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London and Paris Conferences

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The London and Paris Conferences were two related conferences in London and Paris in September–October 1954 to determine the status of West Germany. The talks concluded with the signing of the Paris Agreements (Paris Pacts, or Paris Accords), which granted West Germany full sovereignty, ended the occupation, and allowed its admittance to NATO. Furthermore, both West Germany and Italy joined the Brussels Treaty on 23 October 1954. The Agreements went into force on 5 May 1955. The participating powers included France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg, West Germany, Italy, Canada, the United States, and remaining NATO members.

Contents

Prelude

Since the end of World War II, West Germany had been occupied by Allied forces and lacked its own means of defense. On 23 July 1952, the European Coal and Steel Community came into existence, bonding the member states economically. By 1951, fear of possible Soviet aggression in Europe led to preparation of an ill-fated European Defense Community (EDC). EDC was a proposed joint Western European military force, at the time favored over admitting Germany to NATO. The General Treaty (German: Deutschlandvertrag) of 1952 formally named the EDC as a prerequisite of the end of Allied occupation of Germany. EDC was, however, rejected by the French National Assembly on August 30, 1954, and a new solution became necessary.

London

At the London Conference, often called the Nine-Power Conference (not to be confused with the Nine Power Treaty), it was agreed that the occupying powers would make every effort to end the occupation. The limits of German re-armament were also very important especially to France, which was still concerned with a powerful Germany.

Belgium was represented by Paul-Henri Spaak, Canada by Lester B. Pearson, France by Pierre Mendès-France, Germany by Konrad Adenauer, Italy by Gaetano Martino, Luxembourg by Joseph Bech, the Netherlands by Jan Willem Beyen, the United Kingdom by Anthony Eden, and the United States by John Foster Dulles.

Paris

The powers met again in Paris on October 20–23, in an intergovernmental conference followed by a NATO Council meeting, to put the decisions reached in London into formal declarations and protocols to existing treaties. "Protocol No. I Modifying and Completing the Brussels Treaty" formally added West Germany and Italy to the Brussels Treaty, creating the Western European Union (WEU), which, while not as broad or powerful as the previously proposed EDC, nevertheless was sufficient for the Deutschlandvertrag to come into force and therefore to end the occupation of West Germany and admit it as an ally in the Cold War.

Altogether there were as many as twelve international agreements signed in Paris. the Bonn–Paris conventions ended the occupation of West Germany and West Germany obtained "the full authority of a sovereign state" on 5 May 1955 (although "full sovereignty" was not obtained until the Two Plus Four Agreement in 1990). The treaty allowed Allied troops to remain in the country.

An agreement expanded the Brussels Treaty of 1948 to include West Germany and Italy, creating the Western European Union. This agreement allowed West Germany to start a limited rearmament program though it banned development of certain weapons, such as large warships. It was signed by the Brussels Treaty countries (Belgium, France, Great Britain, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands) and by West Germany and Italy.

Another accord accepted West Germany into the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

The negotiations on Saar status, only between France and West Germany, were held on the night before the conference, on 19 October. The territory had been essentially annexed by France and a referendum was set up to determine the will of its people (the outcome was that Saarland rejoined West Germany in 1956-1957). On 27 October 1956 the Saar Treaty officially made Saarland a state of the Federal Republic of Germany.

References

London and Paris Conferences Wikipedia


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