NATO Leaders are gathering in Madrid, Spain to discuss important issues facing the Alliance. The Madrid Summit will set NATO’s strategic direction for the next decade and beyond, ensuring that the Alliance will continue to adapt to a changing world and keep its one billion people safe.
Summit in summary
Who attend: Heads of State and Government from NATO’s member countries and key partners
What: Meeting to discuss the most pressing security concerns of today and tomorrow, and to endorse NATO’s new Strategic Concept
Where: Madrid, Spain
When: 28-30 June 2022
Why: To make sure that NATO continues to fulfil its key purpose and greatest responsibility: ensuring collective defence for its member countries and keeping our one billion people safe
On the Agenda
How has Russia’s brutal and unprovoked invasion of Ukraine and the new security reality in Europe affected NATO’s approach to deterrence and defence?
What is the Alliance doing to address other challenges, like China’s growing influence and assertiveness?
What will be included in NATO’s next Strategic Concept, the blueprint for the Alliance’s future adaptation to a more competitive world where authoritarian powers try to push back against the rules-based international order?
These are just some of the important questions that NATO Leaders will discuss during the Madrid Summit.
Going back to the subject of China, at the October 2021 joint press conference of NATO Secretary-General Stolenberg and President of Finland Sauli Niinistö, the former stated that “China will soon have the biggest economy in the world. They already have the second largest defence budget, the biggest Navy. They invest heavily in new modern military capabilities, including advanced weapon systems using new technologies, disruptive technologies, integrating that into their new weapon systems, and also investing heavily in new long-range nuclear weapons, building high number of missile silos that will increase the number of nuclear weapons, warheads significantly in China. This matters for our security. These weapons, these warheads can reach the whole of NATO, the whole of Europe. And, of course, when we then look into the future when we discuss how to make sure that we can keep all Allies safe, we also have to take into account the rise of China, economically, and militarily.”
At the Madrid Summit, NATO will adopt its new Strategic Concept which is the official statement of NATO’s values, purpose and roles, described by the NATO Secretary-General as the “most important to document next to the founding treaty.”
This key document reaffirms NATO’s values, purpose and tasks. It provides a collective assessment of the security challenges facing the Alliance and outlines the political and military tasks NATO will carry out to address them.
The Strategic Concept is the result of internal consultation among Allies and external engagement with partners, other international organisations, expert communities, youth organisations, civil society and the private sector.
(View here a full rundown and read background information about the key topics on the Madrid Summit agenda.)
THE HOST COUNTRY
Spain is hosting the 2022 NATO Summit in an auspicious year – the 40th anniversary of its accession to NATO.
Spain became the 16th country to join NATO on 30 May 1982. The new member brought a lot to the table as it joined the 33-year-old Alliance – not only its military capabilities and its vital geostrategic location for Western European defence (positioned between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean), but also its diplomatic skill and political relations with Latin America, the Middle East and North Africa.
Eventually, Javier Solana, a Spanish diplomat would serve as NATO Secretary-General, guiding the Alliance through its first major peacekeeping operation and its transition from a Cold War organisation to a fully flexible security organisation engaged with new partners and prepared for new threats and challenges.
Did you know?
Madrid hosted a NATO summit 25 years ago, on 8-9 July 1997.
One of the notable decisions taken by NATO Leaders at this summit was to invite the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland – the 1st post-Cold War member countries – to begin accession talks with NATO.
Featured image: NATO MADRID SUMMIT 2022 logo, NATO, Fair use. Abstract painting background by Steve Johnson, Unsplash, supplied by Guidepost. Cropped.
Ukrainian serviceman in Kiev/Just Clicks With a Camera, PD via Flickr
Zhao Lijan/China News Service, CC BY3.0 via Wikipedia
40th-anniversary celebration/Pool Moncloa, Fernando Calvo
Clinton, Albright and Solana, from NATO, Fair use
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