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Ferdinando Giugliano

Macron Calls on Europe to Do More, Better

His nearly two-hour speech was long on vision, but short on specifics.
Think big!

Think big!

Photographer: Ludoovic Marin/AFP/Getty Images

Two cheers for Emmanuel Macron. In his much-awaited speech on Europe Tuesday, the French president displayed a refreshing ambition accompanied by a willingness to compromise. What Macron lacked was detail: Filling it in will make the difference between writing a few lines of rousing rhetoric and the first page of history.

Macron is the first European leader since Helmut Kohl to display a true, unbounded vision for European integration. His speech, which lasted for nearly two hours, spanned a range of subjects from defense policy to the environment to the future of the European economy. Most of the proposals, which included a European defense fund and the harmonization of corporate tax rates, were not new. What was striking was the willingness to open these areas to negotiation among the EU partners.