In 2009, there was an official project on French identity. In October 2009, Éric Besson, the minister for immigration and national identity, announced a three-month debate to establish what unifying values underlay modern France. The minister stated that “There was a need to redefine familiar concepts of citizenship and belonging after decades of major social change, adding “We must reaffirm the values of national identity and pride in being French,”
The extent to which such identity projects in France are a reflection of the traditional “Liberté, égalité, morosité,” (Le Monde), a reaction to a lost stature and glorious past, or a temporary loss of national pride - A 2011 BVA-Gallup poll conducted in 51 countries revealed that the French were even more pessimistic than Afghans and Iraqis. – is a matter of some debate. In some respects, the reference to French identity being the searching for identity has relevance.
I see France held the second round of local elections yesterday, with a turnout of just 41% which was understandable under the circumstances. I haven't been able to find a national summary of the results anywhere - maybe someone with more local knowledge can help?
Anyway there seems to be general agreement that Macron's party the LREM was absolutely wiped, with Le Havre being the only city of over 100,000 where it captured the mayoralty, courtesy of Edouard Philippe, Macron's PM (whom he is reportedly about to sack)!
Of the other 40 of so cities of over 100,000, the main centre-right LR won 14 including Nice and Toulouse and the old socialist PS (perhaps surprisingly) won 12 including Paris, Lille and Dijon, while their erstwhile allies the Greens won 7 including Bordeaux, Lyon and Marseille. The rest were divided between the Communists and various right or left factions, while Le Pen's RN also did badly, winning only Perpignan.
It's hard to know what if any implications this has for the 2022 presidentials. None of the other parties appear to have a non-discredited personality to take on Macron - Le Pen will no doubt get her usual 20% but there is no sign of a surge towards her. The Greens seem to be taking over a lot of the old PS vote on the left while the centre-right appears to have at least held its ground, and Macron's LREM seems to have been squeezed out by the whole lot of them.