HL Deb 19 December 1983 vol 446 cc579-80WA
The Duke of Portland

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What merits are seen in the European Parliament taking over the treaty responsibilities of the Assembly of the Western European Union, given the Parliament's regular debates on matters falling within European political co-operation.

Baroness Young

The Assembly of the Western European Union is the only European parliamentary forum specifically empowered to debate defence matters. Defence questions lie outside the competence of the European Communities and are not discussed in European Political Co-operation. It would not be appropriate therefore for the European Parliament to take over the responsibilities of the Western European Union Assembly.