20:28 GMT07 May 2021
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    The EU Commission sees no reasons to prepare for France possible leaving the European Union because of the upcoming presidential election, as elections are a normal part of democracy, EU Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said on Friday.

    BRUSSELS (Sputnik) — In September 2016, far-right French presidential candidate Marine Le Pen first announced her plans to hold a referendum on France’s membership in the European Union if she wins the election. The referendum together with negotiations with the European Union on the status of France later became one of the key points of Le Pen’s presidential election program.

    "We don't see reasons for contingency planning," Andreeva said at a press briefing when asked how the European Union was preparing for the possible Frexit.

    The election in France is not a crisis, but a normal process and an "opportunity for democracy," the EU Commission spokeswoman explained.

    "It is now for the French people to express their will in these elections. And I am also happy to provide you with the direct quote of the President [of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker], where he expressed his confidence that the European Union is strong enough to survive even if a Eurosceptic would win the election," Andreeva added.

    Earlier in the day, David Rachline, the campaign manager for Le Pen told Sputnik that, if elected, Le Pen intends to hold a referendum on leaving the European Union in the first half of 2018.

    The first round of the French presidential election will be held on Sunday, with the run-off between the top two contenders scheduled to take place on May 7. According to the latest opinion polls, Le Pen is expected to come second in the first round of the election with 21.5 percent, with independent candidate Emmanuel Macron maintaining the lead with 24 percent support. Macron is also projected to win in the second round.

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    presidential election, Brexit, European Union, Jean-Claude Juncker, France
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