The Netherlands likely to scrap NATO spending target

The Dutch government is unlikely to fulfill its NATO defence spending obligations within the next four years. The news comes after parliamentarians called Dutch defence minister Ank Bijleveld in for questioning on the so-called ‘recalibration’ of the defence memorandum.

NATO member states agreed at the 2014 NATO summit in Wales to spend at least 2% GDP on defence by 2024. The matter has been made a point of contention within the alliance, especially since US President Donald Trump took office and criticised allies for not meeting the target.

Only nine NATO members met the 2% target in 2019, according to data from the military organization.

The debate has somewhat dissipated over the last year, as NATO countries stepped up their defence spending.

But while The Hague has met the goal for the last decade, it could abandon it in the future, according to reports by Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf.

Asked by an MP what the state-of-play is with the promise made by Prime Minister Rutte in 2014, Bijleveld said “it is clear that we will not reach [the defence spending target] by 2024.”

(Alexandra Brzozowski | EURACTIV.com)

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