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Describe the major differences in interests and perspectives of the member states of the European Union on Iraq and the US policy

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  1. Overview of the political events that led to the divide
    1. January the 30th 2003:Letter of the eight
    2. February the 5th 2003: Declaration of the countries of the Vilnius Group
    3. February The 17th 2003: Declaration of Jacques Chirac, President of the French Republic
    4. April the 29th 2003: Mini summit between four member states
  2. Description of the divide within the European Union regarding the Iraqi issue
  3. Main features of the Common Foreign and Security Policy:
  4. How to improve this Common Foreign and Security Policy situation?

The Iraq conflict uncovers difficulties for the member states of the European Union to find a common position in the context of the Common Foreign and Security Policy. This essay describes the major differences in the interest and perspectives of the member governments on Iraq, and the US policy. How can this situation in Common Foreign and Security Policy be explained by the Theories of the European Integration? What has to be done to improve this situation? The capacity of the European Union to acquire a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) is one of the major issues in the European construction in the years to come. With the Economic and Monetary Union, the CFSP constituted as one of the main contributers for the Treaty of Maastricht. But, if the single currency is henceforth a reality, this is not already the case of the Common Foreign and Security Policy which fuels harsh criticisms, especially regarding its role in former Yugoslavia and during the war in Iraq. However, the improvements made are tangible. In the 70s the European political cooperation was already a small beginning of the CFSC. Today it is more than a simple pragmatic harmonization .One could argue that the difficulties that is encountering the European foreign policy is not only due to institutional reasons, but due to the reluctance of the member states to renounce to a part of their sovereignty in the field. In order to better understand the mechanisms of the Common Foreign and Security Policy within the European Union and also the problems that are encountering this policy, I would like first to give a small overview of the facts that led to this, within the European Union concerning the war in Iraq. Then I would like to describe the major differences in the interests and perspectives of the member governments on Iraq, and the US policy. Finally, I will try to explain the historical and institutional backgrounds of the CFSP, in order to find some ways to improve this foreign policy situation in Europe.

[...] I am going to give an overview of the matters that are encountering the European foreign policy and try to give my own opinion about what should be changed and why in order to lessen this divide among the member states. How to improve the definition of a Common Foreign and Security Policy? In other fields of action of the European Union this question is solved by the implementation of the ?community method?. But the CFSP obeys to an intergovernmental logic that respects the rule of unanimity. [...]


[...] The Neofunctionalist theory of European Integration is good in understanding why the common policy has to be set up within the European Union and why the Union needs this common policy. But I think that this theory doesn't fit very well to today European situation, to me it is too utopian. But anyway one could argue that these two theories are the most relevant ones in the field of International Relations How to improve this Common Foreign and Security Policy situation? [...]


[...] In order to improve the European policy and to avoid the divide among member states as soon as a crisis occurs, Europe really needs to find a way to cooperate during crisis .It is maybe utopian but member states have to find common position in the field of crisis management. Because during the Iraqi crisis European states have been caught off their guard as there was no common position on crisis management and that should never happened again. Having a European army could be ideal It would be also high time to create a real European industrial armament policy. [...]

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