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Wednesday, 03 February 2010

Paris applies 'friendly pressure' on French language use

With the Lisbon Treaty in place and recruitment ready to start for the European diplomatic service, France is on a mission to strengthen its "francophone exigency," said former Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin, special envoy on francophony to President Nicolas Sarkozy. On a visit to Brussels last Thursday (14 January), Raffarin said that France would be "gentle, but firm" in achieving a better linguistic balance in the EU institutions. The message was addressed to EU Council President Herman Van Rompuy, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Jerzy Buzek, with whom Raffarin held talks during his one-day visit. The promotion of francophony has geopolitical implications for Europe, Raffarin argued, as the alternative would be a G-2 between the USA and China. Francophony, which in his eyes unites Europe and Africa, has a strategic role to play in this respect, he stressed.

Source: Euractiv