Future Europe Initiative
French Leadership in a Post-Brexit Europe

A conversation with:

H.E. Gérard Araud
Ambassador of France to the United States

Ambassador John Herbst
Director, Dinu Patriciu Eurasia Center
Atlantic Council

Ambassador Frederic Hof
Director, Rafik Hariri Center for the Middle East
Atlantic Council

Ms. Laure Mandeville
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Future Europe Initiative
Atlantic Council

Moderated by:

Mr. Jérémie Gallon
Nonresident Senior Fellow, Future Europe Initiative
Atlantic Council

Introduced by:

Mr. Damon Wilson
Executive Vice President, Programs and Strategy
Atlantic Council

Europe faces historic challenges from the east and the south, at the same time as internal forces of fragmentation call into question the unity and direction of the European Union (EU).  In the wake of the Brexit referendum, horrific terrorist attacks, an unprecedented migration crisis, and a continually sluggish economy, the future of Europe is in play.  As a nation that combines strategic outlook, political will, military capabilities, and economic wherewithal, France is poised to shape Europe’s future.

Since the end of World War II, Paris has played a leading role in advancing the European project.  Franco-German political cooperation set the terms for integration.  Franco-British military cooperation ensured Europe remained a serious security actor.  Today, France is the bridge between the EU’s northern and southern members.  France has the history, geography, and demography to help Europe navigate the confluence of challenges buffeting the continent. 

However, next year’s elections in France will likely determine whether France helps Europe hold together or succumbs to the challenges of economic stagnation, political fragmentation, and populism.   

His Excellency Gérard Araud, Ambassador of France to the United States, offers his strategic view of French leadership in Europe as France moves forward from the horrific attack in Nice.  Ambassador Araud is joined by an expert panel to debate France’s role in navigating Europe’s identity and electoral politics, developing and implementing a more coherent strategy to the south, and ensuring strength and unity in the face of a revisionist Russia.

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Atlantic Council
1030 15th Street NW, 12th Floor (West Tower Elevator)
Washington, DC

This event is open to press and on the record.

VISITING THE COUNCIL: Metro and parking info