It is to the sound ofOde to Joy – the European anthem – that Emmanuel Macron had celebrated his victory, in the courtyard of the Louvre in Paris, in May 2017. Five years later, the Head of State, who does not hide his desire to serve a second term at the Elysee Palace, still claims its European commitment. And hopes, in the event of a candidacy for the presidential election in April, to mobilize voters attached to community building. The Presidency of the Council of the European Union (PFUE), which France has held since 1is January 2022 for a period of six months, offers him from this point of view a platform which he intends to take advantage of.
When she crosses the doors of the Elysee Palace, where Emmanuel Macron is waiting for her for dinner with his twenty-six commissioners on Thursday, January 6, the President of the Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, will be able to admire the facade of the presidential palace which, like dozens of monuments in France, is illuminated in blue for this first week of the year. The Pantheon, where a tribute ceremony to Jean Monnet and Simone Veil (former President of the European Parliament) is scheduled for Friday morning, also bears the color of Europe.
Against the backdrop of the electoral campaign, the French Presidency of the Council of the Union will not be a walk in the park, as the controversy arising from the installation of the European flag under the Arc de Triomphe has already shown. Especially since the pandemic or a new geopolitical crisis can, at any time, derail the ambitious program of Paris. At the Elysée, at Matignon, at the Quai d’Orsay, in all the ministries, but also in Brussels, within the permanent representation of France to the EU, we have been mobilizing for months.
No room for error
But it is on three men that Emmanuel Macron particularly counts for it to be a success. The first of them, Clément Beaune, Secretary of State for European Affairs, is the one who takes the political pulse of the twenty-six other member states and seeks to advance France’s issues with other capitals. Stéphane Séjourné, the president of the Renew Liberal group in the European Parliament, of which the macronists constitute the first contingent, has, for his part, the mission of working to build a majority within the Legislative Assembly from to advance the hexagonal agenda.
Finally, Philippe Léglise-Costa, the French ambassador to the EU, who, in normal times, carries the voice of France to the community institutions, must, during this presidency, change his costume to represent the interests of the Twenty- Seven and seek, with his counterparts, to build compromises.
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Macron’s three key men for the success of the French presidency of the European Union