In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

UE relinquishes inter-parliamentary control over its defense policy

Posted by seumasach on April 14, 2010

“As a result of this sleight of hand, we are heading – without any debate in the countries concerned – towards a new constitutional framework where European policies will be overseen by …. the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In the meantime, only national parliamentary controls will be exerted, which is insufficient and may open the door to various types of power abuses.”

Voltairenet

3rd April, 2010

On 31 March 2010, without prior notice, the ten member States of the Western European Union (WEU) announced thedissolution of the structure. All the administrative organs will be shut down by the end of June 2010 at the latest. This decision was precipitated by the 13 March announcement of the United Kingdom’s imminent withdrawal from the Brussels Treaty (1948).

Noting that the Treaty of Lisbon incorporates a mutual defense clause, Germany, Belgium, Spain, France, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom considered that the European Union is taking over from the WEU and decided to dismantle the organization.

Actually, with the exception of the Parliamentary Assembly, the executive bodies of the WEU had been in abeyance for a long time. However, despite recommendations, the Treaty of Lisbon failed to create an inter-parliamentary control organ for European policy in matters of security and defense (CSDP), nor did it transfer the powers of the WEU Parliamentary Assembly to the European Parliament.

As a result of this sleight of hand, we are heading – without any debate in the countries concerned – towards a new constitutional framework where European policies will be overseen by …. the NATO Parliamentary Assembly. In the meantime, only national parliamentary controls will be exerted, which is insufficient and may open the door to various types of power abuses.

In Brussels, High Representative Cathy Ashton is in charge of the European Security and Defence College, the European Union Institute for Security Studies, the European Union Satellite Centre, and the European Defence Agency, to which must be added the European External Action Services (an intelligence service under construction). Union troops are already deployed in the Gulf of Aden, Bosnia and Herzegovina and in Chad.

At the last Security Conference in Munich, German Minister of Foreign Affairs Guido Westerwelle pleaded for the creation of an integrated European army. This initiative, which was rejected by France in 1954, aims to heighten NATO’s control over European defense policy, as prescribed in Article 42 of the Treaty of Lisbon (which reproduces verbatim article I-41 of the European Constitutional Treaty, previously ruled out by the French and the Dutch).

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