Neutrality and the EU: An Austrian View

  • Andreas Rendl


Neutrality is linked to the concept of sovereignty. At its beginning, this concept entailed the right of nation states to go to war whenever this seemed appropriate to them, depending on their national interests. Neutrality represents the complementary right of states not to take part in such wars. Thus neutrality is an expression of national sovereignty.1 It is mainly a political concept. The legal rules, which developed over time, reflected consolidated international political practice. Neutrality was never meant as an end in itself but always as a policy instrument, aimed at restricting and regulating use of military force in international relations. Neutrality doesn’t preclude a country from taking part in international cooperation with the aim of limiting or preventing international conflicts, as do collective security arrangements. On the contrary: such arrangements actually pursue the same purpose as neutrality.2


Security Policy Crisis Management Austrian Government European Economic Community European Security 
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© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 1998

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  • Andreas Rendl

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