Britain, France and Germany priorities for the European Union's security and defense policy
Yost, David S.
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This thesis analyzes areas of consensus and distinctiveness in the security and defense policies of the European Union's three big powers: Britain, France and Germany. Owing in part to divergent historical experiences in the twentieth century and before, Britain, France and Germany have retained distinct national interests. These interests, in combination with each country's individual security cultures, have determined British, French and German priorites for the European Union's Security and Defense Policy (ESDP). German has advocated the concept of "civilian power Europe," while Britain and France have sought to strengthen the EU's military capabilities. Furthermore, London and Paris continue to have national security objectives that are not reflected in the ESDP. While Germany's security and defense agenda beyond NATO is almost entirely supported by the ESDP, Britain and France pursue security and defense policy agendas outside the European Union's framework on a national basis. However, there are sign of convergence in the views of London, Paris and Berlin. Examples include the general consensus on threat perceptions, the more compatible policies toward NATO, the limited progress in the European Union headquarters debate, the conduct of several civil and military ESDP operations, and last but not least the very existence of the December 2003 European Security Strategy.
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