The 3rd and 4th December 1998, the President of French Republic Jacques Chirac and the British Prime Minister Tony Blair met in Saint Malo. Both maintained the necessity to give Europe the ability of autonomous action concerning security and defence. This statement comes within the framework of the development of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) of the European Union during the 1990s. It also shows the building process of a CFSP (common Foreign and security policy) is getting more and more pragmatic. Indeed, the institutional framework for a European voice in international affairs now exists. The EU as an independent actor that stands ready to defend its security interests at the European and global level will have a significant impact upon cooperative security structures at the regional level and beyond. It will alter relations between states as well as international bodies. It will create new security and organizational patterns and somewhat blur the borders between member states.
[...] Indeed, when assessing the future status of the Nordic subregion in the sphere of security and defence, we can say that this European region is becoming a more ‘normal' one. The days when the Nordic countries could develop a political identity by being different from the rest of Europe are gone. Instead, developments have shown that during the last 10 years the Nordic countries have become participants in the main European security discourses. As noted earlier, the traditional factors which were characteristic for the Nordic countries, and which were among those elements which created the ‘Nordic political space', are becoming relatively less significant. [...]
[...] In other words, the Nordic area (or ‘Norden'), especially Finland and Sweden, developed a specific political identity by being different from the rest of the bipolar European security order. In contrast to the rest of the system, the Nordic countries tried to pursue a foreign policy orientation which represented a modification of the confrontation, essentially by limiting Soviet involvement in Finland. After the end of the Cold War, this special form of identity was irrelevant. Instead, during the 1990s the Nordic countries became involved in the great European security discourses, the most important one of which revolved around the concept of cooperative security. [...]
[...] As a result, EU integration could be seen as a process which corresponds to the main objectives of the US in European security affairs: expanding market democracies and stability. Consequently, the fact that the EU enlarged the zone of stability in the Nordic zone is appreciated by the US, especially regarding Russian considerations In this respect, the Clinton administration has since 1996 given the Nordic region, and especially the security of the Baltic States, a high degree of attention. In fact, a major policy goal of the US administration is to turn this region into a testing ground for its concept of cooperative security (being creation of a security environment (stable and predictable) through the mutual regulation of military capabilities and operational exercises that produce or can produce distrust and uncertainty."). [...]
[...] If Nordic states want to influence, they need to have a presence in the security policy. According to realistic theories of international relations, it is only major player that have a chance to influence. Then, Nordics need an intention to influence. Finally, they need a sufficient capacity to influence. a. The realist theories: influence in term of absence and presence According to realist theories, presence at the bargaining table of the CFSP is the minimum requirement to have influence. On fact, Finland and Sweden have chosen not to be member of NATO and WEU but to support the CFSP remaining non aligned. [...]
[...] But it is also important to note that the new European security order characterised by centrality and access to the decision-making centres made Denmark more vulnerable: In the words of Ole Wæver: ‘Denmark's to Maastricht was driven by a fear of coming too close to the centre'. As a consequence of the first Danish ‘No' to Maastricht, Denmark chose not to join the EMU, and only joined the WEU as an observer together with the non- aligned countries in the EU: Austria, Ireland, Finland and Sweden. [...]
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