Greek national security concerns and the European Union's common security and defense policy Consensus or divergence?
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One of the most important yet insufficiently researched dynamics of the European Union (EU) concerns its effectiveness in accommodating the security concerns of its members. With NATO dominating the collective security market of the old continent, the launch of the Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP) in 1999 generated an interesting security option, and silently partitioned the NATO members of the EU into a "euro-atlanticist" and a "euro-continentalist" group, with the nonduplication of NATO being the point of contention. With Greece's major security concern deriving from Turkey, a fellow NATO member, Athens holds a firm position in the latter group, seeking to turn the evolving European defense project into a counterweight to NATO in guaranteeing Greek national security. While Greek security priorities have remained remarkably consistent, the ambitious European defense project has undergone various fluctuations, reflecting the awkward development in its evolution. As a consequence, Greece's anticipations of a CSDP commitment in its national security concerns have oscillated accordingly: periods of positive signs succeeded periods of disillusionment and vice versa. Against this background, this paper attempts to elucidate Greek perceptions of its security providers and aims to give an answer to the following question: Are Greek security concerns reflected in the CSDP? In other words, is the EU an adequate security provider for Greece? This thesis argues that the territorial security concerns of the EU's member-states, especially those of Greece, cannot be fully assuaged under the CSDP auspices. More specifically, the CSDP does not adequately address Greek national interests, if defending these interests entails a European military response.
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