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Parliamentary questions
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15 May 2017
E-003342-17
Question for written answer E-003342-17
to the Council
Rule 130
Mark Demesmaeker (ECR) , Helga Stevens (ECR)

 Subject:  Turkish referendum on the reintroduction of the death penalty
 Answer in writing 

Turkey’s President Erdogan is planning a referendum on the reintroduction of the death penalty. Just as in the case of the previous referendum, he again wishes to address his European supporters, who can then vote for or against the death penalty at Turkish embassies and consulates. Various Member States are unwilling to allow this, and are investigating what action they can take. A ban hardly seems compatible with the Vienna Conventions of 1961 and 1963, although none of the provisions of those conventions relating to the functions of foreign missions mentions the right to organise polling stations. That is also the reasoning of the Canadian Government. The research department of the German Bundestag endorses Canada’s interpretation, adding that, in the case of a referendum on the death penalty, inalienable fundamental rights are at issue, and using the term ‘Versagungspflicht’.

Will the Council adopt a joint position on a Turkish referendum on the death penalty within EU territory?

What legal ways does the Council perceive of ensuring that inalienable fundamental rights are not jeopardised by the improper use of foreign missions for such purposes as the holding of a referendum on the death penalty?

Original language of question: NL 
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