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Soós, Eszter Petronella

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Élet és Irodalom - Hungary | 12/08/2008

Between Atlantism and Gaullism

In the Hungarian weekly Élet és Irodalom political expert Petronella Eszter Soós comments on French President Nicolas Sarkozy's foreign policy and the role of France in the EU. "During both the De Gaulle era and the times of Jacques Chirac, European integration and French-American relations were often interpreted on an either/or basis. There can be no talk of this under Nicolas Sarkozy. In contrast to Chirac, Sarkozy is acting very openly towards the US because in his eyes good relations between the two states are strategically important. ... According to Sarkozy, weakening the US would be a short-sighted policy. ... Consequently Sarkozy is often described as an advocate of Atlantism. This is an overstatement. It would perhaps be more fitting to describe him as a friend of America's. ... In the Sarkozy era, the pragmatic Gaullist stance, according to which France has its own interests and defends them tooth and nail on the international stage, lives on. Sarkozy has never deviated from this standpoint. ... However Sarkozy has come to the conclusion that France's interests are best represented within the framework of the EU. This is why he is taking France's EU presidency so seriously."

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