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French right wing rewards laziness

Ex-ministers don’t make good MEPs as they do not even try to mingle at EP.  Les Republicains do not seem to care.

 “Please send experienced MEPs to the  European Parliament ” Angela Merkel asked Les Republicains when she met with their leader, Laurent Wauquiez. There seems to be a misunderstanding between Germany and France about what an experienced MEP might be.

The European elections are set to bring major changes for the French delegations in the European parliament, which will be depleted of their most experienced MEPs.

Pervenche Berès, a socialist MEP, has been active on economic affairs since 1994. She has fought endlessly against ‘banksters’, on the financial crisis and for transparency of the financial markets, and lately for a Eurozone budget. Similarly, Alain Lamassoure (EPP) has fought for tax justice and for the European budget , has protected the rule of law against illiberal temptations in the Parliament for 24 years.

Both of these hard workers won’t be back. Struggling in the polls, the Socialists might even have no MEP at all if they do not get in coalition with another force: they barely reach the 5 % threshold.

It does not look much better for the traditional center-right party LR : it is expected to obtain between 8 and 12 % of the votes. The fight to grasp the few eligible seats has started.

The party has already chosen the 3 first people in the list, François-Xavier Bellamy, Agnès Evren and Arnaud Danjean. The first one is a philosophy teacher from Versailles, the second a local counselor in Paris, and the third is the only one experimented in European politics, having been a -serious – MEP for 10 years.

A bonus for lazy MEPs

Then there is the rest. LR seems to have a preference for outgoing MEPs, but only the lazy ones, who are mostly ex-ministers. As their LR colleague Françoise Grossetête puts it in Les Echos : “Ex ministers do not even try to mingle at European Parliament”.

Rachida Dati, who is mayor of Paris 7th arrondissement, and also a lawyer, has often been questioned about potential conflict of interests, including by the Ethics committee of the EP. She is trying to get back to Strasbourg for the third time. If she does not, she threatens to be a candidate in 2020 for Paris city mayor. She might land on the LR list for this very reason, rather than for having supported any meaningful law text.

She does not like too much her colleague Brice Hortefeux : she has nicknamed him “the fascist” and even punched him in the face once. A previous interior ministry, close to Nicolas Sarkozy, he has been very discreet at the EP, except when it comes to migration. Just like his colleague Nadine Morano. A previous Sarkozy minister also, she hasn’t drafted any report or resolution during the last 5 years.

Weirdly enough the three of them should be in the LR list for the European elections.

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