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The Transformation of the Euroscepticism of the National Rally Party (20172022)
Analysis and Forecasting. IMEMO Journal

The Transformation of the Euroscepticism of the National Rally Party (20172022)

DOI: 10.20542/afij-2022-3-91-103
© Lolita V. KRASIKOVA, 2022
Received 27.07.2022.
Revised 06.10.2022.
Accepted 20.10.2022.
Lolita V. Krasikova (lkrasikova@hse.ru), ORCID: 0000-0002-5112-7875,
National Research University Higher School of Economics, 17 Malaya Ordynka Str.1, Moscow 119017, Russian Federation.
In the spring of 2022, French presidential elections were held in which Marine Le Pen, the leader of the Eurosceptic National Rally party, came in second place. The electoral dynamics of this party are positive, which increases the likelihood of the transformation of the French political mainstream. The populist National Rally (NR) is gradually becoming a systemic party. This has an impact on the public environment, which makes studying the mainstream parties relevant. The situation of the NR is affected by the transformation of traditional party Euroscepticism. In order to analyze and give reasons for these changes, the article carries out a content analysis of the 2017 and 2022 election programs of M. Le Pen, the leader of NR. The application of simple and substantive content analysis methods made it possible to trace the evolution of her program agenda during the 2017–2022 election cycle. The author concludes that the transformation of Euroscepticism from a hard to a soft form was aimed at attracting a broader constituency. The change in the NR's agenda-setting means abandoning the previous demands to withdraw France from the EU, the Eurozone and the Schengen zone. Along with this, M. Le Pen proposes to transform the European Union into the European Alliance of Nations, in which the intergovernmental principle will prevail, which is opposed to the excessive supranationality in the EU. The question of France's role in the world was also a prominent feature in the 2017 and 2022 programs of the NR leader. However, no evolution of the program in this direction has been detected. At the same time, there was a transformation of M. Le Pen’s attitude towards Russia. Previously, the NR could be called a promoter of Russian interests in France and the EU (taking into account the activities of deputies from this party in the European Parliament). However, Russia's special military operation in Ukraine forced the NR to change its opinion about the Kremlin's foreign policy.

For citation:

Krasikova L. The Transformation of the Euroscepticism of the National Rally Party (20172022). Analysis & Forecasting. Journal of IMEMO, 2022, no 3, pp. 91-103. https://doi.org/10.20542/afij-2022-3-91-103

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