Today, the Minister of Defence, Radmila Shekerinska, participated on the Meetings of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Ministers of Defence via a secure teleconference.
As part of the first working day, the defence ministers began preparations for the next summit of the Alliance, scheduled for the end of the year in Brussels.
On the first working session, Minister Shekerinska presented the views of our country and supported the proposals of Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg related with the NATO 2030 initiative, which aims to strengthen the Alliance both militarily and politically. The key recommendations relate to the adoption of clear and more measured national goals of resilience, greater innovation, increased political coordination between the allies and investment in defence, and a number of other elements to be implemented in the Alliance’s new Strategic Concept, planned for 2022.
With regard to the equal burden-sharing and responsibilities in the Alliance, the ministers welcomed the continuous seven-year increase in defence spending aimed at meeting the 2 percent of GDP recommendations for the defence budget, out of which at least 20 percent allocated for equipping and modernization.
On the meeting Minister Shekerinska pointed out that North Macedonia has been marking continuity in the increase of the defence budget for the third year in a row, whereby in 2021 it is projected at 1.57% of GDP, which puts our country on the road towards achieving 2% by 2024. This year more than 25% of the defence budget has been provided for equipping and modernization of the armed forces, which ranks North Macedonia in the group of twenty four allies that have already fulfilled the second commitment of the NATO Summit in Wales, where the members pledged that each year they will allocate more than 20% of their defence budget for equipping and modernization of their armed forces.