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C 377/336 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 29.12.


Thursday 16 March 2000

7. Human rights in the world


European Parliament resolution on the Annual Report on International Human Rights and Euro-
pean Union Human Rights Policy, 1999 (11350/1999 ' C5-0265/1999 ' 1999/2002(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the EU Annual Report on Human Rights (11350/1999  C5-0265/1999),

 having regard to the Council’s Memorandum to the European Parliament on human rights in the
world and the Union’s human rights policy (13334/1999  C4-0106/1999),

 having regard to its previous resolutions on human rights in the world, adopted on 17 December
1998, 12 December 1996, 26 April 1995, 12 March 1993, 12 September 1991, 18 January 1989,
12 March 1987, 22 October 1985, 22 May 1984 and 17 May 1983 (1),

 having regard to its resolutions of 16 March 2000 on respect for human rights in the European Union
(1998 and 1999) (11350/1999  C5-0265/1999  1999/2001(INI)) (2), on countering racism and
xenophobia in the European Union (COM(1999) 268  C5-0310/1999 and C5-0015/2000 
1999/2205(COS)) (3) and on the communication from the Commission: Combating racism, xenopho-
bia and anti-Semitism in the candidate countries (COM(1999) 256  C5-0094/1999  1999/
2099(COS)) (4),

 having regard to its resolution of 17 December 1998 on the communication from the Commission to
the Council and the European Parliament on ‘The European Union and the external dimension of
human rights policy: from Rome to Maastricht and beyond’ (COM(1995) 567  C4-0568/1995) (5),

 having regard to its resolution of 19 December 1997 on setting up a single coordinating structure
within the Commission, responsible for human rights and democratisation (6),

 having regard to its resolution of 19 December 1997 on the Commission report on the implementa-
tion of measures intended to promote observance of human rights and democratic principles (for
1995) (COM(1996) 672  C4-0095/1997) (7),

 having regard to its resolution of 20 September 1996 on the communication from the Commission
on the inclusion of respect for democratic principles and human rights in agreements between the
Community and third countries (COM(1995) 216  C4-0197/1995) (8),

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,

 having regard to Articles 3, 6, 7 and 11 of the Treaty on European Union and Articles 177 and 300
of the Treaty establishing the European Community,

 having regard to Rule 163 of its Rules of Procedure,

 having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, Human Rights, Common Security
and Defence Policy (A5-0060/2000),

A. whereas respect for and promotion of human rights and fundamental freedoms and the development
of democratic principles constitute fundamental objectives of EU foreign policy,

(1) OJ C 98, 9.4.1999, pp. 267 and 270; OJ C 20, 20.1.1997, p. 94; OJ C 126, 22.5.1995, p. 15; OJ C 115,
26.4.1993, p. 214; OJ C 267, 14.10.1991, p. 165; OJ C 47, 27.02.1989, p. 61; OJ C 99, 13.4.1987, p. 157;
OJ C 343, 31.12.1985, p. 29; OJ C 172, 2.7.1984, p. 36; OJ C 161, 10.6.1983, p. 58.
(2) Texts Adopted of that Sitting, Item 8.
(3) Texts Adopted of that Sitting, Item 17.
(4) Texts Adopted of that Sitting, Item 18.
(5) OJ C 98, 9.4.1999, p. 267.
(6) OJ C 14, 19.1.1998, p. 402.
(7) OJ C 14, 19.1.1998, p. 399.
(8) OJ C 320, 28.10.1996, p. 261.
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B. whereas the EU’s promotion of human rights globally is an essential contribution to international
peace, stability and prosperity, and can only be credible if these principles are first respected on its
own territory by all its Member States,

C. whereas human rights and democratic principles, in their various forms, are still being repeatedly
violated in a large number of countries,

D. whereas failure to respect these basic principles must have unequivocal implications for the action of
the European Union,

Recommendations on EU human rights policy

A Common Strategy for Human Rights

1. Recommends, in view of the priority attached by the EU to human rights and because of the need to
establish a coherent and consistent approach across the different European Union institutions, that the
Council urgently elaborate a common strategy on human rights in consultation with Parliament;

2. Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States to ensure that the EU’s external and
internal policies  in particular its policies on trade, on development cooperation, the CFSP and the area
of security, freedom and justice  are consistent with this common strategy and the implementation

3. Recommends that the Council and Commission ensure that human rights and democratic principles
are actually respected firstly within the EU by all Member States; in this connection, reaffirms its intention
to support unreservedly and contribute fully to the elaboration of an EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

4. Recommends that future Annual Reports on Human Rights from the Council should include a record
of human rights activities by the Member States, by the Commission and by Parliament and also of all
actions falling under budget heading B7-70;

Further institutional innovations

5. Recommends that the EU formally establish an advisory group to discuss the strategic aspects of
human rights activities, comprising representatives of the Member States, the Commission and Parliament,
together with independent human rights specialists;

6. Recommends that Commission Delegations around the world should have access to human rights
expertise through the designation of qualified human rights staff;

7. Recommends strongly the establishment of an early-warning system for human rights violations in
order to be able to respond to them as swiftly as possible;

8. Recommends that the present human rights regulations should be amended to provide for the pre-
sence of its representatives at meetings of the Human Rights Committee at least once a year;

9. Requests observer status at the CFSP Working Group on Human Rights (COHOM) and that the High
Representative for the CFSP report regularly to Parliament on the activities of COHOM;

10. Calls on the Council and Commission to examine carefully the question of an EU human rights
agency and to ensure that any decisions taken in this respect will work in favour of the greater coherence
and effectiveness of EU activities;

11. Condemns all acts of racism and discrimination, whether ideological or religious, and calls on the
Commission and the Member States to adopt the necessary measures to combat movements promoting
violence and intolerance;
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12. Calls on the EU to establish appropriate common policy measures on procedural arrangements for
refugees and asylum seekers and highlights the need for a fair sharing of the burden between Member

The European Parliament’s role and enhanced interinstitutional cooperation

13. Decides to convene an annual plenary debate on human rights policy, linked to the presentation of
the Council’s Annual Report on Human Rights, which should be presented in the first instance to the
European Parliament;

14. Offers to host the next EU Human Rights Forum, the first of which took place in Brussels
in November 1999;

15. Intends to launch a human rights website on its Europarl site to gather together relevant informa-
tion from different parliamentary bodies and services; this should be developed as part of a human rights
site run jointly by the EU institutions on the Europa server;

16. Recommends that procedures should be drawn up to allow a coordinated and coherent follow-up
of individual cases of human rights violations brought up through plenary resolutions, through the Euro-
pean Parliament’s Committee on Foreign Affairs and Working Party on Human Rights and through inter-
parliamentary delegations and joint Parliamentary committees;

17. Intends to nominate a special envoy for prisoners of conscience and human rights defenders,
charged with following up cases of the persecution of individuals raised in plenary;

Project funding

18. Recommends that the Council, Parliament and Commission should jointly declare their determina-
tion to increase human rights and democratisation expenditure in each of the next five years;

19. Recommends that the EU should commission an external analysis of the effectiveness of arrange-
ments for project funding under the two human rights regulations which entered into force in 1999;
this analysis should also address:

 the effectiveness of funding attributed to programmes run by other international organisations, such as
the UN and the Council of Europe,

 the effectiveness of ‘macroprojects’ in general,

 the effectiveness of small and medium-sized projects, and

 the operation of the micro-project facility, by which grants are decided at the level of Commission

20. Reaffirms its political and financial support for NGOs and the work they do to promote human
rights around the world;

21. Recommends that provision should be made in the Commission budget for support to a platform
of human rights NGOs, on the lines of similar platforms concerning (inter alia) development policy, social
policy and women’s affairs;

22. Recommends that all Commission decisions on project funding should be formally and rapidly
communicated to Parliament;

EU Enlargement

23. Calls on the Council and Commission to convene a further conference to review the effectiveness of
EU support for the efforts of candidate countries to achieve the political criteria established at Copenhagen;
this conference should also address the extent to which candidate countries have implemented the
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obligations they have accepted under international and regional human rights instruments, such as the
European Convention on human rights and the Convention on the Rights of the Child, including what
action has been taken to deal with child trafficking and child pornography;

24. Calls for particular efforts to improve the effectiveness of programmes concerning the conditions of
minorities in applicant countries, in particular those of religious, ethnic, linguistic and cultural minorities;
calls also for cooperation arrangements to be established with the European Commission against Racism
and Intolerance (ECIR) and the European Monitoring Centre on Racism and Xenophobia with a view to
combating the rise of such movements in Europe;

25. Calls on the Council and Commission to make particular efforts to improve the effectiveness and
rigorous monitoring of programmes concerning protection and respect for the human rights of minorities
in candidate countries, and to enhance the ability of these countries to pass and implement laws aimed at
countering discrimination, including on grounds of race;

26. Calls for the issue of the rights of the Kurdish people and other ethnic groups not to be overlooked
in negotiations for Turkey’s accession;

27. Considers it vital that improving the minority situation of Roma and Sinti in the candidate coun-
tries in a multilateral EU and applicant country action programme should be declared to be an important
part of the accession strategy and should be carried through;

28. Urges the Council and Commission to raise the question of discrimination against homosexuals
during membership negotiations, where necessary;

29. Recommends that representatives of the governments, national parliaments and civil society of the
candidate countries be invited to contribute to the elaboration of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,
which will become part of the acquis communautaire;

International diplomacy for human rights

30. Calls on the Council and Commission to inform Parliament in advance of the programme of activ-
ities envisaged in the framework of the EU-China Human Rights Dialogue; to ensure that its dialogue with
other countries, including Russia and Turkey, addresses human rights issues; and to submit reports on each
session of all such dialogues to Parliament;

The use of Human Rights clauses

31. Emphasises the importance of the human rights clause as a basis for a common effort to improve
respect for human rights, and insists that the suspension mechanism for agreements which include the
human rights clause should in all cases be based on clear procedures, and that implementing regulations
should be speedily adopted where necessary; reiterates its concern at the fact that many international
agreements by which the EU is bound do not include implementing rules governing the suspension
mechanism, as provided for in Article 366a of the Lomé Convention;

32. Insists that human rights should be a fixed point on the agenda of association councils, and the that
consideration should be given to the establishment of joint working groups on human rights;

33. Reiterates its request to the Commission to draw up, as a matter of urgency, a detailed list of the
rights which it considers to be covered by the human rights clause, referring to the international and
regional human rights instruments to which the EU and its Member States subscribe; believes that this
will help to give the clause real substance and thereby contribute to its implementation;

34. Requests the right formally to invoke the human rights clause and to initiate the consultations fore-
seen in the suspension process;

35. Calls for consideration of the possibility of granting individuals or groups who defend human rights
the right to invoke the human rights clause;
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Recommendations for cases of human rights violations against women

36. Urges all states to ratify and implement the UN Convention on the elimination of discrimination
against women (CEDAW), from childhood to old age, to suppress reservations concerning the convention
which have been lodged by the States Parties, and to ratify the Optional Protocol allowing for individual

37. Urges all governments to formulate and implement national action plans for the elimination of
violence against women and of all other forms of degrading treatment of women, including appropriate
legislation against all forms of domestic violence, and to refrain from invoking customs or cultural/reli-
gious considerations to avoid obligations in this respect;

38. Calls on governments to take the necessary measures so that domestic violence is covered by
human rights and not by private law, with the aim of making it easier to pursue offenders;

39. Calls on governments to promote research and to establish indicators to gauge violence against
women, its scope, type and characteristics;

40. Insists that respect for and promotion of women’s human rights are a central element of the EU’s
foreign and development assistance policy;

41. Calls on the Council to raise women’s human rights in negotiations and discussions with third
countries, and to include references to the respect of women’s human rights in human rights clauses in
agreements with third countries;

42. Welcomes the fact that rape in armed conflicts is now recognised as a war crime, and stresses that
full protection must be ensured for victims who testify at international tribunals;

43. Urges all governments to eliminate discriminatory provisions against women and girls in national
legislation and to ensure equal access for women and girls to education, the labour market, the profes-
sional world and health care;

44. Calls on all governments to devote special attention to the specific situation of women who are
imprisoned, inter alia with regard to the upbringing of their children, and calls on these governments to
initiate specific upbringing programmes to help cope with this situation; and calls on all governments to
urgently adopt measures to ensure that women in detention are not subjected to rape, sexual abuse or
other forms of humiliation;

45. Urges the governments concerned to prohibit female genital mutilation and provide for the rehabi-
litation and treatment of victims; calls on the Commission to cooperate closely with NGOs and local
initiatives, also involving religious leaders, to put an end to this practice, also through the promotion of
alternative rights of passage for young girls;

46. Calls for the genital mutilation of women and other practices which impinge upon a woman’s free-
dom from bodily harm against her individual wishes to be fully recognised as a human rights violation and
calls for suitable protection to be given to such women where they seek asylum owing to the threat of
physical mutilation;

47. Strongly condemns the systematic discrimination against women practised by the government of
Saudi Arabia, Iran and other countries;

48. Utterly condemns the practice of bride burning, instances of which have been reported in Pakistan;

49. Utterly condemns the systematic discrimination against and permanent repression of women prac-
tised by the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which restricts fundamental rights and could accurately be
called gender apartheid;
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50. Condemns vigorously the practices of kidnapping young girls, using them as child soldiers and
subjecting them to extreme brutality, inter alia of a sexual nature, and calls for the immediate release of
victims of this form of violence;

51. Insists that protection of abused women seeking asylum should constitute a part of the common
asylum policy of EU Member States; that women who are victims of a system of permanent oppression on
grounds of gender in their home countries are eligible for asylum in the European Union, subject to the
fair assessment of each individual application; and that provision should be made for rehabilitation and
support for female asylum seekers who are victims of violence;

52. Calls on the Council and all EU Member States to grant an independent right of residence to wives,
divorced women and women who, owing to unreasonable circumstances during the marriage, wish to live
separately from their husbands or fiancées;

53. Recommends that the EU conduct a multi-annual campaign against violence and discrimination
against women, and that this campaign be pursued also through EU relations with third countries; con-
siders that this campaign should be primarily aimed at young people and be conducted in consultation
with the Council of Europe and NGOs;

54. Recommends that substantial funding be entered in the Financial Perspectives of the Union for
measures designed to tackle violence against women and trafficking in women, including for information
campaigns, targeting potential victims of trafficking, in Central and Eastern Europe and elsewhere;

55. Calls on governments to intensify cooperation between the states of origin and of destination of
trafficking in women by supporting investigation and judicial processes and ensuring an effective exchange
of information encompassing governmental and non-governmental action;

56. Recommends enhanced EU support for NGOs working for women’s human rights, for an end to
trafficking and for the rehabilitation of victims;

57. Calls on the EU to initiate a UN Convention on punishment of anybody who is responsible for
incitement to, or organisation or execution of, any form of trafficking in persons;

58. Urges all governments to provide practical and effective support for victims of trafficking, including
protection, shelter, access to healthcare, psychological care, sufficient income, counselling on asylum, work
and education;

59. Calls on its Inter-Parliamentary delegations to arrange regular discussions of women’s human rights
at meetings with members of other parliaments, also involving civil society;

Recommendations on other issues requiring urgent international action

60. Reiterates its call for the universal ratification of key international human rights instruments, includ-
ing the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic,
Social and Cultural Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination against
Women, the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discri-
mination and the Convention against Torture and urges all governments to ratify without reservations
these Conventions and to implement them;

61. Condemns the Chinese government’s practice of preventing dissidents from entering mainland
China, in violation of Article 13 of the Universal Declaration on Human Rights.

62. Stresses that, more than 18 months after the conclusion of the Conference of Plenipotentiaries, Italy
is the only EU Member State to have ratified the Statute of the International Criminal Court and calls on
the other 14 Member States to do so before the end of 2000;

63. Calls on all states not to adhere to Article 124 of the ICC Statute, which allows any state to opt out
of the court’s jurisdiction for a period of seven years;
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64. Reaffirms its commitment to the abolition of capital punishment and salutes the diplomatic efforts
being made by the European Union and its Member States in favour of a global moratorium on the death
penalty and the ultimate abolition of capital punishment; to this end, calls on the European Union to
renew its efforts within the United Nations to ensure that the General Assembly takes a stance as soon
as possible on a universal moratorium and the abolition of the death penalty; calls on the Council and the
Commission to inform it of any progress made towards the abolition of the death penalty, in particular in
the context of the political dialogue with China, the United States and Iran; recalls that, according to the
declaration on the death penalty annexed to the Treaty of Amsterdam, no candidate country in which the
death penalty is still applicable may join the European Union;

65. Congratulates the governments of the Member States which have unilaterally cancelled or reduced
the debt of the poorest countries and encourages those which have not yet done so to follow their exam-

66. Insists the abolition of the death penalty should become a key element of European human rights
policy and calls on the Council to raise this issue in dialogue with third countries;

67. Calls on the Council and Commission to step up their efforts to establish common definitions and
strategies at EU level on asylum seekers and refugees, respecting and, where appropriate, supplementing
the Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees; is concerned at the growing number of reports of
ill-treatment suffered by asylum seekers in EU Member States and calls on these Member States, as a matter
of urgency, to introduce a policy on treatment, detention and, if necessary, expulsion of asylum seekers
that is more respectful of human rights;

68. Calls in particular on the Council and on EU Member States to grant asylum rights or refugee status
to conscientious objectors and deserters from countries where the right to conscientious objection is not
recognised and/or where military forces are practising violations of human rights or contravening interna-
tional law;

69. Urges the governments of states party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child to guarantee
universal access to education, without any distinction based on gender, with priority being given to pri-
mary and technical education and vocational training and calls on all governments to adopt child literacy

70. Calls on the United States and Somalia to ratify the Convention on the Rights of Child;

71. Calls for an increase in international funding to help less-developed countries to meet the objectives
set at the Jomtien World Conference (1990) on Education for All and the Copenhagen World Conference
(1995) on Social Development;

72. Welcomes the recent initiative by the Commission in elaborating a communication on children’s

73. Hopes that respect for the rights of the child will become a central element in the foreign and
development policies of the EU; calls on the Council and Commission to combat all forms of child abuse
efficiently, including child abuse which involves using the Internet to purvey child pornography; calls on
the Council and Member States to increase efforts to prevent trafficking in children and to work with third
countries to prevent sexual exploitation of children;

74. Calls on the Council and the Member States urgently to adopt the necessary measures to combat
sex tourism and child pornography;

75. Calls on the EU to work for international action against trafficking in children, in particular in order
to combat international networks which organise the abduction, sale, abuse and killing of children and
minors in general;

76. Calls therefore on the Commission to monitor closely the development of networks engaging in
trafficking in children and minors and their impact in third countries as well as in Member States;
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77. Welcomes the recent adoption of a draft Optional Protocol on the involvement of Children in
Armed Conflict, and calls on all governments to sign and ratify this protocol without delay;

78. Calls on all governments to ratify International Labour Organisation (ILO) Conventions No 182 on
the Worst Forms of Child Labour and No 138 concerning Minimum Age for Admission to Employment;

79. Calls on the Council and the EU Member States to take practical steps to incorporate fundamental
workers’ rights into specific actions by the WTO to reinforce the weight of the internationally recognised
standards of the ILO. These should begin with the setting up of a working group or equivalent body by the
WTO, with full participation of the ILO;

80. Reiterates its request to the Commission and Council for a detailed study to be made of existing
codes of conduct on human rights for business and to submit a draft code for business designed to ensure
that fundamental, social and trade union rights are respected in the European Union;

81. Recalls its support for the setting of fair social standards in economic activity and its commitment
to take part in efforts to combat the exploitation of labour throughout the world;

82. Calls on the Council and Commission to improve the security and safety of humanitarian aid work-
ers, and to investigate attacks on humanitarian workers so that their perpetrators can be identified and
brought to justice;

83. Insists on the need to investigate attacks against the civilian population carried out by paramilitary
groups in Latin America and for adequate information to be provided on the pursuit of such paramilitary

84. Calls on the Council and Commission to launch a campaign for the physical safety of journalists,
to guarantee the provision of information which constitutes their principal activity and to provide assist-
ance to countries genuinely seeking to improve the situation of journalists;

85. Insists that all attacks on journalists should be properly investigated and that every effort be made
to bring the perpetrators to justice;

86. Calls on the Council and Commission to report to Parliament on the existence of unwarranted
restrictions on freedom of expression in third countries, and on obstacles to the development of a free

87. Reminds the Council, the Commission and the Member States that the right to privacy and personal
data protection is, inter alia under Article 286 of the EC Treaty, a fundamental human right, which should
be protected with special care, given the risk of illegal use of new technologies, as illustrated by reports on
the Echelon case;

88. Calls on the Council and the Member States to support the proposal made at UN level that coun-
tries acceding to UN human rights instruments should furnish a standing invitation to all relevant UN
Special Rapporteurs;

89. Calls on the Council and Member States to seek a review of the legal instruments concerning huma-
nitarian law in order to facilitate maximum assistance to people in danger;

90. Calls on all governments to ratify the UN Convention against Torture and to promote the elabora-
tion of an optional protocol providing for the international inspection of places of detention and to estab-
lish promptly an effective procedure for the investigation of individual complaints;

91. Condemns all attempts by governments to prevent the use of the Internet and electronic commu-
nications to spread information about human rights and democracy;
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92. Calls on the Council and Commission urgently to develop, as an alternative to sanctions which may
harm the general population, ‘smart sanctions’ targeted at illegally expropriated assets of the heads of
abusive governments, and to promote coordinated international efforts to restore such assets to the coun-
try of origin as soon as a genuine process of democratisation has started;

* *

93. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments
and parliaments of the Member States, the Council of Europe, the United Nations Organisation, the gov-
ernments of the countries that are candidates for accession and the governments of the countries referred
to in the resolution.

8. Human rights in the EU


European Parliament resolution on respect for human rights in the European Union (1998-1999)
(11350/1999 ' C5-0265/1999 ' 1999/2001(INI))

The European Parliament,

 having regard to the European Union Annual Report on respect for human rights in the European
Union (1998-1999) (11350/1999  C5-0265/1999),

 having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and subsequent Conventions adopted in
this field,

 having regard to the fundamental human rights guaranteed by the Constitutions of the Member States
and the 1950 European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms
(ECHR), the protocols thereto and the Conventions and Charters adopted subsequently in this field,

 having regard to the Treaty of Amsterdam, in particular Articles 6, 7, 11, 29 and 49 of the EU Treaty
and Articles 13, 136 and 177 of the EC Treaty,

 having regard to the case law of the European Court of Human Rights in 1998-1999, particularly its
main judgments on the exercise of civil and political rights,

 having regard to the case law of the European Court of Justice during the same period,

 having regard to its resolution of 12 April 1989 adopting the Declaration of Fundamental Rights and
Freedoms and the successive resolutions adopted since then in this field (1),

 having regard to its resolution of 16 September 1999 on the establishment of the Charter of Funda-
mental Rights (2),

 having regard to the results of the public hearing of Commissioner Vitorino on 3 September 1999,

 having regard to its resolution of 27 October 1999 on the outcome of the European Council on
15/16 October 1999 in Tampere (3),

 having regard to the outcome of the Human Rights Forum of 30 November and 1 December 1999,

(1) OJ C 120, 16.5.1989, p. 51; OJ C 240, 16.9.1991, p. 45; OJ C 94, 13.4.1992, p. 277; OJ C 241, 21.9.1992, p. 67;
OJ C 115, 26.4.1993, p. 178; OJ C 44, 14.2.1994, p. 103; OJ C 61, 28.2.1994, p. 40; OJ C 126, 22.5.1995, p. 75;
OJ C 32, 5.2.1996, p. 88; OJ C 32, 5.2.1996, p. 102; OJ C 78, 18.3.1996, p. 31; OJ C 152, 27.5.1996, p. 57;
OJ C 152, 27.5.1996, p. 62; OJ C 320, 28.10.1996, p. 36; OJ C 320, 28.10.1996, p. 268; OJ C 20, 20.1.1997,
p. 170; OJ C 132, 28.4.1997, p.31; OJ C 115, 14.4.1997, p. 92; OJ C 304, 6.10.1997, p. 55; OJ C 358,
24.11.1997, p. 37.
(2) OJ C 54, 25.2.2000, p. 93.
(3) Texts Adopted of that sitting, Item 15.