On September 21, Marietje Schaake submitted parliamentary questions to the Council on EU Member States doing business with Poongsan, a South Korean company which produces coin blanks for the Euro and cluster munitions.
Questions to the European Council
According to NGO PAX for Peace, the South Korean company Poongsan produces various types of cluster munitions (1). Poongsan also produces coin blanks, which it supplies to the EU market. In collaboration with major European Mints, it has supplied Latvian Euro coins in 2014 and Lithuanian Euro coins in 2015 (2). According to a Poongsan employee, interviewed by a Dutch TV programme which aired in March of this year, the company does business with France, Spain, Portugal and The Netherlands as well (3). The Royal Dutch Mint has since decided to stop purchasing coin blanks from Poongsan (4).
All but 7 EU Member States have signed the Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM), which took effect in August 2010 as a legally binding treaty that bans all use, production, transfer and stockpiling of cluster munitions. Non-signatory states are Estonia, Finland, Greece, Latvia, Poland and Romania, with Cyprus yet to ratify.
1) Is the Council aware of any other Member State doing business with Poongsan?
2) Would the Council consider a transaction of this type, e.g. buying coin blanks from a company that produces cluster munitions, as a violation of Article I of the CCM?
3) Does the Council push for the ratification of the CCM by all EU Member States, and if so, how?