The Iraq War: killing dreams of a unified EU?
Chari, Raj S. and Cavatorta, Francesco (2003) The Iraq War: killing dreams of a unified EU? European Political Science, 3 (1). pp. 25-29. ISSN 1682-0983
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For students of EU public policy, the EU's reaction during and after the Iraq War may represent the same story of impotence that has historically plagued the EU when trying to speak with a single voice and act with a united front during a major world crisis. Despite some achievements with the EU's Common and Foreign Security Policy (CFSP) of the early 1990s (Ginsberg 1997; Holland 1995), the Iraq War perhaps best reflects Cameron's concerns: "in handling serious political crises, especially those involving armed conflict, the Union has rarely acted as one", or acted effectively (Cameron, 1998, 66).
Seeking to better understand why the EU did not act effectively during the Iraq War and to consider what lessons can be taken from this experience, the paper has three main objectives. First, the paper considers the theoretical reasons that help explain why the EU has historically failed to create a common defence and security policy. The section thereafter analyses developments during the Iraq war and tests which theoretical explanations (or combinations thereof) are of most value to understand the EU's stance. The final section then considers the future of the EU as an international actor in light of the fundamental concepts introduced by Hill (1993) regarding 'capabilities' and 'expectations' of EU foreign policy.
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