On 7 May Emmanuel Macron, 39, won the French presidential election with a convincing 66 per cent majority vote to Marine Le Pen’s 34 per cent. Macron, a former investment banker, deputy secretary-general under François Hollande and Minister of Economy, Industry and Digital Affairs, won the election under the auspices of the independent political party he founded in 2016, known as En Marche.
“In my opinion, this is a positive move for France and for the superyacht industry,” says Thierry Voisin, president of the European Committee for Professional Yachting (ECPY). “Macron is pro-business, pro-European Union and may prove to be an antidote to the stagnant duality of the conventional left and conventional right politics. As a highly profitable business, let’s hope that Macron is prepared to listen to those with a stake in yachting.”
Macron’s entry to the political consciousness came as a result of him leaving the socialist party, of which he had been active member for a number of years. Macron is considered to be socially liberalist, anti-establishment, pro-business and vehemently pro-EU. Like Donald Trump’s politically meteoric rise, much of Macron’s success has been attributed to the public perception that he is something other than the political elite. His ascent has also been aided by a campaign season in which other candidates have represented the extremes of their parties - throughout Macron has remained proudly centrist.
“We have needed a change. Finally, all cards are back on the table, it just remains to be seen how they will be played,” continues Voisin. “His relationship with the European Union should serve to benefit the superyacht market. We are continually working towards a unifying fiscal system that will ease the superyachting experience. All yachts want is to be able to go from once destination to another with as little hassle as possible, having a president that is willing to work with the EU can only benefit this.”
As a final note, Voisin describes the effect he hopes Macron will have on a nation that has had its share of tragedy, polarising politics and economic troubles. Much of the beauty of superyachting’s culture is built on the serenity of French culture and Voisin hopes that Macron will be a calming influence. However, with all the best intentions, Macron’s success will rely on his ability to win a majority in the upcoming general elections.