Mitterrand's canonisation as a great European statesman in the 1988 presidential campaign reflected the extent of his achievement in the sphere of European policy in the preceding seven years. Most observers agreed that Mitterrand's political career had been characterised by a consistent espousal of the cause of European integration. It would be futile to deny the sincerity of his European engagement, but it is clear that Europe was viewed by Mitterrand in gallic tradition, where French interests were regarded as inseparable from those of Europe itself. Europe was perceived as a surrogate nation-state, the vehicle through which the French genius could manifest itself, for the benefit of the other peoples of Europe. To this extent at least, de Gaulle's and Mitterrand's views of Europe were shaped by a common patrimony.