French and European Nationalist Party

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Celtic cross used by PNFE

The French and European Nationalist Party (French: Parti nationaliste français et européen or PNFE) was a minor French far-right political group founded in 1987. It was led by Claude Cornilleau and despite its name was not a political party in the conventional sense. The group used the Celtic cross as its emblem and produced a journal entitled Tribune nationaliste.

The PNFE was made up of a mixture of former members of the outlawed FANE, and of neo-Nazi hardliners who had been expelled from the Front National when Jean-Marie Le Pen took on a respectable image after winning a few parliamentary seats in the 1986 elections. It had a large Skinhead following and has been blamed for a number of attacks on immigrants including the firebombing of an immigrant workers' hostel in Nice for which 18 members were convicted in 1989. Amongst those initially held was Serge Lecanu, who had led the Fédération professionnelle indépendante de la police (FPIP), a far right police trade union.[1]

The PNFE had strong contacts with the British National Party and Cornilleau was often a speaker at their annual meetings, being a close friend of John Tyndall. They regularly attended international rallies, notably in Belgium, where they cemented their links with the BNP as well as the Vlaamse Militanten Orde.[2] The group also built up links with the Vlaams Blok and Christian Worch in Germany.[3] In Belgium they also co-operated with Renouveau nationaliste, a minor group established by former members of the Party of New Forces.[4]

On 10 May 1990, a Jewish cemetery at Carpentras was desecrated, leading to public uproar and a protest demonstration in Paris, attended by 200,000 persons, including French President François Mitterrand. After several years of investigation, five people, among them three former members of the PFNE, confessed to being the perpetrators of this act (on 2 August 1996).[5] The PNFE rapidly disintegrated within a few days after their arrest.

The group was disbanded in 2000 not long after Eric Sausset became leader.[6] Maxime Brunerie, who attempted to assassinate Jacques Chirac in 2002 had been associated with the group in the mid 1990s.[7]


  1. ^ European Parliament, Committee of Inquiry on Racism and Xenophobia- Report on the Findings of the Inquiry, 1991, pp. 29–30
  2. ^ European Parliament, Committee of Inquiry on Racism and Xenophobia- Report on the Findings of the Inquiry, 1991, p. 30
  3. ^ G. Atkinson, 'Nazi Shooter Targets Chirac', Searchlight, August 2002
  4. ^ Institute of Jewish Affairs, Antisemitism World Report 1994, Institute of Jewish Affairs, 1994, pp. 14-15
  5. ^ Le procès de quatre profanateurs néo-nazis après six ans de fausses pistes, L'Humanité, 17 March 1997 (in French)
  6. ^ Anti-Semitism and Racism in France Archived 19 November 2012 at the Wayback Machine form the Stephen Roth Institute
  7. ^ G. Atkinson, 'Nazi Shooter Targets Chirac'