France assumed the presidency of the European Union earlier this month as Europe tries to move forward after Ireland's rejection of the Lisbon Treaty.
To better understand where the EU is today and French leadership objectives, the Carnegie Endowment hosted French Ambassador to the United States Pierre Vimont for an in-depth discussion on the future of the EU- Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
Ambassador Pierre Vimont
Pierre Vimont previously served as chief of staff to the French minister of foreign affairs (2002-07) and as ambassador and permanent representative of France to the European Union (1999-2002).
Since joining the Foreign Service in 1977, he has served in Brussels as a permanent representative to the European communities and as chief of staff to the minister delegate for European affairs, in London as first secretary, and in Paris with the Press and Information Office at the Quai d’Orsay. Vimont received a law degree and is a graduate of the Institute of Political Studies and the National School of Administration (ENA).
The French Ambassador to the United States Pierre Vimont describes the initiatives France has focused on since Nicolas Sarkozy became the president of the E.U. Among top priorities are immigration reform and military development.
Ambassador Pierre Vimont explains why many countries are concerned the E.U. is not doing enough to protect their economic interests, citing as an example the growing trend of outsourcing jobs to the U.S. -- where the weakened dollar has created a large pool of cheap labor.
Ambassador Pierre Vimont describes the difficulties facing the E.U. as it tries to implement its plan for the environment (decreasing emissions by 20% and using at least 20% renewable energy by the year 2020) across all of its diverse member states.