Pursuing national leadership in the Mediterranean: Spanish and French European policy since 1995

Delgado, Mireia
Pursuing national leadership in the Mediterranean: Spanish and French European policy since 1995. Doctor of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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The Mediterranean is a complex area where many interests converge. For long, France has been the leading actor in Euro-Mediterranean policies. However, since the 1990’s, this privileged position has been challenged with the emergence of a ‘new’ member-state with entrepreneurial ambitions: Spain. What kind of entrepreneurial action has been undertaken by France and Spain and under what conditions? To what extent have these two key Mediterranean policy actors been able to collaborate? This thesis analyses the strategies of Paris and Madrid in relation to European foreign policy- making towards the Mediterranean in their attempt to focus more attention on the south. The comparative method adopted in this research presents the role played by France and Spain in projecting their national preferences onto European foreign policy-making towards the Mediterranean. During the Barcelona Process, Madrid played a more significant role than Paris and Spain emerged as an important regional partner with capacity to influence European policy by adopting a collaborative role with other partners and the European Commission, although not without certain contradictions during the different governments of Felipe González, José María Aznar and José Luís Rodríguez Zapatero. France’s role in the Mediterranean, however, has gone through different approaches: the government of Chirac adopted a new regional strategy based on a return to the Arab Policy of France which entailed a reorientation of French strategy with the Barcelona Process becoming a secondary interest. The change of incumbents at the head of the French government again put the focus on the Mediterranean under Sarkozy with a new controversial proposal that, initially, left out the European Union, and represented a new ‘leadership’ style. Although, there has been ‘continuity’ in the different strategies of the Elysée towards the Mediterranean, in the sense that all governments have given great attention to the inland sea, the focus differed greatly under Chirac and Sarkozy. This thesis argues that the Barcelona Process meant the consolidation of a ‘tandemship’ or duo between Paris and Madrid that has gone through different phases from 1995 to nowadays.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy)
Additional Information: Date: 2013-08 (completed)
Uncontrolled Keywords: Mediterranean politics, Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, Barcelona Process, Union for the Mediterranean, Spanish foreign policy, French foreign policy, European foreign policy
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of Histories, Languages and Cultures
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 27 Aug 2014 09:11
Last Modified: 16 Dec 2022 04:42
DOI: 10.17638/00016913
URI: https://livrepository.liverpool.ac.uk/id/eprint/16913