WEU Mediterranean Framework

In June 1992, WEU countries decided to start a dialogue with third Mediterranean countries and approved a list of seven principles which, in their view, should contribute to the resolution of conflicts in the Mediterranean Basin (WEU Petersberg Declaration):

  • dialogue for the definition of a possible framework for stability and confidence in the region;
  • « confidence building measures »;
  • transparency of military operations;
  • military forces in proportion with national security real needs;
  • prevention of conflicts;
  • peaceful solution of conflicts;
  • non-proliferation of arms of massive destruction and balistic missiles

First intended to the Maghreb countries, Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco and Mauritania, the dialogue was later joined by Egypt (1994), Israel (1995) and Jordan (1998). WEU dialogue with the Mediterranean was limited to bilateral contacts between the WEU and Brussels embassies of partner countries and to some expert meetings.

Though the WEO had announced its will to couple its Mediterranean Dialogue with the Euro-Mediterranean Partnership, some members resisted to include a military dimension in the Partnership. WEU Mediterranean policy received better attention and even suspicion among North African countries, particularly Libya, when EUROFOR and EUROMARFOR task forces(*) were created.

The WEU Dialogue was interrupted when most of WEU’s activities were transferred to the EU’s Common Foreign and Security Policy (Marseilles Declaration, November 2000). One of the tasks which was not decided to transfer to the EU was the collective defence obligation (Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty). The oblmigations settled in Article V and the responsibility for European armaments cooperation are expected to be the core functions of future intergovernmental work in WEU.

Rem.:

The missions of these task forces, composed of Spanish, Italian, French and Portuguese units, include combat operations in the region in the event of a crisis.

See also: Cooperation initiatives in the Mediterranean.