French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen has failed to give specifics around her European Union agenda among other policies during her campaign. Her opponents have accused her of hiding her agenda behind referendums in a bid to conceal her true intentions. To Macron’s EU minister, Ms Le Pen’s vision and recent statements suggest France would leave the EU under her leadership. Clément Beaune snapped on French broadcaster Public Sénat: “If she says: my (EU) allies, they don’t exist. It will be Victor Orban. I’ll decide on my own. That’s where I say there’s a hidden Frexit.”
“Because deciding on your own without renegotiation and freeing yourself from the common rules is like when you live in a condominium, in a commune, in a democracy, and you leave the community without saying so.”
“That’s all. I have no problem with the fact that she wants Frexit, but she should say so.”
Marine Le Pen has slightly changed her EU agenda this year in comparison with her two previous presidential bids.
In 2017, she promoted exiting the eurozone, the Schengen common travel area and holding a referendum on EU membership – Frexit. Now, she wants to restore border checks and a “European Alliance of Nations” that respect nations’ freedom and sovereignty. In that new framework, member states’ laws would take precedence over EU laws. To achieve that, she said she would need to renegotiate European treaties.
Mr Beaune added: “Either she respects the rules, or she renegotiates, but this is a very significant inflexion.”
“It simply means that she wants to be part of European democracy, that finally her MEPs will work in the European Parliament and vote on bills.”
Marine Le Pen party’s MEPs are under an investigation for hiring “fictitious” parliamentary assistants who advanced the interests of the party instead of carrying out the tasks of helping MEPs.
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Beaune added: “She says: I’m going to reduce the French contribution by five billion euros, full stop.”
“It’s always nicer to pay more and receive more. That’s fine, but then there’s real life. When you are in a community, you have to discuss with others.”
“Simply, I say, she must show with transparency, honesty, coherence what this (EU) project is. How it works.”