A NATO summit will be held on Wednesday 11 and Thursday 12 July 2018 in Brussels. Fifty-five delegations including 29 heads of State or Government, are expected to attend. On Wednesday, defence spending and burden-sharing will be high on the agenda.
Speaking on the eve of the summit, Donald Tusk, President of the European Council addressed U.S. President Donald Trump directly:
"Dear president Trump: America does not have, and will not have a better ally than Europe. Today Europeans spend on defence many times more than Russia, and as much as China. And I think you can have no doubt, Mr President, that this is an investment in common American and European defence."
By current standards, Washington funds about 70 percent of NATO spending. NATO members have agreed to spend 2 percent of economic output on defense every year by 2024.
On the eve of his departure for the NATO summit Trump wrote on Twitter: “The United States is spending far more on NATO than any other Country. This is not fair, nor is it acceptable. While these countries have been increasing their contributions since I took office, they must do much more,”
The NATO summit is “one of the biggest operations in years,” for the Brussels police, the spokeswoman of the Brussels-Capital-Ixelles police zone, Ilse Van De Keere, said on Friday.
At least two demonstrations will be held on the sidelines of the summit, The Brussels Times reported. On Saturday, some 10,000 people are expected at the Gare du Nord station for the "Trump Not Welcome" demonstration, according to the organisers.
On Wednesday, the "Agir Pour La Paix" organisation will be present at the Schuman Square, just outside the security zone.
This is NATO’s 29th Summit. The first one was in December 1957, and the most recent took place in Warsaw in July 2016.
With reporting by Reuters, Brussels Times