Macron runs France’s foreign policy single-handedly with a small team of advisers. French presidents traditionally have more control over their country’s foreign policy than other western leaders who have to wrestle with strong parliaments or foreign affairs ministries. But there are weaknesses in a hyper-centralized diplomatic machine. This model of foreign policy, which is completely centralized at the Elysée, has reached its limits.

Allies and EU partners in Eastern Europe have long looked askance at Macron’s endeavors. What Macron does not seem to see is the cost for him and for France, in terms of credibility with the allies and with his European partners.

To lend credibility to his leadership stature, Emmanuel Macron is approaching diplomacy from a proactive and personal angle. It is also the reflection of a collective belief system and a certain worldview. France’s foreign policy under the presidency of Emmanuel Macron must be examined in these terms. Shaped by a national narrative of greatness and international sway, France is a minor player in world affairs. Though France represents a mere 1 percent of both the world’s population and territory, it is nonetheless a major power militarily, with a nuclear capability, extensive state-of-the-art military arsenal and high-tech arms industry; politically as a permanent member of the UN Security Council, the world’s second-largest diplomatic corps, influence in Africa and the Arab world through colonial and post-colonial ties; the world's second-largest exclusive economic zone with 11 million square kilometers of territorial waters; culturally through linguistic and cultural influence, the world’s number one tourist destination; and economically as the world’s fifth power in terms of GDP, and among the world’s most productive employees.

Three factors may account for Macron’s mixed track record in foreign diplomacy: One his personality and impatience  which sometimes leads him to statements or attitudes that backfire on him. Second, some deficiencies in the French decision-making system, because the French President ends up excessively personifying the country’s foreign policy. And third, a certain gap between means and ambitions making it increasingly difficult for France to act purely alone

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