Nationalism and the European Union: A Critique of the EU Common Security and Defense Policy

By Benedict Edward DeDominicis.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Organizational Studies

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The capacity for a European Union Common Foreign and Security Policy with an integrated Common Security and Defense Policy component should be analyzed within the context of the international system, consisting of the motivations, capabilities, and commitments of the great powers. Most important to the CFSP is the issue of the motivations and intentions of the United States. While inheriting a long European pedigree of thought going back generations, the EU as a political project began and developed for the first forty years of its existence within the context of the Cold War. NATO security integration was an essential contextual characteristic in which European leaders pursued this European integration peace project. Whether or not they shared the prevailing US view that the USSR was an aggressive, expansionist threat to European and world security is another question. Yet, US Cold War hegemony critically shaped the capabilities, opportunities, and obstacles that determined the political pathways of European integration. The EU is therefore in part a legacy of US postwar west European supremacy. The EU has attempted to respond to the collapse of the Berlin Wall and the post September 11, 2001 US declaration of a war on terror. Yet, coherence in the EU’s post Cold War Common Foreign and Security Policy supported by a Common Security and Defense Policy has been notably lacking. Fundamental disagreement over the relationship of the EU to its American patron is one political source of this lack of coherence. These disagreements may derive from differing European assumptions regarding US foreign policy motivation, as well as secondary issues regarding the relative capabilities of the EU in relation to these perceived challenges from the US.

Keywords: Common Foreign and Security Policy, Common Security and Defense Policy, Georgia, Iran, Iraq, Russia, Syria, Ukraine, United States, War on Terror

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Organizational Studies, Volume 9, Issue 2, March 2015, pp.1-16. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 659.577KB).

Prof. Benedict Edward DeDominicis

Assistant Professor, International Studies Department, Catholic University of Korea, Seoul, South Korea