This thesis has been addressing what vision of the European Security and Defense cooperation one can identify in speeches of Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy. I have identified whether one can identify an evolution in the vision by claiming that Sarkozy’s vision is more proactive and pragmatic. This has been done through an ideational analysis of speeches of Chirac and Sarkozy at the annual conference of ambassadors.
The findings indicate that despite a changing international context the French foreign policy objectives, which lay the foundation for the French vision, have remained constant. However, the thesis also identifies an evolution of the French vision. Sarkozy is found to emphasize more clearly than Chirac an intergovernmentalist form of cooperation, a proactive role both of France and Europe, and a more pragmatic approach to European security cooperation, also signaling a westernization of the French vision. However, as Sarkozy was not reelected in the election 6 May this year it will not be possible to discover whether this was a continuous trend.