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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?
C 235 E/126 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 21.8.2001

Reply

(14 May 2001)

The Council Human Rights working group is examining ways to reinforce the EU’s policy against torture
and has engaged in the process of drafting guidelines for an EU policy towards third countries on torture
and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. The Swedish Presidency aims at adoption
of the draft guidelines by the Council before July 2001.

(2001/C 235 E/131) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0125/01


by Lord Inglewood (PPE-DE) to the Council

(1 February 2001)

Subject: ‘Droit de suite’

Is the proposal for a directive on ‘Droit de Suite’ compatible with Article 295 of the EC Treaty as
amended?

(2001/C 235 E/132) WRITTEN QUESTION E-0255/01


by Lord Inglewood (PPE-DE) to the Council

(14 February 2001)

Subject: Right of Resale

Does the Council envisage the establishment of a centralised European register of all qualifying artists and
their heirs under the draft Directive? If not, how are the natural or legal persons referred to in Article 9
supposed to determine the rights to a work in the event of a claim from two or more persons from
outside the jurisdiction of the Member State concerned?

Joint answer
to Written Questions E-0125/01 and E-0255/01

(14 May 2001)

1. The Council considers that Article 295 ECT which provides that the ‘Treaty shall in no way prejudice
the rules in Member States governing the system of property ownership’, is an exception provision in the
form of a genuine reservation of sovereignty. Like all exceptions in Community law, Article 295 is strictly
interpreted. Thus the Court of Justice has held that Article 295 permits the Community to adopt rules
about the disposal or use of property rights including the exercise of national intellectual property rights.
In particular the Court of Justice has held that the Community rules on competition, which do not allow
the improper use of rights under national trade-mark law in order to frustrate the Community law on
cartels, are compatible with Article 295 (1).

Likewise the Council considers that the proposed Directive on the resale right for the benefit of the author
of an original work of art is compatible with Article 295 of the EC Treaty inasmuch as its purpose is to
approximate national provisions in order to eliminate inter alia distortions of competition within the
internal market and in order to allow the artist’s resale right to be exercised without discrimination on the
grounds of nationality.

2. With regard to the question of the establishment of a centralised European register the Council
would point out that the Commission has not included in its proposal for a Directive on the resale right
for the benefit of the author of an original work of art any proposal concerning a register of the nature
mentioned by the Honourable Member, nor has the European Parliament proposed any amendment to this
effect at either first or second reading.