With Ms Merkel set to step down as Chancellor this year, the French President is hoping to use her departure to pave the way for his pursuit to become the EU’s de-facto leader. Commenting on Ms Merkel’s impending departure, political commentator Stephen Booth claimed the Chancellor’s exit has led to questions marks over the EU’s future. However, the commentator argued the French President will use her departure to reinvigorate his vision for the EU.
Despite the EU struggling to reduce case levels across the bloc combined with the economic fallout from the pandemic, Mr Macron has long pushed for a collective EU military force.
Writing for Conservative Home, Mr Booth said: “It is unclear exactly what the German election will mean for the future of the EU as it continues to wrestle with the pandemic and its aftermath.
“Nevertheless, Emmanuel Macron undoubtedly hopes that Merkel’s departure will pave the way for him to become the EU’s most influential leader and present an opportunity to reboot his ambitious vision for European integration.”
Since the UK departed the bloc, Mr Macron has become a leading voice in pushing EU integration across the continent.
He also called for more cohesion on sovereignty in the EU and has previously criticised NATO’s role and cooperation with European states.
Next year Mr Macron will face the Presidential election and will compete against Eurosceptic Marine Le Pen.
Indeed, amid the threat of a Le Pen Presidency, Mr Booth indicated the next German Chancellor may want to appeal as a helpful ally to Mr Macron.
He concluded: “The next German Chancellor is likely to want to be seen to be helpful to Macron, in fear of what a Le Pen presidency would mean for the EU.
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This means schools and non-essential shops will be closed for three weeks after Easter, as Mr Macron warned France will lose control if restrictions are not brought in.
Domestic travel will also be banned for a month while there will be a nationwide curfew between 7pm to 6am.
Despite this, some EU officials have claimed he is preparing to launch a plot to secure greater influence in the EU.
Mr Macron said earlier this year: “If the Franco-German tandem do not come up with a perspective for the middle classes, that will be a historic failure.
“What’s key in the coming years is to move much faster on issues of sovereignty on the European level.”
Commenting on Mr Macron’s plans, one French government source said his ideas may not go down well in Berlin.