The Eurozone crisis, as well as America’s rebalance towards Asia, have led some to see a shrinking role for Europe on the world stage. France, once viewed as the co-pilot of Europe alongside Germany, now seems to occupy a less prominent role in European affairs. But France’s refusal to sign off at first on an Iranian nuclear deal is one sign that her role on the international stage is not shrinking. What is Europe’s role in world affairs and France’s within the new Europe? What policies should Europe and France pursue to reclaim their rightful status?
Jean-Francois Cope, the leader of the French opposition and one of France’s best-known political figures, examined these issues in an address at Hudson Institute on December 2, 2013. Cope, who served as French government spokesman, Minister of the Budget, and as majority leader in the French National Assembly, is president of the right-of-center UMP Party (the Union for a Popular Majority).
A Member of the National Assembly and a close ally of former President Nicolas Sarkozy (who transformed the Gaullist movement into the UMP), Cope is well known for his willingness to address tough issues head on. He serves as President of Generation-France, a think tank dedicated to revitalizing French political debate.