How Emmanuel Macron is preparing for cohabitation with the far right

Emmanuel Macron, during a press conference after his decision to dissolve the National Assembly, in Paris, June 12, 2024. LAURENCE GEAI / MYOP FOR “LE MONDE”

Will Emmanuel Macron preside over his eighth Bastille Day ceremony on Sunday, July 14, alongside a prime minister from the ranks of the National Rally (RN)? The prospect of an absolute majority in favor of the party with the flame has in any case become established at the top of the State in recent days, even before the first round of the legislative elections, which were held on Sunday, June 30. While, officially, on Rue du Faubourg-Saint-Honoré, the“spirit of defeat” and we pretend to believe in “republican surge”, the head of state is preparing for cohabitation.

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Faced with the inexorable rise of the RN – and the collapse of his own party – Emmanuel Macron ended up convincing himself that he could alone, in a face-to-face with a far-right government, open the eyes of RN voters and expose the inability of its leaders to govern. “He thinks that giving them half the power today will prevent them from having all the power in three years [à l’élection présidentielle de 2027] », reports one of those who saw him in recent days. “He will present himself as the archangel Gabriel slaying the dragon,” prophesies the former boss of the Socialist Party, Jean-Christophe Cambadélis.

Thus, the Head of State announced, on Thursday June 27 in Brussels, his desire to see Thierry Breton, who has established himself as a figure in the Brussels executive since 2019, reappointed as French Commissioner within the executive of the European Union. “This is my wish and I think that [Thierry Breton] has the experience and qualities for », he said at the end of the European Council, which was meeting to extend Ursula von der Leyen’s mandate as head of the European Commission. This hasty announcement, three days before the first round of the legislative elections, “is a way of pre-empting the position, of major importance for France”, underlines a former minister of European affairs.

Vast movement of nominations

The next day, Marine Le Pen denounced the maneuver, indicating that Jordan Bardella, if he were appointed to Matignon, would oppose the reappointment of Thierry Breton, the latter not having, in her eyes, “defended the interests of France”, and this appointment being a “prime minister’s prerogative”. The Single European Treaty (article 17) provides that the Council of the European Union, composed of ministers, proposes the members of the Commission, in agreement with the President of the Commission. Once these have been validated by the European Parliament, the European Council, which brings together the heads of state, accepts their entry into office. The appointment of the French commissioner is therefore a responsibility shared between the President of the Republic and the government.

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