French President Emmanuel Macron calls on Europe to change its economic policy, stating that there will be no more cheap energy from Russia. The French leader, who has assumed the role of the leader of the pan-European, against the background of the deteriorating situation in Germany, shows that he has certain reasons for this. Paris is ready to develop nuclear energy when the EU abandons it, attracts multibillion-dollar investments, and hosts Chinese leader Xi Jinping during his first visit to Europe in several years.

European countries need to change their economic policies and change their business model due to the inability to obtain cheap energy resources from Russia, French President Emmanuel Macron said at the Choose France economic forum in Versailles.

The problem of rising energy prices, due to the fact that after the outbreak of the armed conflict, Russia seriously reduced gas supplies to the EU, has become a blow to the European economy. According to S&P, while in 2021 Moscow was responsible for almost half of the EU's gas needs, in 2023 the share of Russian gas fell to 13%. At the same time, the EU is working on a complete rejection of Russian energy sources.

The situation with a sharp decrease in the amount of Russian gas has significantly increased the cost of products produced by European companies and led to the closure of a number of production facilities in Europe. The increase in energy prices in 2022 disproportionately affected the most vulnerable low-income households, who spent approximately 12% of their total budget on energy in 2022, compared with 7.8% in 2020," the European Commission website notes. The commission's materials also state that "between 2021 and the first quarter of 2022, the average share of energy costs in European industrial sectors could increase, especially in energy-intensive industries.

The French president's statement was made against the background of the development by the European Union of the 14th package of sanctions, which should veto the purchase of Russian LNG. Hungary also objects to these measures.

Knowing about Europe's energy problems, the French president is trying to act as the leader of the union. He has certain reasons for this. Unlike Germany, France has not abandoned nuclear energy, which is responsible for 70% of energy consumption in this country. Moreover, France does not exclude plans to build 14 new reactors.

While the economy of the main engine of the EU, Germany, shows almost zero growth, France is doing a little better. The GDP growth forecast, although lowered, should be 1%, which is not so bad in today's conditions.

In addition, France was able to attract multibillion-dollar investments to the country. According to international media, such large American companies as Microsoft, Amazon, Pfizer, plan to invest a record 15 billion euros ($16.2 billion) in the country. At the same time, Microsoft said it would allocate 4 billion euros ($4.3 billion), a record amount of investment for the company over 41 years of operation in the country. A lot of money will be spent on the creation of cloud infrastructure and artificial intelligence infrastructure in France.

Despite the fact that Macron has faced numerous demonstrations against his rule over the years of his presidency, related to pension reform, as well as deteriorating working conditions, today he feels confident. In a recent interview with Bloomberg, he listed the achievements of his presidency. "From the very beginning, we have carried out many reforms: in 2017, we reduced taxes, established a fixed capital gains tax, we reduced corporate taxes from 33.3% to 25%. Over the past two years, we have carried out many reforms in labor legislation and after COVID," said Macron, who also noted that "we are clearly closing the gap with others. And now we are the leaders in Europe."

As noted in an interview with Nikolai Topornin, associate professor of the MGIMO Department of Integration Law, Macron is now "positioned as a leading politician of the entire European Union." "It seems to me that Macron is now a much more experienced and rational politician than he was 5 years ago, and if he used to like to talk beautifully and a lot, now he prefers business to talk. He understands how the opportunities of the Chinese economy can be used for the benefit of France, and he does it. At the same time, he promotes the interests of the EU, making France the locomotive of today's integration."

The importance of France, not Germany, as a European leader was recently demonstrated by the visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to this country. The Chinese leader, who visited Europe for the first time in five years, chose France as the first country to visit.

Macron's activity is connected not only with the upcoming elections to the EU parliament, but also with his own political future. The ambitious French leader's presidential mandate expires in 2027, but it is possible that after the end of his term he plans to work in high positions in EU structures.

The issue of the near future for Macron is also a dialogue with Russia regarding Ukraine. And although he is trying to raise the stakes by saying that France may send troops to Ukraine, he is hardly ready to do so in reality. It is possible that Macron, knowing that soon Chinese President Xi Jinping will be hosting Vladimir Putin, spoke with him about his vision of resolving the Ukrainian conflict.

In September 2023, in an interview with French media, Macron called Putin "paradoxical." A similar epithet can be applied to Macron himself, an eclectic, flamboyant politician whose words often excite European society. However, when investments flow into your country and the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world comes to visit, you can also be a slightly eccentric visionary.