We use cookies to help improve and maintain our site. More information.
close

January 25, 2019

Is this the beginning of the end of the gilets jaunes?

Is the gilets jaunes movement about to disintegrate? Ingrid Levavasseur's list for the European elections sends another shock wave through the gilets jaunes, who are splitting over whether and how to politicise the movement. Some of their leading figures came out sharply against Levavasseur and her campaign manager Hayk Shahinyan, and even their own online community seems to have taken issue with the plan. One of their arguments is that the European Parliament is useless and in total contradiction with the aims of the movement. Some expect it to only play into the hands of Emmanuel Macron and his party. The far-right parties are not interested in a gilets jaunes list either, as it is likely to pick up some of their voters. After all, all those parties run on people's anger. 

L'Opinion predicts that the movement will disintegrate over its internal contradictions. Some gilets jaunes still believe that all the different undercurrents can unite behind a common initiative. The question then is how far can they go, and which way forward, with or without their leaders. 

Six groups with different leaders and methods can be identified inside the gilets jaunes. Some of them want to go for the regional elections instead of a European list, others do not want to enter the political fray at all. Some are more radical, others are more open to dialogue. 

Apart from these media figures there is also a crowd of small regional groups that seek to unite their forces nationwide. They count on internet platforms to consult with the citizens. Two platforms, Nous-citoyens (we the citizens) and Le vrai débat (the true debate), are about to be launched as a direct challenge to the grand débat national organised by the government. They want to stay away from self-proclaimed leaders. About 75 groups are expected to meet up in Commercy this weekend.

As long as the movement is in flux, it is hard to predict where it will go. What is clear is that it continues to put the government on the spot. Gérald Darmanin, budget minister, might be tempted to resign. If so, it would be another blow for Macron's attempt to hold it all together.

Show Comments Write a Comment

January 25, 2019

Kurz speculates about longer Brexit delay

The prospect of a no-deal Brexit prompts growing speculation from EU leaders about how to avoid it by buying a few more months to find a way out of the current impasse. In Davos, Sebastian Kurz reiterated earlier calls to extend Art. 50 beyond the March 29 deadline. This would be unproblematic for so long as the extension does not trigger UK participation in the European elections in May, the Austrian chancellor suggested. Echoing speculation about legal loopholes allowing a longer extension, Kurz pointed to the possible legal precedent of Austria and other member states whose representation in the European Parliament at the time of EU accession had been ensured for a limited period of time by national parliamentary delegates rather than elected MEPs. A similar legal arrangement might make it possible for the EU to extend Art. 50 for longer than three months, without forcing the UK to elect MEPs but so that the UK can still be represented in the new European Parliament convening on July 2nd.  Michel Barnier had said earlier this week that the EU’s legal services were still exploring whether such a way forward would be legally sufficiently watertight — a challenge before the ECJ would be a near certainty.

We expect the EU to find a legal way to extend beyond July if this were necessary. But for political reasons the EU remains reluctant to grant a blind extension, at least not beyond June. The scenario portrayed by Kurz is thinkable if, for example, the UK were to hold a second referendum or an election with an ensuing change of government. In any case, as Michel Barnier said, the UK will need to have a strategy in place before an extension is granted. This is why we think the Cooper/Boles amendment is probably not as significant as it is made out to be by the UK press, since it is only procedural.

Show Comments Write a Comment

This is the public section of the Eurointelligence Professional Briefing, which focuses on the geopolitical aspects of our news coverage. It appears daily at 2pm CET. The full briefing, which appears at 9am CET, is only available to subscribers. Please click here for a free trial, and here for the Eurointelligence home page.

 

Recent News

  • May 28, 2018
  • A no-confidence motion that could backfire
  • The political repercussions of a historic referendum in Ireland
  • Why the lack of an international role for the euro matters
  • September 15, 2017
  • Juncker dragged into the Catalan fray
  • What to say in Florence
  • How to fill the gap left by the British MEPs
  • January 05, 2017
  • French Socialist primaries - old wine in new bottles
  • Le Pen's hard ecu
  • Will Tusk get a second mandate?
  • Themes of 2017
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • April 26, 2019
  • How Brexit has given rise to different perceptions of reality
  • The EP, not Madrid, will boost Spanish clout
  • How realistic is a Gaullist Europe?
  • September 17, 2018
  • About the new partnership between Russia and China
  • EU ponders Irish backstop protocol to help May
  • February 07, 2018
  • A short note on bitcoin
  • July 04, 2017
  • On the CDU’s programme
  • Macron defines his presidential style
  • Why do we criticise modern macro?
  • November 28, 2016
  • And now what Monsieur Fillion?
  • The inescapable logic of an interim agreement
  • On Germany's foreign policy post-Trump
  • How to lose against the populists
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • September 26, 2019
  • Could Johnson be headed for an electoral landslide?
  • Macron's conquest of public opinion over pension reform
  • Marion Maréchal keeps dream of political comeback alive
  • March 29, 2019
  • Don't take Macron for granted
  • Green is EU's future - Loiseau takes a stance
  • October 01, 2018
  • After the referendum, more turmoil in Macedonia
  • What will happen if the UK parliament votes No?
  • Barnier's no-thanks works much better than a yes-please
  • April 03, 2018
  • Is the time for Brexit revocation running out?
  • October 04, 2017
  • On why Theresa May is likely to survive
  • On how to resolve the Brexit talks
  • Social housing - not a good start for the French government
  • April 11, 2017
  • What to expect, and not expect from Schulz
  • The view from Berlin
  • The view from Moscow
  • October 17, 2016
  • Ceta is dead for now
  • L’après-Hollande, c'est Hollande
  • SPD against Russia sanctions
  • Nissan to join customs union and other fanciful tales
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 02, 2019
  • What Boris wants...
  • Ditched again - the decline and fall of Manfred Weber
  • May 27, 2019
  • The rising chances of a no-deal Brexit
  • January 18, 2019
  • Why Dublin won't yield on the backstop
  • Town hall debates vs street protests - who is winning?
  • September 13, 2018
  • Bravo Mr Juncker for raising the issue of the euro’s international role. But what now?
  • Are the eurosceptics imploding?
  • May 10, 2018
  • Time for some clear thinking on Trump and Iran
  • Will Corbyn accept the EEA? Brexiteers can relax. He won't.
  • What next for the DUP?
  • January 05, 2018
  • Catalonia's government by Skype
  • The case for EEA membership
  • August 24, 2017
  • Legislative hyperactivity for Tsipras' new narrative
  • On the deep causes of euroscepticism
  • April 23, 2017
  • The demise of the AfD has accelerated dramatically
  • On how France will need to confront Germany
  • December 21, 2016
  • A culture of denial
  • Ukraine agreement hangs in the balance
  • Valls U-turn on 49-3
  • Beware of exotic Brexit options
  • August 22, 2016
  • Gold for Brexit
  • EU and Turkey talking past each other
  • Switzerland is the next migrant transit country
  • On the death of neoliberal economics
  • April 25, 2016
  • The death of the Grand Coalition
  • Insurrection against TTIP
  • Juppé to benefit from Macron hype
  • On optimal currency areas
  • Why the Artic region could be the next geopolitical troublespot
  • From a currency to a people
  • October 08, 2019
  • Brexit extension as casus belli?
  • If you appoint a woman, I can appoint a man
  • September 17, 2019
  • Beware of the diplomacy of humiliation
  • Germany’s climate hypocrisy
  • August 27, 2019
  • Remain’s narrowing pathway
  • Macron's diplomatic masterstroke
  • August 05, 2019
  • No deal first, elections later
  • Free movement of labour? Not for politicians
  • Europe already lost the digital battle
  • July 16, 2019
  • What next, after EU sanctions Turkey?
  • What to make of Johnson’s four-point Brexit plan
  • Galileo fails, and nobody notices
  • June 28, 2019
  • In Osaka
  • June 12, 2019
  • What Spain wants from the EU
  • What to focus on in the Brexit procedure, and what not
  • May 28, 2019
  • Greens in EP boosted by numbers and national politics
  • May 13, 2019
  • Brexit Party has already changed UK politics
  • Orbán visits Trump, after a very long wait
  • Le Pen's appeal to the PiS likely to fall on deaf ears
  • April 29, 2019
  • Labour's national executive to vote on second referendum
  • What the debate about electric cars says about Germany
  • April 15, 2019
  • Finland's far right changes the game
  • Brexit party drawing almost even with the Tories
  • April 04, 2019
  • Juncker seeks to pull the plug on no-deal temptations
  • Which campaign promise to break - French edition
  • The failure of strategic thinking and its consequences
  • March 25, 2019
  • An object lesson in realpolitik
  • On the probability of a no-deal Brexit
  • March 13, 2019
  • Not really all that meaningful
  • Will the EPP merely put Orban on probation?
  • Why AKKs riposte to Macron is deeply disturbing
  • March 05, 2019
  • The most promising Brexit strategy we have heard yet
  • February 25, 2019
  • Deal versus short delay
  • The astonishing weakness of Five Star
  • The real threat is from the left not the right
  • February 18, 2019
  • How the splits on the left and the right will affect Brexit
  • February 11, 2019
  • SPD dumps Hartz IV
  • Macron's revival
  • February 04, 2019
  • Watch out for the resurgence in Tory unity
  • The gilets-jaunes' effect on the European elections
  • What did he possibly mean by that?
  • January 31, 2019
  • EU will play hardball until February 14, and stick to backstop beyond
  • French left and right moves ahead of EP elections
  • Tighten the belts as the economy prepares for landing
  • January 29, 2019
  • What comes after plan B fails? Plan C, of course. C for cliff-edge
  • Gilets jaunes, how to structure a movement in free flow?
  • European Court of Auditors criticises Juncker’s investment fund
  • January 28, 2019
  • Battle of the amendments
  • How the Prespes deal affects the next Greek elections