NATO’s Next Chapter
Russia’s war against Ukraine will form the backdrop to the Alliance’s summit in Madrid from June 28 to 30. Attention will focus not only on the continued impasse over Finland and Sweden’s accession, but also on what steps NATO’s European members will take to bolster their collective security.
In this Big Picture, former Swedish prime minister Carl Bildt explains how Sweden and Finland’s accession to NATO, which the two countries now regard as an urgent existential imperative, would expand the Alliance’s capabilities. And Paulina Neuding, an editorial writer for the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, argues that Sweden’s application for NATO membership is the culmination of a long-term shift away from neutrality and non-alignment.
Many fear that Turkey’s negative stance toward the Nordic countries’ membership bids is imperiling further NATO enlargement. But Sinan Ülgen of the Istanbul-based EDAM think tank argues that President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has not categorically decided to block their accession and is in fact seeking to advance two other objectives.
What is clear, however, is that Europe must finally develop an effective security and defense policy. Josep Borrell, the European Union’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, explains why this task will require EU member states to spend more, and spend better, on their collective security. And former NATO Secretary-General Javier Solana argues that only the political will of Europeans and their leaders will be able to strengthen the continent’s security.
Likewise, former German foreign minister Joschka Fischer argues that, by strongly supporting Ukraine and Moldova’s EU accession bids, the Union has established itself firmly as Russia’s adversary and must now reorder its priorities in order to survive in a dangerous neighborhood.