Reconcilable differences: European neutrality and European integration. The cases of Austria and Sweden: Implications and prospects of European Community/European Union membership
European neutrality and European integration are dynamic processes which represent means for nation states to maintain sovereignty and achieve common or similar goals. Neutrality can preserve the sovereignty and national identity of some states while integration can enable states to keep pace with the growing interdependency of the world. Nevertheless, both are tools which ultimately ensure the viability of each nation state which chooses to engage in either process. Thus, despite the increasingly comprehensive integration of the European Community and the European Union, the continuation of the inter-governmental nature of the common foreign and security policy will allow for reconciliation with neutrality. During the Cold War, Austria and Sweden focused their attention and experience on universal collective security as opposed to ideologically divided defense blocs as members of the United Nations. This experience will enable the Euro-neutrals to be potential leaders in developing any future regional security architecture in post-Cold War Europe. As neutrality is an adaptable process which will continue to evolve by enhancing security through participation in the broader scheme of European integration, so too will the dynamic process of European integration adapt to and benefit from the precepts of European neutrality as the European integration process proceeds "toward an ever closer union.".