Sarkozy's French paradox
Are Nicolas Sarkozy's foreign policies all bubbles and no fizz?
Last Modified: 28 May 2009 13:58 GMT

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France is a country that appears split on many levels.

This month's guests

Edwy Plenel
Director, Mediapart.fr

Anne Marie Le Gloannec
Director, Institut d'Etudes Politiques

Christopher Dickey
Paris bureau chief, Newsweek

Eric Chevallier
Adviser, Ministry of foreign affairs

In foreign policy terms it is a country torn between its imperial past and its integration into the European Union and between its pretentions as a key player on the world stage and its increasingly modest means.

Economically there is apprently insurmountable divisions between France's strong and united trade unions and its laissez-faire president.
Nicolas Sarkozy is moving to change France’s role on the world stage, but two years after taking office some analysts say his "champagne" tactics are all bubbles, but no fizz.
His attempts at peace-making during the conflict between Georgia and Russia, establishing a new Mediterranean partnership, his high-level meeting with the Dalai Lama, and ordering French naval patrols along the shores of Gaza, have produced little or no impact.


More on the show

France is moving closer to the US and truly committing to the NATO alliance at a moment when Sarkozy's popularity at home has dipped.
Empire looks at the different views on Sarkozy's take on French foreign policy and reviews the scope of La Francophonie and how it's coping with the spread of the English language.

We also examine whether neo-conservatism has translated into French and look at the direction of French foreign policy and asks where it will go next.

The latest edition of Empire will be shown from Wednesday May 27 and can be seen at the following times GMT: Wednesday 1900; Thursday 0300 and 1400; Friday 0600

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