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C 137 E/88 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

Can the Council confirm the existence of a proposal for a framework directive on data retention, probably
entitled ‘Draft Framework Decision on the retention of traffic data and on access to this data in connection
with criminal investigation and prosecution’? And, if so, could it reveal from what government the
proposal emanates and what is the status of the proposal? Has the proposal been discussed by any Council
body and, if so, on what dates, and have any conclusions been reached?

If the Council denies the existence of such a proposal, does it have an explanation for why a document
with this title can be found on the Statewatch web site?

The Danish Presidency acknowledges that preparatory work is being carried out in connection with
European legislation on data retention. Does the Council agree that decisions in this area can encroach
deeply on citizens’ privacy, and that changes to the law governing privacy can create alarm, as has again
been reflected in recent weeks in much of the media coverage? Does the Council also agree that it is
advisable to hold a public debate on this issue before putting forward a proposal, not to mention before
reaching a political agreement? How does the Council intend to conduct such a debate?

Reply

(6 February 2003)

As to the question by the Honourable Member whether there is any proposal for a Framework Decision
on the retention of traffic data, the Council can assure the Honourable Member that there is at present no
initiative from a Member State or any proposal from the Commission regarding a draft Framework
Decision on the retention of traffic data before the Council of the European Union. The Council has no
responsibility for the websites of individuals.

On 24 June 2002 however, the Danish Presidency introduced draft Council conclusions on information
technology-related measures concerning the investigation and prosecution of organised crime with a view
to adoption by the Council. On 8 July 2002 the Presidency presented those draft Council conclusions to
the competent Council working party. At the working party meeting on 16 September 2002,
the Commission gave information on the legal situation within the European Union in this respect.
The Danish initiative was subsequently discussed at the working party meeting on 16 October 2002.

The proposed Council conclusions on information technology-related measures concerning the


investigation and prosecution of organised crime, when adopted, would as such not directly affect the
privacy of the citizens of the European Union.

Preparatory Council bodies are currently carrying out the examination of the Danish initiative with a view
to concluding in the near future.

(2003/C 137 E/100) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2524/02


by Elizabeth Lynne (ELDR) to the Commission

(11 September 2002)

Subject: The situation in Colombia

Figures published by Amnesty International show that in 2001 alone 4000 civilians were killed in the civil
war in Colombia. Every day innocent people are caught up in the fighting and thousands of people are
leaving the country to get away from the cycle of violence that continues to engulf the country. These acts
of violence are not only perpetrated by rebels but also by government-protected paramilitary groups, as was
revealed by a recent UN investigation into an incident in Bojaya on 2 May that left 117 civilians dead.

Given the long-standing situation in Colombia, what action does the Commission intend to take to resolve
the crisis?
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/89

Will all those who have committed these acts be brought to justice by a prompt and impartial
investigation?

I urge the Commission to implement in full the recommendations made by the Office of the UN High
Commission for Human Rights towards tackling the human rights crisis in Colombia.

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(6 November 2002)

Like the Honourable Member, the Commission condemns all violations of human rights and of
international humanitarian law and believes that only a negotiated solution will bring about a lasting
peace in Colombia.

There is no quick fix to the conflict situation in Colombia, but the Commission has used, is using and will
continue to use all the instruments at its disposal. Human rights, international humanitarian law, and the
insistence on the need to seek a negotiated solution between the parties remain at the heart of the political
dialogue the EU has with the Colombian government, be it bilaterally or at the regional level (Andean
Community of Nations  CAN). In this sense growth will be key to ending the conflict that Colombia also
benefits from a very favourable Community trade regime (the ‘drugs’ Generalised Scheme of Preferences)
that helps its exporters to reach out to European markets. The Community cooperation instruments are
also used to help resolve the crisis. These are focused on the support of on-going Colombian activities in
the search for peace, targeting the root causes of the conflict, and providing humanitarian assistance to the
victims of the conflict. Cooperation is implemented in partnership both with the Government (e.g. the
‘Peace Laboratory’ in the Magdalena Medio region, worth EUR 34,8 million) or through the civil society
and non-governmental organisations (e.g. Colombia is a focus country for the European Initiative for
Democracy & Human Rights).

As far as impunity is concerned, the Country Strategy Paper for Colombia (1) foresees support to the
administrative and judicial reform efforts of the Colombian government.

Finally the Commission, is in regular contact with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for
Human Rights and follows closely its recommendations. It is also supporting the work of this Office in
Colombia (Municipal ombudspersons support project, phase II, EUR 800 000).

(1) http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/colombia/csp.

(2003/C 137 E/101) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2528/02


by Camilo Nogueira Román (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(11 September 2002)

Subject: Use of Palestinian human shields killed by Israel

As denounced by the Israeli human rights organisation Betselem on 14 August, when a young Palestinian
was unlawfully used as a human shield in an action which caused his death, the Israeli Army is using
human shields in its repressive colonial war against the Palestinian population. Why is the EU looking on
passively whilst such acts are carried out by a State which is deploying all its might against a defenceless
population? What will the Council do to stop this criminal behaviour on the part of the State of Israel?