Motion for a resolution - B6-0571/2006Motion for a resolution



to wind up the debate on statements by the Council and Commission
pursuant to Rule 103(2) of the Rules of Procedure
by Kartika Tamara Liotard, Luisa Morgantini, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Jacky Henin, Gabriele Zimmer, Umberto Guidoni and Adamos Adamou
on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
on the export of toxic waste to Africa

Procedure : 2006/2642(RSP)
Document stages in plenary
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Texts tabled :
Texts adopted :


European Parliament resolution on the export of toxic waste to Africa

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 259/93 of 1 February 1993 on the supervision and control of shipments of waste within, into and out of the European Community,[1]

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1013/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 14 June 2006 on shipments of waste,[2] which came into force on 15 July 2006 but will not apply until 12 July 2007, when it will replace Regulation (EEC) 259/93,

–  having regard to the Basel Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal and to the Basel ban on all exports of hazardous wastes from the OECD to non-OECD countries,

–  having regard to Council Decision 93/98/EEC on the conclusion, on behalf of the Community, of the Convention on the control of transboundary movements of hazardous wastes and their disposal (Basel Convention),

–  having regard to the International Convention for the prevention of pollution from ships, as modified by the Protocol of 1978 relating thereto (Marpol 73/78),

–  having regard to the Lomé IV and Bamako Conventions, which prohibit the export of nuclear or hazardous wastes to the ACP states by the European Union, while the ACP countries have agreed to prohibit such waste imports from any country,

–  having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas in mid-August the Probo Koala cargo ship, sailing under a Panamanian flag and chartered by the Dutch company Trafigura Beheer, offloaded a total of 528 tonnes of toxic waste at Côte d’Ivoire’s capital Abidjan, which resulted in the death of eight people and caused health problems in several thousand others,

B.  aware of the growing practice of the dumping in African and other developing countries by transnational corporations and other enterprises from industrialised countries of hazardous and other waste which constitutes a serious threat to the universal human right to life and health,

C.  whereas similar scandals have impacted the African continent over the past few years: toxic waste in Abidjan, radioactive reservoirs in Somalia, dumping of 5 600 litres of chlorine in Cameroon and cargos of discarded tyres, cars and electronic material containing toxic material, which is very costly to recycle,

D.  whereas the export of hazardous waste for recycling purposes is still too often used as a pretext for final disposal in an environmentally disastrous way in less developed countries,

E.  whereas many developing countries do not have the technologies to process such waste in a way that eradicates or diminishes its adverse effects on health and the environment,

F.  whereas parallel investigations have been launched against the Trafigura Beheer company, the Amsterdam Port Services, Amsterdam city officials and the Dutch Minister of the Environment, who all, despite being aware of the nature of the cargo, granted permission for it to be unloaded,

1.  Deplores deeply the loss of life and the health crisis in Abidjan, where some 44 000 people have sought medical care because of the illicit dumping of toxic waste, and condemns the deliberate act that caused such a situation; notes with concern that the increasing rate of illicit dumping of toxic and dangerous products and wastes in developing countries continues to affect adversely the human rights to life and health of individuals in those countries;

2.  Considers that both EU legislation and international conventions were clearly violated in the case of the Probo Koala’s transportation and dumping of toxic waste in Abidjan, and calls upon the Commission to conduct an independent investigation into the transporting and dumping of toxic waste by the Probo Koala in order to explain how enforcement of the existing legislation failed;

3.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States concerned to implement procedures to trace the toxic wastes in question from their production to their disposal, including all parties that intervened in that process, to establish clearly the parties that are to be held accountable and responsible for the disposal of toxic wastes in Abidjan and to ensure that legal remedies and compensation are made available to the victims;

4.  Urges the Commission to take effective and concrete measures to end impunity for exposure of populations to toxic wastes, to impose criminal sanctions to guarantee compliance with EU law, in accordance with the judgment of 13 September 2005 handed down by the European Court of Justice on criminal penalties for harm to the environment (C‑176/03), to compel Member States to implement fully all relevant Community legislation, and to open infringement proceedings against those Member States that fail to do so;

5.  Asks the Commission and the Member States concerned to make public all the bilateral agreements they have concluded up to date with non-OECD countries for the shipping of waste;

6.  Urges all Member States to take measures to control the activities of their industries and transnational corporations and to ensure that they do not violate human rights through harmful environmental practices such as the illicit movement of toxic and dangerous products and wastes, particularly to developing countries;

7.  Mandates the Commission to collect information on the illicit trafficking in, and dumping of, such wastes and products in African and other developing countries, to come forward with proposals for measures to control, reduce and eradicate this illicit trafficking, transfer and dumping of such products in African and other developing countries, and to produce annually a list of countries and transnational corporations engaged in the illicit dumping of toxic wastes and products in African and other developing countries;

8.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the Basel Convention secretariat and the government of Côte d’Ivoire.