The Info List - Western European Union

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The Western European Union
European Union
(WEU; French: Union de l'Europe occidentale, UEO) was an international organisation and military alliance, tasked with implementing the Modified Treaty of Brussels (1954), an amended version of the original 1948 Treaty of Brussels. The WEU was established by seven European nations allied with the United States
United States
(the Western Bloc
Western Bloc
and NATO
members) during the Cold War. After the end of the Cold War, WEU tasks and institutions were gradually transferred to the Common Security and Defence Policy
Common Security and Defence Policy
of the geographically larger, and in terms of integration more comprehensive, European Union. This process was completed in 2009 when a solidarity clause between the member states of the European Union, which was similar (but not identical) to the WEU's mutual defence clause, entered into force with the Treaty of Lisbon. The states party to the Modified Treaty of Brussels
consequently decided to terminate that treaty on 31 March 2010, with all the WEU's remaining activities to be ceased within 15 months. On 30 June 2011, the WEU was officially declared defunct.[1]


1 History

1.1 Treaty of Brussels 1.2 Western Union Defence Organization 1.3 Transfers to the EU 1.4 Abolition

2 Organisation

2.1 Western European Armaments Group 2.2 Western European Armaments Organisation 2.3 Eurofor

3 Participating states 4 See also 5 References 6 External links


Reconstruction of the organisation's rarely used 1949 flag.

The 9-star layout that was designed in 1993.

Treaty of Brussels[edit] Main article: Treaty of Brussels The Treaty of Brussels
was signed by the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands
on 17 March 1948. It was a mutual intergovernmental self-defence treaty which also promoted economic, cultural and social collaboration. As a result of the failure of the European Defence Community
European Defence Community
on 23 October 1954 the WEU was established by the Paris Agreements with the incorporation of Italy
and West Germany. On this occasion it was renamed the Western European Union. The signatories of the Paris Agreements clearly stated their three main objectives in the preamble to the modified Brussels

To create in Western Europe
a firm basis for European economic recovery; To afford assistance to each other in resisting any policy of aggression; To promote the unity and encourage the progressive integration of Europe.

The defence efforts resulting from the Brussels
Treaty took form as the Western Union Defence Organisation (see below). The Brussels
Pact had cultural and social clauses, concepts for the setting up of a 'Consultative Council'. The basis for this was that a cooperation between Western nations would help stop the spread of Communism.

Signed: In force: Document: 1948 1948 Brussels Treaty 1951 1952 Paris Treaty 1954 1955 Modified Brussels Treaty 1957 1958 Rome Treaty & EURATOM 1965 1967 Merger Treaty 1975 1976 Council Agreement on TREVI 1986 1987 Single European Act 1985+90 1995 Schengen Treaty & Convention 1992 1993 Maastricht Treaty (TEU) 1997 1999 Amsterdam Treaty 2001 2003 Nice Treaty 2007 2009 Lisbon Treaty  

Content: (founded WUDO) (founded ECSC) (protocol amending WUDO to become WEU) (founded EEC and EURATOM) (merging the legislative & administrative bodies of the 3 European communities) (founded TREVI) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EEC)+ (founded EPC) (founded Schengen) (implemented Schengen) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, and EEC to transform it into EC)+ (founded: JHA+CFSP) (amended: EURATOM, ECSC, EC to also contain Schengen, and TEU where PJCC replaced JHA) (amended with focus on institutional changes: EURATOM, ECSC, EC and TEU) (abolished the 3 pillars and WEU by amending: EURATOM, EC=>TFEU, and TEU) (founded EU as an overall legal unit with Charter of Fundamental Rights, and reformed governance structures & decision procedures)  


Three pillars of the European Union:  

European Communities (with a single Commission & Council)  

European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM)


European Coal and Steel Community
European Coal and Steel Community
(ECSC) Treaty expired in 2002

European Union
European Union


European Economic Community
European Economic Community
(EEC)   European Community (EC)

        Schengen Rules  

    Terrorism, Radicalism, Extremism and Violence Internationally (TREVI) Justice and Home Affairs (JHA)   Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters
Police and Judicial Co-operation in Criminal Matters

  European Political Cooperation (EPC) Common Foreign and Security Policy
Common Foreign and Security Policy

Western Union Defence Organization (WUDO) Western European Union
European Union

Treaty terminated in 2011    



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Western Union Defence Organization[edit] Main article: Western Union Defence Organization Transfers to the EU[edit] Originally, under the Amsterdam Treaty, the WEU was given an integral role in giving the EU an independent defence capability, playing a major role in the Petersberg tasks; however that situation is changing. On 13 November 2000, WEU Ministers met in Marseille
and agreed to begin transferring the organisation's capabilities and functions to the European Union, under its developing Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) and Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP).[2] For example, on 1 January 2002, the WEU's Security Studies Institute and the Satellite Centre were transferred to the EU and became the European Union
European Union
Institute for Security Studies and the European Union Satellite Centre. Notably, the role given to the WEU in the Amsterdam Treaty, was removed by the Nice Treaty. The Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
has provisions for cooperation between the EU and both NATO
(including the Berlin Plus agreement) and the WEU.[3][4] However the defence commitment, of Article 4 of the Brussels
Treaty, has not been subsumed.[5] Article 42(7) of the Treaty of the European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Lisbon, could be viewed as incorporating that defence commitment into the EU framework.[6] A summary of some of the moves towards a merger of the WEU into the EU:

On 20 November 1999, Javier Solana, who was the High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy
Common Foreign and Security Policy
(CFSP) of the EU, was also appointed Secretary-General of the WEU. His being head of both organisations permits him to oversee the ongoing transfer of functions from the WEU to the EU. The Petersberg tasks, declared by the WEU in 1992, were incorporated in 1997 into the Treaty of Amsterdam
Treaty of Amsterdam
of the EU, forming the basis of the Common Security and Defence Policy
Common Security and Defence Policy
which frames a common policy to deal with humanitarian and rescue, peacekeeping and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking. The European Union
European Union
Institute for Security Studies (EUISS) and European Union Satellite Centre (EUSC), both established to function under the EU's CFSP pillar, are replacements to the Western European Union Institute for Security Studies and the Western Union Satellite Centre which had been established to function in connection to the WEU.

With the transfer of responsibilities, the WEU's Parliamentary assembly was urged to dissolve itself, as it had a mandate to supervise WEU politics, not the EU's CSDP politics. But the Assembly saw itself as playing an important role, particularly with greater right of scrutiny, membership, experience and expertise in defence policy. Therefore, it renamed itself the "Interim European Security and Defence Assembly" and urged the European Convention to include it as a second chamber within the EU's institutional framework. Hence it argued it could effectively scrutinise the CSDP, help improve EU-NATO relations and be more suited, being composed of national parliamentarians, to the intergovernmental style of the CSDP. However, with the European Constitution aiming to streamline and simplify the EU's foreign policy, for example combining the two main foreign policy posts, it was not seen as wise to then create a separate double legislature for the CFSP, instead, the European Parliament was granted greater scrutiny over foreign policy.[7] Abolition[edit] In 2009, the Treaty of Lisbon
Treaty of Lisbon
took over the WEU's mutual defence clause.[1] There was much discussion about what to do with the WEU following the introduction of Lisbon, including plans to scrap it.[8] On 30 March 2010 in a Written Ministerial Statement UK's Foreign Office Minister Chris Bryant gave notice that the UK intended to withdraw from the Western European Union
European Union
within a year.[9] On 31 March 2010 the German Foreign Affairs Ministry announced Germany's intention to withdraw from the Modified Brussels
Treaty.[10] That same year, the Spanish Presidency of the WEU, on behalf of the 10 Member States of the Modified Brussels
Treaty, announced the collective decision to withdraw from the Treaty and to close the WEU organisation by June 2011.[11] On 30 June 2011 the WEU officially ceased to exist. Organisation[edit] The WEU was headquartered in Brussels, with a staff of 65 and an annual budget of €13.4 million.[8] It was composed of the Council of the WEU (the Council) and the Assembly of the WEU (the Assembly). The WEU was led by a Council of Ministers, assisted by a Permanent Representatives Council on the ambassadorial level. Social and cultural aspects of the Brussels
Treaty were handed to the Council of Europe
to avoid duplication of responsibilities within Europe.[12] A Parliamentary Assembly (composed of the delegations of the member states to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe) supervised the work of the Council, but it did not have any obligations on the Council. The Assembly of WEU
Assembly of WEU
was a consultative institution. Western European Armaments Group[edit] The Independent European Program Group (IEPG) was established as a forum for armaments cooperation in 1976 with the aim of creating a European Armaments Agency. Since 1993 the WEU armaments cooperation forum has been known as Western European Armaments Group (WEAG). Its membership reached 19 in 2000: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Turkey
and the United Kingdom. The body closed on 23 May 2005.[13] Western European Armaments Organisation[edit] The Western European Armaments Organisation (WEAO) was intended as an Armaments Agency but operations were limited to a research cell. It provided support services in defence research and technology. It was created in 1996, and closed in August 2006.[14] These agencies were taken over by the European Defence Agency. Other transferred bodies include the Institute for Security Studies and the Satellite Centre. Eurofor[edit] On 15 May 1995, the Council of Ministers of the WEU met in Lisbon. During this meeting a declaration of the creation of the European Operational Rapid Force (Eurofor) was made by France, Italy, Spain
and Portugal. Eurofor
became operational in June 1998 as a task force of the Western European Union.[15] Participating states[edit] The Western European Union
European Union
had ten member countries, six associate member countries, five observer countries and seven associate partner countries. On 14 June 2001, WEU President Solana stated that there was no foreseeable reason to change the status of the non member countries in the organisation.

Member countries: (modified Brussels
Treaty – 1954) All member countries of the WEU were also members of both NATO
and the European Union. These are the only nations that had full voting rights.

 Belgium  France  Germany   Greece
(1995)  Italy  Luxembourg  Netherlands   Portugal
(1990)   Spain
(1990)  United Kingdom

Observer countries: ( Rome
– 1992) Observer countries were members of the European Union, but not of NATO. 1

(1995)   Denmark
1   Finland
(1995)  Ireland   Sweden

1 Denmark
was an exception, being member of both. It has an opt-out from the Treaty of Maastricht
Treaty of Maastricht
(1992), so that it does not participate in the CSDP of the European Union.

Associate member countries: ( Rome
– 1992) Associate membership was created to include the European countries that were members of NATO
but not of the European Union. Associate members Poland, the Czech Republic
Czech Republic
& Hungary
joined the EU in 2004.

  Czech Republic
Czech Republic
(1999)   Hungary
(1999)  Iceland  Norway   Poland
(1999)   Turkey

Associate partner countries: (Kirchberg – 1994) Countries that at the time were part of neither NATO
nor of the EU. All of the following nations joined both NATO
and the EU by 2007.

 Bulgaria  Estonia  Latvia  Lithuania  Romania  Slovakia   Slovenia

See also[edit]

European Union
European Union

Western Union Defence Organization Collective defence Collective security European Defence Agency European Union
European Union
Institute for Security Studies Exercise Verity Flag of the Western European Union Franco-British Defence and Security Cooperation Treaty and Downing Street Declaration List of Secretaries General of the Western European Union List of military alliances Western Europe


^ a b Statement of the Presidency of the Permanent Council of the WEU on behalf of the High Contracting Parties to the Modified Brussels Treaty – Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain
and the United Kingdom, WEU 31 March 2010 ^ Marseille
European Union
(WEU) europa.eu ^ EU Security Policy & the Role of the European Commission Archived 1 July 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ec.europa.eu ^ House of Lords - European Union
European Union
- Tenth Report ^ Occasional Paper n.57: The democratic legitimacy of the European Security and Defence Policy European Union
European Union
Institute for Security Studies, April 2005 ^ a b Rettman, Andrew (3 September 2009) European defence league poised for debate on dormant pact, EU Observer accessed 3 September 2009 ^ "Announcements - GOV.UK". Fco.gov.uk. Retrieved 25 August 2013.  ^ "diplo - Startseite - HTTP Status 404" (in German). Auswaertiges-amt.de. Retrieved 25 August 2013.  ^ [1] Archived 19 December 2011 at the Wayback Machine. ^ The Western European Union
European Union
On CVCE website ^ WEAG website ^ WEAO Website Archived 24 May 2007 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Eurofor

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Western European Union.

WEU official web site Historical fonds of the Western European Union
European Union
at the Historical Archives of the EU in Florence Frozen version of the WEU Assembly's website History of NATO
– the Atlantic Alliance - UK Government site WEU evolution: The presentation of the Eurocorps-Foreign Legion concept at the European Parliament
European Parliament
in June 2003

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Western European Union
European Union

Flag Assembly Western Union Defence Organization London and Paris Conferences Petersberg tasks Secretary-General Treaty of Brussels Service medal

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Common Security and Defence Policy
Common Security and Defence Policy
of the European Union


High Representative/Commission Vice President Director General of the Military Staff Chairman of the Military Committee European Council Foreign Affairs Council


External Action Service

Military Staff (Military Planning and Conduct Capability) Civilian Planning and Conduct Capability Intelligence and Situation Centre (Club de Berne) Crisis Management and Planning Directorate Security & Defence College


Defence Agency Border and Coast Guard Agency Institute for Security Studies Satellite Centre

Council preparatory bodies

Committee of Permanent Representatives Political and Security Committee Politico-Military Group Military Committee Committee for Civilian Aspects of Crisis Management


Global Strategy Defence Fund Annual Review

Other arrangements

Permanent Structured Cooperation
Permanent Structured Cooperation
(PESCO; TEU, Article 42.6) Headline Goal 2010 Berlin Plus agreement Military Erasmus Military Mobility (PESCO)



Union level

Battlegroups (rotation) Medical Command (PESCO) EUFOR Crisis Response Operation Core
EUFOR Crisis Response Operation Core

Made available ad-hoc through TEU, Article 42.3

Corps Maritime Force Gendarmerie Force See also: Air Transport Command Movement Coordination Centre Air Group Finabel Organisation of Military Associations Organisation for Joint Armament Cooperation Amphibious Initiative


PESCO participants

Austria Belgium Bulgaria Croatia Cyprus Czech Republic Estonia Finland France Germany Greece Hungary Ireland Italy Latvia Lithuania Luxembourg Netherlands Poland Portugal Romania Slovakia Slovenia Spain Sweden


Denmark Malta United Kingdom


Galileo navigation system Secure Software-defined Radio (PESCO) Procurement National equipment


Service medal Medal for Extraordinary Meritorious Service Monitor mission medal

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Terrestrial force (EUFOR)

Althea Concordia RCA RD Congo Tchad/RCA Artemis

Naval force (EUNAVFOR)


Police (EUPOL)

Palestinian Territories Bosnia and Herzegovina

Training (EUTM)

Somalia Mali

Capacity Building (EUCAP)

Sahel Mali Sahel Niger

Border Assistance (EUBAM)


Rule of law (EULEX)


Monitoring (EUMM)


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See also: Treaties of the European Union

Treaty of Dunkirk (1947) Treaty of Brussels
(1948) Western Union Defence Organization
Western Union Defence Organization
(1948 – 1951) Treaty establishing the European Defence Community
European Defence Community
(signed 1952, unratified) London and Paris Conferences (1954) Western European Union
European Union
(1954–2011) Petersberg Declaration (1992) European Security and Defence Identity
European Security and Defence Identity
(1996-1999) Saint-Malo declaration
Saint-Malo declaration
(1998) Helsinki Headline Goal
Helsinki Headline Goal
(1999) European Security Strategy
European Security Strategy
(2003) CAPECON project (2002-2005) "Synchronised Armed Forces" (2009) European Security and Defence Policy (1999-2009) Rapid Operational Force (1995–2012) Operations Centre (2012-2016)

European Union
European Union
portal · Military history portal

Authority control

WorldCat Identities VIAF: 152702266 ISNI: 0000 0004 0611 616X GND: 35709-1 SUDOC: 027548252 BNF: