The European Union and NATO: ‘Shrewd interorganizationalism’ in the making?
After precisely half a century of structured separation and complex coexistence, the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) announced in their December 2002 Declaration on European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) the establishment of a strategic and mutually reinforcing partnership in crisis management. Barely three months after, the conclusion of the so-called Berlin Plus agreement consolidated this partnership even further by providing for the European Union’s access to NATO’s military assets and planning capabilities. It was on the basis of this arrangement that the European Union was able to launch its first ever military mission, Concordia, in Macedonia in March 2003. This did not only take one of the closest and most densely negotiated interorganizational relationships to the practical realm, but also signalled a military revolution in the European Union’s evolution as an international actor.