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C 52 E/36 Official Journal of the European Union EN 6.3.


The Commission wishes to point out that the Letter of formal Notice of 20 March 2002 mentioned by the
Honourable Member concerns a separate infringement case (A-00/2212) relating to the Flemish
government’s decision of 8 September 2000 concerning the second revision of the Sint-Niklaas-Lokeren
zoning plan and the harbour extension measures included therein. The subject matter of this case is the
long term objective of the Flemish authorities to convert the entire SPA to portuary and other
infrastructure, as laid out in the revised zoning plan.

Given the above mentioned elements, the information about the compensation plans related to the docks
cases has no influence on the status of the cases concerning the zoning plan.

(2003/C 52 E/045) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1091/02

by Lousewies van der Laan (ELDR), Emilio Menéndez del Valle (PSE)
and Andrew Duff (ELDR) to the Council

(18 April 2002)

Subject: Arms embargo against Israel

The Council has imposed arms embargoes against a number of countries including Afghanistan, Burma,
China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Libya, Sierra Leone, Sudan and, most recently, Zimbabwe
(18 February 2002).

The EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports was adopted 8 June 1998 with the aim of ‘setting high
common standards’ for arms exports. Criteria include respect for human rights in the country of final
destination. In particular, Member States will ‘not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the
proposed export might be used for internal repression’, including, inter alia, ‘… summary or arbitrary
executions, …’ (criterion 2b). Other criteria include the existence of tensions or armed conflicts, and
whether there is a clear risk that the arms would be used ‘to assert by force a territorial claim’ (criterion 4)
and compliance with international commitments, including humanitarian law (criterion 6).

In its conclusions at the Barcelona European Council, the EU repeated its condemnation of Israel by stating
that Israel ‘must immediately withdraw its military forces from areas placed under control of the PA,
stop-extra-judicial killings, lift the closures and restrictions, freeze settlements and respect international

In the light of the above, does the Council intend to impose an arms embargo on Israel?

If not, does the Council find this consistent with the intention of the EU Code of Conduct and Title V of
the Treaty?

Will the Council ask the Commission (in accordance with Article 14(4) of the TEU) to assess the
consistency of its arms embargo policy?


(5 November 2002)

The Council does not intend to impose an arms embargo on Israel. It sees no inconsistency between this
position and the Code of Conduct or Title V of the Treaty. As the Honourable Member will be aware, the
Code of Conduct, which is an appropriate instrument for governing the rules on arms exports, does not
carry any obligation to impose arms embargoes on specific countries. Nor does the Council see grounds
for asking the Commission to assess the consistency of its arms embargo policy. The Code of Conduct is
not a binding EU joint action and therefore Article 14(4) TEU is not applicable; moreover, the Commission
is not competent to assess the policies of the Council as a whole or of individual Member States in so far
as their arms exports are concerned.