Emmanuel Macron’s challenge: ensuring proximate parity with Germany

Philip Giurlando*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Standard accounts of the politics of the Eurozone often emphasize the importance of German leadership. But this assumes that Europe’s fate is in the hands of Berlin. Events in Paris matter equally, or more, because Germany cannot take on the leadership of Europe by itself. It is recognized in both countries that a fundamental condition for the proper functioning of the duopoly is proximate parity in the rapport de force. But four events have undermined equality between France and Germany: the latter’s unification, the distributional effects of the common currency, the eastward expansion of the EU, and the debt crisis of 2011–2012. Emmanuel Macron’s challenge is to reverse France’s déclassement and restore it to a position of proximate equality with Germany. If he fails, the asymmetry between Germany and France will increase, and the resulting skewed power structure will undermine the chances of needed reform initiatives.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-74
Number of pages18
JournalModern and Contemporary France
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2021
Externally publishedYes


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