Angel TILVAR (Romania)
20 November 2020
Informing and educating the public about NATO, its structures, operations, objectives and the threats it protects the Euro-Atlantic populations from are essential to ensure understanding of and support for the organisation. Given the Alliance’s democratic nature and the central role played by citizens in the formulation of their government’s foreign policy, lack of information and education about NATO could otherwise translate into faltering support for the Alliance and therefore weaken our collective security.
In light of these considerations, this report offers a snapshot of NATO’s efforts to inform and educate the public about the organisation and an overview of the NATO Parliamentary Assembly’s contribution to this aim. It then discusses the indispensable role played by individual member states and partner countries in this field, focusing particularly on four national case studies. Finally, the Covid-19 crisis constitutes a new test for NATO’s ability to inform and educate the public about its role. The report examines the Alliance’s efforts to communicate on its response to the crisis and tackle disinformation and propaganda in this challenging context.
The report sheds light on the significant progress achieved by the Alliance over the past years in better informing and educating the public about NATO’s crucial role in ensuring the security of the Euro-Atlantic area. However, it notes that more could be done and offers recommendations to better reach out to citizens and ensure their support, as well as respond to the growing threat posed by disinformation.