Established: By protocols signed in Paris, France, October 23, 1954, effective May 6, 1955.

Purpose: Collective self-defense and political collaboration in support of European unity.

Headquarters: Brussels, Belgium.

Principal Organs: Council of Ministers, Permanent Council, Inter-Parliamentary European Security and Defense Assembly, Secretariat.

Web site:

Secretary General: Javier Solana Madariaga (Spain).

Membership (10): Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, United Kingdom.

Associate Members (6): Czech Republic, Hungary, Iceland, Norway, Poland, and Turkey.

Associate Partners (8): Bulgaria, Croatia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovakia, and Slovenia.

Observers (5): Austria, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, and Sweden.

Official Languages: English, French.

Origin and development. The Western European Union (WEU) is the direct successor of the five-power Brussels Treaty Organization, which was established by the United Kingdom, France, and the Benelux states through the Treaty of Economic, Social, and ...

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