Does NATO have to be comprehensively reformed? French President Macron started an intense debate with his “brain death” test. There are now concrete proposals – and they are tough.
NATO has been in place for around a year after French President Emmanuel Macron’s biting “brain death” criticism before the start of a difficult reform debate. According to information from alliance circles, a group of experts appointed by Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to deliberate the foreign ministers on Tuesday presented innocuous proposals as well as a number of explosive ideas.
According to information from the German Press Agency, this includes the recommendation to make it more difficult for individual member states to block alliance decisions. It is therefore also proposed to invite the heads of state and government of EU states without NATO membership to roundtables on the sidelines of the NATO summit and to devote themselves significantly more to the dangers that could emanate from China.
Turkey and Hungary are unlikely to agree
In order to strengthen political cooperation within the alliance, the panel of experts recommends holding more talks at a high political level – and organizing these not only at NATO headquarters in Brussels, but also in the member states. For example, additional meetings of foreign ministers could be scheduled and meetings of interior ministers on the subject of terrorism could be called.
It is now highly unlikely that all of the proposals can be implemented. The proposal for higher blockade hurdles, for example, is unlikely to meet with approval from allies such as Turkey and Hungary. Hungary has been using the currently uncomplicated veto options since 2017 to prevent the NATO-Ukraine Commission from meeting at the top level because of a dispute with Ukraine. Turkey previously forced, out of annoyance at statements critical of Turkey by Austrian politicians, to restrict NATO’s cooperation with Austria. The Alpine republic itself is not part of the alliance.
Great Britain, too, is apparently critical of the NATO-EU links that are too close
Because of the current tensions between Turkey and the EU, it is also considered unrealistic for the government in Ankara to give the necessary approval for an expansion of cooperation between NATO and the EU. In Great Britain too close interdependence between NATO and the EU is viewed rather critically according to dpa information.
The NATO expert committee was set up in the spring on the initiative of the German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD). Previously, French President Emmanuel Macron had boldly attested the alliance a “brain death”. Above all, Macron wanted to denounce the lack of coordination between NATO partners in important security policy decisions. A negative example for him was, for example, the military offensive by Turkey in northern Syria, which was not agreed within NATO and was only made possible by the withdrawal of US soldiers from the area, which was also not agreed.