Macron et l’Union européenne

J’ai répondu à trois questions posées par Rodrigo Craveiro, un journaliste brésilien pour le CORREIO BRAZILIENSE.

Je publie ici le texte originel (en anglais)


1– Macron warned today about the risk of a Frexit if European Union don´t be reformed. How do you see such warning? Do you agree with him?


Yes, he is right to point to the risk of a EU explosion. We know that the EU has lost much of its legitimacy in the last ten years. A study made by the PEW Research Center in the wake of the Brexit is describing perfectly the situation. The problem is even worse in France because the political elite agreed to circumvent the 2005 referendum result and to impose to people the exact contrary to what they have voted. The very fact that results of this referendum, which showed 55% of French voters opposed to the European Constitutional Treaty, have been ignored has played a deep role into EU loss of legitimacy. Since then repeatedly the French political elite and the EU elite have been in a deep denial of democracy. This is explaining why today people in France want less union and not more. Such a process was not a French specificity and we could see on the following graph that these feelings are now shared by a large number of countries. To some point tis is validating what Euroskepticism has been saying for years. But to know if Mr Macron is really thinking what he said or if he just made a lip service to this feeling is to be seen in months to come.

Graph 1


Source: PEW Research Center, Euroskepticism Beyond Brexit, Spring 2016 Global Attitudes Survey, Juillet 2016


2– In the eve of elections isn´t very worrying the fact he warned about Frexit? Do you believe in this possibility?


Yes, there is a possibility, even remote, of a Frexit. But the main risk is that anger will grow in the French society and will end into a populist rage destroying with the political system the democracy itself. What is at stake now is not just French participation to the EU but democracy. After all, there could be many other institutional frameworks than the EU to link together European countries. We don’t have to fetishize the EU. And democracy is now threatened by the very behaviour of the EU bureaucracy but also by lenience of the French political elite on this very point. The current Presidential election, with its massive political opinion manipulation by “big” medias is showing that the threat to democracy is very real in France.


3– According to him the disfunctionality of European project is no more sustainable and has to be deeply reformed. How do you see that?


I share the same feeling. But it has to be said that Mr Macron didn’t present a clear and consistent project to reform the European project. More specifically he ask for a reform but in the same time he agrees with the worst of the EU. When he says that the EU has to be more protective, he is speaking in fact the same language than politicians since the 1990’s. Why had they not succeeded in making the EU more protective? Why don’t we have a social and fiscal convergence in the EU? These problems had been acknowledged as the EU scourge since the end of 1980’s and the very beginning of the 1990’s. The fact that Mr Macron is not answering this question, that he wants to use the same methods, which have repeatedly failed before, is casting more than a doubt about the sincerity of his position. Actually he is part of the very disfunctionality he denounces. The only path to reform the EU, if a reform is still possible a thing that is not certain, is to confront Germany with the consequences of its policies and threaten to exit or at least to block the whole European process. But without such a threat all declarations about a necessity of a EU reform are empty words. For sure Mr Macron doesn’t know or doesn’t understand the principle of deterrence. He is not in position to bargain anything but his own capitulation.



Jacques Sapir

Ses travaux de chercheur se sont orientés dans trois dimensions, l’étude de l’économie russe et de la transition, l’analyse des crises financières et des recherches théoriques sur les institutions économiques et les interactions entre les comportements individuels. Il a poursuivi ses recherches à partir de 2000 sur les interactions entre les régimes de change, la structuration des systèmes financiers et les instabilités macroéconomiques. Depuis 2007 il s'est impliqué dans l’analyse de la crise financière actuelle, et en particulier dans la crise de la zone Euro.

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