France’s Marine Le Pen has rejected the possibility of leaving the EU and instead will be seeking to work with other far-right parties across Europe, aiming to “change the EU from within.”
Speaking at a gathering of the National Rally (formerly the National Front), Le Pen rejected the possibility of “frexit” and instead will aim the party toward closer integration with surging far-right nationalist parties across the continent.
Echoing recent calls from the Italian Matteo Salvini, Le Pen will seek to create a “powerful group” within the European Parliament centred around a “fusion” of three existing groups: the Europe of Nations and Freedom bloc, the Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy bloc, and the European Conservatives and Reformers.
The European Conservatives and Reformers is currently home to the Polish PiS Party and Britain’s Conservative Party, while the European Conservatives and Reformers include the likes of the Islamophobic Alternative for Germany (AfD) and UKIP.
While there are many issues standing in the way of uniformity, Le Pen’s words come hot on the heels of similar sentiments from the Italian League Party’s Salvini, the Italian Deputy Prime Minister announcing a new alliance with the AfD, the Danish People’s Party and Finland’s Finns Party last Monday.
Le Pen states that her aims are the “total reorientation of politics” across the continent.
While the National Front was the leading party in France at the 2014 European Elections, winning 24.86% of the vote (an 18.52% rise from 2009) they are expected to trail Emmanuel Macron’s La Republique En Marche party this year, despite recent unrest in the country.
The European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) was created following the Conservative Party’s controversial decision to leave the mainstream conservative European Peoples Party (EPP), a group that includes Angela Merkel’s Union of Germany and the Republicans of France, currently led by Laurent Wauquiez.