Paris '07 Workshop
The U.N., the EU, NATO, and the OSCE: How Can These International Organizations Work Together?
State Secretary Edgars Rinkevics
|Latvian State Secretary Edgars Rinkevics (left) with Hungarian UN ambassador Gabor Brodi.|
The test case for cooperation
between the U.N., the EU, the OSCE, and NATO will be Kosovo.
Settling this sensitive political issue will prove how effectively all four...organizations
can cooperate...“How will we react if violence breaks out in Kosovo?”
The short answer to the question, "How can the UN, the OSCE, the EU, and NATO work together?" is, "I do not know." But I am very much looking forward to this workshop’s addressing this issue and will offer solutions for closer cooperation.
TWO DIMENSIONS OF COOPERATION
There are two main dimensions of cooperation between the U.N., the OSCE, the EU and NATO: the political and the practical. Regarding the political dimension, it is important to stress that all four organizations are considered to be very influential in global security processes as well as in conducting missions and preserving peace. All four organizations also need to reform in order to adapt to the security requirements of today and to be more effective in responding to global security challenges. The U.N. needs to reform its Security Council, NATO needs to complete all transformation tasks, and the EU needs to settle problems regarding its constitutional reform.
To achieve successful cooperation between organizations that are different, we need to strengthen not only external cooperation but also work toward better internal cooperation between all member-states. The test case for cooperation between the U.N., the EU, the OSCE, and NATO will be Kosovo. Settling this sensitive political issue will prove how effectively all four international organizations can cooperate. Therefore at this workshop we should try to find an answer to the question, “How will we react if violence breaks out in Kosovo?”
The next issue of key importance is cooperation between NATO and the EU. Today NATO and the EU are engaged in common international operations, both in Afghanistan and in Kosovo. The main problem between the two, however, is that, while there are no serious problems with practical cooperation, there is a lack of progress with political cooperation.
This touches on the second dimension of cooperation: practical cooperation. Previous cooperative experiences between NATO, the EU, and other international organizations on the ground proves that the bottom-up approach is the most effective in dealing with different cooperation initiatives. Afghanistan is a good example—there it is possible to observe close coordination between NATO and other organizations.
Currently there are many good initiatives and ideas not only on how to improve relations between international organizations but on how to enable them to contribute together to global security. Sometimes these initiatives are complementary, and sometimes competitive. Today, there is a need to achieve more practical cooperation.
Finally I would like to mention that all international organizations are formed by member-states. In NATO there are 21 EU member-states that are also members of other international organizations. The question we must ask is, “How can we all coordinate our national positions in these different organizations?” Experience shows that it is challenging to obtain one common opinion from various organizations when each organization has a different position and different overall goals.