Europe

French left-wing candidates take risky stance: pro-Europe

FILE - In this March 13, 2013 file photo, then French Education Minister Vincent Peillon leaves the Elysee Palace after the weekly cabinet meeting, in Paris. Candidates in the leftist primary Jan 22 and 29 Manuel Valls and Vincent Peillon laid out their platforms Tuesday Jan. 3, 2017, pleading for unity and tolerance in the face of far right candidate Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-EU campaign.(AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)

FILE - In this March 13, 2013 file photo, then French Education Minister Vincent Peillon leaves the Elysee Palace after the weekly cabinet meeting, in Paris. Candidates in the leftist primary Jan 22 and 29 Manuel Valls and Vincent Peillon laid out their platforms Tuesday Jan. 3, 2017, pleading for unity and tolerance in the face of far right candidate Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-EU campaign.(AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File)  (The Associated Press)

Two men hoping to clinch the left-wing nomination for France's presidential race are pursuing a risky strategy: They want to save the much-maligned European Union.

Manuel Valls and Vincent Peillon laid out their platforms Tuesday, pleading for unity and tolerance in the face of far right candidate Marine Le Pen's anti-immigration, anti-EU campaign.

Valls, a Spanish-born former prime minister, said the solution to disillusionment with the EU is to "re-found" and defend it, notably with tougher taxes on non-EU imports.

Peillon put Europe high on his campaign priorities, calling for stronger external EU borders and more spending on migration policy.

They're among seven candidates in the leftist primary Jan. 22 and 29. Whoever wins will face a tough battle for the April-May election, amid disappointment with Socialist Francois Hollande's presidency.