Friday

28th Jul 2017

Sarkozy seeks to give EU greater world role

  • "Europe must progressively affirm itself as a first-rank player for peace and security" (Photo: EUobserver)

As France prepares to assume the EU's driving seat in July next year, president Nicolas Sarkozy has indicated he wants to turn the 27-nation bloc into a decisive player in the global arena – something he says would result in a fairer and more harmonious world order.

"Europe must progressively affirm itself as a first-rank player for peace and security, in co-operation with the United Nations, the Atlantic Alliance and the African Union", Mr Sarkozy said in the first foreign policy speech of his presidency on Monday (27 August).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now and get 40% off for an annual subscription. Sale ends soon.

  1. €90 per year. Use discount code EUOBS40%
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

According to the French leader, it is time for Europe to form a common perception of the main global challenges and of ways in which to tackle them. He himself identified relations between Islam and the West as the main issue that currently needs to be examined.

"The European Union alone has accumulated, during the long process of building the community, the practical experience of a shared sovereignty that corresponds well to the demands of our times", Mr Sarkozy told his audience of 180 diplomats, stressing the EU bloc has at its disposal a broad palette of instruments, ranging from military force to humanitarian and financial means.

While outlining new ideas, Mr Sarkozy urged the 27-nation club to boost its common security strategy – namely to improve its conduct of joint military operations, to rationalize its arms procurement as well as boost countries' contributions to Europe's defence budget.

"The construction of Europe will remain the absolute priority of our foreign policy", France's Nicolas Sarkozy concluded, underlining that "France is not strong without Europe, just as Europe is not strong without France".

Different to Chirac

During his speech, president Sarkozy also reached out to new powers in Asia and Latin America, suggesting they should be granted seats at the UN Security Council table.

"France demands new permanent members – Germany, Japan, India, Brazil – and fair representation for Africa", Nicolas Sarkozy said, while also pushing for the G8 grouping of industrialised powers to expand to the G13. This would include China, India, Brazil, Mexico and South Africa.

Compared to his predecessor, Jacques Chirac, the new French president has chosen a more pro-US tone, although he also condemned the US-led invasion of Iraq and called for a clear timetable for withdrawing foreign troops from the country.

On Russia, Mr Sarkozy used surprisingly tough words.

"Russia is imposing its return on the world scene by using its assets, notably oil and gas, with a certain brutality" Mr Sarkozy said, adding "when one is a great power, one should not be brutal".

Turning to Iran, he said the world must tighten the screw on the country's nuclear ambitions – by imposing new sanctions and offering new incentives to Tehran.

"This initiative is the only one that can enable us to escape an alternative that I say is catastrophic: the Iranian bomb or the bombing of Iran", president Sarkozy concluded.

France eases stance on EU Turkey talks

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has said he will not obstruct EU negotiations with Turkey so long as member states agree to take a thorough look at the future of the bloc including its borders.

Column / Brexit Briefing

Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound

The Labour leader has put his Brexit cards on the table again but it stands to divide the party, which still has a strong pro-EU following.

Analysis

Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue

Fico convinced the EU commission chief to take action in the perceived problem of discriminatory food practices, even though the evidence for the phenomenon is anecdotal.

News in Brief

  1. EU citizens will need registration to enter UK in Brexit transition
  2. Italy weighs up sending navy into Libyan waters
  3. Swedish PM fights for survival amid IT scandal
  4. Poland's Kaczynski vows to continue judicial reform
  5. Werner Hoyer re-appointed as EU investment bank chief
  6. Spanish PM denies knowledge of party corruption
  7. France 'routinely' abuses migrants, says NGO
  8. Swedish government rocked by data scandal

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNICEFReport: Children on the Move From Africa Do Not First Aim to Go to Europe
  2. Counter BalanceOut for Summer, Ep. 2: EIB Promoting Development in Egypt - At What Cost?
  3. EU2017EELocal Leaders Push for Local and Regional Targets to Address Climate Change
  4. European Healthy Lifestyle AllianceMore Women Than Men Have Died From Heart Disease in Past 30 Years
  5. European Jewish CongressJean-Marie Le Pen Faces Trial for Oven Comments About Jewish Singer
  6. ACCAAnnounces Belt & Road Research at Shanghai Conference
  7. ECPAFood waste in the field can double without crop protection. #WithOrWithout #pesticides
  8. EU2017EEEstonia Allocates €1 Million to Alleviate Migratory Pressure From Libya in Italy
  9. Dialogue PlatformFethullah Gulen's Message on the Anniversary of the Coup Attempt in Turkey
  10. Martens CentreWeeding out Fake News: An Approach to Social Media Regulation
  11. European Jewish CongressEJC Concerned by Normalisation of Antisemitic Tropes in Hungary
  12. Counter BalanceOut for Summer Ep. 1: How the EIB Sweeps a Development Fiasco Under the Rug

Latest News

  1. Senate backs Russia sanctions, setting scene for EU clash
  2. France and Italy quarrel over shipyard and Libya
  3. Corbyn re-opens Labour's single market wound
  4. Visegrad lobby makes food quality an EU issue
  5. EU court could dismiss national borders in cyberspace
  6. Confusion swirls round Macron's Libya 'hotspots'
  7. Insults fly after EU ultimatum to Poland
  8. UK requests EU migration study, 13 months after Brexit vote