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The institutionalization of the NATO – EU relationship Darfur as a case study

Benjamin Zyla
Universität Konstanz
Benjamin Zyla
Universität Konstanz
Open Panel

Abstract

The end of the Cold War prescribed new roles and responsibilities for Europe’s security institutions like the EU or NATO. As each of the two organizations has sought to address the resultant challenges relating to roles and functions, they have also had to adjust their relationships with one another. This created tensions between the two institutions. Moreover, in expanding their roles and their geographic scope, the EU and NATO have found themselves increasingly crossing paths in their out-of-area activities. This paper uses liberal IR theory as a theoretical framework to explain the institutional overlap of NATO and the EU. The current peace operation in Darfur is used as a case example. Both organizations have supported the mission of the AU. What is striking from a theoretical point of view is that that none of the established theories of international relations have yet attempted to explain this close-working relationship of two international organizations. Most of the IR literature on international organizations focuses solely on the origins, nature, scope, and effectiveness of international organizations but neglects the possibility of interorganizational cooperation. How then can we understand this cooperative arrangement between the EU and NATO conceptually? Why did it take place? And how and why is it working? The temporary hypothesis of this paper is that NATO is commonly perceived as the ‘superior’ security institution in Europe, and is, therefore, acquiring competencies and ‘security spaces’ from the EU.