M. Edouard Philippe
French Prime Minister (since 2017)
On April 7, 2017, in the midst of the presidential campaign, Edouard Philippe signed with 21 mayors and presidents of local executives a free forum with the evocative title: The Mediterranean, this absence that does not bode well.
This forum deplored the fact that the Mediterranean issue was not addressed during this presidential campaign.
It ended as follows:
“Where is the vision of Jacques Chirac, initiator of the Barcelona process in 1995? Where is the will of Nicolas Sarkozy, who in 2007 had the formidable intuition of a Union for the Mediterranean? Who will formulate a project that will make France the linchpin of this essential challenge for – no less- Europe, Africa and the Middle East? How can we work to improve fisheries resource management and pollution control, scientific exchanges and energy policy in our common sea, especially in the field of solar, preservation of a a gigantic history heritage, and often common to all our countries, culture and aid to cultural access improving: the Arab world, with its 400 million inhabitants, translates five times less foreign books each year than Greece and its 11 million inhabitants! Less than 1% of what is translated in France is Arabic, despite the importance of the historical and human links we have with this cultural basin. How to break down prejudice and overcome hostility when you never read what the other person writes?
These gigantic yards must be started. It is France’s interest to be ahead of the curve on these issues. However, someone must have this vision and suggest us to make of our common sea, once again, an “axis of the world”. These issues are absent from the presidential campaign, it does not portend anything good or great.”
After French Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs Jean-Yves Le Drian, it will be Prime Minister Edouard Philippe turn to participate for this third act, and present his view of the place granted to Mediterranean issues in his government.