Measuring the Impact of NGOs on Intergovernmental Organisations
Chapter 5: Humanitarian NGOs and the EU security and foreign policy institutions
If the UN system constitutes a significant laboratory for humanitarian NGOs to experiment with their practices and expertise in relation to governmental actors, the EU represents a more innovative and flexible arena. This is not due merely to the lack of rigid accreditation that provides NGOs with more action, but also to the peculiar role the EU is aiming at within the humanitarian system. The nuclear deterrence strategy and arms control negotiations of the Cold War and subsequent détente era, the three-decades-long Helsinki process, and the formulation of national and multilateral defence policies in the 1990s in response to new security threats, such as the rise of civil conflicts, and the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD), contributed to the increasing determination of the European countries to strengthen their cooperation on sensitive issues such as foreign policy and defence. The convergence of the EU member states towards an important set of international values and goals – which is already visible in the treaties – led to the creation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP). It consists of a set of institutions and mechanisms for taking common actions in the area of international politics and economic external relations, which requires the joint efforts and resources of the member states (Attinà, 2006).
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