DN - Defence Notes

Germany pledges more for under-pressure NATO ahead of summit

18th November 2019 - 17:10 GMT | by ​Agence France-Presse in Berlin

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Germany said on 18 November it would raise its NATO spending to more than €50 billion ($55.3 billion) in 2020, days before leaders meet in London for the 70th anniversary of the transatlantic partnership.

‘For 2019, we have a NATO defence spending of 47.9 billion [Euros],’ equivalent to 1.39% of output, said a defence ministry spokesman. 

‘For next year, this spending will be at 50.3 billion, or 1.42 percent,’ of gross domestic product, he added.

The new estimates were above the 1.37% predicted in March for 2020, but still fall short of the 2% goal set by the alliance in 2014.

Germany has been repeatedly singled out by US President Donald Trump for failing to meet the target.

Its latest commitment to increase spending also came amid sharp divisions with the bloc, after France's President Emmanuel Macron said the alliance was suffering from ‘brain death’.

In an interview with The Economist, Macron decried a lack of coordination between Europe and the US and lamented recent unilateral action in Syria by Turkey, a key member of the military alliance.

His comments were immediately slapped down by German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who called the ‘sweeping judgements’ unnecessary.

In an interview published on 17 November, German Defence Minister Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer also underlined growing differences between the two European giants over NATO.

‘The French aim for more European cooperation in order to replace NATO. I prefer to speak of "A2A", or "ability to act,"’ Kramp-Karrenbauer told Die Welt daily.

‘For me it's about everything that strengthens European defence strengthening the European pillar of NATO at the same time.’

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