Emmanuel Macron won an election 2 years ago with a strong pro-EU platform and has been a vociferous Europhile for the past 2 years. His European vision was immensely laudable and he had the courage to push ahead with it but he faced many hurdles from his closest ally – the Germans.
But since this European election, he has been openly projecting French interest through EU. Rather than having a Commission President from a small country that is absolutely neutral, someone like Margrethe Vestager, he chose Von der Leyen (who importantly happens to be a Francophone) against the wishes of the European Parliament. Her candidacy means its advantage France and Germany.
He has not been good with choosing candidates in the last few months. Besides Von der Leyen, his choice for the leader of the Renew Europe in the European Parliament Nathalie Loiseau ended in a fiasco. His choice for the European Commissioner Sylvia Goulard was rejected by the European Parliament. Despite many excellent candidates for the ECB and IMF, his choices weren’t the best ones.
Besides all these, the worst crime he did was betrayal today. He made the EU, a betrayer. For a long time Macedonia was waiting to start accession to the EU. It became a candidate country in 2005. It was ready in every sense except that Greece repeatedly voted against opening accession talks because Greece couldn’t accept another country having the name of one of the regions within Greece. In 2018, thanks to Alexis Tsipras, the then Greek PM and Zoran Zaev, the PM of North Macedonia signed the Prespes agreement in changing its name to North Macedonia. Zoran Zaev got ratified in the Parliament despite huge opposition from the opposition parties and few Russia-friendly parties. But the incentive to join the EU was the clincher to get it passed it in the Parliament. The whole Balkan region has huge trust for the EU and one day wants to join the EU. The Balkan people trust the EU more than its own leaders and parliament. In return the EU and its member states often don’t engage enough with the Balkans. Last year once North Macedonia joined NATO, there was a belated promise that the EU would agree to start accession talks the following year June. This year in June, Germany asked for a 4 months delay for technical reasons citing Parliamentary ratification needed time.
Last week when all is set to open the accession talks, the French threw a bomb all of a sudden saying they refuse to agree to start the accession talks. They claimed that the EU has plenty of problems as it is and this is not the time to expand (There’s no mention of what needs to be done to allow expansion). This rejection is despite the green signal given by the European Commission. Their excuse is a lame one and a standard French excuse. The French generally prioritises internal reforms over expansion. Starting the accession talks is not the same as joining the EU. It would take several years to join the EU after starting the accession talks. When the lame-duck Merkel pleaded for at least starting the talks, still the French refused. Despite many leaders warning the consequences, the French were adamant in refusing to agree and so the accession talks were rejected 27 against one. This would constitute to be a historical blunder, a monumental blunder. I don’t know whether the French realises the consequences. This is a massive betrayal. I would say a bigger betrayal than what the US did to the Kurds. And this French betrayal would constitute as a EU betrayal to the Balkans and it would be long lasting. EU loses leverage in Balkans with this rejection. What does this convey to the people of North Macedonia who made all the sacrifices and was looking towards a better future? Why should Serbia and Kosovo listen to the EU anymore? And all this in a region where Russia and China are competing for influence. Forget the Balkans, this betrayal would echo everywhere. Why should anyone listen or trust the EU if they are not going to honour promises in their own backyard?
Move away the Orbans and Kaczynskis, the most dreadful leader of the EU at the moment is Monsieur Macron, who has just made the worst betrayal the EU has ever done, who has just killed a million dreams, who has lost respect from a millions of people. It’s dreary to think this arrogant leader is the most powerful leader in the EU at the moment and what more catastrophes are awaiting. The Russians must be having a hearty laugh!