Local view for "http://purl.org/linkedpolitics/eu/plenary/2001-10-02-Speech-2-117"

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"You will excuse me, Commissioner, for addressing you alone, but the Council benches are empty. I would like to say that I find the Council report very interesting. This Code of Conduct is also of major importance and this debate is very dignified, although we should ask ourselves how much we are actually achieving. We must have the courage to go deeper into certain complex issues which are still to be resolved. The first of these issues, which has already been mentioned by all those who have spoken, is the need to make this code law, that is to convert it into a legally binding instrument, seeing as, nowadays, everything depends on the good will of the Member States of the European Union, which are even free to decide whether or not to submit an annual report, which not all the Member States have chosen to do. Another complex issue which has yet to be resolved is that of a Community system of controlling the end use, the final recipient of the arms exported and the brokers who, in the arms trade, in arms trafficking – the word trafficking may be more appropriate, more to the point – are the real money-makers. It is a matter of serious concern that all this is not happening, that we do not have such a control facility, bearing in mind, for example, that the Taliban will probably be fighting in Afghanistan with arms supplied by the West, including some of the countries of the European Union. Lastly, the candidate countries. What guarantees will we have that the candidate countries will be able to respect this Code of Conduct properly? Mr President, ladies and gentlemen, Commissioner, as regards these questions, there is only one risk, which is engendered by our hypocrisy in disregarding – as has been pointed out – the great difference between a gentleman’s agreement and a law. I will therefore close by reiterating that, until the Code of Conduct becomes law, we will be at fault, and this report’s due reference to the values of democracy and the protection of human rights is likely to be reduced to a mere, ineffective appeal."@en1

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