An article appeared in the Taipei Times on Saturday, September 30, 2017, P. 9, “Macron’s vast ambitions for a united Europe” By Philippe Legrain / PARIS.
Mr. Legrain’s article is just another Project Syndicate pie in the sky piece about rainbows and lollipops. Basically the EU is made up of 28 sovereign nations who have been cobbled together into an economic zone, and pressed by France to sit under what it views as its enormous penumbra of substantive government so that France can be the King of Europe (once again, if ever it was)(“Coalitions of willing governments would then integrate faster, with a revitalized Franco-German engine driving the process forward”). But the EU can never be cobbled into a United States of Europe because to do so would be to release sovereignty and no country is going to give up sovereignty to France or Germany or both – yet at the end, that is Macron’s great “vision” for Europe – or is it for France?
Already the EU has tried to pass so many substantive laws about the internal affairs of nations in the EU (which has led to the exit of Great Britain, which would never cede sovereignty to a French leadership) including vast and often unwelcome immigration and rights and internal policies. Far from the economic and social organization, the EU, under French and German determination, has become a stringent competitive (or anti-competitive) entity which often is at odds with particular sovereign’s own internal policies (e.g. Ireland’s tax concessions to lure international businesses to its shores having become the subject of retroactive reversal and imposition of enormous taxes and penalties by the European commission concerned with protecting EU competition and not member states’ competition, and stealing as much as possible from foreign entities through penalties and taxes).
Of course the French PM sees a greater bigger tighter EU as one entity under France (oh, perhaps I should not have said that out loud). Not going to happen. Not unless Europe finds itself immigrated out of existence, which is more likely than each of the sovereign European members ceding sovereignty to a French and German dominated EU. Nothing has changed in 800 years, the French and Germans are eager to grab territorial influence one way or another. Macron’s view is merely “the good old days” repackaged with ribbons and rainbows.