More European sovereignty: How the Ukraine war overshadows the French presidential election (cepAdhoc)


The Ukraine war is pushing the presidential elections in France into the background. At the same time, the question of more European sovereignty is coming into focus - a concern of Emmanuel Macron's since the first day of his presidency. The Centre de Politique Européenne in Paris has examined the situation in France in the light of Russia's war of aggression on a neighbouring state of the EU.


"The momentum is now clearly on Macron's side: all French presidential candidates must now be measured against the answer to the question of how Europe can become more independent, above all militarily and in terms of energy policy. Macron is likely to be the one who best combines the vision of more European sovereignty with the desire for French leadership," says Marc Uzan, director of cep in Paris and author of the analysis.

Uzan describes the French candidates and their programmes. While he gives the Green MEP Yannick Jadot as little chance as the Socialist Jean Luc Melanchon, he warns of the danger of a shift to the right. The right-wing populist Eric Zemmour, for example, wants to protect the EU from refugee flows from war zones by building a wall, following the Hungarian model. Marine Le Pen, on the other hand, has radically changed her programme compared to 2017. She no longer calls for France to leave the EU, but considers more European sovereignty a chimera.

According to Uzan, the centre-right candidate Valérie Pécresse could be the most dangerous for Macron. She takes up the issues of migration and protection against climate-damaging cheap imports.