Our cover this week considers Emmanuel Macron’s warning that Europe is “on the edge of a precipice”. In his Elysée Palace office, the French president spoke to The Economist in apocalyptic terms. NATO, the transatlantic alliance, is suffering from “brain-death”, he says; Europe needs to develop a military force of its own. The European Union needs to act not just as a market but as a political bloc, with policies on technology, data and climate change. And it must embrace realpolitik, for example by rebuilding relations with Russia. With protectionism and authoritarianism on the rise, Europe needs to wake up and prepare itself for a tougher, less forgiving world. It is hard to overstate the scale of the change Mr Macron is asking from his fellow Europeans. Is he right? At the very least, he deserves an answer.