Neutrality and its compatibility with the European Union: Comparative case studies of Austria, Finland, and Sweden
With the toppling of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent end of the Cold War, a reconfiguration of the international system began to unfold. The European Community (EC), and now, European Union (EU) became a focal point for European cooperation and integration. As the concept of neutrality adapted to an altered international system, a crucial question arose: Could European neutrals reconcile their neutrality with EU membership? This thesis provides a comparative analysis of the neutral states, Austria, Finland, and Sweden, in their quest for EU membership, given strengthened European Political Cooperation (EPC) and the aim of common foreign and security policy (CFSP). In examining four international crises (the Afghanistan crisis, sanctions against South Africa, the Gulf War, and the war in Bosnia), similarity emerged between neutral states' policies and EPC positions. The neutral states have also accepted their part in shaping the EU's CFSP, and the role of the Western European Union as the EU's defense policy enforcer.