Index 
Texts adopted
Thursday, 18 November 2004 - Strasbourg
Election of the Commission (resolution)
 Election of the Commission (decision)
 European Ombudsman - Annual Report 2003
 Côte d'Ivoire
 Tibet (case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche)
 Human rights in Eritrea

Election of the Commission (resolution)
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European Parliament resolution on the election of the new Commission
P6_TA(2004)0063RC-B6-0151/2004

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the vote on 22 July 2004 electing Mr Barroso as President of the Commission,

–   having regard to the statements made by the President-elect of the Commission to the European Parliament in July 2004 and on 26 and 27 October 2004, and to the Conference of Presidents on 21 October 2004 and 5 November 2004,

–   having regard to the written and oral statements made by each Commissioner-designate in the course of the hearings organised by the parliamentary committees, and the assessments of the candidates made by the committee chairmen after the hearings,

–   having regard to President-elect Barroso's decision of 27 October 2004 - following the evaluation of the hearings and the debate in the European Parliament - to withdraw the new Commission proposed to Parliament,

–   having regard to the President-elect's formal presentation of a proposal for a new Commission on 5 November 2004 before the Conference of Presidents, and his statement of 17 November 2004 before the European Parliament,

–   having regard to the additional hearings held on 15 and 16 November 2004 by the parliamentary committees and the evaluations of the Commissioners-designate following those hearings,

–   having regard to the current Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the Commission, which was approved by the Conference of Presidents on 29 June 2000,

–   having regard to Article 214 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe,

–   having regard to Rules 99 and 103 of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas Article 213(1) of the Treaty provides that the Commission is to consist of Members 'who shall be chosen on the grounds of their general competence and whose independence is beyond doubt',

B.   whereas it is essential for the Commission to be able to serve the common interest in the European Union, given the challenges ahead of us, with a view to making Europe a leading player on the world stage in support of peace, security and sound economic and social development,

C.   whereas, in that context, independence, lack of national bias and impartiality, full respect for the EU's values and objectives and a lack of conflicts of interest are key elements in winning the trust of European citizens,

D.  D whereas Parliament identified various concerns with regard to certain Commission candidates, and expressed its disappointment at the lack of professional knowledge and expertise displayed by some,

1.  Welcomes the democratic and legal validity of the approval process and the essential contribution it makes to building the good working relationship between the Commission and Parliament that the Union needs;

2.  Welcomes the steps taken by President-elect Barroso in presenting his new team on 4 November 2004; regrets, however, that no significant solution has been found so far on the potential problems concerning conflicts of interest; requests, therefore, that steps be taken as a matter of urgency to define in detail the procedures under which the code of conduct is to be implemented;

3.  Expects that the specific commitments made by President-elect Barroso during the plenary sitting of 26 October 2004 regarding the active protection and promotion of fundamental rights, equal opportunities and anti-discrimination by his Commission will be fully applied by the new Commission, and will closely monitor their application;

4.  Calls for the Framework Agreement between the European Parliament and the Commission which governs bilateral relations between those two institutions to be reviewed and updated as soon as possible on the basis of the commitments made on behalf of the new Commission by its President-elect, Mr Barroso;

5.  Calls, in the light of those commitments, for the following points to be included in that agreement:

   a) if Parliament votes to withdraw confidence (subject to political support for such a view, in terms both of substance and of form) in an individual Member of the Commission, the President of the Commission will consider seriously whether he should request that Member to resign; the President shall either require the resignation of that Member or justify his refusal to do so before Parliament;
   b) in the event of a resignation, the replacement Commissioner shall not appear before Parliament or the Council in an official capacity until his or her nomination has been validated by the normal parliamentary procedure (hearing and vote in plenary);
   c) if the President reshuffles the portfolios in the Commission during its term of office, the same procedure shall be applied to the Commissioners affected;
   d) the President of the Commission shall be fully accountable for identifying a conflict of interest which renders a Commissioner unable to perform his or her duties; the President shall likewise be responsible for any subsequent action taken in those circumstances;
   e) the Union's multi-annual work programme shall be drawn up by the Commission on the basis of close cooperation and coordination with the European Parliament and its bodies;
   f) ensuring a Commission presence at plenary sittings and meetings of the European Parliament's committees shall be a priority for Commissioners; it is agreed that the Commission shall inform the European Parliament immediately, preferably in plenary sitting, of its decisions, proposals and initiatives;
   g) in the context of ongoing dialogue with the European Parliament, the President of the Commission and the Vice-President responsible for interinstitutional relations shall establish, and remain in, regular contact with the Conference of Presidents;
   h) a commitment to follow-up action, if Parliament requests the Commission to submit a legislative proposal pursuant to Article 192 of the Treaty; in any case, the Commission shall regularly inform the European Parliament of the action it intends to take in response to positions adopted by Parliament, particularly if the Commission does not intend to follow them up;
   i) revision of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001(1) regarding public access to documents, with a view to defining better rules on the transparency of legislative preparatory work, comitology and the implementation of EU legislation in Member States, and confidential documents;
   j) the code of conduct for Commissioners shall be sent to the European Parliament for its opinion, which shall be taken into account;
   k) the Commission shall take all the necessary steps to ensure that the European Parliament is better informed both about European Union legislation and about international agreements as soon as negotiations are underway;

6.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the new Commission.

(1) OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43.


Election of the Commission (decision)
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European Parliament decision electing the nominated Commission
P6_TA(2004)0064B6-0164/2004

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to Article 214(2) of the EC Treaty and Article 127(2) of the Euratom Treaty,

–   having regard to Rule 99 of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to Decision 2004/536/EC(1) of the Council, meeting in the composition of Heads of State or Government, of 29 June 2004 nominating Mr José Manuel Durão Barroso as President of the Commission,

–   having regard to its decision of 22 July 2004(2) electing Mr Durão Barroso as President of the Commission,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2004/642/EC, Euratom(3) of 13 September 2004, taken by common accord with the President-elect of the Commission, on the persons whom the Council intends to appoint as Members of the Commission,

–   having regard to Council Decision 2004/753/EC, Euratom(4) of 5 November 2004, taken by common accord with the President-elect of the Commission, on the persons whom the Council intends to appoint as Members of the Commission,

–   having regard to the hearings of the Commissioners-designate before the competent parliamentary committees, held from 27 September to 11 October 2004 and from 15 to 16 November 2004,

–   having regard to the discussions held between the Conference of Presidents and the President-elect of the Commission on 21 October 2004 and 5 November 2004,

–   having regard to the discussions held at the meeting of the Conference of Presidents of 16 November 2004,

–   having regard to the statements made in plenary sitting by the President-elect of the Commission on 26 and 27 October 2004 and on 17 and 18 November 2004,

1.  Elects the Commission for the term of office running from 22 November 2004 to 31 October 2009;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council.

(1) OJ L 236, 7.7.2004, p. 15.
(2) Minutes of that date, P6_PV(2004)07-22, Item 8.2.
(3) OJ L 294, 17.9.2004, p. 30.
(4) OJ L 333, 9.11.2004, p. 12.


European Ombudsman - Annual Report 2003
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European Parliament resolution on the annual report on the activities of the European Ombudsman for the year 2003 (2004/2091(INI))
P6_TA(2004)0065A6-0030/2004

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the annual report on the activities of the European Ombudsman for the year 2003,

–   having regard to Article 195 of the EC Treaty,

–   having regard to its resolution of 17 November 1993 on democracy, transparency and subsidiarity and the Interinstitutional Agreement on procedures for implementing the principle of subsidiarity; the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman' s duties; the arrangements for the proceedings of the Conciliation Committee under Article 189b EC(1), and, in particular, the part thereof concerning the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties,

–   having regard to its Decision 94/262/ECSC, EC, Euratom of 9 March 1994 on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman's duties(2) and, in particular, Article 3(8) thereof,

–   having regard to Article 43 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–   having regard to Rule 112(1) and Rule 195(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

–   having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions (A6-0030/2004),

A.   whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights forms part of the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe, which was signed by the Heads of State or Government and Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the 25 Member States of the European Union in Rome on 29 October 2004,

B.   whereas Article 41 (Right to good administration) in Chapter V (Citizens" Rights) of the Charter provides that every person has the right to have his or her affairs handled impartially, fairly and within a reasonable time by the institutions and bodies of the Union,

C.   whereas Article 42 (Right of access to documents) provides that every citizen of the Union and every natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State has a right of access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents,

D.   whereas Article 43 (Ombudsman) of the Charter provides: "Any citizen of the Union and any natural or legal person residing or having its registered office in a Member State has the right to refer to the Ombudsman of the Union cases of maladministration in the activities of the Community institutions or bodies, with the exception of the Court of Justice and the Court of First Instance acting in their judicial role",

E.   whereas the Ombudsman's Annual Report was formally presented to the President of the European Parliament on 19 April 2004, and the Ombudsman, Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros, presented the report to the Committee on Petitions on 26 April 2004,

F.   whereas in 2003 there has once again been a substantial increase in the number of complaints addressed to the Ombudsman, and a further increase is expected following the recent enlargement,

G.   whereas the number of complaints to the Ombudsman where citizens have had justified reason to seek a remedy for lack of openness and transparency in the functioning of the European institutions is a matter of concern with respect to the democratic accountability of the Union,

H.   whereas the Annual Report cites examples of individual cases where no maladministration was found, where European authorities have agreed to comply with the Ombudsman's recommendations once they have been made aware of the complaint, or a friendly solution has been achieved, but also highlights a number of complaints which the Ombudsman has had to close with a critical remark,

I.   whereas the Ombudsman has also acted proactively by means of own-initiative enquiries,

J.   whereas in its Resolution of 6 September 2001 on the European Ombudsman's Special Report to the European Parliament following the own-initiative inquiry into the existence and the public accessibility, in the different Community institutions and bodies, of a Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, the European Parliament(3) expressed its unanimous support for the European Union Code of Good Administrative Behaviour recommended by the Ombudsman; and whereas the Commission has not adopted the Code,

K.   whereas the Treaty establishing a Constitution for Europe contains a legal basis for a future law on good administration,

L.   whereas, in a contribution submitted on 23 January 2003 to the Convention, the Ombudsman stated that "replacing the Treaty by a Constitution, especially a Constitution that includes fundamental rights, requires profound reflection on the role of the guardian of the Treaty",

M.   whereas the Ombudsman has emphasised already in his Decision on complaint 995/98/OV that, whilst the Commission enjoys discretionary powers with respect to the opening of infringement procedures, these are nevertheless "subject to legal limits ... established by the case law of the Court of Justice, which requires, for example, that administrative authorities should act consistently and in good faith, avoid discrimination, comply with the principles of proportionality, equality and legitimate expectations and respect human rights and fundamental freedoms",

N.   whereas as long ago as December 1999 the European Parliament received a request from the Ombudsman which aimed to amend the provisions of the Statute of the Ombudsman concerning his right of access to documents and the hearing of witnesses; whereas, although the European Parliament recommended amending these provisions, they have still not been amended due to reservations on the part of the Commission and the Council,

O.  Whereas the Ombudsman, regretting the negative views on the proposal, suggested in a letter of 17 December 2002 to the President of the European Parliament that the services of the Ombudsman and the European Parliament jointly examine the question of the revision of the Ombudsman's Statute,

P.   whereas the Annual Report shows the efforts made by the Ombudsman to continue developing the network of national and regional Ombudsmen, with particular emphasis on the applicant countries,

Q.   whereas the Annual Report notes that both the former Ombudsman, Mr J. Söderman, and the present Ombudsman, Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros, have pressed for express recognition in the Constitution of the role of ombudsmen and other non-judicial remedies,

1.  Approves the Annual Report for 2003 submitted by the European Ombudsman, which provides a comprehensive overview of the activities conducted during the year and a description of cases processed;

2.  Congratulates the first European Ombudsman, Mr J. Söderman on the completion of his successful and challenging term of office on 31 March 2003; during his seven and a half years in office he fully consolidated the foundations of the Institution and helped over 11,000 citizens find redress;

3.  Commends the efforts of Mr Nikiforos Diamandouros who, since taking office in April 2003, has successfully pursued the objectives of enhancing the effectiveness of the European Ombudsman's Office and promoting good public administration, respect for the rule of law and respect for human rights;

4.  Regards the role of the Ombudsman in enhancing openness and accountability in the decision-making processes and administration of the European Union as an essential contribution towards a Union in which decisions are truly taken "as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen", as required by Article 1(2) of the Treaty of the European Union;

5.  Recognises the Ombudsman's efforts in making his institution known to the public and informing citizens of their rights by means of distribution of materials, visits to the Member States and conferences;

6.  Notes that the Commission has responded positively to the Ombudsman's proposal that it should systematically provide information to applicants for, and recipients of, grants and subsidies, about the possibility of complaining about maladministration;

7.  Notes that there has been a substantial increase in the number of complaints, which highlights the success achieved by the Ombudsman in making citizens who are in contact with EU institutions increasingly aware of their rights in this respect;

8.  Notes, however, that there is still a level of confusion amongst the public regarding the precise scope of the Ombudsman's responsibility, since about 75% of the complaints fall outside his mandate; but notes with satisfaction that the Ombudsman tries in such cases to help the complainants by referring them to other bodies, in particular the Committee on Petitions or national and local ombudsmen, while continuing to stress the need for citizens to be kept properly informed through the various means mentioned above;

9.  Notes with satisfaction that in many cases European authorities have taken action to settle a complaint once they are made aware of the problem concerned and that in other cases a friendly solution has been achieved; continues to urge the relevant EU authorities to comply with the Ombudsman's draft recommendations to remedy cases of maladministration following an inquiry and to follow up the Ombudsman's further critical remarks in order to prevent similar cases of maladministration arising in the future;

10.  Notes with satisfaction that the Ombudsman has in four cases mediated successfully and achieved friendly solutions, offering a positive outcome that satisfies both parties, and a further seven proposals for a friendly solution were under consideration at the end of the year;

11.  Notes that, likewise in 2003, the Ombudsman presented a critical remark to institutions, in particular to the Council, concerning complaints about difficulties in obtaining access to documents; recalls that the Committee on Petitions dealt with this problem in a report concerning a complaint from the NGO "Statewatch", and that the Council had in that context given its assurance that it would in future respect the rules on access to documents;

12.  Calls on all EU institutions and bodies to fully implement Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 30 May 2001 regarding public access to European Parliament, Council and Commission documents(4) in a spirit of recognition that access to documents held by the European institutions and bodies is a fundamental right pursuant to Article 42 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights and with the sincere objective of taking decisions as 'openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizen'; stresses that the institutions and bodies of the EU should examine each request extremely carefully and on a case by case basis before the provisions on derogations from the principle of free access are possibly applied;

13.  Welcomes the Ombudsman's decision on public access to the agendas and minutes of the Praesidium following the end of the work of the European Convention; although Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001 is not applicable, the Ombudsman is successfully ensuring that the principles of sound administration are observed;

14.  Recalls its resolution of 14 March 2002 on the implementation of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001(5), in which it expresses its regret that the Commission continues to withhold the entire infringement procedure, including the correspondence between Commission and Member States, from parliamentary scrutiny, to the detriment of the effectiveness of Community law;

15.  Supports the call for the Commission to bring forward proposals to amend Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, especially in relation to access to legislative documents;

16.  Notes that, likewise in 2003, there were a number of complaints concerning lack of openness and transparency in the institutions' recruitment competitions, an area to which the Ombudsman has given high priority over the years, since so many citizens come into contact with the institutions in the context of a recruitment procedure; notes that some of these complaints have resulted in a critical remark from the Ombudsman;

17.  Notes with satisfaction that the Council, after two complaints to the Ombudsman, decided to follow the recommendation of the Ombudsman and give candidates in its recruitment competitions access to their marked examination scripts, thus bringing it into line with the practice in the Parliament and the Commission;

18.  Urges EPSO (European Communities Personnel Selection Office), the interinstitutional body that will in future organise most of the recruitment competitions in the EU institutions, to respect the rules and practices concerning openness and transparency in recruitment procedures that have been achieved over the years, mainly thanks to complaints to the Ombudsman and the Ombudsman's recommendations;

19.  Notes that many complaints which have resulted in a critical remark from the Ombudsman concern delays in answering correspondence, failure to answer or insufficient or discourteous answers ; therefore reminds the institutions and bodies that adequate and correct communication with citizens is in their own interest;

20.  Notes with satisfaction that five own-initiative inquiries were launched during 2003, including one on the integration of people with disabilities, to ensure that persons with disabilities are not discriminated against in their relations with the European institutions, pursuant to Article 26 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

21.  Recalls that Parliament adopted the above-mentioned resolution on a Code of Good Administrative Behaviour for EU institutions and bodies, and that it has since then repeatedly insisted that this code be applied by all institutions and bodies; regrets the failure by the Commission so far to fully adopt and apply the Code;

22.  Recalls that on 25 September 2003 Mrs De Palacio, Vice-President of the Commission, when debating the Ombudsman's Annual Report for 2002 in plenary, referred to the fact that the draft Constitution for Europe contained a legal basis for a future law on good administration, which should be compulsory for all the institutions and bodies of the Union; agrees with the Ombudsman that the Commission should start preparatory work aimed at the adoption of such a law;

23.  Invites the Ombudsman, pending the implementation of the law on good administration, to work together with the Committee on Petitions in further developing, and ensuring implementation by the Commission of the criteria for good administrative behaviour with respect to the infringement procedure established in the Ombudsman's Decision on Complaint 995/98/OV;

24.  Is of the opinion that the Ombudsman should have unlimited access to documents in connexion with his inquiries; notes that almost six years have elapsed since the Ombudsman proposed changes to Article 3(2) of the Ombudsman's Statute concerning the Ombudsman's access to documents and his hearing of witnesses, on which the European Parliament adopted a resolution on 6 September 2001(6); regrets that a qualified majority in the Council has not been able to give its approval to this resolution(7);

25.  Supports the need for a review of the Ombudsman's Statute, as adopted on 9 March 1994, in the light of developments during the last decade, including the powers of investigation of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 1049/2001, as proposed by Mr Söderman in a letter to President Pat Cox of 17 December 2002;

26.  Acknowledges the good working relationship between the Ombudsman's office and the Comittee on Petitions, including a process of mutual transfer of cases where appropriate, which led to six complaints being transferred directly to that Committee and a further 142 complainants being advised to submit petitions;

27.  Commends the setting up by the Ombudsman of a network of national and local ombudsmen and other bodies to whom complaints that fall outside the Ombudsman's mandate are transferred; is of the opinion that it would be useful for the Committee on Petitions to have access to this network and to establish a similar network of petitions committees in cooperation with the Ombudsman's office;

28.  Encourages the Ombudsman to continue his efforts to establish, in cooperation with national and regional ombudsmen, a comprehensive and efficient system of non-judicial remedies for the benefit of European citizens who consider that their rights under European law have been violated;

29.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, and the report of the Committee on Petitions, to the Council, the Commission, the European Ombudsman, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and to the ombudsmen or equivalent bodies in the Member States.

(1) OJ C 329, 6.12.1993, p. 132.
(2) OJ L 113, 4.5.1994, p. 15.
(3) OJ C 72 E, 21.3.2002, p. 331.
(4) OJ L 145, 31.5.2001, p. 43.
(5) OJ C 47 E, 27.2.2003, p. 483.
(6) OJ C 72 E, 21.3.2002, p. 336.
(7) Council Note 14782/02 OMBUDS 29 of 26 November 2002.


Côte d'Ivoire
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European Parliament resolution on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire
P6_TA(2004)0066RC-B6-0166/2004

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its previous resolutions on Côte d'Ivoire,

–   having regard to the ACP-EC Partnership Agreement signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000,

–   having regard to the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, signed on 24 January 2003 by all parties to the Côte d'Ivoire civil conflict,

–   having regard to the Accra III Agreement, signed on 30 July 2004 by the parties to the conflict, setting up a clear timetable for implementation of the Linas-Marcoussis Agreement, in particular as concerns political reform and the process of Disarmament, Demobilisation and Reintegration (DDR), to prepare the way for free and transparent elections before the end of 2005,

–   having regard to the declaration made by the Presidency, on behalf of the European Union, on 7 November 2004,

–   having regard to the Joint Statement of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the European Union on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire of 8 November 2004,

–   having regard to the Communiqué of the 19th Session of the Peace and Security Council of the African Union of 8 November 2004,

–   having regard to UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan's declaration of 9 November 2004,

–   having regard to the position adopted by the African Heads of State in Abuja on 12 November 2004, and United Nations Security Council Resolution 1572, which was adopted unanimously on 15 November 2004,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas, on 4 November 2004, the Government of Côte d'Ivoire violated the ceasefire agreement by launching an air attack against rebels in Bouaké and Korhogo in the Zone of Confidence in the north,

B.   whereas on 6 November 2004, Government aircraft bombed French peacekeeping forces in the area, killing 9 and wounding 31, leading the French to destroy most of the country's air force, and leading in turn to pro-government militants taking to the streets in Abidjan, harassing and intimidating foreigners, setting fire to French schools and looting French property,

C.   whereas French forces and the UN Operation in Côte d'Ivoire (UNOCI), amounting to some 10 000 troops in total, are monitoring the Zone of Confidence and are authorised to use all necessary means to prevent hostile action,

D.   whereas eight opposition newspapers have been banned by the Ivoirian authorities, several private newspapers have been looted and vandalised by pro-government militants and international radio transmissions have been sabotaged, and whereas state-owned radio and television broadcasts have incited the population to ethnic violence and xenophobia, causing a mass exodus of foreign nationals,

E.   whereas the destabilisation of Côte d'Ivoire has long-standing and deep-rooted causes, including the deterioration in its economic and social situation,

F.   whereas the continuing violence has grave consequences on the already serious humanitarian situation in the country, in which almost one million Ivoirians are dependent on international humanitarian aid, as many humanitarian missions have been suspended, and whereas the violence and the increasing risk of mass displacement of Ivoirians could destabilise the wider West Africa region, in particular Liberia,

G.   whereas insufficient international funding is also exacerbating the humanitarian crisis,

H.   whereas the Accra III Agreement provides for the disarmament of the rebel forces and militia by 15 October 2004 and this has not occurred,

I.   whereas neither the deadlines for political reform nor those for disarmament foreseen by the Accra III Agreement have been upheld by the parties to the conflict,

J.   whereas neither a referendum nor free and fair elections can validly be organised unless the country is reunified,

K.   whereas commitments relating to human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law, all essential pillars of the Cotonou Agreement, have not been respected,

L.   whereas a new diplomatic chapter has been opened in South Africa in order to find a political solution to the crisis, through the mediation of South African President Mbeki,

1.  Welcomes, following the position adopted by the African Heads of State who met in Abuja on 12 November 2004, the Security Council's resolution to impose an immediate embargo on arms which, unless the parties take action in accordance with the agreements, provides for a freeze on financial assets and restrictions on travel abroad of any person who continues to threaten the peace process and national reconciliation in the country, and which demands that the Ivoirian authorities stop all radio and television broadcasting inciting hatred, intolerance and violence;

2.  Pays tribute to the memory of all the victims of recent developments in the situation following the breaking of the ceasefire agreements, expresses its sympathy to the families of the victims - Ivoirian, African and French - of these acts of violence, in particular those committed against women; condemns the violence and acts of xenophobia and pillaging, and calls on the Ivoirian Government to put an end to these abuses and to the impunity enjoyed by the perpetrators and instigators of such acts;

3.  Urges all parties to the conflict to:

   put an immediate end to military action and other hostile acts,
   stop targeting and attacking civilians including humanitarian aid workers, irrespective of their ethnicity, nationality or religion,
   desist from, and take action against, instances of incitement to hatred and violence,
   recommit to dialogue and negotiations, and to respect and implement commitments;

4.  Welcomes the mandate given by the African Union and ECOWAS to South African President Thabo Mbeki to mediate between the parties to the conflict and the African Union's involvement with a view to finding a political solution to the Ivoirian crisis, and expresses its full support to the African Union, ECOWAS, and the United Nations in seeking a rapid and lasting solution to the current crisis;

5.  Regrets the fact that the current composition of the peacekeeping forces is not sufficiently multinational;

6.  Calls on the EU Member States to take an active part in supporting the peacekeeping mission conducted by the UN and France and regrets that the Licorne mission, carried out exclusively by French forces, has not included a European component;

7.  Condemns the destruction of the premises of opposition parties and newspapers and the acts of sabotage against foreign radio transmitters;

8.  Calls on the Government of Côte d'Ivoire and the representatives of the Forces Nouvelles to implement the Accra III Agreement, to take all necessary measures in order to restore the rule of law, and to uphold and safeguard human rights;

9.  Calls on the Council, with regard to conflict prevention, to fight the underlying causes of the crisis, in particular the economic and social causes, and to support the deployment of African Union peacekeeping forces, in the context of the EDF 'peace facility'; calls on the EU and the international community to step up funding for humanitarian aid in Côte d'Ivoire as soon as the conditions allow for increased, and desperately needed, operations;

10.  Calls on the Council, in this context, to consider consultations between the EU and Côte d'Ivoire under Articles 9 and 96 of the Cotonou Agreement;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Secretaries-General of the UN, the African Union and ECOWAS, and the President and Government of Côte d'Ivoire.


Tibet (case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche)
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European Parliament resolution on Tibet, the case of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche
P6_TA(2004)0067RC-B6-0169/2004

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to its earlier resolutions on Tibet and the human rights situation in China, and its resolutions on human rights in the world,

–   having regard to its resolution of 19 December 2002(1) on the cases of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and Lobsang Dhondup,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   whereas on 2 December 2002 the Kardze (Ganzi) Intermediate People's Court in the Kardze Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Sichuan Province sentenced Tenzin Delek Rinpoche, an influential Buddhist lama, to death, suspended for two years, and whereas his attendant, Lobsang Dhondup, was executed on 26 January 2003, in both cases for alleged political offences,

B.   whereas both had been arrested in early April 2002 following a bombing incident in Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan Province, on 3 April 2002,

C.   whereas Tenzin Delek Rinpoche was charged with 'causing explosions' and 'inciting separatism' and his guilt has not been proven,

D.   whereas Tenzin Delek Rinpoche has reportedly been held incommunicado from his arrest until today, and has reportedly been tortured for several months,

E.   seriously concerned at the fact that the period of suspension of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's execution will expire on 2 December 2004,

F.   whereas, at the request of the then European Council, the Council is currently re-examining the embargo on arms sales to China, which was decided and implemented in 1989,

G.   whereas the Government of the People's Republic of China recently received representatives of His Holiness the Dalai Lama,

1.  Reiterates its call for the abolition of the death penalty, calls for an immediate moratorium on capital punishment in China and urges the Chinese authorities to immediately commute the death sentence handed down to Tenzin Delek Rinpoche;

2.  Strongly condemns the execution of Lobsang Dhondup on 26 January 2003;

3.  Calls on the Chief Prosecutor of the Sichuan Provincial People's Procuratorate and the Governor of the Sichuan Provincial People's Government to do their utmost to prevent the execution of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche;

4.  Urges the authorities to guarantee that Tenzin Delek Rinpoche will not be ill-treated in detention, asks for an immediate review of the case and calls on the Chinese authorities to do all in their power to establish that international human rights and humanitarian law standards are being respected and, in particular, to guarantee internationally recognised legal proceedings for persons arrested;

5.  Calls on the European Union and its Member States to urge the Government of the People's Republic of China to respect the religious rights and freedom of the Tibetan people, and in particular to prevent the execution of Tenzin Delek Rinpoche and to call for a new and fair trial;

6.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to express their concerns about Tenzin Delek Rinpoche's case during the forthcoming EU/China Summit;

7.  Calls on the Council and the Member States to maintain the EU embargo on trade in arms with the People's Republic of China and not to weaken the existing national limitations on such arms sales; considers that this embargo should be maintained until such time as the EU has adopted a legally binding Code of Conduct on Arms Exports and the People's Republic of China has taken concrete steps towards improving the human rights situation in that country, inter alia by ratifying the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and by fully respecting the rights of minorities;

8.  Welcomes the release of Ngawang Sangdrol and Jigme Sangpo, Tibet's longest-serving prisoners of conscience, and urges the Chinese authorities to continue with prisoner releases;

9.  Calls on the Government of the People's Republic of China to step up the ongoing dialogue with the representatives of the Dalai Lama with the aim of reaching a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of Tibet without further delay;

10.  Reiterates, in this respect, its call to the Council to appoint an EU Special Representative for Tibetan Affairs so as to contribute effectively to the peaceful resolution of this issue;

11.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the UN Secretary-General, the Chinese Government , the Governor of Sichuan Province and the Chief Prosecutor of the Sichuan Provincal People's Procuratorate.

(1) OJ C 31 E, 5.2.2004, p. 264.


Human rights in Eritrea
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European Parliament resolution on the human rights situation in Eritrea
P6_TA(2004)0068RC-B6-0167/2004

The European Parliament,

–   having regard to the ruling against Eritrea by the African Commission on Human Rights in March 2004,

–   having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.   deeply concerned by Eritrea's steadily deteriorating human rights situation, and dismayed by the manifest lack of cooperation from the Eritrean authorities, despite repeated appeals by international human rights organisations and NGOs,

B.   whereas on 4 November 2004 the Eritrean security forces indiscriminately arrested thousands of young people and others suspected of evading military conscription, and fearing that the prisoners may risk torture and ill-treatment,

C.   whereas 12 people died in an alleged escape bid on 4 November 2004 in the Adi Abeto military prison,

D.   whereas many young people have fled the country to escape from military service, and many of those forcibly returned to Eritrea from Malta and Libya have been arrested, tortured and sent to a secret prison where most are still detained incommunicado,

E.   strongly deploring the continued imprisonment without charge since September 2001 of the so-called Asmara 11, a group of former ruling-party members of parliament campaigning for democratisation,

F.   having regard to the de facto suppression of the independent press and the arrests of numerous journalists, in the wake of which the association 'Reporters sans frontières' now ranks Eritrea as the third most repressive country in the world towards journalists,

G.   whereas since September 2001 13 independent journalists have been arrested in Asmara, one of them being a Swedish citizen, Dawit Isaak, who has not been tried for any crime, while the Eritrean authorities have refused to make any comment on his fate,

H.   whereas the constitution adopted in 1997 and guaranteeing civil liberties, including freedom of religion, has never been implemented,

I.   whereas respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, constitutes an essential element of the Cotonou Partnership Agreement,

1.  Firmly condemns all human rights abuses in Eritrea and calls on the country's authorities to uphold human rights, to respect the international conventions and to cooperate in full with international human rights organisations and NGOs;

2.  Calls on the Eritrean government to abide by the international human rights conventions;

3.  Calls for a thorough and independent investigation of the incident at the Adi Abeto military prison on 4 November 2004, where at least a dozen prisoners were reportedly shot dead; calls for those responsible to be brought to justice;

4.  Calls on the Eritrean authorities to immediately release the 11 former members of parliament, in compliance with the ruling of the African Commission on Human Rights of March 2004;

5.  Calls on the Eritrean authorities to lift the ban on the country's independent press and to immediately release the 13 independent journalists and all others who have been jailed simply for exercising their right to freedom of expression;

6.  Calls on the Eritrean authorities to respect the human rights of all detainees, including the young people arrested on 4 November 2004, and allow them immediate access to their families and lawyers;

7.  Stresses the importance it attaches to fundamental freedoms, including freedom of expression, freedom of association, especially in the political and trade union spheres, and freedom of assembly;

8.  Reiterates its demand for the initiation of an inter-Eritrean political process, bringing together the various party leaders and representatives of civil society with a view to finding a solution to the current crisis and to setting the country on the path to democracy, political pluralism and sustainable development; in this context, confirms its commitment to supporting the development of Eritrea, as well as peace and stability and cooperation in the region;

9.  Calls on the Council and Commission to open the consultation procedure in accordance with Article 96 of the Cotonou Agreement in order to stop human rights violations and pave the way for political pluralism;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the ACP-EU Council and ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly, the Secretaries-General of the United Nations and the African Union, and the Government and Parliament of Eritrea.

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