France election: Brussels favours Macron in second round of voting, says expert

Eric Maurice is interviewed
Eric Maurice is interviewed Copyright Euronews
By Euronews
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The French president will face far-right candidate Marine Le Pen on April 24.

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Emmanuel Macron is the candidate of choice in the French presidential election for Brussels, according to one expert.

Current president Macron made it into the second round of voting on Sunday where he will be joined by far-right National Rally leader, Marine Le Pen.

Eric Maurice from the Robert Schuman Foundation told Euronews that the French elections are being followed closely by the EU, where there's a clear awareness of what's at stake for the 27 member bloc.

“For the EU, the second round will ultimately be for continuity with Macron and a pro-European stance. So we can imagine that he is the preferred choice from the point of view of European partners and European institutions," Maurice said.

"And on the other side, Marine Le Pen, who -- even if she no longer wants to get rid of the euro - the main basis of her political programme calls into question the obligations and commitments of France within the EU. Any eventual election of Le Pen would be a major problem for Brussels."

But what are her ideas and plans for France that could cause a potential clash with Brussels?

“She promises VAT cuts that cannot be done without the approval of the EU. What would she do in regard to the European pandemic recovery program financed by the EU and which France must respect to obtain this financement? What would she do in terms of debt reduction and deficit reduction?" Maurice told Euronews.

"And then she promises border controls on goods, which is against the treaties and would be an economic blow to France and her partners. And also her migration policy would also be problematic for the rest of the EU. So, these issues will inevitably be on the table in the next two weeks."

During the first part of the electoral campaign, Europe was not a major topic, but with the second round approaching, it's now likely to be firmly in focus.

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