ATA TALKS – NATO 2030” What the Next Generation has to say about NATO’s Future

Youth wing of the Atlantic Treaty Association–YATA, to mark NATO’s 72nd anniversary, organized a project – online conference sponsored by NATO PDD with the main topic: “NATO 2030 – ATA TALKS”, held on 6 April 2021. The event focused on NATO’s “next generation” – the rising generation of NATO citizens and what their vision is for a future NATO. The vision for the future by the “NextGen” was presented by members of the YATA associations from 25 member countries. Within the topic of the conference: “NATO 2030 – What the Next Generation has to say about NATO’s Future”, discussion was mostly about understanding NATO values and core principles. Main speaker at this online conference was Nicola de Santis, Head of engagement section of Public Diplomacy Division. The discussion was moderated by Juxhina Gjoni, YATA President, hosted by Krista Mulenok, Vice President of ATA. It was interesting to see in videos made by young people from many countries how they see NATO in the future. Participants were given the possibility to contribute and exchange ideas, knowledge and opinions, while giving new perspectives of security challenges and threats.

By organizing this online conference, ATA gave the opportunity to young members, to discuss and understand NATO values and core principles. Since NATO, as an Alliance and a military-political organization, will continue to play a key role as an effective crisis manager and as a framework for security cooperation across the Euro-Atlantic area, the opinion of the people and especially the opinion of the young people should help to form the alliance to meet the future challenges.

According to Mr. de Santis renovation and renewal in order to preserve the values ​​that characterize the alliance is important, therefore the engagement of the next generation will provide new ideas and fresh thinking on how-to strengthen the alliance to meet the challenges of the next decade. As he mentioned, because in our history, in our common heritage and civilization of our people we find the roots of our future and also, we found answers….. Institutional memory is very important to guide our future.

In this webinar, the youth of the ATA had the opportunity to present their vision of NATO in the years ahead – the challenges to come and how NATO should adapt to meet those challenges. Since, NATO’s core values and beliefs, such as liberty, democracy, human rights, and rule of law, are important for making a string among the Allies, they show NATO’s commitment to make the Alliance even more strengthened in the future. At the end of the event, all YATA chapters participated in a quick round of final words congratulating the 72nd anniversary of NATO, providing their vision of its future and what it means for them the NATO 2030.

According to the chapters, the most important aspects for the future of NATO are:

For Estonia, education, online schooling and working with teachers is key. Media collaborating is also important, in order to communicate with other chapters and allies.

For Canada, security, financial digital and sociocultural are important aspects. One of their projects is to let more people learn the importance of NATO. Santis proposed a tailored campaign because each country is different. Objectives should be communicated through the involvement of younger organizations.

For Turkey peace and security is important… what happens affects all of us… planning also to fight cyber security with Israel.

For Israel, it is crucial to develop military and also cyber capacity to front the threats of terrorism. ……. We are stronger together. ……. Network commitment, more communication and sharing ideas are also proposed,…. criminal laws are not enough…., International regulations against terrorism are needed….

The answer of Santis to this important partner was to point the two main pillars, the political dialog, and the practical cooperation.

For Greece, it is important…..the expand of the horizons, strengthen geopolitical cooperation, and also work together accordance with the international series based on rules. Cohesion must go hand in hand with the commitment of the democratic values that the Alliance was established…. Thus, it becomes attractive to many people.

For Portugal, the economic relation of China with Germany, also the fast development economically, commercially, socially and geographically through the increasing control of AI industry 5G network could have consequences on the balance of the world order.

For Austria, dependency on technology has increased the last years, and is the backbone of the economy, communication, and work….however, there are also threats…., NATO and governments need to understand and be aware of cyber threats.

Recent events have shown that Europe does not have a mechanism to respond…. and finds it difficult to present solutions. Europe was not capable to deal with virus and cyber-attacks need high expertise. As Mr. de Santis stated, the unpredictability of the current security environment is a major source of concern (none could predict the pandemic).

NATO pools resources of North America and Europe to support our common values and strategic interests to secure the future of the next generation (Nicola de Santis). These values ​​based on freedom, democracy, the rule of law and fundamental human rights are not an abstract concept, but they allow us to overcome many crises (Nicola de Santis).

According to Mr. de Santis, the NATO mechanism is a regional pillar of peace and security that promotes cooperation, harmonize national positions, take decisions together, preserves freedom…..enhance international security peace stability and wellbeing….common will is to analyse discuss find agreement and take actions. The political dimension of NATO allows for political consultations…..NATO is a partnership among equal (Nicola de Santis).


Mr. Hobbs from the ATA UK said that set up ATA and YATA UK is one of their goals, which they are trying to achieve by making collaboration with universities and colleges to establish a proper chapter.

Mrs. Krista the Vice President of ATA mentioned that ATA, YATA, and NATO have a huge potential for cooperation and a bright future through cooperation.

NATO must continue to purposefully upgrade the political ways, means, and ends of its work.

Atlantic Treaty Association, as an expert and a fast observer of developments and problems solver, will continue with activities in promoting transatlantic values and importance of NATO. ATA in order to further strengthening transatlantic bond, planning to organize and prepare more similar integrated projects in the future on current issues, since there is always much more to be done. As Mr. Jim Townsend, ATA President said, as ATA we are looking forward to such ATA TALKS in the future.