French President Emmanuel Macron sweeps into DC with foreign policy that's 'more articulated, credible and serious'

Emmanuel Macron positions France to play a key role on foreign policy.

“Since his election a year ago, Emmanuel Macron has improved France’s image around the world and re-established mutual trust with foreign countries,” deputy director Bruno Tertrais of the Paris-based Foundation for Strategic Research said.

A novice on foreign affairs, the French president, amid a state visit this week to the United States, has thrown himself into putting France at the center of the international stage. "Emmanuel Macron’s foreign policy is realistic but not cynical,” Tertrais said, “and he has a good understanding of the worldwide balance of power.”

Others share that sentiment.

“When comparing Emmanuel Macron’s foreign policy with his two predecessors -- Nicolas Sarkozy and François Hollande -- there is a contrast,” Thomas Gomart, director of the French Institute for International Relations, said. “He wants to enhance the stature of the French president by giving more significance to his addresses and his behavior.”

In Syria, the French president proved his capacity to coordinate with his U.S. and British counterparts earlier this month during a joint military operation targeting the Syrian regime’s chemical facilities.

Finally, Macron has also played the role of mediator on the international stage by personally helping to resolve a political crisis between Lebanon and Saudi Arabia in November 2017.

“We have to assess foreign policy on the long term,” Gomart, of the French Institute for International Relations, said. “But, undeniably, France’s foreign policy is now more articulated, credible and serious.”

On both issues, Macron’s diplomatic skills will be tested more than ever in efforts to reverse Trump’s positions.