Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

EC Chief Calls for Common European Defense Policy

Newspaper article The Christian Science Monitor

EC Chief Calls for Common European Defense Policy

Article excerpt

THE president of the European Commission has proclaimed that a common defense policy for Europe, written into the Treaty of Rome, is an "essential goal" if the Western alliance is to remain effective.

In a speech here that senior political leaders and diplomats say is bound to stir a searching debate on both sides of the Atlantic, Jacques Delors spelled out his belief that without a common defense policy Europe would never be able to face its international responsibilities.

The approach to defense openly adopted by the European Community's top official appeared to put him at odds with the Bush administration. It also prompted privately voiced criticism from British and other European politicians, worried about a weakening of NATO.

There are clear indications, too, that Margaret Thatcher, ousted last December as British prime minister, intends to remain in the forefront of politicians opposed to the Delors's vision of a united Europe and a common defense policy. These, she said last week in the United States, would mean German domination. Delors urges united response

Mr. Delors, who is deeply committed to closer European political and economic integration, told a London audience of politicians, diplomats, and military strategists on March 7 that the Gulf crisis, in which the EC failed to offer a united response to Iraqi aggression, had provided "an object lesson" on the Community's present limitations.

He said: "We cannot limit the horizons of the new Europe. All around us naked ambition, lust for power, national uprisings, and underdevelopment are combining to create potentially dangerous situations, containing the seeds of destabilization and conflict. The EC must face this challenge."

The answer, Delors argued, was "a new Atlantic alliance with redefined aims and new resources" to supersede NATO.

It should consist of the existing American pillar, plus a second pillar of the 12 EC nations which, Delors said, must make a "mutual commitment" to defend each other in the event of attack. …

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