Wednesday

20th Mar 2019

Le Pen wants to 'do away' with EU

  • Le Pen: "The European Union is not the solution, it's the problem". (Photo: European Parliament)

Far-right leader Marine Le Pen wants to "do away" with the EU and build a Europe of "free nations" if she is elected French president in May.

"We will build another Europe, whether madame Merkel, monsieur Schulz or the other commissioners want it or not," she said on Thursday (23 February), referring to EU commissioners along with the German chancellor and her opponent in the upcoming elections.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The National Front leader was speaking to foreign diplomats and journalists in Paris on "the French foreign policy in a multipolar world". She insisted that she did not want to "promote a French or a Western system" or "a universal system," and that she wanted to "engage France in a multipolar world that is respectful of nations".

The starting point of that vision would be to redefine the EU and France's position in the EU.

"It is time to do away with an EU that is tempted by a fusion that destroys the Europe of nations," said Le Pen, adding that the EU was a "bureaucratic monster".

"The European Union is not the solution, it’s the problem," she said, adding that she would try to "start again from scratch" with EU treaties.

She did not say clearly that she would take France out of the EU. But she said that France was "diminished" by the EU and that "no price [is] too high to pay to assure the freedom of the French people".

'National currency'

Last month, she said that she would not completely take France out of the euro, the EU common currency, but that she would create a "national currency" for the people, while a common currency would still be used by states and international companies.

"The foreign policy of France will be decided in Paris, and no alliance, no ally, can speak in its place," she insisted on Thursday, adding that she would take France out of the Nato integrated military command.

This would not be a first, as France was taken out of Nato's highest operational structure by president Charles de Gaulle in 1966 and brought back in only in 2007 by president Nicolas Sarkozy.

Le Pen praised new US president Donald Trump.

She said she "only had reason to rejoice" over Trump's election and welcomed his "realism" and “promotion of a form of intelligent protectionism, of economic patriotism".

She said that Russia was "a decisive element [to] pacify globalisation" and that is had been "mistreated" by the EU. She said she wanted to "tie up" Russia to the EU.

Le Pen's speech was part of an effort to enhance her international profile, a few days after a visit to Beirut where she met the Lebanese president and prime minister.

The far-right leader comes first in voting intentions for the first round of the presidential election in April, while polls indicate that she would be beaten in the run-off in May.

Recent polls indicate however that she's gaining ground in the first round on her two main opponents so far, conservative candidate Francois Fillon and Liberal independent Emmanuel Macron, and that she is coming closer in second round voting intentions.

'Crazy' thing

Prospects of a potential Le Pen win drove French bonds downwards in financial markets earlier this week.

Le Pen winning the French presidency would be a "crazy" thing and would mean "the end of the European project," EU finance commissioner Pierre Moscovici, a French centre-left politician, warned several times recently.

She has benefited recently from an embezzlement scandal involving Fillon's wife and children and from criticism on Macron's lack of clear programme. However, she has been under fire over the cost of her "national currency" proposal and accusations of fake jobs in the European Parliament.

Olaf, the EU anti-fraud agency, said in a report that Le Pen signed fake jobs contracts to pay her bodyguard and cabinet chief as parliament assistant while they apparently did not work in Brussels, Strasbourg or Luxembourg.

Catherine Griset, the cabinet chief, was charged for embezzlement by French judges on Wednesday.

French police raid Le Pen's party office

Officers raid the National Front headquarters near Paris over allegations that leader Marine Le Pen used fake EU parliament contracts to pay her personal staff.

Le Pen used 'fake' EU parliament jobs

A leaked EU anti-fraud office report says French far-right leader, Marine Le Pen, had her bodyguard and personal assistant paid by the EU parliament for jobs they did not do.

French candidates avoid EU debate

In their first TV debate, the main candidates for the April election only briefly discussed the country's EU policies, with far-right Le Pen and centrist Macron taking aim at each other.

'Mr Putin steps into French elections'

Putin treated France's anti-EU firebrand, Le Pen, as if she had already won the elections. "I have my own viewpoint ... identical to Russia's", she said.

News in Brief

  1. Merkel: I will fight to the 'last hour' for orderly Brexit
  2. EU affairs ministers demand Brexit clarity from London
  3. Nordic MEP candidates in first ever joint EU election debate
  4. UK announces EEA trade deal ahead of EU summit
  5. Four European cities among world's most expensive
  6. Violent 'yellow vest' protesters ban in Paris
  7. Russia celebrates fifth anniversary of Crimea annexation
  8. Blow for May as third vote on Brexit deal ruled out

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersLeading Nordic candidates go head-to-head in EU election debate
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Secretary General: Nordic co-operation must benefit everybody
  3. Platform for Peace and JusticeMEP Kati Piri: “Our red line on Turkey has been crossed”
  4. UNICEF2018 deadliest year yet for children in Syria as war enters 9th year
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic commitment to driving global gender equality
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsMeet your defender: Rasul Jafarov leading human rights defender from Azerbaijan
  7. UNICEFUNICEF Hosts MEPs in Jordan Ahead of Brussels Conference on the Future of Syria
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic talks on parental leave at the UN
  9. International Partnership for Human RightsTrial of Chechen prisoner of conscience and human rights activist Oyub Titiev continues.
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic food policy inspires India to be a sustainable superpower
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  12. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership

Latest News

  1. Have a good reason for Brexit extension, Barnier tells UK
  2. EU countries push for new rule of law surveillance
  3. EU rolls out €525m for military projects, but bars illegal tech
  4. May to seek Brexit extension amid UK 'constitutional crisis'
  5. Catalan independence trial is widening Spain's divides
  6. My plan for defending rule of law in EU
  7. Anti-corruption lawyer wins first round of Slovak elections
  8. The changing of the guards in the EU in 2019

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  2. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  3. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  5. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  6. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  7. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  8. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersTheresa May: “We will not be turning our backs on the Nordic region”
  12. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us