Jean-Pierre Raffarin has been a member of the French Senate since 2005 and is now chairman of the Senate Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defense and Armed Forces. He was prime minister of France from 2002 to 2005. Along with Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy, he participated in the formation of the conservative Union for a Popular Movement. His government passed the controversial ban on wearing Muslim headscarves and other prominent religious symbols in schools. Raffarin himself expressed hesitation regarding Turkey's admissibility to the European Union, in part due to its Islamic identity. Raffarin resigned from his prime minister post after France rejected the referendum on the European Union draft constitution, which he had strongly supported.
Jean-Pierre Raffarin on Admitting Turkey to the EU
September 23, 2004
Jean-Pierre Raffarin on the Head Scarf Ban
February 3, 2004