Institutional Change and the New European Politics: The European Community, European Political Cooperation and the Western European Union
The object of this paper is to examine a small section of these political questions. There are several pressures building for a more united and independent Western Europe. The market completion will almost certainly result in a more politically united Community. The lessening of East-West tensions and the growth of West-West tensions are already impelling Europe to take a more independent and unified approach to its foreign and security policy. If Europe is to respond to these pressures and begin pursuing European policies in its foreign and security affairs, there will need to be an institutional focus for such policy. There are already institutions in place, which are designed to provide fora for the consideration of these very policy areas. The European Political Cooperation (EPC) is an intergovernmental body whose function is to coordinate the foreign policies of the members of the EC in order to work toward a European foreign policy. In addition, the Western European Union (WEU) was originally founded to act as a focus for the development and execution of a European security policy. While the WEU had fallen into obscurity, it is still available and, in fact, has been recently reactivated. The central question of this discussion, therefore, is what role can be foreseen for the European Political Cooperation and the Western European Union in the new European politics.
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