Berlin has scrapped plans to legally commit the German government to meeting NATO’s 2% military spending target on an annual basis.
A government source told the Reuters news agency that the clause had been in a draft budget law passed by Olaf Scholz’s cabinet earlier today, but was deleted at short notice.
In 2006, defence ministers from across NATO agreed that every member should spend a minimum of 2% of their GDP on defence to ensure the alliance’s military readiness. That’s not a requirement, but it is a guideline that NATO holds dear.
The alliance’s most recent annual report, published in March, showed that only seven of its then-30 members hit that target.
Germany’s current policy commits the country to meeting the 2% target on average over a five-year period.
But in a speech days after Russia invaded, Mr Scholz pledged to invest more than 2% “year after year.”
A German government spokesperson declined to comment on the particulars of the draft law.