15. February 2024

Former Ambassador Brengelmann on the threat to European security posed by Marine Le Pen Former Ambassador Brengelmann on the threat to European security posed by Marine Le Pen

Former ambassador Dirk Brengelmann warns emphatically of the danger that an election victory for right-wing populism in the USA and France would pose for European security. He warns that Marine Le Pen's destructive potential in particular should not be underestimated.

Marine Le Pen
Marine Le Pen © Pixaby
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Everyone is currently looking across the Atlantic and wondering how the elections in the USA will turn out. Donald Trump's possible success is already causing chills. But there is also a debate about what the Europeans need to do better themselves in the future, and how. To support Ukraine in the fight against Russian imperialist encroachment, to safeguard their own security, etc.
All facets are considered: The political will for more European unity and ability to act, or the lack thereof. The need for Europe to invest more in its own defense, to better coordinate its armaments policy (and not fall into old industrial policy quarrels). And even the question of European nuclear forces or the possible Europeanization of the French and British nuclear forces is openly discussed. After all, the EU has its own security guarantee, the wording of which is even stronger than Article V of the NATO Treaty.
All of this is on the table and should be pushed forward regardless of the election results in America, as the USA will focus more strongly on Asia in the future.
However, all of this also presupposes that there is still a common will in the EU. After Brexit, the greatest risks to this came from Poland (where the election of MP Donal Tusk gave hope) and Hungary. Now the potential doubts are linked to the names Meloni and possibly Wilders. In the elections to the European Parliament, a strengthening of the right-wing and Eurosceptic parties is to be feared.
But the greatest threat to our European cohesion could come from a possible election victory for Marie Le Pen. Although she is no longer in favor of a Frexit, she would want to significantly reduce and limit the EU.
And last but not least, she would call into question the Franco-German engine, which is sputtering at the moment anyway. Her attitude to the Franco-German partnership and to Germany itself can at best be described as skeptical.
With a President Le Pen, any hopes of realizing European cooperation, including in defence, can be safely shelved. In this respect, we have every interest in a president from the democratic center governing in Paris. So far, German reactions to President Macron's proposals have not shown that Germany has fully realized the seriousness of this potential development. The constant hesitation in German responses to proposals from Paris follows old, but now outdated reaction patterns. This must not be allowed to continue.
The future of the EU, and therefore our own, is closely linked to this issue.
It is time we acted accordingly. The constant squinting at Uncle Joe (Ukraine) is unfortunately understandable at the moment, but our real risk lies in our European cohesion and, in particular, in the ability of our two countries to pull together for the good of Europe.

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