When it comes to international jobs, Scandinavia does well. Sweden, Denmark and Norway have only 20m people, yet their nationals often run global organisations.
This afternoon, the North Atlantic Council decided to appoint Mr. Jens Stoltenberg as Secretary General of NATO and Chairman of the North Atlantic Council, in succession to Anders Fogh Rasmussen.
Mr. Stoltenberg will assume his functions as Secretary General as from 1 October 2014, when Mr. Fogh Rasmussen’s term expires after 5 years and 2 months at the helm of the Alliance.
President Obama on his first leg of his European tour paid homage in Waregem, Belgium, to the American soldiers who died during the battles of World War 1.
“We must never, ever take our progress for granted,” Mr. Obama said. King Philippe and Mr. Di Rupo both hinted at the lessons to be learned from the history of the battlefield in light of the current situation with Russia and Ukraine
Obama Renewing U.S. Commitment to NATO Alliance. President Obama and European leaders have pledged that Russia would not be allowed to run roughshod. U.S. President Obama was worried by declining defence budgets in many Nato nations and said the alliance should examine its members contributions.
“We live in a world where our ideals will be challenged again and again; The situation in Ukraine reminds us that our freedom is not free and we have to be ready to pay for the personnel, assets, the training that´s required. This cannot just be a US exercise or a British exercise, or one country´s exercise; said U.S President Barack Obama.
Every Nato state must step forward and carry its share of the burden by showing the political will to invest in our collective defence” Obama said after a full day in Brussels meeting EU and Nato leaders. His words will resonate in the EU, quite necessary for the Heads of State and Government of the EU to address defence.
While Mr Stoltenberg was Prime Minister, Norway’s defence spending increased steadily, with the result that Norway is today one of the Allies with the highest per capita defence expenditure. Mr Stoltenberg is a strong supporter of enhanced transatlantic cooperation, including better burden-sharing across the Atlantic. He sees NATO and the EU as complementary organisations in terms of securing peace and development in Europe and beyond.
Strong defence and deterrence have ensured peace and stability in Europe for almost 70 years. The political, economic and military bonds between Europe and North America remain as important as ever in the defence of our common values shared by the United States and Europe.