Ambitions on A Grand Scale

Seizing the technological high ground, France positions itself for a leading role in the closely integrated Europe of the 21st century

In much of the world, certainly including America, France has long been looked upon as a country that knows how to produce fine wines, elegant clothes and exotic perfumes but that remains a bit of a joke when it comes to technology: a builder of cars that look funny (Citroen), planes that few will buy (Concorde) and telephones that don't work. Look again. France is rushing into the 21st century with more ambition, imagination and commitment than any other nation in Europe, maybe in the world.

In the far north, engineers are digging away at the Channel Tunnel, at a cost...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now

Subscribe
Subscribe

Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on TIME.com

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!