Reuniting Europe

The electoral defeat of Geert Wilders in the Netherlands augurs well for EU’s future. There is little doubt concerning the victory of Emmanuel Macron in the French elections, and in Germany a pro-European chancellor will be elected anyway. (My preference is for Martin Schulz, and this would be a chance for the first time that the French President and the German Chancellor would speak without an interpreter – see this story if you have doubts.)
For the stars to align, creating the conditions for a clever rethinking of EU’s future, one election is outstanding – Italy’s. The natural end of the legislature is early next year, but former PM Matteo Renzi has pushed for a vote by June, arguing the debt-laden country Italian voteneeds a new political impetus.
The anti-establishment 5-Star Movement, which wants a referendum on membership of the euro currency, is also eager for early elections, with opinion polls showing it neck-and-neck with Renzi’s centre-left PD.
Therefore the big question mark for the chances of renewal in the EU is Italy. And it would be good the Italian election to take place this year, allowing decision-making on the future of the EU in December.

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