NATO - North Atlantic Treaty Organization

NATO Internship Programme

NATO International Military Staff

Cooperative Security Division (CS)

As integral part of NATO’s International Military Staff, the Cooperative Security Division leads NATO’s strategic level military dialogue and cooperation with partner and non-partner countries, International Organisations and Non-Governmental Organisations. Our current 41 partner countries are grouped in different frameworks, such as the Partnership for Peace (PfP), the Mediterranean Dialogue (MD), the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI), and Partners Across the Globe.  Regarding International Organisations, Cooperative Security Division has close contacts with the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union, the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe, and the Gulf Cooperation Council. The Cooperative Security Division supports the Military Committee in developing all NATO military policy and advice on Partnerships, Capacity Building and Projecting Stability.

The Division has two distinct sub-elements, the Cooperation Policy and Programmes Branch dealing with policy, programmes and International and Non-Governmental Organisations, and the Military Cooperation Branch dealing with a wide range of partner countries. Depending on the Intern’s ambition and background, he/she may be embedded in either of these Branches, working on aspects related to NATO’s cooperation with e.g. EU or UN, our strategic partnerships with Ukraine and Georgia, or NATO’s relations with Russia. 

The Division works closely together with the Political Affairs and Security Policy Division and the Defence Policy and Planning Division on the political side, as well as with partner Military Representatives, Defence Attachés in Brussels, and both Strategic Commands in Mons (Belgium) and Norfolk (USA).

What could an internship be like?

Within the context of recent Summits in Lisbon, Wales and Warsaw, the work on partnerships and cooperation has increased in scope, with additional emphasis on this pillar of NATO’s strategy. Our Interns are employed to work on relatively short-term and focused engagement (6 months).  Due to the diverse nature of the work, the broadest possible networking with political/civilian colleagues across NATO HQ, as well as with counterparts at the Strategic Commands is required.

This is a unique opportunity to contribute to and learn from working in a very active staff.  The political-military nature of our work demands intellectual application of the first order, on the back of a demanding but highly rewarding introduction to NATO HQ.  Prior experience of, and academic or other interest in International Relations/Cooperation/partnerships/Outreach and Regional Security areas would be highly beneficial, but is not an essential prerequisite.

The internship projects & tasks may include:

  1. Develop options and concepts to expand NATO’s military cooperation with International Organizations, such as the European Union, the United Nations, the African Union and the Gulf Cooperation Council. Support the practical implementation of NATO’s cooperation with these Organizations.
  2. Identify, develop and guide implementation of cooperative activities between NATO and selected partner countries to provide tailored support, enhance interoperability, build partners’ capacity, and project stability (with focus on partner countries on both NATO’s eastern and southern flanks).
  3. Participate in the review of NATO’s Cooperative Security strategy and concepts, aiming to simplify tools and mechanisms, enhance effectiveness and better meet the needs of partners in today’s changed security environment.