The Euro-Atlantic Partnership lacks an effective venue for cooperative policy discussion. The NATO summit has therefore become the default forum for taking inventory of transatlantic outlooks. Franklin D. Kramer and Simon Serfaty of CSIS suggest a convergence of NATO and European Union member states under a unified “council.” The so-called “Euro-Atlantic Forum” would eliminate what the authors view as the primary obstacles to true transatlantic cooperation: the EU’s inability to unify under common military and diplomatic strategies, and the American dilemma of building consensus among European allies.
If the November 2006 Riga summit told us anything about the relationship between the United States and Europe, it is this: Policy concerns on both sides of the Atlantic are often similar, and common challenges are plentiful. For Kramer and Serfaty, Riga also reinforced the impression that “both the structures and capabilities of the Euro-Atlantic community will need revision if [our common] challenges are to be met.”
The basis for their new approach underscores the authors’ understanding of the shared nature of global problem solving. The five most pressing concerns for Europe—reconstruction, confronting radical militant Islam, the proliferation of WMDs, energy cooperation, and increasing economic competition from developing countries—are also the five most pressing issues for the United States. The Euro-Atlantic Forum would provide a platform for transatlantic cooperation on these issues, removing the bureaucratic gridlock that stands in the way of transatlantic cooperation.