Common Foreign & Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union

3030 Words7 Pages

The sovereign nations of the past can no longer solve the problems of the present; they cannot ensure their own progress or control their own future.

The essential thing is to hold fast to the few fixed principles that have guided us since the beginning: gradually to create among Europeans the broadest common interest, served by common democratic institutions to which the necessary sovereignty has been delegated.

¨CJean Monnet, Memoirs

In his book After Victory, John Ikenberry examines what states do with the power that comes after winning major wars. He believes the desire to maintain power encourages the states to seek ways to limit their own power to keep other states happy. Increasingly these limits are found in international institutions used to create ¡°strategic restraint¡± on power. Ikenberry believes increasing reliance upon institutions causes the postwar order to increasingly take on constitutional characteristics. In this paper I am primarily interested in the institutions of the European Union. More specifically I would like to examine the European Union¡¯s struggle to develop its own institutions for maintaining international order. These are collectively known as its Common Foreign and Security Policy.

Europe's Collective Security

The Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union (EU) was officially established by the Maastricht Treaty and became operational in 1993. However, the European Union has been concerned about collective security since its humble beginnings as an experiment in integrated economy in post-World War II Europe. After the conclusion of World War II, Europe as well as the rest of the world struggled to determine what Germany¡¯s future should be. Some nations wanted to strip Germany of its industry and turn the entire country into farmland.

Fortunately, there were those with the foresight to realize the only way to keep Europe safe was to rebuild Germany and work together to build a European Community. These men included Robert Schuman, Konrad Adenauer and Jean Monnet. Their vision of Europe was one where individual nations would share some of their sovereignty in exchange for a chance for peace. According to Pascal Fontaine, ¡°success depended on limiting objectives to specific areas, with a major psychological impact, and introducing a joint decision-making mechanism which would gradually be given additional responsibilities.¡± The first area that was chosen for Franco-German integration was steel and coal production.

European Coal and Steel Community

More about Common Foreign & Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union

Open Document