NewsMark Rutte to become next NATO chief, succeeding Stoltenberg

Mark Rutte to become next NATO chief, succeeding Stoltenberg

Mark Rutte will head NATO
Mark Rutte will head NATO
Images source: © Getty Images | Pier Marco Tacca
Przemysław Ciszak

26 June 2024 13:46

Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, has been appointed as the next Secretary General of NATO. He will assume his role on 1 October 2024, when Jens Stoltenberg's ten-year term as head of the Alliance concludes.

It is now certain that Jens Stoltenberg's successor will be the Dutchman Mark Rutte. The outgoing Prime Minister of the Netherlands will officially take over as Secretary General on 1 October 2024.

"I know I am leaving NATO in good hands," wrote Jens Stoltenberg on platform X. He emphasised that Mark Rutte "is a true transatlantic leader, a strong leader, and a consensus builder."

Rutte secured the support of all NATO member countries after Romanian President Klaus Iohannis announced he was withdrawing his candidacy for Secretary General of NATO.

With full support

After Hungary and Slovakia withdrew their opposition, Romania was the only country in the North Atlantic Alliance that had not publicly supported the outgoing Prime Minister of the Netherlands in his bid for Secretary General of NATO.

Although Viktor Orban's government had long opposed the Dutchman's candidacy due to his past critical remarks about Hungary, it eventually agreed to it, withdrawing its earlier support for Iohannis.

New Slovak President Peter Pellegrini also expressed his support for Rutte on Tuesday.

From the beginning, Rutte could count on the favour of several important NATO countries, including the US. Nevertheless, in March, Iohannis confirmed earlier unofficial reports that he also intended to run for the position of Secretary General to replace the outgoing Stoltenberg.

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