France restates its priorities for NATO’s future
NATO – Role of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization – Reply by the Ministry for Europe and Foreign Affairs to a written question in the Senate
Paris, 9 January 2020
The NATO summit, held in London on 3 and 4 December 2019, provided the opportunity to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the North Atlantic Treaty and have a genuine strategic discussion at heads-of-state-and-government level about the Alliance’s future in the troubled context NATO is experiencing today.
The French President – who is committed to the vitality of NATO, a key element of European security – expressed three essential messages.
First of all, the Allies must clarify the Alliance’s strategic goals, which means having a shared vision of risks and threats. Terrorist groups, particularly originating in Daesh [so-called ISIL] and al-Qaeda, represent a common enemy. This calls for an increased effort by the allies in the international battle against this threat, be it in the Levant or the Sahel.
Secondly, the Europeans must show themselves to be more proactive and shoulder more responsibilities within an overhauled and rebalanced Alliance. There will no more be European defence without NATO than a credible and sustainable NATO without increased European responsibilities.
Finally, the allies must have a shared and demanding vision of their rights and duties to one another. On this point, France is committed in practical terms to defending its allies, and they can count on its constant commitment to protecting their security interests.
At the end of the summit, the heads of state and government began a process of strategic thinking, as proposed by France and Germany, about the Alliance’s future and its ability to tackle the security challenges of our time. As a credible, supportive and stringent ally, France will play an active and constructive role in this thinking, which is essential for the Alliance./.