Who Is Jordan Bardella?

Jordan Bardella, leader of France's National Rally (RN), emerges as a potential Prime Ministerial candidate amid his rapid rise from a humble background to political prominence. With a background in the FN, his leadership has navigated controversies while championing nationalist policies, appealing particularly to youth. As France heads to elections, Bardella's ascent prompts scrutiny over his readiness for high office.
Jordan Bardella

Jordan Bardella, President of the National Rally.

Photo : Twitter
With France's parliamentary elections drawing closer, eyes are now on Jordan Bardella, the young leader of the National Rally (RN). The 28-year-old may potentially assume the role of the next Prime Minister. Bardella was born on September 13, 1995, in Drancy, Seine-Saint-Denis. Rising quickly through the echelons of the RN, he has been a notable figure in French politics since his early years.

Who is Jordan Bardella?

Bardella's family is of modest Italian origins. His maternal side immigrated from Turin in the 1960s. His paternal grandmother was of Algerian descent. He was mainly raised by his mother in a council estate in Drancy. His father was a business owner. His parents split when he was one. It was his own challenges with urban life that influenced his political stance. Notably, despite his meager childhood, Bardella spent his weekends in the wealthier suburb of Montmorency with his father.
Bardella studied at the private lycée Jean-Baptiste-de-La-Salle. He graduated with distinction in economics and social sciences. For a short time, he studied geography at Paris-Sorbonne University. Not long after, he dropped out to focus on politics. He joined the ranks of the National Front (FN) at just 16.

Political Rise

Bardella wasted no time in superseding ranks within the FN. He became the party's youngest department secretary in Seine-Saint-Denis at 19. He had a brief stint as a parliamentary assistant and various candidacies. However, it was to no avail.
Bardella then went on to found Banlieues Patriotes in 2016. His goal was to engage with disenfranchised voters. By 2017, he was part of Marine Le Pen’s presidential campaign team.

Leadership in the RN

Bardella was appointed FN spokesman in 2017. Subsequently, he became president of the party's youth wing, Génération Nation. In 2019, he led the RN to victory in the European Parliament elections. He was then crowned as the second-youngest MEP in EU history.
By 2021, Bardella became the RN's first vice-president, and by 2022, he assumed the role of acting president. He later became the party's leader, after securing an astounding 85% of the vote.

Political Positions and Controversies

Bardella's political stance echoes the RN's views on immigration and security. He has called for limited social services for illegal immigrants. His oppositional views on same-sex marriage has often times stirred controversy. However, he recognizes its legal permanence in France. He reveres figures like Matteo Salvini.
Bardella has also come under legal troubles for his remarks about Trappes. He was also accused of of irregular employment as a parliamentary assistant. However, critics contend that Bardella's ability to rise through the rankings simply stems from good PR. Many have also accused him of opportunism and a lack of clear ideology.
At 28, with limited work experience outside the RN, and with no university degree, Bardella is emblematic of a new generation. His readiness as Prime Minister remains to be seen, but his impact on French politics stands tall.
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