A new political framework in France and in Europe

Macron's strategy aimed at an electoral result without a real turning point in current politics has failed. A new season of European politics opens.

In the article we wrote before the second round of the French elections Marine Le Pen’s party took the majority of the votes. In any case, it was an insufficient result to finally establish a far-right government. But Emmanuel Macron, with fewer votes, was convinced that he, with the support of center-left parties, could form a government under his presidency of the Republic.

The result of the second round of elections radically changed this idea with the unexpected success of France Insoumise, led by Jean-Luc Mélenchon, which became the first left-wing n party.

Ensemble, a bloc of parties referred to Macron, took 168 seats.

The Rassemblement National, led by Marine Le Pen with Jordan Bardella, obtained 142 seats in the second round. A result that was decidedly lower than hoped for. In any case, it was a matter of one party essentially presenting itself alone, while the contenders were part of a bloc bringing together different parties.

However, the point of interest is that the electoral result leaves Macron's government without a possible parliamentary majority in the last three years of his presidency.

The success of the extreme leftwing France Insoumise doesn't mean that Mélenchon could lead the possible new government. That would be unacceptable for the other parties of the major leftwing opposition. The possible head of a new government can be a person from a different party of the leftwing coalition. In effect, it is not particularly important that there may be difficulties in choosing the leader of the left opposition to the possible new government. The most significant issue is that there will be no government with a parliamentary majority representing the presidency of the Republic.

Looking to the future the problem will be the French position in relation to international politics. France, under the leadership of Macron, has established a strong alliance with the Ukrainian government against Russia. But it will not be easy for the president of the Republic to maintain the current policy with a new government. It is not certain that the president of the Republic can decide foreign policy even against a clearly different position of the parliamentary majority. But, in any case, it would be much more difficult.

We cannot predict what will happen in the near future but one thing is clear. The current policy in Ukraine had the support of the French government. A different situation will be an unexpected problem for the European Union.

This does not mean that this is a return to de Gaulle's position aimed at establishing new collaborative relations with Russia. But it is a fact that French politics has been profoundly affected by the recent elections.European politics based on the strong alliance between France and Germany now presents unforeseen problems.

In other words, the unexpected outcome of the French elections is a clear symptom of the crisis affecting current European politics. We can’t anticipate the future. But the new framework presents aspects that were until now not foreseen.

Antonio Lettieri

Editor of Insight and President of CISS - Center for International Social Studies (Roma). He was National Secretary of CGIL; Member of ILO Governing Body and Advisor for European policy of Labour Minister. (a.lettieri@insightweb.it)