Published: Sat 8th July 2017
Read Time: 4 minutes
What Does Macron’s Win Mean for Europe
After last year’s referendum and the ongoing process of the UK leaving the EU, the fate of the European Union was at risk. The rise of far-right movements across Europe, especially in France with far-right leader Marine Le Pen reaching the 2nd leg of the Presidential elections, set a wave of scepticism. She was indeed planning to leave the EU.
After an eventful campaign, former Rothschild banker Emmanuel Macron eventually won the Presidential election with 66.1% of the votes. A relatively low result compared to 2002, the last time the far-right party reached the 2nd leg of the presidential election. During his campaign, he proclaimed to be pro-Europe. He also claimed that Europe was a crucial element of France’s power, stating that “France will not be strong without a powerful European Union”. However, what will Emmanuel Macron’s mandate concretely bring to the European Union?
Currently, the EU is facing many challenging issues, such as a lack of European affiliation by its citizens, terrorism, the migrant crisis, and a disparate growth (1.7% for 2016, against 2% for 2015). All these challenges slow down the intensification of the European culture.
Macron’s Plans & Thoughts
First, following the results of the first leg with Emmanuel Macron leading the table, we saw the CAC increase by 7%. Furthermore, in order to enhance growth, Macron wants to set up a budget for the Eurozone. This budget will have three main functions: investing in the future, emergency financial assistance and economic crisis solution. This budget would be managed by a European Minister of Economy and Finance. This minister would be monitored by a European Parliament, consisting of legislators from the different Members of the European Union.
The French President defends a “Buy European Act”. Only the companies producing at least half of their production in Europe would be granted access to European public markets. This measure would restrict the ability of companies operating mainly outside the Union to access public procurement deals. This could affect some British firms, with many potentially being severely impacted (e.g. BT and Serco).
The recently elected President also urges everyone to act against dumping, in order to “protect European firms”. He said that the preventive measures against dumping needed to be reinforced. For instance, to fight unfair competition by China or India on steel. In order to preserve European interests in many strategic sectors, Macron wants the European Union to control foreign investments. This will allow the Union to gain more weight in the globalisation. Similar measures were taken by the US and China to protect key sectors of their industries.
Macron’s Creative Ideas
Emmanuel Macron is in the favour of the creation of European Venture Capital fund. This would finance European numerical start-ups and help them grow faster. The fund will need to have at least 5 billion Euros. We imagine that a European innovative hub would emerge. European start-ups would be able to compete more easily against American or Israeli ones. In the long-term, it can be a substantial advantage compared to other nations.
Moreover, the lack of European identity affiliation is a major issue, since the large expansion of the Union in 2003 (Treaty of Athens). In order to solve this problem, the French President wants to enable 200,000 young French students per year to go and live in another European country of the union by 2022. Another perk of this massive exchange is that French students would learn another language fluently, allowing them to work in another country or for a foreign company. It would also improve the education level and therefore, in the long term, the betterment of the French and European Union economy.
In conclusion, Emmanuel Macron wants to modernise and protect the European Union. Economically speaking, his program for the Union is interesting and will help Europe shineagain. However, he will not be the only one to decide on its implementation. It is likely that not every country will agree, and therefore, we will witness a deepening of the European Union at two-speed. Concerning Brexit, the former banker vowed to be “tough” on the issue. This is not an ideal time for the UK to leave the Union, since they must negotiate with Macron.