In France, military spending will reach 2% of GDP in 2024, the target set by NATO

“France will meet the objective of 2% [of GDP] given by NATO in the year 2024,” said the Minister of the French Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, on Thursday February 15, shortly before the start of a meeting defense ministers of the Atlantic Alliance in Brussels

In France, military spending will reach 2% of GDP in 2024, the target set by NATO

“France will meet the objective of 2% [of GDP] given by NATO in the year 2024,” said the Minister of the French Armed Forces, Sébastien Lecornu, on Thursday February 15, shortly before the start of a meeting defense ministers of the Atlantic Alliance in Brussels.

The 2024-2030 military programming law, promulgated last August, provided for this objective to be met by 2025, with 413 billion euros in spending over the next seven years. “The real question now is not so much to obtain this 2%, even if it is a subject which seems to excite many people, it is to obviously ensure that this 2% of GDP be truly useful in the military field,” added Mr. Lecornu on Thursday.

The minister also confirmed that France would deliver 78 Caesar cannons to Ukraine this year, and said he had met with European Commissioner Thierry Breton, in charge of the defense industry, to examine ways to develop the capabilities. production of gunpowder or ammunition in Europe.

Ukraine, which lacks ammunition, is demanding an acceleration of deliveries promised by the West. But the blocking in the American Congress of aid promised by the United States and delays on the European side have forced the Ukrainians to save their ammunition in the face of much better equipped Russian forces. “We are already seeing the impact of the fact that the United States was not able to make a decision,” Alliance Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Thursday.

Eighteen countries will reach this goal by 2024

Since 2006, Alliance member states have set the goal of increasing their military budgets to at least 2% of each member’s GDP. After the annexation of Crimea by Russia in 2014, member countries clarified this objective: the goal was then to “get closer” to 2% by 2024, without this rule becoming binding.

By the end of 2023, only eleven of the thirty-one members had kept their promise. France is still slightly below (1.9%), and Germany even further (1.6%). However, NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said on Wednesday that seven more countries would reach 2% in 2024.

The United States welcomed the fact that this objective was achieved by eighteen member countries this year, a few days after Donald Trump's attacks against the Alliance's bad payers in Europe. “I think it's extremely important,” US State Department spokesman Matthew Miller told reporters after Stoltenberg's announcement.