Jeffrey Lightfoot

  • Emmanuel Macron: The Trump Whisperer?

    French President Emmanuel Macron said in a television interview on April 15 that he convinced US President Donald J. Trump not to withdraw troops from Syria.

    “Ten days ago, President Trump was saying ‘the United States should withdraw from Syria.’ We convinced him it was necessary to stay for the long term,” Macron said in the TV interview.

    Macron said that he had also persuaded Trump “that we needed to limit the strikes to chemical weapons [sites], after things got a little carried away over tweets.” He has since tried to walk back those comments.

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  • The French-American Alliance in an America-First Era

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    The relationship between France and the United States is heading into a new and uncertain era reflecting the leadership of US President Donald Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron. With Macron’s April 24-25 state visit to the White House and address to a joint session of Congress as backdrop, The French-American Alliance in an America-First Era explores the contrasting personalities and worldviews of these two presidents to consider whether they will overturn a generation of strengthening bilateral relations or if their unexpected bond will usher in new opportunities.

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  • Curb Your Enthusiasm. The Road Ahead for Macron is Hard

    Observers of France’s elections can breathe a sigh of relief. The first round on April 23 resulted in centrist, liberal Emmanuel Macron of the En Marche! movement taking first place. He will face far-right National Front candidate Marine Le Pen, whose anti-EU, protectionist platform terrifies markets, in the runoff on May 7. The mere avoidance of a runoff between far-left and far-right candidates sent markets surging on expectations of a Macron victory in the second round.

    But, even if surveys show Macron with an approximately twenty-point lead over Le Pen going into the second round, France is not out of the woods just yet.

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  • Lightfoot Quoted by the Cipher Brief on the Results of the Opening Round of the French Presidential Elections


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  • Lightfoot Quoted by the Cipher Brief on Instability ahead of the French Elections


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  • Lightfoot Quoted by the Cipher Brief on the Impact of the Dutch Election Results on the Populist Movement


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  • Will France Stem the Tide of Populism?

    As France looks ahead to its 2017 presidential elections, one of many elections throughout Europe next year, the electorate’s decision will set the tone for the future of Europe, either encouraging or halting the spread of populism throughout the transatlantic community, said an expert on French public policy.

    In introductory remarks at an event at the Atlantic Council on December 13, Dominique Moïsi, a senior counsellor at the Institut Montaigne, said: “The importance of France today can be summarized in one formula: the French… can demonstrate that the victory of populism is not irresistible. That somewhere you can say no to the temptation of populism.” Ultimately, “France will assume responsibility for the liberal democratic order,” he added.

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  • Spotlight France: Europe’s Swing State

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    France’s geopolitical power in Europe is unique. It combines a positive legacy of global leadership, a rich diplomatic network, universal aspirations, global military reach, cultural influence, and economic heft. The authors, Atlantic Council Senior Fellows Jérémie Gallon and Jeff Lightfoot, of this paper, “France: Europe’s Swing State: Foreign Policy Begins at Home,” argue that France is the pivotal swing state in shaping the contours of a stronger European Union (EU) and a reinforced transatlantic alliance at a crucial moment in the history of the West. 

     

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  • Domestic Reforms Must Be a Priority for France

    France occupies a unique geopolitical position and can positively influence Europe’s trajectory, but first it must undertake significant domestic reforms, Jérémie Gallon, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Future Europe Initiative, said in a Facebook Live discussion on December 6.

    Gallon joined Jeffrey Lightfoot, a nonresident senior fellow with the Atlantic Council’s Brent Scowcroft Center for International Security, to discuss their forthcoming publication, Spotlight France: Europe’s Swing State.

    In the report, both authors argue that “what happens in France matters across Europe and it matters around the world.” Lightfoot and Gallon agreed that the future France decides to pursue, a pressing concern in light of upcoming presidential and parliamentary elections in May and June of 2017, respectively, will set the tone for the rest of Europe with regard to rising populism, economic reform, and the integration of Muslim populations into European society.

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  • Lightfoot Quoted by The Cipher Brief on France's State of Emergency


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