Former WTO Chief Pascal Lamy Discusses European Integration and Political Landscape • FRANCE 24 English

Pascal Lamy, a former World Trade Organization chief and a staunch advocate for European integration, discussed the future of the European Union and its political landscape in the wake of recent European elections. Lamy provided insights into the dynamics of EU politics, the effects of far-right gains in the elections, and the implications for future EU integration. He emphasized the need for stability within the EU Parliament and speculated on the potential for increased EU integration in response to global challenges.
  • European elections are complex, serving as both national and European polls, making their interpretation challenging.
  • The recent elections saw far-right parties making significant gains, although the center held strong, leading to a slightly more right-leaning European Parliament.
  • Despite these shifts, the likelihood of Ursula von der Leyen being re-elected as President of the European Commission is high, suggesting continuity and stability.
  • In France, the far-right’s gains were particularly notable, influencing national politics to the extent that President Macron dissolved Parliament and called for snap elections.
  • Lamy speculates that Macron’s strategy might be to demonstrate the ineffectiveness of far-right governance, potentially leading to a shift in public opinion by the next presidential election.
  • A more protectionist France, under far-right leadership, could advocate for similar policies within the EU, although EU trade policy is determined by majority and might not see dramatic shifts.
  • The conversation touched on the broader context of EU integration, suggesting that current global tensions and challenges could incentivize further integration for stability and growth.
  • Lamy remains cautiously optimistic about the future of EU integration, emphasizing the importance of unity in facing global adversities.

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