Who will lead NATO after Stoltenberg?

November 2,2023 798
Who will lead NATO after Stoltenberg?

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg is leaving his post next year. The name of the successor has not yet been determined, so the competition between potential applicants is intensifying, the journalists write.

One of the candidates is Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The politician received the first positive reactions from Western officials after announcing his interest in the position, Politico says. The head of the Dutch government can get broad support, three high-ranking European officials said.

“Rutte brings the advantage of being a very experienced politician from a country that has traditionally been a transmission belt between Anglo-Saxon and Continental Europe views. He could be seen by larger [NATO] member states as a good compromise solution,” said Ben Schreer, executive director of the Berlin office of the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

At the same time, Rutte’s defense spending could become a problem, the official explained. “He sat at the 2014 [NATO] Summit table in Wales when the defense spending pledge was agreed to, and has been PM since. But he didn’t fulfil that obligation,” Schreer said.

Rutte’s gender may also be an obstacle to the appointment, as some in the Alliance want to see a woman in the post of Secretary General for the first time in history.

US President Joe Biden insists on appointing European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen as the next Secretary General of NATO in 2024, writes The Telegraph

The President of the European Commission relies on Washington in matters of intelligence, less trusting the information provided by European special services, which incorrectly assessed the prospects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, say journalists. However, von der Leyen may not receive the support of the European Parliament because right-wing deputies who oppose her “green” policy intend to form an alliance, The Telegraph adds.

Both options will be a success for Ukraine, European Pravda writes.

“Why is it important for Ukraine who will lead NATO? The secretariat proposes draft decisions for the member countries of the Alliance, i.e. subordinates of the Secretary General. Another role of the NATO Secretary General is to seek consensus. In most situations, when there is no unity between countries, the Secretary General and his team are closely involved in finding a compromise, agreeing on it, etc. Therefore, it often depends on the Secretary General whether the final decision will be in favor of Ukraine or not,” the analysts of the Ukrainian media say.

Cover: Artur Widak/Nurphoto via Getty Images

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