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Alive and well at 70: the Transatlantic Alliance

NATO LEADERS MEETING family photo at Buckingham Palace

NATO LEADERS MEETING family photo at Buckingham Palace, © picture alliance / Photoshot

04.12.2019 - Article

NATO has guaranteed Europe’s security for 70 years. Foreign Minister Maas is advocating a process of reflection in order to ensure that the Alliance remains able to respond to current challenges also in the future.

NATO is celebrating its 70th anniversary this week at a meeting of the heads of state and government in London – the first headquarters of the defence alliance. NATO has guaranteed security in the euroatlantic region for decades.

Cohesion of the member states makes NATO strong

The strength of the defence alliance lies in the cohesion of its member states and their commitment to collective defence, which is enshrined in Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty. There has been political disagreement in recent times, however, for instance with respect to the Turkish offensive in northeast Syria.

Process of reflection on conceptional further development

At a meeting of the NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels on 20 November, Foreign Minister Maas therefore proposed that political cooperation in the Alliance as the most important transatlantic platform be strengthened through a process of reflection. He received broad support for his initiative from his counterparts. Foreign Minister Maas issued the following statement:

The discussions in recent weeks have shown me that NATO is alive and well. Together with our Allies, we therefore want to continue what NATO stands for, namely a stable and close alliance of shared values across the Atlantic.

Establishing a committee of experts

The heads of state and government took up Foreign Minister Maas’ proposal in their declaration following their meeting in London. Under the leadership of NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg, a committee of experts is to launch a process of reflection with a view to strengthening the Alliance politically.

At their meeting, the Allies also discussed key issues of euroatlantic security, as well as increasing defence expenditure, relations with Russia and China, the future of arms control and communications technologies. The individual countries can only tackle these issues together. This is the only way for NATO to continue to guarantee security as a pillar of collective defence in Europe.

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