Relief and concern for French allies over Macron victory (analysis)

(CNN) – Emmanuel Macron will be France’s second president – the first person to do so since 2002 – according to opinion polls.

His victory over his right-wing rival, Marine Le Pen, between 58.2% and 41.8%, was greeted with a sigh of relief in the capitals of France’s most important allies, especially in Brussels. European Union and NATO.

The leaders of the Western Coalition could at least frame Le Pen as someone who wanted to run an important country like France.

France is a member of NATO, the European Union and the G7. This is the UN. It has a permanent seat on the Security Council and is a nuclear power. Despite its deep roots in these pillars of the Western order, France has historically supported an autonomous foreign policy, meaning that it can act as a mediator between the US-led Western order and countries such as Iran, China and Russia.

Le Pen’s previous relations with Russia, his lukewarm view of NATO and his hostile view of the European Union, his victory shook the cages around the world.

However, if the predictions are correct, the scale of Macron’s victory tonight will reduce the celebrations of many French allies. More than Macron’s impressive victory in 2017, he easily defeated Le Pen with 66% of the vote, a difference that is now very small.

PARIS, France – April 24: France’s moderate current president Emmanuel Macron defeated his far-right rival, Marine Le Pen, by 58.8% of the vote on April 24, 2022 in Paris, France. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen qualified for the second round of France’s 2022 presidential election on Sunday, April 24. This is the second time the two candidates have clashed in the final. (Photo by Aurelian Munier / Getty Images)

Although defeating the far right for a second time was a huge victory for Macron, France’s allies, according to the data, will be alarmed to find that almost 42% of French voters support someone against him. For.

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It will be felt with much interest anywhere other than the leaders of NATO and the European Union.

According to NATO, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the first real test of the coalition’s unity over the years. Although some of the decisions taken by Macron during the crisis provoked reactions, NATO largely followed suit.

Considering Le Pen’s previous relationship with Putin and his insult to NATO, this is not only the case with NATO, but also with the UN. Very few thought it would create a problem in the Security Council either.

When it comes to the European Union, Macron does not hide his desire for Europe to be strong and united in security and foreign policy. His vision of European unity sometimes annoys many of his colleagues who think he is trying to impose a French vision on Europe, yet his commitment to the project cannot be questioned.

Le Pen, on the other hand, is more dangerous than anyone who wants France to leave the EU: he can lead a group of Eurosceptics who want to control the group from the inside.

A significant number of them are already represented in EU institutions. In parliament, far-right parties are represented in many countries. There is a national level where things get complicated.

There are EU member states, especially Hungary and Poland, whose vision of the EU is guided by people who are very close to Le Pen. This was highlighted last year when he joined forces with several right-wing leaders, including national leaders, in an open letter opposing the many progressive ideas put forward by Brussels in recent decades.

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For traditional Western nations, Macron’s second term is a great relief, but also a warning. If the far right continues to win, there will be a completely different effect five years from now.

Esmond Harmon

"Entrepreneur. Social media advocate. Amateur travel guru. Freelance introvert. Thinker."

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