Celia Belin

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Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and French President Emmanuel Macron signing a bilateral security agreement, Paris, February 2024. Thibault Camus / Reuters

Speaking in Prague in early March, Emmanuel Macron warned Europeans that now was not the time to be “cowardly”. This comment came just a week after a conference on Ukraine in Paris, during which the French president told a reporter that the prospect of sending Western troops to Ukraine should not be “excluded”. Europeans, he said, will “do everything that we must so that Russia does not win”. The remarks proved controversial and irritated several allies. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pushed back, distancing himself from Macron’s pronouncements. Leaders in Greece, Spain, Sweden, and the United States also clarified that sending troops to Ukraine was not on the table.…  Seguir leyendo »

Biden and Macron at the G-7 summit, Kruen, Germany, June 2022. Ludovic Marin / Pool / Reuters

When French President Emmanuel Macron made his first state visit to Washington in 2018, he was in the midst of a fleeting bromance with U.S. President Donald Trump and the transatlantic alliance was in disarray. A champion of both multilateralism and pragmatism, the French president was on a mission to convince Trump to remain in the 2015 Iran nuclear deal and maintain a significant U.S. military presence in northeastern Syria—neither of which was to be.

Macron’s second state visit, on December 1, 2022, will take place in a very different context. It comes a year after a public spat between France and the United States over the latter’s new security partnership with Australia and the United Kingdom, known as AUKUS, which cost Paris a valuable submarine deal with Canberra, and at a time of renewed transatlantic unity following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.…  Seguir leyendo »

French President Emmanuel Macron in Marseille, April 2022. Christian Hartmann / Reuters

Not so long ago, the war in Ukraine appeared to have made French President Emmanuel Macron a shoo-in for a second term. Polls showed that a majority of French voters trusted him to handle the crisis, and two weeks after Russian President Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, Macron garnered support from 31 percent of voters surveyed compared with just 18 percent for Marine Le Pen, the far-right candidate  who was in second place. The last time a French candidate enjoyed such a big lead in the run-up to a presidential election was more than three decades ago.

What a difference a few weeks makes.…  Seguir leyendo »