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Gasping for Europe

If Europe cannot agree on the small issues of defence and foreign policy, how can it do so on the big ones, such as the use of military force? The answer is that it does not even want to

By Josef Joffe   July 1997

One of the pillars of our fabled Maastricht treaty, right up there next to monetary union, is the common foreign and security policy. In English, the acronym for this unwieldy concept is CFSP: in German, the abbreviation reads Gasp. Gasp, although an accidental pun, is a nice way of framing the issue. The term evokes choking, panting, wheezing, helplessness-an appropriate description of the problems Europe has encountered while trying to formulate a common policy in matters of diplomacy and defence.

Klaus Kinkel, the German foreign minister, has defined that ambition: “We want majority decisions [in the EU], above all in…

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