International Relations, Culture and Politics
Edited By Emmanuel Godin and Natalya Vince
Jean-Robert Henry - France’s Mediterranean Policy: Between National Ambitions and European Uncertainties 37
Jean-Robert Henry France’s Mediterranean Policy: Between National Ambitions and European Uncertainties France’s Mediterranean initiative, announced by Nicolas Sarkozy in February 2007 as the great diplomatic ambition of his presidency, upset the routine of Euro-Mediterranean policy for two years and finally led to a desultory result: since early 2009, the partnership has been put on ice in practical terms. Even in Paris, Mediterranean activism has eased of f, as demonstrated by the very weak place accorded to it by the President of the Republic in his speech of 26 August 2009 to France’s ambassadors: he proposed only hold- ing a summit for the Union for the Mediterranean the following autumn on the Middle East peace process. This summit did not take place; neither did the one which the Spanish presidency of Europe had planned to organize in June 2010 in Barcelona, which now seems to have been postponed sine die. Despite this, what has happened since 2007 on the Mediterranean scene must not be ignored. The episode is doubly revealing: on the one hand it highlights the constancies and inconstancies, the inf lections and contradic- tions of France’s Mediterranean policy; on the other – and above all – it sheds light on Europe’s current dif ficulties in thinking about its relations with countries on the other side of the Mediterranean. The Changing Face of France’s Mediterranean Policy France’s Mediterranean action – along with that of the UK and Spain, notably – is not limited to community policy. These countries carry out their own policies on...
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