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    French President Emmanuel Macron reacts after a meeting with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) Evaluation Commission at the Elysee Place in Paris, France May 16, 2017.

    Macron's Election Helped France to Become World Leader in Soft Power - Survey

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    France has secured the top position in the 2017 global ranking of countries' non-military global influence, which is in part attributed to the election of Emmanuel Macron as the country's president, the Soft Power 30 report published on Tuesday said.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — The 2017 Soft Power 30 index, which combines both objective digital data and and polling results from the 25 countries, showed that France had overtaken the United States as the world's top soft power, with the United Kingdom maintaining its second position two years running.

    "France’s soft power has no doubt seen a boost with the defeat of the Front National and election of its youngest ever president, Emmanuel Macron," the report, published by PR company Portland Communications, read.

    According to the report, France's greatest strength lies in its "vast diplomatic network," as the country is "unrivalled" in terms of its membership in international and multilateral organizations, and its cultural and diplomatic missions.

    "And with Macron having long campaigned for cooperation and integration, it is not unreasonable to expect France’s global engagement and influence to grow," the report noted.

    At the same time, the French president's digital savvy "had been critical" to the success of France in the 2017 Soft Power 30.

    "He follows in the footsteps of [Canadian Prime Minister Justin] Trudeau and [President of Argentina Mauricio] Macri, who each used social media to galvanise their domestic and international audiences while riding a wave of popularity to electoral victory. But like Trudeau and Macri, Macron faces the challenge of maintaining momentum… Macron should be working hard to keep his audiences excited," the report read.

    France also demonstrated strong performance in terms of its cultural and cuisine attractiveness to tourists, despite the existing terrorist threat, with its restaurant scene unmatched and film sector continuing to flourish, according to the report.

    The "soft power" concept, which was first coined by US academic Joseph Nye, is a state's ability to build international alliances, and persuade others and shape their long-term attitudes through a country's appeal and attraction, rather than through the use of force or coercion. For example, a state can project its soft power through universities and civil society institutions, as well as culture, ideas and values.

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    soft power, Emmanuel Macron, France
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