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Europe as a power multiplier for French security policy: strategic consistency, tactical adaption
journal contributionposted on 2023-06-07, 22:35 authored by Adrian TreacherAdrian Treacher
Successive leaderships during the French Fifth Republic have sought to manipulate Western Europe into assuming the strategic objectives of security policy that France could no longer attain alone but which it was not prepared to forsake: national grandeur and an elevated global rank. Hence, there was a transferral of French ambitions to the European level; the latter would act as a power multiplier for France. Within this, three distinctive periods can be discerned. First, the promotion of an autonomous European security and defence identity (ESDI) directed by France. Second, the pursuit of ESDI within the structures of the Atlantic Alliance. Third, the relocation of ESDI within the European Union. The phases highlight a strong coherence in that they represent tactical shifts in the quest for strategic goals in response to shifting external factors.
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Department affiliated with
- Politics Publications
NotesThis refereed article examines the manipulation of the European Union by French leaders to serve their own foreign policy goals. It argues that rather than `downsize' France's global ambitions so as to reflect the country's relatively diminished power, its leaders chose to retain those global ambitions and to transfer them to the Union; the Union would help France attain what it no longer could by itself. Hence, French leaders made tactical alterations to foreign policy in order that the strategic objectives could continue to be attained. To this end, the article examines three discernible tactical shifts throughout the Fifth Republic.
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