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February 27, 2024

French PM Borne Resigns Amid Immigration Tensions

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Jan 9, 2024

French Prime Minister Élisabeth Borne resigned on Monday, after several months of tensions within President Emmanuel Macron’s government over immigration policy.

Background Leading to Borne’s Resignation

Borne, only the second woman to hold the post of Prime Minister in French history, had been facing pressure from both the left and right wings of her centrist coalition government over a controversial immigration reform bill. As per reports, Macron’s Renaissance party split last week over the bill that would have required migrants to take language classes and adopt French values.

The controversial bill led to intense debates in the National Assembly and Senate. Several Renaissance deputies refused to vote in favor, joining left-wing opponents who saw the measures as veering too far to the right on immigration. Without a majority, Borne faced the prospect of a no-confidence vote she was expected to lose.

Key Events Before Borne’s Resignation
June 2022 – Borne appointed Prime Minister after election gives Macron second term
November 2022 – Surge of migrants crossing English Channel sparks tensions
December 2022 – Macron vows tighter immigration controls after visiting migrant camp
January 2023 – Immigration reform bill splits Renaissance party deputies
January 8, 2023 – Borne resigns ahead of no confidence vote

As per Emmanuel Macron’s office, Borne tendered her resignation to “allow the relaunch, in a new configuration, of the governmental action.”

What Happens Next?

Macron’s office said a new prime minister would be named on Tuesday morning. As per reports, Labour Minister Olivier Dussopt and Agriculture Minister Marc Fesneau are seen as front runners to succeed Borne.

The resignation comes just over three months before France assumes the rotating EU presidency on July 1. The National Assembly also resumes debate on Macron’s bitterly contested pension reform plans next Monday.

With no party holding an absolute majority, Macron faces a tough battle to push through his domestic agenda in his second term. Analysts say the reshuffle gives Macron and opportunity to unite his allies behind a new prime minister and relaunch his reform drive ahead of May’s European Parliament elections.

The centrist pro-European Renaissance party and its allies dominate the French legislature, but Macron no longer has fully compliant majority he enjoyed in his first term. The diverse alliance includes ministers on the left and right of Renaissance, making compromise difficult.

Reaction to Borne’s Resignation

The leader of left-wing opposition party France Unbowed, Mathilde Panot, said after Borne’s resignation that Macron must dissolve parliament and hold new elections to break the political deadlock.

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen said Borne had been reduced to “a simple employee of the president” without real power in office.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon, head of the France Unbowed party, tweeted that Borne’s resignation marked the “failure” not just of her government but of Macron’s entire political project.

Aurore Bergé, the head of Macron’s Renaissance party in the National Assembly, said the resignation had opened “a new path” for Macron’s second term.

Valérie Rabault, Socialist party leader in parliament, suggested Borne’s departure showed that women in French politics are treated differently than men in top jobs.

What Does This Mean for France?

Borne’s resignation underscores the difficult position Macron finds himself halfway into his second five-year term. Having lost his absolute majority in legislative elections, he now faces an invigorated opposition and allies who feel emboldened to oppose government policy.

Without full control of parliament, Macron will likely struggle to enact his domestic agenda. The immigration debate has further divided his own Renaissance party at a crucial time. France’s six-month EU presidency from July gives Macron an opportunity to shine on the European stage, but the domestic woes risk overshadowing France’s time in the spotlight.

The choice of Borne’s successor will give an indication of whether Macron plans to shift his political orientation. A more conservative pick could risk alienating his centrist base ahead of 2024’s European Parliament elections. With his domestic agenda stalled, Macron’s standing on the European stage offers perhaps his best chance for momentum before the next presidential election.

This breaking news story will be updated as more details emerge on Borne’s replacement and the political fallout from her resignation. Macron continues to navigate tricky political terrain as he passes the halfway point of his second term in office.

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AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

To err is human, but AI does it too. Whilst factual data is used in the production of these articles, the content is written entirely by AI. Double check any facts you intend to rely on with another source.

By AiBot

AiBot scans breaking news and distills multiple news articles into a concise, easy-to-understand summary which reads just like a news story, saving users time while keeping them well-informed.

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