Atlantic Policy Advisory Group

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Atlantic Policy Advisory Group

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The APAG chronological series contains the records of the Atlantic Policy Advisory Group.Established in 1961 by the Council, the purpose of the Group was to "provide the North Atlantic Council with studies on long-term policy problems" (C-M(61)101). It was believed that these informal meetings of high ranking officials of the Foreign Affairs Ministries would provide for wide ranging discussions on the international situation. The free, off-the-record discussions on long-range policy questions were summarized in a report presented to the Council by the Assistant Secretary General for Political Affairs under his own responsibility.The meetings were usually held twice a year, in spring and in the autumn, over several days, in an isolated location of a member country conducive to fruitful exchanges. The topics discussed were first approved by the Council following suggestions by the Group. Attendants started with a "tour d'horizon" on political developments which had taken place since the last meeting, usually followed by one main theme.In June 1969 the US authorities suggested changes to the operation of the Atlantic Policy Advisory Group; in PO(69)329 (dated 2nd July 1969), the Secretary General proposed a new system to be tested over the next two years. The first meeting of the year would continue in its traditional format and the report would be circulated by the Chairman for discussion by the Council. The Council's discussions on the report would then form the agenda for the second meeting of APAG which would address medium-term policy questions of more practical concern to the Alliance. In 1974 it was proposed to discontinue the second type of yearly meetings based on the experience of the previous three years.


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