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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/13

Since the beginning of the reform process, the Community, the Member States, major international
financial institutions (World Bank, International Monetary Fund (IMF), European Bank for Reconstitution
and Development (EBRD), European Investment Bank (EIB) …) and other countries have been supporting
Albania to address the very fundamental and difficult problems it had to face. Over that period, project
implementation was temporarily suspended whenever the social and political situation so justified. Today,
the Commission does not consider that the human rights situation in Albania would justify any halt to the
assistance provided to that country.

Community financed projects have generally targeted the country as a whole (assistance to Kosovo
refugees in the North being an exception to this). Support has covered a large number of areas, including
humanitarian assistance, macro-financial assistance, infrastructures, agriculture, health, education, public
administration reform, judiciary and law enforcement bodies, democracy and human rights and cross-
border co-operation. It is important to recall that all the Community projects are submitted to the scrutiny
of Member States, and only after their approval the programme is put forward for funding.

A number of projects have been implemented in the South of the country. Some relevant examples are:
water supply infrastructure at Gjirokaster, waste water and sanitation of Saranda, Kakavija border crossing
point and access road from Gjirokaster, the Tri Urat border crossing and its access road (due for
completion in August), the Korca-Kapsthice road and the border crossing at Kapsthice (due for completion
in June 2002), as well as the Konispoli border-crossing, in co-operation with the Government of Greece.
Furthermore, the Commission is co-operating with the Government of Greece at the Konispoli border

The Commission has also financed projects whose aim is to promote the involvement of different ethnic
groups in the local decision-making process and the improvement of inter-ethnic relations (project
completed in the Saranda region, and on-going project for the establishment of a ‘observatory for inter-
ethnic relations’ in the South of Albania).

(2003/C 110 E/013) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1173/02

by Nelly Maes (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(24 April 2002)

Subject: Arms embargo on Israel: halting military cooperation with Israel

Many EU countries have arrangements for cooperation with the Israeli defence industry, and thus support
its defence system. I would particularly draw attention to the EU’s support (under the Fifth Framework
Programme of Research and Technological Development) for research by an Israeli arms company (Israel
Aircraft Industries) into civil applications of UAVs (unmanned air vehicles). The sum involved is
EUR 10 million divided between two programmes over a period of two and a half years. It is well known
that arms companies can easily convert civil applications into military ones. In this case, the EU is funding
research to ascertain whether there are potential civil applications in addition to the military ones.

Can the Commission provide Parliament with a list of all military cooperation agreements between the EU
and Israel? Is the Commission prepared to suspend this cooperation for as long as the Israeli government is
committing large-scale human rights violations? Can the Commission provide details of any military
cooperation there may be between the EU and the Palestinian Authority?

Is the Commission carrying out an investigation to ascertain whether all transactions with Israel should be
denied under the Code of Conduct on Arms Exports? When will the results of this investigation be
C 110 E/14 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.2003

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(11 June 2002)

Unmanned Aircraft Vehicle (UAV) research is a minor activity of the 5th Framework programme for
research and technological development (RTD)’s key action ‘Aeronautics’ of the competitive and sustainable
growth programme. The work carried out in this field concerns strictly the development of civil
applications of UAVs.

The cooperation with Israeli entities is undertaken under the umbrella of the scientific and technological
agreement existing between the Community and Israel for the 5th Framework programme, which
specifically excludes any type of military research. Therefore, no aspect of military cooperation between
the Community and Israel exists in the UAV projects concerned.

The research work focuses on advances in the civil/commercial application of UAVs, in particular in areas
such as environmental monitoring, communication relays and earth observation, as well as the safe
integration of civil UAV into air traffic management.

Community contribution to Israel Aircraft Industries in these research activities amounts to less than
EUR 1,5 million.

The list of bilateral agreements concluded between the European Community (alone or in some cases with
its Member States) and Israel will be sent directly to the Honourable Member and to Parliament’s
Secretariat General. The term ‘EU agreement’ used by the Honourable Member is not applicable, as the
European Union as such is not a contracting party to any bilateral agreement with Israel.

While the Commission is very concerned about the current situation in the Middle East, it believes that it is
important to maintain relations with Israel and that suspending the Association Agreement would not
make the Israeli authorities more responsive to its concerns at this time. For now, the Commission believes
it is preferable to continue to use the mechanisms of the Agreement to press its point of view with the
Israeli authorities, at all levels.

The Union has no military cooperation agreement with the Palestinian Authority (PA). The Union does run
a counter-terrorist programme with the PA, which is financed from the Common Foreign and Security
Policy (CFSP) budget of the Union, and is based on a ‘joint action’. This programme consists of specific
assistance and training modules for the PA’s security services (forensics, investigation techniques, human
rights training, etc), which are implemented by Member States’ agencies under the management of the
Union Special Advisor in Ramallah, Nils Ericsson. This project has been severely affected by Israeli military
operations in the Palestinian Territories. The Forensic Science Laboratory, which it helped finance, was
destroyed by the Israeli army in December 2001.

The Code of Conduct on Arm Exports is an instrument implemented by the Member States. The
Commission has no power or competence to supervise the way implementation by Member States is
carried out.

(2003/C 110 E/014) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1274/02

by Eurig Wyn (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(6 May 2002)

Subject: Enviromental degradation caused by deforestation

The Brazilian Congress is now voting on a project that will reduce the Amazon forest to 50 % of its size.

Deforestation and the subsequent processing of the woodchips on this scale will also release huge amounts
of carbon into the atmosphere worsening the problem of climate change.