Macron's Deep Changes
During a highly tense campaign, Emmanuel Macron promised to make deep changes throughout the French government. His recent address to a joint parliament allowed him to outline his policies and establish the direction and intent of his administration. With a focus on labor, security and transparency in government, Macron's deep changes will affect every day citizens as well as those in positions of power.
When it comes to security, Macron is lifting the temporary state of emergency and shifting toward the establishment of long-term security protections. The potential for French police to gain more power is a concern to many. In a counter to this criticism, Macron made it clear that his government would "guarantee full respect for individual liberties."
The concern about centralized power is also evident at the legislative level, where Macron plans to cut one-third of parliament's 925 members. His plan to simplify the legislative process could result in less debate, a situation which would negatively impact minority voices in the legislature. Unsurprisingly his proposed changes have earned criticism, as has his personal style of leadership. Some critics accuse the French president of creating a "monarchy."
Other deep changes will result in greater transparency. The special court that prosecutes politicians and investigates conflict of interest will be disbanded in favor of a civilian court. Legislators and other politicians will be faced with higher penalties under such a system and their cases will be publicly available. Such a change goes beyond mere politicking. The entire culture of French politics and media could change. Macron sees this change as a means to end the gossip and divisiveness that have long plagued the French government and negatively impacted its potential as a global leader.
His aim to create greater efficiency and speed within the French government places the system on a fast track; the plan has the potential to improve France's standing within the European Union. No longer lagging behind other countries, France could strengthen its position as a leader.
Macron plans to increase the European Union's strength by announcing "Europe-wide public conferences," according to The Independent. Public conferences would serve as a way to decrease the distance between the bureaucratic European Union and French citizens. A strong Europe benefits France as the country continues to face a migrant crisis and military engagement in Syria and Iraq.
From international to continental to local relations, Macron's changes run deep and wide.
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