Thursday 28 November 2019
Under pressure from US President Trump, NATO states agree on a new sharing of community costs. Germany will pay as much as the United States in the future. But not all countries are following the new course.
In the future, Germany will support as high a share of NATO's community costs as the United States. As the alliance officially confirmed Wednesday night, just before the London Jubilee Summit, the 29 member states agreed to change the appropriate allocation key. This is an important signal that one feels engaged in the Alliance and a more equitable sharing of burdens, a spokeswoman said.
Initially, NATO declined to comment on the details of future cost distribution. However, the new allocation key predicts that the US share in community costs will be reduced from the current 22.1 percent to 16.35 percent from 2021 onwards and that the German share will be increased from 14.8 percent at 16.35 percent. The remaining funding gap thus fills proportionally in the other NATO states with the exception of France. The government of Paris has rejected the plan as inadequate, according to diplomats. In France, it is believed that this is just a favor for US President Donald Trump.
For Germany, changing the distribution key at constant costs would entail an additional annual charge of over € 33 million. The United States could save over 120 million euros. This year, the United States will pay around € 470 million in total community spending of around € 2.12 billion, while Germany will transfer only about € 313 million.
With the funds of the community fund, for example, the headquarters of the Alliance in Brussels and the military headquarters are financed. Part of the funding is also earmarked for investments in shared infrastructure. The amount of money a country has to contribute to community costs depends on the gross national income. But for the United States there is a maximum limit, otherwise they would have to bear about half of the community's costs.
Germany should spend more on armaments
At the NATO headquarters, it is hoped that the agreement on the new financing model will also help defuse the much greater defense spending dispute. In this conflict, US President Trump calls for the Federal Republic and other allies to increase their national military spending to at least two percent of gross domestic product (GDP) by 2024.
Trump refers to a resolution of the alliance of the year 2014. However, the federal government so far insists on the fact that the text in the corresponding text refers only to the movement in the direction of two percent.
According to NATO data, German defense spending currently stands at around 47 billion euros, which is estimated to correspond to a share of 1.36 percent of gross domestic product. In 2014 they had been around 35 billion euros (1.18 percent). By comparison, the United States reported NATO spending on defense spending of over $ 730 billion in 2019 (€ 660 billion), or 3.42%.
For the two-day NATO summit, all 29 heads of state and government are expected in London next Tuesday, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, US President Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron, who have recently described the Alliance as a brain dead. From Paris is now the new cost key, the subject is in the current situation absolutely subordinate. The question of transatlantic relations or relations with the partner of the Alliance Turkey must be discussed. This is obviously an allusion to the fact that Macron considers security coordination to be totally inadequate. A negative example is the unofficial military offensive of the NATO partner, Turkey, in northern Syria, made possible by an unannounced withdrawal of the United States.