NATO after the Wales Summit: Back to Collective Defence

19-11-2014

At their September 2014 summit in Wales, the heads of state and government of the North Atlantic Council – the principal political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) – reaffirmed their commitment to fulfilling all three core tasks set out in their 'Strategic Concept': collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security – NATO's 'triple C'. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, NATO leaders confirmed that collective defence efforts should go beyond missile and cyber defence. The Ukraine crisis has imbued the conventional task of defending European territory with fresh verve. Reinvigorating European defence is first and foremost a task for Europeans – it is a task for the EU Member States, individually and jointly, and it is the duty of the EU institutions to support the Member States in their efforts. NATO-EU cooperation is essential for European security and defence. If this cooperation stumbles, substantial risks arise, for both organisations and for their members. A failure of the cooperation on collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security will not serve European or transatlantic security interests.

At their September 2014 summit in Wales, the heads of state and government of the North Atlantic Council – the principal political decision-making body of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) – reaffirmed their commitment to fulfilling all three core tasks set out in their 'Strategic Concept': collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security – NATO's 'triple C'. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, NATO leaders confirmed that collective defence efforts should go beyond missile and cyber defence. The Ukraine crisis has imbued the conventional task of defending European territory with fresh verve. Reinvigorating European defence is first and foremost a task for Europeans – it is a task for the EU Member States, individually and jointly, and it is the duty of the EU institutions to support the Member States in their efforts. NATO-EU cooperation is essential for European security and defence. If this cooperation stumbles, substantial risks arise, for both organisations and for their members. A failure of the cooperation on collective defence, crisis management, and cooperative security will not serve European or transatlantic security interests.