Western European Union (WEU)

  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Origin. In March 1948, the signing of the Brussels Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Defence by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Netherlands and the UK opened the way for the establishment of the Western European Union. Six years later, the Paris Agreements, signed in Oct. 1954, which amended the Brussels Treaty, gave birth to WEU as a new international organization and provided for the Federal Republic of Germany and Italy to join. WEU came into being in 1955. Today, as an international defence and security organization, it brings together 18 nations that are also members of the European Union and/or NATO and 10 Central European countries which are closely involved in the work of the organization. Its primary role is to enable Europeans to undertake the politico-military management of crises in which the North Americans would not wish to become directly involved. WEU will probably act following a political decision by the European Union and may, depending on the circumstances, call on NATO assets and capabilities.


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© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2000

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  • Barry Turner

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