For Macron, EU Vote Outcome Will Determine His Say in Top Jobs

(Bloomberg) -- Emmanuel Macron has to beat Marine Le Pen in upcoming European Parliament elections or risk France having less of a say in who will get the top jobs in the European Union and shape its future direction.

That is the view of an official within his office, speaking on condition of anonymity to a group of reporters at the Presidential Press Association. At stake for the French president is his influence in the bloc when his approval ratings are low and his vision for an ever tighter union has left many fellow European leaders cold.

As election campaigning begins, nominations for the next EU Commission, the European Central Bank and a slew of major European jobs are being discussed in the corridors of power. France and Germany, Europe’s two biggest economies, have traditionally had substantial leverage over such decisions.

Between May 23 and May 26, voters across 28 countries will elect their representative in the bloc’s Parliament and the entire thing will be closely watched for signs of whether nationalist-populist forces can be contained. Le Pen’s far-right party has tended to dwell on anti-immigration themes with lashings of euroskepticism.

For Macron, it’s become almost as important as a national election, the official said. Macron has vowed to throw all his energy behind campaigning and the reason is clear. Sixteen days before the vote, his Republic On The Move party and Le Pen’s National Rally are running neck and neck.

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