Saturday

21st Jan 2017

National Front in EU fraud allegation

  • The National Front has 24 MEPs in the EU assmebly (Photo: Blandine Le Cain)

The French far-right party led by Marine Le Pen, the National Front, is facing allegations of fraud for having the European Parliament pay salaries to MEP assistants who perform tasks unrelated to the assembly.

Parliament president Martin Schulz alerted the EU’s anti-fraud office, Olaf, on Monday (9 March).

Dear EUobserver reader

Subscribe now for unrestricted access to EUobserver.

Sign up for 30 days' free trial, no obligation. Full subscription only 15 € / month or 150 € / year.

  1. Unlimited access on desktop and mobile
  2. All premium articles, analysis, commentary and investigations
  3. EUobserver archives

EUobserver is the only independent news media covering EU affairs in Brussels and all 28 member states.

♡ We value your support.

If you already have an account click here to login.

He has also written to French justice minister Christiane Taubira about the affair. A parliament source told this website some €7.5 million may have been spent inappropriately - a figure also cited by the AFP and Le Monde.

But Le Pen in a tweet denied the allegation and said she would file a complaint.

The party’s vice-president Florian Philippot in a tweet also said "basically, Schultz [sic] is right... our assistants do not work for the European Union but against it”.

MEPs are banned from paying assistant salaries from the European Parliament coffers if their work has no link to the euro-deputy’s parliamentary mandate.

The parliament was alerted to the possible irregularities because of the national party's organigramme, which lists 20 assistants.

Nineteen had given the address of the Front National headquarters in Nanterre instead of the local address of their MEP’s constituent offices.

“According to the National Front's own organigramme certain assistants do not work for the member with whom they have concluded their labour contract,” noted the parliament in a statement issued late Monday evening.

Olaf is expected to launch an investigation. The anti-fraud office will then pass on its findings to French prosecutors who could eventually launch criminal proceedings.

The National Front has 24 members of the European Parliament, including Marine Le Pen and her father Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Many were elected on an anti-immigration and anti-EU ticket, with the party topping the polls in the EU elections in France last May.

The party members do not belong to any political group in the EU assembly.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Caritas EuropaEU States to Join Pope Francis’s Appeal to Care for Migrant Children
  2. UNICEFNumber of Unaccompanied Children Arriving by sea to Italy Doubles in 2016
  3. Nordic Council of Ministers"Nordic Matters" Help Forge Closer Bonds Between the UK and the Nordic Region
  4. Computers, Privacy & Data ProtectionThe age of Intelligent Machines: join the Conference on 25-27 January 2017
  5. Martens CentreNo Better way to Lift Your Monday Blues Than to Gloss Over our Political Cartoons
  6. Dialogue PlatformThe Gulen Movement: An Islamic Response to Terror as a Global Challenge
  7. European Free AllianceMinority Rights and Autonomy are a European Normality
  8. Swedish EnterprisesHow to Create EU Competitiveness Post-Brexit? Seminar on January 24th
  9. European Jewish CongressSchulz to be Awarded the European Medal for Tolerance for his Stand Against Populism
  10. Nordic Council of Ministers"Adventures in Moominland" Kick Off Nordic Matters Festival in London
  11. PLATO15 Fully-Funded PhDs Across Europe on the Post-Crisis Legitimacy of the EU - Apply Now!
  12. Dialogue PlatformInterview: Fethullah Gulen Condemns Assassination of Russian Ambassador to Turkey