Chirac calls for stronger Europeto counter US power

5th November 2004, Comments 0 comments

BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said Friday that Europe should bolster its united power on the world stage, in the face of a strong United States reinforced by the re-election of President George W. Bush.

BRUSSELS, Nov 5 (AFP) - French President Jacques Chirac said Friday that Europe should bolster its united power on the world stage, in the face of a strong United States reinforced by the re-election of President George W. Bush.

"Europe today has more than ever the need to strengthen itself, to reinforce its unity and its dynamism," Chirac told reporters on the second day of a European Union summit here.

"It is obvious that the assertion of strong American policy leads [us] quite naturally to reinforce Europe on political and economic fronts," he said.

Chirac, the main opponent of last year's US-led war on Iraq, has long argued for a multipolar world rather than allowing a single world superpower to remain after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

On the economic front, the two-day EU summit debated the so-called Lisbon agenda, a flagging plan by Europe to overtake the United States as the world's "most dynamic" economy by 2010.

The French leader said that politically, the EU's new constitution signed a week ago in Rome must enable Europe to bolster its unity "in the face of large powers in the world, existing or in the future".

Chirac also downplayed the significance of opinion polls showing negative public reaction to Bush's re-election. "I don't think that the French have cause for concern," he said.

The French president on Wednesday congratulated Bush on his re-election, saying he hoped the two would seize the chance to breathe new life into strained Franco-US relations.

© AFP

Subject: French News

0 Comments To This Article