Chatham House | 10 St James's Square | London | SW1Y 4LE
Professor Philippe Marlière, Professor of French and European Politics, UCL
Quentin Peel, Associate Fellow, Europe Programme, Chatham House
Chair: Georgina Wright, Senior Researcher, Institute of Government
Further speakers to be announced.
Following a slight lull in protests over the festive season, around 50,000 gilets jaunes (yellow vests) returned to the streets of France in early January. What began in November, ostensibly as a grassroots movement against plans to raise fuel taxes, fast spiralled into widespread social anger levelled at President Emmanuel Macron. The movement is non-centralized, with no single leader, and the demands put forward by various representatives claiming to speak for the gilets jaunes are accordingly disparate, from lowering the retirement age and reintegrating the wealth tax that was repealed by President Macron last year, to controls on immigration and a grand plan for the better insulation of French homes.
With opinion polls showing support for the movement starting to decline, and the French public divided over whether it should continue, the panellists will consider how the events of the last few months will affect the next phase of Macron’s presidency. What shape can we expect reform programmes and domestic policies to take moving forward? Has the announcement of a €10 billion spending programme, which would put France in a difficult position with regard to the EU deficit limit, led Macron to lose credibility in Brussels? And in a nation boasting a long history of popular revolt, how, if at all, do the gilets jaunes protests compare to previous movements?
This event will be livestreamed.