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C 137 E/110 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.

2003

 with regard to taxation, presented, on 27 August, a proposal for a Council Directive (1) defining the
conditions for implementing special tax arrangements for diesel fuel used for commercial purposes.
This matter is under examination within the Council’s preparatory bodies.

(1) COM(2002) 410 final.

(2003/C 137 E/123) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2689/02


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Council
(26 September 2002)

Subject: Definition of terms in the EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports

In 1998 the Council approved the EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports. In this Code of Conduct the EU
Member States declare themselves to be ‘determined (sic) to prevent the export of equipment which might
be used for internal repression or international aggression, or contribute to regional instability’.

Criterion 3 refers to the internal situation in the country of final destination: ‘Member States will not allow
exports which would provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the
country of final destination’.

Can the Council tell me exactly what the signatories understood ‘armed conflicts’ and ‘existing tensions or
conflicts’ to mean?

Can the Council tell me exactly what the signatories had in mind when they spoke of ‘provoking’ and
‘prolonging’ a conflict? And what actions were the signatories referring to when they spoke of these
possibly ‘aggravating existing tensions or conflicts’?

Reply
(18 February 2003)

The Council informs the Honourable Parliamentarian that the day to day interpretation and application of
the Code’s principles is carried out by each Member State individually, when taking a decision on whether
to grant an export licence. It does not lie in the Council’s purview to exercise a review of such decisions.

(2003/C 137 E/124) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2690/02


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Council
(26 September 2002)

Subject: European system of end-use certificates

Point 1.2.2 of the final report of the Subcommittee on Arms Trading (doc. 614/4  95/96, 28 April 1999)
of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the Belgische Kamer van Volksvertegenwoordigers (Belgian Chamber
of Parliamentarians) reads as follows: ‘A watertight system of controls for these transactions continues to
be a necessity. In the light of this, we point particularly to the need for a rigorous joint system for the
delivery and verification of end-use certificates’.

Can the Council say whether it is aware of the wish expressed here and whether it shares the Belgian
Federal Parliamentarians’ analysis of the situation?

1. If so, what steps has it already undertaken to set up such a system, and when does it think it will
become operational?

2. If not, why not? Is the Council thinking of putting this point to the members for consideration when
the opportunity arises? If so, approximately when?