French President Emmanuel Macron laid out his vision for European integration in a speech at the Sorbonne University in Paris. Chief among his suggestions were a pan-Eurozone budget, pan-EU lists at the next European parliamentary election, and even a big step toward an EU military. In order to achieve any of these goals, Macron must gain approval from Germany, the bloc’s largest, most powerful member. With its recent election producing a fractured German parliament, the French President’s ambitions are set to meet a formidable roadblock.
Regardless of who wins the most seats in October’s parliamentary election, it is safe to say that the next Austrian government will be equally as hawkish on borders, and at least as likely to circumvent the EU when it deems necessary.
More democracy is never a bad thing, especially in the case of opaque organisations such as the EU. However, attempts to engineer pan-EU democratic institutions ignore a key factor preventing them from ever working: there is no European demos.