03 December, 2003
UEF colloquium on European Foreign, Security and Defence Policy after the Constitutional Treaty

Some  120  people  from about  15 European countries  participated in the colloquium  organised last weekend  at the  European  Parliament in Brussels  by the  Union  of  European  Federalists  (UEF) in cooperation with the “Cercle fédéraliste européen”, on the topic “Europe’s global mission is to win the peace”.

 

The role of Europe in the world and the prospects of a European Security and Defence Policy were debated.

 

In his  keynote  speech, Wim  van  EEKELEN,  Chairman  of  the  Defence  Committee  of  the  Dutch Senate and former Secretary-General of WEU considered that the objective of peace could only be achieved if  all the instruments  were  used in  a  coherent way.  However  steps  forward in  defence were not always accompanied by sufficient progress in the field of foreign policy, because the 15 Member States - and the 25 even less – did not share the same views. Moreover the efficiency of the institutions  as  established by  the  Convention’s  draft  in  European  Foreign,  Security  and  Defence policy could be questioned. According to Mr van EEKELEN, more optimistic outlooks would only be possible in this field if the European governments « accept the consequences of what they want». 

 

Mr  Armand  DE  DECKER,  President  of  the  Belgian  Senate and newly  elected  Chairman of  the WEU Assembly declared himselfin favour of a federal defence pillar that should be prepared by a better organisation of the current intergovernmental system. He suggested the use of the method of convergence criteria for  European  military  efforts  especially  in  terms  of  investments.  Defence Ministers should  define  a  European  concept  for  a  common  investment  plan  and national parliaments should vote on defence budgets in a European framework, no longer in strictly national cenacles.

 

UEF  Vice-President  Sergio  PISTONE,  Professor  of  History  of  European  integration  at the University  of  Torino,  stressed  that the  federal  unification  of  Europe  would  lead  to  the strengthening of the  UN  and  would  overcome  American  hegemony  in  favour  of  a  multi-polar system.  According to him,  a constitutional  commitment  should limit  Europe’s  sovereignty in the field of security and defence in favour of the UN and provide in this framework the availability of armed forces for crisis management and international police purposes. 

 

 

Notes to editors

- The  UEF  is an  independent  and non-governmental,  supranational  organisation,  dedicated  to  the promotion of a federal Europe.

- The Cercle fédéraliste européen, chaired by Fernand HERMAN, invites every month personalities to speak on European topics.


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