At home and abroad, Emmanuel Macron ploughs lonely furrow
French president’s progressive global ambitions come up against reality of nationalism and authoritarian regimes
Emmanuel Macron’s domestic difficulties and plunging approval ratings present a sharp contrast with his rising international profile. In a Europe lacking strong leaders ready or able to stand up to hard-right, populist nationalists at home and authoritarian regimes abroad, the French president cuts an exceptional figure. Or, at least, that is how he would prefer to be seen.
As last weekend’s gathering of more than 60 foreign leaders at armistice services and a “peace forum” in Paris showed, Macron – France’s youngest leader since Napoleon – is not without ambition on the world stage. Le Figaro suggested the elaborate ceremonies marked the start of an “intense” French global diplomatic offensive in support of democratic, humanitarian and multilateralist values.