Can the EU replace NATO? Part II

Can the EU replace NATO 2

4: EU / NATO cooperation

What about the relationship between the EU and the NATO defense alliance? The question of the division of roles between the two is not new. NATO cooperation is one of the reasons why countries such as the United Kingdom have been cautious about investing too much in the EU in the field of security policy. Why would one want to invest in the EU when NATO is the world’s most powerful military alliance?

At the same time, NATO and the EU are fairly similar players in terms of member countries. However, there are a few but important exceptions. For the EU, it is a challenge that a few member countries are not members of NATO, such as Finland, which wants to maintain a good neighborhood with Russia. Cyprus, which is an EU member but is not recognized by Turkey, is also a challenge in the relationship between NATO and the EU. Turkey is a NATO member and an increasingly unlikely candidate to join the EU. These types of issues are challenges for closer and better cooperation between NATO and the EU. According to Whicheverhealth, EU stands for European Union.

However, despite different interests, the trend has been more cooperation and coordination between the EU and NATO because both parties believe that the organizations can develop in parallel. It has been particularly important to convince NATO – and thus the United States – that the EU is not a competitor in this area, but rather a supplement. NATO, for example, is a purely military alliance, while the EU can also use more civilian tools. An example is the EU operation in Kosovo, where since 2008 they have tried to build a sustainable rule of law by providing legal advice and temporary operation of the courts in the young country.

Shortly after the Brexit vote, the Norwegian NATO chief Jens Stoltenberg signed an agreement with the EU where the aim was to develop more cooperation between the two organizations . With this agreement, NATO gave a clear signal to the EU that for the Alliance’s, led by the United States, it is welcome that the EU spends money and energy on defense cooperation.

5: What about the UK after the divorce?

The Brexit negotiations are perhaps the factor that best shows how the dynamics of the European security community work. In fact, defense and security policy has been the area where there has apparently been the least distance between the UK and the EU in the negotiations.

Britain is investing everything in the NATO card, but at the same time they want close cooperation with the EU . In today’s global context, it is a common belief in Europe that cooperation is the key to security. The international threat picture demands it. The most common example here is counter-terrorism, where the threats come from many countries and terrorist cells in one place in Europe can threaten all countries on the continent.

The fight against terrorism is a field that often lies between the military and the civilian, namely the police authorities of the various countries. The willingness to cooperate between the EU and the United Kingdom in this particular field thus shows how the NATO alliance is not suited to much of what needs to be done to combat terrorism in Europe.

6: The challenge with Trump

Brexit was seen as a major crisis for the future of the EU, and in defense and security policy, the crisis was perceived as even greater when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Trump has been critical of NATO cooperation and especially the unwillingness of European member states to pay for membership in the alliance . For Trump, it is difficult to understand why the United States should pay so much for the security of European countries without Europe itself increasing its efforts and contributing significantly more than today.

All NATO member countries, including Norway, committed themselves in 2014 to increasing their defense budgets considerably, but few seem to achieve that goal . The United States is by far the most powerful country in the alliance and the country that spends the most money on defense . Trump appears to be a somewhat unpredictable American president, but he has what is perceived as a legitimate point: The other NATO countries must contribute more.

The question is where European states should place the money they spend on defense when they slowly but surely increase budgets. How are investments used as efficiently as possible? The European Commission and the EU in general believe that this is best done through cooperation on investments and joint projects. Therefore, the Commission has set up a European Defense Fund to stimulate increased economic cooperation within the defense industry across national borders within the EU.

Can the EU replace NATO 2