About Us


The Youth Atlantic Treaty Association (YATA) is a network of young professionals and academics who are interested in international security policies. YATA consists of 36 member organizations or so-called national chapters, all of which are the youth wings of established NGO’s in their respective countries. These NGO’s act as the national chapters of YATA’s parent organization, the Atlantic Treaty Association (ATA). YATA’s vision is to be the leading youth network to foster the values of democracy, rule of law, liberty, peace and security, and reinforce the transatlantic link.

We strive to draw together the young leaders of today and tomorrow and we see it as our mission to bridge the gap between the policy level and civil society. We focus on dynamic youth engagement and transatlantic cooperation in areas of international security and defense through:

  • the enhancement of debate and education within the general population;
  • the engagement and development of youth to be active participants as well as responsible decision and opinion makers in the constantly changing security environment;
  • and the strengthening of youth visibility and influence through the facilitation of network building between policy makers and civil society.

YATA remains instrumental in aligning values from both sides of the Atlantic and generally promote international cooperation and dialog. We act as a forum for debate in which member associations can realize common interests and democratic goals in the security environment of the 21st century.

YATA seeks to educate and promote cooperation among youth in NATO Allied and Partner countries, in an effort to create responsible future leaders who have an understanding of and are committed to the values in the North Atlantic Treaty.

Guiding Principles:

  • Volunteerism provides the foundation for YATA and is therefore a precondition for the success of the organization. Our national chapters consist of students, young researchers and professionals who all contribute their free time to improving our global community by drawing attentions to important issues, being constructively critical of decision-makers, promoting dialog and thereby impacting agendas. Strong academic and social networks made up of dedicated individuals are created on all levels while working toward a common cause.
  • Open dialog is an important part of how and why we involve young people, namely in the belief that if two individuals have engaged in civil dialog, hostility between them is less likely. We make questions of global security more relevant to younger generations. We provide a forum for factual well-informed discussion by educating and facilitating debates that develop ideas which we can help to communicate through various channels.
  • Development and leadership are central to ensuring that our volunteers are constantly developing skills and being challenged. With the help of good leadership and personal development structures we work to recognize and motivate our volunteers. The organizational skills and political knowledge developed in YATA, as well as the ability to communicate with, manage, and motivate individuals from a wide array of countries and cultures, are competencies that prepare our volunteers for the future as leaders and catalysts of change.


There are several ways to join the movement, whether on a national or international level. The possibilities are endless as a YATA volunteer: you can write articles, organize events, help with communicating our initiatives or join one of our policy-oriented international working groups. By navigating through the “About YATA” and “National Chapters” sections in the toolbar above, you can find more information about chapters near you, as well as their activities and contact information. If you would like to hear more about our projects and ways of volunteering at the international level, please contact us at international.yata@gmail.com.


We are always interested in hearing your perspectives on how to do things differently, start a new initiative – or whatever! To share your idea, write to your national chapter or to international.yata@gmail.com 


YATA was formed in 1996 during the Atlantic Treaty Association’s General Assembly held in Rome. Its formation was the natural progression of meetings, conferences and seminars organized by youth groups that exist in nearly all ATA member organizations. The Danish Atlantic Treaty Association was one of the pioneers in this respect, organizing since 1985 an annual conference by the name of Danish Atlantic Youth Seminar (DAYS), that has attracted many young people interested in Atlantic security and international relations.

In order to reunite youth from the transatlantic community who were interested in major international issues, the Youth Atlantic Treaty Association organized its first seminar, entitled “The Future of NATO” on September 15th 2003, in Brussels. This significant event dealt with NATO and the role of youth, transatlantic relations in the post 9/11 world, the NATO-EU relationship, NATO’s new capabilities after Prague, and the evolving role of PfP and the Mediterranean Dialogue.  One of the most important moments of the seminar involved discussing the Memorandum on the Future of NATO, which was then presented to NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson. Other speakers in the event included Dr. Jamie Shea, Deputy Assistant Secretary General for External Relations, Public Diplomacy Division (PDD); Dr. Stefanie Babst, Head, NATO Countries Section (PDD); and Mr. Mark Laity, Deputy NATO Spokesman (PDD).

On November 4-5, 2003, the General Assembly of the YATA was held simultaneously with the 49th ATA General Assembly in Edinburgh. Throughout the YATA sessions, the members of the Executive Board and the participating delegations presented and discussed the year’s activities, and a new YATA Executive Board was elected. The YATA Executive Board  and national YATA delegates now meet each year at the ATA General Assembly to elect a new Executive Board and develop ideas as well as education and communication strategies for the following year. The last simultaneous General Assembly (ATA and YATA) took place in Brussels, Belgium, November 2015.