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2019 European Parliament election Far right parties in France

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Zur Situation in Frankreich vor der EU-Wahl. (Quelle: Pixabay)

The European Union elects a new parliament on May 26. We talked with European journalists and NGOs from different European countries to get a picture of the European right wing. We asked them how their local right wing parties want to change the European Union and which marginalized group is hated the most.

Our questions were answered by Jean-Yves Camus, researcher at the Fondation Jean Jaurès.

The national right and the extreme right in France approach the election of French representatives in the European parliament held on May 26th divided. The list of candidates that the French Official Journal published indicates the following lists:

List 2: Une France royale au cœur de l’Europe (“ A royal France at the heart of Europe”)

The list is put forth by royalist party Alliance royale that was founded by Yves Marie Adeline (b. 1960). Adeline is a professor for the history of political thought at ISSEP, a private academy of the New Right founded by Marion Maréchal, niece of Rassemblement national President Marine Le Pen. Adeline originally surfaced in the environment of the legitimists, a sub-group within France’s royalists that regards monarchy as the only legitimate form of government, before becoming Chief of Staff for ex-minister Jean Arthuis at the general council for the Departement Mayenne. In 2008, Pierre Bernard, former mayor of Montfermeil and repeatedly elected as deputy to the national parliament as an independent right-wing candidate (“divers-droite”), followed Adeline as head of the party. Bernard founded the movement France debout in 2004 and is a frequent contributor to debates among traditionalist catholic organisations Centre Charlier and ICHTUS. The list is headed by Robert de Prévoisin, current secretary general of Alliance Royale and city counsellor in Cussey.

Alliance Royale first consolidated to support the rallies against same-sex marriage and then backed the yellow vests movement. The party does not support one aspirant to the French throne in particular, just as it differs from Action française in that it views monarchist mastermind and anti-semite Charles Maurras as but one of many contributors to royalist thought. Alliance Royale reject nationalism as a radicalisation of the genuinely republican notion of the nation and is not fundamentally anti-democratic, as long as democracy provides “equal representation of the constitutive parts of the body politic”, the right to have referendums and an “independent sovereign authority that warrants equity” – in this case, the sovereign. They defend “traditional” family values and the “right to life” and views France as founded on Catholicism dismissing French laicism as a framework. Concerning immigration, they take up an intermediate position between taking into account the human dignity of those coming to France on the one hand and dealing with “grave social ruptures” supposedly caused by immigration on the other.

Furthermore, it is noteworthy that the 11th position on the list is occupied by Nicolas Zahar, who ran for the Parti de la France the 2017 general election – alongside Jean-Marie Le Pen and Carl Lang.

List 3: La Ligne Claire („The clear line“)

Writer Renaud Camus has managed to put together a list behind the rallying cries of fighting the “Great Replacement” and the “remigration” of non-European foreigners, their return to their respective “country of origin”. La ligne Claire as an initiative was founded in Marseille on January 5th-6th during a convention of the small sovereigntist party SIEL (Souveraineté, identité et libertés – sovereignty, identity and liberties). In the political field, SIEL is the party closest to postions held by Bloc Identitaire. In a speech in Marseille on January 16th, Renaud Camus called his opponents “the forces of replacement, those who want and advance the ethnic replacement, the alteration of the people and civilisation, the Great Replacement”; the “davocracy”, meaning the group of those who meet annually at IWF at Davos; “the grand treasurers, the grand financiers, the CEOs of the multi-nationals, the owners and managers of the media, the GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon), in short, all the forces who – by means of the UN and the EU in its current form, by means of the Marrakesh treaty – are working tirelessly on behalf of the migratory landslide, the demographic flooding, on behalf of the genocide by replacement”.

On second position, the list features Fiorina Lignier, Bloc Identitaire-activist from Amiens who has lost an eye during a rally of the yellow vests movement. Following suit is Karim Ouchickh who has occupied a seat in the regional parliament of Ile de France as an independent since 2017, before elected on a list for the Front National. The list comprises some more former FN-representatives and candidates (Hughes Sion; Ariane Blomme; Emilie Gouthier; Catherine Dorten) as well as personnel surrounding the right-wing website Riposte laïque (Bruno Lafourcade ; Martine Pincemin ; Elisabeth Lalesart ; Josiane Filio) – even if some of its authors endorsed the Rassemblement National.

List 7: Ensemble patriotes et Gilets jaunes : pour la France, il faut sortir de l’Union européenne (Coalition of patriots and yellow vests: France has to leave the European Union)

This list is spearheaded by Florian Philippot and comprises activists from the movement Les Patriotes, which Philippot founded after leaving Front National – expanded by about 10 members of the yellow vests, among them media figure Jean-François Barnaba, who had been previously responsible for the separate “Jaunes et Citoyens” list.

What is specific about them is their decidedly sovereigntist orientation. Unlike the Rassemblement National, Les Patriotes maintain that leaving the EU is an indispensable prerequisite to regaining national sovereignty.

Polls see the list at roughly one percent of the vote, indicating that it actually runs the risk of losing the three seats it currently holds in the European Parliament, all of which have originally been won for the Front National.

List 10: Liste de la Reconquête (List of recapture)

At the pole position of this radically nationalist list is Vincent Vauclin from Rouen, head of the movement La Dissidence française, which was founded in 2011 and has been registered as a political party since October 2018. The movement’s charter references “Blood and Soil” ideology which allows to classify it as part of the voelkisch current – without neglecting nods towards an aristocratism in the tradition of Julius Evola. La Dissidence française’s goal is thus to create “a combat group looking to congregate those who plan to defend their heritage in the face of attacks by capitalism, modernity and cosmopolitan globalism.” The party puts forth the “Eurasian” idea as developed by Alexander Dugin and is in favour of “remigration” and an end of multicultural society. It opposes same-sex marriage and freely expresses conspiracy ideologist “anti-masonic” sentiments.

Second on the list is Nicole Mina, who was voted into the regional council of Departement Occitanie on a Front National ticket and has been a member of Rassemblement National up until early 2019. Two other former FN-representatives on the list, Damien Lenoir and Baptiste Gueudi, both on the city council for Le Havre, made their move towards La Dissidence française official as early as autumn 2018. Furthermore, multiple leading figures for Parti de la France (Bruno Hirout ; Guillaume Aguillé ; Quentin Douté) have joined this effort to organise a joint venture of the radical right for this European election, as has François Galvaire from Bordeaux, founder of a local faction called La Meute.

List 15: Le courage de défendre les français avec Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. Debout la France-CNIP (Centre national des indépendants et paysans) (The courage to defend France with Nicolas Dupont-Aignan. Rise France – CNIP (National centre of independents and peasants))

 This sovereigntist list led by Nicolas Dupont-Aignan, representative from Departement Essonne, made room to feature yellow vests media figure Benjamin Cauchy. On May 11th, Cauchy attended an event in Toulouse that was organized by “alternative” media site Infos Toulouse which is close to Bloc Identitaire. Also in attendance were François Bousquet, editor-in-chief for the New Right magazine Éléments, and Xavier Eman, responsible for the nationalist literary journal Livr’ Arbitres. Multiple ex-Front National representatives can be found on the list, e.g. Florence Italiani and Thierry Gourlot, not however the current MEP Bernard Monot who had been elected on a FN ticket before rejoining Debout la France.

Like Florian Philippot, Nicolas Dupont-Aignan competes for votes with the list Ensemble pour le Frexit (Together for the Frexit) which is directed by François Asselineau for the Union Populaire Républicaine.

List 23: Prenez le pouvoir, liste soutenue par Marine Le Pen (Let’s take the power, list supported by Marine Le Pen)

 The list for the Rassemblement National features a couple of MEPs elected in 2014 (Marine Le Pen; Wallerand de Saint-Just ; Dominique Martin ; Philippe Loiseau) while others won’t be seeking re-election, e.g. Jean-Marie Le Pen ; Bruno Gollnisch ; Marie-Christine Arnautu ; Marie-Christine Boutonnet ; Jacques Colombier ; Jean-Luc Schaffhauser and Steve Briois. Thus, a fair amount of new candidates has a good chance of winning a seat in the European Parliament this next election period.

List 27: Evolution citoyenne (Citizen’s evolution)

Registered by the yellow vests movement – to be precise: by the list’s head Christophe Chalençon – this initiative cannot really be classified as part of the national right and does not place itself in the context of the extreme right at all. As possible competition for the sovereigntist and populist lists, it is included here nonetheless.

On the other hand, in February 2019, there was a meeting between Chalençon and the leader of the right-wing Italian Movimento 5 Stelle, Luigi di Maio. Furthermore, the list features on its third position Brice Blazy, who in 2014 was elected to the city council of Béziers on the list of right-wing independent Robert Ménard, where he represented the sovereigntist Rassemblement pour la France (RPF). Having come from a brand of right-wing  rather following the tradition of Nicolas Sarkozy, Blaze left the council majority in October 2014 and gave up his seat altogether on 2016.

All english texts on the European Election 2019:

Text in German:

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