Marine Le Pen is a French politician who is currently one of two candidates in the second round of the 2022 French presidential election. A graduate in criminal law, Le Pen joined her father’s National Front party in 1998. She was previously a regional councilor and member of the European Parliament. In 2003, she was elected vice-president of the party, and eight years later, she succeeded her father at the head of the National Front.
In 2012, she ran for president and finished in third place. While the party’s opposition to same-sex marriage, unconditional abortions and support for the death penalty has been revoked, Le Pen still supports many of the party’s historic tenets, with a focus on anti-immigration and strong protectionists.
Le Pen’s foreign policy
She has previously said that the objective of French foreign policy should be to safeguard a country’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, even if this requires the construction of new trade barriers and physical borders. Thus, the traditional discourse of the nation-state, very particular on the idea of borders and limits, reappears in a world integrated by a cooperative framework. Moreover, it also wants to develop an autonomous foreign policy.
She wants to replace the EU with a new, more flexible alliance of “free and sovereign nations.“Within this alliance, each member could choose the rules to be applied, including in terms of the application of the rule of law. It wants to ensure the primacy of French law over European Union law. It would therefore abandon any notion of “European sovereignty” and stop any further enlargement.
Le Pen’s economic orientations
In economic policy, it supports economic nationalism rather than the free market. Economic nationalism is “an ideology that favors state interventionism over the mechanism of the market”, whereas a free market is a system in which the prices of goods and services are self-regulated by buyers and sellers who trade in the open market without any coercion from the state. As far as economic nationalism is concerned, the state protects indigenous labor and industries.
Because she said on one occasion “From the moment I put in place intelligent protectionism which will fight against unfair international competition, this will restore the economy”. And it is precisely for this reason – intelligent protectionism and unfair international competition – that it opposes globalization. She said that “globalization is anarchic”. It implies that only the state can defend workers’ rights.
Perspectives on Security and Economic Architecture: NATO and the EU
Academics believe that if Le Pen wins, European integration will be slowed because he sees integration as a threat to sovereignty. The unity, cohesion and international stature of the EU would be weakened if Le Pen were to win. She could use her right of veto to block any new sanctions against Russia, as well as any military aid to Ukraine. It is difficult to see how the EU could implement these measures without collapsing.
A Frexit, unlike Brexit, would be a delayed and chaotic exit. She boldly pledged to remove France from the Russian sphere of influence. “Neither an integrated NATO command nor a future European command would be appropriate for our troops,” she said.
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Le Guernigou, Y., Felix, B., & Lough, R. (April 13, 2017). French Le Pen says protectionism can boost GDP growth to 2.5% by 2021. Reuters. Accessed April 22, 2022.
Mounk, Y. (2022, April 21). Why Marine Le Pen is so close to power. Atlantic. Accessed April 22, 2022.
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