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C 147 E/34 Official Journal of the European Communities EN 20.6.

2002

requirements when visiting other EU states (e.g. Indian nationals living in the UK who wish to travel to
France to visit their MEPs)? If so, and if the Council believes that it is appropriate for non-EU nationals to
vote in European elections, does the Council believe that this is an anomaly which should be addressed?

Reply

(1 March 2002)

With regard to voting rights, the Council would draw the attention of the Honourable Member to the Act
concerning the election of the representatives of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,
annexed to the Council Decision of 20 September 1976. Article 7 of the Act of 1976 contains the
following provision: ‘Pending the entry into force of a uniform electoral procedure and subject to the other
provisions of this Act, the electoral procedure shall be governed in each Member State by its national
provisions.’

As regards citizens of non-EU countries, Community law does not prevent a Member State from deciding
to grant such citizens resident in that Member State the right to vote in elections. It is not for the Council
to take a position on provisions that fall within the competence of Member States.

With regard to the visa situation, the Council can but remind the Honourable Member of the legal
situation under the terms of the Treaty. The establishment of a list of countries whose citizens are required
to be in possession of a visa when crossing the border of a Member State and of those whose citizens are
exempted from such requirement is provided for by Article 62 point 2b)i) of the Treaty establishing the
European Community. That list is contained in Regulation 539/2001 adopted by the Council in March this
year. India is one of the countries whose citizens do need to be in possession of a visa when crossing the
border of the Member States concerned by Regulation 539/2001.

Under the terms of the protocol on the position of the United Kingdom and Ireland annexed to the Treaty
establishing the European Community and to the Treaty on European Union, those two Member States
shall not participate in the adoption by the Council of measures falling under title IV of the EC Treaty
unless they notify, within three months of a proposal being presented to the Council, that they wish to
take part in the adoption of any such proposed measure. In the case of Regulation 539/2001, the United
Kingdom (like Ireland) did not notify a wish to take part in the adoption of the regulation. Thus Indian and
some other Commonwealth citizens are required to be in possession of a visa when entering the territory
of the Schengen States, while the United Kingdom and Ireland remain free to determine their own visa
regime in respect of such persons.

(2002/C 147 E/032) WRITTEN QUESTION E-2651/01


by Frank Vanhecke (NI) to the Commission

(1 October 2001)

Subject: European arrest warrant

For some time, there has been much speculation within the European Union concerning the introduction
of a European arrest warrant. The recent attacks in the United States and the possible involvement of
accomplices residing within the EU > particularly in Hamburg > make this very topical.

However, at present there is no European criminal law on which the introduction of a European arrest
warrant could be based.

On what European legal basis could such an arrest warrant be introduced?