MENA Pulse on France & Macron

France has a long history of engagement with MENA, including as a colonial power and through numerous military interventions. More recently, Emmanuel Macron has sought to increase France’s influence across MENA. In 2020, he personally interceded to try to find a solution to the crisis in Lebanon and has worked to deepen engagement with other countries in the region.  Nevertheless, his personal engagement appears to have yielded limited results. Although views of France are moderately positive across the countries surveyed in Arab Barometer’s sixth wave – in five of seven at least 40 percent have a favorable view of France overall – views of Macron himself lag significantly. In no country surveyed do 40 percent of citizens have a positive view of his policies. Likely, his controversial statements about Islam and limited success in resolving the crisis in Lebanon have contributed to his lower overall ratings compared with the country he leads.