King Felipe VI said yesterday that if the war in Ukraine has shown anything, it is that the “struggle between tyranny and democracy” is still going on and that NATO is, in this context, more relevant than ever and represents a “beacon of freedom” that must be protected. He also pointed out that the threats to Europe also come from the south.
During his speech at the Public Forum organised by the Elcano Royal Institute and other European think-tanks on the margins of the NATO summit in Madrid, King Felipe stressed that Europe today faces “an increasingly unstable neighbourhood, both in the east and in the south, and the complex challenge of a chronically unpredictable world”, reports Europa Press.
The King also stressed that “developments in and around Europe are likely to be increasingly affected by exogenous forces” and drew attention to the fact that “the focus of global economic growth, military competition and technological rivalry is shifting towards the Indo-Pacific”, in a clear reference to China but without explicitly mentioning it.
NATO leaders will have to decide at this summit, according to the King, the “right balance between responding to the immediate threats in Eastern Europe and the need to face long-term and systemic challenges“, as well as the balance between the political and military dimension of the Alliance and preparing it for “competition between great powers without losing sight of other challenges such as terrorism or the climate-security nexus”.
To this end, he advocated looking beyond the confines of the Euro-Atlantic space. In this respect, he affirmed that Spain is in an “ideal position” to bring NATO closer to Latin America and Africa, “both geopolitically and because of our shared desire to serve as a bridge between the Atlantic, Europe and the Mediterranean”.