French President Emmanuel Macron says he wants to "unmask the ideas" of the RN. EPA-EFE/CLEMENS BILAN

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Macron: ‘Democracy is in crisis’


French President Emmanuel Macron said he wanted to “get involved” in the European Parliament elections in June “to unmask the ideas of the National Rally”.

During his visit to Berlin on May 26, the French President said: “I think our democracy is in a crisis, and we can see it with our own eyes.

“The strength of democracy lies in the permanent debate on all kinds of questions, by which we try to achieve the best solutions that the people can choose.

“And now we come to question democracy itself. There is a form of fascination for authoritarianism that is being born in our own democratism,” he added.

Macron went on to say that people forget what today’s Europe would be like if the nationalists had led it in recent years.

“We would not have had the [Covid] vaccine as Europeans, we would not have had the Recovery Plan for Europe, we would not have a reply to the migration flows to Europe, we would not have a green deal in Europe, we would have abandoned Ukraine to support Russia, and therefore the story would not be the same,” he said.

“So the problem that we have today is that, in our democracy, we are used to democracy and we forgot that it is a battle.

“We let the nationalists, and often the enemies of democracy, take the dividend of democracy and criticise it on an existential level. They do this at a time when we face immense geopolitical challenges, the war, our prosperity, the revolution in climate and technology,” Macron added.

“For all these reasons, it is important that people vote in the European elections for the party they support, a party that defends a Europe of their preferences, because I’m convinced that Europe enables us to defend democracy, prevent the emergence of a hegemony on our continent, and foster the capacity to work together.”

On what was the first day of his State visit to Germany, the French President also targeted his main political rival Marine Le Pen and her National Rally party (RN), stating: “Nothing in their discourse holds [true]”.

Macron proposed a debate with Le Pen ahead of the EP elections.

“Unlike many, I am not used to the idea that the National Rally is a party like the others and so when it is placed at the top of the polls I consider that this party and its ideas threaten Europe,” he said.

“As a defender of Europe, I consider it my particular responsibility to engage in the European debate, even as president, to unmask the ideas of the National Rally,” Macron concluded.

On X, Le Pen countered: “Macron is losing his nerve and composure by descending into grotesque conspiracy theorising. What threatens democracies is the authoritarianism of a European Commission that rules against nations. 

“On June 9, the people must take back the power.”


In France, the EP elections are increasingly shaping up to act as a national referendum on Macron and his Renaissance party. On May 23, the RN’s party and European list leader Jordan Bardella took part in a debate with French Prime Minister Gabriel Attal – not Renaissance list leader Valérie Hayer.

Bardella has stated he will push for the dissolution of the French National Assembly if his party wins by a significant margin in the EP elections. Additionally, he is advocating for a referendum on immigration.

In April, Bardella had described his party as “a voice of reason”.

“I hope that all French people who share our ideas, or at least our love for the country, can express it openly, without fear of caricatures or ready-made thinking,” he stated.

“My objective is to make support for a political party that believes in the French destiny and the genius of its people commonplace.”