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MIL OSI – Source: Green Party – Press Release/Statement

Headline: France Stabilises Europe – Again

The result of the French presidential election is stunning at three levels.

At the level of spectator politics, France has its youngest president ever, whose personal life is notable not only for its unique happenstance but ironically for its relative stability compared with his predecessors. Emmanuel and Brigitte Macron will no doubt walk the global stage with the aplomb of the Kennedys and the Obamas before them.

France now has a centrist technocrat President who entered politics only a few years ago, formed a brand new party, usurped the established French political left and right, before electorally demolishing the far-right. No mean feat for an apparent novice in one of the most sophisticated systems around. Yet Macron faces the challenge of maturing his young party into something that can prosper in the parliamentary elections that are just around the corner.

It is at the deeper level of world politics that the significance of Macron’s victory has the most far-reaching impact. With due respect to Austria and The Netherlands whose electoral stability paved the way, it is the 2017 French presidential election that restores stability and common sense to the Western political world, following the populist convulsions in 2016.

Had these continental European countries followed Brexit and Trump, the international system, already straining with the inter-linked crises across the Arab world and rising nuclear tension in South and East Asia, could have dissembled to a point of no-return.

In one electoral moment, France has at least partially restored European self-regard and self-confidence, reassured a committed but anxious Germany, and restored pride in the historical legacy on which European unity and effective multilateralism rest.

For that, we owe the French a deep vote of gratitude — following a deep sigh of relief.

The event in itself does not solve the world’s crises or guarantee progressive political outcomes in France. But it helps retain the time-honoured multilateral way of constructively addressing them.