The European Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy: Central issues . . . Key Players

  • May 01, 1995
  • Dr Fraser Cameron, Prof Roy Ginsberg, Mr Josef Janning

The role of the European Union (EU) as a key international economic player is both highly developed and widely recognized. The Union's profile as an international political actor is much more limited, even though its activities are considerable. One of the principal objectives of the workshop on "The Common Foreign and Security Policy [CFSP] of the European Union: Germany's Dual Role as Architect and Constrictor" was to familiarize American policy and research communities with the realities of the structure, practice and limits of this policy initiative. The workshop, held on May 10, 1995, and sponsored by the American Institute for Contemporary German Studies, the U.S. Army War College, and the Delegation of the European Commission to the United States, also highlighted the special role Germany has played in the development of the CFSP, while considering, as well, the contributions of France and the United Kingdom. The future course of the CFSP matters to the United States as it raises questions about the nature of sovereign decision making on the part of principal American allies. Will these allies increasingly come to the table with singular collective positions? Will such a development enhance European stability? Will greater European unity diminish U.S. influence? How will NATO accommodate the change? The resolution of these issues in the early years of the coming century will have a profound impact on U.S. European relations and gives added salience to this report.

The workshop involved presentations by Fraser Cameron (European Commission, Brussels), Roy Ginsberg (Skidmore College and Center for Strategic and International Studies), Josef Janning, (Forschungsgruppe Europa, Universitaet Mainz), whose papers are reproduced in this volume; commentary by Daniel Hamilton (U.S. Department of State), Philip Thomas (British Embassy), Lily Gardner Feldman (American Institute for Contemporary German Studies), Gerd Wagner (Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany), Karen Donfried (Congressional Research Service), Pierre Buhler (Embassy of France); and extended discussion with the audience. Mr Stuart Mackintosh has provided a superb summary of the discussions.