Parliamentary questions
27 January 2016
Question for written answer
to the Commission
Rule 130
Yana Toom (ALDE) , Kaja Kallas (ALDE) , Helga Trüpel (Verts/ALE) , Nedzhmi Ali (ALDE) , Valentinas Mazuronis (ALDE) , Marielle de Sarnez (ALDE) , Ulrike Müller (ALDE) , Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL) , Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE) , Viktor Uspaskich (ALDE) , Rolandas Paksas (EFDD) , Fredrick Federley (ALDE) , Pavel Poc (S&D) , Kosma Złotowski (ECR) , Edward Czesak (ECR) , Bronis Ropė (Verts/ALE) , Andrejs Mamikins (S&D) , Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D) , Javier Nart (ALDE) , Paavo Väyrynen (ALDE) , Jozo Radoš (ALDE) , Iveta Grigule (ALDE) , Tatjana Ždanoka (Verts/ALE) , Iskra Mihaylova (ALDE) , José Inácio Faria (ALDE) , Hilde Vautmans (ALDE) , Urmas Paet (ALDE) , María Teresa Giménez Barbat (ALDE) , Miapetra Kumpula-Natri (S&D) , Milan Zver (PPE) , Hannu Takkula (ALDE) , Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D) , Ivo Vajgl (ALDE) , Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D) , Liisa Jaakonsaari (S&D) , Jean-Luc Schaffhauser (ENF) , Robert Rochefort (ALDE) , Dominique Bilde (ENF) , Bodil Valero (Verts/ALE) , Dita Charanzová (ALDE) , Brando Benifei (S&D) , Ana Gomes (S&D) , Julie Ward (S&D)

 Subject:  Chemical warfare agents (CWA) in the Baltic Sea

Following the disarmament and demilitarisation of Germany after the Second World War, the allied parties disposed of chemical warfare agents (CWA) mainly by dumping them in the Baltic Sea. Among the dumped CWA are blister agents such as mustard gas and arsenic compounds (e.g. Adamsite), the blood agent hydrogen cyanide (Zyklon B) and nerve agents (Sarin and Tabun). The Helsinki Commission reports that there are at least 50 000 tonnes of chemical munitions submerged in the Baltic Sea, including artillery shells, aircraft bombs and containers holding 15 000 tonnes of CWA. Furthermore, recent research by Chemsea has found evidence of unofficial dumping sights in two different locations.

Due to the presence of these unofficial dumping sights, the increased use of the Baltic Sea and the unpredictability of corrosion and leaching, dumped CWA have already caused many accidents and will continue to do so.

Given the increased risk to exposure with these hazardous agents by humans, flora and fauna and its effect on the EU, can the Commission please answer the following questions:
1. Does the Commission plan to take action in order to contain the CWA contamination of the Baltic Sea?
2. Would it be possible to draw up a legislative proposal in order to address this issue?
Last updated: 11 February 2016Legal notice