Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

EU Plans For A Security Council Seat

29th January 2004

Moves to give the EU a permanent seat on the UN Security Council were approved in the European Parliament today shortly before the UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, addressed MEPs.

The report on EU-UN relations called for the EU to become a full member of the UN Security Council.

According to the report, this would be possible after the EU has a legal personality of its own as proposed in the Draft European Constitution. The proposed EU Minister for Foreign Affairs would attend meetings of the Security Council representing the EU and the two Member States with a permanent seat - the UK and France - would only be able to make statements on 'an exceptional basis and justified in advance to the EU Presidency'.

Charles Tannock MEP, Conservative Spokesman on Foreign Affairs in the European Parliament, said:

"This amounts to a back door route to eventually replacing the UK's permanent seat with an EU seat. This would be disastrous for Britain's ability to promote its own vital national interests. The UN is a collection of independent nation states. The EU is not a state.

Giving the EU a permanent seat would endow it with state-like responsibilities. Conservatives will continue to fight this tooth and nail."

Notes to Editors - Conservative MEPs voted against the report and tabled an amendment seeking to protect the UK permanent seat on the UN Security Council and veto. Liberal Democrat MEPs voted against this amendment
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