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Italy’s NATO commitment: key expectations for the summit

PM Meloni will discuss Italy's defence budget and proactive steps with other leaders. Despite current spending being below 1.5%, Rome is developing a comprehensive roadmap to meet the target

The Italian NATO commitment. As this week’s NATO summit in Washington DC, US, approaches, Italy plans to reaffirm its commitment to increasing military spending to meet the alliance’s target of 2% of GDP by 2028.

  • Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni is set to attend the meeting to discuss the country’s defence budget with other NATO leaders.
  • A 2014 NATO agreement established the commitment to reach 2% in GDP in military spending. The latest NATO report shows Italy’s defence spending is below 1.5%.

The defence roadmap. The Italian government is taking proactive steps to align with NATO’s expectations.

  • PM Meloni has recently tasked Defence Minister Guido Crosetto and Undersecretary Alfredo Mantovano with developing a comprehensive roadmap to increase Italy’s defence budget.
  • The first steps are expected to be outlined in this year’s Budget Law, signalling a dedicated effort to fulfil NATO’s spending goals.
  • While the Italian government also aims to advocate for NATO to pay more attention to the Mediterranean region, it is expected to play an active role in discussions on burden sharing, emphasising the importance of collective defence commitments among European allies.

Promising talks. Outgoing NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg and Prime Minister Meloni met at Palazzo Chigi on May 8th to discuss Italy’s progress towards the spending goal.

  • Stoltenberg acknowledged Italy’s efforts and emphasised the strategic significance of meeting the target, something that has been a recurring theme in NATO’s planning, particularly in light of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.
  • The upcoming U.S. elections are also on the horizon, adding another layer of substance to Italy’s commitment. The potential re-election for Republican candidate Donald Trump, who has previously suggested expelling from the alliance member states that do not adhere to the spending target, underscores the importance of European nations in meeting their defence commitments.

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