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Western European Armaments Organisation

Volume 300: debated on Wednesday 5 November 1997

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To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement about the legal status of the Western European Armaments Organisation. [13901]

The Western European Armaments Organisation (WEAO) was established on 19 November 1996 when the Western European Union (WEU) Council of Ministers, meeting in Ostend, adopted the WEAO Charter, thereby granting the Organisation the status of WEU subsidiary body, in accordance with Article VIII(2) of the Modified Brussels Treaty. The WEAO constitutes an integral part of the WEU and, as such, shares in the legal personality of the WEU.

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence if he will make a statement on the benefits to the United Kingdom of membership of the Western European Armaments Organisation, indicating the partnership projects and the countries with which these are undertaken. [13903]

The Western European Armaments Organisation (WEAO) was established on 19 November 1996. Participants are the 13 nations, including the UK, of the Western European Armaments Group. Since 1 April 1997, the organisation has provided essential support to a pre-existing co-operative defence research programme known as EUCLID (European Co-operation for the Long Term in Defence). The UK is an active member of this programme, currently participating in over 40 co-operative research and technology projects. As yet, no partnerships have been established within the WEAO.