France’s Macron Loses Parliamentary Majority, Putting His Economic Reform Agenda at Risk

French President Emmanuel Macron might have been relieved after being re-elected in April, but his second term in office just got a lot more complicated.

Your outfit! The alliance has lost its five-year absolute parliamentary majority after a second round of legislative elections.

French President Emmanuel Macron speaks to fellow voters as he arrives to vote in the second stage of the French parliamentary elections at a polling station in Le Touquet, northern France, on June 19, 2022.

Ludovico Marin | Afp | fake images

On Monday morning it was confirmed that his centrist group won 245 seats, short of the 289 needed to maintain its dominance in the French National Assembly.

The next hours, and probably the days, will be dominated by political negotiations, with Ensemble! needing a permanent or ad hoc partner to help pass legislation.

The center-right political group Les Republicans could play a key role in this, after winning 65 seats in parliament.

However, a coalition (an exception in France, which is usually led by one party) with the right could put pressure on newly appointed Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne, who is perceived by many on the right wing of politics as too left-wing. spectrum.

On the left, an alliance between the Greens and other leftist groups, known as Nupes, won 131 seats in parliament, becoming the largest opposition force in the chamber.

This group, led by Jean-Luc Melenchon, who heads a far-left party and opposes France’s NATO membership, fared better than expected.

However, the view that France is moving to the left was challenged by the performance of the far-right National Rally party, which increased its seats by six to a total of 89.

“We cannot say that President Macron has been refuted, but for sure there is a kind of warning. And it’s going to be hard to get out,” Roland Lescure, a lawmaker and spokesman for Macron’s party, told CNBC’s Charlotte Reed. Sunday.

“We’re going to have to learn how to make parliament work probably a little better, we’re going to have to negotiate on a case-by-case basis on the reform agenda. Whether it’s pensions, whether it’s growth, whether it’s income, whether it’s environment , [we’re] we are going to have to find people who can support us,” added Lescure.

Macron was first elected in 2017 on a pro-reform agenda, but his vision of reforming the pension system was delayed after the protests and the coronavirus pandemic. As such, this is a priority for Macron in his second term, but parliamentary support will be crucial for it to pass.

“Without a majority of his own, it will be more difficult for Macron to carry out further reforms, including raising the retirement age from 62 to 64 or 65,” Holger Schmieding, chief Europe economist at Berenberg, said in a note on Thursday. Monday.

But he said Macron would likely still be able to pass the legislation on a case-by-case basis.

“At the very least, the most important thing is that parliament will probably not reverse its main flagship reforms – the labor market, corporate taxes, regulations, education – that have helped make France a better place to invest and create jobs.” Schmieding added.

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