University of Minnesota

Declaration by the European Council on the Environmental
Imperative, Bull. Eur. Comm., No. 6, at 17 (1990).



Declaration by the European Council on the Environmental Imperative


1. Introduction

The European Council agreed at its meeting on 28 April 1990 that a point had been reached where the further dynamic development of the Community has become an imperative not only because it corresponds to the direct interest of the twelve Member States but also because it has become a crucial element in the progress that is being made in establishing a reliable framework for peace and security in Europe. The European Council confirmed in this context its commitment to political union and decided that Foreign Ministers should carry out a detailed examination of the need for possible treaty changes and prepare proposals for the European Council.

Written contributions have been submitted be Member States and ideas and suggestions compiled. Foreign Ministers carried out an examination and analysis of the issues at meetings in May and June with a view to the debate in the European Council on the convening of an Intergovernmental Conference on Political Union to define the necessary framework for tranfroming relations as a whole among the Member States into a European Union invested with the necessary means of action.

The result of this work is set out below.


2. The overall objective of Political Union

Political Union will need to strengthen in a global and balanced manner the capacity of the Community and its Member States to act in the areas of their common interests. The unity and coherence of its policies and actions should be ensured through strong and democratic institutions.

The Union will remain open to membership by other European states who accept its final goals, while developing closer relations with other countries in the spirit of the Rhodes declaration.

The transformation of the Community from an entity mainly based on economic integration and political cooperation into a union of a politcal nature, including a common foreign and security policy, raises a number of general questions:

a) Scope:

-To what extent does the Union require further transfer of competence to the Community along with the provision of means necessary to achieve its objectives.

-How will the Union include and extend the notion of Community citizenship carrying with it specific rights (human, political, social, the right of complete free movement and residence...) for the citizens of Member States be virtue of these states belonging to the Union.

-To what extent will other areas currently dealt with in Intergovernmental Cooperation be included, such as aspects of free circulation of persons, the fight against drugs, police and judicial cooperation.

b) Institutional aspects:

-To what extent will new or changed instutional arrangements be required to ensure the unity and coherence of all the constituent elements of the European Union.

-How should the role of the European Council, as defined in the Solemn Declaration on European Union and in the Single European Act, be developed in the construction of the Union?

c) General Principles

The following questions should be considered with regard to certain general priciples which have been advanced:

-in the context of ensuring respect of national identities and fundamental institutions: how best to reflect what is not implied by Political Union,

-in the context of the application of the principle of subsidiarity: how to define it in such a way as to quarantee its operational effectiveness.


3. Democratic legitimacy

It is necessary to ensure that the principle of democratic accountability to which all Member States of the Community subscribe should be fully respected at Community level. The ongoing transfer of tasks to the Community and the corresponding increase in the power and responsibilities of its Institutions require a strengthening of democratic control. This objective should be pursued through a range of measures, among which could be the following:

-increased involvement for the European Parliament

=in the legislative process possibly including forms of co-decision,

=in the field of external relations.

-increased accountability through reinforced control by the European Parliament over the implementation of agreed Community policies;

-a reinforcement of the democratic character of other Institutions (e.g. specific role of the European Parliament in the nomination of the President and Members of the Commission, greater transparency and openness in the working of the Community...);

-greater involvement of the national Parliaments in the democratic process within the Union, in particular in areas where new competence will be transferred to the Union.


4. Efficiency and effectiveness of the Community and its Institutions

The adequacy of the Community's response, and of that of its Institutions, to the needs arising from the new situation as well as from the implementation of the Internal Market, the attainment of EMU, the achievement of the aims of the Single European Act, the development of new policies and the enhancement of the Community's international role, including its capacity to respond to the aspirations of countries who wish to see their relations with the Community strengthened), should be examined from two angles: firstly, how to meet the challenges which the Community faces in an overall and balanced way; secondly, from the angle of the functioning of the Institutions.

The question of the functioning of the Institutions should be examined at several operational levels, while respecting the general balance between Institutions:

-The European Parliament: (cf. point 3 above);

The Council: improving the decision-making process inter alia by enlarging the field covered by qualified majority voting; central coordination through the General Affairs Council; concentration and rationalisation of Council work in general,

-The Commission: the number of its Members and strengthening of its executive role with regard to implementing Community policies;

-The Court of Justice: inter alia automatic enforceabiltiy of its judgements where relevant;

-The Court of Auditors: the strengthening of its role in ensuring sound financial management;

-Member States: ensuring the implementation and observance of Community law and European Court judgements.

In addition, consideration should be given to a review of the different types of legal instruments of the Community.


5. Unity and coherence of the Community's international action

In accordance with the conclusions reached by the European Council at Dublin on 28 April 1990, the Community will act as a political entity on the international scene.

The proposal for a common foreign and security policy which takes account of the common interests of the Member States, acting with consistency and solidarity, and which institutionally goes beyond Political Cooperation as it currently functions, raises a number of questions, in particular the following:

a) scope

-the integration of economic, political and security aspects of foreign policy

-the definition of the security dimension

-the strengthening of the Community's diplomatic and political action vis a vis third countries, in international organisations and in other multilateral fora

-the evolution of the transfer of competences to the Union, and in particular the definition of priority areas where transfer would take place at an initial stage.

b) decision-making:

-use of the Community method (in full or in adapted form) and/or a sui generis method bearing in mind the possibilities offered by the evolution over time of the degree of transfer of competence to the Union, referred to above;

-the Commission's role, including the faculty of launching initiatives and proposals;

-establishment of a single decision-making structure; central role of the General Affairs Council and the European Council in this context; preparatory bodies; the organisation and strengthening of the Secretariat;

-modalities aimed at ensuring the necessary flexibility and efficiency to meet the requirements of formulation of foreign policy in various areas; consideration of decision procedures including the consensus rule, voting practices involving unanimity with abstentions, and qualified majority voting inspecific areas.

c) Implementation

There is a recognised need for clear rules and modalities for the implementation of the common foreign policy; the following are to be examined in this context:

-role of the Presidency, (and of the Troika), and of the secretariat,

-role of the Commission

-the role of national diplomatic services in a strengthened collaboration.





The natural environmet which forms the life support system of our planet is gravely at risk. The earth's atmosphere is seriously threatened. The condition of water resources, including the seas and oceans, is causing concern, natural resources are being depleted and there is a growing loss of genetic diversity. The quality of life- indeed, the continuation of life- could no longer be assure were recent trends to proceed unchallenged.

As Heads of State and Government of the European Community, we recognise our special responsibility for the environment both to our own citizens and to the wider world. We undertake to intensify our efforts to protect and enhance the natural environment of the Community itself and the world of which it is part. We intend that action by the Community and its Member States will be developed on a coordinated basis and on the principles of sustainable development and preventative and precautionary action. We have, therefore, adopted the following Declaration setting out guidelines for future action.


The Community Dimension

The obligations of the European Community and its Member States in the area of environmental protection are clearly defined in the Treaties. There is also an increasing acceptance of a wider responsibility, as one of the foremost regional groupings in the world, to play a leading role in promoting concerted and effective action at global level, working with other industrialised countries, and assisting developing countries to overcome their special difficulties. The Community's credibility and effectiveness at this wider level depends in large measure on the ability to adopt progressive environmental measures for implementation adn enforcement by its Member States. The internal and external dimensions of Community environment: policy are therefore inextricably linked.

Completion of the Internal Market in 1992 will provide a major impetus to economic development in the Community. There must be a corresponding accelerationof effort to ensure that this development is sustainable and environmentally sound. In particular, the environmental risks inherent in greater production and in increased demand for transport, energy and infrastructure must be countered and environmental considerations must be fully and effectively integrated into these and all other policy areas.

The Community and the Member States must find effective solutions to all forms of pollution, including that created by the agricultural sector, and should support efforts to promote clean technology and non-polluting processes and products in industry. Better arrangements are also needed to protect the seas and coastal regions of Member States from the threat posed be the transport of oil and hazardous substances. This applies in particular to the marine waters to the west and south of the Community where new co-operation arrangements should be developed without delay, with the help of the Commission.

While welcome progress has been made in recent times in the adoption of environmental measures at Community level, much more needs to be done taking due account of the subsidiarity principle, the differing environmental conditions in the regions of the Community and the need for balanced and cohesive development of these regions. We urge the Council and the Commission to press ahead with their work on this basis. The forthcoming Intergovernmental Conference should address ways of accelerating Community decision-making on environmental legislation with a view to providing the Community with the necessary capacity in all respects to respond to the urgency of the situation.

Community environmental legislation will only be effective if it is fully implemented and enforced by Member States. We therefore renew our commitment in this respect. To ensure transparency, comparabilty of effort and full information for the public, we invite the Commission to conduct regular reviews and to publish detailed reports on its findings. There should also be periodic evaluations of existing Directives to ensure that they are adapted to scientific and technical progress and to resolve persistent difficulties in implementation; such reviews should not, of course, lead to a reduced standard of environmental protection in any case.

Standards designed to ensure a high level of environmental protection will remain the conerstone of Community environment policy. But the traditional "command and control" approach should now be supplemented, where appropriate, by economic and fiscal measures if environmental considerations are to be fully integrated into other policy areas, if pollution is to be the prevented at source, and if the polluter is to pay. We therefore call on the Commission to accelerate its work in this field and to present, before the end of 1990, proposals for a framework or guidelines within which such measures could be put into effect by the Member States in a manner consistent with the Treaties.

Implementation of Community environmental measures and the protection of the common European heritage can give rise to unequal burdens for individual Member States. In this context, we welcome the recent ENVIREG initiative, under which support from the Structural Funds will be provided for the management of hazardous wastes and the treatment of coastal waste water discharges. We invite the Commission to review the overall level of budgetary resources devoted to Community environment policy, currently through a number of serparate funding mechanisms, and to submit its findings to the Council as soon as posssible.


Global Issues

The Community and its Member States have a special responsibility to encourage and participate in international action to combat global environmental problems. Their capacity to provide leadership in this sphere is enormous. The Community must use more efffectively its position of moral, economic and political authority to advance international efforts to solve global problems and to promote sustainable development and respect for the global commons. In particular, the Antarctic deserves special protection as the last great unspoiled wilderness. The Community should also support efforts to build into international structures the capacity to respond more effectively to global problems.

Depletion of the ozone layer is a major cause for concern. The Community has already agreed to press for revision of the Montreal Protocol on substances which deplete the ozone layer so as to speed up considerably the complete elimination of these substances. It is also committed to the provision of additional finacial and technical resources to assist developing countries in implementing the Protocol. We call on all the Contracting Parties to the Protocol to support these proposals and we call on States which have not already done so urgently to ratify or accede to the Protocol.

Recent scientific assessments show that man-made emissions are substantially increasing the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and that a business-as-ususal approach will lead to additional globalwarming in the decades to come. We urge all countries to introduce extensive energy efficiency and conservation measures and to adopt as soon as possible targets and strategies for limiting emmissions of greenhouse gases. We call on the Commission to expedite its proposals for concrete action and, in particular, measures relating to carbon dioxide emissions, with a view to establishing a strong Community position in preparation for the Second World Climate Conference. The Community and its Member States will take all possible steps to promote the early adoption of a Climate Convention and associated protocols, including one on tropical forest protection.

We are gravely concerned at the continuing and rapid destruction of the tropical forests. We welcome the commitment of the new Government of Brazil to halt this destruction and to promote sustainable forest management. The Community and its Member States will actively support this process. We have asked the Commission to open discussions as a matter of urgency with Brazil and the other Amazonian Pact countries with a view to devoloping a concrete action programme involving the Community, its Member States and these countries. Elements for priority consideration should include dept for forest conservation exchanges; codes of conduct for timber importing industries; and the additional resources necessary to enable the forests to be preserved and managed on a sustainable basis, making optimal use of existing agencies and mechanisms. We appeal to other industrialised countries to join us in our efforts. In our own countries, we will work to protect the forests and to extend and strengthen programmes of afforestation.

Destruction of the tropical forests, soil erosion, desertification and other environmental problems of the developing countries can be fully addressed only in the context of North-South relationships generally. Nevertheless, the Community together with the Member States should play a major role in assisting these countries in their efforts to achieve long-term sustainable development. In this context, we welcome the provisions of the Fourth Lomé Convention under which increased assistance is to be given is to be given to ACP countries, at their request, in the field of population, environment and sustainable resource development. We also welcome the strategy set out in the Resolution on Environment and Development agreed by the Council on 29 May 1990, particularly in regard to the recognition of the need for additional resources to help deal with the environmental problems of developing countries. More generally, the cooperation agreements between the Community and the countries of Asia and Latin America falling outside the Lomé framework should increasingly emphasise our shared environmental concerns.

The environmental situation in Central and Eastern Eurrope presents special challenges. We endorse the agreement reached in Dublin on 16 June 1990 between the Environemt Ministers of the Community and those of Central and Eastern Europe on the steps to be taken to improve the environment in Europe as a whole and in Central and Eastern Europe in particular. Remedial measures must be taken by these countries to clear up problems which have developed through years of neglect and to ensure that their future economic development is sustainable. They need the support of the Community and its Member States in order to achieve these objectives. Action already taken within the PHARE programme is encouraging but will need to be developed further, both in the context of the expanded G24 programme and in the co-operation agreements between the Community and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. We look forward also to the contribution to be made by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in this regard.


Personal Attitudes and Shared Responsibilities

Increased public awareness and concern for environmental issues is one of the major deveopments of our time. We note with satisfaction the adoption of the Regulation to establish the European Environment Agency which will provide reliable and objective information on the state of the environment for the citizens of Europe.

Another important development is the adoption of the Directive on Freedom of Access to Environmental information which will greatly increase the availability of information to the public and will lead to the publication of regular State of the Environment Reports. We invite the Member States to accompany these reports by national environment action plans, prepared in a form which will attract maximum public interest and support.

We urge Member States to take positive steps to disseminate environemtal information widely among their citizens in order to build up more caring and more responsible attitudes, a greater understanding, based on sound scientific assesments, of the nature and causes of problems, and a better appreciation of the costs and other implications of possible solutions.

The development of higher levels of knowledge and understanding of environmental issues will facilitate more effective action by the Community and its Member States to protect the environment. The objective of such action must be to guarantee citizens the right to a clean and healthy environment, particularly in regard to -

-the quality of air

-rivers, lakes, coastal and marine waters

-the quality of food and drinking water

-protection against noise

-protection against contamination of soil, soil erosion adn desertification

-preservation of habitats, flora and fauna, landscape and other elements of the natural heritage

-the amenity quality of residential areas.

The full achievement of this objective must be a shared responsibility. Problems cannot be resolved without concerted action. In each country, everyone- Government, public authorities, private undertakings, individuals and groups- must be fully involved. Acceptance at all levels of this concept must be promoted.

Mankind is the trustee of the natural environment and has the duty to ensure its enlightened stewardship for the benefit of this and future generations. Solidarity must be shown with the poorer and less developed nations.

We note with interest the conclusions of the Siena Forum on International Law of the Environment and suggest that these should be considered by the 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development.

All of our decisions matter. The environment is dependent on our collective actions and tomorrow's environment depends on how we act today.

The European Council invites the Commission to use these principles and objectives as the basis of the Fifth Action Programme for the Environment and to present a draft of such a Programme in 1991.




The European Council expresses its deep revulsion at recent manifestations of anti-semitism, racism and xenophopia, particularly expressions of anti-semitism involving acts of desecration perpetrated against the dead, which are calculated to cause the utmost distress to the living. It is all the more distressing that such abominations should enjoy any currency precisely at a time when we are commemorating the end of the Second World War.

The European COuncil deplores all manifestations of these phenomena. It agrees that vigorous measures must be taken to combat them, whenever and whatever they appear in the Community. The Member States will asses the extent to which their national legislation must effectively be used in order to counter them.

The European Council has taken note of the fact that these problems are not restricted to the Member States of the Community. Comparable outrages have also occured in recent times elsewhere in Europe.

The European Council also recalls the Declaration of the Community Institutions and the Member States against Racism and Xenophobia of 11 Hune 1986. It considers respect for the dignity of the human being and the elimination of manifestations of discrimination to be of paramount importance. Such manifestations, including expressions of prejudice directed against foreign immigrants, are unacceptable. The European Council underlines the positive contribution that workers from third countries have made and continue to make to the development of the Community as a whole.

Against this background, the European Council recalls the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Council of European Declaration on Intolerance and ongoing work in the framework of the CSCE. The European Council supports action, notably in the context of the human dimension of the CSCE, to counter anti-semitism, racism, incitement to hatred and xenophobia. The importance which the Community and its Member States attach to this subject is illustrated by the proposals against racism and xenophobia made in their name, and by the initiatives on related issues taken by individual Member States at the current session of the CDH in Copenhagen.




The European Council welcomes the important changes that have taken place in Sounthern Africa since it met in Strasbourg.

The European Council warmly welcomes the successful conclusion of the process of bringing Namibia to independence with a constitution based on multi-party democracy and human rights. The European Community and its Member States will continue to give aid and support to the people of Namibia as they build their new country, in particular in the framework of the new Lomé Convention. They welcome the talks which have taken place between the Angolan Government and UNITA under Portuguese auspices. They look forward to the resolution of the conflict in Angola and also of that in Mozambique through dialogue.

The European Council greatly welcomes the significant changes that have taken place in South Africa in recent months: the release of Nelson Mandela and of other political prisoners; the unbanning of political organisations; the substantial lifting of the state of emergency; the commitment by the Government to abolish the apartheid system and to create a democratic and non-racial South Africa, and its willingness to enter negotiations on the future of South Africa with the representatives of the majority.

They pay tribute to the parts played in bringing about these changes by President F.W. de Klerk and Mr. Nelson Mandela. The efforts of F.W. de Klerk to bring about a new era in South Africa are testimony to his foresight and courage. Mr. Nelson Mandela, a prisoner for 27 years, has inspired millions of South Africans opposed to apartheid and thereby ampply demonstrated his qualities of statesmanship, qualities that will be required in the challenging period ahead in South Africa.

The objective of the European Community and its Member States is the complete dismantlement of the apartheid system, by peaceful means and without delay, and its replacement by a united, non-racial and democratic state in which all people shall enjoy common and equal citizenship and where respect for universally recognised human rights is guaranteed. They welcome the joint commitment between the South African Government and the ANC in the Groote Schuur Minute to stability and a peaceful process of negotiations. They call on all parties in South Africa to endorse this objective. It is the intention of the European Community and its Member States to encourage, by every means available to them, the early opening of negotiations leading to the creation of a united, non-racial and democratic South Africa.

Negotiations on a new South Africa should get under way without delay. The substantial progress made towards removal of the obstacles represented by the state of emergency and the detention of political prisoners is welcome. The European Council looks forward to early agreement between the South African Government and the ANC on the conditions in which exiles can return and on the definition of political prisoners leading to their release. The European Council calls on all parties to remove the remaining obstacles to peaceful negotiations and to refrain from violence or advocacy of violence.

The European Council fully recognises that a new post-apartheid South Africa should be able to avail itself of all the economic resources, including access to external finance required to ensure its future prosperity and the full development of all its people. South Africa faces acute socio-econmic problems, especially in the areas of employment, education and housing, against a background of a high rate of population growth. These problems have been greatly exacerbated by apartheid. Positive action is needed to rectify imbalances.

Through the programme of positive measures, the Community has, for a number of years, been providing assistance to the victims of apartheid. In the light of the recent developments in South Africa and as a strong signal of political support to those disadvantaged by apartheid and of the will to contribute to a new socio-economic balance, the Community intends to increase the funds being made available under its programme and to adapt the programme to the needs of the new situation, including those connected with the return and resettlement of exiles. It welcomes the positive attitude being displayed by all parties, including the new South African Government, to such programmes.

At its meeting in Strasbourg in December last, the European Council decided that the Community and its Member States would maintain the pressure that they exert on the South African authorities in order to promote the profound and irreversible changes which they have repeatedly stood for. The European Council affirms its willingness to consider a gradual relaxation of this pressure when there is further clear evidence that the process of change already initiated continues in the direction called for at Strasbourg.

The European Council holds the view that the new South Africa, which will have harnessed the full richness, not only of its physical, but also of its abundant human resources, has the potential to act as a stimulus for growth in the Southern African region. The European Council looks forward to being able to welcome, in the near future, a new, democratic and economically prosperous South Africa as it takes its proper place as an African nation in the international community.




The European Council recalls its long-standing position of principle on the Arab-Israeli conflict in the Middle East. It is determined to encourage all efforts to promote dialogue between the parties directly concerned leading to the negotiation of a comprehensive settlement consistent with the principles it has set out, beginning with the Venice Declaration ten years ago and further developed since, notably in the Madrid Declaration. This settlement should be found in the framework of an international peace conference under the auspices of the United Nations with the participation of the PLO. The European Council expresses its support for every effort by the permanent members of the Security Council to create a climate of confidence between the parties and, in this way, to facilitate the convening of the international peace conference.

The European Council welcomes the commitment to continuing the peace process expressed in the letter to the President of the European Council from the Prime Minister of Israel. The European Council hopes that it will be followed in practice. It stresses the urgent need for Israel to begin a political dialogue with the Palestinian people which could lead to a comprehensive, just and lasting settlement to the Arab-Israeli conflict. Such a settlement should be on the basis of Resolutions 242 and 338 of the Security Council based on the principle of "land for peace".

The European Council stresses that all parties have a responsibility to refrain from actions or statements which might impede steps towards dialogue and negotiation. Those who would choose violent over peaceful means for achieving political objectives cannot be allowed to prevail. Neither the taking of human life, whatever the circumstances, nor violence against civilians can play any part in achieving peace and reconciliation.

Threats of war and of the use of weapons of mass destruction serve only to increase tension in the region and should be eschewed. The Community and its Member States have consistently condemned both threats and acts of violence in the region, whatever their origin. In such a delicate situation, all channels of dialogue and negotiation should be kept open.

The European Council is concerned that, by making territorial compromise ever more difficult, Israel's settlement policy in the Occupied Territories presents a growing obstacle to peace in the region. Reiterating that Jewish settlements in the territories occupied by Israel since 1967, including East Jerusalem, are illegal under international law, it calls earnestly on the Government of Israel not to permit settlements there.The European Council recognises and supports the right of Soviet Jews to emigrate to Israel and elsewhere. It is, however, firmly of the view that this right must not be implemented at the expense of the rights of the Palestinians in the Occupied Territories.

Recent events underline once again that the status quo in the Occupied Territories is untenable. The lamentable position concerning the observance of human rights in the Occupied Territories has led the Community and its Member States to set out repeatedly their concern. They are resolved to step up their already significant support for the protection of the human rights of the population of the Occupied Territories.

In the present situation, and particularly with regard to the protection of the population, the UN, too, can and should play a useful role. The European Council supports such a role of the UN.

The European Council refers to the obligation on Parties to the Geneva Convention Relative to the Pretection of Civilian Persons in Time of War to respect and to ensure respect for its provisions. The Twelve have repeatedly called on Israel to adhere to its obligations towards the Palestinian population in the territory under its occupation which is protected by that Convention. They have observed that it has notably failed to do so in a number of important areas. Concerned that the human rights of the population of the Occupied Territories continue to be inadequately protected, the European Council calls for further action, in accordance with the Convention, to ensure that protection.

The European Council has reviewed the range of actions taken on the basis of the Strasbourg Declaration in order to arrest the deterioration of the economic and social situation in the Occupied Territories and to help to preserve the future of Palestinian society. It notes with satisfaction the significant increase of Community aid, particularly in the 1990 programme of direct aid which is ready for adoption. It confirms its determination to double direct Community aid by 1992.

The European Council also expresses its satisfaction with the growth in exports of agricultural produce from the Occupied Territories to the Community. It invites the Community institutions to take appropriate action for a rapid further improvement of the conditions of access to the Community market for Palestinian products and to examine further possibilities for increasing trade between the Community and the Occupied Territories.

As an expression of the importance which the European Council attaches to facilitating the speedy and efficient implementation of the Community's expanding programme for the benefit of the population of the Occupied Territories, the Commission is invited to appoint a representative to the Occupied Territories for this purpose at an early date.




The European Council strongly supports and is fully committed to the objective of nuclear non-proliferation. It believes that the further spread of nuclear weapons or other nuclear explosive devices would endanger stability and threaten regional and global security. The European Council attaches the greatest importance to the maintenance of an effective international nuclear non-proliferation regime and will make every effort to contribute to strengthening non-proliferation and encouraging the participation of further countries in the regime. The Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) is an important element in that regime. The Twelve Member States of the European Community, parties to the NPT or not, will work actively to secure a successful outcome to the discussions which will take place in the forthcoming months, and in particular the deliberations of the Fourth Review Conference of the NPT, and hope that those discussions will provide stable and assured solutions to the problems encountered by the international community in preventing the spread of nuclear weapons. The European Council expresses its concern that there is a continuing risk that further countries may acquire nuclear weapons and that a number of countries remain outside the non-proliferation regime. It calls on all states to join in efforts to eliminate this risk of nuclear proliferation.

The European Council recognises the indispensible role played by the IAEA and its safeguards in the development of the peacefull uses of nuclear energy. It recognises that these safeguards are the cornerstone of an effective non-proliferation regime. The European Council reaffirms the need for the peacefull application of nuclear energy to take place under credible, effective and efficient international safeguards. In this connection, it recalls the important contribution of Euratom safeguards. For their part, the Twelve Member States of the Community have accepted, in accordance with their respective individual status, the exercise of international controls on their nuclear installations and apply constaints to their export policies. The European Council strongly supports the application of safeguards on as universal a basis as possible. It calls on other States to subscribe to similar commitments.

The European Council believes in the need for an equitable and stable framework for international nuclear trade. The Twelve Member States of the European Community have collectively adhered to the Nuclear Suppliers Group Guidelines, thereby assuming a basic common discipline for their nuclear exports. The European Council expresses the hope that other countries will conduct their nuclear export policies on a similar basis. Within the framework of guidelines for nuclear trade, the European council wishes to co-operate with all countries, especially developing countries. While maintaining and further developing the existing non-proliferation regime, the European Council will work to uphold the right of all countries to the development of research, production and use of nuclear energy for peaceful purposes.

In a context where several countries in various regions of the world perceive an increasing role for nuclear energy, the European Council believes that the development of the peaceful uses of nuclear energy should be inseparable from necessary action to eliminate the risk of proliferation of nuclear arms, and should be accompanied by the utmost attention to safety. In that regard, the Twelve Member States of the European Community have proposed that the IAEA convene a Technical Conference in 1991, to review the situation in the field of nuclear safety as well as to formulate recommendations on further measures for improving safety in order to supplement existing measures in this field.

The European Council reaffirms once again its support for the objective of the non-proliferation of nuclear weapons and will continue to work in a spirit of dialogue and co-operation in order to enlarge the international consensus in favour of an effevtive non-proliferation regime.




The European Council expresses its profound sympathy to the Government and people of the Islamic Republic of Iran at the terrible loss of life, injuries and devastation caused by the earthquake in northwest Iran on 21 June.

The Community and its Member Sates wish to give all possible assistance to the victims of this disaster. They have already begun a substantial programme of relief and will give every consideration to immediate further aid and to reconstruction assistance.

The European Council conveys the deep sympathy of the people of the European Community to the injured and condolences to those families and friends who have been bereaved.




The European Council discussed the Cyprus question in the light of the impasse in the intercommunal dialogue.

The European Council, deeply concerned at the situation, fully reaffirms its previous declarations and its support for the unity, independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Cyprus in accordance with the relevant UN resolutions. Reiterating that the Cyprus problem affects EC-Turkey relations and bearing in mind the importance of these relations, it stresses the need for the prompt elimination of the obstacles that are preventing the pursuit of effective intercommunal talks aimed at finding a just and viable solution to the question of Cyprus on the basis of the mission of good offices of the Secretary General, as it was recently reaffirmed by Resolution 649/90 of the Security Council.





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