Re-designing military security in Europe : cooperation and competition between the European Community and NATO during the early 1980s
Title: Re-designing military security in Europe : cooperation and competition between the European Community and NATO during the early 1980s
Author: ROMANO, Angela
Citation: European review of history ; Revue européenne d'histoire, 2017, Vol. 24, No. 3, pp. 445-471
ISSN: 1350-7486; 1469-8293
In the early 1980s, the member-states of the European Community (‘the Ten’) extended their foreign-policy cooperation into the field of security and disarmament. They advanced a proposal for a Conference on Disarmament in Europe within the framework of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe process. As disarmament was a preserve and priority concern of NATO, the move engendered both competition and cooperation between NATO and European Political Cooperation (EPC), that is, the mechanism the Ten used to elaborate common positions. This article analyses these dynamics by paying particular attention to the exchange of ideas between the two forums. It also shows the key role of some Western European governments in inspiring competition or promoting cooperation between the two organizations, and the rationales and drivers behind their actions. The article proves that Cold War concerns played a key role in this regard: the will to preserve European détente and the need to address domestic opinion critical of an escalation of the East–West confrontation motivated their initiative in the disarmament field. At the same time, concern that the Soviets might exploit divergences across the Atlantic prompted their attempts to secure NATO’s cohesion and project a strong image of unity.
Published online: 13 Jun 2017
Type of Access: openAccess
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