The French have thus added their thoughts to the ongoing debate about the future of the EU to those already expressed by Tony Blair in Poland last year, by Gerhard Schroeder earlier this month and by the Commission president Romano Prodi yesterday. The next major intergovernmental meeting on the structure and broad policy objectives of the EU is not due to be held until 2004 but we can expect many ideas to be floated and discussed in the interim. These should all be welcomed and weighed as contributions to the shaping and development of one of the most exciting ventures the world has seen in creating an association of likeminded states with common interests.
There were some excellent formulations in Lionel Jospin's speech, for instance: Like many other ardent Europeans, I want Europe but my nation remains important to me. My preferred policy would consist in building Europe without unbuilding France or any of the other European nations. And: Europe must be a factor of equilibrium in international relations. It does not want to be a dominant power but it can use its power to serve its values.
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