The Evolution of the Positions of France and Poland towards the Common Security and Defence Policy Cover Image

The Evolution of the Positions of France and Poland towards the Common Security and Defence Policy

Author(s): Andrzej Szeptycki
Subject(s): Politics / Political Sciences
Published by: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego
Keywords: Wspólna Polityka Bezpieczeństwa i Obrony; Francja; Polska; ewolucja polityki bezpieczeństwa Francji i Polski;

Summary/Abstract: At the beginning of the current decade Polish-French relations were in crisis. This was due to several factors, such as the Iraq confl ict, controversy over the Constitutional Treaty, and to a lesser degree negotiations at the Nice Summit and Poland’s decision to purchase American F-16 planes. However, the two countries were also separated by fundamental differences concerning the future shape of European integration and their vision of the international order. Poland treated its alliance with the United States and NATO membership as priorities, considering these as the foundation of its national security, and regarded the European Security and Defence Policy with scepticism and mistrust. France on the other hand had traditionally viewed NATO as an element of American domination in Europe and was therefore an ardent supporter of ESDP. Recent years have seen an improvement in this situation and the two countries now enjoy closer relations. This evolution can be explained by Poland’s accession to the EU, the weakened position of France after the rejection of the Constitutional Treaty in referendum in 2005, and the coming to power of Nicolas Sarkozy in France and the Civic Platform (Platforma Obywatelska) in Poland. The new French president took the historic decision to return to the military structures of NATO. Poland, in order to gain a stronger position within the EU, committed itself to ESDP. This situation led to the development of cooperation between the two countries in this fi eld. Poland strongly supported the EUFOR Chad/CAR mission initiated by France. In November 2009 the countries adopted a joint declaration on security and defence. This was a signifi cant event in Polish-French bilateral relations and – potentially – in the history of the European Common Security and Defence Policy, although the expression “a new St Malo” used by Polish diplomats seems a little exaggerated.

  • Issue Year: 42/2010
  • Issue No: 3-4
  • Page Range: 9-31
  • Page Count: 23
  • Language: Polish