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C 340 E/166

Official Journal of the European Communities




(16 July 2001)

The EU has most recently made clear its concerns about the human rights situation in Iran by tabling a draft resolution on Iran also at this year’s session of the UN Commission on Human Rights (adopted on 20 April 2001). Human rights feature prominently in the political dialogue meetings between the EU and Iran which are held twice a year. The EU will continue to raise these issues in its direct contacts with Iranian authorities.

(2001/C 340 E/190)


by John Cushnahan (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(5 April 2001)

Subject: Plight of the Turkish Kurds

What action does the Commission intend to take to ensure respect for the human rights of the Turkish Kurds, with particular regard to Turkey’s wish to accede to the EU?

Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2001)

The Accession Partnership (AP) with Turkey adopted on 8 March 2001 ( 1 ) sets out the priorities for Turkey in her efforts to make progress towards meeting all of the Copenhagen political criteria. The AP indicates that Turkey should, in the short term, strengthen legal and constitutional guarantees for the right to freedom of expression in line with article 10 of the European Convention of Human Rights and, in the medium term, should guarantee full enjoyment by all individuals without any discrimination and irrespective of their language, race, colour, sex, political opinion, philosophical belief or religion of all human rights and fundamental freedoms.

The Commission welcomes the adoption, on 19 March 2001, of the National Programme for the Adoption of the Acquis (NPAA) by the Turkish Government. The Commission considers this document as an important step and the first stage in a far-reaching programme of political reform in Turkey. With regard to the political criteria for Union membership further efforts should be undertaken in areas such as ensuring cultural rights for all citizens irrespective of their origin as mentioned by the Honourable Member.

( 1 )

OJ L 85, 24.3.2001.

(2001/C 340 E/191)


by Ria Oomen-Ruijten (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(6 April 2001)

Subject: Commercial action for the storage of umbilical cord blood for obtaining stem cells

In the Netherlands, and several other Member states, there is a commercial organisation called CRYO-Cell (website: which asks prospective parents to agree to blood from the foetal umbilical cord or from the placenta to be frozen for a period of 20 years. The intention is that the blood should subsequently be used to cure illnesses such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, brain haemorrhages, muscular problems such as multiple sclerosis, malignant tumours and diabetes. The risk of children suffering from these illnesses in the first 20 years of their lives is low. Furthermore, with progress in medical science it is