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European Security Integration After Brexit: It’s Ideologies, Stupid

European Union
Security
Comparative Perspective
Brexit
Political Cultures
Catherine Hoeffler
Institut d'Études Politiques de Bordeaux
Catherine Hoeffler
Institut d'Études Politiques de Bordeaux
Stephanie Hofmann
University of Geneva

Abstract

The institutional framework based on which EU member states coordinate their crisis management policies, known today as the Common Security and Defense Policy, has undergone many ups and downs since its initiation in 1999. On the macro-level, the powerful EU member states initially embraced the policy and beefed it up with institutional and material capacities. Their support has waxed and waned since then which had repercussion on the institutional development. With the British stretched-out departure from the EU, the CSDP has received renewed institutional impetus. In this paper, we ask why we observe the institutional pushes and retractions? We argue that political party ideologies drive British, French and German policy towards the EU. Based on different value complexes (consisting of the values multilateralism, sovereignty, and political community), political parties in these three countries interpret the EU’s role in multilateral security policy differently. Based on their value interpretations, consecutive governments encouraged, delayed or halted CSDP transformation at specific junctures that are characterized by particular political parties in power. We support this argument with an empirical analysis of the three countries in question based on interviews and primary documents such as party manifestos, parliamentary debates, and presidential speeches.