The Europeanization of French Foreign Policy: France and the by Reuben Y. Wong (auth.)

By Reuben Y. Wong (auth.)

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20 Along with the US and other Western democracies, France imposed sanctions to “freeze” relations and reduce French diplomatic representation in China. ”21 France also played “the leading role” in cobbling together a list of 10 collective EC sanctions at the EC’s June 1989 Madrid summit, with the 10th (on banning high technology military sales and transfer) added on French insistence (Mengin 1992:48). 22 Encouraged by human rights activists in France, Paris also offered political asylum to the dissident student leaders, gave them a special profile in the bicentennial Bastille Day parade, and allowed them to set up the Federation for Democracy in China, in Paris (Foot 2000:117; Mengin 1992:51–2).

4 The structure of French foreign policy-making is thus significant. The preferred and most important structure is obviously the EU. Evidently, the French are not abandoning national foreign policy autonomy altogether; but they are defending and promoting French interests within the institutions of the EU. French foreign policies are increasingly being defined in the context of EU foreign policy structures where French interests meet with those of other member states’ and collective positions have to be negotiated.

16 c) Human rights French policy-makers often declare that France has a “historic heritage” as “the cradle of human rights”, with a special role in promoting these rights. Some French scholars and statesmen have gone so far as to claim that the 1789 French Declaration of the Rights of Man and the Citizen has served as the main inspiration behind contemporary efforts to enshrine an international human rights regime. French philosophers, diplomats, statesmen and lawyers have been closely involved in the development of the international human rights regime.

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