The French people’s poll on May 29 revealed a total lack of confidence in the European project. Giving fresh impetus to Europe is a must. Saying NO to the Treaty does not mean the French have turned their backs on 50 years of European construction, but their dissatisfaction with and doubts about a Europe which cannot placate their worries. The need for a powerful Europe – a source of growth and employment – must be reaffirmed, without ignoring the European identity.
The European model is the social market economy. Renouncing that ideal would mean betraying the European legacy. That’s the reason why France will never agree to see Europe reduced to a simple free trade zone. Our countries are facing hard financial and social tests, namely: a reduction in growth, the increase in international competition, demographic challenges, climate changes and the high cost of oil, a peak in immigration pressures, etc. Europe must provide an answer to all these questions. Our continent must grow strong and to this effect it should strengthen the research field. Germany and France started huge programs in domains of the future such as biotechnology, information technology, and nanotechnology. I suggest broadening this action out to the rest of Europe. It would be necessary to count on what the European Investment Bank could contribute.
Europe must also provide an answer to the social issues brought about by globalization. If we are together, we’ll be stronger against the multinational corporations that set up abroad to obtain short-term profits. We must equally have this common policy ready for both the post-oil world and global warming. France will provide its partners with a memorandum on such topics early next year. The EU must also defend European interests at the WTO. As for the immigration pressures, the answer should also come from Europe as a whole and be accompanied, as requested by France, by an increase in assistance for development.
For the next European Council in December, confidence in a well-functioning Europe will have to be restored by achieving an agreement on the 2007-2013 European budget. France has participated widely in the preparation of a final agreement, which should respect the current commitments. The institutions issue must be given some thought too. The Nice Treaty does not include it. We must work on reforms and create avant-garde groups for those states wishing to progress faster.

Force et solidarité : répondre aux attentes des Européens”, by Jacques Chirac, services de presse de l’Élysée, October 26, 2005. This forum by the President of the French Republic was simultaneously published in all 25 EU countries, largely in the following dailies: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Germany), Le Soir (Belgium), El País (Spain), Le Monde (France), Corriere della Sera (Italy), Rzeczpospolita (Poland), and Financial Times (GB).