HC Deb 05 November 1987 vol 121 cc813-4W
Mr. Hill

asked the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what is Her Majesty's Government's policy towards reforms to the institutions and practices of the Western European Union; and what was the outcome of talks in The Hague for resiting the offices in London and Paris in some other capital city of a member state.

Mr. Mellor

Our policy is that Western European Union institutions should be structured to enable the organisation to be an effective forum for joint security consultations between WEU Foreign and Defence Ministers. The Paris agencies should be responsive to council requirements and merged into a single, streamlined unit under one director reporting to the secretary general. The London secretariat should be strengthened so that it can service the council efficiently. Both bodies should be collocated in one city to form an integrated, flexible, and cost-effective unit. Ministers at The Hague agreed that collocation should take place, but did not agree on a site. This question will now be pursued further, with the aim of drawing up detailed recommendations for the spring ministerial meeting.

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