Europe’s focus shifts to France: why?

Scritto da in data Giugno 13, 2024

by Toni Ann Izzo

                                                                                    Leggi in Italiano

The biggest shock from this past weekend’s European elections was French President Emmanuel Macron calling for a snap election after his party suffered a significant defeat to the far right-wing party, Rassemblement Nationale (National Rally or RN).

It is said that this plan has apparently been drafted up since the end of May yet, many people, even some of his own colleagues did not know about it until his announcement.

This came as a surprise to nearly everyone, as millions of people stood shocked around their TV screens in disbelief.

Though the French electorate has spoken and the poll results have spoken for themselves, Macron is looking to hear them speak again through the snap elections scheduled for June 30 and July 7.

What is a snap election?

A snap election is an election that is called earlier than the one that has been scheduled.

In France’s case, this means the dissolution of Assemblée Nationale and a voting process that will put in a new lower house of parliament that plays a crucial role in the country’s legislative process.

In order for this to take place, the President must consult the Prime Minister and the speakers of the Houses of Parliament to declare the National Assembly dissolved.

A general election has to take place no less than twenty days and no more than forty days after the dissolution to have the people of France vote in new government officials.

This is a good way to gauge the current state of the public but in Macron’s case, he might be better off not knowing.

What is a dissolution?

On Sunday June 9, Macron made a public announcement that he will be dissolving the Addemblée Nationale (National Assembly), the lower house of the French parliament for the first time since 1997 .

This is usually done when the president and the parliament majority are unable to work together. People are describing Macron’s decision as a gamble.

If Marine Le Pen’s national rally, far right party, is doing as well as the most recent polls have shown, it gives her high odds to be put in as prime minister.

This could result in him having a lot less leeway and control over what parliament does. While article 12 of the french constitution does give Macron the right to dissolve the national assembly, many of his colleagues disagree with him and think this move is too risky.

What outcome is Macron hoping for?

Macron is relying solely on the hope that the people of France will unexpectedly shift their votes, leading to more favorable poll outcomes.

He is counting on voters to choose a reasonable, center alternative over an extremist far-right group, despite current EU election results favoring the far-right party over his own.

He is banking on the center left and center right to come together on the snap election later this month to keep the far right out of power.

While his optimism and faith in his country are admirable, this strategy risks the National Rally party gaining a larger delegation than it currently holds.

Regardless of the outcome of this election, Macron is still set to be president until 2027. He will continue to hold a large deal of power in foreign policy and security policy but if the far right wins the prime minister seat, interior politics in France would become very messy.

Macron, like any gambler, is betting on a long shot. The main difference is that while an average gambler bets for money, Macron is rolling the dice on the future of an entire country.

Foto di copertina: Rodrigo Kugnharski su Unsplash

Toni Ann Izzo

I am a political science enthusiast from New York City with a passion for global politics.

I aim to spark interest in young people, who are the most impacted by today’s political decisions by  making complex issues understandable and engaging.

I bring a fresh perspective to political discussions to make politics fun and accessible for the next generation.

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