Select Committee on European Union Fortieth Report


Letter from Rt Hon Ian McCartney MP, Minister for Trade, Investment and Foreign Affairs, Department of Trade and Industry/Foreign and Commonwealth Office to the Chairman

  I am writing to let your Committee know of plans to amend EU Common Position 2005/440/CFSP concerning restrictive measures (sanctions) against the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). This amendment would take account of recent United Nations Security Council Resolutions (UNSCRs) which allow the imposition of targeted sanctions on political and military leaders of armed groups operating in the DRC who obstruct the demobilisation of those groups, and on individuals responsible for the abuse and recruitment of children in situations of armed conflict in the DRC.

  The UK already implements the relevant UNSCRs by way of national legislation, but some other EU member states rely on EU Common Positions and Regulations for their implementation. It is important for the effectiveness of the targeted sanctions (particularly the asset freeze) that all states have the necessary legislation in place before the UN designates the individuals to be targeted. Since there is a chance that the UN may designate individuals for targeted sanctions pursuant to the relevant UNSCRs in the coming month, it is desirable that the EU agree the amendment to the Common Position no later than the meeting of the GAERC on 14 September 2006.

  This will unfortunately mean that there is not enough time for your Committee to scrutinise the amendment to the Common Position. In light of the need to support effective EU implementation of UN sanctions on the DRC, I hope the Committee will understand if I decide to agree to the amendment before scrutiny has been completed.

4 September 2006

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