Can Macron lead the EU after Merkel retires?

The French leader has a strong strategic vision for Europe but he must reckon with elections next year and a new German leader lacking Merkel's clout.

No one figure – not even French President Emmanuel Macron or a new German chancellor – will be as influential as Dr Angela Merkel was at her strongest. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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PARIS (NYTIMES) - After the German vote yesterday and a new government is formed, Chancellor Angela Merkel will leave office after 16 years as the dominant figure in European politics. It is the moment that French President Emmanuel Macron has been waiting for.

The German Chancellor, although credited for navigating multiple crises, was long criticised for lacking strategic vision. Mr Macron, whose more swaggering style has sometimes ruffled his European partners - and Washington - has put forward ideas for a more independent and integrated Europe, better able to act in its own defence and its own interests.

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