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The European Security and Defence Policy Following EU and NATO Enlargement

The European Security and Defence Policy Following EU and NATO Enlargement

Recommendation 748 and Resolution 122 on the European Security and Defence Policy following EU and NATO Enlargement − Reply to the annual report of the Council. Report (Document A/1860) submitted on behalf of the Political Committee by Mr van Winsen, Rapporteur (Netherlands, Federated Group). Source: WEU, Paris, June 4, 2004.

      The Assembly,

  1. Welcoming the progress made on the ESDP, apparent from the information contained in the second part of the forty-ninth annual report of the Council to the Assembly;

  2. Regretting that the Council's reply to Recommendation 736 takes a partial position only on the issues raised there by the Assembly;

  3. Stressing the utmost importance of taking up the challenges and making the most of the opportunities offered by EU and NATO enlargement to make Europe and the world a safer place on the basis of a more homogenous and effective European and transatlantic policy;

  4. Earnestly hoping that the adoption and entry into force of the EU draft Constitutional Treaty will turn the European Union into a more credible and effective player on the international stage, in the interests of peace, freedom, democratic values, the well being of its citizens and security in Europe and throughout the world;

  5. Recalling nevertheless that the provisions on security and defence and the relevant parliamentary dimension as currently proposed by the Intergovernmental Conference still have too many shortcomings to add value in those areas and replace the analogous provisions of the modified Brussels Treaty;

  6. Recalling in particular that the draft Constitutional Treaty is silent on the EU's defence cooperation with NATO and the matter of how the mutual defence obligation towards the six EU member states which are not members of the Atlantic Alliance can be guaranteed militarily;

  7. Convinced in consequence that the modified Brussels Treaty remains an indispensable element in Europe's security;

  8. Emphasising also that, in order to prevent the formation in Europe of areas of differential security, it is up to the Council to give the new EU and NATO member states the opportunity to benefit fully from the security guarantees available under the modified Brussels Treaty or from WEU associate status;

  9. Recalling that eight of the new EU member states now fulfil the criteria laid down under the Maastricht Declaration, adopted by the WEU member states on 10 December 1991, for being invited to join WEU, with two meeting the criteria for becoming WEU observer countries and two of the new NATO member countries for becoming WEU associate members;

  10. Recalling the Council's reply of 1 October 2003 to Written Question 383, in which it confirms the full validity of the aforementioned Maastricht Declaration;

  11. Convinced that the position stated by the Council in its Reply to Recommendation 721 of not intending "to anticipate any official démarche (...) by third countries expressing an interest in WEU" is not compatible with the undertakings given by the WEU governments in the Maastricht Declaration inasmuch as the initiative for such invitations should come from WEU;

  12. Welcoming Croatia's progress in its candidacy for EU accession, as shown by the European Commission's recent recommendation to the EU Council for opening accession negotiations with that country;

  13. Recalling that WEU and its Assembly still retain their vital importance as the sole democratic forum for strategic reflection on European security and defence matters where delegations from the national parliaments of EU member states and of all European countries that are members of NATO but not yet members of the European Union can take part, along with other candidate and third countries wanting to become more familiar with the European Security and Defence Policy;

  14. Stressing the utmost importance of rapid implementation of the European Security Strategy, particularly in regard to the European Union's new neighbourhood resulting from its eastward enlargement, which implies the development of a policy of constructive cooperation, including cross-border cooperation, and partnership with members of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) and in particular with Russia, Ukraine, Moldova and the Caucasus states;

  15. Recalling that the situation in Belarus continues to require particular attention in regard to the European Union's future policy, which must be closely coordinated with those of other international organisations and all neighbouring countries;

  16. Emphasising the need to speed up the process of firming up the part the ESDP is to play in combating international terrorism and the proliferation and development of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and also in the prevention of threats from "failing" states;

  17. Desirous that WEU members should contribute to the debate launched in the European Security Strategy on the possible reform of a country's right of individual and collective self-defence as set out in the United Nations Charter, which constitutes a key element of the modified Brussels Treaty,

      RECOMMENDS that the Council

  1. Follow up Recommendation 732 by expressing a preference at the Intergovernmental Conference for any proposed formula in regard to the provisions of the Constitutional Treaty on security and defence matters that is equivalent to the provisions of the modified Brussels Treaty, including those concerning the parliamentary dimension;

  2. Maintain the modified Brussels Treaty and WEU, and apply that Treaty fully for as long as the European Union does not have either the appropriate legal means or the necessary instruments to substitute the Treaty and all WEU bodies;

  3. Reply to paragraphs 2-5 of Recommendation 736;

  4. Implement WEU's Maastricht Declaration of 10 December 1991, appended to the Maastricht Treaty, and invite with immediate effect:

    • the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia. Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia to become members of WEU under terms to be agreed in accordance with Article XI of the modified Brussels Treaty;

    • Bulgaria and Romania to become WEU associate members;

    • Cyprus and Malta to become observers in WEU;

  5. Grant Croatia the status of WEU associate partner;

  6. Give the European Union the necessary impetus to ensure that the European Security Strategy is implemented, in particular by:

    • contributing actively to a constructive policy regarding the EU's new neighbourhood;

    • clarifying the part the ESDP is to play in the fight against international terrorism;

    • helping to take rapidly the necessary practical measures for anticipatory implementation of the solidarity clause;

    • making WEU's experience, and its experience in applying its Treaty, available to the EU for developing constructive cooperation with NATO;

  7. Propose to the European Union that it establish a system of regular information and consultation with European NATO allies in a 25+5 framework;

  8. Develop a contribution to the European Union on the implications of possible reform of a country's right to individual and collective self defence, as set out in the UN Charter;

  9. Support Resolution 122 and Decision 27 which follow.

               Resolution 127 on the European Security and Defence Policy following EU and NATO enlargement

      The Assembly,

  1. Recalling its contributions to the Convention on the Future of Europe and the Intergovernmental Conference, and in particular Assembly Resolutions 109, 115 and 117;

  2. Conscious of its responsibility and experience as the first Interparliamentary European Security and Defence Assembly;

  3. Deeming it essential, in order to bring real added value to security in Europe, to amend the provisions of the draft Constitutional Treaty concerning defence and the collective participation of the national parliaments in those European Union activities falling within the sphere of intergovernmental cooperation as currently proposed by the Intergovernmental Conference,

      STRONGLY URGES the Heads of State and Government of the countries participataing in the Intergovernmental Conference to:

      Resolution 122 on the European Security and Defence Policy following EU and NATO enlargement

  1. Adopt wording equivalent to that contained in the modified Brussels Treaty in the provisions of the draft Constitutional Treaty concerning the mutual defence obligation;

  2. Envisage a provision on defence cooperation between the EU and NATO, and amend Article III-229 of the draft Constitutional Treaty by including NATO among the international organisations referred to;

  3. Specify the content of the military guarantee of the mutual defence commitment to those member states which are not part of the Atlantic Alliance;

  4. Re-word paragraph II.10 of the draft Protocol on the role of national Parliaments in the European Union to read as follows:

      "10. The national Parliaments of the Member States shall organise their cooperation in an Interparliamentary Forum of the European Union whose composition, which shall include parliamentarians from all the WEU nations, and whose working methods they shall decide.

      The Interparliamentary Forum shall be the network for consultation among the national Parliaments on any matter concerning the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality.

      The Interparliamentary Forum shall moreover hold a consultative dialogue with the executive bodies of the European Union on topics that are the subject of intergovernmental cooperation, and in particular on matters of common foreign and security policy and of common security and defence policy, on the basis of an annual report from the Council transmitted simultaneously to both the Interparliamentary Forum and the European Parliament."

  1. Add in paragraph II of the draft Protocol on the role of national Parliaments in the European Union a new subparagraph 11 to read as follows:

      "11. The Interparliamentary Forum, in which the national Parliaments' committees specialising in Community affairs shall also be represented, may submit any contribution it deems appropriate for the attention of the European Parliament, the Council of Ministers and the Commission.

      The Forum shall in addition promote the exchange of information and best practice between Member States' Parliaments and the European Parliament, including their special committees.

      It may also organise interparliamentary conferences on specific topics.

      Contributions from the Forum shall in no way bind national Parliaments or prejudge their positions.

      The Interparliamentary Forum and the European Parliament shall together determine the practical arrangements of their cooperation."

  1. Add the following sentence to the end of paragraph 5 of the draft Protocol on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality:

      "On any matter concerning the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, the national Parliaments may, as necessary, consult each other within the Interparliamentary Forum of the European Union for which provision is made in the Protocol on the role of national Parliaments in the European Union."

  1. Include the European Interparliamentary Forum in all the articles of the draft Constitutional Treaty which make provision for the European Parliament to be informed and consulted.

                    Decision 27 on the European Security and Defence Policy following EU and NATO enlargement

      The Assembly,

  1. Recalling that eight of the new EU member states now fulfil the criteria laid down under the Maastricht Declaration, adopted by the WEU member states on 10 December 1991, for being invited to join WEU, with two meeting the criteria for becoming WEU observer countries and two of the new NATO member countries for becoming WEU associate members;

  2. Recalling the Council's reply of 1 October 2003 to Written Question 383, in which it confirms the full validity of the aforementioned Maastricht Declaration;

  3. Recalling that that Declaration is binding on WEU as a whole, and consequently also on the WEU Assembly;

  4. Desirous that the delegations of the national parliaments of the countries referred to should be allowed to benefit as quickly as possible from certain prerogatives that derive from the application of the principles of the WEU Declaration of 10 December 1991 in respect of their status in the Assembly, pending an initiative from the Council to implement the Declaration in respect of the countries concerned;

  5. Recalling the wish expressed by certain parliamentary delegations of the countries concerned to take advantage of voting rights in the Assembly,

      DECIDES:

  1. To grant the parliamentary delegations of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia prerogatives in regard to voting rights similar to those of WEU member states;

  2. To grant the parliamentary delegations of Bulgaria and Romania prerogatives in regard to voting rights similar to those of WEU associate member states;

  3. To grant the parliamentary delegations of Cyprus and Malta prerogatives similar to those of the delegations benefiting from permanent observer status;

  4. To study the possibility of granting voting rights in committees to parliamentary delegations of permanent observer countries;

  5. To grant the parliamentary delegation of Croatia prerogatives similar to those of the delegations benefiting from associate partner status,

      INVITES:

  1. (a) its Committee on Rules of Procedure and Privileges to examine the effects of the present Decision on the Assembly's Charter and Rules of Procedure

    (b) its Committee on Budgetary Affairs and Administration to examine the budget and administrative implications of the present Decision so that it can enter into force at the latest by the second part of the fiftieth session.


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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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