Skip to main content

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated Cookie policy, Privacy policy and Terms & Conditions

marine le pen election poster Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

Planning for President Le Pen

After the UK's unexpected vote to leave the EU and Donald Trump’s unexpected triumph in the US presidential election last year, you might imagine that EU leaders have developed detailed contingency plans for a victory by the far-right National Front’s Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election. You’d be wrong.

LONDON – After the United Kingdom’s unexpected vote to leave the European Union and Donald Trump’s unexpected triumph in the US presidential election last year, you might imagine that Europe’s chancelleries have developed detailed contingency plans for a victory by the far-right National Front’s Marine Le Pen in France’s presidential election. You’d be wrong.

The thought of President Le Pen is so terrifying, it seems, posing such a threat to the future of Europe, that it remains for many a possibility they dare not entertain, much less plan for. But that threat is precisely why Europe must address seriously the possibility of her winning, however unlikely it may seem.

There is no doubt that, as President of France, Le Pen could do serious damage to the European project. She has positioned herself as the antithesis of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and pledged to leave the EU’s border-free Schengen Area and the eurozone. As for the EU itself, she promises to follow in the UK’s footsteps, renegotiating the terms of her country’s membership, and then calling a referendum on the agreement. If the EU rejects the reforms Le Pen demands, she will campaign for a French exit.

We hope you're enjoying Project Syndicate.

To continue reading, subscribe now.

Subscribe

Get unlimited access to PS premium content, including in-depth commentaries, book reviews, exclusive interviews, On Point, the Big Picture, the PS Archive, and our annual year-ahead magazine.

https://prosyn.org/IKd8gjB;