European elections: the far right on the offensive

Lhe European elections will not take place until June 2024, and many other subjects are attracting the attention of the French today: inflation, health, housing… The state of preparations is no less revealing the particular climate of this new school year. The far right is on the offensive. She has already designated her top candidates: Jordan Bardella for the National Rally (RN), Marion Maréchal for Reconquest!.

The objective is the same: to transform the June 9 meeting into a mid-term election, the result of which will structure the 2027 presidential election, that of the post-Macron era. Both competing and complementary, the two parties have in common that they are competing for the spoils of the Republican right through an almost exclusive activation of the theme of immigration.

Feeling like the hunted game, the Les Républicains (LR) party is putting pressure on the government, which has presented a bill on the subject but does not know how to get it voted on. Initially conceived as a balancing text aimed at facilitating the implementation of obligations to leave French territory while promoting integration through work, it is the subject of an escalation which is not close to s ‘Stop.

The Republican right is calling for the disappearance of the system aimed at granting a residence permit in sectors in tension, such as the far right. A more significant development, it also calls into question a certain number of treaties and European measures which, according to it, restrict national capacities for action and requires a referendum to achieve this.

The offensive is taking place on fertile political ground: from Italy to the Scandinavian countries via Germany, the far right is gaining electoral ground by activating the identity argument against a backdrop of global unrest. In the European Parliament, the dikes opposed to it by the conservative right seem less and less solid. At the European Commission, the momentum which marked the start of Ursula von der Leyen’s mandate is running out of steam with the announced departure of several commissioners.

A serious warning

Even if they do not have to be ashamed of their record in terms of response to the pandemic, support for Ukraine, support for the ecological transition, digital regulation and awareness that continental sovereignty is to build, European authorities are weakened by the tightening of the global game, which exacerbates the need for protection and revives nationalism.

For Emmanuel Macron, the warning is serious. Until now, he has easily articulated the concepts of national power and sovereignty within the framework of the European Union to maintain the advantage on European terrain. This time, he is struggling to respond to the triple offensive of LR, RN and Reconquest! on a subject where European systems remain imperfect. His party is of no help to him. He is not yet involved in the European campaign and has not even designated his head of the list.

To counter the extreme right, the left finds itself in an even more uncomfortable position. Divided on the European question, unable for a year to engage in any substantive work within the New Ecological and Social People’s Union, its different components will appear scattered in this election, depriving themselves of any m effect.

After Europe Ecologie-Les Verts and the Communist Party, the Socialist Party has taken action, Tuesday, September 5, the principle of an autonomous list, without being able to announce who will lead it. Lonely, rebellious France pays and makes its camp pay the price of its radicalism.

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