NATO: North Atlantic Council
The North Atlantic Council is the most important decision-making body within NATO. It brings together high-level representatives of each member country to discuss policy or operational questions requiring collective decisions. In sum, it provides a forum for wide-ranging consultation between members on all issues affecting their security.
All members have an equal right to express their views and share in the consensus on which decisions are based. Decisions are agreed upon on the basis of unanimity and common accord. There is no voting or decision by majority. This means that policies decided upon by the North Atlantic Council (NAC) are supported by and are the expression of the collective will of all the sovereign states that are members of the Alliance and are accepted by all of them.
The NAC has effective political authority and powers of decision. It is the only body that was established by the North Atlantic Treaty, under Article 9, invested with the authority to set up "such subsidiary bodies as may be necessary" for the purposes of implementing the Treaty. It is the principal decision-making body and oversees the political and military process relating to security issues affecting the whole Alliance. The Defence Planning Committee and the Nuclear Planning Group have comparable authority for matters within their specific areas of competence.