Reflections

A Vote of Confidence for the European Union?

Apr 25, 2017 | 00:33 GMT
The scenario Brussels most feared did not come to fruition in the first round of France's presidential election. But the country's political situation offers little room for complacency.
Emmanuel Macron (L) and Marine Le Pen clinched the top two spots in the first round of France's presidential election April 22 and will square off in a second vote May 7.
(ERIC FEFERBERG,JOEL SAGET/AFP/Getty Images)

After weeks of worry, EU institutions and governments can heave a sigh of relief. The scenario they most feared in France's presidential election -- a runoff between two anti-globalization candidates -- did not come to pass in the first round of voting on Sunday. Instead, centrist leader Emmanuel Macron wound up in first place, and opinion polls suggest he will defeat the populist Marine Le Pen in the elections' second round May 7. Stock markets in most European capitals rose Monday morning, buoyed by the vote's outcome. But though the results suggest that the status quo in Europe will survive another day, the political situation in France offers little room for complacency....

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