Maastricht Treaty Title V
PROVISIONS ON A COMMON FOREIGN AND SECURITY POLICY
A common foreign and security policy is hereby established which shall be
governed by the following provisions.
- The union and its Member States shall define and implement a common foreign
and security policy, governed by the provisions of the Title and covering all
areas of foreign and security policy.
- The objectives of the common foreign and security policy shall be:
- to safeguard the common values, fundamental interests and independence of
- to strengthen the security of the Union and its Member States in all ways;
- to preserve peace and strengthen international security, in accordance with
the principles of the United Nations Charter as well as the principles of the
Helsinki Final Act and the objectives of the Paris Charter;
- to promote international cooperation;
- to develop and consolidate democracy and the rule of law, and respect for
human rights and fundamental freedoms.
- The Union shall pursue these objectives;
- by establishing systematic cooperation between Member States in the conduct
of policy, in accordance with Article J.2;
- by gradually implementing, in accordance with Article J.3, joint action in
the areas in which the Member States have important interests in common.
- The Member States shall support the Union's external and security policy
actively and unreservedly in a spirit of loyalty and mutual solidarity. They
shall refrain from any action which is contrary to the interests of the Union
or likely to impair its effectiveness as a cohesive force in international
relations. The Council shall ensure that these principles are complied with.
- Member States shall inform and consult one another within the Council on
any matter of foreign and security policy of general interest in order to
ensure that their combined influence is exerted as effectively as possible by
means of concerted and convergent action.
- Whenever it deems it necessary, the Council shall define a common position.
Member States shall ensure that their national policies conform on the common
- Member States shall coordinate their action in international organizations
and at international conferences. They shall uphold the common positions in
In international organizations and at international conferences where not all
the Member States participate, those which do take part shall uphold the
The procedure for adopting joint action in matters covered by foreign and
security policy shall be the following:
- The Council shall decide, on the basis of general guidelines from the
European Council, that a matter should be the subject of joint action.
Whenever the Council decides on the principle of joint action, it shall lay
down the specific scope, the Union's general and specific objectives in
carrying out such action, if necessary its duration, and the means, procedures
and conditions for its implementation.
- The Council shall, when adopting the joint action and at any stage during
its development, define those matters on which decisions are to be taken by a
Where the Council is required to act by a qualified majority pursuant to the
preceding subparagraph, the votes of its members shall be weighted in
accordance with Article 148(2) of the Treaty establishing the European
Community, and for their adoption, acts of the Council shall require at least
fifty-four votes in favour, cast by at least eight members.
- If there is a change in circumstances having a substantial effect on a
question subject to joint action, the Council shall review the principles and
objectives of that action and take the necessary decisions. As long as the
Council has not acted, the joint action shall stand.
- Joint actions shall commit the Member States in the positions they adopt
and in the conduct of their activity.
- Whenever there is any plan to adopt a national position or take national
action pursuant to a joint action, information shall be provided in time to
allow, if necessary, for prior consultations within the Council. The
obligation to provide prior information shall not apply to measures which are
merely a national transposition of Council decisions.
- In cases of imperative need arising from changes in the situation and
failing a Council decision, Member States may take the necessary measures as a
matter of urgency having regard to the general objectives of the joint action.
The Member State concerned shall inform the Council immediately of any such
- Should there be any major difficulties in implementing a joint action, a
Member State shall refer them to the Council which shall discuss them and seek
appropriate solutions. Such solutions shall not run counter to the objectives
of the joint action or impair its effectiveness.
- The common foreign and security policy shall include all questions related
to the security of the Union, including the eventual framing of a common
defence policy, which might in time lead to a common defence.
- The union requests the Western European Union (WEU), which is an integral
part of the development of the Union, to elaborate and implement decisions and
actions of the Union which have defence implications. The Council shall, in
agreement with the institutions of the WEU, adopt the necessary practical
- Issues having defence implications dealt with under this Article shall not
be subject to the procedures set out in Article J.3.
- The policy of the Union in accordance with this Article shall not prejudice
the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member
States and shall respect the obligations of certain Member States under the
North Atlantic Treaty and be compatible with the common security and defence
policy established within that framework.
- The provisions of this Article shall not prevent the development of closer
cooperation between two or more Member States on a bilateral level, in the
framework of the WEU and the Atlantic Alliance, provided such cooperation does
not run counter to or impede that provided for in this Title.
- With a view to furthering the objective of this Treaty, and having in view
the date of 1998 in the context of Article XII of the Brussels Treaty, the
provisions of this Article may be revised as provided for in Article N(2) on
the basis of a report to be presented in 1996 by the Council to the European
Council, which shall include an evaluation of the progress made and the
experience gained until then.
- The Presidency shall represent the Union in matters coming within the
common foreign and security policy.
- The Presidency shall be responsible for the implementation of common
measures; in that capacity it shall in principle express the position of the
Union in international organizations and international conferences.
- In the tasks referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2, the presidency shall be
assisted if needs be by the previous and next Member States to hold the
Presidency. The Commission shall be fully associated in these tasks.
- Without prejudice to Article J.2(3) and Article J.3(4), Member States
represented in international organizations or international conferences where
not all the Member States participate shall keep the latter informed of any
matter of common interest.
Member States which are also members of the United Nations Security Council
will concert and keep the other Member States fully informed. Member States
which are permanent members of the Security Council will, in the execution of
their functions, ensure the defence of the positions and the interests of the
union, without prejudice to their responsibilities under the provisions of the
United Nations Charter.
The diplomatic and consular missions of the Member States and the Commission
Delegations in third countries and international conferences, and their
representations to international organizations, shall cooperate in ensuring
that the common positions and common measures adopted by the Council are
complied with and implemented.
They shall step up cooperation by exchanging information, carrying out joint
assessments and contributing to the implementation of the provisions referred
to in Article 8c of the Treaty establishing the European Community.
The Presidency shall consult the European Parliament on the main aspects and
the basic choices of the common foreign and security policy and shall ensure
that the views of the European Parliament are duly taken into consideration.
The European Parliament shall be kept regularly informed by the Presidency and
the Commission of the development of the Union's foreign and security policy.
The European Parliament may ask questions of the Councils or make
recommendations to it. It shall hold an annual debate on progress in
implementing the common foreign and security policy.
- The European Council shall define the principles of and general guidelines
for the common foreign and security policy.
- The Council shall take the decisions necessary for defining and
implementing the common foreign and security policy on the basis of the
general guidelines adopted by the European Council. It shall ensure the unity,
consistency and effectiveness of action by the Union.
The Council shall act unanimously, except for procedural questions and in the
case referred to in Article J.3(2).
- Any Member State or the Commission may refer to the Council any question
relating to the common foreign policy and may submit proposals to the Council.
- In cases requiring a rapid decision, the Presidency, of its own motion, or
at the request of the Commission or a Member State, shall convene an
extraordinary Council meeting within forty-eight hours or, in an emergency,
within a shorter period.
- Without prejudice to Article 151 of the Treaty establishing the European
Community, a Political Committee consisting of Political Directors shall
monitor the international situation in the areas covered by common foreign and
security policy and contribute to the definition of policies by delivering
opinions to the Council at the request of the Council or on its own
initiative. It shall also monitor the implementation of agreed policies,
without prejudice to the responsibility of the Presidency and the Commission.
The Commission shall be fully associated with the work carried out in the
common foreign and security policy field.
On the occasion of any review of the security provisions under Article J.4,
the Conference which is convened to that effect shall also examine whether any
other amendments need to be made to provisions relating to the common foreign
and security policy.
- The provisions referred to in Articles 137, 138, 139 to 142, 146, 147, 150
to 153, 157 to 163 and 217 of the Treaty establishing the European Community
shall apply to the provisions relating to the areas referred to in this Title.
- Administrative expenditure which the provisions relating to the areas
referred to in this Title entail for the institutions shall be charged to the
budget of the European Communities.
The Council may also:
- either decide unanimously that operational expenditure to which the
implementation of those provisions gives rise is to be charged to the budget
of the European Communities; in that event, the budgetary procedure laid down
in the Treaty establishing the European Community shall be applicable;
- or determine that such expenditure shall be charged to the Member States,
where appropriate in accordance with a scale to be decided.