The social construction of European solidarity : Germany and France in the EU policy towards the states of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific (ACP) and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
Title: The social construction of European solidarity : Germany and France in the EU policy towards the states of Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific (ACP) and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
Citation: Journal of international relations and development, 2011, Vol. 14, No. 4, pp. 469‐505
ISSN: 1408-6980; 1581-1980
This article compares the foreign policies of France and Germany in the 1990s towards the European Union (EU)'s special relationships with the countries of Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific (ACP) on the one hand and the Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC) on the other. Whereas France advocated support for ACP interests, Germany supported those of the CEEC. We argue that French and German prioritisations cannot sufficiently be explained by rationalist, interest-based approaches (i.e. neorealism, economic liberalism and institutionalism) and offer a constructivist supplement to fill in the gaps. This approach is based on the concept of solidarity. First, we develop our theoretical concept and identify three principles of solidarity action (i.e. ties, need and effort). We then apply our concept of solidarity to show how French and German policies towards the Cotonou Agreement, concluded in 2000 with the ACP, and the EU's Eastern enlargement process were shaped by different social constructions of solidarity, resulting in strong preferential support for either the ACP (France) or the CEEC (Germany).
Published online: 22 July 2011
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