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Analysis Of French Culture

992 words - 4 pages

French Values and the European Union
The development of France as a nation and the French identity has been a complicated and gradual process. Though it is true that France is a country in Western Europe and its inhabitants speak French, there is much more to the definition of France as a nation, society, or culture. France began its development by becoming a civilization, something directly opposed to "barbarism" and, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, "the action or proves of civilizing or of being civilized; a developed or advanced state of human society." France then began to develop into a nation, or a modern political institution. Many of its national values are based on ...view middle of the document...

The second aspect of the article is France's response to the European Commission's request. France was overall unresponsive – as the deadline neared, they had not prepared the required information. This attitude suggests French skepticism about the EU and its role. Because it is "the right of every EU citizen to free movement within the Union" ("France Handed Ultimatum in Roma Row"), and France has opposed this, it shows the resistance to a new Europe with open borders.
The French national identity, or "the 'spirit' that binds a people together" (Lesson 1), has specific root in the above values and the French language, which explains the apprehension toward succumbing to an English speaking European Union. According to Jenkins, France believes it "has an exemplary, universal role as a civilizing force, that its aspirations are those of humanity at large" (Lesson 1). An attitude as such explains the self righteousness of the French in the expulsions of the Roma people. This also explains the French tendency towards separation. Though France is a member of the EU, actions like the above embody the resistance to universality, including free movement amount EU nations. France wants French people to benefit from the "high degree of social welfare," "greater liberty and freedom," and "more tolerant and open sphere" (Lesson 1) because of its moral history.
France, and the other 26 countries in the European Union, has its own role in the Union. Each country provides economic and political partnership with the other members with the goal of fostering cooperation. The EU is a democratic system that has "developed into a single market with the euro as its common currency" ("Basic Information on the European Union"). In short, the EU helps to maintain peace and stability in Europe. For the French, however, the EU can be seen "as a threat to the integrity, uniqueness, and exceptionalism of France" (Lesson 1). Despite this, France does make an effort to compromise and conform to appease the public. For example, in July, French President Francois Hollande and German...

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