Name? Emmanuel Macron
Westphalian identity? French
Why is he in the news? Following a polarising round of legislative elections, President Macron will face a vote of no confidence after failing to secure a majority in parliament. Macron, who fell 44 seats short of the requisite 289, will now look to opposition leaders to negotiate more control for his centre-right coalition, Ensemble.
Why do we care? The results of the elections reveal victories for both left and right parties. Right-wing veteran Marine Le Pen triumphed with an eleven-fold increase in assembly seats. On the left, the socialist and communist parties won 131 seats, more than double their previous total and making the Nupes alliance the strongest opposition force in parliament.
Why should you care? As Macron meets with opposition leaders, the future is unsure for the president. Macron will try to appeal to the Assembly bill-by-bill, while he looks for a working coalition. Already he has urged leaders to work with the minority government. Should none of this work, a snap election, called whenever Macron sees fit, could be the only solution. You should care 4/10 about political paralysis in the Eurozone’s second-largest economy.
Who else cares? Ursula Von der Leyen, as President of the European Commission, Von der Leyen sighed a breath of relief after Macron’s reelection back in April. The alternative would have been Le Pen, who has been clear in articulating anti-European rhetoric. However, as the extremes gain power in the French parliament, the ensuing headache for Von der Leyen only worsens, as the power of anti-EU sentiment rises on the left and right.
Any further comments? Instability can largely be blamed on Macron himself, whose self-assuredness led to a practically non-existent election campaign. But with the inflation crisis reviving his label as an out-of-touch ‘president of the rich’. It seems like the French care more about problems at home than a foreign policy President abroad. Surprise, surprise…