Strengthening the Debate on European Security and Nuclear Weapons Objectives
PENN, the Project on European Nuclear Non-Proliferation, is an international network of research institutions, NGOs and individuals, set up by BITS in 1996. PENN members in Europe and the United States cooperate in influencing the political and public debates on nuclear weapons in Europe and other aspects of European security. With its activities PENN is seeking to attain four general goals:
PENN is pursuing a variety of concrete policy goals. PENN is in close contact with political decisionmakers and officials throughout Europe to promote the implementation of policies which support the project’s main objectives. Among the policy goals are:
Topics for Political Intervention
PENN is seeking an active role in the ongoing political debate on the following European security issues:
When it was established in 1996 PENN recognized the urgent need for substantial educational and information efforts to clarify the long-term political implications of decisions taken with regard to the European Integration process and European security in general. From the very beginning PENN put a lot of effort in informing politicians, NGOs, the media, and the general public on relevant political developments.
This strategy has paid off. Security and defense issues are an important
part of the public debate on European Integration. Public awareness concerning
problems related to the role of nuclear weapons has risen significantly.
PENN’s researchers are particularly active in monitoring current political events and developments. Monitoring activities are focused on three main topics:
PENN is keeping close contact with politicians, researchers, journalists and NGOs to provide up-to-date information on NATO developments. PENN members are present at all major NATO events throughout the year maintaining regular contacts and interviewing officials.
PENN members were present at the NPT review conference in April/May this year. The PENN Research Report „Questions of Command and Control: NATO, Nuclear Sharing and the NPT" was published shortly before the conference and was widely used for preparation by UN-diplomats, journalists, and NGO representatives. PENN is also active in helping to prepare hearings in national parliaments on the NPT and disarmament policy. In Germany, for example, BITS is continuously involved in the work of preparatory committees.
As the European Integration process is rapidly speeding up - especially in the field of security and defense - PENN resarchers will follow events closely. In the months before the EU-summit in Paris in December 2000, PENN will focus on the developing EU-NATO relationship in particular nuclear sharing arrangements and the yet to be defined Security Arrangement between NATO and the EU. It is one of PENN’s major task to stimulate the debate among NGOs on security and defense matters.
Providing input into the political process
As a PENN member BITS has been very active in briefing cabinet members,
government officials and members of parliament. Since the German Bundestag
has moved to Berlin political decision makers have become more accessible.
Reseachers at BITS are frequently providing information in informal meetings,
briefings and discussions and have written several policy proposals for
different parties and ministries.
Current members of the PENN core group are:
Among the individuals lending their expertise to the work of the core group are: