RISS Director on the results of the presidential elections in France

The season of political struggle in the Fifth Republic is not over

Director of the Russian Institute for Strategic Studies M. Fradkov commented on the election results in France: “The result is expected, but at the same time extraordinary. The hopes of the French people for changes and a safe life won this election. The French domestic policy vector is already changing. The new French President Elect will have to respond to social demands of society to avoid its split.”

RISS experts pointed out that the French elections outcome has become the result of some radical shifts in public mood, which have already appeared in the US and in Europe. A new group of political leaders ready to radically change the agenda and to offer an alternative ideology emerged. Ordinary citizens are protesting against the ideology of the establishment, voting for the United Kingdom's withdrawal from the European Union, and for Donald Trump in the USA.

RISS experts noted that politicians, who want to achieve popularity, are forced to reject the party's traditions and to embark on outright populism. The conservatives in the UK that played a key historical role in the formation of the European Union and initiated the country's accession to the EU, has become “Eurosceptics” and headed the notorious Brexit. Donald Trump in the US is actually designated a powerful new "faction" in the Republican Party and practically provoked the party split. During the elections France faced Socialist candidate Emmanuel Macron, who had put on the mask of an independent populist-centrist, and Nationalist candidate Marine Le Pen, who did a lot to build a new national conservative European ideology.

RISS emphasizes that during the election campaign in France, both candidates tried to catch the same wave: the mood of ordinary French citizens, frightened by the terror, tired of waiting for the promised benefits of European integration against the background of increasing migration problems. The decline in voter turnout in the second round, as well as a high proportion of those who protested against voting by spoiling their ballot became an expression of bewilderment of the French people and showed their unwillingness to make their choice.

M. Fradkov stressed that “the political season is not over in France. The parliamentary elections will be held in a qualitatively new situation. It is possible that these elections will be a platform not for parties, but for civil positions. Populism will dominate as it changes France's customary political landscape.”

World leaders have congratulated France President-elect Emmanuel Macron. D. Trump was the first who expressed his hope for cooperation with the French President. Relations with the U.S., EU, and NATO will be the first serious test of Macron’s populism. Will he be able to strengthen the position of France inside the European Union? Now Macron looks very comfortable partner for the current White House administration and key European partner of France - Germany.

An important element of the Macron’s foreign policy agenda should be relations with Russia. In this regard, M. Fradkov underlined that “the Russian-French relations during the different historical stages have demonstrated their resilience. Our countries have much in common. There are forces in the world that would like to create tension in our relationship. But solid and mutually beneficial relationships with Russia serve to strengthen the international position of France. The safety of Europe and France is dependent on Russia's actions in combating international terrorism, the settlement of the Syrian conflict, and stabilization of the situation in the Middle East. I would like to express the hope that Paris can understand that.”

France Macron elections