French Policies toward Central Eastern Europe: Not a Foreign Policy Priority, but a Real Presence
Berlin : Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik
DGAPanalyse : 11
The study maps the political, economic, and cultural relations between France and the Central Eastern European countries ten years after the EU’s 2004 eastern enlargement. It shows that, although France has not officially or explicitly elevated the region to the status of a foreign policy priority, there is a real French presence in the region. As a general rule, France has been prioritizing the development of relations with the biggest Central Eastern European countries (and markets) and with the most francophone ones. The paper illustrates this by analyzing France’s recent investment in its bilateral relationship with Poland. This relationship has witnessed significant developments—first and foremost in the field of defense and security—and bears great potential. The paper concludes by discussing what the ongoing Franco-Polish rapprochement means for the Weimar Triangle dynamic and for EU foreign policy, in particular in the context of the Ukraine crisis.