The NATO Partnerships 360 Symposium, a new and innovative venture held for the first time at the Federal Academy for Security Policy in Germany, concluded in early February. This was the first time that NATO's Allied Command Transformation and NATO Headquarters co-hosted this type of event, in a “one NATO” spirit of political-military cooperation. The event brought together civilian and military representatives from Allied and all Partner nations. This symposium was a forum regarding NATO partnerships policy with a focus on bringing options to the 2018 Brussels Summit.
The structure of the symposium featured a number of smaller break-out groups where participants could brainstorm innovative policy options in order to build security and stability together. These sessions reflected current thinking on the changes and adaptation that NATO - and its Partners – that shape and direct future collaboration. Partnership is a two-way street, and the Partnership 360 Symposium agenda has been shaped to encourage Allies and Partners to develop insights into common challenges and ideas for cooperation. The Symposium's innovative setup aimed at stimulating both Allies and Partners to interact, discuss, and innovate together.
Projecting stability is the central theme in Allied discussion on partnerships. NATO's objectives and priorities need to integrate partners' perspectives in a true collaborative effort. This is done through numerous existing structures including Partnership for Peace, NATO’s Mediterranean Dialogue, the Istanbul Cooperation Initiative, Partners Across the Globe, as well as International Organisations. At the Warsaw Summit in 2016, Allies agreed that "if NATO's neighbours are more stable, NATO is more secure.” NATO's cooperative security toolkit, including partnerships and capacity building, is an essential part of its contribution to global peace and security. Partnership 360 Symposium has been just as essential in enhancing NATO's approach to Partners and partnerships, reminding everyone that partnerships can work well only if everyone is willing to partner oneself - that is, to give a stake to others.