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Macron En Marche: navigating French and European politics

  • Date(s)
    15 June 2017
  • Time
    18:00 - 20:00
  • Location
    European Council on Foreign Relations, 7th Floor, Kings Buildings, 16 Smith Square, London, SW1P 3HQ
Macron En Marche: navigating French and European politics



While populist leaders or movements have gained momentum in countries such as the US, Britain, Finland, Spain, Hungary, Turkey and others, Latin America has been, so far, largely immune from this trend. This is especially puzzling as many of the causes that are often cited for the rise of populism — inequality, cultural insecurity, the effects of globalization — are very much present in the region. So the question is why?

Following Emmanuel Macron’s meteoric rise to his country’s highest office, his nascent political party faces another major big electoral challenge: the elections for the National Assembly of the French Fifth Republic on 11 and 18 June. Much of his scope of action as president will depend on whether La République En Marche! will win enough seats in the second round of the legislative election or can form a coalition of national unity with like-minded political forces.

This event is envisaged to discuss the prospects of achieving this mission of France’s political renewal breaking with traditional party politics in France. Experts will review how Macron achieved such an unlikely victory, the implications of such a comprehensive defeat of the mainstream parties of the centre left and centre right, and how the new president will govern in the coming years. Positioning himself as an outsider, an unqualified pro-European and a break from the past, Macron is also a centrist former economy minister who will have to work with deputies from other parties to carry through his agenda.


Key questions for discussion:


  • What is Macron’s reform agenda for the French economy which is lagging behind in economic growth and the creation of jobs for young people?
  • Does he ultimately represent more of the same, repackaged in a more electorally appealing way, or does his rise represent a real shift in French politics, and will he have a lasting impact on society and the economy?
  • How can he unite the country behind his ambitious but uncertain political project at a time when anxiety levels about terrorist violence remain high and right-wing populists are waiting for his failure?
  • Can Macron revive the Franco-German axis and initiate a reform process of the Eurozone towards more shared responsibility over fiscal issues and common investment projects?
  • What are the consequences the UK, Brexit and European party politics in more general?






  • Mark Leonard, director, European Council on Foreign Relations
  • Renaud Thillaye, research associate, Policy Network
  • Marta Lorimer, PhD candidate, LSE European Institute
  • Charles Lichfield, associate, Europe, Eurasia Group



    This event is hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations

    Photo credit: Frederic Legrand - COMEO / Shutterstock.com

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