Is France threatened by “Frexit”?
The face of the EU will change under President Le Pen
04/16/2022, 08:20 am
If the new French president is named Le Pen, what will happen to France and the EU? It is not clear. Le Pen does not officially intend to leave the EU, but he can act like Poland and Hungary and torpedo a common policy.
Fears of “Frexit” haunt Europe: Fears are mounting in Europe that right-wing populist Marine Le Pen will win the election against current Emmanuel Macron in the run-up to the second round of the French presidential election in a week. The 53-year-old denies wanting to expel France from the European Union. But their plans read like a map. The Franco-German partnership with Le Pen faces an important test.
Luxembourg’s Foreign Minister Jean Asselborne, 72, the longest – serving chief diplomat in the European Union, did not take his word for it. He sees France as a “political civil war.” Le Pen described the flow as a “referendum against Macron” and his pro-European views. On the other hand, Clement Peon, Macron’s European Minister, calls the referendum a “referendum on Europe.”
The two candidates and their plans cannot be contradictory: on the one hand, Macron, often hailed as a European “observer”, put forward an ambitious EU reform plan after his election victory in 2017 – but some of them failed. Due to lack of German support. On the other hand, she is the eldest daughter of Jean-Marie Le Pen, a French right-wing extremist who wants to “put the EU in its place”. It branded the EU an “illegal transnational organization” and threatened billions in financial cuts.
The French are protesting against leaving the EU
Officially, Le Pen is not intended for “Frexit”. He also dropped France’s call to leave the euro after a clear defeat to Macron in 2017. According to opinion polls in France, no one has a majority. However, Azelbourne believes that President Le Pen’s “transformation of Europe as a project of values and peace” and the “essence” of the EU will be severely affected. The long-running legal disputes with Brexit and Poland and Hungary have already added the EU to a list. Le Pen promises a constitutional referendum if he wins against Macron. According to him, “all European texts against our supreme law should no longer be used in France”. Poland, ruled by a nationalist conservative government, is a role model.
The federal government also looks at Paris with concern: referring to the war in Ukraine, Federal Foreign Minister Annalena Barbach said it was important for “Europeans to unite strongly, especially at this time.” He accused Le Penn’s election victory of not benefiting the EU’s Franco-German “motor” and that Germany was standing “in complete denial of French strategic identity”. Le Pen says he wants Ukraine to promote “strategic reconciliation” between Russia and NATO once the war is over. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Le Pen was stamped on election leaflets found with President Vladimir Putin. But for a long time he loved Putin and, according to media reports, received millions of loans from Russian banks.
Le Pen’s prospects have been enthusiastically met by the AfD and the far-right Lega party in Italy, which sits on a parliamentary committee with Le Pen’s Rassemblement National. AfD MEP Gunnar Beck tweeted after the first round of the election that “overall sensible Europe” now supports Le Pen in the second round.
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