Brief blogEU Defense (Doctrine)European policyIGC Treaties

'ESDP Defence' provisions of the EC-EU Treaties, “Treaty of Nice” version

European Community Treaty

Article 296 ("defence" exception to the internal market):

1. The provisions of this Treaty shall not preclude the following rules:

(a) no Member State shall be required to supply information the disclosure of which it considers contrary to the essential interests of its security;

(b) any Member State may take the measures which it considers necessary for the protection of the essential interests of its security and which relate to the production of or trade in arms, munitions and war material; these measures must not adversely affect the conditions of competition in the common market as regards products not intended for specifically military purposes.

2. The Council, acting unanimously on a proposal from the Commission, may make amendments to the list, which it established on 15 April 1958, of the products to which the provisions of paragraph 1(b) apply .

European Union Treaty - Maastricht

(nb: titles have been added for more readability)

Article 2 (objectives of the Treaty)

The Union has set itself the following objectives: (...)

- to assert its identity on the international scene, in particular by implementing a common foreign and security policy, including the progressive definition of a common defense policy, which could lead to a common defence, in accordance with the provisions of section 17; (...)

Article 11 (CFSP objectives - common foreign and security policy)

1. The Union shall define and implement a common foreign and security policy covering all areas of foreign and security policy, the objectives of which are:
– safeguarding the common values, fundamental interests, independence and integrity of the Union, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter;
– the strengthening of the Union's security in all its forms;
– the maintenance of peace and the strengthening of international security, in accordance with the principles of the Charter of the United Nations, as well as the principles of the Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Charter of Paris, including those relating at the external borders;
– the promotion of international cooperation;
– the development and strengthening of democracy and the rule of law, as well as respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms.

2. Member States shall actively and unreservedly support the Union's foreign and security policy in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity.

Member States shall work together to strengthen and develop their mutual political solidarity. They shall refrain from any action contrary to the interests of the Union or likely to harm its effectiveness as a cohesive force in international relations.

The Board monitors compliance with these principles.

Article 12 (instruments)

The Union shall pursue the objectives set out in Article 11:
– defining the principles and general guidelines of the common foreign and security policy;
– deciding on common strategies;
– by adopting common actions;
– adopting common positions;
– and by strengthening systematic cooperation between the Member States for the conduct of their policy.

Article 13 (role of the European Council and of the Council)

1. The European Council shall define the principles and general guidelines of the common foreign and security policy, including for matters having defense implications.

2. The European Council shall decide on common strategies to be implemented by the Union in areas where Member States have important common interests.

The common strategies specify their objectives, their duration and the resources to be provided by the Union and the Member States.

3. The Council shall take the decisions necessary for the definition and implementation of the common foreign and security policy, on the basis of the general guidelines defined by the European Council.

The Council recommends common strategies to the European Council and implements them, in particular by adopting common actions and common positions.

The Council ensures the unity, consistency and effectiveness of Union action.

Article 14 (joint actions)

1. The Council shall adopt joint actions. These relate to certain situations where operational action by the Union is deemed necessary. They set their objectives, their scope, the resources to be made available to the Union, the conditions relating to their implementation and, if necessary, their duration.

2. If there is a change in circumstances which has a significant effect on a question which is the subject of joint action, the Council shall review the principles and objectives of this action and adopt the necessary decisions. As long as the Council has not ruled, joint action is maintained.

3. Joint actions commit the Member States in the positions they adopt and in the conduct of their action.

4. The Council may request the Commission to submit to it any appropriate proposal relating to the common foreign and security policy to ensure the implementation of joint action.

5. Any position taken or any national action envisaged pursuant to a joint action shall be the subject of information within the time limits allowing, if necessary, prior consultation within the Council. The obligation of prior information does not apply to measures which constitute a simple transposition at national level of Council decisions.

6. In the event of imperative necessity linked to developments in the situation and in the absence of a decision by the Council, the Member States may take the necessary measures as a matter of urgency, taking into account the general objectives of the action. common. The Member State which takes such measures shall immediately inform the Council thereof.

7. In the event of major difficulties in applying joint action, a Member State shall refer the matter to the Council, which shall deliberate and seek appropriate solutions. These may not run counter to the objectives of the action or undermine its effectiveness.

Article 15 (common positions)

The Council adopts common positions. These define the position of the Union on a particular issue of a geographical or thematic nature. Member States shall ensure that their national policies comply with the common positions.

Article 16 (mutual information)

Member States shall inform each other and consult one another within the Council on any matter of foreign and security policy of general interest, with a view to ensuring that the influence of the Union is exercised in the most effective manner by the convergence of their actions.

Article 17 (Defence policy and relationship with NATO) + Protocol *

1. The common foreign and security policy includes all questions relating to the security of the Union, including the progressive definition of a common defense policy, which could lead to a common defence, if the European Council so decide. It recommends, in this case, to the Member States to adopt a decision in this direction in accordance with their respective constitutional requirements.

Union policy within the meaning of this article shall not affect the specific character of the security and defense policy of certain Member States, it shall respect the obligations arising from the North Atlantic Treaty for certain Member States which consider that their common defense is achieved within the framework of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and is compatible with the common security and defense policy adopted within this framework.

The progressive definition of a common defense policy is supported, in so far as the Member States deem it appropriate, by cooperation between them in the field of armaments.

2. The matters referred to in this article include humanitarian and evacuation missions, peacekeeping missions and missions of combat forces for crisis management, including peacemaking missions.

3. Decisions with defense implications referred to in this Article shall be taken without prejudice to the policies and obligations referred to in the second subparagraph of paragraph 1.

4. This Article shall not preclude the development of closer cooperation between two or more Member States at bilateral level, within the framework of Western European Union (WEU) and NATO, in the insofar as this cooperation does not conflict with that provided for in this Title or hinder it.

5. With a view to promoting the achievement of the objectives defined in this article, the provisions of this article shall be reviewed in accordance with article 48.

Article 18 (role of the Presidency of the Union)

1. The Presidency represents the Union in matters relating to the common foreign and security policy.

2. The Presidency shall be responsible for the implementation of decisions taken under this Title; as such, it expresses, in principle, the position of the Union in international organizations and within international conferences.

3. The Presidency is assisted by the Secretary-General of the Council, who exercises the functions of High Representative for the common foreign and security policy.

4. The Commission shall be fully associated with the tasks referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2. In carrying out these tasks, the Presidency shall be assisted, where appropriate, by the Member State which will hold the next Presidency.

5. The Council may, whenever it deems it necessary, appoint a special representative to whom a mandate is conferred in relation to particular political questions.

Article 19 (co-ordination within international organizations and conferences)

1. Member States shall coordinate their action within international organizations and at international conferences. They defend the common positions in these forums.

Within international organizations and at international conferences in which not all Member States participate, those who participate defend common positions.

2. Without prejudice to paragraph 1 and Article 14(3), Member States represented in international organizations or international conferences in which not all Member States participate shall keep the latter informed of any matter of common interest.

Member States that are also members of the United Nations Security Council will coordinate and keep other Member States fully informed. Member States which are permanent members of the Security Council shall ensure, in the exercise of their functions, to defend the positions and interests of the Union, without prejudice to their responsibilities under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations .

Article 20 (coordination of diplomatic missions)

The diplomatic and consular missions of the Member States and the Commission delegations in third countries and international conferences, as well as their representations to international organisations, cooperate to ensure compliance with and implementation of the common positions and joint actions adopted by the board.

They shall intensify their cooperation by exchanging information, carrying out joint assessments and contributing to the implementation of the provisions referred to in Article 20 of the Treaty establishing the European Community.

Article 21 (role of Parliament)

The Presidency consults the European Parliament on the main aspects and fundamental choices of the common foreign and security policy and ensures that the views of the European Parliament are duly taken into account. The European Parliament is kept regularly informed by the Presidency and the Commission of developments in the Union's foreign and security policy.

The European Parliament may address questions or make recommendations to the Council. Each year it holds a debate on the progress made in the implementation of the common foreign and security policy.

Article 22 (request from a Member State or from the Commission for a decision or a meeting)

1. Each Member State or the Commission may refer to the Council any matter relating to the common foreign and security policy and submit proposals to the Council.

2. In cases requiring a rapid decision, the Presidency shall convene, either on its own initiative or at the request of the Commission or a Member State, within XNUMX hours or, if absolutely necessary, within a shorter time, an extraordinary meeting of the Council.

Article 23 (methods of decision, vote)

1. Decisions under this Title shall be taken by the Council acting on theunanimity. The abstentions of the members present or represented do not prevent the adoption of these decisions.

Any member of the Council who abstains during a vote may, in accordance with this paragraph, accompany his abstention with a formal declaration. In this case, he is not bound to apply the decision, but he accepts that the decision commits the Union. In a spirit of mutual solidarity, the Member State concerned shall refrain from any action likely to conflict with or impede Union action based on this decision and the other Member States shall respect its position. . If the members of the Council who accompany their abstention with such a declaration represent more than one third of the votes affected by the weighting provided for in Article 205(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community, the decision shall not be adopted.

2. By way of derogation from paragraph 1, the Council shall act qualified majority:

– when, on the basis of a common strategy, it adopts common actions and common positions or takes any other decision;
– when adopting any decision implementing a joint action or a common position;
– when appointing a special representative in accordance with Article 18(5).

If a member of the Council declares that, for important reasons of national policy which he explains, he intends to oppose the adoption of a decision to be taken by qualified majority, he is not did not take the vote. The Council, acting by a qualified majority, may request that the European Council be seized of the matter for a unanimous decision.

The votes of the members of the Council are assigned the weighting provided for in Article 205(2) of the Treaty establishing the European Community. To be adopted, the decisions must collect at least 232 votes expressing the favorable vote of at least two thirds of the members. A member of the Council may request that, when a decision is taken by the Council by qualified majority, it be verified that the Member States constituting this qualified majority represent at least 62% of the total population of the Union. If it turns out that this condition is not fulfilled, the decision in question is not adopted.

This paragraph does not apply to decisions with military or defense implications.

3. For questions of procedure, the Council shall act by a majority of its members.

Article 24 (agreement with a third State)

1. Where it is necessary to conclude an agreement with one or more States or international organizations pursuant to this Title, the Council may authorize the Presidency, assisted, where appropriate, by the Commission, to enter into negotiations to that effect. Such agreements are concluded by the Council on the recommendation of the Presidency.

2. The Council shall act unanimously when the agreement relates to a matter for which unanimity is required for the adoption of internal decisions.

3. Where the agreement is intended to implement a joint action or a common position, the Council shall act by qualified majority in accordance with Article 23(2).

4. The provisions of this article are also applicable to matters covered by Title VI. Where the agreement relates to a matter for which a qualified majority is required for the adoption of internal decisions or measures, the Council shall act by a qualified majority in accordance with Article 34(3).

5. No agreement shall bind a Member State whose representative in the Council declares that it must comply with its own constitutional rules; the other members of the Council may agree that the agreement is nevertheless applicable on a provisional basis.

6. Agreements concluded under the conditions laid down in this Article shall bind the institutions of the Union.

Article 25 (the COPS - Political and Security Committee)

Without prejudice to Article 207 of the Treaty establishing the European Community, a political and security committee shall monitor the international situation in areas covered by the common foreign and security policy and contribute to the definition of policies by issuing opinions to the intention of the Council, at its request or on its own initiative. It also monitors the implementation of agreed policies, without prejudice to the competences of the Presidency and the Commission.

Within the framework of this title, the committee exercises, under the responsibility of the Board, the political control and the strategic direction of the crisis management operations.

The Board may authorize the Committee, for the purposes of a crisis management operation and for the duration thereof, as determined by the Board, to take appropriate decisions regarding the political control and strategic direction of the operation. , without prejudice to Article 47.

Article 26 (the High Representative)

The Secretary-General of the Council, High Representative for the common foreign and security policy, assists the Council in matters relating to the common foreign and security policy, in particular by contributing to the formulation, development and implementation policy decisions and, where appropriate, acting on behalf of the Council and at the request of the Presidency, conducting political dialogue with third parties.

Article 27 (role of the Commission)

The Commission is fully associated with the work in the area of ​​the common foreign and security policy.

ENHANCED COOPERATION

Article 27 A * (objective of enhanced cooperation)

1. Enhanced cooperation in one of the areas referred to in this title is intended to safeguard the values ​​and serve the interests of the Union as a whole by asserting its identity as a coherent force on the international scene. They respect:
– the principles, objectives, general guidelines and coherence of the common foreign and security policy as well as the decisions taken within the framework of this policy;
– the competences of the European Community, and
– consistency between all the Union's policies and its external action.

2. Articles 11 to 27 and Articles 27 B to 28 apply to the enhanced cooperation provided for in this Article, except as otherwise provided in Articles 27 C and Articles 43 to 45.

Article 27 B * (subject of enhanced cooperation)

Enhanced cooperation under this Title relates to the implementation of a joint action or a common position. They cannot relate to matters having military or defense implications.

(...)

Treaty of the European Communities - Roma

(...)

Section 301 (embargo)

Where a common position or common action adopted pursuant to the provisions of the Treaty on European Union relating to the common foreign and security policy provide for action by the Community aimed at interrupting or reducing, in whole or in part, economic relations with one or more third countries, the Council, acting by a qualified majority on a proposal from the Commission, shall take the necessary urgent measures.

Article 302 (relations with the UN)

The Commission is responsible for ensuring all useful links with the organs of the United Nations and their specialized institutions.

It also provides timely liaison with all international organizations.

(...)

Article 308 (general legal basis)

If action by the Community appears necessary to achieve, in the functioning of the common market, one of the objects of the Community, without this Treaty having provided for the powers of action required for that purpose, the Council, acting on the unanimously on a proposal from the Commission and after consulting the European Parliament, take the appropriate measures.

Protocols

Protocol (No 1) to Article 17 of the Treaty on European Union (1997) - WEU

BEARING IN MIND the need to fully implement the provisions of Article 17, paragraph
1, second paragraph, and paragraph 3, of the Treaty on European Union;

BEARING IN MIND that the Union's policy under Article 17 must not affect the
specific nature of the security and defense policy of certain Member States, that it must
comply with the obligations stemming from the North Atlantic Treaty for certain Member States which
consider that their common defense is achieved within the framework of NATO and that it must be
compatible with the common security and defense policy adopted within this framework;

HAVE AGREED as to the following provision, which is annexed to the Treaty on European Union:

The European Union, together with the Western European Union, shall draw up arrangements aimed at improving cooperation between them, within one year of the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).

s2Member®