“Because the National Front rejects the European institutions’ legitimacy, it opposes every initiative that gives power to institutions to invest at the local level, even though these proposals are positive for social rights”, VoteWatch Europe’s Director, Doru Frantescu, pointed out during an interview with France 24.
The far-right candidate Marine Le Pen will face the centrist Emmanuel Macron in a run-off for the French Presidency on the 7th May. As analysed in one of our previous studies, this is an pivotal moment for the French political system, since the two major political parties have been voted out of the race in the first round.
With the possibility, although small, of Marine Le Pen winning the French presidency, French newspapers are increasingly looking at how politicians did actually vote in order to check whether there are differences between their statements and their actual behaviour. After analysing the voting records of National Front MEPs, including Marine Le Pen, the France 24’s article argues that some of statements of the nationalist candidate are not in accordance with FN’s voting behaviour in the European Parliament.
Using VoteWatch Europe’s data, the journalist Bahar Makooi reveals that National Front MEPs opposed resolutions calling for a EU reindustrialisation policy, new rules against social dumping and abstained on further measures against tax avoidance. Interestingly enough, these issues are in the program of Marine Le Pen, especially the fight against tax evasion and the need to support the reindustrialisation of France. However, the National Front stood by its critical positions on EU integration, as these measures are calling for more EU integration in economic and social policy.
More than ever, one should look at what our representatives stand for and how they actually shape the policies when voting the European and national institutions, beyond mere and cleverly crafted statements.