Issues Navigator

Global Challenges

Strategic Regions

Domestic Debates

Tag cloud

See All Tags

February 27, 2012 |  Print  Your Opinion  

Editorial Team

Your Ideas, Your NATO: Values and Community

Editorial Team: In the first theme week from our current policy workshop, we focus on building the feeling of community among NATO members and increasing identification with this “unique community of values.” How does NATO need to change to better connect with its publics? Read the top ideas from our young writers!

Our mission here at is to end the exclusivity of foreign policy discourse and give a voice to a new generation of thinkers as well as to strengthen the transatlantic partnership. Therefore, we are proud to feature our top five articles from the first category of the "Your Ideas, Your NATO" policy workshop competition, with ideas for encouraging ownership and identification with NATO among its member nations and publics.

We encourage all of our members to give their feedback in the comments section and offer their own thoughts on the ideas presented, as well as adding their own policy recommendations. The Atlantic Memo will feature the best of all the proposed ideas, so while the shortlisted authors will write the memo, everyone's ideas could be included. Help us create a great memo and let NATO know what Atlantic Community thinks! UPDATE: The Atlantic Memo has been published and the winners announced!

Also, if you are a citizen of a NATO Member or Partner country 35 years old or younger, you can still participate in categories 2 and 3. Articles for "Partnerships after the Arab Spring" are due by March 15 and articles for "Smart Defense" are due by April 5. Both still offer the first place prize of 500 EUR and a trip to Berlin, with the runner-up receiving a 250 EUR prize.


Entrants in Category 1: Values and Community were asked the following question:

NATO's New Strategic Concept "reconfirms the bond between our nations," not only as a group of nations committed to collective security, but as "a unique community of values, committed to individual liberty, democracy, human rights, and the rule of law." Yet while the Alliance is functioning and the values which bind it are fundamental to each of its members, NATO is too often seen by the people of its member nations as "they" rather than "we." Many Americans tend to think of NATO as a primarily European organization, decreasingly relevant to American interests, while many Europeans view NATO as an embodiment of American presence in Europe, rather than a true alliance.

Question: How can NATO encourage ownership and identification among its member nations and their publics? How can it turn “they” into “we”?


The articles will be published in the following order:

Monday, February 27: By the Numbers: How Quantifying State Action Can Lead to a Better NATO | Andrew Barr

Tuesday, February 28: NATO's Public Diplomacy Overload | Daryl Morini

Wednesday, February 29: NATO Academies: Learning Together, Training Together, Feeling Together | Stephanie Baulig

Thursday, March 1: Sharing Values and Saving Money Through Citizen Ownership | Megan Ann Reiss

Friday, March 2: NATO and Corporate Social Responsibility | Costinel Anuta

We received an amazing 78 submissions for this category, so there were many outstanding articles that unfortunately did not make the cut. We have published a selection of the best remaining articles, with even more ideas and policy recommendations.


The competition has been made possible by generous contributions from the NATO Public Diplomacy Division, the US Mission to Germany, and the Heinrich Böll Foundation


Top image adapted from Coopération Inter-Européenne, a historic NATO poster campaign

  • 14
  • No rating possible
  • No rating possible
I like this Article! What's this?

Tags: | values | community | NATO | identification | ownership | democracy |

Commenting has been deactivated in the archive. We appreciate your comments on our more recent articles at


You are in the archive of all articles published on from 2007 to 2012. To read the latest articles from our open think tank and network with community members, please go to our new website