Foreign policy profile of france



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UNIVERZA V LJUBLJANI

FAKULTETA ZA DRUŽBENE VEDE


Nejc Župevec 4.l. POL – MO,

21041005
Menthor:

Zlatko Šabič, Ph. D.


FOREIGN POLICY PROFILE OF FRANCE

Subject: International organizations


Ljubljana, November 2007
The history of a French foreign policy is long and successful. As a co-founding state of a European Union and at the same time permanent member of the Security Council, France has played an important role in managing international affairs during recent decades. But French foreign policy has started long before international community, as we know it today, was established. It is founded on several centuries of diplomatic tradition and some fundamental principles: the right of peoples to self-determination, respect for human rights and democratic principles, respect for the rule of law and cooperation among nations.1
France is traditionally powerful and important country not only in regional inter-state affairs but rather on a global level as well. That is why our foreign policy should not be too narrow but rather widely directed into ensuring international peace and security. Our strong economy, strong military posture, also energetic diplomacy represents an argument why are we determined to continue in pursuing our goals, that is to strengthen global economic and political influence of the European Union and subsequently promote democratic values and fundamental freedoms.2 European construction has been at the heart of France for many reasons, mainly for the desire to restore peace and guarantee the security of the States and to build the integrated economic and monetary area able to ensure prosperity for the peoples of Europe.3
But as a former colonizing power France should not forget the rest of the world. The contemporary situation in the world today is not something that France is going to tolerate or accept. Every person, citizen of every country of the world, has a right to fulfil his potentials. And the international system that would make this happen is what France is going to strive for. As a nuclear power, France is going to further encourage the wise use of nuclear technology for pacific purposes and will strongly and energetically oppose any intense or attempt of other nuclear powers to threaten with nuclear weapon in order to achieve their goals or to further spread the weapons. Nuclear disarmament of the international society is also France’s goal for the future. France is aware of its importance for the maintenance of world order and is prepared to act. European Union is the third largest grouping in the world4 and France is willing to offer all its resources, together with other Union’s Member States, in order to balance other international hegemonic groupings.
France and Europe in Asia
France has been present in Asia for quite a long time but has had to rethink its policies towards the region in the early 1990s. The legacy, especially the one of a general de Gaulle is good but it does not suffice for efficient response to dilemmas of nowadays. France had, economically and commercially, fallen behind and was not able to embrace all the potentials Asia has produced during the last twenty years. Our policy was than systematized and is now organized around three main lines, which are bilateral partnerships, actions taken by European Union and so-defined Asia-Europe dialogue. Within first of the three domains listed above, France is developing better political dialogue. It has been greatly enhanced by our three state visits, which have resulted in signing joint documents with Japan, China, etc. We have determined to build our global partnerships on sincere political dialogue, on intensive but fair economic relations and also on exchange of cultural traditions and technical knowledge. But Japan and China as two Asian super-powers are not the only states France is interesting in cooperation with. South-East Asia is a region with which France has long had special ties, so that we are not prepared to lose it. We are already cooperating within defence field, thus offering them military assistance in form of special trainings of their armies, in this way we are fulfilling our endeavours to ensure the security and stability of countries emerging out of crisis (Cambodia, Afghanistan, etc.). Where we want to strengthen our ties is definitely the economic cooperation and trade of goods. European Union has clearly recognized Asia as a challenge and has consequently established a framework for its relations with the region. What is really important for France is the fact that we have already played a major role in the process of Europe’s approach to Asia. France’s further objectives are to continue playing a leading role in Union’s endeavours to keep dialogue with China on human rights and in formulating common European approach towards economic and other relations with the region. In fact, our goal is to help to establish long-lasting economic, financial and trade relations between European Union and Asia. Within the Asia-Europe dialogue line, France is committed to help further deepen the political dialogue with Asia, thus help deepen the prospect of a successful European Union’s Common Foreign and Security Policy.5
France and the United States of America (USA)
France’s foreign policy has changed since the end of the Cold War but core interests of our cooperation with the USA remain similar. Probably the most important one is the effort to ensure stability in Europe, namely through an expanded European Union and NATO. Also, France has, as well as the USA, recognized that terrorism and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction represent the most significant threat to our national security, furthermore, to the security of the world as a whole. But there is an important aspect of our functioning in international relations, which is to engage international issues in a multilateral framework, above all through European Union; if possible to form EU security policy independent of NATO. Logically, the US administrations are not fond of the idea. To persuade them to accept and understand the necessity of the Union’s common security policy is also France’s objective for the future. Trade and investments ties with the USA are extremely well spread and are vital for our economy to function properly, so strengthening them is also very important aspect of our future cooperation, because our economies have become increasingly integrated in the recent years. Concerns for the stabilization of the West Balkans and Afghanistan together with the fight against terrorism are also domains we have in common and where we are prepared and willing to cooperate with the USA. Another region where we reckon the USA our partners is the Middle East. But developments in the recent years have not gone our way (in sense that population of 5-6 million Muslims lives in France). We consider U.S. actions in the region too favourable for Israelis and consequently not directed to the solution of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Arabian immigrants in France are disappointed and full of anger which they point at our political institutions and thus undermining the very foundations of our State. More open political dialogue has to be established within this domain as well. (Gallis 2006: 2)6

France and Russian Federation
Ties between France and Russia have been traditionally good. They have started with the frequency of the high-level contacts what has confirmed that both sides share commitment to strong cooperation. Our political dialogue usually takes a form of a bilateral meetings as well as meetings of different working groups. We cooperate within numerous fields, but the most important role is that we hold once-a-year Franco-Russian Governmental Seminar by which we are able to response to open problems or new opportunities of our cooperation.7 Our political ties are well developed but we are not really satisfied with the development of our economic relations. In the recent years, they have become better, but the fact that Russian federation, as one of the biggest markets holds only 27th place as our trade partner is not what France wants. France sees Russian market as an opportunity for the future and thus encourages domestic companies to invest. Results are seen, rate of our foreign direct investments on Russian market has elevated by 22% and we are expecting it to elevate even more in the future.8 The current trend and also our objective is not only to confirm our presence on Russian economic market, but to help to establish new French companies in Russia, especially in sectors where we are experts: food industry, catering, retail, oil and gas extraction and conversion, transport, machines and capital goods, and communications.9 With maintaining good bilateral contacts, France is optimistic to further strengthen its ties with Russia.
France and the process of globalization
Despite the fact that France had variegated mercantilist past, it has reluctantly converted its market to liberal one. In the era of globalization this is a norm and France thus promotes open international trade and leaves behind the agenda of traditionally protectionist demands.10 But French public opinion is pretty much against the process of globalization, so our foreign policy in the field of the world trade, world market of goods, should clearly define its interest, find regions (China, South-East Asia, Russia, etc.) where our presence is of both, strategic and beneficial nature respectively. France is aware of the fact that globalization does not automatically benefit France. It is also aware that globalization is based on principles that could not be applied to French tradition or culture, thus our task is to make an exceptional effort to adapt. But we are also aware of the advantages France possesses. We are a country with particular political capabilities to lead, with a top-level administration and diplomatic service. So we should not step aside or even be afraid of the globalize world. France has to take advantage of its capabilities and, together with some older ones, try to reach new objectives – European defence, new international economic and financial rules, the fight against corruption, the advancement of peace. If we want to succeed, we cannot act on our own, we have to act toward others and with the globalization this is much more feasible. Even though it is antithetical to some of our national characteristics, some might say, French foreign policy will be and already is directed toward these goals.11
France and the fight against terrorism
France has already been target of terrorist attacks and has therefore shown its determination to fight all kinds of terrorism and has in this respect already introduced some operational systems to efficiently cooperate with other states. In its fight, France follows certain principles, which are condemnation of all kinds of terrorism, no matter who is behind. Furthermore, it has to be fought with great respect for human rights and public freedoms; it has to avoid assimilation of terrorism with organised crime, even though links exist. France is also calling for actions to reduce social injustices and political tensions, to lessen a gap between developed and under-developed countries through fair and open cooperation on a global level. France is thus in favour of greater cooperation within existing international multilateral organizations and in particular, within the framework performed by the United Nations. France believes that some general, widely accepted document is needed, so it supports the proposed general convention on terrorism and the proposed Convention for the Suppression of Acts of Nuclear Terrorism. The way out of the current impasse has to find and France is committed to further take active part in such international endeavours.12
France and European Union
As mentioned above, European integration and construction is at very heart of France. France believes in idea of common European policies and thus, despite public ‘no’, encourages efforts to formulate joint document that will replace now existing treaties and enable European Union to make a step forward. France is particularly committed to the objective of creation of Common Foreign and Security Policy, because it believes it is essential for further affirmation of European identity and values on international scene. Also essential, for these objectives to be fulfilled, are good relations with Germany and Great Britain. With former we share a history of strong personal links between our successive leaders that enable us to create bilateral relations with convergence that is unique and with latter one we share a legacy of historical ties and also deep bilateral relations.13 French foreign policy within Europe is therefore going to be directed to maintain these alliances and to cooperation within Union’s institutions with other Member States in order to assure well-integrated EU with high respect for each other and our common principles and objectives on which our Union is based.


List of references:
L'Ambassade Françaide en Russie (2007) Présentation générale. Available on: http://www.ambafrance.ru/article.php3?id_article=22#sommaire_4 (5. 11. 2007)
Gallis, Paul (2006) Factors Shaping Foreign Policy, and Issues in U.S.-French Relations. Available on: http://www.ambafrance-us.org/franceus/US_frenchrelations.pdf (5. 11. 2007)
Globalist, The (2002) France and Globalization by Hubert Védrine – Global Politics. Available on: http://www.theglobalist.com/DBWeb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=2301 (4. 11. 2007)
Meunier, Sophie (1999) France, Globalization and global Protectionism. Available on: http://www.ces.fas.harvard.edu/publications/docs/pdfs/Meunier.pdf (4. 11. 2007)
Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and the World – France and European Integration. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/discovering-france_2005/france-from-to-z_1978/france-and-the-world_1989/france-and-european-integration_1470.html (5. 11. 2007)


Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and the World – France and the fight against terrorism. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/discovering-france_2005/france-from-to-z_1978/france-and-the-world_1989/france-and-the-fight-against-terrorism_1475.html (5. 11. 2007)


Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and Russia – Economic Relations. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files_156/russia_399/france-and-russia_3057/economic-relations_3619.html (5. 11. 2007)


Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and Russia – Political Relations. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files_156/russia_399/france-and-russia_3057/political-relations_3617.html (5. 11. 2007)


Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) Introduction – France and Europe in Asia. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files_156/asia_1956/introduction_1957/france-and-europe-in-asia_1350.html?var_recherche=relations+between+france+and+the+world (4. 11. 2007)


Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) Profile of France – France's foreign policy. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/discovering-france_2005/profile-of-france_1977/france-foreign-policy_1403.html (4. 11. 2007)


Wikipedia, the Free Encylopedia (2007) Foreign relations of France. Available on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_France (2. 11. 2007)

1Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) Profile of France – France's foreign policy. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/discovering-france_2005/profile-of-france_1977/france-foreign-policy_1403.html (4. 11. 2007)



2Wikipedia, the Free Encylopedia (2007) Foreign relations of France. Available on: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Foreign_relations_of_France (2. 11. 2007)

3 Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) Profile of France – France's foreign policy. Available on:

http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/discovering-france_2005/profile-of-france_1977/france-foreign-policy_1403.html (4. 11. 2007)




4 ibidem

5Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) Introduction – France and Europe in Asia. Available on: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files_156/asia_1956/introduction_1957/france-and-europe-in-asia_1350.html?var_recherche=relations+between+france+and+the+world (4. 11. 2007)

6Gallis, Paul (2006) Factors Shaping Foreign Policy, and Issues in U.S.-French Relations. Available on: http://www.ambafrance-us.org/franceus/US_frenchrelations.pdf (5. 11. 2007)

7Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and Russia – Political Relations. Available on: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files_156/russia_399/france-and-russia_3057/political-relations_3617.html (5. 11. 2007)

8L'Ambassade Françaide en Russie (2007) Présentation générale. Available on: http://www.ambafrance.ru/article.php3?id_article=22#sommaire_4 (5. 11. 2007)

9Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and Russia – Economic Relations. Available on: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/country-files_156/russia_399/france-and-russia_3057/economic-relations_3619.html (5. 11. 2007)

10Meunier, Sophie (1999) France, Globalization and global Protectionism. Available on: http://www.ces.fas.harvard.edu/publications/docs/pdfs/Meunier.pdf (4. 11. 2007)

11Globalist, The (2002) France and Globalization by Hubert Védrine – Global Politics. Available on: http://www.theglobalist.com/DBWeb/StoryId.aspx?StoryId=2301 (4. 11. 2007)

12Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and the World – France and the fight against terrorism. Available on: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/discovering-france_2005/france-from-to-z_1978/france-and-the-world_1989/france-and-the-fight-against-terrorism_1475.html (5. 11. 2007)


13Ministère des Affaires Étrangères et Éuropeennes (2007) France and the World – France and European Integration. Available on: http://www.diplomatie.gouv.fr/en/france_159/discovering-france_2005/france-from-to-z_1978/france-and-the-world_1989/france-and-european-integration_1470.html (5. 11. 2007)



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