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Europe

France’s far-right National Rally launches European election campaign

media French far-right National Rally (Rassemblement National) party leader Marine Le Pen and Jordan Bardella, the head of the National Rally list for the European elections, attend the launching of their campaign for the European elections in Paris, France.c REUTERS/Christian Hartmann

France’s far-right party, Rassemblement National, or National Rally in English, unveiled 12 candidates for the upcoming European elections.

The group will be led by Jordan Bardella (23), a long-time supporter and loyal activist of party leader Marine Le Pen.

"If Emmanuel Macron does not have the wisdom to change policies, if he does not have the wisdom to return to the people by dissolving parliament for fresh elections, voters will express their discontent at the European elections," Le Pen said at a meeting on Sunday.

Sunday's meeting also aimed to motivate party members and supporters to get out and vote for its candidates as the party is hoping to have a major impact on reforming the EU.

The party is well on the way to securing some significant victories with 24 percent of the stated voting intentions in recent polls.

It also continues to embody the opposition to Emmanuel Macron who is struggling with the Yellow Vests protest as well as opposition to other social policies of his presidency.

In addition, voters across the continent are increasingly distrustful of traditional power parties. Brexit is also creating upheaval in Europe while France struggles to find a coherent solution to migration.

"In the context of the healthy revolt of the Yellow Vests, the European elections will be the opportunity to untie the political crisis born of blindness, intransigence, class contempt, tax [inequalities],” Marine le Pen told the meeting of 2000 activists.

"We have four months of campaigning to turn this popular revolt into a common sense revolution," said Bardella in a speech where he also denounced immigration, one of the favorite themes of the National Rally.

Outside France, Emmanuel Macron is often presented as the champion of political liberalism against the populist politicians like Viktor Orban in Hungary or Luigi Di Maio and Matteo Salvini who animate the ruling coalition in Italy.

"Today, Macron is totally isolated on the European scene, Europe is evolving at great speed," Bardella said in an interview with Le Parisien newspaper, while Macron cannot really rely on German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is expected to leave power by 2021 at the latest.

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