London and Paris Conferences

London and Paris Conferences

The London and Paris Conferences were two related conferences in London and Paris in late September and October 1954 to determine the status of West Germany. The nine participating powers were the 5 signatories of the Brussels Treaty (France, the United Kingdom, Luxembourg, Belgium, and the Netherlands), West Germany, Italy, Canada, and the United States.

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.



The meeting was called after the failure of the European Defense Community (EDC), which had proposed a Western European military force to defend the non-communist nations against Soviet aggression rather than admitting Germany into NATO. Previous agreements, including the General Treaty (German: Deutschlandvertrag), had established the EDC as a prerequisite for the end of Allied occupation and Germany's rearmament and its failure was a significant roadblock.


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. Germany would also accede to the Washington Treaty (North Atlantic Treaty) and, along with Italy, the Brussels Treaty. The status of Saarland, which had been essentially annexed by France, was also discussed and it was proposed that it become an independent state, and a referendum was set up to determine the will of the people of Saarland (it was defeated and Saarland rejoined West Germany in 1956). The limits of German re-armament were also very important especially to France, which was still concerned with a powerful Germany. It was agreed that West Germany would be forbidden to build atomic or biological weapons.


The powers met again in Paris on October 21 to sign official agreements concerning the decisions reached in London, often called the "Paris Agreements" or the "Paris Accords" (not to be confused with the Paris Peace Accords ending the Vietnam War). "Protocol No. I Modifying and Completing the Brussels Treaty" formally added West Germany and Italy to the Brussels Treaty created the Western European Union (WEU), which, while not as international or powerful as the 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 a partner in the Cold War.

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