Alternative Title

European Defence Integration and the Nuclear Weapons Issue

Publication Type

Journal Article

Publication Date



As it strives to develop a fully integrated security and defence policy, the European Union faces a dilemma. While integration is proceeding apace and now embraces a number of key areas of national security policy, the Union still shies away from holding a serious debate about the future of European - that is British and French - nuclear weapons. These two European states have sought to justify their continued ownership of nuclear weapons by citing their own (and Europe's) benevolent intentions and the fact that their actions are guided by an awareness of their responsibility. Instead, Europe must begin to question critically the nuclear weapons policy of its own members and demand that concrete measures must be taken. This could be a real stress test for the Common Foreign and Security Policy of the EU. Yet by engaging in a proper debate about its own policies, the EU has an opportunity to make a key contribution to international security and to boost its image as a credible actor with convincing arguments. Während die Europäische Union auf dem Weg zu einer vollständig vergemeinschafteten Sicherheits- und Verteidigungspolitik weiter voranschreitet, scheut sie nach wie vor eine ernst-hafte Debatte über die Zukunft der »europäisCHEN« – britisCHEN und französisCHEN – Atomwaffen. Europa muss damit beginnen, die Atomwaffenpolitik auch ihrer eigenen Mitglieder kritisch zu hinterfragen und konkrete Maßnahmen einzufordern. Nur so kann die EU einen gewichtigen Beitrag zur internationalen Sicherheit leisten und sich als glaubwürdiger, überzeugender Akteur profilieren.


nuclear weapons, security policy, European Union, nuclear disarmament


Defense and Security Studies | International Relations | Political Science

Research Areas

Political Science


Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft (International Politics and Society)



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Last Page





Internationale Politik und Gesellschaft

City or Country

Berlin, Germany

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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