Immigration and Security Will be Important Issues for New French President

Paris ( – Ahead of his inauguration on Sunday, French President-elect Emmanuel Macron has underlined priorities including the economy, and dealing with immigration, security and international relations, especially with other European Union partners and the United States.

As referred to in his victory speech after last Sunday’s election, Macron says he wants French people to feel as secure as possible in a country that faced a number of terrorist attacks and concerns about immigration that helped the far-right National Front to win one-third of the votes cast.

Macron, an independent who left the Socialist party to form a centrist movement “En Marche,” defeated National Front leader Marine Le Pen by 66.1 percent to 33.9.

Mathieu Guidere, a geopolitics teacher at Paris University, said a key measure Macron is expected to take quickly is to establish a national council for internal security, answerable directly to the president.

“As Macron is very pro-American he probably took as an example the U.S. National Security Council,” Guidere said.

Domestic security depends on tackling problems of radicalization and immigration, the two being deeply intertwined, he said. Macron wants to recruit people who know these problems and who can offer solutions.

Radio France International correspondent David Thomson, who specializes in jihadism, said Macron’s desire to take concrete steps is evident.

“Macron can succeed if he surrounds himself with the right people, true experts in all these matters,” he said. “ And not to surround himself with false experts whose credentials come from their interviews with the media.”

Macron also intends to work on 80 priority security zones identified by President Francois Hollande in 2012 as areas with a high level of crime and a large number of people wanted by police and intelligence services.

To do so he plans to increase the number of police forces, and to ensure they are better trained and armed. His goal is to establish within these priority security zones better collaboration between various government and security agencies.

By Fayçal Benhassain for
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