There are some striking similarities between current attempts to breathe life into European security structures and the 1950–4 EDC debate, although the parallels should not be exaggerated. The insecurities in Europe during the l950s also suggested that there was an evident need for a European defence organisation to address long-term defence needs. The failure of the EDC may be attributed to disagreement over Germany’s role; the issue of Britain’s European versus its transatlantic priorities; French concerns about Germany’s intentions; and the durability and nature of US military commitments to Europe. Although the context has changed, especially with regard to Central and Eastern Europe, the themes remain surprisingly durable. Indeed, one could question, as Robin Niblett has, whether Europe is beginning to refragment along the same lines as 1957, when the original six states founded the EEC? Niblett’s conclusion is that at the present we are witnessing the ‘emergence of a new European disunion, in the sense of a return to the rough European architecture that accompanied the launch of the Treaty of Rome’. Although he stresses that the disunion has many new aspects to it, ‘with a few exceptions’ the ‘same faultlines remain between those at the heart of Europe and those on its periphery’.1 Anne Deighton made a similar point when she observed that ‘it is an ironic but inescapable fact that for Western Europeans the two great security conundrums of the Cold War remain much the same in the post-Cold War period’. These are first, what will keep the US in Europe and, second, whether the Europeans actually want to construct an independent, integrated defence and security policy.2
KeywordsSecurity Policy European Monetary Union European Security Judicial Cooperation Defence Minister
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Notes and References
- Anne Deighton (ed.), Western European Union 1954–97: Defence, Security, Integration (Oxford: St Antony’s College, 1997), p. 169.Google Scholar
- Christopher Hill, ‘Closing the capabilities-expectations gap?’, in John Peterson and Helene Sjursen (eds), A Common Policy for Europe? (London: Routledge, 1998), p. 29.Google Scholar
- Charles Grant, Can Britain lead in Europe? (London: Centre for European Reform, 1998).Google Scholar