalties or a ban in Europe on businesses that compromise our strategic interests and fundamental values such as environmental standards, data protection and fair payment of taxes…

Hmmm.

Writing in Euronews, Eoin Drea notes that Macron is not proposing:

. . . a new golden age for Europe . . .  but simply the latest iteration of French-led centralisation and protectionism. This is classic French policy garnished with an overpriced European dressing . . . This is no French renaissance; just the same old French nightmares for smaller and more economically liberal member states.

Indeed it is. Maybe they should consider participating in the Single Market via EFTA (the Norway option) rather than the EU.

That’s an option Britain should take too, but Mrs. May has other plans.

Germany has pushed back against Macron’s program, but some of it will undoubtedly survive, and the ratchet of integration will take another turn.

Most Popular

Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More
Elections

The Media’s Bernie Sanders Makeover Begins

Just you watch: By the time Election Day rolls around in November, liberal columnists will be telling us that Bernie Sanders is the “real conservative” in the presidential race. Many among the center–left commentariat are struggling to come to terms with the likelihood that the Democratic Party will ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More

Socialism . . . But?

For once, conservatives were ahead of the curve. American conservatism functioned as a political mass movement in the postwar era not because of the rhetorical gifts of its chief expositors (William F. Buckley Jr. et al.) nor because of the intellectual prowess of its best and most creative minds (ask George ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More
Religion

Getting Real About Christianity

Charlotte, N.C. -- There were women weeping in a chapel here. One woman named Veronica was nearly inconsolable. She was talking about the crucifixion of Christ as if it was happening right then and there. She was feeling it. She was seeing it as the consequences of her sins. She was overwhelmed by the love of a ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More
NR Webathon

This Is Not a Drill

We may be months away from the most radical major-party nominee in American history. Bernie Sanders doesn’t belong on the Burlington City Council, let alone on the cusp of the American presidency, but that’s where the Democratic nomination would bring him. NR has jousted with socialists over the years ... Read More