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Steven Blockmans, Samet Coban, Hasan Suzen and Fatih Yilmaz

Changes in Europe’s wider security environment have forced EU–NATO relations to evolve from a largely lethargic partnership to a more ‘essential’ one. While the bureaucracies of the two Brussels-based organizations have inched closer since the 2016 Joint Declaration in Warsaw, many obstacles need to be cleared before the potential of the new collaborative framework can be more fully exploited. The challenges emanating from the east and the south can be seen as an opportunity for wider and deeper cooperation, yet the rise of illiberalism and authoritarianism in the world, and especially within the organizations’ member states, poses a great challenge. It is argued that a joint response must be formulated in the form of a common strategy, implemented in an integrated way by using a more comprehensive toolbox.