The Nine-power conference
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The Nine-power conference
Eden and Dulles, eager to settle the German question, invited the six EDC countries – Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany - Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States to a Nine-power Conference in London, September (followed by a second one in Paris in October). This format allowed Germany to be party to the discussions since the North Atlantic Council was reserved for members only. NATO members who were not present at the Nine-power Conference (Denmark, Iceland, Norway and Portugal) were assured that any decisions taken would have to be approved by the North Atlantic Council.
Ending the occupation of Germany
On the agenda was the ending of West German occupation – the first step toward German membership of NATO.
NATO participants committed themselves to ending the occupation. This issue was discussed at the four-power conference, 20-21 October 1954, in Paris. The conference brought together France, West Germany, the United Kingdom and the United States and produced an agreement on the termination of the occupation regime in the Federal Republic of Germany.
In parallel, this issue was addressed via what are known as the Bonn-Paris conventions. These conventions were signed in 1952 but they only came into force after ratification on 5 May 1955. The delay in ratification is explained by the need to delete reference to the European Defence Community Treaty from within the conventions, and sign a revised treaty on 23 October 1954.
Enlargement of the Western Union
The second step toward German membership of NATO was for Germany to be admitted to the Western Union, a defence initiative that already existed. The Western Union was set up in 1948 with the signing of the Brussels Treaty
The Brussels Treaty of Economic, Social and Cultural Collaboration and Collective Self-Defence was signed by Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
. German membership would imply that West Germany would be “controlled” by its very membership of this organization (and, later, by its membership of NATO), while allowing for German institutional equality. The latter was a crucial feature as institutionalised discrimination would not be accepted by the new West German State.
By creating a NATO solution out of principles set forth in the Western Union, this would secure both a US and British commitment on the European continent and strengthen European cohesion. However, in order for a solution to emerge out of the Western Union (later to become the Western European Union), West Germany had first to be admitted.
This required the revision of the Brussels Treaty.
Italy and the Federal Republic of Germany were then invited to join the Brussels Treaty.
774 - Four Power meeting C-M(54)91-1954
775 - Brussels Treaty C-M(54)84(Revised)
776 - Treaty extension C-M(54)93(Final)-1954
556 - The nine powers - 1954
693 - Four-Power Conference - 1954
552 - Paris agreements - 1954
1007 - German membership
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