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Projecting stability on NATO’s Southern Flank. How can NATO and the EU ensure efficient cooperation? Fernando Dueñas Puebla

 The South, an area where important challenges for Europe come from, like terrorism and migration, with unpredictable security consequences in the medium and long term. An area where NATO and the European Union share a common neighbourhood and common security challenges.  That is the reason why the NATO - EU cooperation is paramount in the South. Achieving stability in the South goes beyond the simple but at the same time, necessary military responses. Even though, NATO is making an outstanding effort in projecting stability by enhancing partnerships and Capacity Building, it is unable to address the root causes of instability, mainly related to the demographic pressure or socioeconomic issues. So, the EU with its ‘Integrated Approach’ should be the main NATO´s Strategic Partner to address the instability in the Southern Flank.

NATO can take advantage of the influence of the EU in the South to improve its image and presence, for example with the EU´s diplomatic strengths, especially in North Africa and Sahel.

From Security and Defence perspective, the complementarity and mutual support in NATO - EU cooperation could be put in practice, for example in future missions in Libya regarding Security Sector Reform, or intelligence-sharing on counterterrorism.

Author: Fernando Dueñas Puebla

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