Martin Quencez is managing director of geopolitical risk and strategy. Over the past ten years, he has held several positions at GMF, including as deputy director of the Paris office and research fellow in the Security and Defense program. His work includes research on transatlantic security and defense cooperation, and US and French foreign policy, on which he regularly writes for international media. He is a co-author of GMF’s annual flagship Transatlantic Trends report. 

Quencez is also an associate researcher for the European Council on Foreign Relations, working in France for its European Powers program. He has taught transatlantic relations at the Euro-American campus of Sciences Po and, prior to joining GMF, worked for the Institute of Defense Studies and Analyses in New Delhi, focusing on French and Indian strategic thinking. 

Quencez studied international relations at the Uppsala University and is a graduate of Sciences Po. He is completing a PhD in contemporary history at Sorbonne Nouvelle University. 

Media Mentions

Macron right now is in a position where clearly France has lost influence in a region where we have invested a lot of money and military capacity in the region.The results are quite limited, to say the least.
If the Biden administration is as committed as it says it is to the alliance around the world, then it needs to take into consideration the effects of its domestic politics policies on the same allies.
The question is whether the U.S. Congress can still produce foreign policy, can still produce predictability for allies, or if it will revolve around partisan debates that have very little importance to Europeans.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine has made some of the traditional transatlantic security discussions obsolete. It could lead to a new order for security cooperation between the United States and Europe.
The electors care about the domestic situation first, and we elect the French president with the intention to have someone to defend French interests.
I don’t imagine Marine Le Pen going to see Vladimir Putin two weeks after getting elected and talking about a great reset in relations. Rather, it would be more like Le Pen, as president, making it more difficult for the EU and the US to agree on a new posture — a new package of sanctions, and to agree within NATO on what we need to do on the eastern flank.
The electors care about the domestic situation first, and we elect the French president with the intention to have someone to defend French interests.
There is an obvious political pressure today. We have terrible images [of Ukraine] in the media and the whole population is watching and so it is normal to have a reaction. In a year or two, where will they be and what will their policy priorities be? We’ll see.
There are really concrete policy reforms that Macron has in mind to strengthen the EU and use it as a vehicle for French interests. Le Pen is the exact opposite.
Le Pen’s campaign platform suggests she would override EU decisions she does not believe in, such as imposing tight border controls around France, and giving French citizens preference in labor markets; both those violate the EU’s core principles. It is hard to see how this would not lead to France pulling out of the EU. There are opt-outs on every situation, to not implement EU decisions if it is against France’s interests.
Despite the war, Marine Le Pen is still advocating for an alliance with Russia and still considers that it will be possible for her as president to consider Vladimir Putin as an ally.
Although there has been an enormous effort by Marine Le Pen to sort of normalize her image and to cut some of the most controversial slogans from her program, if you look at the details, it hasn't changed that much. The vision that Marine Le Pen promotes is extremely different from the one that Emmanuel Macron supports.
This work allowed us to react quickly after February 24. But it has reached its limits. The question of the finality of the sanctions arises. ... Ultimately, there is enormous pressure on the Europeans, especially Warsaw, Berlin and Paris to continue to work together on the Ukrainian issue.
[The war in Ukraine has served as a tragic reminder of why the NATO alliance exists in the first place: to protect member states from a threat that is] very real. In that respect, the war is particularly damning for those candidates who claimed the threat was non-existent.
It was an impossible mission. It was necessary to include a certain number of countries that do not represent democratic values, either because they are important allies in the framework of NATO or other American partnerships in the world, or because there was no question of isolating potentially important countries in the competition with China.
Translated from French