Usually meetings in Brussels work like this: after an introduction which underlines the importance of common European interests, the EU and its cohesion, each participant then takes the floor and the various national agendas immediately come to the fore, a Pavlovian behaviour reminiscent of Europe in the early 20th century. The Frenchman and the German will seek each other out so they can adjust their stance relative to each other, the Englishman will sniff the air to try and understand how to stop integration spreading across the channel, the Italian tries to use Europe to defend national interests, and so on. The youngest, most European and pro-European president in the history of the French republic, is probably very adept at navigating these psychological and geopolitical dynamics, and perhaps changing them. Emmanuel Macron won by going all-in on a “European” France and the revival of the EU, thus tying his political future to the developments in European geopolitics.

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