CEPA Forum 2018
Panel II
Beyond 2%: Quantity and Quality in European Defense Investments

The CEPA Forum’s second panel, “Beyond 2%: Quantity and Quality in European Defense Investments,” was moderated by CEPA Pershing Chair LTG (Ret.) Ben Hodges, who began by broadening the discussion around burden-sharing. Rather than relying on the 2% threshold, the Alliance should take a more sophisticated approach that focuses on the requirements for ensuring collective security. Mihai-Viorel Fifor, Romanian Minister of Defense, stressed that the Alliance must work together, including taking on common projects to create a credible deterrent in the Black Sea Region. Jan Havránek, Policy Advisor in the Policy Planning Unit of the Office of the Secretary General at NATO, suggested that the narrative of Alliance fragmentation is a myth; no relationship is perfect, but NATO has always overcome its differences, and the overall trend is positive. 
Róbert Odrejcsák, Deputy Minister of Defense of Slovakia, argued that the 2% benchmark is a minimum requirement and that across the Alliance’s massive geographic area, mobility is essential. This will require greater legislative harmony among Allies. Finally, István Szabó, State Secretary of Defense of Hungary, observed that given the pressures on the Alliance today, we are witnessing a decisive moment for NATO cohesion. The key will be aligning input and output and not forgetting the core values that hold the Alliance together.


Lt. Gen. Ben Hodges (Ret.),
Pershing Chair in Strategic Studies, CEPA


  Mihai-Viorel Fifor
Minister of Defense, Romania
  Jan Havránek
Policy Advisor, Policy Planning Unit of the Office of the Secretary General, NATO
  Róbert Ondrejcsák
Deputy Minister of Defense, Slovakia
  István Szabó,
State Secretary of Defense, Hungary