Francois Hollande: “We are facing international dictatorships”

This Sunday, January 29th, we welcome Francois Hollande, former President of the Republic from 2012 to 2017, in London for the signing of his latest book, Excerpts: Towards Understanding the New Global Situation.

With it, an opportunity to return to international news in recent months, but also to look at the situation of the French in the UK and the world more widely.

Listen to the podcast with François Hollande

François Hollande at La Page bookstore in London

“Multiples: Understanding the New Global Order”

The war in Ukraine, global warming, the “rise of sovereignty”, the weakening of democracies… Concussions“, François Hollande takes a look at the last ten years that changed the cards of the main global balances. The former head of state feeds this 100-page book mainly with anecdotes related to his mandate. There we see Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping, Joe Biden, Recep Tayyip Erdogan or Muhammad through his personal eyes. We meet with Ben Salman.

In the podcast, Francois Hollande returns to the relationship he was able to maintain with Vladimir Putin, especially at international summits. And more disturbingly, Francois Hollande reveals to us the bonds that dictatorships weave between them. An opportunity to remind ourselves that we need to support emerging regimes like Brazil, but also Saudi Arabia.

“We are facing an international dictatorship”

Francois Hollande – the president of the republic in 2012-2017

We also talk with him about the future of Iran, which is currently violently repressing its population. A litany of international crises that have gradually led to crisis” more dangerous world“.

“There is a risk that escalation can lead to extreme solutions”

Francois Hollande – the president of the republic in 2012-2017

France abroad

Of course, in the second part of the podcast, we ask him about the role of our country on the world stage.

Defending Europe

For the former president of the Republic, France’s place in the world is de facto linked to Europe’s place in the world. It is from this point of view that Francois Hollande, maintaining the dynamics of alliance with the United States of America, calls on the European Union states to have greater military autonomy, to adapt the equipment used and, above all, to produce them on our continent. .

We are obliged to build Defense Europe in the coming years.

Francois Hollande – the president of the republic in 2012-2017

As the former president of the Republic points out in his book, the federal breakthrough he calls for is essential to safeguard the security of the European Union and will ensure its place in the world, and therefore France. For him, it is closer Europe that will lead this project, and Great Britain will also have to participate in this defense system. For this, first of all, it will be necessary to revive the relations of the French-German couple.

French diplomacy

France’s spearhead is its diplomacy. Francois Hollande’s global responsibilities include Brazil, India, etc. calls for sharing with developing countries. Our diplomacy has a great role to play in supporting their countries where the future gives them.

Another challenge for our diplomacy: to fight “Russian networks” in Africa! As French troops leave Mali and will soon leave Burkina Faso, we return with him to the launch of Operation Serval under his mandate.

“We were there because the local authorities asked us to”

Francois Hollande – the president of the republic in 2012-2017

It’s a withdrawal he understands because the new governments in these countries demand it, but it worries him. Will Russia have the ability and desire to defend this population?

Jihadists will advance, there will be massacres of civilians, and it’s not France’s fault, it’s Russia’s that left when asked.

Francois Hollande – the president of the republic in 2012-2017

Francois Hollande in London on January 28, 2023 © Nathalie Gayda

The French Abroad

Finally, in the third and final episode of the podcast, we address the situation of the 2.5 million French living outside of France.

“We have 2.5 million ambassadors around the world. Among my best memories during international trips are meetings with our compatriots on the spot »

Francois Hollande – the president of the republic in 2012-2017

During the interview, he emotionally returns to the period of attacks he shared with us, the French abroad, during his travels from 2015 to 2017.

To stay or to return?

As we have seen, after 2017, the world has changed to a great extent, Great Britain has left the European Union, relations with Russia have worsened, but what will be the future of the French living in these countries?

“I am not calling them to come back (….) If they want to come back to give the best to the country, I will be happy to do that”

Francois Hollande – the president of the republic in 2012-2017

For Francois Hollande, the French must stay, if our compatriots left the UK, it would aggravate the consequences of Brexit.

He takes the opportunity to remind us that not all French people abroad necessarily belong to the “financial world”, they are often integrated into the British middle class or the class of the countries in which they live. Thus, he notes that it is necessary to accompany these French people in terms of social security and ensure their access to education.

Discover Francois Hollande’s book

  • Jeremy Michel

    Jérémy Michel worked for many years for elected officials and coordinated the European public affairs of a large French company. Based in Brussels since 2000, he is currently a coach, consultant and consul-elect.

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  • Alexander Seale

    Alexander Seale is Franco-British. Born and based in the UK, he is the London correspondent for, LCI (France) and LN24 (Belgium).

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