Le Pen 'optimistic' about Eurosceptic group in EU Parliament

23 eurodéputés du Front national sont entrés au Parlement européen. Ils étaient seulement 3 entre 2009 et 2014
The three National Front MEPs in the European Parliament . [EurActiv.fr]

Four months ahead of the European elections, the creation of a Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament is well under way, according to the president of the French far-right Front National (FN), EurActiv.fr reports.

Speaking at a press conference on Wednesday (22 January), Marine Le Pen, who was elected to the European Parliament in 2009, said she was “optimistic” about the chances of creating such a political group.

The FN’s programme is focused on fighting flagship EU projects like the euro currency and the Schengen passport-free area, promoting the “primacy of the nation-state” over international institutions like the EU.

This populist and Eurosceptic agenda is shared by a number of other European parties. The European Alliance for Freedom (EAF), a recently created pan-European group of Eurosceptics, brings together the French FN, the Austrian FPÖ, the Belgian Vlaams Belang and the Swedish Democrats, which together will constitute the basis of the future parliamentary group.

“We hope we will be able to establish a group after the EU elections with other parties who share our criticism of the EU and we’re working on it,” Le Pen explained.

However, the alliance may be short of MEPs to form a political group in Parliament. Even though opinion polls suggest the FN could become France's biggest party at the election, it would still need 25 MEPs from at least six other member states to create a political group in the European Parliament. The FN currently has three MEPs, the Austrians and Belgians have two, while the Swedish have none, meaning they will need to broaden their network.

Italy and Lithuania on board

The president of the Front National claims she wants a “political” group and not only a technical group, but remains deliberately vague on the possible alliances.

“To create a group, we first need candidates to be elected,” she said. “We will wait and see if the group gets elected candidates at the next European elections,” Le Pen explained.

For now, meetings are taking place with Geert Wilders, the Dutch leader of the Freedom Party PVV and with the Northern League in Italy. Other Eurosceptic parties in Italy could become potential partners, she said.

“Italy is incredibly rapidly moving towards a strong Eurosceptic tendency,” Le Pen underlined.

French divisions

While the French far-right is trying to unite forces at EU level, it faces divisions at home. Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, the leader of a competing Eurosceptic French party refused to join the FN on electoral lists, saying he will run independently.

“Nicolas Dupont-Aignan has exactly the same positions as we do on the EU but he refused to accept a helping hand and wants to run alone,” Le Pen deplored, predicting that Dupont-Aignan's party was bound to “fail” and was “dividing the patriots’ camp”.

Aymeric Chauprade, an expert in geopolitics and advisor to Le Pen on international issues since 2010, will be leading one of the FN's electoral lists for the EU elections.

But the FN president refused to say more about the candidates, adding that names would be unveiled progressively.

For now, only a few candidates are known, among whom are Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie, 85, the founder the of the Front National.

  • 22-25 May 2014: EU Parliament elections
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Menno Bart's picture

I'm surprised about your reporting on the alliance between FN and PVV. Rather than "talks taking place", the two parties already agreed to cooperate, and held a joint press conference on the matter. Geert Wilders is one of the driving forces behind this movement... So they are closer than it now seems.

United Alliance's picture

Come on Le Pen Dynastie and extrelmy righties wild nut brain ! Let's split europe !
Come on kill the economy, free mouvements,free trade , kill the european dollar, build borders around all countries with military snipers ..and shot the enemy ! Let's kill again sons , daughter and families in future !
No remords as well inconsciousness of the WW1&2 killin' party!

No!! this won't happen again!
God bless the United Europe!

Tarsier's picture

Marine Le Pen seems to forget some important facts that could help her understand Dupont-Aignan's refusal !!

1 - Just notice who is sitting next to her on the picture : her father Jean-Marie and Bruno Gollnisch, who are obviously far-right winged, while Dupont-Aignan is no extremist and tries to think above left and right ideas that don't mean anything anymore in France.

2 - Front National and Debout La République will be part of different groups that are both Under way, one with extremists nationalists (BP for instance), another one with patriots (Ukip, maybe AfD and others who would never accept to be allied to FN !)

Euroscepticism can be represented by several groups, just like euroyes-men are !!

an european's picture

AFD is neither better than FN !
They right winglies always take the economy as a visor!

They kill the U.S. dollar or the euro is the same !
Some parties are Venenom!
What happen if you renationalize 50 states with 50 different coins!
Up to everyone to find it out !

Le Gaulois's picture

This reporter did not do her/his homework before publishing such an absurdity.

Nicolas Dupont-Aignan is a social gaullist, perhaps you remember de Gaulle?

He is the one who endorsed the CNR recommandations that created one of the best social programs in the western world, for France. The CNR was made of left and right wing individuals under de Gaulle's umbrella.

FN inherited the beliefs of collaborationist French during the second World War and was a staunched opponent to de Gaulle going as far as trying to assassinate him through their affiliation to the OAS movement.

May be this EurActiv jcommunicator should go back to school!