Independent, pro-European Union centrist Emmanuel Macron has won the French presidency after defeating the far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen. A former investment banker, 39-year-old Macron is France’s youngest-ever president, and had never been elected to any office before his win. He drew 66 percent support in the run-off Sunday, against 34 percent for Le Pen. After President Trump’s victory and the Brexit vote, many around the world worried that the French would elect Le Pen and further strengthen the anti-immigrant, populist trend sweeping the Western world. Macron’s victory has also been a big relief for the European Union, which Le Pen threatened to leave.
Her party’s final result, however, marked a historic high for the French far right, and secured her a solid place in her country’s political sphere. We talk about what led to Macron’s win, and how he could shape the future of France and Europe with Maxime Larive, the Associate Director of the European Union Center at the University of Illinois.