Europe’s Liberal Dream Team Looks More Like a Marriage of Convenience

Europe's Liberal Dream Team Looks More Like a Marriage of Convenience
Europe’s Liberal Dream Team Looks More Like a Marriage of Convenience

Europe’s two most prominent liberal leaders are teaming up. French president Emmanuel Macron and Dutch prime minister Mark Rutte are expected to form an alliance in next year’s European parliamentary elections. With luck, it will make theirs the second-largest party in the European Parliament, which would give them considerable influence over the selection of the next European Commission president.

Macron and Rutte are both young, ambitious (Rutte is believed to covet the European Council presidency, currently held by Donald Tusk), and in favor of EU reform.

But they differ on what “reform” should mean, which could make theirs an unhappy marriage.

In my latest post for the Atlantic Council’s New Atlanticist blog, I look at the issues that divide the liberal “dream team” as well as the thing that unites them: a desire to break up the Christian Democratic-Social Democratic duopoly that has ruled Europe by consensus for decades.

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