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3.7.

2003 EN Official Journal of the European Union C 155 E/19

(2003/C 155 E/018) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2419/02


by Erik Meijer (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(14 August 2002)

Subject: Preventing European involvement in US plans for war in Iraq

1. Is the Council aware of the increasing number of media reports dealing with (preparations for) a
possible US attack on Iraq?

2. Will be the Council be consulted in advance by the US Administration if an attack is being planned
and, if so, how and under the terms of what agreements?

3. Can the Council confirm that, as reported by the Netherlands newspaper ‘Trouw’ this week (1),
following their meeting in Schwerin President Chirac and Chancellor Schröder adopted the standpoint that
an attack on Iraq would be justified only on the basis of a mandate issued by the UN Security Council?

4. Is that standpoint consistent with the Council’s position on this issue? In other words, does the
Council also take the view that an attack on Iraq would be justified only on the basis of a mandate issued
by the UN Security Council?

5. If so, is the Council prepared to make President Bush aware of a common EU standpoint of this
kind?

6. Does the Council share the European public’s increasing alarm at the possibility that the consistent
pressure being exerted by the US military may result in the outbreak of a large-scale war, feelings which
have been intensified by reports dealing with the ‘axis of evil’, by statements from commentators such as
Daniel Ellsberg, who described Bush as ‘undoubtedly the most dangerous President I have ever seen’ (2), and
by criticism voiced by members of the US Congress?

7. If so, what steps does the Council plan to take to prevent the launching of fresh military operations
against Iraq, given that, in my view, the danger of escalation would pose a further threat to world peace?

(1) Edition of 31 July 2002, ‘Attack on Iraq only on the basis of a UN mandate’.
(2) ’Trouw’, edition of 30 July 2002, ‘Fear of Bush’.

Reply

(3 March 2003)

The situation regarding Iraq is developing very fast. The Council’s view, and indeed the view of
the international community as a whole, is that Iraq must fully honour its obligations under the
United Nations Security Council resolutions immediately. The EU position was reiterated in the
12 September Presidency statement to UNGA 57. Iraq must grant unconditional and unimpeded access
to the UN weapons inspectors, who have not been allowed to carry out their mandated work in Iraq since
December 1998. The European Union fully supports the further efforts of the United Nations to that end.

On 25 September, the Presidency, as part of its regular appearances before the European Parliament,
provided the Parliamant with the latest information on this very fast developing issue.

The Council furthermore invites the Honourable Member to refer to the conclusions it adopted on Iraq at
its meeting on 19 November 2002.