Lionel Jospin

Lionel Jospin in Europe

Life and Work of Lionel Jospin (1937-)

The Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union describes lionel jospin (1937-) in the following terms: [1] Elected socialist prime minister of France in 1997 under the conservative President Jacques Chirac, Lionel Jospin proclaimed traditional left-wing policies during his campaign, raising the prospect that he would put economic reflation at the top of the political agenda, even if that meant jeopardising France’s participation in EMU. Within weeks of becoming premier, however, he abandoned many of his pre-election pledges and set about reducing France’s budget deficit. Emboldened by successful fiscal consolidation and an economic upturn, Jospin soon reasserted his belief in the single currency, which was duly launched in 1999. As he hit his stride, his authority grew, assisted by a belated fall in unemployment; assisted, too, by the fracturing of the French right. His rhetoric remained socialist (he disdained Prime Minister Tony Blair’s ‘third way’ as too laissez-faire), even as some of his policies swung cautiously to the right. As France prospered again, the prospect was opening up for a credible presidential challenge to the inconsistent Chirac in 2002.

In international affairs, Jospin showed little sense of strategic direction beyond being outspokenly anti-American and an avowed France-first chauvinist. The structural changes posed by the planned enlargement of the EU would in the past have been resolved by concerted Franco-German action. But Jospin’s relationship with Chancellor Gerhard Schroder was poor, as was Chirac’s. Moreover, the influence of Britain had grown, while Romano Prodi’sCommission was less Francophile than that of Jacques Delors and less malleable than that of the recently deposed Jacques Santer. Thus power in the EU was more diffused than anything that Jospin’s predecessors had experienced.


Notas y References

  1. Based on the book “A Concise Encyclopedia of the European Union from Aachen to Zollverein”, by Rodney Leach (Profile Books; London)

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