|Emmanuel Macron (La République En Marche!, since May 2017)
Edouard Philippe (Republican Party, since May 2017)
|Size||643,801 Km2 (248,600 sq. miles)|
|MEPs||74 (joined the EU in 1958)|
|Next presidential election
Next legislative election
|Presidency of the Council||January – June 2022|
|Last meeting with Theresa May||3 August 2018|
|Brexit priorities||The French Government will have an important role to play in the Brexit negotiations. Not only is it one of Europe’s most powerful countries, but it also has close connections to the EU’s Brexit negotiation team in Brussels.
Calling Brexit a “crime”, Mr Macron is expected to take a tough stance in the Brexit negotiations. While seeking a closer relationship with Germany, France’s main aim is to keep the EU27 united and avoid further disintegration of the bloc.
As a an economic liberal, Mr Macron highly values the EU’s single market and is unlikely to agree to anything that could jeopardise it or the institutions that support it. He will also be seeking to tempt London’s financial sector to relocate to France in a bid to boost the economy.
Another topic that will be high on France’s agenda is security and immigration. Mr Macron during his campaign suggested he would like to partially negotiate the Le Touquet agreement, which allows British immigration officers to check passports in Calais. He wants the UK to take more responsibility in managing the issue of refugees and migrants who get stranded on the shores of Calais.
|What Mr Macron said on Brexit||22 February 2017
“Brexit cannot lead to a kind of optimisation of Britain’s relationship with the rest of Europe. An exit is an exit. I am very determined that there will be no undue advantages.”
13 June 2017
“Of course the door is always open as long as the negotiations on Brexit have not finished”
|France’s priorities||Following the Presidential election, France returned to the polls in June to vote for a Parliament. President Macron’s La République En Marche! obtained together with ally Democratic Movement 355 seats out of 577, providing him with a majority to push forward with his reforms. Macron’s success was tempered by a low turnout of just under 44%, prompting other parties to claim he had no support for his plans.
Mr Macron wants to strengthen the ties with the EU and rebuild its relationship. He wants to reform the governance of the Eurozone and is in favour of having a common fiscal policy, a joint finance minister and completing the banking union.
Mr Macron seeks to steady public finances by decreasing public spending and keeping the national deficit below 3% of GDP. He wants to create a more pro-business climate and boost employment by relaxing labour laws, cutting business taxes and encourage social mobility. The unemployment rate in France is 10.1%.
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