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The Mutual Assistance and Solidarity Clauses

Legal and Political Challenges of an Integrated EU Security System


Antonio-Maria Martino

The Mutual Assistance and Solidarity Clauses is the first comprehensive comparative analysis of two major innovations introduced by the Lisbon Treaty. Antonio-Maria Martino’s study focuses on the origins, scope, interpretation and technical aspects of both clauses, with a particular focus on the Solidarity Clause. He highlights the overlap between both provisions and the wide range of competences theoretically conferred upon the Union by the Solidarity Clause. The author also presents a critical outline of the negotiations with regard to the new Joint Proposal on the implementation of the Solidarity Clause by the Union, which will set out the framework for EU action in the event of a solidarity case.
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III. Models of the Mutual Assistance Clause


Article 42(7) of the Treaty on European Union provides that “[i]f a Member State is the victim of armed aggression on its territory, the other Member States shall have towards it an obligation of aid and assistance by all the means in their power, in accordance with Article 51 of the United Nations Charter. This shall not prejudice the specific character of the security and defence policy of certain Member States. Commitments and cooperation in this area shall be consistent with commitments under the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, which, for those States which are members of it, remains the foundation of their collective defence and the forum for its implementation”. The Mutual Assistance Clause has models such as the NATO treaty and the modified Brussels Treaty of 1954, which established the Western European Union (WEU), whereas the Solidarity Clause is a genuine innovation of the European Union.

III.a. Article V Western European Union

It is commonly assumed that Article 42(7) TEU has its origins in Article V of the modified Brussels Treaty of 1954, which established the Western European Union (WEU). Article V Brussels Treaty reads as follows:

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