French presidential election: what would the first 100 days of Emmanuel Macron look like?

It is less than one month until France elects a new President. Following the surprises of recent exit-polls at home (the favourites were defeated in both left-wing and right-wing primary elections) and abroad, political analysts agree that a lot can still happen before the election day on 7th May.

Nevertheless, Emmanuel Macron, who has been the frontrunner, in a close race against Marine Le Pen for several weeks, has a good chance of taking up residence in the Elysée Palace. So, the question is, what can France expect if Macron gets into power?

The name of Macron’s future PM, as well as members of his government, remain an object of speculation for many – and something that is unlikely to be answered until after the end of the campaign. One known fact is that Macron wants half of his MPs and ministers to originate from the civil sphere – which is a sharp contrast to most career politicians.

The former Finance Minister and former advisor to President Hollande has set out what he would focus on during his first hundred days in office. The most prominent points of which are:

Transparency: due to the multiple scandals that have followed the presidential campaign, Macron has promised to draft a bill aimed at improving transparency in politics, as early as June. This would include a ban on MPs employing family members as their staff, and a limitation on offering consulting activities alongside public office.

Economy: an audit of national public finances would be commissioned and several economic bills would be put forward this summer, including one which simplifies French legislation and regulation to make it easier for companies and SMEs to navigate the system. There will however be no budgetary bill in July – as it is very often the case. Companies and households should therefore, expect “no fiscal gifts nor increases in taxes” – at least before the annual budgetary bill in October.

Labour: draft legislation aimed at simplifying the labour law would be introduced, designed to give more room to majority agreements on working hours and salaries within companies.

Security: an Intelligence Coordination Unit as well as a “Task Force on Islamic terrorism under the authority of the President” would be set up immediately to tackle terrorism across the country.

Europe: Emmanuel Macron intends to make “a tour of European capitals” to propose a five-year roadmap to “give the Eurozone a real budget and to provide a true Europe of 27 to deal with the environment, industry and migration”.

Less than one month before the election, the key concern for many is whether President Macron would be able to obtain a majority in Parliament to govern efficiently and pass the reforms France needs.

Words Arnaud Dechoux & Jonathon Hooley
Photo CC/Shutterstock

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