Macron and Le Pen clash on security policy

  • Liis Einstein
  • 4.5.2017 21:51

On Sunday 7 May, France will hold the second round of presidential elections between far-right Marine Le Pen and centrist Emmanuel Macron. Both candidates are prioritizing security issues, although Le Pen stands out with her radical views while Macron is focusing on preventive measures.

France has been under a state of emergency since several terrorist attacks in 2015. More than 230 people have been killed in the past two years. Le Pen and Macron are both planning to increase defence spending. Macron has proposed a rise of 2% of GDP and Le Pen promises even higher defence contribution, up to 3% of GDP. Le Pen calls for military service, separation from NATO, closing national borders and expelling nearly 11 000 foreigners using an Islamic extremists watchlist. In the final election debate on 3 May, Macron proclaimed that closing the borders is not a solution. His security platform prioritizes measures to prevent terrorism, strengthened intelligence and integration of young radicals. Le Pen wants separation from the EU, while Macron supports greater cooperation between EU Member States to fight against terrorism. The polls are showing a 20% head start for Macron, but also strong support for Le Pen. A victory of the far-right might have a destructive effect on France's EU and NATO membership, as well as security in the whole of Europe.

About author: Liis Einstein

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