Macron’s victory speech in English

There was joy in the hearts of liberals across Europe on Sunday night when the French results came through. It was certainly worrying that more than a third of voters chose a far-right extremist, but it shows that populism can be beaten.

Tim Farron was quick to congratulate Emmanuel Macron and said that his values could win the day here too:

I would like to congratulate Emmanuel Macron on his election as France’s new President. This is not just a victory for France, but a victory for Britain and the liberal values we hold dear.

A National Front win would have posed a grave threat to our national interest.

Emmanuel Macron has kept the wolves from our door, but we must never be complacent in the fight against racism, fascism and the far-right.

The liberal values of tolerance, openness and free trade that triumphed in France today can triumph in Britain too.

Together we can change Britain’s future, stand up to Theresa May’s hard Brexit agenda and keep our country open, tolerant and united.

Ambafrance has an English translation of Macron’s victory speech. Here’s an extract.

I’m aware of the divisions in our nation which have led some people to extreme votes. I respect them. I’m aware of the anger, anxiety and doubts that a large proportion of you have also expressed. It’s my responsibility to listen to them while protecting the most fragile, by better organizing solidarity, by combating all forms of inequality and discrimination, by implacably and resolutely ensuring your security, and by guaranteeing the nation’s unity. For behind each of the words I’ve just uttered, I know there are faces: women and men, children and families, entire lives; there are you and yours.

This evening I’m addressing you all, all of you together, the people of France. We have duties to our country. We’re the heirs to a great history and to the great humanist message sent to the world. We must pass on this history and this message, first of all to our children, but even more importantly we must carry them into the future and give them new vigour. I’ll defend France, its vital interests, its image and its message: I make that commitment to you. I’ll defend Europe, the common destiny the peoples of our continent have given themselves. Our civilization is at stake, our way of living, of being free, of promoting our values, our common enterprises and our hopes. I’ll work to rebuild the link between Europe and the people it’s made up of, between Europe and citizens. On your behalf, I send the world’s nations the fraternal greetings of France. I say to their leaders that France will be active and mindful of peace, of the balance of power, of international cooperation, of respect for the commitments made on development and the fight against global warming. I tell them all that France will be at the forefront of the fight against terrorism, both on its soil and in international action. However long this battle lasts, we’ll fight it without growing weak.

My dear fellow citizens, a new page in our history has been turned this evening. I want it to be that of renewed hope and confidence. The renewal of our public life will be a requirement for everyone as from tomorrow. Raising moral standards in our public life, recognizing pluralism, and democratic vitality will be the bedrock of my action from the first day. I won’t let any obstacle get in my way. I’ll work with determination and with due respect for everyone, because through work, school and culture, we’ll build a better future.

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  • Matt (Bristol) 9th May '17 - 12:11pm

    IF En Marche continues to build itself up as a parliamentary party and becomes more than just a presidential campaign, will it apply to join ALDE and LI and will they accept it?

    Clearly more mainstream liberal than 5 Star movement!

  • Matt (Bristol) 9th May '17 - 12:12pm

    Oh, and does ‘recognising pluralism’ mean voting reform?

  • Lorenzo Cherin 9th May '17 - 1:16pm

    Matt, you raise what I am advocating and have been doing on here and in the relevant places that can influence this decision.

    En Marche are new and as France has a very mixed and unenthusiastic rapport with Liberalism, if not liberalism, or in fact , both, it remains to be seen.

    The recent acceptance of the Independents a and Democrats into ALDE, they are a mix of small parties, does not make things easy, as they are centre right. The obviously centrist and openly friendly with the Liberal Democrats here, Francois Bayrou, and his Democratic Movement in France, sits with ALDE. Neither grouping in France are in Liberal International.

    France, Italy, Spain, have odd relationships with Liberalism, as does the USA.

    Our European Liberalism, is centre, sometimes centre left as in Brtain ,or centre right elsewhere . The American, as in USA, very centre left to left in recent understanding, whereas in the past it was more akin to us in the centre to centre left.

    The countries in Europe who have two large parties tend to treat Liberalism as not as relevant, and those who think it is, tend to do so in more small parties, not one medium one.

    There are other Liberal parties in France and Italy going nowhere electorally , but they carry on.

    En March has broken through.

    We need them in our international groupings . It advances our cause.

  • Eddie Sammon 9th May '17 - 2:18pm

    As someone who follows French politics “all year around” I can say Macron’s achievement is astounding and I was among those a year ago writing off his and En Marche’s chances. I remember when he was just a former economy minister, meeting up with bankers in London and Paris talking about launching a liberal political party and I thought a “Financial Times Party” wouldn’t be successful in Britain, never mind in France where attitudes towards an economic liberalism dominated by American companies is even more sceptical.

    He used to make quite big gaffes, I remember when French trade unions were trying to bring down the economic reforms, that the French public were slightly against, and Macron goes and announces that they don’t go far enough. However now his reforms seem quite mild, but I’m still not exactly sure what his reform bill will comprise. If it is simply getting rid of the 35 hour week in return for less tax on overtime then it might not be very controversial, but we will see. I expect a showdown with the trade unions.

    I first thought he was learning last Autumn when I heard him give a speech promising protection for French farmers, not lecturing them on the benefits of open markets, and I thought maybe he is populist enough to win. I only swung behind Macron properly once it became clear that Alain Juppé and Manuel Valls had lost their primaries.

    Anyway, best of luck to Macron and it shows that pro-EU attitudes and liberalism can still win in a big way in this day and age. It seems that nearly every village in Britain has memorials to the dead in two world wars, we need to talk respectfully about why the European Union is a good idea.

  • I think of Macron as latter day Gallic SDP. Perhaps he is a temporary “centrist” necessity who will eventually be part of something else!

  • Matt (Bristol) 9th May '17 - 3:07pm

    Lorenzo – it looks like Bayrou’s Democrats will work very closely as effectively a quasi-autonomous part of En Marche. If so, and EM goes on to win MEP seats in future, why would EM not apply to join ALDE?

  • Antony Watts 10th May '17 - 12:13pm

    “heirs to a great history and to the great humanist message sent to the world”

    What, I wonder, is our great?

    We have descended in to morass of opportunism, and left our principles behind. We need to resurrect some truths quickly and firmly. But in the mean time we havea coupl eof messages to shout out “Remain” (for the sake of our economy) and “Social Justice” (for the rebalance of public over private).

  • Richard Underhill 15th May '17 - 5:47pm

    The Economist points out that opinion polls underestimated Macron by 4%. Four percent is more than the usual margin of error of 0-3%.
    He has today appointed a Prime Minister. The National Assembly is elected by party list.

  • Simon Banks 10th Jul '17 - 2:20pm

    “Liberalism” in Latin Europe and Latin America tends to be taken to mean pure individualism and unrestricted capitalism, combined with anti-clericalism. The heritage of British Liberalism is different. But that doesn’t stop some of our academics and commentators defining Liberalism in ways few British Liberals would ever have recognised.

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