European and French flags
15 June 2017

France’s method of working on European issues

In a statement to the Council of Ministers, the Prime Minister, the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs and the Minister for European Affairs presented the method of working adopted by France with regard to Europe.
Negotiations which are vitally important for this country, especially trade and economic negotiations, are taking place at European Union (EU) level. France must take part in all these talks, both with conviction and with method.

Thorough preparation for the negotiations

Preparations for the European negotiations are made well in advance. This entails:
  • approaching the negotiations in consultation with the various European stakeholders and all of France’s partners;
  • treating the consultations held by the institutions before each proposal as key policy drivers for directing European work to best serve France’s objectives and values.
Defining the guidelines for the European negotiations hinges on interministerial work to ensure the coherence of French positions and of France’s action in Europe.
The negotiations are not over once the Member States have reached a position: the European Parliament plays an essential political and democratic role that must be fully taken into account. France’s presence in all European institutions is therefore an ongoing priority.

Correct transposition of texts adopted in French law

The correct transposition of adopted texts is a political as well as a legal issue. Transposition that is effectively carried out, within the required time, makes it possible to:
  • show that commonly adopted rules are applied;
  • operate within a stable and predictable legal framework;
  • eliminate the risk of litigation that is detrimental to the country.
The incorporation of Community provisions in the French legal system must avoid any over- transposition, a factor which leads to an administrative burden for citizens and businesses, as well as to financial expense and mistrust of the EU.
Europe is a structure founded on balance: the Government’s action must allow France’s influence to be maximised so that the consensus reached is as close to its own positions as possible. It is therefore vital to resist the futile temptation to make a scapegoat of the European institutions, as the EU is not imposed from above.

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