The NATO Summit, held on 29-30 June in Madrid, brought about the biggest overhaul of the Alliance’s collective defence since the Cold War as a direct result of the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine. The Summit confirmed the upcoming accession of Finland and Sweden to the Alliance. Once the ratification process is completed, the European Union and NATO will have 23 member countries in common.
President of the European Council Charles Michel attended the Summit confirming the EU’s strategic partnership with the world’s most powerful military alliance. The cooperation of both organisations has been tightening in recent years, as proven by 74 proposals for common actions, particularly in the areas such as countering hybrid threats, cyber security and defence as well as security capacity building.
“EU and NATO stand together today in Madrid, united in support to Ukraine and its people and in condemning Russia’s war against Ukraine. The EU-NATO strategic partnership is stronger and more relevant than ever as EU concretely strengthens its own defence capabilities.”
EU and @NATO stand together today in Madrid, united in support to Ukraine and its people and in condemning Russia’s war against #Ukraine— Charles Michel (@CharlesMichel) June 29, 2022
EU-#NATO strategic partnership is stronger and more relevant than ever as EU concretely strengthens its own defence capabilities.#NATOsummit pic.twitter.com/LeGfXvLGyu
The Madrid Summit also brought a decisive step towards Finland and Sweden’s membership in NATO after the two Scandinavian countries signed the memorandum with Turkey paving the way to their accession. The Summit’s decision was welcomed by ALDE Party co-President Ilhan Kyutchyuk, MEP:
“Great news : Turkey agrees to support Finland and Sweden's NATO membership applications. Our alliance is getting stronger and more united.”
Annie Lööf MP, leader of one of one of ALDE Party’s Swedish member parties Centerpartiet, applauded the decision highlighting its importance for Sweden, the Nordic and the Baltic Sea regions:
“Sweden builds our security together with others. NATO membership strengthens Sweden, the Nordic countries and the Baltic Sea region. Very well handled by the Swedish PM and important to land in a difficult security policy situation before the summit tomorrow. An important step for Sweden and Finland.”
Sverige bygger vår säkerhet tillsammans med andra. Ett NATO-medlemskap stärker Sverige, Norden och Östersjöregionen.— Annie Lööf (@annieloof) June 28, 2022
Mycket bra hanterat av @SwedishPM och viktigt att i ett svårt säkerhetspolitiskt läge landa inför toppmötet imorgon. Ett viktigt steg för Sverige och Finland. https://t.co/ouzKXSjqd7
As Ukraine fights the unjustified military invasion of Russia already for 133 days, NATO leaders approved the strengthened Comprehensive Assistance Package for Ukraine that includes support in areas like secure communications, anti-drone systems and fuel. The Summit was attended remotely by President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky who urged the Alliance for delivering further support.
The strategic decisions taken by the Summit were welcomed by Kira Rudik MP, Vice-President of ALDE and leader of Ukrainian Golos party.
“NATO leaders transform the Alliance to protect its citizens. One of the points of new Strategic Concept is strong long-term support for Ukraine. Leaders will also make a historic decision to invite Finland and Sweden to become members of NATO.”
#NATO leaders transform the Alliance to protect its citizens - @jensstoltenberg. One of the points of new Strategic Concept is strong long-term support for #Ukraine. Leaders will also make a historic decision to invite #Finland and #Sweden to become members of NATO.— Kira Rudik (@kiraincongress) June 29, 2022
The new Strategic Concept, NATO’s major guiding document, adopted in Madrid identified Russia as the most significant and direct threat to Allied security, addressed China for the first time and included other challenges like terrorism, cyber and hybrid ones.
Photo credit: Charles Michel