Macron’s Team Initiates European Parliament Election Campaign with Ukraine in Focus

Simona Mazzeo

Support for Ukraine to deduce prominently in France’s European Parliament elections campaign.

French President Emmanuel Macron’s centrist alliance on Saturday launched its campaign for European Parliament elections in the northern city of Lille, as he attempts to curb the quick rise of the far right and hammer home the significance of greater support for Ukraine.

The European elections are witnessed as a key milestone ahead of France’s next presidential election in 2027 when far-right figurehead Marine Le Pen is anticipated to mount a fourth bid for the highest job and Macron cannot stand likewise due to term limits.

Le Pen’s National Rally (RN) party defeated Macron’s alliance by a broad margin in polls on the European elections in June, and members of the centrist alliance state privately that limiting the gap will not be comfortable.

“The main subject will be support for Ukraine,” the leader of Macron’s Renaissance party in parliament, Sylvain Maillard, expressed on Friday of the campaign launch

Macron, who intends to join the campaign at a later stage, has invited his ministers to fight the RN “every step of the way” and has aimed to cast Le Pen’s forces as bedfellows of Russia.

“In an election which is taking place in a historic moment for our continent and our country, with the war at the gates of the European continent, the central question is ‘Are we voting for pro-European forces which want to strengthen Europe’,” stated Stanislas Guerini, a close Macron ally.

“That’s us.”

The French president has decided Valerie Hayer, the 37-year-old head of the Renew group in the European Parliament, to conduct his camp in the polls. Hayer, who is relatively unfamiliar to the French public, was expected to highlight the “need for Europe,” the official slogan of the campaign, and challenge the far-right’s overtures to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

By difference, the head of the National Rally’s checklist for the European elections is 28-year-old Jordan Bardella, a rising celebrity of far-right French politics. Bardella whipped on the far-right’s central theme of immigration when the party projected its election campaign in the southern port of Marseille last weekend.

In France’s polarized political landscape, Russia’s fight against Ukraine has emerged as a significant hot-button topic. Last week Macron shocked many in Europe by declining to rule out the dispatch of Western ground troops to Ukraine.

Members of the opposition blamed the president for using the conflict to expand his coalition’s standing ahead of the European elections. Earlier this week, Bardella told Macron’s stance on Ukraine as “no limits and no red lines”.

He stated he had argued with the French leader “not to go to war with Russia”.

Some in Macron’s camp have challenged the focus on Ukraine and the far-right. A lawmaker with the centrist MoDem party, which is part of Macron’s coalition, stated that targeting the far-right party could backfire by further raising their profile.

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Simona Mazzeo is a journalist at Brussels Morning News. She is covering European Parliament, European Council, European Commission & Italy News. She is a law graduate and lawyer residing in Agropoli, has carved out a multifaceted career dedicated to justice and social advocacy. She actively serves as a delegated councilor for the Equal Opportunities Committee of the Bar Association of Vallo della Lucania, championing fair and equal representation within the legal system. Recognized for her expertise and empathy, Simona is qualified for registration in the list of Special Curators of minors in civil and criminal matters at the Court of Vallo della Lucania, ensuring the rights and interests of vulnerable children are protected throughout legal proceedings. Beyond her legal practice, Simona demonstrates a strong commitment to social causes. She is a founding member of the Free Lawyer Movement, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing legal assistance to those who cannot afford it. Additionally, she leverages her knowledge and passion for social justice as a non-professional journalist, contributing insightful and informative pieces on relevant legal and societal issues. Through her diverse endeavors, Simona Mazzeo exemplifies dedication to legal excellence, social responsibility, and a fervent belief in equal access to justice for all.