Editorial Emmanuel Macron’s victory would be a relief for Finland

Whichever candidate wins the presidential election, his power is likely to be limited by the parliamentary elections.

If poll results turn into election result on Sunday, Emmanuel Macron wins French presidential election. Macron’s extension would be a relief for Finland and the whole of Europe. Opposition Marine Le Pen has called for changes in French security and EU policy that do not meet Finland’s needs.

Frenchness involves a certain amount of opposition to authority – and even naive idealism, as the success of far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon said in the first round of elections. These attitudes were also reported to be completely rejected by the old presidential parties, the socialists and the moderate right.

Macron rose to power in 2017 for two reasons. The old parties had suddenly collapsed and their candidates failed. Another reason was that in the eyes of the French, Macron looked like a fresh candidate from outside the power games of politics and old authorities. The niche came from a power vacuum, and Macron’s smooth-running freshness sold well.

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In this election, Macron no longer had the benefit of freshness. Indeed, Macron had to invoke the opposite in the final meters of the election campaign as in 2017. Macron made it clear that he represents stability, is experienced and knows the facts of politics as an insider.

As Macron’s rival, Le Pen has offered neither stability nor even freshness. The idealistic Frenchman, who was fascinated by Macron’s novelty in 2017 or who voted for Mélenchon in 2022, has not been a candidate in the second round of these elections.

If Macron wins, the next big problem is the parliamentary elections in June. France is a presidential-led political system. Governments are presidential governments that implement the president’s vision. Indeed, over the past five years, it has been due to Macron’s broad parliamentary support.

If Macron gets an extension, it will be very difficult for him to get that kind of support and freedom of rule anymore in the June election. But the same situation will arise even if Le Pen wins. France is quite likely to face a five-year term during which the power of the president will be weaker than in the previous term.

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The editorials are HS’s statements on a topical issue. The writings are prepared by HS’s editorial staff and reflect the magazine principle.

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