Panel 503: EU-NATO Relations - Cooperation, Competitiveness and Transformation
The Role of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in the European Union’s and NATO’s Approach to Security Governance
1Institute of Security & Global Affairs (ISGA) Leiden University,The Netherlands; 2Global Governance Institute (GGI), Brussels
This paper will assess the role of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg in seeking to influence the European Union and NATO (as well as the cooperation and competition between both organizations) in the field of security. While Belgium and Luxembourg have routinely been classified as ‘small states’, the Netherlands oscillates in the literature between ‘small’ and ‘middle power’ status, particularly since the accession of even smaller powers since the EU and NATO enlargements of 2004 and the late 1990s respectively. For all three countries leveraging their influence via international organizations (first in the context of the BeNeLux, then within NATO and the EU) has been an important cornerstone of their foreign and security policy. In addition, the three countries (and the BeNeLux) are often also treated together in the diplomatic realm by other small states (such as Latvia, who has one ambassador dealing with all three states at the same time) or by middle powers (such as Australia, who have one ambassador dealing with Belgium, NATO and the EU and is residing in Luxembourg) providing an interesting case study in terms of diplomatic networks. This paper will explore the policy initiatives and strategies deployed by the three states towards the EU and NATO -both individually and as a group- and will also assess the way the three countries differed in their approach to the issue of EU-NATO relations and the wider European security architecture from the early 1990s to the present.
Trust and Mistrust in the Transatlantic Alliance in the Context of Trump’s 'America First' Agenda
1ESSCA School of Management; 2International University of Sarajevo
This paper examines the transatlantic EU-US relations from the perspective of trust viewed as an essential factor, which has been shaping the transatlantic relationship since its foundation after World War II, particularly in the field of collective security and defense. While mainstream approaches on the transatlantic alliance tend to put the emphasis on the question of power asymmetry between the USA and Europe, we argue that a focus on the role of trust might yield new insights for better understanding the current transatlantic crisis whereby mistrust issues have been exacerbated by Trump’s “America first” agenda coupled with his disruptive view of multilateralism and his inherent mistrust in strategic alliances, in particular NATO. Drawing upon the main theoretical approaches to trust in the field of international politics (rational choice theory, constructivism, psychological approach), we identify different sources of trust and mistrust in the transatlantic security relationship in general, and in the Trump era in particular. The goal of this paper is thus twofold: on the one hand, it aims to put forward the deepening of the trust asymmetry in the transatlantic alliance in the context of the Trump administration and the resulting unprecedented transatlantic security drift. On the other hand, it also discusses the hedging strategies undertaken both by the USA and the European allies to cope with the current crisis in the EU-US trusting relationship.
Germany's Balancing Act in EU-NATO Cooperation
University of Kent, United Kingdom
As one of the founding states of the EU and a long-standing member of NATO, Germany has made significant contributions to both organisations and to European security. Despite being frequently accused as a free-rider, it is nevertheless a respected and reliable partner. This paper seeks to address the role of Germany in the EU-NATO relationship in both the institutional and operational dimensions. It applies a typology of member states in interorganisational relations and takes a narrow look at Germany’s behaviour, positions and strategies. As a multiple member, the debates concern how Germany can make effective use of its geographical, cultural and economic positions to contribute to European security. It takes a position in the “midstream” to balance the EU and NATO as well as to please other member states. Considering recent political events and the calls for higher contributions, the pressure to engage and increase its defence spending is constantly growing. Yet, due to its expansive network of bilateral and minilateral relations it emphasises its role as balancer between the EU and NATO, and between civilian and military contributions. A well-working and amicable relationship between the EU and NATO is thus indispensable for its own interests. This paper therefore takes into account its particular position and capabilities as well as some recent political events in order to examine how Germany is able to shape EU-NATO cooperation.