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Macron ‘very confident’ of reaching compromise in fragmented parliament

French President Emmanuel Macron on Friday said he was optimistic a solution can be found to overcome the current parliamentary gridlock.

“I am very confident because I believe in the goodwill of the women and men who are there to represent the nation and therefore I think that things will move forward,” Macron told reporters after a meeting of EU leaders in Brussels.

In last Sunday’s parliamentary election, Macron’s coalition fell short of an absolute majority, sparking concerns about the future of his second term at the Elysée.

“France knows how to make compromises, including yours truly. We spend our lives making them here,” Macron said, referring to negotiations between EU countries.

Macron said that parties on the extremes increased their number of seats but hoped that he can convince lawmakers from different political groups to back him, describing them as “women and men who have different ideas but who fit in the Republican field and in the will to govern and make the country progress.”

The French president went on to compare France to other countries where agreements between different parties are the norm and noted that both building a “coalition” and finding cross-party support text by text are viable options.

“This is what Italy and Germany are doing, this is what we will do,” Macron said, noting that his relative majority in France’s National Assembly is “very important” compared to countries with a “proportional” electoral system such as Germany. France’s situation is “commonplace” in Europe, he said.

Macron said the fact that EU governments have to face “political complexity” won’t undermine the effectiveness of the EU but, on the contrary, will strengthen it. “It will only give us more work to do,” he conceded.

European Council President Charles Michel and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who spoke at the same press conference, said they were confident that France and Macron would maintain their leadership role at the European level.

Maïa de La Baume contributed reporting.

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