The Front national in the 2014 European Elections
International Conference “The 2014 European election: the rise of anti-europeanism”
2014-11-13 / 2014-11-14
Front national, Euroscepticism, European elections 2014
The 2014 European elections have confirmed the status of the Front National (FN) as major political actor and principal anti-EU force in French politics. Amid growing voter discontent with the ruling parties and declining popular support for the EU, the FN has fashioned a powerful programmatic appeal combining economically left-wing protectionist policies with xenophobic, ethno-pluralist and anti-EU positions. This agenda of demarcation has allowed the party to draw a sizeable constituency of voters who feel threatened by the cultural, economic and political consequences of globalization. The French FN exemplifies also the hard Eurosceptic party, rejecting the project of European integration and calling for France’s withdrawal from the EU. Anti-EU positions are incorporated into the FN’s typical populist radical right agenda which challenges the fundamental liberal and universalistic values of the European Union. Eurosceptic positions resonate with voters who feel that their voice is no longer being heard by the political elite, both national and European. Whilst isolated within European institutions, the FN is set to accentuate its domestic presence into the 2017 elections in France. Most importantly, Marine Le pen’s party will continue to instil anti-EU sentiments in the French public, thereby undermining both EU legitimacy and trust in European institutions.