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EU-NATO relations: A long-term perspective

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EU-NATO relations have long amounted to a beauty contest. In reality, the EU and NATO are very different organisations: the former is an actor, the latter is an instrument. Taking this into account, and leaving behind the often emotional and ideological debates, an effective division of labour can be designed for the three key functions of security and defence: strategy, operations, and capabilities. The result can be a European pillar of the European allies and partners of NATO – which also make up the EU – that contributes to collective defence
while achieving strategic autonomy for expeditionary operations. The questions remains whether such a pillar should eventually also seek strategic autonomy in territorial defence. Eventually, a new NATO could emerge: a US-EU alliance

This article was first published in IDN papers N°29.

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(Photo credit: NATO, © European Union, 1995-2018)