The Relationship between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy

1. Introduction

It is no secret that both presidents may not be very popular in their countries, but they try to do a lot in order to support economies, people, ideas, and interests of their countries. They are fighting for their countries during the global economic recession and are struggling to improve the situations in Iraq and Afghanistan. Nicolas Sarkozy is the current president of France while Barack Obama is the current president of the United States of America. It is interesting to explore how these two presidents get along with each other since they have different backgrounds, different political systems, and, most importantly, different views on some important issues.

2. Biography

Barack Obama was born on August 4th, 1961, in Honolulu, Hawaii, to Barack Obama Sr., a Kenyan senior governmental economist, and Ann Dunham, an American anthropologist. He went to Occidental College in Los Angeles for two years before transferring to Columbia University in New York City, from which he graduated with a degree in political science in 1983. Afterward, he worked as a community organizer in Chicago neighborhoods from June 1985 to May 1988. He then attended Harvard Law School, where he became the first black person to be elected as president of the Harvard Law Review. He graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctor (J.D.) degree in 1991. Afterward, he returned to Chicago, where he worked as a civil rights attorney and taught constitutional law at the University of Chicago Law School from 1992 to 2004. Moving away from his early career as a civil rights lawyer, he ran for the Illinois Senate in 1996, losing in the Democratic primary election but gaining valuable political experience. In 2000 he stood again for Illinois State Senate but won against Republican nominee Alan Keyes by a huge margin.

Sarkozy was born on 28 January 1955 in Paris as Nicolas Paul Stéphane Sarközy de Nagy-Bocsa He is the second child of Pál István Ernő Sárközy de Nagy-Bocsa (1912–2005), a Hungarian-French financier and aristocrat who worked for the Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas (currently BNP Paribas), and Andrée Jeanne “Ajka” Mallah (1920–2014), an Armenian-French woman whose father perished at Auschwitz and whose mother died during the Armenian Genocide). Sarkozy has two half-sisters: Laurence Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa (b 1951), and Dominique Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa (b 1954). His paternal grandfather Georges Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa was married to Irene Adelaïde Janszky; they had René Sarkozy de Nagy-Bocsa together who later took his mother’s maiden name “Mallah” as his own middle name after her death; René eventually fathered Nicolas with Andrée Jeanne Mallah). Georges Sarkozy divorced Irene Adelaïde Janszky after she had an affair with René’s father Pierre François Eugène Mallah; Pierre fathered Laurence and Dominique with Andrée Jeanne Mallah after Georges Sarkozy divorced Irene Adelaïde Janszky).

3. French Economy

The French economy is the sixth-largest economy in the world and the fourth-largest in Europe. It is highly diversified and complex, with a large service sector (69.0%), a significant industrial sector (30.3%), and a small agricultural sector (0.7%). The French economy is highly centralized: Paris is the financial and business capital of France and of the Eurozone. 39% of French people work in the Paris region, 8% work in other large cities such as Lyon, Marseille, and Toulouse, while only 53% of people work in rural areas.

Sarkozy has tried to improve the economy by deregulating the labor market, lowering taxes on businesses, and making it easier for businesses to fire workers. He also increased government spending on research and development and education. However, these reforms have not had the desired effect and unemployment remains high at around 10%. Sarkozy has also been criticized for his handling of the financial crisis, which has led to a decline in living standards and an increase in public debt.

4. The Financial Crisis

The global financial crisis that began in 2007–2008 had a severe impact on the French economy. Sarkozy initially responded by bailing out troubled banks and injecting money into the economy through a stimulus package. However, this did not prevent the economy from entering into recession in 2009. To try to revive the economy, Sarkozy announced a series of tax cuts worth €20 billion ($28 billion) in October 2008. These tax cuts were mainly targeted at businesses and included a reduction in the corporate tax rate from 33% to 28%. Sarkozy also introduced a number of measures to try to boost consumer spending, such as a temporary reduction in VAT (Value Added Tax). Unfortunately, these measures failed to prevent the economy from contracting by 2% in 2009.

5. Iraq and Afghanistan

France was one of the few countries that did not support the 2003 invasion of Iraq led by the United States. Sarkozy has been critical of the war in Iraq and has advocated for a withdrawal of troops. Sarkozy has also been critical of the war in Afghanistan and has called for a more rapid withdrawal of troops than what has been proposed by Obama. France currently has around 4,000 troops deployed in Afghanistan as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

6. The Relationship between the Two Presidents

The relationship between Obama and Sarkozy is often described as ‘complicated’. They have different views on many issues, such as taxation, regulation, and foreign policy. However, they have been able to work together on some important issues, such as the global financial crisis and climate change. In 2011, Obama awarded Sarkozy the Legion of Honor, one of France’s highest honors, in recognition of his work on behalf of the French people.

7. Conclusion

Despite their differences, Obama and Sarkozy have been able to work together on some important issues. However, their relationship has been strained by the global financial crisis and the war in Afghanistan. It remains to be seen how long they will be able to continue to work together.


Both Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy are leaders of their respective countries who have worked together on various issues. Some key similarities between the two men include their dedication to democracy and human rights, as well as their commitment to working together for the betterment of both France and the United States. Some key differences between them include their political ideology (with Obama being a Democrat and Sarkozy being a Republican) and Sarkozy's more confrontational style when compared to Obama's more conciliatory one.

Over time, the relationship between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy has evolved from cordiality to genuine friendship. This is evident in the way that they interact with each other, as well as in the frequency with which they meet and consult with one another on various issues. Additionally, this evolution is also reflected in the increasing levels of cooperation between France and the United States on many different fronts.

The partnership between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy has had a positive impact on US-France relations by helping to improve communication and understanding between the two countries. Additionally, this partnership has also resulted in increased levels of cooperation on many different issues, ranging from economic matters to foreign policy concerns. Overall, this partnership has helped to make both France and the United States stronger allies.

If Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy were opponents instead of partners, it is likely that US-France relations would be much worse off than they are currently. This is due to the fact that, as opponents, these two leaders would likely disagree on almost everything related to both domestic and foreign policy matters. Additionally, if they were opponents, it is unlikely that they would cooperate or consult with one another nearly as much as they do now. As a result, it is clear that their partnership has been beneficial for both France and the United States.

One of the most important lessons that can be learned from the partnership between Barack Obama and Nicolas Sarkozy is the importance of effective communication and cooperation when working on international issues. Additionally, this partnership also highlights the fact that even leaders with different political ideologies can find common ground and work together for the benefit of all parties involved.