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Assignment: NATO’s Integrated Military

Assignment: NATO’s Integrated Military

Assignment: NATO’s Integrated Military

NOW FOR AN ORIGINAL PAPER ASSIGNMENT: Assignment: NATO’s Integrated Military

President Sarkozy sought to repair France’s strained relations with Washington and London. France rejoined NATO’s integrated military structure in 2009 after a forty-year absence. In November 2010, Britain and France signed a landmark fifty-year treaty on defense and security, envisaging the joint use of aircraft carriers, a 10,000-strong joint expeditionary force, and unprecedented levels of collaboration on nuclear missiles. Whether this new look in French foreign policy will survive now that Sarkozy has left the scene only time will tell.

The Constitutional Council is composed of nine justices—three nominated by the president of the republic, three by the president of the National Assembly, and three by the president of the Senate—plus all the past presidents of the republic. This judicial watchdog plays several vital roles in the French system. It supervises presidential elections and can investigate and resolve contested legislative races. Under certain conditions, it can also render opinions on laws and the constitution. The cases that come before the council deal with political issues brought by either the president of the republic, the prime minister, the two presidents of the legislature, or at least sixty members of the National Assembly or the Senate.

The Balance Sheet

From the social and political upheavals of the late eighteenth century to the launching of the Fifth Republic in 1958, France’s quest for national unity and constitutional democracy was troubled and turbulent, but in the past half-century it has enjoyed the most stable government for the longest period since the French Revolution. This political system has proven to be more durable and adaptable than its predecessors, but the nation now faces big problems and avoiding unpopular solutions is not an option for Hollande’s Socialist government.

Of course, France is not alone in facing many daunting challenges that call for creative policy responses. Europe is struggling, which only complicates matter for any country on the continent trying dig out of a deep hole. The big question now is whether the dirigiste (state-directed) French economic model is sustainable without dismantling the entrenched welfare state—a move almost certain to have profoundly destabilizing effects on a society accustomed to benefits its government can no longer afford.

Ideas and Politics Hollande: Stimulate This …