Kai Oppermann, Alexander Höse, 'Public Opinion and the Development of the European Security and Defence Policy' (2007) 12 European Foreign Affairs Review, Issue 2, pp. 149–167
This article argues that public opinion will become an increasingly significant constraint on European-level decision-making with regard to implementing and further developing the ESDP. The thesis is based on a theoretical concept that identifies two necessary preconditions for public opinion to impact upon governmental foreign policies, namely the public salience of foreign policy issues and the public’s opportunity structures to influence foreign policy decision-making. Any initiative to put into practice or extend the ESDP will have to be pursued in a political environment in which both preconditions will generally be met. First, the ESDP’s actions and aspirations touch upon issues that are of great salience to European publics. Second, European publics are provided with ample channels of influence to constrain European integration in this field via their respective national governments. Thus, the prospects of further developing the ESDP will depend increasingly on supportive public opinions in EU Member States.
Copyright © 2007 Kluwer Law International
All rights reserved