The former director of the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), Fabrice Leggeri, announced his candidacy for the upcoming European Parliament election, choosing to run on a ballot of Marine Le Pen’s far right party in France.

Leggeri, who resigned as the head of Frontex in 2022 amidst an investigation launched by the European Fraud Office (OLAF), has been selected as the third – in descending order – candidate on a MEP list of Le Pen’s Rassemblement National (National Rally) party.

In an interview with the French weekly Le Journal du Dimanche, he outlined his candidacy by saying “…we are determined to act against the migrant influx, a matter the European Commission and Eurocrats perceive not as a problem, but as a project…The June 9 European election presents a rare chance to reorient Europe’s course.”

Prior to his departure from Frontex after seven years at its helm, he faced criticism over allegations of financial mismanagement. Under Leggeri’s tenure, Frontex was also criticized by pro-migration NGOs and left-of-center political parties over alleged illegal pushbacks, wherein irregularly migrants were pushed back or returned to the territory or country from which they departed in order to clandestinely enter EU territory.

Reflecting on the end of his Frontex tenure, he said the French government “urged for my resignation, while Germany abstained from supporting me and the European Commission, openly antagonistic, sought my departure.”

The French politician also denounced what he called “von der Leyen’s Europe,” a reference to the current EU Commission president, while quickly adding that it’s ‘Macron’s Europe.’ Asserting a familiar narrative held by the far-right party, he reiterated that the European Commission fosters and tolerates illegal migration.

In the latest poll by Politico, Rassemblement National fields a sizeable lead over Macron’s party in the upcoming European Parliament election. Led by Le Pen’s protege, Jordan Bardella, the party commands more than 30 percent of the vote, while the French president’s party trails at roughly half that figure.