Last week, Mr. Macron won France’s presidential election. His triumph in France, one of the pivotal countries in the EU, brought sighs of relief for the world. Because of the effects of populism a few years ago, even in some sober places like Sweden and Denmark, populists were climbing in the polls. This time, the right-wing candidate, Le Pen, took 41 percent of the vote in the second round, showing that the world still needs to deal cautiously with populist. Le Pen focused more on bread-and-butter issues, and retirement, and of internal affairs more, while Macron, who embraces centrism, was criticized by both the left and right-wing. The left thinks he is the president of the rich, and right thinks he needs to reform the economy further. The invasion of Russia played a key role in the election, which shows Macron can be better trusted by the French to lead compared to other candidates to manage the crisis. After the election, the next step for Macron may be to develop strategic autonomy both economically and in defense.
On the military issue, the creation of a European Army was discussed frequently after the invasion of Russia into Ukraine. In 2019, Macron accused NATO of suffering “brain death,” and wanted to downplay it and build a European counterpart. The EU has battlegroups but they have never been deployed, and now they will start an EU Rapid Deployment Capacity first. Building the European Army still has a long way to go, but at least this is an effort for the security needs of the EU without NATO. However, it is difficult not only for the political will from other EU members but also for the integration of armed forces. Because of the invasion, the EU is more united than ever, and it is a time for Macron can promote policies for building the European Army.
On economic issues, there is plenty of work to do for Macron. On an internal level, his pro-market labor and regulatory reforms led to an impressive rebound in employment levels. Nonetheless, he was too eager to capping electricity prices and micromanage certain sectors. On an international level, he became a driving force to establish the program which is called NGEU to help Europe’s weaker economies dig out from the hole of suffering from COVID-19.
To sum up, in the second term of being president, Macron does not have the burden of seeking re-election, which means he is free to achieve his ambitions. In French tradition, Gaullism exists in every French person, and Macron is willing to make France great again and lead the EU through the recent catastrophes.
Written by Eddie C.
Edited by Ari B.