Emmanuel Macron: The One True Reform King

Recently, His Excellency Emmanuel Macron, President of France, convened the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact at the Palais Brongniart in Paris with the sole goal of laying the groundwork for a new global funding architecture outside the Bretton Woods system in order to address climate change, biodiversity, and development concerns while also assisting all countries in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.

The Summit was attended by several heads of state and government, dozens of heads of international organizations, and hundreds of civil society and commercial sector participants.

The accomplishments of Emmanuel Macron as President of France reflect his commitment to reform, economic growth, climate action, and international cooperation and many more as the one true reform king.

“The greatness of a leader is measured by the achievements of the led. This is the ultimate test of his effectiveness – Gen. Omar Bradley

Emmanuel Macron, France’s current President, has made tremendous achievements that have influenced the country and left a lasting impression. Macron has been a powerful presence in French politics, from economic change to international diplomacy.

Prior to been France’s youngest president since Napoleon I and the first candidate to win the presidency during the Fifth Republic without the support of either the Socialists or the Gaullists, President Emmanuel Macron is also a banker who was elected president in 2017 and also won a second term in 2022, becoming the first and only French president to do so in the previous 20 years.

Birthed on December 21, 1977 in Amiens, France, Macron is the eldest son of Jean-Michel Macron, a professor of neurology at the University of Picardy, and Françoise Macron (née Noguès), a doctor. His early life was an exceptionally one because he was a gifted student.

The origins of the Macron family can be found in the Picardy town of Authie. George William Robertson, one of his paternal great-grandfathers, was English and was born in Bristol, England. Jean and Germaine Noguès (née Arribet), his maternal grandparents, come from the Gascon town of Bagnères-de-Bigorre in the Pyrenees. He frequently traveled to Bagnères-de-Bigorre to see his “Manette” grandmother, Germaine. Macron links Germaine, who had a poor childhood with a stationmaster father and a housekeeper mother, to his love of reading and his left-leaning political views. Germaine later became a teacher and then a principal.

Prior to being sent by his parents to finish his final year of education at the prestigious Lycée Henri-IV in Paris, where he completed the high school curriculum and the undergraduate program with a “Bac S, Mention Très bien,” Macron received the majority of his education at the Jesuit institution Lycée la Providence in Amiens. He got his certificate for his piano studies at the Amiens Conservatory at the same time as he was nominated for the “Concours général” (the most prestigious national level high school competition in French literature).

Preceding to studying foreign politics and public service at the prestigious Lycée Henri-IV in Paris, Macron earned his baccalaureate there. He also assisted Paul Ricoeur, a philosopher and historian, with his editing at this time. Macron earned a master’s degree in philosophy from Paris Nanterre University and a master’s degree in public policy from Sciences Po both in 2001. He earned a degree from the esteemed École Nationale d’Administration (ENA), which had earned a reputation as a fast track to political power, in 2004 and graduated near the top of his class and Jacques Chirac, François Hollande, and Valéry Giscard d’Estaing were all former ENA students.

Macron’s professional journey was an excellent one as he has conquered powerful men and found his way to the top. First, Macron joined the Finance Ministry’s Inspection General of Finance (IGF) as an Inspector in 2004 after earning his degree from ENA. The former IGF director Jean-Pierre Jouyet served as Macron’s tutor. Macron lectured over the summer at IPESUP’s “prep’ENA” (a special cram school for the ENA entrance examination), a prestigious private school that specializes in preparing students for the entrance exams of the Grandes écoles, such as HEC or Sciences Po, while serving as an inspector of finances.

He turned down Laurence Parisot’s invitation to serve as managing director of Mouvement des Entreprises de France, the country’s largest employer federation, in 2006.

Macron accepted a post at Rothschild & Cie Banque in September 2008 after resigning from his position as an inspector of finances. Nicolas Sarkozy’s election as president provided motivation for Macron to resign from the administration. François Henrot initially extended the job offer to him. His first duty at Rothschild & Cie Banque was to aid in Crédit Mutuel Nord Europe’s acquisition of Cofidis.

Macron was chosen as Jacques Attali’s “Commission to Unleash French Growth”‘s deputy rapporteur in August 2007. 2008 saw Macron purchase his own release from his government contract for €50,000. At Rothschild & Cie Banque, he then took a highly-paid post as an investment banker and became a member of the Attali Commission in March 2010.

Alain Minc, a businessman on the Le Monde board of directors, and Macron became buddies after contributing to the recapitalization of Le Monde and Atos’ acquisition of Siemens IT Solutions and Services, Macron was elevated to partner with the bank in 2010.

Going back to his childhood, Macron spent two years working for the Citizen and Republican Movement, although he never applied to join. During his time at Sciences Po, Macron worked as the assistant to Mayor Georges Sarre of the 11th arrondissement of Paris. Despite having been a Socialist Party supporter since he was 24 years old, Macron only renewed his membership from 2006 to 2009.

Jean-Pierre Jouyet introduced Macron to François Hollande in 2006, and in 2010, Macron joined his team. Macron became one of President François Hollande’s top advisors when he was named Élysée deputy secretary-general soon after his victory in May 2012. In August 2014, he was appointed Minister of Economics, Industry, and Digital Affairs in Prime Minister Manuel Valls’ administration. In this capacity, Macron promoted a number of policies that were beneficial to business. In August 2016, he announced his resignation and began running for president in 2017. Despite being a Socialist Party member from 2006 to 2009, Macron ran for office under the banner of En Marche, a pro-European, centrist political movement he started in April 2016.

Prior to defeating Marine Le Pen of the National Front and winning the presidency of France on May 7, 2017, Macron had won the first round of voting. He received 66.1% of the vote. Macron took office as France’s youngest president in history at the age of 39. Macron’s party, now known as La République En Marche! (LREM), won a majority in the National Assembly in the June 2017 legislative elections. Prior to Édouard Philippe’s resignation in 2020, he appointed Jean Castex as prime minister in his place. Macron became the first French presidential candidate to win reelection since Jacques Chirac in 2002 when he won a second term in office in 2022 by defeating Le Pen once more.

In addition to pursuing a shift to renewable energy sources, Macron has supervised numerous improvements to labor legislation, taxation, and pensions during his presidency. The early years of his presidency were characterised by growing demonstrations against his domestic reforms and calls for his resignation, which culminated in 2018–2020 with the yellow vest protests and the pension reform strike, earning him the moniker “president of the rich” by political opponents. He oversaw the vaccine campaign and France’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic beginning in 2020. The retirement age was raised from 62 to 64 in 2023 by legislation passed by his prime minister Elisabeth Borne’s administration. The controversial pension reforms sparked violent protests and strikes in the public sector. He demanded that the European Union (EU) undergo changes and made bilateral agreements with Italy.

He signed bilateral agreements with Germany and Italy and advocated for changes to the European Union (EU). During the China-US trade war, Macron negotiated $45 billion in trade and economic deals with China and managed a battle with Australia and the US over the AUKUS security accord. In the fight against the Islamic State, he resumed Operation Chammal, and he joined the global outcry against the Russian invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Macron is a pianist who studied the instrument for ten years in his youth. He particularly likes the music of Robert Schumann and Franz Liszt. Macron also likes to ski, play tennis, and box.Macron is a natural French speaker who also has a strong command of English.

Macron enjoys playing football and is a fan of the French team Olympique de Marseille. He accompanied King Philippe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium to the France vs. Belgium World Cup semi-final, and he sat and cheered with Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovi of Croatia during the World Cup final versus Croatia. The media covered Macron’s celebrations and contacts with the president of Croatia extensively.

In reforming and supporting France economy, here are some of his notable achievements:

Social Welfare Reforms: Macron has initiated extensive reforms to the French welfare system in order to make it more sustainable and efficient. He made adjustments to the pension system in order to streamline it and minimize the state’s financial burden. In addition, he put in place policies to increase vocational training and lower unemployment rates, particularly among young people.

Climate Change Initiatives: Macron has been a vocal supporter of climate change mitigation. He was instrumental in the Paris Agreement discussions, reiterating France’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Macron has backed renewable energy development and has taken efforts to phase down coal-fired power facilities. He has also advocated for international cooperation on climate concerns, establishing France as a global leader in the battle against climate change.

Macron implemented a number of ambitious economic changes aimed at rejuvenating the French economy. His labor reforms, known as the “Loi Travail,” sought to boost job market flexibility by making it simpler for firms to hire and fire employees. He also proposed tax cuts from 33.3% to 25% during the 2017 presidential campaign for firms and people in order to increase investment and stimulate economic growth.

El Khomri law is supported by Macron. He became the most outspoken supporter of the nation’s economic reform. When updating the labor code, Macron has declared that he wants to go beyond the El Khomri statute.

Initially, Macron supported abolishing the 35-hour workweek; however, his position has since evolved, and he now supports reforms that would keep the restriction in place while also boosting France’s competitiveness. He has stated that he wants to give businesses more flexibility while keeping the 35-hour work week in place. Examples of this would include businesses renegotiating overtime compensation and work hours with employees. Macron has backed the proposal to eliminate 120,000 civil personnel. Macron affirms his support for budget restraints and pledges to reduce public spending by 60 billion euros over the course of five years.

He condemned the Walloon administration for attempting to obstruct the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agree in order to foster innovation, Macron declared in March 2018 that the government would invest $1.9 billion (1.5 billion euros) on artificial intelligence.

In June 2015, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and French President Emmanuel Macron released a manifesto calling for the continuance of European integration. They support keeping up “structural reforms (like those affecting labor markets) and institutional reforms (including those affecting economic governance)”.

He also supports creating the position of EU Commissioner, who would be in charge of the Eurozone, its Parliament, and a single budget.

Diplomatic Initiatives: Macron has been actively involved in international diplomacy, seeking to position France as a key player on the global stage. He has engaged in dialogue with various world leaders, addressing pressing issues such as terrorism, migration, and conflicts in the Middle East. Macron has also sought to bridge gaps between different factions and promote dialogue, as demonstrated in his efforts to facilitate talks between the United States and Iran.

Also, during the 2017 election campaign, Macron endorsed Angela Merkel’s open-door policy toward Middle Eastern and African migrants and encouraged tolerance toward immigrants and Muslims. Macron welcomed immigrants into Europe and voiced confidence in France’s capacity to take in more of them, saying the migration will have a favorable economic impact.

Concerning security affairs, Macron proposed the reform bill on stripping citizenship from French nationals who were convicted of terrorism-related offenses was not a “concrete solution” and that “the endless prolongation of the state of emergency raises legitimate questions” is the real issue. He supports increasing state support for intelligence organizations. He believes that offering each young adult a €500 “Culture Pass” will motivate them to learn about French culture and prevent terrorism.

On environment, prior to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, Macron pushed for a “balance between ecological imperatives and economic requirements” and urged for the speeding up of the ecological transition. The French government is pursuing this goal by fighting on “five fronts”: “innovation,” “simplification,” “strengthening of our energy efficiency and reduction of fossil fuel usage,” “energy competitiveness,” and “action in Europe and worldwide.”

Macron has supported ideas that would require Internet service providers to grant the government access to consumers’ encrypted conversations.

According to Macron, the management of some major risks must be delegated to the associations’ or the private sector” and he advocates for the reinstatement of community policing.

European integration: Macron has been an outspoken proponent. He has fought to enhance the European Union. He suggested Eurozone reforms, including a shared budget and finance minister, to improve economic stability and rectify inequities among member countries. Macron has also worked hard to promote European defense cooperation and the EU’s position in global affairs.

On health, in 2016, Macron backed allowing private physicians into public institutions to halt what he terms the “compartmentalization of healthcare.” Macron is in favor of funding medical research in order to create new technologies and improve patient care.

Macron pushed for universal coverage of eye, hearing, and dental care in 2017. Les Echos estimates that adding dental, vision, and hearing care to national health insurance would cost €4.4 billion annually.

Education Reform: Macron has implemented reforms in the French education system in order to improve its quality and relevance. He changed the curriculum to include areas like computer science and civic education. Macron has also prioritized reducing class sizes in poor areas and increasing teacher wages in order to improve educational achievements and reduce systemic inequalities.

Macron has recognized the importance of technical innovation for economic growth and has marketed France as a startup and technology powerhouse. He launched programs to encourage entrepreneurship, attract foreign investment, and develop innovation in critical industries such as artificial intelligence and clean technology.

While his initiatives have drawn both praise and condemnation, his impact on France and the world stage cannot be overstated. Macron’s leadership has elevated France to the forefront of European and global affairs, leaving a lasting imprint on the country’s political and economic landscape.

With all these great deeds, Macron has been honored and awarded severally by over 17 countries.

He is married to Brigitte Trogneux.

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