Éditoriaux Défense Sécurité Terrorisme Zones de conflits Logistique Livres de référence Liens
Terre Air Mer Gendarmerie Renseignement Infoguerre Cyber Recherche

We Can Choose Between Caricaturing Our Differences or Consolidate and Deepen Our Alliance

We Can Choose Between Caricaturing Our Differences or Consolidate and Deepen Our Alliance

Speech by French President Jacques Chirac at the Palace of Westminster. London, United Kingdom, Thursday, November 18, 2004. Source: Élysée  Palace, Paris and French Embassy, London.

  • Lord Chancellor,

  • Speaker,

  • President of the French Senate,

  • President of the French National Assembly,

  • Members of the British and French Parliaments,

Thank you for your words of welcome and friendship. This is the second time I have had the occasion to visit the Palace of Westminster, the heart of your great democracy, to meet with the representatives of the British people.

Great Britain and France are two ancient nations, and their institutions, their identities, and their ways of approaching the world are the outcome of a history dating back a thousand years and more. Their histories are distinct, yet they are twins. Our two countries have fought together many times in the past, yet they have also borrowed much from each other. They have long shared a common attachment to democracy, to sovereignty, and to the rule of law. And they stood together in the darkest hour of their history in defence of that commitment against barbarity. They continue to defend it together today, in the service of an exalted and historic enterprise, the construction of Europe.

When our two countries together signed the documents that formed the basis of the Entente cordiale, a hundred years ago, the European Union in its present form was assuredly inconceivable. But, fifty years later, the vision that inspired King Edward VII, Lord Lansdowne, Paul Cambon and Théophile Delcassé guided the founding fathers of modern Europe. Their idea, so simple and bold, of an "Entente permanente", has become a reality between our two countries, a reality sealed in the "blood and tears" of two world conflicts. Since then, it has also become a reality between the Member States of our Union, a reality that is the bedrock of peace and is now helping democracy to put down roots throughout the continent of Europe.

Today these visionary inspirations, the Entente cordiale and the European Union, are coming together.

  • Europe needs a strong partnership between the United Kingdom and France.

A partnership for a stronger, safer, fairer Europe, one in which all citizens can find a response to the collective challenges facing us.

A partnership that is already taking shape with the common commitment of our troops in the Balkans and Afghanistan; with our common concern to promote a Europe that is more competitive and more ambitious in the field of research and innovation. A Europe committed to its social model and resolved to encourage sustainable development across our planet. Together with Africa, this will be a priority of Britain’s Presidency of the G8, and it can count on our support.

The United Kingdom and France share a common destiny in a Europe respectful of its constituent nations. The choice is therefore up to us: we can choose to be swayed by myths and prejudice, caricaturing our differences; or we can choose to acknowledge reality, to consolidate and deepen our alliance, to join forces, to combine our countries’ formidable capacities and their complementary strengths, and to work together in tackling our common challenges.

Of France’s response I have not the slightest doubt. Nor do I doubt that of the United Kingdom, as it prepares to assume the Presidency of the Union in the second half of next year. Our two peoples will be called upon to vote by referendum on the Constitutional Treaty which we signed together in Rome last month: this represents a decisive step forward for the construction of Europe. It is my hope that, by their vote, Britons and French alike confirm their faith in Europe and its future. Thank you.

See also:


Derniers articles

Verdun 2016 : La légende de la « tranchée des baïonnettes »
Eyes in the Dark: Navy Dive Helmet Display Emerges as Game-Changer
OIR Official: Captured Info Describes ISIL Operations in Manbij
Cyber, Space, Middle East Join Nuclear Triad Topics at Deterrence Meeting
Carter Opens Second DoD Innovation Hub in Boston
Triomphe de St-Cyr : le Vietnam sur les rangs
Dwight D. Eisenhower Conducts First OIR Missions from Arabian Gulf
L’amiral Prazuck prend la manœuvre de la Marine
Airmen Practice Rescuing Downed Pilots in Pacific Thunder 16-2
On ne lutte pas contre les moustiques avec une Kalachnikov...
Enemy Mine: Underwater Drones Hunt Buried Targets, Save Lives
Daesh Publications Are Translated Into Eleven Languages
Opération Chammal : 10 000 heures de vol en opération pour les Mirage 2000 basés en Jordanie
Le Drian : Daech : une réponse à plusieurs niveaux
Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
Carter Convenes Counter-ISIL Coalition Meeting at Andrews
Carter Welcomes France’s Increased Counter-ISIL Support
100-Plus Aircraft Fly in for Exercise Red Flag 16-3
Growlers Soar With B-1s Around Ellsworth AFB
A-10s Deploy to Slovakia for Cross-Border Training
We Don’t Fight Against Mosquitoes With a Kalashnikov
Bug-Hunting Computers to Compete in DARPA Cyber Grand Challenge
Chiefs of US and Chinese Navies Agree on Need for Cooperation
DoD Cyber Strategy Defines How Officials Discern Cyber Incidents from Armed Attacks
Vice Adm. Tighe Takes Charge of Information Warfare, Naval Intelligence
Truman Strike Group Completes Eight-Month Deployment
KC-46 Completes Milestone by Refueling Fighter Jet, Cargo Plane
Air Dominance and the Critical Role of Fifth Generation Fighters
Une nation est une âme
The Challenges of Ungoverned Spaces
Carter Salutes Iraqi Forces, Announces 560 U.S. Troops to Deploy to Iraq
Obama: U.S. Commitment to European Security is Unwavering in Pivotal Time for NATO
International Court to Decide Sovereignty Issue in South China Sea
La SPA 75 est centenaire !
U.S. to Deploy THAAD Missile Battery to South Korea
Maintien en condition des matériels : reprendre l’initiative
La veste « léopard », premier uniforme militaire de camouflage
Océan Indien 2016 : Opérations & Coopération
Truman Transits Strait of Gibraltar
Navy Unveils National Museum of the American Sailor
New Navy, Old Tar
Marcel Dassault parrain de la nouvelle promotion d’officiers de l’École de l’Air
RIMPAC 2016 : Ravitaillement à la mer pour le Prairial avant l’arrivée à Hawaii
Bataille de la Somme, l’oubliée
U.S., Iceland Sign Security Cooperation Agreement
Cléopatra : la frégate Jean Bart entre dans l’histoire du BPC Gamal Abdel Nasser
Surveiller l’espace maritime français aussi par satellite
America's Navy-Marine Corps Team Fuse for RIMPAC 2016
Stratégie France : Plaidoyer pour une véritable coopération franco-allemande
La lumière du Droit rayonne au bout du chemin





Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

Contact