Saturday

26th Sep 2020

Sarkozy launches presidential bid with anti-Turkey stance

Nicolas Sarkozy, the current French interior minister, has been officially confirmed as the centre-right ruling party's candidate for April's presidential election, launching his campaign with the suggestion that "Turkey has no place inside the European Union".

Mr Sarkozy, 51, known as 'Sarko' in the French press, received 98 percent of the votes from members of the Union for a Popular Movement (UMP) gathered for an internal ballot on Sunday (14 January).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

In his acceptance speech to some 80,000 party supporters, the outspoken politician made what is referred to by analysts as the strongest statement so far on Turkey's European ambitions.

"I want to say that Europe must give itself borders, that not all countries have a vocation to become members of Europe, beginning with Turkey which has no place inside the European Union," he said, according to press reports.

"Enlarging Europe with no limit risks destroying European political union, and that I do not accept," he said.

Mr Sarkozy is set to face about a dozen other candidates in the first round of France's two-stage presidential vote on April 22 with his most important opponent - the socialist candidate Segolene Royal, 53, currently leading the polls.

It is expected that the two will meet in the second runoff on May 6.

However Mr Sarkozy's nomination on Sunday continues to be overshadowed by President Jacques Chirac who has not yet made it clear whether he intends to seek a third term.

Apart from his clear stance on Turkey, "Sarko" has also outlined ideas on how to solve the bloc's current constitutional impasse after French and Dutch voters rejected the treaty in referendums in 2005.

He is in favour of a "mini treaty" with elements of the current text of the EU constitution, but also believes the charter will "not enter into force in its current form."

MEPs fearful of 'red zone' Strasbourg plenary

Parliament president David Sassoli is to make the final decision on travelling to Strasbourg ahead of the leadership and parliamentary group chairs meeting on Thursday.

Feature

Beyond Salvini: the rise of Eurosceptic Giorgia Meloni

There is only one woman among Italy's most-powerful politicians: Giorgia Meloni, 43, president of Fratelli d'Italia (Brothers of Italy), an ultra-conservative party allied with Matteo Salvini's League and Silvio Berlusconi's Forza Italia (Forward Italy).

EU leaders urge Putin to push for Belarus dialogue

European Council president Charles Michel, French president Emmanuel Macron and German chancellor Angela Merkel had each one of them a call with Russian president Vladimir Putin on Tuesday (18 August) on the situation in Belarus, calling for dialogue.

Opinion

On toppling statues

The internationally-acclaimed author of King Leopold's Ghost, Adam Hochschild, writes on Belgium's problems with statues, in the wake of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  3. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersCOVID-19 halts the 72nd Session of the Nordic Council in Iceland
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersCivil society a key player in integration
  6. UNESDANext generation Europe should be green and circular

Latest News

  1. Berlin repeats support for EU human rights sanctions
  2. China's carbon pledge at UN sends 'clear message' to US
  3. Far right using pandemic to win friends in Germany
  4. Visegrad countries immediately push back on new migration pact
  5. Why no EU progress on Black Lives Matter?
  6. EU migration pact to deter asylum
  7. 'Era of EU naivety ends', MEP pledges on foreign meddling
  8. Anti-mask protesters pose challenge for EU authorities

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us