Partie ou chapitre de livre
Right-wing Parties in France and in Europe
Politics in France and Europe
New York : Palgrave Macmillan
217 - 233 p.
Presidential Election, European Scale, European Counterpart, Economic Liberalism, Religious Pluralism
Political parties to the Right of the political spectrum in France have changed considerably since 2002. The UMP (Union pour un mouvement populaire), was created from what was the RPR (Rassemblement pour la République). It has become the uncontested leader of the right-wing camp, renewed its leadership with the election of Nicolas Sarkozy as its president in November 2004, and has shown a clear desire to break with the Chirac years. In parallel, the UDF (Union pour la démocratie française), has jettisoned its radical and liberal components, affirmed its autonomous strategy and centered itself on the promotion of François Bayrou’s candidacy for the Presidency. The UDF claim to be a centrist party that is a dangerous position to adopt in a bipolar system. It has been suggested that these changes signify the end of the specific character of the French Right. Starting with the postwar period, this specificity essentially stemmed from the central role played within it by Gaullism and its affiliated organizations. The hypothesis that a kind of European convergence is taking place can be justified if one considers that in France, a clearly dominant conservative strand has progressively come into being on the Right. This strand has been nurtured by the fading of Gaullism and the emergence of a “new” UDF makes it more easily identifiable within the current of Christian democracy which is solidly implanted in the history of right-wing parties in Europe. In order to test such a hypothesis, a comparison between the French Right and its European counterparts is needed.