After school, Macron entered the elite École nationale d’administration (ENA), whose graduates, known as Enarques, form a network of influence spread across government, finance and business. After that, he went to work at the French Rothschild bank. At the same time he acted as an economic adviser to François Hollande. When Hollande won the presidential election in 2012 and entered the Élysée, he became Hollande’s deputy chief of staff – in other words, the President’s Sherpa. In August 2014, Macron was appointed Hollande’s economy minister. He was 36 years old.
In October 2015, in the utmost secrecy, Macron began planning the launch of a new party, to be called En Marche!. It would be designed to harness the anti-establishment, anti-elite movement that had fuelled Trump’s election and Brexit and Nuits Debout, a French social movement.
The movement would be self-organising. According to Plowright’s book, members would sign up and then each of them was then contacted by a local coordinator and invited to attend a meeting. Some of these new members would then be selected to start new committees in their area, meaning a network of even smaller groups gradually spread across the country. Each local committee would be encouraged to organise autonomously.
What, then, do we know of Macron’s attitude to the European Union? I don’t think he has said that he wants to see a United States of Europe, but his recommendations would fit into that blueprint.
He wants a common European defence policy with close coordination between Britain, France and Germany. He believes that there should be a common border protection force to check illegal immigration, with a system for dividing up refugees between member states once they arrived.