The campaign for the 2024 European elections accelerated this Sunday, May 5, with the holding of a debate bringing together the seven main leaders of the lists. Ecology, immigration, economic competition… Find out point by point what you need to remember.

The campaign for the 2024 European elections has taken a new turn. Jordan Bardella (National Rally), who had avoided the debates of April 10 and March 14, responded this Sunday, May 5, alongside his six main competitors, Valérie Hayer (Renaissance), Raphaël Glucksmann (Socialist Party-Place public), Manon Aubry (La France insoumise), Marie Toussaint (Les Écologists), François-Xavier Bellamy (Les Républicains) and Marion Maréchal (Reconquête!), in the running for the June 9 ballot.

Around four main themes, the heads of the list debated for more than two hours during the program Le Grand Jury, co-organized by RTL, Le Figaro, M6 and Paris Première. Find everyone’s arguments on each of these subjects.

The potential sending of French troops to Ukraine, as mentioned by Emmanuel Macron on several occasions, was obviously discussed quickly. For François-Xavier Bellamy, “we must obviously support [kyiv]”, but “with arms and ammunition”. The presidential candidate, Valérie Hayer, did not clearly express her thoughts on this specific subject, but still defended the President’s vision by recalling the risk of open conflict with Russia.

Then she diverted the discussion by pointing out the “ambiguous” positions of the RN with Moscow. She considered the far-right party’s “support” for Russia “shameful”, recalling that its head of the list had “never supported the condemnations [of the European Parliament] against the imprisonment of the Russian opponent” Alexei Navalny, who has since died in prison. In turn, all the candidates targeted Jordan Bardella. Marie Toussaint notably described him as a “foreign agent”, criticizing the positioning of Jordan Bardella in the European Parliament, who “never voted in favor of freeing ourselves from Russian gas”. To which Jordan Bardella simply explained that he wanted to “support Ukraine and avoid escalation with Russia”.

On the subject of the conflict between Israel and Hamas, a heated battle between Manon Aubry and François-Xavier Bellamy. “I am dismayed to see that LFI is capitalizing on the apology of terrorism,” said the latter before being retorted by the head of the LFI list: “Isn’t a civilian death in the Gaza Strip worth a civilian death? in Ukraine ?”

On this theme, the debate mainly focused on the agricultural crisis pitting the two far-right parties against the Renaissance and environmentalist candidates. The first denounced the excess of “increasingly difficult standards and constraints for [the] farmers”. The latter justified these regulations by highlighting the fact that they were the “first victims of climate change”. Valérie Hayer also recalled that the last renegotiation of the common agricultural policy (CAP) had, among its objectives, the ambition of “supporting [these actors] in the environmental transition”.

Manon Aubry defended the reception of migrants and denounced the “inhumane and ineffective” policy of the European Union in the face of Jordan Bardella and Marion Maréchal-Le Pen, who both declared that they were in favor of pushing back migrant boats. “Our country has become a social window for immigration from all over the world,” lamented the RN candidate. François-Xavier Bellamy also, bluntly, criticized “too much immigration in France”.

Marie Toussaint then justified economic immigration by asserting “that we need immigration”. For his part, Raphaël Glucksmann called for an end to this “hypocrisy”. “It creates chaos and indignity for human beings,” asserted the head of the socialist list.

A few hours before the arrival of President Xi Jinping, Raphaël Glucksmann, whose last mandate in the European Parliament was marked by the defense of the Uighurs (a Muslim minority persecuted and reduced to slavery by the Chinese regime), called for “firmness” towards “unfair competition” from China. A vision shared by the head of the LR list who denounces a “strategy of destruction of the European economy” by Beijing.

Marie Toussaint, for her part, sold a “Buy Green and European Act”, a European preference for public markets. The environmentalist also defended the extension of the carbon tax to Europe’s borders.

The majority candidate, for her part, justified the reception of the Chinese president, retorting that we “also need China on a certain number of subjects such as the fight against climate change”.