Emmanuel Macron's overwhelming victory over the right-wing nationalist Marine Le Pen in the final round of the French presidential election by 66 percent of the votes cast to 34 percent for his opponent is good news for those who believe in liberal democracy. But the threats to democratic institutions in the West are real and increasing.

In France, President Macron, whose new party La Republique En Marche has yet to hold seats in parliament pending the June election, faces huge challenges to his proposals to reform the way the French economy operates. Both right-wing and left-wing extremists will fiercely oppose him.

In Germany's autumn elections, the right-wing AfD may gain representation in the Bundestag, but democratic processes in Germany are strong enough to cope with any threat from the right or from Russian attempts to manipulate the electoral process. Chancellor Angela Merkel remains Europe's staunchest upholder of liberal democracy.