French EU Pessimism: EuropaNova President’s Analysis

“The European Union reminds us every time that we are no longer a superpower, while our entire national discourse, whatever the parties, is oriented around French power. So this creates a sort of phenomenon of cognitive dissonance,” explains Wednesday April 17 on franceinfo Guillaume Klossa, president of the EuropaNova think tank, while a Eurobarometer survey, published Wednesday, reveals that the French are the only Europeans where optimists are in the minority (42%), overtaken by pessimists (52% ), about the future of the EU, two months before the elections.

“On the one hand, the French are maintained by their leaders and by political parties in the idea that we remain a great power, and all the weak signals that we receive from the world give us contrary indications,” adds Guillaume Klossa. In addition to this “structural” phenomenon, there is a “cyclical” phenomenon, he explains: “the first debates which took place with the candidates are not exciting, they are quite technical”. “We have rather very young candidates, who have little European history, other than experience in the European Parliament,” illustrates Guillaume Klossa.

The president of EuropaNova also highlights the “anxieties” linked to “the transformation of the world, with the structural decline of Europe”. “The subject is, can the European Union transform itself into a global power?” “The war in Ukraine, the war in the Middle East, but the vaccine too”, and “Brexit which has shown its failure” “reshuffle the cards”, he says. “Ultimately, what do the French want? It is for Europe to be able to act to protect them, and to give them perspectives,” he concludes.

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