Romanian President Klaus Iohannis Running for NATO Secretary General

3 min read

The race for the position of next NATO Secretary General took a new dimension today, as Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced his run for the leadership of the military alliance.

So far, the only candidate was outgoing Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Reuters reported:

“In February, the United States, Britain, France and Germany backed Rutte to succeed Jens Stoltenberg as the head of NATO, putting him in a strong position to win the leadership of the transatlantic alliance.”

But today (12), Iohannis entered the competition for the post, saying Eastern European states ‘need better representation in Euro Atlantic leadership roles’.

“‘The time has come for our country to take on greater responsibility within euroatlantic leadership structures’, Iohannis told reporters.


‘I think NATO needs to renew its outlook on its mission. Eastern Europe has a valuable contribution in NATO talks and decisions. With a balanced, strong and influential representation from this region, the Alliance will be able to make the best decisions to answer all member states’ needs and concerns’.”

NATO Secretary General is not elected, but rather ‘appointed’, chosen ‘by consensus’, meaning that all 32 members must agree to a final decision.

Romania’s Iohannis and Netherland’s Rutte chase the NATO Secretary General job.

Member of the European Union and NATO, Romania has raised defense spending to 2.5% of GDP after the onset of the war in Ukraine.

‘The time has come to prepare NATO for the future’, Iohannis said as he joined the race.

Politico reported:

“’I have decided to enter the competition for the position of NATO secretary-general’, Iohannis, whose presidential term ends in December, said in a televised address in Bucharest.

‘I believe that NATO, in turn, needs a renewed perspective on its mission. Eastern Europe has a valuable contribution in the discussions and decisions within NATO’.”


Rutte is considered a consensus-builder, but members like Romania, the Baltic countries, Turkey, Sweden, and Hungary have yet to support him.

“Iohannis took a veiled swipe at Rutte, under whose watch the Netherlands failed consistently to meet NATO’s 2 percent of GDP spending target on defense.

‘While we have been lagging on defense financing, benefiting from what we thought to be an everlasting peace dividend for many years, this is no longer possible’, he wrote. ‘All of us must do our utmost to reach the minimum of 2 percent GDP for defense spending as soon as possible’.”


You May Also Like