Europe faces difficult questions as it shapes its future. As we discussed the task of reshaping Europe’s architecture and reinvigorating the spirit of European integration this afternoon, it was clear that the Franco-German relationship will play a vital role in driving Europe’s path forward.
Macron’s victory in France has lifted the spirits of many who want to see more reform within the EU and further integration, but many obstacles lay ahead. It is important for progressive leaders to redefine the role of Europe, and to focus on long-term change, rather than having their efforts entirely consumed by attempts to solve successive crises, one after another.
Critical to future change will be the reform of the Eurozone to ensure responsibilities and the wealth generated are distributed in an agreeable way amongst countries. European citizens also need to be able to feel more connected with Europe’s institutions on a personal level. This necessitates having strong and able leaders, who people perceive as an expression of European values at home and as able to represent their political will at the EU level.