Why did Macron decide to dissolve the Assemblée Nationale (🇫🇷 lower house of parliament) & call early legislative elections. Only Macron's immediate entourage know but here are some personal thoughts 🧵:
1. Mix of reasons: end parliamentary deadlock; snap election focuses minds; show what the far-right truly cares about & what it is actually capable of doing; confidence & hubris that Macron can win the French over; rebuild republican camp. Thing is: is this possible in 3 weeks?
1. End parliamentary deadlock: 🇫🇷 government has a relative majority in parliament making it v tricky to pass legislation. Macron was always likely to dissolve parliament ahead of budget discussions this yr. But why so soon, and why give only 3 weeks?
2. Higher turnout: since early 2000s, legislative elections have taken place shortly after presidential election. Turnout tends to be high for presidential election & low for legislative. Ppl think "whatever, we know who the PR will be".
3. Higher turnout (2): hope is that more will turn up in 3 weeks to cast their vote & perhaps that French will thank Macron for "listening" and calling election following y'day's result (where far-right got close to 40%). "The President is right: a lot is at stake, let's vote".
3. Rebuild the Republican front: here is where I think it gets interesting. Macron isn't stupid -- he knows his party wd struggle to get majority. His strategy, as per @steph_sejourne comment y'day, might be to try and rebuild Republican front. This means...
4. ... that Macron won't put up candidates in seats held by centre-left (PS) & centre-right (LR). This does several things: give LR and PS the chance to hold/increase number of seats (good ahead of 2027) & focus their energy on combatting extremes (LFI & RN).
(4bis. Choice of where/where not to put candidates up is all down to the way legislative elections work: there are 2 rounds of voting; candidates need at least 12,5% of registered votes to go onto 2nd round. Fewer candidates = higher chance to getting through to 2nd round)
5. Rebuild the Republican front (3): Problem is.. why wd LR and PS ever agree to form an alliance with Macron? Might make tactical sense but politically, it's v risky. Plus, declarations by head of LR (Ciotti) and PS (Faure) this morning suggest they think this is a v bad idea.
6. No grand Republican front:
- PS is likely to try and create a "grand coalition of the Left" (making sure there is only 1 left-wing candidate per seat):
- LR against any sort of coalition with centre:
7. Overconfident Macron: I can see why this strategy is intellectually persuasive, but it also shows how disconnected Macron can be. Even Gabriel Attal, the PM, is said to have tried to dissuade him from dissolving parliament saying he wd resign instead:
8. Letting RN form a government & do a bad job of it: another theory is that if the RN (far right) wins a relative or absolute majority, it will form a gov and will do "so terribly" that the French will realise how "incompetent they are". If true, this is a terrible strategy too.
9. The case of Trump shows that no amount of incompetence can ever be enough to dissuade voters. And to think French voters will somehow come to a different conclusion than American voters is silly.
10. RN forming a government: there is also no reason to assume that RN would be "so incompetent" that the French wd suddenly vote differently in 2027. The French administration is good, solid, they'd be surrounded by good advice. Stay radical? Yes. Be incompetent? Not necessarily
11. Sometimes a sense that Macron thinks he can charm and win over the French through his words. But many are fed up with him & Macronisme.. and without a strong republican front, coupled with high levels of abstention, it is the extreme parties that stand to win. END

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More from @GeorginaEWright

Apr 25
I was planning to live-tweet @EmmanuelMacron’s 🇪🇺 speech but the network was saturated. So here is my slightly belated take (thread 1/9): Image
1. This speech has been in the making for a while. Member states often ask what 🇫🇷 wants to do over the next 5 years and the world has changed a lot since first Sorbonne speech in 2017 (pandemic, Ukraine, even Brexit). So this was Macron’s chance to set out his vision.
2. The ideas, on the whole, didn’t feel new. But there was a sense of urgency that wasn’t there in 2017: EU must adapt now or risk “dying”. EU must stop being naive and take risks: the world has become more competitive, ruthless and the EU is the only power still playing by…
Read 12 tweets
May 31, 2023
My (quick) take on Macron's speech (not Q&A) @GLOBSEC:
1. Nothing substantially new - but I think it will go a long way to reassure those, especially in Central and Eastern Europe, who were critical of France, its position on Russia and not doing enough for Ukraine.
2. On NATO: NATO is back. But Europeans must think more abt how they guarantee peace & security on continent. Felt to me like Macron focused less on Europe (EU)'s independence from others & more on need to *become a credible actor in eyes of others.* Capable > autonomous.
3. On EU enlargement: unequivocally clear that Ukraine, Moldova & Balkans belong in EU. Talks must not take forever (but doesn't specify how long they shd take). EU must also think abt its future: outlook, what it becomes etc.
Read 6 tweets
May 31, 2023
.@EmmanuelMacron is about to deliver at speech @GLOBSEC on France's vision for European security. I'll be tweeting thoughts #GLOBSEC2023 :
(He's running late - quelle surprise.. but does give me time to question my decision to live-tweet. Macron speeches tend to be v, v long)
Robert Vass, head of @GLOBSEC, thanks Macron for 1) being there - shows France's willingness to (re)engage with region; 2) for playing a role in Ukraine's enlargement and support to Ukraine; 3) European Political Community. Now over to Macron..
Read 23 tweets
May 9, 2023
Today, on Europe 🇪🇺 Day, German Chancellor Scholz gave a speech in front of @Europarl_EN calling for an EU that is "more geopolitical, reformed & open to the future". What does this mean for France? Short thread 1/3:
1. Good news: 🇩🇪 and 🇫🇷 both want EU to:
1) be more geopolitical
2) have more capabilities, incl. more integrated defence industry
3) reform (for e.g. majority voting for foreign policy). NB: reform not a precondition to enlargement but a long-term goal
4) more industrial policy
2. Good news: 🇫🇷 will appreciate Scholz emphasis on African development (+ overcoming colonial history) & starting Ukrainian reconstruction now. No mention in speech of fiscal rules (probably because they are currently being discussed in Brussels).
Read 5 tweets
Feb 1, 2023
.@vonderleyen unveils the EU Commission's proposal for a "Green Deal Industrial Plan" to respond to the Inflation Reduction Act : ec.europa.eu/commission/pre… short thread
1. It's all about climate: the new deal complements EU Green Deal and RePowerEU (EU's plan to reduce dependence on Russian fossil fuels). But clearly, it's also about supporting EU green tech industry in face of US' inflation reduction act & Chinese support for green tech firms.
2. Simplify rules & secure supply chains: EU wants to 'simplify' state aid procedures. New net-zero act & critical raw materials act to ensure EU industry have components & materials they need.
Read 11 tweets
Dec 15, 2022
My latest piece for @i_montaigne explores the *real* reasons why the EU is worried about the #InflationReductionAct. Spoiler: Biden’s IRA exemptions won’t be sufficient to protect EU industry: institutmontaigne.org/en/analysis/re… THREAD (1/8)
1. EU doesn’t hate the IRA: IRA is 1st major attempt by a US administration to combat climate change. A good thing for US and the planet. Some EU companies have even benefitted from IRA (German heavy industry recorded 40% increase in Sept. 2022, compared to Sept. 2021).
2. IRA subsidies & tax breaks are the problem: Why?
1⃣EU green tech tempted to relocate production to US to benefit from generous subsidies & low energy prices;
2⃣confirms US industrial policy will continue to favour industry "Made in America".
Read 12 tweets

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