Nato leader: what makes Klaus Iohannis right for the post?

Romania's President Klaus Iohannis wants to be Nato's next Secretary General. As key Nato states were rallying behind Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte to succeed current Nato chief Jens Stoltenberg, it was leaked that Iohannis was considering running, and last week he made his candidacy official. Romania's press debates his strengths, weaknesses and chances of securing the post.

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Deutsche Welle (RO) /

What counts is credibility and adaptability

Deutsche Welle's Romanian Service takes a look at Iohannis' chances:

“Klaus Iohannis has never really distinguished himself with analyses or statements on defence, but he's always been on the pro-Atlantic axis. A Nato Secretary General has a staff of experts and communicators at his disposal. ... What counts is not his expertise but his credibility and adaptability, the credibility of the country he comes from and perhaps also of the region in which it is located. Diplomats loyal to Iohannis are already in Washington to prepare the ground for his candidature, and Turkey, which has the second-largest Nato army after the US, is also thought to support him. However, if Rutte does not withdraw his candidacy, it's hard to imagine that the US and the other major states will retract their support for him.”

Spotmedia (RO) /

This post is not a race

Who becomes Nato leader is negotiated behind the scenes and that's the way it should be, says Spotmedia:

“Mr Iohannis says his deep understanding of Nato qualifies him for the post. But his unprecedented move shows exactly the opposite. The Nato leadership has never been decided by a competitive election. ... There were always consultations and negotiations until a consensus was reached. And that is not just by chance. This alliance is based on solidarity and unity, whereas competition inevitably leads to conflict and division. Nato doesn't need that - especially not against the backdrop of a war. But what does it matter what Nato needs when Klaus Iohannis needs a new post?”

Contributors (RO) /

Good that the public also has a say

Contributors welcomes the debate sparked by Iohannis' candidature:

“One may argue that it is not public opinion that appoints Nato's Secretary General. But why not include the public in this equation instead of letting those in power decide everything on their own? Why the Netherlands for the fourth time, why Mark Rutte and not Romania and Iohannis? Why choose a country that does not meet Nato's criteria for defence funding and whose ports have reported numerous violations of sanctions against Russia, rather than someone from the eastern flank? The matter is now public and can no longer be evaded through discreet deals or the quick announcement of a consensus.”