November 28, 2019

Teperik on NATO70: We Need to Know Who and How Shapes Our Perceptions of the Alliance

ICDS Chief Executive Dmitri Teperik participated in expert discussion on NATO evolution during last 70 years.

“Strength of the Alliance can be looked at not just from military point of view, but also through the prism of public opinion of the NATO member states citizens. In some allied countries, awareness about NATO’s mission, its global importance and current activities is worryingly lower than in others”, noted Teperik. “Consequently, public approval of and support to membership in NATO differ dramatically from country to country. Just compare relevant indicators from Turkey, Greece, Spain and Italy with those of the Baltic states, Poland, Norway or the UK.”

“As public perception of NATO is at least equally (if not even more) important than general political (elite) support, we should better understand the complex mechanism of shaping citizens’ opinions and forming their attitudes regarding the present challenges to the Alliance. Normally, NATO actions should speak for themselves, but since the Alliance has become a target for massive foreign-led hostile disinformation campaigns, the general picture is profoundly distorted. Moreover, we are observing currently even more harmful attacks on NATO’s image – those are domestically oriented misleading statements made by irresponsible politicians or ideologically marginal actors in some allied countries”, concluded Teperik.

The public event was held in Podgorica, Montenegro on 28 November 2019. It was organised by the Atlantic Council of Montenegro, Polish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Institute of Eastern Studies (Warsaw).