European campaigns in France : when and where ?

We have talked a lot about a few small European parties, so here are the dates of the launch of their European campaign. Go see for yourself what they are all about !

Us Citizens (Nous citoyens) is launching its campaign on the 5th of April. Meet them at 15:00 at the Espace Charenton, in the 12th arrondissement of Paris.

Citizen Europe, the European list of the Citizen Gathering (Rasemblement Citoyen), will be meeting in Paris Wednesday 09/04 in the Rue des Rosiers. More details to come ASAP!  You might have to make an early choice there, because the UMP plans to launch its European campaign that very same day.

Pierre Larrouturou’s New Deal party (Nouvelle Donne) will be in Strasbourg on the 11th of April for the presentation of their EU objectives. Meet the candidates at 20:00 at the Cultural Center of Illkirch.

The European party (Parti Européen) has not yet determined a date to meet with its supporters – we will keep you updated !

The ones you’ve already missed

The Socialist Party (PS) took an early start by launching their campaign at the beginning of March. If you missed it, here is a video of most of the action (in French of course) with the head of the EU socialists Harlem Désir.


Same thing for the FN, which presented its candidates a few weeks back.Aymeric Chauprade, the leader in Ile-de-France for the FN’s European list, was even present during several of the campaign meetings for the local French elections.

Here is a poll on EU voting intentions in France published by Le Figaro on Tuesday.×353.jpg

The Party of the European Left has not specified a date for the launching of its European campaign.

Special award for originality

France might arguably be the most original of all EU member states in terms of political parties. Here is a new one I stumbled upon:

  • Alliance Royale, a political party whose main goal is to restore a monarchy in France while remaining open to the concept of Europe. Its leaders hope to improve on 2009, where they only won 0,05% of the votes in Ile-de-France.
Alliance Royale meeting on March 24, 2012. CC/Flickr/Remy Noyon

Alliance Royale meeting on March 24, 2012. CC/Flickr/Remy Noyon

Commentary: Nobody likes the European Union

If there is one conversation killer for a regular dinner, it may well be the European Union. Or do you disagree?

The EU is perceived as this remote and complicated institution that has a say on several aspects of your everyday life, and which is so easy to blame for any problems existing at the national level. Unemployment? The result of free movement within the EU. The global crisis? The result of the limits imposed on state power by the Euro. Today, euroscepticism has never been so high in the member states of the Union.

In a way, it is interesting to hear these things from heads of states when you know that the most powerful body of the European Union is not the Parliament or the European Commission: it is the European Council, which is manned by these very same state leaders.

But it works.

Louis de Gouyon Matignon is the 22-year old leader of a new French party called the Parti Européen (European Party), which he has launched in February 2014. Why a new party? Because he thinks older generations are not doing enough with the amazing tool that is the European Union.

As the elections get closer, he often hangs out in front of universities, trying to engage fellow students in a discussion on the need for new European objectives in France. The responses of these young people often echo the eurosceptic rise present in the French society: the EU is too far from our reality, the EU costs too much money, the EU is too complicated, the EU is taking away power from France…

You always fear what you don’t understand, states a popular saying. The Union has been around for over 50 years in one form or the other, and yet it remains a mystery to most of the European population.

Maybe it is time that one way or the other, the EU makes a choice on what it intends to be. Why have a President of the European Commission, or a  high representative for the EU’s foreign and security policy, if these jobs are to fulfilled by people lacking authority and charisma?

France: parties blooming for a European spring?

European Parliament, Brussels CC/Flickr/William Warby

European Parliament, Brussels
CC/Flickr/William Warby

As the EU elections draw closer, France has seen several new parties appear in its political landscape. This is particularly interesting given the recent scandals in French politics: the left has mainly suffered from Hollande’s controversial leadership, while the right is divided and weakened by recent revelations (the Sarkozy recordings for example). Some see the FN as the big winner in this situation, but French voters may very well turn towards fresh alternatives.

Here is a short insight into the convictions of these new political movements. We will be following them closely in the upcoming weeks.

Nouvelle Donne (New Deal)

This leftist party was started in November 2013 by a former socialist politician, Pierre Larrouturou,  who is also a renowned economist and who named his movement after FDR’s New Deal. At the European level, Nouvelle Donne advocates a more social Europe led by its Parliament as opposed to the governments of its member states.

Parti Européen (European Party)

The European Party was created in February 2014 by young politicians looking to renew the very foundations of the European Union. They envision a federal Europe granting more powers to its different regions. Their program presents very concrete proposals in different areas (defense, social rights, environment, security, etc.), such as the harmonization of labor law, and a common European minimum wage. For the anecdote, one of their suggestions aims to protect funfairs throughout Europe.

Nous Citoyens (Us Citizens)

The movement was created in December 2013 by a French entrepreneur called Denis Payre. Nous Citoyens calls for a more democratic Europe that would no more take the fall for the errors of national politicians. They see the Union as an essential tool to control the influence of capitalism over the European society.

Le Rassemblement Citoyen (The Citizen Gathering)

Movement founder Corinne Lepage, who is also a member of the European Parliament, advocates the end of the traditional divide between right and left in French Politics. Since its creation in March 2013, the party has affirmed its belief in political stances such as energy transition, non-discrimination, and a federal Europe.