2022 Race

Lula and Macron meet in Paris, both thinking of 2022

lula macron
Former President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Emmanuel Macron in Paris. Photo: Ricardo Stuckert/Lula oficial

Former Brazilian President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva visited French President Emmanuel Macron at the Élysée Palace in Paris on Wednesday, where he received honors usually befitting a current head of state. 

On his Twitter account, Lula said the two politicians discussed the climate emergency and global issues such as hunger and poverty. “We also talked about the future of the European Union and the integration of Latin America,” he added.

Brazil and France have not seen eye to eye as of recently — feuding over Amazon deforestation, in an argument that ended with President Jair Bolsonaro making unflattering remarks about the physical appearance of French first lady Brigitte Macron.

The meeting is part of Lula’s European roadshow, which included a sit-down with Germany’s chancellor-in-waiting Olaf Scholz and a speech before a committee within the European Parliament — for which he was given a standing ovation. Lula is using his trip to underline the difference between his international appeal and that of Mr. Bolsonaro, one year before they face off in the 2022 presidential election.

But Mr. Macron also gains from the meeting, by associating himself with an international left-wing politician who enjoys fabulous name recognition and approval in France. 

The French president will stand for re-election in six months and is trying to appeal to the left ahead of a runoff vote, likely to be against a far-right challenger: either Marine Le Pen, the boss of anti-immigration party National Rally, or Islamophobic political pundit Éric Zemmour.