INSEAD Political Science Professor Emeritus Douglas Webber had already agreed to speak to the AAA via Zoom on June 10, the day following the EU’s scheduled Parliamentary elections. But when French President Emmanuel Macron dissolved the Assemblée Nationale and called for new elections starting July 1, the focus shifted. What did the far right’s gain of seats in the EU and the RN’s trouncing of Macron’s party in France mean for Europe…and for France, where President Macron’s unpopularity is increasing?

Professor Webber had three takes on President Macron’s call for snap parliamentary elections: 

 – a bold move: designed to awaken the French to take the far right as a serious political threat and vote against the RN;

 – a “Machiavellian” move: should the far right gain power, their perceived incompetence in governing would ultimately lead to their demise;

 – a reflective move: election results would clearly display the obstacles and supports awaiting the coming legislative sessions. 

Professor Webber also pointed out that the far right’s gains at the EU level came mostly from the Green party, and that the two centrist parties — Christian Democrats and Socialists —  still held the EU parliamentary majority. And, he said, he was optimistic that no candidate had called for leaving the EU