The French Election has is currently undergoing is second round, between the two contrasting figures of Le Pen and Macron. while both represent a departure from the traditional left-right dichotomy, the two of theme represent such startling different visions for the future of France, and in turn the EU, that they couldn’t be farther apart.
And yet, in regards to that final note, the EU, there is a shared concern. Both sides acknowledge the flaws inherent in the system, even if the choose to respond in differing ways. Le Pen is demanding a referendum on leaving the EU, believing that the globalist construct is detrimental to Frances economic and cultural future, and not necessarily without reason. There is no question that France is struggling with an unacceptably high level of unemployment of 9.6%, with the youth rate currently around 25%. Culturally, while there is no question the xenophobia involved in Le Pens targeting of Muslims and Arabs, it should be acknowledged that the influx of refugees from the middle-eastern region has not come without cost to individuals and life style and should be responded to.
But this is all stuff that”s commonly known. Whats interesting’is what Macron said today.
Confirming the concerns many have regarding the EU, Macron has announced a need for reform within the EU, or that it will face a Frexit. And make no mistake this is a far more significant threat than any Brexit could hope to be.
France is one of the chief economic partners of the EU project, the other being Germany. If either of these nations decided that they should leave, it is almost a certainty that the EU would collapse. In turn this means that the EU for it’s own survival is far more likely to listen and respond to such a threat. Assuming arrogance doesn’t somehow impede any discussions, though given the current struggles with Brexit it is unlikely (to me) that any of the leadership would invite further strife.
Now, certainly there are issues with the EU. An economic focus on the norther nations has often left many other states involved, Greece, Italy, Portugal, and other Southern states are struggling due to the lack of trade focus and economic involvement which such and imbalance encourages and impacts France as well. Coupled with the bureaucratic nature of the EU, and the difficulty individual nation states have impacting and shifting the priorities of the economic construct to better serve the whole and not the most immediately present and it’s no surprise there is discontent regarding the EU.
Understand I have little knowledge regarding the intricacies of the EU, and admittedly little motivation to investigate. What I do know is this is a major shift in politics for the such a central part of the EU, and if Macron maintains this stance, and wins the election, there is every chance this could result in legitimate change for the institution.
I like the EU, and I trust in its mission, that by binding Europe together economically there is a far lesser chance of conflict between the historically fractious states. That doesn’t mean it can’t be improved.