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Parliamentary questions
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3 February 2015
E-001733-15
Question for written answer E-001733-15
to the Council
Rule 130
Alyn Smith (Verts/ALE)

 Subject:  EU response to illegal annexations in Ukraine and Palestine
 Answer in writing 

In March 2014, Russia illegally annexed Crimea and the city of Sevastopol. Echoing a resolution of the UN General Assembly(1), the Council declared that the EU would not recognise this illegal situation and instructed the Commission to propose a set of restrictive measures for rapid implementation(2). Three months later, the Council banned the import of Russian goods from Crimea and Sevastopol into the EU, with the exception of goods which had been granted a certificate of origin by the Government of Ukraine(3).

Israel’s unlawful annexation of East Jerusalem and the Golan Heights has been condemned by UN Security Council resolutions(4), as has Israel’s settlement policy in the West Bank. According to the International Court of Justice(5), the settlement policy is tantamount to a de facto annexation. The EU does not recognise Israel’s sovereignty over any of these territories and it has regularly condemned Israel’s continued settlement expansion(6).

1. Is it the view of the Council that Israel’s policy of undermining the territorial integrity of Palestine provides sufficient grounds to impose restrictions on the import of Israeli settlement products into the EU?

2. If not, what justifies this double standard?

(1)UNGA resolution A/RES/68/262, territorial integrity of Ukraine, 24 March 2014.
(2)European Council Conclusion, March 2014 on Ukraine, p. 13, §26.
(3)Council Regulation no 692/2014 concerning restrictions on the import into the Union of goods originating in Crimea or Sevastopol, in response to the illegal annexation of Crimea and Sevastopol (OJ L 183, 24.6.2014).
(4)The UN Security Council declared both annexations null and void. See UNSC Resolutions 497 (1981) and 478 (1980).
(5) UNSC Resolutions 446 (1979), 452 (1979) and 465 (1980). In its Advisory Opinion on the Legality of the Wall of 9 July 2004, the International Court of Justice ruled that the wall and its ‘associated regimes’, the settlements and the settler roads create a fait accompli on the ground that may become permanent and as such are tantamount to a de facto annexation (para. 121).
(6)The latest example being the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions, 22 July 2014.

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