The effectiveness of European political cooperation as a system of collective diplomacy : a study of the CSCE process, 1972-1992.
This thesis examines European Political Cooperation's contribution to the CSCE
Process, the case study widely held to be the most successful example of EPC in action
to date, in order to determine whether EPC was in reality as cohesive and influential as
its reputation would have us believe. The thesis has elected to judge EPC's 'effectiveness'
at the CSCE against certain criteria: did the Member States respect their EPC guidelines,
the aims they set themselves prior to each CSCE Conference, and did they act in a
cohesive way in order to be in a position to influence the outcome?
The approach adopted is primarily chronological, each chapter studying EPC's
performance at the CSCE Conferences and Meetings as they occurred sequentially within
a certain timeframe. However, the chapters have also been structured thematically in order
to highlight the most important findings and conclusions more clearly. This approach is
valuable in that it enables one to verify the extent of EPC achievements and to conclude
whether EPC achieved the 'progress' over time that it should have done; it also allows one
to determine which issues were problematic for EPC and therefore to evolve explanations
for EPC shortcomings if any were to arise.
After having conducted extremely detailed research into this subject, the thesis
challenges the traditional wisdom of EPC success regarding this particular case study by
concluding that EPC produced highly diverse results at the CSCE Conferences and that
its performance over time could in no way be characterized as constituting linear progress:
it was not uncommon for EPC to be 'ineffective' according to the criteria established and
its potential was easily negated by developments internal to the EC or to its member
countries, by the state of East-West relations, and by the CSCE subject matter under
discussion. EPC, therefore, has often been unworthy of the heady praise heaped on its