NATO Trimming Budget to Save 1.5 Billion Euros

Press Conference by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen

From Anders Fogh Rasmussen, NATO:  National budgets are under pressure in all NATO countries.  As a former Prime Minister, I’m well aware that, when health and education and pensions are being cut, it is hard to exempt defence altogether.   But I’m equally convinced that we have to take care not to cut too much, or in the wrong way, that we might jeopardise our security in the future.  After all, economic prosperity depends on security too.

What we need to do is ensure that where we spend money, we spend it on what really matters.  On what we really need now.  And on investments in what we will need in future.  In one word, that means reform, across the Alliance.

It also means within the Alliance.  I promised, when I took office, to reform this organisation.  The current financial situation has only proven more motivating.  And I will be able to present the Ministers with some concrete steps we have taken just in the past few days to get that ball rolling:

  • We have just completed a review of our military budgets, which will lead to savings and deferrals amounting to 1.5 billion Euros.
  • We have agreed a range of measures to set clear spending priorities, improve auditing, and make sure we have clear visibility of the costs of everything we do.
  • And we are very close to agreeing a major reduction in the number of committees in this organisation.  So we will all spend less time in meetings, which I consider a significant contribution to efficiency. 

    As a result of all this, I’m confident we will have the resources we need this year to do what we must.  And there is more reform to come, to ensure we also have the money we will need in future.

    Excerpts from press briefing by NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen. (photo: NATO)

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