Marine Le Pen under fire for absenteeism and untruths

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 . []

As the European election campaign picks up, French politicians are attacking Marine Le Pen for ignoring her parliamentary her responsibilities in Brussels. EurActiv France reports.

Criticising the absenteeism of the National Front in the European Parliament has gone mainstream in the lead up to the European elections in France.

Yannick Jadot, a Green MEP, tweeted that "Marine Le Pen is on the same committee as Karim Delli, but Karim Delli has never seen her."

Following her success in the French local elections in March, in which the far-right party won 14 towns, Marine Le Pen wants to keep the momentum up, and increase the number of National Front MEPs from 3 to over twenty.

>> Read: Survey shows growing distrust against the euro in France

According to a survey carried out for Paris Match and Sud Radio on 11 April, Le Pen's party will come out first at the European elections in France, with 24% of voting intentions, followed closely by the centre-right UMP (23%) and the Socialist Party (21%).

As the popularity of the National Front increases, French politicians from all political backgrounds are criticising Marine Le Pen's anti-European politics, and her absenteeism, during two terms in Brussels.

'Militant Absenteeism'

French Green candidate Jose Bové strongly criticised the National Front chief, accusing her of "militant absenteeism" for being present only during plenary sessions, and boycotting committee work.

According to statistics from Votewatch, Le Pen failed in her parliamentary work. The far-right MEP recorded a plenary vote participation of 65.6%, much lower than the 83.3% average for French MEPs. By maintaining a presence of above 50%, Marine Le Pen meets the threshold under which MEPs lose half of their daily allowances. 

Marine Le Pen wrote three parliamentary questions and made 44 interventions during five years of plenary sessions. She has not written any resolutions or reports, or made any declarations since 2009.

However, she is not the only French MEP to have deserted her seat in the European Parliament. The chronic absenteeism of the other two National Front MEPs, Jean-Marie Le Pen and Bruno Gollnish, is also under attack. 

"Jean-Marie Le Pen has been there for almost 30 years. What has he brought to the European Union? Nothing. What does Marine Le Pen achieve through her absence? Nothing," claimed Nadine Morano, a former minister under Nicolas Sarkozy's government. "The Le Pens use the European Parliament as a family business. It is an SME for them. They go there to recieve their pay checks, but not to work."

The European election candidates have also been criticised by the current President of the European Parliament, and socialist candidate for President of the Commission, Martin Schulz. Last week, the National Front leader refused to take part in a debate with him on French television.

Martin Schulz reacted by referring to her absence from the European Parliament. "She does not want to debate with an MEP, as she knows she has a bad track record at the European Parliament. She did nothing but sit there for five years," he stated.

>> Read: Le Pen's 'dodgy' politics

"Her participation in the Parliament will remain awful and her track record bad. The National Front has nothing to offer, apart from cushiony allowances for absent representatives at the taxpayer's expense," Schulz claimed.

During a televised debate, it was an UMP candidate from the Paris area, Alain Lamassoure, who confronted Marine Le Pen. "You are part of the committee on employment and social affairs: you attended once in seven years," stated Lamassoure during the debate on France 2, on April 10. "You tell voters: vote for me. I have done nothing for ten years and I want five more!"


In response to the rise of euroscepticism in France, it is easier to attack the National Front's performance in Parliament than its anti-European ideas, whilst these ideas gain popularity among the French electorate.

>> Read: French centrists gear up for European elections

Many of Marine Le Pen's ideas abouts the EU anger her critics, who denounce her recurrent untruths, notably about the monetary union.

"Everyone knows: leaving the euro will increase the cost of living by 20-30%. It would lead to the loss of all France's economic ties. It will not provide a solution," claimed José Bové, denouncing Marine Le Pen's fabrications on the benefits of leaving the euro.

In the European Parliament, French MEPs also respond with outrage to Le Pen's declarations. In March, left-wing MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat denounced Marine Le Pen's misuse of statistics on immigration numbers published by the European agency Frontex. "M. Le Pen's manipulation of numbers is nothing new. She is increasing fear, and making people turn in on themselves," claimed the MEP.

In February, the centre-right MEP Alain Cadec also had his say. "During the TV show Mots Croisés, Marine Le Pen [..] claimed that the European Parliament was set to vote on the 'Lunacek Directive' which, according to her, would legislate on surrogacy and assisted reproduction at a European level. What next!" claimed the UMP MEP in a communiqué.

"There is a report titled Lunacek that was voted on Tuesday, but it is a simple opinion vote with no legal significance. It is called an 'own-initiative report'. Either way, the draft contains no mentions of surrogacy or assisted reproduction," Cadec noted.

  • 22-25 May 2014: European elections in 28 Member States


Sid's picture

They are attacking her because they are afraid. The pattern will repeat itself all over Europe in the next month or so.
Keep the faith!

an european's picture

She get twice paid for no commitment either on European or national level.
All that she want's is the money on her own behavior , she's (not only ) doing this very well telling air out the anus to french people in will to lead la "grande nation" to an economic disaster for today's requirements!
She want to be be like an Franco of France implementing death sentence (of course easier too sweep immigrants away ) banning the stable Euro devaluating its currency with the Bretton Woods system in slavering people backwards to an "protectionized" economy like Franco did whilst the E.U. are 20 years steps further!
Le Pen "logic" oh yeaahh for a "strong" economy relies in selling military assets ! Of course they are doing it already very well ! Count up! Protectionized High fees on "foreign" goods imports ( not taking in consideration the common sense of the exports )!
Can't wait anymore to see french's La Va Bon Train circulating on the grand nation streets.

But None of this will happen keep the faith on this !

Simply to nationalistic !

American's aren't to blame ..

El Pluribus Unum

Mike Parr's picture

The key point about Le Pen (Pere & fil) was nicely made by Nadine Morano

"Jean-Marie Le Pen has been there for almost 30 years. ......The Le Pens use the European Parliament as a family business. It is an SME for them. They go there to recieve their pay checks, but not to work."

The comment could be extended to other right wing parties e.g. the UK kippers. They are getting money for nothing - the koney helps them build up their national base. Time to change the rules - with minimum attendance at committee etc - if you don't - you are out & a new election held.

Gerry's picture

It really shows the contradiction that all the anti EU activists face, how can you be against Europe and serve as a MEP at the same time? They solve the problem by being hypocrites ,exploit the system for their own benefit and then boast and be proud of it.

an european's picture

Hello Gerry :
"against Europe and serve as a MEP at the same time?"
And even get paid!!!
Really don't know how thus still could be possible !???

What i still really don't know and can't understand why are we still hammering (still after six Years) on Intergovernmental managing of the economic system without going on the pan-European way directly !
--> Nationals are unable to tackle the jobless and health care effectively ! That's Facts!
--> The European Union has no adequate Budget /Treasury to fight against jobless/ and moron national healthcare !
Ununderstandable that Jean Claudius Junckee don't want Eurobonds as well to equilibrate the system !
But he says he want a more harmonized Europe where all little states should take in consideration together ?!!?!?
WE KNOW that Eurobonds dos make sense unlike Angela or his Partner Juncker !!!!
We know it's not possible unless going at least light federal!
Thus taken E.U. Citizens in account!
I remeber Angela Merkel" said we are sitting together in a boat" !
Really? In letting others member-states drowning by austerity !!
Politicians want it's selfie somemehow disregarding each other ...STILL!
IF they weren't so selfish each other THEN we already tackled the economy for a United Europe
and drop jobless down because it's in fact what citizens want ! JOB!
JOB merely than the political facelift which is necessary on todays requirements!

I'm not focused on what i say now but Tony has right and Europe needs a neutral President elected from citizens ! The right way to go for .

El Pluribus Unum