EU in a cold sweat over Le Pen triumph

Martin Jay
Strategic Culture Foundation

It’s hard to predict that Le Pen will get the required 51% with another party, the conservatives, in a coalition.

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.

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