NATO members raise defence budgets, public support for membership still high

NEWS 16.03.202121:54 0 komentara

NATO member states continued to increase their defence budgets despite the pandemic for the sixth year in a row and public support for membership is still high, Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said on Tuesday in his report for 2020.

The report covers NATO’s activity and achievements, including efforts to keep the health crisis from turning into a security crisis.

Last year member states increased their defence outlays by 2.7 percent compared to 2019, totalling $1,028 billion, or $28 billion more than in 2019. The United States set aside the most ($717bn), while the other 28 member states combined had earmarked $311 billion.

In 2014, NATO set a target requiring member countries to increase their defence spending to 2 percent of their GDP by 2024, including 20 percent for military equipment. Last year the target was met by 11 member countries.

The US sets aside the highest percentage of its GDP (3.73 percent) for defence, and Luxembourg the lowest (0.57 percent).

Croatia spends 1.83 percent and its neighbour Slovenia 1.10 percent. Croatia is second to last in the amount from the defence budget earmarked for military equipment (10.3 percent) and Slovenia is dead last (4.6 percent).

Luxembourg sets aside the highest percentage of its defence budget for military equipment (52.5 percent).

Greece, Croatia and Slovenia spend the largest share of their defence budgets on salaries – 75.6 percent, 71.7 percent, and 66.5 percent respectively.

Croatia spends 16.4 percent of its defence budget on operations, maintenance and other expenses, and 10.3 percent on equipment, including research and development.

Surveys conducted last year show that a majority of citizens in the member states support NATO membership at 62 percent, down two percentage points from 2019. Asked if they would vote for or against membership today, 11 percent responded that they would vote for leaving NATO, and 62 percent would opt for staying in the alliance.

In Croatia, 65 percent would vote for staying, and 16 percent against.

NATO has the highest support in Albania (94 percent), Lithuania (83 percent) and Poland (82 percent), while support is lowest in Montenegro (50 percent), where 30 percent of respondents said they would vote for leaving, and in France (50 percent for staying and 13 percent for leaving).

Kakvo je tvoje mišljenje o ovome?

Budi prvi koji će ostaviti komentar!