Press Conference: 12 March 2014 - Strasbourg
Strasbourg, 12th March 2014 – The European Alliance for Freedom (EAF) held its first press conference for 2014, where the President Franz Obermayr MEP, Vice-Presidents Marine Le Pen MEP and Philip Claeys MEP, together with the Secretary General Sharon Ellul-Bonici announced the party decision not to put forward an EAF candidate for the run to become the next President of the European Commission.
Explaining the reasons why the Alliance refuses to put up a candidate for this high post of the 8th legislature, Mr Obermayr said: "It is for sure not a matter of lack of attractive candidates among our members. We are just not willing to mislead the citizens – there is no pan European list or a pan European candidate who the people could directly elect. It is also a recommendation for which there is no guarantee the Council will follow. In this false and dishonest democracy we will not take part.
"There are many that are worried about the results and the prospects of the EU after the May elections due to our expected good election result,” Obermayr continued," but those same people are not worried by the daily exercise of lack of democratic practice in the decision making processes of the EU, which we could witness just recently when the European Commission refused to withdraw the Seeds Regulation, which had twice been refused by the European Parliament, with more than 600 amendments raised. This is what everyone should be worried about. The worsening lack of democracy."
Speaking after Mr Obermayr, Ms Marine Le Pen said that numerous question have been raised in this run up to the European Elections, but the Alliance is ready to take up the challenge of answering a good number of them.
"We are often called ‘eurocritics’, and that we are. We are ringing the warning bell. Every criticism of the EU is justified, because these are times in which the people of Europe have to swallow the bitter pill of austerity,’’ Ms Le Pen said.
Answering a question on the EAF establishing a political group in the European Parliament, Ms Le Pen said:
"We have reason to be optimistic about it. I do not believe there will be problems in fulfilling the minimum technical criteria of the 25 MEPs and 7 Member States; what we are focusing now is broadening the scope of our political network and protecting the outstanding relationship of trust between the EAF members we have built so far. The main developments regarding the political group can naturally only be expected after the Elections’’
When asked about the core values of the Alliance and of the future group, Ms Le Pen said that it is bringing back democracy where it belongs, to the people themselves. ‘’Sovereignty itself derives from the people, and the citizens are those who bring legitimacy to our work. No one has more authority than an individual. This simple fact is at the core of what we are trying to do. We are trying to give people a choice to decide for themselves on economic issues, borders… respecting also the fact that issues on which they would like to decide upon differ from country to country.’’
During the press conference, Ms Le Pen also answered numerous questions concerning the crisis in Ukraine, and concluded that it is another proof of the inconsistency of the approach of the EU foreign policy.
In response to a specific question on her views of the Crimea referendum, she said: ‘’We must respect the right of the people living there to decide for themselves, keeping in mind strong geographical and historical bonds that region has with Russia.’’
‘’We shouldn’t forget that the current Ukrainian government holds no legitimacy, since it has not been elected by the Ukrainian people,” she continued. “Until the elections, we should keep our concerns and hope for a pragmatic solution of the crisis, which will secure Ukrainian sovereignty while at the same time securing autonomy for the three regions.’’
Regarding possible joint EAF campaign activities until May, Mr Obermayr pointed out that although there will be joint events organized by the Alliance, each party will individually focus on political activities in their country, but with a common goal and values as set in the Election Manifesto of the Alliance.