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C 137 E/12 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission


(8 August 2002)

In its Communication ‘A project for the European Union’ (1) the Commission proposes that the posts of the
High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy and the Commissioner for External
Relations should be merged in a manner and in accordance with a timetable to be laid down, and that the
conditions under which the High Representative can be integrated into the Commission should be spelt
out.

At this stage, the Commission does not plan to invite the High Representative to its meetings, as it does
not wish to prejudge the European Convention’s deliberations on the matter. The High Representative has
occasionally been invited to working meetings of the group of Commissioners responsible for external
relations. In its Communication, the Commission proposes a number of improvements in working
methods which can be put into practice without waiting for the Treaties to be revised and which aim to
strengthen cooperation between the High Representative and itself. It hopes that these improvements will
be introduced as soon as possible.

The Commission would also stress that, thanks to fruitful daily contacts, cooperation with the High
Representative works very well, despite the complexity of the institutional structure.

(1) COM(2002) 247 final.

(2003/C 137 E/013) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1579/02


by Lucio Manisco (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(4 June 2002)

Subject: The EU and the risk of war between India and Pakistan

The extremely serious developments of recent days would appear to point towards the possibility of an all-
out war between India and Pakistan, which would have a disastrous effect on the entire region given that
both countries have nuclear weapons. Would the Commission not agree that it should take urgent
diplomatic action, using all the means at its disposal including a mission by High Representative Javier
Solana, to avert such a tragedy?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission


(28 June 2002)

The Commission fully shares the Honourable Member’s concern about tensions between India and
Pakistan, which have reached a dangerous level. A military conflict, with the inherent risk of spilling into a
nuclear war, would indeed have unimaginable consequences for Pakistan, India, the region and beyond.

The international community has taken an active interest in trying to help defuse tensions and to convince
both sides to de-escalate and resume dialogue.

This was the aim of the Commissioner in charge of External relations when he visited Islamabad and Delhi
on 22-24 May 2002, where he met, inter alia, Pakistan President Musharraf and Indian Foreign Minister
Singh.

These intensive international efforts have, at the time of drafting (mid-June 2002), led to first confidence-
building steps, which could initiate a reciprocal process of de-escalation. Reports that India has sent
warships back to port, re-opened its airspace to Pakistan and envisages re-appointing a High Commissioner
to Islamabad are encouraging and should be built upon.

It remains however important that the international community continues to actively monitor the situation
and keeps pressing to ensure that President Musharraf effectively delivers to stop cross-border infiltration
in a visible, effective and verifiable way. Furthermore, India and Pakistan need to enter into a genuine
dialogue on the underlying Kashmir issue.