European Leader Set New Benchmark for Success at NATO Chicago Summit

At a time of economic crisis, changed geo-politics, and growing nuclear dangers, a group of over 30 senior European politicians, military figures and diplomats have urged NATO leaders to deal with more than Afghanistan when they meet in Chicago this weekend.

In a jointly signed statement, 45 European leaders, including members of the Top Level Group, call for:

  • urgent changes to NATO nuclear policy, including an immediate 50 per cent cut in NATOs non-strategic nuclear weapons stationed in Europe and for a negotiated increase in warning and decision times related to nuclear weapons left on high states of alert;
  • the lessons of European capability gaps, exposed by the operation in Libya, to be learned;
  • recognition of the threat to transatlantic unity posed by declining defence budgets across the Alliance, but especially in Europe, and for a major increase in joint defence projects to off-set the consequences;
  • fresh attempts to engage Russia on a range of Euro-Atlantic security issues from ballistic missile defence to non-strategic nuclear weapons and conventional forces.

  • The Group, coordinated through the European Leadership Network (ELN), a new pan- European defence and security organisation based in London, challenges the Alliance to use its Deterrence and Defence Posture Review (DDPR) to learn the lessons of the Libya operation and to strengthen NATO’s overall defence capabilities against 21st Century threats. It also urges the alliance to focus on the legacy systems of the Cold War in Europe by taking practical action to reduce nuclear risks on the continent, and to re-think what is needed to strengthen core NATO concepts such as burden-sharing, alliance solidarity and the transatlantic link.

    Read the full statement here.