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C 102/20 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 3. 4.

98

The Commission wrote to the complainants on 23 December 1996 asking them to submit their comments on its
preliminary position, summarised below:

The Commission pointed out to the complainants that the national courts had jurisdiction to examine agreements
under Article 85(1) of the EC Treaty and the block exemption Regulation No 1984/83. The national court may
declare agreements void pursuant to Article 85(2) of the EC Treaty.

The Commission informed the complainants that it takes the view that the complaint does not involve sufficient
Community interest for it to take action.

Furthermore, the Commission notes that only the national court can award the complainants any damages to
offset the losses incurred as a result of the contracts.

Lastly, the Commission notes that the existence of a block exemption regulation covering the agreements in
question can be taken into account in deciding not to examine a complaint since the very purpose of a block
exemption regulation is to limit notifications and the individual examination of agreements in the relevant sector.
In addition, any such block exemption regulation makes it easier for national courts to implement Community
law.

In accordance with its policy in such cases, the Commission has not carried out an in-depth examination of the
agreements so as not to prejudice the position which the national courts might adopt if the matter were referred to
them.

(1) Commission Regulation (EEC) No 1984/83 of 22 June 1983 on the application of Article 85(3) of the Treaty to categories of exclusive
purchasing agreements − OJ L 173, 30.6.1983; Corrigendum OJ L 281, 13.10.1983.

(98/C 102/30) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2251/97


by Leonie van Bladel (UPE) to the Council
(18 July 1997)

Subject: Request by two Dutch citizens to the Netherlands Ministry of Justice to institute proceedings in respect
of human rights violations

1. On 13 May 1997 the public prosecutor of Amsterdam, C.J.M. Goes, wrote to Rob Wijngaarde and Romeo
Hoost, brother and nephew respectively of two of the fifteen victims, as follows: ‘On 4 April 1997 the Ministry of
Justice wrote to me, referring to the replies to questions in the chamber on 30 May 1996 (of which I assumed you
are aware), to say that it must be assumed that Mr Bouterse lost Dutch nationality prior to 1982. It is now clear to
me that the Ministry of Justice will not be taking any further action because it has no grounds for assuming that
any further information would lead to a different conclusion’. Does the Dutch Presidency realise that this case
involves a very serious violation of human rights, and that inquiries should be pursued as far as they can to
establish what nationality Bouterse had at the time of the murders of the fifteen people carried out by him, or on
his instructions?

2. The Minister’s reply to the questions in the chamber on 30 May 1996 was simply that it must be assumed
that Bouterse had Surinamese nationality at the time of the murders carried out by him, or on his instructions.
Does the Dutch Minister now have a clearer picture of Bouterse’s nationality at the time of his crimes against
humanity and violations of human rights? Does the Presidency realise that if no further information can be
obtained, and if it relies solely on supposition, this careless behaviour will seriously undermine public
confidence in the rule of law and the constitutional state?

3. In reply to the questions in the chamber on 30 April 1996 the current President of the Council of Ministers
of Justice stated that the consul-general of Surinam had been requested to shed light on Bouterse’s nationality at
the time of his human rights violations and crimes against humanity on 8 and 9 December 1982. Has the
President of the Council of Ministers of Justice now received a reply from Surinam’s consul-general and, if so,
what, in the opinion of the consul-general, was Bouterse’s nationality, and what evidence is there in support of
this? If the consul-general of Surinam has still not replied, why has this obstructive behaviour been tolerated by
the Dutch Presidency of the Council, and why have there not been any further enquiries?