Throughout Europe there are changes in politics, France has become the recent and perhaps the most impressive example of the search for new faces and platforms. The old structures that appeared on the post-war political landscape of the continent are becoming obsolete and disintegrate.
The continent, which has begun to adapt to the idea of technological and economic change, believes that it must also prepare for a transformation with a pronounced political character. The victory of Emmanuel Macron marked the emergence of an entirely new structure in the political arena of France.
Until now, in Europe, one could only see the prerequisites of similar events. There is a new norm, in which old beliefs and clear divisions on the right and left disappear. Voters want something new, something that does not fit into old, ineffective patterns – and not only extremists can support this requirement.
Although Macron is not exactly an outsider, as he likes to portray himself, the best proof is his La République En Marche. This self-proclaimed movement “neither right nor left”, the rise of which was simply lightning. They seek to combine liberal values in the economy (the traditional line of the right) with liberal values in social issues and identity issues (characteristic of the left).
His success in many respects may depend on whether he can convince Germany that the reorganization of the management of the eurozone through the establishment of a general budget and a finance minister is possible if France introduces the structural reforms that it has planned. Early signs indicate that Berlin can be compliant, but very cautious; until the German elections in September, nothing will be known.
It is interesting that Macron proved to be an ally of Janis Varoufakis, the former finance minister of Greece, who criticized Germany’s tough approach. Varufakis recalled that Makron is one of the few who “understands that what the euro zone finance ministers and the three do with our government and, more importantly, with our people, is detrimental to the interests of France and the European Union.”
The fact that La République En Marche today could not name the full list of 577 candidates before the crucial parliamentary elections next month shows that everything is not so smooth, but the consequences of the French vote are very important, because they broke all the opponents of Macron. Although each country has its own specific political culture and context, it is still possible to draw parallels.
Leftists from the party Podemos and rightists from the party Ciudadanos in Spain challenge the entrenched socialists and the main right. In Greece, the rise of the party “Siriza” contributed to the departure of the Pasok party after decades of alternating power with the Rights.
In the Netherlands, the green and centrist party D66 achieved impressive success this year. In Germany, the far-right AfD seems to be losing popularity, in part because of the activation of the Social Democratic Party.
After fears about the continued rise of the extreme right in Europe, finally, a moment has come when it is necessary to consider innovative approaches that would successfully resist xenophobic demagoguery that promoted the rise of Trump and, to some extent, Brexit.
We must remember that the inability to resolve the crisis in the eurozone has become a terrible mistake of post-war Europe, this has contributed to the growth of populism. Globalization erases the old criteria. The protection of nationally-oriented social security systems and workers’ rights in a world where the production and dissemination of digital technologies, from e-commerce platforms to spins for free offer online, cross borders and requires a new thinking.
Protecting national culture and identity, and at the same time being open to the economic opportunities of globalization, makes the search for compromise even more difficult: openness is difficult to separate. The political big bang in Europe is still in the early stages. And it has more opportunities for progress than it seems at first glance