Another French folly


France has made some amazingly bad foreign policy choices, based on its desire to remain a major world power. Aligning itself with the Arabs, encouraging Muslim immigration, and seeking to dominate the European Union to its own selfish advantage come to mind, considering just the last few decades.

The last of these policies is now proving to be based on the faulty assumption that the rest of the EU would willingly be a dormat for France in perpetuity. For practically forever, French bureaucrats have dominated the EU's policy organs. However, there is a new EU aborning, with a vastly larger membership able to vote on these matters.

According to the Telegraph (U.K.):

British bureaucrats are racking up one success after another in securing coveted posts in the new European Commission to the chagrin of the French, who have traditionally dominated it.

Admired for a no—nonsense style, British fonctionnaires have secured a high profile as chiefs of staff in the team put together by Jos Barroso, the commission president.

The quiet summer coup by the British has set off a fresh bout of soul—searching in Paris, where angst over lost influence at the heart of the European Union has become a part of daily discourse.

It may not have occured to the French, mesmerized as they are by their gloire, that the nations of New Europe, in particular, may not conceive of themselves playing a supporting role to France, a nation showing obvious signs of decline, while manifesting its tradition hauteur.

The British—led "counter—revolution" in Brussels has been gathering pace with the arrival of the Austrians, Swedes and Finns over the past decade, but it has now shifted into a higher gear after the "Big Bang" enlargement of the former communist states in Eastern Europe.

Say what you will about the Brits, they have an admirable tradition of "fair play" which is vastly more appealing to many than the double—dealing self—interestedness of the French.

Posted by Thomas  8 28 04