NATO countries must use the alliance in a more political way by 2030, the organization’s secretary-general said Monday.
Jens Stoltenberg’s remarks came in a speech at the launch of the NATO2030 project.
Earlier, he held his first meeting with a group of experts tasked with reflecting on the future of the military alliance.
Stoltenberg explained, the aim of the project is “not to reinvent NATO, but to make it even stronger militarily and politically” to be able to “tackle the challenges of tomorrow.”
Agreed by NATO leaders in December, the reflection process needs to strengthen NATO’s political dimension, he added.
The alliance has to be more politically united and able to bring more political topics at the negotiation table, Stoltenberg said, calling for the courage to “decide and act if necessary for our shared security.”
He mentioned Russia’s continued military activity, the Daesh-ISIS terror threat, and disinformation and propaganda campaigns of state and non-state actors as the biggest challenges NATO would have to face in the coming decade.
He also admitted that “China is shifting the global race of power,” but insisted that “we don’t see China as an enemy.”
He warned member countries to “resist the temptation of national solutions,” and pointed out that neither Europe alone, nor America alone, faced these challenges.
Stoltenberg also welcomed efforts by the EU for a stronger security policy, but remained confident that the “EU can’t replace NATO in any way.”
The expert group will offer recommendations to reinforce NATO’s unity and increase political coordination between the allies.
The group composed of ten experts is co-chaired by Thomas de Maiziere, former German Interior Minister, and Wess Mitchell, former US assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs.
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