MACRON’S SPEECH. Since his first election in 2017, Emmanuel Macron has fully integrated the exercise of speech into his practice of power. Back to his main speeches.

Yellow vests, health crisis, war in Ukraine… For Emmanuel Macron, the opportunities to speak have never failed. Elected in 2017 then re-elected in 2022, the President of the Republic punctuated his two terms with multiple speeches, most of the time aiming to bring the country back to calm in situations of great tension or even crisis. We remember his mea culpa-like televised speech on December 10, 2018, when the movement of yellow vests shook the country. But also, from March 2020, his regular speeches, throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, in line with the health measures of containment and deconfinement.

Beyond the most classic and solemn form of the televised speech at the Elysée, Emmanuel Macron has explored other speech formats. He will undoubtedly remain the first French president to invest so much in social networks. On July 7, 2020, he inaugurated his TikTok account by congratulating new graduates in a video. At the end of 2022, he responded on his Youtube channel to questions from Internet users about ecology. Facing the camera, in his shirt, the president adopts in these cases a more common language, a more accessible attitude, far from the serious and sometimes lyrical register of his official speeches. A panel of registers which, together, translate its desire to display a direct link to the French, to whom it is addressed without intermediary, faithful to a Gaullist conception of the exercise of presidential power.

Most of Emmanuel Macron’s speeches are available in text format on the Elysée website and in video format on the institution’s Youtube channel.

On December 18, 2018, as the anger of the yellow vests shakes the country, Emmanuel Macron speaks during a speech of nearly 13 minutes. Accused from the start of his term of being contemptuous, the president outlines a mea culpa. After having praised the courage of people in precariousness with the reinforcement of a long enumeration – a process which is dear to him -, he declares: “It could happen to me to give you the feeling that it was not my concern, that I had other priorities. I also know that I have hurt some of you with my words. This speech ends with the announcement of the holding of a “great national debate”.

This “great national debate” will be for Emmanuel Macron the opportunity for many other speeches, over the course of his wanderings on French territory and his meetings with the actors in the field.

“We are at war”, declared President Macron several times during his speech on March 16, 2020, as the Covid-19 pandemic swept over France. In an emphatic and serious speech of more than 20 minutes, the Head of State wants to be both alarmist and reassuring, while he announces without naming the first confinement. He also makes the promise that “the State will pay” the aid necessary for the survival of the economy in this time of health restriction, and this, “whatever the cost”, words which will remain.

Subsequently, Emmanuel Macron regularly takes the floor to announce new restrictive measures, or on the contrary to ease the restrictions. These speeches are often borrowed from lyricism and a warlike vocabulary. “My dear compatriots, we will have better days and we will find happy days again”, he declared for example on April 13, 2020, words which echo the title of the program of the National Council of Resistance, adopted in 1944 in the end of World War II.

On March 2, 2022, a week after the Russian army invaded Ukraine, Emmanuel Macron spoke from the Elysée. Standing behind his desk, he stands in front of three flags: that of France, that of Europe and that of Ukraine. In a serious tone, he condemns the Russian invasion and supports Ukraine. “Our freedom, that of our children, is no longer a given. It is more than ever a system of courage, a constant fight,” he said.

On February 27, 2023, on the eve of his departure for a tour in Central Africa, Emmanuel Macron delivered a long speech to the press on his vision of the African continent’s relations with Europe. He invites us to “build a new balanced, reciprocal and responsible relationship” with the continent, far from colonial logic, and to definitively turn the page on “Françafrique”.

On April 17, 2023, two days after enacting the pension reform, Emmanuel Macron addresses the French. In the country, the protest against this reform, which has been going on since January, has taken a violent turn, and the altercations between demonstrators and the police are numerous. While repeating the need for pension reform, Emmanuel Macron tries to appease the spirits: “I heard in the demonstrations an opposition to the pension reform but also a desire to find meaning in his work. improve conditions, to have careers that allow you to progress in life.”, he said, adding: “No one can remain deaf to this demand for social justice and the renovation of our democratic life”.

But even as Emmanuel Macron delivers his speech, rallies are organized in front of many town halls across the country, where opponents of the pension reform are tinting pans, in order to symbolically cover up the president’s words.

Apart from this speech, Emmanuel Macron had remained relatively withdrawn from the subject of pension reform, leaving the care of the sensitive file to his Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne. He had, however, been received on the JT of TF1 and France 2 on March 22, where he had notably declared, triggering some taunts: “As I speak to you, do you think it makes me happy to make this reform? No. Do you think I couldn’t have done like so many others before me, dusting the carpet? Yes.”

On May 15, 2023, the president was again the guest of the TF1 newscast. Anxious to turn the page on pension reform, Emmanuel Macron announced a tax cut of 2 billion for the middle classes and a new effort to reindustrialize the country. He finally promised to train Ukrainian pilots and provide new ammunition to Ukraine in its resistance effort against the Russian invasion.

Far from the serious register and the emphatic tone of televised speeches, Emmanuel Macron knows how to vary the formats of speeches. From his first mandate, he invested the field of social networks, anxious to reach a new audience, in particular among the younger generations. On July 7, 2020, he inaugurated his TikTok account with a video message in which he sent his congratulations to the new graduates. On social networks, the president appears in a more relaxed verbal and dress style than during his official speeches. In his shirt, seated a few centimeters from the camera, he expresses himself in an almost familiar register. From December 2022, he publishes several videos on his Youtube channel where he answers questions from Internet users on the theme of ecology.

The pinnacle of this game with the codes of the presidential speech is undoubtedly the shooting of a video with the youtubeurs McFly and Carlito at the Elysée, published on May 23, 2021 on the channel of the latter, and in which the president lends himself in a trivia contest.