• Last updated: 15 Jun. 2021 15:30

Also available in: French

NATO Summit 2021

2021 NATO Summit

NATO has kept its citizens safe for over 70 years and will continue to adapt in this decade and beyond. At the NATO Summit in Brussels on 14 June 2021, NATO Leaders took decisions on a wide range of topics to address the security challenges of today and tomorrow.

What is a NATO summit?

A NATO summit is the gathering of the leaders of NATO's 30 member countries.

What happened at the 2021 NATO Summit?

NATO Leaders discussed key issues, took decisions about the future of NATO and agreed on concrete measures to adapt the Alliance, as part of the NATO 2030 agenda.

What did NATO Leaders discuss?

Major topics under discussion included NATO's role in a changing geostrategic environment, collective defence, emerging technologies, climate change and security, and other important issues.

Why do we have NATO summits?

NATO is a military and political alliance. Dialogue and decision-making by civilian leaders is the bedrock of our Organization, in accordance with our democratic values.


 

Beautiful Brussels

Brussels has been NATO's home for over 50 years. To celebrate the 2021 NATO Summit, local landmarks were decked out with special decorations. Click through the gallery below to see how Brussels painted the town NATO blue!

  • NATO flags at the Atomium in Brussels
    • NATO flags at the Atomium in Brussels
  • NATO flags at the Atomium in Brussels
    • NATO flags at the Atomium in Brussels
  • One of the best-known symbols of Brussels, the Manneken Pis statue, is dressed up in a NATO-themed outfit, which NATO will donate to his famous wardrobe.
    • One of the best-known symbols of Brussels, the Manneken Pis statue, is dressed up in a NATO-themed outfit, which NATO will donate to his famous wardrobe.
  • Brussels Town Hall in the UNESCO-listed Grand Place (the city's main square) is illuminated in NATO blue on the eve of the NATO summit.
    • Brussels Town Hall in the UNESCO-listed Grand Place (the city's main square) is illuminated in NATO blue on the eve of the NATO summit.
  • NATO flag flies under the Cinquantenaire Arch in Brussels from 11 to 15 June 2021
    • NATO flag flies under the Cinquantenaire Arch in Brussels from 11 to 15 June 2021
  • NATO flag flies under the Cinquantenaire Arch in Brussels from 11 to 15 June 2021
    • NATO flag flies under the Cinquantenaire Arch in Brussels from 11 to 15 June 2021
  • NATO flag flies under the Cinquantenaire Arch in Brussels from 11 to 15 June 2021
    • NATO flag flies under the Cinquantenaire Arch in Brussels from 11 to 15 June 2021
 

This is a unique opportunity to reinforce NATO as the enduring embodiment of the bond between Europe and North America.

- Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General

On the Agenda

NATO Leaders discussed a wide range of issues at the 2021 Brussels Summit, including the main themes of the NATO 2030 initiative: how to reinforce the Alliance's unity, broaden its approach to security and contribute to safeguarding the rules-based international order. They took decisions to prepare NATO for the challenges of today and tomorrow, including Russia's pattern of aggressive behaviour, terrorism, cyber attacks and disruptive technologies, the rise of China, and the security implications of climate change.

The topics under discussion are complex and diverse, but at their core they addressed key questions about NATO's future:

Read the 2021 Brussels Summit Communiqué to learn more about the major decisions taken.

NATO 2030

Is NATO ready to face the challenges of the next decade? Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg launched the NATO 2030 initiative to make sure our Alliance continues to adapt to the rapidly changing world – staying strong militarily, becoming a stronger political alliance and taking a more global approach.

Watch the animations below to learn more, and check out the NATO 2030 website!

A strong military alliance

A strong military alliance

NATO's military strength is more important than ever. In an unpredictable world, our strong militaries protect our democracies, our freedom and our prosperity.
 stronger political alliance

A stronger political alliance

NATO is a unique forum for political dialogue. We discuss a wide range of issues that concern our shared security, from cyber threats and terrorism, to pandemics and climate change.
A more global approach

A more global approach

NATO is a platform to address global challenges. No country or continent can go it alone. That's why we have built a community of like-minded nations and organisations.

Behind the scenes

It takes a lot of work to put together a NATO summit. Like a grand opera or a magnificent ballet, everything is tightly choreographed down to the second. Check out the content below to learn more about the meticulous preparations that go on before NATO Leaders take the stage…


Behind-the-scenes podcast

Why does NATO have summits? What's it like to meet with world leaders? What did NATO Heads of State and Government discuss at this year's summit? Listen to the NATO Summit Behind the Scenes podcast to learn more!

Welcome to NATO Summit Behind the Scenes!

Start here! This teaser introduces the new NATO Summit Behind the Scenes podcast, which will walk you through the NATO Summit.

Setting up a summit with Steve Derden

Steve Derden, responsible for protocol and events at NATO Headquarters, tells us about all the work that is done to prepare for the meeting of NATO Leaders.

Press Office preparations with Dylan White

NATO Press Officer Dylan White explains how his team answers questions from journalists and tells us about his experience as a young professional at NATO.

The NATO 2030 Young Leaders with Tania Lațici

Tania Lațici, one of 14 young professionals named as NATO 2030 Young Leaders, tells us about the group's work.

Hack(athon) to the Future with Paulina Brunn and Veronika Datzer

Paulina Brunn and Veronika Datzer explain how their team of students from Freie Universität Berlin won NATO's first Policy Hackathon.

Hosting at the Headquarters with NATO HQ support staff

In this episode, we talk to the people who keep things running smoothly at NATO HQ – from architects and security experts to interpreters. Please note that this episode is partially in French.
Behind-the-scenes photos

Check out the photos below to see some of the behind-the-scenes work that goes into a NATO summit – from building temporary structures around NATO Headquarters to preparing the meeting rooms for NATO Leaders.


 
  • Construction workers assemble an outbuilding which will host meetings on the side lines of the 2021 Brussels Summit.
    • Construction workers assemble an outbuilding which will host meetings on the side lines of the 2021 Brussels Summit.
    • Construction workers assemble an outbuilding which will host meetings on the side lines of the 2021 Brussels Summit.
    • Construction workers assemble an outbuilding which will host meetings on the side lines of the 2021 Brussels Summit.
    • Construction workers assemble an outbuilding which will host meetings on the side lines of the 2021 Brussels Summit.
    • Construction workers assemble an outbuilding which will host meetings on the side lines of the 2021 Brussels Summit.
    • Construction workers assemble an outbuilding which will host meetings on the side lines of the 2021 Brussels Summit.
 
Behind-the-scenes video

Watch the time-lapse footage below to see the preparations at NATO Headquarters ahead of the 2021 NATO Summit in Brussels.




NATO Summit quiz

Do you know what happens during a NATO summit? What about how many countries were founding members of NATO? Test your knowledge with the official 2021 Brussels Summit quiz!

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NATO 2030 at Brussels Forum

In parallel with the summit, NATO partnered with the German Marshall Fund of the United States to host 'NATO 2030 at Brussels Forum'. This event featured conversations with government leaders, international experts, representatives from civil society, the private sector and young professionals. They held future-oriented discussions on NATO's priorities for the next decade and beyond.

Watch the full recording on YouTube.


Brussel Forum

Dive deeper into the 2021 Brussels Summit

  • Social media – join the conversation about the #NATOSummit and #NATO2030
  • YouTube – watch the NATO 2030 playlist
  • NATO 2030 – learn how NATO is adapting to future challenges
  • NATO summits – read more about the history and purpose of NATO summit meetings
  • NATO Audience Research – dig into the data about perceptions of NATO in member countries
  • Media resources – click here for a detailed programme of events, more background information and factsheets, and high-quality b-roll and photos