The Relationship Between the European Union and NATO

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Firstly, the relationship between the EU and the NATO, notably their cooperation and coordination is an essential factor affecting the EU consensus associated with military force. The NATO's new Strategic Concept states that ‘an active and effective European Union contributes to the overall security of the Euro-Atlantic area. Therefore, the EU is a unique and essential partner for NATO.’ The NATO and the EU have 21 members in common. But all of them have only one set of military forces and capabilities. ‘The EU cannot deploy military forces if NATO is already engaged as all troops that are anticipated to be allotted to the EU force would already be assigned to the NATO.’ That is to say, the EU military force is only being ‘double hatted’ for NATO although the EU repeatedly insists that they are not developing another copy of the NATO. Since a common defence military force could only be deployed when NATO is not engaged, ‘the EU may be unable to respond to certain crisis situations that threaten the security of its Member States because its troops are already committed to NATO.’ The EU military force have to use NATO capabilities and intelligence at this stage as the EU has a much leaner military and political staff than NATO. However, if the EU desires to have the military capability with less dependency on the US, it should enhance autonomous military capabilities and intelligence without assistance from the NATO. It does not mean cooperation between them is unnecessary. By cooperating, pooling their resources, opting for multinational solutions and specializing, NATO and the EU can improve their chances of acquiring the military capabilities they need for their operations. Secondly, the US attitude towards the construction o... ... middle of paper ... ...l of International & Comparative Law, Feb 01, 2003; Vol. 31, No. 2, p. 355-384<> access 14 April 2014. 10. Philip H. Gordon, ‘Their own army? Making European defence work’, Foreign Affairs, July/August 2000, Vol. 79, Issue 4 access 14 April 2014. 11. Vedran Obucina, ‘As the EU struggles to reach a consensus on foreign policy, France takes the lead’, The Atlantic Post, January 2, 2014. access 14 April 2014.

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