Marine Le Pen

Marine Le Pen (born Marion Anne Perrine Le Pen on 5 August 1968 at Neuilly-sur-Seine, Hauts-de-Seine) is a French politician, a lawyer by profession and the president of the Front National (FN) since 16 January 2011. She is the youngest daughter of the French politician Jean-Marie Le Pen, former president of the FN and currently its honorary chairman.

She joined the FN in 1986, its Executive Committee in 2000 and was a vice-president of the FN for eight years (2003–2011). She currently is an ex-officio member of the FN Executive Office, Executive Committee and Central Committee.

She has been a regional councillor since 1998 (Île-de-France: 2004-2010, Nord-Pas-de-Calais: 1998-2004, 2010–present), a Member of the European Parliament since 2004 (Île-de-France: 2004-2009, North-West France: 2009–present) and was a municipal councillor in Hénin-Beaumont, Pas-de-Calais for three years (2008–2011).

In 2010, she was a candidate for the leadership of the FN set up by Jean-Marie Le Pen on 5 October 1972. She successfully succeeded him during the FN congress in Tours, Indre-et-Loire. On 16 January 2011, she was elected with 67.65% (11,546 votes) as the second president of the Front National.

She will run for the 2012 French presidential election.

European Union and globalization

As a eurosceptic MEP, she holds globalization, intergovernmental organizations, 'euro-mondialism', free trade and ultra-liberalism responsible for the decline of agriculture and the fishing industry, deindustrialization, offshoring and structural unemployment. Advocating a 'Europe of the nations' like a loose confederation of sovereign nation states, she opposes supranationalism, the euro and the eurozone, the technocracy of Brussels, and the EU's federalism.

She opposes the establishment of a direct European tax, which is favoured by the leaders of the European Parliament and European Commission. She claims that an indirect European tax already exists, since France is a net annual contributor to the EU budget by up to 7 billion euros annually.

Opposed to the accession of Turkey to the European Union, she prefers the option of a "privileged partnership".

Illegal immigration

Marine Le Pen advocates a policy of fight against illegal immigration.

In July 2011, she wrote an open letter to policemen, gendarmes and customs officers concerning the policy of fight against illegal immigration. She criticized the "passivity and inactivity of the UMP government faced with the collapse of expulsions of illegal immigrants" as well as its "blind submissiveness to very questionable European injunctions". Denouncing a "sharp fall in deportations since the beginning of 2011 after a decrease of near 5% in 2010", she claimed that "most of the detention centres are almost empty in 2011". Advocating the "return of any foreigner illegally entered to France towards his/her country of origin", she claims that she "refuses to give up the fight against illegal immigration".

She favours a "radical change of politics in order to drastically reduce upstream the influx of illegal immigrants towards France". In her view, this policy requires to "cut the 'suction pumps' of illegal immigration while France is in this field one of the most incentive countries in the world". Implemented in 2000 by Lionel Jospin's government, the aide médicale d'Ėtat (AME) grants free medical care to illegal immigrants. Denouncing a "state scandal" and an "increasing financial black hole for the French social security system", she "pledges to repeal the AME as soon as she will come to power". She claims that, in the wake of selected immigration and then endured immigration, Nicolas Sarkozy is imposing health-care immigration on the French people.

In February 2011, she claimed that in the wake of the Arab Spring, Europe and particularly France would be confronted with a surge in illegal immigration. She denounced "the EU's tragic helplessness to respond to this new migratory challenge" and "the EU's disability to face with these emergency situations and to control effectively the migratory flows".

Accompanied by the vice-president of the FN Louis Aliot and Mario Borghezio MEP (Lega Nord), she travelled to Lampedusa on 14 March 2011. She met the island's mayor Bernardino De Rubeis (Movement for Autonomies) and visited a housing center for illegal immigrants. She said that "Europe can't welcome everyone... We would be pleased to take them all in our boat, but it's not big enough. We'll all go to the bottom. We would be adding one misery to another" and "I also want to offer my support to the inhabitants of Lampedusa who have had the feeling of being completely abandoned". Around 9,000 migrants had already reached Lampedusa by boat since mid-January 2011 when protests in Tunisia unleashed a revolution across the Arab world. During an international press conference held in Rome on 15 March 2011, she explained the situation of illegal immigration in Lampedusa, emphasized "the helplessness of EU" and how "each nation is more efficient to deal with the issue", and proposed solutions to settle this issue.

In order to curb the illegal immigration influx from Tunisia and Libya, she has enjoined Nicolas Sarkozy to announce France's immediate and definitive withdrawal from Schengen Area and to reinstate urgently customs controls in all the borders of the country. She claimed that the UMP government's deceptive announcements about Schengen issue aimed at concealing its political inactivity and attempting to cheat public opinion. In her view, the announcement of a technical adjustment of Schengen Agreement proposed by Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi during the 26 April 2011 French-Italian summit "will not settle strictly anything". Reminding that United Kingdom and Ireland have refused the Agreement, she claims that only the withdrawal from Schengen Area will enable France to re-establish necessary customs controls and stop immigration. She claims that "traffics and networks of smugglers thrive when a country does not control its borders".

Legal immigration

She seeks to establish a moratorium on legal immigration. During a press conference on 21 February 2011, she unveiled "the 2010 real figures of immigration" based on data transmitted by highrankers of the Minister of the Interior, detailed the welfare benefits to which the legal and illegal immigrants are entitled, endly proposed concrete solutions based on working models in UK and Netherlands. In July 2011, she claims that "with 203,000 residence permits allocated in 2010 versus 114,000 in 2000 under Lionel Jospin, the UMP power promotes a laxer than ever policy of legal immigration".

On 28 November 2010, 52.9% of the Swiss voters and 15 5/2 cantons approved the popular iniative "for the deportation of criminal foreigners" while the governmental counterproposal was rejected by 54.2% of voters and all the 20 6/2 cantons. She praised "the great victory of the Swiss people against the ruling elite". Afterwards, she took part in debates on Radio Suisse Romande (RSR) with the SVP national councillor Oskar Freysinger and then on Radio Cité Genève.

Interviewed by The Daily Telegraph, she praised David Cameron's pledge to cut net annual immigration to UK from around 200,000 to "tens of thousands". In February 2011, David Cameron expressed a rejection of multiculturalism during a speech at Munich security conference. Afterwards, she congratulated him, for what she claimed was an endorsement of the FN's views on the failure of multiculturalism and immigration.

Citizenship and nationality

In her view, citizenship is indivisible from nationality and rests on the equality of all people before the law; the latter should preclude preferential treatment based on the membership of a social, ethnic or religious category. As a result, she favours the repeal of affirmative action and the restoration of the "republican meritocracy".

She claims that filiation should be the normal route to French nationality, with naturalization the exception: "nationality is inherited or merited". In her view, naturalization can only be obtained after a check on the ability of assimilation to republican principles. In order to settle the immigration issue, she advocates a reform of the nationality regulations so as to remove dual citizenship and the automatic acquisition of French nationality. She claims that "in the dual citizenship lie one of the main ferments of breach of the republican cohesion that France needs more than ever and a potent brake on the assimilation of French people from immigration". She favours an enforcement of the law regarding loss of nationality. In her view, a foreigner who does not respect the law in France should be deprived of French nationality; equally any foreigner committing serious crimes and offences in France should be returned to his or her country of origin.

She favours a 'French first' policy with regard to employment, welfare and accommodation.

Marine Le Pen