Does France need Change?

Dear followers

To the question asked by Judy Dempsey from Carnegie Europe, my answer regarding Europe and Laïcité is:

Whatever the result on May 7, one thing is certain: the French presidential election will be a game changer for Europe. Far-left candidate Jean-Luc Mélenchon and extreme-right contender Marine Le Pen have in common (aside from their pro-Russian stance) that they want to reform current French policies outside the EU treaties. Center-right hopeful François Fillon wants a renewed Europe of nations. Those approaches augur a dangerous protectionist and nationalist change.

Given Britain’s vote to leave the EU and the current political crisis in Europe, this is not the type of change France needs. Instead, the country should reform inside and together with the EU, by committing strongly to the Franco-German relationship and investing in new initiatives that will secure a renewed political consensus in the union.

Societal change is also deeply needed regarding laïcité, one of the key pillars of the French republic. French secularism will remain sustainable as long as it sticks to its tolerance principle and avoids entrenchment. It should not become a nationalist principle that polarizes society and excludes others, but instead should adapt dynamically and enter the era of postsecularism heralded by German sociologist Jürgen Habermas. That is a change being called for by the Socialist candidate Benoît Hamon and, with some nuances, by the front-runner, centrist Emmanuel Macron.

Please read the full publications and other experts’ contributions on Strategic Europe


2 Responses to Does France need Change?

  1. vincent poher says:

    genre la meuf !on va voter pareil, c’est bizarre 🙂 La sociologie est imparable. Bises  Vincent

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