Past eventInvitation Only

The Demise of the Western European Union: Lessons for European Defence

10 May 2011 - 9:00am to 11:00am

Chatham House, London


Professor Alyson Bailes, Visiting Professor at the University of Iceland in Reykjavik
Major General Graham Messervy-Whiting, Centre for Studies in Security and Diplomacy, University of Birmingham



After more than 60 years of existence, the Western European Union (WEU) will cease its last residual activities in June 2011, a decade after ceding all political and operational functions to the EU's European Security and Defence Policy. What has led to the WEU's final abolition? And what does it mean for the future of European defence and security?

The European Security and Defence Assembly, part of the WEU, will also stop its activities in June. What will be the impact of losing a parliamentary assembly which was separate from the EU, competent to discuss defence issues, and which opened its doors to countries like Turkey, Norway, Albania and Ukraine?

This event will aim to raise awareness on some of the issues and challenges related to the WEU's demise and assess the lessons for European defence. The guest speakers, Professor Alyson Bailes and Major General Graham Messervy-Whiting, were both personally engaged in the earlier WEU-EU transition and have completed a joint research project this spring on the final closure.

Attendance is by invitation only.