NATO Summit 2018 – An Implementation Summit?
The next NATO Summit held in Brussels on July 11–12 is an opportunity to underpin the strong Atlantic bond, Alliance solidarity and unity, and further strengthen NATO’s adaptation. At the inaugural edition of the Kyiv Transatlantic Dialogues, GMF’s flagship initiative to foster close and informal debate between Ukraine and its transatlantic partners, Dr. Gerlinde Niehus, who leads the Engagements Section of NATO PDD, shared with us the top four priorities of the alliance for the upcoming summit. At an event organized with Raytheon, we asked the Belgian, Polish, and Estonian ambassadors to NATO to share with us their countries’ priorities for the upcoming NATO summit.
H.E. François de Kerchove, Ambassador of Belgium to NATO
In the view of the Belgian Government, the next NATO Summit in Brussels (July 2018) will before all present a strong image of unity and efficiency of the North Atlantic Alliance. It will also demonstrate that a firmly resolved NATO is continuing its policy of fast adjustment to the constantly changing security environment, taking into account new threats wherever they come from. A prominent attention will be reserved to new types of weapons, such as everything related to the cyber world and other components of the hybrid warfare. The fight against terrorism to which NATO contributes already in many different ways will also be discussed in order to maximize the effects with our partners in North Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia of our “Projecting Stability” strategy. In relation to the threat posed by Russia, our guidelines confirmed at the NATO Summit of Warsaw (summer 2016), namely reinforced deterrence and defense in parallel with an accentuated political dialogue with Moscow, should be reaffirmed. On the front of the Alliance’s cohesion it should be emphasized that a better burden sharing will be enhanced by EU’s recent developments in terms of Security and Defense. A stronger European responsibility, including in capacity development, cannot fail to help NATO as well. The very topic of NATO-EU cooperation is central for the Belgian Government and cross cutting almost all other issues for the Summit. Spectacular progress have been achieved since the Warsaw Declaration. Yet is high time that our public opinion learns that NATO and the EU work close together to secure a better and improved security.
H.E. Kyllike Sillaste-Elling, Ambassador of Estonia to NATO
Estonia looks forward to the 2018 Brussels Summit. We believe that NATO has so far done a good job in adapting to the new security environment. We support the Alliance’s sharper focus on collective defensive and believe that the Warsaw Summit went a long way towards strengthening NATO’s defence and deterrence posture. Further work, however, is needed so that NATO can meet all threats, in all domains, in all strategic directions. This includes finishing what was agreed on in Warsaw and addressing existing gaps in order to make sure that NATO has the necessary means and capabilities to face any challenge. We are confident that the Brussels Summit will deliver on implementation in key areas such as the adoption of a reinforcement strategy for the Alliance as well as agreement on a fit-for-purpose NATO Command Structure. We also expect that the Brussels Summit will take forward work in other key areas including projecting stability, counter-terrorism, NATO–EU cooperation, NATO partnerships and the Open Door policy. Last but not least – in our view, the Summit should be underpinned by a strong message of Alliance unity and a reconfirmation of the transatlantic link, including the strength of the values that underpin it. We believe that in an increasingly unstable and unpredictable security environment, reiterating these principles is more important than ever.
H.E. Marek Ziółkowski, Ambassador of Poland to NATO
The 2016 Warsaw NATO Summit set a strategic direction to NATO’s adaptation in response to the degradation of the security environment. This security context has in the last few years’ undergone substantial changes. In the East, the Alliance faces aggressive Russian actions, persistent violations of international law, military build-up and political coercion. In the South, the Allies are challenged by threats, particularly terrorism, and instability. We have been pursuing discussions on our own organizational modernization, commitments to burden-sharing and NATO-EU cooperation. At the 2018 Summit, leaders will be expected to fully implement the Warsaw framework in terms of deterrence and defense, making sure that our posture is fully credible across the full spectrum, in line with the 360 degree approach. This includes a reform of the NATO Command Structure, as well as generating additional capabilities, which is the main expectation of Poland as regards NATO–EU cooperation. The Alliance will need to ensure effective implementation of initiatives as part of Projecting Stability, especially those that address building resilience, particularly in partner countries, as well as the fight against terrorism. The 10th anniversary of the Bucharest summit will also be an opportunity for a strategic reflection on the Open Door Policy. Taking into account these strands of NATO’s work, Poland’s priority remains deterrence and collective defense. It is of utmost importance to ensure that next year’s Summit will deliver decisions that further strengthen our deterrence and defense whilst highlighting Alliance unity and resolve.
The views expressed in GMF publications and commentary are the views of the author alone.