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C 310/48 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 9. 10.

98

(98/C 310/59) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0308/98


by Daniel Féret (NI) to the Commission
(5 February 1998)

Subject: Principality of Monaco and the euro

The advantages accorded to the Principality of Monaco since the beginning of this century have been a constant
source of surprise.

The latest reported financial privilege relates to the future single currency. Although it lies within European
Community customs territory, Monaco does not belong to the European Union.

Once the euro has been established as the single currency, however, Monaco will be entitled to use it on account
of a skilful legal subterfuge providing for special terms in monetary relations between Monaco and France under
the Maastricht Treaty.

Whereas all the Member States that will be adopting the single currency now have to undertake gigantic
exertions in order to satisfy the criteria laid down in the Treaty on European Union and gain their ticket to the
euro, Monaco needs only to wait calmly for the change-over date to make a smooth, painless switch.

Does the Commission think it legally and morally right to grant such an immense favour to the Prince?

Answer given by Mr de Silguy on behalf of the Commission


(2 March 1998)

According to Declaration No 6 appended to the EC Treaty, the Community has undertaken to facilitate such
renegotiations of existing arrangements as might become necessary as a result of the introduction of the single
currency.

The purpose of the Declaration is to allow the existing situation to continue as regards monetary relations
between Monaco and France. It is quite usual for states or territories with small populations to adopt the currency
of a neighbouring country as their national currency. As its title indicates, the Declaration also covers monetary
relations between the Republic of San Marino and the Vatican City on the one hand, and Italy on the other.

The convergence criteria are not directly applicable to the Principality of Monaco, since it is not part of the
Community and is therefore not a co-signatory to the EC Treaty. Accordingly, the Principality has not been
involved in the decision-making process leading up to the introduction of the single currency, and will be unable
to play an active role in future in the development of monetary policy by the Central European Bank (CEB) and
the coordination of economic policy by the Member States within the Council.

(98/C 310/60) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0319/98


by Magda Aelvoet (V) to the Commission
(17 February 1998)

Subject: Security in Great Lakes Region of Africa

Does the Commission intend to support international efforts for the reactivation of the United Nations
International Commission (Rwanda) and the extension of its mandate to investigate arms flows to the Great
Lakes region, as called for by the European Parliament? Does the Commission support international calls for the
deployment of United Nations or Organization of African Unity military observers to key airstrips and crossing
points in the Great Lakes region?
9. 10. 98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 310/49

Answer given by Mr Pinheiro on behalf of the Commission

(22 April 1998)

The International commission of inquiry to investigate arms trafficking to former Rwandan government forces in
the Great Lakes region, established by the United Nations security Council (UNSC) resolution 1013 (1995),
accomplished its work in late 1996 and submitted a report, which was completed by information the United
Nations (UN) secretariat received from governments during 1997. At a UNSC briefing on 22 December 1997, the
UN secretary general special envoy for the Great Lakes region, Mohamed Sahnoun, advocated a resumption of
the work of the commission of inquiry. Various members of the UNSC, which is now considering reactivating
the commission, supported the proposal. The decision to resume the inquiry as well as the determination of its
mandate, including its geographical scope, falls under the competence of the UNSC.

As regards the Commission’s position in the framework of the common foreign and security policy of the
Community, the Commission has repeatedly expressed concern about the violence in Rwanda and Burundi as
well as about the presence of various armed groups in eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). It is true
that to a certain extent, the arms trade has fuelled the violent conflicts in the Great Lakes region. However, in the
absence of a regional security agreement or a regional arms embargo imposed by the United Nations, an inquiry
into the trade of weapons in the Great Lakes region would encounter serious difficulties. Many of the arms
deliveries in the Great Lakes go to governments, which are not subject to any international restriction in arms
trade. These governments are likely to object to any investigation with no legal justification in international law.

The only existing international arms embargo is that imposed on the former Rwandan government forces
ex-Rwandan Armed Forces (FAR), which are but one of the many armed factions in the region. The embargo
imposed on Burundi by eight countries of the Great Lakes region, following the July 1996 coup d’état in
Bujumbura, has not been followed by a UN embargo. Likewise, the Rwandan government’s obligation to notify
to the UN sanctions committee any procurement of weapons and military material, decided by UNSC Resolution
1011 (1995), has been suspended since September 1996.

The Commission supports any realistic effort to curb arms deliveries to the Great Lakes region. However, such
efforts need a sound legal basis and have to take into account the legitimate right of governments to defend
themselves against armed insurgency. A regional arms embargo would only be a useful measure if it was
properly implemented and combined with a regional security agreement among the states of the Great Lakes
region, including mutual guarantees for border security. Since there are no such agreements, nor any initiatives in
that direction, the resumption of the commission of inquiry or the deployment of UN or Organisation of African
unity (OAU) observers on the main airstrips of the Great Lakes region will have little effect in limiting the arms
trade and reducing the notorious ethnic and political violence in this region.

Finally, it is worth recalling that the genocide in Rwanda was carried out largely with agricultural instruments
like machetes and hoes, and not with military weapons. Even a strictly implemented regional arms embargo
could not prevent such excesses of ethnic violence. This underscores the importance of searching for sustainable
political solutions to the conflicts in the Great Lakes region, and the necessity to promote national reconciliation
at all levels of society.

(98/C 310/61) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0321/98

by Iñigo Méndez de Vigo (PPE) to the Commission

(17 February 1998)

Subject: EU-subsidized Prince Programme

In 1997, the Commission organized a series of meetings to inform the public about the scope and contents of the
Intergovernmental Conference and the Amsterdam Treaty.