On Monday 14 June, the 2021 NATO summit is held in Brussels. It will be the first time since the start of the pandemic when 30 heads of state and government, including US President Joe Biden, will physically meet at the table of the world’s most powerful military and political alliance. Prime Minister Kaja Kallas will head the Estonian delegation.
The heads of state and government of the Alliance will discuss key Euro-Atlantic security issues and make pivotal decisions on NATO’s future. The summit focuses on reinforcing the political unity and military capabilities of the Alliance, and successfully combating threats and challenges to the common transatlantic space of values and interests. Leaders will discuss how to adapt to the increasingly complicated global security situation while maintaining the regional focus on the security and protection of the Euro-Atlantic area in light of Russia, terrorism and China pushing back against the international order, and threats in cyberspace.
Estonia’s priority at the summit is the resounding message of the unity of the Alliance and the full commitment of the United States to transatlantic security and collective defence. Decisions on strengthening NATO’s deterrence and defence are also critical for our security. We are looking forward to the confirmation of future-oriented decisions on the NATO 2030 agenda, which would allow NATO to adapt and remain the dominant military and political alliance in the changed security situation.
“NATO’s strength lies in its unity. Recent events have only served to highlight the importance of solidarity. Finding common ground among 30 Allies means we must think and act together. This is possible only if we share fundamental values and have the same views on security threats,” Rein Tammsaar, Undersecretary for Political Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said. “Estonia’s priority at the summit in Brussels is the resounding message of the unity of the Alliance and the full commitment of the United States to transatlantic security and collective defence, as well as decisions on the continued strengthening of NATO’s defence and deterrence posture.“
The symbolic focus of the summit is the reiteration of the transatlantic bond: the attendance of John Biden, the President of the United States, the most influential NATO member, underlines US commitment to the Alliance and NATO’s collective defence. At the summit, Allies will reaffirm NATO’s unity and adaptability, as well as its ambition to boost political and military cooperation. To ensure NATO continued dominance on the global security landscape, Allies must guarantee necessary resources together.
“NATO remains critical for the security of Europe and Estonia. Collective defence is and will be the main task of NATO. We must remember that collective defence, Article 5 of the North Atlantic Treaty and the NATO umbrella in general ensure our freedom and welfare,” Estonian Ambassador to NATO Kyllike Sillaste-Elling said. “Estonia adheres to the 2% rule – we expect other Allies to do the same; we also support an increase in NATO’s common funding under NATO 2030. The promises and decisions of previous summits still stand, including the promise of Allies to increase spending on defence to ensure NATO’s continued military strength and efficiency,” Sillaste-Elling added. “It is worth noting that a lot has been done in this field in recent years, including in our region. However, much remains to be done to ensure the protection of the entire great Euro-Atlantic area.”
Addressing the budget is also important because as it performs its core tasks, the Alliance must pay increasing attention to the risks and opportunities that accompany the rapid development of emerging technologies. At the summit, Allies will agree to establish a defence innovation accelerator under the NATO 2030 initiative, which paves the way for cooperating with the private and the public sector and for including start-ups to adopt emerging technologies in NATO’s capacity building. At the same time, the Alliance is aware that climate change affects security and will prepare steps to reduce the impact of its activities on climate.
Estonia continues to support NATO’s Open Door Policy, which has proven itself as an efficient instrument for the expansion of the transatlantic space of shared values and for reinforcing its security. We are expecting the summit to confirm that NATO’s Open Door Policy would continue – no third country can use political, economic or military means to veto the sovereign decisions of states or NATO’s decisions.
At Monday’s summit in Brussels, a series of documents will be adopted to provide a framework for the Alliance’s subsequent development and activities. A traditional joint communique will be adopted, and 30 countries must agree on the NATO 2030 agenda. In a separate document, leaders will agree on a shared vision for boosting the resilience of NATO and Allies, and on a new Climate Change and Security Action Plan. NATO’s cyber defence policy will also be reviewed.
More information on the NATO summit in Brussels
• Background information, topics, facts: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/184620.htm
• The public sections of the summit (arrivals, welcoming ceremony etc.) can be followed online on NATO TV: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/events_67375.htm
• Podcasts on what goes on behind the scenes: https://www.buzzsprout.com/1792836
• Photos: https://www.nato.int/cps/en/natohq/photos.htm
Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Estonia