Europe, Allemand says, has somehow become isolated from French political life, as if EU issues had artificially been disconnected from national politics when in fact they are so intimately entwined.
In stating this, Allemand quotes a report written by Deputy Michel Herbillon for Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin after the rejection of the draft EU Constitution in May 2005. The report, entitled, 'The European fracture', came to the conclusion that information and communication policies on Europe had obviously failed. It suggested 40 proposals to tackle the situation.
Despite this seeming lack of interest, Allemand observes that each of the main three candidates – Nicolas Sarkozy, Ségolène Royal and François Bayrou – have presented their vision to relaunch European integration in speeches in Brussels and Strasbourg.
He also notes that EU issues have repeatedly appeared in French news with topics such as energy and climate change on top of the agenda. According to Allemand, the forthcoming French EU Presidency in the second half of 2008 - which could see the adoption of a new EU Treaty in time for the European elections the following year - has also contributed to renewed interest.
But Allemand argues that this is probably due more to forthcoming deadlines and a busy news agenda than a real concern for contrasting France's national debates with its European commitments.
Allemand draws up a table comparing EU positions and policy proposals expressed by candidates from the six main political parties in France: Nicolas Sarkozy (UMP, centre-right); Ségolène Royal (Socialists); François Bayrou (UDF, centre); Jean-Marie le Pen (National Front, far-right), Marie-George Buffet (Communists) and Dominique Voynet (Greens).