In the grip of overlapping crises, Europe faces a leadership vacuum

Emmanuel Macron is a lame duck, Mario Draghi is leaving office and Olaf Scholz is hesitant. Who will step up in their place?

The EU is confronted with genuine leaderlessness, just as it faces a potentially explosive series of interlocking military, diplomatic, energy and economic crises.

 Advances in the EU have traditionally been forged at times of crisis, but a leader or group of leaders has always been available in the past to chivvy disparate interests and views towards consensus.

 It is difficult to see who will have the clout or credibility to perform that role this year and next, just as the acute domestic consequences of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine – accelerating inflation, shortages of energy and some foodstuffs, possible rationing, even recession – really begin to bite.