1. Decisions and consultations
Every day, member countries consult and take decisions on security issues at all levels and in a variety of fields.
A “NATO decision” is the expression of the collective will of all 29 member countries since all decisions are taken by consensus.
Hundreds of officials, as well as civilian and military experts, come to NATO Headquarters each day to exchange information, share ideas and help prepare decisions when needed, in cooperation with national delegations and the staff at NATO Headquarters.
2. Operations and missions
NATO takes an active role in a broad range of crisis-management operations and missions, including civil emergency operations.
NATO’s crisis-management operations are carried out under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty or under a United Nations mandate.
Arround 40 non-member countries work with NATO on a wide range of political and security-related issues. These countries pursue dialogue and practical cooperation with the Alliance and many contribute to NATO-led operations and missions. NATO is also cooperating with a wide network of international organisations.
Partner countries do not have the same decision-making authority as member countries.
4. Developing the means to respond to threats
NATO has always innovated and adapted itself to ensure its policies, capabilities and structures meet current and future threats, including the collective defence of its members.