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Europe enters a new phase

In the present international upheaval that has been worsened by climate catastrophe and compounded by some strategic surprises, the Europeans seem finally to have decided to launch into action.

A new generation of leaders is no longer satisfied with the slowness of European response to this international turmoil; Emmanuel Macron's France has recovered it's role as an idea-shaker that it has held intermittently since the foundation of the European Union; Jean-Claude Juncker, the President of the European Commission, does not apparently intend to lapse into sleep like some of his predecessors.

A new era is truly opening up for Europe.

Firstly this is because this era will not simply be diplomatic, but it will give rise to debate; this is what the heads of State and government want, and, in all events, the nationalist urges that are sweeping the continent - incidentally as elsewhere - will leave no other choice but to have thorough discussion about the future.

It is also because after the crisis, it seems urgent that we understand that to secure European acquis means focusing on agreement between Europe's main leaders: consolidating the euro once and for all, rallying together for a common migratory policy, arming ourselves to counter terrorism and cross-border crime, thinking in terms of European Defence.

Of course achieving consensus will not be easy, as always. But with just a few working as one, an example can be set. The European agenda of the next few months will be particularly interesting.

In Athens the French President put forward proposals for a "ten year road map" and his own approach is not lacking in originality or relevance: organising Europe so that it can rise to world challenges enabling it to rival the other two major power, which are the USA and China, choosing to do it with more democracy to include opinions, placing emphasis on culture, the foundation of identity.

On 13th September Jean-Claude Juncker will be delivering his annual speech on the State of the Union and it will not be lacking in ambition. It is keenly anticipated in terms of internal issues, Poland, Hungary, Central Europe, refugees and regarding his view of external challenges, the USA, Turkey, trade and security.

After the German general elections that will assert truly consensual European commitment, the way for an extremely special European era should therefore open up.

The ship will rock, there will be discussions and hesitations but progress will be made. At last! We should stand at the ready.