The significance of the transatlantic link in the architecture of the European security has been, over the years, a subject for debate for both the member states and the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament. As in most cases, when important aspects regarding European defence and security are debated at the level of the European Union, opinions differ - from completely supporting the transatlantic link, to ensuring European security by its member states alone, by means of the Common Security and Defence Policy. These debates are the more relevant nowadays, when the European Union is more determined than ever in its evolution to build a security and defence profile that depicts the institution as guarantor of European security.
While many EU member states leaders have expressed the necessity to develop European defence capabilities so that Europe can ensure its own security, the reality is totally different, as proven by the Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy: “The EU will therefore deepen cooperation with the North Atlantic Alliance in complementarity, synergy, and full respect for the institutional framework, inclusiveness and decision-making autonomy of the two. In this context, the EU needs to be strengthened as a security community: European security and defence efforts should enable the EU to act autonomously while also contributing to, and undertaking actions in cooperation with NATO. A more credible European defence is essential also for the sake of a healthy transatlantic partnership with the United States. … On the broader security agenda, the US will continue to be our core partner. The EU will deepen cooperation with the US and Canada on crisis management, counter-terrorism, cyber, migration, energy and climate action.”
So, the most important document adopted in the past years by the European on security and defence undoubtedly states the current and future significance of the transatlantic link not only as far as defending Europe, but also ensuring its security. As the Global Strategy stipulates, and even though EU-NATO’s main fields of cooperation are crises management, counter-terrorism, hybrid threats and cyber defence, the other aspects of security are not excluded. Based on these clear stipulations of the Global Strategy, it is obvious that Brussels is aware of the fact that both the European defence and security are highly dependent on the cooperation between the EU and NATO, thus on the transatlantic link.
The issue of transatlantic cooperation (the relationships between the EU and NATO, and between the EU and North America) from the perspective of European defence was extensively examined by the author in the first two articles. This article focuses on the significance of the transatlantic link from the perspective of European security, in the context of the dynamics and complexity of the international security environment and of the evolutions registered at the level of the European Union - from the same perspective. (Picture no. 1)