Macron has given EU leaders a spring in their step


That these political and economic developments have, collectively, changed sentiment is shown by Italy’s Europe minister, Sandro Gozi. He remarked this month that we “now have a possibility of launching a new phase… We have to make the best of Brexit negotiations, we have to limit the damage… On the other hand, it is essential that there will be a parallel process of relaunch and deepening of European integration.”

The contrast here with the mood music of key European leaders from only a few months ago is striking. For instance, European Council President Donald Tusk said in January that the threats facing the European Union were then “more dangerous than ever.” He identified three key challenges “which have previously not occurred, at least not on such a scale” that the EU must tackle.

The first two dangers related to the rise of anti-EU, nationalist sentiment across the continent, plus the “state of mind of pro-European elites,” which Tusk then feared were too subservient to “populist arguments as well as doubting in the fundamental values if liberal democracy”.

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