Outcome of French election could have serious implications for EU

World Today

The choices for France’s new president couldn’t be more opposite. Emmanuel Macron, the pro-EU centrist, has received uncharacteristically outspoken support from senior E.U. officials. Meanwhile, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has said she’ll take France out of the European Union.

CGTN’s Jack Parrock reports.

Follow Jack Parrock on Twitter @jackeparrock

Outcome of French election could have serious implications for EU

The choices for France's new president couldn't be more opposite. Emmanuel Macron, the pro-EU centrist, has received uncharacteristically outspoken support from senior E.U. officials. Meanwhile, far-right candidate Marine Le Pen has said she'll take France out of the European Union. CGTN's Jack Parrock reports.

Macron has consistently put himself forward as the pro-European Union choice in this French election. Even so, over 40 percent of voters chose anti-E.U. parties in the first round. Macron has promised he’ll work to bring reform to Europe.

His adversary Le Pen, runs on an anti-E.U. ticket. Le Pen has been a member of the European Parliament since 2004.

Her critics have said her National Front party’s voting record shows she has consistently voted against workers rights despite promising to fight for them.

Le Pen has been plagued by accusations of misuse of E.U. funds during her time as an MEP. The European Parliament just lifted her immunity against prosecution.

Le Pen wants to cut public spending by taking France out of the single currency euro-zone. For the Brussels establishment, Macron is the clear favorite.

The divided campaigns have focused on security issues, terrorism and the economy with unemployment stubbornly remaining at 10 percent in France.

There’s an acute awareness in Brussels that despite strong polling, Macron hasn’t won the French election yet. If he doesn’t, a French exit from the E.U., which would likely lead to the collapse of the bloc itself, could be on the cards.