The relationship of the European Union (EU) to the ‘other Brussels-based organisation’, meaning the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), can be characterised as one with many contradictions. Despite the overlap of 21 states that are members of both the EU and NATO, the relationship between the two has been strained. The development of the EU as a security actor possibly trespassing on the prerogative of NATO remains a contentious issue. Ever since the EU gained a defence and security policy of its own, there has been a certain rivalry or ‘beauty contest’ (Varwick, 2006) between the two organisations. Moreover, although NATO and the EU have established arrangements for regular consultation at different levels, the agenda of the joint meetings of the North Atlantic Council (NAC) and the Political and Security Committee (PSC) of the EU are restricted to discussions on the ‘Berlin Plus’ operation in Bosnia only. Particularly in the area of operational cooperation the limitations of official EU-NATO interaction come to the fore. EU-NATO competition over missions is already built in, in the sense that NATO’s non-Article 5 missions overlap to a large extent the EU’s Petersberg tasks. The organisations have taken on similar responsibilities. NATO and the EU are both conducting operations in Macedonia (Allied Harmony, Concordia), Afghanistan (ISAF/NTM-A, EUPOL-A), Kosovo (KFOR, EULEX), Sudan and off the coast of Somalia (Ocean Shield, Atalanta).
- European Union
- European Union Member State
- African Union
- North Atlantic Treaty Organization
- European Security
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© 2015 Margriet Drent
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Drent, M. (2015). EU-NATO Relations in Crisis Management Operations: The Practice of Informality. In: Galantino, M.G., Freire, M.R. (eds) Managing Crises, Making Peace. Rethinking Peace and Conflict Studies. Palgrave Macmillan, London. https://doi.org/10.1057/9781137442253_5
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