This document is an excerpt from the EUR-Lex website
The North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO, or the Atlantic Alliance) is an intergovernmental military alliance founded by the North Atlantic Treaty, also known as the Treaty of Washington, signed on 4 April 1949. NATO’s stated purpose is to guarantee the freedom and security of its members through political and military means.
NATO’s structure broadly comprises two arms:
Headquartered in Brussels, following successive enlargements NATO has 30 members:
With 21 member countries in common, the EU and NATO have worked particularly closely together since 2003 (with the conclusion of the Berlin Plus Agreement giving the EU, under certain conditions, access to NATO assets and capabilities), building on the cooperation on defence previously developed between NATO and the now-defunct Western European Union.
Recent examples of NATO and the EU working closely together include:
EU Member States’ commitments and cooperation under the common security and defence policy are consistent with their commitments under NATO.