The Brussels Treaty on the Western European Union [*]
Done at: Brussels
Date enacted: 1948-03-17
In force: 1948-08-25
The High Contracting Parties,
To reaffirm their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the other ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations;
To fortify and preserve the principles of democracy, personal freedom and political liberty, the constitutional traditions and the rule of law, which are their common heritage;
To strengthen, with these aims in view, the economic, social and cultural ties by which they are already united;
To co-operate loyally and to co-ordinate their efforts to create in Western Europe a firm basis for European economic recovery;
To afford assistance to each other, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, in maintaining international peace and security and in resisting any policy of aggression;
To promote the unity and to encourage the progressive integration of Europe;[Annotation 1]
To associate progressively in the pursuance of these aims other States inspired by the same ideals and animated by the like determination;
Desiring for these purposes to conclude a treaty for collaboration in economic, social and cultural matters and for collective self-defence;
Have agreed as follows:
Convinced of the close community of their interests and of the necessity of uniting in order to promote the economic recovery of Europe, the High Contracting Parties will so organise and co-ordinate their economic activities as to produce the best possible results, by the elimination of conflict in their economic policies, the co-ordination of production and the development of commercial exchanges.
The co-operation provided for in the preceding paragraph, which will be effected through the Council referred to in Article VIII[Annotation 2], as well as through other bodies, shall not involve any duplication of, or prejudice to, the work of other economic organisations in which the High Contracting Parties are or may be represented but shall on the contrary assist the work of those organisations.
The High Contracting Parties will make every effort in common, both by direct consultation and in specialised agencies, to promote the attainment of a higher standard of living by their peoples and to develop on corresponding lines the social and other related services of their countries.
The High Contracting Parties will consult with the object of achieving the earliest possible application of recommendations of immediate practical interest, relating to social matters, adopted with their approval in the specialised agencies.
They will endeavour to conclude as soon as possible conventions with each other in the sphere of social security.
The High Contracting Parties will make every effort in common to lead their peoples towards a better understanding of the principles which form the basis of their common civilisation and to promote cultural exchanges by conventions between themselves or by other means.
Article IV[Annotation 3]
In the execution of the Treaty, the High Contracting Parties and any Organs established by Them under the Treaty shall work in close co-operation with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.
Recognising the undesirability of duplicating the military staffs of NATO, the Council and its Agency will rely on the appropriate military authorities of NATO for information and advice on military matters.
If any of the High Contracting Parties should be the object of an armed attack in Europe, the other High Contracting Parties will, in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, afford the Party so attacked all the military and other aid and assistance in their power.
All measures taken as a result of the preceding Article shall be immediately reported to the Security Council. They shall be terminated as soon as the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The present Treaty does not prejudice in any way the obligations of the High Contracting Parties under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. It shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The High Contracting Parties declare, each so far as he is concerned, that none of the international engagements now in force between him and any other of the High Contracting Parties or any third State is in conflict with the provisions of the present Treaty.
None of the High Contracting Parties will conclude any alliance or participate in any coalition directed against any other of the High Contracting Parties.
Article VIII[Annotation 4]
For the purposes of strengthening peace and security and of promoting unity and of encouraging the progressive integration of Europe and closer co-operation between Them and with other European organisations, the High Contracting Parties to the Brussels Treaty shall create a Council to consider matters concerning the execution of this Treaty and of its Protocols and their Annexes.
This Council shall be known as the “Council of Western European Union”; it shall be so organised as to be able to exercise its functions continuously; it shall set up such subsidiary bodies as may be considered necessary: in particular it shall establish immediately an Agency for the Control of Armaments whose functions are defined in Protocol No. IV.
At the request of any of the High Contracting Parties the Council shall be immediately convened in order to permit Them to consult with regard to any situation which may constitute a threat to peace, in whatever area this threat should arise, or a danger to economic stability.
The Council shall decide by unanimous vote questions for which no other voting procedure has been or may be agreed. In the cases provided for in Protocols II, III and IV it will follow the various voting procedures, unanimity, two-thirds majority, simple majority, laid down therein. It will decide by simple majority questions submitted to it by the Agency for the Control of Armaments.
Article IX[Annotation 5]
The Council of Western European Union shall make an annual report on its activities and in particular concerning the control of armaments to an Assembly composed of representatives of the Brussels Treaty Powers to the Consultative Assembly of the Council of Europe.
In pursuance of their determination to settle disputes only by peaceful means, the High Contracting Parties will apply to disputes between themselves the following provisions:
The High Contracting Parties will, while the present Treaty remains in force, settle all disputes falling within the scope of Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice, by referring them to the Court, subject only, in the case of each of them, to any reservation already made by that Party when accepting this clause for compulsory jurisdiction to the extent that that Party may maintain the reservation.
In addition, the High Contracting Parties will submit to conciliation all disputes outside the scope of Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice.
In the case of a mixed dispute involving both questions for which conciliation is appropriate and other questions for which judicial settlement is appropriate, any Party to the dispute shall have the right to insist that the judicial settlement of the legal questions shall precede conciliation.
The preceding provisions of this Article in no way affect the application of relevant provisions or agreements prescribing some other method of pacific settlement.
The High Contracting Parties may, by agreement, invite any other State to accede to the present Treaty on conditions to be agreed between them and the State so invited.
Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing an instrument of accession with the Belgian Government.
The Belgian Government will inform each of the High Contracting Parties of the deposit of each instrument of accession.
The present Treaty shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited as soon as possible with the Belgian Government.
It shall enter into force on the date of the deposit of the last instrument of ratification and shall thereafter remain in force for fifty years.
After the expiry of the period of fifty years, each of the High Contracting Parties shall have the right to cease to be a party thereto provided that he shall have previously given one year’s notice of denunciation to the Belgian Government.
The Belgian Government shall inform the Governments of the other High Contracting Parties of the deposit of each instrument of ratification and of each notice of denunciation.
This treaty is officially titled "Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defence"
As amended by Protocol No. I (Paris Agreements) 1954-10-23, in force 1955-05-06.
The Western European Union (WEU) was established as a result of the Paris Agreement amendments to this treaty.