French president Emmanuel Macron told the Economist that “we are currently experiencing . . . the brain death of Nato” and Europe “must regain military sovereignty”. Photograph: Johanna Geron/Reuters

The mostly ageing audience of academics, defence officials and parliamentarians were not the sort of people one associates with exuberance. But the mo(...)

French president Emmanuel Macron meets  local  residents, officials and emergency services during a visit to  the Aude department in Villalier on Monday, where 14 people died in flash floods. France October 22, 2018. Photograph: Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool via Reuters

“The world is fracturing . . . Europe is leaning almost everywhere towards the extremes and towards nationalism. Those who don’t see what is happening(...)

French far-right Front National (FN) party’s Member of Parliament Marine Le Pen speaks to  the press after French president Emmanuel Macron gave a speech during a special congress gathering both houses of parliament (National Assembly and Senate) in the palace of Versailles, outside Paris, on July 3rd, 2017. Photograph: Martin Bureau/AFP/Getty Images

Populism has been on the rise in the West for more than four decades. But the earth-shattering events of the past year, the Brexit referendu(...)

British prime minister Theresa May at the Élysée Palace in Paris with French president Emmanuel Macron. Photograph: Thierry Chesnot/Getty Images

Receiving British prime minister Theresa May at the Élysée Palace in Paris on June 13th, French president Emmanuel Macron twice emphasised that he wan(...)