Millions of European voters go to the polls this weekend to choose lawmakers for the European Parliament. The election has been called “a battle for the soul of the European Union,” which could have far-reaching economic and political consequences.
“What is at stake, fundamentally, is the survival of the European Union project. Are we going to break it or keep it?” asked Dominic Moisi of the Institut Montaigne, a Paris-based think tank.
Moisi believes that President Donald Trump’s arrival in the White House, and the inexorable rise of China, mean that the member states of the EU must forge ever-closer links with each other and resist the temptation to loosen the bonds and become less interdependent.
“There is less America in the world. And much more China. There should be more Europe,” he said.
“More Europe” is a familiar catchphrase of those who believe that more economic and financial decisions should be made at European level, rather than nationally, by institutions as the European Commission, Council and Parliament.
Perhaps no major European leader has expressed greater commitment to “more Europe” in recent years than French President Emmanuel Macron.
“When he was elected two years ago, it was the first time, for many years, that a main national politician in western Europe had run an election on an openly and admittedly and proudly pro-European message,” said Alexandre Holroyd, an elected member of France’s National Assembly representing Macron’s party, En Marche.