PIC hosted Amb. Ramesh Mulye, former Indian Ambassador to the Philippines and Syria, and member, PIC for the latest edition of PIC Conversations held on 12th January. The event was chaired by Dr. Shubhashis Gangopadhyay, Research Director, India Development Foundation and Dean, Indian School of Public Policy.

Amb. Mulye outlined the French people’s peculiar relationship with their state, where on one hand they rely on the state for a ‘cradle to grave’ system of welfarism and on the other, have significant levels of opposition to state decisions. This was the environment into which Emmanuel Macron, the President of France, was elected. Amb. Mulye described how Macron was perhaps dealt too good a hand at the beginning of his Presidency, as he faced no real opposition.

In this context, Amb. Mulye highlighted Macron’s handling of the pandemic in France, the French government’s trysts with introducing laws meant to deal with the rise of Islamic radicalism in the country, as well as the French administration’s grappling with foreign policy challenges such as Brexit and the rising spectre of China. He touched upon Indo-French defence cooperation towards the end of his talk.

The talk was followed by a round of questions and answers with the audience.