A closer look at Emmanuel Macron, President-elect of France's pre-poll promises

Emmanuel Macron, who at 39, became the youngest president of France, contested the election on a centrist plank, with his 'En Marche' movement finding resonance among over 65 percent of the country's population. He was seen as the antidote to Far Right candidate Marine Le Pen, and his poll promises focused on revival of the economy and a more inclusive agenda that doesn't shut migrants out.

Here's a detailed look at what Emmanuel Macron had promised in his election manifesto:

Emmanuel Macron. AP

Emmanuel Macron. AP

On the European Union: Macron is a strong supporter of a unified European Union. He has often spoken in favour of the EU as a guarantor of peace. He has also said he wants to create a European Security Council to bring together military, diplomatic and intelligence leader of the member states. In cooperation with Nato, he had said, France can host a permanent headquarters for European safety. However, a week before Sunday's election, he had warned of a 'Frexit' if the EU doesn't reform.

On the economy: Macron has said he will cut corporate tax in France from 33 percent to 25 percent, to bring it par with the EU average. He has often spoken out against France's Welfare State system, calling it "sclerotic". This would entail merging together 37 different State-run schemes into one comprehensive plan that would benefit public and private sector workers.

On immigration: Among the main things on which Macron and rival Marine Le Pen differed is the topic of immigration. Instead of shutting doors to immigrants altogether, Macron emphasised French language proficiency as a prerequisite, and also a six-month processing time for asylum seekers looking to migrate to France. He has also proposed reducing the time and steps involved in obtaining "talent visas", that allows skilled workers to find employment in France.

On secularism: Macron had outlined his vision for the role of the State in promoting secularism, saying France had often mistakenly targeted Muslims. "No religion is a problem in France today. If the state should be neutral, which is at the heart of secularism, we have a duty to let everybody practice their religion with dignity," he had said, which could be at the heart of his views on secularism.

On national security: Macron has publicly pledged to increase defence spending to two percent of the country's GDP by 2025. Security investments include hiring 10,000 extra police officers and creating an additional 15,000 prison places. Furthermore, men and women between the ages of 18 and 21 who are in physical shape, would face upto mandatory military service in a bid to strengthen links between the nation and the armed forces.

On crime and security: He has spoken of his zero tolerance towards crime, but has also spoken out against police brutality and selective targeting of racial groups. To this end, he has said he wants to improve relations between law enforcement agencies and minority groups.


Updated Date: May 08, 2017 11:50 AM

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