Europe breaths again and salutes the victory of Macron at the French presidential elections as if it was the victory of a war. And as for a war, rubble and wounded remain on the field. In the meantime, what got hit was the very meaning of politics, which is no longer synonymous with inclusion and comparison but division and confrontation. And it is not possible to settle the question by only blaming extremism for everything, because in the analysis of what happens one always forgets the connection between cause and effect. The impoverishment of the populations is a fact, uncontrolled immigration also; and if it is undeniable that Marine Le Pen is the great defeated, also the French democracy was, forced to register over 25% of abstention in a historical record from 1969 and the historical record of blank votes, 12%.
Emmanuel Macron, the youngest President of the history of France, knows it, and while on the one hand stops the populist wave of Trump and Brexit and brings back the construction of the European Union at the centre of the priorities, on the other hand he hastens to admit of being “conscious of the divisions that have led to extreme votes” and to “respect them”. After the Dutch and Austrian ones, also the French wall stands, but now is the time to convince Europeans. Macron has received a strong support from Merkel who has repeatedly stressed the importance of renewing the “Franco-German engine” of the EU, but now it is time to act.
The wide victory of Macron is seen as the expected time of the “restart” of Europe, “stronger” and more “social“. “I am delighted that the ideas that the neo French president Emmanuel Macron has defended” during his electoral campaign “of a strong and progressive Europe that protects all its citizens is the one that France will bring under its Presidency in the debate on the future of Europe”, immediately wrote to the president of the EU Commission Jean-Claude Juncker in his letter of congratulations to Macron. Because, he recalled, “the history of European construction is so closely linked to the one of France that the public debate” brought forward by Macron “on the position of France in Europe went largely beyond the borders of the country”.
An opportunity to refocus the EU macroeconomic and social policies – also in the direction indicated by Italy – for restoring unity and convergence in the eurozone, rebalancing economic and political relations with Germany. Words, words, words.
In the meantime – to remain in France – Macron must form a government (with the current National Assembly? With a grand coalition?), and the next 10 June France is back to vote for legislative elections. Secondly, the concept of “Danger escaped” does not relate to democratic development.
The populism – as it is called in a pejorative sense – is still running and burns under the ashes. Just a bit of wind is needed to rekindle the embers. The discomfort exists and is tangible: Europe must reflect on this if it does not want to die.