Mazzucelli, Colette. (2008) The Importance of the European Union’s Strategic and Diplomatic Cultures. Jean Monnet/Robert Schuman Paper Series Vol. 5 No. 16, July 2008. [Working Paper]
[From the Introduction] This paper identifies culture as a variable underlying the establishment of a distinct policy area in the European Union (EU). An inquiry into the evolution of strategic culture in the Union must reference the agreement taken by Tony Blair and Jacques Chirac in 1998 at Saint-Malo. Why did these two leaders take a step in the direction of a European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP)? Do structural or institutional explanations trump the cultural analysis? In each case, the decision taken may be explained with reference to the culture of the country in question. Each leader was confronted with a tension between the need for his state to continue participation, to varying degrees, in the European integration process and the reluctance or indifference of the national population toward this objective. Culture is a variable that must be taken into account to explain the contestation resulting from gap between national leaders’ attempts to define their states’ medium to long-term interests at the center of European Union policymaking and the populaces’ attitudes of disinterest or downright hostility to these goals.
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