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France elections: Germans prepare for seismic change in EU politics

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron walk through the garden in Meseberg, Germany on May 28, 2024.
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron walk through the garden in Meseberg, Germany on May 28, 2024. Copyright Ebrahim Noroozi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Ebrahim Noroozi/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved
By Liv Stroud
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As France gears up for the shocking snap elections that French President Emmanuel Macron called during the EU elections, Germans are preparing for a seismic change in EU politics.

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With the upcoming French elections just around the corner, Germany is bracing itself for the results, which are expected to swing to the right.

Climate, migration and gender equality policies are likely to be affected on a national level in France if far-right Marine Le Pen's National Rally party wins. Yet, political scientist Prof Dr Miriam Hartlapp warned the effects could ripple across the European Union.

"Policymaking in Brussels will change because members of this right-wing populist party could sit in the Council of Ministers. This creates a different situation for countries like Germany and other European nations," Hartlapp said.

"France is not a small member state, but a large and important one. We can expect that European climate policy, asylum and migration policy, and gender equality policy at the European level will then look different," she added.

Hartlapp said the swing to the right has spread across Europe as the dissatisfaction with current governments is reflected in the political climate.

Germans are aware of the changes and this "causes concern," Harlapp said, pointing at German Chancellor Olaf Scholz's recent interview where he said he hopes "that parties that are not [Marine] Le Pen, to put it that way, are successful in the election. But that is for the French people to decide."

Hartlapp added that the EU can expect immigration-related cases to be brought to the European Court of Justice.

"Some points in the National Rally's program clearly contradict the fundamental rights of the European constitution. For example, immigrants in France not having the same rights as French citizens when it comes to housing and social benefits. This directly contradicts EU law," she said.

Meanwhile, in Germany, individual politicians from the far-right party Alternative for Germany (AfD) and extreme-right Die Heimat announced their plans to form factions in the eastern state of Brandenburg this week, after AfD outperformed all of the parties in the ruling coalition government during the EU elections.

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