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Armaghan Behlum
Sewanhaka High School
The European Union (EU) and the North American Treaty Organization
(NATO) both need to learn to work together. They must cooperate, not only on paper, but
also in the real world where their actions will have real repercussions around the globe.
Both organizations took root around 50 years ago, and both have evolved greatly from
their original purpose. The European Union was founded by countries that wanted to
come together after World War II to make sure that the type of bloodshed that occurred in
that time period never happens again. The countries linked themselves together politically
and economically to make sure that none would rise secretly and attack any of the others.
Today 17 of these countries use the euro as their standard form of currency, which means
that they are all depend on each other economically. 1 NATO was initially created to stop
the spread of communism. Now NATO is also gaining more political power along with
the military strength that it had with its united members.
The EU and NATO must reassess their purpose, must learn to focus on clear
goals, and must learn to accept the presence of each other. Both organizations have the
same goal, the protection and well-being of member countries (21 of which they have in
common), yet both organizations feel the need to “compete” with each other.2 It is easy to
understand political tensions between nations like Turkey (who is a member of NATO)
and Cyprus (a member of the EU). Cyprus has called for Turkey to “account for” what
occurred to over a thousand of it’s people, who have been missing since Turkey invaded
"XE - Information on the Euro Currency." XE - The World's Favorite Currency and Foreign Exchange Site. Web.
04 Nov. 2009. <>.
Topic Brief pg 1
the island, 35 years ago.3 Arguments between the two have made it difficult to share
information with either but for entire international organizations with common purposes
to have tenuous relations is without a doubt wrong and must be fixed immediately.
To say that there have been no attempts at real world cooperation between NATO
and EU would undermine the efforts of many countries and people. The issue is,
however, that these written agreements have trouble stepping out into the real world.
NATO is an organization that is heavily influence by the United States, while the EU is a
little anti-American in their decisions due to their wish to stand as an ally to the United
States, rather than taking orders from the Americans. Because of this, the EU and NATO
sometimes find themselves at odds when considering solutions for global issues. For
example, Romania and Macedonia were asked to choose between a NATO position and
an EU position. The face that there are two positions to choose from, is in itself wrong.
The fact that the choices were based on whether to give American soldiers immunity on
international peacekeeping mission is also wrong.4 This must end. The EU must learn to
accept the United States as a power country and an ally. The EU must be a partner of the
U.S. and therefore a partner of NATO. Yes, the EU backed down in their decision to not
offer American soldiers immunity, but these types of disputes should not , and must not,
occur more often or else the unity and safety of Europe might be compromised.
France’s opinion on America is that they are our “friends.” From the very
beginning of the United States, France has always stood as an ally to America in their
time of need. France aided the Colonial Army in the American Revolution and
"Taipei Times - archives." Taipei Times - TaipeiTimes. Web. 07 Nov. 2009.
"Global Politician - BUCHAREST SUMMIT: Macedonia to be invited to Join NATO despite Greece." Global
Politician : Truth Doesn't Need Political Correctness. News, Interviews, Opinions and Analysis that's
independent and informative. Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>.
established the Anglo-French Treaty to insure future cooperation between the two.
France’s new policy under President Sarkozy is acceptance of America and that is the
same attitude the EU must now mirror.
On the topic of EU-NATO Relations, France has always been a loyal supporter of
the European Union. France is a founding member of both EU and NATO, though it had
left NATO for 43 years before rejoining the organization last spring, and it contributes
greatly, in terms of soldiers, to both organizations. The main issue that France had with
NATO, under President de Gaulle was the dominance the United States asserted over the
other countries and it’s special relationship with the U.K. France did not want to lose it’s
sovereignty in a misbalanced relationship of countries. Because of this, sometimes
countries would have to take an “Atlantist” (pro-NATO) or “European” (pro-EU)
decision. However, recently France has noticed that it has lost some of it’s independence
due to their inability to join the talks within NATO. Because of this, French President
Nicolas Sarkozy returned France to full membership in NATO and joined the military
command of NATO in the spring of 2009. He stated that “this rapprochement with
NATO ensures our national independence,” and “to distance ourselves would limit our
independence and our room for maneuver.”5 By doing this, France has taken steps to
reduce the hostility between the EU and NATO.
Some citizens of France, however, are not as supportive of NATO as President
Sarkozy is. French former president Jacques René Chirac did not believe NATO-ESDP
relationship would be beneficial to both organizations,6 while a third of the French
"BBC NEWS | Europe | France ends four-decade Nato rift." BBC NEWS | News Front Page. Web. 04 Nov.
2009. <>.
Valasek, Tomas, “The Roadmap to Better EU-NATO Relations” Center for European Reform, Briefing
Note, Dec 2007,
population is against rejoining NATO. Some French politicians, even those who are in
Sarkozy’s political party, are wary of rejoining NATO.1 They believe that former
president de Gaulle had made the right decision. To be involved in NATO would be to
submit France to the control of the United States. But the fact of the matter is, the critics
of rejoining are a minority. A vote was held and the majority ruled that France should
rejoin NATO. Even though the critics made an effort to petition the decision, their
opinion held little weight in the matter. This might breed problems in the future for
France, but it is currently save to say that France has acquired a safe and stable
relationship with NATO.
As for the EU, France has maintained a healthy relationship with the organization.
French President Sarkozy was also president of the Council of the European Union from
June to December of 2008. Under his presidency, the EU garnered some favorable
attention. 7 President Sarkozy lead EU diplomacy during the Russia-Georgia War, created
a European approach to bank bailouts, and revised the Libson Treaty, an attempt at
European Unity. He has been quoted for saying France operated under "two convictions:
that the world needs a strong Europe and that Europe cannot be strong if it is not united".8
Sarkozy kept Europe united when he decided that the EU should take an active part in
stopping the Russia-Georgia War. He fought “the destruction of the European banking
system" by uniting them under one European recovery plan. 9 He also
"After Sarkozy, a Czech takes EU helm |" The Christian Science Monitor |
Web. 05 Nov. 2009. <>.
"MEPs debate the French Presidency with President Sarkozy." European Parliament. Web. 05 Nov. 2009.
The countries of the world show follow France’s example of acceptance and
approval of both the EU and NATO. Both organizations are important to the safety of
Europe and have shown their importance for the past five decades. Turkey is making an
attempt to join the EU, even though it is being hindered in this attempt by France. The
fact that Turkey has decided to join the EU while being part of NATO is a very hopeful
sign of things to come and mirrors France’s entry into NATO while being a member of
the EU. France does not wish to admit Turkey into the EU because Turkey has not settled
its dispute with Cyprus, has not made an attempt to end illegal immigration into other
European countries, and has not accepted French “giants” into energy deals like that of
the Nabucco pipeline project.10 France is, however, at this moment supportive of special
privilege trading rights with Turkey.
To end the competition between the EU and NATO should be the major goal of
the EU. There is already a Permanent NATO Liaison Team in the EU Military Staff, and
similar EU operations exist in NATO’s command.11 France’s position in this issue would
be supportive of a closely working cooperation between both groups, so as to make sure
they work efficiently. The problem lies mainly in the fact that both organizations are
competing with each other rather than working with each other. The EU and NATO must
discuss their individual responsibilities. They must divide the work amongst themselves
to make sure that they do not destroy their goal in an attempt to accomplish it before, or
better than one another. The countries in the EU must also learn to accept American
presence. The United States has always pushed for Europe to better arm its countries and
prepare for any possible problems they may have in the future. If the European countries
"Turkey seeks French support for EU bid." Press TV. Web. 05 Nov. 2009.
Topic Brief, pg 13.
act on this suggestion then they will not need increased American influence to help
maintain control and power. In this way the United States will become one of the EU’s
most important allies in the world, but the EU will not be pressured by the United States
to do anything. However, if the EU decides they do not want to strengthen themselves
and focus on the issues suggested by the United States then they must be friendlier with
the United States. The United States will still be an important ally for the EU when some
issues arise that they cannot and will not be able to take settle. The best example of this
would be the Russia-Georgia War, where the EU made strong diplomatic stands to stop
the war under President Sarkozy, but it was the presence of the United States that helped
to facilitate the discussion.
The relationship between the EU and NATO will have to be bridged and
reinforced by both organizations. A European Union President will take office, very soon
if President Sarkozy’s advice to fill the job quickly is followed.12 He/she will have to
mend the broken bonds that EU and NATO have. Members of the EU should be urged to
work with members of NATO to insure European and global tranquility. Most members
of NATO and EU have no true reason for disputes with one another, especially since
most members of one organization appear in the other and vice versa. Such problems are
even evident in recent news, the best example being the conviction of 22 CIA agents in
Italy on accusations of kidnapping a man they believed to be a terrorist on Italian
grounds. Though the Americans are not in Italy or in custody, this slightly defensive
decision by the Italian people shows some unnecessary hostility between countries.13
"Sarkozy wants EU to fill top Brussels jobs quickly - Taiwan News Online." Web. 05 Nov. 2009.
"Italy convicts 'U.S. agents' in CIA kidnap trial -" - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather,
Entertainment & Video News. Web. 07 Nov. 2009.