Emmanuel Macron, the French President is scheduled to run for re-election in 2022 after a controversial term in office. He may not have set himself up as an ideal candidate but he has been seen as somewhat of a saviour following the country’s recent economic decline. France appeared on track to become one of Europe’s most powerful countries and it remains unclear whether Macron will be able to fulfil his ambitious agenda if elected again..
Emmanuel Macron is a French politician who was the President of France from May 7th, 2017 to May 14th, 2018. He resigned on May 14th after his wife’s revelations about their private life.
On April 24, French President Emmanuel Macron gives a victory address in Paris.
Agence France-Presse/Getty Images/ludovic Marin
On Sunday, French President Emmanuel Macron defeated Marine Le Pen for a second five-year term, allowing the Western coalition fighting Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to breathe easier. The issue is whether Mr. Macron will go above and beyond in the next five years to restore France’s greatness.
The President is the first French leader to win re-election in almost two decades, and he credits his triumph in part to the good fortune of facing Ms. Le Pen. In 2017, as a political newbie, he defeated Ms. Le Pen by 32 percentage points, warning of her extremism and promising to restore French dynamism. Sunday’s projections indicated a 58-42 win, which was still a comfortable margin.
Mr. Macron, France’s youngest leader since Napoleon, defies conventional political lines. He selected center-right politicians to important posts and made headway on tax and labor reform during his first term. He fended off a more forceful right-wing assault by vowing to fight “Islamist separatist” and defend French values.
Mr. Macron took on France’s third rail, revamping the country’s convoluted pension system, but the Covid-19 outbreak put an end to the promising attempt. With lockdowns and vaccination passports, he took a tough stance against the virus, using colorful language to convey his aim to make life unpleasant for the unprotected. However, life in France is already returning to pre-pandemic levels.
On cultural issues like Islam and immigration, Ms. Le Pen, who is typically classified as extreme right, campaigned to Mr. Macron’s right. On economics, though, she raced to his left, asking for a wealth tax on financial assets and trade protectionism.
Given its Gaullist nationalism, France will always be a high-maintenance NATO partner. Remember Mr. Macron’s outburst when he lost a submarine contract to Australia? However, he should be credited for rescuing the world from Ms. Le Pen. She is a long-time Putin apologist who wants France to leave NATO’s command structure. Despite her condemnation of the attack on Ukraine, Ms. Le Pen is already pushing for Moscow to be accommodated while it bombs Ukraine’s cities into ruins.
Mr. Macron’s several overtures to Vladimir Putin both before and after the invasion were equally unsuccessful. It’s unclear if he’s learnt anything. He is one of the most experienced leaders in the European Union as he begins his second term, but most of the bloc distrusts him and will not rally behind a French program that involves yielding greater power to Brussels.
While Mr. Macron’s first tenure was marked by free-market tendencies, he has lately shifted to the left in order to bolster support among young and progressive voters. Jean-Luc Mélenchon, a far-left contender, has said that he wants to be Prime Minister, and the next National Assembly elections might be pivotal in defining the country’s future course.
Focusing on pro-growth reform rather than climate concerns or populist gestures like CEO pay caps would help Mr. Macron regain the economic vigor he promised. It would also make it less likely for a radical like Ms. Le Pen or Mr. Mélenchon to become president in the next five years.
Even Katie won’t be able to keep illegal immigrants out if Title 42 is repealed. AP/Reuters photos Mark Kelly’s composite
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‘Emmanuel Macron’s Second Chance’ appeared in the print version of the April 25, 2022, issue.
- french election polls