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French President-elect Emmanuel Macron, left, and outgoing President Francois Hollande attend a ceremony to mark the end of World War II at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, May 8, 2017 (Philippe Wojazer, pool via AP).

Macron’s Victory in France Will Keep Europe Globally Relevant—for Now

Monday, May 8, 2017

Emmanuel Macron has never said anything noteworthy about the United Nations. But his victory in this weekend’s French presidential election increases the chances that France and Europe still have a role to play in defending international cooperation. It is probable that the three main European powers—Britain, France and Germany—will be active supporters of the U.N. and other multilateral bodies for at least the rest of this decade. They may be able to offset, at least in part, the Trump administration’s retreat from multilateralism.

Just a few months ago, it would have been hard to make even this guardedly optimistic statement with any certainty. Europe’s ability to shape U.N. diplomacy as well as broader multilateral affairs has been decreasing for many years. But last June’s Brexit vote withdrawing the U.K. from the European Union looked like the beginning of a far steeper decline, potentially precipitating a wave of populism and nationalism that could force European leaders to give up their multilateral commitments. ...

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