"Strengthening EU-NATO cooperation - YES WE CAN!"


"The mosaic-like composition of the EU gives a unique potential to mediate and help in different parts of the world", Ari Vatanen captures the message of his report to the European Parliament on the role of NATO in the security architecture of the European Union and continues: "to accomplish this mission and fulfil its potential the EU needs to strengthen its relationship with NATO because without military credibility the EU is like a barking dog without teeth."

Mr Vatanen's report was voted and adopted by large margin in the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament on Wednesday 21 January 2009. This is the first time when the European Parliament issues a report on this subject.

The report sets out the main problems that hinder an effective EU-NATO cooperation and suggests possible remedies: creating an EU Operational Headquarter, insisting that tensions between Turkey and Cyprus need to be solved for a workable EU-NATO cooperation - using carrot rather than a stick, calling for more effective division of labour between the two organisations, as well as for a strengthened Transatlantic relationship, the corner stone of EU-NATO relations.

"The vote shows that there is a recognition amongst members of the Foreign Affairs Committee that EU-NATO relations need to be beefed up", Ari Vatanen comments. "Barack Obama cannot change the world by him self – Europe must meet him in halfway", he adds.