Danish PM considered as potential NATO Secretary General successor – Politico
Mette Frederiksen (Photo - EPA)

Danish Prime Minister Mette Frederiksen may replace Jens Stoltenberg as NATO Secretary General, writes Politico.

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As the publication notes, as a rule, a representative of a European country takes the Secretary General of NATO post, but the candidacy must be approved by Washington.

In this context, Politico draws attention to the announcement of the White House that President Joe Biden will meet with Frederiksen on June 5 to " further strengthen the deep and enduring ties between the United States and Denmark, NATO's work to strengthen the transatlantic security, support for Ukraine and other issues."

The publication believes that this may be a sign that the Danish prime minister will become the new head of NATO if Jens Stoltenberg leaves this post at the end of September (but if the candidacy of his successor is not agreed upon by then, he may remain at the head of the Alliance for several more months).

The decision on the candidacy of the next NATO Secretary General may be agreed upon at the Alliance summit in Vilnius on July 11-12.

According to European diplomats interviewed by the publication, Frederiksen is considered a serious candidate, and the fact that she "behaved quite confidently throughout the war in Ukraine" also speaks in her favor. An argument against it may be that Denmark has not yet been able to reach the minimum defense spending level of 2% of GDP for NATO members.

Frederiksen previously denied speculation about a change of position, and in April she stated that she did not intend to apply for the post of NATO Secretary General.

Other candidates for the chair of the head of NATO are considered by the publication to be the Prime Minister of the Netherlands, Mark Rutte, the Prime Minister of Spain, Pedro Sánchez, and the British Defense Secretary, Ben Wallace. Estonian Prime Minister Kaja Kallas was allegedly considered as another female candidate, but she was considered "too tough" for wartime.

Norwegian Jens Stoltenberg has been the Secretary General of NATO since October 1, 2014. Initially, it was planned that he would lead NATO until 2018, but then his mandate was extended three times. On February 12, 2023, it was reported that Stoltenberg no longer wants to prolong his mandate.