Abolition 2000 Europe

About us

Abolition 2000 Europe

as agreed in January 2005

The aim of the network is to facilitate cooperation between members of Abolition 2000 in Europe. It will not be an organisation in itself, but a structured network to provide effective communication between individuals and groups working for the abolition of nuclear weapons within Europe and worldwide. In the first instance the network will concentrate on the 2005 Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) Review Conference, but it is intended that it will continue to develop after that. For example a new Resolution for the European Parliament on the Review Conference would enable us to co-ordinate our lobbying of Members of the Parliament (MEPs).

Abolition 2000 Europe is intended to:

1. Share campaign ideas and strategies so that work is not duplicated and synergies are created,

2. Provide information and resources on crucial documents of the European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission, strategically important MEPs, and NATO,

3. Organize common campaign elements at the European level, including direct action, Declarations for a Nuclear-Free World, lobbying at both the European and the National level etc. which individuals or groups may choose to support

4. Link up with local organisations and, at the international level, Abolition 2000

Means to do this will be the following information channels:

1. A website that is moderated by Pol D’Huyvetter (For Mother Earth, Belgium) and George Farebrother (World Court Project,UK), with resources, and information on the activities carried out in the different countries. As far as possible material will be presented in several languages. The domain name is https://abolition2000europe.org/

2. An email list moderated by George Farebrother and Pol d’Huyvetter which, after 1 January 2005 will merge with an already existing email list “Abolition Europe”. For some years this list, moderated by Janet Bloomfield, has been selecting material from the global Abolition 2000 list-server relevant to European Abolitionists. To join this list go to http://lists.riseup.net/www/info/eu-abolition2000 and click on "subscribe".

3. Twice-yearly European meetings, taking advantage of events such as the European Social Forum.

The contact person(s) of each country should:

1. distribute information to interested individuals and groups by:

2. monitoring the email list of Abolition 2000 Europe,

3. spreading  the word about Abolition 2000 Europe activities within their country,

4. following up the common campaigns and actions as much as possible,

5. writing reports on activities for nuclear disarmament in their countries for the Abolition 2000 Europe website.

Affiliated organisations should

1. Prominently link the Abolition 2000 Europe website to their own website

2. Send a representative to meetings

The purpose of meetings will be to suggest or develop projects which members of the network may wish to share in, and to monitor and improve the communications network.  Any affiliated organisation may send a representative to meetings or distribute have discussion papers beforehand". 

3. Engage in any additional involvement according to the capacities and priorities of the organisation

Start up finance for the network has been provided from the £10,000 raised by the World Court Project Declarations for a Nuclear-Free World. We shall look for other funding in due course.

Abolition 2000 Europe: report meeting Stuttgart - October 1st 2004

Present: Carol Naughton (CND, UK), Dominique Lalanne (Stop Essaies France), Hans Lammerant (Forum voor Vredesactie , Belgium), Pol D'Huyvetter (For Mother Earth, Belgium), Regina Hagen (INESAP, Germany), George Farebrother (WCP, UK), Marion Kuepker (GAAA - Germany), Roland Blach (German Peace Society and GAAA), Wolfgang Schlupp-Hauck (GAAA, Germany) and Xanthe Hall (IPPNW Germany).

* What are our goals of this meeting?

Dominique Lalanne gave an introduction which was followd by a brief discussion responding to the question why we need a European regional caucus.

Elimination of nuclear weapons remains our goal. The New Agenda Coalition, an important governmental initiative did not convince and resolutions seem to weaken in their efforts to built a bridge between the Non-Aligned Movement and Western (read NATO members) states as time moves. Today we are moving away from our goal with the NPT process in the midst of a growing crisis (i.e. North Korea, US, Iran). Today we should learn from the positive role which European nations/EU has played in the success of for example the establishment of the International Criminal Court, the Landmine Treaty and the Kyoto Protocol. At each occasion a coalition of NGO's pushed forward an international inter-governmental process outnumbering nations which came to be seen as rogue states. Today we need to increase the pressure from the public through i.e. Mayors for Peace Emergency Campaign and Abolition 2000.

At European level we need more coordination and this is where we should welcome the presence of people from Belgium, France, Germany and the UK here in Stuttgart today. We need to look to allies within Europe and look which government to lobby with coordinated efforts. Is it Germany? Spain? Luxembourg? for them to pressure on their turn the European Council. We view that the European Commission is not helpful. Helpful could be the positions which the Council takes on Weapons of Mass Destruction. Here we need to point out the hypocrisy and use of double standards.

We also need to look to the important role of NATO and its Nuclear Planning Group. It is stressed that we need to get something moving with several NATO member states as NATO nuclear policies continue to undermine the NPT process (nuclear sharing, first-use opposite negative security assurances and 13 steps NPT RevCon 2000). The U.S. nuclear weapons deployed in Europe are obsolete and are only used to keep political control from the U.S. over Europe. We need to coordinate our efforts towards the Ministries of Defence and Ministries of Foreign Affairs.

It is important to get more involved in the 'No US bases'-network, as the US is the biggest danger to international peace as they continue to expand their military presence across the world.

* New figures on US nuclear weapons in Europe

See figures in Nov-Dec. issue of Bulletin of Atomic Scientists http://www.thebulletin.org/issues/nukenotes/nd04nukenote.html

We had a short discussion about the new numbers of US nuclear weapons deployed in Europe as new figures will be published in the Nuclear Notebook in the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. NRDC however does not want to give more details before a the new publication they plan in the end of October. The authors also refuse to disclose their source for the increased amount of U.S. tactical nukes deployed in Europe.

We had a short discussion about NATO nuclear sharing, as we were reminded that Ramstein does not resort under nuclear sharing, as does not Lakenheath and Aviano. We should not focus our discussion too much on the technical issue of NPT Art. I and Art. II compared to NATO nuclear policy and the nuclear umbrella.

* Cooperation Europe: what and how?

We need to see how Europe can provide a process comparable to the Kyoto or Land mines process, for example with a "European New Agenda for Nuclear Disarmament".

What is the procedure leading up to the EU position for the UN NPT RevCon? In each EU Foreign Ministry someone in the administration is in charge of the issue, one who keeps in touch with the head of the department and the cabinet at the Foreign Ministry. The discussion on positions happens between these staff members. In smaller countries diplomats very often seem to receive more freedom of movement.

A new resolution at the EP should be more focussed and specific on the 13 steps in relationship to EU member states. The resolution could also ask the Council to include new elements in their action plan regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (i.e. negative security assurances), while we need to continue to stress our ultimate goal what we really want, and that's a Nuclear Weapons Convention.

* Common database and website

We need to find out more about the needs from people concerning background document relevant to the European context. This should be a service provided for Abolition 2000 Europe. Pol and George follow this up. The launch of a website is being planned.

Get contacts in all 25 EU member states

Today we need to reach out to other and new EU member states to influence position the EU position during the NPT RevCon. We should all look to our networks and make it a priority to come up with contacts.

* Judge Weeramantry

Judge Weeramantry will visit the UK later this year and an invitation has also been extended by the Belgian Parliamentary group on non-proliferation and nuclear disarmament and Abolition 2000 Belgium for early next year. Hans and Pol ask if other European groups are interested to cooperate during this tour. Pol will also contact Ernst Guelcher to hear if there would be interest for Judge Weeramantry to visit the European Parliament.

* Visit of Mayor Akiba to Europe

The Subcommittee Security and Defense of the EP Foreign Affairs Committee has decided on September 22nd to invite the mayor to a hearing in the EP. This initiative was taken by Angelika Beer (Greens - Germany) & Raul Romeva (Greens - Spain) and Tobias Pfluger (GUE - Germany). This thanks to support from Ernst Guelcher. People in several European countries (Belgium, Britain, France, Germany, The Netherlands and Sweden) hope to link this visit to their capital and city halls.

Mayor Akiba seems to have a very tight agenda early next year as they need to approve the city budget before April 2005. From the brief contacts with the mayor and talks with Aaron Tovish it seems that a visit to Europe is most likely in March 2005. Pol will follow up for the visit to EP and Brussels. It is clear who is working on the project in different countries.

* Bomspotting XL Belgium www.bomspotting.be

Hans asks everybody to consider linking the Bomspotting campaign to their ongoing public outreach. He feels that we need to make it a European campaign if we want it to be successful.

Because of lack of time we stopped the meeting here. We will continue the discussion in London on Thursday October 14th.

As annex I add here some useful reminders which were made on the white board during the meeting

We have:

NGO movement
Small group of states (NAC)
International law (ICJ)
Obligations (13 steps/NPT)
Mayor Akiba
EP resolution 2004
Model Nuclear Weapons Convention
Parliamentary Network Nuclear Disarmament
(EU) Abolition 2000 list servers

We need
Coordination NGO work
States with influence on NWS (NATO members)
Statement EU Council
Debate national parliaments (on nuclear sharing/umbrella)
Stronger EP resolution
ask council to put aspects in Action Plan WMD
new agenda for disarmament
NSA legally binding
commitment to abolition
Central data collection
Outreach to all 25 EU members

Candidate states