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La Stampa - Italy | Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Hollande gives himself a free hand with EU

By having the mutual defence clause activated Hollande has secured a lot of room for manoeuvre, the liberal daily La Stampa observes: "President Hollande had a good reason for invoking (at least for now) Article 42 of the EU treaties rather than Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty: he wants this declaration of support by the EU to give him the legitimacy he needs at a political and legal level. He wants to have free rein to intervene in the variable coalitions that are forming - with the US, Russia, and the regional powers. This double-track approach - unilateral and European - is typical of the politics of Paris, allowing it to gain the support of its partners while at the same time preventing any potential EU restrictions on France's international decisions."

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