EU elections: French far-right candidate launches his campaign but avoids confrontation

French Far-right party National Rally president Jordan Bardella delivers a speech at a meeting, in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, March 3, 2024.
French Far-right party National Rally president Jordan Bardella delivers a speech at a meeting, in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, March 3, 2024. Copyright AP Photo/Daniel Cole
Copyright AP Photo/Daniel Cole
By Sophia Khatsenkova
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Just hours after Macron's Europe speech on Thursday, the head of the French far-right party, Jordan Bardella, unveiled his campaign for the European elections… but refused to answer questions.


The leader of the far-right Rassemblement National (RN) party Jordan Bardella unveiled his European election agenda on Thursday, shortly after French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a Europe-focused speech.

The 28-year-old who is leading the polls primarily seized the opportunity to criticise the French leader, targeting Macron’s involvement in the election campaign.

“The President has decided to intervene directly and personally in an electoral campaign. Intervening in this way constitutes a personal, symbolic and political commitment," he said at his party’s headquarters in Paris.

"If Emmanuel Macron's party were to lose this European election, the President will have to accept the consequences. I see no other option than dissolving the National Assembly”.

By targeting Macron, the head of the Rassemblement National party Jordan Bardella rolled out his agenda against what he claims is a "bureaucratic" Europe and "mass immigration”.

He also voiced his opposition to the accession to the EU for countries such as Ukraine and Turkey.

Speech cut short, no questions

Bardella's speech lasted for 20 minutes before the candidate suddenly disappeared, refusing to answer any questions.

He left the floor to his campaign manager as journalists expressed their discontent.

“Emmanuel Macron did not answer questions from journalists, so Jordan Bardella will also not be answering questions this evening,” Alexandre Loubet, his campaign manager, attempted to justify.

This is not the first time the favoured figure of the far-right has avoided confrontation. He had previously refused to participate in three debates against his rivals, including a recent one on the environment in the western city of Angers last week. 

This question dodging comes as Bardella’s party faces a wave of scandals.

The party’s number 3 for the EU elections, Fabrice Leggeri, former head of Frontex, was recently hit by a complaint filed by two NGOs accusing him of being complicit in crimes against humanity for having participated in the pushback of migrant boats in the Mediterranean.

And the Rassemblement National’s German counterpart, the far-right AFD party, has faced accusations of espionage and corruption following allegations that an MEP’s aide has been spying for China.

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