”Emmanuel Macron personifies the antithesis to the quietism of those authorized to act. During their overlapping terms as economics ministers, he and Sigmar Gabriel promoted an initiative to strengthen cooperation in fiscal, economic and social policies within the eurozone, though this has remained without consequences. If I remember correctly, they proposed to establish a finance ministry for the eurozone and a shared European budget controlled by the European Parliament. With this proposal, they sought to create room for maneuver at the European level for a flexible economic policy designed to overcome the primary hurdle blocking closer cooperation between the Member States – namely, the sharp differences in levels of rates of growth, unemployment and public debt, especially between the economies of the northern and southern members of a monetary union which must enforce convergence even as the countries concerned are drifting apart – and whose political cohesion is also being eroded by persistent, indeed widening, differences in economic performance.”

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