Select Committee on Defence Eighth Report

Extracts from the WEU Council of Ministers Rome Declaration

Rome, 27 October 1984

At the invitation of the Italian Government, the Foreign and Defence Ministers of the seven member States of Western European Union met in extraordinary session in Rome on 26-27 October 1984 to mark the 30th anniversary of the modified Brussels Treaty.

The Ministers stressed the importance of the Treaty and their attachment to its goals:

  • to strengthen peace and security;
  • to promote the unity and to encourage the progressive integration of Europe;
  • to cooperate more closely both among member States and with other European organisations.

Conscious of the continuing necessity to strengthen western security and of the specifically Western European geographical, political, psychological and military dimensions, the Ministers underlined their determination to make better use of the WEU framework in order to increase cooperation between the member States in the field of security policy and to encourage consensus. In this context, they called for continued efforts to preserve peace, strengthen deterrence and defence and thus consolidate stability through dialogue and cooperation.

The Ministers recalled that the Atlantic Alliance, which remains the foundation of western security, had preserved peace on the Continent for 35 years. This permitted the construction of Europe. The Ministers are convinced that a better utilisation of WEU would not only contribute to the security of Western Europe but also to an improvement in the common defence of all the countries of the Atlantic Alliance and to greater solidarity among its members.

The Ministers emphasised the indivisibility of security within the North Atlantic Treaty area. They recalled in particular the vital and substantial contribution of all the European allies, and underlined the crucial importance of the contribution to common security of their allies who are not members of WEU. They stressed the necessity, as a complement to their joint efforts, of the closest possible concertation with them.

The Ministers are convinced that increased cooperation within WEU will also contribute to the maintenance of adequate military strength and political solidarity and, on that basis, to the pursuit of a more stable relationship between the countries of East and West by fostering dialogue and cooperation.

The Ministers called attention to the need to make the best use of existing resources through increased cooperation, and through WEU to provide a political impetus to institutions of cooperation in the field of armaments.

The Ministers therefore decided to hold comprehensive discussions and to seek to harmonise their views on the specific conditions of security in Europe, in particular:

  • defence questions;
  • arms control and disarmament;
  • the effects of developments in East-West relations on the security of Europe;
  • Europe's contribution to the strengthening of the Atlantic Alliance, bearing in mind the importance of transatlantic relations;
  • the development of European cooperation in the field of armaments in respect of which WEU can provide a political impetus.

They may also consider the implications for Europe of crises in other regions of the world.

The Ministers recalled the importance of the WEU Assembly which, as the only European parliamentary body mandated by treaty to discuss defence matters, is called upon to play a growing role.

They stressed the major contribution which the Assembly has already made to the revitalisation of WEU and called upon it to pursue its efforts to strengthen the solidarity among the member States, and to strive to consolidate the consensus among public opinion on their security and defence needs.

In pursuance of these goals, the Ministers have decided on a number of specific measures with regard to the better functioning of the WEU structure and organisation, which are set out in a separate document.

previous page contents next page

House of Commons home page Parliament home page House of Lords home page search page enquiries index

© Parliamentary copyright 2000
Prepared 11 May 2000