Energy, housing, NATO… We compared the promises of Macron and Le Pen on divisive subjects

A few hours before the debate between Marine Le Pen (RN) and Emmanuel Macron (LREM), 20 minutes compares the flagship proposals of the presidential candidates on the energy transition, a subject that breaks through in the between-two-rounds. We will also scrutinize less discussed themes, such as housing, culture, the fight against gender-based violence or discrimination, and relations with the EU and NATO.

  • What energies for tomorrow?

The energy transition is a subject of arms between Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen. If the two candidates bet on nuclear power and hydrogen, their program diverges strongly about renewable energies. To carry out her ecological policy, Marine Le Pen wants to get out of it and defends a moratorium on wind and solar power. All grants for these projects would be suspended. It would also be a question of launching the dismantling of wind sites “starting with those which reach the end of their life”, specifies the booklet of the National Gathering on ecology.

Investments would be concentrated on nuclear, hydrogen, hydroelectricity or geothermal energy, the only renewable energies to find favor. To implement its vision, the party wants to get out of the European Green Deal, a pact between EU members aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and “tracing the trajectory of the fight against climate change by function of France”. In terms of energy, this pact supports, for example, the development of renewable energies such as offshore wind power.

On the contrary, Emmanuel Macron wants to develop renewable energies in concert with nuclear power. It proposes, in its program, to install 50 wind farms at sea, with a total power of 40 GW and to multiply solar power by ten. “Getting out of renewables is a complete aberration, we would be the only country in the world to do so,” he protested in Le Havre last week. In an appeal to the voters of Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Emmanuel Macron proposed, during his meeting in Marseille, to install a Prime Minister in charge of ecological planning. This would be supported by a Minister for Energy Transition, who “will have the mission of making France the first major nation to get out of oil, gas and coal”.

Emmanuel Macron proposes to extend one of the flagship cultural measures of his five-year term, the culture pass. “Younger” children will have access to it, without it specifying from what age in its program. Presented in the form of credits to be spent in the cultural sector, this device is currently available from 15 years.

The outgoing president also wants to launch new public orders or build a “European metaverse”, by committing to respecting copyright and neighboring rights.

For Marine Le Pen, culture essentially rhymes with heritage: most of the proposals of the RN candidate concern this sector. This notably offers “a national heritage service” of six months, renewable, and open to young people aged 18 to 24. It also intends to review certain legislative provisions or encourage private owners of heritage buildings to open their doors more often. Symbolically, it intends to rename European Heritage Days as “National Heritage Days”.

  • Courted owners

Emmanuel Macron is committed to renovating 700,000 homes a year. With what terms? The renovation bonus, which he set up under the five-year term, had been judged insufficient by the Abbé-Pierre Foundation to fight against poor housing. The outgoing president also wants to facilitate access to housing for tenants by extending the public deposit. In return, he intends to “punish” the “bad payers”. Finally, he wants to redistribute powers, giving responsibility for housing to municipalities and intermunicipalities. Emmanuelle Wargon, Minister of Housing, clarified the candidate’s program: “Where necessary”, this will support the control of rents as well as “the progressive tightening of the place of seasonal rentals”.

Marine Le Pen, for her part, wants to give access to social and student housing to the French, what she calls the “national priority”. A measure currently unconstitutional, according to constitutionalist Dominique Rousseau interrogates by Release. Among the candidate’s other measures, the construction of 100,000 social housing units through which to create a rent guarantee fund “to protect landlords” – even if measures to this effect already exist. Finally, to consolidate a “France of owners”, Marine Le Pen wants to set up several financial incentives.

  • Relations with the EU and NATO, an issue since the war in Ukraine

The question of relations with NATO has been put back at the heart of international issues since the start of the war in Ukraine. In her program, Marine Le Pen gives herself the “priority” of “leaving NATO’s integrated command”. She also comes out in favor of “a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia”, when the war in Ukraine is over. The candidate also pleads in favor of “an alliance with Russia” on certain subjects: “European security”, “the fight against terrorism” and “convergence in the treatment of major regional issues impacting France”.

At the European level, Emmanuel Macron wants to reform the Schengen area by “better protecting” its “external borders”, but also by speeding up the examination of applications arriving in this area and the deportations of people whose file has been refused. Marine Le Pen says she wants to “replace the absence of any border control” with “simplified crossing procedures” for EU citizens.

What about relations with the European Union? Marine Le Pen speaks of replacing the EU with “a European alliance of nations”. Emmanuel Macron, he wants to strengthen the autonomy of the 27 on three axes: energy, strategy and technology.

  • Weak program in the fight against gender-based and sexual violence

Few things on the menu to fight against sexist and sexual violence and even less a budget of one billion euros as demanded by feminist associations. In his program, Emmanuel Macron first defends his record by giving as examples the creation of the fine against street harassment and the deployment of anti-reconciliation bracelets. He is now proposing to triple the fine for street harassment.

The program of the National Gathering is very meager too. Marine Le Pen wants to register street harassers in the file of sex offenders, a measure that does not convince the Stop Harassment de Rue association or the police union Unsa Police. The latter fears that the Fijais will become a “catch-all” file. Regarding feminicides, Marine Le Pen wants “specific measures to better prevent and repress violence committed against spouses or ex-spouses”. These measures are not detailed, it is just specified that violent spouses or ex-spouses must be judged “as soon as possible” and that the measures to protect victims “must be effective”.

In 2019, after the Grenelle of domestic violence, Sébastien Chenu, spokesman for the RN, criticized the government’s “a little weak” plan. “If it’s a great national cause, and I want it to be a great national cause, then you have to put in a big national budget, and that’s not the point,” he said. However, there is no “big national budget” on this subject in the presidential program of the RN. The MEP Jordan Bardella, at the same time, saw above all behind “the subject of impunity, of judicial laxity”.

  • The fight against discrimination, the poor relation

On issues of the fight against discrimination such as racism or anti-Semitism, the outgoing President emphasizes housing and working environment. If elected, Emmanuel Macron will set up controls in companies with more than 5,000 employees, and, following the publication of the results, he will apply sanctions if necessary. On the point of housing, he wants to implement a public guarantee for tenants.

On the side of the candidate of the National Rally, the only times when the term discrimination appears in his program, it’s about people with disabilities. Marine Le Pen wishes to “guarantee people with disabilities their rightful place in society”. To do this, it wants to enshrine the cause in the Constitution, on the occasion of its constitutional reform.

In both programs there are blind spots. If Emmanuel Macron is pleased to have opened the PMA for all women and to have banned conversion therapies in France, remarks by the President of the Republic have recently caused controversy, as explained Release. In an interview with Brut, he was reluctant to learn about gender and sexual orientation issues at school. He opposes it in primary school and was very skeptical to talk about it in college, while sex education courses have been planned since the 2001 law.

Marine Le Pen wants “a three-year moratorium on societal issues”, evoking without naming them marriage for all and access to PMA for all, subjects which “have divided French society”, believes. -she. She defends the prohibition of surrogacy (GPA) and will refuse to recognize the filiation of children born of GPA abroad.

The fight against Islamophobia is, moreover, completely absent from the programs of the two candidates. On the contrary, Marine Le Pen’s proposal to ban the wearing of the veil in public places stigmatizes women of the Muslim faith who wear it. RN vice-president Jordan Bardella wanted to tone down this proposal this week: this ban would be a “goal” and no longer “a priority”.

But as researcher Bruno Nassim Aboudrar explained to Mediapart “We must first remember that the Republic protects freedoms – including that of dressing as one pleases. Veiled women must benefit from a presumption of freedom, which extends to any citizen, to any citizen. Instead, the hunt for the veil is based on a presumption of alienation that is hardly republican in principle. »

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