Emmanuel Macron’s defeat would have triggered a major shift in international affairs.
His rival Marine Le Pen could have put France on a collision course and altered the axis for power in Europe. After the Ukraine conflict, she wanted to restore France’s alliance and friendship with Russia.
Macron won, which means that the status quo from the past five years continues. France and Germany are still the core of Europe, and the French president will likely continue to try to play a prominent diplomatic role in leading Europe.
Marine Le Pen concedes defeat – follow live updates
However, he may have to focus more of his energy on domestic issues to address the deep divisions he has created during the campaign.
Marine le Pen had reduced some of her anti-European ambitions. She did not want to restore the Franc or pull France out from the EU.
Continue reading: Macron will re-elect himself after defeating his far-right rival Le Pen
She seemed determined to reform or undermine the EU from within. She would have been in a collision with the EU and its single markets if she had planned to give French citizens preference in benefits.
She would prefer alliances with unliberal countries like Hungary and Poland to Germany. Critics say that all this would have been fatal to the European Union.
It is her closeness to Russia and Vladimir Putin, who would have most harmed the international order. She supported Russia’s 2014 annexation Crimea and, although she was critical of its invasion of Ukraine, she said that Europe should re-establish relations with Russia after the war is over.
Continue reading: Macron’s vision will shape France’s future
France would have been expelled from NATO’s integrated command structure if Le Pen had been president. It would have been a huge blow to the west alliance that France’s military would have accepted orders from NATO command.
A Macron victory will avoid all of this. All across Europe, there will be relief in the chancelleries.
Britain might have had differences with Emmanuel Macron. They may have resent his free-lance diplomacy on Ukraine and wanted him to do more for migrants crossing the channel. London would not have welcomed the radical changes that a Le Pen government would bring about.
Allies will have been concerned by deep-rooted anger and divisions revealed in this election, and by the steadily increasing fortunes of France’s far right. They will not begrudge Emmanuel Macron’s absence from the international stage, especially in London, if he spends more time at home and less on the global stage.