The European Union is a daring undertaking: a political and economic union of dozens of independent states that have fought each other more than cooperated in the past. As the EU works to absorb new members, manage the aspirations of applicant states, and simultaneously make its institutions more effective, its future is clouded by recent “no” votes in Ireland, France, and the Netherlands. American interests are also at stake, amidst calls for a new European defense and security pact and the dramatic strengthening of the euro against the dollar. How should the United States interpret the EU's policies and the rise of its currency in global markets? Will the EU overcome its current political stalemate, can integration continue, and will the EU form a new political model appropriate for other world regions? Senator Jean François-Poncet explores the obstacles confronting Europe and its partners, suggesting that while the chosen path forward is fraught with difficulty, it leads to a future well worth pursuing.
Jean François-Poncet served as French minister of foreign affairs from 1978-1981. He is currently a member of the French Senate and president of the Senatorial Committee on Regional Planning. He has also served as president of the Senate Economic Committee. From 1958-1961, he was secretary general of the French delegation negotiating the Common Market and Euratom treaties. François-Poncet earned his B.A. from Wesleyan University, his M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and his Ph.D. in economics from the Paris Law School. He is a graduate of the Ecole Nationale d'Administration.
Recorded Wednesday, November 12, 2008 at InterContinental Hotel.