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Research Report


Nicole Gnesotto
Copyright Date: Mar. 1, 1991
Pages: 20
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Table of Contents

  1. (pp. None)

    During a year of upheavals that have affected East-West relations in their entirety, concepts of security in most European countries have oscillated between two sets of alternatives.

    The first of these is based on a traditional geographical distinction: on the East-West scene, security becomes an essentially political concept as the perception of a Soviet military threat and the idea of opposing blocs both disappear. On the North-South scene, or more precisely, out-of-area, the military aspects of security have become more obvious since the Gulf crisis began on 2 August 1990.

    The second ambivalence is much more diffuse: in most European...

  2. (pp. None)

    Political Union, a common security dimension, a common foreign policy, a common European defence; the multiplicity of expressions currently used reflects as many large ambitions as it does real ambiguities.

    From now on 2 August 1990 will certainly be regarded as a watershed: Iraq may well have been a much more powerful factor in European integration than any number of summits and official declarations. Does that amount to saying that Europe will only come about because of outside pressure, and that there is no political dynamism inside the Community sufficiently strong to make it take the necessary leap towards a...

  3. (pp. None)

    WEU thus finds itself at the centre of the debate: while occupying the presidency of the Community, Italy recently proposed the fusion of the Nine and the Twelve in order to take the plunge towards Political Union. Italy's ambition is correct: a true European Political Union worthy of the name has scarcely any meaning unless in the long term it includes a common defence dimension. Nobody doubts that WEU and the Twelve will one day be one and the same, in some structure yet to be worked out. Nobody doubts that the European context today is favourable for contemplating and...

  4. (pp. None)

    The war in the Gulf will have had the effect both of delivering a rebuff and of giving impetus to European dynamism.

    The Community was notable first for its absence and impotence when hostilities began - giving rise to ironic commentary in particular because the first session of the Intergovernmental Conference in February 1991 was publicly associated with the definition of a common security policy. The criticism was largely unfounded, since Europe's defence was at the time no more than a groundless project, an ideal or a foil, but certainly not a functioning organisation which would have failed in its...