The French government has bit back at the increasingly loud criticism that Paris is losing influence in the EU.
France is "very well represented in the European institutions -- often with eminent jobs," French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier told Le Figaro. "A decline of France? A loss in influence? Let's stop denigrating ourselves." Barnier, who himself was a European commissioner until April, said his country "participates in the conception and the implementation of all policies." Still, he admitted France needs to adapt to being part of the enlarged 25-nation bloc. Barnier's words come after several French politicians as well as French media have been speculating about the decline of the country's sphere of influence in Brussels. (EUobserver.com)