The president of Rassemblement National Marine Le Pen has criticized the transfer of sovereignty to Brussels, in particular with regard to nuclear weapons. EPA-EFE/Guillaume Horcajuelo

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Le Pen rejects idea of Brussels controlling French nuclear weapons

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The leader of the French National Rally (RN) party, Marine Le Pen, has criticised plans to transfer sovereignty over nuclear weapons to Brussels.

In a commentary published in Le Figaro, the leader railed against what she termed the “Europeanisation” of French nuclear capacity.

“If Emmanuel Macron were to decide to share nuclear weapons with all EU countries, as he has suggested, he would be depriving France of an essential prerogative and betraying its constitutional duties,” Le Pen said.

The RN leader described the proposal as “worrying” and “irresponsible”, expressing doubt that such a proposal could function.

“[M]any have rightly pointed out that deterrence would lose all meaning if it were to be integrated into decision-making mechanisms external to the Nation it protects,” Le Pen argued.

She added that the move would also “further weaken [France’s] democracy,” which, she said, “has already been stripped of most of its prerogatives in favour of unelected supranational bodies”.

Le Pen went on to attack the idea of creating a specific position for a European defence Commissioner, as was put forward by European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen in February.

The proposal has been backed by Macron, who also floated the idea of expanding the nuclear umbrella to the entirety of the EU as part of increasing its defensive capabilities.

During an address in April, the French president warned that “Europe may die” if efforts are taken to develop a “credible European defence”.

“Nuclear deterrence is at the heart of France’s defence strategy,” he said.

“It is therefore an essential element in the defence of the European continent.”

The statements seemed to underline his intention to present himself as a pro-European leader within a dynamic that is increasingly divided between centralists and federalists.

By contrast, some analysts consider Le Pen to have adopted a position closer to the late-French president General Charles de Gaulle, highlighting her Euroscepticism and her nationalistic defence of French interests.