Macron poses problems for both the EU, NATO

ISTANBUL
Published 02.12.2019 15:51
Updated 04.12.2019 02:00

If we are to ask who or what has been the greatest disappointment recently for Europe, the answer would obviously be French Prime Minister Emmanuel Macron.

Macron, who when first elected was expected to be a new leader for Europe and France, is now a big problem for the EU. His ill-tempered statements based on worries about France losing opportunities draw more attention with every passing day.

He has been absolutely unsuccessful when it comes to domestic policies. If there were elections in France today, his chances of losing are high. He has been unable to solve the crisis of the "yellow vests." Macron was unable to keep the promises he gave the French people.

The French people are complaining about Macron's policies. If the yellow vests' insurgency is still going on today, it is because of the lack of support for Macron. French citizens are demanding better living standards.

The number of people who trust and support Macron decreases every passing day.

His "success" in the formation of the EU Commission was actually provided by German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Since Germany and France continue their decades-old support of each other, Macron is able to be effective in the EU leaders summit alongside Germany. But the matter of how long Germany can keep carrying Macron on its back is a matter of debate.

The fact that in the old French colony, Syria, France is unable to play an important role makes Macron even more ill-tempered. Because of this, he is still making mistakes. Despite having the opportunity to be strong by acting as a mediator between Cypriot Greeks and Greece versus Cypriot Turks and Turkey, he chose to take sides. His attempt to work with Cypriot Greeks against Turkey and Libya in the Eastern Mediterranean is causing France, which does not have a foothold in the region, to become utterly ineffective. Macron believes by cooperating with Cypriot Greeks, Israel and Egypt he could protect France's interests but instead has become yet another ordinary country that has taken sides within this geography, while Russia is becoming a larger superpower.

The role of France in Libya is even more dire. France, which is supporting the terrorists battling with the government of Libya supported by the EU, has shown again that its interests are in conflict with the EU.

We can expand this list.

However, over the past few weeks, Macron's statements targeting NATO and his description of NATO as a body "that has suffered brain death" have drawn some rather big reactions. Even Chancellor Merkel, who up to this day kept silent against many of Macron's statements that conflicted with the EU's interests, was unable to remain silent and found herself in a position where she had to reiterate how important NATO is for the defense of Europe.

In fact, according to a claim by an American newspaper, Merkel even complained to Macron saying, "I'm tired of repairing the cups you have broken." She is right.

The "liberal" aspect of Macron is also only a facade. For example, the so-called "liberal" Macron did not act as an actual "liberal" when the EU did not uphold its promise to Macedonians, who thought in the road to the EU they could be successful by doing everything that is asked of them, including changing the name of their country.

Even President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan found himself strongly criticizing Macron. As a reaction to Macron's almost hostile serial statements toward Turkey, President Erdoğan felt the need to say, "President Macron, look I'm calling from Turkey; I'll repeat again in NATO too, first, you get your own brain death checked."

Even though EU leaders and NATO members haven't made statements as strong as President Erdoğan's, we are sure they listened to Erdoğan's statement with a hidden satisfaction because Macron has already made both the EU and NATO tired.

Regarding Macron, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu also voiced his reaction by saying, "France is a country that is behind all of the others when it comes to human rights within Europe. Macron came as a liberal but proved to be worse than (Nicolas) Sarkozy or (Marine) Le Pen." He also criticized the EU for its indifference toward the anti-democratic practices in France just because France is a member state. We understand Çavuşoğlu all too well when he says, "If Turkey was to do the same as France did, the EU would raise hell," pointing toward the French police's "merciless behavior" in their treatment of yellow vests and the prohibitions of the press as of late.

This path of Macron is not good for the EU and NATO. If those who were happy after the elections because "Le Pen lost, and Macron won" are not so sure which one would be worse for France, than this is indeed a very dire situation for the EU and NATO.

It seems the NATO summit that will be held in London this December is going to be rather heated due to Macron. We will be watching.

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