The Relevance Of European Security Essay Research

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The Relevance Of European Security Essay, Research Paper The transformation in world politics since the end of the Cold War and the removal of the bipolar East-West schism has led to a state of unpredictable change and, disorder. An increased perception of instability has resulted from the collapse of the Cold War deterrence regime, based on the promise of mutually assured destruction, which provided balance in the international system. The new international order has brought the North-South divide into the forefront, the most clearly defined example being the Euro-Mediterranean division. In response to the North-South disparity Europe launched an unprecedented initiative in attempting to achieve a coherent political and economic entity with the hopes of achieving economic

prosperity and peace. As devoted to the EMP as the EU is, it is still necessary to recognize the potential implications of Mediterranean instability for Europe as a whole. Therefore, the issue ultimately remains: Are the current European security structures, consisting of NATO, the WEU, and the OSCE in fact qualified to take care of collective security with in the Mediterranean. It is of the foremost importance to clarify that the Euro-Mediterranean process intends to create an area of political stability and economic prosperity through the establishment of a political-security, economic, and social partnership. The EU’s own history demonstrates that the most durable antidotes to instability, much more than security alliances or structures, are interdependence and integration.

The Euro-Mediterranean partnership initiative recognizes that achieving a common area of peace and stability goes hand in hand with the creation of shared prosperity as well as the promotion of varying forms of human transaction and exchange. Therefore, the difficult challenge of achieving stability in the Mediterranean will not be a reality in a security vacuum, but in conjunction with a socio-economic agenda as well. Nevertheless, the challenges faced by the EU must include careful coordination with the activities and plans of NATO, the WEU, and the OSCE where the Mediterranean is concerned. The three present security institutions had initially each reflected an individual and unique purpose with respect to Europe and their roles in providing a collective security in the

region. “The original mission of NATO was defined by the onset of the Cold War in the aftermath of the Second World War. It was the security of western Europe in relation to a perceived threat from Europe’s east, but included also, through integration of western forces an element of collective security among members with a tradition of mutual hostility”(Fenech pg.157). The American led hierarchy of NATO led to the build up the WEU of which the US was not a member. Initiated by France, the WEU was an attempt to galvanize the European Community’s commitment, formalized in the Maastricht Treaty of European Union, to create it’s own Common Foreign and Security Policy. The ultimate intention was to achieve greater European integration, extending to the political and security

levels. The third contending institution is the Organization, formerly Conference, for Security and Co-operation in Europe. “The OSCE is an altogether different security structure from either NATO or the WEU. While these are essentially alliances, trying to combine the traditional function of self defense with the adopted role of sponsoring collective security, the OSCE is essentially a collective security organization with a record of bridging the divide between adverse blocs.”(Fenech pg157). Specifically, the OSCE was to support the dente process, in attempting to ease East-West tensions. All three of these security institutions mentioned above at their inceptions utilized alternate means to achieve their desired ends of European security. However different these