Opening remarks

by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Prime Minister of Belgium Alexander de Croo at the meeting of the North Atlantic Council at the level of Heads of State and Government

  • 14 Jun. 2021 -
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  • Last updated: 14 Jun. 2021 16:24

(As delivered)

Leaders, Ladies and Gentlemen,

A warm welcome to all of you. 

It's great to see you all in person again. 

We are meeting at the pivotal time for our Alliance. 

A time of growing geopolitical competition.
Regional instability. 
And climate change. 

No nation and no continent can deal with these challenges alone. 

But Europe and North America are not alone. We stand together in NATO. 

The countries around this table are 30 of the world's strongest democracies. 
Representing almost one billion people.
Half of the world's economic power.
And more than half of the world's military strength. 

When we stand together we can overcome any threat to our security.

Today we will open a new chapter in transatlantic relations. 
By agreeing NATO 2030. 
A transatlantic agenda for the future.

Let me now invite Belgium, as the host of our NATO Headquarters, to make some opening remarks. 

So Prime Minister De Croo. You have the floor. 


Prime Minister of Belgium, Alexander de De Croo:

Thank you, dear Secretary General, dear Heads of State and Government.

It is my great honour and distinct pleasure to welcome you to Brussels, at the Headquarters of our Alliance.
An Alliance we forged over 70 years ago.
An Alliance which remains critical to our security and our freedom, both for Europe and for North America.

We gather here today to reconfirm our commitment to transatlantic solidarity.
To renew this Alliance as a community of values, after a difficult period.

And to prepare our Alliance for a future full of challenges.

Furthermore, the fact that we can meet in person carries the hope that the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic is behind us.

As the Prime Minister of Belgium, I am particularly glad to welcome the new President of the United States, His Excellency Mr. Joe Biden, to the NATO Headquarters here in Brussels.

His presence emphasizes the renewal of the transatlantic partnership.
During your stay in Brussels, Mr. President, you will also visit the headquarters of another critically important organisation for our freedom and prosperity - the European Union.
In doing so, you will emphasize the values we share, both in NATO, and in the EU.

The strong partnership between the European Union and the United States is vital for our Alliance to be successful.

Dear colleagues, as the Prime Minister of the country that is proud to host the headquarters of those two organisations, I would like to thank the NATO Secretary General for the excellent preparation of this Summit meeting.

Thank you, Jens, for your partnership, and for bringing us together here today, to reconfirm our partnership.

I'm confident that this meeting will be successful in uniting us all around a renewed transatlantic consensus.
And in shaping our common agenda for the years to come.
Thank you.