- NATO flag (Photo: NATO)
The North Atlantic Defence Alliance created in 1949 with 28 members in 2014: Albania, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Denmark, Estonia, France, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, United Kingdom, Czech Republic, Turkey, Germany, Hungary and the United States.
The Defence Organisation is known by its acronym that comes from the "North Atlantic Treaty Organization". Headquartered in Brussels between the airport and the EU institutions. NATO decides unanimously.
The NATO Treaty contains 14 articles, including Article 5 with a moral obligation to mutual defense in case of attack.
The Westeuropean Union WEU has an automatic defense commitment in Brussels Treaty corresponding Article 5.
The Lisbon Treaty has a mutual defense clause in Article 42.7 TEU, but also calls for NATO members to defend itself through NATO.
The former Danish prime minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen was appointed Secretary General of NATO in 2009. In 2014 he was succeeded by the former Norwegian prime minister Jens Stoltenberg.
Especially France is working for an independent European defense policy, which worries the United States.
Te Lisbon Treaty also calls for a particularly close defense cooperation, a so-called structured cooperation for some of the countries. In December 2013, the EU summit, an extension of the defense cooperation.
The European pillar of NATO.
NATO resources, particularly air resources needed to make the EU's Rapid Reaction Force efficient, but this requires cooperation with the United States, Canada, Turkey and other NATO members who are not also part of the EU.
See also Defence.
NATO website: http://www.nato.int/