Sweden attends first North Atlantic Council meeting as an Ally, in discussion devoted to NATO-EU cooperation

  • 12 Mar. 2024 -
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  • Last updated: 12 Mar. 2024 18:22

For the first time in history, thirty-two NATO Allies gathered for a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on Tuesday (12 March 2024), with Sweden’s Ambassador Axel Wernhoff taking his alphabetical place around the table.

First meeting of the North Atlantic Council since Sweden became an official member of NATO.

Sweden officially joined the Alliance on 7 March, and its accession was marked with a flag-raising ceremony at NATO Headquarters on 11 March. Speaking at the flag-raising, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg underlined that "Sweden’s membership makes NATO stronger, Sweden safer, and all of us more secure”. He added: "Sweden’s accession shows again that NATO’s door remains open. No one can close it."

Deputy Secretary General Mircea Geoană chaired Tuesday’s meeting of the Council, which was focused on NATO-EU cooperation, and featured the participation of European External Action Service Secretary General Stefano Sannino, as well as Deputy Secretary General for Peace, Security and Defence Charles Fries. Allies had the opportunity to exchange views on the European Union’s Strategic Compass, as well as support for Ukraine, the Western Balkans, and the situation in the Middle East and North Africa. Allies underscored that the European Union remains a unique and essential partner for NATO, and welcomed work to further strengthen the partnership in a spirit of transparency and complementarity.