MacroGeo Cable

Macron and Trump: a marriage made in geopolitics


Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump couldn’t be any more different but now France and the US need each other.

At first sight, Emmanuel Macron and Donald Trump couldn’t be any more different. However, geopolitics always trumps political or cultural differences and imposes itself on any decision maker. Their leaders’ beliefs notwithstanding, now France and the US need each other.

Paris needs America, the very geopolitical actor which invented Europe 60 years ago, so as to balance off Germany’s power and to avoid being sucked into Germany’s sphere of influence. Being a prime product of France’s École nationale d'administration (ENA) and being an administrative Gaullist, Macron sees Europe as a means to pursue France’s national interest rather than a goal in itself. Its economy being too weak to compete with Germany on that front, France intends to use the US against Germany, as Washington and Berlin are bound to clash for many years to come. While Macron touts his personal understanding with Trump to coax minor international interlocutors into accepting France’s will, as he’s trying to do with Libya’s two main rivals. Even though the superpower has no interest in Libya’s ordeal and won’t commit itself to solve the ongoing civil war.

On the other hand, as Macrogeo wrote some weeks back, the US cannot tolerate a German-dominated Europe and needs to keep France away from Germany, while threating to take protectionist measures against those countries comprising Germany’s KernEuropa. Especially considering that Washington won’t strike a compromise with Russia any time soon and thus Berlin and Moscow are destined to get closer even against their will.

Glaring inevitabilities which are not lost on Angela Merkel and which have prompted Macron and Trump to lavishly celebrate in Paris a marriage made in geopolitics.