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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.


C 137 E/112 Official Journal of the European Union EN 12.6.2003

Reply

(18 February 2003)

The EU Code of Conduct on arms exports, adopted by the Council on 8 June 1998, was not adopted in
the form of a legally binding act, nor does it constitute an international agreement to be signed or ratified
by Member States. A certain number of third countries, including all candidate countries, aligned
themselves with the Code’s principles either at the time of its adoption or subsequently. They did so in the
form of unilateral statements. As a consequence, they are politically bound by the Code’s principles, but
they do not take part in the consultation mechanism contained in the Code’s operative provisions.

Dialogue with the third countries which have aligned themselves with the Code’s principles, particularly
the associated countries of Central and Eastern Europe, as well as Cyprus, Malta and Turkey, began
immediately after the adoption of the Code, and was stepped up during the lst two years (i.e. third and
fourth year of its application). During these two years new initiatives were launched aimed at improving
the application of the Code in these countries both at legislative level and in the actual implementation by
the operators concerned.

Moreover, seminars on arms exports were held with a view to promoting a wider exchange information
among experts of all Member States and candidate countries on European Code of Conduct practices.
Such seminars were held in Warsaw (January 2001), Nicosia (June 2001) and in Sofia (March 2002).

This enhanced dialogue has allowed Member States to assess the considerable progress made by candidate
countries in improving and implementing their arms control legislation in the light of the Code.

At the same time, work has continued towards greater involvement by the candidate countries in the
consultation mechanism and the principle was agreed to involve candidate countries in denial notifications,
as well as the principle of sharing such information on an aggregate basis.

After their accession to the EU, the candidate countries will fully apply its operative provisions as any
other Member State.

(2003/C 137 E/126) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2696/02


by Joaquim Miranda (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(26 September 2002)

Subject: State aid to maritime transport

According to the Commission’s guidelines, state aid to maritime transport should be based on the
fundamental objectives of ensuring that vessels continue under Community flags and that the largest
possible percentage of maritime workers employed are of Community origin.

In 1992, in its 22nd report on competition policy, the Commission reaffirmed its view that this policy
should be aimed at:

 safeguarding employment in the Community (whether on-board or land-based);

 preserving the Community’s maritime know-how and developing maritime skills; and

 improving safety.

However, it appears from information supplied by the representative structures of workers in the sector
that in some Member States state aids are granted to undertakings which do not comply with the first
objective, tending to employ maritime workers from third countries, and, therefore, at lower rates of pay,
and, for the same reasons, put the two other objectives in jeopardy.

Is the Commission aware of these practices? What action does it intend to take to ensure that state aid
policy for maritime transport operates in a transparent fashion, in line with the Community’s maritime
interests and those of workers in the sector?