The perception of security threats in EU and NATO strategic documents: implications for the countries of the Eastern flank

ORCID: Tadeusz Zieliński: 0000-0003-0605-7684

Afiliacja: War Studies University, Poland

Pages: 25-42

Edition: Lublin 2020


Citation method: T. Zieliński, The perception of security threats in EU and NATO strategic documents: implications for the countries of the Eastern flank, „Rocznik Instytutu Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej” 18(2020), z. 1, s. 25-42, DOI:


Abstract: The anticipation of security threats is one of the key elements in the determination of objectives and the main direction for the functioning of states or organizations. It constitutes a fundamental basis for building capacity, aimed at counteracting the identified threats or limiting the emergence of new ones. This is also applicable to the European Union (EU) and North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), which in their security documents identify threats that may have an impact on their existence and future development. The purpose of this article is to identify common threats to EU and NATO security, as well as to demonstrate their impact on the security of the countries of the Eastern flank. The analyses, comparisons and generalizations are based on strategic documents concerning the sphere of EU and NATO security (the EU security strategies and the NATO strategic concepts). The analyzed timeline covered the period from the end of the Cold War until the publication of the strategic documents in question. The perception of threats to the external security of the EU and NATO was contrasted with the results of public opinion polls from the member states of both organizations. The general result leads to the conclusion that the perception of security threats, contained in the strategic documents of the above-mentioned entities, is essentially identical; however, the priorities in the scope of reducing the risks associated with the occurrence of specific threats are perceived differently, including the Eastern flank countries.


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