French far proper’s rhetoric at odds with its voting report at EU Parliament | EUROtoday

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A overview of the voting data from the European Parliament reveals that members of the far-right National Rally occasion (previously the National Front) are sometimes absent from the legislative course of, forged votes that contradict said occasion positions and are receptive to overtures from industrial lobbyists.

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Campaigning for the European Elections on June 6-9, National Rally occasion chief Jordan Bardella has promised to combat for the pursuits of the French individuals.

But Bardella – who took over from Marine Le Pen as chief of the National Rally in 2022 – and his colleagues have usually forged votes on the European Parliament that belie the occasion line. His votes in opposition to points the occasion claims to assist – girls’s rights, the transition to renewable vitality and support for weak households – increase questions on what the National Rally stands for as he leads his occasion’s candidate checklist for the EU parliamentary elections.

Political adversaries enjoyment of reminding Bardella of his lengthy report of absenteeism on the European Parliament. In March his occasion felt compelled to reply, posting a graphic on social media hoping to show the opposite that highlighted an attendance price in Strasbourg of 93.95 p.c.

But that determine is deceptive, on condition that it solely takes into consideration the MEP’s presence at plenary periods, when EU lawmakers vote on texts and their attendance is logged. Parliamentary work will not be confined to those periods; quite the opposite, a lot of it takes place in committee, the place texts are amended. Unlike plenary periods, the place absenteeism incurs monetary penalties, committee conferences will not be topic to scrutiny by the European Parliament.

The investigative information programme Further investigation discovered that between July 2019 and December 2023, Bardella missed 70 p.c of his committee’s conferences.

Disconnect: Words in Paris and votes in Strasbourg

The votes forged by National Rally MEPs reveal contradictions between the occasion’s rhetoric and the votes forged by its elected representatives in Strasbourg.

National Rally members voted in 2021 in opposition to a European measure condemning the choice of the Polish Constitutional Court to impose a near-total ban on abortion and calling on “the Polish government to ensure that no more women die in Poland as a result of this restrictive law”.  And but former occasion chief Marine Le Pen spoke in January in favour of the French parliament’s vote to enshrine entry to abortion within the French Constitution.

National Rally MEPs in January 2020 voted in opposition to or abstained on a decision on unequal pay for ladies that known as on member states to “step up their efforts to close the pay gap, once and for all”. And but equal pay for ladies was a difficulty that Le Pen claimed to assist in her Letter to French Women in March 7, 2022.

In speeches and marketing campaign occasions, the National Rally takes a hardline stance on immigration and requires strengthening the EU’s exterior borders.

But its MEPs have all the time voted in opposition to rising funding for Frontex, the company that coordinates and manages European borders. Jean-François Jalkh, a National Front MEP even known as for “the abolition of Frontex” in 2016.

In 2019, all of France’s far-right MEPs voted in opposition to rising the variety of Frontex brokers to 10,000. That identical yr, Bardella accused Frontex of “financing migrant camps, particularly on Lesbos in Greece” and of behaving like a “host for migrants”.

Bardella has justified his opposition to the European Green Deal by saying he desires to make buying energy a key concern of his marketing campaign, claiming Europe’s push to scale back emissions will see the working and center lessons footing the invoice for the inexperienced vitality transition.

But in 2022 he and his occasion’s MEPs voted in opposition to the EU’s Social Climate Fund, which helps low-income households and small companies shift from fossil fuels by making buildings vitality environment friendly, buying an electrical automobile or by emissions-trading.

Industry lobbyists

The votes forged by National Rally MEPs have additionally proven they aren’t deaf to the arguments of business lobbyists.

Ecolobby consultants, which serves environmental and socially accountable companies, has produced an internet site noting 10 occasions there have been “convergences of interest” between business lobbies and the votes of National Rally MEPs, “to the detriment of the general interest and that of the most disadvantaged”.

The web site additionally highlights Bardella and his colleagues’ opposition to taxing windfall company earnings.

National Rally MEPs abstained from an October 2022 vote on the decision calling on the European Commission to introduce a windfall earnings tax on vitality corporations geared toward serving to weak households and small and medium-sized enterprises, together with by capping vitality costs.

They additionally opposed an modification to increase the windfall earnings tax to all enterprise sectors.

The shadow rapporteur (the MEP accountable for negotiating compromises on behalf of his political group) on the Common Agricultural Policy, Gilles Lebreton proposed an modification to delete the point out of environmental points and support for deprived areas from the coverage.

The modification was finally rejected, however the Ecolobby web site famous that it nonetheless illustrates that the National Rally claims to defend rural pursuits however will not be, in truth, an advocate of a extra progressive agricultural coverage that will promote higher equity within the agricultural world.

It additionally notes that the occasion has voted in favour of pesticides, constructing giant agro-industrial services and in opposition to the ban on single-use disposable packaging in fast-food eating places.

This article has been translated from the unique model in French.