|The French election is approaching, and it’s shaping up as one of the most important elections in the European Union in recent history. The first round of the 2017 French presidential election is set to be held on 23 April 2017. Should no candidate win a majority, a run-off election between the top two candidates will be held on 7 May 2017. Many political insiders and commentators agree that the result of the upcoming election will define the future of the EU. |
Derk Jan Eppink, a Dutch writer and politician and a former Vice President of the European Conservatives and Reformists Group (ECR) in the European Parliament, said in an interview, “If France were to elect Ms. Le Pen, I think it will be the end of the EU as we know it now. It will also be the end of the Euro, because the French want to introduce their own currency. The Germans will be very angry. Nobody will be in agreement. It will be the Austro-Hungarian Empire after the World War I – something like that. It will collapse under its weight.”
Le Pen’s popularity is largely attributed to the economic straggles of the younger French population. They claim that the current system failed them, and statistics show that there is some truth to their worries. Youth unemployment is stuck at 25%, so it is understandable that Le Pen’s reactionary and nationalistic rhetoric is getting so much praise.
The mission of the pro EU candidate Emmanuel Macron is to convince France that a strong EU will be good for France in the long run. “In France, you have a lot of young people who don’t live in the big cities, who didn’t go to college, who left the education system,” said Jérémie Patrier-Leitus, the 28-year-old leader of one of Macron’s supporters. “You have young people who are unemployed, and it’s easy to tell them that’s because an immigrant took their job.” The Washington Post reported.
Whatever the results of the election will be, the EU seems to have misjudged its own weaknesses, not realizing how fragile it can become.