Developing a European security and defense identity : past failures, present dilemmas, and the future of EU military cooperation
The European Union (EU) is an alliance of 15 Westem European nations that coordinate on economic, social, judicial, and political issues. In 1991, the EU decided to begin collaboration among its members' foreign and security policies. The goal of a common European military identity had been previously attempted by several EU members, but with little success. The early 1990s Balkan crisis provided the EU with a perfect opportunity to unite on a plan for concerted military action, yet the European countries could not agree on how to address the situation. This failure highlighted the EU's need to refine its decision-making process and work with an existing security organization in order to accomplish its ambitious goal of military cooperation. By examining past relations, present developments, and future plans between organizations, it became obvious that the North Atlantic Treaty Organization would be the most likely partner for EU military cooperation.