• Friday, 12 July 2024

North Macedonia ranks 11th according to NATO 2% defense spending target

North Macedonia ranks 11th according to NATO 2% defense spending target

Brussels, 18 June 2024 (MIA) - North Macedonia's state budget for 2024 foresees USD 263 million on defense spending, or 2.22 percent of the GDP, according to the latest NATO report on defense expenditures published on Monday.

NATO defines defense expenditure as payments made by a national government specifically to meet the needs of its armed forces, those of Allies or of the Alliance. A major component of defense expenditure, among others, is payments to other forces financed through the budgets of ministries other than the Ministry of Defense, as well as pension payments made directly by the government to retired military and civilian employees of military departments, peace and humanitarian operations, destruction of weapons, equipment, munition, research, and development.

MIA's Brussels correspondent reports that the total defense expenditure of NATO members for 2024 are projected to reach USD 1.185 billion, which is an increase of 10.85 percent compared to last year's USD 1.069.

 

According to the report, 23 out of NATO's 32 member-states achieved the previously agreed 2% of the GDP meant for defense spending, which is more than double compared to last year, when this goal was achieved by only 10 countries.

The country with a defense budget of 2.22 percent ranks 11th in terms of the size of its GDP budget, with equipment procurement accounting for 29.3 percent of total defense spending for 2024, exceeding the NATO threshold of 2 percent.

North Macedonia largest percentage or 43.9 percent of defense expenditure is reserved for military personnel salaries, 29.3 percent for equipment procurement, research, and development, 23 percent for operations, maintenance, and other expenditures, and 3.8 percent for infrastructure. Most NATO members have a similar ratio of allocation of funds, with the exception of Portugal, Bulgaria, Croatia, and Belgium where over 50 percent of the expenditures are for military personnel; Poland, Hungary, Finland, and Luxembourg spend over 40 percent on equipment, research, and development; Sweden, the United States, and Denmark spend over 40 percent on operations and maintenance. 

Between 2014 and 2024 period, the country saw an increase of 148.87 percent in defense spending from USD 106 million in 2014 to USD 263 million this year. In 2014, defense spending was 1.09 percent of the GDP, and now 2.22 percent.

Despite having the lowest growth in defense spending, the United States and United Kingdom are the two NATO members with the highest nominal defense spending for 2024 of USD 754.684, or USD 75.277 billion, ahead of Germany with USD 76,943, France with USD 55,195 billion. Countries like Montenegro- USD 107, ahead of North Macedonia -USD 263, Albania- USD 309, Luxembourg- USD 629, and Slovenia- USD 718 million have the lowest defense spending.

The report are based on information provided to NATO by the Ministries of Defense of each member-country according to an agreed definition, and on the basis of economic and demographic information available from the Directorate-General for Economic and Financial Affairs of the European Commission (DG ECFIN) and the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).

MIA file photo/screenshot