This (NAC) is the cardinal decision-making body in NATO. It provides a forum for consultation among NATO members on all issues (policy, operational questions requiring collective decisions) that affect their security. This body puts together high-level representatives of each member country.
All NATO members have an equal right to express their own views there. There is no voting or deciding by majority, decisions are agreed upon on the basis of unanimity and common accord. The NAC policies thus express the collective will of all NATO member countries.
This body was set up on the North Atlantic Treaty (Article 9). It has effective political authority and powers of decision. NAC oversees the political and military process relating to security issues affecting the whole Alliance. Items discussed and decisions taken at meetings of the Council cover all aspects of the organization's activities and are frequently based on reports and recommendations prepared by subordinate committees at the Council's request. Equally, any one of the national representatives or the Secretary General may raise subjects to deal with.
The representatives of all member countries of NATO have a seat at the NAC. It can meet at the level of Permanent Representatives (or Ambassadors), at the level of Foreign and Defence Ministers, and at the level of Heads of State and Government. The Secretary General presides the meetings as a rule. In his absence, the Deputy Secretary General chairs the meetings. The longest serving Ambassador on the Council takes over the title of Dean of the Council. Primarily it is just a ceremonial function, but the Dean may also play a more specific presiding role, for example during meetings and discussions at the time of the selection of a new Secretary General. At ministerial meetings of Foreign Ministers, one country's Foreign Minister takes the role of Honorary President. The position rotates annually among members in the order of the English alphabet. The Ambassadors sit round the table in order of nationality, following the English alphabetical order. The same procedure is followed throughout the NATO committee structure.
The NAC meets at least every week and often more frequently, at the level of Permanent Representatives; it meets twice a year at the level of Ministers of Foreign Affairs, as well as at the level of Ministers of Defence, and occasionally at the Summit level with the participation of Prime Ministers and Heads of State and Government. Its decisions have the same status and validity at whatever level it meets.
Permanent Representatives act on instruction from their capitals, informing and explaining the views and the policy decisions of their governments to their colleagues around the table. Vice versa they report back to their national authorities on the views expressed and positions taken by other governments. They inform them of new developments and keep them abreast of movement toward consensus on important issues or areas where national positions diverge. Each country represented at the Council table or on any of its subordinate committees keeps their complete sovereignty and is responsible for its own decisions. Subordinate committees prepare the work of NAC. Each of them has responsibility for specific areas of policy. The Council has an important public profile and issues declarations and communiqués explaining the Alliance's policies and decisions. These documents are normally published after ministerial or Summit meetings.
Posledná zmena: Friday, 4 February 2011, 13:32