What is France’s vision for Europe?

Experts explore how the geopolitical environment is changing France’s foreign policy and what this means for Europe.

Members event
26 October 2023 — 6:00PM TO 7:00PM
Chatham House and Online

Over the last few months, France has sought to adopt and implement a series of foreign policy priorities focusing on EU enlargement, relations with Central and Eastern Europe, and an overhaul of the European security infrastructure.

Not least in the wake of President Macron’s influential Bratislava speech in May, many observers have noted a deliberate shift in the force with which France is willing to assert Europe on the international scene. France has advanced its vision of ‘European Strategic Autonomy’, how to address the threat of Russian aggression and how to answer the growing US-China rivalry. Yet it must navigate Euroscepticism at home while nurturing its relations with its neighbours, starting with Germany.

The panel will discuss the goals and scope of France’s recent European policy initiative, as well as its prospects given current economic and geopolitical circumstances on the continent.

Key questions:

  • How does France plan to advance its vision of EU strategic sovereignty? What shifts in its approach to EU enlargement can we expect following Macron’s Bratislava speech?
  • What steps is France taking to bolster its partnership with Germany? How does this impact broader EU policies and initiatives?
  • How can France redefine the concept of ‘European strategic autonomy’ to address current European security challenges? What implications does this have for NATO, EU defence cooperation and the question of Ukraine’s membership?
  • What are the main takeaways and future prospects for UK-France relations since the March 2023 Summit? How does this impact bilateral cooperation and broader EU-UK relations?

As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.

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