European Union Common Foreign Policy: From EPC to CFSP Joint by M. Holland

By M. Holland

This ebook offers an exam of 1 of the 1st joint activities undertaken through the ecu Union below the typical international and safety coverage (CFSP) provisions of Maastricht. The case-study of South Africa is especially very important because it straddles either the CFSP and the eu Political Cooperation (EPC) sessions and hence similarities and constraints in policy-making and implementation will be made. The EC/EU coverage vis-a-vis South Africa is traced from 1977 via to the April 1994 South African elections. the sooner coverage interval of sanctions and optimistic measures are in comparison with the Nineteen Nineties guidelines of election commentary, the normalization of bilateral family and improvement coverage. basic conclusions in regards to the effectiveness and institutional points of joint activities are drawn and proposals for greater CFSP joint activities proposed. Vice-President of the fee, Sir Leon Brittan, has contributed a foreword to this volume.

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In deference to national political sensitivities, the Commission's normal Community exclusive right of initiative was not extended to foreign policy; the member states and the Commission now "share" this authority. When the Union meets Foreign Policy Making Process 13 to discuss CFSP it does so as the Thirteen and no longer as the Twelve, although where decisions are adopted by majority vote the Commission is not included. In a general sense, there has been a normalization of foreign policy since the mid-1980s with the policy making process now more closely reflecting the EU's internal procedures for economic and other sectors covered by Community competences.

The debate about the future Union foreign policy replacing EPC did not get beyond the essential characteristics (and hence limitations) of the existing form of policy coordination. A variety of radical innovations were proposed, such as expounding a general set of principles to determine foreign policy action, and the communautarization of decision-making by acting according to majority votes. Ultimately, an intergovernmental approach remained in ascendency. The provisions agreed to in the Treaty on European Union are remarkable more for their similarity to, than their differences from, EPC.

Typically, the optimism of SEA's rhetoric stood in stark contrast to the practical reality of EPC action: member states . . shall endeavour jointly to formulate and implement a European foreign policy; ... shall ensure that common principles and objectives are gradually developed and defined; ... shall endeavour to avoid any action or position which impairs their effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations; . . shall, as far as possible, refrain from impeding the formation of a consensus and the joint action which this could produce.

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