Journal of Transatlantic Studies

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 432–442 | Cite as

From exception to facilitator: what place for France in the EU/NATO partnership in the post-Cold War global world?

  • Jean-Paul PerrucheEmail author


In the wake of WWII, the historical legacy of the last 65 years has led the Europeans to organise their defence in the transatlantic framework through NATO, and in the European Union (EU) through Common Foreign and Security Policy/Common Security and Defense Policy. Despite the reiterated wish to make the two organisations complementary, this has not been achievable so far because of their different natures and formats. While the US ally has been moving its strategy to the East (Asia-Pacific), the Europeans have been urged to take on a larger part of their security burden. This cannot be achieved by individual nations, however, and pushes for deeper integration of European defence (namely pooling and sharing). The enhancement of European capabilities within the EU is likely to be the only way to keep up the transatlantic partnership in the twenty-first century, and France has a key role to play towards this objective.


national interests dependency solidarity cooperation integration role sharing 


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  1. 1.
    In the wake of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) initiated in 1951, the European Economic Community (EEC) saw the day in 1957, followed by the European Atomic Energy Community (Euratom) in 1958.Google Scholar
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    The Petersberg Declaration signed at the Bonn Western European Union Council of Ministers on 19 June 1992 vowed ‘to enhance the CSCE’s capabilities for conflict prevention, crisis management, and the peaceful settlement of disputes […], including peacekeeping activities of the CSCE or the United Nations Security Council’. Specifically, ‘military units of WEU member states […] could be employed for humanitarian and rescue tasks; peacekeeping tasks; tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacekeeping’,
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    This American attitude was illustrated by Madeleine Albright’s declaration introducing the ‘3 Ds’: no duplication, no decoupling and no discrimination against NATO’s non-EU countries.Google Scholar
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    Denmark has opted out and does not participate in the CSDP.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Board of Transatlantic Studies 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de Recherche Stratégique de l’Ecole Militaire (IRSEM)ParisFrance

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