It was a kind of landslide in the French policy: For the first Time the Green party won in the municipal elections, a number of large cities, where you are now the mayor will be. Cross-country was won by the green candidate in Lyon, Marseille, Bordeaux, Strasbourg, Grenoble and other places. However, the Power of the mayor in the centralized France is limited, and the extremely low turnout of around 40 percent, reduces the explanatory power of the ballot. Nevertheless, the result for President Emmanuel Macron is a beacon.

Paris remains in the left Hand

In Paris, the incumbent, Anne Hidalgo with the support of the Greens was able to defend the town hall with ease. The conservative Challenger Rachida Dati had no Chance, nor as the representative of Macrons party La République en Marche (LREM). You had to compete as a replacement, after the original candidate Benjamin Griveaux had stumbled across a sex tape affair. The Disaster falls on the President of Macron, of all things, in his capital, in the modern, well-educated voters living, to which he appeals, and whose voices he will need for the presidential elections in 2022.

Anne Hidalgo has been struggling for years to make Paris and its Quartiers of eco-friendly and green, the car traffic from the centre to squeeze out, to plant trees everywhere. In the past few years, you could implement these plans only step by step against the furious resistance of car drivers and shop owners. With their re-election, but you can increase its use against the bad air and sheet metal avalanches in Paris.

In Bordeaux, the Greens have tilted the former stronghold of the conservative mayor, Alain Juppé. He had already pulled back in the last year of the policy, and the office is a party comrades leave. Juppé had made over the years, neglected town to be one of the most sought-after places of residence in France. A exemplary car-free downtown, the values of the price of tram lines traversed belongs to. Nevertheless, the newly elected Green Pierre Hurmic notes now that the municipal policy was too far removed from the concerns of the citizens refuse, in particular, the old political class of France.

Green in France: More movement than a party

amazingly, the electoral success of the Greens is also, so it is uncertain whether he will be of long duration. In Marseille for example, they support the left candidate, Michèle Rubirola, it has managed to break 25 years of conservative dominance. This is a political Sensation – but how long will the Alliance through the anticipated political struggles of a big city with some corrupt structures can, is open.

the weakness of The French Greens is that they – unlike their German colleagues, no established party, but an extremely diverse movement. There are Green, the deny radically all the compromises with the economy, and those who want to pragmatically govern. Their Headquarters is run by just four employees, and they have no deputies in the Parliament.

On the national level, the Greens have no ambitions, explained to the members of the European Parliament David Cormand. You will not be allowed to anyway, in the Macron-government, because Nicolas Hulot have seen how problematic this cooperation. The well-known environmentalist was occurring in 2017 as environment Minister in the Cabinet. After a year, but Hulot threw in the towel, because he considered the environmental plans of the President for insufficient.

Macrons party, the local anchoring

missing The party in government had to recognize that her success in the presidential election three years ago, on a local level, not just repeat. The relative unpopularity of the President should have worked just as negative as the errors of the local anchoring of his party. The policy at the local level will continue to remain in the familiar left-Right pattern, which wanted to overcome the Macron but.

Also, the flowers and dreams of the right-wing populist RN (Rassemblement National) of Marine Le Pen shattered to a large extent the reality on the ground. As the only major city on the Right won the South of France, Perpignan, fell overall, but far behind the results of 2014. As a true Test only in the regional elections in the next year to apply, however, where Le Pen has to show whether they can compete in 2022 once again as a presidential candidate.

The socialists, in turn, had suffered in the presidential elections in 2017, a devastating blow, now see a new opportunity. Its General Secretary, Olivier Faure, said that the party could gather in two years, maybe behind a green presidential candidate. The relative success in the municipal elections makes you hope for a political rebirth.

Wake-up call for Macron: More Ecology, more social

The President is directly in front of a Cabinet reshuffle and may dismiss his conservative Prime Minister, Edouard Philippe, could win as mayor of the Northern French port city of Le Havre. For Macron the local elections mean a choice of direction. At a reception for citizens, which should be formulated in the so-called climate, the targets for the environmental policy of the Convention in France, he spoke on Monday of a mood barometer, which reiterated an “ambitious environmental Agenda”.

with the Waning of the Corona pandemic, there were signs that Macron could leave its economic course in favor of a more social policy. Now, presumably, a strong pivot in the direction of environmental protection will come to it. Macron needs to reinvent itself, two years before the presidential elections, and he is likely to consider the local elections as the touch of a Finger.

in a Similar way on the European stage. There has to be a direct target, the Corona is adopt-reconstruction Fund, together with Angela Merkel. In the crisis, so the impression was created that at the European level, the economic recovery have superseded all other political goals. Especially the Green saw climate protection and environmental policy, on the rear seats slid. If now, however, the French President should make a champion of environmental concerns and the so-called European Green Deal Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, then, are likely to move in the EU the Weights.

author: Barbara Wesel

*The contribution of “local election: a Green wave in France” is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

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