Valéry Giscard D’Estaing in the European Union’ History

Valéry Giscard D’Estaing biography

Valéry Marie René Georges Giscard d’Estaing was born on the 2nd of February in the year 1926. He is renowned as a French politician with a center-right ideology. He held the office of the President of the French Republic beginning his tenure in 1974 and remained in office till 1981. His Presidential tenure was characterized by a more broadminded approach towards social concerns like annulment, contraception, and abortion along with serious endeavors to rejuvenate the nations in terms of modernism in addition to the conventional presidential attitudes. (Burrell, 12-17) His works as president were marked by his decision to launch influential infrastructure ventures like the high-speed TGV train and the overt inclination towards dependence on alternative power sources, particularly nuclear power as France’s primary energy source. Nevertheless, his reputation took a blow on account of the economic recession that occurred after the energy crisis in 1973, implicating the conclusion of the three decades after World War II, regrettably in conjunction with the official construct that the tunnel was nearing its end. In addition, Giscard was exposed to political rivalry on all fronts: from the freshly-joined left of François Mitterrand and from Jacques Chirac whose popularity was rising while he revivified Gaullism based on a right-wing opposition ideology. These factors, and mismanaged public relations, led to growing disapproval of his ideas late in his tenure as he lost in his attempt to seek re-election in 1981. (McCormick, 115) He is known to be a promoter of the United States of Europe and, restricting his participation in the national political arena following his defeat, he turned his focus on the European Union. He also had some amount of involvement in the regional political sphere of Auvergne, becoming the president of that region between 1986 and 2004. He was later designated as the President of the French Academy. In his capacity as a former President, he recently got affiliated with the Constitutional Council of France. (Stringer, 168-185)

Political journey

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing has, all thorough his political journey, been known as a marked advocator of the United States of Europe implicating greater cooperation amongst the members of the greater European union. His works in this regard are marked by his presidential endeavor in the Convention on the Future of the European Union that sketched the blueprints of the unfortunate Treaty leading to a Constitution for Europe. In the year 1978, for this cause, marked as the clear target of Jacques Chirac’s Call of Cochin, expressing the disapproval for the party what he assumed to be composed of foreigners. He also proactively participated in the Bilderberg private conference which is held yearly. During 2002 and 2003 he was nominated as the President of the Convention on the Future of Europe. (McCormick, 175)

In December 2001, with the European Council assemblage in Laeken, a new declaration was accepted that devoted the EU toward a more democratic, transparent, and efficient approach, and specifying the procedure using which an agreed constitution could be drawn up. This objective was to be accomplished through a gathering, which was anticipated to consist of the key ‘stakeholders’, to ponder over concerns relating to the direction of the operations of the EU in the upcoming times. It was intended that the convention would come up with a “final document”, which is a little while manifested as the draft constitution, which was to be passed on to the Intergovernmental Conference, planned to take place in the year 2004, that was going to corroborate and draw up a fresh treaty. (Stringer, 168-185) The European Convention was instituted comprising of 105 members and was led by former French president Valéry Giscard d’Estaing and the president of the convention. The members of the convention were selected from the various national legislative bodies belonging to already affiliated nations and prospective candidate states, the European Parliament, the European Commission, and a council comprising of the heads of nations and governments. The Convention gathered for the first time in February in the year 2002 and convened subsequently in plenary meetings once or twice each month. (Burrell, 12-17)

On the 29th of October in the year 2004, the heads of state of European countries, got together in Rome, agree on and put their signature on the European Constitution founded on an outline sketch powerfully influenced by Giscard’s ideas expressed at the Convention. Even though the Constitution was disapproved by the French electorate in May 2005, he unrelenting kept on vigorously lobbying for its approval across various European Union countries. Addressing an audience at the London School of Economics he stated that, “The rejection of the Constitutional treaty by voters in France was a mistake that should be corrected.” (Tripatlas, 1)

Valéry Giscard d’Estaing also strictly opposed Turkey’s unification with the European Union. According to his views of Turkey’s geographic, cultural and religious outlook substantially differs from that of the other European states. He went up to the extent of saying that, “In my opinion, it would be the end of Europe.” (SCIOLINO, 1)

Works cited

Burrell, Alison. “EU Enlargement to Turkey?” EuroChoices 4.1 (2005): 12-17.

McCormick, John. The European Union: Politics and Policies. NY: Westview Press, 2007.

SCIOLINO, ELAINE. “Ex-French President Snubs Turks on Union Bid”. The New York Times. 2002. The New York Times Company. 2009. Web.

Stringer, Lindsay C. The transformation of post-communist societies in Central and Eastern Europe and the Former Soviet Union”. European Environment 18.3 (2008): 168-185.

Tripatlas. “VALéRY GISCARD D’ESTAING”. 2009. Web.

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