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French Consul General, Philippe Ardanaz, speaks at Georgia State University

Mr. Philippe Ardanaz, Consul General of France and Trade Commissioner for the seven-state southeast United States region, addressed an audience of more than 150 students and faculty members at the University Center on November 19, 2008.  The Consul General’s visit to Georgia State University coincides with France’s current presidency of the Council of the European Union.  Ardanaz provided a sweeping survey of Europe’s ongoing efforts at economic, political, and cultural integration and described the “intertwined destinies” of the United States and the EU.  Noting the impressive unity forged in Europe over the last half century, Ardanaz cautioned that the EU was still far from a United States of Europe.  His speech also mapped out France’s priorities during its six-month (July-December 2008) EU presidency, including efforts to combat climate change, harmonizing immigration policies, responses to global financial turmoil, and regional security.  The Consul General answered student questions, which covered such topics as the EU’s role in the developing world, its difficulties implementing a Common Foreign and Security Policy, and the success of its single currency (the euro).  Mr. Ardanaz’s speech was sponsored by the Department of Political Science.