Ben Hayes on Tue, 30 May 2000 20:42:50 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> EU_uses_Lomé_Convention_to_impose_repatriation_on_ACP_states

Press release: embargoed until 00:01 Thursday 1 June 2000

European & national parliamentary scrutiny

During the negotiations on the new Lomé Convention - £8.5 billion 
aid and trade for the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) 
countries - the EU imposed a draconian repatriation clause obliging 
the ACP countries to take back not only their own nationals, but 
also those of other countries ("stateless" people) and rejected 

A report published in Statewatch today shows how the ACP states 
had little choice but to accept the “readmission” clause, despite 
taking the view that it had no basis in international law - a view 
shared by the EU Council’s own legal service.

The readmission clause was not introduced until the ‘last minute’ - 
at the final negotiating session on 7 December 1999.

The way the EU agreed on the imposition of the clauses on the 
ACP by-passed democratic scrutiny by the European and national 
parliaments. The UK Home Office described the draft decision as 
“suddenly appearing” on the agenda. The EU ignored the 
Amsterdam Treaty requirement that the European Parliament be 

When questioned on how the measure was able to escape 
parliamentary scrutiny UK Home Office Minister, Barbara Roche, 
described it as a “non-contentious” measure. Lord Tordoff, chair of 
the House of Lords EU Select Committee found this response 

Tony Bunyan, editor of Statewatch, said:

"The Justice and Home Affairs council just nodded the readmission 
clauses through - without debate - even though the report was not 
meant to be on the agenda. Accountability to parliaments was 
simply ignored in order to railroad the ACP countries in the 
negotiations five days later - where it was claimed that it was the 
policy agreed by the JHA Council and therefore mandatory.

If parliaments and civil society had known that the EU was going to 
make aid and development funds for the world's poorest countries 
dependent on agreeing to "repatriation" they might have had 
something to say about it."

The feature is on the internet on:

together with two other stories from Statewatch bulletin (vol 10 no 
2) concerning the by-passing of parliamentary scrutiny on EU 
justice and home affairs measures: 1) EU officials to decide on 
European Parliament’s influence; 2) JHA Council authorises 
Europol to start negotiating the exchange of intelligence data.

Statewatch is a non-profitmaking research, education and 
information service. It is an independent group of journalists, 
researchers, lawyers, academics and community activists and has 
a network of contributors drawn from 12 European countries. 

Statewatch will shortly be launching an on-line news service.

Contact details:
PO Box 1516, London, N16 0EW. UK
tel: 00 44 (0) 20 8802 1882
fax: 00 44 (0) 20 8880 1727

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