Macron faces huge challenges in mending France’s divided society （He Zhigao）
Emmanuel Macron, France's former economy minister, has won the French presidential election with 65 percent of the votes. President of the European Council Donald Franciszek Tusk, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker and German Chancellor Angela Merkel all declared that Macron's win was a victory for France and for Europe.
The result has, to a large extent, relieved Europe's fear of facing another black swan event in a year in which the continent's major countries are holding elections. It will motivate Europe to fight against populism.
Macron's triumph can also encourage France as well as the European Union (EU) to deal with all sorts of problems and challenges. This has not only brought time for the EU, but also given a boost to its confidence in resolving crisis.
Nevertheless, there are still many obstacles awaiting France under the watch of Macron.
In France's semi-presidential system, power of appointing government officials is shared by the president and the parliament. If Macron cannot win the legislative elections next month, his cabinet will be restrained and the nation might be jointly ruled by left- and right-wing parties, which would impact the effectiveness of the president's and the government's functions.
Far-right candidate Marine Le Pen received 21.53 percent of the votes in the first round, which was 13 percent more than what she gained in 2012. It means populist parties are gaining momentum in France. If French people feel more frustrated and deprived, unconventional political forces will have more opportunities to play an increasingly significant role in the country's political environment and it will become more likely for them to win the next election. The 25.4 percent abstention rate in this election also indicates that Macron's victory does not necessarily mean that populism has been defeated.
According to Macron's policy guidelines, Paris is closely connected to Brussels. He wants to reform France's governing structure and process under the framework of European political correctness, so as to cope with the predicament that his country and Europe is facing.
Macron stresses democratic authority and the spirit of enlightenment. His movement, En Marche! (On the Move), which was created less than a year ago, is more like a personal brand. He hopes that the nation can adapt to the need of modern times and upgrade its politics. However, the movement has not yet developed into a real political party. Without detailed policies, what Macron has is no more than empty slogans.
The new president will have to solve the issues involving economic development, unemployment among youth, globalization, immigration, Islamization, communitarianism, anomie, system failure and political disorder. Therefore, what France needs now is a man of action with a broad vision and a sense of responsibility.
Coalition and cooperation are not a part of France's political culture. Although Macron was able to unite and mobilize voters during the election, the first round of votes has displayed that different parties and their voters have totally different worldviews. Reconciling various interests of voters from different political parties will be a huge challenge for Macron. His En Marche! movement itself is a newborn in France's political sphere. Uncertainties will continue to plague both France and Europe.
Macron's win has bought his country and the EU five more years. If their economic, social and security problems cannot be solved during this period, the trend of populism will be unstoppable.
（Contant He Zhigao：firstname.lastname@example.org）
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