Quebec in Europe: Constraints and Opportunities

By Molinaro, Ines | American Review of Canadian Studies, Summer 2002 | Go to article overview

Quebec in Europe: Constraints and Opportunities


Molinaro, Ines, American Review of Canadian Studies


Introduction

Quebec's contemporary international engagement was launched in the mid-1960s with the Gerin-Lajoie doctrine and the cultivation of Quebec's special relationship with France. (1) The government of Quebec asserted the right to engage in foreign affairs and to negotiate and sign agreements in areas under its jurisdiction with foreign countries. (2) The special relationship with France facilitated Quebec's efforts to exercise these powers within limits set by the government of Canada. Canada is able to restrain Quebec's international ambitions by virtue of its superior diplomatic status and capabilities. Nonetheless, the unique status accorded to Quebec by France and the extensive activities of Quebec internationally are indicative of its ambiguous international standing. (3)

The increasing engagement of noncentral governments in an arena formally conceived to be occupied exclusively by sovereign states is the subject of considerable practical and critical theoretical reflection. Quebec's trajectory on the international scene provides an example of the opportunities and constraints within which "semi-sovereign" states operate. The European context, specifically the evolving integration project of the European community (EU), offers considerable evidence of regions and noncentral governments exploiting opportunities to act autonomously outside their borders. To what degree does the contemporary sovereign state system accommodate the international activities of nonsovereign governments? While noncentral states, regional and local governments, international and transnational organizations occupy a space within the international order, the will and instinct of sovereign states to contain or exploit their activities remains steadfast.

My treatment of Quebec's international activities in Europe since 1995 considers how its status as a semi-sovereign state shapes its objectives and the strategies it can deploy. Quebec's activities are focused primarily on projecting and managing Quebec's image abroad in order to increase trade and investment; secure international exchanges and agreements within areas of its jurisdictions; and promote its unique cultural and political situation through a variety of initiatives. All of these objectives, it must be stressed, are formulated and delivered with an eye to both the domestic--that is, within Quebec and Canada--and the international arenas.

Despite the fact that Western Europe's share of Quebec's international commercial activities has decreased substantially from 22.3 percent in 1980 to 8.8 percent in 2000, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France are Quebec's most important trading partners after the United States. (4) Trade and investment remains the preeminent focus of Quebec's activities in Europe, as it has been for Quebec's international policy generally since the 1980s. Nonetheless, the importance of Europe to Quebec is more than financial and goes beyond the political and cultural advantages that its alliance with the French state permits.

The preeminence of Quebec's relationship with France, though certainly warranted, may lead observers to underestimate the critical importance of its presence and activities in Brussels and London. That special relationship with France is limited, however, and there are more and varied opportunities for Quebec in the evolving project that is the EU. Lander governments, autonomous regions, and regional governments are making concerted efforts to maximize their influence and autonomy within the policy processes of the European Union directly and through their national governments. They are demanding more effective participation in the ongoing construction of the EU and, in some cases, the right to negotiate foreign treaties in areas under their jurisdiction. They offer opportunities for Quebec to forge new partnerships and expand its network of alliances and contacts within Europe. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Quebec in Europe: Constraints and Opportunities
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.