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ESP Fifty Years After the Signing of the Modified Brussels Treaty

ESP Fifty Years After the Signing of the Modified Brussels Treaty

European security policy fifty years after the signing of the modified Brussels Treaty - reply to the annual report of the Council. Report (Document A/1878) submitted on behalf of the Political Committee by Mr Nazaré Pereira, Rapporteur (Portugal, Federated Group). Source: WEU, Paris, December 1, 2004.

      The Assembly,

  1. Noting with satisfaction that, with the signature of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, many of the aims defined fifty years ago by the Paris Agreements modifying the Brussels Treaty with a view to promoting the unity and encouraging the progressive integration of Europe have been achieved, marking the culmination of a half-century of efforts by the member states of WEU;

  2. Welcoming the new prospects that have been opened up in the fight against international terrorism by the inclusion of a solidarity clause in the Constitutional Treaty and the decision of the European Council to act from now on in keeping with the spirit of that clause;

  3. Noting with interest that the Constitutional Treaty offers the WEU countries the possibility of participating in missions conducted by a group of member states and in the various forms of structured and enhanced cooperation in the area of the ESDP;

  4. Strongly hoping that the European Union will offer to all non-EU European NATO member states an associate status within the ESDP that will enable them to participate fully in all activities planned in this area, including structured and enhanced cooperation projects, as well as in the decision-making process;

  5. Considering, on the one hand, the EU's loftier ambitions of becoming a global player − which necessarily exposes its member states to increased risks − and on the other hand, the unforeseeable dangers and threats arising out of the existence, development and proliferation of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and their means of delivery;

  6. Convinced therefore of the need to maintain an unconditional security guarantee in the form of a binding mutual assistance commitment in the area of defence, such as that contained in Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty;

  7. Noting that the provisions on common security and defence policy in the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe contain no such binding commitment or any military guarantee as to the security and territorial integrity of those European Union member states that are not members of the Atlantic Alliance;

  8. Recalling that neither does the Constitutional Treaty make provision for cooperation between the European Union and NATO, and that the confidential "Berlin plus" arrangements, which are confined to specific aspects of crisis management, cannot replace a more general treaty-based agreement conducive to the development of a climate of trust and cooperation between the two organisations in areas of mutual interest and in the interests of European security;

  9. Regretting that the Constitutional Treaty makes no provision for any obligation on the part of the EU Council to engage in an institutional dialogue in the area of the ESDP with a body composed of representatives of the national parliaments, despite the fact that the latter have the task of scrutinising the policy of their respective governments, which in most cases is based on decisions taken at European level, and of voting their budgetary allocations for defence;

  10. Noting that there is for the moment no consensus within the Council on the consequences for the future of the modified Brussels Treaty of the entry into force of the Constitutional Treaty;

  11. Recalling in that regard the arguments put forward in Recommendation 748, which strengthen the Assembly's conviction that the modified Brussels Treaty remains an essential part of European security;

  12. Deploring the Council's persistent refusal to offer all new EU and/or NATO member states that are prepared to expose themselves without reservation to the increased risks linked with ESDP missions the possibility of acceding to the modified Brussels Treaty in order to benefit from Article V, or of changing their status within WEU, despite the fact that those countries meet the criteria defined by the WEU member states in December 1991;

  13. Noting that the EU heads of state and government have appended to the Constitutional Treaty a protocol in which the EU and WEU are invited to draw up arrangements for improving cooperation between themselves;

  14. Extremely disappointed at the scant contents of the first part of the 50th annual report of the Council to the Assembly and of its replies to Recommendations 742 to 748, which cannot be deemed to comply with the institutional obligations placed on the Council by Article IX of the modified Brussels Treaty,

    RECOMMENDS that the Council

  1. Maintain the modified Brussels Treaty and fully apply its provisions, including those whereby interested countries may be invited to subscribe to it for as long as the European Union has neither the legal means nor the equivalent instruments necessary for replacing the Treaty and all the organs of WEU;

  2. Keep the promise made in its reply to Recommendation 736, in which it states that "as in the past, the Council will continue, through its Annual Report, to keep the Assembly informed of all developments liable to affect either the modified Brussels Treaty or the WEU organs (...) in the context of the progress being made in the Common Security and Defence Policy of the European Union";

  3. Reply to paragraphs 6 to 8 of Recommendation 748;

  4. Encourage all WEU member states to participate in the structured and enhanced cooperation provided for in the Constitutional Treaty and be prepared to propose WEU as the most suitable framework for such cooperation projects and their parliamentary scrutiny, given the protection provided by the mutual defence commitment contained in the modified Brussels Treaty;

  5. Inform the Assembly of the way in which it intends to implement the protocol on cooperation arrangements between the European Union and WEU appended to the Constitutional Treaty;

  6. Make efforts within the European Union to ensure that all European NATO member states that are not members of WEU, such as Bulgaria, Iceland, Norway, Romania and Turkey, are able to be participate fully in the ESDP and in enhanced and structured cooperation projects, as well as in the activities of the European Defence Agency;

  7. Launch within the EU a study on the evolution and scope of the right of individual and collective self-defence in the context of the preventive engagement proposed by the European Security Strategy and of the "projection of stability" doctrine developed within NATO;

  8. Inform the Assembly about the ESDP Action Plan on Combating Terrorism and more particularly about the content of the Conceptual Framework for the ESDP and Terrorism;

  9. Support the Assembly more vigorously in its efforts to seek, together with the governments concerned and with other interparliamentary bodies, between now and the entry into force of the Constitutional Treaty, an appropriate solution for the collective participation of the representatives of the national parliaments in all ESDP activities that the European Union inherited from WEU.

         Order 120 on European security policy fifty years after the signing of the modified Brussels Treaty: Reply to the annual report of the Council

      The Assembly,

    (i) Recalling Decision 27 to study the possibility of granting voting rights in committees to parliamentary delegations of observer countries;

    (ii) Considering that when the Amsterdam Treaty was signed, the WEU member states undertook, in their Declaration of 22 July 1997, to develop the rights of observer countries like Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland and Sweden so as to enable them to participate fully and on an equal footing in WEU planning and decision-taking for operations to which they contributed and to strengthen their participation in WEU's activities;

    (iii) Recalling that since the entry into force of the Nice Treaty, all the abovementioned WEU observer countries except Denmark have been participating fully in all ESDP activities that the EU inherited from WEU;

    (iv) Considering that since 1 May 2004, Cyprus and Malta have been members of the European Union and that with Decision 27, the Assembly granted the parliamentary delegations of those two countries prerogatives similar to those of delegations with a permanent observer status;

    (v) Recalling that with the exception of Denmark, none of the abovementioned countries is a member of the Atlantic Alliance and hence able to participate in the collective defence efforts;

    (vi) Convinced that it is desirable to strengthen the possibilities for participation by the parliamentary delegations of the countries concerned in the Assembly's activities in all areas of the ESDP;

    (vii) Considering that granting those delegations voting rights in committees is an essential and appropriate way of taking better account of their views in the Assembly's work,

    INVITES the Committee on rules of procedure and privileges

    To draw up the necessary arrangements for granting the parliamentary delegations of Austria, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Malta and Sweden voting rights in committees.

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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).