Challenges in new term for head of the Elysee Palace

Emmanuel Macron won France’s presidential election. However, it is quite confusing that voters in the hexagonal-shaped country do not support the ruling party with a majority of seats in the parliament. This signalled an uneasy tenure for the head of the Elysee Palace.

French President Emmanuel Macron. (Photo: AFP/VNA)
French President Emmanuel Macron. (Photo: AFP/VNA)

President of the French Constitutional Council Laurent Fabius confirmed the results of the second round of French presidential elections on April 24, in which outgoing President Emmanuel Macron won with 58.6% of the votes, compared with the ratio of 41.4% from rival Marine Le Pen.

This is the first time in 20 years that France has seen a president in office for two consecutive terms. The election results show the French people's trust in Macron rather than risking fate in the hands of far-right Marine Le Pen.

After the announcement of the election results, leaders of many countries around the world, especially the member states of the European Union (EU) sent their congratulations to France and Macron, who have accompanied them for the past five years.

Despite supporting President Macron to take power for another five-year term, French voters do not want the ruling Republic Onwards (LREM) of the head of the Elysee Palace to win a majority of seats in the parliamentary elections on June 12 and 19.

The strange thing is reflected in the results of a voter poll showing that 61% of French people support the opposition. This percentage rises to 69% among working-class voters and approximately 90% of far-right and far-left voters.

If LREM and its allied Democratic Movement (MoDem) party do not hold a majority of seats in the French Parliament, President Macron will be forced to seek alliances with other political parties. This would put the President in a difficult position to fulfil his campaign pledges to push through reforms and increase the retirement age.

In his campaign pledges, Macron’s promises to improve the purchasing power of families were appreciated by voters amid continuously high commodity and fuel prices and a gloomy economic outlook. According to a poll by Ipsos Sopra-Steria, 51% of people considered this as a priority criterion in choosing a president, followed by health system reforms (32%), improvements to the environment (30%) and immigration management (29%). Weak purchasing power is one of the indicators showing that the gap in living standards between rural and urban areas and between the poor and the rich is widening.

The second challenge for Macron in the new term is climate and environmental issues. This is a topic that has won the special attention of all classes of French society, especially young people. The task becomes even heavier as both France and Europe want to reduce their dependence on Russian energy.

President Macron affirmed that he will assign the prime minister of the upcoming government to take charge of ecological planning because this task covers all fields, regions and investment projects. His determination is reflected in his plan to create a new ministry of energy planning to put France on track to reducing the consumption of gas, oil and coal.

However, to have a platform to implement this idea, Macron will have to convince the Senate to pass the Climate Bill. The bill will help people change how they behave toward the environment, and how they produce, move and work, allowing France to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 40% by 2030.

In particular, the bill also creates conditions for the implementation of the France 2030 plan that Macron announced in 2021, in which green economic-technological programmes cover all areas of life. Regarding the issue of domestic security and immigration management, Macron took a tougher stance, pledging to create 200 new gendarmerie units to ensure homeland security, strengthen immigration management capacity, amend consular regulations and tighten conditions for granting residence cards.

A lot of work awaits President Macron in the next five years. The international community hopes that the new term of the French President will be smooth, contributing to domestic stability and economic development as well as strengthening the international position of France.