Publication: Vive l’Europe – French European policy-making under Emmanuel Macron

Emmanuel Macron batit l'Europe illustration
© Illustration: © Studio Nippoldt, Berlin

Bold, visionary and disruptive – this is how French President Emmanuel Macron is perceived in Germany. With his speech at the Sorbonne on 26 September 2017, not only did he reach out to his partner on the other side of the Rhine, but he also outlined a broad and ambitious roadmap for European policy-making.

By transcending the once prevailing two-party system of left and right, Macron and his political movement, La République en Marche (LREM), have truly transformed the French political landscape. However, it was unclear for a long time what the nature of this transformation was about that needed further explanation. The Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom met this need with a first study of this new political landscape by situating LREM within the political spectrum of the already existing centrist political parties.

This upheaval continued at the European level, as LREM eventually joined the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), which rebranded itself as Renew Europe after the elections of the European Parliament in May 2019. There was no honeymoon period in this marriage, yet the new political group was able to grow together within two years of existence. 

The presidential elections in April 2022 brought up the question of the continuity and sustainability of this transformation – on the one hand for France, but also for its partners in Europe. With the end of Macron’s five-year term, it seems just the right time to take stock of France's European policy-making under the French President. This is the very purpose of this second study, originally written in the French language in April before the first round of the Presidential election. The study is intended for a Franco-German and European audience and is now also available in English and German.

Study 2 French European policy-making under Emmanuel Macron

Study 1 A Closer Look at French President Macron and his "Third Way"