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Parliamentary Question: European financial institutions continuing to fund producers of cluster munitions


Parliamentary questions

16 June 2011 E-005858/2011   Question for written answer to the Council Rule 117 Marietje Schaake (ALDE) , Renate Weber (ALDE) and Ivo Vajgl (ALDE)  Subject: European financial institutions continuing to fund producers of cluster munitions On 25 May 2011 it was reported that international financial institutions are investing billions in producers of cluster munitions. The Convention on Cluster Munitions (CCM) entered into force on 1 August 2010 and became binding under international law on its 57 state parties, including all but one of the EU Member States, on 1 May 2011. Since 1 May 2008, according to a report entitled ‘Worldwide investments in cluster munitions a shared responsibility’, produced by IKV Pax Christi and Netwerk Vlaanderen(1), 116 financial institutions have invested a total of USD 139 billion, including through the provision of loans and investment banking services and the ownership, management and sharing of bonds. Among the 116 institutions are the EU‑based Royal Bank of Scotland (UK), Deutsche Bank (Germany), ASN Bank (the Netherlands), Algemeen Burgerlijk Pensioen Fonds (the Netherlands), AEGON Group (the Netherlands), Triodos Bank (the Netherlands), Crédit Agricole (France) and numerous US, South Korean and Chinese financial institutions. Given that the EU recently condemned the use of cluster munitions by Muammar Muhammad al-Gaddafi against the civil population in Libya(2), it should also — and not least for the sake of its own credibility — firmly condemn the funding of cluster munitions producers and take further (legislative) action. 1. Will the Council address the funding by European financial institutions of cluster munitions producers in the CODUN working group at the earliest possible opportunity, and at the June 2011 Foreign Affairs Council, and press for a unified EU position, in particular on whether the definition in Article 1(1)(c) of the CCM encompasses a ban on investment in producers of cluster munitions? If not, why not? 2. What practical (legal) action can and will the Council take, e.g. in the form of a Council decision, to stop European financial institutions funding producers of cluster munitions? Is the Council willing to call for EU legislation to put an end to the current funding practices and/or to press the Member States to introduce national laws with that objective, as, for example, Belgium, Ireland and Luxembourg have done? If not, why not? 3. Does the Council agree that the funding of producers of cluster munitions may violate UN sanctions, e.g. weapon bans, in particular in respect of Libya, and may contribute to human rights violations? If not, why not? 4. Given the EU’s new status in the UN General Assembly, is the Council willing to instruct the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to voice a common position on the funding of producers of cluster munitions during the next session of the UN General Assembly? If not, why not? (1);%20a%20shared%20responsibility%20-%202011.pdf (2) Please find the answer here.