Introduction to French Election
French election this year has been the most remarkable event in the history of France. Emmanuel Macron has been elected as the President and he has entrenched his role as the youngest president in the history of France. Incidence of ongoing tension as to the survival of the European Union and the fate of the France’s economy has made this election an eye catchy event around the world.
Out of the candidates running for presidential election, since not a single candidate got majority, apart from the top two contenders – Ms. Marine Le Pen and Mr. Emmanuel Macron, a run-off was declared in order to decide the next President.
Though both the contenders had different views with regard to issues such as trade, globalization and immigration et al., the main difference of opinion with respect to the French relationship with the European Union interested everyone around the world. [French Election Highlights a Divide on the EU]
Fate Of European Union
While Ms. Marine Le Pen contended that France will exit from the European Union and promised to restore the country’s official currency “Franc,” Mr. Emmanuel Macron created a movement named “En Marche” which indicated that Mr. Macron is a Pro-European and believes that the European policies are very important for the people in France and in order to move ahead in globalization. Mr. Macron also agreed that European Union was needed to change the policies so that they are at par with the situation of the country. In his opinion few reforms were needed, without which there would be difficulty moving ahead with the number of obstacles that had befallen on the country’s path to progress.[The EU must reform or face a Frexit, says Emmanuel Macron by Henry Samuel]
Although Ms. Marine Le Pen won support from the former industrial and rural areas when she guaranteed to reclaim the sovereignty of the France from European Union helping in protection of the borders of France and French workers, Mr. Macron won the presidential election with 60% majority.
Popularity of Mr. Macron
According to Michael Barnier, the chief Brexit negotiator of European Union:- “Mr. Macron is a patriot and European, and that France must remain European.” [European leaders cheer Macron victory in the first round of French election by Daniel Boffey]
Following Brexit, European Union has been facing many problems and also issues pertaining to the migrant crisis, increasing number of rebellious capitals and slow economic growth which makes the exit of France from the European Union a disaster for it, thereby questioning the very stability of the European Union. Hence, Mr. Macron being elected as a President of France gives a relief to the European Union officials as there are chances for them to reform their ways and give Europe a chance for recuperation. [How France’s Presidential Election could make or break the EU by Jon Henley]
He proposes to stop British businesses from bidding within the European Union for public contracts post-Brexit. [Emmanuel Macron wants a ‘Buy European Act’ to stop UK firms winning EU contracts by Jack Maidment]
Charles Grant of the Centre for European Reform said -“Mr. Emmanuel Macron wants the reforms to be made so as to increase the France’s economy and strengthen its position in Europe.”
Policies of Mr. Emmanuel Macron
Mr. Macron being a firm believer and a fervent supporter of the European Union, considers that the UK committed a crime by exiting and also showed concerns with regard to the UK border controls promising the citizens that he would renegotiate the “Le Touquet Agreement” between France and the UK. This Agreement empowers the UK officials at the border to conduct checks in France. [What is the Le Touquet border control Treaty and can Emmanuel Macron tear it up? By Henry Samuel and Charlotte Krol]
Mr. Macron has also rejected to share the debt of the member states and had his first official meeting with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who agreed to help in the revival the European Union. [Macron rejects Sharing Euro Debt, Pledges EU Reforms with Merkel by Mark Deen and Arne Delfs]
As per the policies set forth for the campaigning of the election, Mr. Macron wishes to create a ‘European Security Council’ in order to bring all military, intelligence and diplomatic leader of the member states together. [Emmanuel Macron V. Marine Le Pen: who are they and what are their policies? By Jon Henley]
He has also brought forward a five-year plan for Public Investment and Spending, where nearly 50 billion euros will be invested in the areas such as transport, infrastructure, farming, job-training, and health care. He wishes to meet the environmental energy target thereby making changes to move from coal based energy production to use renewable resource energy.
Where Ms. Marine Le Pen wanted to shut out the immigrants from France, Mr. Emmanuel Macron insists on having a six-month period for assessing and processing the asylum requests and an integration program for the foreigners who came to France. [Emmanuel Macron : What are the French President’s Policies?]
Mr. Macron in a rally in the month of October said-“If the state is neutral which is at the heart of secularism, then it is the duty of each and everyone to let others practice their religion with dignity.” Therefore he follows strict secular policies. [French Election 2017:Emmanuel Macron policies –what is his manifesto? By Sebastian Kettley]
As regards the work visa i.e., talent visa, he wishes to reduce the amount of time require to obtain a visa, so that skilled professionals are allowed to work in France.
With regard to the economic policies, he proposes to reduce corporate tax from 33 percent to 25 percent in the future.[Emmanuel Macron : What are the French President’s Policies?]
For a better future of the French economy Mr. Emmanuel Macron insisted that it is vital for it to be a part of European Union and so as to be a part of the world globalization. But what holds in the future for France is yet to be seen with Mr. Macron who took charge of office on May 14th, 2017 with obstacles in the way such as “Hollande Syndrome” in Brussels as the former President had created voluminous expectations in Brussels and many more which currently are lying in the dark.