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C 174/156 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 8. 6.


Labelling of the country of origin is not compulsory at Community level, though some Member States do require

If the textile products imported into the Community from Bangladesh fail to satisfy the Directive’s labelling
provisions, the parties concerned may lodge a complaint with the Commission.

(1) Commission Directive 97/37/EC of 19 June 1997 adapting to technical progress Annexes I and II to Directive 96/74/EC of the European
Parliament and of the Council on textile names, OJ L 169, 27.6.1997.

(98/C 174/232) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3949/97

by James Nicholson (I-EDN) to the Commission
(12 December 1997)

Subject: Conscientious Objectors in Greece

Although Greece has recently enacted a law to recognise conscientious objection, interest groups claim that there
is still discrimination against the practice as persons currently imprisoned for their pacifist beliefs have not been
released. It is also claimed that the new law (2510/97) does not take account of matters such as the development
of conscientious objection during the period of military service.

What is the opinion of the Commission on the law governing military service with regard to conscientious
objection in Greece?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(16 January 1998)

The Honourable Member is referred to the Commission’s answer to written question E-868/96 by Mr Gianni
Tamino and other MEPs (1).

(1) OJ C 280, 25.9.1996.

(98/C 174/233) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3958/97

by Johanna Maij-Weggen (PPE) to the Commission
(12 December 1997)

Subject: Arms exports in Sweden

Is the Commission aware that in May 1997 the Swedish government forwarded a report to the Swedish
Parliament entitled Swedish Arms Exports in 1996?

Can the Commission investigate which governments of EU Member States also provide their parliaments with
such information on arms exports from their countries?

Is the Commission willing to request these annual reports, to combine them and to forward them with an
inventory and comments to the European Parliament?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(29 January 1998)

The Commission is aware of and welcomes the Swedish government’s report ‘Swedish arms exports in 1996’
which was submitted to the Swedish Parliament.

Through public information the Commission is also aware that, in different forms, some Member States’
governments notify their national parliaments on licensed arms exports.
8. 6. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 174/157

The Commission draws the attention of the Honourable Member to the communication ‘Implementing European
Union strategy on defence-related industry’ it adopted recently (1). In this communication the Commission
explains that an integrated European market for defence products should be set up using a combination of all the
instruments at the Union’s disposal. The communication consists of an action plan for defence-related industries
as well as a proposal for a common position on drawing up a European armaments policy.

As part of this action plan the Commission will draw up a white paper formulating possible options for progress
toward a common arms export policy, which will then also contribute to the establishment of a code of conduct.

As part of this white paper the Commission could for example suggest information exchange between Member
States and the Community institutions on arms exports.

However, it is not foreseen that the Commission requests at this stage copies of Member States’ reports on arms

(1) COM(97) 583 final.

(98/C 174/234) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3963/97

by Maj Theorin (PSE) to the Commission
(5 December 1997)

Subject: Human rights in Turkey

The European Parliament has on several occasions called for human rights to be respected in Turkey. The
EU-Turkey customs union was adopted in spite of evidence that Turkey was then, and is still, committing serious
breaches of human rights and breaches of democracy. Reports are still coming out of Turkey which show that
human rights continue to be infringed there. The human rights situation in Turkey is far from satisfactory.

How does the Commission propose to hasten the prospect of Turkey’s respecting human rights and becoming a
stable democracy?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission

(12 January 1998)

The Commission never fails to impress on the Turkish authorities the importance that the Community attaches to
improvements in the human rights situation and the continuation of the democratisation process.

In Agenda 2000 the Commission noted that ‘despite political recognition of the need for improvement and
certain recent legislative changes, Turkey’s record on upholding the rights of the individual and freedom of
expression falls well short of standards in the EU’ (1).

Since 1993 the Commission has supported many Turkish non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to
promote human rights and strengthen civil society in the country. It has granted ECU 6 million (ECU 3 million in
1997 alone) for over sixty projects. The Commission intends to continue and step up this cooperation.

The Commission communication of 15 July 1997 on the further development of relations with Turkey includes
proposals to help European and Turkish NGOs, and argues that the Community should go on backing Turkey’s
efforts to resolve its problems and continue its integration into the Community (2).