Relief and concern for France’s allies over Macron’s victory (ANALYSIS)
(CNN) – Emmanuel Macron will serve a second term as France’s president – the first person to do so since 2002 – according to pollsters’ predictions.
His victory over his right-wing rival, Marine Le Pen, by a relatively comfortable margin of 58.2% to 41.8%, would be met with a great sigh of relief in the capitals of France’s most prominent allies, particularly in Brussels, France’s headquarters. European Union and NATO.
Le Pen could almost have been purposely created to be someone who the leaders of the Western alliance did not want to run a country as important as France.
France is a member of NATO, the European Union and the Group of Seven. It has a permanent seat on the UN Security Council and is a nuclear power. However, despite its deep roots in these pillars of the Western order, France has also historically favored an independent foreign policy, which means that it can act as a mediator between the US-led Western order and countries such as Iran, China and Russia.
Le Pen’s past relations with Russia, her lukewarm view of NATO and her hostile view of the European Union meant that her victory would have shaken cages around the world.
However, if the predictions are correct, the scale of Macron’s victory tonight will doom the celebrations of many French allies. Far from Macron’s impressive win in 2017, in which Le Pen comfortably defeated 66% of the vote, that margin is now much smaller.
Although the defeat of the far right for the second time is a great victory for Macron, France’s allies will be fully awake to the fact that, according to the data, approximately 42% of French voters support someone against him. to.
Nowhere will he feel this more than the leaders of NATO and the European Union do.
For NATO, the Russian invasion of Ukraine was the first real test of the alliance’s unity in years. Although some of Macron’s decisions during the crisis provoked backlash, NATO has largely followed suit.
Given Le Pen’s past relationship with Putin and her disdain for NATO, few believed that this would create a problem not only in NATO, but also in the UN Security Council.
When it comes to the European Union, Macron has made no secret of his desire for Europe to be stronger and more united in security and foreign policy. His vision of European unity at times irritates many of his peers, who believe that he is trying to impose a French vision of Europe, although his commitment to the project cannot be questioned.
On the other hand, Le Pen is more dangerous than anyone who wants France to leave the EU: she can lead the group of Euroskeptics who want to control the bloc from within.
A large number of these people are already represented in the institutions of the European Union. In parliament, far-right parties are represented in many countries. Where matters are complicated at the national level.
There are EU member states, notably Hungary and Poland, that are led by people whose vision of the EU is very close to Le Pen’s. This was highlighted last year when she joined with several other right-wing leaders, including national ones, in an open letter opposing many of the progressive ideas that Brussels has put forward in recent decades.
For the traditional West, Macron’s second term is a moment of great relief, but also a moment of caution. If the far right continues to gain, there could be a very different outcome five years from now.