Several potential candidates are being considered in Macron’s camp for the 2024 European elections.

La première ministre, Elisabeth Borne, discute avec la secrétaire d’Etat chargée de la biodiversité Sarah El Haïry, la secrétaire d’Etat chargée de l’Europe Laurence Boone, la présidente de l’Assemblée nationale Yaël Braun-Pivet, et la ministre des solidarités Aurore Bergé. A Louan-Villegruis-Fontaine (Seine-et-Marne), le 14 septembre 2023.

Who will Emmanuel Macron choose as the leader of the presidential camp’s list for the European elections on June 9, 2024? Many have expressed their interest in recent weeks: Stéphane Séjourné, the Secretary-General of Renaissance and President of the liberal Renew Europe group in the European Parliament, Clément Beaune, the Minister Delegate for Transport, Thierry Breton, the European Commissioner for the Internal Market, Laurence Boone, the Secretary of State for Europe, and Pascal Canfin, the President of the Environment Committee in the European Parliament.

At the Elysée, there is still a debate about the personal and political qualities that the lead candidate for the European elections should possess. Some insist on the need to choose a media personality, experienced in debates on news channels and capable of standing up to Jordan Bardella, who will lead the National Rally’s list. Others believe that a profile is needed that primarily appeals to the right.

All are aware that this choice must also be made taking into account the influential positions that France may seek in the community institutions. And the weight it will have in the negotiations that will precede the appointment, after the June 2024 election, of the next presidents of the European Commission, Council, and Parliament.

Stéphane Séjourné, a long-time companion of Emmanuel Macron, has a clear vision of the strategy he intends to defend for the European elections and the potential leader he could be. The Secretary General of Renaissance, a skilled political strategist, is aware of his weaknesses – relatively unknown to the general public and not the most charismatic for a televised debate – but he is certain that this is not the most important factor.

« Parler à son électorat »

“In 2019, we tested Nathalie Loiseau [head of the presidential camp] before the campaign, and she had a 5% recognition rate. In the end, it was at 53%. And she did not appear on the 8 o’clock news on TF1,” recalls her team. They continue, “A good head of the list is someone who speaks to their electorate. For the European left, it is necessary to sell the political project. For the European right, it is necessary to sell France’s role in Brussels.”

The Elysée is considering the possibility of Thierry Breton for a more right-wing profile, as reported by the newspaper Les Echos on September 14th. Since being in Brussels, the former Minister of Economy under Jacques Chirac has been highly visible in the media. He likes to present himself as the one who ensured that Europeans had enough vaccines against Covid-19 during the pandemic, or as the one who forced Apple to include a charger compatible with rival products in their new iPhone 15.

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