Emmanuel Macron

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Emmanuel Macron
Emmanuel Macron during his meeting with Vladimir Putin, June 2017.jpg
President of France
Assumed office
14 May 2017
Prime Minister Édouard Philippe
Preceded by François Hollande
Co-Prince of Andorra
Assumed office
14 May 2017
Serving with Joan Enric Vives Sicília
Prime Minister Antoni Martí
Representative Patrick Strzoda
Preceded by François Hollande
President of En Marche!
In office
6 April 2016 – 8 May 2017
Preceded by Position established
Succeeded by Catherine Barbaroux (Acting)
Minister of the Economy, Industry, and Digital Affairs
In office
26 August 2014 – 30 August 2016
Prime Minister Manuel Valls
Preceded by Arnaud Montebourg
Succeeded by Michel Sapin
Deputy Secretary General of the Office of the President
In office
15 May 2012 – 15 July 2014
President François Hollande
Preceded by Jean Castex
Succeeded by Laurence Boone
Personal details
Born Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron
(1977-12-21) 21 December 1977 (age 39)
Amiens, France
Political party REM (2016–present)
Other political
affiliations
Socialist (2006–2009)
Independent (2009–2016)
Spouse(s) Brigitte Trogneux (m. 2007)
Relatives Jean-Michel Macron (Father)
Residence Élysée Palace
Alma mater Paris X Nanterre
Sciences Po
École nationale d'administration
Signature

Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron (French: [ɛmanɥɛl makʁɔ̃]; born 21 December 1977) is a French politician who has been the President of France and ex officio Co-Prince of Andorra since 14 May 2017. Before entering politics, he was a former senior civil servant and investment banker. Macron studied philosophy at Paris Nanterre University, completed a Master's of Public Affairs at Sciences Po, and graduated from the École nationale d'administration (ENA) in 2004. He worked as an Inspector of Finances in the Inspectorate General of Finances (IGF), then became an investment banker at Rothschild & Cie Banque.[1]

Macron was appointed Deputy Secretary-General in François Hollande's first government in May 2012, having been a member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009, he was appointed Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs in 2014 under the Second Valls Government, where he pushed through business-friendly reforms. He resigned in August 2016 to launch a bid in the 2017 presidential election; in November 2016, Macron declared that he would run in the election under the banner of En Marche!, a centrist, pro-European political movement he founded in April 2016, and won the election on 7 May 2017.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Macron, at the age of 39, became the youngest President in the history of France.[8][9][10][11] Upon his inauguration, Macron appointed Le Havre mayor Édouard Philippe to be Prime Minister; in the 2017 legislative election, Macron's party, renamed to "La République En Marche!", along with its ally the Democratic Movement (MoDem), secured a comfortable majority, winning 350 seats out of 577, his party alone winning a majority of 308 seats.

Early life[edit]

Born in Amiens, Emmanuel Jean-Michel Frédéric Macron is the son of Françoise (Noguès), a physician, and Jean-Michel Macron, professor of neurology at the University of Picardy.[12][13] Raised in a non-religious family, he was baptized a Roman Catholic at his own request at age 12.[14]

Macron was educated mostly at the Jesuit Lycée la Providence[15] in Amiens[16] before his parents sent him to finish his last year of school[17] at the élite Lycée Henri-IV in Paris, where he completed the high school curriculum and the undergraduate program with a "Bac S, Mention Très bien" (the most selective track, with the highest honors). At the same time he was nominated for the "Concours Général" (most selective national level high school competition) in French literature, his parents sent him off to Paris due to their alarm at the bond he had formed with Brigitte Auzière, a married teacher with three children at Jésuites de la Providence, who later became his wife.[18] He studied Philosophy at the University of Paris-Ouest Nanterre La Défense, obtaining a DEA degree (a master level degree, with a thesis on Machiavelli and Hegel).[15][19]

Around 1999 Macron worked as an editorial assistant to Paul Ricoeur, the French Protestant philosopher who was then writing his last major work, La Mémoire, l'Histoire, l'Oubli. Macron worked mainly on the notes and bibliography.[20][21]

Macron obtained a master's degree in public affairs at the elite Sciences Po, majoring in "Public Guidance and Economy" before training for a senior civil service career at the selective École nationale d'administration (ENA), graduating in 2004.[22]

Professional career[edit]

Macron worked as an Inspector of Finances in the French Ministry of Economy between 2004 and 2008. In 2007, he served as deputy rapporteur for the Commission to improve French economic growth headed by Jacques Attali.[16] Macron paid €50,000 to buy himself out of his government contract in 2008,[23] and left to work as an investment banker in a highly-paid position at Rothschild & Cie Banque.[24]

Political career[edit]

Macron was a member of the Socialist Party from 2006 to 2009.[25]

From 2012 to 2014, he served as deputy secretary-general of the Élysée, a senior role in President Hollande's staff,[22] he was appointed as the Minister of Economy and Finance in the second Valls Cabinet on 26 August 2014, replacing Arnaud Montebourg.[26] As Minister of the Economy, Macron was at the forefront of pushing through business-friendly reforms, on 17 February 2015, prime minister Manuel Valls pushed Macron's signature law package through a reluctant parliament using the special 49.3 procedure.[27]

In August 2015, Macron said that he was no longer a member of the Socialist Party and was an independent.[28]

2017 French presidential bid[edit]

Macron founded an independent political party, En Marche!, in Amiens on 6 April 2016.[29] A liberal,[30] progressive[31][32] political movement, the party and Macron were both reprimanded by President Hollande.[33] On 30 August 2016, Macron resigned from the government ahead of the 2017 presidential election,[34][35] on 16 November 2016, Macron formally declared his candidacy for the French presidency after months of speculation. In his announcement speech, Macron called for a "democratic revolution" and promised to "unblock France".[36]

Macron attracted criticism for the time taken to spell out a formal program during his campaign; despite declaring in November, he had still not released a complete set of proposals by February, attracting both attacks from critics and concern among allies and supporters.[37] He eventually laid out his 150-page formal program on 2 March, publishing it online and discussing it at a marathon press conference that day.[38]

Supporters of Macron celebrating his victory at the Louvre on 7 May

Macron accumulated a wide array of supporters, securing endorsements from François Bayrou of the Democratic Movement (MoDem), MEP Daniel Cohn-Bendit, the ecologist candidate François de Rugy of the primary of the left, and Socialist MP Richard Ferrand, secretary-general of En Marche!, as well as numerous others – many of them from the Socialist Party, but also a significant number of centrist and centre-right politicians.[39] The Grand Mosque of Paris urged French Muslims to vote en masse for Macron.[40]

Many foreign politicians have voiced support for Macron, including European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker, German Chancellor Angela Merkel,[41] and former US President Barack Obama.[42]

In March 2017, Macron's digital campaign manager, Mounir Mahjoubi, told Britain's Sky News that Russia is behind "high level attacks" on Macron, and said that its state media are "the first source of false information", he said: "We are accusing RT (formerly known as Russia Today) and Sputnik News (of being) the first source of false information shared about our candidate...".[43]

On the evening of 5 May 2017, just before the French Presidential Election on 7 May, it was reported that nine gigabytes of Macron's campaign emails had been anonymously posted to Pastebin, a document-sharing site; in a statement on the same evening, Macron's political movement, En Marche!, said: "The En Marche! Movement has been the victim of a massive and coordinated hack this evening which has given rise to the diffusion on social media of various internal information".[44]

President of France[edit]

Macron with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzō Abe, 26 May 2017

Macron qualified for the runoff after the first round of the election on 23 April 2017, he won the second round of the presidential election on 7 May by a landslide according to preliminary results,[45] making the candidate of the National Front, Marine Le Pen, concede.[46] At 39, he is the youngest President in French history and the youngest French head of state since Napoleon,[10] he is also the first president of France born after the establishment of the Fifth Republic in 1958.

Macron formally became President on 14 May,[47] he appointed Patrick Strzoda as his chief of staff[48] and Ismaël Emelien as his special advisor for strategy, communication and speeches.[49] On 15 May, he appointed Édouard Philippe of the Republicans as Prime Minister,[50][51] on the same day, he made his first official foreign visit, meeting in Berlin with Angela Merkel, the Chancellor of Germany. The two leaders emphasised the importance of France–Germany relations to the European Union,[52] they agreed to draw up a "common road map" for Europe, insisting that neither was against changes to the Treaties of the European Union.[53]

In the 2017 legislative election, Macron's party La République En Marche! and its Democratic Movement allies secured a comfortable majority, winning 350 seats out of 577.[54]

Political positions[edit]

Macron has been described by some observers as a social liberal[55][56][57][58][59] and by others as a social democrat.[60][61][62] During his time in the French Socialist Party, he supported the party's centrist wing,[63] whose political stance has been associated with "third way" policies advanced by Bill Clinton, Tony Blair and Gerhard Schröder, and whose leading spokesman has been former prime minister Manuel Valls.[64][65][66][67] Overall Macron is largely seen as a centrist.[2][3][4][5][6][7]

Economy[edit]

Macron has notably advocated in favor of the free market and reducing the public-finances deficit,[68] he first publicly used the term "liberal" to describe himself in a 2015 interview with Le Monde. He added that he is "neither right nor left" and that he advocates "a collective solidarity",[69][70] during a visit to the Puy du Fou in Vendée with Philippe de Villiers in August 2016, he stated, "Honesty compels me to say that I am not a socialist."[71] He explained that he was part of the "left government" because he wanted "to serve the public interest" as any minister would;[72] in his book Revolution, published in November 2016, Macron presents himself as both a "leftist" and a "liberal ... if by liberalism one means trust in man."[73]

With his party En Marche!, Macron's stated aim is to transcend the left–right divide in a manner similar to François Bayrou or Jacques Chaban-Delmas, asserting that "the real divide in our country ... is between progressives and conservatives". With the launch of his independent candidacy and his use of anti-establishment rhetoric, Macron has been labelled a "populist" by some observers, notably Manuel Valls, but Macron rejects this term.[74][75]

Macron is a supporter of the El Khomri law, he became the most vocal proponent of the economic overhaul of the country.[76]

He has supported the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA) between Canada and the European Union and criticized the Walloon government for trying to block it.[77] He believes that CETA should not require the endorsement of national parliaments because "it undermines the EU".[78]

Regarding the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), Macron stated in June 2016 that "the conditions [to sign the treaty] are not met", adding that "we mustn't close the door entirely" and "need a strong link with the US".[79]

In April 2017, Macron called for a "rebalancing" of Germany's trade surplus, saying that "Germany benefits from the imbalances within the euro zone and achieves very high trade surpluses".[80]

Foreign policy[edit]

The family photo of the G7 leaders, 26 May 2017

Macron described France's colonization of Algeria as a "crime against humanity",[81] he also said: "It's truly barbarous and it's part of a past that we need to confront by apologising to those against whom we committed these acts."[82] Polls following his remarks reflected a decrease in his support.[81]

Macron was in 2012 a Young Leader with the French-American Foundation.[83]

In January 2017 he said France needed a more "balanced" policy toward Syria, including talks with Bashar Assad;[84] in April 2017, following the chemical attack in Khan Shaykhun, Macron proposed possible military intervention against Assad regime, preferably under United Nations auspices.[85]

He supports the continuation of President Hollande's policies on Israel, also opposes the BDS movement, and has refused to state a position on recognition of the State of Palestine.[86]

He criticized the Franco-Swiss construction firm LafargeHolcim for competing to build the wall on the Mexico-United States border promised by President Donald Trump.[87]

European Union[edit]

Macron (sitting far left) and Hollande at the G-20 summit in Mexico, 19 June 2012 with Angela Merkel, Mario Monti, David Cameron, Herman Van Rompuy, Barack Obama and José Manuel Barroso.

An article in the New York Times described Emmanuel Macron as "ardently pro-Europe" and stated that he "has proudly embraced an unpopular European Union."[88]

Macron was described by some as Europhile[89][90] and federalist[91][92] but he describes himself as "neither pro-European, eurosceptic nor a federalist in the classical sense",[93] and his party as "the only pro-European political force in France".[94]

In June 2015, Macron and his German counterpart Sigmar Gabriel published a platform advocating a continuation of European integration, they advocate the continuation "of structural reforms (such as labor markets), institutional reforms (including the area of economic governance)",[95] but also a reconciliation of 'tax and social systems (like better co-ordination or harmonization of the corporate taxes via, for example, minimum wages)".[citation needed]

He also advocates the creation of a post of the EU Commissioner that would be responsible for the Eurozone and Eurozone's Parliament and a common budget.[96]

In addition, Macron stated: "I'm in favor of strengthening anti-dumping measures which have to be faster and more powerful like those in the United States. We also need to establish a monitoring of foreign investments in strategic sectors at the EU level in order to protect a vital industry and to ensure our sovereignty and the European superiority."[69]

Macron has stated that, if elected, he will seek to renegotiate the Treaty of Le Touquet with the United Kingdom which has caused a build-up of asylum-seekers in Calais. When Macron served as Economy Minister he had suggested the Treaty could be scrapped if the UK left the European Union.[97]

Greece[edit]

In July 2015, as Economy Minister, Emmanuel Macron insisted in an interview that any Greece bailout package must also ease their burden by including reductions in the country's overall debt;[98] in July 2015, while challenging the "loaded question" of the 2015 Greek referendum, Macron called not to cause "automatic ejection" of Greece from the Eurozone and "not doing the Versailles Treaty of eurozone" in which case "no" side won. He believed that the Greek and European leaders co-produced the Greek government-debt crisis,[99] and that the agreement reached in summer 2015 between Greece and its creditors, notably driven by François Hollande, will not help Greece in dealing with the debt, while at the same time criticizing the International Monetary Fund.[100]

In June 2016, he criticized the austerity policies imposed on Greece, considering them to be unsustainable and calling for the joint establishment of "fiscal and financial solidarity mechanisms" and a mechanism for restructuring the debt of Eurozone member states.[100] Yanis Varoufakis, Minister of Finance in the First Cabinet of Alexis Tsipras, praised Macron, calling him "the only French Minister in the Francois Hollande's administration that seemed to understand what was at stake in the eurozone" and who, according to him, "tried to play the intermediary between us [Greece] and the troika of our creditors EC, IMF, ECB even if they don't allow him to play the role".[101]

Eastern Europe[edit]
Macron with Russian President Vladimir Putin, 29 May 2017

President Macron supports NATO and it's role in the security of eastern European states, while also pressuring NATO partners like Poland to uphold human rights, he said in April 2017 that “in the three months after I'm elected, there will be a decision on Poland. You cannot have a European Union which argues over every single decimal place on the issue of budgets with each country, and which, when you have an EU member which acts like Poland or Hungary on issues linked to universities and learning, or refugees, or fundamental values, decides to do nothing."[102] Polish Foreign Minister Witold Waszczykowski said in response that Macron "violated European standards and the principles of friendship with Poland".[103]

During a press conference with Vladimir Putin at the Palace of Versailles in May 2017, he condemned the Russian state media as "lying propaganda."[104] At the same month, he said that “we all know who Le Pen’s allies are, the regimes of Orbán, Kaczyński, Putin. These aren’t the regimes with an open and free democracy, every day they break many democratic freedoms.”[105]

Macron said that the European Commission needs to do more to stop the influx of low-paid temporary workers from Central and Eastern Europe into France.[106]

Immigration[edit]

Unlike many French Socialists, including former Prime Minister Manuel Valls, Macron supports the open-door policy toward refugees from the Middle East and Africa pursued by Angela Merkel in Germany[107] and promotes tolerance towards immigrants and Muslims.[88] Macron has expressed confidence in France's ability to absorb more immigrants and welcomes their arrival into Europe, asserting that the influx will have a positive economic impact.[108]

However, he believes that Frontex (the European Border and Coast Guard Agency) is "not a sufficiently ambitious program" and has called for more investment in coast and border guards, "because anyone who enters [Europe] at Lampedusa or elsewhere is a concern for all European countries".[78] Regarding asylum policy, he believes "the ... period of review should be considerably shortened" and that "all those whose claims fail must be deported immediately."[citation needed]

Security and terrorism[edit]

Macron believes that the proposed reform bill on deprivation of citizenship for French-born and naturalized citizens convicted on terrorism charges was not a "concrete solution" and believes that "the endless prolongation of the state of emergency raises legitimate questions", he advocates an increase in state funding of intelligence agencies.[109]

Macron calls for a restoration of community policing and considers that "the management of some major risks must be delegated to the associations' or the private sector".[110]

He considers that his proposal to provide each young adult a "Culture Pass" of €500 may encourage young people to discover the culture of France and deter terrorism.[111]

Macron has endorsed proposals to make it mandatory for internet companies to allow the government to access encrypted communications from customers.[112]

Environment[edit]

Macron with US Secretary of State John Kerry and former Vice-President Al Gore at the US Ambassador's Residence in Paris, 7 December 2015 amid the COP21 Climate Summit.

Ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Macron called for acceleration of the ecological transition and advocated a "balance between ecological imperatives and economic requirements", an objective that the French government seeks to achieve by fighting on "five fronts": "innovation", "simplification", "strengthening of our energy efficiency and [...] reduction of fossil fuels usage", "energy competitiveness" and "action in Europe and worldwide".[113]

During the summer of 2016, he defended the use of diesel fuel for which he believes there shouldn't be a "hunt" since it "remains at the heart of the French industrial policy". Macron expressed this opinion in the aftermath of the Volkswagen emissions scandal, he was then part of a Socialist Party-backed government; prominent members from that party, including Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo, criticized that position.[114][115][116] In addition, Macron is in favor of using nuclear energy which he considers "a French choice and a choice for the future".[117]

In 2016, Macron proposed that France "secures its supplies in the most strategic materials using three levers: the circular economy and the recovery of materials contained in the end of life of the products [...]; The diversification of supplies to overcome geopolitical risks [...] and to bring more competitiveness; the creation of new reasonable sized mines in France, while following the best social and environmental standards".[118]

Although he is sceptical about the construction of the Aéroport du Grand Ouest, Macron believes that the construction should start since the people backed the project on the 2016 local referendum.[119]

He criticised Donald Trump for pulling the USA out of the Paris climate accord on 2 June 2017, also calling for scientists to come to France in order to work together on climate change.[120]

Secularism[edit]

Macron supports the principle of secularism (laïcité), he also said that "we have a duty to let everybody practice their religion with dignity".[121] In July 2016, at the first meeting of En Marche!, Macron expressed opposition to the ban on Muslim headscarves in universities, stating, "Personally, I do not believe we should be inventing new texts, new laws, new standards, in order to hunt down veils at universities and go after people who wear religious symbols during field trips."[122]

In an interview with the French news magazine Marianne, Macron asserted that "secularism is not designed to promote a republican religion", and responded to comments by Manuel Valls and Jean-Pierre Chevènement regarding the practice of Islam in French society by condemning the notion that citizens should be "discreet" in their religious practice, stating that "historical precedents when we asked for discretion in matters of religion did not bring honor to the Republic."[123]

In the same interview, Macron said of French Muslims, "I ask one thing: absolutely respect the rules while in public. Religious relationships are about transcendence, and I am not asking people to be moderate – that's not what I'm arguing. My own deep conviction is that a practising Catholic may believe that the laws of his religion go far beyond the laws of the Republic. I simply believe that when one enters the public realm, the laws of the Republic must prevail over religious law." He also condemned "religious schools that teach hatred towards the Republic, with instruction mainly in Arabic or, in other instances, which teach the Torah more than basic fundamentals."[123] This statement triggered an intense negative reaction from the Fonds social juif unifié (FSJU), an organization that runs Jewish religious schools in France.[124]

Regarding support for Macron from religious groups, Jean-Dominique Durand—an expert on the history of contemporary Christianity and a deputy mayor of Lyon—said to the Washington Post: "What we have now is silence from the bishops. Protestants, Muslims, Jews have all mobilized for Macron. Not the Catholics, not in any clear way."

Personal life[edit]

Brigitte Macron (right) with Amélie Derbaudrenghien (fr) (left, partner of Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel) and Melania Trump (centre), 25 May 2017

Macron is married to Brigitte Trogneux,[125] 24 years his senior,[126] who was his teacher in La Providence High School in Amiens.[127][128] They first met when he was a 15-year-old student and she was a 39-year-old teacher, but only became a couple once he was 18.[129][130]

His parents initially attempted to separate the couple by sending him away to Paris to finish the final year of his schooling, as they felt his youth made this relationship inappropriate.[17][130] However, the couple reunited after Macron graduated, and were married in 2007.[130]

His best man was Henry Hermand (1924–2016), a businessman who loaned €550,000 to Macron for the purchase of his first apartment in Paris when he was Inspector of Finances. Hermand also let Macron use some of his offices on the Avenue des Champs Élysées in Paris for his movement En Marche!.[131][132]

Macron is a supporter of Olympique de Marseille,[133] he is also a pianist,[134] having studied piano for ten years in his youth, and especially enjoys the work of Schumann and Liszt.[135][136]

Honours and decorations[edit]

National honours[edit]

Ribbon bar Honour Date & Comment
Legion Honneur GC ribbon.svg Grand Master & Grand Cross of the National Order of the Legion of Honour 14 May 2017 – automatic upon taking presidential office
National Order of Merit Grand Cross Ribbon.png Grand Master & Grand Cross of the National Order of Merit 14 May 2017 – automatic upon taking presidential office

References[edit]

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