Strategic partnetship between NATO and the European Union

During time when the threat sources and security challenges have changed in general, it is important to retain development of strategic partnership amongst different international organizations for effective crisis management. The cooperation development between NATO and the European Union is based on the aforementioned aspects - to resolve and dismiss security threats in Europe and elsewhere by the means of cooperation.

Cooperation between NATO and the EU in resolving crises is based on the “Joint decleration of the President of the Council of Europe, the President of the European Commission and the Secretary General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization”, signed in July 2016. It outlined seven specific areas where cooperation between the two organizations should be strengthened: 1. prevention of hybrid threats; 2. operational cooperation, including at sea and in the field of migration; 3. cyber security and defence; 4. defensive capabilities; 5. defence industry and research; 6. training; 7. support for efforts by Eastern and Southern partners to strengthen capacities.

On the basis of the mandate set out in the Joint Declaration, the EU and NATO Councils approved common sets of proposals in December 2016 and 2017. A total of 74 concrete actions are being implemented in seven areas. Seven progress reports have been submitted highlighting the main achievements and added value of EU-NATO cooperation in various areas.

Besides this decleration, there are other mechanisms governing NATO-EU cooperation. For example, NATO and the EU capability Group allow for the exchange of information on the military capability development initiatives of both organizations. Informal meetings between experts from both organizations are actively organized. Although, such meetings are organized on an ad-hoc basis and do not lead to formal decisions on how to proceed, they serve as a good format for coordinating the actions of both organizations.

Given the difficult situation in the operating districts, discussions are increasingly being raised about the need to involve civilians alongside military resources in crisis districts. Such action would ensure a comprehensive involvement in improving the security situation of the crisis-stricken region and in developing local authority capacities. The development of a comprehensive approach also directly affects NATO-EU relations, as both organizations, with their own resources, are currently engaged in the same area of operation - Kosovo, where NATO troops look after security, while EU policemen and judiciary experts help local authorities to ensure public order and develop the justice system. Since September 2008, along with other international actors, the EU and NATO have been conducting anti-piracy operations off the Somalia coast.

However, these cooperation formats need to be improved as they currently regulate NATO-EU military cooperation only, without taking into account the civilian crisis management component.