The End of Europe’s First Cold War Defense Alliance

From AFP:  The Cold War-era Western European Union defence alliance, set up in the wake of World War II, has been dissolved, the organisation’s presidency said in a statement Wednesday.

The WEU was formed by Belgium, Britain, France, Luxembourg and the Netherlands in 1948 and expanded to include Germany, Italy, Spain and others, but its role disappeared with NATO and the EU providing security in Europe.

"The WEU has therefore fulfilled its historic role. That is why we, the states party to the modified Treaty of Brussels, have collectively decided to end the treaty and thereby close the organisation," the statement said.

The 10 member states have requested the presidency to wind up the organisation’s operations in their entirety by the end of June 2011. …

A decision was taken in 2000 to scrap ministerial meetings, since when all decisions have been taken by written procedure. …

The last nail in its coffin was the passage in December of the EU’s reforming Lisbon Treaty, which includes an assistance clause and permits the creation of ad hoc inter-parliamentary groups.  (photo: AFP)

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