Comparison of the French and German approaches to ESDP and NATO
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In the process of the European implementation of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) at Maastricht in December 1991 until the Franco-British declaration on European defense at Saint-MlÌ o in December 1998, the EU's European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) etched out the initial concept of a European Pillar within the framework of NATO expressed in NATO's European Security and Defense Identity (ESDI). The Franco-British declaration at Saint- MlÌ o demonstrated the willingness of some EU member states to promote autonomous military capabilities within the EU that enables the EU to act outside of NATO's framework. The further development of ESDP led to concern among NATO officials and US diplomats regarding ESDP's potential challenging appearance to NATO. US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld expressed this concern about a growing EU opposition to the transatlantic policy of alliance. In January 2003, during the Iraq Crisis, Mr. Rumsfeld labeled France and Germany as the "Old Europe". The relation of ESDP to NATO is strongly affected by the national interests of leading European actors like France and Germany. The development of ESDP as either a competitor or support arm of NATO depends on whether the French or the German approach to European security becomes dominant.
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