Macron’s Strong Beginning

Emmanuel Macron has been in office as French President for three days.

Opinion piece by Amandine Riche.

The 7th of May allowed most of us to breathe a collective sigh of relief when Emmanuel Macron triumphed in the French Presidential elections over Marine Le Pen. Macron was inaugurated as the French President only a couple days ago, May 14th, as Francois Hollande stepped down as the leader of the country. Given that almost 90% of the French felt disappointed or angered by Hollande’s presidency (according to the Washington Post), many are looking to Macron as a welcome change.

Described by some as the Justin Trudeau of French politics – charming, harmless and a little naive – Emmanuel Macron certainly offers a change of pace. His party – En Marche! – was his brainchild and it promises a variety of fairly centric, pro-EU policies. Some view Macron’s policies as, ‘a little bit hollow’ (New York Times) and generally lacking in any real appeal or direction. Yet, despite certain lukewarm reactions, particularly from the far-right and far-left camps, others view the new president’s lack of strong commitment to a political wing, not as a sign of weakness, but as a sign of strength and unity; ‘Liberty, equality, fraternity: I don’t know any other candidate who understands it so well’, ‘He’s bringing people together’ (New York Times).

Nevertheless, no matter your outlook on Macron’s policies, it is hard to ignore the show of strength displayed in his first few days as President. As stated by The Guardian, ‘Macron deliberately chose to mark his inauguration day with military symbolism – emphasising France’s defence strength at a time when the country is still under a state of emergency after a series of terrorist attacks’. Furthermore, Macron has appointed his cabinet which, to the delight of many, is exceptional in its’ gender balance – 11 of the 22 ministerial posts have been appointed to women.

Yet, perhaps the most impressive, have been his talks with German Chancellor, Angela Merkel. Having promised to take an active role in ‘relaunching Europe’ (Le Monde), Macron met with Merkel on the 15th of May to discuss the possibility of remodeling European treaties. According to The Telegraph, ‘the pair agreed to draw up a medium-term roadmap on how to deepen EU integration and make the eurozone more resilient against crises’. In light of the high anti-EU tensions, Macron’s pro-EU election has been hailed by Merkel as carrying ‘the hopes of millions’ (The Telegraph) and, indeed, we can only hope that, with this change of wind, our fears of a destabilised EU may, in time, be put to rest.

 

Bibliography

Chrisafis, Angelique. ‘Show Of Military Might As Emmanuel Macron Is Inaugurated As President’ The Guardian. The Guardian, 15 May 201. Web.

Le Monde. ‘Emmanuel Macron Veut Une ‘Europe Refondée’ Et Une ‘Confiance’ Restaurée’’ Le Monde. Le Monde, 14 May 2017. Web

Noack, Rick. ‘Nearly 90 Percent Of The French Now Disapprove Of Their President’ Washington Post. Washington Post, 5 July 2016. Web.

Nossiter, Adam. ‘Emmanuel Macron Steps Into France’s Political Void.’ The New York Times. The New York Times, 13 Feb. 2017. Web.

Samuel, Henry and Huggler, Justin. ‘Emmanuel Macron And Angela Merkel Pledge To Draw Up ‘Common Road Map’ For Europe’ The Telegraph. The Telegraph, 15 May 2017. Web.

 

Image:

Hartmann, Christian. Mr Macron Exchanges Ceremonial Handshake With Mr Hollande. 2017. Emmanuel Macron’s Inauguration As French President, In Pictures. Paris. The Telegraph. Web. 14 May 2017.

 

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