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Will the European President help Macron get a second term? | | Stories

Paris, France – A few months before the presidential election, France took over the European Council’s rotating leadership on January 1.

French President Emmanuel Macron has set the European Union’s highest priority and will implement his policy for the next six months.

He did not announce his candidacy for the April election at home, but more people are expected to do so soon.

Known as a dictator who frequently clashes with the right Eurosceptics, the 44-year-old hopes that his short-term role in the bloc will boost his campaign and protect him again.

In his New Year’s address, Macron promised to make France’s EU leadership “a time of progress”, as “2022 should be a turning point in Europe.”

In a French political arena, Macron is known as one of Europe’s most influential figures.

A long-term representative for reunification in Europe, he contributed to the development of the 800-billion-euro ($ 909bn) COVID-19 stimulus package adopted by the European Union in July 2020; for the first time since the birth of the EU in 1957, the member states provided loans together.

France will push for new EU rules on low tariffs aimed at reducing income inequality between rich and poor bloc countries.

The French president also wants the European carbon tax on imports to be combined to help deal with climate change.

Both routes should please the left and green wings of his home-elect, who will need help in April.

At the same time, however, being forced to win the right-wing voters from Calais to Montpellier, Macron said he had taken steps to change the way the EU came to power.

“Obviously, Macron sees the French leadership of the EU as an opportunity. He could have stopped but he did not, which angered many in Europe. As a result of the April elections, he has only three months to act instead of six,” Amandine Crespy said. , professor of European studies at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles, told Al Jazeera.

“He wants to encourage more non-French speakers who are pro-Europeans.”

The Eurobarometer survey, which regularly checks citizens in all 27 EU member states, has shown that they have also contributed to the bloc since the UK decided to leave in 2016.

“The COVID-19 epidemic has enlightened European citizens on how their territories depend on each other. And Brexit has proven that leaving the EU brought real money to citizens and businesses,” Crespy said.

New EU reform

There is a saying in the EU that nothing can happen without France and Germany – the bloc’s largest economy – staying on the same page.

For the first four years of his career, Macron sometimes expressed his “frustration” with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel‘Lack of interest in the European project.

But “Frau Nein” (“No Women”) – the name Merkel mentioned during the European debt crisis 2010-2015 that caused Greece to withdraw from the eurozone – retired in December last year. A new coalition, formed by the Social democrats, Greens and Liberals, began to dominate Berlin with a new vision of the continent.

“We could be on the verge of a turning point in EU history. The term ‘treaty change’ is no longer despised in Germany and other major cities,” Crespy said.

In a recent statement, the Prime Minister of Macron and Italy Mario Draghi called for EU economic reforms to change “to have more space and to spend more money in the future and to ensure our independence”.

Draghi words are important; he looks like the man who “saved the euro” back in 2012 when he led the European Central bank.

“The planets are connected,” Claude-France Arnould, a former French ambassador to Belgium and senior adviser to the French Institute of International Relations, told Al Jazeera.

“This is very good because there is a need to push the EU forward in key areas, such as green and digital transformation, migration, common security.”

Strengthening security in Europe

In 2019, Macron announced that NATO “is facing a major crisis brain death”.

At the time, the line sparked outrage in many European countries that rely on NATO and the US military for protection.

However, in a country marked by a rivalry between China and the United States, “many European leaders believing more The EU should no longer rely on it, “said Arnould, who also chaired the European Defense Agency between 2011 and 2015.

“France has been promoting the idea of ​​independence in Europe for many years, in line with Macron’s concept of ‘European domination’. But now it goes further. Green technology, health, space, digital …

Currently US-Russia talks about building security in Europe without Europeans having a seat at the table can reinforce that belief.

There is a good way to switch to the EU, and Macron hopes to save money as it is expected to compete in April.

But with only three months to go in Europe, time is limited.

The possibility of a right-handed, anti-EU victory over the French presidential election marred by the plague is unlikely.

This could lead to a political earthquake in France and Europe that could turn Macron’s dream of a “European revolution” and his political career into ruin.

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