Europe's Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation

Europe's Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation

Europe's Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation

Europe's Foreign and Security Policy: The Institutionalization of Cooperation

Synopsis

Emergence of a common security and foreign policy has been one of the most contentious issues accompanying the integration of the European Union. With extensive empirical evidence drawn from interviews, case studies, official documents and secondary sources, Michael Smith examines the specific ways foreign policy cooperation has been institutionalized in the EU. This analysis will appeal to scholars and researchers in international relations, law, foreign policy and European studies.

Excerpt

Nothing is possible without men; nothing lasts without institutions.

Jean Monnet

On November 19, 1970, Europe’s novel experiment in regional economic integration quietly delved into uncharted territory. in Munich, at the former Prussian embassy to the Kingdom of Bavaria, European Union (EU) foreign ministers met for the first time under the rubric of a new institutional framework, “European Political Cooperation” (EPC). This meeting represented the latest in a long series of efforts to coordinate the foreign policies of eu member states in areas other than economic affairs. the EU’s previous attempts to coordinate such policies, such as the European Defense Community and the European Political Community of the 1950s, and the Fouchet Plans of the 1960s, had failed miserably because of fundamental disagreements about the means and ends of European foreign policy cooperation. Thanks to this legacy, epc was greeted with considerable uncertainty and skepticism when the eu foreign ministers met in Munich. the meeting aroused little public attention, and epc participants themselves expected the profound differences in their foreign policy traditions, domestic political cultures, administrative capacities, and global relationships to inhibit their attempts to find a collective voice in world politics.

In addition, not only was EPC’s scope of action so indeterminate that it threatened to invite more conflict than cooperation, but its mechanisms to induce such cooperation were feeble and peculiar. It was not based on a treaty, nor did it have any permanent organizational machinery. Its rules were extremely vague and its instruments for collective action few. Perhaps the only thing the eu foreign ministers could agree upon – but for different reasons – was that epc should be kept strictly separate from supranational European Community (EC) procedures and that security or defense matters were not appropriate subjects for discussion in the epc framework.

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