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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?
12.6.2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 137 E/111

Reply

(18 February 2003)

The Council invites the Honourable Parliamentarian to refer to the answer given to his previous question
E-2689/02. In addition, the Council underlines that the third annual report according to Operative
provision 8 of the European Union Code of Conduct on arms exports, issued at the end of 2001, identified
a certain number of guidelines on topics requiring consideration or action in the near future. These
guidelines would enable Member States and their partners within and outside the European Union to
monitor and measure progress in the implementation of the Code.

Within this framework Member States undertook to continue the proceedings on standardising the
information to appear on the certificates of final destination.

During the first half of 2002 Member States agreed on a common core of elements that should be found
in a certificate of final destination when it is required by a Member State, concerning the export of goods
included in the common list of military equipment. They also identified an additional set of elements,
which might also be required in accordance with their national legislation. All such data are contained in a
‘Compendium of Member States’ agreed practices within the framework of the Code of Conduct’ which
will be attached to the fourth annual report, due to be finalised and published before the end of 2002.

(2003/C 137 E/125) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2691/02


by Bart Staes (Verts/ALE) to the Council

(26 September 2002)

Subject: Endorsement of the EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports by the candidate countries

In 1998 the 15 EU Member States reached agreement on an EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports.
On 10 July 2001 the Council replied to a question by Matti Wuori, MEP, as follows (P-3693/00 (1)):

‘In the Council’s view, it is essential to ensure that the Associated States comply with the Code of
Conduct before acceding to the Union, as all have in any case already undertaken to do. The associated
countries receive detailed information on activities in the Council, including information on the
implementation of the Code, in the context of the regular meetings at troika level. Nevertheless, it is
possible to envisage other forms of cooperation in the field of the control of exports’.

When the Council says that ‘it is essential to ensure’ that the candidate countries comply with the Code of
Conduct, who does it see carrying out this task?

Can the Council now make an assessment, one year after its reply to Mr Wuori, of compliance with the
Code of Conduct by the candidate countries? If so, what is it? If not, why not? In what way did the
candidate countries ‘undertake’ to comply with the Code  formally or informally? If countries do not
formally sign, will the Council reject them as Member States?

What are the activities in the Council regarding application of the Code of Conduct on which the
candidate countries apparently receive ‘detailed information’?

The Council takes the view that ‘nevertheless, it is possible to envisage other forms of cooperation in the
field of the control of exports’. What are they? Does this mean that the candidate countries will not be
subject to the same rules as the current Member States? If not, does the Council not consider it more
advisable to maintain one uniform system throughout the EU? And will it then opt for maintaining the
current Code of Conduct?

(1) OJ C 340 E, 4.12.2001, p. 6.