NATO PA President to address Allied leaders at Madrid Summit

01 June 2022

NATO PA President Gerald E. Connolly (United States) will address NATO’s Heads of State and Government at their upcoming Summit meeting in Madrid, Spain, on 28-30 June.

The Assembly’s President is traditionally invited to address NATO Summits to present the views of Allied legislators on the key issues affecting the Alliance. 

“NATO leaders will meet at one of the gravest moments in modern history. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is an act of aggression on a scale not seen since World War II. Its ultimate goal is to undermine democracy, to upend the European security order and to destroy the internationally rules based order”, President Connolly commented. “The war has created a new strategic reality for all of us and we need to contend with it in the long term as well as the immediate term”, he added. 

Earlier this week, over 220 parliamentarians from NATO member and partner countries met in Vilnius for the Assembly’s Spring Session where Allied legislators finalised their recommendations for the NATO Summit.  

The Assembly adopted two declarations on Standing with Ukraine and on Confronting Russia’s Threat authored respectively by Michal Szczerba of Poland and President Connolly himself. In these resolutions, the Assembly calls for continued Allied unity and resolve in supporting Ukraine and urges Allied leaders, when they meet in Madrid, to significantly strengthen and adapt the Alliance’s deterrence and defense in response to Russia’s war. 

Earlier this year, the Assembly also adopted its recommendations for NATO’s next Strategic Concept – the Alliance’s top strategic guidance which NATO Heads of State and government are expected to endorse in Madrid. In their contribution, Allied legislators urged the Alliance to adapt NATO to today’s complex geopolitical reality as well as reaffirm the Alliance’s shared democratic values and core principles. 

In particular, the Assembly has recommended the establishment of a Democratic Resilience Center within NATO Headquarters to operationalise the Alliance’s commitment to democratic values and serve as a resource and clearinghouse on democratic benchmarks for NATO members, partners and aspirants. 

It has argued that NATO must place these democratic values at the heart of its response to the full range of today’s challenges. 

Mr Connolly is the US representative for Virginia’s 11th congressional district. He joined the NATO PA in 2013 and was elected President in November 2020. 

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