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C 11 E/252

Official Journal of the European Union



(2004/C 11 E/280)


by Marie-Arlette Carlotti (PSE) to the Commission

(27 June 2003)

Subject: Observation of the presidential elections in Mauritania

Presidential elections are scheduled to be held in November 2003 in Mauritania. Preparations for these important elections are being hampered by an unprecedented wave of repression which is affecting every political and religious grouping.

Mauritania constitutes a bridge between the Mediterranean and Black Africa and is an essential factor for regional stability.

These presidential elections must constitute a decisive step along the road to stability and to the restoration of the rule of law in Mauritania.

That means that the preparations for and the conduct of the elections must be free, transparent and democratic.

As a supporter of democratic processes, the European Union must monitor the proper conduct of the ballot by providing logistical support and sending observers.

Is the Commission planning to send an election observation mission to Mauritania?

Answer given by Mr Nielson on behalf of the Commission

(17 July 2003)

The Commission shares the Honourable Member’s analysis of the issues at stake in the presidential elections scheduled for November 2003 in Mauritania. It is also concerned about the wave of arrests made before the attempted coup at the beginning of June and the conditions in which the arrests and dismissals that have taken place since then have been conducted.

More specifically on the question of sending an election observation mission to Mauritania, the EU deploys between eight and ten election observation missions a year. Indeed, the Commission communication on election assistance and observation, and the Council conclusions and Parliament’s Fava resolution, stress the need for the EU to observe a limited number of elections each year. A list of priority countries for election observation is therefore drawn up, after consultations with Council’s geographical groups and Parliament’s electoral coordination group. Mauritania was not included among the priority countries for election observation in 2003. In addition, the Commission has received no official request from the government of Mauritania to send international observers, an essential prerequisite for sending an EU election observation mission.

The Commission is in favour of stepping up the political dialogue with the Mauritanian authorities in order to make them aware of the importance that the EU attaches to compliance with the basic rules of law and the organisation of free, transparent and democratic elections.

(2004/C 11 E/281)


by Mario Borghezio (NI) to the Commission

(7 July 2003)

Subject: Plague in Algeria and checks on illegal and legal immigrants from areas at risk

The total information black-out imposed by the Algerian authorities on cases of plague reported in Oran is reminiscent of the mistake made by the Chinese government in the first days of the SARS virus outbreak. The appalling health and hygiene conditions prevailing in Algeria, however, mean that there is a very real risk of a plague epidemic in European ports, in a region from which many illegal immigrants travel to the European Union Member States.