Writing NATO's Next Chapter

Ine Eriksen Søreide
January 09, 2014

"Europe needs to step up to the plate", PN member Ine Eriksen Søreide, Norway's Minister of Defense, said on Thursday.

After her meetings with an number of U.S. lawmakers last week, Søreide held a speech at the Center for Strategic and International Studies think tank, discussing Norwegian defense priorities, its future modernization plans and aspirations for a post-Afghanistan NATO.  Minister Søreide also addressed emerging regional and global security challenges for the Alliance with particular attention to the safety and security needs of a rapidly transforming Arctic region.

"We need to take a hard look at burden-sharing, and Europe needs to contribute our share to our common security", she said.

"After my meetings in Congress yesterday I was left with a clear impression that there are growing factions on both sides of the aisle that are questioning the value of continued US investments and engagement in Europe. What this means is that we in the future no longer can take for granted the current US engagement in NATO", she said.

She continued: "First of all Europe needs to demonstrate clearly that we are willing to invest in our own security. [...] We cannot expect the US to invest in European security when we are not willing to make necessary investments ourselves. [...] Secondly, I want to emphasize that burden-sharing encompasses more than the level of defense budgets. Europe also needs to take a greater share of the political burdens. This goes beyond defense. [...] Thirdly, Europe needs to demonstrate a greater understanding and willingness to address US security concerns, not only in Europe. [...] We need to demonstrate that we stand ready to support the US in addressing its security concerns. That is the essence of transatlantic collective security."

To read the entire speech, please click here.

To watch the entire speech, please click here.

For media coverage through Reuters, please click here.


Photo by Secretary of Defense.


PN member Ine Marie Eriksen Søreide has been Member of the Storting for Oslo County since 2005. After the parliamentary elections in September 2013, she became Minister of Defense. 

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