The Academic Affairs Unit (AAU) seeked out new, and
enhances traditional contacts, in the allied and partner academic
at large. An "interdisciplinary" instrument in the Public Diplomacy Division,
the Unit principally administered NATO's Fellowships Programme and organised
and visits aiming at universities
and think tank experts.
To honour the memory of Manfred Wörner, the late NATO Secretary General, and in particular the role he played in transforming the Alliance at the end of the Cold War, the NATO Allies agreed to create an annual essay-writing competition : The Junior NATO Manfred Wörner Essay Award was open to academics, researchers and writers from both NATO and Partner countries, aged between 20 and 35. A prize of € 5000 was awarded to the individual who submitted the best essay on a topic of relevance to the Alliance.
This Award has been discontinued
Another element in AAU's work consisted in coordinating
and conducting multinational programmes that animated the debate on NATO
issues, project the Alliance's point of view and strengthened information
on its goals and objectives. Topics for these events (conferences, seminars
and visits) were carefully selected on a highly competitive basis and aimed
at highlighting NATO's political agenda.