French relations with the European Union

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Publication Date 2005
ISBN 0-415-30576-4
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This work is from the Routledge Series ‘Europe and the nation state’, which explores the complex relationship between nation-states and European integration and the political, social, economic and policy implications of this interaction. The book aims to explore the many facets of France’s relations with the European Union from differing perspectives.

The book is organised over seven chapters. Chapter one, the introduction, provides the background for the ensuing text and the role of key individuals in formulating French policy towards the EU. The Quay d’Orsay, the French Foreign Ministry, has played a large part in the formulation of stereotypical attitudes and this is explored in chapter two. French Eurosceptism is addressed in chapter three, in particular the role it played in the Maastricht ratification debate. Chapter four provides analysis of the French right and the importance of the Gaullist legacy as an influence on the European attitude of the right. The shifting nature of power play on European issues is considered in chapter five which comments upon the new careerist ambitions at work in French politics and the Conseil d’État. Chapter six switches the focus to that of the left in French politics, exploring the changing attitudes of the Socialist Party post Mitterand. Chapter seven explores the role of the French quality press and the response of journalists to European integration since the 1950s. Chapter eight explores the role of the voluntary sector in raising the profile of the European Union, through their capacity for tapping into Euro funds and massaging public opinion towards Europe - but concludes that the voluntary sector has in reality had a minor role in French European policy-making. The editor closes the work with her concluding remarks which in general point to a France less certain about its future within an enlarged Europe and inhibited by its own inability to observe the rules of the Stability and Growth Pact.

The book will interest scholars and students engaged in European Union Studies, French Political Studies and the wider issues surrounding European integration and enlargement.

Helen Drake is Senior Lecturer in the Department of Politics, International Relations and European Studies at Loughborough University.

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