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Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community


But was it purely an initiative to counter US demands for West Germany ... of military control and of defining the global geopolitics of Western relations ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community

Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community
  • An European Army in the 1950s?
  • October 1950 France proposes the establishment
    of an integrated European force between France,
    West Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands and
  • But was it purely an initiative to counter US
    demands for West Germany rearmament i.e.
    Europeanisation vs Transatlantic western

Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community
  • The Puzzle How to tackle the perceived Communist
    Threat to the Atlantic/Western Community without
    reviving German militarism?
  • Jean Monnet, the father of the European Coal
    and Steel Community (ECSC) worried that US
    support for West German Rearmament would make
    Germany less interested in fully participating
    in an integrated ECSC
  • Therefore
  • He decided to model the rearmament project in the
    same lines as the ECSC i.e. to make it part of a
    fully integrated European project with strong
    backing from the US

Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community
  • Monnet believed that by Europeanising the
    question of German rearmament, one could start
    thinking about creating a functioning European
  • 24 October 1950 Monnet drafts a declaration in
    the name of the French PM Pleven, proposing the
    establishment of an European Army to be attached
    to the new political institutions of Europe
  • This included a complete integration of human and
    material components under a single political and
    military European authority the creation of the
    post of European Minister of Defence, and a
    European Defence Council finally, the plan also
    including drafting a European defence budget

Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community
  • Monnet acknowledged the enormous potential of
    defence integration for the fully development of
    a European political community thus, he quickly
    became an enthusiast of creating a European Army
  • By this time, the US had made their political and
    financial support to Europe contingent on the
    successful establishment of a European Defence
    Community Italian PM De Gasperi further
    proposed, in 1952, that the future Common
    Assembly of the EDC would have the powers to
    develop a political structure enabling the
    creation of a European Federation

Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community
  • May 1952 EDC Treaty signed (but yet to be
    ratified by national parliaments) No rush in
    making the EDC fully operational before
    elaborating upon Europes political architecture
    within ECSC
  • New US Republican Administration
    (Eisenhower/Dulles) Dulles to Monnet, November
    1952 I believe the prompt creation of a United
    States of Europe is essential and I know you
    share this conviction Transatlantic federalist
  • Yet, the political tide starts swinging in
    France, new Socialist government in power, first
    with PM Mayer, later with Mendès-France less
    enthusiasm for the EDC project, priority given to
    national interests over broad international

Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community
  • Anti-EDC Gaullist Party (RPF) part of coalition
    government Calls for new negotiations over the
    EDC, in order to protect the national character
    of the French Army and its unity and the unity of
    the French Union
  • Plans for a European Political authority
    perceived as a threat to having France as an
    independent Western Power
  • For the French military and policymakers, the EDC
    was no longer about German rearmament but about
    the future of France as an independent global
  • Monnet, on the other hand, firmly believed that
    any European Political arrangement that fell
    short of transferring national sovereignty to
    common (European) institutions would open the way
    to the renaissance of militaristic nationalism in

Jean Monnet and the European Defence Community
  • The linkage between the creation of a European
    Political Community with that of a European
    Defence Community was now threatening European
    and Transatlantic unity as a whole i.e. those
    opposed to supranational institutions (as in the
    EPC) and those who firmly opposed West German
    rearmament (as in the EDC) quickly found common
  • 24 August 1954 The French national assembly
    votes against the ratification of the EDC treaty
    (319 against, 264 in favour)
  • Nevertheless, Monet insisted that a supranational
    European path was the sole and last hope for
    peace and prosperity in Europe

NATO Transatlantic Crisis of 1966
  • 7 March 1966 US President Lyndon Johnson
    receives a letter from his French counterpart,
    General Charles de Gaulle
  • France has decided to recover the entire
    exercise of her territorial sovereigntyterminates
    her participation in NATO integrated commands
    and no longer places her forces at the disposal
    of NATO
  • US- European relations strained i.e. No European
    solidarity with the US in Vietnam, US doubting
    the loyalty of European allies
  • De Gaulle defended that the US should not have
    the monopoly of military control and of defining
    the global geopolitics of Western relations

NATO Transatlantic Crisis of 1966
  • De Gaulle had in fact questioned the
    organisations own legitimacy in an era of
    détente as a result of French withdrawal from
    NATOs integrated military command structure (but
    not from NATO itself), both the UK and West
    Germany expanded their influence within the
  • De Gaulle on NATO hegemony disguised as
    Atlantic solidarity America was Europes
    daughter, and not its Master
  • Defence vs Détente British agreed with the
    content of French criticism to NATO, but not with
    its methods they saw it as an opportunity to
    reform NATO and make the organisation streamlined
    and more economical, with an agreement on nuclear
    sharing and a new focus on détente

The Beginning of the End of the Cold War
  • December 1979 Why were Cruise and Pershing II
    missiles deployed in Europe?
  • Mary Kaldor Political reasons to reassert US
    commitment to the defence of Western Europe
    Deployment was also supposed to display NATOs
    ability to take and execute collective decisions
  • Yet, on the other hand, deployment per se quickly
    became self-defeating as it greatly undermined
    both West and East European public opinion
    consensus about international security policy
  • Therefore, the beginning of the end of the Cold
    War began/was accelerated by an unexpected?
    remilitarisation of the mind in both West and East

The Beginning of the End of the Cold War
  • Late 1970s and early 1980s (Carter and Reagan
    US administrations) firm belief that US global
    role could be re-established through military
  • US-Soviet Union parity in strategic nuclear
    arsenals raised the question of US credibility in
    relation to its European partners and a perceived
    decline of Western influence (defeats in Vietnam
    and in the African continent)
  • What was the dilemma for European Atlanticists
    1) to re-establish a working transatlantic
    relationship 2) to contain both new elements of
    European Nationalism and the rise of the Left 3)
    to constrain increasing US belligerency

The Beginning of the End of the Cold War
  • European Public Opinion Perceptions of the
    deployment of the missiles Risk for European
    lives without risk for American lives i.e. the
    Soviet missiles deployed behind the Iron Curtain
    could only reach European cities
  • Cruise and Pershing to be deployed in the UK,
    West Germany, Holland, Belgium and Italy
  • Attempt to compromise West German and Dutch
    insisted that deployment must include
    negotiations with the Soviet Union in order to
    limit the deployment and/or use of theatre
    nuclear forces
  • Massive demonstrations in Eastern Europe against
    the presence of Soviet SS-20 missiles peace
    activism became intense in East Germany and
    Czechoslovakia mostly

The Beginning of the End of the Cold War
  • The Euromissile crisis was mostly, at the broader
    European level, an attempt to Europeanise the
    gains of détente
  • It was a means to find ways on insulating
    détente from superpower nuclear confrontation,
    and about creating a healthy political space in
    Europe that could help slowing down the renewed
    arms race of the time
  • According to European interpretation, deployment
    of missiles/nuclear weapons in their territory
    means that the host countries offer their
    territory as a target without getting a credible
    guarantee in return
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