President to Represent Croatia at NATO Summit

By 10 July 2018

ZAGREB, July 10, 2018 - A meeting of NATO heads of state and government, which will be held on Wednesday and Thursday in Brussels, is expected to see more pressure from U.S. President Donald Trump who has already sent letters to some NATO member countries in an attempt to make them expand their military budgets.

The Alliance will make decisions to increase security in and around Europe. These decisions include strengthening deterrence and defence, projecting stability and fighting terrorism, stronger cooperation with the European Union, modernising NATO, and fairer burden-sharing.

Croatia will be represented at the summit by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović.

Ahead of his trip to Europe, Trump tweeted "The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable. While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more."

By current standards, Washington funds about 70% of NATO spending.

During the 2014 Wales summit, the leaders of the Allies pledged to aim to move towards spending 2% of their gross domestic products on defence and 20% of that on new equipment by 2024. For countries which spend less than 2% they agreed upon that these countries "aim to move towards the 2% guideline within a decade".

Eight member-states already fulfill this requirement of spending 2% of their GDP on the defence: USA, Great Britain, Greece, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania.

Furthermore, nine countries are expected to meet that requirement by 2024, and one of them is Croatia.

However, Germany and Spain are among the countries not expected to meet the target.