On Wednesday, French President Emmanuel Macron came to the European Parliament in Strasbourg to sell France’s vision for its six-month presidency of the EU.
Instead, he had to face harsh criticism from French MEPs, the most cutting of whom was Jordan Bardella from presidential candidate Marine Le Pen’s far-right National Rally party.
He accused Macron of turning Europe into “the backyard of Washington,” “the prey of Beijing,” “Erdogan’s doormat,” and “Africa’s hotel.”
“Mr. President of the Republic, how can you claim that you are reuniting Europe when you have been dividing France until the end?” Bardella asked, adding that the French presidential election in April would also decide the future of the EU.
“For France and for Europe, it is essential that your term remains a single term,” he said.
The far-right MEP didn’t stop there, claiming that the nations of Europe don’t want to be “dissolved, replaced or submerged” under his watch.
European Parliament President Roberta Metsola was forced to interject: “This is not a national debate.”
However, others also took aim at Macron. MEP Yannick Jadot, who is running as the Greens’ candidate in the presidential election, accused Macron of “climate inaccuracy,” while MEP Manon Aubry, co-leader of the parliament’s The Left group, claimed the president’s European achievements were based on “arrogance.”
Macron, who defended himself against the barrage of criticism, will likely seek re-election in April but is yet to put his name forward.
He currently leads the French polls but may face stiff competition from the far-right. The French presidential election will take place during the country’s six-month EU Council presidency.