The ATA is composed of three main bodies: the Assembly, the Bureau and the Council, as well as the YATA and the Committee of Patrons.
The Assembly is the top decision-making body of the ATA. It is comprised of delegates from Member, Associate Member and Observer Member associations. With the exception of Observer Members, each delegate has one vote and resolutions are passed by a simple majority. In addition to the delegates, members of the press and academic community, government and military officials, and international observers may attend the General Assembly meetings, which are held once a year.
The Bureau includes the President, Vice Presidents, Secretary General, Treasurer, YATA President and the Legal Adviser. Members of the Bureau assist in carrying out the decisions of the Council and the Assembly and aid in policy matters, in addition to developing relationships with other groups such as the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.
Bureau members plus up to three delegates from each ATA Member, Associate Member and Observer Member associations make up the Council. ATA allows the Council to take action on its behalf, with the recommendation of the Bureau and the approval of the Assembly. The Council holds two meetings a year: once at NATO Headquarters and once at the General Assembly.
The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association is officially part of the ATA. It serves as the youth division of the ATA and has its own structure, activities and programmes. Similarly to the ATA, it has Members and Associate Members.
The Committee of Patrons
The Committee of Patrons is comprised of previous ATA Presidents and other people who have served ATA with merit.
The President of the ATA is in charge of the general policy of the Association, in addition to acting as its spokesperson. The Assembly, with input from the Council, elects the President for a three-year period.
The Secretary General is in charge of day-to-day operations for the ATA, furthering its goals and aims, implementing the decisions of the Assembly, Council and the Bureau, and maintaining relationships with various other institutions. The Assembly, with input from the Council and the Bureau, elects the Secretary General for a three-year renewable period.
The Assembly also elects the Treasurer, who is in charge of financial matters, for a renewable three-year period.
There are three different types of membership in ATA: Members, Associate Members and Observers.
The national associations which come from NATO member countries may join the ATA as Members. As Members, they may attend and participate in Bureau, Council and Assembly meetings. They also have full voting rights.
Currently Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Moldova, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Turkey, the United Kingdom and the United States are ATA Members.
The national associations that make up the Associate Members of ATA come from non-NATO countries that have signed up to PfP. Associate Members may attend and participate in Bureau, Council and Assembly meetings. Once an association’s respective country joins NATO, the association automatically becomes a Member. Much like Members, Associate Members also have full voting rights.
Current Associate Members include Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Finland, Georgia, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ¹, Russia, Serbia, Sweden and Ukraine.
Associations from non-NATO countries who have not signed up to PfP, but whose countries either participate in the Mediterranean Dialogue or have a direct interest in Euro-Atlantic security issues can still participate in the ATA under the status of Observer Members. As Observer Members, the national associations may attend and participate in Council and Assembly meetings, but not Bureau meetings. Also, unlike Members and Associate Members, Observer Members have no voting rights. Currently, only Israel is an Observer Member.