Joint statement ahead of Madrid NATO Summit
Prime Minister Alexander De Croo took part in a meeting at the official residence of the Prime Minister of the Netherlands in The Hague this evening to prepare for the NATO Summit in Madrid later this month. In addition to Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and NATO Secretary-General Stoltenberg, Danish Prime Minister Frederiksen, Romanian President Iohannis, Portuguese Prime Minister Costa, Polish Prime Minister Morawiecki and Latvian Prime Minister Karinš also took part in the meeting.
Among other things, the countries reaffirmed their solidarity with Ukraine and called on Russian President Putin to withdraw Russia's troops. The countries also discussed the new NATO Strategic Concept ahead of the NATO Summit in Madrid.
Read the full statement that was issued after the preparatory summit below
1. Today, 14 June 2022, the Heads of State and Government of Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania met in The Hague in preparation of the upcoming landmark NATO Summit in Madrid.
2. Russia’s brutal, illegal, unprovoked and unjustified war against Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe and fundamentally changed Euro-Atlantic security. Today we reaffirmed our full solidarity with Ukraine. We are united in our unwavering and enduring support to Ukraine as it continues to exercise its right to self-defence as the security of Europe and the free world is at stake. We call on President Putin to immediately stop this senseless war of aggression and withdraw all Russian military forces from Ukraine. We reiterate our principled stance in support of Ukraine’s independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity within its internationally recognized borders.
3. In response to Russia’s war against Ukraine, NATO and Allies have taken necessary measures to ensure the security and defence of Allied territory. NATO will continue to strive for peace, security and stability in the whole of the Euro-Atlantic area with a 360 degrees approach. At this critical moment for our security and international peace and stability, we will further strengthen NATO as the foundation for our collective defence, and the essential forum for transatlantic security consultations and decisions among Allies.
4. We, the Heads of State and Government of Belgium, Denmark, Latvia, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal and Romania agree that at the NATO Summit in Madrid, we will take decisions on a new baseline for NATO’s posture tailored to a more unpredictable and dangerous strategic reality to deter, defend, contest and deny the success of any aggressor in meeting their objectives. In light of the gravest threat to Euro-Atlantic security in decades, we will also significantly strengthen our longer-term deterrence and defence posture. We will contribute to developing the full range of ready forces and capabilities necessary to maintain a robust, credible and sustainable longer-term NATO deterrence and defence posture. We will continue to take all necessary steps to protect and defend the security of our Allied populations and every inch of Allied territory. Our measures will remain commensurate with the threat and the changed security environment.
5. At the NATO Summit in Madrid Allies will endorse a new Strategic Concept for NATO, which will guide the Alliance in the years to come and ensure it remains, fit and resourced for the future. We support this important work. European countries must take more responsibility for European security. We will also maintain coherence with security and defence efforts under way within the European Union, which remains a unique and essential partner for NATO.
6. Facing a new security reality, we believe increased resourcing is necessary in order to strengthen NATO and bolster our capacity to respond to any threat to our collective security. In Madrid, Allies should therefore recall the Defence Investment Pledge to spend 2 % of our GDP on defence and agree to an ambitious approach to bolster our Alliance for the future by considerably increasing NATO common funding in accordance with decisions taken at the Brussels 2021 Summit.
7. Finland and Sweden have both decided to seek NATO membership and have submitted their applications. Russia’s war against Ukraine has drastically changed the security situation for both Finland and Sweden, as it has done for NATO. We wholeheartedly welcome and support their applications for membership. Finland and Sweden are NATO’s closest partners, sharing our principles and values. Both countries have years of experience training, exercising and operating alongside NATO and its Allies. Together we will strengthen the Alliance.