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Why are new elections being held in France?  Macron may have a “slightly desperate” plan.

Why are new elections being held in France? Macron may have a “slightly desperate” plan.

President Emmanuel Macron called for new elections in France. It can say a lot about developments in Europe. Perhaps more so than the EU elections.

The short version

The far right did not win, but it made a leap forward in many countries during the European Union elections that took place last weekend. Not least in France, where Marine Le Pen's National Assembly received 31.4% of the vote and became the largest party.

President Emmanuel Macron was most surprised by the call for new elections. In less than three weeks, the French will vote on who will hold a seat in the French Parliament.

Macron surprised many. Frank Urban says this was completely unexpected. He is an associate professor at Östfold University College and is known for his podcast Explaining France.

If the National Samling party were to perform as well in the parliamentary elections as it did in the EU elections, 28-year-old Jordan Bardella would likely become France's new prime minister.

Marine Le Pen is a potential presidential candidate for the National Assembly in 2027. Jordan Bardella could become prime minister in a few weeks.

Electroconvulsive therapy?

Macron announcing new elections so quickly indicates that the announcement was carefully planned. Frank Orban thinks Macron may be trying shock therapy.

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– He hopes that there will be a reaction from French public opinion. They realize that there is an opportunity this time for the National Assembly and the far right to gain power in France.

Although the National Samling Party became the largest party in the French European Union elections, it is a completely different matter for the French people to vote for a potential prime minister from the far right.

“This has never happened before, so I think it could stay in people’s minds a little longer,” says Kirsten Okrost, associate professor of French literature and cultural studies at the University of Oslo.

Desperate plan?

It is also possible that Macron will attempt what Frank Orban described as a “somewhat desperate” plan to prevent Marine Le Pen from winning the presidential election in 2027. Macron may expect that he will lose the parliamentary elections, and that the National Assembly will lose the elections. Get Prime.

– Then his plan is to make sure that the French people understand how incompetent Marine Le Pen and the National Assembly are in power, Orbán says. – It is a big risk, but Macron loves games, and does not hesitate to take risks, says Orban.

There may be problems in France in the future

If the National Assembly joins the government, there will be no reason to believe that there will be a peaceful coexistence with Jordan Bardella as Prime Minister and Emmanuel Macron as President.

– I assume that Macron will have the highest possible level of struggle to ensure that voters lose all confidence in the National Assembly before the presidential elections in 2027, says Orbán.

What one risks now is that France will become less stable, with a high level of conflict, and a president who is weak on the outside because he is weak on the inside.

Macron will face great difficulty in sending the message that France is a strong country that can light the way for the European Union, at a time when it is suffering from a very difficult internal political situation, Orban says.

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– The ripple effects can be significant

But what is the importance of the victory of a far-right party in the parliamentary elections in France for the future of Europe?

If Jordan Bardella becomes prime minister, Macron will be forced to work with a man who does not share his vision for the European Union. Okrost believes this will affect France's role in the EU as well as the direction the EU is likely to take.

She says the indirect effects can be significant.

Immigration policy may receive a higher priority, while the climate issue may not reach the top.

Emmanuel Macron has been important for European support for Volodymyr Zelensky and Ukraine.

What would happen if Le Pen became president?

We will see really big changes in Europe if Marine Le Pen wins the presidential election in three years. Guri Rosen, an associate professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Oslo, thinks so.

Macron was a champion of close European cooperation. For example, he was keen on more cooperation in the field of security policy.

– If you get a French president who doesn't want that, it will be a very big shift for the EU, says Rosen.

Rosen believes that the progress made by the far right in France could inspire other far-right parties in Europe.

“Maybe they want to see that it's possible,” Rosen says.

Rosen believes that in the EU, you can see unprecedented cooperation between party groups so far. Issues of concern to far-right parties will be at the top of the agenda, even for other parties.

– There are many strange things about the radical right, but they also target people's real fears, such as lack of money and fear of losing their jobs.