NATO2030: Lawmakers discuss partnerships, disruptive technologies, and resilience with NATO Deputy Secretary General Geoana

26 October 2020

Earlier today, 45 lawmakers from 23 Allied and partner nations and the European Parliament engaged with NATO Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoana on the NATO2030 process and, in particular, on three key themes: NATO partnerships, emerging and disruptive technologies, and resilience.

“As an Assembly, we attach a lot of importance to the NATO2030 process, and we are playing our full part in it – as an essential link between NATO, Allied parliaments, and citizens across the Alliance; as a committed promoter and defender of NATO values; and as a valuable platform for open and frank political dialogue,” opened Attila Mesterhazy (Hungary), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA).

NATO2030 offers a genuine and valuable opportunity to lay out a vision for NATO’s future. Partnerships, emerging and disruptive technologies, and resilience are three crucial themes for the NATO PA and for NATO. 

“To protect the rules-based international order, NATO must develop a more global outlook and work more closely with partners globally,” said President Mesterhazy. “To maintain NATO’s technological edge, we must sustain defence spending and investment in innovation and technology. Furthermore, to counter threats in the grey zone between peace and war and to face man-made and natural disasters, we must build up the resilience of our states and, more importantly perhaps, of our societies.”

Deputy Secretary General Geoana noted that the world has changed dramatically in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. NATO needs to play its part in overcoming the pandemic. However, Mr. Geoana stressed that the Alliance still faces both old and new challenges. Russia continues to test Allies and partners alike. The scourge of terrorism has not stopped haunting the Alliance, as the recent killing of the French teacher Samuel Paty has shown – a terrorist attack both he and the President condemned in the strongest possible terms.

NATO was also faced new risks: in space and the cyber domain; in building up 5G telecommunications networks; and from climate change-related risks. Moreover, China presented not only opportunities but also challenges.

Mr Geoana presented his take on how he believes the Alliance should adapt. Partnerships, maintaining the technological edge, and the resilience of Allied democratic societies are all of crucial importance. He also argued that the NATO PA plays an important role in the political conversations on NATO adaptation.

Assembly members and partners engaged in wide-ranging discussions with the Deputy Secretary General, notably on partnerships with countries outside the Euro-Atlantic area and with the EU; the challenges and opportunities of emerging technologies, notably of robotics and 5G technologies; countering disinformation and other hybrid threats; building up resilience; and energy security.

To support the NATO 2030 reflection process, the Assembly is also conducting a survey of its member delegations’ priorities and will submit written contributions to both the Group of Experts supporting the NATO Secretary General and the NATO Secretary General himself. 

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