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2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/79

(2003/C 137 E/087) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2378/02

by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(2 August 2002)

Subject: GATS

In the current round of GATS negotiations, the European Commission negotiates with the WTO on behalf
of the European Union, and trade ministries from the 15 Member States inform this negotiating position.
Could the European Commission clarify whether it takes a single EU position on service sectors to be
covered by GATS rules or whether Member States retain discretion on which service sectors are to be
covered by GATS rules in their country?

Answer given by Mr Lamy on behalf of the Commission

(17 September 2002)

The General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) applies in principle to all service sectors with two
exceptions, namely ‘services supplied in the exercise of governmental authority’ and measures affecting air
traffic rights and services directly related to the exercise of such rights. Thus Members do not as such
retain discretion as to which service sectors are covered by the GATS.

But each country determines the list of service sectors to which it is prepared to offer market access and
national treatment to foreign service providers (‘bottom-up approach’). Each country can therefore exclude
from its commitments those activities that it considers politically sensitive. Even where Members decide to
make commitments they are free to tailor the sector coverage and substantive content of such
commitments as they see fit. Thus members may for example set limitations specifying the level of
market access and the degree of national treatment they are prepared to guarantee. Furthermore, Members
are able to limit commitments to one or more of the four recognised ‘modes of supply’ through which
services are provided. They may even withdraw and renegotiate commitments. Due to the built-in
flexibility the commitments made tend to reflect national policy objectives and constraints, overall and in
individual sectors. The GATS is consequently a remarkably flexible agreement that respects the diversity of
economic and social situations existing among its Member countries.

The scope and content of the EC’s initial requests to third countries in the services negotiations under the
GATS has been discussed at length with the Member States and the negotiating objectives for all sectors
are supported by all. The sectoral commitments made by the European Communities during the Uruguay
round were endorsed by all Member States although some Member States have scheduled individual
restrictions in certain sectors reflecting particular national policy objectives or constraints.

(2003/C 137 E/088) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2380/02

by Glyn Ford (PSE) to the Commission

(2 August 2002)

Subject: Death penalty

How many current Member States of the EU have allowed their nationals to be extradited to US states
(or federal authorities) which impose the death penalty?
C 137 E/80 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(23 September 2002)

At this stage, there are no Union legal instruments in place that contain rules regarding extradition
arrangements between current Member States and the United States. These arrangements are based on
bilateral treaties concluded between Member States and the United States.

The Commission is not aware whether any of the current Member States make a distinction as to which
United States state or federal authority will judge a person whose extradition the United States has
requested, and whether that state or authority has the power to impose the death penalty.

However, the Commission understands that most Member States’ bilateral extradition treaties with the
United States contain clauses that allow the refusal of extradition unless sufficient assurances against the
use of the death penalty are given, independently of whether the person concerned is a national of the
Member State in question or not.

As regards the question of extradition of own nationals, it is the Commission’s understanding that under
current arrangements, only four Member States will extradite their own nationals to the United States,
independently of whatever punishment they might face there.

The Commission would like to underline that it is not best placed to provide information on legal
arrangements that Member States have  legitimately  made independently of Union processes.
The Member States themselves would certainly be in a better position to give detailed information on this

(2003/C 137 E/089) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2384/02

by Charles Tannock (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(2 August 2002)

Subject: Conditions attached to the application of the European Arrest Warrant

Under the proposals for the European Arrest Warrant currently before the Council of Ministers, will the
requesting Member State be required to restrict prosecution of an extradited person to those offences that
are specified in the warrant? Would it be a violation of the arrest warrant for the requesting Member State
to initiate a prosecution for an offence alleged to have been committed before the application for
extradition was made and which was not specified on the warrant without first offering the extradited
person the opportunity to leave the jurisdiction of the requesting Member State?

Answer given by Mr Vitorino on behalf of the Commission

(24 September 2002)

The Framework Decision on the European arrest warrant and the surrender procedures between Member
States adopted at the most recent Justice and Home Affairs Council on 13 June 2002 is a major step
forward in establishing a European law-enforcement area. The Framework Decision was published in the
Official Journal of the European Communities on 18 July 2002 and entered into force twenty days later
(Article 35). Member States have to take the necessary measures to comply with its provisions by
31 December 2003 (Article 34).

The European arrest warrant is to replace the extradition instruments currently in force between the
Member States. It encompasses all the situations previously covered by the 1957 European Convention on
Extradition. The principle of double criminality is waived for a list of 32 offences if they are punishable by
a sentence of more than three years in the executing Member State. The arrangement provided for is
strictly judicial. In practical terms the extradition of nationals can no longer be refused if the judicial
authority of a Member State has issued a European arrest warrant.