France

  • EU Parliamentary Elections: What to Expect in France

    This article is part of a series on the 2019 European Union parliamentary elections.

    On May 26, French voters will choose between thirty-four lists on a nationwide proportional ballot in the European Union (EU) parliamentary elections. Historically, European elections have failed to sustain public attention, suffering from parties treating it as an afterthought (often recycling losers from national elections) and the complex and distant nature of European institutions. In 2014, French voter turnout in the EU elections was 42 percent, a far cry from the 78 percent of the first round of the 2017 presidential election. For these reasons, European elections have generally been a godsend for extremist forces.


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  • Strengthen European Defense Cooperation Through NATO and the EU

    [A] key question remains unanswered: will allied deterrence prevent possible Russian aggression during those 30 days?
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  • A Message from France to United States: Don’t Be Afraid of European Autonomy

    Amid continued criticism from US President Donald J. Trump about low defense spending levels in NATO countries, French Minister of the Armed Forces Florence Parly said France will “do our best, along with the Europeans, to take a larger share of the burden.” But, she continued, “we will call it ‘autonomy,’ and we will count on you to hear in this word nothing [other] than the bonds of a healthy, independent, and robust friendship.”

    Despite concern about low European spending, Trump has also been critical of calls for European nations to form a common European defense force or strengthen their domestic defense industries. When French President Emmanuel Macron called for a “true, European army,” on November 6, Trump lambasted the idea, suggesting that it was an effort to “protect Europe against the US.”


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  • Haddad Quoted in The Economist on the Next Voice of French Nationalism


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  • Dear Europe: Renaissance or Unraveling?

    French President Emmanuel Macron this week stirred up a robust and healthy debate with his letter published in newspapers of all 28 EU nations, calling for a “European renaissance.” First, however, he will have to reverse a European unravelling, both political and economic.

    Markets are bracing for the U.K.’s parliamentary vote on Brexit’s fate next week, the European Central Bank this week sharply downgraded growth projections to a job-killing 1.1 percent and reintroduced stimulus, and Italy is moving to officially tie its wagon to China’s Belt and Road Initiative — choosing market access over European cohesion.


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  • Haddad joins Brussel Sprouts to discuss France’s Yellow Vest Movement


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  • Haddad Joins The Chicago Council On Global Affairs to Discuss Yellow Vest Protests


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  • What’s Driving the Spat Between France and Italy?

    On February 7, France announced its decision to recall its ambassador to Rome for consultations, denouncing a “grave situation” that “has no precedent since the end of the war.” This unprecedented move came a day after Italy’s deputy prime minister, and leader of the Five Star Movement, Luigi Di Maio flew to France and met representatives of the Gilets Jaunes (Yellow Jackets) movement. In a letter to Le Monde, Di Maio justified the meeting saying: “I wanted to meet with representatives of the ‘Gilets Jaunes’ and the citizens' initiative referendum group, because I do not believe that the future of European politics lies in the parties of the right or the left.”

    The meeting, and ensuing French reaction, marks a peak in the escalation of rhetoric between French President Emmanuel Macron and the leaders of Italy’s ruling Five Star-League coalition over the past eight months.


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  • The New Treaty of Aachen: More Than Just a Symbol?

    The new Treaty of Aachen, signed on January 22 by French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel bears great symbolic significance—historical as well as political. The question is whether it carries much practical significance.


    On Christmas Day in the year 800 AD, Charlemagne was crowned by Pope Leo III in Rome as the first emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Despite Voltaire’s quip in 1756 that this construction was neither holy, nor Roman, nor an empire, the Sacrum Imperium Romanum was to last until it was dissolved in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars. Even today, the prince of Liechtenstein is a direct inheritor of one of the principalities composing the Holy Roman Empire.

    The capital of the empire was Aachen, known in French (and generally in English) as Aix-la-Chapelle. Charlemagne had become King of the Franks in 768 AD, upon the death of his father, Pepin the Short, and, as his father had done before him, he spent Christmas that year in Aachen. Later, and until Charlemagne’s death in 814 AD, Aachen became Charlemagne’s “capital,” the political center of his empire and the location of his imperial court.


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  • Lessons in Leadership: Emmanuel Macron and the Yellow Vests

    Having judged Theresa May on her leadership and found her wanting in a sense of reality, political honesty, a willingness to understand her opponents, and a commitment to seek consensus, one can ask how well Emmanuel Macron has fared by those same criteria, particularly as he has faced the “Yellow Vest” movement of grassroots protesters donning the high-viz jackets that all French motorists are required to carry in their vehicles and which have become both a uniform and a distress signal of those who feel left behind by globalization, the Parisian elites, and the haughty demeanor of Macron himself.


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