NATO heads of state and government meeting in Madrid on Wednesday (29 June 2022) approved a new Strategic Concept for the Alliance, setting out the Alliance’s priorities, core tasks and approaches for the next decade. The concept describes the security environment facing the Alliance, reaffirms our values, and spells out NATO’s key purpose of ensuring our collective defence. It further sets out NATO’s three core tasks of deterrence and defence; crisis prevention and management; and cooperative security.
The document defines Russia as the “most significant and direct threat” to Allies’ security, while addressing China for the first time and the challenges that Beijing poses toward Allies’ security, interests and values. The documents also states that climate change is “a defining challenge of our time”. The Strategic Concept is updated roughly every decade and is NATO’s second most important document. It reaffirms the values of the Alliance, provides a collective assessment of security challenges and guides the Alliance’s political and military activities. The previous version was adopted at the NATO Lisbon Summit in 2010.