Le retour de la France en Europe… à quelles conditions ?

Aussitôt élu président de la République française, Nicolas Sarkozy a déclaré que son arrivée marquait le retour de son pays en Europe. Depuis, il s'est lancé dans la bagarre politique européenne. Son énergie, combinée avec les qualités de négociatrice de la chancelière allemande Angela Merkel, a permis de surmonter l'antagonisme à l'égard du nouveau traité pour l'Europe que les dirigeants européns viennent de ratifier à Lisbonne, ce qui a remis l'UE sur les rails après deux ans d'indécision catastrophique. Mais ce succès ne traduit qu'un retour partiel de la France en Europe. Les Français doivent encore réexaminer leur attitude ambiguë à l'égard de l'Europe, qui caractérise leur politique depuis des décennies.

Depuis un demi-siècle, on observe en France deux approches radicalement différentes à l'égard de l'Europe. Une partie de l'échiquier politique attache beaucoup d'importance à l'Europe et considère que l'intérêt national converge inexorablement avec celui de l'UE, tandis que pour les gaullistes, l'UE n'est qu'un outil de démultiplication de la puissance au service de l'intérêt national.

Plutôt que de se servir de l'Europe pour diffuser ses idées à travers le continent, la France doit développer une véritable culture de partage du pouvoir et du compromis. Une transformation aussi radicale aura de profondes répercussions dans un grand nombre de domaines, qu'il s'agisse de problèmes intérieurs européens, d'économie, de politique étrangère ou du rôle de l'Europe dans le monde.

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