On the 19 March, NATO Secretary General Rasmussen announced an Alliance-wide public debate on the Transatlantic Bond, adding that he had 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”.
Each group is expected to submit their findings to Mr Rasmussen in early June at a conference in Brussels. Findings will then be carried forward to the NATO Summit in Wales in September.
Mr. 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”.
While this latest public consultation exercise is to be welcomed, a core priority is to reassess the internal functioning of the alliance. In short, NATO needs to become more transparent and accountable without compromising the security of its activities. In the attached media briefing paper (pdf) we set out six measures to improve transparency and accountability within NATO:
- Establish permanent standing parliamentary committees dedicated to NATO
- Strengthen the democratic mandate of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly
- Adopt an information openness policy within NATO consistent with the access to information laws already in place in the alliance’s 28 member countries
- Publish annual financial reports showing figures on NATO revenue and expenditure
- Establish a No-Spying Zone in NATO
- Establish a TV channel to stream policy dialogues to the public