Reaction to Nicholas Sarkozy’s election as French President has been quick from neighbours in Europe. The German chancellor, Angela Merkel – whose country currently holds the rotating presidency of the European Union said: “We have agreed to further intensify German-French co-operation. I wished him all success in his work, and I believe our relationship will be a very good one.”
The President of the European Commission, Jose Manuel Barroso said he was confident Sarkozy would help find a way out of the impasse over a European constitution, since French and Dutch voters rejected it two years ago. “I have every confidence in Nicolas Sarkozy, I know the strength of his commitment to driving forward political and institutional reform in Europe.”
The President-elect has made no secret of the fact that he opposes Turkey’s bid to join the EU. During the election campaign, he said extending the union to Turkey would take it too close to the middle-east. The Turkish Prime Minister, Tayyip Erdogan, said: “Both in terms of the EU process and French-Turkish relations, our wish is that we will not see the statements made by Mr Sarkozy during the election campaign having an effect on bilateral ties.” Turkey’s original application top join was made in 1987. Negotiations on EU membership began in 2005.