Sitemap

Comment

From Big Talk To Bold Action

The areas in which the French presidency lived up to its own expectations the most, but also those of its European partners and the wider community, remain to be seen. Indeed, many things were served on the presidency’s plate, each of which was deemed as being of outmost importance to the future of Europe

The French presidency of the Council of the European Union has just ended, leaving us to ponder its effects. The six-month rotating role is usually one of highly concerted activity with other EU members, and not just those holding the presidency together in groups of three – in this case France, Czechia and Sweden. The Presidency of the Council involves a highly structured set of steps that are set in advance and planned thoroughly, in this case being established and premediated in 2019. Yet there is always space for members to convey their own priorities and respond to new challenges. Larger and older members dare to have a political vision for Europe.

In this respect, this latest French Presidency arrived during times when a vision of Europe was in high demand. At the beginning of 2022, the EU had already been hit hard by the pandemic, and was preparing to adapt swiftly to the global changes, energy crisis, disruption to global value chains and inflation, followed and further exacerbated by the Ukraine war. By the same token, France was preparing for a major political event in the form of April’s presidential election, followed by June’s legislative elections. President Emmanuel Macron focused strongly on the French Presidency of the Council, or more precisely on his vision for Europe, as an election ticket, which was first communicated in his 2017 speech at the Sorbonne.

Each Presidency is responsible for planning and chairing numerous events, including both formal and informal meetings in Brussels, representing the Council in relations with other EU institutions, in particular the Commission and the Parliament, and above all assuring that legislative work is undertaken in a timely and efficient manner. In the case of France, this highly technical but also politically charged task was wrapped up in three messages: a more sovereign Europe, a new European growth model, and a humane Europe aimed at leaving a strong political mark on the development of the Union.

The French agenda was packed with important topics, such the economic adjustment to technological, climatic and geo-economic challenges, the acceleration of climate and digital transitions, and security and defence

The setup of the Presidency provides the possibility for such action: the country that holds the presidency plays a major role in the preparation of European Council meetings, giving it an exceptional opportunity to involve itself in major diplomacy efforts or those related to top security issues through the Political and Security Committee, which it chairs.

Indeed, all three aspects came to the fore during the last six months. The French Presidency conveyed the message that Europe has to be understood as being fully sovereign, free to make its own choices and master its destiny in many areas, including economic self-sufficiency and particularly in domains of complex technologies, in terms of security and defence, and environmental protection.

Somewhat cynically, the current unprecedented energy crisis has prompted many to hark back to the beginnings of the EU, which arose on the pooling of coal and steel, as inspiration for a fresh start. And yet, one has to bear in mind that today’s global circumstances are very different and certainly much more complex, thus making it harder to draw conclusions on the effects of the French presidency.

Related Articles

EU Governments: Recommendations On How To Save Energy

After it was published in the EU's official administrative gazette, the European Union's plan to reduce gas consumption came into force across Europe and...

Notre Dame Cathedral To Re-open In 2024

Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris should be reopened to the public in 2024, French Culture Minister Roma Abdul Malak said. According to Reuters, Abdul Malak...

Embassy Of France Marks National Day

Ambassador of France H.E. Pierre Cauchard said at the reception on the occasion of the National Day on 14 July that the French-Serbian friendship...

National Day Speech Given By The French Ambassador Pierre Cochard

Read the special edition France Business Partner

H.E. Pierre Cochard, Ambassador Of France To Serbia

France Favours Swift EU Accession For Western Balkans

The European political community is by no means an alternative to European Union membership. Its aim is to set up an area of solidarity...

Dragan Stokić, President Of The French-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

We Respond To Challenges With Enthusiasm And Hard Work

Despite the crisis, we remain optimistic, and we believe we can continue to work on bringing french companies to Serbia. Despite the challenges, we...

Sanja Ivanić, General Director Of The French-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

Our Door Is Always Open

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, and the supply chains difficulties it brought, we have been working actively to inform French companies that...

Veljko Stojanović, Director, Atalian Global Services Serbia

Quality Goes Without Saying

Atalian Serbia is part of a large multinational with more than 131,000 staff in 36 countries that's capable of providing top services in Facility...

More...

H.E. Pierre Cochard, Ambassador Of France To Serbia

France Favours Swift EU Accession For Western Balkans

The European political community is by no means an alternative to European Union membership. Its aim is to set up an area of solidarity...

Dragan Stokić, President Of The French-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

We Respond To Challenges With Enthusiasm And Hard Work

Despite the crisis, we remain optimistic, and we believe we can continue to work on bringing french companies to Serbia. Despite the challenges, we...

Sanja Ivanić, General Director Of The French-Serbian Chamber Of Commerce

Our Door Is Always Open

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, and the supply chains difficulties it brought, we have been working actively to inform French companies that...

Veljko Stojanović, Director, Atalian Global Services Serbia

Quality Goes Without Saying

Atalian Serbia is part of a large multinational with more than 131,000 staff in 36 countries that's capable of providing top services in Facility...

News

Ambassador Of Japan Attends Ceremony Of The First Toyo Tires Delivery Manufactured In Indjija

Ambassador of Japan H.E. Katsumata attended the ceremony organized by the company Toyo Tires Serbia on the occasion of...

Ambassador Christopher Hill: We Want Serbia As Friend And Ally

The Ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, H.E. Christopher Hill, answered the questions that citizens asked...

Swiss Army Airlifts Water To Thirsty Animals In Alpine Meadows

Swiss Army helicopters have been deployed to deliver water to thousands of thirsty farm animals during the hot summer. A...

Record Number Of Serbian Tourists Vacation In Croatia

This year the number of guests from Serbia spending their summer vacationing in Croatia is 60 percent higher than...

Ambassador Giorgos Diakofotakis: Greece is not changing its position, will not recognize Kosovo

Greece is not changing its position and will not recognize Kosovo, says Greek Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Giorgos Diakofotakis...

Ambassador Christopher Hill: We Want Serbia As Friend And Ally

The Ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, H.E. Christopher Hill, answered the questions that citizens asked...

Swiss Army Airlifts Water To Thirsty Animals In Alpine Meadows

Swiss Army helicopters have been deployed to deliver water to thousands of thirsty farm animals during the hot summer. A...

Record Number Of Serbian Tourists Vacation In Croatia

This year the number of guests from Serbia spending their summer vacationing in Croatia is 60 percent higher than...

Ambassador Giorgos Diakofotakis: Greece is not changing its position, will not recognize Kosovo

Greece is not changing its position and will not recognize Kosovo, says Greek Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Giorgos Diakofotakis...

Serbia Exported 30,000 Tons Of Ice Cream Worth 63.5 Million Euros

Last year, 30,000 tons of ice cream worth 63.5 million euros were exported from Serbia, mostly to countries in...

Ambassador Christopher Hill: We Want Serbia As Friend And Ally

The Ambassador of the United States of America in Belgrade, H.E. Christopher Hill, answered the questions that citizens asked...

Swiss Army Airlifts Water To Thirsty Animals In Alpine Meadows

Swiss Army helicopters have been deployed to deliver water to thousands of thirsty farm animals during the hot summer. A...

Record Number Of Serbian Tourists Vacation In Croatia

This year the number of guests from Serbia spending their summer vacationing in Croatia is 60 percent higher than...

Ambassador Giorgos Diakofotakis: Greece is not changing its position, will not recognize Kosovo

Greece is not changing its position and will not recognize Kosovo, says Greek Ambassador to Serbia H.E. Giorgos Diakofotakis...

Serbia Exported 30,000 Tons Of Ice Cream Worth 63.5 Million Euros

Last year, 30,000 tons of ice cream worth 63.5 million euros were exported from Serbia, mostly to countries in...