Open Access

A Shift in U.S. Foreign Policy under the Nixon Administration and European Political Cooperation: A Historical Analysis


With a historical approach, this paper examines the Nixon administration’s policy and stance towards the European Political Cooperation (the EPC). In December 1969, at The Hague Summit the leaders of the European Community expressed their determination for deepening European integration. The final communiqué of The Hague Summit stressed the European Community’s desire to achieve the EPC and to parallel the European Community’s increasing economic strength with a role to play in the world affairs. With this in mind, the paper will examine the impacts that Nixon administration’s attempts to rebalance U.S. foreign relations reflected in the opening to China and the détente with the Soviet Union had on the European political integration. Then, it will be argued that the Nixon administration’s shifting of foreign policy priorities can be seen as one of the driving forces of the EPC. The paper puts forth that a European Community, whose weight was increased first by its economic integration and then by its political cooperation, was seen by the Nixon administration as a challenge to the United States. It is concluded that after a long time of consistently supporting European integration as a means to secure peace and prosperity in Europe, the United States under the Nixon administration had to reconsider its foreign relations and rebalance its focus on the global chessboard. This rebalancing certainly impacted the EPC in particular and the European integration process in general.

Publication timeframe:
2 times per year
Journal Subjects:
Computer Sciences, other, Business and Economics, Political Economics, Law, Social Sciences