German elections, a risk for Macron’s political agenda

Among themselves, ministers and senior officials call it the “PFUE”. In less than four months, France will take over the rotating presidency of the Council of the European Union, of which Emmanuel Macron will largely set the agenda for the first half of 2022. Few of his predecessors have had this privilege: since 1995 , France has only performed this function three times – in 1995, in 2000 and in 2008. And if the presidential election is not won on European subjects, the Macronist power clearly intends to make it a campaign argument. to mobilize its electorate, by focusing on issues resonating in the national debate, such as the climate, the reform of international taxation, the revision of the Schengen agreements, the carbon tax at borders, the regulation of digital giants, the European minimum wage or the strategic autonomy of the Union, even its defense.

The head of state will also be able to refine his stature as a European leader there, while Chancellor Angela Merkel will have left power. “The opportunity is unique, there will be no other heavyweight in Europe”, summarizes Jérôme Fourquet, director of the opinion department of the FIFG. Emmanuel Macron will be “Overhanging” of the French political scene. “He will talk about the climate and rebuilding sovereignty over drugs when others are stuck in political discussions,” he continues.

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However, the outcome of the German elections on September 26 could disrupt this happy calendar. For several months, polls across the Rhine have indicated that neither the Christian Democrats (CDU / CSU) nor the Social Democrats (SPD) will manage to achieve a majority on their own, and, above all, that they will have to ally themselves with the Greens and / or the Liberals of the FDP, forming, for the first time since 1945, a three-party coalition. An unprecedented and uncertain situation for Paris.

“France knows well the SPD candidate Olaf Scholz, who took over the lead in the polls, and Armin Laschet [CDU/CSU], they are part of a form of continuity, explains Paul Maurice, researcher at IFRI. But what can worry is that the Greens or the Liberals do not become inescapable. ” Above all, such a configuration could complicate the formation of a government, as was the case in 2017, when it took almost six months for Angela Merkel to finalize her coalition contract (with the Social Democrats, after the failure of an alliance project with the Greens and the Liberals).

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