NATO Secretary General: ‘European unity cannot replace transatlantic unity’
NATO and the EU should focus on strengthening transatlantic relations and deepen the partnerships with countries like Australia and Japan said Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the EU Inter-parliamentary Conference for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Common Security and Defence Policy.
Stoltenberg told MEPs that “transatlantic relations are the only way for our countries to address the great challenges of today and tomorrow” and added that “European unity cannot replace transatlantic unity”.
Stoltenberg argued that the European Union cannot defend Europe alone, and stressed the fact that while about 90 percent of EU citizens live in a NATO country, EU members provide only 20 percent of NATO’s defence spending.
According to the Secretary general NATO’s great challenges of today and tomorrow are:
- Russia’s destabilising behaviour.
- Brutal forms of terrorism in our neighbourhood.
- Sophisticated cyber-attacks.
- Disruptive technologies.
- The rise of China.
- The security implications of climate change.
- health pandemic.
The NATO chief also highlighted the key geopolitical position of some countries in the region like Iceland and Norway in the North are gateways to the Arctic, Turkey in the south borders Syria and Iraq and All of these countries are critical for the defence of Europe, sustaining that allof these countries are critical for the defence of Europe.
“Any attempt to divide Europe from North America will weaken NATO” Stoltenberg said.
Along this line Stoltenberg welcomed U.S. President Biden’s message on rebuilding alliances and strengthening NATO, and announced the e launche of the NATO 2030 initiative.
The main priorities for NATO 2030 will be reinforce the unity between Europe and North America, strengthen NATO-EU commitment to collective defence, strengthen our political unity and fund more of deterrence and defence on NATO territory together.
As part of the 2030 vision NATO will adopt a broaden to security to address the full spectrum of threats and safeguard the international rules-based order.