Strategic Adaption or Identity Change? : An analysis of Britain's Approach to the ESDP 1998-2004

Publisert: 1. juli 2016

In this working paper, Kristin Marie Haugevik seeks to analyse the nature of the changes in Britain’s approach to the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) after 1998. Ever since the beginning of the European integration process in 1951, Britain’s approach to European security and defence cooperation has been characterized by anti-federalism and transatlanticism. Hence, it was unexpected when Tony Blair, together with Jacques Chirac, took the initiative to frame a common security and defence policy for the EU in Saint Malo in 1998. This paper discusses to what extent Britain’s new approach to the ESDP after 1998 can be explained as the result of a strategic adaptation, and to what extent it can be seen as a result of more profound changes in the British identity and security interests. These two accounts are tested by analysing Britain’s approach to some of the most important ESDP documents since 1998: the Saint Malo declaration, the Laeken declaration, the Nice Treaty, the European Security Strategy, and the Constitution Treaty