NATO Parliamentary Assembly


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presented by the Economics and Security Committee

The Assembly,

1.      Recognising that military spending and burden sharing have moved to the centre of the contemporary political and strategic debate, both within the Alliance and within the political systems of its members;

2.      Aware that military operations have significantly increased budgetary pressures on Allied governments;

3.      Concerned that tight national defence budgets are also imposing serious stress on long-term military investment and transformation;

4.     Lamenting the inadequacy of defence industrial and procurement collaboration within the Alliance and, more generally, between North America and Europe;

5.     Understanding that financing NATO missions exclusively on a "costs lie where they fall" basis potentially weakens Allied solidarity and thus that studies are needed to see how cost‑sharing methods might be incorporated into mission financing;

6.     Noting, however, that national troop participation in NATO missions, when this is appropriate and feasible, may be the ultimate sign of a country’s willingness to accept its share of the collective security burden;

7.     Noting that common funded projects, joint procurement and genuinely open competition among defence firms from all Allied countries can enhance financial predictability, increase efficiencies and free up resources needed for long-term military transformation;

8.     Recognising that the common NATO-EU agenda remains far too restricted, particularly given the shared values of the two institutions as well as the fact that 21 NATO members are also EU member states, that both institutions draw from many of the same tax bases, share an interest in encouraging scale economies in the defence industrial sector, and are engaged in the development of transformative military technologies, hardware, and doctrine;

9.       URGES member governments and parliaments of the North Atlantic Alliance:

a.       to enhance transatlantic co-operation in a range of defence procurement and operational matters because purely national approaches are simply proving too expensive;

b.     to examine in a more transparent and even public manner those areas where certain Allies are not meeting commonly agreed collective obligations;

c.     to develop ways to help Allied countries better fulfil their operational and defence budgetary obligations;

d.       to identify various ways in which mission costs and participation can be shared in a politically sustainable and economically viable fashion;

10.    URGES the member states of NATO and the European Union:

a.       to embrace joint training programmes, common standards and transparent planning procedures that will improve interoperability of NATO and EU forces and reduce costs;

b.       to foster dialogue within the Alliance and between NATO and the EU that will lead to practical capabilities improvements that do not result in overlap and duplication;

c.     to deepen the NATO-EU dialogue on civil relief policy, aid, post-conflict reconstruction, police and judicial support so that both institutions are better prepared to work together in crisis-torn regions;

d.      to recognise the value of both war fighting and peacekeeping capabilities as key elements of any kind of burden sharing equation and to ensure that both North American and European forces are able to engage in both;

e.       to lower barriers to defence procurement in Europe and in North America in order to reduce costs, increase competition and accord taxpayers a fair return on their defence investment; and

f.        to understand that, insofar as a unified European defence market is built, it should remain open to its North American partners, who, in turn, should consider purchasing European defence equipment without discrimination.