Macron receives Charlemagne Prize
Just over a year after being elected French president, Emmanuel Macron has been awarded the International Charlemagne Prize of Aachen. The jurors said they were honoring Macron in recognition of his vision of a new Europe. But without Berlin's approval Macron's dream will remain unfulfilled and the award will be no more than a consolation prize, commentators point out.
Hopefully not just a consolation prize
It is to be hoped that after receiving the Charlemagne Prize Macron will make good on his plans for revitalising Europe, Le Point writes:
“So far the French president hasn't chalked up a single success on the European front. ... Now his pro-European resolve has secured him the Charlemagne Prize. ... It would be too bad, however, if like Barack Obama's Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 this distinction was awarded for good intentions that come to nothing. Or that it turns out to be nothing more than a consolation prize handed out by Berlin to the French president in exchange for renouncing his ambitions. 'European history is becoming tragic once more,' Emmanuel Macron said not long ago. Now he is experiencing this first hand.”
Berlin unconvinced by Macron's reform proposals
Macron isn't making headway with his ambitious plans for EU reform because Germany refuses to play along, Vedomosti comments:
“In view of its own successes in overcoming the economic crisis in the Eurozone, Berlin has somehow forgotten that in the past all decisions in the EU have been made on the basis of a balancing of German and French interests. Now Macron's proposals for reforming the EU and strengthening its economy call for new financial instruments and resources that France does not possess. ... And Germany is not willing to provide them. So far Macron's successes in turning Europe into a global player have not been apparent enough to convince the Germans to open up their wallet.”