Giscard d’Estaing wants to reboot the European project

Former French President Valery Giscard d'Estaing takes part as a guest speaker in a meeting of the Bundesrat, German upper house of parliament, in Berlin, Friday, 27 May 2005. [EPA/Wolfgang Kumm]

“Re-Imagine Europa” aims to strengthen European economic leadership. At 92, France’s Valery Giscard d’Estaing, who launched a new think-tank in Brussels, regrets the “profound confusion of the EU” caused by the lack of leadership. EURACTIV.fr reports.

Described as a “new research and advocacy vehicle”, the latest think-tank in the Brussels’ bubble has no lack of ambition. It aims to “promote a clearer vision for Europe” and “address 21st-century challenges to Europe’s economic prosperity and social well-being”.

The former Dutch Prime Minister Wim Kok, the General Secretary of the OECD Angel Gurria and the EPP MEP Alain Lamassoure are all part of Re-Imagine Europa’s advisory board, presided over by d’Estaing.

“The current global situation is extremely concerning and we are at a turning point in the history of Europe,” d’Estaing stated in his speech alongside Alain Lamassoure.

He then explained that in the current situation the EU needs to rise as an economic power capable of protecting its citizens and its member states, as well as representing them globally at the same level as China and the US.

“The EU needs to see its interests protected,” Giscard d’Estaing stated.

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D’Estaing who has always presented himself as pro-European laments the fact that the bloc has not moved forward in recent years.

“There was the Treaty of Rome, which as quite technical, then the Maastricht Treaty, the best European treaty. But why did the movement stop? Because of the poor management of the Nice Treaty, it has stripped the representation of big countries like France and Germany, which has created a total lack of leadership, the result being the current reigning confusion.”

According to him, this confusion has led citizens away from the European project and has resulted in a weak representation of the EU at international level.

Nonetheless, he still considers the European project as “one of the most successful and remarkable projects ever”. “The project has some flaws, but it has managed to create peace in a continent ravaged by three military conflicts between France and Germany in less than a hundred years.”

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