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French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, at the opening session of the Paris Peace Forum, November 11, 2018, in Paris, France. (Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
(Photo by Artur Widak/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Vive le Nationalisme!

Walter Russell Mead

Perhaps French President Emmanuel Macron was busy examining the damage wrought by rioters at the Arc de Triomphe this weekend, but he has not yet responded to a telling suggestion from German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz. Mr. Scholz proposed last week that France turn over its permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council to the European Union. Only a French nationalist could disagree, right? And Mr. Macron has made a point of denouncing nationalism as selfish and immoral.

But Mr. Macron’s posturing aside, the French are nationalist to the core. Ask the European parliamentarians and their staffers who must make the expensive, time-consuming, carbon-emitting trip from Brussels to Strasbourg once a month to maintain the absurd fiction that French Strasbourg is the home of the European Parliament. Ask any European negotiator who has tried to prune back the Common Agricultural Policy, a giant boondoggle under which France is the largest recipient of funds. Ask any Italian diplomat about French policies in Libya. Ask any American negotiator about France’s approach to trade. Ask any German diplomat who has had a few drinks.

You can read the full article on the Wall Street Journal’s website here

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