NATO Assembly urges strong response to “deepest security crisis” since WW2

08 October 2023

Lawmakers from the 31-nation NATO Alliance gave unequivocal backing Sunday to recent Summit decisions by Allied leaders to strengthen defence and deterrence against the threat from Russia and multiple other threats and challenges, as the Euro-Atlantic area faces its “deepest security crisis” since the Second World War. 

“This Summit has reaffirmed our unique transatlantic bond and adopted a series of measures that will make our Alliance stronger,” British Member Lord Hamilton told the Annual Session of NATO’s Parliamentary Assembly, meeting this year in Copenhagen. 

Members approved a Resolution calling on leaders to rapidly implement decisions taken at the July Summit in Vilnius to guarantee the “Alliance’s ability to defend every inch of its territory and to deploy and sustain additional robust, combat-ready forward-deployed forces on NATO’s Eastern flank.” 

Allied nations must hit an agreed 2%-of-GDP target for defence spending; mobilise international efforts to push back against revisionist authoritarian powers; and adopt an all-round approach to security threats and challenges ranging from terrorism to climate change, said the Resolution adopted by the Assembly’s Political Committee.  

The backing for a more robust defence and deterrence baseline was echoed in a separate Resolution approved by the Defence and Security Committee.  

It urged Allied governments “to implement fully and promptly NATO’s new force model to modernise NATO’s force structure to continue to strengthen its Eastern flank from the Baltic to the Black Seas implement its new regional defence plans, and permit Allies to maintain a 360-degree approach to deterrence and defence.” 

Both Resolutions were expected to be confirmed in votes at the Assembly’s Plenary Session on Monday. 

Warning “the Russian Federation presents the most significant and direct threat to peace and stability in the Euro-Atlantic area,” legislators urged NATO governments to increase support to Ukraine, notably through accelerated deliveries of advanced weapons including long-range missiles and fighter aircraft; expand sanctions on Russia; and help Ukraine meet the conditions for NATO membership “as soon as possible.” 

Beijing’s backing for Russia and assertiveness in other foreign policy areas show “Allies must not lose sight of the systemic, long-term challenge posed by an authoritarian China,” said a report adopted by the Political Committee.  

“It must be recognised that some Allies will need to dedicate significant resources to this rivalry and prepare for potential contingencies in the Indo-Pacific,” said the report authored by Romanian lawmaker Ana-Maria Catauta. “It is vital for all Allies to demonstrate solidarity and to shoulder their fair share of responsibility for Allied security and for the future of the rules-based world order.” 

Assembly members highlighted the importance of strengthening the Alliance in the Black Sea and Baltic regions. In the Baltic, that should include supporting efforts to conclude Sweden’s entry into NATO “as a top priority.” 

“Sweden’s pending accession will further solidify NATO’s Northeast flank, anchoring the region’s cooperation as NATO Allies on all key security issues,” said a report drafted by Dutch member Jeroen van Wijgaarden. 

In further recommendations to NATO governments, Assembly members cautioned that disinformation “constitutes a severe threat to the security, societal cohesion and democratic functioning of the Alliance.”  

A Resolution from the Committee on Democracy and Security, presented by Belgian parliamentarian Rodrigue Demeuse, urged Allies to adopt a raft of measures to counter disinformation, including through the creation of a Centre for Democratic Resilience at NATO headquarters that can serve as a platform for sharing resources and exchanging best practices. 

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