German Defence Minister questions NATO’s defence spending target

  • Liis Einstein
  • 4.3.2017 10:02

Germany’s Defence Minister Sigmar Gabriel stated during his visit to Estonia on 1 March that the NATO defence spending target is not feasible for Germany in the near future. Germany now spends 1.2 % of GDP on defence. He also noted that the 2% defence expenditure guideline is not binding for member states.

Gabriel said that Germany will raise defence spending, but reaching the 2% of GDP by 2024 is unrealistic. According to Gabriel Germany spends additional 30–40 billion euro a year on the integration of refugees as contribution to the security and stability. The ruling party of German Chancellor Angela Merkel, the Christian Democrats, call for an increase in spending, while the Social Democrats, their coalition partner and main rival in the upcoming 24 September election, disagree. The new United States administration put more pressure on NATO’s member states to raise their defence budgets. European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker called on EU Member States to resist, suggesting that development and humanitarian aid compensates the shortfalls in defence spending

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