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De Gaulle Smiles: France, the European Union, and NATO Open Access Deposited

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Considering the highly dynamic political environment in Europe today, it is interesting to imagine how European collective structures might unfold in the years to come. The two most successful of these structures are the European Union and NATO, and clearly a key figure in both of these institutions is France. France's role becomes especially intriguing when examining the French legacy in these institutions. The years 1965-1966 were a turning point for French relations with. the EU (then EC) and NATO; France boycotted the EC and withdrew from NATO. The personal politics of Charles de Gaulle are crucial in understanding these two events, as are domestic politics and persistent French. attitudes. Of course, all three factors critically impact French politics today as well, and the recent Gaullist victory of Jacques Chirac underscores the need to understand the past - a past that Chirac desires to emulate by following his role model's ideology.

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