Chirac Spurns `Divisive' German Vision of European Federation
Lichfield, John, The Independent (London, England)
PRESIDENT JACQUES Chirac said yesterday the German Foreign Minister's vision of a federal Europe was "abstract", premature and divisive.
Mr Chirac was giving the first lengthy and official French response to Joschka Fischer's call earlier this month for a small group of EU countries to move, over many years, towards a federation with one parliament and one president.
Apparently speaking not just for himself but for both halves of the divided French government, Mr Chirac said France preferred to build European unity through the development of specific policies, such as defence and the single currency. To "try to define Europe in an abstract manner" would be "fruitless" and divisive, he said. Some form of more united Europe might well emerge during the 21st century but it could not be imposed from above. The people of the Continent must first achieve and "forcibly display a sense of European identity".
Mr Chirac's words, in a speech on European security policy, will provide some domestic relief for the British government. The German Foreign Minister's comments had been seized upon by the British Eurosceptic press and the …
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Publication information: Article title: Chirac Spurns `Divisive' German Vision of European Federation. Contributors: Lichfield, John - Author. Newspaper title: The Independent (London, England). Publication date: May 31, 2000. Page number: 18. © 2009 The Independent - London. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.
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