Eszter-Petronella SOÓS PhD

25. All eyes on French party leaders

After two weeks of commemoration (and two long holidays), the French political elite begins a whole, long week – of campaigning for the European Parliamentary elections.

Meetings and campaign events

All parties and all party leaders are out campaigning: the Socialist Party will even host a meeting with the President of the European Parliament, Martin Schultz, who is the social democratic top candidate for the EU top job (by the way, the enthousiasm of the French president seems to have diminished when it comes to selecting any of the top candidates for the post). The agenda of the UMP and the National Front is also full of public meetings and appearances.

Taming the fronde?

Meanwhile, Prime Minister Manuel Valls and government members will meet the Socialist group of the National Assembly, including the first secretary and other party leaders on occasionof the traditional group meeting of Tuesday. This meeting is absolutely worthy of our attention because inside tensions are still rampant, and we do not know yet wether the 41 MPs who voted against the Valls austerity package will keep up the protestation or not in the future.

President to meet party leaders

The most interesting program point of the week is the fact that different party leaders from different parties will visit – one by one – President Hollande in the Élysée Palace (this also includes Marine Le Pen, the President of the National Front). Their comments and reactions will undoubtedly be part of the campaign, and these comments will tell us a lot about party strategies. In a moment when the National Front is about to rise to the position of the first or the second political power of the country, and when the left side of the fence is this divided, every word counts. And analysts must pay attention.

As usual, happy Monday, everyone! And here is the usual week ahead document that you can click on: theweekinfrance20-2014.