Topic 2018


Annual Baltic Conference on Defence (ABCD) 2018

NATO at 70: no time to rest

25-26 September 2018, Radisson Blu Hotel Olümpia Tallinn


At their Summit in Brussels on July 11-12, Heads of State and Government of NATO nations agreed that the Alliance remains the foundation for strong collective defence and essential transatlantic forum for security consultations and decisions among Allies.

The Summit itself provided an opportunity to take stock of the decisions of the 2014 Wales and 2016 Warsaw Summits and further implement the adaptation of the Alliance to respond to the wide range of 21st-century security threats and challenges, including Russia’s continuous aggressive actions undermining the European security environment and the diverse challenges on the southern flank.

In an alliance of 29 sovereign states NATO’s unity and cohesion forms its centre of gravity. In this regard fairly sharing the burden of defending the Euro-Atlantic community is critically important and at the Summit Allies committed to improving the balance of sharing the costs and responsibilities of Alliance membership.

At the 2014 Wales Summit, the Allies declared that the Alliance “will aim to move towards the existing NATO guideline of spending 2% of GDP on defence within a decade, with a view to fulfilling NATO capability priorities” . The nations further agreed to devote at least 20 per cent of defence expenditures to major equipment spending. But burden sharing is not just about cash in the form of defence budgets, but also includes availability of right capabilities and their contribution to NATO’s operations, missions and other activities.

A balanced Alliance needs more equal contributions to the common cause of European and transatlantic security by all Allies. This requires political will and leadership from national leaders and their translation into concrete plans to achieve commonly agreed goals.

Taking place two months after the NATO Summit in Brussels, the conference will explore the adaptation of the transatlantic alliance and its further contribution to the strengthening of European and Euro-Atlantic security. The conference will assess the status of transatlantic security and defence bond, and elaborate on the further steps necessary allies could take to increase their contributions to the common defence.