COUNCIL COMMON POSITION
of 11 June 2001
on the International Criminal Court
2001/ 443 /CFSP
THE COUNCIL OF THE EUROPEAN UNION
Having regard to the Treaty on European Union, and in particular Article 15
(1) The consolidation of the rule of law and respect for human rights, as
well as the preservation of peace and the strengthening of international
security, in conformity with the Charter of the United Nations and as
provided for in Article 11 of the EU Treaty, are of fundamental importance
to, and a priority for, the Union.
(2) The Statute of the International Criminal Court, adopted by the Rome
Conference of Plenipotentiaries, has been signed by 139 and ratified or
acceded to by 32 States and will enter into force after the sixtieth
instrument of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession is deposited.
(3) The principles of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court,
as well as those governing its functioning, are fully in line with the
principles and objectives of the Union.
(4) The serious crimes within the jurisdiction of the Court are of concern
for all Member States, which are determined to cooperate for the prevention
of those crimes and for putting an end to the impunity of the perpetrators
(5) The Union is convinced that compliance with the rules of international
humanitarian law and human rights is necessary for the preservation of peace
and the consolidation of the rule of law.
(6) The early entry into force of the Statute is therefore desirable
Union is committed to making every effort to achieve the required number of
instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession, as well as
contributing to the full implementation of the Rome Statute.
(7) On 19 November 1998, 6 May 1999 and 18 January 2001, the European
Parliament adopted Resolutions on the ratification of the Rome Treaty to
establish the permanent International Criminal Court; and on 8 May 2001, the
Commission submitted to the European Parliament and the Council its
Communication on the European Union's role in promoting human rights and
democratisation in third countries.
(8) The Final Act of the Rome Conference has established a Preparatory
Commission mandated to elaborate proposals for adoption by the Assembly of
States Parties, including instruments needed for the practical functioning
of the Court.
(9) The agreement reached on the Rome Statute represents a delicate balance
between different legal systems and interests, and the successful
finalisation of the first draft instruments on Elements of Crime and on
Rules of Procedure and Evidence completed by 30 June 2000 by the Preparatory
Commission was achieved with full respect for the integrity of the Statute,
to which all Member States are committed.
(10) The Union recognises that the principles and rules of international
criminal law embodied in the Rome Statute should be taken into account in
other international legal instruments.
(11) The Union is convinced that universal adherence to the Rome Statute is
desirable for the full effectiveness of the International Criminal Court
and, to this end, considers that initiatives to enhance the acceptance of
the Statute are to be encouraged, provided they are consistent with the
letter and spirit of the Statute.
(12) The effective establishment of the Court and the implementation of the
Statute requires practical measures that the European Union and its Member
States should fully support,
HAS ADOPTED THIS COMMON POSITION:
1. The establishment of the International Criminal Court, for the purpose
of preventing and curbing the commission of the serious crimes falling
within its jurisdiction, is an essential means of promoting respect for
international humanitarian law and human rights, thus contributing to
freedom, security, justice and the rule of law as well as contributing to
the preservation of peace and the strengthening of international security,
in accordance with the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United
2. The objective of this Common Position is to pursue and support an early
entry into force of the Rome Statute and the establishment of the Court.
1. In order to contribute to the objective of an early entry into force of
the Statute, the European Union and its Member States shall make every
effort to further this process by raising the issue of the widest possible
ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Rome Statute and the
implementation of the Statute in negotiations or political dialogues with
third States, groups of States or relevant regional organisations, whenever
2. The Union and its Member States shall contribute to an early entry into
force and implementation of the Statute also by other means, such as by
adopting initiatives to promote the dissemination of the values, principles
and provisions of the Rome Statute and related instruments.
3. The Member States shall share with all interested States their own
experiences on the issues related to the implementation of the Statute and,
when appropriate, provide other forms of support to that objective.
The Union and its Member States shall give support, including practical
support, to the early establishment and good functioning of the Court. They
shall support the early creation of an appropriate planning mechanism in
order to prepare the effective establishment of the Court.
The Council shall, where appropriate, coordinate measures by the European
Union and Member States for the implementation of Articles 2 and 3.
The Council notes that the Commission intends to direct its action towards
achieving the objectives and priorities of this Common Position, where
appropriate by pertinent Community measures.
During negotiations of the instruments of, and in carrying out the work
provided for, Resolution F of the Final Act of the Rome Diplomatic
Conference of Plenipotentiaries, Member States shall contribute to the early
finalisation of these instruments and shall support solutions that are
consistent with the letter and the spirit of the Rome Statute, taking into
account the need for ensuring the widest possible participation thereto.
The Council shall review this Common Position every six months.
This Common Position shall take effect from the date of its adoption.
This Common Position shall be published in the Official Journal.
Done at Luxembourg, 11 June 2001
For the Council