“Of course the government must always play a central role. This role must even be strengthened, because in many areas we need much more government.“ (Emmanuel Macron)
Europe is still not in good shape. Although economic growth is recovering slightly, it is still anemic. There has been a minor decrease in unemployment, but it is still very high. However, there have been cracks in the facade of the EU for some time now (here). The euro, Schengen, Brexit, and secessions are the main causes. In the still unstable euro zone, the north still doesn’t get along with the south. The EU is not out of the woods yet. Disintegration still threatens. The refugee crisis continues to smolder, dividing East and West. The ECJ is powerless to change this. The UK, the second largest member country, is leaving the EU. The exit is scheduled to be completed by the end of March 2019, but may end up taking a bit longer. The virus of regional separatism is finally spreading throughout the EU. At this point, Catalonia and Scotland aren’t the only ones infected. Even if the central government reacts repressively, it has no chance against pronounced regional preferences. This is the backdrop against which leaders in Europe are trying to avert a crash. Three speeches mark the European path into the future. Jean-Claude Juncker started things off with his 2017 State of the Union Address before the European Parliament in Strasbourg. In a keynote address in Florence, Theresa May outlined the United Kingdom’s possible path out of the EU. Finally, in Paris Emmanuel Macron presented his plans for the future of the EU.