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A New Socialist President in the Elysée: Continuity and Change in French EU Politics

Abstract : In May 2012, France elected a new president of the Republic and a new parliament. The socialist candidate François Hollande won the presidential election with a majority of 51 per cent against the right-wing incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy. For the first time in the history of the Fifth Republic, the Parti Socialiste won both the presidency of the Republic and the majority of the seats at both the National Assembly and the Senate. The Party also controls the executives of all the French regions, except one (Alsace) and some major cities (Paris, Lyon, Nantes, Strasbourg). François Hollande's main task is to reform a French economy that has to contend with a large public deficit, a low rate of growth and a high rate of unemployment. These domestic economic challenges give rise to domestic debates closely connected to other debates on the relationship with Germany, the future of the EU and especially of the eurozone. Coming from a political party strongly divided on EU issues, what is the new French president's policy with regard to Europe? This article begins by recapitulating the fundamentals of France's EU politics that create a path dependency for any newly elected president. It analyzes the connections between the economic challenges the new president has to cope with and the EU debates. Finally, it analyzes the role President Hollande and the socialist government are prepared to play within the EU foreign and security framework...
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Submitted on : Sunday, October 24, 2021 - 2:45:47 AM
Last modification on : Tuesday, January 18, 2022 - 11:42:04 AM

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Christian Lequesne. A New Socialist President in the Elysée: Continuity and Change in French EU Politics. Journal of Common Market Studies, Wiley, 2013, 51 (Issue supplement S1), pp.42 - 54. ⟨10.1111/jcms.12040⟩. ⟨hal-03399471⟩

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