His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Belgium, the President of the French Republic, President of the French Union, Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg, Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands and His Majesty The King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas,
- To reaffirm their faith in fundamental human rights, in the dignity and worth of the human person and in the other ideals proclaimed in the Charter of the United Nations;
- To fortify and preserve the principles of democracy, personal freedom and political liberty, the constitutional traditions and the rule of law, which are their common heritage;
- To strengthen, with these aims in view, the economic, social and cultural ties by which they are already united;
- To cooperate loyally and to coordinate their efforts to create in Western Europe a firm basis for European economic recovery;
- To afford assistance to each other, in accordance with the Charter of the United Nations, in maintaining international peace and security and in resisting any policy of aggression;
- To take such steps as may be held to be necessary in the event of a renewal by Germany of a policy of aggression;
- To associate progressively in the pursuance of these aims other States inspired by the same ideals and animated by the like determination;
- Desiring for these purposes to conclude a treaty for collaboration in economic, social and cultural matters and for collective self-defence;
- Have appointed as their Plenipotentiaries: His Royal Highness the Prince Regent of Belgium: His Excellency Mr. Paul-Henri Spaak, Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency Mr. Gaston Eyskens, Minister of Finance; The President of the French Republic, President of the French Union: His Excellency Mr. Georges Bidault, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency Mr. Jean De Hauteclocque, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the French Republic in Brussels; Her Royal Highness the Grand Duchess of Luxembourg: His Excellency Mr. Joseph Bech, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency Mr. Robert Als, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of Luxembourg in Brussels; Her Majesty the Queen of the Netherlands: His Excellency Baron C.G.W.H. Van Boetzelaer Van Oosterhout, Minister of Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency Baron Binnert Philip Van Harinxma Thoe Slooten, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Netherlands in Brussels; His Majesty the King of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas for the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland: The Right Honourable Ernest Bevin, Member of Parliament, Principal Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and His Excellency Sir George William Rendel, K.C.M.G., Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of His Britannic Majesty in Brussels; who, having exhibited their full powers found in good and due form, have agreed as follows:
Convinced of the close community of their interests and of the necessity of uniting in order to promote the economic recovery of Europe, the High Contracting Parties will so organise and cordinate their economic activities as to produce the best possible results, by the elimination of conflict in their economic policies, the coordination of production and the development of commercial exchanges.
The cooperation provided for in the preceding paragraph, which will be effected through the Consultative Council referred to in Article VII as well as through other bodies, shall not involve any duplication of, or prejudice to, the work of other economic organisations in which the High Contracting Parties are or may be represented but shall on the contrary assist the work of those organisations.
The High Contracting Parties will make every effort in common, both by direct consultation and in specialised agencies, to promote the attainment of a higher standard of living by their peoples and to develop on corresponding lines the social and other related services of their countries.
The High Contracting Parties will consult with the object of achieving the earliest possible application of recommendations of immediate practical interest, relating to social matters, adopted with their approval in the specialised agencies.
They will endeavour to conclude as soon as possible conventions with each other in the sphere of social security.
The High Contracting Parties will make every effort in common to lead their peoples towards a better understanding of the principles which form the basis of their common civilisation and to promote cultural exchanges by conventions between themelves or by other means.
If any of the High Contracting Parties should be the object of an armed attack in Europe, the other High Contracting Parties will, in accordance with the provisions of Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, afford the Party so attacked all the military and other aid and assistance in their power.
All measures taken as a result of the preceding Article shall be immediately reported to the Security Council. They shall be terminated as soon as the Security Council has taken the measures necessary to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The present Treaty does not prejudice in any way the obligations of the High Contracting Parties under the provisions of the Charter of the United Nations. It shall not be interpreted as affecting in any way the authority and responsibility of the Security Council under the Charter to take at any time such action as it deems necessary in order to maintain or restore international peace and security.
The High Contracting Parties declare, each so far as he is concerned, that none of the international engagements now in force between him and any other of the High Contracting Parties or any third State is in conflict with the provisions of the present Treaty.
None of the High Contracting Parties will conclude any alliance or participate in any coalition directed against any other of the High Contracting Parties.
For the purpose of consulting together on all the questions dealt with in the present Treaty, the High Contracting Parties will create a Consultative Council, which shall be so organised as to be able to exercise its functions continuously. The Council shall meet at such times as it shall deem fit.
At the request of any of the High Contracting Parties, the Council shall be immediately convened in order to permit the High Contracting Parties to consult with regard to any situation which may constitute a threat to peace, in whatever area this threat should arise; with regard to the attitude to be adopted and the steps to be taken in case of a renewal by Germany of an aggressive policy; or with regard to any situation constituting a danger to economic stability.
In pursuance of their determination to settle disputes only by peaceful means, the High Contracting Parties will apply to disputes between themselves the following provisions.
The High Contracting Parties will, while the present Treaty remains in force, settle all disputes falling within the scope of Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice by referring them to the Court, subject only, in the case of each of them, to any reservation already made by that party when accepting this clause for compulsory jurisdiction to the extent that that Party may maintain the reservation.
In addition, the High Contracting Parties will submit to conciliation all disputes outside the scope of Article 36, paragraph 2, of the Statute of the International Court of Justice. In the case of a mixed dispute involving both questions for which conciliation is appropriate and other questions for which judicial settlement is appropriate, any Party to the dispute shall have the right to insist that the judicial settlement of the legal questions shall precede conciliation.
The preceding provisions of this Article in no way affect the application of relevant provisions or agreements prescribing some other method of pacific settlement.
The High Contracting Parties may, by agreement, invite any other State to accede to the present Treaty on conditions to be agreed between them and the State so invited.
Any State so invited may become a Party to the Treaty by depositing an instrument of accession with the Belgian Government.
The Belgian Government will inform each of the High Contracting Parties of the deposit of each instrument of accession.
The present Treaty shall be ratified and the instruments of ratification shall be deposited as soon as possible with the Belgian Government.
It shall enter into force on the date of the deposit of the last instrument of ratification and shall thereafter remain in force for fifty years.
After the expiry of the period of fifty years, each of the High Contracting Parties shall have the right to cease to be a party thereto provided that he shall have previously given one year's notice of denunciation to the Belgian Government.
The Belgian Government shall inform the Governments of the other High Contracting Parties of the deposit of each instrument of ratification and of each notice of denunciation.
In witness whereof, the above-mentioned Plenipotentiaries have signed the present Treaty and have affixed thereto their seals.
Done at Brussels, this seventeenth day of March 1948, in English and French, each text being equally authentic, in a single copy which shall remain deposited in the archives of the Belgian Government and of which certified copies shall be transmitted by that Government to each of the other signatories.