Your current version of the hwdVideoShare component is not compatible with this version of the hwdVideoShare Mambot, please check your versions.

Macron and Salvini two EU visions

French President Emmanuel Macron and Matteo Salvini, Italy’s deputy prime minister and interior minister, are from the same generation, but more than the Alps divides them.

Macron always wears a suit and tie, and has a penchant for lofty rhetoric and formal ceremonies. Salvini likes sweatshirts that say italia, rails against illegal immigration, and tweets pictures of himself eating Nutella. The differences go beyond style. Their dueling visions for the future of Europe will be tested in elections for the European Parliament this week.The Parliament has limited powers and the vote, to be held across the bloc’s 28 countries May 23–26, is generally seen as a test of voter sentiment across member states. But this time more than ever—after Brexit and with Trump rattling the transatlantic alliance—it’s also a test of which Europe will prevail: Macron’s call for a more top-down union that shares responsibilities for borders, defense, and the environment, and maybe more; or Salvini’s euroskeptic one, a “Europe of nations” in which each country retains more sovereignty.

“Political-party competition in the EU and its member states is organized increasingly around a liberal-cosmopolitan internationalist versus conservative-populist nationalist cleavage,” Douglas Webber, a political scientist at France’s INSEAD business school, told me. The far-right parties will do better than ever before, he added, but “it will not turn the whole EU on its head” because the majority in the Parliament is still expected to be pro-European.