The development of a common foreign and security policy within the EU has always been a controversial issue, became it is directory related to surrender of national sovereigns. In fact, EU leaders have found the one hand, it is clear that the member states will have more power and influence in the world if they act as a group rather than independently. On the other hand, there is the fear that coordination will interfere with the freedom of member states do address mathers of national rather than of European interest.

During the process of regional integration in Europe, it became increasingly difficult to ignore the issues related to foreign policy. Following the end of cold war and the emergence of different crises in Europe, the political weakness of Europe became increasingly apparent. The EU lacked necessary political mechanism as well as a military force for playing a role in the crises. On the other hand, reaching a consensus among European leaders for adopting a common position was a very difficult task.

Gives these problems, the common Foreign and security policy (CFSP) was recognized as one of the three pillars of the EU under the treaty of Maastricht. The goals of the CFSP were defined as safeguarding common values and fundamental interests; preserving peace and strengthening international security; and promoting international cooperation.

This research aims at making familiar the reader with the backgrounds, evolution, mechanisms and developments of the CFSP. It also tries to study its challenges and opportunities.

The first chapter “Relations between the European Union and Great powers” tries to explain the status of the EU in the contemporary world. To do this, the author studies relations between the EU and three other great powers that are the United States, Russia and China. He also analyzes the future of these relations considering the present situation and prospective changes.

The second chapter “Common Foreign and Security Policy: from Dream to Reality “ addresses the evolution of the CFSP process and the challenges facing it .The author argues that regional and international crises have been the major driving force for developing the CFSP.

The third chapter entitled “The EU’s common Foreign and Security policy: Opportunity or Threat?”

Studies the strength and weaknesses of this policy. While enumerating existing obstacles of the effectiveness of the CFSP, the author describes its advantages for Europe .Also the opportunities and provided by the CFSP for the U.S. and the threats resulted from it against the U.S. are fully discussed.

The fourth chapter “France’s Attitude towards the CFSP”, tries to study the priorities of French foreign and security policy, France’s stance on the EU, and its position towards the CFSP. Given the fact that France is one of the major players in the EU and it attaches great importance to its national independence and interests, achieving a deeper understanding of its attitude can be useful in the better analysis of developments in the CFSP.

The fifth chapter “Germany’s Approach to the CFSP: Russia’s challenge” studies how Germany perceives the CFSP. The author first indentifies the goals and principles of Germany’s foreign policy and then he tries to analyze Berlin’s approach to the process of political integration within the EU. One of the topics discussed in this chapter is Berlin’s traditional policy called “ostpolitik” and the place of Russia in this policy.

The sixth chapter entitled “Britain’s Approach to the European Unity” explains the reasons for Britain’s joining to the process of European integration. Since Britain has always adopted an Atlanticist stance in its foreign policy, the author believes that economic imperatives forced it to join the process of European unity.

The seventh chapter “ESDP and NATO” studies shaping a common European army. The author tries to discuss the interaction between European Rapid Deployment force and NATO`s Rapid Reaction Force. Drawing upon the capacities of its own forces and those of NATO, Europe has so far participated in different missions with the aim of keeping peace and security in Afghanistan, Lebanon, horn of Africa, Georgia, etc.


•Relations between the European Union and Great Powers / Dr Mahmood Vaezi

•Common Foreign and Security Policy: from Dream to Reality /Dr Pirooz Izadi

•The EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy: Opportunity or Threat? / Stoyan Stoyanov

•France’s Attitude towards the CFSP /Dr Pirooz Izadi

•Germany’s Approach to the CFSP: Russia`s challenge /Dr davood Kiani

•Britain’s Approach to the European Unity /Hassan Naghdinejad

•ESDP and NATO /Dr Hamid Hadian