French election: Le Pen’s Victory Could Weaken the EU’s Political Integrity

French voters will cast their ballots on Sunday in the final round of a presidential race. Outgoing President Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen will face the second round of the 2022 French election. If the far-right Le Pen prevails, it could shock Western cohesion and the EU’s ties.

Le Pen Is Close To Win the French Election 

The second-round vote of the French election will be on Sunday, April 24. Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen, the far-right party leader, will face each other in the second round. On April 10, Macron scored better and won 28 per cent of the votes, while Le Pen scored 23 per cent. The far-left candidate Jean-Luch Melanchon came third, scoring 21 per cent of the vote. Macron had won the 2017 elections, and now he is ahead of Le Pen in polls. Le Pen is in a better position compared to her 2017 French election. In the 2022 competition, Le Pen has used a different strategy and neutralized the nation’s fear of her. Some voters who have not made up their minds and Le Pen can win their votes. She has been a member of parliament for the last five years, and today she is closer to power.

Macron Divided French Society 

Le Pen has said that Macron was a polarizing president who has divided the country. She has positioned herself as someone who could unite the country and calm things down. She decided voters were tired of years of demonstrations and wanted a peaceful life. Le Pen performed severely in the 2017 presidential debate against Macron five years ago. She mixed up the names of companies and got the dossier wrong. Le Pen has focused on the cost of living crisis. She has tried to turn public opinion around. She has campaigned hard on inflation, tax, and incomes and gained a higher position as a political figure. Le Pen has become the nation’s second-favourite political personality after Edouard Philipe, a former prime minister. However, the far-right candidate has not neutralized her hard line on nationalism.

Le Pen Pursues Zero Immigration Policy 

Marine Le Pen is offering her traditional stance on immigration and French identity. She has provided a program intended to help native French households. Her principle is a national priority to give French citizens housing and other social services ahead of foreigners. The far-right candidate has promised to hold a referendum on immigration restrictions and ban headscarves in public places. Le Pen has planned to end what she has called “anarchic and massive immigration”. However, she has said her program prioritized daily life over other issues.

On the contrary, Macron’s program is “neither left nor right” with complete renewal for France. He wants to increase the minimum state pension from €950 to €1100. Macron has accused Le Pen of an authoritarian approach toward immigration. He has emphasized that France was not overwhelmed by mass immigration and disagreed with a policy of zero immigration.

Anti-immigration Sentiments Are on the Rise 

Le Pen’s speeches on immigration and insecurity are populist discourses that are pleasant for a group of the French public. The far-right candidate wants to control who can travel freely inside the EU and France. She has made it clear that her foreign policy would protect France’s territorial integrity. The Leader of the National Party wants France to have the power to stop migrants from outside Europe. Unlike the previous French governments, Le Pen has said that she will ask French citizens about immigration matters.

Le Pen aims to change some of the immigration regulations, and it will affect its relations with the EU. Her plans include deporting unemployed foreigners and illegal migrants. She has plans to withdraw France from some of the EU’s trade and energy arrangements. Le Pen wants France to decide independently from the EU on economic and immigration issues.

Both Le Pen and Macron Weaken Transatlantic Ties

The French election is consequential for the other European countries and the rest of the world. There is a fear that far-right ideology continues to spread across Europe. Immigration, refugee crisis, and economic challenges have caused the spread of right-wing ideology. France has the strongest military in the EU and the second-largest economy in the bloc. Le Pen has focused on working-class voters and backed away from some of her extreme positions. However, her nationalistic priorities would have an impact on transatlantic alliances. She has made it clear that her foreign policy will concentrate on France’s interests. Emmanuel Macron seeks to prioritize developing EU political and military leadership. Although Macron wishes to boost EU, NATO, and transatlantic relations, his pro-EU strategy will put the latter aside. Macron and his counterparts in Germany and Italy are all pro-EU, whose leadership together would paralyze transatlantic ties.

Le Pen Does not Support EU Sanctions on Russia

Le Pen has had close ties to Russia, and her policy would weaken the EU’s integrity against Vladimir Putin. Macron has accused Le Pen of being dependent on the Russian President. Her party depended on loans from banks linked to Russia, which were paid back before the current French election campaigns. She has supported closer security ties with Moscow and proposed a new Franco-Russian alliance before the Ukraine war

Le Pen had defended Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula in 2014. she argues against banning Russian oil and gas imports and opposes providing Ukraine with heavy weaponry. Her strategy could weaken Western efforts to stop the Russian invasion of Ukraine. She has said the Ukraine conflict had changed her mind about Putin. However, she has suggested a strategic rapprochement between NATO and Russia to keep Moscow away from China.


France holds presidential elections every five years, and the second round of the latest election is on April 24. None of the candidates could score half of the votes in the first round on April 10. The centrist Emmanuel Macron and the far-right Marine Le Pen contest presented two different manifests. The outgoing President and his nationalist rival have focused on the cost of living crisis and tried to attract voters’ attention. There is a fear of low voter turnout in the current French election as leftist voters may refuse to support Macron. If the uncertain voters decide to keep Le Pen, her victory will weaken the EU unity and transatlantic alliance. Her party has maintained close ties with Moscow, and she is against restricting sanctions against Russia. Le Pen’s victory could have an impact on the future of France.

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