NATO Secretary General announces public consultation on transatlantic bond
NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen on Wednesday (19 March 2014) announced the launch of an Alliance-wide public debate involving young leaders, lawmakers and policy experts to come up with ideas to strengthen the Alliance’s transatlantic bond. “With a view to our NATO Summit in Wales, and considering the link across the Atlantic that NATO embodies, I have asked three groups - the NATO Parliamentary Assembly, a group of experts, and a group of young leaders - to consider how we can strengthen our transatlantic bond and strengthen our security today and tomorrow,” he said.
The aim of the project is to draw on the perspectives and experiences of the three groups to provide the Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council with creative input. Mr. Fogh Rasmussen said the Alliance is also interested in hearing from the general public “about what the transatlantic relationship has meant to you and how we can preserve it and make it even stronger for future generations.” More information on how the public can take part in these consultations will be available on the NATO website soon. Each of the groups are expected to submit their findings in early June to a conference in Brussels which will discuss their recommendations. Their work will feed into the September NATO Summit which will address ‘Future NATO’ - making sure the Alliance has the equipment and skills it needs to deal with challenges like terrorism, unstable states, piracy, missile and cyber attacks. It will also reaffirm the importance of the transatlantic bond.
While in Washington, the Secretary General also attended a breakfast meeting with policy experts hosted by the Atlantic Council of the United States which focused on maintaining the strength of the transatlantic bond. He also received the Hillary Clinton Award for Advancing Women in Peace and Security at Georgetown University and has held a speech at the Brookings Institution on why NATO matters for North America, at a time when the Ukraine crisis demonstrates our security cannot be taken for granted.
The Atlantic Council of the United States is currently recruiting representatives for the group of young leaders to participate in the consultation. For more information please see: http://www.atlanticcouncil.org/programs/young-atlanticist-program/nato-emerging-leaders-working-group