University of Twente Student Theses


Integration or Power-Balancing? The European Security and Defence Policy

Mollen, Thomas (2014) Integration or Power-Balancing? The European Security and Defence Policy.

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Abstract:Since the Franco-British declaration of Saint-Malo in December 1998 the perspective on European security issues has shifted towards the newly-built common European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). This shift towards a “Europeanization” of military and defence issues has, together with other factors, major effects on the security framework for Europe as we knew it for the last 50 years. The new developments in this policy field are seen as a long-demanded paradigm-shift in European security matters, supporting the tasks of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, some commentators hope. Others argue that ESDP is just a toy, serving the Europeans as a political instrument to demonstrate their independence from the United States. In fact, as no one would deny, Europe is dependent on the transatlantic partnership. Because of that, it is also feared that ESDP would not only not contribute to the NATO-centric Western security framework, but that it would weaken the alliance. It was the former US Secretary of State, Madeleine Albright, who, just four days after the Saint-Malo declaration, made clear the circumstances under which the United States would support a new European approach: No decoupling from the US, no duplication of structures and, finally, no discrimination of NATO allies that were no EU members. Secretary of Defence William Cohen also insisted in December 2000, “that the European initiative would have to complement and be of benefit to NATO, which would otherwise ‘become a relic’” (as cited in Cornish and Edwards 2001: 592). In contrast to American scepticism, European politicians considered their idea of a strong ESDP as a direct contribution to the security framework. However, distrust and scepticism about as well the political background of ESDP as its operational outcome are still audible. Also among political scientists there is a debate on whether the efforts of the European Union member states to integrate their security and defence policy should be seen as competing, a view that is broadly represented by structural realists. Other scholars, like neo-functionalists, argue that integration in the security and defence policy area happened by itself and was not particularly driven by nation states’ motives. That leads me to my key research question: How can we explain best the development of the European Security and Defence Policy by using the theories of neo-functionalism and structural realism?
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:BMS: Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences
Subject:89 political science
Programme:Management Society and Technology BSc (56654)
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