President of the French Rassemblement National’ (RN) party Jordan Bardella wants a different Europe. (Photo by Chesnot/Getty Images)


France’s RN leader Bardella reveals ‘tricolour strategy’ for European Parliament elections


Jordan Bardella, head of National Rally (RN) in France, presented his party’s strategy for June’s European Parliament elections, “clarifying” its intentions regarding the European Union.

While RN is leading in the polls, its opponents often accuse the party of being extremist and secretly wanting to leave the EU under a so-called “Frexit”.

In his presentation, Bardella appeared to want to make clear what his group really desires.

On February 29, during a press conference dubbed “100 days to win!”, the party leader laid out a “tricolour strategy”, where green stands for European co-operation it approves, orange for what it wants to change and a red for what are its “hard No Go’s”.

European projects supported by Bardella and RN are, for example, the Erasmus student exchange programme, which he has cited as “the pooling of the material resources of the Civil Protection”, and “industrial, economic and scientific co-operation on major projects for the future”.

Changes sought include those to do with free movement within the Schengen area, which he said he wanted to be “exclusively reserved” for European nationals. RN also is critical of the single-market model and advocates for a “[favouring of] our companies at the national level”.

The party draws red lines on issues regarding “sovereignty”, such as migration, energy, diplomacy and defence “including the ownership of our nuclear deterrent”.

On immigration, RN demands a national referendum.

The enlargement of the EU and dropping Member States’ unanimity voting in favour of qualified majority decision-making are also “No Go’s” for the right-wing nationalists.

Bardella referred to these ideas and the EU Green Deal as “suicidal”.

If the RN wins big, it will push to “rewrite the European treaties”, he added.

The primary focus seems to be at the national level. “The vote on June 9 is an opportunity for the French people to put a stop to the increasingly palpable drift of the presidency,” Bardella stated.

“This vote is of vital importance and will also provide a clear debate between two major conceptions of Europe,” he said, referring to what he called “fanaticism from Brussels”.

“For five years, the MEP delegation has fought tooth-and-nail to defend France and protect the French people, within the limits of the powers granted to the opposition,” Bardella said.

“We have been the French people’s watchdog against the European Commission.”

He depicted the French President Emmanuel Macron as a “stooge” for the European powers: “Macron and [EC President] Ursula von der Leyen are two sides of the same coin: ‘Vonderleyism’ is the parent company, ‘Macronism’ is the regional branch,” Bardella said.

“They are partners in action and partners in results.”

Such Vonderleyism, he continued, enacted with the Green Deal “a policy of energy decline … industrial decline … and agricultural decline”.

“The culmination of this ‘tricolor’ strategy aims to redefine the basis of a new treaty that will be that of the ‘European Alliance of Nations’.”

He did stress that RN wanted to change things, not destroy them. There was no “public or hidden” Frexit being prepared, he insisted.

“You don’t leave the gaming table when you’re winning the game”, Bardella noted, referring to polls that indicate right-wing gains across Europe in the upcoming Parliament elections.

In France, RN is set to win and become the biggest in political force in country, while Macron’s Renaissance party is polling poorly.