Analysis of French Culture

975 WordsAug 28, 20124 Pages
French Values and the European Union The development of France as a nation and the French identity has been a complicated and gradual process. Though it is true that France is a country in Western Europe and its inhabitants speak French, there is much more to the definition of France as a nation, society, or culture. France began its development by becoming a civilization, something directly opposed to "barbarism" and, as defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, "the action or proves of civilizing or of being civilized; a developed or advanced state of human society." France then began to develop into a nation, or a modern political institution. Many of its national values are based on Enlightenment philosophers, who said that…show more content…
The EU is a democratic system that has "developed into a single market with the euro as its common currency" ("Basic Information on the European Union"). In short, the EU helps to maintain peace and stability in Europe. For the French, however, the EU can be seen "as a threat to the integrity, uniqueness, and exceptionalism of France" (Lesson 1). Despite this, France does make an effort to compromise and conform to appease the public. For example, in July, French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel met to discuss a budgetary union and show their support of each other. Hollande recognized the "new phase of development" ("France, Germany push for 'more Europe' at memorial"), including the budgetary union that "will open the way to stability, growth, and tighter ties" ("France, Germany push for 'more Europe' at memorial"). These three elements suggest a desire to integrate into the EU, rather than separate. Germany and France are the top two economies of the EU and this meeting strengthened the relationship between the two, allowing for future compromise and accord. The cross-country unity shows an increased enthusiasm for new Europe, or at least an effort to comply. However, at a talk in Brussels, Holland did take the side of Italy and Spain in negotiations, opposing Germany ("France, Germany push for 'more Europe' at memorial") and confirming the goal to maintain exceptionalism while integrating into the new Europe. The
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