EU faces 'existential crisis' if Le Pen wins - analyst

STORY: A policy analyst at the European Policy Center, Sophie Pornschlegel said a "pro-European" Macron victory over "extremely nationalistic" Le Pen would be welcomed by EU officials who already have to deal with a number of crises.

"The EU is currently having loads on the agenda when it comes to the Ukraine war, when it comes to rule of law crisis, when it comes to climate agenda, and we have European elections coming up in 2024. So there are two more years during which we really to move forward, and I think with Marine Le Pen in the Elysee Palace this might be much more difficult than with Macron," she said.

Pornschlegel recalled that Le Pen has a long history of pushing an anti-European agenda and added her victory would put on hold further EU integration.

"She has said she was for Frexit (France leaving the European Union) in 2012. In 2017, she said that she was for France to leave the euro, and now she is not saying this anymore, but the basic guidelines of her policy haven't changed, so she would be putting the EU in an existential crisis as she would be against every kind of EU policy and every kind of progress we can make in Brussels," the French-German analyst said.

Five days ahead of the final vote in the euro zone's second biggest economy, Le Pen has never been closer to the Elysee, but her spectacular rise in opinion polls appeared to stagnate after the first round as Macron stepped up his campaign.

Principal polls still show Macron as the likely winner, albeit with a slim margin.

Both candidates face the challenge of reaching out to left-leaning voters after the elimination of their candidates, while holding on to their political trademarks, a task particularly difficult for Le Pen when it comes to Islam and immigration.

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