On November 15, the Brookings Institution welcomed former French Minister of Foreign Affairs Hubert Védrine to deliver the fourth annual Raymond Aron Lecture. Globalization by its very nature erodes national sovereignty. This process represents a particular challenge for France with its proud history of independence. In this lecture, Hubert Védrine, the author of a report commissioned by President Nicolas Sarkozy on the subject in July 2007, explored how France has managed to maintain its sovereignty and its influence in the midst of globalization.
Hubert Védrine was French Minister of Foreign Affairs from 1997 to 2002, as well as diplomatic counselor and spokesman for President François Mitterrand. He is the author of several books on French politics and international affairs including Les Mondes de François Mitterrand (1996), Les Cartes de la France à l’heure de la mondialisation (2000), Face à l’hyperpuissance (2003), and, more recently, Continuer l’Histoire (2007).
The lecture series, named after the legendary scholar of post-war France, features leading French scholars and statesmen speaking on critical issues affecting the transatlantic relationship.
Following Mr. Védrine’s remarks, Center on the United States and Europe Director Daniel Benjamin hosted an audience question and answer session.
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For the first time, [the European Parliament elections] will be fought on European issues, not on national issues. [French President Emmanuel Macron and Italy's governing populists] represent two pure versions of what's going to be offered. [Europe is] now entering a phase where the political fight is in Brussels. It is now a place where you have parties and platforms, and the direction might shift very much if a new party wins.