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8. 6.

98 EN Official Journal of the European Communities C 174/157

The Commission draws the attention of the Honourable Member to the communication ‘Implementing European
Union strategy on defence-related industry’ it adopted recently (1). In this communication the Commission
explains that an integrated European market for defence products should be set up using a combination of all the
instruments at the Union’s disposal. The communication consists of an action plan for defence-related industries
as well as a proposal for a common position on drawing up a European armaments policy.

As part of this action plan the Commission will draw up a white paper formulating possible options for progress
toward a common arms export policy, which will then also contribute to the establishment of a code of conduct.

As part of this white paper the Commission could for example suggest information exchange between Member
States and the Community institutions on arms exports.

However, it is not foreseen that the Commission requests at this stage copies of Member States’ reports on arms
exports.

(1) COM(97) 583 final.

(98/C 174/234) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3963/97


by Maj Theorin (PSE) to the Commission
(5 December 1997)

Subject: Human rights in Turkey

The European Parliament has on several occasions called for human rights to be respected in Turkey. The
EU-Turkey customs union was adopted in spite of evidence that Turkey was then, and is still, committing serious
breaches of human rights and breaches of democracy. Reports are still coming out of Turkey which show that
human rights continue to be infringed there. The human rights situation in Turkey is far from satisfactory.

How does the Commission propose to hasten the prospect of Turkey’s respecting human rights and becoming a
stable democracy?

Answer given by Mr Van den Broek on behalf of the Commission


(12 January 1998)

The Commission never fails to impress on the Turkish authorities the importance that the Community attaches to
improvements in the human rights situation and the continuation of the democratisation process.

In Agenda 2000 the Commission noted that ‘despite political recognition of the need for improvement and
certain recent legislative changes, Turkey’s record on upholding the rights of the individual and freedom of
expression falls well short of standards in the EU’ (1).

Since 1993 the Commission has supported many Turkish non-governmental organisations (NGOs) working to
promote human rights and strengthen civil society in the country. It has granted ECU 6 million (ECU 3 million in
1997 alone) for over sixty projects. The Commission intends to continue and step up this cooperation.

The Commission communication of 15 July 1997 on the further development of relations with Turkey includes
proposals to help European and Turkish NGOs, and argues that the Community should go on backing Turkey’s
efforts to resolve its problems and continue its integration into the Community (2).
C 174/158 EN Official Journal of the European Communities 8. 6. 98

The communication also proposes cooperation to help the Turkish government enforce international conventions
on human rights and apply the relevant domestic legislation. The Turkish authorities have already officially
notified the Commission of their readiness to cooperate in this field. Bilateral discussions for the identification of
projects will begin shortly.

(1) COM(97) 2000 final.


(2) COM (97) 394 final.

(98/C 174/235) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3964/97


by Nikitas Kaklamanis (UPE) to the Commission
(5 December 1997)

Subject: Discovery of networks marketing suspect meat

According to information submitted by the Commission to the European Parliament concerning its actions
relating to the trade in meat infected with ‘mad cow disease’, some German undertakings have been involved in
the whole business without any direct and radical measures apparently being taken against them.

It should also be noted that the Belgian undertaking ‘TRAGEX − GEL’ was operating since November 1996
without any official authorization, despite repeated warnings from the Commission to the Belgian authorities.
This alarming revelation means that this undertaking must have been supplying its customers with unscreened
meat for over six months.

Will the Commission say which controlling authority (UCLAF or other) has a list of customers of the Belgian,
British and other undertakings involved in the networks marketing the suspect meat (which I would ask it to
forward to me) and whether it has undertaken any detailed research into the role played by German undertakings
in connection with the marketing of suspect meat in Community or other countries and, if so, what are its
conclusions?

Answer given by Mrs Gradin on behalf of the Commission


(13 January 1998)

All cases of illegal traffic of British meat are currently under investigation by the national authorities in Belgium,
Germany, France, Ireland and the Netherlands and, of course, the United Kingdom. Judicial inquiries have been
undertaken in Belgium, Germany, France and the Netherlands. According to the knowledge of the Commission,
the meat involved in this illegal traffic was eligible to be placed on the market in the United Kingdom.

As far as the company TRAGEX − GEL is concerned, it has been operating without the necessary administrative
approval, but under veterinary supervision.

The Commission is not in possession of a list of customers of the companies involved in connection with the
traffic. The vast majority of the quantity concerned has been traced as being exported to third countries with
refunds. The relevant third countries have been informed of this.

(98/C 174/236) WRITTEN QUESTION P-3965/97


by Alexandros Alavanos (GUE/NGL) to the Commission
(5 December 1997)

Subject: Establishment of an inventory of Greek property in Istanbul with a view to ‘development’

The Turkish Ministry of Finance has begun an inventory of all the ancient historic houses in Istanbul whose
owners are considered unknown or cannot be traced with the object of developing these properties.