“France is lacking self-confidence, and with this self-confidence, maybe it can start a dialogue with Germany. If that is not achieved, I think there is little to hope for [the European Union].”
Mario Monti, former Italian Prime Minister (2011-2013) and former EU Commissionner. Project Europe Town Hall in Madrid on February 28, 2014.
“[About the French intervention in CAR] This is the second time in a year that France has courageously taken the lead in a serious crisis. (…)The French response has helped avoid a civil war, perhaps even genocide.”
Herman Van Rompuy (Belgium), President of the European Council. European Summit, December 2013.
“It is only natural that the Eastern part of the continent will become our preoccupation for years to come, because Germans see this as a matter of historical destiny. The most fundamental priority we have is trying to integrate all of Europe. But for France the underlying issue is all about coming to terms with its loss of influence in the world.”
Herr Immo Stabreit, former German Ambassador to France, International Herald Tribune, September 11-12, 1999.
“Of course one can jump up and down yelling Europe ! Europe ! Europe ! But it amounts to nothing and it means nothing.”
Charles de Gaulle, French President (1959-1969). Excerpt from an interview during his presidential campaign, December 1965.
“The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. In taking upon herself for more than 20 years the role of champion of a united Europe, France has always had as her essential aim the service of peace. A united Europe was not achieved and we had war.”
Robert Schuman. French Foreign Affairs Minister. Schuman declaration, May 9, 1950.