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THE  EU  RECOMMENDATION  666

The implementation of the Common European Security and Defence Policy and WEU's future role - reply to the annual report of the Council


REPORT1

submitted on behalf of the Political Committee2
by Mr Marshall, Chairman and Rapporteur

TABLE OF CONTENTS

RECOMMENDATION 678

    on the implementation of the Common European Security and Defence Policy
    and WEU's future role - reply to the annual report of the Council3

EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM


Explanatory Memorandum

(submitted by Mr Marshall, Chairman and Rapporteur)


I. Introduction and summary


  1. Nearly five months on from the adoption of Assembly Recommendation 666 on the consequences of including certain functions of WEU in the European Union, based on the report submitted by Mr de Puig on behalf of the Political Committee4, the fifteen European Union member states have continued to make rapid progress towards developing an autonomous EU decision-making capability and a rapid reaction force enabling the Union to launch and conduct EU-led military operations, including the full range of Petersberg tasks, in response to international crises (the "headline goal").

  2. In addition, the European Union has added a further dimension to its ambition to become a credible player in the sphere of crisis management by developing a number of decision-making structures for civilian aspects of crisis management, setting specific targets for police capabilities and appropriate international deployment of police officers to maintain or re-establish internal security in given crisis situations.

  3. On 1 July 2000, after the successful EU summit meeting held in Feira under the Portuguese Presidency, France took over the joint Presidency of both EU and WEU, with the difficult task of finalising the necessary arrangements for setting up a European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) in the European Union, at the same time as the Intergovernmental Conference on institutional reform is engaged in preparing work on the Treaty of Nice, to be concluded by the European Council on 7 and 8 December 2000.

  4. Despite the undoubted progress achieved to date, a number of important questions, already raised in the report by Mr de Puig referred to above, remain open. There are still doubts as to whether all member countries are in agreement over when and where the EU may or may not act in an emergent crisis. No attempt has yet been made to compute the financial implications of Europe's ambitions in this sphere and discussion of other fundamental problems is at a very incipient stage. One such problem is how the European Union and NATO are to cooperate in future and the manner in which non-EU allied countries and candidates for EU accession can participate in the ESDP without the decision-making autonomy of the European Union, to which the latter attaches great importance, being called into question.

  5. The question of whether Treaty changes are necessary in order to implement the ESDP is still a matter of controversy as is the problem of whether to open up Title VII of the TEU - provisions on closer cooperation - to areas such as the CFSP and ESDP.

  6. On the other hand, a number of questions have now been clarified: the French Presidency does not intend to address the question of parliamentary scrutiny of the ESDP at the Nice Summit. Furthermore, as the WEU Council confirmed in its reply to Recommendation 666, the collective defence commitment provided for under Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty will remain and there is no intention on the part of its signatories to denounce the Treaty.

  7. The Council and the Assembly will therefore continue their Treaty-based activities. But whereas there seems to be complete agreement that the Assembly is to continue the whole range of its activities, in its present configuration of full members, associate members, associate partners and observers, there are many unanswered questions as to how the Council's residual activities are to be organised and how the modified Brussels Treaty is to be applied. Furthermore, WEU and the EU must reach agreement over how they are to cooperate during the transitional period up until the time when the EU's crisis-management structures become fully operational. The transfer to the European Union of the WEU Satellite Centre and Institute for Security Studies, the future of armaments cooperation in the framework of WEAG and WEAO and the fate of a number of WEU subsidiary bodies have also to be addressed.

  8. If the European Council summit meeting in Nice is able to finalise the setting up of the ESDP, it will create a situation where the responsibilities for crisis management and for collective defence are exercised separately, by different organisations, on the basis of different treaties. Defence Europe will not yet have been achieved. This report is intended to address the consequences and to discuss possible ways of coming closer to this objective in the context of the broader debate on Europe's political purpose.


II. Situation as regards establishing the EU's capability
for carrying out crisis-management missions


1. Military aspects of crisis management

  1. At its summit meeting in Feira, on 19 and 20 June 2000, the European Council reaffirmed its determination to build, in the framework of the second pillar, the necessary assets and capabilities to allow it to take decisions on and carry out the full range of conflict prevention and crisis-management tasks defined in the Treaty on European Union (Petersberg tasks). It also reaffirmed its intention to contribute to international peace and security in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter.

  2. There are still some doubts as to whether there is a common view on what this means in practice. The French Defence Minister explained the objective in an interview published on 3 July as follows:

      "interposition or peacemaking in a European theatre or one close to Europe, including in the high-intensity phases of crises."

      But Mr Robin Cook, the UK Foreign Secretary informed the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs on 14 July, that "there is no present contemplation of a European Union-led operation outside Europe."

  3. The House of Lords Select Committee on European Union states in its Fifteenth Report (3 August 2000) dealing with ESDP: "we do not wish to draw boundaries as to when and where the EU may or not may act. However, there are certain guidelines the EU must consider before it becomes militarily involved in any situation."

  4. Mr Lionel Jospin, the French Prime Minister, added a further note when he addressed the annual session of the Institut des Hautes Etudes de Défense Nationale in Paris on 22 September 2000:

      "For EU member states, the continent's security and stability of neighbouring regions are, admittedly, the most immediate and tangible issues. But the Fifteen cannot ignore what is going on in the outside world. International security would benefit from the European Union being able to operate beyond Europe in support of actions undertaken under UN authority. To this end, the Fifteen could contribute to the strengthening, decided on at the Millennium Summit, of the UN's capabilities in the areas of planning, organising and carrying out peacekeeping operations. Under UN auspices and in close cooperation with the OAU, the Union could, for example, help develop new forms of cooperation in Africa, particularly in order to assist in the restoration of the rule of law."

  5. In this connection, it is worth noting that the first part of the forty-sixth annual report of the Council to the Assembly states that WEU representatives attended Exercise Gabon 2000 in Libreville and Lamborené. The practical outcome was the drafting of an evaluation report on WEU's experience in the field of African peacekeeping.

  6. According to the annual report, the document was transmitted to the European Union. Did it contain a recommendation of some kind or was it simply part of the package of WEU politico-military concepts the WEU Council agreed to transmit to the EU "for whatever use the EU may consider appropriate"? The WEU Military Staff has also continued to monitor and assess the situation in the Great Lakes region of Africa. Has it reached any conclusion and what further action does it recommend?

  7. Given that NATO acted in Kosovo without a mandate from the United Nations Security Council, the European Union will not be able to avoid deciding whether or not to act if the Security Council is unable to give a mandate. The UK Foreign Secretary told the House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs on 14 July that "we would always seek, whenever it is possible and appropriate to do so, United Nations authorisation for what we do. We would not necessarily wish to make that a precondition because there may be circumstances in the case of the veto, where it might not be possible to secure that authorisation, but it would be our preference to do so and we would achieve it where it can be done."

  8. A significant degree of flexibility is undoubtedly required in this area, but EU member states will still have to prove whether they are able to take joint military action in a given emergent crisis. As Mr Javier Solana recently observed5, the EU has a global diplomatic network more than twice as large as that of the US State Department to allow the EU to tackle a crisis better, whether it requires a humanitarian or full-scale military response. But at the same time he again made clear that no European army is being built and that decisions to commit military forces to European crisis-management operations will be taken by the EU member states.

  9. In this connection it must be recalled that Denmark takes no part in any decision-making or actions of the EU which have defence implications; hence only fourteen EU member states are involved in elaborating and implementing the headline goal and in the work on establishing the necessary decision-making structures. However, according to press reports6 Finland has made clear that its troops will not take part in peace-enforcement activities whether sanctioned or not by the UN.

    (a) Headline goal

  1. A special headline goal task force has been created to organise the Capabilities Commitment Conference, to take place on 20 November. On 28 July the task force, working in cooperation with NATO, presented a catalogue of forces needed. This catalogue was examined by EU defence ministers at an informal meeting in Ecouen on 22 September 2000. A second version of the document will form the basis for each member country's commitment as to how it is to contribute to the rapid reaction forces and that commitment will be made at the 20 November conference. The report Mr Rapson is to submit to the Assembly on behalf of the Defence Committee will examine this aspect in detail.

  2. In this context several questions remain open:

    • how will the Special Report on Forces and Capabilities available for WEU-led operations mentioned in the annual report be used for achieving the headline goal?

    • what use will be made of the results of the WEU Audit and what follow up will there be to it?

    • what is to be the future of the forces answerable to WEU (FAWEU)?

  3. One important unanswered question remains the financial and budgetary implications involved in achieving the EU's headline goal. At the 14 July meeting of the UK Parliament's House of Commons Select Committee on Foreign Affairs, Mr Cook pointed out that for most member countries the commitment was "not necessarily going to be a question of uplift in the total bottom line of the defence budget, but would require some searching examination of what they required their defence spending to do and of the posture of their military forces."

  4. Some countries like Britain and France in fact already have mobile, rapidly deployable, flexible forces. Other countries have substantial standing armies but which still lack flexibility. They will have to examine the ways in which the necessary military reforms will require increased financial means.

  5. A most important point in this context is that financing the rapid reaction force will be a matter for each participating country and not for the Community budget. Funding will be a major issue. Edmond Foster of RUSI gave the following evidence to the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence, on 2 August 2000:

      "It is understood that the allocations and calculations within national defence budgets are still too diverse to allow some sort of uniform accounting to be applied, but there may be more mileage in agreeing targets that can be applied to the national procurement of defence capabilities. France has been putting forward a suggested target of 0.7-0.8% of GDP for this, but this is not yet subject to agreement. For countries spending between 2 and 3% of their budgets on force structure oriented towards force projection, this may be within reach; for those which (like Germany) devote some 1.5% or less to a relatively wasteful conscript military geared towards national defence, it poses a stiff challenge. Since the member states cannot be compelled to submit to these targets or to adhere to them once set, there is no binding discipline which can enforce compliance any better than when NATO Allies pledged in the 1980s to increase defence spending by an annual 3%. However - and this cannot yet be proven - by making defence a European policy, the EU may succeed in increasing the peer pressure felt by governments. The spirit of a European solidarity, spurred by the convergence criteria imposed by monetary union, is something that has affected finance ministries but not their defence counterparts. Benchmarks may have the effect of calling government to account, in both the EU and NATO. If they do not, the whole enterprise will clearly be discredited".

  6. At the close of the ministerial meeting at Ecouen, the French Defence Minister, when asked about the budgetary implications, could not be precise at the present stage about the additional expenditure required. The problem therefore remains on the agenda.

    (b) Decision-making structures

  1. The French Presidency has been mandated to carry work forward in order to establish the political and military structures, currently operating on an interim basis and to be introduced permanently as soon as possible after the Nice European Council, namely:

    • a permanent Political and Security Committee (PSC);

    • a Military Committee and

    • a Military Staff.

  2. In this context, several matters have yet to be resolved: it has not yet been agreed whether a Council of Defence Ministers will formally be established and if so, how its competencies and working relationships are to be organised. Secondly, member countries still have to agree to the Franco-German proposal that the CFSP High Representative and WEU Secretary-General, Mr Javier Solana, should chair the PSC. The relations between the PSC, the COREPER, the military bodies and the General Affairs Council have also yet to be determined.

  3. Another unanswered question is when the permanent decision-making structures in the EU are to become operational. At the moment, it is envisaged that this will happen during the first half of 2001. The question is important when it comes to organising work between WEU and the EU in the transitional period, a subject which will be discussed in one of the chapters that follow. Since the headline goal will not be achieved before 2003, there is also a question mark over how long WEU's military structures are to remain operational.

  4. It is important for the Assembly's future work that most of the PSC representatives of WEU member countries are double-hatted with their representatives on the WEU Permanent Council.

  5. Another important aspect in the context of issues relating to decision-making is the current debate on extending the possibility of enhanced cooperation to the European Union second pillar. Germany and Italy have given fresh impetus to this debate by presenting a joint proposal7 to their European partners. On the basis of these proposals, the European Union Presidency's "synthesis document" of 3 November 2000 on the progress of the work of the IGC puts forward the following plans for enhanced cooperation pursuant to Title V of the Treaty on European Union:

      "Clause I _ General objectives

      1. Enhanced cooperation in one of the areas referred to in Title V of the Treaty on European Union shall be aimed at safeguarding the values and serving the interests of the Union as a whole by asserting its identity as a coherent force on the international scene. It shall respect:

    • the principles, objectives and general guidelines of the common foreign and security policy and the decisions taken within the framework of that policy;

    • the powers of the European Community;

    • and the consistency of all Union's policies.

      (...)

      Clause J _ Procedure for establishing enhanced cooperation

      1. Member States which intend to establish enhanced cooperation between themselves under Clause I shall address a request to the Council. The request shall be forwarded to the Commission for an opinion particularly on the consistency of the proposed enhanced cooperation with the policies of the Union. The request shall also be forwarded to the European Parliament for information.

      2. Where the request to establish enhanced cooperation is aimed at the implementation of a common strategy, a joint action or a common position in accordance with Article 23, it must come from at least x Member States. Authorisation to proceed to enhanced cooperation shall be granted by the Council, acting by a qualified majority in accordance with the procedure laid down in the second and third subparagraphs of Article 23(2) of this Treaty, in compliance with Clauses A to F.

      3. Where the enhanced cooperation concerns an area which has not been the subject of a common strategy, a joint action or a common position the request must come from at least eight Member States. Authorisation to establish enhanced cooperation shall be granted by the Council, acting in accordance with the second and third subparagraphs of Article 23(2) of this Treaty, in compliance with Clauses A to F.

      4. (for the record: special procedures for defence).

      Clause K _ Role of the Secretary-General/High Representative

      Without prejudice to the powers of the Presidency or of the Commission, the Secretary-General of the Council, High Representative for the common foreign and security policy, shall in particular ensure that all members of the Council and the European Parliament are kept fully informed of the implementation of enhanced cooperation in the CFSP area.

      Clause L _ Procedure allowing other Member States to participate

      (...)"

  6. These proposals provide an opportunity to restate a number of points: they are presented under the firm condition that the TEU and the single institutional framework of the Union are to be respected, the aim being to further the objectives and protect the interests thereof. The proposals thus exclude any non-EU European allied or candidate country that might be wholly prepared to participate. It is therefore to be welcomed that Mrs Lalumière, in the draft report on the development of the common European security and defence policy of the European Union which she is preparing on behalf of the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy, proposes that WEAG, in which all WEU associate members with the exception of Iceland cooperate, might be the subject of enhanced cooperation in the European Union.

  7. At the moment, the German-Italian paper has been welcomed as a useful contribution, but the usefulness and the necessity of enlarging the institution of "enlarged cooperation" to include security and defence matters still seems doubtful. For instance, the French Defence Minister has said that he is against a "pioneer" group of states in this sphere8. In his view, decisions should continue to be taken by the Fifteen and enhanced cooperation would apply only to "assets" (for example, the European Corps, Euromarfor, etc.). In this connection, it should be remembered that WEU as a whole can be considered an example of enhanced cooperation in security and defence matters with the advantage of being inclusive rather than exclusive. This role of WEU has been explicitly recognised by Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union. Its inclusiveness is an important element of the legacy and the "acquis" of WEU. It should be borne in mind if enhanced cooperation is applied to security and defence.

  8. Other proposals relate more specifically to enhanced cooperation or "forming CFSP and CESDP vanguards". Regarding their parliamentary dimension, there are even proposals for a parliament consisting of members of the European Parliament from the "avant garde" member states and national parliamentarians of those same states.

  9. However, it seems premature to try to solve the problem of the parliamentary dimension of enhanced cooperation or of pioneer groups in CFSP and ESDP matters as long as the purpose and usefulness of enhanced cooperation as such has not been agreed on. Decision-making in crisis-management situations requires a lot of political and practical flexibility. This applies in particular in relation to enhanced cooperation. In order to maintain flexibility and efficiency, it would be better not to lay down overly detailed rules and legal restrictions in this area. It would naturally be preferable not to leave enhanced cooperation merely to coalitions of the willing, outside the treaties. On the other hand the insistence on respect for the single institutional framework of the European Union at all costs seems exaggerated and may even prove counterproductive.

  10. Why should non-EU allied countries and candidates for EU accession not be allowed to make use of EU institutions, procedures and machinery for the purpose of enhanced cooperation? After all the European Union, for its part, wants access to NATO assets for EU-led operations where EU non-NATO member countries are involved.

2. Civilian aspects of crisis management

  1. Following the decisions made in Helsinki, in Feira the European Council expressed its determination to increase and improve the effectiveness of the Union's capacity to respond to crises, including by actions in civilian areas. This increased effectiveness could be used both in response to the request of a lead agency like the UN or the OSCE, or where appropriate, in autonomous EU actions. The Union should seek to enhance its capability in civilian aspects of crisis management in all relevant areas, with the objective of improving its potential for saving human lives in crisis situations, for maintaining basic public order, preventing further escalation, facilitating the return to a peaceful, stable and self-sustainable situation, for managing adverse effects on EU countries and for addressing relevant problems of coordination. Particular attention could be paid to those areas where the international community so far has demonstrated weaknesses. The reinforcement of the Union's capabilities in civilian aspects of crisis management should, above all, provide it with adequate means to face complex political crises by:

    • acting to prevent the eruption or escalation of conflicts;

    • consolidating peace and internal stability in periods of transition;

    • ensuring complementarity between the military and civilian aspects of crisis management covering the full range of Petersberg tasks.

  2. An initial priority area identified by the EU in this context is policing. As a consequence, the EU has taken the following measures:

    • A Committee for civilian aspects of crisis management has been set up by a Council decision adopted on 22 May 2000. The Committee held its first meeting on 16 June 2000.

    • A coordinating mechanism, fully interacting with the Commission services has been set up at the Council Secretariat. Further developing the inventory of member states' and Union resources relevant for non-military crisis management, it has, as a first priority, established a database on civilian police capabilities in order to maintain and share information, to propose capabilities initiatives and to facilitate the definition of concrete targets for EU member state collective non-military response. The coordinating mechanism has further developed its close cooperation with the interim Situation Centre/Crisis Cell established by the Secretary-General/High Representative.

    • Concrete targets for civilian police capabilities have been identified. In particular, member states should, cooperating voluntarily, as a final objective by 2003 be able to provide up to 5 000 police crisis-management operations and in response to the specific needs at the different stages of these operations. Within that target for overall EU capabilities, member states undertake to be able to identify and deploy, within 30 days, up to 1 000 police officers. Furthermore, work will be pursued to develop EU guidelines and references for international policing.

  3. In addition to these measures, the Council has received and is examining the Commission's proposal for a Council Regulation creating a Rapid Reaction Facility to support EU activities as outlined in the Helsinki Report. The French Presidency has been invited to report on the results of the development and the implementation of EU capabilities in civilian aspects of crisis management at the forthcoming European summit meeting in Nice.

  4. While it is greatly to be welcomed that the European Union is concentrating its efforts across the entire range of civilian aspects of crisis management, where it can use all the political and economic means at its disposal, there will be a major problem of coordination between the relevant bodies of the Commission and the Council. At this stage it is worth repeating what Mr de Puig pointed out in his earlier report: "Coordination between civilian and military crisis-management structures will obviously be essential and it remains to be seen whether the European Union's ability to combine its various instruments will in fact be a genuine strength."

  5. Furthermore, the European Union still has to make up its mind whether it will restrict policing activities to Europe or extend them throughout the world - either under the mandate of the United Nations, its regional organisations or the OSCE. Important legal and administrative measures will have to be taken by all member countries and the financial implications of this have yet to be determined. The EU has to prove that non-military crisis management is really meant to complement military crisis management and not to counteract the latter's evolution in the EU.

  6. As is clear from the first part of the forty-sixth annual report, WEU has developed both a concept of civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) which has been passed on to the United Nations and the OSCE, and has elaborated standing operating procedures for the practical implementation of its CIMIC concept. The Council should inform the Assembly as to how this concept can be used as a WEU contribution for future coordination between civilian and military crisis management in the European Union.

  7. Civilian aspects of crisis management have been part of WEU's activities since before it was tasked with policing in Bosnia, FYROM and Albania. The Assembly should therefore insist that the Council continue to report to it on those aspects.

    3. Transfer of the WEU Satellite Centre and the WEU Institute for Security Studies
    to the European Union

  8. The Feira Conclusions make no specific reference to the EU's interest as regards these two institutions. Regarding the most recent developments, your Rapporteur can do no more than strongly support the statements made by the French Defence Minister, Mr Alain Richard, when he addressed the Presidential and the Steering Committees in Paris on 16 October in the following terms:

      "At the Oporto meeting the Defence Ministers reaffirmed that WEU was ready to make the Satellite Centre and the Institute for Security Studies available to the European Union and the Union, at the Council Summit in Cologne, for its part expressed its interest in those bodies.

      In early September, France, as the holder of the European Union presidency, put forward two texts for its partners to consider, setting out the arrangements for the transfer of the Satellite Centre and the Institute for Security Studies and their incorporation into the European Union's defence architecture. We hope to reach a consensus among the Fifteen on these matters, and in particular on the setting up of a status of autonomous agency for the Centre and for the Institute.

      The Satellite Centre is a valuable asset, "the jewel in the WEU crown". Even the Alliance does not have such a centre. The European Union should therefore safeguard the Centre's effectiveness to the full. And the latter should remain in Torrejón. It is naturally of overriding interest to the Union and its common security and defence policy to have a joint facility for analysing satellite images and those taken from the air.

      Turning to the Institute for Security Studies, this is the only one of its kind where Europeans can together discuss security issues. It is therefore, in our view, just as essential to the European Union. It has two functions of particular interest to a European Union seeking to find its own way in defence terms: a pool of research and academic contacts and a valuable source of expert knowledge to draw on."

  9. According to the Marseilles Declaration issued by the WEU Ministerial Council, the EU has agreed in principle to the "setting-up, in the form of agencies within the EU, of a Satellite Centre and an Institute for Security Studies which would incorporate the relevant features of the corresponding WEU subsidiary bodies".

  10. It is very much to be hoped that the decision concerning the Satellite Centre takes into account that it works at 16 and that consequently the associate member countries are fully involved in its activities. Their participation in the Centre must not be called into question when it is transferred to the European Union. Furthermore, there need to be guarantees that the Satellite Centre will continue to be available to WEU. It is also desirable that future activities of the Satellite Centre should be extended to non-military tasks.

  11. Your Rapporteur also wishes to support the appeal published by Mrs Nicole Gnesotto, Director of the Institute for Security Studies, in the Institute's October Newsletter. She underlines the importance of the Institute in developing a common European security and defence culture and says that it is time for the Fifteen to transform the WEU Institute into a European Union Institute. Such support of course implies that the Assembly wants to be assured that its close working relationship with the Institute will continue unchanged once the transfer has taken place.

    4. Participation of non-EU allied countries and candidates for EU accession

  12. This issue is still under consideration and it is not entirely clear if the arrangements to be endorsed in Nice will satisfy all interested nations. In Feira, the European Council agreed the following principles:

    • the Union will ensure the necessary dialogue, consultation and cooperation with non-EU European NATO members and other countries that are candidates for accession to the EU on EU-led crisis management;

    • appropriate arrangements will be established for dialogue and information on issues related to security and defence policy and crisis management;

    • there will be full respect for the decision-making autonomy of the EU and its single institutional framework;

    • there will be a single, inclusive structure in which all the 15 countries concerned (the non-EU European NATO members and the candidates for accession to the EU) can enjoy the necessary dialogue, consultation and cooperation with the EU;

    • there will, within this structure, be exchanges with the non-EU European NATO members where the subject matter requires it, such as on questions concerning the nature and functioning of EU-led operations using NATO assets and capabilities.

  13. During the interim period:

    • a minimum of two meetings in the EU+15 format will be organised in each Presidency on ESDP matters. These will supplement the meetings held as part of the reinforced political dialogue on CFSP matters;

    • within this framework, a minimum of two meetings will be organised with the six non-European NATO members (in the EU+6 format) in each Presidency. Additional exchanges will be organised if the need arises upon decision by the Council or the iPSC.

    • a meeting at ministerial level will be organised in each Presidency with the 15 and the 6;

    • the exchanges will cover the elaboration of the headline and capability goals as well, so as to fully inform non-EU members of the ongoing work on the list of necessary means. In order to enable those countries to contribute to improving European military capabilities, appropriate arrangements will be made by the incoming Presidency regarding the Capabilities Commitment Conference. These arrangements will take into account the capabilities of the 6 non-EU European NATO members.

  14. Once the arrangements become permanent (after full implementation of the Nice decisions) a routine and an operational phase will be established in which the meetings in the format referred to take place at PSC and ministerial levels.

  15. The definitive shape of the "single, inclusive structure" for consultation and cooperation is not yet known. But there are numerous indications that the rights of the non-EU European NATO members and other accession candidates will compare poorly with their status in WEU as associate members and associate partners.

  16. In this context it is worth recalling points 3 and 4 of Assembly Recommendation 6669. But the Council's reply referred only to the Feira decisions. It is obvious therefore that the WEU associate member countries and Turkey in particular, aware of how slender its chances are of becoming an EU member state in the foreseeable future, are not happy with their prospective involvement in the ESDP.

  17. But the warning expressed by Dr Simon Duke, of the European Institute of Public Administration, in Maastricht10 that the transfer of the WEU Petersberg tasks to the EU must avoid appearing to give the role of observer precedence over that of associate member went unheeded. However, it is not clear that all six associate member countries are agreed on joint action to support their position as regards their participation in the ESDP. According to the Turkish Daily News a ministerial meeting scheduled to take place between the six countries concerned failed because only three countries sent ministers.

  18. Ankara is concerned about the EU having automatic access to NATO assets while the modalities of its participation in the ESDP decision-making process have not been settled in a satisfactory manner. Very strong representation in favour of the rights of associate members has constantly been made by the United States. Thus the US Ambassador to NATO, Alexander Vershbow, made the point in a speech in Oslo on 27 September 2000 that "the shift from WEU to EU poses some new challenges, not least because the EU, in contrast to the WEU, does not offer an associate membership status to European allies like Norway who are not full EU members." He went on to demand that the EU make arrangements such that countries like Norway could be assured that they would be first class partners in ESDP, with a real voice in shaping EU decisions in the area of crisis management.

  19. According to recent press reports11, Turkey has rejected the consultation and cooperation arrangements currently on the table and is asking for a seat on the PSC. It is very much to be hoped that the EU will find a suitable way between now and the Nice Summit to put forward satisfactory solutions, acceptable to all 15 countries concerned, for the creation of a real ESDP ministerial council and appropriate subsidiary bodies, as proposed by the Portuguese Presidency and the Assembly.

  20. WEU associate partner countries, and in particular those such as Bulgaria and Romania in the second wave of candidates for EU accession, are also concerned about the future prospects for their participation in the CESDP and the headline goal. In this connection, it is worth remembering that seven south-eastern European countries - Albania, Bulgaria, FYROM, Greece, Italy, Romania and Turkey - have established a multinational peacekeeping brigade with a rotating headquarters, currently situated in Plovdiv (Bulgaria), which is available for WEU-led and NATO operations.

  21. The unusual composition of this brigade, made up of two WEU full member countries, one associate member, two associate partners and two countries participating in the PfP is a clear indication that European cooperation is well advanced in peacekeeping matters and cannot be restricted solely to the institutional framework of the European Union. It is therefore highly desirable that Greece and Italy use their influence in WEU and the European Union to the maximum to ensure that the terms of reference of this seven-nation cooperation are retained in full and further developed once the European Union takes over responsibility for the Petersberg tasks.

    5. Cooperation between the EU and NATO

  22. In Feira, the French Presidency was asked to carry on working on the development of arrangements for consultation and cooperation with NATO over military crisis management, on the basis of the work undertaken in the relevant EU-NATO ad hoc working groups.

  23. This work must be done in accordance with the following principles laid down by the European Council:

      "1. Developments of consultation and cooperation between the EU and NATO must take place in full respect of the autonomy of EU decision-making.

      2. The EU and NATO have undertaken further to strengthen and develop their cooperation in military crisis management on the basis of shared values, equally and in a spirit of partnership. The aim is to achieve full and effective consultation, cooperation and transparency in order to identify and take rapid decisions on the most appropriate military response to a crisis and to ensure efficient crisis management. In this context, EU objectives in the field of military capabilities and those arising, for those countries concerned, from NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative, will be mutually reinforcing.

      3. While being mutually reinforcing in crisis management, the EU and NATO are organisations of a different nature. This will be taken into account in the arrangements concerning their relations and in the assessments to be made by the EU of existing procedures governing WEU-NATO relations with a view to their possible adaptation to an EU-NATO framework.

      4. Arrangements and modalities for relations between the EU and NATO will reflect the fact that each Organisation will be dealing with the other on an equal footing.

      5. In the relations between the EU and NATO as institutions, there will be no discrimination against any of the Member States."

  24. Four EU/NATO ad hoc working groups have been established, tasked as follows:

      (a) for security issues: preparation of an EU-NATO security agreement;

      (b) for capability goals: implementation of information exchange and discussion with NATO on elaborating capability goals. It is understood that DSACEUR could participate, as appropriate;

      (c) for modalities enabling EU access to NATO assets (Berlin and Washington agreements): preparation of an agreement on the modalities for EU access to NATO assets and capabilities as agreed at Washington (draft framework agreement on Berlin Plus implementation). It is understood that DSACEUR should participate;

      (d) for the definition of permanent arrangements: defining the main parameters of an EU/NATO agreement which would formalise structures and procedures for consultation between the two organisations in times of crisis and non-crisis.

  25. All four working groups have already held meetings, but it is not known how much progress they have made and when their often difficult tasks will be accomplished. On 19 September, the first meeting took place between the iPSC and the North Atlantic Permanent Council but was apparently no more than a formality. Mr Solana gave a speech on this occasion, pointing to some of the challenges both organisations have identified so far in their future cooperation:

      "It is important to register that the EU aims to take a global approach to crisis management: our greatest asset is the range of crisis-management instruments we have at our disposal. Our challenge is to combine them in an effective way. So while we have looked to NATO and WEU for ideas, they do not provide all the answers. We cannot simply replicate the arrangements of WEU, we have to craft something much more sophisticated that combines military and non-military approaches to a crisis."

  26. Among such sensitive issues are security arrangements which have first to be settled within the European Union itself. The European Parliament has already expressed its firm opposition to any measures to keep documents secret. Furthermore, direct relationships between non-allied EU countries and NATO create a number of security problems especially in the area of military planning. There is also the problem of harmonising the headline goal with NATO's Defence Capabilities Initiative. At an informal meeting of NATO defence ministers in Birmingham, William Cohen, US Defence Secretary, proposed combining NATO and EU military planning and organising regular meetings at 23 (the EU member states and the 8 non-EU NATO members, including the United States and Canada).

  27. But one of the most sensitive issues was raised by US Ambassador Vershbow when he reiterated the US position according to which NATO is still the option of first resort not only for collective defence, but for crisis management as well.

  28. It is true that the EU and NATO are different types of organisation. So it is very important that both sides show a great deal of goodwill and political determination to ensure that the future arrangements between the EU and NATO strengthen the Alliance and do not lead to a situation where America and Europe begin to drift apart.

  29. It is a moot point as to whether the concept of establishing a European Security and Defence Identity (ESDI) within NATO, with WEU as an essential component, is still valid or whether the European Union will take over that aspect of WEU's role. The annual report devotes a special chapter to WEU's continued contribution to ESDI. It is the more surprising therefore that when the annual report refers to the Permanent Council being tasked to prepare decisions regarding WEU's future role, no reference is made to NATO relations.

    6. Parliamentary scrutiny

  30. While none of the European Council summits since Cologne address the question of the parliamentary dimension of the ESDP, it has now become clear that this question will not be settled at the Nice Summit. On behalf of the French Presidency, the French Minister for Defence, Mr Richard, confirmed this on 16 October as follows:

      "I should like to reaffirm clearly that for the time being this question is not on the agenda and that the French Presidency does not intend to make any new proposals on the matter between now and the Nice Summit given that we have made a great deal of progress over the last three years by taking a practical approach. That progress was made possible by the desire on the part of the majority of our partners in the European Union to avoid the institutional quarrels which had in the past given rise to numerous problems in the area of defence and had resulted in failures, particularly regarding the use of WEU's military capabilities as perceived in the spirit of the Maastricht Treaty. For the moment, we are therefore proposing to preserve not only the competences of the national parliaments and the role the European Parliament may play on the basis of information it receives, but also the role of forum exercised by the Assembly of Western European Union".

  31. This will have a number of consequences for the follow-up to the Assembly's Lisbon Initiative, its future relations with the European Parliament and the future work of the Steering Committee, which will be addressed in Chapter V of the present report. It should be remembered that the Berlin speech of German Foreign Affairs Minister Joschka Fischer has revived European political discussion on the wider question of future parliamentary scrutiny in the European framework.

  32. It has to be seen whether and in what way this subject becomes part of the negotiations that might become necessary in any subsequent intergovernmental conference with the aim of determining the division of competences between the various European executive and legislative institutions.

  33. For the time being, the essential thing is that the signatories of the modified Brussels Treaty have made known their intention not to denounce the Treaty. As far as the WEU Assembly is concerned, Mr Alain Richard, the French Defence Minister, and representing the Presidency of the EU and WEU, told the Assembly's Presidential and Steering Committees on 16 October that:

      "As far as the Assembly is concerned, our view is that it is essential: it is the European interparliamentary forum for consultation, reflection and the exchange of views on security and defence issues. It is the only framework in which this work can be done on such a broad basis, that is, with the parliamentary representation of 28 nations. Furthermore, I should like to stress that France attaches great importance to the role your Assembly can play in promoting a European defence culture among the citizens of our countries by enlightening them on what is an essential debate for the future of our continent. No other institution can take the place of the Assembly in playing that role and it is precisely to ensure the durability and full legitimacy of the Assembly that I have suggested that its format at 28 should now move on to a format at 30 so as to include all the countries that are the European Union's partners, i.e. the six non-EU European allies and all the applicant countries formally recognised as such by the Union. This would bring the Assembly into line with all the various structures surrounding the European Union".

  34. This clarification has also a number of consequences for the future activities and initiatives of the Assembly in the new post-Nice context since Mrs Lalumière, in a European Parliament draft report on the development of the Common European Security and Defence Policy of the European Union, published on 6 October 2000, repeats the EP's earlier June proposal for setting up a European parliamentary body for security and defence on the basis of its experience with COSAC - but without repeating the reference made at that time to the role of the WEU associate member and partner delegations - in the belief that that parliamentary body, with its current powers, can assume the scrutiny functions carried out by the WEU Assembly.

  35. Even if the European Council French Presidency has no intention of discussing Treaty amendments relating to the parliamentary dimension at the Nice Summit, Mr Richard, in an hearing before the EP's Foreign Affairs Committee on 24 October 2000, applauded Mrs Lalumière's proposal, while at the same time repeating that the WEU Assembly should continue its work in its present configuration.

  36. The Chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the European Parliament, Mr Brok, on the other hand, in a draft report published on 16 October 2000, on the role of the European Union in the world, proposes organising half-yearly meetings between the Chairmen of Foreign Affairs and Defence Committees of national parliaments and representatives of the relevant committee of the European Parliament to discuss CFSP developments, possibly with participation from representatives of EU applicant and non-allied countries.

  37. At the moment it is not quite clear whether the proposals submitted by Mrs Lalumière and Mr Brok should be regarded as complementary or as competing. In any case, both draft reports are clearly aimed at depriving the Assembly of its legal and political bases. Therefore, they contain no indication whatever of any interest in arriving at cooperative solutions with the Assembly. By contrast, they stress the great importance they attach to developing relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly.

  38. It needs to be emphasised however that the European Parliament cannot speak on behalf of the non-EU allied countries and candidates for EU accession. Nor is the NATO Parliamentary Assembly the appropriate parliamentary institution to discuss specific European security matters. It is therefore unrealistic for the European Parliament to be trying to solve the problem of parliamentary scrutiny over the CESDP by leaving the WEU Assembly out of the equation. Consequently, the Assembly will remain open to dialogue with the European Parliament on a joint assessment of the situation arising from the Nice Summit.

    7. The question of Treaty changes

  39. On this issue the European Council at its meeting in Feira took up the following provisional position:

      "The existing provisions of the TEU define the questions relating to the security of the Union, including the progressive framing of a common defence policy as part of the Common Foreign and Security Policy governed by Title V of the Treaty. On this basis, the Council has decided to establish the interim Political and Security Committee and the interim Military Body, and to reinforce the Council Secretariat with military experts seconded from member states. Article 17 TEU expressly includes the Petersberg tasks in the CFSP. The Presidency took note of the opinion of the Council's Legal Service the conclusion of which reads as follows:

      The Council's Legal Service is of the opinion that the conclusions of the Cologne and Helsinki European Councils regarding European security and defence policy can be implemented without it being legally necessary to amend the Treaty on European Union. However, such amendments would be necessary if the intention is to transfer the Council's decision-making powers to a body made up of officials, or to amend the Treaty's provisions regarding the WEU. Furthermore, it is for member states to determine whether amendments to the Treaty would be politically desirable or operationally appropriate.'

      The Presidency suggests that the issue of Treaty revision should continue to be examined between the Feira and Nice European Councils."

  40. Whereas the Presidency and the United Kingdom seem to favour finalising the ESDP, if possible without Treaty changes in order to avoid additional difficult discussions, a number of other countries such as Italy and the Benelux countries appear to advocate amending the Treaty to give the ESDP the necessary legal basis. In any case, amendments would be necessary if enhanced cooperation were extended to the area of the CFSP and ESDP.

  41. One thing is now clear: the Assembly's proposal, following its Lisbon Initiative to put the European Security and Defence Assembly (ESDA) into a protocol annexed to the TEU has no chance of being adopted at the Nice Summit.

  42. Mrs Lalumière, in her aforementioned draft report on the development of the Common European Security and Defence Policy of the European Union, suggests that Article V and armaments cooperation through WEAG could be the subject of enhanced cooperation in the EU. She furthermore suggests that WEU's task of providing a broader security forum is beginning to be carried out by the Union, and therefore proposes that the modified Brussels Treaty should be denounced by 1 January 2003 "once the residual tasks of the WEU are performed by the European Union". Furthermore, the draft report submitted by Mr Brok proposes establishing a timetable for the abolition of WEU as a whole.

  43. The Assembly should make a robust appeal to WEU governments to keep the modified Brussels Treaty as an essential insurance, to hedge the uncertainty over whether the European Union is ever likely to be willing or able to take on the entire range of defence responsibilities, which would imply keeping the Council and Assembly alive as executors and guardians of the Treaty.

  44. The Assembly's position regarding any amendments to the TEU should be guided by the consideration that as long as WEU and the Assembly continue to exist, there is a fundamental interest in the provisions of the TEU, according to which WEU is an integral part of the development of the European Union, remaining valid.

  45. As long as the EU is not fully operational, the provisions of Article 17 on the basis of which the EU will avail itself of WEU in defence matters should not be allowed to fall. Most importantly, any major changes in the Union's security policy should not be settled outside the Treaties but inside, and submitted for parliamentary ratification.


III. WEU in the transitional period


  1. The European Council invited the French Presidency to carry forward work relating to the inclusion in the EU of the appropriate functions of WEU in the field of the Petersberg tasks. When Mr Araud, Director for Strategic Affairs, Security and Disarmament at the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs briefed the Assembly's committees in Paris, on 5 July 2000, he discussed the transitional situation in the following terms:

      "WEU was faced with a paradoxical task: on the one hand it had to remain fully operational, in other words "business as usual", and on the other, to prepare for WEU's "reconfiguration". Here three factors had to be taken into consideration:

    • WEU had to prepare for the cessation of some of its activities, particularly its crisis-management tasks. The WEU Military Staff would cease to exist once the European Union became operational, but there was no knowing when. Taking the most optimistic scenario, the European Union could be operational around April 2001;

    • WEU would have to continue to manage missions in progress. These might be taken over by the EU;

    • the WEU of the future and its tasks needed to be defined".

  2. According to the annual report, the Portuguese Presidency of WEU reached the conclusion, at a seminar held in January 2000, that the interim period should be as short as possible and that the EU could benefit greatly over this period by making as much use as possible of WEU assets.

  3. To prepare the necessary steps, the WEU Council has created an ad hoc Group on Transitional Issues which is meeting at 10 i.e. involving only the signatories of the modified Brussels Treaty. Mr Richard made the following observations regarding the first such issue on 16 October:

      "First: the cessation of certain activities. WEU's operational function linked to Petersberg missions will lose automatically its raison d'être once the EU Military Staff is declared operational. On 13 September, the WEU Permanent Council adopted guidance concerning the drawing up of a transition plan for the Military Staff. This transition plan will take account of the time needed for the EU's permanent structures to function properly and, in particular, for the EU Military Staff to become fully operational. WEU must be able to respond to any request the European Union may make under Article 17 of the Amsterdam Treaty until such time as the Union can draw on its own instruments. For our part, we would like the new EU Military Staff to be declared operational as soon as possible during the first quarter of 2001, or the first half of that year.

      Secondly, WEU must continue to manage the two missions currently under way: the Multinational Advisory Police Element (MAPE) and the demining assistance mission in Croatia. As regards MAPE, the European Union is currently engaged in a thorough study of the mission and I think it will be complete by the end of October. On the basis of that study, the EU will decide whether it wishes to take over the work. In any event, WEU can be proud of the success of the mission, under which the Albania police force has been restructured and independent police forces have been trained. As far as the demining mission is concerned, I think it may be said that it too could be taken over with the agreement of the 15 EU member states in the framework of civilian crisis management by the European Union".

  4. A number of further unresolved questions were raised by the Deputy Secretary-General of WEU, Ambassador Wegener, when committee meetings were held at the premises of WEU on 11 September 2000. He reported that WEU exercises are also continuing. The next exercise, planned for June 2001, would be at Operational Headquarters level and would evaluate operational concepts.

  5. Nevertheless, as the committees were informed by the Director of the Military Staff, Admiral Viriot, on the same occasion, there are doubts about up to just when the WEU Military Staff must remain operational before the EU Military Staff is in a position to take over the activities concerned. The WEU Military Committee held a meeting at 21 on 17 October to adopt a "transitional plan" that was to be ratified by the WEU Ministerial meeting in Marseilles on 13 November. It is known only that this plan enables the WEU Military Staff to assure continuity of crisis management, pending EU permanent structures taking shape.

  6. In this context, it would be premature to close down WEU's military structures by the end of 2000. Admiral Viriot explained that the date should be seen in the context of an overall plan for WEU that took account of:

    • the joint exercise planned for June 2001 (WEU having entered into a commitment with NATO);

    • staff rotation (with the consequences foreseeable up to June-September 2001);

    • the requirement of maintaining WEU's operational capabilities (which had a very specific meaning for military officers); a decision also had to be taken about what was to happen to the officers in WEU's Military Staff.

  7. Regarding future exercises, the annual report states that the joint WEU/NATO Exercise Study 2001 (JES 01) for WEU-led CJTF-related operations is to be open to all 30 WEU/NATO nations. Furthermore, there is already a WEU exercise programme in existence covering the period 2001-2005.

  8. The annual report makes a number of references to follow-up work being done on the WEU/NATO framework agreement on the release, monitoring and return or recall of NATO assets and capabilities and regarding the application of the NATO/WEU consultation arrangements approved by both Organisations in spring 1999. It also refers to ongoing WEU/NATO military liaison meetings conducted through the Military Staff. All this has to be considered in the context of the implementation of ESDI. There is still a need to take a decision on if, and when, arrangements between the EU and NATO can fully replace the relevant agreements between WEU and NATO. A decision has also to be taken on whether WEU should remain operational at least until the headline goal is fully achieved (scheduled for 2003).


IV. The future tasks of WEU


  1. In his presentation to the Assembly committees in Brussels on 11 September 2000, Ambassador Duclos confirmed that there was a general consensus in favour of retaining the modified Brussels Treaty and Article V, as well as the WEU Assembly in its present form. The Assembly was the main forum for debating European Union security issues and for interparliamentary discussion. The Assembly would continue to play the role it had had in recent years but in a new context. The focus of its work was strategic thinking about European security. Its counterpart would continue to be the WEU Permanent Council. WEU and iPSC representatives were mostly one and the same.

  2. On 16 October, Mr Richard, speaking on behalf of the Presidency, described the future tasks of WEU as follows:

      "First of all, and this is the most important political point, the collective defence commitment under Article V must continue. None of the signatories, and certainly not my country, has any intention of calling that commitment into question. The Council will therefore continue to function and will draw on an administrative support structure which could be streamlined. Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty will continue to embody the solidarity commitment of the Ten European member countries, which we shall implement through the Atlantic Alliance. WEU will also have to continue with general strategic reflection on security and defence matters concerning Europe. Moreover, that will be the role of your Assembly.

      Finally, WEU's function in the field of armaments should, in our opinion, be preserved in full. WEAO and WEAG will be maintained as fora for debates on armaments issues. We shall have to ensure their synergy with the institutional building of an armaments Europe.

      The French Presidency attaches importance to this threefold objective - collective defence, general strategic reflection in the Assembly and the armaments function - and takes the view that it must lead to appropriate changes in the way WEU's bodies are organised".

    1. The future application of the modified Brussels Treaty

  3. During the discussion with committee members, Mr Richard did not go into detail on the future application of the Treaty but indicated when replying to a number of questions that the future mission of WEU as a forum for general strategic reflection on European security and defence matters would be one of the most important tasks for WEU as a whole and not just the Assembly.

  4. At his meeting on 24 October last with the EP Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security and Defence Policy, Mr Richard told MEPs that when the process first began some countries had wanted to make WEU disappear. However, on consideration, it was possible to keep WEU, but only as a forum, because as a forum bringing together 28 countries it had no equal. The Minister added that until such time as the WEU associate member and partner countries, applicants to the EU, became full members of the Union such a situation seemed desirable. According to the Minister, the matter could be completely rethought once the countries in question became an integral part of the European Union.

  5. These considerations give rise to a number of comments. First, retaining WEU solely as a forum would probably imply giving up any power of decision in WEU for the future. Secondly, any review of the position would imply that Norway and Iceland, which are not EU applicant countries, should become so.

  6. In this connection, the Council should be asked to make an inventory as soon as possible of the provisions of the modified Brussels Treaty to which it should continue to pay full attention. One of them is Article IV.1 which stipulates that "in the execution of the Treaty, the High Contracting Parties and any Organs established by them under the Treaty shall work in close cooperation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

  7. The importance of this provision should be considered not only in the context of the remaining functions of WEU but also as a message to the European Union when it comes to concluding cooperative arrangements between the EU and NATO. In order to strengthen transatlantic coherence, it would be wise to base future EU/NATO cooperation on an EU Treaty provision similar to that of Article IV, to give it the necessary political and legal standing. A democratic ratification process would substantially enhance the weight of this new transatlantic cooperation instead of its being based solely on Article 24 of the TEU.

  8. Regarding the future application of Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty, it is to be hoped that all signatories share the view of the French Presidency about the importance of ensuring in the future that the collective commitment under Article V is maintained in full. It is therefore important to take a dynamic rather than a static view of this mutual assistance obligation as Mr Hornhues (MdB, Germany) suggested during the discussion with the French Defence Minister.

  9. In the Minister's opinion, the prospect of transferring the substance of this commitment into an EU protocol would not be realistic for some time to come. The importance of Article V should also be seen against the new background of international risk and threat assessment. The entire discussion between the United States, Russia and European countries following the American plans for NMD, now provisionally postponed, goes to the very heart of Article V.

  10. These questions are closely linked with the discussion on the future of nuclear deterrence, nuclear and conventional disarmament and armaments control, which has to acquire a new dimension as a result of weapons of mass destruction being developed by a number of countries. The international non-proliferation regimes should be strengthened as Prime Minister Jospin pointed out in his speech at the IHEDN in Paris on 22 September 2000. All these questions are tied in with the provisions of Article V and it would be wrong to abandon discussion of these matters exclusively to NATO, the United Nations or the United States and Russia through bilateral arrangements. The Assembly should therefore urge the Council to address these questions and to bring all the associate member, associate partner and observer delegates into their deliberations. It is time to prepare a new version of the document "European security: a common concept of the 27 WEU countries" published in 1995.

  11. Regarding the future application of Article VIII it is crucial that the Council in future meet not only at 10 but also in the configuration including all the associate member, associate partner and observer countries. The provision of Article VIII.312 should not only be considered in the context of crisis management, but also in connection with the Article V mutual assistance clause.

  12. With regard to Article IX, which is the basis of its existence, the Assembly will have to assess the consequences of the reorganisation of WEU's activities for its own future programme of work. It is essential that the Assembly continue to receive an annual report from the Council covering all aspects of European security including crisis management. Furthermore, the Assembly needs a political interlocutor on the intergovernmental side. This might be facilitated by the fact that WEU and PSC representatives are mostly one and the same. But the real problem will become future exchanges between the Assembly and the European Executive on a political level. The recognition by the Council in its latest annual report of the substantial contribution of the WEU Assembly to the debate on European security and defence is warmly to be welcomed. But on the basis of this recognition the Council should convince the relevant EU authorities that the Assembly should continue to contribute to this debate in the post-Nice context as well.

  13. Finally, thought should be given to the future importance of Article XI of the modified Brussels Treaty dealing with possible enlargement of the Organisation. It would be wrong to consider this provision as obsolete. Some countries, such as Austria, have indicated their intentions of signing a mutual assistance clause in a European context. Furthermore, there is no longer any reason for not allowing the non-EU European Allies which are EU applicant countries to accede to the Treaty, in order to strengthen Euro-Atlantic coherence.

  14. In addition, Cyprus has asked to become an associate partner of WEU and it would be very helpful if the Council were to adopt a positive position in this respect.

    2. The consequences of the reorganisation of the Council and its subsidiary bodies

  15. It is crucial that the Council continues to meet at 28 and functions as a forum where matters can be discussed which might be more difficult to deal with in other debating chambers. It is up to the associate members, associate partners and observers to urge full members to keep WEU alive as this unique enlarged forum.

  16. What subjects is it to discuss? First, reflection on European security and defence issues should continue and lead to the elaboration of a new common security and defence concept of all 28 WEU countries. The future debate in the WEU framework should concentrate on any issues which cannot be discussed within the EU because they involve new risks and threats to the territorial integrity of the countries concerned.

  17. Secondly, the WEU Council should assess what remains of WEU's role regarding ESDI. Future relations with NATO should also be addressed, in view of the fact that NATO is responsible for exercising the military tasks of collective defence based on a purely European commitment whereby countries afford each other "all the military and other aid and assistance in their power" in the event of an armed attack in Europe. This stronger commitment under Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty binds only ten of the nineteen members of the Atlantic Alliance. The United States, which alone has the military means to guarantee the security and defence of Europe, has an obligation only under Article 5 of the Washington Treaty.

  18. In this context, the ongoing debate in the United States about whether to set up a national missile defence (NMD) system goes to the heart of the fundamental principle according to which transatlantic security and defence remain indivisible. Full application of the mutual assistance clause set out in Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty is also an important way of strengthening transatlantic cohesion.

  19. In this connection it is worth recalling the message issued by the United States Secretary of State on the occasion of the conclusion of the Final Act of the Nine-Power Conference held in London from 28 September to 30 October 1954:

      "If, using the modified Brussels Treaty as a nucleus, it is possible to find in this new pattern a continuing hope of unity among the countries of Europe (...) and if the hopes that were tied into the European Defence Community Treaty can reasonably be transferred into the arrangements which will be the outgrowth of this meeting then I would certainly be disposed to recommend to the President that we should renew the assurance offered (...) to the effect that the United States will continue to maintain in Europe (...) such units of its armed forces as may be necessary and appropriate to contribute its fair share of the forces needed for joint defence of the North Atlantic area (...) ".

  20. The future use of the modified Brussels Treaty should be a subject of discussion in the Council. While its main purpose will be to give European countries the necessary framework in which they can achieve a common defence, it should also be used to prepare a future transfer of such commitment to the EU. This transfer would be easier to achieve if accession to the modified Brussels Treaty were to become a condition of membership of the European Union.

  21. Another subject of common reflection should be how the work of the Transatlantic Forum can be developed and intensified. The Assembly should continue to be fully involved in the activities to strengthen transatlantic understanding and cooperation of any successor body.

  22. The annual report reiterates the importance WEU Ministers attached in Oporto to the dialogue WEU has developed with the Russian Federation over recent years. This dialogue should continue because there are a number of subjects which it would be preferable to discuss with the Russians in the framework of WEU rather than in the European Union. Among them are: anti-missile defence, nuclear deterrence, disarmament, arms control, counter-proliferation and in particular arms cooperation.

  23. It should be recalled that Russia has still not ratified the Open Skies Treaty and that WEU continues to play an important role in its implementation. The Russian Parliament's continuing interest in maintaining the dialogue with the Assembly, which clearly emerged from the recent meeting between a Russian Delegation and several Assembly committees in October, will depend on their assessment of WEU's future role and whether the Assembly will in future make a sufficient impact on the European executive.

  24. The fact that the annual report recalls Ukraine's significance as an important partner of WEU is to be welcomed. A number of questions have to be settled; will WEU continue to be responsible for implementation of the long-haul air transport agreement concluded on 30 June 1997 with Ukraine or will the European Union take over this responsibility? What about the follow up to WEU's action plan for dialogue and cooperation with Ukraine as agreed last June? The WEU Council should decide to offer WEU as a framework for Ukraine allowing it to strengthen dialogue and cooperation in all security and defence matters for which WEU remains the appropriate forum.

  25. Regarding WEU's dialogue with the non-WEU Mediterranean countries, the annual report contains a reference to approval by the Council on 26 April 2000 of a document produced by the Mediterranean Group on "Elements for reflection, in anticipation of possible EU requests on the WEU contribution to the Barcelona process". It is now up to the Council to decide, if and when the whole range of the activities of the Mediterranean Group should be transferred to the European Union or if it is preferable for WEU to maintain a dialogue with the relevant countries. If WEU is ready to elaborate a new common concept on European security at 28, it should include security in the Mediterranean region. Therefore it is highly to be recommended that an enlarged WEU dialogue with the non-WEU Mediterranean countries be maintained and developed. According to the annual report, the document approved on 26 April identifies possible areas of practical cooperation as well as new measures which could be envisaged. Representatives of non-WEU Mediterranean countries were briefed on the content of the document on 20 June. The Council should inform the Assembly about the measures proposed in the document and reactions from the relevant countries so that it can assess the prospects of future WEU activities regarding security in the Mediterranean area.

  26. Furthermore, as in the past, the Council should continue to monitor UN activities and particularly those of the Security Council. It should inform the Assembly how the Military Staff's contacts with the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) will be followed up in the future. The Council should also continue to monitor the activities of the OSCE.

  27. The decision to keep armaments cooperation in WEAG and WEAO within the framework of WEU and the modified Brussels Treaty is a wise one, but it is essential for the WEU Secretariat-General to remain strong enough to continue to provide WEAG and WEAO with the necessary services. Furthermore, ministers should throw their political weight behind both organisations.

  28. The Assembly welcomes the fact that WEAG Ministers were able to agree in Marseilles to the accession to WEAG full membership of the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland, as well as of Austria, Finland and Sweden. It would be interesting to know the position of Ireland regarding cooperation with WEAG and WEAO. Furthermore, the interest shown by numerous associate partner countries, in particular Bulgaria, in participating in WEAG's activities should receive a much more encouraging response.


V. Prospects for finalising the security and defence dimension
in a future European Political Union


  1. Once the Nice Summit has taken place as planned, the situation will probably be as follows:

      1. The rudiments of a European Security and Defence Policy will be laid down, although it will not cover collective defence. This will continue to be dealt with separately. Implementation of the ESDP and the headline goal will take some time.

      2. The different nature and configuration of the European Union and NATO, both of which have strong ambitions in the area of crisis management, make it probable that EU/NATO negotiations on reciprocal cooperation will continue after the Nice Summit meeting.

      3. There will be a general debate - which has in fact already begun - on the future political and institutional purpose of the EU at a time when pressure from applicants to be allowed to join the EU is increasing. The result of this debate is uncertain but it will be essential for the future of transatlantic relations and the EU's relations with Russia.

      4. The complexity of solving these problems suggests that they should be addressed after the Nice Summit without being subject to the pressure of time. However, it would be unrealistic and unnecessary to postpone the EU enlargement process until all the outstanding questions concerning the EU's political and institutional purpose have been settled.

      5. It would not be appropriate to try to resolve the issue of a transfer of the Article V commitment to the European Union at the current Intergovernmental Conference. All the proposals made so far (such as a Protocol annexed to the Treaty, dealing with collective defence in the framework of enhanced cooperation, or incorporating the Article V commitment in a declaration of WEU member countries to be annexed to the EU Treaty) would undermine the commitment contained in the modified Brussels Treaty.

      6. It is therefore preferable to keep this Treaty alive and allow all European NATO allies which are candidates for EU accession - such as, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Turkey - to accede to the Treaty, and consequently to Article V, and to allow interested associate member EU applicant countries to participate fully in the CFSP and CESDP. Furthermore, for as long as the role of the European Union in security and defence has not been clarified once and for all, WEU should be used as an enlarged forum for arriving at temporary solutions and for preparing the EU's full defence dimensions.

      7. The matter of the parliamentary dimension of the ESDP will not be settled in Nice and the WEU Assembly and the European Parliament will continue their activities on their present legal basis.

      8. The danger will exist of an increased lack of accountability (democratic deficit) at European level for as long as the issue of parliamentary scrutiny of the ESDP remains unresolved. But what must be avoided is that both the WEU Assembly and the European Parliament seek separate and conflicting solutions to make good the democratic deficit.

      9. The Assembly should remain ready to reach cooperative solutions with the EP and with the governments concerned, in view of the fact that for the time being it is to continue its activities on the basis of Article IX of the modified Brussels Treaty and, at the same time, will be a unique European interparliamentary forum for consultation, strategic reflection and the exchange of views on security and defence issues. The Assembly is the only framework in which this work can be done on such a broad basis, with the parliamentary representation of 28 nations, a format which could soon move on to include 30.

      10. The debate on the creation of a second chamber of the European Parliament made up of representatives of national parliaments has been revived and will continue. But its outcome will be known only in the longer term, perhaps as a result of a further intergovernmental conference leading to a European constitution.

      11. The future work of the Assembly and its Steering Committee will need to take account of short, medium and long-term developments in reaching cooperative solutions with the EP. In the immediate future and for the medium term, the WEU Assembly continues to exercise its legally based role in a new context, for as long as the modified Brussels Treaty remains in force.

      12. In order to ensure democratic scrutiny of the future ESDP as exercised in the European Union, the following non-exhaustive options should be discussed:

      • First option: the parliamentary mandate of the European Security and Defence Assembly (ESDA) is confined to parliamentary scrutiny of the European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) which consists in carrying out Petersberg missions.

        Consequences: two separate Assemblies - one for the ESDP situated within the European Union, and the other the traditional Assembly of WEU with its basis in the modified Brussels Treaty, and with competence for Article V, armaments cooperation and WEU's tasks as an enlarged forum for general strategic reflection on security and defence matters concerning Europe.

      • Second option: a single Assembly with responsibility for the whole range of security and defence.

        The problem here is first, how to address the non-aligned nations' concern not to become involved in Article V matters and secondly, how to reach an arrangement with the European Parliament on the question of appropriate modalities for reciprocal cooperation and participation. A number of possibilities might be envisaged:

      • either the WEU Assembly with the participation of the European Parliament - to be negotiated;

      • or a European interparliamentary body consisting of members of the European Parliament with the participation of parliamentarians from the WEU Assembly - to be negotiated (in accordance with Article IX);

      • or a "defence COSAC" with enhanced competences, compatible with Article IX of the modified Brussels Treaty. Both options assume that this Treaty remains in force.

      • Third option: the mandate is open to all areas of the European Union that concern the national parliaments.

        Consequences: merger between COSAC, the ESDA and the WEU Assembly.

      • Fourth option: creation of a genuine second chamber.

    The third and fourth options are long-term prospects requiring fundamental Treaty changes.

  2. In the opinion of the Rapporteur, the basis for the Steering Committee's future work should be to work out cooperative solutions with the European Parliament along the lines of those options, which assume that the modified Brussels Treaty will remain in force.


VI. Conclusions


  1. It is increasingly clear that the European Council's decision to transfer certain WEU functions to the second pillar of the European Union rather than go down the road marked out in the Amsterdam Treaty of integrating WEU fully in the EU, thus leading to a common defence, has given rise to a number of new problems, especially as regards the decision-making process between the various bodies involved, within the EU framework.

  2. The new arrangements will hopefully allow EU governments to take appropriate decisions, at short notice if necessary, when emerging crises require a rapid response. WEU has always suffered from a lack of political will on the part of its member governments in making serious use of the various possibilities and means it offers. But EU governments cannot afford the Union to fail when urgent measures are required in a particular crisis. It is essential therefore that their common political will is sufficiently strong to make the CESDP a success.

  3. Clearly any political will to act must be based on the necessary means and capabilities. The achievement of the headline goal is the essential condition for putting these in place. There are those who are convinced that the CESDP as a whole is about capabilities and nothing more. But if strengthening capabilities were the only issue, there would have been no need to proceed with important and complicated institutional reforms. If the aim of such arrangements is to simplify and facilitate the decision-making process there is still a lot of work to be done.

  4. When the IGC is over, WEU will still not have accomplished its task. The decision to keep the modified Brussels Treaty in force is greatly to be welcomed. This Treaty is the cornerstone of European security and cannot be replaced by other arrangements which do not carry the same political and legal weight. WEU needs the structures necessary to enable signatories to fulfil their obligations under the Treaty. Furthermore the Council should be encouraged to make more active use of WEU as an organisation that has invariably proved useful as an enlarged framework where a number of problems can be addressed to which solutions are difficult to achieve in other fora. The Assembly will continue to hold governments to account on the basis of the Treaty bearing in mind the new context in which the Treaty is to operate and its unique function as the sole parliamentary forum for consultation, reflection and exchanges of views on all aspects of security and defence, with power to scrutinise the activities of the executive and to submit proposals and recommendations to it. In this sense the WEU Assembly takes on the function of an interim European Security and Defence Assembly, until such time as a decision is taken as regards the parliamentary dimension of the CESDP.


  1. Adopted unanimously by the Committee on 15 November 2000.

  2. Members of the Committee: Mr Marshall (Chairman); MM Behrendt, Blaauw (Vice-Chairmen); MM Baumel, Bianchi, Brancati (Alternate: Mrs Pozza Tasca), Sir Sydney Chapman (Alternate: Hancock), MM Clerfayt, Cusimano (Alternate: Amoruso), Dias, Mrs Dumont, Mrs Durrieu, MM Ehrmann, Evangelisti (Alternate: Gnaga), Eyskens (Alternate: Santkin), Fayot (Alternate: Glesener), Floros, Guardans I Cambó, Haack, Hornhues, Lord Kirkhill, MM Kotsonis, Lacão, Lemoine, Liapis, van der Linden, Martínez Casañ (Alternate: Arnau Navarro), Mrs Nagy (Alternate: Goris), Lord Ponsonby, MM de Puig, Puche Rodríguez, Roseta, Schmitz, Sterzing, Timmermans, Volcic (Alternate: Mrs Squarcialupi), Wray.
    Associate members: MM Adamczyk, Akçali, Mrs Akgönenç, MM Bal, Bielecki, Eörsi, Mrs Fossli, Mrs Gülek, MM Gundersen, Jaluvka, Kasal, Lobkowicz, Pálsson, Pastusiak, Pokol (Alternate: Kelemen), Zielinski.
    N.B. The names of those taking part in the vote are printed in italics.

  3. Adopted by the Assembly on 6 December 2000 (12th sitting).

  4. See Document 1689, 10 May 2000.

  5. Financial Times, 29 September 2000: Why Europe needs the military option.

  6. Financial Times, 24 October 2000.

  7. See Bulletin quotidien Europe, No. 2215, 16 October 2000.

  8. Bulletin Quotidien Europe No. 7829, 26 October 2000.

  9. "The Assembly (...) Recommends that the Council (...)
    3. Propose to the European Union that, on the basis of the work undertaken by the Portuguese presidency and joint proposals put forward by Britain and France, it establish a Consultative Council for the CESDP bringing together European Union member states, EU applicant countries and non-EU European members of NATO, which would meet at least twice a year at ministerial level;
    4. Ensure, while respecting the European Union's decision-making autonomy, that the delegations of the non-EU European members of NATO and of the EU applicant countries have participation rights in the Consultative Council of the CESDP at least equivalent to those they have acquired in the WEU Council as associate members and associate partners;".

  10. Memorandum submitted in March 2000 to the House of Commons Select Committee on Defence.

  11. Financial Times, 6 October 2000.

  12. "At the request of any of the High Contracting Parties the Council shall immediately convene in order to permit them to consult with regard to any situation which may constitute a threat to peace, in whatever area this threat should arise ..."

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