MADRID EUROPEAN COUNCIL
15 and 16 DECEMBER 1995
ANNEXES 11 - 15
ANNEX 11: MEDITERRANEAN BARCELONA DECLARATION ADOPTED AT THE EURO-MEDITERRANEAN CONFERENCE (27 and 28 November 1995)
The Council of the European Union, represented by its President, Mr Javier SOLANA, Minister for Foreign Affairs of Spain,
The European Commission, represented by Mr Manuel MARIN, Vice-President,
Germany, represented by Mr Klaus KINKEL, Vice-Chancellor and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Algeria, represented by Mr Mohamed Salah DEMBRI, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Austria, represented by Mrs Benita FERRERO-WALDNER, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Belgium, represented by Mr Erik DERYCKE, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Cyprus, represented by Mr Alecos MICHAELIDES, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Denmark, represented by Mr Ole Loensmann POULSEN, State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs,
Egypt, represented by Mr Amr MOUSSA, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Spain, represented by Mr Carlos WESTENDORP, State Secretary for Relations with the European Community,
Finland, represented by Mrs Tarja HALONEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
France, represented by Mr Hervé de CHARETTE, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Greece, represented by Mr Károlos PAPOULIAS, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Ireland, represented by Mr Dick SPRING, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Israel, represented by Mr Ehud BARAK, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Italy, represented by Mrs Susanna AGNELLI, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Jordan, represented by Mr Abdel-Karim KABARITI, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Lebanon, represented by Mr Fares BOUEZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Luxembourg, represented by Mr Jacques F. POOS, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Cooperation,
Malta, represented by Prof. Guido DE MARCO, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Morocco, represented by Mr Abdellatif FILALI, Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
the Netherlands, represented by Mr Hans van MIERLO, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Portugal, represented by Mr Jaime GAMA, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
the United Kingdom, represented by Mr Malcolm RIFKIND QC MP, Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs,
Syria, represented by Mr Farouk AL-SHARAA, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Sweden, represented by Mrs Lena HJELM-WALLEN, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Tunisia, represented by Mr Habib Ben YAHIA, Minister for Foreign Affairs,
Turkey, represented by Mr Deniz BAYKAL, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs,
the Palestinian Authority, represented by Mr Yassir ARAFAT, President of the Palestinian Authority,
taking part in the Euro-Mediterranean Conference in Barcelona:
— stressing the strategic importance of the Mediterranean and moved by the will to give their future relations a new dimension, based on comprehensive cooperation and solidarity, in keeping with the privileged nature of the links forged by neighbourhood and history;
— aware that the new political, economic and social issues on both sides of the Mediterranean constitute common challenges calling for a coordinated overall response;
— resolved to establish to that end a multilateral and lasting framework of relations based on a spirit of partnership, with due regard for the characteristics, values and distinguishing features peculiar to each of the participants;
— regarding this multilateral framework as the counterpart to a strengthening of bilateral relations which it is important to safeguard, while laying stress on their specific nature;
— stressing that this Euro-Mediterranean initiative is not intended to replace the other activities and initiatives undertaken in the interests of the peace, stability and development of the region, but that it will contribute to their success. The participants support the realization of a just, comprehensive and lasting peace settlement in the Middle East based on the relevant United Nations Security Council resolutions and principles mentioned in the letter of invitation to the Madrid Middle East Peace Conference, including the principle land for peace, with all that this implies;
— convinced that the general objective of turning the Mediterranean basin into an area of dialogue, exchange and cooperation guaranteeing peace, stability and prosperity requires a strengthening of democracy and respect for human rights, sustainable and balanced economic and social development, measures to combat poverty and promotion of greater understanding between cultures, which are all essential aspects of partnership, hereby agree to establish a comprehensive partnership among the participants — the Euro-Mediterranean partnership — through strengthened political dialogue on a regular basis, the development of economic and financial cooperation and greater emphasis on the social, cultural and human dimension, these being the three aspects of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership.
POLITICAL AND SECURITY PARTNERSHIP: ESTABLISHING A COMMON AREA OF PEACE AND STABILITY
The participants express their conviction that the peace, stability and security of the Mediterranean region are a common asset which they pledge to promote and strengthen by all means at their disposal. To this end they agree to conduct a strengthened political dialogue at regular intervals, based on observance of essential principles of international law, and reaffirm a number of common objectives in matters of internal and external stability.
In this spirit they undertake in the following declaration of principles to:
— act in accordance with the United Nations Charter and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, as well as other obligations under international law, in particular those arising out of regional and international instruments to which they are party;
— develop the rule of law and democracy in their political systems, while recognizing in this framework the right of each of them to choose and freely develop its own political, socio-cultural, economic and judicial system;
— respect human rights and fundamental freedoms and guarantee the effective legitimate exercise of such rights and freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of association for peaceful purposes and freedom of thought, conscience and religion, both individually and together with other members of the same group, without any discrimination on grounds of race, nationality, language, religion or sex;
— give favourable consideration, through dialogue between the parties, to exchanges of information on matters relating to human rights, fundamental freedoms, racism and xenophobia;
— respect and ensure respect for diversity and pluralism in their societies, promote tolerance between different groups in society and combat manifestations of intolerance, racism and xenophobia. The participants stress the importance of proper education in the matter of human rights and fundamental freedoms;
— respect their sovereign equality and all rights inherent in their sovereignty, and fulfil in good faith the obligations they have assumed under international law;
— respect the equal rights of peoples and their right to self-determination, acting at all times in conformity with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and with the relevant norms of international law, including those relating to territorial integrity of States, as reflected in agreements between relevant parties;
— refrain, in accordance with the rules of international law, from any direct or indirect intervention in the internal affairs of another partner;
— respect the territorial integrity and unity of each of the other partners;
— settle their disputes by peaceful means, call upon all participants to renounce recourse to the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity of another participant, including the acquisition of territory by force, and reaffirm the right to fully exercise sovereignty by legitimate means in accordance with the UN Charter and international law;
— strengthen their cooperation in preventing and combating terrorism, in particular by ratifying and applying the international instruments they have signed, by acceding to such instruments and by taking any other appropriate measure;
— fight together against the expansion and diversification of organized crime and combat the drugs problem in all its aspects;
— promote regional security by acting, inter alia, in favour of nuclear, chemical and biological non-proliferation through adherence to and compliance with a combination of international and regional non-proliferation regimes, and arms control and disarmament agreements such as NPT, CWC, BWC, CTBT and/or regional arrangements such as weapons free zones including their verification regimes, as well as by fulfilling in good faith their commitments under arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation conventions.
The parties shall pursue a mutually and effectively verifiable Middle East Zone free of weapons of mass destruction, nuclear, chemical and biological, and their delivery systems.
Furthermore the parties:
— will consider practical steps to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, chemical and biological weapons as well as excessive accumulation of conventional arms;
— will refrain from developing military capacity beyond their legitimate defence requirements, at the same time reaffirming their resolve to achieve the same degree of security and mutual confidence with the lowest possible levels of troops and weaponry and adherence to CCW;
— will promote conditions likely to develop good-neighbourly relations among themselves and support processes aimed at stability, security, prosperity and regional and subregional cooperation;
— will consider any confidence and security-building measures that could be taken between the parties with a view to the creation of an "area of peace and stability in the Mediterranean", including the long term possibility of establishing a Euro-Mediterranean pact to that end.
ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL PARTNERSHIP: CREATING AN AREA OF SHARED PROSPERITY
The participants emphasize the importance they attach to sustainable and balanced economic and social development with a view to achieving their objective of creating an area of shared prosperity.
The partners acknowledge the difficulties that the question of debt can create for the economic development of the countries of the Mediterranean region. They agree, in view of the importance of their relations, to continue the dialogue in order to achieve progress in the competent fora.
Noting that the partners have to take up common challenges, albeit to varying degrees, the participants set themselves the following long-term objectives:
— acceleration of the pace of sustainable socio-economic development;
— improvement of the living conditions of their populations, increase in the employment level and reduction in the development gap in the Euro-Mediterranean region;
— encouragement of regional cooperation and integration.
With a view to achieving these objectives, the participants agree to establish an economic and financial partnership which, taking into account the different degrees of development, will be based on:
— the progressive establishment of a free-trade area;
— the implementation of appropriate economic cooperation and concerted action in the relevant areas;
— a substantial increase in the European Union's financial assistance to its partners.
(a) Free-trade area
The free-trade area will be established through the new Euro-Mediterranean Agreements and free-trade agreements between partners of the European Union. The parties have set 2010 as the target date for the gradual establishment of this area which will cover most trade with due observance of the obligations resulting from the WTO.
With a view to developing gradual free trade in this area: tariff and non-tariff barriers to trade in manufactured products will be progressively eliminated in accordance with timetables to be negotiated between the partners; taking as a starting point traditional trade flows, and as far as the various agricultural policies allow and with due respect to the results achieved within the GATT negotiations, trade in agricultural products will be progressively liberalized through reciprocal preferential access among the parties; trade in services including right of establishment will be progressively liberalized having due regard to the GATS agreement.
The participants decide to facilitate the progressive establishment of this free-trade area through
— the adoption of suitable measures as regard rules of origin, certification, protection of intellectual and industrial property rights and competition;
— the pursuit and the development of policies based on the principles of market economy and the integration of their economies taking into account their respective needs and levels of development;
— the adjustment and modernization of economic and social structures, giving priority to the promotion and development of the private sector, to the upgrading of the productive sector and to the establishment of an appropriate institutional and regulatory framework for a market economy. They will likewise endeavour to mitigate the negative social consequences which may result from this adjustment, by promoting programmes for the benefit of the neediest populations;
— the promotion of mechanisms to foster transfers of technology.
(b) Economic cooperation and concerted action
Cooperation will be developed in particular in the areas listed below and in this respect the participants:
— acknowledge that economic development must be supported both by internal savings, the basis of investment, and by direct foreign investment. They stress the importance of creating an environment conducive to investment, in particular by the progressive elimination of obstacles to such investment which could lead to the transfer of technology and increase production and exports;
— affirm that regional cooperation on a voluntary basis, particularly with a view to developing trade between the partners themselves, is a key factor in promoting the creation of a free-trade area;
— encourage enterprises to enter into agreements with each other and undertake to promote such cooperation and industrial modernization by providing a favourable environment and regulatory framework. They consider it necessary to adopt and to implement a technical support programme for SMEs;
— emphasize their interdependence with regard to the environment, which necessitates a regional approach and increased cooperation, as well as better coordination of existing multilateral programmes, while confirming their attachment to the Barcelona Convention and the Mediterranean Action Plan. They recognize the importance of reconciling economic development with environmental protection, of integrating environmental concerns into the relevant aspects of economic policy and of mitigating the negative environmental consequences which might result. They undertake to establish a short and medium-term priority action programme, including in connection with combating desertification, and to concentrate appropriate technical and financial support on those actions;
— recognize the key role of women in development and undertake to promote their active participation in economic and social life and in the creation of employment;
— stress the importance of the conservation and rational management of fish stocks and of the improvement of cooperation on research into stocks, including aquaculture, and undertake to facilitate scientific training and research and to envisage creating joint instruments;
— acknowledge the pivotal role of the energy sector in the economic Euro-Mediterranean partnership and decide to strengthen cooperation and intensify dialogue in the field of energy policies. They also decide to create the appropriate framework conditions for investments and the activities of energy companies, cooperating in creating the conditions enabling such companies to extend energy networks and promote link-ups;
— recognize that water supply together with suitable management and development of resources are priority issues for all Mediterranean partners and that cooperation should be developed in these areas;
— agree to cooperate in modernizing and restructuring agriculture and in promoting integrated rural development. This cooperation will focus in particular on technical assistance and training, on support for policies implemented by the partners to diversify production, on the reduction of food dependency and on the promotion of environment-friendly agriculture. They also agree to cooperate in the eradication of illicit crops and the development of any regions affected.
The participants also agree to cooperate in other areas and, to that effect:
— stress the importance of developing and improving infrastructures, including through the establishment of an efficient transport system, the development of information technologies and the modernization of telecommunications. They agree to draw up a programme of priorities for that purpose;
— undertake to respect the principles of international maritime law, in particular freedom to provide services in international transport and free access to international cargoes. The results of the ongoing multilateral trade negotiations on maritime transport services being conducted within the WTO will be taken into account when agreed;
— undertake to encourage cooperation between local authorities and in support of regional planning;
— recognizing that science and technology have a significant influence on socio-economic development, agree to strengthen scientific research capacity and development, contribute to the training of scientific and technical staff and promote participation in joint research projects based on the creation of scientific networks;
— agree to promote cooperation on statistics in order to harmonize methods and exchange data.
(c) Financial cooperation
The participants consider that the creation of a free-trade area and the success of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership require a substantial increase in financial assistance, which must above all encourage sustainable indigenous development and the mobilization of local economic operators. They note in this connection that:
— the Cannes European Council agreed to set aside ECU 4 685 million for this financial assistance in the form of available Community budget funds for the period 1995-1999. This will be supplemented by EIB assistance in the form of increased loans and the bilateral financial contributions from the Member States;
— effective financial cooperation managed in the framework of a multiannual programme, taking into account the special characteristics of each of the partners is necessary;
— sound macro-economic management is of fundamental importance in ensuring the success of the partnership. To this end they agree to promote dialogue on their respective economic policies and on the method of optimizing financial cooperation.
PARTNERSHIP IN SOCIAL, CULTURAL AND HUMAN AFFAIRS: DEVELOPING HUMAN RESOURCES, PROMOTING UNDERSTANDING BETWEEN CULTURES AND EXCHANGES BETWEEN CIVIL SOCIETIES
The participants recognize that the traditions of culture and civilization throughout the Mediterranean region, dialogue between these cultures and exchanges at human, scientific and technological level are an essential factor in bringing their peoples closer, promoting understanding between them and improving their perception of each other.
In this spirit, the participants agree to establish a partnership in social, cultural and human affairs. To this end:
— they reaffirm that dialogue and respect between cultures and religions are a necessary pre-condition for bringing the peoples closer. In this connection they stress the importance of the role the mass media can play in the reciprocal recognition and understanding of cultures as a source of mutual enrichment;
— they stress the essential nature of the development of human resources, both as regards the education and training of young people in particular and in the area of culture. They express their intent to promote cultural exchanges and knowledge of other languages, respecting the cultural identity of each partner, and to implement a lasting policy of educational and cultural programmes; in this context, the partners undertake to adopt measures to facilitate human exchanges, in particular by improving administrative procedures;
— they underline the importance of the health sector for sustainable development and express their intention of promoting the effective participation of the community in operations to improve health and well-being;
— they recognize the importance of social development which, in their view, must go hand in hand with any economic development. They attach particular importance to respect for fundamental social rights, including the right to development;
— they recognize the essential contribution civil society can make in the process of development of the Euro-Mediterranean partnership and as an essential factor for greater understanding and closeness between peoples;
— they accordingly agree to strengthen and/or introduce the necessary instruments of decentralized cooperation to encourage exchanges between those active in development within the framework of national laws: leaders of political and civil society, the cultural and religious world, universities, the research community, the media, organizations, the trade unions and public and private enterprises;
— on this basis, they recognize the importance of encouraging contacts and exchanges between young people in the context of programmes for decentralized cooperation;
— they will encourage actions of support for democratic institutions and for the strengthening of the rule of law and civil society;
— they recognize that current population trends represent a priority challenge which must be counterbalanced by appropriate policies to accelerate economic take-off;
— they acknowledge the importance of the role played by migration in their relationships. They agree to strengthen their cooperation to reduce migratory pressures, among other things through vocational training programmes and programmes of assistance for job creation. They undertake to guarantee protection of all the rights recognized under existing legislation of migrants legally resident in their respective territories;
— in the area of illegal immigration they decide to establish closer cooperation. In this context, the partners, aware of their responsibility for readmission, agree to adopt the relevant provisions and measures, by means of bilateral agreements or arrangements, in order to readmit their nationals who are in an illegal situation. To that end, the Member States of the European Union take citizens to mean nationals of the Member States, as defined for Community purposes;
— they agree to strengthen cooperation by means of various measures to prevent terrorism and fight it more effectively together;
— by the same token they consider it necessary to fight jointly and effectively against drug trafficking, international crime and corruption;
— they underline the importance of waging a determined campaign against racism, xenophobia and intolerance and agree to cooperate to that end.
FOLLOW-UP TO THE CONFERENCE
— considering that the Barcelona Conference provides the basis for a process, which is open and should develop;
— reaffirming their will to establish a partnership based on the principles and objectives defined in this Declaration;
— resolved to give practical expression to this Euro-Mediterranean partnership;
— convinced that, in order to achieve this objective, it is necessary to continue the comprehensive dialogue thus initiated and to carry out a series of specific actions;
hereby adopt the attached work programme:
The Ministers for Foreign Affairs will meet periodically in order to monitor the application of this Declaration and define actions enabling the objectives of the partnership to be achieved.
The various activities will be followed by ad hoc thematic meetings of ministers, senior officials and experts, exchanges of experience and information, contacts between those active in civil society and by any other appropriate means.
Contacts between parliamentarians, regional authorities, local authorities and the social partners will be encouraged.
A "Euro-Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona process" at senior-official level, consisting of the European Union Troïka and one representative of each Mediterranean partner, will hold regular meetings to prepare the meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs, take stock of and evaluate the follow-up to the Barcelona process and all its components and update the work programme.
Appropriate preparatory and follow-up work for the meetings resulting from the Barcelona work programme and from the conclusions of the "Euro-Mediterranean Committee for the Barcelona process" will be undertaken by the Commission departments.
The next meeting of the Ministers for Foreign Affairs will be held in the first semester of 1997 in one of the twelve Mediterranean partners of the European Union, to be determined through further consultations.
ANNEX 12: LATIN AMERICA
COUNCIL CONCLUSIONS ON THE GENERAL GUIDELINES FOR COOPERATION BETWEEN THE COMMUNITY AND LATIN AMERICA (1996—2000)
having examined the Commission communication entitled "The European Union and Latin America: the present situation and prospects for closer partnership (1996—2000)", whose assessment it in the main approves, and having regard to the conclusions of the European Council meetings in Corfu, Essen and Cannes and to the basic document approved by the General Affairs Council on 31 October 1994, emphasizes its wish to build closer political ties with Latin American partners, support democracy, make progress in trade liberalization fields, assist regional integration processes and target its cooperation more effectively. With that end in view, the institutionalized dialogues with Latin American partners will be stepped up.
The Council agrees to establish the following priorities for future cooperation with Latin American countries and regions:
(a) The Community will pay particular attention to institutional support and consolidation of the democratic process by means of cooperation activities:
— aimed at consolidating the institutions, at various levels, of the rule of law, at protecting human rights and at good governance;
— contributing to government reform and decentralization, in particular through the modernization of public administration;
— supporting the framing of sectoral policies such as those on education, health and rural development, with priority going to institution building and to harnessing the know-how of civil society.
(b) The Community will attach particular importance as a matter of priority to combating poverty and social exclusion in its cooperation. The challenges faced here will be to help ensure participation by marginalized population groups in the market economy, as well as more equitable income distribution, in order to ensure sustainable development.
Programmes will be prepared not only for the rural world but also for greater integration of people living in marginalized urban areas.
Cooperation programmes should also continue for the poorest sectors of the population and for the poorest countries, chiefly in the areas of policies on population, health, education or housing. Such schemes should be targeted at particular groups such as young people, women and indigenous communities.
The aim should be to couple economic development with social progress. To that end, cooperation programmes will take into account the operational conclusions of the Copenhagen Social Summit in March 1995.
(c) The Community will place particular emphasis in its cooperation activities on its support for economic reform and for improved international competitiveness, particularly in the following areas:
— support for the development of the private sector, especially for SMEs;
— stepping-up of industrial promotion and investment;
— achievement of greater synergy between industrial cooperation and scientific and technological cooperation;
— technical assistance for foreign trade promotion;
— confirmation of the importance of the EIB's role as an instrument of cooperation between the EU and Latin America.
In implementing these cooperation priorities, particular importance should be attached to the following topics:
— The Community will place especial emphasis on programmes and activities in support of basic education and training, which are key areas for sustainable economic and social development. Such cooperation will be carried out both in the field of democratization and in higher education, science and technology, and vocational training.
— The Community will support regional cooperation and integration, in particular the idea of "open regionalism", with the aim of greater opening-up of regional and subregional markets and greater integration into international markets in accordance with WTO rules.
— The Community will attach particular importance to gender issues in all cooperation areas and programmes with Latin America, in accordance with the recommendations of the Fourth World Conference on Women.
— In view of the challenges and interdependence on a worldwide scale in these areas, it will be necessary to:
— see to it that cooperation activities take into consideration their environmental impact. The Community will contribute, through technology transfer, to more rational use of energy and to the promotion of renewable energy sources;
— continue and step up, by means of specific measures and projects or through cooperation in the appropriate fora, joint action to combat the production and social effects of drugs and drug-related crime, and
— work for the modernization of transport systems and for free access to transport markets, especially in shipping.
In response to manifold needs stemming from the diversity of countries and regions in Latin America and so as to ensure the best possible combination of available resources and instruments according to such needs, the Community will seek to achieve the following in order to make its action more effective:
— the active participation, at all stages of cooperation programmes, of beneficiaries and civil society by means of decentralized cooperation activities and programmes;
— better coordination with Member States, particularly on the ground, as regards cooperation and in financial respects, with European businessmen and consortia being attracted, in order for the quality of programmes to be improved and more effective and more visible use to be made of the available resources;
— co-financing with Latin American countries and Union Member States, as well as with other international sources of funding;
— these general guidelines may be regularly monitored, assessed and built upon by the various Community bodies; in this connection the Council will attach particular importance to the periodic preparation and revision by the Commission, in close cooperation with the Member States, of country strategy papers specifying the major areas of Community activities in each country;
— the activities engaged in should also be given a higher profile.
ANNEX 13: AFRICA
- The Council recalls that, at its meeting in Essen, the European Council declared itself in favour of a political dialogue between the European Union and the Organization of African Unity (OAU), particularly with regard to conflict prevention in Africa. Preventive diplomacy, peacekeeping and the strengthening of international security are priority aims of the CFSP. The European Union is ready to support African efforts in the field of preventive diplomacy and peacekeeping, where necessary via the WEU.
- The Council takes note of the declaration of the OAU Assembly of Heads of State and Government, held in Cairo from 28 to 30 June 1993, establishing the Mechanism for Conflict Prevention and Resolution, and the Assembly's conclusions at Addis Ababa in June 1995.
- The European Union's contribution in this field must be one of support for action taken by African bodies, in particular the OAU, which will be the main players at all stages of the process, and it must be based on the following principles:
- — increasing African involvement in the prevention and resolution of their crises;
- — improving the interlocking between the efforts of the European Union and those of the African countries and other members of the international community;
- — harmonizing in particular the efforts of the European Union, including bilateral efforts by its Member States, in the light of the above;
- — coordinating endeavours in this field with the development-aid policy of the Community and its Member States and support for the democratization process;
- — facilitating the mobilization of African capacities and means of action. It is essential for there to be an African lead in preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution in Africa. Through the OAU and without prejudice to the important role that sub-regional organizations might play, the African countries must take the initiative in tackling and resolving all stages of the problems threatening peace.
- In order to attain these objectives, the European Union will first and foremost encourage cooperation between the United Nations and the OAU, and this will include strengthening the OAU's existing capabilities in this domain.
- The following elements also need to be taken into consideration:
- — the European Union's contribution must be appropriate, on the one hand, to the political and legal framework within which the envisaged action is taken (UN, OAU, sub-regional framework) and, on the other hand, to the different stages of the process leading from early warning to implementation of conflict resolving measures. The European Union might have a part to play and so, if necessary, might the WEU;
- — African preeminence in taking the political lead in conflict management must be recognized;
- — both preventive diplomacy and conflict resolution and peacekeeping in Africa must adhere strictly to the principles and aims set out in the United Nations Charter;
- — any operations must be based on the principles of consent by the parties to the conflict, neutrality and impartiality of any force employed and a single command structure;
- — the Member States of the European Union and the Community will institute within the Council a procedure for exchanging information on their bilateral aid in this field with the aim of improving the coordination of that aid.
- The European Union's contribution could take the following forms:
- Early warning:
- — exchange of information or communications covering aspects of specific crises or countries where tensions are in evidence;
- — training of analysts for the OAU General Secretariat;
- — organization of seminars;
- — financial support for technical and material assistance.
- Preventive diplomacy:
- —encouraging the setting-up of crisis-tracking groups by offering good offices and possibly one-off financial support;
- —organization of seminars and fora for the discussion of preventive diplomacy;
- —assistance with staff for the organization of missions.
insofar as a role is envisaged for the OAU, at its own request, pursuant to a decision of the UN Security Council, the EU will examine any support it could provide, in particular via the WEU where appropriate.
- The EU, aware of the fact that the WEU has already begun discussing the possibility of supporting the European Union's contribution, invites it to inform the EU of the outcome. The EU requests the WEU to draw up and implement specific measures that could help mobilize African capabilities in UN forces. It may also ask the WEU to help in carrying out Union actions.
- These conclusions should serve as a basis for the subsequent adoption of a common position.
ANNEX 14: ASIA
EUROPE-ASIA MEETING (ASEM): UNION POSITION
Section I: General aspects
The Asia-Europe Meeting will constitute one of the most important initiatives undertaken by the European Union and its member states and 10 of the most dynamic countries in Asia.
In an historical event, the Heads of State or Government of the participating countries, and the President of the Commission, will meet jointly, accompanied by their Ministers of Foreign Affairs, in an exercise aimed at establishing a new partnership between Europe and Asia that will contribute to the global development of societies in both regions.
This new partnership should be based on the promotion of political dialogue, the deepening of economic relations and the reinforcement of cooperation in various fields.
The Union considers ASEM as an open, transparent and evolutive process, of informal nature, that should pursue, nevertheless, concrete and substantial results. It should, therefore, not affect the participants special relations with other areas of the world.
This first ASEM should be made so mutually worthwhile as to give impetus to the political will to intensify dialogue and relations between the two regions and lay a firm foundation for a new era in Euro-Asian relations. This exercise is one that looks into the future and aims at setting up a constructive climate of mutual understanding and cooperation in all political and economic areas of common interest.
It is desirable that participants should depart from the inaugural meeting with the agreement of both sides for the convening of a second ASEM in Europe at a date to be mutually agreed. The Union should also propose that a flexible follow-up be considered to review the implementation of the decisions taken in ASEM. The Union wishes that a final statement reflects the substantive agreements reached in ASEM.
The Union has listed a range of specific issues that can be discussed (see sections II and III) and has prepared detailed proposals. The overall approach to these issues should be comprehensive and balanced. The dialogue can also cover economic questions of a general character.
SECTION II. PROMOTION OF POLITICAL DIALOGUE BETWEEN EUROPE AND ASIA.
(a) Enhancement of a broad Euro-Asia political dialogue
The promotion of political dialogue between both continents should aim at the advancement and consolidation of political stability and international security and at the deepening of mutual understanding in all areas.
This will require an intensification of contacts with a view to improving political cooperation between Europe and Asia in international organisations and in tackling international issues.
As one of the main objectives of the meeting, participants should make a clear commitment in this direction and should explore the possibilities for cooperation by identifying common ground on the different issues discussed. Senior officials may in this respect single out specific issues and areas of particular relevance for such cooperation.
(b) Dialogue on values and codes that govern societies on both continents
Although a new partnership between Europe and Asia does not require identical values, ideas and social codes, there remains a need for greater understanding of differences in values and customs among participating countries.
The ASEM should encourage an open and wide-ranging dialogue between cultures and civilizations on both continents to facilitate the rapprochement of their societies. In this connection, the promotion of cultural, scientific and academic exchanges and informal dialogue between intellectuals, those who form public opinion, politicians and businessmen will contribute greatly to broaden the basis of mutual understanding and to discern more clearly the productive power of cultural diversity.
Human rights, the rule of law and good governance play a key role in furthering harmonious social development. In this respect, the ASEM participants should reflect on the close links between the political and economic aspects involved in building a secure, stable and democratic society.
ASEM should focus on promoting specific collaboration between participating nations, reaffirming at the same time the participants' commitments to the UN declarations and conventions on these matters.
At the same time participants should emphasise their common commitment to the promotion of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms on the basis of the Charter of the United Nations, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action. They should also express their strong support for the successful implementation of the Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action.
(c) United Nations
ASEM participants could produce an exchange of views on the reform and funding of the organisation, as well as on their experiences and possible collaboration in the fields of peacekeeping and the use of preventive diplomacy.
(d) Processes of regional integration
This is a field of undoubted value in forging common interests and fostering intra-regional stability. An exchange of information on the political aspects of these processes and a discussion on where current processes on both continents might lead to will be mutually beneficial.
(e) Cooperation in security matters
The European Union should underline its readiness to contribute actively to peace and stability worldwide and in the Asia-Pacific, sharing its experiences in this field. In this respect, the ASEAN regional forum is a suitable framework for intensifying cooperation between the union and Asia.
In a two-way exchange of information, ASEM participants could focus on such items as CBM, conflict-resolution mechanisms, and new security architectures in Europe and Asia.
(f) Non proliferation
This should be considered a broad issue involving all non-proliferation concerns. ASEM should concentrate on a follow-up to the NPT extension decisions, including a common approach to such issues as CTBT, fissile material cut-off convention, strengthening of IAEA safeguards. Discussion should also cover prohibition and non-proliferation of chemical and biological weapons, reinforcement of export controls on conventional weapons, the UN conventional arms register and controls on the use and transfer of anti-personnel mines.
SECTION III. — REINFORCEMENT OF ECONOMIC COOPERATION; TRADE, INVESTMENT, TRANSFER OF TECHNOLOGY AND PARTICIPATION OF PRIVATE SECTORS
(a) Strengthening economic ties
Participating countries represent two of the most dynamic regions in the world. The current trade and investment flows between these regions do not, however, reflect their true economic potential. It should be noted that ASEM offers an exceptional opportunity for participating leaders to assess this potential and to take steps to exploit it more effectively. To this end Senior officials should consider ways which would aim at liberalisation and a strengthened multilateral discipline within the WTO. It would also identify specific measures which could be undertaken in participating countries in order to facilitate trade and investment.
(b) Reinforcing the open trading system
All efforts in ASEM should be guided by the principles of the WTO and the concept of open regionalism. Participants should strongly condemn all forms of unilateralism and reaffirm their commitment to the MFN principle. They should also resolve to work closely together in preparing for the Singapore WTO Ministerial. Emphasis should be placed on the completion and full implementation of the Uruguay Round.
In particular, ASEM should stress the need for a successful conclusion of the negotiation on liberalisation of telecommunications and maritime transport sectors and agree to join efforts to ensure that the interim agreement on financial services is succeeded by a more substantial package of permanent liberalisation commitments.
The Meeting should also express the wish that the participating countries not yet Parties to the WTO would be able to join soon.
The Meeting should agree to support moves towards further liberalisation, in particular through promoting wider participation and extended coverage in the existing Government Procurement agreement as well as through improving the level of intellectual property rights protection.
Senior officials could be asked to cooperate on this issue as well as for an ambitious agenda for future work in the WTO at the Singapour Ministerial, to be held in December 1996.
Important issues could be all questions of interest to any of the parties resulting from the Marrakech Conference as established in doc. MTN.TNC/45(MIN) as well as the new issues.
In addition the dialogue should be encouraged in order to exchange experiences in the area of regional integration and to highlight the conditions in which liberalism in regional contexts is compatible with an open multilateral system.
(c) Facilitating trade and investment
The Meeting should provide an opportunity to improve bilateral trade relations. To this end, senior officials should be instructed to identify measures that could facilitate trade between both regions. The Business Community will be consulted.
The Meeting should allow for highlighting the need to increase investment in the two regions and to explore how best to establish favourable conditions to facilitate investment. The parties could note the ongoing negotiations taking place among industrialised countries in the OECD to devise a comprehensive multilateral agreement on investment and could recognise the desirability of extending the disciplines beyond the OECD members. In this context, Senior Officials could be invited to hold discussions aiming at giving investment a high priority in the WTO with a view to preparing the way for negotiations on a global framework of rules for investment. A dialogue should be pursued with a view to establishing strong international disciplines in this area covering non-discrimination, investor protection and transparency.
PROMOTION OF COOPERATION IN VARIOUS FIELDS
(a) Human Resources
Emphasis should be laid on the development of human resources and of the conditions necessary for people to realize their potential. Promoting the mobility of young managers on a reciprocal basis between Europe and Asia is a particular priority as well as strengthening efforts in the area of primary and secondary education and vocational training. Language teaching and university exchanges programme as well as a two-way youth and student exchange should be envisaged.
(b) Development Cooperation
Taking into account environmental aspects, development cooperation should be reinforced. Priority objectives should be improving the living conditions of the most disadvantaged groups, to alleviate poverty and to promoting the role of women.
(c) The importance of addressing environmental issues such as global warming, protection of water resources, deforestation and desertification, bio-diversity of species and recognition of the potential for mutually beneficial cooperation in this field should particularly be stressed.
(d) Cultural contacts and information
Priority should be given to develop mutual understanding between Europe and Asia through enhanced cultural contacts and information about each other's cultures, taking into account the role of the media.
(e) Promoting Business Cooperation
The Meeting could stress the importance of promoting mutual beneficial cooperation, including encouragement of frameworks for dialogue at the initiative of the private sector to enable European and Asian business leaders to identify new fields for industrial cooperation. Cooperation should address areas such as energy, transport, information and environmental technology, telecommunications and tourism. The particular needs of small and medium-sized enterprises will be a priority.
(f) Technology Crossflows
The meeting should express support for intensified technology cross flows between Asia and Europe through tighter co-operation in the field of research, greater networking between universities and facilitation of know-how transfers in high-technology sectors. Priority driving sectors could be the environment, information and communication technology and transport sectors. The importance of an adequate protection of intellectual property and an open climate for investment in this context should be recognized.
In this context, the member States of the European Union are particularly interested in sharing the expertise and know-how of Asian countries in the rapid transformation of technological breakthrough into industrial production processes.
(g) Combating drugs and illegal activities
Cooperation should be stepped up in the fields of drug trafficking and particular efforts devoted to reach an agreement on drug precursers and in the framework of fighting against money laundering. The meeting should also foster the dialogue on international crime. Cooperation should be encouraged to fight against illegal immigration networks with special attention to the question of readmission of illegal immigrants.
An agreement should be reached for follow-up of progress in the above fields on the basis of a progress report by their Senior Officials on substantive action to be drawn up in 1997.
ANNEX 15: THE INTERGOVERNMENTAL CONFERENCE
A STRATEGY FOR EUROPE
For six months, the members of the Reflection Group have been working on the European Council mandate to pave the way for the revision of the Treaty at the 1996 Conference and any other improvements in the Union's operation, in a spirit of openness and democracy.
We feel it has been our task not only to establish an annotated agenda for the Conference but also to set in motion a process of public discussion and explanation regarding the thrust of the changes to be made.
Men and women of Europe today, more than ever, feel the need for a common project. And yet, for a growing number of Europeans, the rationale for Community integration is not self-evident. This paradox is a first challenge.
When the European Communities were established some forty years ago, the need for a common design was clear because of the awareness of Europe's failure over the first half of this century.
Now, almost half a century later, the successive enlargements of the Union, the expansion of its tasks, the very complexity of its nature and the magnitude of the problems of our times, make it very difficult to grasp the true significance of, and the continuing need for, European integration.
Let us accept that complexity is the price that Europe pays to protect our plural identity. But we firmly believe that this creation of Europe's political ingenuity, which cannot take the place of but is now an inseparable counterpart to the Union's Member States, from which its main political legitimacy flows, has been making an invaluable contribution of its own: peace and prosperity based on a definition of common interests and action that is the result not of power politics but of a common body of law agreed by all.
Today Europe has changed, partly because of the Union' success. All those European nations rediscovering their freedom wish to join, or to cooperate more closely with, the European Union. Yet, in Western Europe there is a growing sense of public disaffection despite the Union's contribution to an unprecedented period of peace and prosperity.
We therefore need to explain clearly to our citizens why the Union, which is so attractive to others in Europe, remains necessary for us too.
One reason is that the world outside Europe has also changed. Goods, capital and services nowadays flow globally in an increasingly competitive market. Prices are set worldwide. The prosperity of the Europe of Today and Tomorrow depends on its ability to succeed in the global marketplace.
The end of the cold war may have increased the overall security of Europe. But it has also brought greater instability in Europe.
Furthermore, high levels of unemployment, external migratory pressures, increasing ecological imbalances and the growth of international organised crime have stimulated a public demand for greater security that cannot be satisfied by Member States acting alone.
In an increasingly interdependent world, that reality poses new challenges and opens up new opportunities for the Union.
However, we are not starting from scratch. Over the last five years, Europe has adjusted successfully to changing times. In 1990, the Community welcomed in the 17 million Germans who had been living on the other side of the Berlin Wall.
The Maastricht Treaty succeeds in mapping out the path of adjustment by the Community to changing times: it establishes a European Union closer to its citizens, setting out the principle of subsidiarity; it establishes the path towards a single currency and puts forward a strategy of economic integration based on price stability that strengthens competitiveness and makes for growth in our economy. It reinforces social and economic cohesion and provides for high standards of environmental protection. It opens the way for a common foreign and security policy and attempts to bring about an area of freedom and of public security.
Since then, in very difficult economic circumstances, the European Union has been able to take timely decisions on progress in line with its new needs: it has agreed to the outcome of the Uruguay Round, it has managed to reach agreement on the Union's finances up to 1999 and it has been enlarged to bring in three new members.
Yet that is not enough. European Heads of State or Government have already identified the steps necessary to develop Europe's strategy for these changing times: the 1996 Conference, the transition to a single currency, the negotiation of a new financial agreement, the possible revision or extension of the Brussels Treaty setting up the WEU and, lastly, the most ambitious target, enlarging the Union to bring in associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, including the Baltic States, Cyprus and Malta.
That next enlargement provides a great opportunity for the political reunification of Europe. Not only is it a political imperative for us, but it represents the best option for the stability of the continent and for the economic advancement not just of the applicant countries but for this Europe of ours as a whole. That enlargement is not an easy exercise. Its impact upon the development of the Union's policies will have to be assessed. It will require efforts both by applicants and present Union members that will have to be equitably shared. It is therefore not only a great chance for Europe but also a challenge. We must do it, but we have to do it well.
The Union cannot tackle all the steps in that European strategy at once, but it does not have any time to waste. The Heads of State or Government have personally taken responsibility for agreeing on a European agenda for carrying out this plan, which will only become a reality if it finds democratic backing from Europe's citizens.
THE 1996 CONFERENCE
The 1996 Conference is an important, but just one step in this process.
The Maastricht Treaty already foresees that a Conference should be convened in 1996 with a limited scope. This scope has subsequently been enlarged at various European Councils.
The Heads of State or Government have identified the need to make institutional reforms as a central issue of the Conference in order to improve the efficiency, democracy and transparency of the Union.
In that spirit, we have tried to identify the improvements needed to bring the Union up to date and to prepare it for the next enlargement.
We consider that the Conference should focus on necessary changes, without embarking on a complete revision of the Treaty.
Against this background, results should be achieved in three main areas:
— making Europe more relevant to its citizens;
— enabling the Union to work better and preparing it for enlargement;
— giving the Union greater capacity for external action.
I. The citizen and the Union
The Union is not and does not want to be a super-state. Yet it is far more than a market. It is a unique design based on common values. We should strengthen these values, which all applicants for membership also wish to share.
The Conference must make the Union more relevant to its citizens. The right way for the Union to regain the commitment of its citizens is to focus on what needs to be done at European level to address the issues that matter to most of them such as greater security, solidarity, employment and the environment.
The Conference must also make the Union more transparent and closer to the citizens.
Promoting European values
Europe's internal security rests on its democratic values. As Europeans we are all citizens of democratic States which guarantee respect for human rights. Many of us think that the Treaty must clearly proclaim these common values.
Human rights already form part of the Union's general principles. For many of us they should, however, be more clearly guaranteed by the Union, through its accession to the European Convention on Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms. The idea of a catalogue of rights has also been suggested, and a provision allowing for the possibility of sanctions or even suspending Union membership in the case of any state seriously violating human rights and democracy. Some of us take the view that national governments already provide adequate safeguards for these rights.
Many of us think it important that the Treaty should clearly proclaim such European values as equality between men and women, non-discrimination on grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, age or disability and that it should include an express condemnation of racism and xenophobia and a procedure for its enforcement.
One of us believes that the rights and responsibilities we have as citizens are a matter for our nation states: reaching beyond that could have the opposite effect to that intended.
Some of us also thought it worthwhile to examine the idea of establishing a Community service or European "peace corps" for humanitarian action, as an expression of Union solidarity; such a service could also be used in the event of natural disasters in the Union. Furthermore, some of us recommend that the Conference should examine how to better recognize in the Treaty the importance of access to public service utilities ("services publics d'intérêt général").
We believe that Europe also shares certain social values which are the foundation of our coexistence in peace and progress. Many of us take the view that the Social Agreement must become part of Union law. One of us believes that this would only serve to reduce competitiveness.
Freedom and internal security
The Union is an area of free movement for people, goods, capital and services. Yet people's security is not sufficiently protected on a European scale: while protection remains essentially a national matter, crime is effectively organized on an international scale. Experience of the implementation of the Maastricht Treaty over the last few years shows that opportunities for effective European action are still very limited. Hence, the urgency for a common response at European level, following a pragmatic approach.
We all agree that the Conference should strengthen the Union's capacity to protect its citizens against terrorism, drug trafficking, money laundering, exploitation of illegal immigration and other forms of internationally organized crime. This protection of citizens' security at European level must not diminish individual safeguards. For many of us, this requires further use of common Institutions and procedures, as well as common criteria. It is also for national parliaments to exercise political scrutiny over those who administer such common action.
Many of us take the view that, in order to act more efficiently, we need to put fully under Community competence matters concerning third country nationals, such as immigration, asylum and visa policy, as well as common rules for external border controls. Some would also like to extend Community competence to combating drug addiction and fraud on an international scale, and to customs cooperation.
For some of us, however the key to success has to be found in a combination of political will and more effective use of existing intergovernmental arrangements.
We know that job creation in an open society is based on sound economic growth and on business competitiveness, which must be fostered by initiatives at local, regional and national levels. We believe that, in the European Union, the main responsibility of ensuring the economic and social well being of citizens lies within the Member States. In an integrated economic area such as ours, however, the Union also has a responsibility for setting the right conditions for job creation. It is already doing so by the completion of the internal market and the development of other common policies, with a joint growth, competitiveness and employment strategy which is achieving positive results, and with its plan for Economic and Monetary Union.
We all agree that the provisions on the single currency which were agreed at Maastricht and ratified by our parliaments must remain unchanged.
While we are all aware that jobs will not be created simply by amendments to the Treaty, many of us want the Treaty to contain a clearer commitment on the part of the Union to achieving greater economic and social integration and cohesion geared to promote employment, as well as provisions enabling the Union to take coordinated action on job creation. Some of us advised against writing into the Treaty provisions which arouse expectations, but whose delivery depends primarily on decisions taken at business and state-level. In any case, most of us stress the need for stronger coordination of economic policies in the Union.
In essence, the environment has crossborder effects. Protection of the environment is an objective involving our survival not only as Europeans but also as inhabitants of the planet. Therefore the Conference should examine how to improve the capacity of the Union to act more efficiently and to identify whenever that action should remain within the Member State.
A more transparent Union
Citizens are entitled to be better informed about the Union and how it functions.
Many of us propose that the right of access to information be recognized in the Treaty as a right of the citizens of the Union. Suggestions have been made on how to improve the public access to Union's documents which should be examined by the Conference.
Prior to any substantial legislative proposal, information should be duly gathered from the sectors concerned, experts and society in general. The studies leading up to the proposal should be made public.
When such a proposal is made, national parliaments should be duly informed and documents supplied to them in their official languages and in due time to allow proper discussion from the beginning of the legislative process.
We all agree that the Union law should be more accessible. The 1996 Conference should result in a simpler Treaty.
The Union will be closer to the citizen if it focuses on what should be its tasks.
This means that it must respect the principle of subsidiarity. This principle must therefore not be construed as justifying the inexorable growth of European powers nor as a pretext for undermining solidarity or the Union's achievements.
We believe it necessary to reinforce its proper application in practice. The Edinburgh Declaration should be the basis for that improvement and some of us believe that its essential provisions should be given Treaty status.
II.Enabling the Union to work better and preparing it for enlargement
The Conference should examine the ways and means to improve the efficiency and democracy of the Union.
The Union must also preserve its decision-making ability after further enlargement. Given the number and variety of the countries involved, this call for changes to the structure and workings of the institutions. It may also mean that flexible solutions will have to be found, fully respecting the single institutional framework and the "acquis communautaire".
The European Council, consisting of the Heads of State or Government of the Member States and the President of the Commission, is the highest expression of the Union's political will and defines its general political guidelines. Its importance is bound to increase in view of the Union's political agenda.
Improving democracy in the Union means both fair representation in each of the institutions, and enhancing the European Parliament, within the existing institutional balance, and the role of national parliaments. In this context, it is recalled that, according to the Treaty, a uniform electoral procedure for the European Parliament should be established. Many of us believe that the European Parliament's procedures are too numerous and complex and therefore favour reducing them to three: consultation, assent and codecision.
The current codecision procedure is over-complicated and we propose that the Conference simplify it, without altering the balance between the Council and the European Parliament. Many of us also propose that the Conference should extend the scope of the codecision procedure. One member believes, however, that the European Parliament gained extensive new powers at Maastricht and therefore should grow into these powers before seeking more.
National parliaments should also be adequately involved. This does not imply that they have to be incorporated into the Union's institutions. For many of us its decision-making procedures should be organised in a way which allows national parliaments adequately to scrutinise and influence the positions of their respective governments in the decision-making of the Union. Some of us suggest a more direct involvement of national parliaments: in this context, the idea of a newly established advisory committee has been suggested by one of us. Cooperation among national parliaments and between them and the European Parliament should also be fostered.
The decision-making processes and working methods of the Council of Ministers will need review. The Union must be able to take timely and effective decisions. But efficient decision-making does not necessarily mean easy decision-making. The Union's decisions must have popular support. Many of us believe greater efficiency would be enhanced by more qualified majority voting in the Council, which, according to many, should become the general procedure in the enlarged Community. Some of us believe that this should only be countenanced, if democratic legitimacy is improved by a reweighting of votes to take due account of population. One of us opposes extension on principle.
We consider the role of the Council Presidency to be crucial for the efficient management of the Union's business and we support the principle of rotation. But the present system applied to an enlarged Union could become increasingly disjointed. Alternative approaches combining continuity and rotation should be examined further.
We agree that the Commission should retain its three fundamental functions: promotion of the common interest, monopoly of legislative initiative and guardianship of Community law. Its legitimacy, underlined by its parliamentary approval, is based on its independence, its credibility, its collegiality and its efficiency. The composition of the Commission was designed for a Community of six. We have identified options for its future composition in order to preserve the Commission's ability to fulfil its functions in view of an enlarged Union that may extend to more than twice the number of Member States having negotiated the Maastricht Treaty.
Broadly, one view within the Group is to retain the present system for the future, reinforcing its collegiality and consistency as required. This option would allow all members to have at least one Commissioner. Another view is to ensure that greater collegiality and consistency be attained by reducing the Commissioners to a lesser number than Member States and enhancing their independence. Procedures should be established to select those members on grounds of qualification, and commitment to the general interest of the Union. When deciding the future composition of the Commission, the Conference may also examine the possibility of establishing senior and junior Commissioners.
Some of us believe that the Committee of the Regions has to play an important role in Community legislation and that the consultative role of this body should be better used.
Europe's achievements depend on its ability to take decisions together and then to comply with them. An improvement in the clarity and quality of Community legislation would contribute to this, as would better financial management and a more effective fight against fraud. The Conference should also improve the key role of the Court of Justice especially in ensuring uniform interpretation of and compliance with Community law.
III. Giving the Union greater capacity for external action
The Maastricht Treaty has established the Union's Common Foreign and Security Policy. In our opinion, this was the right decision at the right time, at a time with the end of the cold war increasing the burden of responsibility on the European Union to lay the foundations of peace and progress in Europe and elsewhere.
The current possibilities offered by the Treaty have provided some positive results. We believe, however, that the time has come to provide this common policy with the means to function more effectively.
The Union today needs to be able to play its part on the international stage as a factor for peace and stability. Although an economic power today, the Union continues to be weak in political terms, its role accordingly often confined to financing decisions taken by others.
Common Foreign Policy
We think that the Conference must find ways and means of providing the Union with a greater capacity for external action, in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity. It must be capable of identifying its interests, deciding on its action and implementing it effectively. Enlargement will make this task more difficult, but also makes it even more imperative.
This means that the Union must be able to analyse and prepare its external action jointly. With that in mind, we propose the establishment of a common foreign policy analysis and planning unit. For most of us, this unit should be answerable to the Council. Many of us also think that it should be recruited from Member States, Council Secretariat and Commission and be established within the institutional framework of the Union. It has been suggested by some that the head of the unit, whose functions could eventually merge with those of the Secretary General of the WEU, should be the Secretary General of the Council.
It also calls for the capacity to take decisions. To that end, we propose that the Conference examines how to review decision-making and financing procedures in order to adapt them to the nature of foreign policy, which must reconcile respect for the sovereignty of States with the need for diplomatic and financial solidarity.It should be commonly agreed whether and if so how to provide for the possibility of flexible formulae which will not prevent those who feel it necessary for the Union to take joint action from doing so. Some members favour the extension of qualified majority voting to CFSP and some others propose to enhance the consultative role of the European Parliament in this area.
The Union must be able to implement its external actions with a higher profile. We have examined several possible options for ensuring that the Union is able to speak with one voice. Some of us have suggested the idea of a High Representative for the CFSP, so as to give a face and a voice to the external political action of the Union. This person should be appointed by the European Council and would act under precise mandate from the Council. Many of us have stressed the need for a structured cooperation between the Council, its Presidency and the Commission, so that the different elements of the external dimension of the Union they are responsible for function as a coherent whole.
This greater political role for the Union in the world should be consistent with its current external economic influence as the premier trading partner and the premier humanitarian aid donor. The Conference will have to find ways of ensuring that the Union's external policy is visible to its citizens and the world, that it is representative of its Member States and that it is consistent in its continuity and globality.
European security and defence policy
The multifaceted challenges of the new international security situation underline the need for an effective and consistent European response, based on a comprehensive concept of security.
We therefore believe that the Conference could examine ways to further develop the European identity, including in the security and defence policy field. This development should proceed in conformity with the objectives agreed at Maastricht, taking into consideration the Treaty provisions that the CFSP shall include all questions related to the security of the Union, including the eventual framing of a common defence policy, which might in time lead to a common defence.
The Conference will have to take account of the reality that, in the view of NATO members, such a development should also strengthen the European "pillar" of the Atlantic Alliance and the transatlantic link. The Alliance continues to guarantee the collective defence of its members and plays a fundamental role in the security of Europe as a whole. Equally, the right of States which are not members of the Alliance to take their own defence decisions must be respected.
Many of us feel that the Conference should consider how to encourage the development of European operational capabilities, how to promote closer European cooperation in the field of armaments and how to ensure greater coherence of action in the military field with the political, economic or humanitarian aspects of European crisis management.
Against this background, many of us want to further strengthen relations between the EU and the Western European Union (WEU), which is an integral part of the development of the Union.
In this regard, several options for the future development of this relationship have already been suggested within the Group. One option advocates a reinforced EU/WEU partnership while maintaining full autonomy of WEU. A second option suggests that a closer link should be established enabling the Union to assume a directing role over WEU for humanitarian, peacekeeping and other crisis management operations (known as Petersberg tasks). A third option would be the incorporation of these Petersberg tasks into the Treaty. As a fourth option, the idea of a gradual integration of WEU into the EU has been supported by many of us: this could be pursued either by promoting EU/WEU convergence through a WEU commitment to act as implementing body of the Union for operational-military issues, or by agreeing on a series of steps leading to a full EU/WEU merger. In the latter case, the Treaty would incorporate not only the Petersberg tasks but also a collective defence commitment, either in the main body of the Treaty or in a Protocol annexed to it.
In this context, the idea that the IGC examines the possibility of including in the revised Treaty a provision on mutual assistance for the defence of the external borders of the Union has been put forward by some members.
It will be for the Conference to consider these and other possible options.
Europe and democracy are inseparable concepts. To date, all the steps in the construction of Europe have been decided by common accord by the democratic governments of its Member States, have been ratified by the national parliaments and have received popular support in our countries. This is also how we shall construct the future.
We realize that this reflection exercise by the Group is only one step in a public debate initiated and guided by the European Council. We hope that this public and joint exercise between our nations will lead to renewed support for a project which is more than ever necessary for Europe today.
© European Parliament:1998