Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg took part in the first Combined Component Commanders Conference on Wednesday (17 May 2023). The conference was hosted by Supreme Allied Commander Europe, General Christopher G. Cavoli, at Allied Command Operations in Mons, Belgium, and brought together all his subordinate commanders, from both NATO and United States European Command (EUCOM) for a strategic discussion on the next steps in implementing NATO’s collective deterrence and defence structure.
The Secretary General welcomed the close collaboration between NATO and EUCOM, and the strong commitment of the United States to Europe’s security, which is more important than ever, as we face the greatest security challenges in decades.
“In an era of strategic competition,” Mr. Stoltenberg said, “NATO has reoriented from out-of-area operations to collective defence. We must integrate and coordinate as much as possible to address immediate and long-term challenges ahead of the Vilnius Summit this July.”
The Secretary General outlined the main priorities for the summit to further strengthen NATO’s deterrence and defence. These include long-term support for Ukraine’s military, preparing new regional defence plans and a new force model, as well as a more ambitious defence investment pledge, with 2 % of GDP as a floor, rather than a ceiling. He also focused on the importance of a defence industrial base that is capable of delivering on these requirements.