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C 137 E/26 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.


(2003/C 137 E/028) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1773/02

by Michl Ebner (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(24 June 2002)

Subject: 9 May  public holiday

Does not the Commission think that it would be appropriate to declare and establish 9 May as a binding
public holiday in all the Member States and to designate it as a day of joy on which to celebrate the
founding of the European Union and as an exhortation to peace?

At the same time, would it not be sensible to abolish all public holidays in the Member States which
commemorate war-related events?

Answer given by Mr Prodi on behalf of the Commission

(18 July 2002)

The Commission always marks 9 May, which is a very important date for the Union. It organises
appropriate celebrations in all the Member States in cooperation with the national authorities.

The Union has no remit to declare a European ‘national’ holiday; that would be possible on the basis of an
agreement freely entered into by the Member States. Nor can the Commission propose that the Member
States abolish national holidays which form an integral part of their traditions. However, the Honourable
Member will note that even where these national holidays recall terrible conflicts between Europeans or
reciprocal blood-letting, they increasingly tend to emphasise a rejection of certain ideologies and the fact
that, in contrast to the events marked, the Europeans of today are committed to unity rather than division
and conflict. Increasingly, representatives of ‘enemy’ countries take part in the celebrations for precisely
that reason. The Commission regards this development as extremely positive.

(2003/C 137 E/029) WRITTEN QUESTION E-1795/02

by Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(24 June 2002)

Subject: Preparations for an American ‘tulip war’ against the Netherlands with a view to releasing prisoners
tried by the International Criminal Court

1. What is the Council’s view of the persistent refusal of the United States to recognise the International
Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, which will, as of 1 July 2002, be able to try those responsible for
crimes against humanity, should the relevant State fail to do so, whatever the nationality of the
perpetrators or victims?

2. Is the Council aware that the American Servicemembers’ Protection Act (ASPA) contains a provision
which forbids the American government to take part in UN peacekeeping operations in countries that
have ratified the treaty instituting the ICC unless answerability of US service personnel to this court has
been ruled out?

3. Is the Council aware that the United States has further escalated this refusal in that on 9 June 2002
the United States Senate adopted a bill, to be incorporated into the ASPA, which authorises military
intervention in the Netherlands, referred to in the debates as the ‘tulip war’, with the aim of liberating any
American prisoners so that they do not have to appear before the Court?

4. What is the Council doing to ensure that the right to carry out an armed attack on the Netherlands
does not gain a majority in the US House of Representatives or that the aforementioned bill is not signed
by the President of the United States if it should receive this majority?