France in Africa: from paternalism to pragmatism

FRIDE The changing nature of France-Africa relations is key in light of the Africa-European Union Summit in November 2010.

When President Sarkozy arrived at the Elysée in 2007, he vowed to change France’s relationship with its former colonies and put an end to Françafrique. France is slowly adopting more pragmatic policies in Africa, but the country’s reluctance to let go of the past has impeded a truly European perspective on African security affairs.

This Policy Brief argues that France could channel its Africa policies more systematically through the European Union, improving credibility and outreach. But the EU and its member states have yet to influence French policy so that it contributes to more European positions in Africa.

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