December 19, 2018 – NATO Allies have agreed the civil and military budgets for 2019. At a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on Tuesday (18 December 2018), Allies agreed a civil budget of €250.5 million and a military budget of €1.395 billion for 2019. All member countries contribute to these budgets, according to an agreed cost-sharing formula based on Gross National Income. In the face of a more demanding security environment, NATO continues to adapt – including through the modernization of the NATO Command Structure, and a functional review of the Alliance’s Headquarters in Brussels.
NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the agreement of the budgets, saying: “The world is changing, and NATO is adapting. Allies are investing in NATO to address the challenges of our time, including cyber and hybrid threats, a more assertive Russia, and instability across the Middle East and North Africa. NATO is committed to ensuring that we continue to keep our people safe, in a way that is both effective and financially responsible.”
The civil budget provides funds for personnel, operating costs, and program expenditures at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The 2019 civil budget is 1.9% above the 2018 level, and includes funding to implement the functional review of NATO Headquarters. This includes measures to strengthen NATO’s intelligence capabilities; anticipate and plan for cyber and hybrid challenges; improve the way the Alliance handles data as a strategic asset; increase defense cooperation with partners; and strengthen focus on the Women, Peace and Security agenda. To implement these measures, NATO will create thirty new posts in 2019.
The military budget covers the operating costs of NATO Command Structure headquarters and programs, missions and operations around the world. The 2019 military budget is 7.2% above the 2018 level. This includes funding for the Command Structure, which is currently being adapted – including with a new Command for the Atlantic in Norfolk, Virginia, to ensure free sea lines of communication between Europe and North America; and a new Command in Ulm, Germany to improve the movement of troops and equipment in Europe. In July, Allied leaders agreed to increase the size of the command structure by around 1,200 people – a process that will take approximately three years.
In 2019, €273.2 million of the military budget will go toward funding NATO’s missions and operations, including the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan; the KFOR peace support operation in Kosovo; and NATO’s new training mission in Iraq, launched at the Brussels Summit in July 2018. Separately, NATO’s AWACS surveillance aircraft – whose missions include flights over eastern Europe and support for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS – will receive €262 million in operations and support funding.
In addition to the civil and military budgets, the Alliance’s third principal common funded element is the NATO Security Investment Program (NSIP). Covering major construction and command and control system investments, the 2019 ceiling for the NSIP is €700 million.