Europe and Europeanisation
DOI link for Europe and Europeanisation
Europe and Europeanisation book
This chapter provides a historical overview of France's relationship with the European Union, as informed primarily by the experience of the presidents of the Fifth Republic. It addresses the theme of the Europeanisation of the French polity. France has always believed in a European finality, though there have been many contradictions in the French vision of Europe. However, France has been powerless to prevent successive widenings of the EU, most notably that of 1995, which introduced Sweden, Austria and Finland to the European club, and that of 2004, which added a further twelve members. The French vision of grandeur Europe as an extension of France would be meaningless without a stronger EU, if necessary one in which the French could occasionally be placed in a minority. The development of the EU has challenged the policy style and political capacity of existing institutional actors. The Maastricht Treaty represented an important staging post of Europeanisation in several respects.