French EU lawmaker Raphaël Glucksmann on Tuesday (9 May) rejected the idea of a joint list with the radical left La France Insoumise (LFI) ahead of the 2024 European elections, arguing that the political differences between the parties were too large.
“We, at Place Publique, in the European Parliament […], cannot imagine going into electoral battle with people with a vision of Europe that is so different from ours,” the MEP said on French TV channel France 2. La France Insoumise is part of the Left political group in the European Parliament.
Glucksmann cited issues of “sincerity and substance”, adding that he deplored comments made at the weekend by LFI MEP Manon Aubry that the European flag was “a democratic treachery”.
His statement came after the centrist Renaissance group of President Emmanuel Macron tabled a bill in the National Assembly to make both French and European flags compulsory on the facade of town halls. The measure was contested by the opposition, as well as some of Renaissance’s own MPs. The vote on the text is due on Tuesday evening.
“The European flag is a symbol of freedom,” said Glucksmann. “It is the one waved by Ukrainians when they fight for their freedom, […] by Georgians when they demonstrate to save their democracy.”
He was then asked about next year’s European elections, which are dividing the left-wing NUPES alliance, with calls from LFI for a joint list like in the 2022 legislative elections.
As reported by EURACTIV France, ecologists and communists in France are sceptical about such joint lists citing fundamental differences in their approach to the European project. Ecologist leaders tend to be federalists while the latter are critical of what they say are the EU’s “liberal treaties”.
Within the Socialist Party (PS), some are nevertheless still pushing for a single list, particularly from the entourage of the party’s First Secretary, Olivier Faure.
In an opinion piece published in the Le Monde on Tuesday, Faure wrote that “the socialist and ecologist forces must converge with social and citizen mobilisations to build the next victories”.
Faure believes that “alliances are possible, certainly desirable, but it is the project that guides them and not the other way around”, implying an agreement on a programme was necessary before proceeding to discuss a joint list.
However, Glucksmann, who led a joint list between his small party Place publique and the Socialist Party in the 2019 European elections, pointed to fundamental differences with LFI. Whether it is the issue of European defence, Vladimir Putin’s regime, or China, the social democrats and La France Insoumise do not think the same way, he said.
At the European level, several S&D group officials from other countries, contacted by EURACTIV, declined to comment on the possibility of a list bringing together the centre-left and the radical left in France.
In the meantime, the chances of the traditional ‘pro-European’ cooperation in the European Parliament between the centre-left S&D and the centre-right EPP continuing after next year’s European elections seem to be waning.
The president of the Socialists in the European Parliament, Iraxte Garcia Pérez, denounced the EPP’s shift towards the hard right and the far right in an interview with EURACTIV Poland.
EU socialist chief: Cooperation with the EPP no longer possible
Socialists and Democrats (S&D) have always been able to cooperate with all pro-European forces in the European Parliament, but the centre-right European People’s Party’s movements towards collaboration with the far right oversteps our “pro-EU red line” and risks upsetting this …
[Edited by Zoran Radosavljevic/Benjamin Fox]
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