The WEU Assembly a tool for national parliaments

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					DOCUMENT A/1950                                                    20 December 2006


                              FIFTY-SECOND SESSION
                                        ________




            The WEU Assembly: a tool for national parliaments




                                      REPORT
        submitted on behalf of the Committee for Parliamentary and Public Relations
    by Lord Russell-Johnston, Chairman and Rapporteur (United Kingdom, Liberal Group)
              ASSEMBLY OF WESTERN EUROPEAN UNION
THE INTERPARLIAMENTARY EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE ASSEMBLY
             43, avenue du Président Wilson, 75775 Paris Cedex 16
                   Tel. 01.53.67.22.00 – Fax: 01.53.67.22.01
                         E-mail: info@assembly.weu.int
                        Internet: http://assembly.weu.int
DOCUMENT A/1950                                                         20 December 2006

                              FIFTY-SECOND SESSION
                                        ________




           The WEU Assembly: a tool for national parliaments




                                    REPORT

      submitted on behalf of the Committee for Parliamentary and Public Relations
  by Lord Russell-Johnston, Chairman and Rapporteur (United Kingdom, Liberal Group)
Document A/1950                                                                   20 December 2006

                          The WEU Assembly: a tool for national parliaments

                                               REPORT1

             submitted on behalf of the Committee for Parliamentary and Public Relations
               by Lord Russell-Johnston, Rapporteur, (United Kingdom, Liberal Group)

                                        TABLE OF CONTENTS

        RESOLUTION 129
              on the WEU Assembly – a tool for national parliaments
        ORDER 125
              on the WEU Assembly – a tool for national parliaments
        EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM
              submitted by Lord Russell-Johnston, Rapporteur, United Kingdom, Liberal Group
                     I. Introduction
                     II. The current legal framework
                     III. Parliamentary cooperation in the European context
                     IV. The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe: proposed developments on
                     hold
                     V. Initiatives taken by the WEU Assembly during the period of reflection on the
                     future of the European institutions
                     VI. Extending the service the WEU Assembly offers the national parliaments – the
                     work of the Contact Group
        APPENDIX I
              Membership of special national parliamentary committees for foreign affairs, European
              affairs and defence amongst Delegations to the WEU Assembly
        APPENDIX II
              European defence: time to move on – Manifesto for an effective European security and
              defence policy
        DRAFT RESOLUTION
              on the WEU Assembly – a tool for national parliaments
        AMENDMENT




1
    Adopted unanimously by the Committee on 21 November 2006.




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DOCUMENT A/1950


                                             RESOLUTION 1292
                           on the WEU Assembly – a tool for national parliaments

           The Assembly,

           In this period of reflection on the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe:

(i)      Pursuing its commitment to take forward the debate on the future of Europe’s institutions,
particularly in regard to democratic scrutiny of intergovernmental decision making, and more
specifically of decisions concerning security and defence;
(ii)   Welcoming the many initiatives taken by its Enlarged Presidential Committee in
implementation of the Orders approved at its two previous sessions;
(iii)    Noting that notwithstanding governments’ failure to respond, members of parliament feel
keenly that a proper democratic balance should be maintained in all European decision making
processes and that the principle of the separation of powers, found in the constitutional arrangements
of all the member countries, should also apply to intergovernmental policy areas;
(iv)    Affirms categorically that collective intergovernmental decision making on security and
defence at European level must be matched by collective interparliamentary democratic scrutiny;
(v)    Noting that in the joint parliamentary meeting in Brussels on 4-5 December discussion
focused on improving cooperation and coordination between the national parliaments and the
European Parliament and about revitalising the WEU Parliamentary Assembly,

           INVITES THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS TO:

1.      Unite their efforts in asserting their individual and collective responsibility within Europe’s
future institutional framework to exercise scrutiny over all areas of intergovernmental policy, and
especially security and defence;
2.     Seek to dispel the institutional uncertainty surrounding decisions about their participation in
European policy making, so that the future division of responsibilities between national and
community levels is clear and unambiguous;
3.      Use every endeavour to obtain the necessary information enabling them to form political
positions at a European interparliamentary level and sustain them vis-à-vis governments in advance of
intergovernmental meetings at European level rather than after the event;
4.     Actively support the existing institutions of interparliamentary cooperation, promote their
work and give attention to their development;
5.      Take the debate to the public at large, emphasising the key role of parliament in bringing
European decision making on security and defence closer to the citizens, while reconciling the
national with the common European interest.




2
    Adopted by the Assembly on 20 December at the 9th sitting.


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                                                                                  DOCUMENT A/1950


                                                 ORDER 1253
                               on the WEU Assembly – a tool for national parliaments
           The Assembly,

(i)     Believing in the need to improve publication of its proceedings with a particular emphasis on
questions to Ministers and government representatives,
           INVITES ITS ENLARGED PRESIDENTIAL COMMITTEE TO:

1.     Step up public and parliamentary awareness of the Assembly’s role in questioning ministers
and government representatives.




3
    Adopted by the Assembly on 20 December at the 9th sitting.


                                                        3
DOCUMENT A/1950


                               EXPLANATORY MEMORANDUM
         submitted by Lord Russell-Johnston, Rapporteur, United Kingdom, Liberal Group

                                            I. Introduction

1.    During the period of reflection on the future of Europe’s institutions, the WEU Assembly
remains at the forefront of the debate, in terms especially of the individual and collective role of
national parliaments in intergovernmental security and defence policy decisions.
2.     It is now recognised that the system set out in the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for
Europe took insufficient account of the parliamentary dimension and of democratic scrutiny of the
Union’s intergovernmental policies, particularly with regard to decisions on security and defence. As
the European Parliament does not yet have full competence for this area, governments adopt decisions
at intergovernmental level, whilst national parliaments must meet commitments already made and take
decisions, on behalf of the Union, on the deployment of troops to foreign theatres of operations, on
their funding and on defence budgets. However, these issues are increasingly subject to decisions
negotiated at European level and national parliaments, which do not automatically receive information
that is fully transparent or complete, are not working in conjunction with one another and do not have
suitable channels available to them for following up their decisions, are denied a genuine power of
scrutiny.
3.     WEU Assembly members have, through a number of initiatives, stressed the political
importance of their role as a link between European institutions responsible for security and defence
policy matters and the general public, reaffirming their commitment to bringing these policies closer
to the people and involving the electorate in European objectives, and at pains to explain that common
security is essential to the economic, social, cultural and democratic development of the peoples of
Europe. They have therefore always been in agreement that what is needed to bring this about is a
single, specifically European “space”, an interparliamentary forum dedicated to security and defence
matters, formed of elected members from national parliaments, who would engage in dialogue with
one another and with representatives of governments and of the European Union, from the
Commission and the European Parliament. The aim would not be to pit them against one another, but
rather, to create and develop a constructive partnership.
4.     That role is currently filled to a large extent by the WEU Assembly, the only interparliamentary
organisation with Treaty authority to deal with such matters. However, the situation is changing:
thanks to 50 years’ work carried out by WEU and its bodies, defence Europe has taken its first steps. It
is clear that the institutions need adapting within a common framework if they are to work more
effectively in synergy. The Assembly, which is aware of the problem, has in recent years put forward a
number of proposals designed to bring it into closer touch with current affairs and enable it work
towards ensuring that national parliaments have a genuine role in ESDP scrutiny.
5.     It is therefore a question of directing people’s thinking towards a new draft treaty giving shape
to new European Union institutions, by making the case, during this period of transition, for the
benefits to be had from this kind of European forum for debating security and defence matters.
National parliaments, whose role it is to bring Europe closer to the people, have to contend with
scepticism in Europe amongst a public that feels that European decisions are imposed from on high.
Thus, all democratic forums founded some 50 years ago are due for an upgrade. This is in stark
contrast to a growing trend towards reducing the number of interparliamentary bodies for budgetary
reasons. Nevertheless, we cannot do without national parliaments in a more integrated Europe and the
absence of widespread public support would ultimately prove to be more costly – and not just in
financial terms.
6.     The WEU Assembly is in fact a useful working tool for the national parliaments, albeit one of
which less use is made than it might be, possibly because the work it does is not widely known, or is
insufficiently explained, or again because the organisation’s current structures are too inflexible, or
because it does not work sufficiently harmoniously. The Assembly’s Presidential Committee is now
considering what should be done to make the Assembly more dynamic and open and to involve the


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                                                                                    DOCUMENT A/1950


national parliaments more closely in its activities. The vast amount of information gathered at each
session needs to reach defence sector users – primarily national parliaments and their specialised
committees – more effectively. The purpose of this report is therefore to take stock of the current
situation and proposals are underway for improving external contacts, so that the Assembly can
contribute more usefully to securing democratic scrutiny of Europe’s intergovernmental defence
policy.
                                   II. The current legal framework

7.     When examining the proposals made in the draft order, we should briefly review the legal
framework in which the Assembly currently operates – that set out in Article IX of the modified
Brussels Treaty. The interaction between national parliaments and the Assembly takes place through
the intermediary of delegations that are responsible for taking action at both national and international
level. However, under the modified Brussels Treaty, the WEU Assembly must be composed of the
same representatives as are appointed to the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly, despite the
fact that the two assemblies do not share the same areas of competence. The “founders” of the treaty,
greatly influenced by the historical situation of post-war Europe, were aware of the need for
parliamentary scrutiny of common defence polices, but nonetheless reluctant to set up an institution
responsible only for armies and armaments with all the drawbacks that this could have entailed.
8.      The delegations from member states are now therefore somewhat diverse, made up of
parliamentarians with different areas of expertise and interest: this diversity in membership can lead to
a more general understanding of situations and the avoidance of excessive specialisation in purely
defence matters. This is a factor for which allowance should be made as it implies the risk of effort
being spread too thinly and high rates of absenteeism from committee meetings, as well as putting an
additional burden on parliamentarians. Moreover, the criteria for appointment to delegations are
vague, and delegation members drawn from parliamentary foreign affairs, defence and European
affairs committees are often not in a majority, as can be seen from the table included in the appendix
to this report.
9.     The figures given in this table are comparable provided one bears in mind that some
parliaments, such as in Germany or Belgium, allow individual parliamentarians to serve on several
committees, either as full members or substitutes. Others, such as in Italy, do not allow members to sit
on more than one permanent committee, whilst in other countries, such as Spain, which has a Joint
European Union Committee – draws on the same members of parliament who already hold another
office. Finally, the United Kingdom has an entirely different system of allocation, with members of
international delegations frequently not being appointed to a permanent committee. That said, as far as
the WEU Assembly is concerned, it is important to stress that few parliamentarians belong to defence
committees in their home countries, with often only one or two doing so. This could be a
disadvantage: on the one hand, because parliamentarians are less interested in subjects that do not
form part of their day-to-day work in their own countries and, on the other, because information and
experience are not passed on systematically, as they would be if parliamentarians had a direct
involvement in the subject in question.
10. That said, delegations have more representatives from members of Foreign Affairs or European
Affairs committees, given widespread participation in interparliamentary organisations, either the
Council of Europe or other assemblies or conferences. The principle of “double-hatting”, whereby
WEU Assembly members also serve on the delegation to the Assembly of the Council of Europe
(which has wider and different powers), should also be taken into account. A partial assessment of the
situation in the Assembly’s affiliate and associate countries which are not bound by the modified
Brussels Treaty, also indicates that these countries do not require delegation members to have a
specialisation in these subject areas either. For example, no members of the Estonian Delegation to the
WEU Assembly belong to any of the three specialised national committees, whilst only one member
of the Bulgarian Delegation serves on the national Defence Committee. The situation as regards
Slovenia is more satisfactory: four out of the six representatives serve on specialised committees,
including the Chairman of the national Defence Committee and the Vice-Chairman of the Foreign
Affairs Committee.


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DOCUMENT A/1950


11. The problem surrounding the participation of national parliamentarians in the work of
international assemblies has been raised in recent years with increasing urgency (although Rules of
Procedure allow for non-attendance where there can be shown to be good reason), given that national
policy always takes precedence and elected representatives have to attend their national parliaments to
take part in voting. The method of determining the quorum varies from parliament to parliament, some
of them requiring notification of absence only for plenary sessions and others also demanding
apologies from members for non-attendance at committee meetings.
12. The parliamentary instruments governing the relationship with national policy and with the
European framework can vary depending on the constitutional system of the member state and in
terms of how effective they are. All parliaments have a number of ways open to them for influencing
government decisions and scrutinising both their implementation and the provision of the relevant
financial resources. Government decisions are now increasingly adopted in an international context –
primarily a European one in the case of defence matters – which has developed progressively over the
last 10 years. Nevertheless, parliamentary procedures, heavily influenced by national interests, have
not changed, and threaten to paralyse debate.
13. There is therefore a need to consider how to achieve convergence and harmonisation of national
and supranational procedures, to the benefit of all parliaments.
14. The device of question and answer, used to question governments directly in order to obtain
information quickly, appears to be losing favour. The main reason is competition from the media, with
the press often dwelling at length on government statements and television devoting substantial
airtime to interviews with ministers. The result is that parliamentary debates are pushed into the
background. However, question and answer sessions are still the official way in which governments
can be held to account on a specific issue before members of parliament. The possibility of putting
questions also exists in the WEU Assembly and, moreover, is used in plenary sessions, when the
Assembly invites ministers from the various European countries to speak. Written questions may be
put between sessions. The questions, and answers, sometimes overlap with those aired in national
parliaments, but it is interesting to compare different points of view on the same subject which is
frequently handled differently in an international context. Speeches often take on an entirely different
tone, showing that governments can adopt a different approach if the international situation requires a
joint decision from them. Before their own national parliaments, they are more constrained by the
need to reach an accommodation with national policy.
15. What is more, all parliaments have access to a wide range of instruments for expressing their
opinions to governments – resolutions, motions, recommendations and so on – which they can use at
any time to secure a majority vote committing the executive to act in a certain way or carry out plans
in detail. These instruments are also used in the WEU Assembly, where governments, under a
European treaty, are legally obliged to inform and consult parliamentarians on defence matters. These
two interactive levels of scrutiny and consultation facilitate the work of parliamentarians, by giving
them two related and complementary frameworks of action, national and international.
16. In most Western democracies, parliamentary approval of the nation’s budget is still generally
the main instrument of scrutiny in a debate that allows parliaments to reduce or increase specific items
of expenditure or transfer expenditure to other areas, thus giving a specific project the go-ahead or
preventing it from being carried out. At this stage, international considerations are of fundamental
importance in gaining approval for certain items of defence expenditure, and in such a context it is
possible to see how the role of members of the WEU Assembly in making information available and
informing parliamentary groups and the relevant committees can come into its own. Defence spending
is always at risk of being revised downwards under pressure from uninformed public opinion or other
domestic socioeconomic considerations likely to win more votes in an election. Supranational
arguments must be persuasive in order to justify the commitments made.
17. Approval given to participation in international missions, whether within the UN framework or
through other alliances, has become a recurrent procedure in recent years. In this area, there are a
number of possible scenarios, from one where there is an obligation under the country’s constitution
for a vote to be held in parliament on whether to deploy armed forces, to one where parliamentary


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                                                                                      DOCUMENT A/1950


debate is completely ruled out because this type of decision falls exclusively within a government’s
remit. The Committee for Parliamentary and Public Relations has already produced a comparative
analysis of the procedures followed by national parliaments in scrutinising military missions abroad in
a report submitted by Mafalda Troncho on “National parliamentary scrutiny of intervention abroad by
armed forces engaged in international missions: the current position in law” which was adopted at the
December 2001 session (Document 1762). The Committee intends submitting a further report on this
matter because the situation has changed in a number of parliaments since certain European countries
took part in the Iraq war: at times, the inadequate level of democratic representation became glaringly
obvious, and parliamentarians were given increased decision-making powers, on other occasions
governments have claimed the right to take decisions more quickly.
18. A lack of involvement in decisions concerning European missions undertaken in recent years is
a problem noted in a report on “Parliaments and the Althea mission” submitted by Giovanni Crema
and adopted in December 2005 (Document 1911). Although funding for these missions is always
dependent on the powers national parliaments have over spending, few specific debates have been
organised, and the decisions taken have not been scrutinised as they should have been. Where an
ESDP mission is led by the European Union, national parliaments seem not to feel the need to exercise
their prerogatives, despite the fact that no European Union institution has responsibility for this area.
Debates in the European Parliament deal with foreign policy in general, as the EP has no power to
impose a particular defence policy course.
                       III. Parliamentary cooperation in the European context

19. Progress towards European integration raises the question of the role of national parliaments
within the European architecture, both at national level and collectively at European level.
Governments work together in the framework of the Union, but at parliamentary level there are
currently no satisfactory solutions. On the contrary, a plethora of initiatives has led to the creation of a
clutch of organisations, usually voluntary ones, which are unable to provide the response that is
required. National parliaments are already struggling to play a creative role in European policy; they
are uncoordinated, not properly organised collectively to exercise their national prerogatives, and run
the risk of overload. The European Parliament is trying to fill the vacuum, although not without this
giving rise to very real concerns.
20. The need to set up a network of specific contacts between national parliamentarians has become
more and more acutely felt since the 1990s. The change in the status of the European Parliament, now
elected on the basis of universal suffrage, and the fact that members are, increasingly, prevented from
holding several offices, led to ties with national parliaments being severed. Not all of the
consequences of this were understood immediately, but right from the outset, it produced a split
between the European and national levels.
21. The speakers of national parliaments began developing fairly regular contacts amongst
themselves in the form of periodic “conferences”. These still take place. The meeting in Madrid in
1989 laid the foundations for CEAC/COSAC, the Conference of Community and European Affairs
Committees, the first form of cooperation between representatives from national parliamentary
committees with responsibility for European affairs and members of the European Parliament (MEPs).
Since November 1989, this working group has met at the parliament representing the current EU
Presidency and was officially recognised in the “Protocol on the role of National Parliaments”
attached to the 1997 Amsterdam Treaty.
22. The Maastricht Treaty encouraged national parliaments to increase their participation in the
work of the Union and to intensify exchanges of information. With this in mind, Foreign Affairs
Committees started to organise joint meetings of their chairmen, initially on the basis of an initiative
by Germany taken during the 1994 German Presidency of the European Union. Other countries
followed suit, and the same formula was then used by Defence Committee chairmen: these six-
monthly meetings are also attended by the defence committee chairmen from the WEU Assembly and
the NATO Assembly. This type of meeting is a useful way, even now, of exchanging experience and
expertise, although there is still no legal basis for its being developed further, nor a permanent
structure to ensure continuity.


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23. In the meantime, the interparliamentary assembly model has experienced a period of expansion
regionally, followed by a decline that is still going on – to the extent that the Conference of Speakers
of Parliaments, as part of its activities, has raised the question of rationalising interparliamentary
organisations. Until the Nice Treaty came into force, the European Union had an interparliamentary
assembly, given that WEU and its Assembly were an integral part of the development of the Union. At
the present time, a body of this kind does not exist and the question has to be addressed if a
satisfactory solution is to be reached.
24. Our Committee has already provided an overview of the work done by interparliamentary
assemblies in Documents 1724 (December 2000) and 1739 (June 2001) submitted by Cristina Agudo
Cadarso and Mimi Kestelijn respectively. Historically, the Council of Europe and the WEU
Assemblies have taken the lead, followed by the NATO, Central European Initiative (CEI), Baltic,
Black Sea Cooperation, OSCE and Mediterranean parliamentary assemblies. Frequent exchanges now
take place at sessions and at our own Assembly session in June 2006, our Committee set up a Liaison
Subcommittee, alongside the existing WEU Assembly subcommittees, to deal with other
parliamentary assemblies and to facilitate regular contact on the basis of areas of competence.
      IV. The Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe: proposed developments on hold

25. The involvement of parliamentarians from all countries attending the Convention that produced
the draft of the Constitutional Treaty had given rise to hopes that greater attention would be paid to
subsidiarity and to the role of national parliaments, so as involve them more closely in the European
decision-making process. Before the Convention was opened, there was some support for the idea of
setting up a European second chamber, but the deliberations failed to produce a blueprint for achieving
this. A working group on national parliaments was set up, but it was only partly able to meet
expectations. In the end, the only point to emerge from the debate was the suggestion to strengthen
CEAC/COSAC, leaving matters unresolved since that organisation is the only one referred to in the
approved text.
26. The WEU Assembly had been involved in the work of the Convention as an informal observer
and its representative, the former Belgian Prime Minister, Mark Eyskens, had submitted an initial
contribution in the form of a report on “The role of national parliaments in the European Union and
more specifically in the ESDP” (Document 1778) which was adopted during the June 2002 plenary
session and supported the proposed creation of a European second chamber. Mr Eyskens’ second
report, submitted to the Convention following approval at the December 2002 plenary session,
stressed the need for an interparliamentary counterweight to the Union’s intergovernmental activities.
Finally, when the Convention Praesidium published draft articles of the Constitutional Treaty on 3
June 2003, the Assembly sent a third contribution, Document 1818, containing Resolution 115
submitted by Antonio Nazaré Pereira, who was the member of the Convention representing the
Portuguese Parliament as well as the Rapporteur for the WEU Assembly. In Document 1818, the
Assembly considered “The absence of any articles making provision for the collective participation of
national parliaments in the external action proposed by the Convention Praesidium” to be “wholly
unacceptable”, adding that the European Parliament's involvement in terms of being informed and
consulted had “been strengthened considerably in the draft articles”. He also noted that “In parallel,
the texts should also place an obligation on the Council to report on its activities to an
interparliamentary body composed of representatives of national parliaments and consult it regularly”.
27. During the Italian Presidency of the European Union, at the invitation of the Italian Parliament,
the Assembly organised a colloquy in Baveno entitled “New scenarios for European common security
and defence”, during which the Presidential Committee asked the Political Committee to present a
report analysing and evaluating the provisions of the draft Constitution as regards the CFSP and ESDP
and its parliamentary dimension, to ascertain if those provisions needed to be modified or added to. On
22 October 2003, the Standing Committee approved a report on “Prospects for the European security
and defence policy – contribution to the Intergovernmental Conference” submitted by Giuseppe
Gaburro (Document 1835). In Resolution 117 contained in the report, the Assembly strongly urged
“the Intergovernmental Conference to maintain and develop within the framework of the draft
Constitutional Treaty a mechanism for information, consultation and dialogue between the Council


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and an interparliamentary body made up of representatives of the parliaments of the Member States in
all areas to which the intergovernmental process applies, especially security and defence, with the
involvement of delegations from the parliaments of applicant countries and other non-EU European
NATO member countries”.
28. On 4 June 2004, the Assembly approved Resolution 122, contained in a report submitted by
Bart van Winsen (Document 1860), which proposed amending the draft Constitutional Treaty by
setting up an Interparliamentary Forum, “a network for consultation among the national parliaments”.
This forum would hold “consultative dialogue with the executive bodies of the European Union on
topics that are the subject of intergovernmental cooperation, and in particular on matters of common
foreign and security policy and of common security and defence policy, on the basis of an annual
report from the Council transmitted simultaneously to both the Interparliamentary Forum and the
European Parliament”.
29. In October 2004, at the 50th anniversary celebrations commemorating the signing of the Paris
Agreements and the modified Brussels Treaty held in the Belgian Senate in Brussels, many tributes
were paid to the essential role that the WEU Assembly had played for half a century as a channel for
the national parliaments. Emphasis was placed on the risk of a gap emerging in the new European
architecture that needed to be filled. The matter was raised by the Speakers of both Belgian chambers,
Anne-Marie Lizin and Herman De Croo, as well as by Janus Onyskiewicz, Vice-President of the
European Parliament. Ceremonies subsequently took place in Paris: at the French Ministry for Foreign
Affairs, the French Foreign Minister Michel Barnier, expressed the hope that the Treaty establishing a
Constitution for Europe could be based, for the purposes of future parliamentary scrutiny, on the
accumulated experience and knowledge of the WEU Assembly.
   V. Initiatives taken by the WEU Assembly during the period of reflection on the future of the
                                     European institutions
30. During the extended period of reflection on the future of Europe’s institutions, the importance
of the role of national parliaments and interparliamentary cooperation in intergovernmental policy
rightly remains a key concern for the Assembly. Indeed, the Assembly is currently one instrument that
national parliaments have available to them for cooperating amongst themselves and for collective
scrutiny of European security and defence policy; as such, it considers it necessary to be fully involved
at this crucial period of laying the foundations for the future. With this in view, at each session, the
Assembly considers reports designed to move the debate forward, and has for the time being, taken a
bridging role upon itself by organising seminars and colloquies for bringing together the chairmen of
national parliamentary committees and other ESDP players and the Assembly’s national delegations.
31. As a result, within the framework for discussion of the numerous separate, although not
radically different initiatives surrounding the problem of interparliamentary cooperation, a series of
proposals to draw them together were discussed during at the WEU Assembly seminar held in London
on 24 and 25 April 2006 at the invitation of the United Kingdom Presidency of the European Union.
Entitled “Building a secure Europe in a better world: parliamentary responsibility and action in
shaping public opinion on security and defence”, the seminar focused on the question of public
support for the ESDP, recalling the key role of national parliaments in this area. The specific and
collective action taken by parliaments was discussed, as were the initiatives to be taken in the current
framework, such as strengthening ties with the general public, the absence of which was one of the
most obvious reasons why the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe had not been ratified. At
the end of the seminar, a “roadmap” was approved, in the belief that:
      “Given the international problems which remain to be resolved we cannot wait for a conclusion
      to the debate on the fate of the Constitutional Treaty and its impact on the management of the
      ESDP. We must act together on the basis of the existing treaties and of real achievements.
      We need to take three steps forward:
      – A Compact among our nations – a common vision to bind our European states together, a
        common approach to tackle the threats to our society and to our way of life, a clear text



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DOCUMENT A/1950


            which appeals to our citizens. This entails unreserved solidarity and a proper defence
            commitment. It also calls for the determination to pursue and fund tangible projects; (…)
         – A partnership between all our parliaments, the European Security and Defence Assembly
           and the European Parliament in order to monitor and support action taken within the
           European institutions and at intergovernmental level on vital security and defence questions
           and to provide the essential relay with citizens and public opinion. With this perspective the
           Assembly is determined to participate actively in drawing up an appropriate model for
           organising and promoting effective and regular interparliamentary cooperation with a view
           to offering national parliaments better possibilities for collective participation in the
           European Union’s security and defence activities. For that purpose we will establish more
           regular cooperation with the defence committees of our national parliaments (and where
           appropriate other national committees concerned with international security issues) in order
           to facilitate their access to information about the European decision-making process and
           create conditions conducive to a more intensive debate within our national parliaments on
           the development and missions of the ESDP;
         – A legal link between the intergovernmental compact and the interparliamentary partnership
           to ensure the critical two-way flow of information. It will be necessary in this respect to
           strengthen the machinery for consultation and information exchange between the European
           executive and all relevant parliamentary bodies, including the competent committees within
           the national parliaments, the European Security and Defence Assembly and the European
           Parliament.”
32. The role of the WEU Assembly has recently been recognised publicly on several occasions, an
indication that the debate it has launched is of interest to other European players.
33. Belgian Foreign Minister Karel De Gucht said in his address to the June 2006 plenary session:
“The WEU Assembly is an important interparliamentary forum, one that acts as a bridge between
national parliaments. I can therefore only encourage you to continue in your discussions on the
European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) and in particular on European defence matters”. These
were thoughts echoed by UK Defence Minister Geoff Hoon in the statement he submitted to the same
session: “The Assembly has a crucial role to play here. It provides a vital platform for
parliamentarians from across Europe to come together for discussion. I am sure that the Assembly and
its members will rise to this challenge and play a full part in our collective efforts to realise our shared
vision of ESDP”. Finally, Senator Hubert Haenel, Head of the French Parliament’s Delegation to the
European Union, described the WEU Assembly as “irreplaceable”.
34. The Assembly is currently considering the best way to achieve synergy between its work and
that of the Defence Committees of national parliaments and the European Parliament. In point of fact,
the Assembly’s organisation is one that can be used as an experimental model for greater
interparliamentary cooperation, building on the basic elements of the Brussels Treaty and extending
these to meet current requirements. The objective is to provide a model for parliamentary cooperation
in ESDP matters, which could be retained in the event of any future change in shape of the European
institutions.
35. The WEU Assembly’s Enlarged Presidential Committee has on several occasions considered
follow-up initiatives to the various texts voted in plenary sessions. The first of these, chronologically
speaking, was Order 121, adopted in plenary session on 7 December 2005 on the basis of a report on
“Parliaments and the Althea mission” submitted by Giovanni Crema on behalf of the Committee on
Parliamentary and Public Relations. Its aims are to:
         “Improve the reciprocal process whereby they [national parliaments] and their relevant national
         committees consult each other and keep each other informed, with a view to defining what the
         best method is;”
and to
         “Give them greater involvement in the Assembly's regular consultations with the competent
         European bodies responsible for the ESDP.”


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                                                                                   DOCUMENT A/1950


36. This was followed by Order 122, adopted in plenary session on 19 June 2006 on the basis of the
report submitted by Lord Tomlinson on behalf of the Political Committee, which invited the Enlarged
Presidential Committee to:
      “1. Obtain the agreement of the WEU Council that:
        (a) the currently biannual joint meetings of the Assembly's committees with the Council
            should take place at least four times a year;
        (b) the Chairmen of the defence committees of the national parliaments and a delegation of
            the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the European Parliament could be invited to
            participate in these meetings;
        (c) the Chairmanship of the Council should be represented at these meetings by the competent
            minister;
        (d) the Permanent Council representative of the country holding the Presidency should brief
            the Presidential Committee at the beginning and end of each Chairmanship, as was the
            practice in the past;
      2. Consider the possibility of hosting the biannual meetings of defence committees which at
      present rotate among all the member parliaments;
      3. Envisage inviting the chairmen of the defence committees of the national parliaments and a
      delegation of the Subcommittee on Security and Defence of the European Parliament to become
      ex-officio members of the Assembly with full speaking and voting rights;
      4. Actively seek an agreement with the European Parliament under which the European
      Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee and Subcommittee on Security and Defence would
      regularly invite a number of members of the Assembly and its competent committees to
      meetings in which there are hearings of the EU executive on CFSP and ESDP matters;
      5. Discuss appropriate arrangements for organising joint meetings, hearings or fact-finding
      missions between Assembly and European Parliament committees; (…)”.
37. Also during the June 2006 plenary session, the Assembly approved Order 123, submitted by
Soledad Becerril, which dealt specifically with relations with the European Parliament and suggested:
proposing to the Parliament “forms of cooperation whereby thought may be given to developing
synergy between the parliamentary institutions responsible for oversight of the ESDP” and
establishing “a system of permanent contact with the defence committees of the national parliaments
of the European Union to draw them more closely into the work of the Interparliamentary European
Security and Defence Assembly.”
            VI. Extending the service the WEU Assembly offers the national parliaments
                                  – the work of the Contact Group
38. It therefore appears essential for the Assembly to foster a partnership with national defence
committees and to promote relations with the European Parliament to improve dialogue between them
and pass on information. This would mean national defence committee chairmen and members having
a much greater input into the Assembly’s activities, particularly during its plenary sessions. Indeed,
the table included in the appendix to this report shows that only one or two parliamentarians from each
delegation sit on national defence committees, the result being that national parliaments are not
receiving sufficient information about the work carried out by the Assembly for it to be of use to them.
39. Firstly, subject areas need to be chosen that are of common interest to the Assembly and the
members of national parliaments’ defence committees. All members of these committees must be fully
aware that they have an essential part to play in bringing home messages about Europe’s security if
public support for the Union is to be achieved. Awareness of the experience of other European Union
member states and the direction in which they are going could facilitate the debate on defence budgets
– still a delicate matter according to parliamentary colleagues, given that decisions increasingly have
to be taken from a European perspective.



                                                  11
DOCUMENT A/1950


40. Organising joint seminars or specialised conferences appears to be the most appropriate way of
bringing together members of defence committees and members of the Assembly. It is essential that
speakers of parliaments are regularly invited to attend these events, with this invitation also possibly
being extended to the bureaux of committees – so that several political groups are invited – and senior
advisory officials. Indeed, we should not forget that continuity between legislatures, given the limited
duration of parliamentary terms of office, is provided by the highly qualified staff of national
parliaments, who would appear to be best placed to act as a permanent conduit for information and
know-how. If it is not possible for large numbers of national parliament defence committee members
to attend and contribute in person, the flow of information from the available forum for debate and
discussion – the WEU Assembly – must be optimised. We should make better use of methods of
communication to provide defence committee members and their secretariats with records of the
proceedings of our plenary sessions and specialised seminars, possibly using the email addresses given
on individual parliaments’ web sites. It might also be possible to send the list of subjects for discussion
at each Assembly session in advance, in order to generate more interest in such subjects, which are
often the same ones discussed in national parliaments. It would be then possible to meet the demand
for information by making them partners to the discussion.
41. At its meeting on 16 May 2006, the Assembly’s Presidential Committee decided to set up a
“Contact Group” to study practical ways of forming new relations and submit proposals to member
states’ parliaments. The political groups then appointed their representatives and the first meeting of
the “Reinforced Liaison Subcommittee” (Contact Group) took place in Strasbourg on 27 June 2006.
Its aim, according to proposals put forward by President Jean-Pierre Masseret, was to spread the
Assembly’s message set out in a “Manifesto for an effective European security and defence policy”
(Appendix 2), about the need for an intergovernmental ESDP to have a recognised interparliamentary
dimension in the form of a parliamentary forum open to the European Parliament, to organise hearings
and meetings with key players to share experiences and facilitate the flow of information. The Group’s
first task would be to visit key national parliaments (in line with the rotating EU/WEU presidencies),
to meet speakers, defence committee chairmen, Foreign Affairs and European Affairs committee
chairmen, leaders of political parties and defence and foreign affairs ministers, all the while
strengthening relations and cooperation with the European Parliament.
42. A first meeting took place with the members of the Belgian Parliament’s Defence, Foreign
Affairs and European Affairs Committees on 11 October 2006. The meeting centred on the effect the
work of the Assembly had on the internal workings of the Belgian Parliament and it emerged that it
was not making nearly enough impact at national level. National parliamentarians recognise that they
are often left on the periphery as regards governments’ foreign policy and defence decisions, but are
unaware of any WEU Assembly involvement in that connection. They therefore call, in the first
instance, for initiatives on current affairs, such as the situation in Afghanistan or Europe’s global
security ambitions, or even on the nuclear question, that are more “audible”. They hope that an
interparliamentary forum can help weld together a specifically European security policy thinking that
offers other ways of handling the crises in which military missions are currently deployed and where a
European identity is not yet sufficiently visible. The WEU Assembly needs to be more creative in its
approach if it is to encourage national parliaments actively to work together. If this is to happen,
working methods need to change, the Assembly needs to move away from descriptive debate and
work more pragmatically. When parliamentarians act as Rapporteur for the WEU Assembly, the
process would be more effective if they could at least follow through that work in their own national
parliament, by ensuring that people are made aware of the report and encouraging debate on the
subject in question, possibly using the conclusions of the report as the basis for putting questions to
government. It is clear that communication needs to be more effective, and that no means should be
overlooked in trying to achieve this, records of proceedings are often circulated to parliamentarians
some time after the event and fail to generate interest.
43. The second meeting of the Contact Group took place at the Bundestag, Berlin, on 6 and 7
November 2006. The question of whether there should be an interparliamentary European institution
to scrutinise the intergovernmental aspects of security and defence policy was put to several
representatives of Government and Parliament. Since the 50th anniversary of the Treaties of Rome in



                                                    12
                                                                                  DOCUMENT A/1950


May 2007 will fall during the German Presidency of the European Union and given that Germany
intends to issue a document on the progress made in reflecting on the draft Constitutional Treaty, it
was felt that it was necessary to make reference to this particular shortcoming and to remind those
present that there was no time to waste. In the view of our German colleagues – who have a strong
parliamentary tradition in scrutiny of defence matters and the use of their armed forces – the work
done by the WEU Assembly has been effective and valuable. The model remains valid for the future
and one should envisage a similar body forming part of the European Union institutions. However, in
the light of the changes that have occurred since it came into being and bearing in mind the complexity
of Europe’s institutions, the model now needs to be brought up to date. In short, the most commonly
held view is that, in the short term, the Assembly must continue its work, but at a faster pace, and
communicate more actively. This would appear to be the most effective strategy looking to the longer
term, since it will be impossible to close the door on an organisation of proven utility.




                                                  13
DOCUMENT A/1950


                                                               APPENDIX I
            Membership of special national parliamentary committees for foreign affairs,
             European affairs and defence amongst Delegations to the WEU Assembly



                                           10
            Belgium*
             France*                                15

                                                              23
           Germany*
              Greece               4

                                                         19
                   Italy
                                   5
          Luxembourg
                                   5
            Portugal*
                 Spain*                        12

                                       7
   The Netherlands*
                               2
   United-Kingdom*
                           0               5             10        15       20       25      30     35       40
                  Total of members belonging to specialized committees                       Other members

*Some members serve on several committees

Belgium*
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 14 titular members and alternates
Chambre des Représentants [House of Representatives]
Defence Committee                                                        3 members (including the Chairman) and 1
                                                                         alternate
Foreign Relations Committee                                              1 member, 3 alternates
Federal Advisory Committee on European Affairs                           3 alternates
Committee for Military Procurement                                       3 members (including 2 Vice-Chairmen)

Senate [Senate]
Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee                                    3 members, 3 alternates
Federal Advisory Committee on European Affairs                           1 member, 2 alternates
Committee for Monitoring Overseas Missions                               1 member

France*
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 36 titular members and alternates

Assemblée Nationale [National Assembly]
Defence Committee                                                        2 members
Foreign Affairs Committee                                                9 members
EU Delegation                                                            2 members

Sénat [Senate]
Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee                                    3 members
EU Delegation                                                            2 members (including 1 Vice-Chairman)


                                                                    14
                                                                               DOCUMENT A/1950


Germany*

Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 36 titular members and alternates

Bundestag [National Parliament]
Defence Committee                                    4 members, 1 alternate
Foreign Affairs Committee                            8 members, 4 alternates
European Affairs Committee                           6 members, 4 alternates

Greece
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 14 titular members and alternates

Vouli [Parliament]
Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee                3 members
European Affairs Committee                           1 member

Italy
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 36 titular members and alternates

Camera dei Diputati [Chamber of Deputies]
Defence Committee                                    1 member
Foreign Affairs Committee                            11 members
EU Policy Committee                                  1 member


Senato della Repubblica [Senate]
Defence Committee                                    1 member
Foreign Affairs Committee                            1 member
EU Policy Committee                                  4 members (including the Chairman)

Luxembourg
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 6 titular members and alternates

Chambre des Députés [Chamber of Deputies]
Foreign Affairs, European Affairs                    5 members
European Affairs Committee and Defence
Committee

Portugal*
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 14 titular members and alternates

Assembleia da República [Assembly of the Republic]
Defence Committee                                    1 member
Foreign Affairs Committee                            3 members (including the Chairman)
European Affairs Committee                           3 members




                                                15
DOCUMENT A/1950




Spain*
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 24 titular members and alternates

Congreso de los Diputados [Congress of Deputies]
Foreign Affairs Committee                           2 members
Defence Committee                                   2 members

Senado [Senate]
Foreign Affairs Committee                           4 members
Defence Committee                                   3 members (including the Chairman)
Joint European Union Committee                      6 members

Netherlands*
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 14 titular members and alternates

Eerste Kamer [Senate]
Foreign Affairs Committee                           3 members, (including 1 Vice- Chairman and 1
                                                    alternate)
Defence Committee                                   1 member, 2 alternates
European Affairs Committee                          3 members, (including the Chairman) and 1
                                                    alternate


Tweede Kamer [House of Representatives]
Foreign Affairs Committee                           1 member
Defence Committee                                   1 member
European Affairs Committee                          2 members

United Kingdom*
Delegation to the WEU Assembly: 36 titular members and alternates

House of Commons
Defence Committee                                   1 member


House of Lords
European Union Select Committee                     1 member
(Defence Subcommittee)
*Some members serve on several committees




                                               16
                                                                                   DOCUMENT A/1950


                                            APPENDIX II
                  European defence: time to move on – Manifesto for an effective
                             European security and defence policy

1.    If the nations of Europe genuinely wish to protect themselves and shoulder their global
responsibilities within the North Atlantic Alliance and beyond, they need to embrace an effective
European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP). It is our firm belief that the everyday lives of
Europeans, now and in the future, will be shaped by the success of this political endeavour in making
the European Union (EU) a worthy and respected player on the world stage. We need a common
vision to bind Europe together and a common approach to the threats we face. We have to speak in
terms that are plain enough for our citizens to understand.
2.    The French and Dutch “no” votes to the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe put
the Constitutional Treaty on hold and governments, in a quandary, extended the “period of reflection”
on the future of Europe, purportedly to allow for a broad debate designed to mobilise public opinion
across the member states. At its meeting on 15 and 16 June, the European Council decided to take a
two-pronged approach to moving all areas of common European policy forward, firstly, by agreeing to
make the most of the opportunities provided by the existing treaties to ensure tangible results.
Secondly, the German Presidency is to submit a report in the first half of 2007 taking stock of the
debate surrounding the Constitutional Treaty and appraising its possible future direction. It is
envisaged that when the report has been examined the appropriate decisions will be taken during the
second half of 2008.
3.     Whatever the outcome of that debate, we cannot simply mark time in the interval. We need to
push ahead with our European Security and Defence Policy on the basis of the existing treaties and
building on our achievements to date. As parliamentarians, we must, for instance, engage more
actively in discussions about ESDP missions, insist that a proper modus vivendi be found between the
EU and NATO, encourage “variable geometry” cooperation allowing groups of countries to undertake
projects open to all member states (such as the European Gendarmerie Force, the Galileo programme,
the anti-terrorist agreements and so on) and acknowledge the necessary development of the EU
Military Staff and the European Defence Agency (EDA). This calls for some real, down to earth,
effective European cooperation. We need to forge ahead further and faster and set our sights higher!
4.     Our fellow citizens are fully aware that without peace and security, nothing else can be
achieved. There can be no economic, social or democratic progress. Wars, terrorism, the proliferation
of weapons of mass destruction, insecurity of energy supplies and natural disasters are perceived as
very real threats. 82% of Europeans now consider that some form of European security and defence
policy is both essential and desirable. That is a good sign, but it is not enough. What price are
European taxpayers prepared to pay for their security? Where does defence come in their list of
priorities, compared with health, education, social welfare, and so on?
5.    If we want security and defence to take on more importance in the eyes of the public we need to
conduct a debate at home, in each and every European country and society. The strong commitment to
humanitarian action shown by our citizens, and by our young people in particular, must go hand in
hand with a common vision of security and defence issues. As our citizens’ elected representatives, we
parliamentarians have special responsibility for generating that debate. It is imperative for all to
understand that nothing less than Europe’s very future depends on safeguarding our democratic values
and individual and collective freedoms and maintaining peace, security and stability, both within and
outside the European Union’s borders.
6.     If security and defence matters are so often “appropriated” by governments it is because of their
sensitivity in terms of national sovereignty. Governments obviously have a major responsibility here,
but so do parliamentarians, whose democratic duty it is to inform their constituents about security and
defence questions. It is, after all, national parliamentarians who vote their countries’ defence budgets
and who have the final say in decisions on the deployment of troops both for member states’ own
missions and for those led by NATO, the United Nations and the European Union. At the same time
the European Parliament is becoming increasingly involved in the European security debate. As a


                                                  17
DOCUMENT A/1950


body elected by direct universal suffrage it is only natural that it should wish to have a say in
European security and defence matters. But we must acknowledge that within existing treaties, its
competence is very limited in these areas.
7.     However, of itself, that is not enough. It is vital that when our governments act together under
the European Security and Defence Policy on an intergovernmental basis they are answerable to an
interparliamentary body. Parliamentarians convinced of the crucial importance of security and defence
issues to the daily lives of the citizens they represent have a threefold task: to persuade European
governments to make a common European Security and Defence Policy more effective, to make plain
to the electorate the purpose and consequences of that common policy and to establish an
interparliamentary security and defence forum. This would not be in any sense a “second chamber”. It
would meet the need for a forum for reflection, providing national parliamentarians with full
information about European security and defence policy and the ability to exercise improved
democratic scrutiny over national governments and the Council in ESDP matters. The European
Parliament would also be part of the forum and its members able to participate in the activities
undertaken there by national parliamentarians. An interparliamentary forum such as this could
coincide with the WEU Assembly’s emerging role as the European Security and Defence Assembly –
an idea worth examining more closely.
8.     The Assembly has been putting forward proposals on European security and defence integration
for over 50 years. Founded in 1954 under the modified Brussels Treaty, the Assembly provides the
means for national parliamentarians from European countries to make policy recommendations to
European governments. For as long as the necessary institutional reforms at European level fail to
materialise, the Assembly helps to remedy what is a “democratic deficit” within the EU through the
conduct of “interparliamentary” debate on a policy that is still “intergovernmental”. The Assembly
therefore continues to work unremittingly: its reports and proceedings can be consulted on its website:
http://assembly.weu.int.
9.     The European Council is to meet in Berlin on 25 March 2007, on the occasion of the 50th
anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, and is expected to adopt a political statement setting out what
Europe stands for and hopes to achieve and expressing a common will to make those values and
ambitions a reality. It should also outline possible solutions to the problem of the “democratic deficit”
in security and defence matters. Our proposal for an interparliamentary forum is clearly relevant in this
context and it is important not to let the opportunity pass!
10. We must nurture a spirit of commitment among Europe’s citizens and nations to solving global
problems. This calls for an unreserved collective commitment to security and defence and a resolve to
pursue and fund tangible projects like the European Union’s crisis-management missions. European
security and defence are far too important to be neglected at this crucial juncture when public opinion
in all our countries is raising legitimate questions about the workings of the European Union and
where it is heading. In the face of the increasingly disquieting international situation we cannot afford
the luxury of waiting to see what the debate on the fate of the Constitutional Treaty will produce. It is
time to move forward with plans for a European Security and Defence Policy.
11. These steps are crucial to any aspirations Europe has of acquiring the international stature it
needs to defend its strategic interests and democratic values. Our common goals will in many cases
have to take precedence over our individual interests. Europe’s citizens must come to accept that they
share the same values and have a common destiny. Everyone must also understand the need for
adequate defence budgets if we are to acquire the means essential for defending those values and
achieving our objectives. We need a common vision for European defence if we are to share a
common future.




                                                   18
                                                                                     DOCUMENT A/1950


                                       DRAFT RESOLUTION
                       on the WEU Assembly – a tool for national parliaments

        The Assembly,

        In this period of reflection on the draft Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe:

(i)      Pursuing its commitment to take forward the debate on the future of Europe’s institutions,
particularly in regard to democratic scrutiny of intergovernmental decision making, and more
specifically of decisions concerning security and defence;
(ii)   Welcoming the many initiatives taken by its Enlarged Presidential Committee in
implementation of the Orders approved at its two previous sessions;
(iii)    Noting that notwithstanding governments’ failure to respond, members of parliament feel
keenly that a proper democratic balance should be maintained in all European decision making
processes and that the principle of the separation of powers, found in the constitutional arrangements
of all the member countries, should also apply to intergovernmental policy areas,
(iv)    Affirms categorically that collective intergovernmental decision making on security and
defence at European level must be matched by collective interparliamentary democratic scrutiny,

        INVITES THE NATIONAL PARLIAMENTS TO:

1. Unite their efforts in asserting their individual and collective responsibility within Europe’s future
institutional framework to exercise scrutiny over all areas of intergovernmental policy, and especially
security and defence;
2. Seek to dispel the institutional uncertainty surrounding decisions about their participation in
European policy making, so that the future division of responsibilities between national and
community levels is clear and unambiguous;
3. Use every endeavour to obtain the necessary information enabling them to form political positions
at a European interparliamentary level and sustain them vis-à-vis governments in advance of
intergovernmental meetings at European level rather than after the event:
4. Actively support the existing institutions of interparliamentary cooperation, promote their work
and give attention to their development;
5. Take the debate to the public at large, emphasising the key role of parliament in bringing
European decision making on security and defence closer to the citizens, while reconciling the
national with the common European interest.




                                                   19
DOCUMENT A/1950


                                               AMENDMENT 14
                        tabled by Lord Russell-Johnson, Chairman and Rapporteur,
                                     (United Kingdom, Liberal Group)

1.       After recital (iv) of the draft resolution add a further recital to read as follows:
         “Noting that in the joint parliamentary meeting in Brussels on 4-5 December discussion
         focused on improving cooperation and coordination between the national parliaments and
         the European Parliament and about revitalising the WEU Parliamentary Assembly,”


                                                                                      Signed: Russell-Johnston




4
    See 9th sitting, 20 December 2007 (Amendment adopted).


                                                        20

				
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