“National Images in French Discourses on Europe”

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Page: 28

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Mette. Zolner
conference paper description
On the basis of the reading of French political debates in Spring 1999 (ratification of the Amsterdam Treaty and the European election), this paper presents the first outcomes of an analysis that illustrates how existing national myths shape political discourses on Europe in France. Striving at reaching beyond a simple opposition between Euro-sceptics and pro-Europeans, the paper argues that underneath the predominant and apparently consensual pro-European discourse one can observe differing conceptions of the nation and the Republic which cross-cut the traditional Left-Right cleavage. To understand these differences one needs to take into account traditional French myths of the nation as well as of the Republic.