NATO’s Brussels Summit: Getting From Good to Great

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Series Details June 2018
Publication Date June 2018
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Ahead of NATO’s Brussels summit on 11-12 July, Sir Adam Thomson KCMG, Director of the European Leadership Network and former UK Ambassador to NATO, assessed three challenges to NATO solidarity and what could realistically be done to address these at the summit.

Sir Adam pointed out that since 2014, the Alliance had responded relatively effectively to Russia’s destabilisation of Ukraine and the new arc of instability to NATO’s south. However, although the Alliance might manage its way through one or more summits (superficially) unscathed, it had to work harder than ever on NATO cohesion and resilience.

The report made the case that the 2018 summit should therefore address three potential divides and risks to NATO solidarity:

+ Engagement southwards: A resolution to work harder for institutional and national partnerships in which NATO could play a realistic part in tackling the threats from the South

+ NATO’s long-term approach to Russia: A recognition that long-term confrontation with Russia called for NATO to reduce the risks in current deterrence postures and work for all-weather dialogue

+ Transatlantic burdensharing: An agreement to work, preferably in conjunction with the EU, towards a roadmap on greater European capacity to meet the defence burden in the coming decades.

Further information

A meeting of NATO Heads of State and Government was due to be held on 11-12 July 2018 in Brussels, Belgium, chaired by the NATO Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg.

The main themes at the Summit were:

+ Strengthening deterrence and defence
+ Projecting stability and fighting terrorism
+ Stronger cooperation with the European Union
+ Modernising NATO
+ Fairer burden-sharing
+ An Alliance of shared values and transatlantic unity

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Related Links
NATO Review, 06.07.18: The Alliance’s evolving posture: towards a theory of everything
The Conversation, 10.07.18: Why the NATO summit could deal a major blow to the international order
ECFR: Commentary, 06.07.18: Four things to know ahead of the NATO Summit
NATO: News, 28.06.18: NATO Summit Guide Brussels, 11–12 July 2018

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