Head of the Munich Security Conference emphasizes the importance of "European pillar of NATO"

Immediately before the start of the 60th Munich Security Conference (MSK), conference leader Christoph Heusgen emphasized the importance of the “European pillar of NATO”. “It's true that we in Europe are making a lot more effort to ensure our own security,” said Heusgen on Friday in the ARD “Morgenmagazin” when asked about former US President Donald Trump's statement that NATO would default if he were re-elected. Not wanting to defend allies.

“Here we should definitely take up the French president's offer to talk about the French nuclear force” and at the same time “include the British,” who are also a nuclear power, said Heusgen. The “European pillar of NATO” must exist “in addition to the alliance and American capabilities.”

Heusgen emphasized that all European members must adhere to the two percent target for defense. “We have to stick together as NATO partners, we all have to make our contribution because in doing so we also support the European pillar of NATO,” he demanded.

Heusgen said in the morning magazine that there is currently an “unusual accumulation of crises.” This is “one more reason to come together” to look for ways out.

Heusgen told broadcaster Bayern 2 on Friday that he was relying on “targeted discussions in the back rooms” at the conference. “We have all the actors there – and we hope that they don't just give window speeches, but that they also take advantage of the opportunity that we offer (…) to sit together in the famous back rooms and think: How can we of a particular crisis.” He is confident “that something will happen.”

Heusgen will officially open the conference on Friday at 1:30 p.m. in the traditional conference venue Hotel Bayerischer Hof. 180 high-ranking government representatives have been announced as participants – including Ukrainian President Volodymyr Selenskyj, Federal Chancellor Olaf Scholz (SPD) and US Vice President Kamala Harris, who are expected in Munich on Saturday.

The wars in Ukraine and the Middle East will be the dominant topics at this year's security conference. In addition, Munich will also focus on conflicts in Somalia, Sudan and Haiti. The strength of international law as a basis for coexistence, a possible reform of the UN Security Council and the issue of climate security are also on the agenda.