Throughout the Cold War, Europe's leaders recommended a common European security and defense capability. In 1964, EEC Commission President Walter Hallstein said that "Economic union calls for what is known as political union, that is, merging of external policy and defence policy—for how can we in the long run picture a common trade policy without a common external policy?" 1 More than twenty years later, in 1987, EC President Jacques Delors echoed his words, saying that member countries "should equip themselves with a defence institution in the wider conventional field including theatre weapons [nuclear] which belong to them." 2 These hopes for a common institution have been largely frustrated, however, by Europe's own divergent interests and by the inability of Europe and the United States to reconcile any new European security and defense arrangement with the commitments of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). According to British Foreign Secretary Douglas Hurd:

Advocates of change in Europe's defence must answer the question: Why not NATO? For 40 years NATO has provided the peace in which we Europeans have built our prosperity and political unity. 3