“France is losing influence because of Emmanuel Macron’s arrogance”

“France is losing influence because of Emmanuel Macron’s arrogance”

Your job

What was your greatest pride as a European parliamentarian?

My greatest pride is, by far, to have initiated, led and won a long fight against the lobbies to have a European directive on the duty of vigilance of multinationals adopted! Too many companies profit from the exploitation of people and nature. Thanks to this law, multinationals will finally be held accountable for their human rights violations and environmental damage in their production chain, such as forced child labor or oil pollution, and will face fines of up to 'to 5% of their global net turnover.

What was your biggest disappointment as an elected member of Parliament?

My biggest disappointment is to have seen the European Parliament betray its promises of anti-corruption reforms after Qatargate. We have experienced the biggest corruption scandal in the history of European institutions, with more than 4 million euros in bribes paid to MEPs to defend the interests of Qatar and Morocco. I put proposed reforms on the table, such as banning additional remuneration for MPs, but they were largely rejected.

What is the first measure you would like to see voted on if you are elected?

The end of budgetary austerity which is killing our public services! Our hospitals and our schools are already in tatters but the new European budgetary austerity pact will lead to the worst austerity cure ever known in France and Europe, as evidenced by the first announcements of budget cuts of 30 billion euros. by Bruno Le Maire. The June 9 vote must be a referendum against this austerity pact which is destroying our public services and social protection.

Do you speak one or more foreign languages ​​fluently? If so why ?

I speak fluent English and a little Spanish. Fortunately, because I chair a group of deputies from 15 different countries with whom I interact every day!

Your campaign

What is Europe's main challenge today?

This is very clearly about the rise of the far right and the radicalization of the right. It puts us at risk of a total break with democracy, with fundamental rights such as the right to abortion, and with the very idea of ​​humanism. We need mutual help in the coming storms, not mistrust or hatred which adds to the chaos.

Designate your main opponent from among the other heads of the list.

Jordan Bardella. Which is not only a variation of macronism, voting alongside them against the taxation of superprofits or the blocking of prices, but which adds the attack on fundamental rights and the rights of women. Not to mention his inactivity: with 21 amendments tabled – compared to more than 3,500 on my side, Jordan Bardella demonstrated that he was a fictitious deputy.

Given her record, does Ursula von der Leyen deserve to be reappointed?

Certainly not ! Mrs von der Leyen has reinforced the crazy dogmas of the European Union, signing free trade treaties that subject our farmers and businesses to unfair competition, strengthening budgetary rules that stifle our public services, and I pass. His only valid project was the Green Pact for the environment: it was ultimately unraveled by the coalition of liberals, the right and the extreme right!

Compared to the last elections in 2019, would you say that France has gained or lost influence within the EU?

France has lost influence within the European Union because of the arrogance and incompetence of Emmanuel Macron. His war-mongering attitude and his recent statements on sending French and European troops to Ukraine, for example, have been disavowed by almost all European leaders. Emmanuel Macron also shamed us by opposing numerous texts alongside the worst reactionaries like Victor Orban, such as the one on the definition of rape, or the directive on platform workers to guarantee social protection. to Uberized workers.

Should the EU welcome Ukraine into its fold? And if so, when?

No, the European Union cannot integrate new countries into its fold without prior social, fiscal and environmental harmonization. In Ukraine, the minimum wage is 200 euros and chicken production costs are half that. Our farmers are already suffering from this unfair competition, so subjecting our entire economy to it would be madness!

Does Frontex really protect our borders?

Frontex does not protect our borders, it only bludgeons, locks up and lets thousands of poor people flow into the Mediterranean, that is to say, adds suffering to suffering. Moreover, Frontex's budget has been multiplied by 140 since 2005, has immigration decreased as a result? No !

What priority measure in the European framework to save French farmers?

Farmers must be protected on two levels. First, guarantee them a remunerative floor price and block the margins of the agro-industries which are taking them by the throat. Then, protect them from unfair competition by putting an end to free trade agreements: I chair the only group in the European Parliament that has not given a single vote to these treaties.

What is the first ecological emergency within the EU?

The immediate emergency within the European Union is the fall in biodiversity. 80% of insects and two thirds of birds have already disappeared because of the tons of pesticides we dump. And they are the ones who ensure the fertility of our fields, we must protect them and put an end to pesticides!

Europe has three to five years to prepare for a military attack from Russia » declared Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas on January 15. What do you think ?

Ukraine has been resisting Russia for two years. Vladimir Putin would be ill-advised to attack a State of the European Union, which has significant military capabilities, and even more so France, which is a nuclear power. But above all, we must prepare for peace rather than hasten war, by finding diplomatic paths to lasting peace in Europe!

Your sensitivity

What European landscape do you have in your heart?

My family Corsica, of course! The European Parliament is too far from the sun and the mild Mediterranean!

What work of art embodies the European spirit for you?

Me, Daniel Blake, by Ken Loach, Palme d'Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. It's the story of a 59-year-old carpenter, victim of a heart attack, who meets Katie, a single mother. These are two honest people in trouble because the administration has chosen to cut social spending and refuses to help them. For me, that should be the European spirit. Mutual aid and solidarity rather than European austerity and accounting policies.

Which European leader would you like to have a drink with?

I want to drink a pint of Guinness with Michelle O'Neill, the Prime Minister of Northern Ireland who is fighting for the reunification of Ireland! She belongs to my political family and has been in power for several weeks. It embodies the possibility of an alternative, of a solidarity policy that restores desire and hope!

For you, does Europe have Christian roots?

Europe was not born with Christianity and its roots are well over 2000 years old! Should we erase ancient Greece and Rome, the Celtic world, etc.? ? Europe has the roots of a thousand cultures and numerous religions, that is its wealth, and we must preserve it at all costs through respect for everyone.

Who would you choose to appear on the next 20 euro note?

I would like to see Gisèle Halimi, lawyer and humanist and feminist activist there. Of course, she is known for her fight in favor of the right to abortion, but she also left us a brilliant European idea: the most favored European clause to harmonize women's rights from above. There are many of us who still make this claim!

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