Professor of International Economics and Economic Policy at Queen Mary University of London
LONDON- Too much repetition can diminish the impact of even the most dramatic events. Such is the case with mass protests in France, which erupt so often and persist for so long that much of the world hardly takes notice. But the current bout of protests – which culminated in violent clashes with police on May 1 – warrants reflection about French society’s political alienation and what can be done about it.
Coming three years after the last major protests – an unusually long period of docility for France, brought about by the pandemic – the current wave of demonstrations was triggered by President Emmanuel Macron’s push to enact pension reform. Peaceful marches, millions-strong, were sustained for weeks, but to no avail: in March, Macron’s government raised the retirement age by decree, invoking Article 49.3 of the constitution to bypass the National Assembly.
Now, the protests have taken a violent turn. The May Day protesters clashed with police, leaving more than 100 officers injured and resulting in nearly 300 arrests. The extent to which this escalation can be blamed on Macron’s decision to bypass the legislature is impossible to say. But there is no doubt that many citizens viewed it as a slap in the face by a president who, following last year’s elections, no longer has the support of a parliamentary majority.
The President of the Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development (CIRSD), Vuk Jeremić delivered a lecture at ADA University, Azerbaijan’s top-tier educational institution entitled "Geopolitics of the Balkans and How it Relates to the Caucasus”.
Vuk Jeremić lectures at the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna
At the invitation of the Diplomatic Academy in Vienna, one of the most prestigious and oldest schools on the European continent, CIRSD President Vuk Jeremić delivered a lecture entitled “(Geo)politics of the Balkans: The Revenge of History”, on February 7th, 2023.
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