The highest advisory, coordination and decision-making body of the alliance is the North Atlantic Council, which consists of representatives of the member states(North Atlantic Council, abbreviation NAC), NATO Council for short. This can meet in two forms: At the ministerial meetings that take place twice a year (spring and autumn), each country is represented by its foreign minister, and occasionally the heads of state and government meet (so-called “NATO summits”). Between the ministerial meetings, the functioning of the NATO Council is maintained through the meetings of the ambassadorial permanent representatives of the allies at least once a week. Regardless of the level at which it meets, the NATO Council has equal authority and decision-making power. Since the decision-making and resolution is based on the principle of unanimity, Unrestricted participation and co-determination is also guaranteed for the smaller NATO countries. Issues directly related to military defense are established by the 1963 Defense Planning Committee (Defense Planning Committee, abbreviation DPC) discussed. This body – endowed with practically the same powers as the NATO Council – meets twice a year at the level of defense ministers (from 1966 to 1996 without that of France) and at least once a week at the level of the “permanent representatives”. The Nuclear Planning Group (Nuclear Planning Group, abbreviation NPG), which was founded in 1967, provides advice on nuclear strategies in particular; since 1993 the DPC and NPG have met together. The Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council established in 1997(Euro-Atlantic Partnership Council, abbreviation EAPC) deepens the cooperation between NATO and the countries, which from 1991 onwards in the North Atlantic Cooperation Council (North Atlantic Cooperation Council, abbreviation NACC), a consultative body of NATO and former Warsaw Pact states as well as non-aligned countries Countries, and the “Partnership for Peace” initiated in 1994. The EAPC meets once a month at ambassador level and twice a year at the level of foreign and defense ministers and serves for political consultation, coordination in peace missions, arms control and confidence building. It is also intended to prepare states applying for membership in NATO for future membership. A forum for regular consultations between NATO and Russia was created in May 1997 with the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (NRPJC). The NRPJC was founded in 2002 by the NATO-Russia Council (NATO-Russia Council, abbreviation NRC), which meets once a month and reorganized the cooperation between the NATO member states and Russia and since then has enabled joint deliberations and decisions on numerous issues (military cooperation was made possible because of the crisis suspended in Ukraine and the annexation of Crimea on April 1, 2014, on April 20, 2016 the council met again for the first time at ambassadorial level). At the same time, a NATO-Ukraine Commission (NATO-Ukraine Commission, abbreviation NUC) was created in July 1997, which usually meets twice a year to review the implementation of the NATO-Ukraine Charter, which was adopted at the same time.
The central function within NATO is assumed by the NATO Secretary General, who is also chairman of the NATO Council, the DPC, the NPG, the EAPC and the NRC and thus also the most important representative of the Alliance’s policy towards the public. Traditionally, the secretary general is always a European, while the military commander in chief is always an American.
The Secretary General is supported in his work by the International Staff (IS).
For processing various military, political, etc. The NATO Council has set up a number of specialist committees for special areas. The General Secretariat has around 1,400 employees.
The Alliance’s highest military body is the Military Committee, which is subordinate to the NATO Council(Military Committee, abbreviation MC). It consists of the Chiefs of Staff of the member countries (for Germany the Inspector General of the Bundeswehr); Iceland can send a civilian officer. The chairman of the MC with the rank of four-star general is usually elected by the chiefs of staff for three years. The chiefs of staff meet at least twice a year; In the time between the meetings, the interests of the member countries are represented by the “permanent military representatives” in the MC (usually with the rank of lieutenant general). In peacetime the MC has the mandate to recommend the measures necessary for the common defense of the NATO area. He coordinates the requests of the top NATO military commanders and submits them to the NATO Council, on the other hand he issues those instructions,
The MC is supported by the International Military Staff (IMS) as the executive body. The operational command area of Allied Command Operations (ACO) is headed by the commander SACEUR (with headquarters SHAPE in Casteau / Belgium), the command area Allied Command Transformation (ACT) is under the leadership of SACT (headquarters in Norfolk, Virginia); there is also the Canada-USA regional planning group (CUSRPG, Arlington / Texas).
The assignment of national armed forces (“assignment”) does not establish any authority of the Allied command authorities over these armed forces in peacetime. The troops of the individual member states are in principle subject to national command. Only in times of tension or at the latest when fighting begins, the Allied command authorities take over operational management. This point in time results from a multi-stage alarm system, the triggering of which is subject to the decision-making power of the member states. Exceptions are the integrated staffs of the NATO headquarters, the units of the integrated air defense, the fleet of the early warning and operational management systems AWACS and the three naval fleets (Atlantic, Mediterranean and anti-mine), which are subordinate to NATO commanders even in times of peace.
Completely independent of NATO which stands for North Atlantic Treaty Organization according to ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG, however, a link between NATO and the states is the 1955 founded the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO Parliamentary Assembly, acronym NATO PA; formerly North Atlantic Assembly), which meets twice a year and preparing acts of national decisions. Its members are parliamentarians from the member states. In order to provide social support for the security policy oriented towards NATO, there are private law associations in all member countries, which are called Atlantic Societies and are grouped together in an “Atlantic Treaty Association” (ATA).