The North Atlantic Council at GrunnMUN 2019
Free Arms Trade between NATO and the EU: Promoting National Security?
The European Union is an organisation which shares an increasing amount of competences with its member states. However, it has its own competences as well, such as competences related to the customs union and competition rules. NATO is the main intergovernmental military defense alliance in Europe. On the international level, NATO’s main purpose is to safeguard the freedom and security of all its members by political and military means. Many countries that are a member of the EU are also a part of the NATO alliance. It might therefore be interesting to look at the converging points between the EU and NATO and its purposes.
Member states of both the European Union and NATO are currently facing a common problematic issue. This issue being that of national security and the question whether or not there should be free arms trade between the two organizations. There has been an increasing call from the leaders of the EU to create a better joint security policy, such as a common EU arm. The question arises, would a better EU joint defence make NATO itself redundant? And would free arms trade be the answer to this? A “contract” between NATO and the EU could be a solution to this. However, it is necessary to discuss which consequences such a contract will have.
During this one day conference we will try to look from an European, NATO and national point of view. Free arms trade could be a nice ideal but it needs to fit the interests on these earlier mentioned levels: national, European and international.
The North Atlantic Council (NAC) is the highest and the most important political governing body of NATO. The NAC meets frequently at various levels, from the Permanent Representatives to the Heads of States of all 29 member states. Together, they decide on the major questions of security requiring collective action and issue joint communiqués to the public. Thereby, the NAC is effectively steering the most powerful military alliance in the world. Its unanimous decision-making process requires representatives to extensively negotiate with all 28 partners and arrive at a common accord.