This paper attempts to provide an overview of the conceptual understandings of regional organisations within the UN and apply that to the historical and political development of the EU as a regional organisation. It will then try to identify the characteristics of the EU's emerging role in the maintenance of international peace and security and its connection with the recent upgrading of the EU's position at the UN General Assembly. Based on the understanding of the increasingly deepened and broadened concept of security shared by the UN and the EU in the past decade, the paper will explore the EU's application of such concept to their crisis management activities and to evaluate the effectiveness and limitations of its cooperation with the UN. Because of its unique characteristics, increasing membership and links with other international organisations including the UN, the EU is relatively well-adapted to a more cooperative and mutually supportive inter-organisational security structure. Whereas studies about UN-EU relations tend to deal with the EU member states' coordination at the UN or focus on the role of the EU in the UN system, this paper will focus more on the inter-organisational dialogue and the cooperative efforts in peace operations between the UN and the EU. While a discussion of the security model in Europe should ideally include all the relationships between every organisation and major states that are part of the European security architecture, this paper will primarily focus on the EU and its relationship with the UN as a regional organisation and, where relevant, its relations with other organisations. Concluding remarks will include some of the assets and shortcomings of this cooperation plus some future prospects for the the EU as a regional organisation and possible lessons for other regional organisations.
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