France and the european union after the french election 2017
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FRANCE AND THE EUROPEAN UNION AFTER THE FRENCH ELECTION 2017 The 2017 French presidential election was held on 23 April and 7 May 2017. As no candidate won a majority in the first round on 23 April, a run-off was held between the top two candidates, Emmanuel Macron of En Marche! and Marine Le Pen of the National Front (FN). One outcome of the French presidential electionis certain: Europe won't be the same. Experts say that each candidate had a different vision for Europe’s future. Macron, 39, has campaigned on a pro-Europe, pro-integration platform. Le Pen, 48, has suggested she would aim to take France out of the European Union, withdraw it from NATO and forge closer ties with Russia. Both agree on the need to bring down the deficit and improve fiscal policy, but disagree on the time-frame and methods they would use. A victory by far-right candidate Marine Le Pen would shake the foundations of the Western world. President Trump's victory was seen as consequential in Europe, but a Le Pen win would be incomparably more significant, some liberals say. Emmanuel Macron, who is leading in the polls, takes an opposing view: His pro-European agenda is based on a neoliberal economic approach and on a moderate stance on social issues. He would also be the most pro-American French president in a long time. Actually, with Macron as French president, the U.S. will encounter a much stronger, strategic, self-confident, forward-thinking France and therefore Europe. Economically, a French exit from the euro zone would create market turmoil and have unpredictable long-term repercussions on exchange rates, trading policies and laws that allow American companies to operate in the European Union. After all, the E.U. is the United States' biggest trading partner. Besides, France is one of the largest and most significant economies in the European Union. As one of the founding members of the EU, France is also a central player in European politics, strongly influencing the region’s economic and social policy decisions. Given its significant weight, a change in the country’s presidency in the 2017 election will no doubt have a strong impact on the euro. Macron was elected France’s youngest head of state since Napoleon last night after beating his far-Right rival Marine Le Pen in an emphatic result that will have far-reaching consequences for Brexit and Europe. The election of the French President can have adverse effects and consequences for Great Britain. Nevertheless, the French-German political unity affords an opportunity not to disorganise the EU. It provides to restore the image of the EU. Politically, France remains an important decision maker in Europe. The nation elects 74 of 751 seats in the European parliament, or close to 10%. Some parliamentary decisions require a simple majority and others require an absolute majority. France has 29 of the 352 votes on the EU Council of Ministers, and 260 votes are needed on the council for a majority. It’s important to say that the euro has moved weaker against the dollar in recent years, as slowing activity in the eurozone has worked against the single European currency. Much was made of Macron’s supposed ‘outsider’ status ahead of this election, but when it came to the two-candidate run-off, markets saw the rookie’s victory as all but certain. This meant it was, ultimately, an unremarkable day for the euro. An exit by France from the European Union would significantly increase the likelihood of the end of the euro and possibly the end of the EU, given its economic and political clout within the area: it generates 17% of EU GDP and 20% of the eurozone’s, and is a major political and military power. Today it is generally agreed that the European Union won’t exist without its member states. Above all, the next French president will have to restore economic growth. And the same can be said for all other eurozone member states. After Germany’s general election in September, the government will finally have to take the plunge and pursue a more robust economic policy, unless it wants to cede the stage to nationalists who would destroy the EU. Although Germany has made valid arguments in defense of its fiscal and external surpluses, its current economic model has failed to stimulate enough growth in the eurozone to stabilize the single currency. Achieving that goal will require a new consensus between Northern and Southern Europe, led by Germany and France. The EU needs to make financial sense and has to focus on security from within and without. Macron, who was top economic adviser ant the economy minister under Soialist President Francois Hollande before resigning last year, if the only candidate who has promised t adthere to France’s much-neglected European obligation to ring its budget deficit below 3 percent of gross domestic product. It’s important to say that the EU was originally created as the European Coal and Steel Community after WWII in order to establish lasting peace in Europe by uniting members in an economic partnership. Besides, over the years, it has expanded to include twenty-eight member states and manage an increasing range of economic but also political and cultural issues. In 2016, the EU was the world’s second-largest economy, below China and above of the US. The EU allows its members to have an influence on the global stage, as it is represented as a unit in the World Trade Organization, the G-20 and the G7. To sum up, Macron’s policy on Europe, meanwhile, is clear: he’s committed to keeping France at the heart of the EU. Macron has promised to stand in the way of a deal that gives Britain preferential treatment after it leaves the bloc, and this could certainly cast further shadow over sterling as talks finally get underway. France has elected a leader who has made it clear that he has no plans to undermine the EU or eurozone.