candidate_MACRONIn the race to be the next French president, Emmanuel Macron is the pro-globalisation candidate. He promotes free markets and liberal economic policies, is relaxed about immigration, and is unashamedly pro-EU. In many ways, Macron is the anti-Trump (or, perhaps more pertinently, the anti-Le Pen).

Yet his liberal economic policies are also mixed in with ideas from the centre-left. He wants to implement a €50 billion public investment plan to modernise French infrastructure and transition to renewable energy, provide more support for those on low incomes, and he sees state-funded education as a tool for greater social mobility. With his youthful good-looks, natural charisma and blend of centre-left and centre-right policies, many people see in Emmanuel Macron a French Tony Blair.

Critics believe he is a neo-liberal wolf in ‘centrist’ sheep’s clothing. Before entering politics, he worked as an investment banker. He has promised big cuts in corporation tax, and reforms to make it easier for companies to hire and fire employees or even renegotiate the hallowed 35-hour working week. Macron believes this sort of structural reform is needed to bring France’s unemployment rate down from roughly 10% to (he hopes) 7% by the end of his term.

With many French voters worried about terrorism, security has been high on the agenda during the campaign. Macron favours greater defence cooperation at the EU level, and has vowed to keep European economic sanctions in place against Russia. He wants to reintroduce compulsory conscription, and has accused Marine Le Pen of exploiting terror attacks for political gain.

To read more about France and the future of European defence (including more on the policies of Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen), check out Friends of Europe’s recent report on the topic.

Macron rejects accusations he is elitist, and points to the fact he came from relatively modest beginnings in a provincial French town. He says he ‘climbed the ranks with the help of school’. The climb has certainly been swift. Five years ago, Emmanuel Macron was not even in politics; he served for several years as Minister of the Economy in Manuel Valls’ government, but he’s never stood for election before (not even in local government).

It’s his status as an ‘outsider’ that makes him attractive to many voters. Opponents say that Emmanuel Macron wants to be all things to all people, and that his programme is vague and woolly. He counters that the traditional left-wing/right-wing model of French politics is broken, and that he represents a new way. Whether French voters believe him remains to be seen.

What do you think of Emmanuel Macron? Is he the right candidate to lead France? Or is he a neo-liberal wolf in ‘centrist’ sheep’s clothing? Let us know your thoughts and comments in the form below and we’ll take them to policymakers and experts for their reactions!

92 comments Post a commentcomment

What do YOU think?

  1. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    Rothschild puppet – congratulations for the French! Tхe nation which put end of the elites in 1799 is on his way to create new elites. Well done!

    • avatar
      Larry Lart

      You mean , that Rothschild family which has frequently been the subject of conspiracy theories, many of which are antisemitic and usually spread by neo-Nazis ?

      Sure, go on and vote for the Russian billionaires (of which the top 100 are worth 400+ billion and that is only the official figure) which made their money in just two decades (not three centuries) – and sure that was just as result of genuine innovation and creativity … How can you guys be so naive and let yourselves manipulated so easily upfront? And remember the headlines back in december 2014 – Putin Funds Far Right in France. “It’s No Secret,” says Marine Le Pen

    • avatar
      Bobi Dochev

      Great, so after electing Trump now Putin elect the French president and after few monts he would be the one to elect the new German Canceller – well then obviously this guy Putin is a big deal when he is able to do such think.
      Lets put it that way Macron’s ideas are quite far right although he is offered as centrist reducing the taxes for the companies with 10% benefits who?! Where is the social justice? And lets not forget who is Macron’s mentor – Jacques Attali – represented usually as “social theorist” but it is correct to say he is social terrorist!
      Its your (if you are french) bloody job to decide but if you are not billionaire yet don’t expect Macron to think how to improve your life! His and his friends agenda is slightly different ;)

    • avatar
      Alberto Rizzi

      Bobi Dochev French Revolution is dated 1789, not 1799. Read at least an history book before filling the web with your, let’s say highly questionable and biased, theories.
      And be sure that Le Pen’s policies are way more dangerous for the poor than Macron’s ones.

    • avatar
      Bobi Dochev

      Alberto Rizzi Please correct me if I’m wrong but the French revolution finished on November 9, 1799 when Napoleon proclaimed a consular regime… keep reading finish the book ;)

    • avatar
      Larry Lart

      So, in your opinion Putin is a moron … you probably right, he is a lemon and a failure, that he is, for the human race…

    • avatar
      Alberto Rizzi

      If you go on with the book you’ll understand that Napoleon is not something different from the Revolution, but he’s part of it.

    • avatar
      Bobi Dochev

      This is the date when, regarding most of the historians, the revolution officially finished, dude ;) This is the day when French (figuratively said) end the era of the elites and give rights to the people. You might reading the wrong book :)

  2. avatar
    Bobi Dochev

    Rothschild puppet – congratulations for the French! The nation which put end of the elites in 1799 is on his way to create new elites. Well done!

    • avatar

      You mean so that his cronies in the EU can keep their jobs whilst the EU staggers on for a few more years

    • avatar
      Baudouin de Crombrugghe

      It’s close from the swedish policy.
      Capitalism but with a strong return in equity.

  3. avatar
    Ivan Burrows


    He was Hollande’s right hand man during his ‘socialist’ government and played a major part in the disastrous policies that have crippled France.

    There is no reason why he would be different as president.

  4. avatar
    Heba Elshazly

    What’s his program ?! Including ideas, problems and solutions, opinions about brexit ! EU and turkey ?! :p

  5. avatar

    If the French want to see and end to their nation state, then they will vote for macron.
    If they wish to see a return to nation states cooperating and trading with each other without being absorbed in to the united states of Europe, they will vote for Le Penn.

    • avatar
      Joaquim M Pinto

      I’m not talking about her. We already know what she is. Good luck with your choice “that you don’t have” ?

    • avatar
      Joaquim M Pinto

      I’m not talking about her. We already know what she is. Good luck with your choice “that you don’t have” 😀

  6. avatar
    Dagmar Ueberfeld-Lang

    I’m anxious to here how he plans to lead France into the next chapter. I hope he wins the next round but make no mistake: he is far from there. The June elections will show which government will actually lead and he will have to go back on some, and maybe a lot, of what he has promised so far. Exciting times.

  7. avatar
    Gustaaf Van den Boeynants

    Also someone who baffles democracy by bypassing parliament with the 49.3 clause… Who sells off european know-how to the Americans, … Etc…

  8. avatar
    Tarquin Farquhar

    ‘EM’ is a big business puppet!

    He’ll make Margaret Thatcher seem like a communist!

  9. avatar
    Stefania Portici

    Macron NO NO !!! Poveri noi ! A forza di austerità escono fuori i mostri . La Francia ha già dato abbastanza in quanto a creazioni di mostri . SVEGLIATEVI francesi ma che state a fa ? Che avete deciso di distruggerci tutti !?

    • avatar
      Stefania Portici

      Macron ancora non ha vinto e già festeggia con Jacques Attali . We !!! SVEGLIA

    • avatar
      Stefania Portici

      Macron ancora non ha vinto e già festeggia con Jacques Attali ” Ma cosa credeva la plebaglia europea che l’euro fosse stato creato per la sua felicità ? ” We…..SVEGLIA !!!

  10. avatar
    Droite libérale

    Emmanuel Macron is ideologically and programmatically empty: he is a politician created by the combination of government networks and the media in order to insure the sustainability of the current socialist left-wing government. The current President Hollande couldn’t run because he was too unpopular; then his former Deputy General Secretary at Elysée (2012-2014) and Minister of the Economy (2014-2016) decided to create his own platform (En Marche!) and to run a more centrist movement. In less than one year he became this huge political phenomenon which rests upon nothing but total emptiness in terms of content and speeches.

    EM doesn’t have any consistent political philosophy to offer; neither a consistent project or a decent line of action. Most of his voters can’t even name one single idea of their chosen candidate! His “project” gathers left-wing (50 Bn€ investment plan; openness of unemployment benefits to resigners and independent occupations…) and right-wing proposals (60 Bn€ spending cuts; a military service of one month…) and offers nothing but blur and half measures. That’s the same political platform than the five years of Hollande we just got. Then nothing will change and nothing will be done to deeply reform the country as we badly need. I can bet that the French people will be even more disappointed than with Hollande in less time!

  11. avatar
    Zille Vuk

    the way i see it, you have Macron that wont change nothing and France will have more people without jobs, more terrorist and salafist oragnization and French people are fucked because Europe is not functioning !!! On the other hand you have Marie le Pen the true Franseze,true patriot,true woman with hart and soul for Franch people and she dare to go against EU establishment to save French sinking in more terorist atacs and more people without jobs and lets face the truth, imigration and islamisering of europa must stop and Marien is the only way.. thank you for reading..

  12. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    Or otherwise known as ,the dude who will have you working till you need a cane for walking and a grave.

  13. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    Or otherwise known as ,the dude who will have you working till you need a cane for walking and a grave.

  14. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    Or otherwise known as ,the dude who will have you working till you need a cane for walking and a grave.

  15. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    Or otherwise known as ,the dude who will have you working till you need a cane for walking and a grave.

  16. avatar
    Anatilde Alves

    Or otherwise known as ,the dude who will have you working till you need a cane for walking and a grave.

  17. avatar
    Danny Boy

    The comparison with Tony Blair is wrong,for all his faults Blair was a consummate politician who also had the good fortune of inheriting a strong economy and his governing party having a hundred plus majority in parliament.
    On the other hand this jumped up nobody Macron has no political experience,no parliamentary party and when he wins (and he will win) he will inherit a stagnate economy and a deeply unhappy and divided nation.
    A more accurate comparison for Macron would be Obama in 2009,then the American people voted for hope and despite having eight years to deliver it he failed,so in 2016 the Americans voted for crazy (Trump).
    Macron has only five years to deliver hope and if he fails take it from me in 2022 the French people will also vote for crazy (Le Penn).

  18. avatar
    Barbara Szela Lesniak

    Are we talking about Marconi or his wife as French president? How old was he when they started their relationship? Isn’t it called pedophilia? … Just imagine if the case was about Marconi’s oponent in these elections. Double standards in their pure form.

    • avatar
      catherine benning

      @ Barbara Szela Lesniak

      Are you blind? This woman, who is old enough to be his Grandmama, is leading him by the nose from the age of 15 years. Yes, that is called pedophilia. And will make her the unelected President of France, as she controls his every move. He openly states she will be in the top of his cabinet, along with her daughter, not his by the way. The guy is a juvenile Globalist fanatic and his wife comes from a wealthy family of chocolate makers, who do well from the Global thieves. If it was a man who did this to a fifteen year old girl, maybe your daughter, would you feel equally as happy with him? Égalité.

  19. avatar
    Alexandru Sudiţoiu

    Considering the alternatives, Macron represents a far better option for both France and Europe.

    So far the only argument made against him seems to concern Macron’s wife and her age, or her status as a former school teacher. Quite honestly, I find that to be irrelevant. Morality is both relative and personal and it might have to do with my rather liberal approach to such issues, but otherwise what should concern French voters more is Macron’s ability to lead, his ideas and programs.

    In that regard he presents a far more complex and positive agenda than his opponent, Marine Le Pen. Not wanting to take France out of the EU is a plus, because France needs the European Union just as much as it needs France. It’s an important instrument for power projection outside European borders and for economic prosperity without which French economy and security will be even worse than it is now. The point is not to dismantle, but to reform for the better.

    This is what Macron promises and I’d rather head for a united Europe in peace and prosperity, not a scenario in which small nation states waste their time bickering while greater threats lurk at the horizon.

    • avatar
      Ivan Burrows


      You consider paedophilia to be ‘moral’ ?

    • avatar
      Alexandru Sudiţoiu

      Paedophilia ? That’s a bit extreme, don’t you think ? Macron certainly isn’t guilty of that and I believe he was reasonable enough when he made a choice about his future wife. I certainly wouldn’t take into consideration such personal issues when having to vote for someone, but rather his proposals and his personality as a whole.

      Now, we know that England and later Great Britain have long since tried to prevent hegemonic powers rising in Europe so as to satisfy their own interests, but please, mind your own business. These issues are continental.

  20. avatar
    eusebio manuel vestias pecurto

    I agree Emmanuel Macron for President of France

    • avatar
      Sabin Popescu

      de ce ar trebui sa supravietuiasca autocratia UE in forma ei actuala?

    • avatar
      Adriana Lung

      Sabin Popescu , ca să se evite războaiele care au măcinat Europa de-a lungul secolelor . Tocmai recitesc : Uragan asupra Europei – Vintilă Corbul -Eugen Burada – Editura Albatros 1979 …

  21. avatar
    Jokera Jokerov

    Macron is the architect of failed President Holland`s economic policy. He will lead ma belle France to more blood, sweat and tears.

  22. avatar
    Baudouin de Crombrugghe

    Emmanuel MACRON is the most balanced, talented and intelligent candidate and now has the most complete program of the entire political class.

    “The truth is a broken mirror, and everyone has a small piece of it,” sang the Persian mystical poet Rumi.

    Emmanuel Macron is the only candidate who has had the courage to leave his historical position (left) to draw the best solutions everywhere and combine them into a humanist, democratic, very complete and credible program.

    E.Macron is the only French candidate who has dared to break a taboo: To really build bridges between socialism and liberalism.
    He does not really classify himself on this splitting of socialism/liberalism but rather on the progressive/conservative cleavage.
    This progressive/conservative cleavage is now become much more significant … and he is clearly on the progressive side.
    It’s by this progressive positioning that Emmanuel Macron claims his belonging to the left.

    He does not manipulate and gives himself to the bottom in battle.
    He is undoubtedly the most modern of all the candidates for the presidency.
    We feel that he really wants to change things and reform.
    There is something like a John Kennedy in French with Emmanuel Macron.
    He is the youngest (39 Y.O.) and the first «millenium generation» representing something very new in France.
    Thanks to all this, it will carry the adhesion of the Frenchs in May.

    Comment by Emmanuel Macron describing very well how in his mind the left/right cleavage is artificial: “Do not let the cement of the right/left confrontation take.”
    His ideas are neither “left” nor “right”: They are both and “BEYOND”.
    He is on the center of the political game and pragmatism is his real behavioural line.
    He is the most openly pro-european politician of this campaign.

    Macron is obviously a direct-speaker … and the Frenchs appreciate.
    He is quite empathic and gives oxygen to politics.
    He chooses the movement and not the tetany.
    He allows the French people to regain a taste for true politics and a real confidence in themselves.
    He promotes curiosity in opposition to fear and anger.
    He advocates an idea of tomorrow: A more resilient, more open, more European, more empathetic society, a society that believes in it.
    It makes the disappointed and potential abstentionists wanting to move to vote.

    He embodies the ideas and the providential man that the French are waiting for.
    France needs a president of this quality!
    Emmanuel Macron, will probably embody the rebirth of France … and, hopefully, Europe!

    12/13/2018 Alexander Stubb, the former Prime Minister of Finland, has responded to this comment.

    12/13/2018 Jonathan Wheatley, Senior Lecturer in Comparative Politics at Oxford Brookes University and Co-Founder of the Preference Matcher consortium, has responded to this comment.

  23. avatar
    Baudouin de Crombrugghe

    Emmanuel MACRON est le plus équilibré, talentueux et intelligent des candidats et il a le programme le plus réaliste et consensuel.
    «La vérité est un miroir brisé, et chacun en possède un petit morceau», chantait le poète mystique persan Rumi.

    Emmanuel Macron est le seul des candidats qui a eu le courage de sortir de son positionnement historique (de gauche) pour aller puiser les meilleures solutions partout et les combiner en un programme humaniste, démocrate, très complet et crédible.

    Il est le seul candidat qui a osé briser un tabou: Lancer sur une base pragmatique des ponts entre le socialisme et le libéralisme.
    Il ne se positionne pas vraiment sur le clivage social-démocratie/ordo-libéralisme mais plutôt sur le clivage progressiste/conservateur.
    Pour lui, ce clivage progressiste/conservateur est, aujourd’hui, devenu bien plus significatif… et il est clairement du côté des progressistes.
    C’est par ce positionnement progressiste qu’Emmanuel Macron revendique son appartenance à gauche.
    En fait, on pourrait le classer comme politiquement plutôt libéral et économiquement plutôt social-démocrate.

    Il ne manipule pas et se donne à fond dans la bataille.
    Il est sans aucun doute le plus moderne de tous les candidats à la présidence.
    Son projet et sa vision de la France est plus abouti que celui de tous les autres candidats.
    On sent qu’il veut vraiment changer les choses et réformer.
    Il y a du John Kennedy à la française chez Emmanuel Macron.

    Vous pouvez télécharger le programme d’Emmanuel Macron en PDF ici:
    A vous de comparer.

    Emmanuel Macron a tout de l’homme providentiel.
    Pour lui, la politique n’est pas un job mais une mission.
    La France a BESOIN d’un président de cette qualité!

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