In a speech delivered this week, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg advised that after the United Kingdom leaves the European Union, 80 percent of NATO’s defence spending will come from nations outside the EU.

This is partly about military might. After Brexit, 80% of NATO’s defence expenditure will come from non-EU Allies. And Germany will be the only EU member leading one of NATO’s battlegroups in the east of the Alliance.

It is also about geography. From Norway in the North, to Turkey in the South, and the US, Canada and the UK in the West. All are key to keeping Europe safe.

I say all of this knowing that many of you may be thinking about the disagreements, differences and divisions among NATO Allies. Over trade, energy, climate change, Iran. And most recently over the situation in northeast Syria. We have had serious differences before. From the Suez Crisis in 1956. To the Iraq War in 2003. But at the end of the day, we have always been able to unite around our core task. To protect and defend each other.

NATO is the only platform where Allies from Europe and North America sit down on a daily basis. To discuss difficult issues affecting our shared security. And to keep our almost one billion citizens safe.”

The Secretary General used the above speech to advise against relying on the European Union instead of NATO to defend Europe. Offering caution, Stoltenberg added:

“Any attempt to distance Europe from North America will not only weaken the transatlantic Alliance, it is also risking dividing Europe itself. European unity cannot replace transatlantic unity. I strongly welcome efforts to strengthen European defence. Which can enhance capabilities and burden sharing within NATO.

But the European Union cannot defend Europe.

Read the Secretary General’s full speech here.

0 0 vote
Article Rating
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Yes I think Macron’s “brain dead” comments were themselves evidence of him being brain dead on the reality of European defence.

Yes, there is division over policy. However, at the moment we are nowhere near the situation we were in 40 odd years ago when Turkey invaded Cyprus and two NATO members stared off at each other.

Mr Bell

Says it all really. EU NATO nations represent 54% of NATOs population yet spend 20% of the NATO budget. There is a hard statistic that is not up for debate or any doubt. Now EU, who is it that is needing whom?
I think EU needs USA and UK militarily one heck of a lot more than either country needs them.

John Clark

It really does say it all doesn’t it. I would think those in the upper echelons of the French military, must be gravely concerned that they will have increased political pressure placed on them to organise and lead lame duck ( and totally laughable) proposed EU defence structures. Once we have finally left the EU, the French armed forces will be the only fully rounded and capable military force at the EU’s disposal. Not knocking the likes of Denmark, Holland and Poland, they all have very professional and capable forces, but with serious gaps ( and lack off mass) in… Read more »

Steve H

Yet more proof that the EU, led by the two most hopeless countries on the Continent, is just like the blind leading the blind.
I’m positive that the old sitcom Dad’s Army wasn’t based on the World War 2 home guard, it must’ve been based on the bloody EU…

Andy P

I’m not disputing your percentages (haven’t checked) but it doesn’t tell the whole story, expenditure isn’t based on population its based on finance. It would be interesting what the numbers are INCLUDING the UK in the EU.

The EU (and the rest of NATO) needs the US for sure, they need the UK to a much lesser extent, we’ve resisted the EU army idea anyway.


While not untrue, the headline implies this is a drastic departure from the current state of affairs.
We’re currently at 75% non EU funding, a change to 80% doesn’t represent a drastic shift


Still baffles me how all those European countries together can’t even protect themselves from 1 country(Russia). I guess some things will never change.

Andy P

This crossed my YouTube path and thought of some of the boys on here who might gnash and wail…..

In all its glory…..

Tim Bowler

Well it’s a nice video! You can’t really call it a EU navy, just the navies of the EU nations. As some pedants here will point out, for it to be a navy you’d need command and control functions, which obviously don’t exist. But it was lovely to see all of the ships, so thank you for posting it!

David Bevan

It’s all a bit Justin Bieber. Remove the Royal Navy and you lose the EU navy it’s best carriers it’s best SSN’s, best ASW ships and some of it’s best AAW. The rest are a mixed bag. Some low capability new ships or lots and lots of equipment which has seen better days. A good number of which is probably unserviceable (looking at you Germany). The remainder lacking sufficient fleet support ships to deploy globally.

andy reeves

with all the discussion on the site re; nuclear or dieselpowered submarines i think this short video will be of great interest

Steve H

So, the largest contributers will be outside of the EU…..that says a lot really. The US, The UK, Canada and others will provide 80% of NATO funding and how many EU countries are NATO members? Quite a lot it seems bit they have absolutely no commitment to other NATO countries or the charter that it’s based on. The EU should be ashamed of themselves…..end of.