Mark Rutte is NATO’s New Secretary General

He will succeed Jens Stoltenberg, who led the Atlantic Alliance for ten years

On June 26, 2024, the North Atlantic Council decided to appoint Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte as the next NATO Secretary General.

Rutte succeeds Norway’s Jens Stoltenberg (former prime minister of the Scandinavian country), who had held the post since 2014. Stoltenberg was re-elected in 2018, and his mandate, which expired in 2022, has been extended year after year due to the crisis in Ukraine. Rutte will take office on October 1, 2024, when Stoltenberg’s term expires.

Stoltenberg commented on the appointment on X social media: “I warmly welcome the choice by NATO allies of Mark Rutte as my successor. Mark is a true Atlantist, a strong leader, and consensus builder. I wish him success in further strengthening NATO.” Outgoing European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, who is likely to hold the post for another term, addressed Rutte with these words: “Your leadership and expertise will be critical to the Alliance during these challenging times. I look forward to working with you to further strengthen the NATO-EU partnership.”

Initially, only Hungary and Romania were against Rutte’s candidacy and wanted to support the later withdrawn candidacy of Romanian President Klaus Iohannis. Rutte was born in 1967 and represents the liberal-conservative People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD).