Navigation path

Left navigation

Additional tools

Other available languages: FR

    It  is  a  privilege  to  have  been  invited   as
    President  of the European Commission  to  deliver
    the 1991 Alastair Buchan Memorial Lecture.
    As  the first Director of the Institute,  Alastair
    Buchan was responsible for establishing the  solid
    base from which its deservedly high reputation has
    grown.  The Institute, through promoting  research
    and  rigorous  analysis, has  made  a  significant
    contribution to the public debate on security  and
    strategic  issues.  Since  its  early  days   when
    Raymond  Aron  played an eminent role it  has  had
    close European connections.
    Recent  events  make us stand back and  more  than
    ever  ask  fundamental  political  and   strategic
    Today,  I  will discuss the  security  aspects  of
    European integration !
    The  Gulf war has provided an object  lesson -  if
    one  were  needed -  on  the  limitations  of  the
    European  Community.  It is true that giant  steps
    have  been  taken  along  the  path  of   economic
    integration,  and  the last two  years  have  seen
    advances  on foreign policy cooperation.  But  the
    Community's influence and ability to act have  not
    kept pace.
    We  should interpret this as yet another  argument
    for  moving  towards  a form  of  political  union
    embracing  a common foreign and  security  policy.
    This is in fact the mandate given by the  European
    Council to the Intergovernmental Conference, which
    opened in Rome last December.
    The ideal which inspired Europe's founding fathers
    was  to  bring nations and peoples together  in  a
    Community which would be in a better position than
    each   country  on  its  own  to  give   practical
    expression  to  shared  values,  to  defend  those
    values where they were threatened, and to  promote
    them where they did not exist.
    The  Intergovernmental Conference then will  be  a
    severe test of the Community's ambitions today and
    tomorrow, in a world which in many vital  respects
    will  not  be  very  different  from  yesterday's.
    There  will  still be progress and  setbacks,  new
    patterns  of cooperation, new sources of  tension,
    new   dangers  from  different   quarters,   which
    Europeans, like everyone else on the planet,  will
    have  to  face  with  the  same  determination  as
    before.  Growing international interdependence  is
    undoubtedly  the  key  element to  be  taken  into
    account  in any discussion of foreign or  security
    policy,  as  in any approach  to  major  economic,
    monetary or trade-related issues.
    Public  opinion has to be persuaded  of  this.  In
    our  democracies  this implies a  high  degree  of
    awareness  of  what is at stake  and  an  ongoing,
    wide-ranging debate.  Two years ago I warned about
    the dangers of euphoria generated by two events of
    major importance to the Community.  The  watchword
    of  post-1945 politics, "we must never go  to  war
    with each other again", buoyed the hopes of  those
    who built the Community.  That objective has  been
    achieved. We must give credit where credit is due.
    The   recent  collapse  of  communism  opened   up
    prospects  for an era of peace, freedom and  trade
    throughout Europe:  we must now work patiently and
    prudently towards that end.
    But  we  cannot  limit our  horizons  to  the  new
    Europe.  All  around us, naked ambition, lust  for
    power, national uprisings and underdevelopment are
    combining   to   create   potentially    dangerous
    situations,     containing    the     seeds     of
    destabilization  and conflict, aggravated  by  the
    proliferation of weapons of mass destruction.
    The  Community must face this challenge. If it  is
    to be worthy of the European ideal, it must square
    up  to the challenges of history and shoulder  its
    share    of    the    political    and    military
    responsibilities  of our old nations,  which  have
    always left their mark on history.
    The  road will be rocky . As yet there is no  such
    thing as a European security policy.  But we  must
    lose no time in beginning the debate. Also we must
    remain firm in our resolve to speed up the process
    of   political  integration.  This  is  the   only
    possible  response  to the  accelerating  pace  of
    Before we consider the possible shape of a  common
    defence policy we need to place it within the much
    wider  notion  of security,  which  encompasses  a
    conception of a world order and the solidarity  of
    social systems. The defence issue is being  raised
    in a very different context today from forty years
    ago,  when  the founding fathers believed  that  a
    European   Defence  Community  could  lead  to   a
    political  Europe.  There  is  now  a  dynamic  of
    European  integration which is creating  a  number
    ofconditions favourable to a fresh advance.
    We  are living through a period of radical  change
    in  which the basic factors are not in our  direct
    control  : the prospect of  disengagement  between
    the  two  major powers in  Europe;  the  worldwide
    consequences   of  the  changing  nature  of   the
    Soviet-American  duopoly;  the lighter  burden  of
    that duopoly on the rest of the world;  the rising
    tide  of tension and conflict;  and last  but  not
    least, in a list which is by no means  exhaustive,
    the widening gap between North and South.
    As  is often the case in times of uncertainty  and
    threat,  there is much talk nowadays of  the  need
    for  a  new world order which  would  improve  the
    prospects for security and peace.
    Security or respect for the rule of law
    Respect  for  the  rule of  law  in  international
    affairs has always been the goal of those who have
    sought  to  devise  a new world  order,  from  the
    League of Nations before the last world war to the
    United Nations today.
    Growing international interdependence has  started
    people  talking,  if not  about  the  unattainable
    prospect of a world government, at least about the
    establishment  of  rules to promote  security  and
    more harmonious relationships and the introduction
    of  procedures  for  the  peaceful  settlement  of
    disputes. The Gulf crisis has raised an even  more
    sensitive issue:  in whose name and by what  means
    can  we  ensure  respect  for  international  law,
    ultimately by the use of force?
    The tragic dimension of history casts doubt on the
    possibility  of  a  theoretical  answer  to  these
    questions   and,   more   importantly,   on    the
    practicality  of creating realistic and  effective
    And  yet we have no choice.  Abandoning the  task,
    however  arduous,  would  be  tantamount  to  mass
    resignation.  We  would be lying to the people  of
    Europe, long lulled by material prosperity and too
    often blind to the challenges ahead. They need  to
    be  told that democracy and freedom have a  price,
    that  they  have to be fought for, and  that  they
    require  cohesion  at  home  and  generosity   and
    firmness abroad.
    These  comments are particularly pertinent to  the
    Gulf war.  It was vital to ensure that the rule of
    law  triumphed, particularly as it applies to  the
    integrity  of  every sovereign state -  Kuwait  in
    this instance.  But how can we guarantee  complete
    success   without  some  vision  of  the   postwar
    period?  We  need  to  combine the  answers  to  a
    series  of  complex problems:  a solution  to  the
    tensions  caused by the Palestinian  and  Lebanese
    problems;  a  credible guarantee of  security  for
    every  state;  the  need to  reduce  the  weaponry
    which  has  made the region a  giant  powder  keg;
    respect  for  the rights of  minorities  like  the
    Kurds  and  the creation of an  area  of  economic
    development whose fruits can be shared in time  by
    all the people of the region.
    Today  it is the Gulf. Tomorrow, crisis  will  hit
    some   other  part  of  the  world.  The  way   we
    contribute  to  a solution to the  current  crisis
    will  have  enormous  consequences,  positive   or
    negative,   for  the  strengthening  of   security
    worldwide.  What  is at stake is the fate  of  the
    United  Nations,  or at any rate its  capacity  to
    influence  events.  Once  the  guns  have   fallen
    silent, the United Nations must win the battle for
    peace,   thereby  demonstrating  its  ability   to
    forestall any new crisis.
    Security: a problem of society
    De Tocqueville  knew all about the  strengths  and
    limitations of democracy.  If he were alive today,
    he  could  illustrate his basic  analyses,  making
    allowance for the phenomenon of public opinion and
    the influence of the media, the modern tendency to
    be  inward-looking and the difficulty  of  winning
    the  support  of  the  civic-minded  for  a  grand
    On  top of these internal challenges, we  have  to
    incorporate new dimensions  such as the protection
    of  the  environment or, at a  deeper  level,  the
    relationship   between  man  and   nature.  Public
    opinion  has sensed the major importance  of  this
    issue but has not yet grasped all the implications
    of  a  long-term policy to  conserve  the  natural
    world   and   to  hand  down  intact   to   future
    generations  precious resources.
    Then  again, on a different level, we are  finding
    it more and more difficult to cope with  migratory
    flows  and devise ways of  integrating  immigrants
    into a pattern of harmonious relations between men
    and communities.
    Security however depends on our ability to  create
    an attractive, harmonious society.  If society  is
    eroded  from  within by a decline  in  responsible
    citizenship,  indifference  to others  and  social
    tensions,  how  can  individuals  be  expected  to
    defend  its security, let alone accept that  their
    country  should take risks to share  international
    responsibilities with others?
    It is for this reason - to return for a moment  to
    European  integration - that we are so  intent  on
    demonstrating  the need for an ambitious  European
    project:  not   just  a  large  market  to   bring
    increased  prosperity,  but a  real  entity  which
    attaches importance to social issues and  regional
    solidarity.  Without   this  breadth  of   vision,
    Europeans  will never feel that they belong  to  a
    Community,  which  wants to provide  a  reference-
    point not only in terms of the values it  espouses
    but also in terms of the way it puts these  values
    into practice.
    Besides freedom and responsibility, solidarity  is
    central  to the Community both at  home -  between
    nations,  regions  and  individuals;  and  abroad.
    Many need our help, from the countries of  Central
    and  Eastern  Europe on our eastern flank  to  the
    countries of the Mediterranean and the Middle East
    on what we might call our southern flank.  But the
    Community has wider responsibilities too:  it must
    make a contribution to North-South issues.  It  is
    already  active  on all these fronts,  but  it  is
    being  asked to do even more.  This should be  our
    grand   design,  but  there  will   be   political
    difficulties  before it is accepted and  put  into
    Security:  a problem of defence
    In the last resort, security means the ability  to
    defend oneself by force of arms.  If the Community
    is  to contribute to the new world order, it  must
    accept that this presupposes participation,  where
    necessary,  in forces which are given the task  of
    ensuring respect for international law,  when  all
    other attempts to create a basis of  understanding
    and  cooperation between nations have  failed.  It
    has  to be admitted that wars happen, despite  our
    best endeavours.
    To  illustrate these arguments, let me  turn  once
    more to the Gulf crisis.  It is true that from the
    very  first  day - 2 August 1990 -  the  Community
    took  the firm line expected of it:  it  confirmed
    the  commitment  of its Member States  to  enforce
    sanctions,  the first line of  dissuasion  against
    aggressors.  However, once it became obvious  that
    the  situation would have to be resolved by  armed
    combat,    the   Community   had    neither    the
    institutional  machinery  nor the  military  force
    which would have allowed it to act as a Community.
    Are  the  Twelve  prepared  to  learn  from   this
    experience?  The  tragic  events of  recent  weeks
    will  force  them  to take a stand  on  the  basic
    principle  at  least,  although  it  is  generally
    agreed  that  progress must  be  gradual,  because
    there  are so many different sensitivities and  so
    many  uncertainties.  There is no  guarantee,  for
    instance, that the nuclear threat will  disappear,
    or that East-West tension is a thing of the past.
    Discussions  and negotiations on a common  foreign
    and security policy are therefore taking place  on
    shifting   sands.  But  we  should   ensure   that
    everyone  is  aware  of  the  links  between   our
    commitment  to a new world order and the  need  to
    build  a society of which we are proud  and  which
    will  increase  individual  commitment  to  shared
    values  and  individual readiness to  promote  and
    defend   these  values,  whether   this   involves
    economic  and financial burdens, or  even  greater
    Before  I answer these questions, I would like  to
    make  a  quick  assessment of the  "state  of  the
    union".  Where  do  we stand?  What assets  do  we
    have?  What is the intrinsic potential of  earlier
    decisions now being implemented?
    The internal dynamic
    Let   us  begin  with  an  undeniable   fact:  the
    Community's   economic   revival.  Although   much
    remains  to be done to put the Community on a  par
    with  the  world's largest  economic  powers,  the
    impetus provided by "1992" over the last six years
    is  changing  our  economic  structures  for   the
    better,   as  witnessed  by  more  rapid   growth,
    increased investment and substantial job-creation.
    Our  citizens can see this for themselves and  are
    taking a keener interest in European  integration.
    Our  partners  can see it too  and  sometimes  are
    worried, indulging in attacks on the emergence  of
    a  "fortress Europe".  The Community, the  world's
    leading trading power, is perceived as an economic
    giant.  Our reputation has preceded us and  raised
    Our own citizens are making greater demands on the
    Community too, in the name of a shared destiny  or
    concern for an equitable balance between the costs
    and benefits of a vast common economic area. Hence
    the  objective  of economic and  social  cohesion,
    enshrined  in the Single European Act and  pursued
    through   our   structural    policies.  Strenuous
    efforts   and  substantial  resources  are   being
    invested. ECU 60 billion have been allocated  over
    five  years to back regional development  schemes,
    conversion  programmes for industrial  regions  in
    the     throes     of    change,     and     rural
    development,contributing  to  a  more   harmonious
    It  is  no longer correct to speak  of  a  "common
    market".  We are building a Community whose Member
    States  jointly  exercise  a  measure  of   pooled
    sovereignty    through    fully-fledged     common
    policies -  such as agriculture and  economic  and
    social  cohesion; and other less developed  ones -
    such   as  concerted  projects  in  research   and
    technology,   or  the  environment,  or   measures
    associated  with the social dimension.  These  are
    the  foundations of a Community which, because  of
    them,  is  now  moving  towards  political  union,
    which  is  the ultimate objective  of  the  Single
    European Act.
    One  thing  leads  to another.  This  has  been  a
    feature  of  the Community,  which  is  constantly
    being taken into new areas. One of these new areas
    is  closely  linked  to  the  overall  concept  of
    security.  I  am  referring,  of  course,  to  the
    consequences of free movement for individuals  and
    the  need for joint action, or at the  very  least
    close coordination, to combat the various  threats
    to   personal  security:  organized  crime,   drug
    trafficking,    terrorism   ...   .      Political
    initiatives  in  this  security-related  area  are
    another  expression of solidarity, a leitmotif  of
    the European pact.
    Economic and monetary union is another example  of
    this virtuous circle. It is true that it will mean
    transfers  of sovereignty, particularly  with  the
    creation of a European Central Bank.  But this  is
    not  so  much a great leap forward  as  a  logical
    consequence   of  the  success  of  the   European
    Monetary System.
    It  is not difficult to envisage the  consequences
    of  the  Community,  with  its  single   currency,
    playing  a major international role to  deal  with
    factors  liable to disturb financial  and  foreign
    exchange  markets.  By  throwing  all  its  weight
    behind greater monetary stability - which  implies
    world responsibilities for the European currency -
    and by calling for a more equitable  apportionment
    of financial resources between rich countries  and
    poor   countries,  the  Community  could  make   a
    meaningful contribution to strengthening  security
    worldwide.  But here again it would have to accept
    the  constraints and the cost of an  international
    responsibility which it had knowingly taken on.
    The external dynamic
    Perceptions of the Community explain the  numerous
    demands  made upon it.  It cannot evade them,  nor
    can  it  indulge in well-meaning  or  disorganized
    activism,  as political cooperation  is  sometimes
    tempted to do.
    But let us take a look at some positive  elements.
    The Community is playing a key role in shaping the
    architecture  of the new Europe.  It is  receiving
    applications   for   membership   from    European
    countries and requests for aid from elsewhere.  It
    is  responding to both as part of  a  multifaceted
    strategy   that   takes  account   of   individual
    situations.  On the Commission's initiative, talks
    have  opened with EFTA to find a way  of  allowing
    its members to benefit from the single market.  In
    the  case  of  Central  and  Eastern  Europe,  the
    Community began by making trade concessions  under
    bilateral    agreements    and    then     assumed
    responsibility for coordinating aid and assistance
    to  those countries by the  industrialized  world.
    Most   of  the  burden,  however,  rests  on   the
    Community's  shoulders.  The Community intends  to
    go further still, towards more binding  agreements
    on  these  points and in every  possible  area  of
    cooperation:  foreign    policy,   culture,    the
    Let  us  turn  now  to  what  I  have  called  the
    Community's southern flank.  Here, in addition  to
    the  aid  linked  with the  Gulf  crisis  and  the
    consequences of economic sanctions, the  Community
    is  strengthening  its ties with the  Maghreb  and
    Mashreq  countries and with the countries  of  the
    Middle  East. It has trade  agreements,  protocols
    for  financial assistance,  technical  assistance,
    measures to improve the environment ... .  And  it
    will  have  to  raise  its  sights  even   higher,
    redoubling  its  efforts, if it is to  create  the
    economic  conditions  conducive to peace  and  the
    stability and development of the region.
    A similar effort will be required if the Community
    is  to make an effective contribution  to  solving
    North-South  issues.  This is exemplified,  though
    not exclusively, by the Lomé Convention signed  by
    the  African,  Caribbean  and  Pacific  countries.
    Africa, in particular, will require more attention
    in  the years ahead, for the serious economic  and
    social problems besetting the continent are  bound
    to affect security in that part of the world.
    A European Europe
    Some plain speaking is called for if the debate on
    the prospects for European Union is to take  place
    under   optimum  conditions  and  attract   public
    interest.  Europe  needs a political  identity  to
    bring  its  ambitions -  if indeed  it  has  these
    ambitions -  to fruition.  Europe must want to  be
    The formula has provoked controversy in the  past.
    Now it is on the agenda again.  Can the  Community
    consent  to spending of so much time  and  effort,
    can  this  be  justified to  the  general  public,
    unless it is part of a grand design?  This  cannot
    be  achieved  unless  the  Community  acquires   a
    distinct  political  identity  and  the  influence
    derived  from  economic  strength.  The  two   are
    intimately linked.
    An  ambitious  project  of  this  kind  cannot  be
    achieved if the Community is perceived as  nothing
    more  than a single market backed by a few  common
    policies.  It requires political will, based on an
    awareness   of   vital   national   interests.  It
    requires  the  conviction  that  the  defence  and
    promotion   of  these  interests  will   be   more
    effective   if   Member   States   act   together,
    exercising pooled sovereignty.
    It  is  fortunate therefore that past  and  future
    progress  in  the  economic  and  monetary  fields
    should  have an appropriate  political  framework.
    You will appreciate the links between the work  of
    the  two  intergovernmental conferences -  one  on
    economic   and  monetary  union,  the   other   on
    political  union -  leading  to  the  creation  of
    responsible,    efficient    institutions     with
    democratic legitimacy.
    I  am well aware of reservations and  concerns  on
    the part of certain Member States, which challenge
    this analysis and stick to the traditional view of
    national  sovereignty.  There  are  also  friendly
    powers,  which seem to fear the development  of  a
    European identity.
    Let me assure them that they are mistaken and that
    their  concerns  are  not  justified.  The  United
    States  -for  this  is the friendly power  that  I
    have   in  mind-  has  nothing  to  gain  from   a
    politically impotent and economically  subordinate
    Community.  I assume that this is agreed since the
    United States signed the Transatlantic Declaration
    on  20 November 1990.  This declaration  lays  the
    foundations  for  a revived partnership  based  on
    increased     transatlantic     solidarity     and
    acknowledges the existence of a European  identity
    in the field of security policy, pointing the  way
    to  an equitable sharing of  responsabilities  and
    burdens.  If this is indeed the case, the ball  is
    now  in our court.  It is for us to  shoulder  our
    responsibilities and pull our weight.
    At  this  point,  questions  relating  to  foreign
    policy and security arise.  After twenty years  of
    foreign policy cooperation, the Twelve have  grown
    in  mutual  knowledge  and  understanding,   their
    diplomatic  procedures  have converged,  and  they
    have   from   time  to   time   adopted  unanimous
    positions.  But  this is not enough, which is  why
    the  European Council agreed that one of the  main
    objectives of the revision of the Treaties is  the
    gradual  implementation  of a common  foreign  and
    security  policy.  Although  the  two  areas   are
    closely linked, it does not follow that the Twelve
    can  advance at the same pace and along  the  same
    lines in both.
    Even  if we agree on the core of a common  foreign
    policy, difficult choices will have to be made  in
    the specific area of defence.  This is the nub  of
    the  problem, which is why we need to put all  our
    cards on the table.
    The  only  option  compatible  with  the  complete
    vision  of  European Union is to insert  a  common
    security  policy into this framework.  This  would
    not  be the case if, as some propose, a series  of
    Communities -  one  for  economic  integration,  a
    second  for political cooperation and a third  for
    security -  were  to be envisaged  for  the  final
    stage    of   European   integration.  Not    that
    transitional  arrangements  should be  ruled  out.
    Indeed,  they  will be essential, notably  in  the
    area  of defence where the Western European  Union
    can  play  a very useful role.  However,  we  must
    make  it  clear that what we are  proposing  is  a
    single  Community  as a logical extension  of  the
    ambitions of European Union heralded by the Single
    European  Act.  And  this,  as we  never  tire  of
    pointing out, is a Community based on the union of
    peoples  and  the  association  of  nation  States
    pursuing   common  objectives  and  developing   a
    European identity.
    Other  alternatives may be advocated.  The  course
    to  be pursued must  be  carefully  examined.  But
    the ultimate goal must be defined.  I would  point
    out that if the authors of the Treaty of Rome  had
    merely   adopted  a  pragmatic  approach   without
    indicating the ultimate goal, we would never  have
    agreed  to  the  advances which have  led  to  the
    Community we know today and to the potential  that
    it has for tomorrow. The same applies to  economic
    and  monetary  union.  Our  vision  of  tomorrow's
    Community calls for a single currency as a sign of
    its  ability to act, as the object and  instrument
    of our ambition.  Political union is in a  similar
    At this stage of the argument, I will spare you  a
    long   digression  on  the  future   of   national
    sovereignty.  My  view is that it can retain  some
    substance  only  through the  exercise  of  pooled
    sovereignty  given  the international  balance  of
    power and the almost mathematical need to  combine
    national  ambitions to cope with the scale of  the
    challenges.  Patriotism, one of our shared values,
    is  bound  to blossom as our nations  enrich  each
    other.  Our   nations  are  not  being  asked   to
    sacrifice their history or their traditions.  What
    they  are being asked to do is to build  on  their
    synergies  for purposes accepted by all.  This  is
    the political pact that must unite us.
    Then,  and only then, can we usefully discuss  the
    process  which  will lead us to a  common  defence
    Foreign policy and defence policy
    A common defence policy will be meaningless unless
    it  reflects  two types of  solidarity:  unity  of
    analysis  and  action  in  foreign  policy  and  a
    reciprocal  commitment to come to the aid  of  any
    Member State whose integrity is threatened.
    On  foreign policy, the current  situation  cannot
    continue.  This has been made abundantly clear  by
    the  Gulf  crisis.  We  see it every  day  in  the
    absense  of common and global thinking on  matters
    affecting the Community's external relations.  Now
    more  than ever, economic action by the  Community
    calls   for   political  analysis   before   major
    decisions.  This is borne out by the need felt  by
    our  Foreign  Ministers to discuss  Community  and
    political cooperation aspects in one and the  same
    forum.  This has occurred on a number of occasions
    recently,   although  there  is   no   appropriate
    institutional framework.
    The  institutional dimension cannot  be  neglected
    even   if,   in  the   last   analysis,   progress
    presupposes   strong  political  will   based   on
    That  is why the Commission, in its draft  Treaty,
    proposes a single centre to provide impetus and  a
    single  centre for discussion and action; and  why
    it  proposes  that  all  provisions  relating   to
    external   aspects -  foreign  policy,   security,
    economic  relations and development  cooperation -
    should  be  brought together in one title  of  the
    Treaty.  Coherence    is    essential    if    the
    pre-eminence  of  the political aspect  is  to  be
    highlighted  and  if disparate,  ill-prepared  and
    insufficiently  reasoned and considered action  is
    to be avoided.
    Obviously,  precautions will have to be  taken  to
    avoid  a  forced march, which would only  lead  to
    internal crisis or impotence.  It will be for  the
    European Council, consisting of Heads of State and
    Government  who are democratically  answerable  to
    their people, to agree on the essential  interests
    they share and which they will agree to defend and
    promote together.
    Foreign   Ministers   would   work   within   this
    framework.  They  would  endeavour  to  produce  a
    common  analysis  and then decide  on  action.  In
    this  area  and  for matters now  covered  by  the
    Community,  qualified majority voting would be  an
    essential stimulant, the leaven of a Community  in
    the  making.  Everything  suggests  that   Foreign
    Ministers would use qualified majority voting with
    prudence   and  moderation,  taking   account   of
    everyone's interests and the time needed to  bring
    positions together. This has been  the  experience
    since the Single Act came into effect.  You cannot
    ride  roughshod over people's hearts or  skimp  on
    the time needed for better mutual understanding.
    As  the dynamic of vital common interests  gathers
    momentum,  people  will come to see the  need  for
    this  missing ingredient - the means  of  defence,
    for  the  sake of national integrity,  the  values
    which  nourish us, the solidarity which unites  us
    and  our responsibilities towards the rest of  the
    This  solidarity must be expressed in  the  Treaty
    and  how better than by taking over  Article V  of
    the  WEU  Treaty  and  adjusting  the  wording  as
    "If any of the Member States should be the  object
    of  an  armed attack in Europe, the  other  Member
    States will, in accordance with the provisions  of
    Article 51  of the Charter of the United  Nations,
    afford the Party so attacked all the military  and
    other aid and assistance in their power."
    Transition to a common defence policy
    As  we  have  seen,  implementation  of  a  common
    foreign  policy  must  be guided  by  a  cautious,
    gradual  approach.  The  same  holds  good  for  a
    common   defence   policy,  for   which   specific
    parameters have to be taken into account.
    The  persistence  of the nuclear  threat  and  the
    danger of the proliferation of nuclear weapons are
    undeniable facts.  There is no point in discussing
    the role and the future of the French and  British
    nuclear forces, for as long as it takes for a  new
    world configuration to emerge.
    Nor  can we discuss the issue of European  defence
    without  reference  to  reform  of  the   Atlantic
    Alliance. On 1 December 1989, the US Secretary  of
    State,  James a Baker, raised vital  questions  in
    his  very aptly entitled speech "A New Europe -  A
    New Atlanticism - Architecture for a New Era".
    The  Secretary  of State opened up  a  very  broad
    "Working from shared ideals and common values,  we
    form a set of mutual challenges, in economics,  in
    foreign policies, the environment, science, and  a
    host of other fields.  So it makes sense for us to
    fashion  our  responses together as  a  matter  of
    common course".
    I  have chosen this passage to emphasize the  fact
    that, over and above the defence issues dealt with
    in   his  speech,  the  Secretary  of  State   was
    referring to all the fields potentially  available
    for cooperation with America's European allies.
    Europe  is expected to respond. The  Transatlantic
    Declaration   adopted  last  November   does   not
    constitute   a  full  and   adequate   reply.  The
    Declaration  recalls common ideals and  procedures
    for consultation, but does not tackle all  aspects
    of  joint discussions, any more than  it  resolves
    the  inherent and many-faceted difficulties  which
    confront  Europeans with the unity of outlook  and
    action  of  the United  States.  For  this  reason
    also,  the  unification  of  Europe  is  now  more
    necessary than ever.
    Subject  to these reservations, a  common  defence
    policy must be built on what already exists,  that
    is   to   say,   the   Western   European   Union.
    Preliminary      discussions      within       the
    Intergovernmental  Conference have revealed  broad
    agreement  on this point.  Member  States  differ,
    however,  on the role of the WEU:  should it be  a
    forum   for  increased  cooperation  between   the
    countries  of  Europe, a bridge  to  the  Atlantic
    Alliance,  or  should it be a  melting-pot  for  a
    European  defence embedded in the  Community,  the
    second pillar of the Atlantic Alliance?
    You will appreciate that the second option is only
    one  compatible  with  my  argument.  It  is   the
    ultimate goal which separates the two  approaches.
    There  is no point in obscuring the discussion  by
    dwelling for example on the fact that no more than
    nine  of the Twelve are members of the WEU  or  on
    the  situation  within the  Atlantic  Alliance  of
    countries such as Turkey, Norway or Iceland  which
    are not members of the Community.
    We must stick to essentials.  If we are to  create
    a European Union, a lengthy process must be set in
    train  to  allow integration of the  WEU  and  its
    "acquis"  into the Community.  By this I mean  not
    only what it has achieved to date but any progress
    it  may make in the future, more  particularly  as
    regards  the formation of multinational forces  or
    intervention units as two possible expressions  of
    European unity.
    The proposal therefore is that, while allowing the
    three  Member States which are not members of  the
    WEU  time  to consider their  situation,  the  new
    treaty  should allow for common defence issues  to
    be dealt with by the European Council and by joint
    Councils of Foreign and Defence Ministers.  Little
    by  little  a framework  for  decision-making  and
    action  would be set up between the Community  and
    the WEU.  At the same time - and I will be  coming
    back  to  this -  a  new  Atlantic  Alliance  with
    redefined  aims and new resources would come  into
    In proposing this outline, the Commission  remains
    faithful  to  the guidelines set by  the  European
    Council  in Rome last December, which compiled  an
    initial list of issues of vital common interest in
    the field of security and defence:
    -  arms control and disarmament
    -  security matters covered by the CSCE and the UN
    -  cooperation on the production, exportation  and
       non-proliferation of arms.
    How  can  we act in these areas  without  defining
    tomorrow's defence policy, adapted to the risks of
    destruction  and  war?  And once this  policy  has
    been  defined,  will  we not  need  the  means  to
    implement  it, other than by the involvement of  a
    third party?
    All  that  remains  then  is  to  press  on   more
    resolutely  with an arms research  and  production
    policy  to maximize the cumulative benefits  of  a
    common   market   and   a   common   policy.  This
    cooperation could, of course, be organized in such
    a   way  as  to  allocate  defence  resources   as
    efficiently   as  possible  within  the   Atlantic
    To underscore the gradual nature of this approach,
    I  should perhaps make the point that in  contrast
    to  the proposed arrangement for a common  foreign
    policy,    decisions   on   the   principle    and
    implementation  of a common defence  policy  would
    require  unanimity.  Moreover,  to  encourage  the
    desired  evolution, a Member State would,  at  its
    request,   be   released  from   the   obligations
    resulting from such decisions.
    The Atlantic Alliance and European defence
    There  is  no point in concealing  the  fact  that
    these plans, even in outline, have caused  concern
    across  the  Atlantic.  It seems to  me  that  the
    United  States  has  stressed  three  demands:  no
    internal  bloc, continued globality of the  allied
    response, no weakening of command structures.
    Let us look at each of these points in turn:
    It  is  in  the interests  of  the  Alliance  that
    Europeans   should  speak  with  one   voice.  The
    existence  of  an internal bloc should  not  be  a
    cause  for  concern.  If  it  is,  there  are  two
    possible  interpretations.  One implies  rejection
    of  the  political integration  of  Europe,  which
    would be unacceptable and in any event contrary to
    President  Bush's stated wish that  Europe  should
    achieve  political unity.  The other implies  that
    there are doubts about Europe's commitment to  the
    Atlantic  Alliance.  I feel sure that  the  eleven
    Member  States which belong to the  Alliance  will
    have  no  difficulty in  allaying  such  fears.  A
    European Europe intends to confirm its  attachment
    to the Alliance and its objectives and to shoulder
    a  larger  part of the burden thanks to  a  common
    defence   policy.  This,  surely,  is   what   the
    Americans have always wanted.
    Adjustment of the Alliance to the new geopolitical
    situation  will  make it possible to  define,  and
    hence  maintain, a collective allied  response  on
    all   matters  coming  under  Article 6   of   the
    Washington Treaty.  However, this should be no bar
    to  the  Community determining its own  course  of
    action  on matters outside the scope of the  North
    Atlantic     Treaty -    following     appropriate
    consultations of course.
    As  to  command structures, they can  not  but  be
    enhanced  so as to ensure the credibility  of  the
    Alliance  in  the tasks assigned to  it.  Everyone
    knows  that  military  operations  cannot  succeed
    unless they are supported by a coherent, effective
    infrastructure      covering       communications,
    intelligence, planning and controls.
    And  to  be  frank, like it or  not,  the  Western
    European  Union in its new role will have to  rely
    on the infrastructure mentioned earlier for a long
    time to come.
    As a difficult debate begins, this restatement  of
    Europe's   commitment  and  the  adoption   of   a
    realistic  approach to defence issues should go  a
    long way to dispelling many ambiguities.
                         *       *
    In  conclusion,  let me say that if we,  as  loyal
    partners,   are   prepared   to   concentrate   on
    essentials, the only question that really  matters
    is  how we see tomorrow's world and what  role  we
    intend  to play.  Not only our role, but also  the
    means   of  performing   it.  Our   responsibility
    towards  the  new  Europe, which we  all  want  to
    develop into an area of harmonious  relationships,
    of peace and freedom.
    This is why a more integrated Community is equally
    necessary  for  the new Europe  and  the  Atlantic
    Alliance.  I have deliberately discussed the  most
    sensitive aspects of a common foreign policy,  and
    the  most  explosive aspects of a  common  defence
    policy.  There  is no point in seeking  refuge  in
    discussions  about  how we should  proceed  in  an
    attempt  to  escape  the basic issue  of  what  we
    intend  to do together.  Once again History is  at
    our  door.  We  will be judged by  the  answer  we
    supply   to  the  simplest  of   questions:  "What
    destiny are we proposing to the people of  Europe?
What destiny and what ambition?"

Side Bar