“Shared values” by Jacques Lapouge, Ambassador of France in Sweden [fr]
Beyond the very intense trading ties, the good relations between France and Sweden are based on common positions about the main issues of the European Union, on rich cultural exchanges and also on major projects in partnership.
You were appointed ambassador of France in Sweden ago one year. What do you feel about the bilateral relationship that unites France with Sweden?
Sweden has had excellent relations with France for centuries. The image of Sweden has always been very positive in France. It is a country with great cultural importance, which is frequently seen as a social and economic model. In the last twelve months, these good relations have been intensified.
What is the role of this relationship in major European issues?
France, a founding country of the European Union, and Sweden, which joined twenty years ago, have strong and very often common positions about a number of issues. Concerning the issue of refugees, we both wish the principles of humanity and solidarity between Member States to prevail, with a fair distribution of refugees. We are also both attached to the principle of accountability, with the need to distinguish refugees from economic migrants and act in partnership with the countries of origin.We also agree about supporting the Juncker Plan in favor of growth and employment and fostering an ambitious European social agenda.
You were earlier in charge of negotiations about climate change. What is your opinion of Franco-Swedish cooperation in the preparation for the COP21?
Sweden is very much in advance in this area and is also very generous, as it is a major contributor to the Green Climate Fund. Sweden is therefore an essential partner for the COP21. Thanks to its active and efficient diplomacy, it supports the efforts of France, which is the President of the COP21.
The full interview is to be found here.