NATO Heads of State and Government wrapped up two days of talks at the NATO Summit in Brussels on 12 July, 2018, taking key decisions to further boost security in and around Europe.
NATO leaders agreed on a new initiative that will boost the Alliance’s readiness to rapidly respond to any potential crisis, the ‘Four Thirties’. Allies have committed to having 30 mechanised battalions, 30 air squadrons and 30 combat vessels ready to use within 30 days, by 2020.
NATO’s Secretary General, together with the President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission, signed a Joint Declaration to intensify NATO-EU Cooperation.
All Allies took stock of progress in implementing NATO’s Defence Investment Pledge, by moving towards spending 2% of GDP on defence by 2024.
At the Summit, they also agreed to step up NATO’s role in the fight against terrorism by launching a new training mission in Iraq to prevent the re-emergence of ISIS and other terrorist groups in the region, and providing additional support to Tunisia and Jordan. The Secretary General announced that NATO’s Hub for the South is now fully operational. The facility in Naples, Italy, will help the Alliance monitor and respond more effectively to challenges in the Southern region.
NATO leaders have also intensified their commitment to supporting Afghanistan, by both extending the funding for the Afghan forces beyond 2020 and increasing the numbers of NATO trainers in the country.
Furthermore, Allies have decided to modernise the NATO Command Structure, in response to a changed security environment. The adapted Command Structure will place a greater focus on maritime security, logistics and military mobility, and cyber defence. Allies agreed the creation of new commands for the Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, and for support and logistics in Ulm, Germany. A new Cyber Operations Centre will also be created at Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) in Mons, Belgium.
After the historic agreement between Athens and Skopje, Allies have also invited Prime Minister Zaev’s government to begin accession talks.