Update on the media accreditation procedures at NATO

Over the course of the year, NATO organizes meetings at different levels (defence ministers, foreign ministers, heads of state and government, etc.), which are held either at the Alliance’s Headquarters in Brussels or outside the Headquarters. The press is often invited to cover such events.

If the meeting is held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels

  • Media representatives with permanent NATO accreditation do not have to make a specifc accreditation request whenever the meeting is held at NATO Headquarters in Brussels.
  • all other press representatives must make an ad hoc accreditation request in the usual way (described below).

If the meeting is held outside NATO Headquarters, all media representatives without exception must make an ad hoc accreditation request in the usual way.


There are several steps in the ad hoc accreditation request. First, the NATO Press Service issues a media advisory announcing the meeting on the NATO Website – http://www.nato.int/. Once that announcement has been made, the media representative requests accreditation by accessing his or her personal account on the NATO accreditation interface or by setting up a personal account as appropriate (https://my.hq.nato.int/).

If the accreditation candidate is not in possession of a valid press card (provided by a recognised national professional body of a NATO country – i.e. Government, Professional association, Union….), he or she is invited, regardless of nationality, to send the NATO Press Service a signed letter from his or her editorial staff (fax: +32.2.707.1399).

NATO then examines the request and contacts the journalist for more information, if need be. No confirmation is sent out. For ease of reference, however, it is strongly recommended that media representatives print the request confirmation page from the web-based accreditation platform.


Who can request permanent accreditation?

Media representatives including journalists, TV producers, photographers, videographers, bloggers and technicians with an official residence in Belgium and who are accredited as media by the Belgian Federal Public Service for Foreign Affairs or the Interior may request a permanent NATO Media Accreditation. In 2012 NATO widened access to include media representatives with an official residence in Belgium and a valid press card issued by a recognised national professional body of a NATO country. (i.e Government, Professional association, Union...).

What are the advantages of permanent accreditation?

Beyond privileged Headquarters access, permanent accreditation gives media representatives preferred access to background briefings by subject matter experts.

Permanently accredited media representatives are also allowed to use the Carrington filing centre at NATO Headquarters during normal business hours, which is equipped with televisions, fax machine, international telephone lines and internet connections (wi-fi).

They also act as NATO’s main point of contact for their editorial staff.

How to request permanent accreditation

1) Enter your personal data via internet

  • Go to https://my.hq.nato.int/.
  • Log in with your user name and password. (If you do not have either of these, click on "new user" and follow the instructions.)
  • Fill in the sections of the information sheet that pertain to you. (In the press pass section, please give the number of the press pass issued by a recognised national professional body of a NATO
  • country. (i.e Government, Professional association, Union...)
  • Attach a 3.5 x 4.5 cm digital identity photograph in JPEG format.

2) Submit an attestation from your editorial staff. Please mail an original attestation from your senior editor confirming that you are the designated press representative for regular coverage of NATO’s activities.

This attestation can also by handed over direcly to the NATO Press Office.

Mr Damien Arnaud
Public Diplomacy Division/NATO Press Service
NATO Headquarters, Boulevard Léopold III
1110 Evere, Belgium

Please note that the procedure can take several weeks. After confirmation that your pass is ready for collection, you can come to the NATO pass office to pick up your permanent accreditation pass, where you will be asked to provide a copy of the press pass delivered to you by a recognised national professional body of a NATO country. (i.e Government, Professional association, Union,....) and a copy of your ID/passport.

Freelance Journalists resident in Belgium and holding a valid press card issued by a recognised national professional body of a NATO country (i.e Government, Professional association, Union,....) may be granted permanent accreditation without a letter of assignment by a recognised media, on a case by case basis and after review of recent publications on NATO and international affairs. Please contact the Press & Media Section.

Online Media must meet the following additional requirements.

The website must be a professional online site belonging to a recognised media organisation and have a specific, verifiable street address and telephone number. The website must have at least 60% original news content or commentary or analysis, including coverage of international or NATO-related issues Media representatives are required to submit two by-lined articles within the past month that were posted on the website. The website must be updated at a minimum once per week.

Online publications which are communications outreach or advocacy publications of non-governmental or non-profit organisations do not qualify for media accreditation.

Note on bona fide media organisation

The NATO Press & Media Section must be satisfied that the individuals applying for or renewing permanent accreditation at NATO are media professionals and represent bona fide media organisations.

Accreditation for new applicants will only be given on proof of a track record of reporting for media organisations on international affairs.

Media accreditation is not accorded to the information outlets of governmental or non-governmental organisations.

Applications are considered on a case-by-case basis and the decisions of NATO are final.

The NATO Press & Media section reserves the right to deny or withdraw accreditation of media representatives from media organisations who abuse the privileges so extended or put the accreditation to improper use or act in a way not consistent with the principles of the organisation.

The International Press Association and Brussels-based international organisations like NATO cooperate closely on accreditation policy and IPA/API can be contacted by media representatives for queries or for more information.