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WEU Ministerial Council 
Bremen Declaration
Bremen, 11 May 1999  

    1. Ministers had an exchange of views on the question of European security and defence in light of the entry into force of the Amsterdam Treaty, of the reflections launched since the Rome Declaration in WEU and  following the St. Malo Declaration  in the EU, including the Vienna European Council conclusions, and of NATO's Washington Summit. They looked forward to the decisions to be taken in this regard by the European Council in Cologne. 

      Ministers stressed the importance of continuing to develop European security and defence. This development will serve the interests of all WEU nations. In this context they welcomed the informal reflection mandated in Rome and held at meetings of directors for security policy from Foreign and Defence Ministries which had confirmed: 

      • the willingness of European nations to strengthen European operational capabilities for Petersberg tasks based on appropriate decision-making bodies and effective military means, within NATO or national and multinational means outside the NATO framework; 
      • their wish to further develop these structures and capabilities in complementarity with the Atlantic Alliance whilst avoiding unnecessary duplication; 
      • the need for WEU to be operationally effective with the involvement and participation of all WEU nations in accordance with their status and to continue its cooperation with the EU and NATO, in preparation for any new arrangements which may be agreed in light of ongoing developments. 

      Ministers decided that the informal reflection should be pursued on this basis. 

      Ministers took note of the oral report of the Presidency Defence Minister on the informal meeting of EU and European NATO Defence Ministers in Bremen. They welcomed the determination expressed on this occasion to contribute to the development of an effective European defence and security policy and the capability for European crisis management in the scope of Petersberg tasks. 

      Ministers welcomed the report of the Presidency on the audit of assets and capabilities available for European operations inter alia on the basis of the Special Report prepared in NATO. They asked the Permanent Council to continue the evaluation of the first results contained in the Report. They requested the Permanent Council to carry out phase two of the audit, on the basis of modalities proposed by the Presidency. This shall, in addition to multinational forces, also cover the identification and evaluation of relevant national forces and force capabilities. The results shall be presented to the next Ministerial meeting in Luxembourg. 

      The findings of this audit should help to identify what changes need to be made to ensure that WEU's operational instruments (Military Staff, Military Committee, Satellite Centre etc) can make a more effective contribution to the mounting of crisis-management missions within the EU framework. 

      They should also assist nations in identifying areas where national and multinational capabilities need to be strengthened in order to make the conduct of Petersberg operations more effective. 


      1. Ministers welcomed the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam.
        Recalling the invitation of the European Council in Vienna to bring forward the completion of arrangements for enhanced WEU-EU cooperation under the Protocol of Art. 17 of the Treaty on European Union, so that these may come into effect on the Treaty's entry into force, Ministers endorsed the present set of arrangements which had been elaborated in WEU and EU and underlined the need for close dialogue and cooperation at all levels between the two Organisations with a view to the full application of the Amsterdam Treaty. 

      2. Ministers welcomed the results of the NATO Summit in Washington. 
        They noted with satisfaction that the key elements for the development of the European Security and Defence Identity within the Alliance, building on the Berlin, Brussels and Birmingham ministerial decisions, are being put in place and that the Alliance reaffirmed its strong commitment to pursue the process of reinforcing its European pillar. In this context, they welcomed the agreement with NATO of a Framework Document on the release of assets to WEU, and of improved consultation arrangements in the event of a WEU-led operation using NATO assets and capabilities. 
        They appreciated that the Alliance welcomed the new impetus given to the strengthening of a common European policy in security and defence as laid out in paragraphs 8, 9 and 10 of the Washington Summit Communique.