At the NATO summit meeting in Brussels on Wednesday (11 July), Foreign Minister Maas highlighted Germany’s contribution to the alliance. “We are one of the guarantors of the free world, and that will remain so,” Maas declared. The Foreign Minister said that it was clear that Germany, as the second largest troop contributor in NATO, honoured its obligations.
Germany tops up investment
Recent reporting on the summit has been dominated by the discussion on levels of defence expenditure. By 2024, Germany plans to increase its military spending by 80 per cent compared to 2014. Since 2014, Germany has invested almost 17 billion euros more in defence.
Security cannot be measured by defence expenditure
“Security cannot only be measured by defence expenditure,” Maas stated. He went on to say that it was more crucial for the alliance partners to present a united front in tackling the most urgent security policy challenges. The Foreign Minister declared that Germany fulfilled this responsibility not least as a contributor of troops for NATO operations.
Germany’s engagement for solidarity
Germany has long been involved in major NATO operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan; German Navy ships have taken part in operations in the Mediterranean and in the Standing NATO Maritime Groups. Germany is one of the four so-called “Framework Nations” which as part of NATO’s Enhanced Forward Presence give the Baltic States and Poland a guarantee that they can rely on NATO’s protection. Further, Germany will be the only European Alliance member to establish a new strategic NATO Headquarter as part of the command structure reform. What counts is practical engagement in the service of solidarity and unity.