HC Deb 20 December 1999 vol 341 c322W
Sir Peter Emery

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs what action he is taking to ensure that in plans for the European Security and Defence Identity the views of the neutral and non-NATO nations are not able to prevent the rapid exercise of military judgment. [102087]

Mr. Hoon

I have been asked to reply.

There is no reason to believe that the non-NATO Members of the European Union will obstruct the rapid and effective exercise of military judgment in any future EU-led crisis management operation. Operations for territorial or collective defence will remain a matter for NATO.

Under the arrangements agreed at the recent Helsinki European Council, all EU member states will be entitled to participate on an equal basis in EU decision-making. Once a decision to launch an EU-led operation has been taken only countries contributing to the operation would participate in day-to-day decision-making.

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