She no longer wants ‘Frexit’, but Marine Le Pen wants to follow Poland

In 2022, you will no longer hear Marine Le Pen about Frexit, abolishing the euro or blowing up the Schengen agreements. The nationalist-populist presidential candidate, who will face incumbent President Emmanuel Macron in the second round of the French presidential election on April 24, seems at first glance to have significantly weakened her European policy compared to 2017.

But if you delve deeper into the program of the radical right-wing politician, you will see that she continues to advocate a major change of course when it comes to Europe. The politician has quietly transformed from a supporter of the ‘British model’ – full withdrawal from the EU, which she advocated in 2017 – to a supporter of the ‘Polish model’, where a member state wants to take advantage of EU lusts but does not want to commit to all rules and common values. Europe on the map.

If Le Pen becomes president, she wants to unilaterally reduce France’s contribution to the EU budget – which seems impossible, since the budget has already been approved by 2027 – and restrict the free movement of goods and people. This is so that border controls can be introduced to combat fraud and give the French a privileged position in areas such as labor and social housing. She calls it national priority.

Also read: Marine Le Pen is advancing with a radical right-wing program under the ‘mantle of everyday life’

The leader of the National Assembly also wants to avoid a number of articles of the European Convention on Human Rights, in order to enable the deportation of foreigners to countries that are dangerous for them. And she wants to get out European electricity market because he believes that France can generate its own energy with its nuclear reactors – which experts contradict.

In order to be able to implement all these changes legally, the presidential candidate wants, among other things, to put French law above European law and ignore the rulings of the European Court of Justice. “Without leaving the EU, France would deliberately violate European Union law and follow European standards only if it has an immediate interest,” Marc-Olivier Padis of Terra Nova’s progressive think tank concluded earlier this month.

Millions of fines

The plans are very reminiscent of what has happened in recent years in Poland, which has also been ruled by nationalists. First, they kidnapped the Constitutional Court with illegally appointed friends and let that Court decide late last year that national politicians can ignore parts of European law and that judgments of the European Court of Justice are not necessarily binding. As the European Commission continues to consider the judgments of the Court in Luxembourg (of course) binding, it has imposed various penalties on Poland for violating binding European agreements.

Such punishments await France if she President Le Pen it manages to pursue its policy – which is not said, because then the French people, among other things, would have to agree to a series of constitutional amendments in a referendum. There are also far-reaching implications for the rest of the European Union. Some analysts argue that ‘Frexit’ with these plans is inevitable – some even think Le Pen is secretly still longing for him – because too many of her ideas conflict with European regulations and values. However, the choice to leave the EU should come from France itself: the Union cannot expel member states against their will.

Also read: Why Poland will not be expelled from the EU

Le Pen himself says he dreams of a ‘European League of Nations’, in which member states act more sovereignly. An anonymous RN politician said Time that Le Pen wants to change the EU by working with other nationalist leaders, such as its Hungarian soul mate Viktor Orbán. “There are so many other countries [sic] with the same views in the European Parliament that we think we can change the EU from within. ”

Le Pen’s admiration for politicians like Orban has been no secret for years: for example, she visited the Hungarian prime minister in October as part of her election campaign and was one of the first to meet him. congratulations with his re-election earlier this month. Controversial legal changes such as Hungary’s ban on “gay propaganda” refuse to condemn Le Pen, under the guise of national sovereignty.

It seems to be President Le Pen would lead to political realignment in the EU. The presidential candidate wants to co-operate more with Hungary and Poland and reverse rapprochement with Germany. If she becomes president, it can serve as a legitimacy for nationalist-sovereign ideology: if the EU’s founder and the other economy of the Union also take a Eurosceptic stance, this movement can no longer be dismissed as marginal, but must be considered a serious threat to the European project. . “We all need to gather behind Emmanuel Macron,” said Michael Roth, a former German European minister and now chairman of the Bundestag’s foreign affairs committee. Either he or the fall of a united Europe. It sounds a bit dramatic, but that’s what it is. “

If more Member States interpret European rules in their own way, de facto EU-wide rules would no longer exist. According to Marc-Olivier Padis of the Terra Nova think tank, this would pave the way for “inequalities in rights and treatment between Member States and EU citizens, to the extent that the European convergence project itself would be severely disrupted and meaningless.”

Also read: Macron is far from defeating the nationalist right-wing Marine Le Pen

No election topic

It is astonishing that the theme of the ‘European Union’ is hardly an inward-looking election in France. Le Pen’s opponents have so far focused more on her plans at the national level. For example, anti-racist organizations fear apartheid in the French style“, Because of Le Pen’s intention to connect the right to work, social housing and benefits with nationality. Climate activists warn of her intention to stop building windmills. And French Muslims are worried about Le Pen’s announced ban on wearing a headscarf on the street.

Probably this national focus has to do with the fact that Le Pen is so insecure in its plans for Europe. She talks about saving France from supranational hands, that France is “losing control” and that “our heritage” is being sold off. He often does not talk about the EU or Brussels, but about ‘leaders’, ‘self-proclaimed elites’ or ‘certain forces’.

Its pro-European rival Macron mentions the consequences President Le Pen at European and international level. For example, the president said in the city of Châtenois in Alsace on Tuesday that Le Pen was in favor of a project “hiding the way out of Europe”. Then warn: “If you leave this Europe of peace, which is the result of the past eighty years, you will return to nationalism and war.”

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