EU Summit: Millennium And Chechnya Declarations
HELSINKI EUROPEAN COUNCIL
10 AND 11 DECEMBER 1999
The quest for peace and prosperity has been the driving force of European integration. In fifty years we have come a long way towards these goals. We live in a Union where citizens and businesses can freely move and settle regardless of national borders. People from all walks of life benefit from the Single Market, Economic and Monetary Union and common policies fostering competitiveness and social inclusion.
The European Union is based on democracy and the rule of law. The Union's citizens are bound together by common values such as freedom, tolerance, equality, solidarity and cultural diversity.
The European Union is a unique venture, with no model in history. Only together, through the Union, can we and our countries meet tomorrow's challenges.
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On the threshold of a new century and the third millennium, the Union should focus on tasks which are central to its peoples' security and welfare.
Europe faces the realities of the information society and globalisation. There is a need to provide for an ageing population and respond to the expectations of young people. We shall develop our human resources through life-long learning and innovation and we shall promote a dynamic and open knowledge based European economy to secure growth and to bring down unemployment on a permanent basis.
Europe is acutely aware of the need to combat local and world-wide environmental degradation. We shall act together to achieve sustainable development and guarantee a better quality of life for future generations.
People expect to be protected against crime and to be able to exercise their legal rights everywhere in the Union. We shall make the Union a genuine area of freedom, security and justice.
The Union shares a growing global responsibility for promoting wellbeing, preventing conflicts and securing peace. We shall strengthen stability and prosperity in Europe by enlarging the Union and cooperating with partner countries. We shall work for a more open and stable international economy benefiting also people in less favoured parts of the world. We shall create Union military and civil capabilities in order to manage international crises, and to provide humanitarian assistance to those in need.
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Only an open, democratic and efficient Union can fulfil these pledges.
The Union needs the confidence and active involvement of its citizens and civic organisations. The Union also needs the full support of its Member States in promoting the common interest.
We must rejuvenate the idea of a Europe for all - an idea on which each new generation must make its own mark.
DECLARATION ON CHECHNYA
1. The European Council condemns the intense bombardments of Chechen cities, the threat levelled at the residents of Grozny and the ultimatum set by the Russian military commanders, as well as the treatment of the internally displaced persons as totally unacceptable.
2. The European Council does not question the right of Russia to preserve its territorial integrity nor its right to fight against terrorism. However the fight against terrorism cannot, under any circumstances, warrant the destruction of cities, nor that they be emptied of their inhabitants, nor that a whole population be considered as terrorist.
3. This behaviour is in contradiction with the basic principles of humanitarian law, the commitments of Russia as made within the OSCE and its obligations as a member of the Council of Europe. This war increases the gap between the Chechen people and the rest of Russia, and threatens to destabilise the whole region. Only a political solution can put an end to this crisis. The European Council is deeply concerned at the threat the continuing conflict poses to the stability of the Caucasus region and possible spill-over from the fighting in Chechnya to Georgia and the effects on her territorial integrity.
4. The European Council calls upon the Russian authorities:
- not to carry out the ultimatum against the civilian populations of Grozny;
- to end the bombing and the disproportionate and indiscriminate use of force against the Chechen population;
- to allow for the safe delivery of humanitarian aid and the security of the international relief agencies;
- to start forthwith political dialogue with the elected Chechen authorities.
5. The European Council urged the Chechen authorities to respect the rules and principles of humanitarian law, to condemn terrorism and to aim at the renewal of a political dialogue.
European Council expects Russia to fully honour and
implement the commitments made in Istanbul. It pays special
attention to the forthcoming visit of the OSCE
Chairman-in-Office to the region. The European Council
urges Russia to use this visit for a dialogue with the
elected leaders of the North Caucasus including Chechnya. A
field office of the OSCE Assistance Group in Chechnya should
be opened forthwith in Nazran, Ingushetia.
7. In the light of the above, the European Council decides to draw the consequences from this situation:
- for the implementation of the European Union's Common Strategy on Russia, which should be reviewed;
- for the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement, some of the provisions of which should be suspended and the trade provisions applied strictly;
- for TACIS, the budgetary authority is asked to consider the transfer of some funds from TACIS to humanitarian assistance. Finance in the budget for 2000 should be limited to priority areas, including human rights, the rule of law, support for civil society and nuclear safety.
It invites the Presidency with the Secretary-General/High Representative to notify this decision and the contents of this declaration urgently at the highest level to the Russian authorities.
It invites the OSCE and the Council of Europe to review, in their field of competence, the modalities of their cooperation with Russia.
8. Russia is a major partner for the European Union. The Union has constantly expressed its willingness to accompany Russia in its transition towards a modern and democratic state. But Russia must live up to its obligations if the strategic partnership is to be developed. The European Union does not want Russia to isolate herself from Europe.