The Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA) is an umbrella organization which acts as a network facilitator in the Euro-Atlantic and beyond. ATA draws together political leaders, academics, military officials, journalists and diplomats in an effort to further the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty, namely: democracy, freedom, liberty, peace, security, and the rule of law. ATA is, however, an independent organization separate from NATO.
ATA was created on 18 June 1954. Since the end of the Cold War and the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact, the role of the Atlantic Treaty Association has changed considerably. In 1992 the ATA Constitution was amended to accommodate associate members and observers from non-NATO countries. Given the shifting nature of security politics, and NATO’s continued transformation, ATA now works beyond the borders of the Euro-Atlantic – promoting new initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe, the Mediterranean, and the South Caucasus. Following the ascension of the new NATO countries in 1999 and 2004, ATA membership expanded considerably, and naturally its security focus has shifted south and eastward.
ATA is active in NATO’s Partnership for Peace (PfP) and Mediterranean Dialogue programs, and is increasingly engaged with officials and institutions based in members of the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative (ICI) and Partners Across the Globe.
The Atlantic Treaty Association seeks, through discussion and political channels, to support the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty: Freedom, Liberty, Peace, Security, and the Rule of law. As such, ATA acts as a forum for debate in which member associations can realize common interests and democratic goals in the ever-changing security environment of the 21st century. The youth branch of the ATA, the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) was created in 1996. ATA is fully dedicated to engaging the youth of the Euro-Atlantic through close cooperation with its youth division. YATA seeks to educate and promote debate among the successor generations in an effort to create responsible future political leaders who have an understanding of the values set forth in the North Atlantic Treaty.
The Atlantic Treaty Association firmly believes in the strength of the transatlantic relationship – one which is fundamental to the stability of the international system in the 21st century. As such, ATA remains instrumental in bridging values from both sides of the Atlantic in its effort to underpin the broader goals of the NATO Alliance.
The Assembly is the top decision-making body of the ATA and is composed 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.
The Council comprises Bureau members plus up to three delegates from each of the ATA Member, Associate Member and Observer Member associations. 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 in a host country.
2003–2008: Ambassador Bob Hunter, former US Ambassador to NATO
2008–2015: Dr. Karl A. Lamers MdB
2015–present: Fabrizio Luciolli