Macron is playing not only with France, but with all of Europe

“Liberation” reporter Fabian Perrier analyzes political developments in France at NEWS 24/7.

shocked This was the first sensation that ran through France on Sunday evening, June 9. The irony is that this sentiment was born not from the end of the European elections, but from President Emmanuel Macron’s announcement of the dissolution of the National Assembly and the announcement of parliamentary elections in 20 days. He and his team have repeatedly said that the results of the European elections cannot decide the future of France. Around 9 pm, an hour after the final results were announced, he again backed out of his commitment.

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In fact, the result of the far-right Rallye National, led by Jordan Bardela and Marine Le Pen, was expected: the far-right was leading in voting intentions and had already won significant victories in the 2022 presidential and parliamentary elections. The French sent a “clear message” again, with Jordan Bartella winning: they won the RN list with 31.37%, almost 10 points more than in 2019. Thus, the RN has more than twice the percentage of its nearest rivals: Emmanuel Macron’s Renaissance Party (14.56%) and PS-Place Publique (Socialist Party) (13.80%). La France insoumise is fourth with 9.87% of the vote, ahead of the Republicans (Les Républicains) with 7.24%. Ecologists (Les Ecologists) on the Edge (Razor’s Edge), 5.47%. According to the polls, about 52% of the French electorate cast their ballots. This was a slight improvement in 2019, marking the strongest recovery and the highest rate since 1994.

These results show the consolidation of the RN throughout France and testify to the expansion of its base. The first shock occurred in 2001, when the Front National (the predecessor party of the RN) led by Jean-Marie Le Pen won almost 17% of the vote. Then, as the people really protested, a team was formed against this party. After that, the glass ceiling collapsed. For the first time, the far right is on the brink of power. Thus, shock immediately occupied the public space, as the dissolution of the National Assembly was tantamount to handing over the keys of power to him.

Arguably, the president is playing the sorcerer’s apprentice. By calling early elections, with a very short pre-election period, it breaks any meaningful democratic consultation. He had basically two beliefs. The first is to present itself as the last bulwark against the RN. But in reality, Emmanuel Macron is not at all accepted by the French public (all opinion polls show him and his policies to have an approval rating of around 15% and disapproval close to 80%).

His second belief is about the National Assembly. Macron hoped to complete his second five-year term with a renewed National Assembly after failing to secure a sufficient majority in parliament in 2022 parliamentary elections. Starting a short campaign, Emmanuel Macron relied on hard-left parties. But his prediction was immediately rejected. As of Sunday night, a disobedient French MP read François Roueff’s unity card, proposing the idea of ​​a “people’s front.” At night, the phones rang: unions, associations, active citizens … organized appeals for unity. On Monday night, the “People’s Front” began. By Thursday night, an agreement was reached on the schedule for male and female candidates.

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The job is not easy. . The first reason lies in the behavior of the Left Opposition. For months, and even during the European election campaign, the left has been cursing each other, amplifying grassroots blows and cannibalizing each other, spreading false rumors about its “sister parties”. How should they converse when told by history? In the same political field, how to build when articles are published that denigrate other parties? What is the message to the world? A second cause of difficulties is found in the profile of political representatives. The reason for the rejection of Emmanuel Macron is a man who came from nowhere, who initially presented himself as a savior from divine providence and went so far as to title his book Revolution, but who actually reinforced the policy. Separating the population on an economic and social level, not accepting others (for example the immigration agreement), and promoting quick success, especially in social networks… Coming from economic circles, a quick winner, he – like a large part of his group – was far from the people and their concerns. Finally, many political leaders replaced meaningful discussions with short messages on social networks, without drawing a project agreement or a vision for the future.

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At the same time, Emmanuel Macron’s entire strategy is based on binary oppositions: nationalists vs. progressives, those who want to build the European Union vs. those who want to destroy it… They lead to extreme personalization : me or chaos. Apparently, France is not the only country caught in this opportunistic anomaly that combines populist overtones, volatile beliefs, ever-changing rhetoric, and the normalization of the far right. But in France, this strategy is not only dangerous, it has reached its end. It has enhanced depoliticization. Direct confrontation leads to rejection. After all, the world propagates the belief that “everything has been tried except RN”. Let’s do that too.”

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And you don’t play with the devil. By giving him the keys to power, no one knows when he will return them. By announcing the dissolution of the National Assembly, Emmanuel Macron risks throwing the whole of France into unprecedented chaos.

Also, the electoral system does not guarantee that the People’s Front will get a majority. Of course, we must recognize the role of trade unions – with which the left has always maintained close ties – or even citizens’ associations or collectives: they all mobilized to support the Popular Front. So this new coalition has a base and drive in the community. But is this enough?

Early polls give the left a boost but keep the RN on top. With this dangerous poker, Emmanuel Macron may fail personally but drag the whole country down a deadly slope. The consequences were not only for France but for the whole of Europe where the seeds of division and destruction were growing.

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