Europe is watching with bated breath the ongoing developments in Paris after the sweeping victory of far-right Rassemblement national (RN) in the EU elections, prompted President Emmanuel Macron to call for snap parliamentary elections on 30 June and 7 July.

The country’s political establishment is exploring ways to halt the rise of the far right while the rest of Europe is on alert to see what is next for the bloc’s founding member and second-largest economy.

On the left, La France insoumise (LFI, The Left), the Parti socialiste (PS, S&D), les Écologistes-EELV (EELV, the Greens) and the Parti communiste (PC) – decided to form a coalition under the name “Front populaire”.

But a similar bid by the country’s far-right factions did not have the same outcome.

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Euractiv’s Théo Bourgery-Gonse analysed why a union of far-right parties, Jordan Bardella’s Rassemblement national (RN) and Eric Zemmour’s Reconquête, did not come to fruition.

Meanwhile, the French right-wing Les Républicains caused shockwaves on Tuesday after their chief, Éric Ciotti, started to forge closer ties with RN.

The move caused friction among Les Républicains, who belong to the centre-right European People’s Party (EPP). First to oppose was the party’s lead candidate, François-Xavier Bellamy.

Hugo Struna and Paul Messad explain the divisions within the party.

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But Ciotti’s intentions raised the alarm in Berlin and Brussels, too.

The centre-right CDU/CSU, the largest member in the EPP, threatened to kick Les Républicains out from their common EU party, writes Oliver Noyan.

In Brussels, relations between the EPP and Les Républicains have not been easy lately, especially after the French right party opposed Ursula von der Leyen’s candidacy for the EU elections.

“We are waiting for the dust to settle, and then we will make the necessary decisions”, an EPP official in Brussels told Euractiv, adding that teaming up with RN is a move “going too far”.

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