by Lucio Manisco (GUE/NGL) to the Council

(30 July 2001

Subject: Events in Genoa between 19 and 23 July 2001 - infringements by the Italian Government of Article 6(1) and (2) of the Treaty on European Union

The convincing television and video documentation, published by the international press and confirmed by thousands of eye-witness accounts given by those taking part in the demonstrations accompanying the G8 summit in Genoa, is evidence of large-scale, repeated and continual violations of human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law perpetrated by the police forces and the Italian Government in the Ligurian capital between 19 and 23 July this year.

These violations, which culminated in the killing of a demonstrator, beatings and serious injuries suffered by hundreds of Italian nationals and foreigners who were detained, the denial of their right to legal assistance and the disappearance of some of them, which has not yet been explained by the local or national authorities, are now the subject of protests and requests for clarification by the other governments of the European Union and inquiries launched by the Italian judiciary, but are being denied by the Government, which has defended the behaviour of the police, accepting responsibility for this behaviour itself and, because of its majority in the Senate and the Chamber of Deputies, has rejected requests for a parliamentary inquiry.

Does the Council not consider that it must recognise that the Italian Government has committed a serious and persistent breach of the principles set out in Article 6(1) and (2) of the Treaty on European Union concerning respect for fundamental rights, as guaranteed by the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms and sanctioned by the constitutional traditions shared by the Member States as general principles of Community law?

Does the Council not consider that, after ascertaining the facts, it should initiate the procedures provided for in Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union, with a view to deciding, by a qualified majority, whether to suspend some of the rights of the Member State responsible for infringements of the Treaty?