The Rassemblement national does not want Europe ...

Edouard Pflimlin


17 April 2024

and even less of the Europe we love and need

Edouard Pflimlin

The Rassemblement National, formerly the Front National, is in favour of a a"european alliance of free and sovereign nations. A sort of à la carte Europe in which the Member States would be free to participate - or not - in the "industrial, economic and scientific cooperation and others "projects for the future (Le Monde).
It's a Europe of nations, the opposite of the Europe that came into being in the aftermath of the Second World War, a Europe to overcome the deadly divisions between nations, because a Europe of nations carries within it the seeds of war, division, divergent interests and deep-seated opposition. History over several centuries has unfortunately shown this, and is still showing it in the East.

The European Union, which was founded on this overcoming of the old, has enabled extraordinary economic and social development since the 1950s and especially the 1960s. We cannot and must not turn back the clock. Quite the contrary.

The Rassemblement National's tactical vision includes a refusal to move forward in areas vital to our future, linked to the future of Europe.

The far-right party's tricolour strategy is based on the colour code of traffic lights - green, amber, red - and aims to distinguish between sectors in which cooperation between European states is acceptable, permissible subject to new restrictions, or strictly unthinkable. The red lines concern :

  • Managing immigration within our own countries.
  • Energy sovereignty.
  • Diplomacy.
  • Defence, including ownership of our nuclear deterrent.
  • The enlargement of the Union or the move from unanimity to qualified majority voting for EU decision-making.

So, at a time when the environment is so threatening at the limits of the European Union and on a more global level, at a time when the war of aggression against Ukraine shows the need for a common European defence and a common European defence industry, for common economic aid, all the more necessary as our protector for decades, the United States, is faltering, hesitating and retreating. Despite this threatening context, the RN is opposed to what is obvious. The time has come for European defence. Now is not the time to sweep it under the carpet.

In less strategic but highly sensitive areas such as immigration, the response must again be a joint one, and can only be a joint one because, as in the United States, which faces the same problem, borders are not impassable. And legal and illegal migrants move easily from one country to another. We need to tackle this problem together, and also with the countries of origin.

The RN is mistaken and misleading us by touting purely "national" solutions.


To move Europe, the EU, forward, we also need a strong European executive. Here again, however, the RN rejects a strong European Commission, which, despite its shortcomings, embodies the common European interest and has the power to make proposals. Of course, contrary to the RN's programme for 2019, the European Commission would not be abolished, but it would lose its prerogative to initiate legislation, and would be reduced to a simple secretariat-general.

On the contrary, the European Commission must play its role and continue to do so, as must the European Parliament. But to see how the RN treats the Parliament by absenteeism and low involvementAs well as the suspicions that European Parliament funds are being used for his party's own interests, it is the case of the suspicions of fictitious employment concerning the parliamentary assistants of Front National MEPs that is waiting to be judged after the elections.

Some of the criticisms levelled at Europe are also largely unjustified. The Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), for example, is regularly vilified. Yet France is the biggest beneficiary of the CAP, receiving some €9 billion net per year. Admittedly, as we have seen, small farmers are facing serious difficulties, but where would our major cereal growers and our agricultural strengths be without the CAP and the European manna? We have to stop blaming Europe for everything and shirking our responsibilities.


Our responsibility, in a world where European nation states are limited, is to move the European Union forward. That is our horizon. What contempt the RN has for Europe, which has done so much for the development of the peoples of Europe in all areas (there are many figures to prove this over the last 70 years), what a wound to those who believe, quite rightly, that Europe is at the service of the peoples and not at the service of the populists who deceive the peoples and stir up the divisions that weaken us.

Because, what, do we want to go back to adding together states that are large in terms of history but small in terms of demography, the economy or diplomacy?

No, the Europe seen by the RN is a false idea of Europe, an archaic vision. It's a Europe that is surely returning to its divided, murderous and dangerous past. A Europe of Nations that has never proved itself historically. The European Union has never denied the Nations, contrary to what the RN says. On the contrary, it wants to enhance the value of all of them through a joint effort, turned towards the future, to face the great challenges of the decades to come, which cannot be solved alone but must be solved together. All for Europe, Europe for all!


Edouard Pflimlin
Former researcher at IRIS,
Director of the Association


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