The 10 Nations: Still Going Strong - What Holly Thinks

Fulfilled Prophecy (Link) - Holly Pivec (December 10, 2009)

FP has a very active discussion board, and everyday I try to check in on some of the conversations taking place. Recently, I noticed a question some of our board members asked about if the Western European Union was still made up of 10 nations or if it had expanded to 27 nations.

I knew it was still made up of 10 nations, but didn�t weigh in on the discussion because I was confident one of the board members would find out the answer and share it with the others. I was right. One of our members e-mailed the question directly to the Assembly of the Western European Union. He received a reply from the assembly�s press officer, Corine Caballero-Bourdot.

I wanted to reprint the answer here because I think it shows a couple of important things. First, it helps clear up confusion about the alliance by explaining the difference between the WEU (the 10-nation military alliance) and the Assembly of the WEU (a 27-nation parliamentary assembly that oversees the work of the WEU). The WEU remains a 10-nation military alliance that has risen out of the ashes of the old Roman Empire, and, as such, should continue to be watched by students of prophecy.

Second � and most fascinating � the answer reveals that the 10-nation alliance is still going strong. It hasn�t been dissolved by the Lisbon Treaty and, in fact, appears to have no intention of being dissolved any time soon. Note how the press officer calls the treaty that created the 10-nation alliance �the most binding mutual defence treaty in the West� � even surpassing NATO.

Also note how ardently she defends the continuation of the 10-nation alliance. In her reply, you can sense the annoyance the Assembly feels at the media�s suggestions that the alliance may soon be replaced by the Lisbon Treaty. The only way the alliance can be dissolved, according to Caballero-Bourdot, is if the 10 nations themselves agree to dissolve it.

I�ve highlighted the parts of her answer that are especially revealing. Here it is:

Thank you for your message. The EU, its defence policy and the WEU are indeed fascinating and ever-changing topics worthy or further research. Wikipedia can also be a useful tool for research, but can sometimes be misleading. Here is a clarification to help you:

1) You are right when you state that the WEU itself has 10 full Member States, 5 observer countries, 6 associate member countries and 7 associate partner countries. There is however a difference between the WEU (established to implement the 1948 Brussels Treaty) and the WEU ASSEMBLY (AWEU � established in 1954 by the Modified Brussels Treaty) which overseas the work of the WEU.

2) The WEU ASSEMBLY is composed of members of national parliaments (equivalent of senators and congressmen in the US) from member states who ensure the democratic supervision or oversight over the WEU; their job is to issue recommendations to the Council and also to report back to their parliaments on the work performed by the WEU.

3) Since December 1999, the crisis-management role and other operational aspects of the WEU were gradually transferred to the EU. The restructured WEU thus keeps �residual functions�, including work relating to articles V (mutual defence) and IX (institutional dialogue with the WEU ASSEMBLY), archives and the administration of pensions. The WEU ASSEMBLY, however, was not transferred. It thus had to adapt itself and renamed itself EUROPEAN SECURITY AND DEFENCE ASSEMBLY (ESDA), while still keeping its original name as well.

4) As the number of states involved in crisis management grew from 10 full members under the WEU to 27 members as part of the EU, the ESDA/AWEU expanded its membership from 10 to 27, as national parliamentarians from all 27 countries should have oversight over the EU�s action in security and defence. However, no change was made to the official member list of the residual WEU: its members remained at 10. Hence the difference between the 10 full members of the WEU and the 27 full members of the ESDA/AWEU.

5) On a side note, Article V, ensuring mutual defence, of the WEU Treaty still exists, and still remains the most binding mutual defence treaty in the West. Even the NATO article V is not as stringent. Here is a short comparison:

WEU Article V: If any of the High Contracting Parties should be the object of an armed attack in Europe, the other High Contracting Parties will (�) afford the Party so attacked all the military and other aid and assistance in their power.

NATO Article V: (If) an armed attack occurs, each [party] will assist the Party or Parties so attacked by taking forthwith (�) such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area.

EU Lisbon Treaty Article 42 (TEU):
7. If a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States.

Commitments and cooperation in this area shall be consistent with commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which, for those States which are members of it, remains the foundation of their collective defence and the forum for its implementation.

EU Lisbon Treaty Article 188r: (�) The Union shall mobilise all the instruments at its disposal, including the military resources made available by the Member States (�)

Notice the difference between the WEU�s �will afford all the military and other aid� and NATO�s �action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force� and the EU�s �including the military resources� (Art. 188r) and �This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States.� (Art. 42.7). As long as the WEU treaty has not been denounced by its 10 member states, it remains valid, despite the recent lack of media intention, and the faulty interpretation by some analysts who believe that the Lisbon Treaty replaces the WEU Art. V.

I hope we were able to clarify the situation. Please do not hesitate to ask any further question. We can also provide you with additional electronic or paper material for further research.

With my best regards,

Corine Caballero-Bourdot
Head of External relations and Press Officer
European Security and Defence Assembly / Assembly of Western European Union
Paris, 27/11/2009