Less radical experts in France agree that we are more likely to see the myth of “happy” globalization being destroyed, which brings only benefits to humanity. The first pandemic of the 21st century indicates that the triumph of uncontrolled globalisation is a short-term and very ephemeral moment in history. Hubert Védrine (French Foreign Minister in 1997-2002) points out that in the euphoria of endless consumption, mankind has lost the ability to view globalisation processes critically. As a result, we came to an erroneous understanding of this phenomenon: the liberalisation of financial processes and the use of supply chains along the periphery-centre line. Blind confidence in the invisible hand of globalisation brought the world to a red line.
The general attitude regarding the unity of Europe in French society is pessimistic. For the French, it is obvious that the pan-European reaction was too late and insufficient. Eric Zemmour, a scandalous writer because of his ultra-right-wing beliefs, claims that the European Union as an institution became the first real victim of the COVID-19 virus. The Italians from Lombardy, faced with the threat of death from a new virus, turned not to Brussels, but still to Rome. The French made jokes at the beginning of the Italian tragedy, and Berlin refused to supply medical equipment to their European brothers. Closed borders in Europe are the end of all illusions about a united Europe, concludes the convinced Eurosceptic Zemmour.
Criticism of internal political processes in France is just as merciless. Blind faith in the effectiveness of economic neoliberalism and in a world without geographical borders, as well as absolute fidelity to globalism (Macron's famous quote that the virus does not have a passport), are the reasons for the French defeat in the battle with coronavirus. The virus was able to complete the task that the "yellow vests" did not have time to complete - to debunk the myth of "happy globalisation", which is equally beneficial to everyone and brings only positive results.
Of course, the left and right in France criticise the Palais de l'Élysé in different ways and for different things. Right-wing conservatives emphasize national interests, sovereignty, and the subordination of France to global processes. In his address to the French people, Macron used the word “war” 6 times: Where is the weapon and the strategy with which the president is going to wage this war? Are there in France enough masks, since even under Francois Hollande it was decided not to produce them anymore? Macron is blamed for his globalist attitudes, thanks to which France made it dependent on China for masks: after all, the country has been purchasing them from there in recent years.
Leftists are wondering if the current president, a descendant from the banking sector, is able to become more socially oriented after shock therapy with the COVID-19 virus. In an appeal to the nation on March 16, Macron drew attention to national interests, the protection of socially disadvantaged groups, and also stated that health should not be bought and that there were non-market values. For socialists, the coronavirus is seen as a good lesson for the president, who, being blinded by successes in the global arena, ceased to notice and understand ordinary Frenchmen.
However, among the French, there are not only critics, but also optimists. A number of journalists and politicians are now writing that France can set an example for other countries and offer an alternative to the Chinese way of defeating the virus. Yes, in Europe decisions are made more slowly, but they are achieved through persuasion and end with a consensus. The European MP Francois-Xavier Bellamy believes that France has sufficiently-developed civic responsibility and strong democratic mechanisms, thanks to which the French will be able to show their individual consciousness for the collective good without an authoritarian state.