This is an insightful read from the UK’s Express. It argues that Emmanuel Macron is the favourite to win the French election run-off and tries to answer the question ‘what are his plans for France and the EU’?
It is for the French people to decide. But there are some good ideas in Macron’s proposals and I wish him success.
Over the years, I have spent a lot of time working and living in France, as well as a tutor at one of France’s most famous and elitist universities. I am a little biased because I have always loved the French way of life. France is different and the French people want to preserve the difference but at the same time be an part of Europe. But France has a unique immigration challenge – Muslim children of immigrants from former colonies have been deprived opportunities and many have turned to radical Islam providing an existential crisis in France and in this area Macron’s policies probably need strengthening.
I’m a realist and have lived in France through national strikes and have seen the power of the French unions. Unlike the UK, Greece or Cyprus, France is unreformed and this is another part of its existential crisis – some of Macron’s plans provide reform but I worry here. Former French presidents of both the left and right have impaled themselves when trying to reform France. But surely Macron’s vision for France is not sustainable without radical reform and the risks are high?
France is a proud country and Macron offers some policies for a proud people. Assuming Macron beats Le Pen, the challenges will be enormous but he will quickly gain support and friendship from overseas. Macron reminds me of Obama in the early days but of course Obama was big on words and slow on delivery. Obama must not become another Obama.