Saturday

18th Nov 2017

Delors scorns France over opposition to US

The former President of the European Commission Jacques Delors cautioned the EU against adopting an opposing stance to the US, and warned that French President Jacques Chirac is leading France into a diplomatic cul-de-sac over Iraq.

In an interview with the Financial Times, Mr Delors praised efforts made by UK Premier Tony Blair to bridge the gap between the Bush administration and continental European governments by pushing hard for UN supervisions of the reconstruction of Iraq.

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The EU has been split down the middle over the legitimacy of the US-led war in Iraq, with the UK siding with the US and France fiercely opposing it.

Mr Delors deems the concept of a common EU foreign policy as a vain hope "over the next 20 years" and believes that this vision will not work without the participation of Britain.

One way forward, he says in the interview, is for defence to be driven by "reinforced co-operation", with some member states moving more quickly than others.

But added: "It is difficult to envisage this working without the participation of Great Britain, it's unrealistic. It's almost a provocation."

Besides the lack of a common EU foreign policy, the 77-year-old Mr Delors also said the EU's flagship project of economic and monetary union was "not working" because of the failure of governments to work together on fiscal policy.

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