The Petersberg Tasks

Topics: European Union, Treaty of Lisbon, Council of the European Union Pages: 21 (6947 words) Published: March 9, 2013
A New Gear in the CFSP Machinery: Integration of the Petersberg Tasks in the Treaty on European Union Fabrizio Pagani*

Article ]. 7 of the Amsterdam Treaty, which amends the Treaty on European Union, establishes that the Western European Union shall provide the European Union with access to an operational capability for 'humanitarian and rescue tasks, peace-keeping tasks and tasks of combat forces in crisis management, including peacemaking'. Making reference to the 1992 WEU Petersberg Declaration, these tasks are commonly known as Petersberg operations. This provision constitutes the Integration of a part of the 'WEU acquis' into the framework of the European Union, even though there is no institutional integration between the two organizations or legal interweave between their constituent treaties. The decision-making mechanism for Petersberg operations must be considered in relation to the new CFSP set of acts and involves considerable interplay between the European Council the Council and WEU Council of Ministers. Several problems might arise from the different voting systems of these institutions and a specific question is posed by the more restricted composition of the WEU with respect to the EU, namely the five EU Member States which are not fully-fledged WEU members. The development ofan EU crisis management capability could have a number of positive consequences, both on an inter-European level and externally.

1 The Notion of Petersberg Operations
In the early 1990s the tasks of conflict management and peace-keeping, which once appeared to belong exclusively to the United Nations, became an area of growing interest for regional security organizations. This trend derived from both a stronger demand for mechanisms of crisis prevention and management and from the will to revitalize these organizations in the post-Cold War security environment. * Researcher In International law. University of Pisa.

European ]ournal of International Law 9 (1998), 737-749


EJ1L 9 (1998). 737-749

In June 1992, NATO Foreign Ministers, at the Ministerial Meeting of the North Atlantic Council in Oslo, announced the Organization's willingness to support peace-keeping activities.1 In July 1992, the Helsinki Document provided the framework for the commitment of the Conference on Security and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) to peace-keeping.2 During the same period, the Member States of the European Communities initiated a process of establishing more appropriate Instruments for cooperation In foreign and defence policy. In February 1992, the Treaty on European Union (TEU) was concluded and its Title V on Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP) suggested a stronger role for the European Union (EU) in international security matters. Under Article J.4 of the Treaty, the Western European Union (WEU), described as 'an integral part of the development of the Union', was called on 'to elaborate and implement decisions and actions of the Union which have defence implications'.3 In June 1992, WEU Foreign and Defence Ministers met in Bonn to develop the role of WEU as the defence component of the EU, to strengthen its operational capacity and to define the relations between the WEU and non-member states. In the final document, the Petersberg Declaration,4 the Council of Ministers agreed to expand WEU functions in order to include the planning and execution of a range of peace-related operations. Part n, para. 4 of the Declaration, entitled 'On Strengthening WEU's Operational Role', announced: Apart from contributing to the common defence In accordance with Article 5 of the Washington Treaty and Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty respectively, military units of WEU Member States, acting under the authority of WEU, could be employed for — Humanitarian and rescue tasks; — Peace-keeping tasks; — Tasks of combat forces In crisis management. Including peacemaking.

These tasks have since become known as Petersberg...
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