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ROAD TO NATO SUMMIT 2022: Divergence of objectives in transatlantic cooperation

With Mr. Fernando Villena & Mr. Manuel Selas

June 2022

First, Fernando Villena, who is an international affairs analyst at the Secretary General of Defense Policy at the Spanish Ministry of Defence, gave a quick overview of NATO's history, before going on to analyze the new situation we find ourselves in following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and what this has meant for both sides of the Atlantic; that is, for the European Union and NATO. It is an undeniable reality that the two organizations complement each other, and he added that both the EU and NATO must be frank and talk openly about the problems they face, as previous relations between the two are obsolete.

The panel then continued with the intervention of diplomat Manuel Selas, deputy director of International Security Affairs, and the director of EU and NATO security policy in the Spanish Foreign Affairs Ministry. Manuel Selas stressed that at the moment everything is orbiting around security and defence, and he can affirm this from his position in the Ministry. Moreover, his position gives him an incredibly good overview of what is happening in this area both in NATO and in the Union. Mr. Selas began his presentation by reflecting on the divergence in objectives between the Euro-Atlantic model and the EU security model. The main thing to understand is that being united does not mean thinking alike, as we are different. The EU and NATO have different national interests and different security and defence objectives. At the same time, member states have different defence cultures, and the same is true on the other side of the Atlantic.

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