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21.8.

2001 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 235 E/125

(2001/C 235 E/129) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0114/01


by Nelly Maes (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(1 February 2001)

Subject: Supply of arms to Turkey

In October 1999 the Belgian Ministry of Foreign Affairs granted a licence for the sale of machinery for
munitions production to Turkey. This will enable the factory in Turkey to produce munitions for Heckler
& Koch 33 machine guns. There can be no doubt that these deadly weapons will be used by the Turkish
police and army.

In the light of the ‘EU Code of Conduct for arms exports’, criterion 2(a) of which says that Member States
will not issue an export licence ‘if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal
repression’, the export licence should be refused.

Given the clear signals of Turkey’s unpleasant reputation with regard to human rights, the torture reported
by international human rights organisations and the military intervention in Kurdish territory, we want the
Code of Conduct to be respected.

Does the Council feel that this supply of arms to Turkey is in accordance with the EU’s Code of Conduct?

If so, is there not a need to tighten up the Code of Conduct?

If not, what action will the Council take towards Belgium, the Member State in question?

Reply

(14 May 2001)

The European Union’s position on arms exports is reflected in the Code of Conduct on Arms Exports
adopted on 8 June 1998. Among the criteria established in this Code, the respect of human rights is
mentioned as one of the main conditions which need to be fulfilled in order for the authorisation to be
granted. Decisions are taken by each Member State individually taking full account of the Code of
Conduct. The Council does not receive any information about the grounds on which export licences are
granted or refused by Member States. In any case, it does not lie in its purview to exercise any judgement
on them. However, Member States have to exchange every year within the Council information about their
arms exports, on the basis of which an annual report is established. This allows for a common assessment
of the functioning of the Code.

(2001/C 235 E/130) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0122/01


by Brian Crowley (UEN) to the Council

(24 January 2001)

Subject: EU policy aimed at eradicating torture

Will the Council under the Swedish Presidency give a commitment to work actively at EU level and
internationally to develop a comprehensive EU policy leading to the elimination and prevention of torture
and ill-treatment as a key objective of the EU Human Right’s policy bearing in mind that torture is thought
to take place in over half the countries of the world and is inflicted on women, children and men and will
the Council ensure that bringing those responsible for acts of torture is also made a key part of such an EU
policy?