Some of Malta’s six MEPs have expressed their thoughts on the French Presidential election results, which saw Emmanuel Macron secure another five years in power.
PN MEP David Casa acknowledged that the election results not only have an effect on France but also on the EU as a whole, with France currently holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
“A change in leadership would have had significant ramifications on the European political agenda in the coming months,” Casa said.
Casa said that Macron’s far-right opponent, Marine Le Pen’s euroscepticism would have posed consequences beyond the Presidency of the Council.
“It was to a big extent a referendum on the future of Europe, so I share the positive sentiment of many of my colleagues that it has once again been rejected,” said Casa.
Casa acknowledged the increasing support of Le Pen, something that PL MEP Josianne Cutajar also acknowledged.
“Le Pen gained more votes than any far-right candidate in the history of the French Republic,” Cutajar said. She also said she believes that a large portion of the electorate would have voted for Macron simply not to vote for Le Pen.
Whilst she shares European leaders’ positive sentiments regarding Macron’s win, Cutajar said that she believes “it is essential that we keep monitoring the worrying fact that the populist brand is gaining strength, not only in France but also across Europe”.
PL MEP Cyrus Engerer said he believes that “yesterday was a win for Europe, democracy, human rights and the rule of law”.
“Hate has no place in politics,” Engerer said. He continued that “It is now time to look at our common future in Europe and work on the changes needed inspired by what citizens have laid out in the Conference on the future of Europe”.
“Yesterday was a breath of fresh air for democracy and the respect of fundamental rights in Europe where on the one hand we have seen Marine Le Pen losing in France,” said PL MEP Alex Agius Saliba.
Agius Saliba described the narrow difference in votes as a “close call”, saying that the “far-right movement in France has reached an all-time high”.
This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.
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