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Official Journal of the European Communities

C 309 E/35

(2002/C 309 E/040)


by Brigitte Langenhagen (PPE-DE) to the Commission

(8 March 2002)

Subject: EU funding of the trawler ‘Atlantic Dawn’

The trawler ‘Atlantic Dawn’ appears to have been built in a Norwegian shipyard and launched by an Irish shipowner, yet is not registered with the EU as a fishing vessel. The trawler is currently fishing in the waters of Mauritania under an individual agreement of the shipping company with that country, and is therefore in competition with both domestic and EU fleets, who are entitled to fish there under the EU agreement with Mauritania.

1. Can the Commission confirm my information on the origin and present use of the trawler?

2. What does the Commission intend to do about the failure to register the fishing vessel?

3. How much EU money was used to fund the ‘Atlantic Dawn’?

Answer given by Mr Fischler on behalf of the Commission

(18 April 2002)

1. While the Commission does not hold information on the construction and use of Member State’s

vessels, it believes that the Atlantic Dawn was constructed in Norway and has since been fishing under a private agreement in Mauritanian waters.

2. The ‘Atlantic Dawn’ has been registered on the Irish fishing vessel register and, consequently, into the

fishing vessel register of the Community on 22 March 2002.

3. No Community contribution has been provided in financing the Atlantic Dawn.

(2002/C 309 E/041)


by Miquel Mayol i Raynal (Verts/ALE) to the Commission

(8 March 2002)

Subject: Prisons in Turkey

Of the 50 000 prisoners currently being held in Turkey, 10 000 are political prisoners accused of terrorist acts or of belonging to an illegal political organisation.

These prisoners are being held in solitary confinement or in three-person cells. They are remanded in custody for an average of four years before being sentenced.

For more than a year there has been a growing number of protests against this system, particularly in the form of hunger strikes by prisoners. These strikes could lead to the death of fifty of then. 130 prisoners are currently on hunger strike.

This system of solitary confinement has been condemned as a form of torture by the Council of Europe. The presidents of the country’s four largest bar associations proposed a compromise solution entitled ‘3 doors, 3 locks’, whereby prisoners in three neighbouring cells would be allowed to communicate with one another for eight hours a day.

This solution has been rejected by the Turkish authorities.

Against the background of Turkey’s insistent requests to join the European Union, does the Commission consider the attitude of the Turkish authorities in this matter to be favourable towards Turkey’s accession?

C 309 E/36

Official Journal of the European Communities



Answer given by Mr Verheugen on behalf of the Commission

(16 April 2002)

The Commission is aware of the conditions in Turkish prisons to which the Honourable Member refers, and shares it’s concern regarding the prisoners on hunger strike. The number of prisoners who have died on hunger strike has now reached 48. The Commission considers that, from a humanitarian point of view, this situation is unacceptable, regardless of the motives of those involved in organising the hunger strikes.

The Commission is following the matter of the reform of the prison system very closely, and has taken note that the compromise formula of ‘Three Doors, Three Locks’ has been rejected by the Minister for Justice on the grounds that it contravenes Article 16 of the anti-terror law.

There have been attempts by the Ministry of Justice to find an alternative, and it has been proposed in a circular issued on 10 January 2002 that prisons could allow groups of up to 10 prisoners to meet socially for five hours each week. However, this has not been implemented as the Ministry insists that the measure can only be introduced once the hunger strikes have ended.

The Commission agrees with the Honourable Member that the situation in Turkish prisons does not contribute positively to the country’s preparations for Union membership. The Member of the Commission in charge of Enlargement raised the issue of prison reforms during his visit to Ankara on 14/15 February 2002. The Commission hopes that improvements will be made, and that Turkey will, as stipulated in the medium term priorities of the Accession Partnership, ‘adjust detention conditions in prisons to bring them into accordance with the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the treatment of prisoners and other international norms.’

(2002/C 309 E/042)


by André Brie (GUE/NGL) to the Commission

(1 March 2002)

Subject: Compliance with the EU’s financial commitments to Yugoslavia

In an interview with the German news magazine Der Spiegel (issue 9/2002), the Prime Minister of Yugoslavia, Mr Zoran Djindjic, has made the following assertions:

in 2001, the European Union first deducted two thirds from the EUR 300 million pledged to Yugoslavia in order to redeem debts from the Milosevic era, and shortly afterwards, according to an interview given to Der Spiegel at the time, granted the country EUR 45 million; in 2002-2004 the EU intends to deduct these EUR 45 million again in three instalments;

of the $ 1,3 billion pledged to Yugoslavia in emergency aid in 2001, barely $ 500 million had so far been disbursed.

Can the Commission confirm these statements?

If they cannot be confirmed, what specific facts can the Commission adduce?

Is the Commission aware of the enormous importance of abiding by financial pledges in order to preserve stability in Yugoslavia and make it possible for the government to continue to pursue its policy of reform?

Answer given by Mr Patten on behalf of the Commission

(11 April 2002)

The Commission disputes the accuracy of the statements made by Mr Djindjic. The Commission also notes that other parts of the same interview, on different issues, have been the subject of criticism by relevant international organisations.