The French Opposition and the EU

French left’s new ‘disobedient’ stance is warning shot for EU

PARIS, May 5 (Reuters) – Winning next month’s legislative election may be a long shot for France’s new hard-left alliance, but the fact President Emmanuel Macron now faces two eurosceptic opposition blocs should cause concern among France’s European Union partners.
The French left this week united under the leadership of a eurosceptic party that wants to “disobey” EU rules and “destabilise the Brussels machine”, departing for the first time from the pro-EU stance of previous left-wing coalitions. read more
This reflects a new state of play in French politics with the Socialist Party, long the dominant force on the left and a driver of European integration, now reduced to a subordinate role in an alliance forged by hard-left firebrand Jean-Luc Melenchon.
The Socialists garnered a meagre 1.75% of the vote in April’s presidential election, while Melenchon, a fiery orator who leads the France Insoumise (France Unbowed) party, won 22%, almost pipping far-right leader Marine Le Pen to the run-off against Macron.
Continue reading at www.reuters.com

Le Pen’s Rassemblement National revises stance towards EU and the euro

Marine Le Pen’s party is no longer making calls to leave the EU or abandon the euro. Instead, the party is attempting to renew itself with a nationalist but locally anchored narrative. EURACTIV France reports.
Rassemblement National has taken a surprise U-turn regarding its stance on the EU. Previously a staunch defender of Frexit and vastly in favour of exiting the eurozone, Le Pen’s party is now rushing into the European election campaign in local fashion.
“We have made changes in the last two years,” said Le Pen. “The situation of isolation that we had in Europe is now over. We didn’t have much choice: either we had to submit [to the EU] or we had to leave it. But now we have allies,” explained Le Pen.
The Rassemblement National already has allies, some of which are already at the EU Parliament. “We’re not starting from scratch,” said Marine Le Pen.
Continue reading at www.euractiv.com

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