The Shadow NATO Summit II

Original publication date

Civil Society Perspectives on the Lisbon Summit and NATO’s New Strategic Concept

A Two-Day Civil Society Shadow Conference to Coincide with NATO’s Lisbon Summit  

15 – 16 November 2010

The Centre for European Policy Studies
1 Place du Congres, 1000 Brussels 

This civil society-led Shadow NATO Summit examined present trends and the attitudes and assumptions underlying the conceptual, organizational and operational debates on the future of NATO. It explored ways in which civil society groups and parliamentarians can work together more effectively to advance the positive objectives within NATO’s new strategy and ensure that it is implemented in line with shared democratic and humanitarian values.

At the heart of the Shadow Summit was a discussion on how to promote a progressive reform agenda within the Alliance based on human security and the rule of law. It is our belief that NATO could be at the heart of a new “moral, muscular multilateralism”, a cooperative approach to world problems that uses international organizations and law to the full.

At the previous 60th Anniversary NATO Summit we developed a parallel process from a citizens’ perspective, which resulted in the launch of a Citizens Declaration of Alliance Security. This Declaration sought to undertake a more explicit questioning of the extent to which NATO is engaging with the fundamentals of its purpose in our present world and how it must fit into a wider (albeit struggling) security and conflict prevention architecture.   At this second Shadow Summit we decided to develop the Citizens Declaration and turn it into a Citizens Strategic Concept (CSC). A working draft of this is available below together with a selection of some of the presentations from the Shadow Summit – others will be posted as and when they are received from participants).

We make no extravagant claims as to the current status of the draft CSC – other than it reflects the views of a very small group of reasonably well-informed citizens. And not all of those have agreed with everything in it – as you might expect.

However, we see it as the beginning of an open process in which the Concept is used to kick-start a NATO-wide, civil society-led public dialogue on the future direction of NATO.  Our aim is to develop a ‘living document’, regularly updated based on citizens’ comments and reflecting changes in the international system.  Our future aims include:

1.     Further revision of the draft CSC based on feedback at the Shadow Summit and comments received during a ‘consultation phase’ that will run until 31 December 2010. We are also soliciting other proposals and suggestions on the ‘process’ of agreeing and disseminating the CSC. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Please send your ideas and comments to by 31 December 2010

2.     After a thorough review of the draft in the aftermath of the Shadow Summit and Lisbon Summit, we will post a first ‘agreed’ version of the CSC in January 2011.

3.     This ‘agreed’ version will be formally handed over to the Secretary General of NATO and to ambassadors at NATO of Allied and partner countries.

4.     (Subject to funding) we will seek to conduct an information campaign in Allied and as many as possible NATO partner countries aiming to publicize the draft and to collect further feedback from representatives of civil society/academics and independent experts and from interested parliamentarians and their staffs.  Further research and the commissioning of relevant policy papers will be undertaken to inform the document.

5.     In coordination with relevant members of the NATO International Staff, we will look for Allied and partner countries interested in championing/ supporting implementation of certain provisions of the CSC into NATO policy.

6.     We are prepared to provide expert advice throughout the process of debating the new policy into the relevant NATO committees. 

The programme, list of participants, selected presentations and the draft 'Citizens Strategic Concept' are available below