Subregional Cooperation and the New European Security Architecture
Since the early 1990s, there has been general acceptance that the new European ‘security architecture’ should be defined by an inter-locking framework of institutions, with differing institutions playing differing roles, but also cooperating with one another to enhance general European security, as well as in the management of specific problems. Critics argue that the differing views amongst European states and the interests of competing beauracracies have meant that the new European architecture has been defined by competition between different organizations and the absence of any real consensus on how Europe’s security institutions should be re-organized. Nevertheless, a new, multi-institutional security architecture is emerging and — despite differences amongst European states on the future of that architecture — certain divisions of labour have become clear. The European Union (EU), the North Atlantic Treaty Organizations (NATO) and the Western European Union (WEU) continue to provide political, economic and military security for their members, but have also taken on new tasks: expanding their memberships to include countries from Central and Eastern Europe; developing cooperative ties with both prospective members and those states not likely to join these organizations; and developing operational conflict management and peacekeeping roles. The Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) and the Council of Europe continue to provide broad normative frameworks for European security (through the principles of democracy and human rights which they enshrine), but have also taken on new operational roles in areas such as election monitoring, support for democratization, conflict prevention and post-conflict peace-building.
KeywordsEuropean Union North Atlantic Treaty Organization European Security European Union Membership Stability Pact
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10 Subregional Cooperation and the New European Security Architecture
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