For the first time, French Communists are unlikely to have any seat in the new European parliament.
It’s the end of an era for communism. Back in 2014, the Communist Party managed to offer a common list with France Insoumise, Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s party. Together, they secured 5 MEPs at the European Parliament, who joined the GUE party.
But this year, France Insoumise didn’t even bother; they launched their own list. The polls are not very optimistic for the Communist party: they should get around 2% of voice, well under the 5% threshold. For the first time in the history of European Parliament, French Communists may not have a single MEP.
Their newspaper, l’Humanité, whose director Patrick Le Hyaric is also an MEP, is in very bad shape as well: it might be closing soon as readers are aging. It has filed for bankruptcy in February, and now relies on readers and donation for rescue.
But as the wind seems to be blowing , l’Humanité has managed to gather a lot of personalities. If not sexy, the newspaper at least is serious, according to intellectuals and politicians. And it’s useful in the political debate. The president of the Assemblée nationale, Richard Ferrand, a previous right-wing minister Frederic Lefebvre have expressed their support for the newspaper. The writers Erik Orsenna or Regis Debray, who are not communists, also expressed their nostalgia for what France is at risk of losing: real press plurality.
New left news outlets have appeared, and may grow in number. But they also come with a lot of fake news : news that are not opinionated, but biased and manipulated. They are as populists as the politicians they support : media obviously reflect the political spectrum.
The Communist party is trying to renew its image with a talented young candidate, Ian Brossat, who has fought against Uber as a Paris counselor and who slams the “EU’s battle for social regression”. He definitely has a few points – but his party is almost dead.