chapter  5
22 Pages


The de velopment of a fully fledged EU grand strategy, the elaboration of an EU milit ary strategy, and the launch of a permanent capability confer­ ence that would transform Euro pean armed forces would all be logical steps in the maturing of the Union into a true strategic actor. After the failed attempt to create a Euro pean Defence Community (EDC) in the 1950s, this evolution started, very tent at ively at first, in the 1980s through the revitalization of the Western Euro pean Union (WEU). The pro cess gained speed with the cre ation of the EU and its CFSP by the Treaty of Maastricht in 1991. Ever since, the pro cess has been clouded, and at times blocked, as we have seen in the previous chapters, by the seemingly eternal question: where does the emergence of the EU as a strategic actor in its own right leave NATO? Yet, the EU and NATO need not be in com peti­ tion, as long as this emergence of Euro pean strategic actorness is trans­ lated into a reconfiguration, not just of the Alliance but of the trans at lantic relationship with the United States as such. For NATO, an intergov ern­ mental milit ary Alliance, cannot be compared with the EU, a comprehen­ sive state­ like actor. That would not be comparing apples and oranges, but apples and orange trees. The EU’s counterpart is the US; NATO’s coun­ terpart is one specific part of the EU: CSDP. On that basis, a healthy trans­ at lantic relationship can bring great added value.