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The French Defense: Macrons Foreign Policy in 20222023
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

The French Defense: Macrons Foreign Policy in 20222023

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2023-3-62-78
EDN: ZQHEWR
© Kira P. ZUEVA, Pavel P. TIMOFEEV, 2023
Received 10.08.2023.
Revised 15.09.2023.
Accepted 27.10.2023.
Kira P. ZUEVA (k.p.zueva@yandex.ru), ORCID: 0000-0002-5684-569X,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation. 
Pavel P. TIMOFEEV (pavel.timofeyev@yandex.ru), ORCID: 0000-0002-0512-7436,
Primakov National Research Institute of World Economy and International Relations, Russian Academy of Sciences (IMEMO), 23, Profsoyuznaya Str., Moscow, 117997, Russian Federation. 
The article considers the main directions of France’s foreign policy after the re-election of President E. Macron in 2022. The authors analyze four problematic areas of the French course: European integration, European security crisis, the knot of contradictions in the Indo-Pacific region and the current situation in Africa. Seeking the answer to the key research question of the paper what will dominate the essence of Macron's foreign policy in his second term, continuity or alteration the authors use the methods of systemic and comparative analysis. The authors determine the three key factors shaping the foreign policy of France in 2022–2023: the transition of the Ukrainian crisis to large-scale warfare, aggravation of US–China relations and increased international competition for influence in Africa. In total, all this narrows the freedom of maneuver for France in Europe, the IPR and in Africa. Speaking of the European direction, the implementation of an ambitious project of the EU strategic autonomy and even ‘Europe-puissance’ with the participation of Russia – advocated by Macron during his first mandate – is suspended, to say the least. The Atlantic vector in French foreign policy dominates over the European one. The France's position regarding the Ukrainian crisis is toughening, thus the France–Russia relations are deteriorating. The authors suppose that most likely only with the end of the conflict, France will be able to return to its ambitious foreign policy activity. In the Indo-Pacific region France is trying to shape a conditionally ‘neutral’ coalition around itself, but the field for its maneuvers is also narrowing. It is also difficult for Paris it to conceptualize its political strategy in the region. In Africa France has to defend its political and economic positions, and its priority will most likely be the search for new formats of cooperation that would appeal to Africans. The authors conclude that the Macron's France adjusts its previous course to new challenges that complicate the background environment for the French diplomacy to take actions in.

Keywords

About the authors:
Kira P. ZUEVA, Cand. Sci. (Hist.), Senior Researcher, Sector for European Integration Political Aspects, Department for European Political Studies.
Pavel P. TIMOFEEV, Cand. Sci. (Polit. Sci.), Head of the Sector of Regional Issues and Conflicts, Department for European Political Studies. 
 
Authors’ contribution: Zueva K.P. – conceptualization, writing of two paragraphs (Adjustment of European integration plans of E. Macron; A New Deal for French Policy in Africa?); Timofeev P.P. – writing of two paragraphs (Security crisis in Europe and ‘reluctant Atlanticism’; France’s struggle for the ‘third way’ in the Indo-Pacific region), interpretation of the research results.
 
Competing interests: no potential competing financial or non-financial interest was reported by the authors.
 
Funding: The authors declare no external funding. 

For citation:

Zueva K., Timofeev P. The French Defense: Macrons Foreign Policy in 20222023. Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2023, no 3, pp. 62-78. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2023-3-62-78

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