Brussels, treaty of

views updated Jun 27 2018

Brussels, treaty of. Signed on 17 March 1948 between the United Kingdom, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg, it set up the Brussels Treaty Organization, also known as Western European Union. This purported to be a security pact based on shared cultural heritage of its members and against any revival of German expansionism. There was also an important, veiled motivation. The treaty was intended to demonstrate that west European states were willing to co-operate with each other and therefore make a US commitment to a role in the security of western Europe more acceptable to Congress. The Brussels treaty was therefore a vital step on the road to the formation of NATO.

Christopher N. Lanigan

Brussels, Treaty of

views updated May 23 2018

Brussels, Treaty of (1948) Agreement signed by Britain, France, and the Low Countries for cooperation in defence, politics, economics, and cultural affairs for 50 years. The defence agreement merged into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) in 1950. In 1954 Italy and West Germany joined the original signatories, and the name was changed to the Western European Union. It was a forerunner of the European Community (EC).

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treaty of Brussels