Public Discussion: "Macron's Effect: Can France Lead Europe To Fix A Broken World?"
(Jakarta, February 15th 2018) Foreign Policy Community of Indonesia held another Public Discussion with the theme “Macron’s Effect: Can France Lead Europe to Fix a Broken World?”. The newly inaugurated French President, Emmanuel Macron, has become the new hope for a stronger European Union in order to shape better global affairs. FPCI invited three honourable panellists to discuss their thoughts on the challenges and the possibilities that Macron are facing. The three honourable panellists are; Ambassador Vincent Guerend, Ambassador of European Union to Indonesia, Nicolas Tenzer, French Senior Official & Founder of Centre for Study & Research Political Decision, and Anne Genetet, Member of the French National Assembly. The discussion was moderated by Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, Founder of FPCI.
Nicolas Tenzer began the discussion by stating that Macron aims at being a real game-changer and a trendsetter not only when it comes to Europe, but also global issues, human rights and world peace. Tenzer also argued that although it is stressing on the liberal values, France also needs to be a realist by considering the things that are currently going. For instance, Russia that is now posing a systemic threat to the world, destabilizing Europe, and the vetos. This has become a true challenge for a liberal leader like Macron. Thus, according to Tenzer, Macron is very determined to re-enforce Europe with his liberal values. He was not only campaigning about France, but also Europe. He is committed to reform EU and also to continue enlarging it.
Tenzer also claimed that Macron has the capacity to side with people who have no voice and people who are persecuted in the world. Furthermore, the ideas of human rights need to be upheld because the world has the redlines, such as Syria with the use of chemical weapons in the war zone. The key to be a trustable leader in the world is not only to say something, but also to act something that is beneficial for everyone.
Regarding the relationship between France and the United States, it is very unfortunate that Trump had to withdraw from Paris Agreement while Macron is determined to make it a success. However, Macron still wants to work with the United States because France still needs the United States and also the concrete cooperation among countries to “fix this broken world”. France and Germany need the United States to cooperate regarding the immigrant issues. But European Union (EU) needs to be more independent vis-à-vis the United States, especially when it comes to defense and security.
The second panellist, Anne Genetet, also discussed her thoughts. According to Genetet, Macron has attitude, message, and philosophy. Firstly, with the attitude, Macron has the capability to put the responsibility not only on his shoulders but also on the nation’s. Everyone has a part in succeeding France. He empowers the nation. Secondly, Macron has a positive message. He empowers the nation with his positive messages to succeed France. Lastly, Macron has the philosophy that makes him able to see things in different perspectives.
Ambassador Vincent Guerend also added that EU is currently facing three challenges; 1) attacks on values, such values are human rights and climate change, 2) rejection on multilateral orders and establishing it. For instance, the United States’ withdrawal from Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and 3) Territorial integrity. Thus, in order to face these challenges, EU has made five priorities such as 1) security of the union, 2) what works on states as society resurgence, 3) the steps EU needs to take to solve conflicts and crisis, 4) promoting regional orders and regional integrity, and 5) be an active contributor among governance in 21st century and also be a main supporter of the United Nations.
However, EU cannot solve the problems alone. The homework that EU now has are human rights and climate change. EU also needs to engage in multilateral forums. Therefore, France’s leadership is very welcomed since France is also one of the six founding members of the EU. However, EU wants the initiative for everybody, not just elites. France needs to be beneficial for the other 27 member states. With the leadership of President Macron, Europe is back—although it never went away, with a new spirit. Macron’s effect is playing very well in Europe, making him a potential game changer in world politics.