17 March 1948
Western European Union (WEU) / Brussels Treaty deposit in Central Archives of the Council of Europe
The Treaty on Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defence (the Brussels Treaty) was signed in Brussels on 17 March 1948 by five European countries: the United Kingdom, Belgium, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
From the beginning, the Brussels Treaty Organisation and the Council of Europe have worked together closely, exchanging documents and participating in each other's conferences.
In August 1950 the Assembly recommended that the Brussels Treaty's social and cultural activities be transferred to the Council of Europe (Rec(1950)19). This recommendation was followed up by Resolution 23 of 2 May 1951.
In 1951 the Council of Europe established an agreement with the Brussels Treaty Organisation, whereby the Brussels Treaty Organisation would transmit annual reports to both organs of the Council of Europe for comment (SG/D(60)4 p. 4).
In October 1954 in Paris the Brussels Treaty was amended and the Western European Union (WEU) emerged as a result.
Two more states joined at this point: Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany.
The close cooperation between the Council of Europe and the WEU is attested by the Article IX of the amended Brussels Treaty text: "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"
This close cooperation is demonstrated in the following documents: A/1559 [fr]; Resolution 67; WEU Doc. 20 [fr]; Agreement between the Secretariat General of the Council of Europe and the Secretariat General of the Brussels Treaty Organisation
A general survey of the close collaboration between the two institutions can be found in Twenty Years in the Service of Europe: From Brussels Treaty Organisation to the Council of Europe.
On 1 January 1960 in accordance with the decision taken on 21st October 1959 by the Council of Western European Union and with Resolution(59)23 adopted on 16th November 1959 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe, the WEU activities in social and cultural areas (Social Committee, Public Health Committee, Joint Committee on the Rehabilitation and Resettlement of the Disabled and Cultural Committee) were transferred to the Council of Europe which was already running programmes in these fields. The European Universities Committee (see CM(60)4; C(59)127 and CM(59)130) was transferred to the Council of Europe separately from the rest of WEU cultural activities.
7-11 May 1948
Congress of the Hague
"The Congress of the Hague is surely one of the most remarkable events of the closing century. Until that moment "treaties of peace" were signed following wars, and were not worthy of their name. Imposed by the victors on the vanquished, they provoked, more than anything, a need for revenge. At the Hague, it was no longer a question of preparing treaties, but rather of reuniting the people of Europe in a common organisation capable of ensuring a lasting peace.", Pierre Pflimlin, former President of the Consultative Assembly.
Congress of Europe, The Hague, 7-11 May 1948, ISBN 92-871-3918-0 (proceedings, 452 p.) (opens new window)