French elections and the future of the European Union

French elections and the future of the European Union

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D.Salim m.Alzanoon

The experience of history indicates to the experience similar to the experience of the French elections today, they are similar to the 2002 elections , when (Jean-Marie Le Pen) , the founder of the National Front arrived the second round , but in the second round , France largely voted in favor of “Jacques Chirac” the conservative, what makes us to decide from the beginning, according to historical experience that France will not vote for the extremist right-wing led by Marine Le Pen, and that the French public will decide the results in favor of Emmanuel Macron.

However, the difference between the two experiments is centered that this is the first time in the history of the modern French Republic, the next president comes from the outside of the veteran political institutions of the left or right, as Macron has not been nominated by the institutional party, which is extremely rare for it in France, and Le Pen is renounced by the political establishment that is the greatest threat for her, and the party elections conducted within the parties , their candidates did not manage to access to the presidential elections that raise a question about the reasons.

First, the reasons for the rise of Le Pen and Macron for the second round
There are two reasons to explain the rise of Le Pen and Macron for the election of the presidency, and the decline of the candidates of the Right and Left parties.

1. The lack of confidence of citizens in the European political elite , especially in light of the inability to address the issues of migration, the terrorism and the economy, a study conducted by Politico magazine showed that the French are less happy with their economic position compared to other Member States of the European Union , and France suffers from high levels of the unemployment, declining of the economic growth and the decline in the security situation, and the French began calling for change, and are looking for exits in the framework of the mandate of new politicians, and move away from the previous political system.

2. The rise of the right wing in general.

In recent years, we note that there is a shift towards the general mood of the currents of the extremist right- wing whether at the political level or at the popular level:

At the political level, right – wing parties were able to strengthen their popularity in the electoral eligibilities in many EU countries, such as Sweden, Britain, France, Austria, the Netherlands and Switzerland, while the right-wing party, has become a partner in the ruling coalition in Denmark.

At the popular level, the rise of the sharpness of the racism towards Muslims, in Finland extremists formed a group called it “Odin soldiers” , roaming in the streets to protect Finnish citizens from the danger of immigrants and what they called the “Muslim invaders”, as Germany saw a forming a similar group known by media a group of “freital” It claims that “the state is unable to protect us, and that the refugee problem must be addressed by ourselves”, and there is an increase of the crimes of the violence of the extremist right-wing , the number of extremist actions of the right-wing were risen in 2015 that had reached to 1150 issue , compared to about 750 in 2014, and also in Germany, the level of the crime of the violence with Right political motive has been increased to more than 40% in 2015 compared to the previous year, and acts of violence against the homes of refugee shelters were increased to 177 crime in 2015 compared to about 26 crime in 2014.

However, the dangerous aspect of the rise of the extremist right-wing is based on his attempt to form the current of the Right-wing extremist, supra-national, extends to include all European countries, that the leaders of the extremist right –wing of France, the Netherlands and Germany held their meeting in Germany with a view to agreeing on the establishment of a united front in the face of the European Union, and return to the national state.

Second, the reasons for the rise of the extremist right-wing:

Migration, refugees and economic crises are considered the results and not the main reasons for the rise of the extremist right-wing, and my assessment that the rise of the current of the extremist right-wing is linked to three main factors:
1. The change in the structure of international system.

With the collapse of the Soviet Union and the end of the Cold War in 1991 , the international system was transformed from bipolar to where the United States sit on the throne of the international political system, and became the maker of solution in the intractable crisis, it has forced the forces of the rival Balkan to sign the “Dayton Agreement” to end the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina and intervened militarily in Kosovo against Serbia and outside the mandate of the Security Council .

At the beginning of the twentieth century, the international system turned into a Semi-pluralistic system led by US, so that the United States became active among a group of international actors.

But the US project stalled in both Iraq and Afghanistan , associated with the decline of the US role, the international system began since 2010 to move to a system without poles, in which any power was unable to dominate on the courses of international politics and the American withdrawal was began from the big issues and the Middle East leaving a vacuum, and countries such as Russia and Iran worked to fill this vacuum and secure a place in the new international system by Russia ‘s use of military force in Syria, and Iran’s use of militias and its affiliates in the region, so the Russian and Iranian extension , researcher for a place in the “international system , created new conflicts and increased the sharpness of existed conflicts , which caused waves of unprecedented migration in modern history toward Western Europe specifically.

Most of the immigrants are Arabs and Muslims that erupted a conflict of identities in Europe where the European community felt that its cultural identity is threatened and exploited by Right-wing extremists in accumulating of points, and exaggerated the danger of the Islamist threat, and the terrorist acts witnessed by Paris, London and Boroxl have increased the conflict of identity.

2. The security failure of the political elites in Europe.

Political elites ‘s failure in Europe to deal with the identities conflict, through its inability to deal with immigrants in an appropriate manner, and, its foreign policy contributed in the eruption of violence in the homeland of the immigrants, and led them to gain access to Western societies, noting that the ruling political elites did not provide appropriate programs to integrate them into immigration communities, they were not able to stop them from reaching the heart of Western Europe, the result was the growing of the sharpness of identity conflict and the exacerbation of the phenomenon of hostility to Muslims and the exacerbation of the phenomenon of Islam phobia, and ultimately the extremist right-wing has gained multi-electoral gains.

3. Globalization

The penetration of globalization in the joints of the international system, and the largest beneficiary of globalization is the most powerful party capable to spread its culture, that the spread of a series McDonalds and KFC have achieved results more than the spread of US military bases in the world.

This had the impact and in the Muslim communities , groups of it took the opposite and extremist reaction instead of being attached to the culture of Western globalization , a large number of them have returned to their origins , in an attempt to revive the Islamic culture, and as a reaction to the continuous attack of the forces and the tools of cultural and economic globalization against the local cultures, including Arab Islamic culture, and this extremism has been translated in two ways , the first issue is the complexity of integration in Western societies, and other is the security detonations in European and American cities, and attacking the headquarters of European newspapers that had attacked various Islamic symbols.

Third: Opportunities

All opinion polls indicate that Emmanuel Macron is the favorite to win the French presidential elections , and it is expected that Emmanuel Macron would get between 59 to 62% of the vote , compared to 38 to 41 for the candidates of the “National Front” Marine Le Pen , and thus his chances are high to win too, especially with an opinion poll indicates that 40% of the left supporters Melenchon will vote for the Macron , but could collapse in the coming hours in the event of happening a new terrorist attacks on France, that will make a shift and directing part of the Right – wing voters towards Le Pen, or in the event of vote of the extremist left-wing for Le Pen .
Fourth: The implications.

The implications of Le Pen win:

Le Pen adopts set of principles in conflict with the West in general, the denial of integration and tolerance, international law, and seeks to exit France from the European Union and the closure of the border to prevent the entry of refugees, and in line with the vision of Russia with regard to the Crimea, legal, and in the event of her victory , she will not destroy France only, but the European Union fully that her policies had not only aimed at the republican system (French sense), but the whole of Europe,
Europe in the aftermath of the Second World War, formed an experience with unique features under a framework that was officially appeared in 1952, and evolved over the years, economically, politically and militarily, and that framework succeeded in the pushing of 28 countries to abandon large parts of its sovereignty and adhere under the wings of the “Union”, which has broad powers , open borders, a common currency, and with Le Pen ‘s victory this framework could collapse entirely on the grounds that France and Germany are the head of the locomotive in the formation of European Union, noting that the exit of Greece from the European Union has left limited impact and the exit of Britain caused big shake but the European Union did not end, but France ‘s exit if it occurs it , it will be disastrous.

The implications of Macron’s win:

In the event of Macron’s win , he will support values such as religious tolerance, and French participation in Western institutions such as the European Union , the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, and this will ease dramatically the state of fear prevailing at home and abroad, but Macron faces major challenges that he must deal with , such as immigration , terrorism and unemployment, which are the main engines of the extremist right-wing , so the Macron’s win will give the European Union a new chance to survive.

The European Union experience is at stake under the French elections, either to collapse or rise again, the French choice is not between two different programs or two different political figures, the French choice is between two different paths to France “, and thus the French are taking a a clear moral decision, the choice between the values of the Republic and between those who are planning to end the experience of unity.


Rawabet Center for Research and Strategic Studies