Treaty of Brussels

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Treaty of Brussels
Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defence
Pact van Brussel, Bevin tekent.jpg
Signing by British Foreign Secretary Bevin
TypeFounding treaty
Signed17 March 1948
Location Brussels, Belgium
Effective25 August 1948 [1]
Signatories Belgium
France
Luxembourg
Netherlands
United Kingdom
DepositaryGovernment of Belgium
Languages English and French
Wikisource-logo.svg Treaty of Brussels at Wikisource

The Treaty of Brussels, also referred to as the Brussels Pact, was the founding treaty of the Western Union (WU) between 1948 and 1954, at which it point it was amended as the Modified Brussels Treaty (MTB) and served as the founding treaty of the Western European Union (WEU) until its termination in 2010. The treaty provided for the organisation of military, economic, social and cultural cooperation among member states, as well as a mutual defence clause.

Western Union (alliance) European military alliance

The Western Union (WU), also referred to as the Brussels Treaty Organisation (BTO), was the European military alliance established between France, the United Kingdom (UK) and the three Benelux countries in September 1948 in order to implement the Treaty of Brussels signed in March the same year. Under this treaty the signatories, referred to as the five powers, agreed to collaborate in the defence field as well as in the political, economic and cultural fields.

Western European Union former international organisation and military alliance

The Western European Union (WEU) was the international organisation and military alliance that succeeded the Western Union (WU) after the 1954 amendment of the 1948 Treaty of Brussels. The WEU implemented the Modified Brussels Treaty. During the Cold War, the Western Bloc included the WEU member states and the United States as part of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

Contents

The treaty was signed on 17 March 1948 by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom - the members of the Western Union - as an expansion to the Treaty of Dunkirk, signed between Britain and France the previous year to guard against possible German or Soviet aggression after the end of World War II.

Belgium Federal constitutional monarchy in Western Europe

Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, and the North Sea to the northwest. It covers an area of 30,688 km2 (11,849 sq mi) and has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.

France Republic with mainland in Europe and numerous oversea territories

France, officially the French Republic, is a country whose territory consists of metropolitan France in Western Europe and several overseas regions and territories. The metropolitan area of France extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel and the North Sea, and from the Rhine to the Atlantic Ocean. It is bordered by Belgium, Luxembourg and Germany to the northeast, Switzerland and Italy to the east, and Andorra and Spain to the south. The overseas territories include French Guiana in South America and several islands in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans. The country's 18 integral regions span a combined area of 643,801 square kilometres (248,573 sq mi) and a total population of 67.3 million. France, a sovereign state, is a unitary semi-presidential republic with its capital in Paris, the country's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. Other major urban areas include Lyon, Marseille, Toulouse, Bordeaux, Lille and Nice.

Luxembourg Grand duchy in western Europe

Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.

The need to back up the commitments of the North Atlantic Treaty with appropriate political and military structures led to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In December 1950 the parties to the Treaty of Brussels decided to transfer the headquarters, personnel, and plans of the Western Union Defence Organisation (WUDO) to NATO, whose Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) took over responsibility for the defence of Western Europe. [2] [3] [4] [5] [6]

North Atlantic Treaty treaty

The North Atlantic Treaty, also referred to as the Washington Treaty, is the treaty that forms the legal basis of, and is implemented by, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The treaty was signed in Washington, D.C. on 4 April 1949.

NATO Intergovernmental military alliance of Western states

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization, also called the North Atlantic Alliance, is an intergovernmental military alliance between 29 North American and European countries. The organization implements the North Atlantic Treaty that was signed on 4 April 1949. NATO constitutes a system of collective defence whereby its independent member states agree to mutual defence in response to an attack by any external party. NATO's Headquarters are located in Haren, Brussels, Belgium, while the headquarters of Allied Command Operations is near Mons, Belgium.

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe NATO Headquarters in Belgium

Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) is the headquarters of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization's Allied Command Operations (ACO). Since 1967 it has been located at Casteau, north of the Belgian city of Mons, but it had previously been located, from 1953, at Rocquencourt, next to Versailles, France. From 1951 to 2003, SHAPE was the headquarters of Allied Command Europe (ACE). Since 2003 it has been the headquarters of Allied Command Operations, controlling all NATO operations worldwide.

The establishment of NATO, along with the signing of a succession of treaties establishing the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (April 1948), the Council of Europe (May 1949) and the European Coal and Steel Community (April 1951), left the Treaty of Brussels and its Western Union devoid of authority.

OECD international economic organisation

The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is an intergovernmental economic organisation with 36 member countries, founded in 1961 to stimulate economic progress and world trade. It is a forum of countries describing themselves as committed to democracy and the market economy, providing a platform to compare policy experiences, seek answers to common problems, identify good practices and coordinate domestic and international policies of its members. Most OECD members are high-income economies with a very high Human Development Index (HDI) and are regarded as developed countries. As of 2017, the OECD member states collectively comprised 62.2% of global nominal GDP and 42.8% of global GDP at purchasing power parity. OECD is an official United Nations observer.

Council of Europe international organization for defending human rights

The Council of Europe is an international organisation whose stated aim is to uphold human rights, democracy and the rule of law in Europe. Founded in 1949, it has 47 member states, covers approximately 820 million people and operates with an annual budget of approximately 500 million euros.

European Coal and Steel Community international organisation serving to unify European countries after World War II

The European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) was an organisation of six European countries created after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris, signed by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. The ECSC was the first international organisation to be based on the principles of supranationalism, and started the process of formal integration which ultimately led to the European Union.

The treaty was amended at the 1954 Paris Conference as a result of the failure of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community to gain French ratification: The General Treaty (German : Deutschlandvertrag) of 1952 formally named the EDC as a prerequisite of the end of Allied occupation of Germany, and there was a desire to include Germany in the Western defence architecture. The Modified Brussels Treaty (MBT) transformed the Western Union into the Western European Union (WEU), at which point Italy and Germany were admitted. Although the WEU established by the Modified Brussels Treaty was significantly less powerful and ambitious than the original Western Union, German membership of the WEU was considered sufficient for the occupation of the country to end in accordance with the General Treaty.

Treaty establishing the European Defence Community

The Treaty establishing the European Defence Community, also known as the Treaty of Paris, is an unratified treaty signed on 27 May 1952 by the six 'inner' countries of European integration: the Benelux countries, France, Italy, and West Germany. The treaty would have created a European Defence Community (EDC) with a pan-European defence force. The treaty failed to obtain ratification in the French parliament and it was never ratified by Italy, so it consequently never entered into force. Instead, West Germany was admitted into the Western European Union (WEU), a dormant successor of the 1948 Western Union, as well as NATO.

The General Treaty is a treaty of international law which was signed by the Federal Republic of Germany, and the Western Allies on 26 May 1952 but which took effect, with some slight changes, only in 1955. It formally ended Germany's status as an occupied territory and recognised its rights of a sovereign state, with certain restrictions that remained in place until German reunification in 1990.

German language West Germanic language

German is a West Germanic language that is mainly spoken in Central Europe. It is the most widely spoken and official or co-official language in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, South Tyrol in Italy, the German-speaking Community of Belgium, and Liechtenstein. It is also one of the three official languages of Luxembourg and a co-official language in the Opole Voivodeship in Poland. The languages which are most similar to German are the other members of the West Germanic language branch: Afrikaans, Dutch, English, the Frisian languages, Low German/Low Saxon, Luxembourgish, and Yiddish. There are also strong similarities in vocabulary with Danish, Norwegian and Swedish, although those belong to the North Germanic group. German is the second most widely spoken Germanic language, after English.

When the European Union (EU) gained its own mutual defence clause upon the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon in 2009, the members of the WEU - who were also EU member states - regarded the WEU as redundant. Consequently the Modified Treaty of Brussels was terminated on 31 March 2010, followed by the closure of WEU bodies on 30 June 2011. [7]

European Union Economic and political union of European states

The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union of 28 member states that are located primarily in Europe. It has an area of 4,475,757 km2 (1,728,099 sq mi) and an estimated population of about 513 million. The EU has developed an internal single market through a standardised system of laws that apply in all member states in those matters, and only those matters, where members have agreed to act as one. EU policies aim to ensure the free movement of people, goods, services and capital within the internal market, enact legislation in justice and home affairs and maintain common policies on trade, agriculture, fisheries and regional development. For travel within the Schengen Area, passport controls have been abolished. A monetary union was established in 1999 and came into full force in 2002 and is composed of 19 EU member states which use the euro currency.

Treaty of Lisbon International agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union

The Treaty of Lisbon is an international agreement that amends the two treaties which form the constitutional basis of the European Union (EU). The Treaty of Lisbon was signed by the EU member states on 13 December 2007, and entered into force on 1 December 2009. It amends the Maastricht Treaty (1992), known in updated form as the Treaty on European Union (2007) or TEU, and the Treaty of Rome (1957), known in updated form as the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (2007) or TFEU. It also amends the attached treaty protocols as well as the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community (EURATOM).

Member state of the European Union State that is party to treaties of the European Union (EU)

The European Union (EU) consists of 28 member states. Each member state is party to the founding treaties of the union and thereby subject to the privileges and obligations of membership. Unlike members of most international organisations, the member states of the EU are subjected to binding laws in exchange for representation within the common legislative and judicial institutions. Member states must agree unanimously for the EU to adopt policies concerning defence and foreign policy. Subsidiarity is a founding principle of the EU.

Contents

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The treaty provided for the organisation of military, economic, social and cultural cooperation among member states.

The Treaty of Brussels contained a mutual defence clause (Article IV in the original treaty and Article V in the Modified Brussels Treaty). [8]

History

Background

Timeline

  • 22 January 1948: British foreign minister Ernest Bevin announces that the United Kingdom will propose, in agreement with their French colleagues, the drafting of a treaty that expands the 1947 Treaty of Dunkirk to also include the Benelux countries.
  • 31 January 1948: Benelux foreign ministers declare that their countries agree to begin these talks.
  • 19 February 1948: France and the United Kingdom submit a draft treaty to the Benelux states.
  • 4 March 1948: A conference is held in Brussels between the five foreign ministers, from which point the proposal is elaborated, and on 12 March transmitted to the respective governments. [9]

Motivation

The treaty was intended to provide Western Europe with a bulwark against the communist threat and to bring greater collective security. There were cultural and social clauses and concepts for the setting up of a 'Consultative Council'. Co-operation between Western nations was believed to help stop the spread of Communism[ citation needed ].

Signing

Contemporary newsreel

The Treaty was signed on 17 March 1948 by the following plenipotentiaries:

Ratification and entry into force

Dates of deposit of the instruments of ratification of the treaty: [10]

Implementation

In September 1948, the parties to the Treaty of Brussels decided to create a military agency under the name of the Western Union Defence Organization. It consisted of a WU Defence Committee at Prime Ministerial level, and a WU Combined Chiefs of Staff committee, including all the national chiefs of staff, which would direct the operative organisation. [11]

Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery (UK) was appointed permanent Chairman of the Land, Naval and Air Commanders-in-Committee, with headquarters in Fontainebleau, France. The nominated commanders-in-chief were General Jean de Lattre de Tassigny (France) as C-in-C, Land Forces, Air Chief Marshal Sir James Robb (UK) as C-in-C, Air Forces, and Vice-Admiral Robert Jaujard (France) for the Navy, as Flag Officer Western Europe. [12] Volume 3 of Nigel Hamilton's Life of Montgomery of Alamein gives a good account of the disagreements between Montgomery and de Lattre which caused much ill-feeling in the headquarters.

Cannibalisation and marginalisation

The treaty was left devoid of much of its authority after the signing of a succession of treaties establishing the Organisation for European Economic Cooperation (April 1948), the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (April 1949), the Council of Europe (May 1949) and the European Coal and Steel Community (April 1951).

When the division of Europe into two opposing camps became considered unavoidable, the threat of the USSR became much more important than the threat of German rearmament. Western Europe, therefore, sought a new mutual defence pact involving the United States, a powerful military force for such an alliance. The United States, concerned with containing the influence of the USSR, was responsive. The need to back up the commitments of the North Atlantic Treaty with appropriate political and military structures led to the creation of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO). In December 1950, with the appointment of General Eisenhower as the first Supreme Allied Commander Europe (SACEUR), the members of the Treaty of Brussels decided to merge the Western Union Military Organisation (WUDO) into NATO. [13] NATO's Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE) took over the WUDO's defence role.

As an effort towards European postwar security co-operation, the treaty was a precursor to NATO in that it promised European mutual defence. However, it greatly differed from NATO in that it envisaged a purely-European mutual defence pact primarily against Germany. When NATO took shape the next year, on the other hand, it was recognised that Europe was being unavoidably divided into two opposing blocks (western and communist), and the USSR was a much greater threat than the possibility of a resurgent Germany, and Western European mutual defence would have to be Atlanticist and so include North America.

Trying to avoid the need for West German rearmament, a treaty aimed at establishing a European Defence Community was signed by the six ECSC members in May 1952 but failed when it was rejected by the French National Assembly in August 1954. This rejection led to the London and Paris Conferences in September and October, with the result that the Treaty of Brussels was amended by the Protocol signed in Paris on 23 October 1954, which added West Germany and Italy to the Western Union Defence Organization (WUDO). At this time, the WUDO was renamed the Western European Union, and the Treaty was renamed the Modified Brussels Treaty.

Modification

On 23 October 1954, as a result of the rejection of the Treaty establishing the European Defence Community by the French parliament and the following London and Paris Conferences, the Treaty of Brussels was amended as the Modified Brussels Treaty. This transformed the Western Union into the Western European Union and admitted West Germany and Italy. [14] Social and cultural aspects were handed to the Council of Europe to avoid duplication of responsibilities within Europe. [15]

Termination

In 2009, Article 42.7 of the Treaty of Lisbon effectively replaced Article V of the Modified Brussels Treaty as the mutual defence clause for EU member states who were also WEU allies. After discussions, the ten WEU member states decided to terminate the Treaty of Brussels on 31 March 2010. [7] The activities of WEU were formally terminated in June 2011. [16] [17]

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References

  1. https://www.cvce.eu/content/publication/2008/2/6/0fd15d22-1f95-470d-a048-01e66a2f29fa/publishable_en.pdf
  2. Hansard extract February 18, 1957
  3. Duke, Simon (2000). The elusive quest for European security: from EDC to CFSP. Basingstoke, UK: Palgrave Macmillan. pp. 13–14. ISBN   978-0-312-22402-8 . Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  4. "Did you know that Europe already had a defensive military alliance prior to NATO?". Allied Command Operations (ACO) . NATO. 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  5. Kaplan, Lawrence S. (2007). NATO 1948: the birth of the transatlantic Alliance. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. pp. 139–165. ISBN   978-0-7425-3917-4 . Retrieved 2010-08-08.
  6. "Brussels Treaty Organisation (Resolution)". Hansard . London: House of Commons of the United Kingdom. 565. 18 February 1957. cc19-20W. Retrieved 2010-11-27.
  7. 1 2 "Statement of the Presidency of WEU of 31.03.10" (PDF). Retrieved 27 January 2013.
  8. By Article IV of the Paris Agreements https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/Paris_Agreements
  9. https://www.cvce.eu/content/publication/2010/6/8/a7cda832-d25b-4bdf-8731-1c556b10818d/publishable_fr.pdf
  10. https://www.cvce.eu/content/publication/2008/2/6/0fd15d22-1f95-470d-a048-01e66a2f29fa/publishable_en.pdf
  11. Sean Maloney, 'To Secure Command of the Sea,' the University of New Brunswick thesis 1991, p.95-97 and Lord Ismay, NATO: The First Five Years
  12. NATO Archives, The First Five Years and The Western Union and its defence organisation, RUSI Journal, 1993 (reprint from 1948-9)
  13. Hansard extract February 18, 1957
  14. Text of Modified Brussels Treaty on the WEU website at http://www.weu.int/Treaty.htm#1 (Accessed 22 Feb 18)
  15. The Western European Union On CVCE website
  16. "Decision of the Council of the Western European Union on the Residual Rights and Obligations of the WEU" (PDF). WEU. 2011-05-27.
  17. "Declaración de la Presidencia del Consejo Permanente de la UEO en nombre de las Altas Partes Contratantes del Tratado de Bruselas Modificado" (in Spanish). Foreign Office (Spain). 2010-03-31. Archived from the original on 2011-12-19.

See also