Mr Macron has been accused of “snubbing the French and his country” in favour of the European Union. President Macron has repeatedly emphasized the fact that France took the rotating presidency of the EU at the beginning of January. However, the question of Brussels and the future of the EU is set to play a huge role in the upcoming presidential election in France.
Douglas Herbert, France24’s International Affairs Commentator, said: “For Macron, there is zero incompatibility between being the rotating president of the EU and being president of France.
“He sees them as having shared values, and that they go hand in hand.
“But, critics claim he will be snubbing the French and his own compatriots in the name of a broader EU ideal. Macron has said this is hogwash, essentially.
“Last week, he put the EU flag over the Arc de Triomphe. That drew a backlash from his opponents, saying it was snubbing France and French values, that he was obsessed with the EU.”
He continued: “You can see how much controversy it brings that Macron puts him out there as so pro-EU.
“It is a lightning rod for his opponents in that is going to be a heated presidential campaign.”
Mr Macron is under increasing pressure from French citizens after vowing to “p*** off” those refusing the jab.
On Saturday, more than 100,000 furious protesters turned out across France to voice their anger at Mr Macron and the plan for further Covid restrictions.
Conservative challenger Valérie Pécresse said President Macron’s remarks were driving a wedge through the country.
Far-right candidate Eric Zemmour denounced what he called childish remarks.
It comes as an Elabe poll for “Les Echos”, Classic Radio and the Montaigne Institute revealed only 27 percent of French people “think that the advantages of the EU outweigh its disadvantages”.
Last week, French authorities were forced to remove a temporary installation of the EU flag from the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, after rightwing opponents of Macron accused him of “erasing” French identity.