In recent years, cooperation between the UN and the EU has grown exponentially. In this contribution I consider the motivations of the EU’s choice for the UN and the institutional complexities involved in the UN-EU relationship, both internally in the EU in order to obtain a better coordination among its 27 Member States, and externally, concerning the status of the EU within the UN system. After a brief overview of EU-UN cooperation in the areas of human development and security, I point to the uncertainties which both organizations face in their current reform processes, in particular the as of yet unresolved fate of the EU’s constitutional treaty, which contains provisions that could lead to a more unified EU representation in the UN.
“There is no reason why a regional organisation of Europe should in any way conflict with the world organisation of the United Nations. On the contrary, I believe the larger synthesis will only survive if it is founded upon coherent natural groupings.”