21 Pages


WithDonatella M Viola

The Gulf and the Yugoslav crises have shown the failure of the European Community to act as a real international player, revealing the difficulty of overcoming national divisions and undertaking common actions. The Twelve meeting within the framework of European Political Cooperation showed their inability to reconcile their different interests and objectives and to formulate a common policy. The consensus requirement inevitably hampered a swift and smooth decisional process. The so-called ‘effect of hopelessness’ pervaded the European Parliament (EP) and frustration prevailed among the members, who grew disenchanted by their inability to influence Economic Community/European Union foreign policy-making. A glance at the EP shows that the level of cohesion within the various political groups was much higher than the level of cohesion amongst the various nationalities in the Chamber as a whole, for both the Gulf and Yugoslav cases.