European Elections in France: Macron leads the polls, but Euroscepticism is rife
Open Europe's Jacob Osborne examines recent political developments in France ahead of the upcoming European elections. But the Européennes 2019 will be more than just a referendum on Macron’s leadership. At the heart of the elections is a widening division in French politics over the institutions and future course of the EU itself.
The European Parliament elections come at a pivotal moment for France’s domestic politics, society, and economy. President Emmanuel Macron’s attempts to reform an ailing economy and introduce green-friendly policies have been deeply controversial. Months of protests by the gilets jaunes across France have put his administration under challenge, though they have not completely undermined it.
But the Européennes 2019 will be more than just a referendum on Macron’s leadership. At the heart of the elections is a widening division in French politics over the institutions and future course of the EU itself. According to Politico, Macron’s pro-EU, pro-integration party La République en Marche is currently leading the polls with 22.6% of the vote, but he is closely followed by Marine Le Pen’s Eurosceptic Rassemblement National, at 21%. As one of its largest member states, France acts as an intriguing window into a wider debate about how the EU should deal with new challenges in the years ahead.
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