Marine Le Pen, the frontrunner in the first round of France’s upcoming presidential elections, has said she will build alliances with Theresa May, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and Polish leader Jarosław Kaczyński to “dismantle” the European Union (EU) if she is elected.
Ms. Le Pen made the remarks in an interview with Polish newspaper Rzeczpospolita, saying she would “talk to Orbán about what seems unacceptable to us in the European Union, what is intolerable in the EU’s actions today,” and that she would offer “the same deal to Mr Kaczyński”.
“Certainly we will not agree on everything,” she conceded, “but after that, each country is free and sovereign to defend their own interests.”
One of the “many points” on which she believes her administration could work with Hungary and Poland would be the issue of migrant quotas, which both countries have opposed.
Ms. Le Pen told Rzeczpospolita that EU proposals to impose compulsory quotas on member-states and fine countries up to 250,000 euros for every migrant they refuse to take were “madness”.
The Hungarian prime minister has already predicted that 2017 will be a “year of rebellion” against the “United States of Europe advocates” in Brussels, with the country already under attack by “left-wing and liberal politicians” who oppose its robust stance on illegal mass migration.
— Zoltan Kovacs (@zoltanspox) February 28, 2017
Meanwhile, Brussels has been exerting an increasing amount of pressure on Poland since the conservative Law and Justice Party (PiS) won office in 2015, first clashing with the new government when it attempted to prevent it from unpicking “corrupt, communist legacies”.
More recently, the bloc has raised hackles by reappointing former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk as president of the European Council, despite strong opposition from the current government.
Poland's Kaczynski says his former rival Donald Tusk is German chancellor's candidate for President of the European Council, not his. https://t.co/mO4G8KQUDe
— Martin M. Sobczyk (@martinmsobczyk) March 4, 2017
Tusk has been openly denounced as an “icon of evil and stupidity” by the Polish government. PiS leader Jarosław Kaczyński claimed “the rule that high-ranking officials should have the backing of their country was broken” when he was reappointed, potentially setting the bloc on the path to disintegration.
“The [EU] is an organisation dominated by one country. We cannot hide this, this country is Germany,” Kaczynski asserted, indicating that Poland’s allies in Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic had been strong-armed into supporting Tusk by the Merkel administration.
“[The EU] is dominated so extensively that the pressure on individual politicians is huge,” he said. “If the EU does not abandon this road, it will be consigned to history.”