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WEU Ministerial Council : Luxembourg Declaration

WEU Ministerial Council : Luxembourg Declaration

Source: Western European Union. Luxembourg, November 23, 1999.

  1. Ministers for Foreign Affairs and Defence of the WEU nations met in Luxembourg on 22 and 23 November 1999. The WEU Council of Ministers was preceded by the meeting of the Defence Ministers of the 13 members of the Western European Armaments Group (WEAG) with the participation of their colleagues from Austria, Finland and Sweden.
  2. Ministers welcomed the results of the European Council in Cologne. They welcomed the decision to give the European Union the necessary means and capabilities to assume its responsibilities regarding a common European policy on security and defence and the commitment to further develop more effective European military capabilities from the basis of existing national, bi-national and multinational capabilities and to strengthen Europe's own capabilities for that purpose. Ministers noted that the European Council has tasked the General Affairs Council to prepare the conditions and the measures necessary to achieve these objectives, including the definition of the modalities for the inclusion of those functions of WEU which will be necessary for the European Union to fulfil its new responsibilities in the area of the Petersberg tasks. They looked forward to the decisions to be taken in this regard by the European Council in Helsinki.
  3. Pending the creation of the appropriate structures in the Union, Ministers reaffirmed their readiness, in the framework of Article 17 of the TEU, and if the Union so wishes, to continue to provide the Union with access to an operational capability and to elaborate and implement decisions and actions of the Union which have defence implications. Building upon the arrangements for enhanced cooperation between the European Union and WEU under the Protocol on Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union, implemented since the Bremen meeting, Ministers expressed their willingness to allow bodies of the Council of the European Union direct access, as required, to the expertise of the Organisation's operational structures, including the WEU Secretariat, the Military Staff, the Satellite Centre and the Institute for Security Studies.
  4. To that end, if the European Union expressed such a need, they agreed:

    - to authorise the transmission of all WEU's work and analyses, particularly those of the Military Staff, to the High Representative for the CSFP and the other appropriate bodies of the Council of the European Union taking into account the relevant security arrangements;

    - to give task requests from appropriate bodies of the Council of the EU addressed to the Satellite Centre the same priority as those from the WEU Council ;

    - to ensure that the publications of the Institute for Security Studies are addressed to the High Representative for the CFSP and the other appropriate bodies of the Council of the EU on a systematic basis.

    - to allow the continuation of cross-participation and joint meetings and meetings of the WEU-EU ad hoc group, when appropriate, according to the established modalities.

  5. Ministers noted with satisfaction that the Alliance has reaffirmed its strong commitment to pursue the process of reinforcing the European pillar of the Alliance on the basis of its Brussels Declaration of 1994 and of the principles agreed at Berlin in 1996. They appreciated the progress achieved in implementing the Berlin decisions and noted that their key elements are being put in place. They underlined the importance of the Alliance's Strategic Concept.
  6. Ministers hailed the fact that, as set out in paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of the Washington Summit Communiqué, the Alliance welcomed the new impetus given to the strengthening of a common European policy in security and defence and indicated its readiness to define and adopt the necessary arrangements for ready access by the European Union to NATO collective assets and capabilities.
  7. Ministers held a detailed discussion on security and defence in Europe. In this context, they welcomed the continuation of the work on the informal reflection mandated in Rome and held at meetings of directors for security policy from Foreign and Defence Ministries which had demonstrated a common willingness:
  8. - to strengthen the assets and capabilities available for crisis management operations ;

    - to prepare the WEU legacy and the inclusion of those functions of WEU, which will be deemed necessary by the European Union to fulfil its new responsibilities in the area of crisis management tasks ;

    - to develop satisfactory arrangements that serve the interests of all WEU nations.

  9. Ministers decided that the informal reflection work should be pursued on this basis. In this context, WEU offers a framework for dialogue facilitating a politico-military consultation process and cooperation among Europeans on wider security and defence issues.
  10. Ministers welcomed the results of the audit of assets and capabilities for European crisis management operations. They took note with satisfaction of the report prepared by the Presidency and they approved the recommendations for strengthening European capabilities for crisis management operations. They tasked the Permanent Council to take forward work within its competence on strengthening WEU's collective capabilities.
  11. Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the work of the extended WEU Multinational Advisory Police Element (MAPE), undertaken at the request of the European Union, which is contributing to the ongoing process of stabilisation and democratic reform in Albania. The Operation Plan for the extended MAPE mission enables it to better respond to the needs of the Albanian authorities in building a police force according to European norms.
  12. Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the implementation of the general security surveillance mission on Kosovo carried out by the WEU Satellite Centre at the request of the European Union. They welcomed the interest shown by international organisations in the Satellite Centre's Geographic Information System (GIS).
  13. Ministers expressed their satisfaction with the conduct of the WEU Demining Assistance Mission (WEUDAM) in Croatia, led by Sweden and undertaken at the request of the European Union.
  14. Ministers had an extended discussion on Kosovo and the region. They reaffirmed their commitment to a democratic and multiethnic Kosovo and expect all parties to comply fully with UN Security Council Resolution 1244. They reiterated the necessity for real progress towards democracy and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. They expressed their complete support for implementation of the Stability Pact for South-Eastern Europe aiming at lasting peace, democratisation, prosperity, security and stability in the region. They noted with satisfaction the cooperation, on the ground, of all the international organisations and particularly welcomed the efforts made by SFOR and KFOR to restore stability and implement peace in the region. They welcomed the efforts made by AFOR. They also noted with satisfaction the establishment of the Multinational Peace Force/South Eastern Europe and the official opening of its Headquarters in Plovdiv, Bulgaria, as an important contribution to the confidence building process and regional security.
  15. In the field of WEU's operational development, Ministers
  16. - highlighted the importance of the WEU/NATO Joint Crisis Management Exercise 2000 (CMX/CRISEX 2000) which will practice and validate crisis management procedures and the consultation arrangements between WEU and NATO in the event of a WEU-led operation using NATO assets and capabilities;

    - stressed the importance of the measures taken regarding the new structure of the Military Staff which enhance its efficiency and cohesion. They took note of the respective documents;

    - stressed the importance of civil-military cooperation in the context of crisis management missions. They took note of the WEU concept in this area;

    - took note of the WEU medical support concept.

  17. Ministers welcomed the recent initiatives by the member nations of Eurocorps, Eurofor and Euromarfor to reinforce the crisis management capabilities of those multinational forces. They welcomed the intention of the Eurocorps member nations to adapt the Eurocorps, and in particular its Headquarters, to the new strategic environment and to develop it in future into a European rapid reaction corps. They also welcomed the adoption of the Joint Declaration on the use of the Spanish-Italian Amphibious Force (SIAF) in the framework of WEU.
  18. Ministers approved the recommendations contained in the report on the possible participation of WEU in a developing multilateral European programme in the satellite field.
  19. Ministers noted with interest the report by the Presidency on the Military Committee meeting held in Luxembourg on 3 and 4 November 1999. In particular, they welcomed the fact that the work on the organisational structure and functioning of the Military Staff had been completed.
  20. The WEU Council (Members of WEAG) adopted the conclusions of the WEAG Defence Ministers.
  21. Ministers welcomed the results of the OSCE Summit meeting held in Istanbul on 18 and 19 November 1999. They noted with satisfaction the agreement on the adaptation of the CFE Treaty, which remains a cornerstone of European security, and the adaptation of the 1994 Vienna Document. Ministers underlined the need for the participating States to comply with all provisions in these documents. Ministers also welcomed the adoption of the Istanbul Charter for European Security which reflects the changes that have taken place in Europe in the last decade. The Charter will provide a solid basis for the OSCE to address future challenges to peace and security. In this context Ministers also welcomed the adoption of the "Platform for Cooperative Security". It reaffirms the importance of cooperation between mutually reinforcing and complementary organizations.
  22. Ministers expressed their deep concern over the continuing military campaign in the Northern Caucasus. They urged the fullest restraint, so as to avoid disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force. They also urged the Russian Government to observe its commitments under international humanitarian law to avoid civilian casualties. Ministers strongly underlined the need to seek a negotiated settlement and emphasized that a dialogue between the Russian Government and the elected leaders of the North Caucasus, including Chechnya, would be an important step towards finding a political solution. Ministers underlined the role which the OSCE should play in achieving that goal. They welcomed the willingness of the OSCE to assist in the renewal of a political dialogue and the agreement of the Russian Federation to a visit by the Chairman-in-Office to the region. Ministers recalled their positions concerning the territorial integrity of the Russian Federation. They underlined their resolute condemnation of terrorism in all its forms.
  23. Ministers underlined Russia's key role in Europe's security and stability and looked forward to seeing WEU's relationship with Russia further developing on the basis of enhanced political dialogue and practical cooperation.
  24. Ministers reaffirmed Ukraine's significance as a European partner. They welcomed the progress made in implementation of the action plan. They expressed the wish to see further enhancement of the political dialogue and practical cooperation between WEU and Ukraine.
  25. Ministers called on Belarus, Russia and Ukraine to ratify the Open Skies Treaty without further delay. They welcomed the initiatives taken in this respect by the WEU nations.
  26. Ministers expressed their satisfaction regarding the development of WEU's Mediterranean dialogue. The dialogue contributes to confidence-building and cooperation in the region and reinforces other international efforts, notably the European Union's Barcelona Process and NATO's Mediterranean dialogue.
  27. Ministers took note with appreciation of the ongoing dialogue between Cyprus* and WEU that evolves in line with the development of Cyprus's* links with the European Union, with which negotiations for accession are continuing.
  28. Ministers reiterated the importance of continuing the Transatlantic Forum dialogue. They welcomed the programme of the French Chair.
  29. Ministers continue to attach great importance to the contribution of the WEU Assembly to the Organisation's work and the ongoing reflection on European security and defence.
  30. Ministers welcomed the statement presented by Portugal on the programme for its forthcoming Presidency of WEU.
  31. Ministers thanked Mr Guido Lenzi for the results achieved by the Institute for Security Studies under his leadership. They welcomed the appointment of his successor, Ms Nicole Gnesotto, as the new Director of the Institute.
  32. Ministers paid tribute to the Secretary-General, Mr José Cutileiro, and thanked him for his invaluable contribution to WEU's development over the past few years. They expressed their appreciation for all his work, which had been a decisive factor in the development of the Organisation.
  33. Ministers endorsed the Permanent Council's decision to appoint Mr Javier Solana to the post of Secretary-General. They expressed their conviction that Mr Solana's appointment to this position will contribute to the development of relations between WEU and the European Union foreseen in the Treaty on European Union and by the decisions of the European Council in Cologne.



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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).