European Security Cooperation Moving Forward: The Current State and the French Plan for Progress
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European security integration remains a contested issue among European Union member states. Some nations fear a loss of their neutrality while others are content with NATO. However, major leaders such as Nicolas Sarkozy of France and Angela Merkel of Germany are pushing for more European security integration. The current makeup of the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the various European defense organizations lead to insufficient defense and crisis management capabilities at the European Union level. The recently released French White Paper on Defense and National Security proposes a new vision for European defense with a renovated NATO and more robust EU forces, yet one not likely to gain favor amongst all EU members. Slow progress will continue with respect to European security integration because strong nations such as France and Germany will force compromise from the less powerful member states. Furthermore, the current French presidency of the EU coupled with the painful realities of the Georgia-Russia conflict over South Ossetia and Abkhazia will force the EU to move security integration forward.