Why is the return of Macron a big relief & good news for Indo-French relations?

The return of Macron will prove to be an important milestone in Indo-French relations. It will help in the long-term stability of the relations and may even result in the elevation of the Indo-French relations to some kind of special strategic partnership.
Why is the return of Macron a big relief & good news for Indo-French relations?
There have been many instances where the Macron administration has supported India. One can easily recollect the French support to India on the matters of Kashmir and POK in UNSC. (IANS)

By winning the 2nd term as the French president, Emmanuel Macron has created history, as in the last 20 years, no French president has been able to win a second consecutive term. The return of Macron will prove to be an important milestone in Indo-French relations. It will help in the long-term stability of the relations and may even result in the elevation of the Indo-French relations to some kind of special strategic partnership.

Next month, the Indian PM Modi will be visiting France to congratulate and meet President Macron. They will discuss several matters, including the India - EU FTA negotiations. It would be the first international level meeting of President Macron since his recent election victory.

Why were French elections important for India?

If Marine Le Pen, the second most popular presidential candidate, would have won the elections, it would have been comparatively bad for India. Le Pen's policies have been anti-EU, anti-Indo Pacific, anti-NATO & anti-Immigrants. Her policies are far-right and she has been vocal about focusing on the internal economy and job creation in France. On one hand, she is pro-China and supports improvement in China-France relations, while on the other hand, she has many times been against French activities and participation in the Indo-Pacific region. She has also been extremely pro-Frexit (France Exit from EU). This means that if she would have won the elections, it might have resulted in Frexit, which in turn would have been extremely bad for India, as India has been quite dependent on France when it comes to FTA negotiations with the EU.

As she is anti-Indo Pacific and pro-China, on the matters of countering and challenging China too, it would have become difficult for India to count on France and French assistance in the case of Le Pen as the president of France.

Macron has been vocal about assisting and supporting India in trade with the EU and supplying India with advanced French military hardware. (IANS)
Macron has been vocal about assisting and supporting India in trade with the EU and supplying India with advanced French military hardware. (IANS)

Macron's India focused policies:

Macron believes that the EU is important for France and any trade between France and India should be through the EU. Macron believes that the EU is the channel through which India and France should carry out their bilateral trade.

Moreover, Macron has been vocal about assisting and supporting India in trade with the EU and supplying India with advanced French military hardware. The Macron administration has also backed India's stand on the matters like Terrorism, Kashmir, and an open & free Indo Pacific.

There have been many instances where the Macron administration has supported India. One can easily recollect the French support to India on the matters of Kashmir and POK in UN/UNSC. The Macron administration was among the very few that were the first to support India during the abrogation of article 370, the Chinese aggression in Dhoklam and LAC, etc. France also fast-tracked the delivery of Rafale jets to India despite the disruptions caused by the pandemic.

Though Macron is considered to be a centrist and Le Pen is from a far-right ideology, it is Macron's pro-India foreign policy that has time and again benefited India and its narrative in this dynamic new world order. Thus, the return of Macron is not just good news for India, but moreover, it is a sign that the Indo-French relation is destined to touch greater heights in the second term of President Macron.

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