From its inception in 1955, the NATO Parliamentary Assembly stressed Article 2 of the North Atlantic Treaty which explicitly encouraged the elimination of conflict in international economic relations and encouraged economic collaboration among the Allies. Thus, the Assembly has always devoted one of its Committees to the coverage of economic issues which while perhaps not featuring centrally on NATO’s agenda, have nevertheless been judged by parliamentarians to be of critical importance to the Atlantic community of nations.
The areas covered by the Economics and Security Committee include:
- Transatlantic economic relations, including trade, commerce, and investment matters;
- International macro-economics, monetary and exchange rate issues, regulatory and competitive issues of importance to the trans-Atlantic relationship;
- Economic transition in the Central and Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, Central Asia, and the Middle East - including issues such as defence conversion, privatisation, corruption, monetary and financial reform, the environmental consequences of economic transition and the rule of law and inclusive growth;
- Energy security, including the economic vulnerabilities of allied and partner countries to potential disruptions or shortages in supply, the economic implications of energy prices, and the policies and strategies to prevent or deal with disruptions in supplies;
- Economic development and security, including post-conflict reconstruction, the role of women in post-conflict stabilisation and development, the link between trade, development, and security;
- Defence economic matters, including defence expenditures, defence industries, burden-sharing and defence trade;
- The economic consequences of terrorism, economic and financial means for combating terrorism and organised crime;
- The consequences for the Alliance nations of international trade and financial agreements and policies, including those of the World Trade Organization, the G-8, the International Monetary Fund, the World Bank, the European Union, and the North American Free Trade Agreement;
- Trade sanctions as a tool of foreign and security policy;
- Practical cooperation with institutions such as the OECD, the NATO Economics Division, and the World Bank;
- Particular countries where economic and trade policies are deemed to be of particular interest with recent examples being China, Russia, and Ukraine.