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When France honours Europe

Emmanuel Macron has been brilliantly re-elected, and Europe can breathe.

Once again, his election night began with the Ode to Joy, the European anthem. Let us not underestimate its symbolism and significance.

The French president has set the European Union in motion and appears to be the one who is driving it and pushing it to change. This is a recurring French message. This is what the French think. They are European, demanding but convinced. European timidity is no longer the order of the day in France.

Emmanuel Macron has triumphed over the far right by offering his compatriots a vision that goes beyond the simple national framework. He will also beat the far left in the legislative elections with a discourse of openness and the unification of the continent. The war in Ukraine calls for a French president who is active and clear, who is in command and credible, strong and committed. Europe now has him.

To the domestic commentators who are alarmed by the eternal divisions of the French, let us remember that every election has winners and losers, often with closer scores, and that democracy, in this turbulent France, is sufficiently anchored to suffer electoral disappointments.

What has happened should not be overlooked: politically, France is becoming a 'normal European country', with a large, moderate, European central body. It is not immune to extremes and populists, but so far it has been able to reject them. This is excellent news.

Europe needs this France.

Thank you Mr Macron!