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Jean-François Copé

Jean-François Copé, ready for a political fight in 2012

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Friday the 30th of September, at the London Gloucester Millennium Hotel, the head of the UMP (party of the president Sarkozy), Jean-François Copé has met the French population living in the UK.  His main ideas were: “be prepared for a fight in 2012” and “be mobilised”.

Emmanuelle Savarit, UMP party candidate for the legislative election

Emmanuelle Savarit and Jean-François Copé

Welcomed and introduced by Emmanuelle Savarit, deputy candidate for the French population living in North Europe, Jean-François Copé came in London to mobilise the partisans and to create a “united front” around their candidate. Indeed, since the constitutional reform of the 23rd of July 2008, French people living in foreign countries will be represented for the first time by a deputy. That’s why they will call to vote next June. The deputy and mayor of Meaux highlighted that this population “represents around 2 million potential voters”.

Jean-François Copé

Jean-François Copé listens to French expatriates

In a campaign atmosphere, Jean-François Copé seemed to take into account the daily problems and difficulties of French expatriates. All these people have a role to play as « ambassadors of France abroad ». If Jean-François Copé regretted the incapacity of French politics to have an international approach, he reasserted his commitment to internationalise the debates. « We are dying from this franco-French debate » he recognized. “We must get out of this Parisian microcosm which too often narrow and petty”.

Moreover, the head of the UMP party turned to main European parties, such as the German Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the Spanish Popular Party (PP) or the English Conservative Party which better grasp the importance of the international issues. This is why he called for the increase of public debates around these international questions, in particular within the framework of his proper think tank Génération France. He also applauded the creation of a new secretary in charge of French resident living abroad. This function was occupied by the ex-judoka David Douillet and is now covered by Edouard Courtial since the end of September.  

The loss of the Senate: a disappointment for the UMP party

UMP placard

After his word on the difficulties French expatriate experience, Jean-François Copé shared his personal point of view on French politics.

With regards to the loss of the Senate by only three seats, he confessed: “We would have preferred not to be subject to this less than 9 months before the presidential election. But it’s in these particular moments that we measure the strength of the back bone”. He announced his strategy: be in the middle of the troops when all is right and be in front of the troops when all goes wrong. Recalling his career, he asserted that « a battle is something you build ».

“We are still getting ready”

Jean-François Copé is not someone who will settle on a defeat. « We shouldn’t flog ourselves »he advised. « The true campaign is the presidential one and after, the legislative one. For now, the fight has not begun yet. We are still getting ready ».

When Copé tackles Hollande…

François Hollande

The head of UMP party went for his opponents.  He castigated the excessive coverage of the first round of the socialist primary. For this 47-year-old graduate of the ENA, the gap between the frivolousness of the socialist debates and the world economic crisis is astounding. He was also ironic on the France fated with a left-wing victory: « the financial markets would tremble out fear to see François Hollande at the head of the French state». Otherwise, if the extreme right were in power, “from the first week on it would be a return to the French franc and a closing of borders” he added.

Nicolas Sarkozy

Nicolas Sarkozy, legitimate candidate for 2012

Jean-François Copé spoke highly of the right-wing merits and of its natural candidate Nicolas Sarkozy. According to the UMP party head, « the current President of the Republic is the most capable to manage the crisis. These events this summer, particularly in Libya, are testimony to this”This is why Jean-François Copé called for a massive involvement and mobilization with a clear, precise and taboo-free political project. “The UMP party is the most prepared political party to reply to the expectations of French citizens. This involvement is critical for a victory in 2012”

To reassure

Jean-François Copé and the "jeunes populaires"

Once his speech was over, the ex-spokesman of the Jean-Pierre Raffarin and Dominique de Villepin governments answered questions.  The majority of the questions referred to the economical crisis and the state debt. Jean-François Copé reaffirmed his opposition against the 35 hours week. He also put forward his idea of an « anti-relocation VAT ». He wanted to be reassuring and credible. He praised the reforms lead by Sarkozy since 2007: hospital reform, university reform, territorial reform, retirement reform…

« Win cleanly »

UMP militants

A militant even dared to ask Jean-François Copé if it was a good idea to go vote at the socialist primary; supposedly for the less favourable candidate. The latter retorted, after thanking the activist for his ingenious question, he wanted to “win loyally”.

He added: “I am not afraid of fights, I am not afraid of debating. We win when we are clear, brave, upright and when we face problems head on ». Finally, the head of theUMP party’s aim is to win in 2012. The next presidential election is likely to be rough!...


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