|Law in Humanitarian Crises, Volume II : Access to Victims: Right to Intervene or Right to Receive Humanitarian Assistance? (ECHO)|
WEU Council of Ministers, Lisbon, 15th May 1995
1. Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defence of the WEU nations gathered in Lisbon on 15th May 1995. They warmly welcomed the accession of Greece to WEU as a full member and the consequent entry into force of the Associate Members' status and the Associate Partners' status, as well as the fact that Austria, Finland and Sweden became Observers following their accession to the European Union.
2. Ministers recalled that the construction of an integrated Europe will remain incomplete as long as it does not include security and defence. They also recalled the role of WEU as defence component of the EU and as a means to strengthen the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance and the priority which they therefore attached to the development of its operational capabilities. They recalled that, in the Petersberg declaration, preparedness was expressed to deploy WEU military units for humanitarian and rescue tasks, peace-keeping tasks, and tasks of combat forces in crisis-management. They reaffirmed their resolve to work, on the basis of the preliminary conclusions adopted in Noordwijk on the formulation of a common European defence policy, to ensure that this policy can effectively take shape in the years ahead. Ministers expressed their appreciation of the significant progress made by WEU since their last meeting and discussed in particular the following issues:
1. WEU development
(a) Operational development
1. Ministers examined the implementation of their previous decisions, in particular those taken at their Petersberg, Kirchherg and Noordwijk meetings, regarding the development of WEU operational capabilities. They approved a decision which, inter alia:
- provides WEU with new decision-making mechanisms and structures, in particular the establishment of a new politico-military group in support of the Council, a Situation Centre, and an Intelligence Section in the Planning Cell;
- refines procedures and objectives for the identification of Forces Answerable to WEU;
- provides WEU with preliminary conclusions and transitional arrangements for the financing of WEU operations.
Ministers underlined the need to gain practical experience of the provisions contained in this decision through appropriate exercises. In this context they welcomed the intentions expressed by Portugal to organise an exercise. They also welcomed the agreement reached by the member states of the Eurocorps to carry out the exercise WEU crisis 95-96, within the framework of the Petersberg declaration, and took note of the decision to propose this exercise to the Council in order to verify the procedures established in the relevant operational documents of the organisation.
2. Ministers welcomed the progress made in WEU in identifying those assets and capabilities that WEU will need in its future operations, as well as in defining its views on the mechanisms and procedures for the use of such assets and capabilities which the alliance could make available to WEU.
3. Ministers welcomed the presentation of a report of the Secretary-General on the reinforcement of the Secretariat in the politico-military, field, which will constitute the basis for decisions to be taken by the Permanent Council before the next Ministerial Council, allowing for the reinforcement to begin by January 1996.
4. Ministers welcomed the decision of France, Italy and Spain to organise a land force (EUROFOR) and a maritime force (EUROMARFOR). They noted that these forces will be open to WEU member states. In this context, they welcomed the agreements reached on the participation of Portugal in EUROFOR and EUROMARFOR since their establishment. They also noted that these forces would be declared "forces answerable to WEU", that they would be employed as a priority in this framework, that they could likewise be employed in the framework of NATO, so as to strengthen the European pillar of the alliance, and that the fulfilment of their missions will not prejudice the participation of their units in the common defence missions provided for by Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty, and Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. Ministers believe that these initiatives will contribute to the development of the European security and defence identity and strengthen Europe's own military capabilities for operations conducted pursuant to the Petersberg declaration.
5. Ministers tasked the Permanent Council, on the initiative of the participating states, to detail the relations between WEU and these forces, together with the conditions for their use in the WEU framework.
6. As a follow-up to the decision taken at their last meeting in Noordwijk, Ministers endorsed a document on "emergency responses to humanitarian crises: a role for a WEU humanitarian task force". The document, based on an Italian/United Kingdom proposal on the principles and modalities for establishing a WEU humanitarian task force and on the use of military assets in humanitarian crises, is fully consistent with the above decision in paragraph 3. They tasked the Permanent Council to complete the work on this subject as a matter of priority and requested the Planning Cell to take forward as a matter of urgency its generic planning in this area.
7. Ministers also marked their interest in the initiative by France and the United Kingdom on peace-keeping and conflict-prevention in Africa. In this connection, they welcomed the preliminary reflections taking place in WEU in parallel with the discussions within the European Union and against the background of the debate in progress at the United Nations; they instructed the Permanent Council to take forward its reflections on this subject.
8. Ministers also examined progress made in the field of WEU space activities. They approved a decision on the establishment of the Satellite Centre as a permanent WEU body. They also approved a decision tasking the Space Group to continue its activities, concentrating on the study of the three proposed approaches to developing WEU's capability to use satellite imagery for security purposes, namely the establishment of a WEU satellite system, participation in a developing multinational programme or procurement of imagery with the aim of presenting a proposal to their autumn 1995 ministerial meeting.
9. Ministers took note of the report by the presidency on the Chiefs of Defence Staff meeting held on 20th April 1995 in Lisbon.
10. Ministers took note of documents on WEU's role in evacuation operations", "generic planning, and intelligence support to the Planning Cell: short-term measures. They considered these documents as a significant contribution to the implementation of their decisions on the development of WEU operational capabilities.
11. They looked forward to the conclusion of the work on other operational aspects identified in the preliminary conclusions on the formulation of a common European defence policy, approved in Noordwijk.
12. Ministers took note with appreciation of the reports on the Portuguese Presidency's missions to Mostar and the Danube and welcomed the recent visit to Mostar of the presidency's Foreign Minister, Mr. Durao Barroso. They also noted with great interest the information provided to the Council by the EU Administrator for Mostar, Mr. Koschnick.
13. Ministers reiterated the importance they attach to the WEU contribution to the EU Mostar administration, and to the Danube and Sharp Guard operations, which are visible expressions of WEU's commitment to European security. They expressed their appreciation and gratitude to all those participating in these operations and thus contributing to their success.
14. Ministers welcomed the agreement between the parties concerned on the implementation of the first phase of the establishment of a unified police force of Mostar (UPFM) and regarding the structure of the future UPFM. They believe that these important steps should lead to the implementation of the UPFM. Ministers agreed to continue to encourage the parties, in particular via the presidency, to secure agreement to the subsequent implementation phases and the establishment of the UPFM. Ministers welcomed the forthcoming participation of Austria, Finland and Sweden in the WEU police element, in addition to the contributions provided by the member states.
15. Ministers welcomed the successful results accomplished by the WEU police and customs mission on the Danube, which contribute to the full implementation of the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions.
16. They also expressed their satisfaction at the continued positive results achieved in the joint WEU-NATO Operation Sharp Guard in the Adriatic.
(b) Common reflection on new European security conditions
1. Ministers welcomed progress achieved on the common reflection on the new European security conditions. They emphasised the importance of the fact that, for the first time, such an exercise is taking place among the 27 WEU nations. They approved a document which indentifies their common interests, as well as potential risks to European security. This analysis will be further reviewed in the light of the second phase of the exercise.
2. Ministers noted that, in the second phase, WEU countries will examine how to enhance and strengthen their common security through possible responses to the potential risks already identified. They asked the Permanent Council to submit at their next meeting the final results of the exercise along the lines of paragraph 6 of the Noordwijk declaration with a view to a decision on the publication of a white paper on European security.
3. Ministers welcomed the French initiative concerning the organisation in autumn 1995 of a European session to reflect on a European security policy, which will bring together representatives of the 27 WEU nations.
(c) Other questions
1. Ministers welcomed the Permanent Council decision on the implementation of the Associate Partners' status which will allow for the extension of their participation in WEU working groups, for the conclus~on of ha~son arrangements between them and the Planning Cell, as well as for the identification of their forces which may be made available for WEU operations. They welcomed the progress already achieved on the identification of forces and looked forward to the full and rapid implementation of the above mentioned measures.
2. Ministers underlined the importance they attach to the role played by the Assembly in the debate on security and defence in Europe and its substantive contribution to the wider consideration of these issues. They welcomed the regular and constructive dialogue between the Council and the Assembly.
3. Ministers welcomed the Permanent Council decision on the gradual transformation of the Institute for Security Studies into an Academy.
4. Ministers welcomed the signature of the WEU security agreement on 28th March 1995.
2. Relations with the European Union
1. Ministers had an exchange of views on the relations between WEU and the European Union. They stressed the importance of developing further this relationship for the future of the two organisations and for European security as a whole.
2. Ministers recalled their decision in Noordwijk last November that WEU should make a timely contribution to the work of the 1996 EU intergovernmental conference (IGC). Ministers held a first exchange of views on this contribution, which will re-examine and further develop the role of WEU and the provisions agreed at Maastricht, taking account of the progress made and experience acquired since the WEU Maastricht declaration of December 1991 and the entry into force of the Treaty on European Union.
3. Ministers tasked the Permanent Council to present a report at their next meeting in November in Madrid. In this respect, they welcomed the intention of the incoming Spanish Presidency to present a reflection document on the WEU contribution to the IGC to serve as the basis of the Permanent Council's report. They noted that the possibility of holding a meeting at summit level to finalise the WEU contribution to the IGC continues to be considered.
4 In this context, Ministers welcomed as significant contributions to the forthcoming debate the presentation of the proposals made by the British Prime Minister, of the Netherlands Government memorandum and of other national positions. These, together with the ongoing work in the European Union started under the French Presidency, would be important inputs to this debate.
5. Ministers welcomed the initiative of the Portuguese Presidency to organise a seminar in Sintra on 3rd and 4th June on the WEU contribution to the future European security and defence architecture.
6. Ministers noted with satisfaction that measures to develop a close working relationship between WEU and KU, foreseen in the Treaty on European Union, were now being given practical effect. They particularly welcomed the close co-operation between the EU and WEU Presidencies regarding the EU administration in Mostar including the WEU police deployment, the first occasion when WEU, in carrying out an operation, is implementing a decision of the Union. In this context they also welcomed the fact that, for the first time, the WEU and EU Presidencies had carried out a joint demarche which contributed to the successful agreement to the first phase of the unified police force Mostar (UPFM).
7. Ministers noted with appreciation co-operation between WEU and EU in the framework of the informal group of government experts of WEU/WEAG and EU member states to study options for a European armaments policy. They noted that all items of the agreed programme of work have already been covered. They looked forward to the report being finalised shortly.
8. Ministers welcomed the first meeting of the WEU Presidency, the Secretariat and the Planning Cell with the EU Troika of Consular Affairs' experts on WEU's role in evacuation operations. They tasked the Permanent Council to ensure that the work on this subject is continued in close co-ordination with the relevant EU bodies.
3. Relations with NATO
9. Ministers welcomed the decisions taken recently by both the WEU Council and the North Atlantic Council, regarding the co-operation between both organisations and noted with appreciation that they are already under implementation. These decisions represented a further step in the development of working links between WEU and the alliance, including joint councils and co-operation between secretariats.
10. Ministers stressed the importance, for future co-operation between WEU and NATO, of the progress made in WEU in identifying those assets and capabilities that WEU will need in its future operations, as well as in defining its views on the mechanisms and procedures for the use of assets and capabilities which the alliance could make available to WEU. They stressed the importance of NATO comments for pursuing joint work in this field. They also invite NATO to work with WEU to develop a list of assets and capabilities that could be made available. Ministers recalled the importance they attach to WEU having an effective intelligence handling facility and to the conclusion of the discussions in this field with NATO.
11. Ministers welcomed the continuing co-operation and the institutional dialogue between WEU and NATO to develop further the CJTF concept, including joint meetings of the WEU Politico-Military Working Group and NATO's Provisional Policy Co-ordination Group and attendance of the Planning Cell and cross-representation of secretariats in the meetings of those groups.
12. These are all significant developments which illustrate the new level of mutually reinforcing co-operation reached in WEU-NATO relatin s.