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France: Europe no longer heads its priorities

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French foreign policy is focusing most of its energies on global issues .

In recent months, the EU members’ attention has been captured by the Greek and migration crises, with consequences on relations between states, European capitals and on the European system itself. On one side are countries like Germany, the Baltic and eastern states, representing strong demands; on the other are less exposed positions, such as that of France.

Looking at French foreign policy in 2015, on the European level Paris has mediated between German rigor and flexibility; on a global scale, it has focused on privileged bilateral relations.

The economic crisis has in part prompted the latter. While Hollande strengthened relations with Beijing in 2014 to the detriment of human rights violations, in 2015 European media have often commented on French proximity to the Persian Gulf states. This has led France to move gradually away from the European decisional centre, in line with 2014 and the analysis in the “Scorecard”. 

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