By Emmanuel Macron and Sigmar Gabriel.
From one border of the European Union, Greece, to the other, the United Kingdom, the European ideal is being challenged. It is no surprise, since the terrible crisis of the recent years has highlighted two key weaknesses of Europe’s architecture. The first is the end of economic convergence between EU – and, in particular, eurozone – countries. This is not a theoretical matter: unemployment is the daily reality of millions, especially for young people. The second is about political tensions: within the member states, where anti-European forces are on the rise; and within the union itself. The Greek and British cases, for all their differences, show that European general interest and national interests are increasingly seen as drifting apart from each other.
In this context and 10 years after the French “no” to the constitutional referendum, now is the time to reopen the economic and political debate, and to fix the eurozone as part of a greater deal for a union in which all member states find their place. In the coming days we hope a solution will be found to address the urgent difficulties regarding Greece. But we also need to think further and to make proposals for the future of Europe as a whole.
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