France marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949

France marks the 75th anniversary of the signing of the North Atlantic Treaty on 4 April 1949

France - Amsterdam Aesthetics originally published at France - Amsterdam Aesthetics

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) comprises 32 Members, 23 of which are European Union member States, along with the United States and Canada which make up the transatlantic component. It contributes to our security, in conjunction with the work of the European Union to provide strategic autonomy and a strong and efficient European defence. Today, NATO remains as relevant, credible and necessary as ever.

What is NATO?

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) was founded in 1949 by 12 States, including France. It is a defensive alliance which has guaranteed the security and defence of the Euro-Atlantic area for 75 years.

The principle is enshrined in Article 5 of the Washington Treaty, which stipulates that: “an armed attack against one or more [of the Parties] shall be considered an attack against them all” and that each Party shall take “such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area”.

More information on the role of NATO

NATO: a relevant alliance

NATO is an alliance deeply rooted in history, which has evolved and adapted to the threats facing it. It remains relevant, as the threats remain, there are numerous challenges from State and non-State actors and the immediate European strategic environment is more volatile and uncertain than ever. Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine, in violation of the most basic rules, principles and values, threatens European security and undermines the international order.

NATO: a necessary alliance

NATO is a political and military alliance founded on the principle of collective defence, enshrined in Article 5 of its founding treaty, in a spirit of solidarity between Allies. This Article was invoked by the United States following 11 September 2001, and the terrorist threat remains on Europe’s doorstep. But NATO is working continuously to ensure the Alliance’s collective defence. Its last two summits, in Madrid in 2022 and Vilnius in 2023, confirmed strong decisions to reaffirm this historical mission, which is its core purpose.

Vilnius photo de famille

NATO has remained a modern, up-to-date organization by adapting its military and civilian tools as threats evolve. The Allies have thus worked on increasing the credibility and ambition of our deterrence and defence posture, based on the combination of prepositioned, national and allied forces, and a new Allied Reaction Force with a 360-degree approach. It is also based on the prepositioning of ammunition and equipment and the forward deployment of key capabilities. For our security, the Allies are investing in and innovating cutting-edge technology and working in close collaboration with the private sector.

France: a responsible and supportive ally

With its excellent, high-quality military tool, France, a founding member, has influenced and contributed to developments in the Alliance since it was founded. In 2009, France returned to the integrated military command, a decision which was approved at the Strasbourg-Kehl Summit. General Lavigne, from France, is today head of one of NATO’s two strategic commands, Allied Command Transformation, headquartered in the United States.

France’s role in and contribution to NATO’s collective defence is significant. As recognized in the Ottawa Declaration (1974), France’s independent strategic nuclear forces, alongside those of the United States and the United Kingdom, play a significant role in NATO’s global security. Within NATO, France promotes an approach based on the excellence of its armies and its ability to provide an independent voice and original proposals. This year, France will reach the target of spending 2% of GDP on defence, as collectively endorsed by the Allies. The French Military Programming Act 2024–2030, with a budget of €413 billion, will enable French armies to continue demonstrating their expertise and experience on a daily basis within NATO’s structures and operations. This is the case in the work to strengthen NATO’s eastern flank, with almost 2,000 French troops deployed in Romania and Estonia, within Baltic Air Policing, via air defence above Poland, Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia and at sea with the Carrier Strike Group in the Mediterranean.

Finally, NATO is an alliance of values among States on both sides of the Atlantic and European States, which has been enlarging through the sovereign aspirations of States wishing to join. By helping ensure our security, NATO is also protecting our shared rights and freedoms. The recent membership of Sweden and Finland, which helps strengthen NATO’s European pillar, is a historic step in our collective security and defence.

The next NATO Summit will take place in Washington, D.C. in July 2024. It will take place at a key juncture for Europe and the transatlantic relationship. While ongoing conflicts will shape the world in decades to come, at the upcoming Summit France will continue to firmly promote the role of NATO, and of the Europeans therein, to provide Euro-Atlantic security.

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France - Amsterdam Aesthetics originally published at France - Amsterdam Aesthetics