Widely elected at the head of the ecologist party, the new national secretary of Europe Ecologie-Les Verts, unknown to the general public, wants to breathe new life into an unattractive party.
Marine Tondelier must rebuild a party lacking in members and undermined by internal divisions. She will therefore have to tackle a major project: to bring together the different currents of this party in the midst of a crisis.
“A new page is opening. We are going to go back on the offensive, with a clear, ambitious and collective political line,” she said.
This challenge could be called the green paradox. On the one hand, the climate emergency, which after the drought and the fires of this summer, has become the second concern of the French at 34%, behind purchasing power. But on the other, a political ecology that is struggling to find the right rhythm in the elections. Witness the disappointing score of Yannick Jadot, with only 4.6%, in the last presidential election.
Thanks to her large victory, Marine Tondelier intends to “refound” and “massify” the party, which is now very weak.
She will rebuild Europe Ecology-Les Verts, by organizing general states of ecology. The initiative promises to be complex.
In her first speech as chief of ecologists, Marine Tondelier highlighted the need to broaden EELV’s electoral base, first of all by having a good European election in 2024, where the party will have an independent list, then to municipal elections of 2026. For the moment, no one is emerging among ecologists for the next presidential election, Yannick Jadot being weakened by his failure this year and Sandrine Rousseau being far too divisive.
“We have to change everything, because it’s our last chance to create a big green party”, repeats the elected official, who wants to make it “simpler and more unifying” than Europe Ecology-Les Verts, a name that is too vague and complicated , like the party.
In recent times, the Rousseau and Bayou controversies have been able to blur the image of the movement, which also faces competition from other left-wing parties. All are now converted to ecology.
Known for her fight against Marine Le Pen’s Rassemblement national (RN) in the Pas-de-Calais department, Marine Tondelier – from the outgoing leadership – replaced Julien Bayou, accused of psychological violence against a former companion that he disputes, who had resigned from his functions at EELV and at the National Assembly, on September 26.
Her victory is not a surprise since his motion came first in the first round on November 26, with 47% of the votes of the deputies.
This former parliamentary assistant to Cécile Duflot, close to the mayor of Grenoble Éric Piolle, has been elected since 2014 in opposition to the mayor RN Steeve Briois in Hénin-Beaumont, a former mining town where she lives and from which her parents and grandparents originate. She has also been sitting since 2021 in opposition to the Hauts-de-France regional council, chaired by Xavier Bertrand (LR).
In 38 years of existence, the French ecologist party has not really succeeded in establishing itself regularly in a stable set of territories.
To remedy the permanent weakness of its militant base, attempts have long been made to attract sympathizers to the movement by periodically organizing “General States of Ecology”.
Marine Tondelier has shown herself to be offensive and determined to win back the popular electorate of the RN, while reaffirming her desire to rebuild a “benevolent, operational and efficient” party. She says she wants to recognize “what has not worked in the past”, while listening to the current concerns of environmentalists “one day or always, who follow them from near or far”. “We will be a million supporters at the end of this legislature,” says the new leader of the party which she wants to rename “The Ecologists”.