French economy minister Emmanuel Macron is the latest technocrat to be appointed (photo: dpa)

Acid test for economic technocrats in the European Union

Professional economists rather than politicians are being called in by political leaders facing economic difficulties. French President Francois Hollande is the latest to follow this path. But such appointments can spell danger when the technocrat fails to understand that their role is the scapegoat for government failure and not a pathway to international economic stardom.

France’s new economics minister Emmanuel Macron is not a politician, but a professional economist and former investment banker. French President Francois Hollande needs him to please both French business and EU authorities. Italy has appointed research economists to run the economy for many years - with mi...

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Professor Enrico Colombatto
If national technocratic actors behave sensibly, refrain from unnecessarily kowtowing to the bigwigs in Brussels and Frankfurt, and strive to promote the national interest rather than their own professional future, then both the EU and the national interest can benefit
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