2007-12-26 05:10:43 xinhuanet
PARIS, Dec. 26 (Xinhua) -- French President Nicolas Sarkozy has introduced some new changes to France's foreign policy, characterized by "straightforwardness" and "pragmatism" - phrases frequently used in his diplomatic encounters since he assumed office in May.
Be aware that France's future is closely linked with that of the European Union (EU), Sarkozy is convinced that his country's hopes to play a greater role on the world stage would come to little without the backing of a strengthened EU.
Sarkozy devoted much of his efforts to promote integration of the 27-nation bloc. On the very day he was sworn in as president, he traveled to Germany, also a EU power, to enlist Berlin's support for efforts to convince other EU countries to accept a revised EU treaty.
His effort paid off when all EU members passed the EU reform treaty in Portugal's Lisbon on Oct. 19, bringing an end to six years of debate and the two-year old constitutional crisis.
And eager to make the best of the country's upcoming EU presidency in the second half of 2008, Paris wants to give full play to its EU leadership role. Intense preparations are under way, with the president instructing all government departments to set EU-related work as a top priority, with the focus on energy, the environment, immigration and European security mechanisms.