A Choice between Dependence and Interdependence: The Baltic States in Quest for Peace and Prosperity

  •  Viljar Veebel    


Interdependence is a political and institutional tool, which can work either in favor of or against the needs of small member states in the international organisations. The European model of co-operation based on economic interdependence and integration has been the indisputable success for the last half of a century. At the same time, interdependence does not solely offer opportunities, but also entails risks. Theoretically, the weakness of the securitization based on the interdependence is related to the situation where some member states receive more gains from the interdependence than others, but feel less motivated to pay the costs associated to security. In this case, interdependence can also create security illusion and make some member states in the community be less careful and responsible both in terms of economic and military security. For small states the needs and threats are different than for bigger member states in the core. High economic openness and vulnerability to external shocks, dependence from the external capital flows leaves them less options for long-term stability. This study aims to analyse the relationship between the inter¬dependence, security and wel¬fare, discussing whether interdependence should be considered as a simple, linear mechanism which increases the security and welfare of all participants, or it also involves risks related both to economic and security aspects, which should be evaluated before applying for a membership in the international organisations. Are the security and prosperity gains expected from interdependence and integration real or rather an “illusion” what small states would like to believe in and big states are happy to promote?

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.