NATO leaders agree to far-reaching reforms

  • Last updated: 20 Nov. 2010 18:09

NATO leaders agreed at their Summit meeting in Lisbon to far-reaching reforms of the NATO Military Command Structure and the agencies that provide essential capabilities and services to NATO armed forces. The reforms will enable further improvement of the Alliance’s defence capabilities and ensure that the NATO is more effective and efficient in the use of resources.

Head of the table. From left to right: the President of the EU Council, Herman van Rompuy; NATO Deputy Secretary General, Claudio Bisogniero; NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen; the Prime Minister of Portugal, Jose Socrates Carvalho Pinto de Sousa and the Chairman of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Giampaolo di Paola.

“With these reforms we will see a strengthened Alliance,” the Secretary General said. “The paradox is, that economic austerity will make NATO more effective, more efficient and also more engaged. The response to economic austerity is to cooperate and to prioritize. And this is a reason we will see a strengthened Alliance.”

The reforms will provide for a leaner and more agile command structure, for streamlined headquarters and agencies and for rationalized pooling of resources for common projects.

Allies agreed on a framework for a new NATO Command Structure that meets the current level of ambition in a more efficient and cost effective manner. The number of higher-end headquarters in the Military Command Structure will be reduced from eleven to seven with a reduction of military personnel by nearly one third. Allies also agreed that the decision on the geographic location of future Alliance Headquarters will be determined at a later stage in 2011.

Allies agreed that agencies are an essential part of NATO and will remain a vital mechanism for procuring and sustaining capabilities collectively or in groups. At Lisbon, NATO leaders decided to reduce the number of NATO agencies in order to achieve greater synergy between similar functions and a maximum of efficiency and effectiveness. To this end, NATO defence ministers are expected to approve an implementation plan at a meeting in the spring of next year.