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 DGAP Early Bird Breakfast 

Presidential Election in France, 2007

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Nicolas Sarkozy won the French presidential elections on the 6th of May 2007 clinching 53% of the votes. Taking his political background as well as the theme of his campaign into consideration, what type of changes could we expect in both internal and foreign politics of France ? Following the elections the next day, two sub-sections of the German organization, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Auswärtige Politik e.V,(DGAP) organized a presentation/discussion event termed „Early Bird Breakfast“ to give a comprehensive analysis of the election. The two sub-sections namely “Das Alfred von Oppenheim-Zentrum“ and „das Programm Frankreich/deutsch-französische Beziehungen“ invited members of established institutes, embassies and media professionals to presentations by political scientist and experts on French politics. These included:

Dr. Olivier Giraud, Chargé de recherches at CNRS and professional at Centre Marc Bloch

Pascal Thibaut, German correspondent of Radio France Internationale

Dr. Martin Koopmann, Director of programs relating to France at DGAP.

The event was moderated by Jan Techau, Program director of „Alfred von Oppenheim-Zentrums für Europäische Zukunftsfragen“, another section of DGAP.

Following a welcome address by the moderator, Pascal Thibaut began his presentation with an overview of the presidential election results. He compared the areas/communities in which Nicolas Sarkozy had gained voters to those of his rival , who lost with about 47%. He moved on to explain why the percentage of the overall voters was very high and what the voters are probably expecting from the man they perceive as a reformer.

The next speaker Dr. Oliver Giraud gave an in depth analysis of the campaign themes and style of Nicolas Sarkozy. He pointed out that Sarkozy neglected the social structure of France in his campaign. In particular, the working class and the lowest in the social class were not mentioned in the beginning of his campaign. However, he later realized the importance of these groups of people and families in the economic structure of France . Both speakers emphasize that the style of the election campaign was very American.

Dr. Martin Koopmann presented his view on the possible impact of Sarkozy’s government on European Union, while brushing possible changes in foreign politics. In his opinion, Sarkozy attracted a lot of voters due to his European Union friendly political campaign. The outcome of the election was therefore welcome by all European Union advocates.

In the questions following the presentations, topics ranging from partnership/political power between France and Germany / Sarkozy and Merkel to current activities of the French government in Africa were discussed.

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