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Outline - issues in French Foreign Policy under Francois Mitterrand

Francois Mitterrand was President of France from 1981-1995, a time of great historical changes - including the dissolution of the Soviet Union and the strengthening of European integration.

His foreign policy record is mixed and this outline provides students with a possible highlight/lowlight starting point from which to conduct research into an enigmatic French politician. This outline formed the basis of the author's class presentation on this topic for the course "1979-1995, the End of the Cold War Era" at the London School of Economics in 2002-2003.

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I.The Legacy of Charles de Gaulle and the "rank of France"

A.Independent Nuclear Force
B.Stormy relations with US/NATO
C.Europe as a community of nation-states
D.Courting of Francophone Africa and the Third World
E.Pro-Arab sentiment


A.EC integration to promote French interests
1.Single Currency rather than weak franc in D-Zone
2.ECB preferable to Bundesbank setting policy
3.Anchor Germany to Europe and West, esp. after unification
4.Gives France a leadership role through Franco-German Axis

B.Mitterrand as European Statesman
1.Europe as a priority, EMU as centerpiece of 2nd ...