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Andreas Kluth

Emmanuel Macron Isn’t Gaullist. He’s Just Angry at Germany.

The French president is asking all the hard questions about Europe’s future. Berlin is mostly ignoring him.

What’s the use?

What’s the use?

Photographer: Lukas Schulze/Getty

It’s become fashionable of late in central Europe to accuse French President Emmanuel Macron of being a “neo-Gaullist” who touts the cause of “European sovereignty” as a cover for expanding French power, cozying up to Russia and keeping the U.S. at bay. Worse, he’s undiplomatic about it all, arrogant, “Jupiterian.”

This interpretation may be understandable for the Poles and Balts. They feel most threatened by Russia and most dependent on the U.S. They distrust French dreams of Gallo-European grandeur. But for France’s most important partner, Germany, rejecting Macron’s ideas is downright hypocritical. If anybody is to blame for his iconoclasm, it’s the Germans who have left him hanging for two years now.