Addressing the European Parliament, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed closer cooperation between the European Union and the Alliance.
He stressed that “cooperation is now the norm, not the exception” and noted that a strong European defence contributes to fair burden-sharing.
Mr. Stoltenberg also addressed the agenda of the upcoming meeting of NATO leaders in May.

The NATO chief also revealed the agenda of the upcoming May summit in Brussels, which is expected to be attended by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and US President Donald Trump.

Stoltenberg said that the fight against terrorism, the importance of transatlantic relations as well as burden-sharing would be the main topics on the agenda of the May 25 meeting of alliance leaders from 29 countries.

The NATO chief said that the summit would be hosting Trump for the first time.


  1. NATO can see the writing on the wall.
    Europe cannot afford two competing military pan-national bureaucracies.

  2. Lets pull all our aircraft and troops etc away from the Nato borders and let the EU realize that hammering us in our Brexit talks will hopefully get them to realize how much they rely on us

      • We have a few more assets out there, but agreed its not a lot and France/Germany/Italy could easily fill in the gaps in the short term, until brexit is done.

        Ultimately we are not there because of european ties, we are there to protect our own interests.

        When the negosiations on the exit really heat up, we will see just how much or otherwise the eastern european countries value our support.

        • Yeah true we do but certainly not enough to dictate Brexit with, not nearly enough, America guarantees their security not us.

          Brexit negotiations won’t in any way we be affected by our military commitments to any EU member. They’re all in NATO for a start.

  3. I think NATO should look to rewrite its legislation and be able to incorporate countries like Japan, S Korea and FPDA nations, it’s been looked at before but it’s definitely worth doing. Singapore spend well over 2%, Australia 2% and Japan’s economy is that big that their 1% is nearly same as our 2%.

    Just look at the SCO, India and Pakistan are joining next month and it’s growing in military cooperation every year and doing it under the radar. The Warsaw pact pales in comparison.

    Instead of hoovering up tiny states that offer next to nothing militarily we should of expanded worldwide to genuine allies. All we have done is pushed Russia to the SCO and are now spending money and resources policing these states.

    • It’s an interesting thought Kieran. The SCO comment is well surfaced. My worry about this is the message to many people would be ‘China is the enemy’. By doing so I’m not sure we wouldn’t be repeating past mistakes. Geo politics overall is becoming much more Cold War than any one should be comfortable with.

      • Yeah it is you’re right, but if there is going to be a flash point I see it being in the South China See involving the US Navy, read somewhere that the pentagon has refused 3 requests in the last few months from the US Navy to sail within 12 miles of disputed islands. America will not be willing to give up “top dog” status and that will happen in the next 20/30 years according to current predictions. Problem with this is that is we will be dragged into any conflict regardless of our thoughts on China, it’s fine not getting involved with America’s wars against lesser powers but against a power like China, the consequences of America being beaten will be too great for Nato not to get involved.

        Also worth pointing out that China is investing heavily in power projection capabilities, Carriers and LPD’s are under construction at the minute.

        Not sure if you watched “The coming war on China” by John Pilger on ITV recently but it was fascinating viewing.

  4. Right here goes.
    Do not make me laugh. The EU is weak and aspires to a capable force akin to NATO but is nowhere near.
    we have treaty obligations to NATO not the EU after 2019.
    The EU with its ridiculous claims of UK owing them £84 billion is just burning bridges. Keep it up and we will not be there for you.
    A couple of facts. Since WW2 European safety and security has not been underwritten by the EU but by NATO. It is NATO that has maintained the peace in Europe not some spoilt unelected commissioners in Brussels dining on caviar and champagne and travelling first class on Eurostar.
    I think any claim to £84 billion will not wash. We just should slap them back with a request for £4 trillion in repayments initially and a further £2-3 trillion to be paid 2-3 years later.
    £2.5 trillion for fighting in ww2 (we were the only country to pay our ww2 debts back) and thus alongside our allies freeing them from German tyrant. A further £1.5 trillion for reconstruction and aid given to European countries, especially Germany after WW2 in reconstruction, food, medical supplies, hardware etc etc.
    Then there is the small matter of the money we have invested in the EU over 40 years we can have that back and a fair proportion of all the infrastructure built using UK taxpayers money, whilst our own infrastructure has been starved of funds for that entire time. Also there is the matter of the £22 billion in the European investment fund that belongs to uk government.
    Oh and then there is the costs of the UK protecting Europe and garrisoning Europe since ww2 that will be another £1.5-2 trillion in todays money.
    The UK government need to make the EU see sense by explaining some of these facts to those who do not study history and have no grasp of strategy. They simply want our money to fill the gapping hole in EU funding with the UK leaving. They know that only 3 countries pay more into the EU then get back and the UK is one of them and thus without the UK the EU is going to go bust or the French and German taxpayers are going to have to pay even more.
    once we leave EU they can sing for any money they claim. Who do they propose to take us to court too? EU court? Nope left that stinking mess, The high court? Unlikely to go EUs way vs HMG.
    keep it up EU and you will be left friendless and looking stupid when you need the UK the most.

    • The idea that we should not pay the EU because of WW2 is absolute madness.

      We committed to an EU spending cycle until 2020, the EU pays for stuff in blocs and we made commitments to fund projects that have already started, the liabilities go back to 2006, also the former Brussels officials and MEP’s pensions (British) that need paying, and the same retired ones after 2019. We have underwritten loans by the European investment bank so if future loans default we will be liable, that’s why the money is in there.

      If we want free trade and access to the single market we need to pay, Norway and Iceland do the exact same. So it’s going to be very hard to keep the vote leave’s promise of paying zero after we leave, that was a lie then and it’s a lie now no matter what the DM and Sun tell you.

      We always knew there would be a divorce bill, it’s just a matter of how much, both sides will say different but our government knows that it will have to pay something. The EU have not just plucked a number out of thin air, we wont end up paying 84 billion but it will be in the billions. There will be hard negotiations to come and Kim Jong May is making a pigs ear out of it.

      It’s a bit like taking a 24 month phone contract out and throwing your phone away after 12 months, what happens? they will still be looking for their wonga mate.

      • I take it you are a remainer
        I voted to remain for the sole reason of my grandchildren
        I knew what was at stake when the vote was cast (about leaving everything) but i am now a passionate leaver
        Why because of all the rubbish that comes out of theses unelected guys in Europe who wants to punish us for us voting in an election
        If you are a democrat regardless of which party you support you should except the vote of the MAJORITY whether it is only a few points or a large margin the result is the same the leave campaign won
        And as for payments i refer to Mr Bell
        He says it all so i dont need to say more
        My father would be turning in his grave knowing the likes of you wanting to live under German rule
        The mind boggles

        • I voted to remain yes, like the overwhelming majority of the youth of the country did. 75% of 18-24 to remain, 56% of 24-49 (my age is 28)

          You need to stop thinking the EU is “punishing us” it’s doing nothing of the sort, they are protecting their interests of their member states and rightly so, they want a trade deal with us but the divorce needs to be settled first, read my comment above on why it’s a tiny bit more complex than than what the Mail and Sun are telling everyone.

          And Germany happens to be an important ally of ours and not just in Nato, we just signed a new defense agreement with them a few months ago.

          The EU started as a project to unite Europe after WW2, I’m sure a few more grandparents will be upset that it has come to this after so much progress and peace.

          Just read your comment below
          “We seem to have won the war but lost the peace since ww2 and come out losers”
          I’m struggling to see how you get to that assumption. For the record German industry is thriving because they make damn good stuff, nothing else, if we made better cars ours would sell more it’s as simple as that.

          You need to research what Germany and Japan did after WW2 regarding their economies, they are both richer than us now and it has naff all to do with the EU.

          • Kieran –
            “I voted to remain yes, like the overwhelming majority of the youth of the country did. 75% of 18-24 to remain, 56% of 24-49 (my age is 28)”

            I will ask you the same question I ask every remain voter who peddles the ‘It Wos the Oldies Wot Dunnit’ nonsense. So exactly where on that ballot paper was the ‘Age of Voter’ box because I never saw it?

            So lets move on to serious matters. We are only committed as members of the EU to the 5 year spending rounds called the ‘Multiannual Financial Framework’. That runs out in March 2020 a year after we leave. Given our average contribution is currently some £13 Bn a year that is the most for which we are liable.

            As for pensions when you leave an organisation as a paying member you cannot be liable for anything after you leave. I like the argument that says: “If Poland, as a nett receiving member, of the EU left could it demand Billions of Euros after it left?” The answer of course is no.

            A key part of Article 50 declares that on leaving the EU ‘all Treaties are ended’. That will include Lisbon, Maastricht and all the rest so any liabilities entered into under those treaties are also – ‘ended’.

            You mentioned the EIB. Well we own some 16% of that and all its assets and loan book. Do the maths.

            And finally the UK is the single longest paying and the 2nd highest annual contributor to the EEC / EU. Only 6 countries actually pay in. So we MUST own at least 1/6th of all EU assets purchased since we joined in 1973. Arguably more given we have paid more than say the Netherlands.

            Only someone totally subsumed by the EU story as you clearly are never having lived in a UK outside the EU would argue we owe them a damn penny. And while I won’t replay WWII it is frankly bloody insulting for ANYONE in Europe to say WE owe THEM.

      • Moldova, South Korea, Mexico, South Africa, Algeria……

        Just some of the many countries that have a comprehensive free trade agreement with the EU and don’t pay cash for the honour.

        It will be no different for the UK.

  5. Almost makes u want to get our the tricolour and vote for Marie le pen. Things are that bad in Europe.

  6. Apparently there is also the small matter of 250 tons of European high grade nuclear waste at Sellafield. Maybe we need to ship that back to our ” friends and allies” in the EU to deal with.

  7. Kieran
    i was making a point not being 100% serious.
    the point is we have benefitted the EU a great deal. Very rarely do you see in the uk signs saying this infrastructure project was funded by EU.
    go to Poland, Czech republic, Hungary etc and these signs are everywhere.
    not complaining just an observation.
    happy for the uk to pay contributions or commitments we have actual prior signed upto.
    EU has to meet us half way. There is a reason 52% of UK population voted for Brexit.
    I personally did not, but if we are having Brexit the EU does need to be mindful of our shared history and friendship with Europe and not try to alienate UK with unreasonable or selfish over the top demands.
    The EU do need to remember they all would still be living under tyranny, if it was not for the Allied powers that are not part of the EU.
    No doubt there will be a bill or what i would say is “prior signed off funding commitments”, definetly no more than 10-20 billion though.

    • Yeah ok bud i sensed a bit of tongue in cheek,

      Midlands engine £122m, £5.5b last year for Schools, Hospitals universities, Crossrail £523m the high speed transport for London service opening next year, London overground £220m for 60 new trains. In the last decade we have had £52b for UK based projects. I live in Blackpool and our new coastal defenses (sea wall) was EU funded. It’s there mate there just isn’t always a sign saying it lol.

      And that’s like saying because America and Russia were allied powers in WW2 they should have a free trade deal and all the benefits of being in the EU, it’s just not going to happen. The EU is a club, and no matter what club you’re talking about in all walks of life, being in has better benefits than being out.

      And for the record i’m not Tim Farron, I accept the result and just with we would get on with it, but unfortunately we have a general election and Brexit is being used as a political weapon by the conservatives dividing the county again.

      • Kieran – In your reply to Mr Bell you seem confused on two important matters. Firstly all the transport monies you mentioned are EIB loans on commercial terms. ie we pay interest!. Nothing to do with ‘EU funding’ at all.

        And any ‘funding’ that does come our way is, given we are paying in some £13 Bn a year nett of rebate, OUR money the EU recycles, sticks a flag on and then says its their money! The EU are ‘funding’ our projects with OUR money. You really could not make it up!

        Just as they are funding places like Poland with OUR money.

        You seem to think that anything with that damned blue flag on is money coming from ‘over there’. Get real. Learn some facts and do try and challenge what the EU are peddling.

  8. Baz, not just your grandad, mine too…
    We seem to have won the war but lost the peace since ww2 and come out losers , compared to Germany that is 100% using the EU as a conduit for German domination and currency manipulation. Works very well… German industry and exports are thriving under the Euro whilst many other EU nations, including France, are struggling.

    • Was my dad i was referring too not my granddad he fought in WW1 so the same applies to him as well
      Im with you all the way on this

  9. I don’t want all the Brexit doom and gloom predictions to come true but I fear that some will, in particular the UK economy slowing very significantly as business uncertainty continues or even worsens during rocky negotiations and consumer spending falls off as inflation bites.

    If the above does happen though, and back on topic, I still cling to my perhaps forlorn hope that the UK government might look at some manufacturing stimulus where, as well as infrastructure investments, building some other stuff like finally getting these T26 builds under way and maybe accelerating and even expanding the MARS SSS program would fit the bill very nicely for injecting a lot of money directly into the UK economy.

    Accelerating F-35B purchases would also be good from a defence point of view but since only about 15% of F-35 is built in the UK not as concentrated a potion as shipbuilding from an economic stimulus point of view. (I think it’s more than 15% UK content for F-35B because of the lift fan but still the vast majority going to businesses and workers outside of the UK.)

  10. Good points Julian.
    go back to plan and stimulate economy via shipbuilding and reinvesting in our armed forces. There really is no better time to do it than now.
    Back of a cigarette packet time.£ 8-10 billion (one fifth the bill the EU are asking for) would cover it.
    2 more astutes
    2 new lphds to replace Ocean
    10 type 31s (£300 million each for a capable frigate hull)
    mk 41 vl system for type 45 destroyers
    A follow on order for 3-5 more Poseidon mpas
    start work on challenger 3 mbt
    A follow on order for 6 more type 26s (2 more ASW and 4 optimised for air defence and surface strike with Sampson radar to supplement type 45s.
    small force of ospreys for carriers (15) would be great.
    Norwegian anti ship missile for RN surface fleet.
    not an accountant but by my reckoning that would sort out a lot of problems and cost about £10 billion.


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