The Common Foreign and Security Policy

David Allen

in The Oxford Handbook of the European Union

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199546282
Published online January 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Politics & International Relations

 The Common Foreign and Security Policy

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Since 1954, when the six founding European member states of the European Coal and Steel Community chose not to create a European Defence Community (EDC), the member states of the EU (previously the European Community) have been striving to find an effective way of working together on foreign and security policy matters. Had the EDC gone ahead, it would have been legitimized by a European Political Community directed by a European executive (government) that would have been accountable to an elected European Parliament. Such a construction would have been far more state-like than the present EU and there is a sense in which this proposal proved to be ‘too much integration too soon’. The search has been on ever since for an institutional format or political superstructure that could underpin an effective EU foreign and security policy whilst at the same time preserving the ‘national sovereignty’ of the member states. This article describes these efforts, first of all via the European Political Cooperation process that the European Community member states developed from 1969.

Keywords: EU; European Defence Community; foreign policy; security policy; national sovereignty; European Community; European Political Cooperation

Article.  8361 words. 

Subjects: Politics ; European Union

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