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The NATO Summit and its Implications for Europe

Document 1637

15 March 1999

The NATO Summit and its Implications for Europe

REPORT submitted on behalf of the Military Committee by Mr Cox, Rapporteur

The Assembly,

  1. Hoping the Washington Summit will be a success, thanks to the adoption of a new Strategic Concept, tailored to meet the requirements of the changing situation and making possible the enhancement and expansion of the Atlantic Alliance as a key element of Europe’s security;
  2. Stressing the fundamental consequences of the decisions on the new Strategic Concept to be taken at this summit for the role that the European Union will be able to play on the international stage;
  3. Considering, like the British Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, that "NATO must retain the flexibility to respond to the real problems we recognise as real challenges to our security. But equally, of course, that cannot be a purely open-ended commitment";
  4. Stressing the fundamental difference in nature between, on the one hand, collective defence, founded on solidarity and an automatic procedure and, on the other hand, participation in crisis management, based on the readiness of individual nations on a case-by-case basis;
  5. Noting that NATO, as a matter of principle, can only concern itself with the management of crises emerging on its periphery, but that it may be desirable in certain cases for Europeans and Americans to consult each other on out-of-area security matters;
  6. Noting that some allies hold the view that NATO can give itself a mandate for missions calling for the use of force, while other allies consider that all out-of-area military action should in principle be founded on a UN or OSCE mandate, save in such exceptional cases as the threat of a humanitarian disaster or serious violations of human rights;
  7. Noting the determination of the United States not to change the Alliance’s nuclear strategy, given that such a change would in its eyes only weaken the Alliance, and recalling that the "nuclear umbrella" is a sine qua non for the presence of American troops in Europe;
  8. Recalling the proposals made in Assembly Document 1420 on the role and future of nuclear weapons (Rapporteur Mr De Decker, June 1994);
  9. Welcoming the impressive progress made in the field of NATO-WEU cooperation on the development of the ESDI within the Alliance since the 1996 NATO Berlin Summit and the July 1997 Madrid Declaration on security and Euro-Atlantic cooperation;
  10. Noting nevertheless that although the ESDI currently being developed within NATO is very useful, it does not give Europe a "capacity for autonomous action" (Saint Malo Franco-British Declaration) under all circumstances;
  11. Noting that the ESDI within NATO means that the United States can leave Europe to take action on the ground while retaining political control of crisis management through the North Atlantic Council;
  12. Emphasising the real difficulties involved in defining a European chain of command within the Alliance;
  13. Noting that the negotiations on a NATO-WEU framework agreement on the use of Alliance assets and capabilities by WEU have not yet been completed and that all the partners are resolved to finalise this agreement before the Washington Summit;
  14. Aware that the United States, which is planning to increase its defence expenditure by 10% this year, takes the view that a stronger ESDI would be a means of allaying its concerns about the insufficient burden that is shouldered by its European allies;
  15. Noting that the United States supports the Saint Malo Franco-British Declaration, provided that the achievements of the Berlin Summit are not lost and that the "3D" concept - no decoupling, duplication or discrimination - is applied;
  16. Taking the view that the North Atlantic Council’s determination to control the use of NATO assets made available to WEU, through the requirement that it approve the planning by NATO military staffs, strongly impinges on the autonomy of an operation conducted "under the political control and strategic direction of WEU" (Berlin Declaration, June 1996);
  17. Noting the American desire to develop a common vision and operational capability founded on the RMA (Revolution in Military Affairs) concepts and taking the view that this objective is practically impossible to attain for many European countries;
  18. Noting that Europeans are being realistic in pursuing their efforts to adapt their military capability to peacekeeping missions, involving forces that can be projected and achieve interoperability by means of NATO procedures;
  19. Stressing that the priority for European defence industries, before seeking to conclude transatlantic agreements, is their restructuring at European level;
  20. Considering the growing risk to European territories from the weapons of mass destruction held by certain states on the periphery of Europe and also American determination to develop counter-proliferation within the NATO framework;
  21. Noting that Western European Union has developed good relations with its 28 member and associate countries, some of which are neither European Union nor NATO members and that such relations must be retained, in particular those with the countries of central Europe, and also that these countries must not be excluded from participation in both NATO and CFSP discussions;
  22. Noting the valuable role played by Turkey and concerned that as this country is not a member of the European Union, its future role in European defence and security affairs must be safeguarded;
  23. Welcoming the recent enlargement of the Atlantic Alliance to take in the Czech Republic, Hungary and Poland;
  24. Recalling the links that exist between any decision of the Atlantic Alliance on the future "open door" policy and Europe’s fundamental interest in seeing all central European countries which are WEU associate partners included in the security area from which the countries of western Europe currently benefit;
  25. Aware of the desire of certain European countries to reach the level required for future accession to the Alliance and supporting the considerable efforts they have made to that end;
  26. Welcoming, pending further enlargement of the Alliance, the essential role of WEU in involving the observer and associate partner countries in decisions taken on European defence;
  27. Noting the importance for Europe’s stability of relations in the field of security and defence policy between NATO and Russia, on the one hand, and NATO and Ukraine, on the other;
  28. Welcoming both the smooth way in which the NATO-Russia Permanent Joint Council (PJC) is operating as a forum for exchanging information and the ties being developed with Ukraine in the framework of the 1997 NATO-Ukraine Charter;
  29. Recognising the role of the North Atlantic Assembly in providing for parliamentary scrutiny of NATO decisions and liaison between national parliaments,

RECOMMENDS THAT THE COUNCIL

  1. Contribute, with a view to the forthcoming Atlantic Alliance Summit, to the framing of a European position founded on the following principles:
    1. support for a new strategic concept whose aim is to maintain and strengthen the transatlantic ties essential to Europe’s security and stability, through full participation in the development of the new NATO;
    2. ensuring that the new NATO and the ESDI - inside and outside NATO - lead to greater responsibilities for Europeans matched by a greater contribution towards their own security, by achieving a better balance vis-à-vis the United States, in particular by contributing a larger share to the budget;
    3. no change to the Alliance’s core function, which must remain exclusively the collective defence of its members, with crisis management to be added only as a complementary activity;
    4. no unlimited extension of the missions of NATO which must remain those of a military coalition and which must not be superimposed on those of other international organisations;
    5. no extension of the NATO "area", but provision to be made for transatlantic consultations on all "out-of-area" matters deemed to be of common interest on a case-by-case basis and with no obligations attached;
    6. more extensive dialogue within the Alliance on the threat posed by weapons of mass destruction;
    7. complete evaluation of the future risks and threats in the field of weapons of mass destruction and assessment of their implications for the doctrine of nuclear deterrence;
    8. making it clear that, as a matter of principle, the use of out-of-area force in the framework of NATO or other military action must be founded on a specific mandate from the United Nations or the OSCE, save in exceptional cases of humanitarian disasters or serious violations of human rights;
    9. deepening NATO-WEU cooperation in order to promote the development of the ESDI within NATO, in particular by the conclusion, prior to the Washington Summit, of a framework agreement on the use by WEU of NATO assets and capabilities;
    10. making clear to "non-WEU" allies that the development of the ESDI within NATO is not enough to give the European Union the "capacity for autonomous action" called for in the Saint Malo Franco-British Declaration;
    11. gaining general acceptance among the Allies for a declaration on the ESDI to complete the Berlin Declaration (1996) so as to allow Europe (European Union or WEU), in times of crisis, to take a decision outside the NATO framework on the measures, including military measures, to be taken;
    12. calling, in order to guarantee the autonomy of a European chain of command within NATO, for the appointment of a general in charge of managing the European pillar within the Alliance in normal times, and for the designation of a dedicated military staff;
    13. taking measures in order to establish, for WEU-led operations, a chain of command within the European pillar of NATO, avoiding the designation of Deputy SACEUR as Operations Commander;
    14. supporting the idea of extensive membership of the Alliance based on an analysis of its long-term strategic and general interests and on enhancement of overall European stability;
    15. helping countries aspiring to join the Alliance by setting up with them major cooperation programmes in the framework of the Partnership for Peace;
    16. continuing to develop relations with Russia and Ukraine in order to involve those major countries in decisions on which the stability of the European security area depends;
    17. ensuring that there is no reduction in parliamentary scrutiny and liaison between national parliaments in the arrangements for European security and defence;
  2. Formalise, with a view to achieving full transparency in transatlantic relations, the present WEU Council’s regular contacts or those of its equivalent in the future with the United States and Canadian representatives in Brussels.

(C) Assembly of WEU

 

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).

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