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C 235 E/54 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.8.

2001

(2001/C 235 E/058) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4061/00


by Patricia McKenna (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(15 January 2001)

Subject: Falun Gong

Falun Dafa, or Falun Gong, is a spiritual practice based on mediation similar to Taichi or Yoga which
improves people’s physical and mental health. Falun Dafa practitioners in China have been widely
persecuted. Large numbers of Falun Dafa practitioners were arrested on 1 October 2000 on Tiananmen
Square as they were protesting peacefully, on China’s National Day, against the repression of their
movement. Falun Dafa followers have been tortured, imprisoned and killed for merely practising this
very peaceful pastime. One 42-year-old woman was beaten to death while in police custody in Shangdong
Province in October 1999. She is one of 48 people who have died from beatings and torture because they
practice Falun Dafa. Falun Dafa has thousands of followers all over the world.

1. As a supporter of China’s entry into the World Trade Organisation, albeit subject to the human
rights clause, does not the Council think that this widespread persecution constitutes a serious obstacle to
any further normalisation of relations with the People’s Republic of China?

2. Will the Council specify what measures it has taken, or intends to take, to put an end to this blatant
breach of international human rights conventions?

Reply

(7 May 2001)

1. The Council has on several occasions expressed its ongoing concern at the harsh measures taken
against the leaders and followers of Falun Gong, notably excessive prison sentences, detentions without
trial and physical abuse.

2. The conclusions of the January General Affairs Council on the EU-China Human Rights dialogue
identified specific areas in which the European Union considers that the dialogue process should secure
progress. These areas include, inter alia, ‘untrammelled exercise of freedom of religion and belief, both
public and private’ and ‘respect for the fundamental rights of all prisoners, including those arrested for
membership of the political opposition, unofficial religious movements or other movements, such as the
Falun Gong’. The Council will continue to follow closely developments in these areas and call upon the
Chinese authorities to take measures in compliance with international human rights norms and standards.

(2001/C 235 E/059) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4065/00


by Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(15 January 2001)

Subject: Restriction of freedom to express opinions by obstacles to cross-border passenger traffic during the
Nice summit

1. Can the Council confirm that citizens of EU Member States wishing to travel to the French city of
Nice before and during the summit held there on 7 to 10 December 2000 were subject to a number of
seriously obstacles including being held up in large numbers at the French-Italian border and by
restrictions on access to the city of Nice?

2. Does the Council consider that the state of affairs referred to above is in accordance with the
expectations it wished to raise by the proclamation in Nice of the ‘Charter of Fundamental Rights of the
European Union’?
21.8.2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235 E/55

3. Does the Council agree that democratic decision-making cannot take place without the interest and
involvement of citizens, who must have the opportunity to express their opinions openly in this
connection?

4. What is the Council’s opinion of the relegation of residents of other Member States than the one in
which the meeting takes place to the status of second-class citizens in terms of their right to express their
views in situ by reason of the fact that they must first cross one of the EU’s internal borders?

5. Are the internal borders of the European Union open for goods and services but not for
demonstrators?

6. Can the Council guarantee that this is the last time such restrictions will be imposed on the
participation of interested residents of EU Member States in the democratic process of public preparation
for decision-making?

Reply

(7 May 2001)

The Council would draw the Honourable Member’s attention to Article 2(2) of the Schengen Convention,
which gives Member States the option of restoring national border checks on persons at internal borders
for a limited period if public policy or national security require immediate action.

The Council would also point out that the free movement of persons provided for by the Treaty
establishing the European Community (TEC) and the exercise of the fundamental rights guaranteed by
the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) may be subject to limitations in certain cases (see
Article 64(1) of the TEC and Articles 10(2) and 11(2) of the ECHR).

Pursuant to Decision SCH/Comex (95) 20 rev 2 of 20 December 1995 of the Executive Committee set up
by the Schengen Convention, which has been incorporated into the European Union Framework, the
French Government notified the Council of its decision to restore checks at the border between France and
Italy from 2 to 10 December 2000.

In any case, the Council would remind the Honourable Member that responsibility for maintaining law and
order and safeguarding the internal security of the Member States of the Union rests with each individual
Member State’s authorities. It is not for the Council to state a position on an issue which does not fall
within its sphere of competence.

(2001/C 235 E/060) WRITTEN QUESTION E-4072/00


by Gabriele Stauner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(10 January 2001)

Subject: Deficiencies at the Joint Research Centre in respect of the handling of nuclear materials

Paragraph 1(j) of the European Parliament resolution of 13 April 2000 on the discharge for 1998 called
on the Commission to launch ‘a formal administrative investigation to ascertain responsibilities in
connection with the withheld warning of serious deficiencies at the Joint Research Centre (particularly
with the handling of nuclear materials)’.

Can the Commission provide me with a copy of the report of the investigation?

Can the Commission state what steps it has taken on the basis of that report?