On Sunday, April 24, the French voted in the second round of their presidential election. They re-elected their President, Emmanuel Macron, a man who has been supportive of the policies of both NATO and the European Union, both of which in their different realms have backed the government of Ukraine in the defense of that country’s sovereignty against Russia.
His opponent, on the other hand, had long been pro-Russian in her views on France’s foreign policy, and right up until the moment of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine she was denying that the Russian government had any plans to do any such thing.
The first round of voting narrowed the field of candidates down to two: Macron, the incumbent, and Marine le Pen, the nominee of the “National Rally” Party, formerly known as the National Front. MLP is the youngest daughter of the former FN party leader Jean-Marie Le Pen. Like her father before her, Marine represents the far right of the French political spectrum. The second round of voting, which decided the race in Macron’s favor, was not as close as many had predicted. Macron defeated Le Pen by a margin of roughly 17%.
The Thing to Know:
At a minimum, Macron’s re-election means that France will remain part of the integrated command of NATO, and that his voice will continue to be heard in EU counsels as favoring sanctions against Russia. A Le Pen administration would have meant the opposite on both those points.