France | 04/18/2022

France 2022 April

National developments

On April 10th and 24th, the presidential elections took place. At the first round, the podium was held by E. Macron (27,85%), M. Le Pen (23,15%) closely followed by left-wing candidate J-L. Mélenchon (21,95%). Just like in 2017, the duo Macron – Le Pen was competing in the second round, leading to the renewed victory of E. Macron with 58,55% of the votes, with M. Le Pen reaching 41,45%, a higher score than in 2017 (66,10% and 33,90%), and roughly 2,5 million extra votes. Despite the obvious “victory” of Rassemblement National, sealing its position as a strong political force, it is interesting to notice the failure of Eric Zemmour to embody the gathering force he promised on the right, as his party Reconquête! only achieved 7,07% of the votes. In spite of this lower score than excepted given the overwhelming media attention his candidacy received, he ranks 4th at the first round, significantly ahead of traditional parties such as the right-wing Les Républicains (LR) (4,78%) and left-wing Parti Socialiste (PS) (1.75%). It is moreover important to note that, at the first round, the three far-right parties received 32,38% of the votes, compared to 26,92% in 2017 – a telling number despite a different political context and different candidates then.

Transnational developments

On April 2nd, the identitarian think tank, heir of the Nouvelle Droite, Institut Iliade held its yearly colloquium titled “Restoring the political: Identity, sovereignty and the sacred”. It featured speakers such as Alain de Benoist, Renaud Camus, Paul Marie Couteaux, Julien Rochedy and Michel Maffesoli, but also notably Martin Sellner, head figure of the identitarian movement in Austria. He was announced to be a representative of GegenUni, an online educational organisation connected to the New Right in Germany. He participated to the panel “Training the elites and the executives of the European and French rebirth”.

On April 20th, Thaïs d’Escufon, former head figure of the French branch of Generation Identity, went to give a lecture in Leuven in Belgium to the Flemish identitarian student group “NSV” (for Nationalist Student Association) (see pictures). She poses with the symbols of the organisation and claims that her talk contributes to the training of the European identitarian youth.

The French far right as also made appearances in the European press. For example, here is an article on the Institut Iliade, with an interview of Thibaut Gibelin, contributor to Éléments, the magazine of Alain de Benoist. Here is an article in English from The European Conservative where Victor Aubert from Academia Christiania is being interviewed by David Engels, a Belgian historian, also speaker to Institut Iliade’s colloquium and affiliated to the Instytut Zachodni in Poznan.

This month, Les Braves and Patriotic Alternative (UK) have renewed their collaboration by publishing an article presenting and praising Patriotic Alternative on Les Braves, after the reverse was done earlier this year. Les Braves also made publicity for Europa Invicta and its yearly online counter-Eurovision song contest, under the banner of “make Eurovision European again”.

The student union Cocarde Etudiante, in line with its announced partnership with two other student unions in Italy and Spain, has released the first article translate to French from Italian, aiming at presenting the situation in Italy to the French audience.

Continuing the “solidarity missions” to help Ukraine, far-right groups have organised another collect and trip to Lviv. The name remains “Mission Medyka” and has been joined by two new actors, on top of Helix (Dijon), Luminis (Paris) and Bordeaux Nationaliste: Amiens Nationaliste and Bayonne Nationaliste, (see picture). This echoes with other enterprises of showing support to Ukraine and Ukrainian refugees from far-right actors using the war for their narrative of the need to defend white European peoples against the invaders. In March, Generation Identity Denmark celebrated the collaboration of Europeans activists from France, Hungary, Germany and Denmark to bring supplies to Ukrainian refuges, (see picture). StreetPress has investigated how several French far-right groups have used “humanitarian” actions as a communication strategy since the start of the war.

Lastly, Ouest Casual shared a photo showing a pinned picture of Dominique Venner, French identitarian thinker and writer of the Nouvelle Droite, supposedly from the wall of a military base of the Azov regiment in Mariupol, Ukraine, (see picture).