Brexit and then Donald Trump’s victory in the United States presidential election marked a victory of the conception of nation state over the liberal globalization scenario. Le Pen’s program, which can be regarded as a manifesto of anti-globalism and anti-Europeanism, adds to the trend.
"What is at stake in this election […] is whether France can still be a free nation. The divide is not between the left and right any more but between patriots and globalists," Le Pen told supporters at her campaign launch rally.
Dubbed as 144 "commitments," Le Pen’s election program declares the "priority of national interests over political correctness, globalism and the discredited European identity," Gevorg Mirzayan, a lecturer at the Financial University under the Government of Russia, wrote in a piece for RIA Novosti.
Less Europe, Less NATO
In fact, these measures mean abandoning the basic principles of the European integration, according to Mirzayan.
At the same time, Le Pen is not a die-hard advocate of a Frexit. The politician is ready to agree on a reform of the bloc, including its turning into kind of a union of independent nations.
"However, the 'commitments' regarding foreign policy is way more radical. For example, Le Pen wants France to become independent from NATO’s military command, in order to prevent it from 'being dragged into wars France is not interested in,'" the article read.
In her electoral plan Le Pen promised to increase France’s defense spending to three percent of GDP, from the current two percent, according to the obligations within NATO. She also promised to boost the French Navy with a second aircraft-carrier and add 50,000 personnel to the armed forces, including drafting in the army.
"Despite France’s military success in Mali, its joint effort with Britain on Libya ended up in a fiasco. So, many experts are cautious about Paris’ military prospects beyond NATO," the article read.
Interests of French People First
Le Pen proposed a radical solution to the problem, including curbing the immigration flow (to 10,000 people a year), prohibiting admittance of family members and finally expelling all illegal immigrants.
"Such a Trump-style move is not politically correct, but it is legal and follows the logic of a nation state. While globalism regards admittance of refugees as natural, for a nation state its own citizens come first," Mirzayan pointed out.
While the French socialists do not see such situation as a problem, the National Front leader is concerned about Islamic radicalism. Le Pen pledges to wipe out all French Islamic organizations, to close mosques involved in propagating extremism and ban such organization from receiving funds from abroad. The "commitments" also propose revoking French citizenship for involvement in jihadist activities.
"These measures are correct and important. But the problem is that they should be implemented with a special care, in order to prevent the fight against jihadism from turning into a war on Islam. In the latter case, France would risk facing a civil conflict," the expert noted.
A Chance for France
"But her defeat will not make her commitments obsolete. It is very interesting to see how many people will vote for Le Pen’s resolute initiatives to restore French’s sovereignty and security in exchange for political correctness, open borders and other signs of globalization," Mirzayan wrote.
According to the author, if this percentage is sufficiently high or if a right candidate wins (for example, Fillon) the next French president will have to endorse some of Le Pen’s "commitments."
"They are not perfect, but to a certain extent they are the only way France can overcome the current challenges," the author concluded.
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