The Alliance agreed on a comprehensive reform agenda at the NATO summit in June 2021. The Federal Ministry of Defence supports ongoing work to adapt the Alliance to a volatile security environment. By updating its strategic concept, the Alliance is taking further steps towards becoming fit for the future.
The strategic concept is NATO’s key policy document. It forms the basis for all political and operational activities of the Alliance. In June 2021, the heads of state and government tasked NATO to update its strategic concept. The concept is set to be adopted at the next NATO summit in Madrid in June 2022. By updating its strategic concept, the Alliance takes determined action in response to the changes in the security environment since 2010 as it charts the course for the next decade until 2030.
The decision to update the strategic concept is based on the NATO 2030 reflection process, which lasted more than one year. In addition, an ambitious political reform agenda was adopted, which also has an impact on the new strategic concept. Besides its existing core tasks, NATO will in future focus a lot more on questions of resilience and how to deal with emerging and disruptive technologies. The link between climate change and security will also be given increased attention.
Further topics on the agenda are new challenges in cyberspace and outer space as well as hybrid threats and how to address them – including the question of how the Alliance can position itself vis-à-vis Russia and China and the preservation of the rules-based international order. The Alliance is also adapting to the current challenges in military terms and has developed its military strategy to respond to the new threat situation.
For Germany, the Alliance remains a firm cornerstone of its security and the most important transatlantic bond. It is committed to burden sharing in NATO, and it is working for a stronger European pillar in NATO as well as for coherence between NATO and EU activities.
The preservation of NATO's core tasks – deterrence and defence (including nuclear sharing), crisis management, and cooperative security – is key, yet these tasks must be adapted to the current threat situation and go along with an honest debate on opportunities and limitations as well as on ambitions and resources in international crisis management. Germany as the biggest ally in the centre of Europe has a special responsibility in this context – as a lead nation, supporting partner and logistic hub.
The implementation of the NATO 2030 decisions and discussions among allies on the renewed strategic concept are in full swing and will continue to gain momentum over the coming months.