EventsEventsPodcasts
Loader
Find Us
ADVERTISEMENT

Immigration, Ukraine, energy: Where does the French far right stand?

Jordan Bardella, the National Rally president hoping to become France's prime minister
Jordan Bardella, the National Rally president hoping to become France's prime minister Copyright Michel Euler/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
Copyright Michel Euler/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.
By Sophia Khatsenkova
Published on Updated
Share this articleComments
Share this articleClose Button

In the run-up to the first round of French elections on Sunday, the far-right National Rally (RN) is currently leading in the polls, ahead of the left-wing alliance and Macron's centrist coalition. But what are their key policies?

ADVERTISEMENT

Jordan Bardella, the leader of the far-right National Rally (RN) party currently ahead in the polls, unveiled on Monday his party's proposals on the cost of living crisis, Ukraine, and immigration for the upcoming French legislative elections.

French voters will head to the polls on 30 June and 7 July to elect a new national assembly after it was dissolved by President Emmanuel Macron following European elections earlier this month.

National Rally, which dealt a heavy blow to Macron's centrist party by claiming over 31% of the vote in the European ballot, is leading in all major polls. According to an OpinionWay poll for Cnews, Europe 1 and JDD released on Friday, RN could clinch 35% of the vote, ahead of the left-wing Nouveau Front Populaire alliance (27%) and Macron's liberal coalition (20%).

Euronews breaks down its proposals.

'Drastically reducing' immigration and double borders

Immigration is one of the key themes for the far right. In their campaign pamphlet, the National Rally claims to want to "stop migratory submersion" by "drastically reducing legal and illegal immigration" and "deporting foreign delinquents."

To implement these measures, leader Jordan Bardella wants to submit an "emergency law" on immigration to Parliament if his party wins an absolute majority (at least 289 seats).  

Bardella said in an interview with French TV channel BFMTV that if he were to be instated as prime minister, he would pass "within the first few weeks" of his term "an immigration law that will initially aim to facilitate the deportation of foreign criminal offenders, by lifting the current administrative constraints.”

In particular, this emergency law would abolish the "droit du sol" — the right to citizenship of a country based on being born there. In France, any child born on French soil to two foreign parents can obtain French nationality automatically once they are 18 years old.

The emergency immigration law also seeks to change the Aide Médicale d'Etat (AME) — a state-funded medical aid for undocumented immigrants.

The current AME provides 100% coverage of medical expenses for undocumented immigrants.

For the President of the National Rally, interviewed by the French TV channel CNews, this fund should only cover medical emergencies and "it will no longer be possible for illegal immigrants to benefit from the full range of free medical care."

Bardella confirmed on Monday that "the most strategic job positions" in the government "will be reserved for French nationals," meaning people with dual citizenship will be excluded from accessing such positions.

The introduction of a double border was another of Jordan Bardella's key proposals during the European elections campaign.

This measure, Bardella said, aims to limit movement within the Schengen area to European citizens and therefore prevent migrants arriving on European territory from being able to move within the area.

No long-range missiles for Ukraine

“Ukraine must be able to defend itself,” Bardella said last week while visiting the Eurosatory arms show in Paris.

ADVERTISEMENT

For the past couple of years, the RN has been trying to get rid of accusations its members have been cosying up to the Kremin.

Bardella has not specified what sort of aid he would give Kyiv. However, he did outline "red lines" that his party is not willing to cross. 

For example, he has refused to provide long-range missiles and weapons capable of striking Russian territory. 

He also reiterated the opposition of the far-right movement to the deployment of French soldiers or instructors on Ukrainian soil, regularly mentioned by Macron.

ADVERTISEMENT
Jordan Bardella, second left, president of the far-right National Front party, looks at a Caesar self-propelled howitzer at the Eurosatory Defense and Security exhibition
Jordan Bardella, second left, president of the far-right National Front party, looks at a Caesar self-propelled howitzer at the Eurosatory Defense and Security exhibitionMichel Euler/Copyright 2024 The AP. All rights reserved.

Cost of living a top priority

Bardella told the French newspaper Le Parisien that as prime minister, he would lower the Value Added Tax (VAT) from 20% to 5.5% on electricity and fuel. 

To finance it, Bardella wants to put an end to certain tax loopholes and reduce France's contribution to the EU budget by €2-€3 billion out of a total of €21.6bn for 2024 alone.

The MEP's second emergency measure would be to launch negotiations with the European Commission to waive electricity pricing rules. This would “reduce bills by 30%”, he told the newspaper.

However, this would require backing from other EU member states to support the reform and pass it.

ADVERTISEMENT

Criticising French President Emmanuel Macron's "irresponsible" spending, Bardella confirmed that he wants to launch a major "audit of the nation's accounts".

He intends to slash “government spending which encourages immigration".

The environment and the climate crisis are not at the forefront of the RN’s programme, although it is one of the main preoccupations of French voters according to an IPSOS poll published in May. 

However, the candidate said on Monday wants a moratorium on building more wind turbine warms and focus on building more nuclear reactors. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Share this articleComments

You might also like

French firms on edge as alliance looks to raise taxes for spending

France snap elections: Why Macron is gambling with France and Europe?

Paris Olympics kick off amid fans' excitiment and logistic hassles