Subregional Cooperation and the New European Security Architecture

  • Andrew Cottey


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.


European 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

  1. 7.
    For example, seeking to counter-balance tensions with its neighbours over border disputes and minority rights, Hungary has been particularly active in this area (– see A. Cottey, East-Central Europe After the Cold War: Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary in Search of Security, (Houndmills and London: Macmillan, 1995), chapter 6 and pp. 93–125. Most Central and Eastern European states have concluded various military cooperation and confidence building measures with their immediate neighbours.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 8.
    Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, Vienna Document 1994 of the Negotiations on Confidence - and Security-Building Measures, (Vienna: OSCE, 1994).Google Scholar
  3. 21.
    Council of Europe, Explanatory Report on the European Outline Convention on Transfrontier Cooperation between Territorial Communities or Authorities, No 106, (Strasbourg: Council of Europe, 1980).Google Scholar
  4. 22.
    See K. Schumann and N. Levrat in V. Hudak, Ed., Building a New Europe: Transfrontier Cooperation in Central Europe, (Prague: Institute for EastWest Studies, 1996).Google Scholar
  5. 33.
    M. Ruhle and N. Williams, ‘Partnership for Peace after NATO Enlargement’, European Security, 5 (4) (Winter 1996) 524.Google Scholar
  6. 34.
    NATO, Study on NATO Enlargement, (Brussels: NATO, September 1995) p. 4 and p. 27.Google Scholar
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  9. 46.
    Presentation by Dr. Monika Wohlfeld (Institute for Security Studies Western European Union) on WEU and Sub-Regional Cooperation, summarised in A. Cottey and A. J. K. Bailes, Sub-Regional Cooperation in the New Europe: Current Issues and Future Prospects - Summary of an Intergovernmental Conference, Bratislava, 7–8 April 1997, (Warsaw: Institute for EastWest Studies, 1997).Google Scholar
  10. 47.
    Some analysts have suggested that WEU membership might be offered to Central and Eastern European states as an alternative to NATO membership, but this never appears to have been seriously considered within WEU. See S. Rogov, ‘Russia, NATO and Western European Union’, Chapter 6 in A. Deighton, Western European Union 1954–1997: Defence, Security, Integration, (Oxford: European Interdependence Research Unit, St. Anthony’s College, 1997 ), pp. 79–91.Google Scholar

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© Andrew Cottey 1999

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  • Andrew Cottey

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