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2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 277 E/57

With Easter in view, what measures will the Council take to ensure that foodstuffs containing non-edible
objects are subject to legal rules and standards (regarding their size, for example) which will guarantee that
they are safe and prohibit such practices as mixing edible and non-edible objects? How can the Council
contribute towards bringing about an agreement with manufacturers to design these products more safely
in order to avoid any recurrence of fatal accidents in the future?


(22 July 2002)

The Council shares the concern of the Honourable Member to ensure the prevention of this kind of
accident, which can have serious consequences, particularly where children are concerned.

As the power of legislative initiative in this field belongs to the Commission, the Council will pay careful
attention to any proposal that the Commission makes on the matter, so that appropriate measures are
adopted as soon as possible. For the time being, it would suggest that the Honourable Member approach
the Commission directly for more detailed information on the matter.

(2002/C 277 E/060) WRITTEN QUESTION P-0526/02

by Charles Tannock (PPE-DE) to the Council

(19 February 2002)

Subject: Immunity and the European Arrest Warrant

To avoid the kind of protracted legal dispute that ensued in the U.K. following the arrest of former
President Pinochet despite an International Treaty commitment on the part of the U.K. government not to
arrest current or former heads of government (superseded in the opinion of a majority of Law Lords by a
later international commitment) can the Council detail the list of persons who will be immune from arrest
under the terms of the European Arrest Warrant, and make it absolutely clear in the legislation whether
this will include EU diplomats, current and former heads of state, government ministers, members of
national Parliaments, the European Parliament and the European Commission?


(22 July 2002)

The answer to the question as to which persons are entitled to immunity from criminal jurisdiction, and
under which circumstances, is to be found in international conventions, bilateral intergovernmental
agreements, customary public international law, the case law of the International Court of Justice and
national constitutional provisions. The application of these sources of law is a matter for which the
Member States are responsible.

Article 17(c) of the proposal for a Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant provides that where
the person against whom the arrest warrant has been issued enjoys an immunity, the time limits for that
person’s surrender to the judicial authorities shall not start running as long as a decision on maintaining or
waiving that immunity has not been taken. Where power to waive the immunity of the person concerned
lies with the Member States, they should ask the competent authority or institution to decide whether
immunity should be maintained or waived. The arrest warrant would only have no effect in cases where
immunity is maintained.

The Council, acting on the basis of Title VI of the Treaty on European Union, has no competence to lay
down general rules defining the categories of persons who would be entitled to immunity from criminal
jurisdiction. Its powers are limited to drawing up rules in respect of immunities enjoyed by persons
working for bodies set up by an act of the Council (e.g. Europol).