Parliamentary Question: EU Heads of Mission attending Omar al-Bashir's inauguration


Parliamentary questions

11 June 2010 E-4096/2010 Question for written answer to the Commission Rule 117 Marietje Schaake (ALDE) and David Martin (S&D) Subject: EU Heads of Mission attending Omar al-Bashir's inauguration On 27 May 2010, Omar al-Bashir was inaugurated as the president of Sudan. President al-Bashir is subject to an arrest warrant issued by the International Criminal Court (ICC) in March 2009 on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity for atrocities committed in Darfur. President al-Bashir does not cooperate with the ICC, however. According to the objectives of the ICC, States Parties should not attend meetings or events with suspects unless absolutely essential. Furthermore, the ICC review conference will take place in Kampala, Uganda from 31 May to 11 June. In an official press statement(1) the Commission states that ‘The European Union Heads of Mission (…) are represented at the inaugurations of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) institutions’. No top Arab leaders were present. While the UN was represented by the heads of its two peacekeeping missions in Sudan, the British and American ambassadors were absent, reportedly abroad. 1. Does the High Representative/Vice President of the Council believe the inauguration of al-Bashir constitutes a CPA institution? 2. What was the High Representative/Vice President of the Council´s EU coordinated directive to Member States with regard to al-Bashir´s inauguration? 3. The US, not a signatory of the Rome Statute, did not send ambassadors to the inauguration of al-Bashir(2). Was there any coordination with our transatlantic partners? Did the HR/VP decide on a different approach than the US? If so, why? 4. Which level of diplomatic representation did the different EU Member States send to the inauguration of al-Bashir, if any? Could the HR/VP provide a list of names and functions? 5. Does the Commission agree that attending the inauguration of President al-Bashir can obstruct the aims of the International Criminal Court? If not, why not? 6. Does the Commission agree that, in light of the ICC review conference, attending the inauguration of al-Bashir can be seen as weakening EU support for the legitimacy of the International Criminal Court? If so, why? If not, why not? (1) (2) Please find the answer here.