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Macron seeks alliances in other countries for the upcoming European elections

Citizens can be a key partner in reproducing EU-wide political change in France

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Macron seeks alliances in other countries for the upcoming European elections

Emmanuel Macron and movement that led him to power in France prepare jump to Europe. The French president and his party, Republic in March (LREM), want to reproduce on a continental scale operation that in his country left serious injury to old partisan structure, system of alternation between left and centre. The search for allies has begun. And citizens is a key partner in this project.

A decisive step in ending domination of social Democrats and Democrats may be creation of a new group in European Parliament following European elections in 2019. The deputy of LREM Pieyre-Alexandre Anglade represents in National Assembly French of Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg. Anglade, baptized in newspaper Le Monde as "Lord Europe" of Macronism, is in charge of weaving European alliances in view of European elections, which French President sees as a fundamental stage in his plans to refound European Union.

Today, Macron party, founded less than two years ago, has no deputies in European Parliament. That is, despite being probably most influential leader in EU, and despite having ambitious ideas about its future, it lacks formal alliances with most Allied leaders and politicians who could help. One of tasks of Anglade is to begin to solve this lack.

"Our vocation is to unite those who have a reforming vision of Europe. And, from this point of view, re are certain movements, in certain countries, that are close to this, "Anglade says in a telephone interview. "But our logic is to talk to everyone, on a very broad basis, and from moment we share a base of values and same reforming will for Union."

The leaders of LREM do not hide affinity with citizens. The Spanish formation declares to have an enormous interest in converging with Macron. To promote this alliance, y maintain weekly contacts, secure sources of citizens, and invite each or to political acts. Ambition is to be able to forge a large group in European Parliament after May 2019 elections. That is why it is essential to open up to or parties, movements, groups or personalities of civil society.

"At this time [citizens] is political force with which we can think that re will be more points of convergence," said in December to country Christophe Castan, General delegate of party. But he said: "We have no exclusive and we want to work with all progressives."

That label also included Democratic Party of Matteo Renzi, which citizens surveyed. Renzi received his leader, Albert Rivera, in Rome in mid-January. But failure of Italian formation in general elections detracts from relevance of this approach. The experience of Renzi, a reformist young man who tried to overturn old structures of his country, also reveals difficulties of consolidating in Europe a current that defies classic system of Parties.

The term "progressive" is key to creating a in Marche — original name of Macron movement — at European level. It was also in France during campaign for 2017 elections. The idea was that split between left and right no longer made sense. The Royal division, according to Macronism, was between progressives and conservatives. In Europe, this operation would be to end hegemony of EPP and Social Democratic group, in same way that last French elections left very weakened to right of Republicans and French PS.

"There are progressives everywhere, and pro-Europeans too," says Anglade. "So you have to be able to gar good wills and work toger people who would not have had habit of doing it once. That's what we've accomplished in France. I don't know if we'll make it in Europe. It's a challenge, no doubt. "

Anglade explains that citizens is only Spanish party with which he has maintained contacts for now. At beginning of February, he participated in a campus of Spanish party in Salamanca. "It is a young movement, with a different history, but it was created with this desire of Europe and, in this sense, we can see similarities," he says. "With a young leader too, like us. There is a generational proximity that is visible. "

One of unknowns is wher LREM initiative will end up lighting a new group in European Parliament, or future deputies of LREM and ir allies are going into Liberal group. Macron seems to be inclined by first option, although it is most complex.

"I think re may be an initiative, probably at time of Europeans, and certainly later, and I think it is desirable," he said recently in a meeting with journalists, reports Reuters. "It is entirely possible to structure a group of its own and to think that European reformism has vocation to federate or movements."

The leaders of current Liberal Group in European Parliament, ALDE, are more than willing to renovate all necessary structures – starting with name – to converge with Macron.


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