Ambassador Victoria Nuland, the United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), called for a strengthening of the European Union in a speech in Paris, France.
We, in the United States, need a Europe that is as strong and united as possible, ready and willing to bear its full measure of responsibility for defending our common security and advancing our shared values. And [Europe], I would argue, needs an America that is engaged, consulting and cooperating with Europe - finding common solutions to common challenges.
The US has
been increasingly turning to the EU as an institution, Nuland said, as opposed to the twenty
seven individual member states.
Though a commitment to soft power has increased, collective hard power has gone down, and as Europe is learning in Chad, not even a peace support mission is possible without helicopters, transport aircraft, communications equipment, surveillance, and intelligence. "All the development aid in the world, all the governance support and police training in the world does no good if you can't first provide security for the people you aspire to help."
Europe, the US, NATO, and the world needs a stronger European defense system. The US will be looking to the French presidency of the EU this summer with the hope that France will lead the effort to increase European defense spending. If Europeans will invest in their own defense, they will be stronger when working with the United States.
Though NATO has had some operational success in Afghanistan, the reality is that crime and corruption are on the rise as the international community struggles to coordinate efforts. The Afghan mission is forcing NATO members to recognize the necessity of a combined civil-military effort and to make such changes accordingly.
transatlantic approach will require a common place where NATO and the EU can
train and plan for missions. This does not mean that institutions should be
combined, but rather that NATO members learn to act together while retaining
At the same time, barriers need to be broken down within institutions. "On the EU side, a partner like Turkey which contributes generously to EU missions and wants to cooperate with the European Defense Agency should be welcome, should be consulted and offered a security agreement and rights commensurate with its contribution and potential. In response, NATO should open the doors of partnership fully to Cyprus and finalize its security agreement, while also encouraging Malta to come back to the Partnership for Peace." Europe needs to take the initiative in resolving conflicts between NATO and the EU.
Ambassador Victoria Nuland has held posts in Moscow, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia,
Guangzhou, China and various positions in Washington under both Republican and
Democratic administrations. She holds a B.A. from Brown
University and speaks Russian, French and some Chinese. Nuland is the first
woman to occupy the post of United States Permanent Representative to NATO.
The above is a summary of a speech given on February 22, 2008, in Paris, France.
The Atlantic Community interviewed Ambassador Nuland in October 2007.
Related Articles on Atlantic Community:
- Marek Swierczynski: NATO at a Crossroads
- Naumann, van der Breeman, Inge, Lanxade, Shalikashvile: Providing NATO with a New Strategic Concept
- Dora Bakoyannis: NATO Enlargement and Alliance Principles