Western European Union Council of Ministers

 


 
 

Petersberg Declaration
Bonn, 19 June 1992
     
    The Foreign and Defence Ministers of WEU member States met in Bonn on 19 June 1992 and issued the Petersberg Declaration consisting of the following three parts: 

    I. On WEU and European Security 
    II. On strengthening WEU's operational role 
    III. On relations between WEU and the other European member States of the European Union or the Atlantic Alliance 

    I. ON WEU AND EUROPEAN SECURITY 

    Developments in the security situation in Europe, disarmament and arms control 

    1. Ministers reviewed the significant changes that had taken place in the security situation in Europe since their last regular meeting in November 1991. They emphasized the importance of strengthening the role and institutions of the CSCE for peace and security in Europe. They looked forward to decisions at Helsinki to start new negotiations on measures of arms control and disarmament and to enhance regular consultations and cooperation on security matters. In the light of the establishment of a new CSCE Forum for Security Cooperation, they considered that decisions to enhance the CSCE's capabilities for conflict prevention, crisis management and the peaceful settlement of disputes are of primary importance. They supported the proposal under discussion at the Helsinki Follow-up meeting for the CSCE to declare itself as a regional arrangement under Chapter VIII of the United Nations Charter. Ministers considered that the CSCE should have the authority to initiate and pursue peacekeeping operations under its own responsibility. 
    2. As WEU develops its operational capabilities in accordance with the Maastricht Declaration, we are prepared to support, on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with our own procedures, the effective implementation of conflict-prevention and crisis-management measures, including peacekeeping activities of the CSCE or the United Nations Security Council. This will be done without prejudice to possible contributions by other CSCE countries and other organisations to these activities. 
    3. Ministers welcomed the decisions taken by the CSCE Council in Berlin and Prague regarding the relationships between the CSCE and other mutually reinforcing European and transatlantic organizations including WEU. They declared that WEU, together with the European Union, was ready to play a full part in building up Europe's security architecture. They likewise reaffirmed their conviction that the Atlantic Alliance is one of the indispensable foundations of Europe's security. They welcomed the ongoing reform process of NATO with a view to establishing a strong new transatlantic partnership. 
    4. Ministers welcomed the agreement reached at the CFE Extraordinary Conference on 5 June 1992 in Oslo which provides the basis for the entry into force of the CFE Treaty which has been and remains a major objective of their arms control agenda. Its full and effective implementation will increase stability and open the way to a new cooperative security order in Europe. They call upon the new States parties to the Treaty to ensure its ratification by the time of the CSCE Summit in Helsinki. Ministers attach great importance to the conclusion of an agreement on the limitation of personnel strengths of ground and air forces (CFE 1a) in time for the Helsinki Summit and to the implementation of the Open Skies Treaty. They reaffirmed their commitment to the early entry into force of the Open Skies agreement and invited other CSCE States to accede to the Treaty in accordance with its provisions. 
    5. Ministers welcomed steps recently taken by the States concerned to allow for the entry into force of the START Treaty and the important agreement on further strategic reductions reached between the United States and Russia in Washington on 17 June 1992. 
    6. Ministers recalled that the presence of foreign forces on the territory of a sovereign state requires the explicit consent of that state. They stressed the importance of rapidly establishing, in the negotiations under way, timetables for the withdrawal of foreign troops from the territory of the Baltic States. 
    7. Ministers expressed their conviction that a Chemical Weapons Convention can be reached within the next few months. They are confident that this Convention can play an important and pioneering role in worldwide multilateral arms control and call on all member States of the Conference on Disarmament to lend their support to the emerging consensus. They repeat their commitment to be among the original signatories of this Convention and ask all other nations to follow this course. 
    8. WEU member States reaffirmed their resolution to contribute further to the establishment of a new order of peace in Europe which, in accordance with the Charter of Paris, will be based on cooperation. Ministers underlined the valuable contribution of NACC in this connection. In the same spirit, WEU has invited the Foreign and Defence Ministers of eight States of Central Europe to a special Ministerial meeting later today. WEU and the invited countries intend to enhance consultation and cooperation in the framework of the new European security structure. 


    Implementation of the Maastricht Declaration 

    1. Ministers stressed the fundamental importance of the Treaty on European Union and they looked forward to the further elaboration of the common foreign and security policy at the Lisbon European Council. They discussed the progress made in developing the role of WEU as the defence component of the European Union and as the means to strengthen the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance in accordance with the Declaration adopted by WEU member States at the Maastricht European Council in December 1991. 
    2. Ministers reaffirmed the importance for WEU to develop close working relations with the European Union and Atlantic Alliance in accordance with the Maastricht Declaration of WEU. They adopted a report on the practical measures necessary for WEU to develop these relations. They asked the Permanent Council to propose to the Council of the Twelve and to the North Atlantic Council concrete measures aimed at facilitating the development of close cooperation between the respective Secretariats. 
    3. Ministers heard a report from the Secretary-General on the progress made towards the transfer of the WEU Council and Secretariat-General from London to Brussels. They instructed the Permanent Council and Secretary-General to expedite the necessary arrangements so that the transfer could become effective by January 1993. 
    4. Ministers heard a report from the German Chief of Defence Staff on the meetings of Chiefs of Defence Staff. Ministers agreed that the Chiefs of Defence Staff should meet twice a year prior to the regular Ministerial Councils and on an ad hoc basis whenever necessary. Ministers also agreed that, following the transfer of the Council and Secretariat to Brussels, national delegations could be reinforced with military delegates to develop and provide advice for the Council, to introduce the views of the Chiefs of Defence Staff to the Planning Cell and to monitor the professional standards of the Planning Cell's work. 
    5. WEU Ministers welcomed the IEPG Defence Ministers' decision, at their Oslo meeting on 6 March 1992, to analyse the future role of the IEPG in the new European security architecture. This represents a positive development fully in line with the objective set by WEU member States in Maastricht further to examine enhanced cooperation in the field of armaments with the aim of creating a WEU European Armaments Agency. WEU Ministers propose that both WEU and IEPG experts analyse this issue in depth, carry out an initial examination of the role and functions of a possible European Armaments Agency and submit a report for consideration. 
    6. WEU Ministers welcomed the decision of Eurogroup Defence Ministers at their meeting in Brussels on 25 May 1992 to consider the possibility, among other options, and if the necessary preconditions are met, of transferring to WEU some or all of Eurogroup's present functions for which there is still a need. 
    7. Ministers noted with satisfaction the considerable progress which had been made in setting up the experimental WEU Satellite Centre in TorrejÛn (Spain), a concrete example of the strengthening of WEU's operational role, and they looked forward to the official inauguration which would take place later in the year. They also noted that the contract for the main system feasibility study had been awarded to a consortium of firms from WEU member States led by a German firm. 


    Activities of Working Groups 

    1. In the field of verification, Ministers noted with satisfaction that a set of rules for the operation of multinational teams in CFE had been prepared in WEU and had subsequently been adopted in the Alliance. This represented the first example since the Maastricht Declaration of the introduction of joint positions agreed in WEU into the process of consultation in the Alliance. 
    2. Noting the progress which had been made so far, Ministers agreed in principle to a feasibility study to identify the most cost-effective means of implementing the Open Skies Treaty cooperatively among member States. They tasked the group of experts to agree assumptions for the study, to identify the options which merit further study and to consider the question of costs, with a view to taking a decision at their next ordinary meeting to proceed with the study. They stressed the readiness of WEU to cooperate with third parties at a later stage, and in this context welcomed the contacts which had taken place with other European allies, as well as with the Russian Federation. They agreed that experts should investigate the possibilities for intensified cooperation with the Russian Federation, which could include a joint feasibility study and/or a trial overflight. 
    3. Ministers reaffirmed the importance of the Mediterranean Sub-Group's work on security in the Mediterranean. They adopted terms of reference for the establishment by WEU of a gradual and phased dialogue with the Maghreb countries, taking into account the political developments both in these countries and in the region. 


    WEU Institute for Security Studies 
     

    1. Ministers noted with satisfaction the activities of the WEU Institute for Security Studies in Paris. Its publications, seminars and colloquia had greatly contributed to deepening understanding for the ongoing development of a European security identity and to enhancing relations between WEU and other European countries. 


    II. ON STRENGTHENING WEU'S OPERATIONAL ROLE 
     

    1. In accordance with the decision contained in the Declaration of the member States of WEU at Maastricht on 10 December 1991 to develop WEU as the defence component of the European Union and as the means to strengthen the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance, WEU member States have been examining and defining appropriate missions, structures and means covering, in particular, a WEU planning cell and military units answerable to WEU, in order to strengthen WEU's operational role. 
    2. WEU member States declare that they are prepared to make available military units from the whole spectrum of their conventional armed forces for military tasks conducted under the authority of WEU. 
    3. Decisions to use military units answerable to WEU will be taken by the WEU Council in accordance with the provisions of the UN Charter. Participation in specific operations will remain a sovereign decision of member States in accordance with national constitutions. 
    4. Apart from contributing to the common defence in accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty respectively, military units of WEU member States, acting under the authority of WEU, could be employed for: 
      • humanitarian and rescue tasks; 
      • peacekeeping tasks; 
      • tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking. 
    1. The planning and execution of these tasks will be fully compatible with the military dispositions necessary to ensure the collective defence of all Allies. 
    2. Military units will be drawn from the forces of WEU member States, including forces with NATO missions - in this case after consultation with NATO - and will be organized on a multinational and multi-service basis. 
    3. All WEU member States will soon designate which of their military units and headquarters they would be willing to make available to WEU for its various possible tasks. Where multinational formations drawn from the forces of WEU nations already exist or are planned, these units could be made available for use under the authority of WEU, with agreement of all participating nations. 
    4. WEU member States intend to develop and exercise the appropriate capabilities to enable the deployment of WEU military units by land, sea or air to accomplish these tasks. 
    5. A Planning Cell will be established on 1 October 1992, subject to practical considerations, under the authority of the Council. It will be located with the Secretariat-General in a suitable building in Brussels. The Council has today appointed Maj.Gen. Caltabiano (Italian Air Force) as its first Director. The Planning Cell will be responsible for: 
      • preparing contingency plans for the employment for forces under WEU auspices; 
      • preparing recommendations for the necessary command, control and communication arrangements, including standing operating procedures for headquarters which might be selected; 
      • keeping an updated list of units and combinations of units which might be allocated to WEU for specific operations. 
    1. The Council of Ministers approved the terms of reference for the Planning Cell. 


    III. ON RELATIONS BETWEEN WEU AND THE OTHER EUROPEAN MEMBER STATES OF THE EUROPEAN UNION OR THE ATLANTIC ALLIANCE 

    A. Following the Declaration released in Maastricht on 10 December 1991 in connection with the Treaty on European Union, WEU Ministers recalled the fundamental principles on which relations between member States and associate member States should be based: 
     

    • settlement of their mutual differences by peaceful means, in accordance with the obligations resulting from the modified Brussels Treaty, the North Atlantic Treaty and the United Nations Charter, the commitments entered into under the terms of the Helsinki Final Act and the Paris Charter, and the other generally recognized principles and rules of international law. 
    • in their mutual relations, refraining from resorting to the threat or use of force, in accordance with the United Nations Charter. 


    They also stressed that the security guarantees and defence commitments in the Treaties which bind the member States within Western European Union and which bind them within the Atlantic Alliance are mutually reinforcing and will not be invoked by those subscribing to Part III of the Petersberg Declaration in disputes between member States of either of the two organizations. 

    B. In their Maastricht Declaration of 10 December 1991, the member States of WEU proposed that States which are members of the European Union be invited to accede to WEU on conditions to be agreed in accordance with Article XI of the modified Brussels Treaty, or to become observers if they so wished. Simultaneously, other European member States of NATO were invited to become associate members of WEU in a way which would give them a possibility of participating fully in the activities of WEU. 
    In accordance with Part III of the Petersberg Declaration, Ministers agreed that the following points should be made in extending the invitation to the countries interested in becoming members, observers or associate members: 

    Members: 
    Member States of the European Union which have accepted the invitation to accede to WEU undertake 

    • to respect, in accordance with the principles and values adhered to by all WEU member States, the Brussels Treaty of 1948, modified on 23 October 1954, its Protocols and associated texts, and the agreements concluded among the member States pursuant to the Treaty, 
    • to note with approval the agreements, decisions and rules adopted in conformity with the Treaty, and the Declarations starting with the Rome Declaration of 27 October 1984, 
    • to develop WEU as the defence component of the European Union and as the means to strengthen the European pillar of the Atlantic Alliance in keeping with the obligation entered into on 10 December 1991 in the Declaration on the role of WEU and its relations with the European Union and with the Atlantic Alliance attached to the Treaty on European Union, and 
    • to accept in full the substance of Part III of the Petersberg Declaration which will form part of the Protocol of Accession. 


    Observers: 
    Member States of the European Union, which have accepted the invitation to become observers, 

    • may, although not being a party to the MBT, attend the meetings of the WEU Council without prejudice to the provisions laid down in Article VIII of the modified Brussels Treaty; at the request of a majority of the member States, or of half of the member States including the Presidency, presence at Council meetings may be restricted to full members; 
    • may be invited to meetings of working groups; 
    • may be invited, on request, to speak; 
    • will have the same rights and responsibilities as the full members for functions transferred to WEU from other fora and institutions to which they already belong. 


    Associate members: 
    Other European member States of the Atlantic Alliance which have accepted the invitation to become associate members of WEU, although not being parties to the modified Brussels Treaty, may participate fully in the meetings of the WEU Council - without prejudice to the provisions laid down in Article VIII of the modified Brussels Treaty - of its working groups and of the subsidiary bodies, subject to the following provisions: 

    • at the request of a majority of the member States, or of half of the member States including the Presidency, participation may be restricted to full members; 
    • they will be able to be associated to the Planning Cell through a permanent liaison arrangement; 
    • they will have the same rights and responsibilities as the full members for functions transferred to WEU from other fora and institutions to which they already belong; 
    • they will have the right to speak but may not block a decision that is the subject of consensus among the member States; 
    • they may associate themselves with the decisions taken by member States; they will be able to participate in their implementation unless a majority of the member States, or half of the member States including the Presidency, decide otherwise; 
    • they will take part on the same basis as full members in WEU military operations to which they commit forces; 
    • they will accept in full the substance of Section A of Part III of the Petersberg Declaration which will form part of the association document; 
    • they will be connected to the member States' telecommunications system (WEUCOM) for messages concerning meetings and activities in which they participate; 
    • they will be asked to make a financial contribution to the Organization's budgets. 


    Space activities 
    For practical reasons, space activities will be restricted to the present members until the end of the experimental phase of the Satellite Centre in 1995. During this phase the new members and associate members will be kept informed of WEU's space activities. Appropriate arrangements will be made for associate members to participate in subsequent space activities at the same time as decisions are taken on the continuation of such activities. 

    Mandate 
    Ministers mandated the Permanent Council to arrange for discussions to start with the States concerned. 

    Ministers confirmed their wish to conclude the necessary agreements before 31 December 1992.