The Italian Atlantic Committee’s contribution to the new NATO Strategic Concept, and the future of transatlantic relations, will be the central focus of the forum to be held today at the foreign ministry in Rome. Presented during the forum will be a publication drafted by the Strategic Concept work group chaired by Senator Enrico La Loggia.
The NATO Strategic Concept, which will be the Alliance’s seventh policy document since 1949, will replace the one approved at the Washington summit in 1999. Previous documents were also negotiated and approved by the Atlantic Council (NAC). For this first time ever, according to a decision taken at the NATO heads of state and government summit held in Strasbourg in April of this year, the drafting of the Strategic Concept will be divided into two phases. The first of these, launched by the Secretary General with the appointment of a group of 12 experts chaired by Madeleine Albright (and in which Italian Ambassador Giancarlo Aragona takes part), envisaged those experts’ participation in NATO Member and Partner Country workshops and events. After that phase, Rasmussen is to submit a draft document for negotiation by the Atlantic Council, with approval scheduled for the 19-21 November 2010 summit in Portugal.
The Italian Atlantic Committee, which has drafted its own contribution to the new NATO Strategic Concept, has been active for 50 years in the study, training and dissemination of information on themes of foreign policy, security and international economics as regards the Atlantic Alliance. The Committee ensures Italy’s presence within the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA), a body founded in 1954 with the task of promoting the establishment and coordinating the activities of the various national Atlantic Committees whose function is to link NATO with the public opinion of Member Countries. This body has grown in importance and taken on increasing responsibilities, with its association of Atlantic Committee signatories to the Partnership for Peace.
Within the purview of the ATA, the Italian Atlantic Committee acts as promoter of the establishment of various central and southeastern European Atlantic Committees and has implemented international cooperation programmes in countries such as Albania, Bulgaria, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia and Hungary.