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War, Peace and Development Europe D66 European Parliament

Make Israel pay back € 17 million in damage to EU

   Wed 23/01/2002

Euro MEP Lousewies van der Laan has written to EU Commissioner Chris Patten insisting that Europe must demand repayment of the more than € 17 million in damages to EU development projects that Israel has caused. The leader of Dutch Democrats also made it clear thet the Commission should suspend the Association Agreement with Israel due to repeated violations of the human rights and rules of origin clauses.

The complete text of the letter follows below:

Subject: € 17.254.000 in damages to EU projects caused by Israel

Dear Commissioner Patten,

Thank you for responding so quickly to my request for the complete list of EU development projects damaged by Israel. I would be grateful if you would let me know what steps the European Commission will take to ensure that the damage is repaid in full by the Israeli government and if you could reassure me that action take by the Commission will not depend on action being taken by the EU member States.

In addition I would be grateful if you would clarify for me the conditions under which the Commission would consider suspending the Association Agreement with Israel. The European Union has stated that "it is particularly concerned with human rights and other international law violations," including extra-judicial killings, administrative detention, collective punishment, the increasing recourse to house demolitions, which "are unacceptable and contrary to the rule of law." Add this to the unwillingness of the Israeli government to start the implementation of the Mitchell Agreement, the continuing violations of the Rules of Origin stipulations in the Association Agreement and the increasing damage to EU funded projects and one wonders where the EU will draw the line.

If we are truly a Union of values then we need to stand for those values no matter who violates them. If we only enforce our self-imposed standards when it is politically expedient we lose all credibility as a political force and we will never be able to build a peaceful world.

Sincerely, Lousewies van der Laan Vice President of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs