2021 Annual Presidential Report launched as NATO PA opens annual Brussels meeting

21 February 2022


As some 90 lawmakers gather to address the grave crisis to European security provoked by Russia and discuss the Assembly’s priorities for NATO’s new Strategic Concept, Gerald E. Connolly (United States), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, launched his 2021 annual report.

The report details the Assembly’s 2021 reports, recommendations and activities, which paint a picture of the priorities the Assembly’s members would like to see reflected in the new Strategic Concept that Allied leaders will adopt in Madrid in June. 

“In 2021, our own deliberations here in the Assembly have made two things abundantly clear,” underlines President Connolly. “NATO must align with strategic reality, and it must recommit to its basic, shared democratic values.”

“Russia’s actions since have put an end to 25 years of trying to build a genuine strategic partnership. China’s stated ambitions and actions present a systemic challenge to democratic values and systems of government,” he notes. 

“NATO must return to its roots” to face these and other challenges successfully, President Connolly stresses. “NATO has always been defined by what it stands for, not just by what it stands against. It is an alliance committed to democracy, individual liberty and the rule of law.” 

“After more than 7 decades, there’s not even a broom closet in NATO headquarters dedicated to democratic institution building,” President Connolly states. “That’s why the Assembly urges the establishment of a Democratic Resilience Centre within NATO Headquarters – to serve as a resource and a clearinghouse of best practices and cross-fertilisation on democratic benchmarks, upon request.”

This week, the Assembly’s leadership will adopt its formal contribution to NATO’s new Strategic Concept, which will be distributed to the NATO Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council. 

Over the next three days, members will also discuss a wide range of topics on the transatlantic agenda with NATO, EU and national representatives, including challenges from China and NATO's southern flank, Allied resilience, crisis management, nuclear deterrence and arms control as well as NATO-EU cooperation.

The Joint Committee Meetings will also include the annual meeting with the Permanent Representatives to the North Atlantic Council under the joint chairmanship of President Connolly and Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council.

These events are not public. There will be no media opportunity.

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