Parliamentary question - E-1565/2002Parliamentary question


by Maurizio Turco (NI)
to the Commission

In his answer to Question P-0634/02[1], Mr Patten states, among other things, that 'it is the Commission's firm belief that a dialogue on human rights will be more effective when conducted in the framework of a binding Association Agreement'. He also states the following: 'a future European Union-Syria Association Agreement will refer to human rights as an essential element in European Union-Syrian relations and it will be designed to foster common objectives expressed in the Barcelona Declaration[2], such as developing the rule of law and democracy, respect for human rights, free trade and sustainable development. The Commission will stress issues of reform in the MEDA cooperation programme.'


Does the Commission consider that it can remain optimistic about the necessary democratisation of Syria in the light of what has emerged, following the accident which occurred on 24 March 2002 in Homs, regarding the close technical and military cooperation between the Syrian and Iraqi governments in building missiles with ranges of more than 500 km?


More generally, is the Commission not concerned at the fact that a country which is now a member of the UN Security Council, thanks notably to the key support provided by the EU and its Member States, can violate the UN resolutions on Iraq in such a shameless manner?


Lastly, will the Commission indicate how far it intends to go in its optimistic and 'positive' policy vis-à-vis regimes which not only treat their own people in a totalitarian and repressive manner, but also constitute such an obvious threat to international security and stability that they appear at the top of the black lists of all international organisations?


OJ C 52 E, 06/03/2003