July 15. 2024. 7:29

The Daily

Read the World Today

French right-wing MEPs divided over national alliance with far right

While Les Républicains leader Éric Ciotti has begun to forge closer ties with the Rassemblement National (RN), the party’s lead candidate, François-Xavier Bellamy, has no intention of doing so, sticking to the EPP line.

“Abandoning our colours today would be a pointless choice for the country”, François-Xavier Bellamy said in a statement about the agreement proposed by the leader of his party, Éric Ciotti, with the far-right Rassemblement National, which he sees as “counter-productive”.

While François-Xavier Bellamy does not want this agreement, as do many others of the party’s leading figures, Éric Ciotti can nevertheless count on the support of half of the six LR MEPs elected to the European Parliament on Sunday.

These include the farmer Céline Imart, retired general Christophe Gomard, and university professor Laurent Castillo, three newly elected MEPs recruited by Ciotti.

The same applies to Guilhem Carayon, one of the LR vice-president and placed at 10th on the list, who owes his rise to Ciotti.

On the other hand, other party figures have chosen François-Xavier Bellamy’s line.

Isabelle Le Callennec, elected on Sunday, explained that she could not “support the idea of an alliance with the RN”. The same applies to outgoing MEPs who were not re-elected, such as Nathalie Colin-Oesterlé, Geoffroy Didier, and Anne Sander. According to the latter, Ciotti “must leave and quickly”.

Outgoing MEP Nadine Morano, elected on Sunday, has not yet taken a position.

Strategy at the European Parliament

François-Xavier Bellamy also points out that his role is to be “at work in the European Parliament”, where, as in Paris, negotiations begin to take place between the EPP and the European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) group, which includes the French far-right Reconquête! party.

One condition of this alliance for the EPP executives is to remove the Identity and Democracy (ID) group, where the RN has a seat, from the equation.

Consequently, an alliance between LR and RN in France would put the Republicans at odds with their European group.

“If the LR really go down the right-wing path, there will be no more room in the EPP for this party, which is marginalising itself through this ingratitude”, threatened Jürgen Hardt, MEP and foreign affairs spokesman for the CDU/CSU (EPP) in the Bundestag.

The German MP is betting on the fact that “it is possible that the declaration by the chairman of the LR has no validity among the members and means the end of his political career. Those I know in the LR think differently from Ciotti,” he told Euractiv.

Read more with Euractiv

No alliance with Le Pen: German conservatives threaten to kick Les Republicains out of EPP

No alliance with Le Pen: German conservatives threaten to kick Les Republicains out of EPP

The potential team-up of the French conservative Les Républicains (LR) with the far-right party of Marine le Pen is also making waves in Germany, with the conservative CDU/CSU threatening to kick them out from their common EU-party, the EPP.

Subscribe now to our newsletter EU Elections Decoded