Chair of the NATO Military Committee visits Belgium

  • 08 May. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 08 May. 2024 08:18

From 6 to 7 May 2024, the Chair of the NATO Military Committee, Admiral Rob Bauer, paid an official visit to Belgium. He was received by Prime Minister Alexander De Croo, Minister of Foreign Affairs Hadja Lahbib, Minister of Defence Ludivine Dedonder, and Chief of Defence Admiral Michel Hofman. The Chair was also hosted by the Standing Committee for Defence of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives. And he visited Florennes Air Base where Belgium is creating state of the art infrastructure for the F-35 fighter aircraft and the MQ-9B Sky Guardian. This is a key part of the modernisation of the Belgian Armed Forces.

The discussions with Prime Minister De Croo and Ministers Dedonder and Lahbib focused on the changed global security environment and Belgium’s contributions to collective defence. Belgium provides contributions to the German-led eFP battlegroup in Lithuania and the French-led eFP battlegroup in Romania. And Belgian jets regularly keep the skies over the Baltic region safe with the NATO Air Policing Mission. In addition, Belgium plays a key role as host nation to the NATO Headquarters in Brussels and the Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe in Mons.

In a session with the Standing Committee for Defence in the Belgian House of Representatives, Admiral Bauer called for broad, long-term political commitment to substantial investments in defence. “However the war against Ukraine develops, Russia will remain a chronic threat to the Alliance. It is crucial that we ramp up our collective deterrence and defence, and that Allies live up to every single promise they make to NATO. This includes capability targets.” In addition, Admiral Bauer called for a whole-of-society approach to defence. “The responsibility for freedom does not lie on the shoulders of those in uniform alone.”