The NATO Parliamentary Assembly (NATO PA) is an inter-parliamentary organisation. It has served as a forum for members of parliaments from across the Alliance to discuss security issues of common interest since 1955.
HOW THE NATO PA IS ORGANISED
Today, the NATO PA represents the legislative bodies of NATO’s 30 member countries, as well as those of 11 associate countries, 4 Mediterranean associate countries and observers from 8 further countries. The European Parliament, the Parliamentary Assembly of the OSCE and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe also send delegations. The NATO PA has 269 delegates from the member countries although the total number is around 360. Most of these legislators are members of defence committees in their respective countries. The Assembly provides an ideal setting for an exchange of views and ideas on security policy issues and allows the members of the Swiss delegation to come into contact with their counterparts in each of their activities in the NATO PA.
ROLE AND MANDATE OF THE SWISS NATO PA DELEGATION
The Swiss delegation uses these contacts to obtain a picture of the positions of the various delegations. Priorities for future security policy discussions can thus be identified. The delegation ensures that the findings and contacts from its travel activities are included in debates within Switzerland by providing written and oral reports to the Security Policy Committee.
The most important events of the NATO PA for the Swiss delegation are the spring and annual sessions. At these two plenary sessions, the five committees present their work and the NATO PA adopts strategic recommendations (or resolutions), which are submitted to the North Atlantic Council and/or the governments of the member states.
Also of particular interest to Switzerland are the Rose-Roth seminars. At these meetings, which take place two to three times a year, members of parliaments from neutral countries and non-NATO member states in particular should be able to participate in the work of the Parliamentary Assembly.
As an associate member, Switzerland has five seats. The delegation comprises the presidents of the security policy committees of both chambers. The former chairs of these committees are usually appointed as substitutes.
The delegation is currently presided by National Council member Ida Glanzmann (LU); Council of States member Werner Salzmann (BE) is vice president of the delegation.
The legal basis for the delegation is to be found in the Federal Assembly Ordinance on international relations of the Parliament (ORInt) of 28 September 2012 (SR 171.117).