EU in a cold sweat over Le Pen triumph

by Martin Jay, Strategic Culture:


An enormous amount of excitement is being created by the French parliamentary elections which had its first round firmly won outright by Marine Le Pen’s far-right party. This was nothing out of the ordinary and for once the polls were spot on in their predictions. But the second round will be a completely different game as traditionally, French voters often use the first vote as a protest vote against the main parties. It’s hard to predict that Le Pen will get the required 51% with another party, the conservatives, in a coalition. Her victory though might be just what France needs as she has a number of radical policies which she believes will shake up the economy.


But it’s not her domestic policies which the West should worry about. It’s her ideas about France’s role in the EU which should be a worry for Brussels as, if her party wins and holds a majority, it will be able to command a political dynamic which will eclipse Macron and cast a new dye for Paris’s relations with the European Union.

Although many in France believe that she might win an outright victory in the next round, analysts predict that she will be a contender in next Presidential elections in three years’ time. If either scenario gives her an edge in the decision-making in the Élysée, the European Union is in for a rough ride as her demands will lead to a crisis which will bring about two possibilities; one, that the EU is divided into two camps – a two-speed Europe – which would effectively scrap the present unanimity voting system which allows Hungary to veto the big issues; or secondly, it will lead to the demise of the EU as we know it, which, in a bid to survive, would streamline itself and give more power back to member states.

In either case, Le Pen will be gunning for more decision-making to be made in Paris and for a number of exemptions that only France could ask for and get away with being a founding member. If she doesn’t get her way, she will threaten a Brexit-like referendum which will likely result in France seeking to leave the EU altogether – or worse form its own shiny new version which it would invite a selective group to join. Brussels will cave in, which will lead to Germany and the Netherlands to demand the same exemptions, especially on immigration. Within no time the giants of the EU will have their own version of the 27-nation bloc which serves their interests better, while the rest can go to hell. In this scenario, a new voting system will be proposed, which will be about reaching a threshold number of points before a draft law can pass. The EU giants, say, might be given 50 points each with eastern European countries like Hungary given only 10 points.

But over all, it will be France who will take the helm of the EU as it was always intended. It will be Le Pen who will be the chief blackmailer who will reform the entire model in France’s favour and it will be the French veto which in the early days which will be the chief pressure point of the EU which will feel it the most as it fails to function on a day-to-day basis. France is about to have a mega tantrum and Le Pen, who was initially for the Republic pulling out years ago, will be its chief antagonist, both creating the crisis and also presenting herself as the only one with the fix. Sounds familiar?

Immigration and the EU’s reluctance to take it seriously, has driven this crisis and France’s wholesale rejection of Macron and his Renaissance party which got a massive thumping in the first round. Macron, like Sunak in the UK, has shown himself to be out of step with public opinion as the snap election idea only really worked in favour of the incumbents in the 1970s and surely he is feeling the pressure now of being a president with no party in the parliament with him as a support. Worse is to come. If Le Pen’s RN party finally win a majority, the first thing it will do is clip the wings of Macron in a number of key areas, but chiefly on big foreign policy decisions. There will be only one thing for Macron to do when he ultimately leaves office in three year’s time, which is to go for the only job in the world where he can hit Le Pen back: as European Commission president in 2029 – although the indications in more recent days, are that the EU elite no longer want him. Emmanuel Macron MEP?

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