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C 235 E/150

Official Journal of the European Communities

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EN

21.8.2001

(2001/C 235 E/174)

WRITTEN QUESTION E-0185/01

by Raffaele Costa (PPE-DE) to the Council

(5 February 2001)

Subject: Murder of Turkish prisoners by the military

What are the Council’s views on the tragic and violent events perpetrated by the military in Turkish prisons, where serious and persistent human rights violations are being committed.

Does the Council think that the European Union should suspend all measures intended to establish links of any kind between Turkey and the Community, bearing in mind that the principles of liberty and democracy cannot be flouted by the governments of countries which aspire to become members of a united Europe?

The killing of 30 year-old Halit Onder, who was burned alive for protesting about violence by the military, is clear evidence that the Turkish prison system, and thus the government of the country, are far from meeting the requirement to respect human rights, as laid down in the treaties signed by the Member States of the European Union.

Reply

(14 May 2001)

The Council refers the Honourable Member to its answer to questions E-4111/00 and E-4154/00.

(2001/C 235 E/175)

WRITTEN QUESTION P-0189/01

by Mogens Camre (UEN) to the Commission

(29 January 2001)

Subject: PKK activities outside Turkey

On 5, 6 and 7 December 2000 in Germany, the PKK newspaper Özgür Politika printed and circulated information concerning recent armed clashes between the rebel Kurdish parties, the PKK and YNK, a cover for the PUK (Patriotic Union of Kurdistan) led by the Taliban. This proves that the PKK has not stopped its armed activities. The PKK maintains its armed forces outside Turkey and is in a position to carry out terrorist operations against Turkish citizens. Further detailed information is given on the Özgür Politika website at www.ozgurpolitika.org.

Such terrorist and extremist movements operating within the European Union are a serious threat to European citizens as well as their own compatriots. It would, therefore, be of great interest to know what information the Commission has on PKK terrorists operating from the Member States of the European Union and from other territories.

What information can the Commission provide about the PKK threat outside Turkey and does the Commission take an active part in supporting the fight against such terrorism?

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(8 March 2001)

The Commission is aware of the activities of the PKK and condemns without qualification any recourse to violence or terrorism on the part of any organisation.

Article 29 of the Treaty on European Union mentions the fight against terrorism as a means to contribute to achieving the Union’s objective of providing its citizens with a high level of safety within an area of freedom, security and justice.

21.8.2001

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EN

Official Journal of the European Communities

C 235 E/151

The main fora for co-operation between Member States and the Commission are two Council Working Groups on Terrorism (one dealing with terrorism within the Union and the other with terrorism from an international perspective) and Europol.

Member States exchange information on the internal and external threat that terrorist groups, such as the PKK, pose to Member States and prepare decisions to improve co-operation. Periodically a (confidential) document on the internal and external terrorist threat is produced.

In addition, Europol, whose mandate includes the fight against terrorism, supports Member States’ law enforcement services through the exchange of information and the supply of strategic and operational analysis.

The Union also plays an active role in the work carried out in the fight against terrorism by the United Nations (UN), in the framework of which a dozen important Conventions are in force or in the process of ratification.

Likewise, the group of eight most industrialized countries (G8) is an important framework for discussion of counter-terrorism. Participation in the G8 by those Member States which are G8 Members and the Commission is bolstered by extensive cooperation with the United States, India, Russia and the associated countries.

A new threat in the area of terrorism is ‘cyber-terrorism’, i.e. the use of computing resources to intimidate or coerce others. The Council Working Group is in the process of improving co-operation between the Member States through a new system for sharing information on terrorist web-sites.

(2001/C 235 E/176)

Subject: Bureaux de change

WRITTEN QUESTION E-0192/01

by Chris Davies (ELDR) to the Commission

(1 February 2001)

Does any EU legislation exist, or is any planned, to protect tourists from being cheated by exchange bureaux which provide misleading information about currency values and charge excessive commission fees, or is such a consumer protection measure considered purely a matter for national governments?

Answer given by Mr Bolkestein on behalf of the Commission

(27 March 2001)

Community legislation on the euro lays down rules for the exchange of banknotes for Member States in the euro area. Under the legislation, it is compulsory to use the official conversion rates; charges are thus displayed separately ( 1 ). This legislation will become obsolete when national currencies cease to be legal tender, at the latest 28 February 2002.

Exchange operations for notes of other currencies are not covered by any specific Community legislation. But in certain cases it is possible to invoke general legislation on misleading advertising, namely, Council Directive 84/450/EEC of 10 December 1984 relating to the approximation of the laws, regulations and administrative provisions of the Member States concerning misleading advertising ( 2 ).

Consumers should be clearly informed of the cost of operations in order that they can compare and consequently select the foreign exchange office charging the lowest commission. Some Member States have introduced laws to that effect. The Commission does not feel that that there is any need for this type of legislation to be harmonised.