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A compass and a concept: A guide to the EU and NATO strategic outlooks

Security & defence / EXTERNAL PUBLICATION
Ricardo Borges de Castro , Rita Mendonça Barbosa Amorim Lobo

Date: 23/09/2022
Russia’s war of aggression on Ukraine upended Europe’s security order. The invasion was a wake-up call that peace in the continent should not be taken for granted, and a catalyst for change at the European and transatlantic levels. The EU quickly adopted a long-term Strategic Compass for security and defence. NATO, no longer ‘braindead’, also issued a new Strategic Concept for the coming decade and is expanding.

Despite this convergence in strategic outlooks, questions remain on how both organisations will cooperate and coordinate their actions; implement their investment, troops and capabilities’ goals; and deal with countries like China.

The EU and NATO should find a division of labour that avoids duplications, identify roles that each institution may perform better, and coordinate their defence spending. Indeed, EU–NATO cooperation will be key to ensuring that both organisations reinforce and complement each other, especially once the Alliance’s European pillar is bolstered by Finland and Sweden.

It is high time for a new EU–NATO joint declaration that sets up permanent joint dialogue mechanisms and addresses any issues that could become contentions and undermine what is strategically vital: the security, prosperity and peace of the Euro-Atlantic space.

This article was first published in Transatlantic Policy Quarterly’s Summer 2022 issue, Volume 21, Number 2. 

Read the full paper here.
Photo credits:
European Union 2022

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