House Foreign Affairs Committee Advances Connolly, Turner Resolution in Support of Establishing a NATO Center for Democratic Resilience
Washington, December 10, 2021
Tags: Foreign Policy
Today, the House Foreign Affairs Committee advanced legislation sponsored by Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), President of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, and Congressman Mike Turner (R-OH), a former NATO PA President, in support of the establishment of a Center for Democratic Resilience within NATO to help member, partner, and aspirant states strengthen their democratic institutions and to preserve democracy around the globe.
Connolly first proposed the creation of a Center for Democratic Resilience within NATO in 2019—a recommendation then endorsed by the NATO Parliamentary Assembly as a whole. In 2020, the independent Group of Experts on NATO 2030 supported the concept in their recommendations to the NATO Secretary General. In April 2021, the Assembly established a Working Group to advance the proposed concept for the Center. Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed the proposal in October 2021, while in Lisbon, Portugal for her acceptance of the NATO PA’s inaugural Women in Peace & Security Award. The bipartisan U.S. delegation to the NATO PA has also encouraged Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin to build support among Allies for the Center.
“I thank Chairman Meeks for his support and for advancing this important legislation today. Our commitment to shared democratic values is what distinguishes NATO from other military alliances,” said Rep. Connolly. “Without it, NATO is just another military block that does not like Russia. But this commitment cannot remain purely aspirational or rhetorical. It must be operationalized. This is why we believe that we need formal architecture in NATO itself. There are divisions and units within NATO dedicated to collective defense, terrorism, hybrid warfare, cyber, climate change, and all other security challenges. But after 72 years, there’s not even a broom closet in NATO headquarters dedicated to democratic institution building. This Center is long overdue. I want to thank my friend, Mike Turner, for his collaboration on this resolution, and I look forward to working with him further to pass it in the House.”
The objectives of the Center for Democratic Resilience could be:
Text of the resolution introduced by Connolly and Turner is available here.