Text of Joint Declaration on European
Defence, UK - French Summit|
3-4 December 1998
The Heads of State and Government of France and the
United Kingdom are agreed that:
1. The European Union needs to be in a position to
play its full role on the international stage.This means making
a reality of the Treaty of Amsterdam, which will provide the essential
basis for action by the Union. It will be important to achieve
full and rapid implementation of the Amsterdam provisions on CFSP.
This includes the responsibility of the European Council to decide
on the progressive framing of a common defence policy in the framework
of CFSP. The Council must be able to take decisions on an intergovernmental
basis, covering the whole range of activity set out in Title V
of the Treaty of European Union.
2. To this end the Union must have the capacity for
autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the
means to decide to use them, and a readiness to do so, in order
to respond to international crises.
In pursuing our objective, the collective defence
commitments to which member states subscribe (set out in Article
5 of the Washington Treaty, Article V of the Brussels Treaty)
must be maintained. In strengthening the solidarity between the
member states of the European Union, in order that Europe can
make its voice heard in world affairs, while acting in conformity
with our respective obligations in NATO, we are contributing to
the vitality of a modernised Atlantic Alliance which is the foundation
of the collective defence of its members.
Europeans will operate within the institutional framework
of the European Union (European
Council, General Affairs Council, and meetings of
The reinforcement of European solidarity must take
into account the various positions of
The different situations of countries in relation
to NATO must be respected.
3. In order for the European Union to take decisions
and approve military action where the Alliance as a whole is not
engaged, the Union must be given appropriate structures and a
capacity for analysis of situations, sources of intelligence,
and a capability for relevant strategic planning, without unnecessary
duplication, taking account of the existing assets of the WEU
and the evolution of its relations with the EU. In this regard,
the European Union will also need to have recourse to suitable
military means (European capabilities pre-designated within NATO's
European pillar or national or multinational European means outside
the NATO framework).
4. Europe needs strengthened armed forces that can
react rapidly to the new risks, and which are supported by a strong
and competitive European defence industry and technology.
5. We are determined to unite in our efforts to enable
the European Union to give concrete expression to these objectives.