Is Bulgaria ready for the NATO Summit in July?

Monday, 18 June 2018




the Atlantic Council of Bulgaria

on the participation of Bulgaria at the NATO Summit in Brussels, 11 & 12 July 2018

June 18th, 2018


The NATO Summit in Brussels, 11 & 12 July 2018, will take place at a moment of crucial importance for the security of the Alliance and of all the allies. The decisions expected to be taken there will be a logical and constructive followon to the results attained at the NATO Wales (2014) and Warsaw (2016) Summits, paving the way for the 70th anniversary of the Alliance next year. The forthcoming Summit is an opportunity to consolidate the achievements in strengthening the deterrent and defense potential of the Alliance in the wake of the 2014 fundamental changes in the strategic environment. The decisions expected to be taken at the Summit will improve the capabilities to meet the risks and threats emanating from East and South. They will also lead to increasing the readiness of the Alliance to counter the new challenges. The BrusselsSummit is a good opportunity to undertake, probably, a further step towards NATO enlargement in South Eastern Europe. It is anticipated to continue the course of deepening the cooperation with the EU in the build-up and development of the European defense.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria  welcomes the participation of Bulgaria at the “Bucharest 9” format  and the joint declaration of the Presidents issued in Warsaw. We demand that Bulgaria, being a NATO Eastern flank member state and especially a Black Sea country, take part at the Brussels Summit with a clear position and mandate. We also demand that Bulgaria support the expected key decisions to be taken there. These are decisions that will result in further consolidation of the NATO deterrent and defense potential, above all with regard to the build-up of the tailored Forward Presence of the Alliance in the South East.

We must seize this favorable moment for making decisions that are of particular importance for the future of the Alliance. Bulgaria must make real proposals to our allies that are intended to guarantee both the Bulgarian national security and the security of all of our allies.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria believes that at the Brussels Summit our country must do and urge the other 28 allied nations to agree on the following:

  • Considering the growing vulnerability to hybrid threats, the allies must agree on the necessity to formulate and adopt a NATO-agreed minimum threshold that could trigger a collective response, including an Article 5 one, should a hybrid attack against any member state takes place. This must be implemented following consultations under Article 4, initiated by any NATO ally, even a direct attack against it have not yet taken place, should nonetheless proofs for a hybrid influence are available;
  • Each member country should by  the end of 2018 write, adopt and present to NATO its own strategy to counter hybrid threats as a next step after the commitment to enhance resilience and the cyber defense pledge;
  • Bulgaria must state it is ready to join the European Centre of Excellence for Countering Hybrid Threats (Hybrid COE) that was established in 2017 in Helsinki;
  • Bulgaria, in consultations with Romania and Turkey, should insist on developing and adopting a NATO Strategy for the Black Sea with the aim of dealing with the growing challenge of the ongoing shift in military and strategic power balance in the region in favor of the Russian federation and to the detriment of NATO;
  • Reaching agreement on setting a deadline for the termination of member states’ dependence on the Russian Federation in the maintenance of main weapon systems and equipment, including by way of enhanced cooperation in the framework of NATO and the EU and through the use of the NATO and EU agencies;
  • Bulgaria should host land, air and naval components of the NATO tailored Forward Presence in the South East that is being built now;
  • Increasing the rotational allied naval presence in the Black Sea. Bulgaria to host in Varna a coordination element of the Allied Maritime Command, connected with the NATO Force Integration Units (NFIUs) in Sofia and Bucharest;
  • Deploying by the end of 2019, on a rotational basis, of a multinational Air Force fighter squadron in a Bulgarian military airbase that should carry out a joint allied air policing of the Bulgarian airspace;
  • Deploying by the end of 2019, on a rotational basis in the region of Bourgas, of a unit of Patriot missiles for air defense;
  • Deploying in Bulgaria by the end of 2012 of a multinational mechanized brigade or of a multinational Special Operations brigade, with Bulgaria being the framework nation;
  • Bulgaria should join one of the already established four NATO multinational battlegroups in the Baltic states and in Poland;
  • Bulgaria should commit to reach the level of defense spending of 2% of the GDP in 2020, instead in 2024, coupled with a review this Autumn of the adopted by Government in January 2018 „National Plan for Increasing the Defense Spending to 2% of the GDP until 2024“, as well as to attain a level of spending on new capabilities and research and of at least 20% of the total defense spending.

The Atlantic Council of Bulgaria closely monitors and will support with its know-how all the institutional intentions and actions aimed at strengthening the role of our country in NATO and in the European defense, in accordance with our strategic document Bulgaria in NATO and the European Defence – Defence Policy Vision till 2030.


Atlantic Council of Bulgaria

National and International Security Program



Categorised in: