Chirac's Gaullism: Why France Has Become The Driving Force Behind An Autonomous European Defence
Chirac's Gaullism: Why France Has Become The Driving Force Behind An Autonomous European Defence Policy. The author analyses Chirac?s European defence policy and how it fits into the Gaullist tradition. He starts in Part I by sketching the original Gaullism of General De Gaulle which is based on four pillars: a national industrial policy, an independent foreign policy, the possession of a French nuclear deterrent and the ambition to build an independent European defence. De Gaulle?s efforts in the last realm, however, were blocked by the US and its European NATO allies. In Part II the author analyses the non-Gaullist interregnum between 1974 ? 1995. President Giscard d?Estaing jeopardised the Gaullist legacy in seeking a rapprochement with the US, but President François Mitterrand, on the contrary, became ? against all expectations ? a ?Socialist Gaullist?and it was he who came close to realising one of De Gaulle?s objectives by creating the multinational Eurocorps. In Part III the author analyses Chirac?s ? highly volatile ? policies. He distinguishes no less than six(!) different, and often contradictory, phases in Chirac?s European defence policy. Despite the inevitable failures, some successes, however, have been booked ? especially after the Saint-Malo summit with Tony Blair. But much of the final outcome will depend on how Chirac in the final years of his Presidency will succeed the balancing act between the EU-25, the (weakened) French-German tandem and the ?Big Three?. By Marcel H. van Herpen.
By Cicero Foundation, Netherlands, France, EU.