WARSAW – On March 18, 2015, The German Marshall Fund of the United States Warsaw Office hosted an expert seminar “NATO: New Synergies in Delivering Euro-Atlantic Security.” The workshop was followed by a public event “From Wales to Warsaw: NATO and the Challenge to the European Security Order.” The meetings were attended by European and U.S. researchers, government officials, and scholars.
The panelists tackled the question of realignment of the EU and NATO in the context of new challenges faced by the West. The EU and NATO should close ranks and come up with a clear and common strategy toward the ongoing crisis in Ukraine and the ISIS threat in the Mediterranean Basin. According to panelists, the deteriorating global security order has bolstered transatlantic cooperation. However, new divergences have appeared within EU and NATO structures.
The experts agreed that the European security order must be achieved through a division of labor. While NATO should be a military deterrent, the EU should use its economic leverage and improve institutions such as border guards or police. As any discussion on an EU army is premature, EU members should strengthen existing common defense structures, such as the Common Foreign and Security Policy.
Participants also agreed that in the context of ongoing crises, Europe should increase military spending. While there is a need to consolidate the transatlantic partnership, the United States is encouraging European countries to enhance their military capabilities. In fact, Washington is reluctant to increase significantly its presence in Europe, as it faces other global challenges, e.g. in the Far East. For the time being, the EU, NATO and the United States should step up their cooperation in different fields, such as intelligence or surveillance.