NATO faces a variety of new security challenges, among them climate change, rising migration pressure and the increased threat of terrorism in Europe, the Hungarian president has said.
Speaking to Hungarian public media after a meeting of the heads of state of the Bucharest Nine (B9) group in Košice (Kassa) in eastern Slovakia, János Áder said the B9 leaders agreed that they should spend more on counter-terrorism. The presidents of the grouping comprising the Visegrad Group, the Baltic states, Bulgaria and Romania also agreed on the need to improve counter-terrorism information sharing and cooperation, Áder said. The president also underlined the importance of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s declaration that instead of increasing bureaucracy, NATO should be focused on boosting its defence capabilities.
Áder said it was right to expect NATO member states to spend 2% of their GDP on defence. Hungary has lagged behind in this respect, “but we’ve started to catch up”, he said, noting that Hungary has vowed to bring its defence spending up to the required level by no later than 2024. The president said that about half of NATO’s member countries meet the alliance’s defence spending criterion.