EU backs International Criminal Court to the hilt

THE EU has promised that its institutions will cooperate with the International Criminal Court (ICC) and will even exchange information with its investigators.

The cooperation agreement will come into force on 1 May 2006. It involves creating a central EU contact point for the ICC. The EU will also allow its staff to testify in ICC hearings and attend its meetings.

“The EU and the ICC will cooperate closely, as appropriate, with each other and consult each other on matters of mutual interest. Support for the ICC is a priority for the EU, which is committed to supporting the effective functioning of the court and to advance universal support for it,” said an EU Council of Ministers spokesman.

The agreement follows the signing of a ‘relationship agreement’ between the court and the UN in October 2004.

A cooperation deal is also being negotiated with the African Union, which could prove vital given the ICC’s investigations in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Uganda.