About us

Leading international thinktank and political network


Register for all the latest updates in our regular newsletter

Home News The Front National: old rhertoric, new practices

The Front National: old rhertoric, new practices

25 September 2015
The Front National: old rhertoric, new practices

Policy Network’s Renaud Thillaye and Claudia Chwalisz have contributed to the latest issue of The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs. Their article focuses on the Front National’s discourse and attitudes towards the EU in recent years. With Marie Le Pen’s leadership, the National Front has made a huge surge in the polls, and is now unquestionably one of the main French political parties. A debate has emerged on whether the party’s ‘euro-rejectionist’ nature has softened under her leadership.

Thillaye and Chwalisz argue that the Front National’s anti-EU core message has changed little, though it is targeting austerity and Germany’s leadership today. However, by analysing voting patterns and representatives’ behaviour in the European parliament, they explain that there has been a heightened professionalism, softening of party tone, and an attention to style. This has been done as a direct ploy to gain credibility among a wider voter base than the National Front has traditionally enjoyed. Still, a rift exists regarding the method employed by the MEPs of the party. All of these points to the suggestion that the party must carefully handle the considerable tightrope act of its position as a party of protest, whilst still show that it can take on the responsibility to govern, particularly in a political system which requires compromise.


Thillaye, R. & Chwalisz, C. (2015) 'The Front National: Old Rhetoric, New Practice', The Polish Quarterly of International Affairs, no.2/2015, pp.103-120

Photo credit to Blandine Le Cain via  flickr

Share this page

Search news

News search form