A former Prime Minister of France, Dominique de Villepin has made a speech warning that the European Parliament election next year could be trigger a major political crisis for the 27 member Union (Britain will be gone before the election takes place), adding that attacking anti – integration or nationalist parties as “extremeists” in the way current French President, Emmanuel Macron repeatedly has recently, could help the Eurosceptics win votes.
The EU election has been framed by leaders favouring Europe’s progressive integration as an opportunity to push for more political leagislative and economic union, while the bloc’s far right populists hope a surge in the number of European Parliament Members, (MEPs), will hamstring the ruling elite of unelected bureaucrats in Brussels of its authortirian power.
We are witnessing the early stages of “an extremely serious political crisis,” M. de Villepin said in a joint interview with the TV station CNews, Europe 1 radio and newspaper Les Échos. He added tensions between Europhiles and Eurosceptics would likely reach boiling point in the coming months.
De Villepin also warned Macron is folish to engage in a political “arm-wrestle” with the extremes. “I think he [Mr Macron] is being a little bit presumptuous. The president is trying to highlight the deep gulf between progressives and nationalists… But polarisation inevitably leads to, in times of crisis, the victory of the toughest candidates.”
He also called on Europe’s so-called progressives to avoid lumping together all types of nationalism.
Macron overestimates his ability to wage a war against forces which have become extremely powerful because they are, in the eyes of voters, more effective and efficient. That’s the problem with populism,” he said, adding a further warning that surges in support for anti-EU, radical right parties in the May election was highly likely.
Mr de Villepin also dismissed Mr Macron’s calls for a ‘true European army’ to defend the bloc against threats from powers including the US as stupid.
US President Donald Trump slammed Macron’s call for an EU army as “insulting” soon after landing in Paris for a weekend of events to mark the end of World War One on Friday. that he published a fiery tweet criticising his French host over his proposal.
Europe Unglues (omnibus)