Common Foreign and Security Policy and defence: a lost opportunity?
The Maastricht and Amsterdam Treaties witnessed an attempt to create in the European Union (EU) a fully capable foreign policy actor, with the capacity to draw upon military means to underpin its actions. From the time of the Treaty of Rome, the European Community had focused its efforts on economic integration and eschewed the pursuit of a foreign identity, whilst leaving defence issues in the hands of NATO. By the 1970s, however, a foreign policy mechanism entitled European Political Cooperation (EPC) had been established, in recognition of the fact that there was an external dimension to trade cooperation and that EC members needed to coordinate their voice in international affairs. Therefore, the forging of a Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) in the 1990s was able to build upon the foundations that had been laid before in EPC.