[From the Introduction]. According to the European Council’s Declaration on "the strengthening of the Common European Policy on Security and Defence" issued at Cologne on June 4th 1999, which follows the direction given by the "British- French Joint Declaration on European Defence", adopted at St. Malo on December 4th 1998, the European Union is to provide the institutional framework for a future "autonomous" European military contribution to international security. The essential legal basis for such "action" in international crisis and conflict situations, which would not correspond to "article 5 contingencies" of the North Atlantic alliance treaty and therefore would not constitute a case for NATO "collective defence" with the commitment of all the allies including the US and Canada, is to be the Union Treaty of Amsterdam, effective as of 19993. The common security and defence policy is to be set into the framework of the CFSP as defined by the union treaties of Maastricht and Amsterdam and accordingly limited to the "Petersberg Tasks" agreed upon in 1992 by the partners of the WEU and inscribed into the Amsterdam treaty. It should be conceived as a part of the latter. In the wording of the Cologne decisions and the report of the German presidency, adopted by the Council as expression of the agreement between the member-states, the "development of a common European security and defence policy" is meant to "strengthen the CFSP". To this end "capacity for autonomous action, backed up by credible military forces, the means to decide to use them, and the readiness to do so" and "appropriate" organisms and procedures for decision-making are deemed necessary by the Chiefs of State and Government assembled at Cologne, "in order to respond to international crises". In the "Declaration of the European Council" on the "Common European Policy on Security and Defence" the "intention" is expressed to provide the EU with "the necessary means and capabilities" for "conflict prevention and crisis management" in order to "contribute to international peace and security in accordance with the principles of the UN Charter without prejudice to actions by NATO". The "measures" to be taken in such contingencies by the EU "irrespectively" of NATO require "military as well as political and economic" means.