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C 110 E/54 Official Journal of the European Union EN 8.5.


Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(22 October 2002)

The Commission has proposed two Regulations (1) to manage deep-sea stocks: one on catch limitations
(total allowable catches = TACs) and another one on effort limitation and data collection. These two
proposals constitute a package of measures that, once adopted, will allow, as a first step, the preservation
of the currently unrestrained development of these fisheries.

The proposal on TACs is based on the scientific advice available on these stocks, carried out by the
International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) and reviewed by the Scientific, Technical and
Economic Committee for Fisheries (STECF). While such scientific basis is still limited, the Commission
strongly believes that the precautionary principle justifies taking action to limit catches of these species on
the basis of the available (however limited) scientific basis. These catch limitations establish a cap on
currently unrestrained catches of the main stocks and for many species will represent a significant
reduction from recent catch levels.

The Commission has also proposed an effort regulation for these fisheries. Such proposal for the time
being establishes as a first step the obligation to freeze fishing effort of recent years, therefore stopping the
current (and irresponsible) increase in fishing effort. As more information is collected on these fisheries,
this effort limitation will evolve to become gradually a much more tailor-made effort management system
for these fisheries.

The lifting of the current limitations of access by Spain and Portugal to the North Sea was foreseen in the
Treaty of Accession of these Member States and is therefore a direct obligation from these Treaties.

In respect of fisheries management in the North Sea, the Honourable Member is referred to the reply to his
question E-2433/02 (2) on the same subject.

(1) OJ C 151 E, 25.6.2002 and COM(2001) 764 final.

(2) OJ C 92 E, 17.4.2003, p. 169.

(2003/C 110 E/057) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2441/02

by Olivier Dupuis (NI) to the Commission

(28 August 2002)

Subject: Abolition of the death penalty in Taiwan

The number of executions carried out in Taiwan has decreased markedly over the past two years, falling
from twenty-four in 1999 to seventeen in 2000 and ten in 2001. On 17 May 2001, Mr Chen Ding-nan,
the Taiwanese Minister of Justice, stated that his aim was to abolish the death penalty before the end of his
term of office in 2004, saying this was partly a response to repeated appeals from international human
rights organisations. In January 2002, the Taiwanese Parliament voted, in order to better protect human
rights, to abolish the ‘Retribution Act for Bandits’, and in particular the obligation to apply the death
penalty to certain violent crimes. The Taiwanese Parliament also amended the criminal code in a way that
further limited the cases in which the death penalty could be applied.

Under a draft act adopted by the government on 11 July 2002, capital punishment is to be abolished for
minors (anyone under the age of 18) and the cases in which the death penalty is mandatory will be

In announcing the government’s proposals, Minister Chih-hsiung reiterated that the government still aimed
to abolish the death penalty, but recognised that additional measures had to be implemented to ensure that
the majority of the population would accept a straightforward abolition of capital punishment.

Three people were executed in the first five months of 2002.

8.5.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 110 E/55

Is the Commission aware of the reforms under way in Taipei aimed at abolishing the death penalty? What
initiatives has the Commission taken or will it take to support the efforts of the Taiwanese Government
and Parliament to abolish the death penalty? Does the Commission feel it could offer support to the
concrete steps taken by Taipei in order to further bolster the efforts of the Taiwanese authorities and
people to abolish the death penalty?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(24 September 2002)

The Union is working towards the universal abolition of the death penalty, which is one of the pillars of
its human rights policies. To this end and in accordance with the Union-guidelines on the abolition of the
death penalty of 1998, the Union calls for its use to be progressively restricted, and insists that it be
carried out according to minimum standards.

In this context, the Commission has welcomed the Parliament’s resolution of 13 June 2002 on the
abolition of the death penalty in Japan, the Republic of Korea and Taiwan. It follows closely the situation
in Taiwan, and is aware of the developments to which the Honourable Member refers.

In particular, the Commission has noted that statements made by Taiwanese officials on a possible
abolition of capital punishment have made this contingent on popular support for such a step. According
to information at the Commission’s disposal, support for the death penalty remains high both within the
population, and in the Legislative Yuan. The Commission hopes that the impending establishment of a
Taiwanese National Human Rights Commission, and the increased awareness of human rights issue both in
political circles and in the population at large which it expects to result from it, will contribute to creating
a climate which will be conducive to an eventual abolition of the death penalty.

In order to support efforts towards an abolition of the death penalty, the Commission has launched, in
April 2002, a specific call for proposals worth EUR 7 million under the European Initiative for Democracy
and Human Rights. Non-governmental organisations (NGOs) throughout the world were eligible to apply.
The results of this call for proposals are currently being evaluated by EuropeAid.

(2003/C 110 E/058) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2446/02

by Nirj Deva (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(29 August 2002)

Subject: GATS negotiations

Will the Commission publish its views on how it would like to see GATS reformed before the European
Parliament debates the issue in November 2002? In particular, will the Commission make available to
Members what its requests are and how its requests were formulated?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(23 September 2002)

The Community submitted sectoral proposals to the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in December 2000
setting out its negotiating objectives in 12 services sectors covered by the General Agreement on Trade in
Services (GATS) and a Communication on the Community’s general objectives for the negotiations was
submitted in March 2001. These documents have been publicly available since the spring of 2001 through
the Community and WTO web sites.

In addition, an extensive summary of the Union’s requests to third countries has been published on the
Commission’s (DG Trade’s) web site since July 2002 (1). This summary describes the importance of these
negotiations and provides an overview of the Community’s negotiating objectives.