Defense Planning and NATO-European Union Relations   [open pdf - 445KB]

This thesis analyzes the emerging security role of the European Union (EU) by focusing on the prospects for multilateral defense planning in the NATO- EU relationship. The EU's recent decisions about defense planning may well play a crucial role because the arrangements in this area will influence the future of both the European Union's European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) and NATO. The successful harmonization of defense planning by NATO and the EU could strengthen the transatlantic relationship, while failure could be damaging to both institutions and to their mutual relations. According to recent EU documents, the European Union's defense planning activity will be limited and therefore it will not have a major impact on NATO's decision-making and defense planning process. The cooperation between EU and NATO experts might have positive effects, notably in promoting more efficient use of scarce European resources and in providing transparency between the Alliance and the European Union. However, the ESDP appears unlikely to persuade the European Union nations to increase their defense budgets. It will therefore probably not be able to narrow the significant capability gap between the United States and its European allies.

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