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What to Expect from the Next French President: A View from Berlin

April 27 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm EDT

On Sunday, April 24, French voters will take to the polls in the second round of France’s presidential election. They will decide between a second term for President Emmanuel Macron or a new start with his right-wing challenger Marine Le Pen. The two candidates have very different views on foreign policy and France’s role in the world. While President Macron pushes for a more sovereign Europe and sees the European Union as the best vehicle to defend French national interests at the global level, Ms. Le Pen promotes a radically nationalist vision of sovereignty that includes leaving NATO and challenging EU treaties in order to regain independence. The results of the French presidential election will define the course of French—and European—politics for the next few years.

The race is a repeat of the 2017 election, in which Macron decisively defeated Le Pen with 66 percent of the vote. The latest polling points to a far narrower outcome in this election. Join us for a discussion with Jacob Ross about France’s election – and what it means for Germany and Europe. He is a Research Fellow in the German Council on Foreign Relations’ Franco-German Relations Program.

Jacob Ross has been a research fellow in the German Council on Foreign Relations’ Franco-German Relations Program since January 2022. He had initially joined the program as a research assistant in June 2021. Previously, he worked as a research assistant at the NATO Parliamentary Assembly in Brussels. He had already gained experience within the Franco-German context while working at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and during his work as a parliamentary assistant to Sabine Thillaye, Chair of the European Affairs Committee of the French National Assembly.

Mr. Ross also received the majority of his academic training in France: first, within a Franco-German double-degree program at the Institute of Political Science (IEP) in Lille and, later, at the IEP in Paris and at the Ecole nationale d’administration (Ena) in Strasbourg. He also studied at the Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) in Bologna while earning a master’s degree in international relations and economics.


April 27
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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