In an interview to Radio Romania, NATO Deputy Secretary General, the Romanian Mircea Geoană, talked about NATO’s changes at global level.
The North Atlantic Alliance is the international organization that has most rapidly adapted to global changes, and this process should be continuous, said the NATO Deputy Secretary General, the Romanian Mircea Geoană. In an interview he granted to Radio Romania ahead of the NATO summit in London due next week, which is occasioned by the anniversary of 70 years since the creation of NATO, Mircea Geoană referred to the recent criticism made by the French president who said that NATO could no longer rely on the support of the US. He says that the recent meeting in Paris between the NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and the French president Emmanuel Macron has clarified this matter.
Mircea Geoană: “Sometimes, when diverging opinions emerge between allies, they should be discussed directly, and the meeting in Paris has reached its purpose. The two officials had a sincere and open discussion supported by arguments. France is a very important country both within NATO and the EU, and for Romania it is a reliable ally and partner. None of the EU’s defense policies is against NATO’s principles, as long as these policies are complementary.”
Mircea Geoană has also talked about the global changes that may occur within the Alliance in the context in which, early this month, the French president said that NATO was ‘brain dead’.
Mircea Geoană: “We are an alliance that has adapted to global changes much faster than any other international organization. NATO leaders have to discuss the need for a strengthened political dimension of the Alliance. If we really want to be able to adapt to global changes, as institutions of the democratic West, we can only do that by maintaining a strong transatlantic relation, by strengthening the European pillar within NATO and having a more robust EU. The Alliance is in an impeccable state today, but if the world around us is changing, we should change too, and the adaptation process is practically continuous.”
Besides France, Germany also supports the reform of the Alliance, given that the Trump administration has decided to substantially reduce the US contribution to the NATO budget. The American president has said the ‘Alliance is obsolete’ and has called on the European allies to allot more money for common defense. At present, the US provides for 22.1% of the total 2019 NATO budget worth 2.5 billion dollars or 2.37 billion Euros. Germany provides 14.7% and has announced it will increase its contribution while France contributes 10.5%. A member of NATO since 2004, Romania has already allotted 2% of the GDP for defense, according to the member states’ commitment. (translation by L. Simion)