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Zachary Selden and Linda Oehman

The NATO Parliamentary Assembly (PA) plays a variety of roles that facilitate parliamentary diplomacy across the transatlantic region and beyond. It retains its original function as a channel of communication and parliamentary diplomacy between the legislatures of the NATO member states, but also plays a significant role in parliamentary diplomacy with a much wider range of states outside of the transatlantic alliance. This began with outreach to Russia and the states of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the Cold War that preceded the efforts of NATO itself, and it has grown to incorporate states whose interests intersect with those of NATO regardless of their geographic location. In addition, the NATO PA retains its institutional independence from NATO itself, which allows it to be an independent channel of influence from national legislatures to the NATO leadership.