Position on Terrorist Attacks

Brussels, 28 September 2001

Greens/EFA Common Position

Green/EFA Members adopt a common position on the consequences of terrorist attacks in the USA

The Green/European Free Alliance Group in the European Parliament this week adopted a common position on the consequences of the terrorist attacks in the USA. [:]

Green/EFA Co-Presidents Heidi Hautala and Paul Lannoye stressed the importance that a compromise text could be agreed by all Green/EFA delegations in the European parliament. “This document lays out a common European position for the Green/EFA Group which can act as a reference point to the current political debate. It will also serve as a basis for the Group’s response to future eventualities.”

The resolution reiterates the Green and EFA MEPs condemnation of the acts of terrorism on New York and Washington as an attack on human civilisation and a crime against humanity. The Group recognises the United States’ right to self-defence according to article 51 of the UN-charter, but calls on the Bush administration to act with restraint and respect for basic human values.

The paper states the reaction of the USA and the international community must be suitable to the nature of the attacks. A response to this crime must not be through revenge or retaliation but should rather be based on seeking justice. The Group firmly rejects military actions that can cause the deaths of innocent civilians and calls on the EU member states not to take part in actions of indiscriminate retaliation against the population of Afghanistan. The Group considers the invoking of article 5 of the NATO Treaty as a sign of solidarity. It can not and should not be interpreted by the US government as a blank check for any military action.

The Green/EFA Group insists that a multilateral approach is needed in the struggle against terrorism particularly regarding its prevention. It believes that the United Nations is the most appropriate forum for such multilateral action. The Group supports all efforts to bring the perpetrators of these outrageous attacks to justice. It also believes that the International Criminal Court, established in 1998, is the legitimate institution before which to indict and prosecute those who are suspected of responsibility. We therefore urge all countries, particularly the United States, to ratify the Rome Statute and to establish the ICC without delay; the mandate of the ICC should be extended to explicitly combat terrorism.

A coalition between Islamic states and the Western world must be forged for the sake of global stability and to show that the fight against terrorism is not a fight against the Islamic World. The Green/EFA Group welcomes the European Parliament’s decision to set up an Euro-Muslim forum in the near future. The Group will also set up its own permanent forum to bridge all civil society actors in Europe and the Islam World.

In order to improve the effectiveness of the fight against terrorism inside the EU, co-operation between the police and intelligence services of the member states must be improved. This is only acceptable under two strict conditions: that the democratic control of these institutions is strengthened, both in the member states and on a European level; and that basic civil liberties are not violated.

The current global action against terrorism should not be used as an opportunity for other countries to get rid of problems with their own internal Islamic minorities (in particular: Russia vis-à-vis Chechnya; China vis-à-vis Xinyang) as there cannot be a military solution for these issues.