Acting President of the European Union (EU), for six months, candidate for his own re-election as French head of state, Emmanuel Macron affirms that 2022 will be the year of the international “great turn” of a “Europe fully sovereign and master of its destiny”, provoking a national and nationalist reaction from the majority of political forces, hostile to a Europe perceived as a threat to “identity. nation ».
In the traditional presidential address on the night of San Silvestre, Macron announced “very difficult weeks” with a happy ending: 2022 could be the year of the end of the pandemic.
From that proclamation of principles, the French president assumed his role as acting president of the EU, summarizing his major European projects, bogged down, from his speech at the Sorbonne University in September 2017: «The French presidency will present ambitious projects to achieve the full sovereignty of Europe, powerful and master of its destiny on the new world scene.
The presidential speech had been preceded by a highly symbolic gesture. The national flag that traditionally flies in the Arch of Triumph Parisian, the monument built to the greater glory of the military campaigns of Napoleon bonaparte, was replaced by a flag of Europe. This substitution of the French flag for the EU flag, in the most famous of the monuments of the national epic, automatically provoked a gale of reactions against Macron and against the EU, from the extreme left to the extreme right.
For Jean-Luc Mélenchon, leader of France Insoumise (FI, far left), Macron’s “ambitions” are pure ultra-capitalist provocation, the opposite of his ultra-nationalist political project: “We must take immediate measures to safeguard the interests of the Nation, applying our own political project, with measures to safeguard the sovereignty of the French people ».
For Valérie Pécresse, candidate of Los Republicanos (LR, right), Macron’s European ambitions and the replacement of the national flag by the European flag, at the Arc de Triomphe, have something of “unbearable provocation”, for these reasons: ” Preside over Europe, yes, but erase the French identity, no! Macron must begin to restore the national flag under the Arc de Triomphe: we owe it to all our soldiers who gave their blood for the country. “
To the extreme right, Marine Le Pen and Éric Zemmour they shout in the patriotic sky. «The Arc de Triomphe, with Macron: first packed; then looting and outrage, ”Zemmour declared. Marine Le Pen reacted this way: ‘Macron’s alleged attachment to France is a lie. And he has dared to end his end-of-year speech by photographing himself next to the EU flag, which the French people rejected in a referendum in 2005. An umpteenth insult to democracy! “
On the French political scene, only Anne Hidalgo (socialist) and Yahhick Jadot, ecologist, defend Europeanist positions, very different from Macronian ambitions. Hidalgo proposes a government of “united left”, far removed from the French reality. Jadot proposes a federal Europe, very far from the European reality.
Beyond the immense underlying problems they pose, Emmanuel Macron’s European ambitions have opened up a far-reaching national debate. The relentless political war of the presidential election campaign of next April has fueled a kind of nationalist retreat of great significance, predictably lasting.
As acting president of the EU, Macron aims to renew the funding of the European Stability Pact, reform internal security policy, strengthen the collective fight against immigration, create something like a Europe of defense, compatible with NATO, among other projects. As a candidate for his own re-election, Macron will have to face harsh national and European resistance and criticism, which goes far beyond confrontations and electoral differences.