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26.9.

2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 229 E/7

(2002/C 229 E/005) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3185/01


by Mario Borghezio (NI) to the Council

(23 November 2001)

Subject: The north of Cyprus  a terrorist haven: Europe should intercede with Turkey

The northern part of the island of Cyprus, under military occupation by Turkey, is one of the most
important bases for Bin Laden’s operational and financial network. According to Roland Jacquard, a UN
Security Council expert and Director of the International Observatory on Terrorism and of the Centre for
the Study of Contemporary Threats, the sheik carried out financial transactions there with the cooperation
of businessmen very close to the local government, including a member of the President’s family. Capital
(Wall Street Journal, 1.11.2001) valued in a CIA report at between $ 500 million and $700 million is said
to have been moved by Al Qa’ida to the Balkans via Cyprus between 1992 and 1998.

In addition, Jamal Al-Fadl, the Government witness in the case relating to the Embassy attacks (La
Repubblica, 5.11.2001), revealed that the uranium used to make dirty bombs was tested in 1994 by
terrorists belonging to the Sudanese National Islamic Front in the town of Hilat Koko in Northern Cyprus.

Finally, it emerges from a report being investigated by the Foreign Office that the fundamentalist groups
operating in the north of Cyprus are funded by the Islamic Relief Organisation and can count on the
support, in Kyrilia, of a Chechen group led by Eryan Arikli, who is alleged to have given the orders to the
Chechen commando which hijacked the Tupolev flight from Istanbul to Moscow. In other places there are
very active Islamic schools attended by Moroccans, Lebanese, Saudis and Pakistanis.

Does the Council intend, in the context of the enlargement process, to call on the Turkish Government to
explain what measures it intends to take with regard to the situation in the north of Cyprus, which has
become a dangerous ‘no-man’s-land’ in the middle of the Mediterranean where Islamic terrorists and Pan-
Ottoman extremists have complete freedom of action and pro-Bin Laden financial transactions are carried
out? Will the Council also call on that Government to say whether it means to undertake immediately to
seal off this important transit channel for terrorists and their movements of capital to the Balkans, since it
represents a serious threat to European stability and security?

Reply

(25 June 2002)

The Council has no information with which to ascertain the validity of the reports quoted by the
Honourable Member in support of the assertion that the northern part of the Republic of Cyprus is a
‘terrorist haven’.

Taking account of the situation which is described in the UN Secretary-General’s reports, and which exists
in the northern part of Cyprus, as well as the role played there by Turkey, every aspect of the fight against
terrorism is discussed with Turkey in the appropriate fora in the context of the implementation of the
action plan adopted by the European Council on 21 September 2001.

(2002/C 229 E/006) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3219/01


by Pere Esteve (ELDR) to the Commission

(22 November 2001)

Subject: Establishment of a European Civilian Peace Corps

In view of the major escalation of violence which is taking place in the world and the need to improve
non-military crisis-management tools, would the Commission answer the following questions:

1. Will it say why, in its recent Communication of 11 April 2001 on conflict prevention (1), it ignored
the proposal which Parliament has repeatedly put forward (beginning with the resolution it adopted
C 229 E/8 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 26.9.2002

on 17 May 1995 on the functioning of the Treaty on European Union with a view to the 1996
Intergovernmental Conference (2)) concerning the establishment of a European Civilian Peace Corps
with responsibility for peace-keeping duties?

2. What view does the Commission take of this proposal which Parliament has put forward in a series of
documents? These comprise:
 the proposal for a recommendation to the Council by Mr Spencer and 38 other Members
concerning the establishment of a European Civilian Peace Corps (B4-0791/98),
 the report of 28 January 1999 by Mr Per Gahrton on a proposal for a European Parliament
recommendation to the Council on the establishment of a European Civil Peace Corps (A4-0047/
1999),
 the motion for a resolution by Mr Salvador Garriga on the setting up of a European Civilian Peace
Corps (B5-0361/1999),
 the final report of 21 November 2000 by Mrs Catherine Lalumière on the establishment of a
common European security and defence policy after Cologne and Helsinki (A5-0339/2000),
 the report drawn up by Mr Joost Lagendijk and adopted in committee on 6 November 2001
concerning the Commission Communication on conflict prevention (3).

3. Has the Commission carried out any studies into the feasibility of a European Civilian Peace Corps?

4. Is it intending to take any real action on the matter?

(1) COM(2001) 211 final.


(2) OJ C 151, 19.6.1995, p. 56.
(3) COM(2001) 211.

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(18 January 2002)

Improving the personnel capacity of the Union to address situations of conflict or potential conflict is one
of the key challenges in building a credible and effective external policy. Indeed, the European Council at
Feira (19 and 20 June 2000) decided that the Union should reinforce its external action through the
development of a civilian crisis management capability and identified priority areas for the elaboration of
concrete personnel targets in civilian aspects of crisis management, where work should be carried forward.

The Commission Communication on conflict Prevention (1), emphasised the need to enhance the Union’s
external action in the field of peaceful resolution of conflicts and effective crisis management. One
important aspect of this work is to develop personnel capacities and the ability to deploy civilian Union
experts to peace missions. First steps have been taken towards the building-up of pools of Union civilian
personnel for peace missions and are developed in close co-ordination with Member States and the
Council.

The Parliament’s recomendations on a European Civil Peace Corps have considerable potential and might
be developed in the future. However, a number of problems remain, which relate to the delicate issues of
overall control and guidance and to the oversight of personnel rosters/databases. Member States should
rightly retain the prerogative of nominating personnel to peace missions. The Commission has therefore
chosen to adopt a pragmatic and decentralised approach, in close co-operation with the Council secretariat
and Member States, to build up personnel capacity to enable the Union to effectively carry out its tasks in
conflict prevention and crisis management.

The Commission itself has a long experience in this area. The Commission has over the past years
dispatched a large number of individual experts in its external assistance programmes, covering a wide
array of areas ranging from general technical assistance to human rights and election observation: to
projects for democracy or the rule of law in Rwanda, projects aiming at the strengthening of the judiciary
in Colombia, human rights training programmes for police forces in Algeria or South Africa, with many of
these activities carried out by Union non-governmental organisation (NGO) personnel. The Union has also
26.9.2002 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 229 E/9

developed a coherent policy on election observation, with the regular deployment through the
Commission, in co-operation with Member States, of Union election observation teams in third countries.

The Commission is also responding through new initiatives to a number of challenges the Union is facing.
The Union must react more quickly in crisis situations and must deploy appropriate personnel in sufficient
numbers.

This is why the Commission is currently engaged in further developing the Rapid Reaction Mechanism
(RRM), which enables it to respond in a rapid, efficient and flexible manner to situations of urgency or
crisis or to the emergence of crisis. The RRM entitles the Commission to conclude framework agreements
with relevant government agencies, international organisations and NGOs to carry out rapid interventions
in crisis management. The Commission is right now preparing an inventory of personnel categories and
first framework agreements for the provision of national experts for civilian aspects of crisis management
to be concluded with Member States. A wide array of personnel categories are included, such as personnel
for assessment teams, for monitoring tasks (general/political-security/human rights/elections), experts on
‘security for populations’ (trauma counselling, Demobilization, Disarmament and Reintegration (DDR),
demining, environmental specialists, food security), rehabilitation, education, rule of law, civilian
administration, experts in civil society development. First actions under the RRM have already been taken
for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Central Africa.

This is also why the Commission has launched a training project to build up training and personnel
capacity in the Union, covering both categories of public employees and NGO personnel and giving
particular emphasis to the areas of strengthening the rule of law and civilian administration. A network of
national bodies responsible for training of civilian personnel is being created, with the aim of promoting
training co-operation and developing proposals for common training modules for the Union and future
administration of pilot training courses. A core group of interested training institutions met in Brussels on
20 November 2001 to launch the project and set a calendar for the elaboration of first proposals to be
presented by mid-2002.

(1) COM(2001) 211 final.

(2002/C 229 E/007) WRITTEN QUESTION E-3272/01


by Raffaele Costa (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(26 November 2001)

Subject: Members of the Radical Party in Laos and respect for human rights

The regrettable incidents involving the detention of several members of the transnational Radical Party,
including the MEP Olivier Dupuis, in conditions contravening the main standards relating to protection of
basic human rights  in terms of both conditions of detention and the failure to respect the right to a fair
trial  raises wider issues relating to universal respect for democratic principles. Laos plays a leading role
in cooperation between the European Union and ASEAN. The European Union is committed to protecting
human rights and promoting respect for fundamental democratic rules (known as the ‘Copenhagen
criteria’).

In view of the above, would the Commission not agree that the implementation of economic cooperation
agreements is subject to respect for and the protection of the main, universally recognised democratic
principles by the parties involved?

Would the Commission not agree that, in the event of serious violations of humanitarian standards
recognised as binding by the entire international community, under conventions as well as more generally,
any agreements concluded with the perpetrator of such violations should be suspended, irrespective of the
subject to which the agreements relate?