EU Elections: French Socialist candidate Raphaël Glucksmann launches campaign

EU Elections: French Socialist candidate Raphaël Glucksmann launches campaign

With less than a month to go before the European Parliament elections, the head of the French Socialist Party and the left-wing Place Publique, Raphaël Glucksmann, presented a sprawling manifesto that includes 338 proposals.

His campaign is centred around a “sovereign and powerful Europe”, a common theme between multiple candidates this year including the traditional right-wing party les Républicains and French President Emmanuel Macron’s centre-right party, Renaissance.

But Glucksmann insists that his program is very different to what others have to offer.

A stronger European defence industry

His first priority is to defend the European continent “against Russian imperialism by increasing support for Ukraine.”

To achieve this, he proposes to seize “€206 billion of frozen Russian public assets" and "allocate them to aid the Ukrainian resistance”, this while speeding up Kyiv's accession to the European Union.

He also wants Europe to strengthen its defence industry with a €100 billion fund financed by a common loan, as was done to support the development of Covid vaccines.

A level playing field

He also plans to tackle the wage gap between different EU countries by establishing a minimum income across the bloc.

And in order to “protect” European producers and move away from dependence on non-EU countries' exports, particularly when it comes to agriculture Glucksmann proposes a “Buy European” law.

To finance his project, Glucksmann proposes to tax the incomes of Europe’s highest earners and corporations, as well as imposing a kerosene tax on aviation.

In the light of the farmers’ strikes that have rocked the continent in recent months, Glucksmann proposes to reform the Common agricultural policy (CAP) by no longer granting subsidies according to the number of hectares but according to employment and whether they benefit the planet.

Glucksmann also says his first move would be to extend a “Most Favoured European Clause” to cover women's rights, a move that would extend national legislation beneficial to women to the rest of the bloc’s countries.

A steady third

The socialists have been catching up to Macron’s Renaissance, whose list is led by Valérie Hayer. Glucksmann is now polling as high as 14.5%,while Macron’s list is at 16% of voting intentions, according to the latest IPSOS poll of French voting intentions.

However, Glucksmann’s campaign and Renaissance are both trailing the far-right National Rally party, helmed by Jordan Bardella, which currently tops the French polls at around 31%.