Abolition 2000 is a worldwide network working for a global treaty to eliminate nuclear weapons.
Three of the world's five official nuclear weapon states (Britain , China, France, Russia and U.S.) are European.

Moreover several European nations have US tactical nuclear weapons deployed on their territory: Belgium, Britain, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands and Turkey . According to the nov-dec. 2004 issue of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientist the U.S. has 480 nuclear warheads deployed in these countries (1)

However compared to the unilateral policies of Washington, Europe recently played a major role in the multilateral arena. Remember the positive role of Europe for the establisment of the International Criminal Court, for the Landmines Treaty, the Kyoto protocol, the EU embargo on GMO's, a more balanced position towards the Middle East, this to name just some. Also in the field of nuclear disarmament European capitals often take a more progressive approach.

Especially EU member states Ireland and Sweden have taken a leading role within the UN outlining a New Agenda for Nuclear Disarmament. Together with Brazil, Egypt, Mexico, New Zealand and South Africa this New Agenda Coalition(NAC) aims to built a bridge between the NAM countries -overwhelmingly in favor of nuclear disarmament- and the Western countries which often oppose steps towards nuclear disarmament as dictated by the U.S.

Europe divided

The latest record of votes on the NAC resolution (2) illustrates clearly how Europe is divided on the subject.

Especially the new NATO member states in Cenral and Eastern seem still to be firmly under the influence of Washington and abstained, while some old NATO member states had for the first time the courage to say 'yes'. EU members not alligned with NATO also seem to have free hands. European records of vote October 28th 2004 UN First Committee - New York. Overall result in brackets.

All of those 47 countries are member of the Council of Europe, except Belarus (*).

YES: 22 (135)

Albania, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Cyprus, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Rep. of Moldova, Netherlands , Norway, San Marino, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey and Ukraine.

ABSTAINED: 22 (25)

Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Georgia, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Macedonia, Monaco, Poland, Portugal , Romania, Russian Fed., Serbia and Montenegro, Slovakia, Slovenia and Spain,

NO: 3 (5)

France, Latvia and UK

member of NATO | member of EU | member of NATO and EU

(1) Bulletin Atomic Scientist - Nov. - Dec. 2004 on US nuclear weapons in Europe
(2) NAC resolution