• France's news in English
 

Hollande launches veiled barb at UK's Cameron

Published: 05 Feb 2013 11:27 GMT+01:00

Referring to Cameron's recent pledge to hold a future in/out referendum on the European Union, Hollande told deputies at the parliament in Strasbourg that Europe had to be for the good of all member states.

"It cannot be just a group of nations picking and choosing what would be useful for them and them alone. I argue for a differentiated Europe not a two-speed Europe, or Europe à la carte". he said.

Hollande's words echoed those of the French government in the aftermath of Cameron's much-publicized referendum promise last month.

Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius had warned the UK that when it comes to Europe, it's all or nothing.

"Imagine the EU as a football club. When you join it, you are in. You cannot just decide to go and play rugby," Fabius said.

During his 30-minute speech on Tuesday, the French president also warned against making drastic cuts to the EU's trillion-euro budget for 2014-20, at the expense of growth.

"Yes, make cuts but weaken the economy, no," Hollande said  just days before EU leaders discuss the budget.

A bad-tempered November summit failed when several member states, led by Britain, called for sharp budget cuts at a time when all governments were having to reduce spending so as to balance the public finances.

Hollande had warned at the weekend that "the negotiations are very difficult ... the conditions are, at this moment, not yet in place" for an accord at the summit in Brussels on Thursday and Friday.

During his  speech the president also laid out his vision for the future of Europe.

"Europe can not just be a financial market, a budget, or money," said the president. "Europe is not only a collection of treaties or a set of rules, as necessary as they might be. "

Hollande insisted that France was committed to the European project, an economic and social model "envied on all other continents," but the debt crisis meant that many people were losing faith, putting national interests first.

"The eurozone crisis is to a great extent behind us but the challenge today ... is the mistrust of our people," he said.

Against this backdrop, EU could not simply adopt tough austerity policies - "France will not accept that," he said - and so had to ensure that core spending remained in place to promote vitally needed growth.

AFP/The Local (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to ramp up police protection
French police officers guard a mosque shortly after the Paris terror attacks took place. Photo: AFP

France to ramp up police protection

The French government has announced that it will send out an additional 4,000 handguns and 8,000 bulletproof vests to aid the national police force as the dust settles after the Paris terror attacks. READ  

Eight French killed after fighter jet crashes
Smoke rises from the Spanish air base after the crash. Photo: AFP

Eight French killed after fighter jet crashes

UPDATED: Eight French nationals were killed along with two Greeks when a Greek fighter jet crashed at a military base in Spain on Monday. A further ten French nationals were injured. READ  

The view from France
'Syriza victory is good news for French people'
Alexis Tsipras raises his arm as he celebrates being named Greece's new PM. Photo: AFP

'Syriza victory is good news for French people'

A French Communist Party senator tells The Local the result of the Greek election can be a wake-up call for the people of France. READ  

Road Safety in France
France bans hands-free kits to cut road deaths
A dummy goes flying at a crash test course for students in Le Mans, north-western France. Photo: AFP

France bans hands-free kits to cut road deaths

UPDATED: France's interior minister announced a raft of measures on Monday aimed at improving road safety, with a heavy focus on preventing alcohol-related accidents as well the use of mobiles at the wheel. READ  

Isis urges new attacks after Paris shootings
France has bolstered security across the country since the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. Photo: AFP

Isis urges new attacks after Paris shootings

The Islamic State jihadist group Isis urged Muslims on Monday to carry out new attacks similar to the Paris shooting at the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo, where 17 people were killed. READ  

French hardline Catholics buy up gay bar
A gay bar in Toulon has been bought by a Catholic group. Photo: Guillaume Paumier

French hardline Catholics buy up gay bar

A hardline French Catholic group has bought the gay bar next to its local church, hoping to turn it into a religious meeting place. But the head of the city's gay community tells The Local that the church will need "a whole bunch of exorcists" to turn it around. READ  

The French baby names the law wouldn't allow
Not everyone was "Happy" about some of these French baby names. Photo: Loren Javier/Flickr

The French baby names the law wouldn't allow

As parents in France have been told that they can't name their kids "Nutella" or "Strawberry" (fraise), The Local takes a look at some other baby names that have fallen foul of the law over the years. READ  

French far right's Le Pen senior hurt in house fire
Jean-Marie Le Pen, pictured here with his daughter Marine, was injured at a house fire near Paris on Monday. Photo: AFP

French far right's Le Pen senior hurt in house fire

The founder and honorary president of France's National Front party, Jean-Marie Le Pen, was slightly injured on Monday in an accidental fire at his house outside Paris. READ  

Bid to 'unblock' economy goes before French MPs
In "tourist zones", like the iconic Champs Elysees in Paris, shops could open every Sunday and until midnight every day. Photo: Oh Paris/Flickr

Bid to 'unblock' economy goes before French MPs

French MPs are set to debate a contentious series of reforms aimed to "unblock" France's struggling economy, including plans to extend Sunday shopping hours from five days a year to twelve. READ  

Paris Fashion Week: Penises and androgyny
A new look from US designer Thom Browne during the men's Fall/Winter 2015 fashion show in Paris. Photo: AFP

Paris Fashion Week: Penises and androgyny

IN PICTURES: The five days of Paris men's fashion are over. Here's a wrap up of what we can expect for this coming autumn and winter. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
France has no entrepreneurs!? What about fart pills for windy lovers?
Society
Nutella to Happy: The wacky French baby names banned by law
Culture
Men's Fashion Week in Paris in pictures - from penises to androgyny
Health
Could France be the next country to ban sunbeds?
Gallery
Ten French words you will never hear in France
National
Wrap up warm: Big freeze to hit northern France at the weekend
National
Muslims in France - 'They say we're not French'
National
Paris wants New York-inspired 'citizen cards'
Gallery
An architect has shown how he thinks Paris should look in 2050
Culture
Where are the real "no-go zones" in Paris? We've listed 10.
Society
Cheese diet helps oldest Frenchman live to 110
National
Charlie Hebdo chief stands firm over cartoons as global protests spread
National
To be or not to be Charlie? Muhammad cartoons divide French
National
'It feels like I'm in a warzone': Paris tourist
National
Are there really 'no-go zones' in Paris?
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
National
A futuristic vision of Paris revealed... and other news
National
What now for France post-terror attacks?
National
France to beef up its surveillance powers
National
Charlie Hebdo sells out within hours in France
Politics
Paris attacks: Knock-on effects in Sweden and across Europe
National
France moves to crack down on terror speech in aftermath of attacks
National
French Muslims react to Charlie Hebdo's Muhammad cover
National
'I only had a few seconds to hide from the Kouachis'
National
After three days of terror France feels like a nation
National
IN PICTURES: France's biggest street demos in recent history
National
And in other news in France ...
National
A defiant France rises up on solidarity like never before
Gallery
IN PICTURES: Paris marches for unity after terror attacks
National
OPINION: 'As bloody as it's been, France is not at war'
National
'It's a true nightmare': Parisians react to terror attacks
National
French to march in unity to help heal their wounded nation
National
Profile: the most wanted woman in France
National
Twitter disgust over 'I am Kouachi' hashtag
National
The incredible stories of how some survived the Paris gunmen
National
Al Qaeda threatens a shaken France with more terror
Gallery
The Paris terror attacks from start to end in 27 photographs
National
Global leaders to stand side by side with France
National
French Muslim leaders slam 'odious' attacks
National
Charlie Hebdo gunmen killed as twin siege ends
Gallery
10 of the most powerful cartoons after the Charlie Hebdo attacks
National
Disunited: French far-right 'barred' from national unity rally in Paris
National
Muslim targets attacked after magazine killings
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

454
jobs available