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By Christopher Hill

The Actors in Europe's overseas coverage is a well timed survey of the interaction among the EU's universal overseas and protection coverage and the customary nationwide overseas guidelines of the Union's member states.

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The first relates to the analysis by the French government of European disunity and the constant dissension among partners as much in evidence during the Gulf crisis as over the Yugoslavian conflict. In her resistance to the break up of Yugoslavia, France in the first phase found herself in disagreement successively with Bonn and Rome on the recognition of Slovenia and Croatia and with London on the wisdom of armed intervention. Similarly, during the Gulf War, the difficulty that some of her partners had in going from condemnation to participation in the UN intervention provoked some critical questioning in Paris about the developing CFSP.

There is no shortage of declarations which illustrate this stance. The statement by Elisabeth Guigou, Minister for European Affairs that ‘we will not have the CFSP tomorrow morning’38 is echoed by that of M Dumas on defence: ‘The WEU may become the pillar of a common defence policy…. Let us be clear. The point is not to replace current national responsibilities with a collective approach. Security is the concern of all. Defence is everyone’s business. 39 At a more fundamental level the French attitude towards the CFSP is indicative of the contradictory pressures exerted on foreign policy by the ending of the Cold War.

In these new conditions France is showing an obvious interest in the possible channel of influence offered by the CFSP. But the resistance which the CFSP continues to incite is no less obvious. 32 Françoise de La Serre CFSP: dilemmas and strategy The process which led to the introduction of a CFSP in the Treaty on European Union can largely be explained by the French desire to reinforce European integration in order to bind a reunified Germany to it. This desire did not emerge immediately after the fall of the Berlin wall but took some time to materialize.

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