by NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg at the Brussels Forum
Ladies and gentlemen,
Dear friends and colleagues.
Thank you for inviting me to the Brussels Forum, Heather.
And congratulations to everyone at the German Marshall Fund.
For 50 successful years championing transatlantic cooperation.
I look forward to continuing to work together with you.
Not least, at our Madrid Summit Public Forum, which starts tomorrow.
This year we also celebrate 75 years of the Marshall Plan.
An unprecedented act of generosity and foresight.
Born from the ashes of two brutal world wars.
As Secretary Marshall famously said,
this was a “policy not directed against any country or doctrine,
“but against hunger, poverty, desperation, and chaos.”
The United States allocated over 5 percent of its GDP at the time.
To rebuild a broken Europe.
But beyond the billions of dollars,
the Marshall Plan reimagined relations between nations.
Built on cooperation, not confrontation.
It underpinned European integration.
Which in turn paved the way for the creation of the European Union.
And it led to the establishment, in 1949, of our great transatlantic Alliance.
NATO has been an anchor of stability.
And an engine of peace and prosperity ever since.
Today, we face another pivotal moment for our security.
Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has shattered peace in Europe.
And authoritarian regimes, like Russia and China,
are shaking the global rules and foundations,
that have kept us safe for decades.
So we need a bold strategy for our new security reality.
And this is why we will take important decisions at our transformative Summit in Madrid.
We will agree a comprehensive assistance package for Ukraine.
To further modernise Ukraine’s defences.
And strengthen their resilience and security institutions.
For the long-term.
This is in addition to the billions of dollars of military equipment, economic aid and humanitarian assistance that Allies have already provided.
To help Ukraine uphold its right to self-defence.
At the same time, we will significantly enhance our own deterrence and defence.
Making NATO even stronger and more agile.
Across all domains.
Land, sea, air, space, and cyber.
We will also defend our democratic values, open societies, and the global rules-based order.
At a time when they are under unprecedented pressure.
We do not do this alone.
But together with our like-minded partners.
From Europe to the Indo-Pacific.
And I welcome that the leaders of Australia, Japan, New Zealand, and the Republic of Korea will take part in our Summit for the first time.
Finally, we will agree NATO’s new Strategic Concept.
Our blueprint for keeping our one billion people safe,
in a more dangerous and competitive world.
As Secretary Marshall showed us 75 years ago,
our boldest visions are often born in our darkest hours.
With unity and strength NATO will continue to rise to any challenge.
To preserve peace, prevent conflict, and protect our people.
And keep the spirit of the Marshall Plan alive!
So thank you again.
And I look forward to a successful Summit in Madrid.