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Demos and Nation

Misplacing the Dilemmas of the European Union--In Memory of Stanley Hoffmann

Charles S. Maier

At the time of completing this essay, the European Union had fallen into what many described as an existential crisis, relieved at the final moment by the glimmer of cheer afforded by Emmanuel Macron’s substantial presidential victory. Still, at the

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European Union

Are the Founding Ideas Obsolete?

Isabelle Petit and George Ross

On 9 May 1950, in an elegant salon of the Quai d’Orsay in Paris, France’s Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that France and Germany, plus any other democratic nation in Western Europe that wanted to join, establish a “community” to regulate and govern the coal and steel industries across national borders. France and Germany had been at, or preparing for, war for most of the nineteenth and twentieth century, at huge costs to millions of citizens. Moreover, in 1950 iron and steel remained central to national economic success and war-making power. The Schuman Plan therefore clearly spoke to deeper issues.

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Between the Party and the European Union?

The Regulation of Working Time in France

Dionyssis G. Dimitrakopoulos

Do parties matter when EU policy is implemented in France? This article examines this question first in the context of cleavage theory and the literature on party positioning on European integration that draws attention to the origin and the nature of party preferences, and second in light of empirical evidence from the implementation of the Working Time Directive in France. It shows that, when faced with the same issue, governments of different ideological orientation responded in a way that reflected their historically defined référentiel rather than an EU Diktat. The argument here, then, is that far from ending domestic political contestation on the Left-Right axis, European integration and its concrete domestic manifestations in France are in fact subject to it.

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Sophie Meunier

, is France a necessary component of any diplomatic, military or economic solution to the world’s most intractable problems, a passage obligé for reform in the European Union (EU), an indispensable producer of technology and knowledge, and a cultural

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Kerry Whiteside

In December 1996, the European Union gave its authorization to sell transgenic corn for consumption and cultivation in Europe. Some EU memberstates, notably Austria and Italy, refused to allow any imports of genetically modified organisms (“GMOs” or “OGM” in French). Resistance of that sort was unexpected from France. In Europe, France was originally the country most interested in advancing research and applications in the area of agricultural biotechnology. Before GMOs became a matter of public controversy, France led Europe in deliberate release trials.

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Irwin M. Wall

The French elections of 2012 resulted in an unprecedented and overwhelming victory by France's Socialist Party, which gained control of the presidency and an absolute majority in the National Assembly to go with the party's existing domination of most of France's regions and municipalities. But the Socialist Party remains a minority party in the French electoral body politic, its victory the result of a skewered two-ballot electoral system. The Socialist government, moreover, remains hampered in its action by its obligations toward the European Union and its participation in the zone of countries using the Euro as it attempts to deal with France's economic crisis. As a consequence of both of these phenomena the government may also be sitting atop a profound political crisis characterized by the alienation of a good part of the electorate from the political system.

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Francesca Vassallo

The 2012 French presidential election witnessed an increase in discussion about the European Union and its policies. To an equal degree the two top contenders, Nicolas Sarkozy and Fran?ois Hollande, criticized European policies and made promises to rectify EU mistakes, if elected. European institutions and decisions became scapegoats for domestic failures and tough economic choices, reflecting a long-term surge in Euroscepticism among French voters, especially in comparison to EU averages. Both candidates sought advantage by engaging in “EU-Negative“ campaigns to be able to mobilize as many potential voters as possible. Surprisingly, a half-year of EU criticisms has not led, at least in the short term, to a further increase in anti-EU positions in the public opinion.

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French Cinema

Globalization, Representation, and Resistance

Graeme Hayes and Martin O'Shaughnessy

It is now twelve years since French brinkmanship pushed American negotiators and the prospects of a world trade deal to the wire, securing the exclusion of cultural products and services from the 1993 GATT agreement and the maintenance of European systems of national quotas, public subsidies, and intellectual property rights in the audiovisual sector. The intervening period has not been quiet. Although the Multilateral Agreement on Investment was sunk when Lionel Jospin pulled the plug on negotiations in October 1998, the applications of new central European entrants to join the European Union and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have been accompanied by a continuing guerrilla battle fought by successive American administrations against the terms and scope of the exclusion.

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Elections

Explaining the Timing of the French Socialist Party's Gender-Based Quota

Katherine A.R. Opello

One characteristic of French political life is the small number of women holding national elective office. From 1944, when women received the vote, until the 2002 legislative elections, the percentage of female members in France’s lower house, the National Assembly, ranged from a low of 1.5 percent in 1958 to a high of 12.9 percent in 2002. Data reveal that the lowest percentage of women in the Senate, France’s upper house, was 1.4 percent in 1975 while the highest percentage was 16.9 percent in 2004. This absence of women from the highest reaches of politics is particularly striking when France is compared to other member states of the European Union. For example, currently women possess approximately 45 percent of legislative seats in Sweden, 32 percent in Germany, 28 percent in Spain and 18 percent in the United Kingdom. 1 In fact, France is often referred to as la lanterne rouge de l’Europe (Europe’s caboose) because the only other country with so few female parliamentarians is Greece.

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Two Failures of Left Internationalism

Political Mimesis at French University Counter-Summits, 2010–2011

Eli Thorkelson

“modernize the social fabric by availing ourselves of Europe [ moderniser la trame en se servant de l’Europe ].” 7 We will see below that the Bologna Process would become closely integrated into the European Union’s supranational project, whose influence over