What can Macron bring to France and to the EU? - May 14, 2017
Today Emmanuel Macron will become the President of France. Just a week ago, the world was rather excited about the outcome of the elections: two anti-establishment candidates clashed. One from the far-right, against the EU; the other one firmly believing in Europe and pro-competition. The latter won and may bring interesting changes in several aspects.
Emmanuel Macron won the French presidential elections last Sunday by far. He beat his opponent, Marine Le Pen of the National Front, by 66-34%. Markets expected this result, and 76% bet on his win too. Last year the world faced surprises: no one really believed that leavers can win the Brexit referendum and most people were sure of Hillary Clinton’s win. After the results of those events, French elections made many uneasy.
What changes could he bring for France?
Macron’s main messages were to slim down government and to lower corporate taxes to boost growth. After his win in the first round of the elections, markets were positive and since last Sunday, prices went even higher. Macron is generally strongly pro-globalization and pro-EU, but he also wants to keep France’s main values and make the country proud of itself. As he said after his election: “I’ll defend France, its vital interests, its image and its message: I make that commitment to you.”
What about the EU?
He also said that: “I’ll defend Europe, the common destiny the peoples of our continent have given themselves.” It’s an important message, since the French election was not only important to the country, it was also of the utmost importance to the EU. France is the second biggest economy of the EU and having Marine Le Pen as the leader of it would have caused great problems. Le Pen is against the Euro Zone and might have launched a referendum about leaving it. Macron, on the other hand, wants to strengthen the EU and wants Euro Zone countries to pool budget resources. Markets also reacted positively to his election on a European scale: capital may flow faster into Europe instead of the US as investors see a great chance in Macron’s win.
Brexit talks may also change
Might seem surprising but Macron may have a great impact on the Brexit talks too. According to Jean Pisani-Ferry, advisor of Macron, he’ll be rather tough with the UK during the talks. He “does not favour a hard Brexit but will be a tough negotiator in the UK’s talks to leave the European Union”, wrote The Guardian based on Pisani-Ferry’s words. Germany is also planning tough Brexit talks and an ally like France would help them a great deal.
Bloomberg also believes that Macron may bring global political changes as well. They wrote that if he succeeds, that would be a mark of “a revitalization of liberal democracies in a pro-market fashion”. If not, “more inward anti-establishment forces” may rise.
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