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Why is the NATO summit being held in Madrid and when was the last time it was?

The NATO summit is typically held in Brussels but occasionally is other Members States can petiton to host. This year it is in Madid, Spain.

Update:
The NATO summit is typically held in Brussels but occasionally is other Members States can petiton to host. This year it is in Madid, Spain.
NurPhotoGetty

NATO leaders are meeting in Madrid, Spain this week, a new scene for the meetings which typically take place in Brussels. The current geopolitical context under which the meetings are taking place are very different than in years passed as many Member States face new challenges.

The Member States that border Russia have new concerns in light of the invasion of Ukraine, which has forced states around the world to adjust their foreign policy regarding the conflict, and other issues of relevance including as defense, justice, energy security, migration, and climate change. This event is usually held in Brussels, where the organization’s headquarters is, but the Member States can petition to host if they wish.

Spain petitioned to host this year, as the country commemorates its 40th anniversary of joining the alliance. The country became a member in 1982 after a referendum called by Prime Minister Felipe González was approved.

The Spanish delegation to the conference has worked to ensure its interests are represented as NATO begins to plan for the future. Among them, the legal protection (defense of sovereignty and territorial integrity) for Ceuta and Melilla.

When was the last time Spain hosted?

With the exception of this summit, the only NATO meeting that has been held in Spain took place in 1997, when José María Aznar was the Head of State. That particular summit was also very important, since it ended with the addition of former-Soviet countries including Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland. The government also chose this year to host as it represents twenty-five years since that 1997 submit was held.

Our country was part of the third period of expansion of the organization in 1982, the only one that joined in that year. The first expansion of NATO took place with Greece and Turkey in 1952, while the second took place in 1955 with the inclusion of Germany, which joined as the Federal Republic of Germany, not including the GDR.

How many military bases does Spain have in NATO?

Spain’s role in NATO is based on the contribution of a wide range of high-quality military capabilities, with the aim of ensuring presence in the most important international missions. The country has five bases and military facilities that are used by NATO during their opperations:

  • Center of Excellence Against Improvised Explosive Devices, located in Hoyo de Manzanares (Madrid).
  • High Readiness Land Headquarters in Bétera (Valencia)
  • NATO Ballistic Missile Defense System, located at the Naval Station (Rota)
  • Combined Joint Air Centers (CAOC) of the New Command Structure (Torrejón de Ardoz)
  • Morón Air Base (Sevilla)
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