ISSN 1725-2423

doi:10.3000/17252423.CE2010.184.eng

Official Journal

of the European Union

C 184E

European flag  

English edition

Information and Notices

Volume 53
8 July 2010


Notice No

Contents

page

 

I   Resolutions, recommendations and opinions

 

RESOLUTIONS

 

European Parliament
2009-2010 SESSION
Sittings of 22 to 24 April 2009
The Minutes of this session have been published in OJ C 252 E, 22.10.2009.
The texts adopted on 23 April 2009 concerning the discharge for the financial year 2007 have been published in OJ L 255, 26.9.2009.
TEXTS ADOPTED

 

Wednesday 22 April 2009

2010/C 184E/01

Control of the budgetary implementation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on control of the budgetary implementation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) in 2007 (2008/2206(INI))

1

2010/C 184E/02

Effective enforcement of judgments in the EU: the transparency of debtors’ assets
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the effective enforcement of judgments in the European Union: the transparency of debtors’ assets (2008/2233(INI))

7

2010/C 184E/03

Annual report on the deliberations of the Petitions Committee 2008
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during the year 2008 (2008/2301(INI))

12

2010/C 184E/04

Gender mainstreaming in the work of committees and delegations
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on gender mainstreaming in the work of its committees and delegations (2008/2245(INI))

18

2010/C 184E/05

Interim Trade Agreement with Turkmenistan
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Interim Trade Agreement with Turkmenistan

20

2010/C 184E/06

A Common Immigration Policy for Europe
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on a Common Immigration Policy for Europe: Principles, actions and tools (2008/2331(INI))

23

2010/C 184E/07

Green Paper on the future of TEN-T
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Green Paper on the future TEN-T policy (2008/2218(INI))

35

 

Thursday 23 April 2009

2010/C 184E/08

Deforestation and forest degradation
European Parliament resolution of 23 April 2009 on addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss

41

2010/C 184E/09

Action plan on urban mobility
European Parliament resolution of 23 April 2009 on an action plan on urban mobility (2008/2217(INI))

43

2010/C 184E/10

The Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan
European Parliament resolution of 23 April 2009 on the Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan (2008/2216(INI))

50

 

Friday 24 April 2009

2010/C 184E/11

Women’s rights in Afghanistan
European Parliament resolution on 24 April 2009 on women’s rights in Afghanistan

57

2010/C 184E/12

Support for the Special Court for Sierra Leone
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on support for the Special Court for Sierra Leone

60

2010/C 184E/13

Humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf residents
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf residents

62

2010/C 184E/14

Protection of the Communities’ financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual report 2007
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the protection of the Communities’ financial interests and the fight against fraud – Annual report 2007 (2008/2242(INI))

63

2010/C 184E/15

Parliamentary immunity in Poland
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on parliamentary immunity in Poland (2008/2232(INI))

72

2010/C 184E/16

Governance within the CFP
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on Governance within the CFP: the European Parliament, the Regional Advisory Councils and other actors (2008/2223(INI))

75

2010/C 184E/17

Facility providing mid-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments

79

2010/C 184E/18

Nanomaterials
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials (2008/2208(INI))

82

2010/C 184E/19

Annual debate on the progress made in 2008 in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ)
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the annual debate on the progress made in 2008 in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) (Articles 2 and 39 of the EU Treaty)

90

2010/C 184E/20

Conclusions of the G20 Summit
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the London G20 Summit of 2 April 2009

94

2010/C 184E/21

Consolidating stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on consolidating stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans (2008/2200(INI))

100

2010/C 184E/22

Situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina

107

2010/C 184E/23

United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the Optional Protocol thereto

111

2010/C 184E/24

25th annual report from the Commission on monitoring the application of Community law (2007)
European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the 25th annual report from the Commission on monitoring the application of Community law (2007) (2008/2337(INI))

114

 

RECOMMENDATIONS

 

European Parliament

2010/C 184E/25

Profiling, notably on the basis of ethnicity and race, in counter-terrorism, law enforcement, immigration, customs and border control
European Parliament recommendation to the Council of 24 April 2009 on the problem of profiling, notably on the basis of ethnicity and race, in counter-terrorism, law enforcement, immigration, customs and border control (2008/2020(INI))

119

2010/C 184E/26

Non-proliferation and the future of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT)
European Parliament recommendation to the Council of 24 April 2009 on non-proliferation and the future of the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT) (2008/2324(INI))

127

 

OPINIONS

 

European Parliament

 

Wednesday 22 April 2009

2010/C 184E/27

Combating violence against women
Declaration of the European Parliament on the Say NO to Violence against Women campaign

131

 

II   Information

 

INFORMATION FROM EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS, BODIES, OFFICES AND AGENCIES

 

European Parliament

 

Wednesday 22 April 2009

2010/C 184E/28

Request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Aldo Patriciello
European Parliament decision of 22 April 2009 on the request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Aldo Patriciello (2008/2323(IMM))

134

2010/C 184E/29

Request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Renato Brunetta
European Parliament decision of 22 April 2009 on the request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Renato Brunetta (2008/2147(IMM))

135

2010/C 184E/30

Request for consultation on the immunity and privileges of Antonio Di Pietro
European Parliament decision of 22 April 2009 on the request for consultation on the immunity and privileges of Antonio Di Pietro (2008/2146(IMM))

136

2010/C 184E/31

Request for waiver of the immunity of Hannes Swoboda
European Parliament decision of 22 April 2009 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Hannes Swoboda (2009/2014(IMM))

137

 

III   Preparatory acts

 

European Parliament

 

Wednesday 22 April 2009

2010/C 184E/32

Agreement between the EC and Pakistan on certain aspects of air services *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion of the Agreement between the European Community and the Islamic Republic of Pakistan on certain aspects of air services (COM(2008)0081 – C6-0080/2009 – 2008/0036(CNS))

138

2010/C 184E/33

Accession of the EC to UNECE Regulation No 61 on uniform provisions for the approval of commercial vehicles ***
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council decision on the accession of the European Community to United Nations Economic Commission for Europe Regulation No 61 on uniform provisions for the approval of commercial vehicles with regard to their external projections forward of the cab's rear panel (COM(2008)0675 – 7240/2009 - C6-0119/2009 – 2008/0205(AVC))

139

2010/C 184E/34

Animal health conditions governing the movement and importation from third countries of equidae *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council directive on animal health conditions governing the movement and importation from third countries of equidae (codified version) (COM(2008)0715 – C6-0479/2008 – 2008/0219(CNS))

140

2010/C 184E/35

Trade arrangements applicable to certain goods resulting from the processing of agricultural products *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council regulation laying down the trade arrangements applicable to certain goods resulting from the processing of agricultural products (codified version) (COM(2008)0796 – C6-0018/2009 – 2008/0226(CNS))

141

2010/C 184E/36

Coordination of social security systems ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems, and determining the content of its annexes (14518/1/2008 – C6-0003/2009 – 2006/0008(COD))

142

P6_TC2-COD(2006)0008Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems, and determining the content of its Annexes

142

2010/C 184E/37

Coordination of social security systems: implementing Regulation ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems (14516/4/2008 – C6-0006/2009 – 2006/0006(COD))

143

P6_TC2-COD(2006)0006Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the procedure for implementing Regulation (EC) No 883/2004 on the coordination of social security systems

143

2010/C 184E/38

European metrology research and development programme ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the participation by the Community in a European metrology research and development programme undertaken by several Member States (COM(2008)0814 – C6-0468/2008 – 2008/0230(COD))

144

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0230Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of a Decision No …/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the participation by the Community in a European metrology research and development programme undertaken by several Member States

144

2010/C 184E/39

The obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market (COM(2008)0644 – C6-0373/2008 – 2008/0198(COD))

145

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0198Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the obligations of operators who place timber and timber products on the market

145

ANNEX

161

2010/C 184E/40

Minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council directive imposing an obligation on Member States to maintain minimum stocks of crude oil and/or petroleum products (COM(2008)0775 – C6-0511/2008 – 2008/0220(CNS))

162

2010/C 184E/41

Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council decision on a Critical Infrastructure Warning Information Network (CIWIN) (COM(2008)0676 – C6-0399/2008 – 2008/0200(CNS))

174

2010/C 184E/42

European Network for the Protection of Public Figures *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the initiative by the Kingdom of the Netherlands for adoption of a Council decision amending Decision 2002/956/JHA setting up a European Network for the Protection of Public Figures (16437/2008 – C6-0029/2009 – 2009/0801(CNS))

181

2010/C 184E/43

National restructuring programmes for the cotton sector *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 637/2008 as regards the national restructuring programmes for the cotton sector (COM(2009)0037 – C6-0063/2009 – 2009/0008(CNS))

182

2010/C 184E/44

Protocol on the Implementation of the Alpine Convention in the field of Transport *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council decision on the conclusion, of behalf of the European Community, of the Protocol on the Implementation of the Alpine Convention in the field of Transport (Transport Protocol) (COM(2008)0895 – C6-0073/2009 – 2008/0262(CNS))

183

2010/C 184E/45

Draft amending budget No 2/2009
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on Draft amending budget No 2/2009 of the European Union for the financial year 2009, Section III - Commission (6953/2009 – C6-0077/2009 – 2009/2010(BUD))

184

2010/C 184E/46

Draft amending budget No 3/2009
European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on Draft amending budget No 3/2009 of the European Union for the financial year 2009, Section III - Commission (8153/2009 – C6-0118/2009 – 2009/2017(BUD))

185

2010/C 184E/47

Internal market in electricity ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC (14539/2/2008 – C6-0024/2009 – 2007/0195(COD))

186

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0195Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning common rules for the internal market in electricity and repealing Directive 2003/54/EC

186

2010/C 184E/48

Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators (14541/1/2008 – C6-0020/2009 – 2007/0197(COD))

187

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0197Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an Agency for the Cooperation of Energy Regulators

187

2010/C 184E/49

Access to the network: cross-border exchanges in electricity ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003 (14546/2/2008 – C6-0022/2009 – 2007/0198(COD))

188

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0198Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions for access to the network for cross-border exchanges in electricity and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1228/2003

188

2010/C 184E/50

Internal market in natural gas ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC (14540/2/2008 – C6-0021/2009 – 2007/0196(COD))

189

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0196Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning common rules for the internal market in natural gas and repealing Directive 2003/55/EC

189

2010/C 184E/51

Access to the natural gas transmission networks ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks and repealing regulation (EC) No 1775/2005 (14548/2/2008 – C6-0023/2009 – 2007/0199(COD))

190

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0199Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on conditions for access to the natural gas transmission networks and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1775/2005

190

2010/C 184E/52

European public administration ISA: interoperability solutions ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on interoperability solutions for European public administrations (ISA) (COM(2008)0583 – C6-0337/2008 – 2008/0185(COD))

191

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0185Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Decision No …/2009/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on interoperability solutions for European public administrations (ISA)

191

2010/C 184E/53

Machinery for pesticide application ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on machinery for pesticide application, amending Directive 2006/42/EC of 17 May 2006 on machinery (COM(2008)0535 – C6-0307/2008 – 2008/0172(COD))

192

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0172Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/42/EC with regard to machinery for pesticide application

192

ANNEX

193

2010/C 184E/54

Fuel efficiency: labelling of tyres ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters (COM(2008)0779 – C6-0411/2008 – 2008/0221(COD))

193

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0221Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on labelling of tyres with respect to fuel efficiency and other essential parameters

194

ANNEX I

204

ANNEX II

206

ANNEX III

211

ANNEX IV

211

2010/C 184E/55

Amendment of Regulation (EC) No 717/2007 (mobile telephone networks) and Directive 2002/21/EC (electronic communications) ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 717/2007 on roaming on public mobile telephone networks within the Community and Directive 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services (COM(2008)0580 – C6-0333/2008 – 2008/0187(COD))

212

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0187Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 717/2007 on roaming on public mobile telephone networks within the Community and Directive 2002/21/EC on a common regulatory framework for electronic communications networks and services

212

2010/C 184E/56

Reporting and documentation requirements in the case of mergers and divisions ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directives 77/91/EEC, 78/855/EEC and 82/891/EEC and Directive 2005/56/EC as regards reporting and documentation requirements in the case of merger and divisions (COM(2008)0576 – C6-0330/2008 – 2008/0182(COD))

213

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0182Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Directives 77/91/EEC, 78/855/EEC and 82/891/EEC, and Directive 2005/56/EC as regards reporting and documentation requirements in the case of mergers and divisions

213

2010/C 184E/57

Insurance and reinsurance (Solvency II) ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the amended proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (recast) (COM(2008)0119 – C6-0231/2007 – 2007/0143(COD))

214

P6_TC1-COD(2007)0143Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 22 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II)

215

2010/C 184E/58

Interim Agreement with Turkmenistan *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council and Commission decision on the conclusion of the Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Turkmenistan, of the other part (5144/1999 – COM(1998)0617 – C5-0338/1999 – 1998/0304(CNS))

215

2010/C 184E/59

Community framework for nuclear safety *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council directive (Euratom) setting up a Community framework for nuclear safety (COM(2008)0790 – C6-0026/2009 – 2008/0231(CNS))

216

2010/C 184E/60

Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a Community control system for ensuring compliance with the rules of the Common Fisheries Policy (COM(2008)0721 – C6-0510/2008 – 2008/0216(CNS))

232

2010/C 184E/61

Conservation of fisheries resources through technical measures *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 22 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council regulation concerning the conservation of fisheries resources through technical measures (COM(2008)0324 – C6-0282/2008 – 2008/0112(CNS))

253

 

Thursday 23 April 2009

2010/C 184E/62

Common rules for access to the international market for coach and bus services ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the common position adopted by the Council with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for access to the international market for coach and bus services (11786/1/2008 – C6-0016/2009 – 2007/0097(COD))

260

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0097Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for access to the international market for coach and bus services, and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006

260

2010/C 184E/63

Common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator and repealing Council Directive 96/26/EC (11783/1/2008 – C6-0015/2009 – 2007/0098(COD))

261

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0098Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator and repealing Council Directive 96/26/EC

261

2010/C 184E/64

Common rules for access to the international road haulage market ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the common position adopted by the Council with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for access to the international road haulage market (11788/1/2008 – C6-0014/2009 – 2007/0099(COD))

262

P6_TC2-COD(2007)0099Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on common rules for access to the international road haulage market

262

2010/C 184E/65

Energy performance of buildings ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the energy performance of buildings (COM(2008)0780 – C6-0413/2008 – 2008/0223(COD))

263

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0223Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the energy performance of buildings

264

ANNEX I

286

ANNEX II

288

ANNEX III

289

ANNEX IV

289

ANNEX V

290

ANNEX VI

290

2010/C 184E/66

Credit Rating Agencies ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on Credit Rating Agencies (COM(2008)0704 – C6-0397/2008 – 2008/0217(COD))

292

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0217Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on Credit Rating Agencies

292

2010/C 184E/67

Rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (COM(2008)0816 – C6-0476/2008 – 2008/0246(COD))

293

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0246Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning the rights of passengers when travelling by sea and inland waterway and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws

294

ANNEX I

309

ANNEX II

309

ANNEX III

310

ANNEX IV

311

2010/C 184E/68

Rights of passengers in bus and coach transport ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws (COM(2008)0817 – C6-0469/2008 – 2008/0237(COD))

312

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0237Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the rights of passengers in bus and coach transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 2006/2004 on cooperation between national authorities responsible for the enforcement of consumer protection laws

313

ANNEX I

329

ANNEX II

330

2010/C 184E/69

Term of protection of copyright and related rights ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/116/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the term of protection of copyright and related rights (COM(2008)0464 – C6-0281/2008 – 2008/0157(COD))

331

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0157Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Directive 2006/116/EC on the term of protection of copyright and related rights

332

2010/C 184E/70

Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and interfaces with other transport modes ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other transport modes (COM(2008)0887 – C6-0512/2008 – 2008/0263(COD))

338

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0263Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on laying down the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other transport modes

339

ANNEX I

348

ANNEX II

349

ANNEX III

352

2010/C 184E/71

Second Marco Polo programme ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006 establishing the second Marco Polo programme for the granting of Community financial assistance to improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system (Marco Polo II) (COM(2008)0847 – C6-0482/2008 – 2008/0239(COD))

353

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0239Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1692/2006 establishing the second Marco Polo programme for the granting of Community financial assistance to improve the environmental performance of the freight transport system (Marco Polo II)

353

2010/C 184E/72

European rail network for competitive freight ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a European rail network for competitive freight (COM(2008)0852 – C6-0509/2008 – 2008/0247(COD))

354

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0247Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a European rail network for competitive freight

354

ANNEX

367

2010/C 184E/73

Patients' rights in cross-border healthcare ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the application of patients' rights in cross-border healthcare (COM(2008)0414 – C6-0257/2008 – 2008/0142(COD))

368

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0142Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 23 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the application of patients’ rights in cross-border healthcare

369

2010/C 184E/74

Patient safety *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council recommendation on patient safety, including the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections (COM(2008)0837 – C6-0032/2009 – 2009/0003(CNS))

395

2010/C 184E/75

Rare diseases *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 23 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council recommendation on a European action in the field of rare diseases (COM(2008)0726 – C6-0455/2008 – 2008/0218(CNS))

404

 

Friday 24 April 2009

2010/C 184E/76

UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion, by the European Community, of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COM(2008)0530 – C6-0116/2009 – 2008/0170(CNS))

413

2010/C 184E/77

Optional Protocol to the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council decision concerning the conclusion, by the European Community, of the Optional Protocol to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COM(2008)0530 – C6-0117/2009 – 2008/0171(CNS))

414

2010/C 184E/78

Statistics on plant protection products ***II
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the Council common position for adopting a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics on plant protection products (11120/2/2008 – C6-0004/2009 – 2006/0258(COD))

415

P6_TC2-COD(2006)0258Position of the European Parliament adopted at second reading on 24 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning statistics on plant protection products

415

ANNEX I

422

ANNEX II

423

ANNEX III

425

2010/C 184E/79

Ecodesign requirements for energy-related products (recast) ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy related products (recast) (COM(2008)0399 – C6-0277/2008 – 2008/0151(COD))

439

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0151Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework for the setting of ecodesign requirements for energy-related products

440

ANNEX

440

2010/C 184E/80

Harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products (COM(2008)0311 – C6-0203/2008 – 2008/0098(COD))

441

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0098Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products

441

ANNEX I

472

ANNEX II

474

ANNEX III

476

ANNEX IV

477

ANNEX V

478

ANNEX VI

481

2010/C 184E/81

Cross-border payments in the Community ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on cross-border payments in the Community (COM(2008)0640 – C6-0352/2008 – 2008/0194(COD))

483

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0194Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of a Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council on cross-border payments in the Community and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2560/2001

483

2010/C 184E/82

The business of electronic money institutions ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions, amending Directives 2005/60/EC and 2006/48/EC and repealing Directive 2000/46/EC (COM(2008)0627 – C6-0350/2008 – 2008/0190(COD))

484

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0190Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Directive 2009/…/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council on the taking up, pursuit and prudential supervision of the business of electronic money institutions, amending Directives 2005/60/EC and 2006/48/EC and repealing Directive 2000/46/EC

484

2010/C 184E/83

Animal by-products ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down health rules as regards animal by-products not intended for human consumption (Animal by-products Regulation) (COM(2008)0345 – C6-0220/2008 – 2008/0110(COD))

485

P6_TC1-COD(2008)0110Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 24 April 2009 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EC) No …/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council laying down health rules as regards animal by-products and derived products not intended for human consumption and repealing Regulation (EC) No 1774/2002 (Animal by-products Regulation)

485

2010/C 184E/84

Facility providing mid-term financial assistance for Member States' balances of payments *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 332/2002 establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States' balances of payments (COM(2009)0169 – C6-0134/2009 – 2009/0053(CNS))

486

2010/C 184E/85

Taxation of savings income in the form of interest payments *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council directive amending Directive 2003/48/EC on taxation of savings income in the form of interest payments (COM(2008)0727 – C6-0464/2008 – 2008/0215(CNS))

488

2010/C 184E/86

Common system of VAT as regards tax evasion linked to import and other cross-border transactions *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 24 April 2009 on the proposal for a Council directive amending Directive 2006/112/EC on the common system of value added tax as regards tax evasion linked to import and other cross-border transactions (COM(2008)0805 – C6-0039/2009 – 2008/0228(CNS))

519

Key to symbols used

*

Consultation procedure

**I

Cooperation procedure: first reading

**II

Cooperation procedure: second reading

***

Assent procedure

***I

Codecision procedure: first reading

***II

Codecision procedure: second reading

***III

Codecision procedure: third reading

(The type of procedure is determined by the legal basis proposed by the Commission.)

Political amendments: new or amended text is highlighted in bold italics; deletions are indicated by the symbol ▐.

Technical corrections and adaptations by the services: new or replacement text is highlighted in italics and deletions are indicated by the symbol ║.

EN

 


I Resolutions, recommendations and opinions

RESOLUTIONS

European Parliament 2009-2010 SESSION Sittings of 22 to 24 April 2009 The Minutes of this session have been published in OJ C 252 E, 22.10.2009. The texts adopted on 23 April 2009 concerning the discharge for the financial year 2007 have been published in OJ L 255, 26.9.2009. TEXTS ADOPTED

Wednesday 22 April 2009

8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/1


Wednesday 22 April 2009
Control of the budgetary implementation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance

P6_TA(2009)0237

European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on control of the budgetary implementation of the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) in 2007 (2008/2206(INI))

2010/C 184 E/01

The European Parliament,

having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 of 17 July 2006 establishing an Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) (1),

having regard to Commission Regulation (EC) No 718/2007 of 12 June 2007 implementing Council Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 establishing an instrument for pre-accession assistance (IPA) (2),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 8 November 2006 on the IPA Multi-Annual Indicative Financial Framework for 2008-2010 (COM(2006)0672),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 6 November 2007 on the IPA Multi-Annual Indicative Financial Framework for 2009-2011(COM(2007)0689),

having regard to the Commission’s 2007 Annual IPA Report of 15 December 2008 (COM(2008)0850 and SEC(2008)3026),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 5 November 2008 on Enlargement Strategy and Main Challenges 2008-2009 and the accompanying 2008 Country Progress Reports (COM(2008)0674 accompanied by SEC(2008)2692 to SEC(2008)2699),

having regard to the Commission report of 22 July 2008 entitled ‘Protection of the Communities’ financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual report 2007’ (COM(2008)0475, including SEC(2008)2300),

having regard to the Commission’s annual report of 27 October 2008 on the Instrument for Structural Policy for Pre-accession (ISPA) 2007 (COM(2008)0671 and SEC(2008)2681),

having regard to the Commission’s 2007 annual report of 22 December 2008 on PHARE, Turkey Pre-Accession, CARDS and Transition Facility (COM(2008)0880 and SEC(2008)3075),

having regard to the European Court of Auditors’ report on the annual accounts of the European Agency for Reconstruction for the financial year 2007, together with the Agency’s replies (3),

having regard to the European Court of Auditors’ special report No 5/2007 on the Commission’s management of the CARDS programme, together with the Commission’s replies (4),

having regard to the 2007 Annual Activity Report of the Commission’s Director-General for Enlargement (5),

having regard to its previous resolutions on enlargement and, in particular, its resolution of 10 July 2008 on the Commission’s 2007 enlargement strategy paper (6),

having regard to its resolution of 10 April 2008 on Croatia’s 2007 progress report (7),

having regard to its resolution of 23 April 2008 on the 2007 Progress Report on the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (8),

having regard to its resolution of 21 May 2008 on Turkey’s 2007 progress report (9),

having regard to its resolution of 13 January 2009 on Trade and Economic relations with the Western Balkans (10),

having regard to its resolution of 4 December 2008 on the situation of women in the Balkans (11),

having regard to the visit of a fact-finding delegation of its Committee on Budgetary Control to Kosovo (12) from 22 to 25 June 2008, and to the relevant mission report (13),

having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 of 25 June 2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (14), and in particular Article 53 thereof, and to its implementing rules,

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinion of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A6-0181/2009),

A.

whereas the IPA is the new financial instrument that replaces the instruments and programmes for candidate and potential candidate countries, namely Phare, SAPARD, ISPA, pre-accession financial assistance for Turkey, and CARDS, and aims to streamline EU funds in a flexible way so as to tailor them to the specific needs and management capacity of those countries,

B.

whereas the IPA consists of the following five components covering priorities defined according to the needs of the beneficiary countries, namely:

I.

Transition Assistance and Institution Building,

II.

Cross-Border Cooperation (CBC),

III.

Regional Development,

IV.

Human Resources Development,

V.

Rural Development,

C.

whereas the IPA is a key factor for improving the quality of life of citizens, social standards, infrastructure and regional and cross-border cooperation, and for promoting respect for human rights in candidate and potential candidate countries,

D.

whereas the purpose of parliamentary control over the implementation of the budget in the area of enlargement policy is not only to ensure that EU funds have been used in accordance with the governing provisions and with the policies of the EU, but also to assess whether they have been effectively allocated to the priorities identified in the strategy and progress reports for the beneficiary countries and whether they have achieved the desired results in view of common EU interests,

E.

whereas it is vital to examine the implementation of the IPA rigorously and at an early stage so as to avoid the problems that were identified belatedly in the implementation of previous pre-accession instruments, bearing in mind that irregularities not taken into consideration in due time will multiply and that it will be very difficult to deal with them later as they will assume the form of permanent malpractices,

F.

whereas the fight against corruption and the sectoral reforms (in the judicial, police and public administration sectors) have a bearing not only on good governance and the rule of law but also on the general business climate,

G.

whereas the IPA, notably through the review of Multi-Annual Indicative Planning Documents (MIPDs), offers considerable flexibility allowing for adaptation to the evolving needs and managing capacity of the beneficiary countries,

H.

whereas, under Article 27 of Regulation (EC) No 1085/2006 (‘the IPA Regulation’), the Commission is obliged to submit to the European Parliament and the Council, by 31 December 2010, a mid-term evaluation report on the implementation of the IPA, accompanied if appropriate by a legislative proposal to amend that Regulation,

I.

whereas, further to Parliament’s request, the Commission has undertaken to carry out already in 2009 a mid-term review of the package of external aid instruments, including the IPA,

J.

whereas Parliament should, from now on, communicate with the national parliaments of the beneficiary countries under the IPA,

General remarks

1.

Welcomes the structured dialogue established with the Commission on the implementation of the IPA, and recalls its position in this respect, notably the need to grant all beneficiary countries equal access to the full range of policy tools available under the instrument, to give adequate priority to the fight against corruption and organised crime and to pay increased attention to institutional capacity-building, particularly at parliamentary level, the development of civil society organisations, measures to promote the principle of tolerance and non-discrimination, human development and regional cooperation in key policy areas;

2.

Is pleased by the high rate of implementation of IPA commitments in 2007; regrets, however, that the first IPA programmes were only adopted at the end of 2007 and that the actual implementation started only in 2008, due in part to the late adoption of the new instrument and in part to delays on the part of beneficiary countries in setting up the requisite structures and management systems; urges the Commission to push ahead with the implementation of projects and to monitor the allocation of funds and the results obtained so as to ensure that the IPA has a visible impact in the countries concerned;

3.

Notes that, due to the late adoption of the IPA Regulation and of Regulation (EC) No 718/2007 (‘the IPA Implementing Regulation’), and subsequently of the first Multi-Annual Indicative Financial Framework and the MIPDs, the monitoring, evaluation and reporting on 2007 IPA programmes and projects was limited and has not yet yielded results; stresses that the smooth transition from previous pre-accession instruments to the IPA requires continuity in programming, adequate implementation of projects and execution of payments;

4.

Considers that there was satisfactory coherence between the 2007 IPA national programmes and the EU pre-accession policy, as most of the objectives set out in the programmes were in line with the priorities identified in the respective Commission progress reports;

5.

Notes that the main focus for the candidate countries lies in the implementation of European standards, namely statistical, environmental and fiscal standards, which is consistent with the EU’s enlargement policy; points out however that the importance of the political criteria, notably democratic governance, respect for human rights, freedom of religion, women’s rights, minorities’ rights and the rule of law, should not be undermined, since their non-fulfilment can lead to complications and delay in negotiations; considers that there should be a better balance between projects earmarked for meeting the political criteria and projects earmarked for the implementation of the acquis;

6.

Reminds the Commission that the Union’s legitimacy and capacity to promote reforms can be greatly enhanced if the IPA targets its assistance to areas of direct benefit for the citizens of the candidate and potential candidate countries, particularly in view of the needs and challenges generated by the global financial crisis;

7.

Is consequently of the opinion that the IPA should support the efforts by the beneficiary countries to meet the requirements laid down in the roadmap for visa liberalisation, so that the citizens of the Western Balkans can finally enjoy freedom of movement and participate fully in EU programmes and schemes; welcomes the Commission’s intention to further increase the allocation of IPA funds to the Tempus, Erasmus Mundus and Youth in Action programmes;

8.

Takes note of the fact that the Commission was in a position to give accreditation for decentralised management to Croatia for Components I to IV and to Turkey for Components I and II towards the end of 2008; encourages the Commission to continue to work intensively with candidate and potential candidate countries so that those countries become able in the near future to manage funds in a decentralised manner and thus get full access to all IPA components; points out, however, that the conferral of management powers is conditional and subject to their effective exercise;

9.

Emphasises that the use of the IPA is a shared responsibility between the Commission and the national governments of the candidate and potential candidate countries; calls on the Commission to improve the cooperation and communication between its delegations and the respective authorities, to establish permanent control over the project implementation procedures and to work towards common measures for improving the administrative capacity of beneficiary countries;

10.

Stresses the need for transparent and effective IPA management and control, taking into account the specificities of each country’s internal audit and control systems as well as best practices in the pre-accession procedures of former candidate countries;

11.

Expects the Commission to report every year to Parliament and its responsible Committee on Budgetary Control on payments and implementation of IPA funds, as well as on the remaining funds from ISPA, IPARD and SAPARD, giving details for every recipient country and examples of best practice, and reporting on all problems or irregularities encountered;

12.

Notes that horizontal issues, such as environmental impact assessment, good governance, civil society involvement, equal opportunities and non-discrimination, are not sufficiently present and visible in the 2007 IPA projects; invites the Commission to develop, in particular, multi-beneficiary regional or horizontal programmes, notably on the fight against corruption and organised crime, intercultural dialogue and gender equality;

13.

Notes that limited funds are allocated for large geographic areas or comprehensive policy areas and that these funds are fragmented into many small projects rather than concentrated in fewer, more visible projects; points out that the annual national programmes should strike a balance between providing an adequate response to the key priorities identified in the progress reports and avoiding over-fragmentation of the funds;

Policy and country-specific observations

14.

Highlights the need, as a matter of the utmost importance and urgency, to use the IPA to strengthen in all beneficiary countries the fight against corruption and organised crime with a special focus on money laundering, illegal migration and human trafficking; notes that, although all 2008 progress reports identified corruption as a serious problem and a key priority, not all 2007 IPA programmes take corruption sufficiently into account; suggests that funds should be earmarked for this purpose, as in the cases of Croatia (15) and Montenegro (16), and calls on the Commission to develop a more coherent strategy in this context, building upon the lessons learnt from the last enlargement rounds;

15.

Notes that civil society organisations (CSOs) in the beneficiary countries should be more actively involved in the development and initiation of projects; points out that future IPA programmes should tackle the systematic donor dependency of CSOs, so as to avoid the existence of CSOs ‘on demand’, and should also address the development of some of the CSOs along ethno-political conflict lines, especially in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and Kosovo (17); expects the new Civil Society Facility to tackle many of the problems with regard to the diversity, complexity and fragmentation of EU programmes;

16.

Insists that constant support for CSOs in candidate and potential candidate countries is needed in order to create a competitive environment among them and to ensure sustainability in their work for results-oriented IPA implementation and continued activeness in project management;

17.

Notes that IPA-funded projects and activities score low in terms of EU visibility ‘on the ground’ and have not generated ‘bottom-up’ legitimacy for further EU rapprochement;

18.

Considers that education and youth employment as preconditions for long-term stability and development have not been adequately addressed; highlights the need to combat unemployment, especially youth and long-term unemployment, as a cross-cutting issue of great importance; suggests in this regard that the Commission should examine the possibility of making greater use of the flexibility provided for in the IPA so as to allow funding, where appropriate, of measures related to components III to V through the first two components;

19.

Notes that regional financial support under the IPA is relatively small in size (approximately 10 % of the total IPA), given in particular that it covers eleven intervention areas in six countries, from education and youth to nuclear safety;

20.

Is concerned that the total 2007 IPA allocations for Component II amounted to only EUR 38 800 000 out of a total IPA of EUR 497 200 000 (that is, less than 8 %); points out that this contradicts the Commission’s assertion that cross-border cooperation helps reconciliation and good neighbourly relations and is particularly relevant in a region with a recent history of conflict; regrets that effective cooperation has been difficult to establish, in practice, for a number of reasons, including mismatches of structures and procedures between some partners, as well as political difficulties; calls on the beneficiary countries and the Commission, under this component, to pursue further existing cooperation and to develop new cooperation, in line with the objective of fostering good neighbourly relations and promoting economic integration, especially in the fields of the environment, the natural and cultural heritage and the fight against corruption and organised crime;

21.

Is also concerned that no 2007 IPA programme submitted by the beneficiary countries directly addressed women’s rights or gender equality, although gender issues have been identified as a major challenge both in progress reports and MIPDs; once again calls on the Commission to provide pre-accession funds for strengthening women’s rights in the Balkans, in particular through women’s NGOs and women’s organisations; invites the Commission to earmark IPA funds accordingly, so as to promote gender budgeting in pre-accession policy and to encourage the beneficiary countries to submit relevant project proposals;

22.

Emphasises the need to involve more and more non-governmental organisations in the design and implementation of IPA-funded projects so as to ensure that IPA assistance reflects real needs and expectations, to contribute to a greater visibility of IPA projects and to promote the development of a lively and proactive civil society in the beneficiary countries;

23.

Invites the European Court of Auditors to submit by the end of 2010 a mid-term special evaluation report on the implementation of the IPA;

*

* *

24.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the European Court of Auditors, as well as to the governments, parliaments and national audit institutions of the beneficiary countries under the IPA.


(1)  OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 82.

(2)  OJ L 170, 29.6.2007, p. 1.

(3)  OJ C 311, 5.12.2008, p. 42.

(4)  OJ C 285, 27.11.2007, p. 1.

(5)  31.3.2008, http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/synthesis/aar/doc/elarg_aar.pdf.

(6)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0363.

(7)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0120.

(8)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0172.

(9)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0224.

(10)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0005.

(11)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0582.

(12)  Under United Nations Security Council Resolution 1244(1999).

(13)  http://www.europarl.europa.eu/activities/committees/publicationsCom.do?language=EN&body=CONT.

(14)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(15)  Project 2007/019-247: Improving Anti-Corruption Inter-Agency Cooperation, a EUR 2 500 000 project for strengthening the coordination body within the Ministry of Justice in charge of anti-corruption strategy and raising public awareness of corruption issues.

(16)  Project 2007/19300: Fight against organised crime and corruption. This project aims to combat organised crime and corruption by improving the performance and cooperation of the various law enforcement agencies involved. It is linked to the wider Government Anti-Corruption Strategy and Action Plan. EUR 3 000 000 have been earmarked for this project.

(17)  Under UN Security Council Resolution 1244(1999).


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/7


Wednesday 22 April 2009
Effective enforcement of judgments in the EU: the transparency of debtors’ assets

P6_TA(2009)0238

European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the effective enforcement of judgments in the European Union: the transparency of debtors’ assets (2008/2233(INI))

2010/C 184 E/02

The European Parliament,

having regard to Article 65 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to the Commission’s Green Paper of 6 March 2008 on the effective enforcement of judgments in the European Union: the transparency of debtors’ assets (COM(2008)0128),

having regard to the Commission’s Green Paper of 24 October 2006 on improving the efficiency of the enforcement of judgments in the European Union: the attachment of bank accounts (COM(2006)0618) and Parliament’s resolution of 25 October 2007 thereon (1),

having regard to its resolution of 18 December 2008 with recommendations to the Commission on e-Justice (2),

having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 3 December 2008,

having regard to the opinion of the European Data Protection Supervisor of 22 September 2008,

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A6-0252/2009),

A.

whereas, in accordance with the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, the adoption of a Community instrument in the field of judicial cooperation in civil matters having cross-border implications can be considered only if it can be shown that on a national level it is impossible to remove an obstacle preventing the establishment or the functioning of the internal market,

B.

whereas late payment and non-payment of debts jeopardise the interests of businesses and consumers, especially where the creditor and the enforcement authorities have no information about the debtor’s whereabouts or his or her assets; whereas this is exacerbated by the present economic climate, in which cash-flow is essential to the survival of businesses,

C.

whereas the problems of cross-border debt recovery may constitute a serious obstacle to the free circulation of payment orders within the EU and may impede access to justice; whereas, moreover, if judicial decisions cannot be enforced, the doing of justice is undermined together with standards of commercial morality,

D.

whereas, in general, debt recovery is a major problem, which is made worse where claims are of a cross-border nature, particularly for small businesses which do not have specialised lawyers or dedicated debt-collection departments at their disposal and are often placed in the invidious position of having to commit staff, scarce financial resources and, above all, time to this problem rather than to productive activities,

E.

whereas there are indications that the Late Payments Directive (3) is not sufficiently respected or known about; whereas if that Directive were now updated and properly implemented it could have a considerable impact in reducing late payment or non-payment,

F.

whereas there are huge divergences under the different systems of national contract and insolvency law as to how creditors may secure their debt at the point of contract, particularly by the use of retention-of-title clauses or other such mechanisms which are sometimes circumvented because of those divergences,

G.

whereas the adoption of Community legislation concerning the effective enforcement of judgments must apply to all debtors, without any distinction being made in advance between debtors acting in good or in bad faith,

H.

whereas the avoidance, late payment and non-payment of debts is often exacerbated by insufficient care by the parties at the time of their pre-contractual and contractual dealings; whereas there is a need for greater emphasis on commercial awareness and the possible use of ‘European-style’ optional clauses under the Common Frame of Reference (CFR) which would ensure that parties properly consider these issues at the beginning of their commercial relationship,

I.

whereas it has been brought to Parliament’s attention that there may be a serious problem in cross-border cases involving recalcitrant debtors, that is to say, persons who could pay their debts or discharge their liabilities but who do not do so or persons in respect of whom there is a risk that they will not pay what they owe even if judgment has been given against them; whereas it appears that such persons often hold substantial assets in different entities, nominees and trusts and successful enforcement cannot be obtained without the requisite information; whereas it is often necessary to obtain such information without alerting the recalcitrant debtor – who will often be in a position to remove assets to another jurisdiction at short notice,

J.

whereas it has further been brought to Parliament’s notice that certain sovereign States do not honour arbitration awards or judgments handed down by the courts of another State, with the result that ‘vulture funds’ have emerged which acquire this sovereign debt at a much reduced figure and then seek to make a profit from enforcement; whereas it might arguably be better and fairer to give the original creditors the means to obtain redress themselves,

K.

whereas it is argued that there are few States which have no assets at all outside their own borders and that, if the creditor has no prospect of obtaining enforcement in his or her own Member State (only) or in the State concerned, then the only effective redress is through courts abroad, particularly the courts in other Member States of the EU,

L.

whereas under the Brussels I Regulation (4) each Member State has its own provisional measures shaped and governed by its national law and ex parte orders are not the subject of mutual recognition and enforcement under that Regulation; whereas inter partes orders are given effect to by a recipient court with the nearest equivalent relief available from that court,

M.

whereas provisional measures include:(i) orders for disclosure of information about assets which may be made the subject of measures of execution of a judgment and (ii) orders preserving assets pending enforcement, and (iii) can also take the form of an interim payment order, giving the creditor immediate payment pending resolution of the underlying dispute,

N.

whereas the grant of provisional measures should be subject to conditions similar to those applied by the Court of Justice, namely the creditor would have to persuade the court that he has a justifiable claim on the merits (an enforceable right in the shape of a court order or authentic instrument or evidence of the claim making out a prima facie case – fumus boni juris), and to demonstrate urgency (a real risk that enforcement of the claim may be frustrated if the measure is not granted (periculum in mora)), and whereas the grant of such measures may be made subject to the lodging of security,

O.

whereas in small-scale cases, particularly where legal costs could otherwise be prohibitive, justice delayed is justice denied and whereas, in larger-scale cases, it can be the absence of information about assets which proves to be the greatest obstacle; whereas, therefore, recourse to provisional measures orders might well provide a neat solution in both types of cases,

P.

whereas, moreover, any Community action to make information available needs also to be considered in the context of these types of cases, in which lack of information causes serious injustice; whereas, unless there is information available to the creditor about the assets of a debtor (and a fortiori a recalcitrant debtor) which may be taken in enforcement of a judgment, the creditor will not be able to enforce it,

Q.

whereas, in practice, this problem is not confined to cases where there has already been a judgment which has not been honoured: it may also arise before claimants bring their claims,

R.

whereas, however, it is absolutely essential that any measures proposed should be proportionate; whereas, moreover, they should not merely replicate what can already be achieved through existing national measures and should be confined to cross-border claims, and unnecessary and inappropriate harmonisation should be avoided,

S.

whereas some concern has been expressed that certain of the ideas on the effective enforcement of judgments in the European Union through the transparency of debtors’ assets could violate fundamental rights, including the right to privacy (data protection), undermine procedural safeguards and run counter to the constitutional traditions of many Member States,

T.

whereas any proposals made must be cost-effective and integrated into other areas of Community policy in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of effort,

1.

Welcomes the above-mentioned Commission Green Paper of 6 March 2008, because it contributes to the Lisbon Strategy;

2.

States that the lack of transparency in the information required to oblige debtors to fulfil their obligations is contrary to common principles of good faith and pecuniary liability; insists that inadequate knowledge of the national laws on enforcement procedures or their ineffectiveness is likely to slow down completion of a unified internal market and leads to unnecessary costs;

3.

Points out that late payment, non-payment and the problem of debt recovery damage the interests of creditor businesses and consumers, reduce confidence in the internal market and undermine legal action;

4.

Supports an integrated and effective strategy based on the principles of ‘better lawmaking’, and considers that the objective to be achieved should be payment that ensures non-discrimination, the protection of sensitive data and legal guarantees with proportionate measures that provide the requisite transparency and significantly reduce processing and management costs;

5.

Insists that, besides publicly available information, the creditor should have access to the data required – subject to supervision by, or with the assistance of, a competent authority – in order to initiate the enforcement procedure and recover the debt by procedures readily applicable throughout the internal market;

6.

Agrees with the Commission that cross-border debt recovery through enforcement of judicial decisions is a major internal market problem, but considers that the solutions mooted by the Commission need further work in order adequately to address the most difficult problem, that of recalcitrant debtors;

The proposal to draw up a manual of national enforcement laws and practices

7.

Observes that such a manual might be laborious and expensive to produce and update, that, for individuals seeking redress, it might be easier to have one regime to deal with, and that in the majority of cases creditors will have to seek advice from lawyers in the relevant foreign jurisdiction; considers that, nevertheless, a streamlined version may be useful in the absence of a workable cross-border regime;

8.

Strongly believes that the publication of national directories of foreign lawyers exercising their internal market rights under Directives 77/249/EEC (5) and 98/5/EC (6) would be useful; points out that such national directories could be linked to a Commission website and could be complementary to the manual;

Increasing the information available in, and improving access to, public registers

9.

Is opposed to providing unjustified, indiscriminate and arbitrary access to all kinds of data held on population, social security and tax registers, and in favour of an adequate and proportionate framework designed to ensure the effective enforcement of judgments in the European Union;

10.

Argues that access to population registers (where they exist) might be useful for tracing hapless private individuals who default on maintenance payments or personal loans, and for avoiding abuses;

11.

Considers that, whilst improved access to social security and tax registers has been a successful innovation in certain jurisdictions, it is necessary also to ensure observance of the rules on data protection and confidentiality; points out that this is a sensitive matter to the public; notes, moreover, that there may well be legal problems in using information for a purpose other than the purpose for which it was collected;

12.

Observes, in addition, that tax returns and social security records are confidential in many Member States and that the idea of a register, with all the risks which it entails of records going astray, would not be welcomed there and would be regarded as an abuse of executive power;

13.

Maintains that, if the proposal were disproportionate to the end sought, it could be open to abuse and could constitute a violation of the right to privacy;

Exchange of information between enforcement authorities

14.

Considers that the idea of improved cooperation between public enforcement bodies may be worth exploring further, but points out that such bodies do not exist in all the Member States;

The debtor’s declaration

15.

Takes the view that a debtor’s declaration can usefully form part of the procedure for enforcing a judgment, where it can be backed by sanctions under national law;

16.

Considers that there is no need for Community action in this area, as long as it is not proved that the Member States’ existing instruments are not efficient;

Other measures

17.

Suggests that consideration could be given to the idea of introducing a form of Community provisional measure additional to those of national courts; considers that this could take the form of a simple, flexible procedure to which effect could be given throughout the EU, thereby avoiding delay and unnecessary expense; takes the view that it would also be effective and fair to non-parties;

18.

Proposes that such a measure could apply to arbitration claims as well and could also be taken into account in the context of the forthcoming review of the Brussels I Regulation;

19.

Calls on the Commission to treat this matter as a priority and to carry out (a) a detailed appraisal of the problem, (b) a feasibility study of possible Community instruments and (c) an impact assessment of possible Community-law remedies confined to trans-border aspects; considers that the Commission’s inquiry should also identify and duly justify the proper legal basis for any Community instrument proposed, which should be limited to cross-border cases and be complementary to and not interfere with the application of purely national remedies in this area;

20.

Urges the Commission fully to consider pre-contractual and contractual measures that could be linked with the development of the CFR and any optional instrument deriving therefrom, so as to ensure that parties to European cross-border contracts consider issues of late payment and non-payment when contracting;

21.

Eagerly anticipates the review of the Late Payments Directive and urges the Commission to proceed with this as quickly as possible, given the current economic climate;

22.

Suggests that a study should be carried out of the divergent national legal approaches to retention of title and other similar mechanisms, with a view to ensuring their mutual recognition;

23.

Suggests that a party who has acquired proprietary rights recognised in a court judgment should be able to enforce those rights under the same conditions as the transferor;

*

* *

24.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  OJ C 263 E, 16.10.2008, p. 655.

(2)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0637.

(3)  Directive 2000/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 June 2000 on combating late payment in commercial transactions (OJ L 200, 8.8.2000, p. 35).

(4)  Council Regulation (EC) No 44/2001 of 22 December 2000 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters (OJ L 12, 16.1.2001, p. 1).

(5)  Council Directive 77/249/EEC of 22 March 1977 to facilitate the effective exercise by lawyers of freedom to provide services (OJ L 78, 26.3.1977, p. 17).

(6)  Directive 98/5/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 to facilitate practice of the profession of lawyer on a permanent basis in a Member State other than that in which the qualification was obtained (OJ L 77, 14.3.1998, p. 36).


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/12


Wednesday 22 April 2009
Annual report on the deliberations of the Petitions Committee 2008

P6_TA(2009)0239

European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during the year 2008 (2008/2301(INI))

2010/C 184 E/03

The European Parliament,

having regard to its previous resolutions on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions,

having regard to the results of the fact-finding missions undertaken by the Commission in 2008 to Romania, Bulgaria, and France and the corresponding reports and recommendations approved by the Committee,

having regard to Articles 21 and 194 of the EC Treaty, which confer on all EU citizens and residents the right to petition the European Parliament,

having regard to Rules 45 and 192(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Petitions (A6-0232/2009),

A.

recognising the importance of the petitions process and its specific attributes, which enable the responsible committee to seek solutions and explanations for EU citizens who petition Parliament,

B.

having regard to the growing number of EU citizens who petition Parliament, together with the efforts by the Committee on Petitions to further expedite its procedures in order to provide a better service for citizens seeking its assistance,

C.

whereas several of the recommendations adopted in the 2007 Annual Report are yet to be implemented by Parliament’s authorities, such as the request for an urgent improvement of the administrative resources, including linguistic and legal expertise, of its Committee on Petitions in order to increase Parliament’s capacity to conduct independent investigations of petitions addressed to it, and, for instance, closer cooperation with SOLVIT in the field of petitions and complaints regarding the internal market, and the establishment of a common EU portal for European citizens,

D.

mindful of the fact that, in spite of considerable progress in the development of the structures and policies of the Union during this period, citizens remain directly aware of many shortcomings in the application of the policies and programmes of the Union as they affect them directly, and whereas these are frequently the subject of petitions received,

E.

whereas the institution of the ‘Citizens’ Initiative’ under the Treaty of Lisbon will result in even greater public participation in the activities and work of the European Union,

F.

whereas, consequently, Parliament has a responsibility to ensure better application of Community law by the individual Member States in the interests of EU citizens and residents, and thus to work in cooperation with Member States to achieve this objective,

G.

whereas, however, many Member States remain reluctant to cooperate actively with the responsible committee, in particular by failing to attend meetings of the committee, and whereas this denotes a lack of loyal cooperation with the institution,

H.

whereas failure to cooperate actively and in a timely manner with the work of the responsible committee in the interest of the correct application of Community law raises doubts about the desire and intent of the Member State concerned to correctly apply EU policies and objectives and therefore exposes the authorities to measures in the form of sanctions and penalties which are available under the terms of the Treaties as well as to public criticism,

I.

recognising, however, that many Member States demonstrate a good level of cooperation and work with Parliament in an effort to respond to the concerns of citizens as expressed through the petitions process,

J.

recognising the constructive contribution made to the petitions process by the services of the Commission, which regularly provide, at the request of the responsible committee, preliminary assessments of many petitions received,

K.

whereas such cooperation could and should be further enhanced, notably as regards procedures pursuant to Articles 226 and 228 of the EC Treaty in duly justified cases,

L.

whereas Parliament has considered that it would be legitimate for it to make use of its powers under Article 230 of the EC Treaty, if this proved necessary in order to put an end to a serious infringement of Community law which has been revealed in the course of examination of a petition and where a significant difference of interpretation persists, despite efforts to resolve it, between Parliament and the Commission, as regards the action required under Community law for the protection of citizens’ rights in the case concerned,

M.

whereas the infringement procedure does not provide a remedy for petitioners even when a Member State is obliged by the Court of Justice to modify its legislation so as to bring it into conformity with EU legislative acts,

N.

whereas the inability to provide a non-judicial remedy directly to EU citizens who have been or have become victims of the lack of proper application of EU law constitutes a basic injustice which requires further consideration by the EU institutions, and in particular by Parliament,

O.

whereas, under Article 230 of the EC Treaty, Parliament has the right to bring actions before the Court of Justice under the same conditions as the Council and the Commission and whereas, pursuant to Article 201 of the EC Treaty, Parliament is empowered to exercise control over the activities of the Commission and thus has at its disposal both the legal and the political instruments to respond more effectively to citizens’ legitimate concerns,

P.

whereas Parliament should review its own procedures in order to facilitate actions, notably under Rule 121 of its Rules of Procedure, before the Court of Justice when the rights of petitioners are at stake,

Q.

whereas it should be recalled that, pursuant to Article 6 of the EU Treaty, the Union is founded on the principles of liberty, democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, and the rule of law, principles which also constitute a basic element of the Copenhagen criteria for accession to the EU, and whereas Article 7 of the EU Treaty lays down specific procedures which can be initiated for serious and persistent breaches of the principles mentioned, or a clear risk thereof,

R.

mindful of the motions for resolutions submitted to plenary in 2008 and adopted by an overwhelming majority of Members, pursuant to Rule 192(1) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure on the basis of petitions received concerning the impact of the Nord Stream gas pipeline under the Baltic Sea and concerning misleading directory companies,

S.

whereas increased concerns over energy supply security have resulted in projects for pipelines for natural gas and liquefied natural gas which, especially when they are rushed through without proper evaluation of the risks and alternatives, have raised petitioners’ concerns over the lack of consideration given to potentially serious risks to the environment and human health and safety in respect of, notably, projects in the Baltic Sea, Wales and Ireland,

T.

whereas it is evident from the examination of petitions that the lists of projects mentioned in the Annexes to Council Directive 85/337/EEC of 27 June 1985 on the assessment of the effects of certain public and private projects on the environment (1), as amended, do not cover a number of important installations and activities which have emerged since the latest amendments to those Annexes, such as re-gasification plants and bio-diesel plants,

U.

whereas the many petitions presented in relation to the Natura 2000 network have continued to show that ending loss of biodiversity constitutes a major challenge for the Union and that the Habitats Directive (2) and the Birds Directive (3) constitute basic and indispensable tools for fulfilling the EU’s commitment to end biodiversity loss by 2010,

V.

whereas the examination of petitions has also shown that the lack of sufficient sources of fresh water is frequently aggravated by other factors such as growing demand for water due to excessive urbanisation and leisure projects, inadequate maintenance of infrastructure and prevention of leakage, intensive use of water by industrial agriculture and a pricing policy which does not encourage the sustainable use of water,

W.

mindful of the recommendations made by the Committee on Petitions following visits to Fos-sur-Mer, Cyprus and Romania,

X.

bearing in mind the concern expressed by the Committee on Petitions in relation to certain infrastructure projects in the Rila Mountains in Bulgaria, observed during a fact-finding visit in 2008,

Y.

whereas although Ann Abraham, the UK Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman, addressed the Committee on Petitions in December 2008 and presented it with her findings, which took her four years to complete, the subsequent response by the UK Government in January 2009, involving possible ex gratia payments to those disproportionately affected, cannot be regarded as a proper remedy for the many victims of the debacle,

Z.

recognising the positive and constructive cooperation with the European Ombudsman in 2008, the support provided by the Committee on Petitions for the recommendations contained in his Annual Report for 2007 and his Special Reports on complaints 1487/2005/ and 3453/2005/ respectively concerning the use of languages by the Council and the Commission’s application of the infringement procedure, and welcoming the modifications to his Statute approved by Parliament,

AA.

whereas in 2008 the Committee on Petitions received 1 886 petitions, of which 1 065 were declared admissible and 821 were declared inadmissible; whereas the number of petitions that do not meet the conditions of Rule 191(1) of the Rules of Procedure has significantly risen since the beginning of 2007,

1.

Welcomes the involvement and contribution of petitioners at each meeting of the Committee on Petitions, which allows for a direct and open dialogue with European Parliament representatives and continues to encourage individual EU citizens and community associations to come forward with issues which concern the area of activity of the European Union and which affect them directly, believing that this process enables Parliament as an institution to play a significant role in monitoring the application of Community law by the Member States and to better defend and promote the fundamental rights of all EU citizens as defined in the EU Treaty;

2.

Urges national and regional parliaments, as representatives of EU citizens, to remain vigilant in relation to the way in which Member States apply the Treaties and EU legislative acts, notably as regards issues related to the environment, social and employment rights, the free movement of persons, goods and services, financial services, citizens’ fundamental rights including their right to legitimately acquired property, recognition of their professional qualifications and all forms of discrimination, and calls on the EU institutions to communicate effectively with the citizens so that they are aware of their rights and of the duties of the national and local institutions;

3.

Emphasises that, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity, Parliament cannot regard as admissible petitions which seek to appeal against decisions of competent authorities or judicial bodies of Member States and that information to that effect must be communicated in a clear and understandable way to the petitioners; emphasises, moreover, that complaints must fulfil the conditions of Rule 191(1) of Parliament’s Rules of Procedure before they can be declared admissible;

4.

Calls for those recommendations adopted in the 2007 Annual Report which have not yet been implemented to be implemented within a reasonable timeframe;

5.

Calls on the Commission, all Member States and their national, regional and local institutions, together with their Permanent Representatives, to cooperate fully with the responsible committee of the European Parliament when investigating allegations or proposals contained in petitions, on a loyal and constructive basis, with a view to finding solutions to issues raised through the petitions process;

6.

Requests that a full review of possible procedures to ensure remedial action for EU citizens be conducted by the responsible bodies in the European Parliament, the Commission and Council, and that a new interinstitutional agreement incorporating reinforced powers for committees of inquiry be negotiated in order to further strengthen the rights of EU citizens;

7.

Believes that such a review would complement any eventual implementation of the Lisbon Treaty by providing additional safeguards based on the declared rights and obligations of EU citizens and EU institutions;

8.

Recalls that, as emphasised by Parliament in its resolution of 20 April 2004 on the Commission communication on Article 7 of the Treaty on European Union (4), respect for and promotion of the values on which the Union is founded and defence of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights are a particular responsibility for Parliament as the directly elected representative of European citizens, and further recalls that Parliament expressed the view in that resolution that ‘ignoring the possible need for penalties must create the impression that the Union is not prepared or is not in a position to use all the means at its disposal to defend its values’;

9.

Calls on the Commission, once again, to ensure that greater recognition is given to, and greater emphasis placed on, the petitions process, notably as regards application of the infringement procedures and the requirement to inform the Committee on Petitions directly and officially when decisions are taken to initiate proceedings under Articles 226 and/or 228 which are related to the issues raised in individual petitions;

10.

Recalls that Parliament has considered that allegations of serious infringements of Community law which the Committee on Petitions has deemed well founded in the course of the examination of petitions but which the Member State concerned refuses to admit, and which are likely to set a precedent at the national level, should ultimately be examined by the Court of Justice in order to ensure the consistency and coherence of Community law and the reality of the internal market (5);

11.

Acknowledges that infringement proceedings, even where successful, may not result in any immediate remedy regarding the specific concern raised by individual petitioners, and that this frequently undermines public confidence in the ability of the EU institutions to meet their expectations;

12.

Takes the view that, as there are clear indications that the objective of ending biodiversity loss in the EU by 2010 cannot be achieved, urgent action must be taken in order to render the application of the Habitats and Birds Directives more effective, and calls on the Commission to do its utmost to ensure that those directives are applied by the Member States in a manner which is consistent with this objective;

13.

Calls for the Commission, in cooperation with Parliament, to promote to Member States the importance of forward thinking – especially in the area of planning approval – in helping to prevent potential breaches of provisions of Community law that have been adopted but are not yet in force;

14.

Recognises that, sometimes, it is impossible to find solutions to the complaints raised by petitioners, on account of weaknesses in the applicable Community legislation itself;

15.

Is concerned by the large number of petitions received by the Committee on Petitions seeking voting rights for resident ‘non’-citizens of Latvia in local elections; recalls that the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe have recommended that non-citizens should be permitted to participate in local elections; urges the European Commission to closely monitor and encourage the regularisation of the status of ‘non’-citizens in Latvia, many of whom were born in Latvia;

16.

Notes that many petitions received by Parliament from individuals and associations largely concern matters which do not constitute an infringement of Community law and which should therefore be resolved by exhausting all legal avenues of redress existing in the Member States concerned; further notes that, once all appropriate action has been taken at national level, the appropriate appellate body is the European Court of Human Rights;

17.

Notes that the ‘one-seat petition’ signed by 1 500 000 people, which seeks to have the European Parliament meet in one location, has not yet been fully addressed; recommends that the Committee on Petitions deal with this matter as a priority during the next parliamentary term;

18.

Therefore calls on responsible legislative committees to bear in mind proposals or suggestions which may from time to time be made by the Committee on Petitions regarding the application by Member States of specific EU legislation, with a view to possible revision or further investigation;

19.

Recalls Parliament’s request to the Commission to step up its monitoring of the implementation of Directive 2006/114/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 concerning misleading and comparative advertising (6) with regard to misleading business-directory companies and to report to Parliament on the feasibility and possible consequences of extending the scope of Directive 2005/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 May 2005 concerning unfair business-to-consumer commercial practices in the internal market (7), specifically by replacing the word ‘consumer’ by the words ‘target of the practice’;

20.

Endorses the Ombudsman’s call to the Council to expand the language options of the websites of its Presidencies to include the most widely spoken languages of the European Union, with the aim of ensuring that citizens have direct access to the activities of the Council’s Presidencies; refers in this respect to the French Council Presidency, which published its official website in compliance with the Ombudsman’s recommendations;

21.

Endorses the Ombudsman’s call to the Commission, with reference to the implementation of the Working Time Directive (8), to handle complaints by citizens in conformity with principles of good administration in the field of the Commission’s discretionary powers regarding the opening of infringement procedures;

22.

Welcomes the constructive cooperation between the Ombudsman and the EU within the appropriate institutional framework; endorses the Ombudsman’s repeated calls for the adoption of a Code of Good Administrative Behaviour, common to all EU institutions and bodies, as approved by Parliament in its resolution of 6 September 2001 on the European Ombudsman’s Special Report to the European Parliament following the own-initiative inquiry into the existence and the public accessibility, in the different Community institutions and bodies, of a Code of Good Administrative Behaviour (9); is of the view that the Ombudsman, the Commission and Parliament should develop a common EU portal for the treatment of complaints addressed to the EU institutions;

23.

Urges the implementation by all parties of UN Security Council Resolution 550 (1984) on the Cyprus issue, which would lead to the full restoration of property to its legitimate owners in Varosha; suggests that, in the event that there are no visible results by the end of 2009, the committee responsible might consider bringing the issue of the Famagusta petitioners to plenary;

24.

Calls on the Romanian authorities to adopt measures to conserve and safeguard Romania’s cultural and architectural heritage, pursuant to Article 151 of the EC Treaty, as called for in Parliament’s Declaration of 11 October 2007 on the need for measures to protect the Roman Catholic Cathedral of St Joseph in Bucharest, Romania, an endangered historical and architectural monument (10); with reference to the problems concerning restitution of property confiscated under the Communist regime, points out that, under Article 295 of the EC Treaty, property ownership is a matter of national competence;

25.

Requests the French authorities to prepare an epidemiological assessment to determine the impact on the area close to Fos-Berre, in the immediate vicinity of the incinerator plant under construction at Fos-sur-Mer; recognises that Council Directive 1999/30/EC of 22 April 1999 relating to limit values for sulphur dioxide, nitrogen dioxide and oxides of nitrogen, particulate matter and lead in ambient air (11) does not prohibit the construction of an incinerator in an area already affected by atmospheric pollution, but points out that, under Directive 1999/30/EC and Council Directive 96/62/EC of 27 September 1996 on ambient air quality assessment and management (12), measures are to be taken to ensure compliance with European standards on atmospheric pollution;

26.

Recalls the recommendations contained in the 2007 Annual Report of the Committee on Petitions with a view to reviewing the administrative procedures for the treatment of petitions, such as, for instance, the transfer of the registration of petitions to the Petitions Committee secretariat, close cooperation with SOLVIT, further enhancement of the petitions database, the development of an EU portal for European citizens, etc; welcomes the drafting by Members of a Code of Good Practice for the treatment of petitions, which would come into force at the beginning of the next parliamentary term;

27.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution, and the report of the Committee on Petitions, to the Council, the Commission, the European Ombudsman, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, their committees on petitions and their national ombudsmen or similar competent bodies.


(1)  OJ L 175, 5.7.1985, p. 40.

(2)  Council Directive 92/43/EEC of 21 May 1992 on the conservation of natural habitats and of wild fauna and flora (OJ L 206, 22.7.1992, p. 7).

(3)  Council Directive 79/409/EEC of 2 April 1979 on the conservation of wild birds (OJ L 103, 25.4.1979, p. 1).

(4)  OJ C 104 E, 30.4.2004, p. 408.

(5)  See Parliament’s resolution of 9 March 2005 on the deliberations of the Committee on Petitions during the parliamentary year 2003-2004 (OJ C 320 E, 15.12.2005, p. 161).

(6)  OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, p. 21.

(7)  OJ L 149, 11.6.2005, p. 22.

(8)  Council Directive 93/104/EC of 23 November 1993 concerning certain aspects of the organisation of working time (OJ L 307, 13.12.1993, p. 18).

(9)  OJ C 72 E, 21.3.2002, p. 331.

(10)  OJ C 227 E, 4.9.2008, p. 162.

(11)  OJ L 163, 29.6.1999, p. 41.

(12)  OJ L 296, 21.11.1996, p. 55.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/18


Wednesday 22 April 2009
Gender mainstreaming in the work of committees and delegations

P6_TA(2009)0240

European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on gender mainstreaming in the work of its committees and delegations (2008/2245(INI))

2010/C 184 E/04

The European Parliament,

having regard to Articles 2, 3(2), 13 and 141(4) of the EC Treaty,

having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the revised European Social Charter and the case-law of the European Court of Human Rights,

having regard to the work of the Council of Europe’s Directorate-General of Human Rights and Legal Affairs, and in particular the Council of Europe’s steering committee for equality between women and men,

having regard to Directive 2002/73/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 September 2002 amending Council Directive 76/207/EEC on the implementation of the principle of equal treatment for men and women as regards access to employment, vocational training and promotion, and working conditions (1),

having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2003 on gender mainstreaming in the European Parliament (2),

having regard to its resolution of 18 January 2007 on gender mainstreaming in the work of the committees (3),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0198/2009),

A.

whereas equality between men and women is a fundamental principle of Community law and whereas, in accordance with Article 2 of the Treaty, its promotion is one of the tasks of the Community,

B.

whereas Article 3(2) of the Treaty lays down the principle of gender mainstreaming by stating that, in all its activities, the Community should aim to eliminate inequalities and to promote equality between men and women,

C.

having regard to the steady increase in the percentage of female Members of the European Parliament from 17,5 % in 1979 to 31,08 % in 2009,

D.

having regard to the low proportion of female Members in top positions in Parliament bodies (for example, chairs or members of the bureaux of committees or delegations),

E.

whereas women are over-represented in Parliament’s Directorates-General for Internal Policies and External Policies, where they account for 66.5 % and 66 % of staff respectively; noting, however, the major progress achieved over the last few years in the Directorate-General for Internal Policies, as evidenced by the 2007 Equality – Good Practices Award for the creation of a working environment conducive to equality and gender mainstreaming, together with a major increase in the percentage of women in senior administrative posts (for example, in 2005 the percentage of female heads of unit rose from 5 % to 30 %),

F.

whereas the majority of parliamentary committees generally attach importance to gender mainstreaming (for example in the context of their legislative activity, their institutional relations with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, the drawing up of a programme of action for equality, etc.), although a minority of committees rarely or never take an interest in the matter,

G.

whereas in practice the network for gender mainstreaming in parliamentary committees, consisting of MEPs and staff, has not yet achieved the desired results,

H.

whereas the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity has proposed that a similar network should be established in the interparliamentary delegations for the purpose of gender mainstreaming in the context of EU external relations,

1.

Stresses that the call for gender equality must be translated into a practical approach which does not set women against men;

2.

Stresses that gender mainstreaming is a positive development for both women and men;

3.

Points out that gender mainstreaming involves the reorganisation, improvement, development and assessment of policies to ensure that an equal-opportunity approach is incorporated into all policies at all levels and at all stages by those normally involved in policy-making;

4.

Reiterates the need to adopt and apply a gender mainstreaming strategy incorporating specific targets in all Community policies which fall with the purview of parliamentary committees and delegations;

5.

Stresses the importance of the task of the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity and calls on it to continue to encourage and promote this process throughout Parliament, in its relations with the Commission, the Council and other institutions and in cooperation with them;

6.

Congratulates the parliamentary committees which have put gender mainstreaming into practice in their work, and calls on the other committees and delegations to do likewise;

7.

Calls for the strengthening of the gender mainstreaming network with regard to interparliamentary delegations and election observation missions;

8.

Encourages the Secretary-General to prioritise training in gender mainstreaming for officials working at every level in parliamentary committees and delegations; reiterates its call for all Members of Parliament to be provided with equal opportunity training from the beginning of the next Parliament;

9.

Continues to encourage networking amongst those officials working in parliamentary committee and interparliamentary delegation secretariats who, in the Directorates-General for Internal Policies and External Policies, are specially trained in gender mainstreaming, so as to ensure regular exchanges of best practice;

10.

Stresses the need for the parliamentary committees and delegations to have at their disposal appropriate means of gaining a sound understanding of gender mainstreaming, including indicators, data and statistics broken down by gender, and for budgetary resources to be allocated with an eye to ensuring equality between women and men;

11.

Stresses that the implementation of gender mainstreaming should take account of the specific features of each parliamentary committee or delegation; calls for the committees and delegations to play an active role in the regular assessments carried out under the auspices of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality on the basis of the questionnaire submitted to the chairs and vice-chairs responsible for gender mainstreaming, including any shortcomings in the work of the committees and delegations as well as the progress made in implementing gender mainstreaming in each committee;

12.

Stresses the importance for parliamentary committees and delegations of ensuring that their role and responsibilities in the field of gender mainstreaming are clearly defined;

13.

Stresses the importance of effective and coordinated cooperation by the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity with the gender mainstreaming network within the committees and interparliamentary delegations and with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality;

14.

Calls on the Secretary-General to continue to implement the integrated strategy for combining life in the family and at the workplace and to facilitate the career development of female employees;

15.

Urges the political groups to take account of gender equality objectives in selecting staff to fill senior posts;

16.

Calls on its Bureau to stress, in its dealings with the parliaments of the Member States, the positive example set by the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity;

17.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the Council of Europe.


(1)  OJ L 269, 5.10.2002, p. 15.

(2)  OJ C 61 E, 10.3.2004, p. 384.

(3)  OJ C 244 E, 18.10.2007, p. 225.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/20


Wednesday 22 April 2009
Interim Trade Agreement with Turkmenistan

P6_TA(2009)0252

European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Interim Trade Agreement with Turkmenistan

2010/C 184 E/05

The European Parliament,

having regard to the proposal for a Council and Commission decision (COM(1998)0617),

having regard to the Interim Agreement on trade and trade-related matters between the European Community, the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Turkmenistan, of the other part (5144/1999),

having regard to Articles 133 and 300(2), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Article 300(3), first subparagraph, of the EC Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C5-0338/1999),

having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2008 on an EU Strategy for Central Asia (1),

having regard to its position of 22 April 2009 on the above-mentioned proposal (2),

having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas relations between the European Communities and Turkmenistan are currently governed by the Agreement between the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics on Trade and Commercial and Economic Cooperation concluded in December 1989; whereas this agreement does not contain a human rights clause,

B.

whereas the Interim Agreement on Trade and Trade-related Matters of 2 December 1998, concluded between the European Community, the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Atomic Energy Community, of the one part, and Turkmenistan, of the other part, is now undergoing approval in the Council,

C.

whereas a Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) with Turkmenistan was initialled in May 1997 and signed in 1998; whereas since then 11 Member States have ratified the PCA - France, Ireland, the United Kingdom and Greece still have still to do so - and the 12 new Member States will ratify it by means of a single protocol; whereas Turkmenistan ratified the PCA in 2004,

D.

whereas the PCA, once fully ratified, will be concluded for an initial period of 10 years, after which it will be renewed annually, provided that neither of the parties terminates it; whereas the parties may expand or amend the PCA or elaborate further on it, in order to take new developments into account,

E.

whereas Turkmenistan plays an important role in the Central Asia region, so that close cooperation between it and the European Union is desirable,

F.

whereas the situation in Turkmenistan has improved since the change of president; whereas the regime has indicated its willingness to carry out major reforms; whereas substantive progress is still needed in several key areas, such as human rights, the rule of law, democracy and individual freedoms,

G.

whereas the proposed Interim Trade Agreement (ITA) between the European Communities and Turkmenistan stipulates respect for democracy and human rights as a condition for cooperation,

H.

whereas the ITA would therefore have the potential to contribute to the advancement of the ongoing democratic reforms in Turkmenistan,

I.

whereas the ITA includes a mechanism which allows either party to terminate it by notifying the other party,

1.

Notes that after the change of president in Turkmenistan there are signs of an ambition to carry out reforms in key areas; welcomes in particular the creation of a National Institute for Democracy and Human Rights; takes note of the process of revising the Constitution, which aims to strengthen democracy, individual freedoms and the rule of law; notes, further, the revision of the electoral law; welcomes Turkmenistan’s accession to international conventions such as the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, aiming at the abolition of the death penalty and the Convention on the Political Rights of Women; welcomes the reforms of the educational system, aiming at higher quality and more equality for students;

2.

Calls on the Turkmenistan Government to move swiftly towards democracy and respect for the rule of law; calls, in particular, for open and democratic elections, freedom of religion, the development of a genuine civil society, the release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, the lifting of restrictions on travel, and access for independent monitors;

3.

Stresses the need for the European Union to further encourage these developments; underlines that the Turkmenistan Government’s activities must be carefully and regularly scrutinised;

4.

Asks the Council and Commission to keep it regularly and substantively informed about the human rights situation in Turkmenistan;

5.

Deplores the fact that in several areas, particularly human rights and democracy, the situation is still unsatisfactory; draws attention in particular to the need for all political prisoners to be unconditionally released; underlines the importance of the removal of all obstacles to free travel and to free access for independent monitors, including the International Red Cross; calls for further improvements in civil liberties, including for non-governmental organisations; stresses the need to implement reforms at all levels and in all areas of the administration;

6.

Underlines the importance of economic and trade relations for the opening-up of Turkmen society and the improvement of the democratic, economic and social situation of Turkmen citizens;

7.

Sees the ITA, while at the same time laying down rules governing economic relations, as a possible stepping stone towards steady and sustainable relations between the European Union and Turkmenistan and as a potential lever to strengthen the reform process in Turkmenistan;

8.

Underlines that the ITA is not a blank cheque for Turkmenistan; calls, therefore, for strict monitoring and regular reviews of developments in key areas in Turkmenistan and, if appropriate, for a suspension of the agreement if there is evidence that the conditions are not being met; asks for regular updates on the monitoring by the Commission and the Council;

9.

Calls on the Council and Commission to include a clear suspensive human rights clause in the PCA; stresses that the United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Rights should be respected; calls on the Council to accept any request from the Parliament to suspend the agreement;

10.

Calls on the Council and Commission also to include a revision clause in the PCA; asks to be consulted on any revision of the PCA;

11.

Points out that the PCA requires Parliament’s assent in order to come into force; whilst the ITA unfortunately does not require its assent, calls for the points raised in this resolution to be taken fully into account, since otherwise its assent to the PCA might be jeopardised; accordingly, intends to base its opinion on the ITA on the answers received from the Council and the Commission in their statements;

12.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of Turkmenistan.


(1)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0059.

(2)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0253.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/23


Wednesday 22 April 2009
A Common Immigration Policy for Europe

P6_TA(2009)0257

European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on a Common Immigration Policy for Europe: Principles, actions and tools (2008/2331(INI))

2010/C 184 E/06

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 17 June 2008 entitled ‘A Common Immigration Policy for Europe: Principles, actions and tools’ (COM(2008)0359),

having regard to the Opinion of the Committee of the Regions on A Common Immigration Policy for Europe of 26 November 2008 (1),

having regard to the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum, adopted by the European Council on 15 and 16 October 2008 (2),

having regard to Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals (Return Directive) (3),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 863/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 establishing a mechanism for the creation of Rapid Border Intervention Teams (4),

having regard to the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person (Recast) (COM(2008)0820),

having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 17 October 2008 entitled ‘One year after Lisbon: The Africa-EU partnership at work’ (COM(2008)0617),

having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 13 February 2008 entitled ‘Preparing the next steps in border management in the European Union’ (COM(2008)0069),

having regard to the Commission Working Document entitled ‘Evaluation and monitoring of the implementation of the EU Plan on best practices, standards and procedures for combating and preventing trafficking in human beings’ (COM(2008)0657),

having regard to the Joint Africa-EU Strategy and its First Action Plan (2008-2010) - the Strategic Partnership - agreed at the Africa-EU Summit on 8/9 December 2007 in Lisbon (5),

having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 30 November 2006 entitled ‘The Global Approach to Migration one year on: Towards a comprehensive European migration policy’ (COM(2006)0735),

having regard to the Hague Programme on Strengthening Freedom, Security and Justice in the European Union adopted at the European Council of 4-5 November 2004,

having regard to the Tampere Programme adopted at the European Council of 15 and 16 October 1999 which established a coherent approach in the field of immigration and asylum,

having regard to its resolution of 10 March 2009 on ‘The Future of the Common European Asylum System’ (6),

having regard to its position of 19 February 2009 on the proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council providing for sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals (7),

having regard to its resolution of 5 February 2009 on the implementation in the European Union of Directive 2003/9/EC laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers and refugees: visits by the Committee on Civil Liberties 2005-2008 (8),

having regard to its resolution of 18 December 2008 on the evaluation and future development of the FRONTEX Agency and of the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) (9),

having regard to its position of 20 November 2008 on the proposal for a Council directive on the conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment (10),

having regard to its position of 20 November 2008 on the proposal for a Council directive on a single application procedure for a single permit for third-country nationals to reside and work in the territory of a Member State and on a common set of rights for third-country workers legally residing in a Member State (11),

having regard to its resolution of 2 September 2008 on the evaluation of the Dublin system (12),

having regard to its position of 23 April 2008 on the proposal for a Council directive amending Directive 2003/109/EC to extend its scope to beneficiaries of international protection (13),

having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2007 on the policy plan on legal migration (14),

having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2007 on policy priorities in the fight against illegal immigration of third-country nationals (15),

having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2006 on strategies and means for the integration of immigrants in the European Union (16),

having regard to the Treaty of Amsterdam pursuant to which powers and responsibilities in the immigration and asylum fields are conferred on the Community and to Article 63 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Culture and Education and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A6-0251/2009),

A.

whereas migration into Europe will always be a reality as long as there are considerable differences in wealth and quality of life between Europe and other regions of the world,

B.

whereas a common approach on immigration in the EU has become imperative, more so in a common area without internal border controls where action or inaction by one Member State has a direct impact on others and on the EU as a whole,

C.

whereas poorly managed migration may disrupt the social cohesion of the countries of destination and may also be detrimental to countries of origin as well as to the migrants themselves,

D.

whereas regular migration represents an opportunity from which migrants, their countries of origin (which benefit from their migrants’ remittances), and Member States may benefit; whereas, however, progress in the area of regular migration must go hand-in-hand with effective action on combating irregular immigration, recalling notably that such immigration encourages the existence of criminal human trafficking rings,

E.

whereas a genuine common migration policy for the Community must be based not only on the fight against irregular migration but also on cooperation with third countries and transit countries and on an appropriate policy for the integration of migrants,

F.

whereas Europe’s migration policies must comply with the norms of international law, particularly those that concern human rights, human dignity and rights to asylum,

G.

whereas the EU is and must continue to be a welcoming environment for those who win the right to remain, be they migrants for reasons of work, family reunification, or study, or persons in need of international protection,

H.

whereas migrants have played a vital role in the development of the EU and the European project in recent decades, and it is essential to recognise both their importance and the fact that the Union continues to need migrants’ labour,

I.

whereas, according to Eurostat, population ageing in the EU will become a reality in the medium term, with the working age population projected to fall possibly by almost 50 million by 2060; whereas immigration could act as an important stimulus to ensure good economic performance in the EU,

J.

whereas the growth and jobs aspects of the Lisbon Strategy may be hindered by a shortage of labour, which may prevent the goals from being achieved, and whereas unemployment is currently rising; whereas this shortage may be addressed in the short term by appropriate and structured management of economic immigration,

K.

whereas migrants often have to work as casual labourers or in low-skilled jobs, or in jobs for which they are overqualified,

L.

whereas the EU should also increase efforts to address problems of labour and skill shortages internally, by tapping into currently underemployed sectors, such as people with disabilities, people at an educational disadvantage, or those who have been long-term unemployed asylum seekers already resident,

M.

whereas the number of women immigrants is constantly increasing in the EU, accounting for approximately 54 % of the total number of immigrants,

N.

whereas most women immigrants encounter significant problems in integrating and in accessing the labour market due to their low level of education and the negative stereotypes and practices brought from their countries of origin, as well as the negative stereotypes and discrimination that exist in the Member States; whereas, nonetheless, many young women with a high level of education come to the EU to take relatively unskilled jobs,

General Considerations

1.

Strongly supports the establishment of a common European immigration policy founded on a high level of political and operational solidarity, mutual trust, transparency, partnership, shared responsibility and joint efforts through common principles and concrete actions, as well as on the values –enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union;

2.

Reiterates that the management of migration flows must be based on a coordinated approach taking into account the demographic and economic situation of the EU and its Member States;

3.

Considers that the development of a common immigration policy could substantially benefit from an increased and regular consultation with representatives of civil society, such as organisations working for and with migrant communities;

4.

Regrets that, so far, too little has been done to establish a common legal immigration policy and welcomes the new legislative instruments adopted within the framework of the common European legal immigration policy;

5.

Emphasises that a coherent and balanced common European immigration policy adds to the credibility of the EU in its relations with third countries;

6.

Reiterates that the effective management of migration requires the involvement of regional and local authorities and a genuine partnership and cooperation with third countries of origin and transit, which often have the impression that decisions are being imposed on them unilaterally; emphasises that such cooperation can only take place when the third country respects international laws on human rights and protection, and is a signatory to the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees;

7.

Considers that immigration into the EU is not the solution to overcome the challenges faced by developing countries and that a common immigration policy must be flanked with an effective policy for the development of the countries of origin;

8.

Welcomes the adoption of the above-mentioned European Pact on Immigration and Asylum and the actions, tools and proposals put forward by the Commission in its above-mentioned Communication on a Common Immigration Policy for Europe: Principles, Actions and Tools; calls on the Council and the Commission on to rapidly move to the implementation stage of these commitments;

9.

Welcomes the institutional implications of the Lisbon Treaty, in particular the extension of co-decision and qualified majority voting to all immigration policies, the clarification of EU competence on visas and border controls, the extension of EU competence on asylum as well as the extension of EU competence in respect of legal and irregular migration;

10.

Considers that a common immigration policy also necessarily requires the establishment of a common asylum policy, and recalls the above-mentioned resolution on the future of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the Commission proposal for a regulation to establish a European Asylum Support Office;

Prosperity and Immigration

Legal Migration

11.

Considers that legal migration continues to be necessary in order to address Europe’s demographic, labour market and skills needs owing to the effect of demographic decline and ageing on the economy; it also contributes to the development of third countries through the cycle of exchange of knowledge and know how and through the transfer of migrant remittances; calls for the implementation of secure systems which facilitate these financial transfers to third countries;

12.

Considers that regular migration must be the alternative to irregular immigration as it offers a legal, safe and organised entry route to the European Union;

13.

Recalls that projections presented by the Commission estimate the need for 60 million migrant workers by 2050 and that this requires the opening-up of channels for legal migration;

14.

Stresses the need for a comprehensive assessment of the EU’s skills and market needs; considers, however, that each Member State should retain control over the number of persons required for its labour market needs and take into account the principle of Community preference as long as transitional measures apply;

15.

Supports the development of national ‘Immigration Profiles’ with the purpose of giving an integrated picture of the situation of immigration within each Member State at any given moment, with labour market needs being a central aspect of these profiles;

16.

Reiterates the need to increase the attractiveness of the EU for highly qualified workers, even through the availability of information on destination and host labour markets, taking account of the implications that this may have on the brain drain in countries of origin; considers that the brain drain can be mitigated through temporary or circular migration, by providing training in the countries of origin in order to preserve occupations in key sectors, particularly education and health, and by signing cooperation agreements with countries of origin; calls on the Member States to refrain from pursuing active recruitment in developing countries suffering from lack of human resources in key sectors, such as health and education;

17.

Calls on the Commission and Member States to develop mechanisms, guidelines and other tools to facilitate circular and temporary migration as well as measures, in cooperation with the countries of origin, to offset the loss of human resources, offering concrete support for the training of professionals in key sectors weakened by the exodus of talent;

18.

Welcomes the approach initiated by the document on the ‘blue card’ for a common legal immigration policy, but calls on Member States to make more progress towards common rules on an immigration policy which is not limited to highly skilled workers;

19.

Expresses its satisfaction at the adoption of the blue card relating to conditions of entry and residence of third-country nationals for the purposes of highly qualified employment and urges the Commission to present initiatives for other categories of work as soon as possible, also with the aim of further countering irregular immigration and the exploitation of the undocumented immigrants;

20.

Calls for new measures to further facilitate the reception of students and researchers and their movement within the EU;

21.

Draws attention to the importance of recognising the skills of immigrants, paying particular importance to the formal, non-formal and informal qualifications obtained in their country of origin; considers that this recognition will combat the wastage of skills that is being seen repeatedly among immigrants, notably women, who often end up in jobs for which they are over-qualified;

22.

Calls on the Commission to take into account, in future documents on the issue, the question of skills recognition and the incentive for lifelong learning, also ensuring that the Member States provide immigrants with opportunities to learn the language of the host country in order to ensure their social, professional and cultural integration in the European Union and giving them an improved ability to support their children’s development; calls also on the Commission to make use of the results of deliberations on the linguistic education of migrant children and the teaching in the Member State of residence of the language and culture of the country of origin, and calls for the framework which will be proposed to respect the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality;

23.

Reaffirms that the European Employment and Job Mobility Network (EURES) network is an appropriate tool to ensure a transparent, responsible and effective balance between supply and demand in the labour market; therefore suggests expanding the concept of the EURES network to allow contact between European employers looking for workers with certain qualifications and job-seekers from third countries; proposes that Special Centres (already set up and to be set up) or EU Representations in third countries be used as a platform to extend the EURES network and to guarantee ongoing and expanded advice concerning tools and support for self-employment or recourse to micro-credit; stresses that Europe’s need for highly skilled labour should not lead to a brain drain from third countries, with consequent damage to their emerging economies and social infrastructure;

24.

Takes the view that immigrants from so-called third countries should be granted the right to mobility within the EU, so that - as legal residents in a Member State – they can take up employment as frontier workers in another Member State without being required to apply for a work permit, and that such immigrants should be granted full freedom of movement as workers following a period of five years’ legal residence in a Member State;

25.

Stresses the importance of coordination between the local and regional authorities, which have particular responsibility for training, and national and European authorities in managing labour market needs, in accordance with the principle of Community preference; emphasises that this cooperation is essential to effectively implement an immigration policy capable of filling the labour shortage experienced in certain sectors and Member States and to integrate immigrants effectively and appropriately;

26.

Calls on the Commission to make more information available in countries of origin on the possibilities of legal migration as well as on the rights and obligations of migrants once they arrive in the EU;

27.

Calls on Member States to make satisfactory use of Community funding mechanisms relating to immigration policy so as to create more and better jobs for migrants;

Integration

28.

Stresses that integration enhances cultural diversity in the EU and should be based on social inclusion, anti-discrimination and equal opportunities, namely through the possibility of access to health, education, language training and employment; considers that integration policies should be also based on appropriate innovative programmes and acknowledges the key role played by local and regional authorities, trade unions, migrant organisations, professional federations and associations in the integration of migrants;

29.

Supports integration efforts by the Member States as well as by regular migrants and beneficiaries of international protection, taking into account respect for the identity and values of the EU and its Member States, including respect for human rights, the rule of law, democracy, tolerance and equality, freedom of opinion and the compulsory schooling of children; recalls that integration is a two-way process which involves adjustments on the part of both the immigrants and the host population as set out in the common basic principles (CBPs) adopted by the Council and may benefit from the exchange of best practices; acknowledges that integration is more difficult to achieve in Member States which are facing significant migratory pressures due to their particular geographical situation, but must nonetheless not be abandoned as an objective; calls on other Member States to contribute towards alleviating such pressures in a spirit of solidarity, facilitating the integration of beneficiaries of international protection who are within the EU Member States, in parallel with the promotion of legal migration;

30.

Emphasises that a good integration process is the best tool to eliminate mistrust and suspicion between native citizens and migrants and is fundamental to removing any xenophobic ideas or actions;

31.

Encourages the development of mutual learning mechanisms and the exchange of best practice between Member States in order to strengthen the ability of host countries to manage increasing diversity and also a system of common indicators and adequate statistical capacity to be used by Member States to evaluate immigration policy outcomes;

32.

Recalls that a key element is the inclusion of migrant organisations who play unique roles in the integration process by giving migrants opportunities for democratic participation; calls on the Members States to facilitate systems for the support of civil society in the integration process through enabling migrants’ presence in the host society’s civil and political life, enabling participation in political parties, trade unions and the opportunity to vote in local elections;

33.

Welcomes the initiative taken by the Commission and the European Economic and Social Committee to improve the coherence of integration policies by launching the European Integration Forum with the participation and involvement of social organisations and immigrants’ associations, with the aim of exchanging experiences and drawing up recommendations; calls on the Member States to coordinate their integration efforts by exchanging the best practices contained in their national integration plans;

34.

Calls on the Commission to take the necessary measures to ensure financial support for the structural and cultural integration of immigrants, also including the implementation of EU programmes such as Lifelong Learning, Europe for Citizens, Youth in Action and Culture 2007; notes that teachers are in most cases ill-prepared for having large numbers of migrant children in classes and calls for better training for teachers and for adequate financial support;

35.

Highlights the fact that school programmes and lifelong learning play an important role in the integration process by developing skills, notably language skills; considers, too, that barrier-free participation in training programmes and lifelong learning should be a right and an opportunity for newly-arrived immigrants;

36.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to continue to promote anti-discrimination policies, including those implemented by the public authorities;

37.

Calls on the Member States to respect and support the relevant directives: Council Directives 2000/78/EC (17), 2000/43/EC (18) and 2004/113/EC (19), which seek to combat discrimination;

38.

Calls on the Member States to ratify the International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families adopted by the United Nations General Assembly on 18 December 1990 (20);

39.

Calls on the Commission to collect gender-related data on immigration into the EU and to arrange for the analysis of those data by the European Institute for Gender Equality in order to highlight further the particular needs and problems of women immigrants and the most appropriate methods of integrating them into the societies of the host countries;

40.

Calls on the Member States, when drawing up their integration policies, to allow in the proper way for the gender dimension and for the specific situation and needs of migrant women;

41.

Calls on Member States to guarantee respect for the fundamental rights of immigrant women, whether or not their status is legal;

42.

Calls on the Member States to support information campaigns aimed at migrant women, with a view to informing them about their rights, the possibilities of education and language training, professional training and access to employment, and to prevent forced marriages, female genital mutilation, and other forms of mental or physical coercion;

Security and Immigration

Integrated Border Management

43.

Stresses the need for a comprehensive master plan setting out the overall objectives and architecture of the EU’s border management strategy, including the details showing how all related programmes and schemes in this area can be better optimised; takes the view that, when considering the architecture of the EU’s border management strategy, the Commission should analyse first of all the effectiveness of the existing border management systems of the Member States, in order to bring about the optimal synergies between them and provide additional information regarding the cost-effectiveness of the new proposed systems, Entry/Exit, Electronic System of Travel Authorisation, Automated Border Control and the Registered Traveller Programme, within the framework of EU integrated border management;

44.

Emphasises that integrated border management should strike the right balance between ensuring the free movement of a growing number of people across borders and ensuring greater security for EU-citizens; does not deny that the use of data offers clear advantages; is, at the same time, of the opinion that public trust in government action can only be maintained if sufficient data protection safeguards, supervision and redress mechanisms are provided for;

45.

Calls for an assessment on the feasibility of an integrated four-tier approach, whereby checks would be carried out systematically at each stage when immigrants are travelling to the Union;

46.

Stresses that the EU border strategy should be complemented as well by concrete measures aimed at strengthening the third country borders within the framework of the Africa-EU Partnership and the European Neighbourhood Policy (the Eastern Partnership, EUROMED);

47.

Calls for the replacement of current national Schengen visas with uniform European Schengen visas, allowing for equal treatment of all visa applicants; wishes to be informed on the exact timetable and the details of both the policy study and the technical study of the Commission which will analyse the feasibility, the practical implications and the impact of a system requiring third-country nationals to obtain electronic authorisation to travel before travelling to EU territory (Electronic System for Travel Authorisation, ESTA); calls for the improvement of cooperation between Member States’ consulates and for joint consular services for visas to be set up gradually;

48.

Calls on the Council to adopt arrangements based on solidarity among Member States with a view to sharing the burdens arising from border policing and to coordinate the Member States’ national policies;

Irregular migration

49.

Considers effective combating of irregular immigration as a crucial part of a comprehensive EU migration policy, and therefore regrets that effective decision-making in this field is hamstrung by the insufficient ability of the Member States to really work together in their mutual interests;

50.

Expresses its shock at the human tragedy that is caused by illegal migratory sea routes, notably in the Union’s southern maritime borders, where boat people leave the African shores on perilous journeys towards Europe; strongly calls for urgent action to stop this human tragedy once and for all and to reinforce dialogue and cooperation with the countries of origin;

51.

Recalls that irregular immigration is often operated by criminal networks which have, so far, proved to be more effective than common European action; is convinced that such networks are responsible for the death of hundreds of people whose lives are lost at sea every year; recalls that, in accordance with international obligations, Member States have a shared responsibility to save lives at sea; calls, therefore, on the Commission and on Council to redouble their efforts in the fight against organised crime, human trafficking and smuggling which occur in various parts of the EU, and particularly to try to dismantle all the networks by tackling not only the people smugglers, who are merely the visible linchpin, but those who, at the top of the ladder, derive the most advantage from these criminal operations;

52.

Calls on the Commission to intensify awareness programmes in countries of transit and of origin on the dangers of irregular migration;

53.

Welcomes the new Directive on sanctions against employers of illegally staying third-country nationals and considers it an effective tool in curbing the exploitation of migrant workers and to reduce the attractiveness of one of the main pull factors for irregular migration;

54.

Urges the Member States not to delay the transposition of the new directive, which lays down penalties for employers who recruit illegal immigrants;

55.

Believes it is essential to reinforce the channels of dialogue with the countries of origin and establish cooperation agreements with those countries, with the aim of eliminating the inhuman and catastrophic phenomenon of irregular migration;

56.

Considers that, despite repeated increases in its budgetary means at Parliament’s insistence, the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union (FRONTEX) is not yet able to provide sufficient co-ordination of control efforts at the Union’s external borders owing to its limited mandate and because of a lack of effort in engaging third countries, especially in so far as maritime operations are concerned;

57.

Welcomes the Commission’s initiative for a proposal to review the mandate of FRONTEX and considers that its reinforcement is urgently required, in particular by extending its coordination capacity and its ability to coordinate permanent missions in areas which face high migratory pressures at the request of the Member States concerned and its ability to engage with third countries; believes that emphasis should also be placed on increasing FRONTEX’s risk analysis and intelligence gathering capacity;

58.

Considers that FRONTEX requires adequate resources, not just financial ones, if it is to fulfil its mandate in a meaningful manner and calls for the deployment of new technologies to combat irregular migration on Member States to increase the pooling of technical means and on the Commission to bring forward legislative proposals to establish compulsory solidarity on the same basis as that envisaged for the Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs);

59.

Calls on FRONTEX and the Commission to carry out a study, with estimates, on the possibility of FRONTEX acquiring its own equipment and on the requirements for the possible upgrade of FRONTEX operations at sea into an EU coast guard without undermining Member States control of their borders;

60.

Considers that FRONTEX can only be fully effective if efforts are intensified on complementary actions, such as readmission and cooperation with third countries; calls on the Commission to support FRONTEX in this regard;

61.

Supports the establishment of specialised FRONTEX offices to take account and better assess the specific situations in borders of particular sensitivity, especially for the land borders to the East and the maritime borders to the South;

62.

Notes that differences in the interpretation of legal terms, the interpretation of the international laws of the sea and differences in national legislation and procedures have all hampered FRONTEX operations; calls for comprehensive studies to be carried out in order to seek a common approach and to sort out conflicting differences between national legislation and procedures;

63.

Calls for further and constant cooperation between FRONTEX and national bodies and agencies;

64.

Calls for further developments on the concept of a EUROSUR also by improving coordination between Member States;

65.

Notes that fishermen, private vessels and private workers at sea often encounter illegal immigrants before a country’s naval forces; stresses the need to inform such parties more clearly about their international law obligations to aid immigrants in distress and calls for a mechanism of compensation for lost work as a result of rescue operations;

66.

Stresses that there is a clear need for reliable statistics in order to establish concrete tools for fighting irregular migration at EU level and calls on the Commission to take the necessary measures to provide those statistics;

Returns

67.

Considers that migrants who are not entitled to international protection or who are staying irregularly on the territory of the Member States have to be required to leave the territory of the European Union; notes, in this regard, the adoption of the Return Directive and calls on Member States, in the context of its transposition, to preserve more favourable provisions already laid down in their domestic law; calls on Member States to ensure that returns are conducted with due regard to the law and the dignity of the persons involved, giving due preference to voluntary return;

68.

Calls for a system of Return Counselling Services to be established in closed and open accommodation centres, serving as a contact point for persons wishing to learn more about return assistance;

69.

Calls on the Commission to establish monitoring and support for social and professional reintegration mechanisms in countries of origin for migrants having been returned;

70.

Calls on Member States to assign priority to gearing their readmission policies to a common policy in preference to bilateral agreements;

71.

Calls, with regard to readmission agreements, for Parliament and its competent committees to be kept regularly informed, throughout the discussions with third countries, of progress and any obstacles encountered by negotiators;

72.

Calls on the Commission to ensure that Member States only have bilateral readmission agreements with third countries providing full guarantees for the respect of the readmitted persons’ human rights and having signed the 1951 Geneva Convention;

73.

Calls on the Commission to pursue the effective enforcement of the obligation of third countries to readmit their nationals who are staying irregularly on EU territory, as envisaged in Article 13 of the Cotonou Agreement of 23 June 2000; calls for the strengthening of these provisions during negotiations on the new ACP (African, Caribbean and Pacific States) Agreement;

74.

Stresses the need for a genuine European dimension in return policy through the mutual recognition of return decisions; urges more co-operation among Member States in the implementation of returns and the strengthening of the role of FRONTEX in joint return operations;

75.

Calls for the strengthening of co-operation, including through consular co-operation, with countries of origin and transit to facilitate readmission procedures, and calls on the Commission to evaluate existing readmission agreements with a view to facilitating their implementation and to draw lessons for the negotiation of future agreements;

76.

Calls on the Council to consider enacting legislative provisions with a view to establishing a European ‘Laissez Passer’ issued to illegally residing third-country nationals with a view to facilitating readmission to third countries; action should be taken to incorporate the European ‘Laissez Passer’ in the Union’s readmission agreements to render it binding on the third countries concerned;

Solidarity and Immigration

Coordination between Member States

77.

Deeply regrets the fact that Member States have demonstrated insufficient solidarity in the face of the growing challenge of immigration; calls for an urgent review of the Framework Programme on Solidarity and Management of Migration Flows for the period 2007-2013 (21) and its four financial instruments so that they may reflect new realities arising from increasing migratory pressures and be used to address urgent needs, such as in the case of situations of mass migratory influxes;

78.

Notes the commitments made by Member States in the above-mentioned European Pact on Immigration and Asylum in relation to the need for solidarity; welcomes in particular the inclusion of a voluntary burden-sharing mechanism which enables the intra-EU reallocation of beneficiaries of international protection from Member States which are faced with specific and disproportionate pressures on their national asylum systems, due in particular to their geographical or demographic situation, to other Member States, and calls on the Member States to implement these commitments; welcomes also the allocation of EUR 5 million in the EU’s 2009 budget for this purpose under the European Refugee Fund; insists, however, on the introduction of binding instruments; calls on the Commission to implement this mechanism forthwith and to propose immediately a legislative initiative to establish such a mechanism at European level on a permanent basis;

79.

Welcomes the recast of the Dublin regulation and the proposed provisions for a mechanism to suspend Dublin transfers if there are concerns that Dublin transfers could result in applicants not benefiting from adequate standards of protection in the responsible Member States, in particular in terms of reception conditions and access to the asylum procedure, as well as in cases where these Dublin transfers would add to the burden on those Member States which are faced with specific and disproportionate pressures due, in particular, to their geographical or demographic situation; stresses, however, that these provisions would turn out to be a political statement rather than an effective instrument to seriously support a Member State without the introduction of a two-fold binding instrument for all Member States;

80.

Welcomes the Commission’s proposal for a recast regulation concerning the establishment of ‘Eurodac’ for the comparison of fingerprints, and reminds Member States of their obligations of fingerprinting and sending data under the current Eurodac Regulation; takes the view that biometric data, such as fingerprints, must be exploited to enhance the effectiveness of border control operations;

Cooperation with third-countries

81.

Regrets that cooperation with third countries has not achieved sufficient results, with the notable exception of Spain’s co-operation with third countries such as Senegal and other countries in sub-Saharan and north Africa; calls for targeted support for third countries of transit and origin to help them build an effective border management system, involving FRONTEX in border assistance missions in those countries;

82.

Reminds the Commission, the Council and the Member States that it is essential to continue the dialogue initiated with countries of origin and transit as a follow-up to the EU-Africa ministerial conferences on migration and development held in Tripoli, Rabat and Lisbon;

83.

Calls for implementation of the policy instruments developed within the framework of the ‘Global Approach to Migration’ (22) as well as the 2006 ‘Rabat Process’ on migration and development and the EU Africa Partnership on Migration, Mobility and Employment agreed in Lisbon in December 2007;

84.

Stresses the importance of a development policy in third countries of origin or transit as a means of addressing the challenge of immigration at its roots; calls for an improved co-ordination of the Union’s immigration and development policies, taking fully into account strategic objectives such as the Millennium Development Goals;

85.

Observes, however, that development policy cannot constitute the only alternative to migration, as there can be no development based on solidarity without permanent mobility;

86.

Calls for a strengthening of cooperation with the International Organisation for Migration and other international organisations in the establishment of new regional offices in sensitive areas where practical assistance concerning, inter alia, legal migration or voluntary return of immigrants, is required;

87.

Stresses the importance of establishing Migration Information and Management Centres, as the one inaugurated in Mali in October 2008; believes that such centres should be able to contribute significantly to tackling migration problems by addressing the concerns of the potential migrants, returning migrants and migrants residing in EU; calls on the Commission to provide the necessary information regarding the projects of setting up other centres within the framework of EU-Africa Partnership and asks the Commission to look into the possibility of creating such centres in the Eastern neighbouring countries;

88.

Stresses that all agreements with countries of origin and transit should include chapters on co-operation on immigration and calls for an ambitious policy with third countries on police and judicial co-operation to combat international criminal organisations engaged in human trafficking and to bring the persons concerned to justice, with the engagement of Europol and Eurojust; also calls on the Commission to intensify its support, including financial and technical assistance, in favour of third countries so as to create economic and social conditions discouraging irregular migration, drug activities and organised crime;

89.

Calls on the Commission to promote the negotiation of global European agreements such as that signed with Cape Verde, to make progress in the global negotiations it is holding with Morocco, Senegal and Libya, and to promote the conclusion of agreements with immigrants’ main countries of origin;

90.

Calls for support for third countries in developing their national legislative framework and establishing immigration and asylum systems with full respect for international law, and calls on third countries of transit to sign and respect the 1951 Geneva Convention;

91.

Calls on Member States to consider the issue of ‘environmental refugees’, migrants who cannot currently be regarded as economic migrants and who are also not recognised as refugees as referred to in the 1951 Geneva Convention;

*

* *

92.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  OJ C 76, 31.3.2009, p. 34.

(2)  Council document 13440/08.

(3)  OJ L 348, 24.12.2008, p. 98.

(4)  OJ L 199, 31.7.2007, p. 30.

(5)  Council document 7204/08.

(6)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0087.

(7)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0069.

(8)  Texts adopted P6_TA(2009)0047.

(9)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0633.

(10)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0557.

(11)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0558.

(12)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0385.

(13)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0168.

(14)  OJ C 219 E, 28.8.2008, p. 215.

(15)  OJ C 219 E, 28.8.2008, p. 223.

(16)  OJ C 303 E, 13.12.2006, p. 845.

(17)  OJ L 303, 2.12.2000, p. 16.

(18)  OJ L 180, 19.7.2000, p. 22.

(19)  OJ L 373, 21.12.2004, p. 37.

(20)  A/RES/45/158.

(21)  COM(2005)0123.

(22)  COM(2006)0735.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/35


Wednesday 22 April 2009
Green Paper on the future of TEN-T

P6_TA(2009)0258

European Parliament resolution of 22 April 2009 on the Green Paper on the future TEN-T policy (2008/2218(INI))

2010/C 184 E/07

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission communication of 4 February 2009 entitled ‘Green paper: TEN-T: A policy review’ (COM(2009)0044),

having regard to the Commission communication of 26 November 2008 entitled ‘A European Economic Recovery Plan’ (COM(2008)0800),

having regard to the Council conclusions on Greening Transport as adopted by the Transport, Telecommunications and Energy Council at its session on 8-9 December 2008,

having regard to the Commission Communication of 22 June 2006 entitled ‘Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent – Mid-term review of the European Commission’s 2001 Transport White Paper’ (COM(2006)0314),

having regard to the Commission Communication 23 January 2008 entitled ‘2020 by 2020 – Europe’s climate change opportunity’ (COM(2008)0030),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 18 October 2007 entitled ‘Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan’ (COM(2007)0607),

having regard to the Commission communication of 14 May 2008 on the results of the negotiations concerning cohesion policy strategies and programmes for the programming period 2007-2013 (COM(2008)0301),

having regard to the Commission Report of 20 January 2009 on the implementation of the Trans-European Transport Network guidelines 2004-2005 (COM(2009)0005),

having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2009 on the Lisbon Strategy (1),

having regard to its resolution of 5 September 2007 on Freight Transport Logistics in Europe - the key to sustainable mobility (2),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0224/2009),

A.

whereas the political definition of the TEN-T policy as described in Decision No 1692/96/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 1996 on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (3) and Decision No 884/2004/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 amending Decision No 1692/96/EC on Community guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network (4) led to a ‘wish list’ of 30 priority projects inspired mainly by national interests,

B.

whereas the external competitiveness of railway and maritime freight transport as compared with road transport must be improved in order to ensure that balanced use is made of motorways, maritime routes and rail freight corridors,

C.

whereas the 30 priority projects led to a proposal of the Commission to provide around EUR 20 000 000 000 in EU funding within the 2007-2013 financial framework to the trans-European transport network as a whole which was finally reduced to around EUR 8 000 000 000, of which only EUR 5 300 000 000 for the 30 priority projects, at the Council’s insistence,

D.

having regard to the European Union’s well-known inability to comply with the rules on TEN-T funding laid down in its Regulation (EC) No 680/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2007 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of the trans-European transport and energy networks (5), which creates uncertainty in planning the funding of projects,

E.

whereas it is necessary to strengthen the Commission’s ability to pursue major cross-border projects, especially in the rail sector, that require ongoing closer cooperation between the Member States involved and funding over many years, extending beyond the time-frame of the multi-annual financial framework,

F.

whereas the annexes to the above-mentioned Commission communication of 14 May 2008 show that around 49 % of appropriations for transport projects are spent on roads, around 31 % on railways and around 9 % on urban transport, but it is not clear precisely which specific projects are co-financed,

1.

Recognises that the first attempts at developing an EU transport infrastructure policy, inspired by the ‘missing links’ of the European Round Table of Industrialists (ERT), were boosted by the Commission communication of 2 December 1992 entitled ‘The future development of the common transport policy’, with the justification to ‘achieve economic growth, competitiveness and employment’ and were put on track by former Transport Commissioner Karel Van Miert; notes that Council Regulation (EC) No 2236/95 of 18 September 1995 laying down general rules for the granting of Community financial aid in the field of trans-European networks (6) and Decision No 884/2004/EC tried to be oriented towards the abovementioned aims; and draws attention to the stimulus given to this policy by the Commissioner responsible for energy and transport matters, Vice-President Loyola de Palacio;

2.

Considers the reports of the TEN-T Coordinators to be interesting examples for further coordination and integration of a limited choice of important projects; therefore asks the Commission and the Member States to pursue the efforts aimed at the enhancement of the existing priority projects; considers that medium–long term investment should be continued in line with the objective of completing the whole network;

3.

Welcomes the early submission of the above-mentioned Commission communication of 4 February 2009, with the aim to review fundamentally the EU transport infrastructure and TEN-T policy, according to challenges relating to current and future transport, cross-border mobility, and financial, economic, regional (including permanently disadvantaged regions), social, safety and environmental challenges;

4.

In this respect, does not see the rationale for introducing the vague notion of a TEN-T conceptual pillar, which would overload the list of priorities; believes that, contrary to the expressed goal of the Commission, a pillar expressly displayed as conceptual will not improve the TEN-T policy’s credibility, which will rather be achieved by developing concrete projects;

5.

Agrees therefore to develop a more coherent and integrated network approach, reflecting the needs for intermodal connections for citizens and freight; emphasises therefore that priority must be given to rail, ports, sustainable maritime and inland waterways and their hinterland connections or intermodal nodes in infrastructure links with and within new Member States and that particular attention must also be paid to cross-border transport links, as well as to better links with airports and sea ports in the trans-European networks; emphasises that attention should be paid to the different but complementary needs of both passengers and freight; recommends that Member States and regional authorities improve intermediate stations and local interconnections as links to TEN-T in order to minimise the costs associated with being in a peripheral area;

6.

Calls on the Commission to provide particular support for priority projects with intermodal links and consistent interoperability that pass through several Member States; points out that connecting economic areas along these priority projects is a national task;

7.

Notes with approval that environmentally friendly forms of transport receive a disproportionately large share of consideration in the list of priority projects; calls on the Commission in this connection to ensure that these proportions are preserved in future when projects are implemented;

8.

Stresses the need to integrate climate protection and sustainable development for all modes of transport in the European infrastructure policy to comply with the EU targets to reduce CO2 emissions;

9.

Calls on the Commission to urge the Member States to integrate European environmental legislation into decision-making and planning for TEN-T projects, such as Natura 2000, SEA, EIA, Air Quality, Water Framework, Habitat and Bird Directives as well as the Transport and Environmental Reporting Mechanism (TERM)-reports on indicators for transport and environment by the European Environment Agency;

10.

Urges the Commission to minimise unclear or contradictory provisions relating to declarations of common interest and the application of environmental legislation; believes, furthermore, that once TEN-T status is granted to projects, the Member States should not abuse the European legislation referred to in paragraph 9 in order to block the implementation of TEN-T projects;

11.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take into account as relevant factors for European transport infrastructure policy new developments, such as the global financial crisis, demographic change, enlargement, new neighbouring countries, and intensified connections with Eastern and Mediterranean countries;

12.

Stresses that, especially in the present context of the economic crisis, the development of TEN-T and the integration of transport in the Union with that of the neighbouring countries is the most reliable means of ensuring both the long-term sustainability of the internal market and economic and social cohesion in the Union;

13.

Calls on the Commission to intensify its efforts to improve European coordination of territorial development (Territorial Agenda of the European Union as well as the principle of Territorial Cohesion) and transport planning by taking account of regional accessibility through improved networks between the regions; notes that large differences between mountainous, coastal/island, central, peripheral and other trans-border areas have to be considered, as does the need for better integration of urban mobility systems into the TEN-T;

14.

Calls on the Commission to give particular priority to key projects relating to the main rail, road and inland waterway routes to ensure cross-border connections with the new Member States and with third countries;

15.

Suggests in this connection that the European Spatial Development Perspective (ESDP) should be included as a basis for planning and that the available ESPON studies should be included as scientific, planning-oriented background information on transport development;

16.

Emphasises the need to incorporate both the objectives of the Lisbon Strategy and those of the Recovery Plan in the development of TEN-T policies, given the key importance of the mobility, accessibility and logistics thereof for EU competitiveness, and to improve territorial cohesion;

17.

Calls on the Commission and Member States to integrate green corridors, rail freight networks, European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS) corridors, maritime ‘highways’, such as short sea shipping, existing inland waterways with limited capacity or locks with insufficient capacity, dry ports, logistics platforms, and urban mobility nodes, as well as the projected extension of the TEN-T to the countries of the European Neighbourhood Policy, and Eastern and Mediterranean countries into an intermodal TEN-T concept, based on planned actions in favour of more environmentally friendly, less oil consuming and safer modes, to ensure an optimal use of all modes of transport and promoting the compatibility of connections between the various modes of transport, in particular rail links in ports; moreover, calls for consistency between the current and future TEN–T framework and the legislation proposed on rail freight corridors;

18.

Notes that until recently only 1 % of the European infrastructure funds were used for inland waterways according to the latest research; considers that sufficient European support is needed to develop the inland waterway infrastructure in Europe, in order to use the full potential of the inland waterways as a sustainable and reliable mode of transport;

19.

Calls on the Commission to seek to ensure that the expansion of rail freight transport is intensified with a view to higher network efficiency and faster transport;

20.

Welcomes in this connection the Commission proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning a European rail network for competitive freight (COM(2008)0852) and the above-mentioned Commission communication of 18 October 2007;

21.

Underlines the importance of enabling information sharing in intermodal transport, in order to promote and support interaction between soft infrastructure and hard infrastructure (information systems such as ERTMS/RIS/ITS/SESAR/Galileo), to improve interoperability, rolling stock (ERTMS hard- and software equipment in trains and noise reduction of freight wagons), green logistics, intermodal connections and nodes, decentralised door-to-door supply chain services and mobility management;

22.

Stresses the importance of developing harmonised and standardised Intelligent Transport Systems for the TEN-T in order to have more efficient, fluent, safe and environmentally friendly transport management;

23.

Recommends that implementation of the TEN-T be improved by providing better access to information through systems like the TENtec Information System by establishing an open method of coordination involving benchmarking and the exchange of best practices;

24.

Focuses on the need to boost the efficiency of existing infrastructure within TEN-T projects in the short term, in particular where the implementation of such projects has already started, in order to make the corridors more viable and efficient and without simply waiting for the long term realisation of very large projects within these corridors;

25.

Supports the Green Paper’s ‘Structural option 3 for the shaping of TEN-T’, i.e. a dual layer, consisting of a comprehensive network, based on the current TEN-T maps, and an intermodal ‘core network’, still to be defined and with rail, sustainable waterways and ports and their connection with logistical centres as priorities;

26.

Supports the concept of a ‘core network’ consisting of a ‘geographical pillar’ and a ‘conceptual pillar’, whereby the ‘conceptual pillar’ contains criteria and objectives enabling projects, corridors and network parts to be identified flexibly over time rather than rigidly at the start of the budgeting period for the entire period; takes the view that it should be possible to expand TEN-T flexibly during the budgeting period in order to adapt to changing market conditions;

27.

Recognises the crucial role of Member States, in consultation with their regional and local authorities, stakeholders of civil society and local populations, in deciding, planning and financing transport infrastructure, including European cross-border coordination and cooperation; expects more coherence from the Council between requests for TEN-T projects and decisions on TEN-T budgets; in view of the mid-term review of the EU financial framework and also with regard to the current discussion on the EU Recovery Plan, asks Member States to properly consider the issue of the necessary financial support to the transport infrastructures which are part of the TEN–T network as a priority according to the EU policy so far established;

28.

Fully agrees with the Community aim of reducing administrative burden and therefore strongly encourages the Commission to revise the financial frameworks for the TEN-T priority projects with a view to further cutting red tape;

29.

Asks the Member States and the Commission to reinforce the coordination of the policies pursued at national level in order to establish consistency in the co-financing and the realisation of the TEN-T programme in accordance with Articles 154 and 155 of the EC Treaty;

30.

Emphasises in this regard that the financial crisis puts greater pressure on the European Union, Member States and regions to base decisions concerning transport infrastructure projects on sound cost-benefit assessments, sustainability and the European trans-border added value;

31.

Notes, however, that investing in transport infrastructure is one key way of tackling the economic and financial crisis, and therefore calls on the Commission to speed up the infrastructure projects linked to TEN-T and financed under the Structural and/or Cohesion funds; calls on Member States to reassess their investment priorities taking into account this approach, in order to speed up the TEN-T projects under their responsibility, particularly in cross-border sections;

32.

Reminds the Commission that EU co-financing for transport infrastructure projects by TEN-T, cohesion, regional funds and the EIB must correspond with the following criteria: economic viability, enhanced competitiveness, promotion of the single market, environmental sustainability, transparency for taxpayers and citizen’s involvement (partnership principle); in this respect, emphasises the importance of developing public-private partnerships to finance TEN-T projects and the need to come up with flexible solutions for the problems that arise in works of this scale (geographical and technical difficulties, public opposition, etc.);

33.

Calls on the Commission to ensure in this connection that projects assessed under EU financial programmes take account of their possible impact on national financing for other necessary investments which are not supported from EU funds; takes the view, in particular, that the appropriations used by Member States to supplement EU-funded projects should not be allocated at the expense of maintaining or investing in feeder lines; takes the view, rather, that projects should therefore be drawn up and assessed at least partially on the basis of their potential for integrating (and not neglecting) the development and maintenance of the necessary supplementary feeder infrastructure;

34.

Underlines the quickly growing investment needs of the European air transport market under the Single European Sky II package as well as the proposed ‘total aviation system approach’; therefore calls on the Commission to consider raising the share of the available funding for airports and ATM/ANS when revising the TEN-T budgetary framework;

35.

Notes that more research and development is needed on best and most efficient practice in transport infrastructure financing and its positive impact on competitiveness and quantitative and qualitative employment, including public-private partnership experiences in this regard, as has been started already in current Commission studies;

36.

Stresses the need to set up a task force within the TEN-T Executive Agency in order to increase the use of public-private partnership to finance some priority project or sections, and to diffuse the solutions as best practice;

37.

Stresses that increased reliance on public-private partnerships and the European Investment Bank would be no substitute for a significant portion of budgetary funding for large-scale projects with an intergenerational pay-back period;

38.

Favours reconsideration of the TEN-T’s budget by the Member States in the context of the mid-term review of the financial perspectives 2009-2010, with a view to reversing the drastic cutting back of other projects and the ambitions to develop railways and waterways that go hand in hand with them;

39.

Stresses the need to allocate a percentage of toll revenue from road infrastructure to funding TEN-T projects in order to increase the leverage effect on borrowing;

40.

Asks the Commission to set out a selection of examples of regional trans-border rail connections, which have been dismantled or abandoned, favouring especially those which could interconnect with TEN-T;

41.

Asks the Commission and the Member States to consider the Eurovelo-Network and Iron Curtain Trail as an opportunity for promoting European trans-border cycling infrastructure networks, supporting soft mobility and sustainable tourism;

42.

Asks the Commission, in order to boost the competitiveness of the whole rail TEN network, to propose – by the end of its mandate - a legislative initiative concerning the opening of the rail domestic passenger markets as from 1 January 2012;

43.

Regrets the slow pace of implementation of priority projects in border areas, particularly those in the Pyrenees that are vital for the Iberian Peninsula and France;

44.

Encourages the Commission to keep the Parliament and the European Council involved in its (multi)annual proposals and choices on co-financing TEN-T projects;

45.

Asks the Commission to report to the European Parliament and the Council, for every priority project, regularly and at least once a year, on the state of play of each project, on the reliability of the project’s costs, on the feasibility of each project and on the timing of project’s implementation;

46.

Calls on the Commission and the EIB to submit an annual list of specific co-financed projects to Parliament and Council in the case of regional, cohesion and EIB co-financing of TEN-T projects, as is already the case for TEN-T co-financing;

47.

Maintains that, from an ecological and economic point of view, multimodal transport systems, enabling different means of transport to be used on a given route, are in many cases the only viable and sustainable option for the future;

48.

Emphasises that, within the newly enlarged Schengen area, the transport infrastructure between Western and Eastern Europe is of immense significance given the economic growth potential - especially in the new Member States - linked to it; calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop and promote transnational road and rail links between Eastern and Western Europe, supporting in particular cross-border transport infrastructure through a specific action programme implemented in cooperation with local, regional and national authorities; also, points out that better interconnection of TEN-T and third country transport networks would improve the position of border areas in particular and bring added value to interregional cooperation and the EU as a whole;

49.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0120.

(2)  OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p. 154.

(3)  OJ L 15, 17.1.1997, p. 1.

(4)  OJ L 167, 30.4.2004, p. 1.

(5)  OJ L 162, 22.6.2007, p. 1.

(6)  OJ L 228, 23.9.1995, p. 1.


Thursday 23 April 2009

8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/41


Thursday 23 April 2009
Deforestation and forest degradation

P6_TA(2009)0306

European Parliament resolution of 23 April 2009 on addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss

2010/C 184 E/08

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission Communication of 17 October 2008 entitled ‘Addressing the challenges of deforestation and forest degradation to tackle climate change and biodiversity loss’ (COM(2008)0645),

having regard to the decisions taken at the Fifth Ministerial Conference on the Protection of Forests in Europe held in November 2007 in Warsaw, Poland on assessing the effects of climate change on the state of forests and on a policy for a sustainable forest economy,

having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas the EU wishes to limit global warming to 2 °C and to halve biodiversity loss; whereas the Eliasch Review estimates that USD 17-33 billion will be required annually to halve deforestation by 2030,

B.

whereas a sustainable forest economy is of vital importance in combating deforestation and is an essential aspect of economic development,

C.

whereas deforestation accounts for some 20 % of global greenhouse gas emissions, is a major driver of biodiversity loss and constitutes a serious threat to development and, in particular, to the livelihoods of the poor,

D.

whereas deforestation occurs at the alarming rate of 13 million hectares per year, primarily in tropical forests, but also to a certain extent in Europe, especially Central and Eastern Europe,

E.

whereas deforestation results in environmental damage which is hard to reverse, such as long-term disruption of water conditions, steppe-formation and desertification, and biodiversity loss, the overall economic costs of which far exceed expenditure on protection and improvement measures,

F.

whereas forest degradation takes different forms and is difficult to define, but has major impacts on climate, biodiversity and goods and services,

G.

whereas a significant deviation from ‘business-as-usual’ emissions growth in developing countries, including a reduction in emissions related to deforestation, needs to be achieved in addition to a 25-40 % reduction in industrialised countries by 2020 compared to 1990 to limit global warming to 2 °C, according to the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change,

H.

whereas reducing deforestation will play an important role as regards not only climate change mitigation but also adaptation to climate change,

1.

Stresses the need for more coherence between forest conservation and sustainable management policies and other EU internal and external policies; calls for a quantified evaluation of the impact on forests of EU policies such as energy (especially biofuels), agriculture, sustainable production and consumption, procurement, trade and development cooperation;

2.

Calls on the Commission to present to Parliament and the Council proposals for stringent Community sustainability requirements for all timber and timber products sourced from forests;

3.

Calls on the Commission to publish by the end of 2009 a comprehensive study assessing the impact of EU production, consumption and trade in both food and non-food commodities on deforestation and forest degradation; calls for the study to evaluate and specify any negative contribution by different industry sectors and make recommendations for further policy and innovation, in order to reduce such impacts;

4.

Points out that problems relating to water conditions must be dealt with carefully in the context of the forest economy, and points to the vital need for joint development of forest and water resources and harmonisation of the relevant EU policies, with a view to restoring and improving the water retention capacity of ecosystems;

5.

Welcomes green public procurement (GPP) policies and the promotion of instruments such as eco-labelling and forest certification schemes; calls for the swift adoption and implementation of GPP policies for wood products across the EU; calls on the Member States to base their public procurement policy on high sustainability standards and accordingly to set realistic targets in relation to such standards;

6.

Considers that significant financial support must be provided to developing countries to halt gross tropical deforestation by 2020 at the latest, and that demonstration of commitment to this will be decisive in the international negotiations for a comprehensive global post-2012 climate agreement;

7.

Recognises that mobilising sufficient funding under a global climate deal will be absolutely crucial for halving and eventually halting global deforestation; supports, in this context, the Commission’s proposal to create a Global Forest Carbon Mechanism (GFCM) within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, based on a permanent financing scheme; calls on Member States to back up their commitment to halting global deforestation and forest degradation by earmarking a significant part of the auctioning revenues from the EU emissions trading scheme (ETS) for reducing deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries and by focusing the negotiations on funding sources as outlined in the Commission Communication of 28 January 2009 entitled ‘Towards a comprehensive climate change agreement in Copenhagen’ (COM(2009)0039); calls on Member States to support the Commission’s proposal to embrace the funding proposal made by Norway and to allocate part of future revenues from auctioning of Assigned Amount Units to the GFCM;

8.

Advocates that the support provided via the GFCM should be performance-based and provided on the basis of verified results in terms of reduction of gross deforestation and forest degradation; stresses that this support should also provide co-benefits in terms of biodiversity protection, increased resilience, and improved livelihoods in forest regions;

9.

Emphasises the need to fully respect the rights of local forest people including indigenous peoples’ right to free, prior and informed consent to the use of forests customarily used by them; considers it essential that local communities and indigenous peoples are involved in a meaningful and comprehensive way at all stages when measures for reduced emissions from forest degradation and deforestation are being assessed, planned and implemented;

10.

Stresses that any mechanism under the United Nations Collaborative Programme on Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation in Developing Countries that is concluded as part of the post-2012 international climate agreement should first and foremost ensure that old-growth forests are protected;

11.

Notes that the process of deforestation in Eastern Europe is contributing to the degradation of the natural environment and also affecting, inter alia, quality of life;

12.

Notes that forest credits in the carbon market could, in the medium and long term, be part of a mix of policies addressing deforestation, if accurate forest carbon accounting methodologies and reliable monitoring mechanisms can be ensured; stresses that a final decision regarding the inclusion of forest credits in the ETS should be taken following a rigorous analysis of the feasibility of all potential funding mechanisms and an evaluation of the outcome of the Copenhagen Conference of the Parties and of the conclusions drawn from the pilot projects;

13.

Recalls that any credits from forest projects that are used to offset greenhouse gas emissions in industrialised countries cannot be double-counted towards the deviation targets from ‘business as usual’ that developing countries are expected to commit to in the post-2012 international climate agreement;

14.

Points out that any system of compensation for reducing deforestation and forest degradation under a future climate regime must take into account not only carbon sinks but also the ecosystem services and social benefits provided by forests;

15.

Calls on the EU to promote strong social and environmental standards for reducing emissions from deforestation and degradation (REDD); calls on the EU to advocate REDD mechanisms that go beyond the current Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project approach and address underlying causes of deforestation, such as poor governance, poverty, corruption and lack of law enforcement, by supporting policy and institutional reform at both local and national levels;

16.

Regrets that the Communication, contrary to its title, does not deal with forest degradation; calls on the Commission to develop action plans and pilot projects and to show commitment in its own forestry policy to stopping not only deforestation but also forest degradation (including in the European Union) by also developing and establishing proper monitoring systems in order to obtain appropriate data on soil and biomass in forests;

17.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/43


Thursday 23 April 2009
Action plan on urban mobility

P6_TA(2009)0307

European Parliament resolution of 23 April 2009 on an action plan on urban mobility (2008/2217(INI))

2010/C 184 E/09

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission Green Paper of 25 September 2007 entitled ‘Towards a new culture for urban mobility’ (COM(2007)0551),

having regard to the Commission White Paper of 12 September 2001 entitled ‘European transport policy for 2010: time to decide’ (COM(2001)0370),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 18 October 2007 entitled ‘Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan’ (COM(2007)0607),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 17 September 2007 entitled ‘Towards Europe-wide Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility: The First Intelligent Car Report’ (COM(2007)0541),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 7 February 2007 entitled ‘A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century – Commission’s position on the CARS 21 High Level Group Final Report – A contribution to the EU’s Growth and Jobs Strategy’ (COM(2007)0022),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 28 June 2006 entitled ‘Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the key to sustainable mobility’ (COM(2006)0336),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 22 June 2006 entitled ‘Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent – Mid-term review of the European Commission’s 2001 Transport White Paper’ (COM(2006)0314),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 15 February 2006 entitled ‘On the Intelligent Car Initiative – Raising Awareness of ICT for Smarter, Safer and Cleaner Vehicles’ (COM(2006)0059),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 11 January 2006 entitled ‘On Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment’ (COM(2005)0718),

having regard to the Commission proposals and guidelines, and the European Parliament positions, on the Structural Funds, the Cohesion Fund and the Seventh Framework Programme for Research,

having regard to the revised proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (COM(2007)0817),

having regard to its resolution of 9 July 2008 on ‘Towards a new culture of urban mobility’ (1),

having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2008 on ‘Towards Europe-wide Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility: The First Intelligent Car Report’ (2),

having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2008 on ‘the input for the 2008 Spring Council as regards the Lisbon Strategy’ (3),

having regard to its resolution of 12 October 1988 on ‘the protection of pedestrians and the European charter of pedestrians’ rights’ (4),

having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2008 on ‘CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework’ (5),

having regard to its resolution of 5 September 2007 on ‘Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the key to sustainable mobility’ (6),

having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on ‘Keep Europe moving – Sustainable mobility for our continent’ (7),

having regard to Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2008 on ambient air quality and cleaner air for Europe (8),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2007 on public passenger transport services by rail and by road (9),

having regard to Directive 2004/49/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on safety on the Community’s railways (10) (Railway Safety Directive),

having regard to Directive 2000/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the front underrun protection of motor vehicles (11),

having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 21 April 2009 on an action plan on urban mobility (12),

having regard to the Commission’s announcement of an action plan on urban mobility, publication of which has been postponed several times and for which there is no precise deadline,

having regard to the legal basis constituted by Articles 70 to 80 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Development (A6-0199/2009),

A.

whereas urban transport constitutes a considerable proportion of all transport, with the legal basis therefore constituted by Articles 70 to 80 of the EC Treaty granting the European Union shared competence with the Member States in that field,

B.

whereas numerous European directives and regulations, cross-cutting or modal, have an impact on urban transport and these need to be aligned through a targeted approach to the issue of urban travel,

C.

whereas the European ‘Climate Plan’ adopted by the European Council of 8-9 March 2007 sets the ambitious objectives of a 20 % reduction in energy consumption, a 20 % reduction of greenhouse gas emissions and a 20 % share of renewable energies in overall energy consumption by 2020, and these targets cannot be achieved without a strategy suitably tailored to urban transport,

D.

whereas the CIVITAS research and development programme has been a great success, reflecting the importance, for transport-organising local authorities and companies, of European investment in innovative urban transport programmes,

E.

whereas the Cohesion Fund and the Structural Funds finance urban mobility programmes, but have the drawback, on the one hand, of lacking any European urban mobility strategy or objectives and, on the other hand, of being unequally allocated across the Union,

F.

whereas urban areas are prime intermodal and interconnection poles for Trans-European Transport Networks, which must help achieve their general aims of sustainable European mobility and the sustainable competitiveness of networks of EU towns and cities,

G.

whereas urban areas are important centres of business activity and whereas goods transport is vital to satisfy the needs of the population and at the same time faces challenges owing to restricted storage space and limited time-slots for delivery,

H.

whereas strict compliance with the principle of subsidiarity and the right to local planning autonomy precludes a prescriptive European policy, but allows the Union to adopt an incentive strategy of the same nature as its regional and cohesion policy without imposing top-down solutions,

I.

whereas the issue of urban areas cannot be addressed through modal policies, but only by means of an approach centring on users and integrated transport systems,

J.

whereas an efficient and sustainable urban transport policy for the benefit of both European citizens and the European economy will only be guaranteed by ensuring fair treatment between the transport of goods and of passengers and between the different modes of transport,

K.

whereas urban planning which takes account of the demographic change in society by, for example, locating housing designed for the elderly in city centres and shops close to where people live can contribute significantly to traffic avoidance,

L.

whereas there is a need for robust urban travel strategies that optimise the relevant instruments by developing intermodal exchange platforms and integrating various travel systems,

M.

whereas there is a need for reliable and more systematic statistics enabling an assessment of local public policies and an exchange of best practices in the field of urban travel,

N.

whereas the various techniques applied in urban transport are of economic and technological importance in terms of the European Union’s competitiveness and its external trade,

O.

whereas the time limits imposed by the forthcoming European legislative elections mean that it must keep to the timetable set for the parliamentary debate on the action plan on urban mobility announced by the Commission,

1.

Regrets that the action plan on urban mobility announced by the Commission has not been published and, while approving of separate initiatives, stresses the need for a cohesive approach; decides, therefore, to follow up its own initiative report, fully respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by drawing up proposals for a European action plan on urban mobility;

2.

Recalls that urban transport is subject to the subsidiarity principle, but nevertheless stresses that local authorities often cannot meet these challenges without European cooperation and coordination, and that the Commission must therefore provide studies and a legal framework, finance research, and promote and disseminate best practices in formats which are accessible to everyone in all EU languages;

3.

Asks the Commission to publish a compendium of binding European regulatory provisions in this area and offer regions and cities a common frame of reference to make it easier for them to make choices as regards the planning and implementation of development strategy;

Accelerating European research and innovation in the field of urban mobility

4.

Proposes the immediate launch of a programme for the upgrading of statistics and databases on urban mobility by Eurostat, including in particular:

data on traffic, including ‘soft’ modes of transport (cycling, walking, etc.),

statistics on air pollution and noise, accidents, traffic jams and congestion,

quantitative and qualitative statistics and indicators on transport services and their supply;

5.

Suggests that a European internet portal and forum on urban mobility be launched immediately in order to facilitate the exchange and dissemination of information, best practices and innovations, particularly in the field of soft transport;

6.

Suggests that an annual European prize be created incorporating the CIVITAS awards into the European mobility week, to reward outstanding and transferable transport initiatives and projects;

7.

Proposes that a new generation CIVITAS initiative be developed (CIVITAS IV), around calls for projects covering, inter alia:

ancillary services relating to intermodal transport (pricing, etc.),

ergonomics programmes (comfort) for urban transport,

innovations in terms of intermodal accessibility, not least for persons with reduced mobility (PRMs),

integrated urban transport information programmes for users, enabling them to optimise their travel and alter trips in response to the vagaries of the network;

8.

Proposes that Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) research and development be stepped up, that it be better co-ordinated with the needs and objectives of urban residents and local authorities and that it be directed towards:

integrated information management and traffic management systems,

reduction of nuisance factors and accidents,

use of new interoperable information and communication technologies, including satellite technologies and NFC (13), through the use of GSM, for the provision of information to users and the issuing of integrated travel tickets,

safety and security on public transport;

developing a new generation of urban vehicles;

innovative solutions for efficient goods transport, particularly goods distribution to retailers in the cities;

9.

Calls for national and European funding for ITS applications to be increased so as to enable greater deployment of ITS by local authorities;

Encouraging optimisation of various modes of transport by improving urban scheduling

10.

Requests that the integrated approach principle be promoted in a partnership-based governance framework that brings together urban, peri-urban, national and European players and that takes account of transport-related issues such as social integration, noise, safety, competitiveness, environment, etc.; reiterates its request that an integrated approach be compulsory in the programming and choice of Structural Fund projects;

11.

Recommends the introduction of integrated sustainable urban travel plans in conurbations with over 100 000 inhabitants, comprising:

a mobility diagnosis and mobility indicators and targets, and an assessment of their economic, social and environmental impact,

a plan for the development and interconnection of transport networks coordinated with the regional transport plan and urban planning policies,

a plan for the development of soft traffic infrastructure (cycle paths, pedestrian zones, etc.) fully integrated with public transport,

a masterplan for intermodal car parks and exchange platforms,

a programme for adapting management of urban mobility networks and their interconnections to the needs of reduced mobility users,

a masterplan for urban logistics, including the possibility of using public infrastructure for freight transport,

a procedure for direct participation by the general public;

12.

Recommends that a permanent European forum on urban transport governance be created for representative transport-organising authorities, including user and citizens’ organisations and professional federations of transport operators, in order to promote the exchange and dissemination of best practices;

13.

Proposes that European financing in the field of urban transport be made conditional on the existence of integrated urban mobility plans (urban travel plans);

14.

Advocates cooperation between, and the operational integration of, authorities responsible for the organisation of public transport, traffic and parking in European cities of over 250 000 inhabitants, in comparable areas, based on movements of population and goods and in line with local circumstances;

15.

Urges transport-organising authorities to set themselves proactive, coherent targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions by means of mobility policies set out in the above mentioned integrated sustainable urban travel plans and to derive from these targets specific performance obligations for public or private transport service operators;

16.

Proposes that experiences in the field of tariff integration (including the ‘Interoperable Fare Management’ project) and the provision of intermodal information and information between transport-organising authorities in EU conurbations be evaluated, in order to facilitate the exchange of best practices;

EU added value: incentivising sustainable mobility in urban areas

17.

Advocates the setting-up of an urban mobility observatory within the Commission, but does not wish a new agency to be created;

18.

Regrets the fact that during the current aid programming period 2007-2013, only some 9 % (equivalent to EUR 8 000 000 000) of all Structural Fund spending on transport (equivalent to EUR 82 000 000 000) is earmarked for urban transport; considers this proportion too small to be able to meet the challenges of devising appropriate mobility in European cities and environmental and climate protection;

19.

Strongly recommends that the possibility be examined, under the financial framework for 2014-2020, of a European financial instrument for urban mobility (integrated programme of the Marco-Polo type) enabling the co-financing of:

surveys of urban travel plans with a view to encouraging their widespread introduction,

a proportion of investments in modes of transport that meet the EU’s environmental and socio-economic objectives;

and proposes that this financing be allocated as an incentive, on the basis of calls for tender that meet European specifications;

20.

Calls for the Commission to draw up a report on zones with access regulations in urban areas in order to assess their impact on mobility, quality of life, emissions and external effects, health and safety, taking into account the need for a system of enforcing criminal and non-criminal cross-border traffic offences;

21.

Proposes that an information and urban transport ticketing network for the main urban destinations in the European Union be set up in stations and airports of departure, where these are located in the EU;

22.

Recommends that a ‘users charter’ be drawn up for urban transport, to include pedestrians and cyclists,the distribution of goods and services and covering road sharing, in order to reduce the current disparities;

23.

Takes the view that the urban planning model of the ‘short journey city’ is the best means of ensuring environmentally acceptable and climate-compatible mobility in cities;

24.

Encourages the Commission and local authorities to step up and expand their initiatives relating to ‘car-free days’, as implemented during the annual European car-free day;

25.

Calls on the Commission to come up with a harmonised approach towards green zones and the development of a single European green zone sticker as soon as possible in order to prevent the development of different approaches per city or Member State with considerable inconvenience for citizens and companies;

26.

Considers that urban mobility initiatives should also seek to establish inter-urban networks in order to link up major cities, ensure their economic development and facilitate the rapid transport of individuals and goods;

Urban transport: an industry and European technologies which should be taken into account in the Lisbon Strategy and the European economic recovery plan

27.

Suggests that a European policy be introduced for the standardisation and certification of equipment as regards safety and health, comfort (noise, vibrations, etc.), network interoperability (‘busways’, tram-train, etc.), accessibility for PRMs or people with child strollers, soft transport and clean-engine technologies (buses, taxis, etc.), on the basis of a carbon audit and an impact analysis of the costs for operators and users;

28.

Urges constant care to ensure that all decisions take account of the need to ensure proportionality between costs and benefits and the possibility of subsidising less affluent users;

29.

Suggests that guidelines be issued on minimum recommendations for quality of service, evaluation and participation by users and citizens, in the context of the opening-up of urban transport networks to competition under Regulation (EC) No 1370/2007;

30.

Suggests that a significant proportion of the appropriations released by the European Economic Recovery Plan be allocated to the financing of ongoing urban transport and public transport investments and projects that can be financed immediately and implemented before 31 December 2009;

31.

Notes that, under the European Economic Recovery Plan, Structural Fund resources for sustainable infrastructure projects are being brought forward; calls on Member States and the regions as a matter of urgency to use a substantial proportion of these resources for climate-compatible urban transport;

32.

Calls on the Commission to take note of the proposals contained in this resolution, and of Parliament’s wish for it to take the initiative in this area, leading as soon as possible to an action plan;

*

* *

33.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  Texts adopted of that date, P6_TA(2008)0356.

(2)  Texts adopted of that date, P6_TA(2008)0311.

(3)  Texts adopted of that date, P6_TA(2008)0057.

(4)  OJ C 290, 14.11.1988, p. 51.

(5)  OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 1.

(6)  OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p. 154.

(7)  OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 556.

(8)  OJ L 152, 11.6.2008, p. 1.

(9)  OJ L 315, 3.12.2007, p. 1.

(10)  OJ L 164, 30.4.2004, p. 44.

(11)  OJ L 203, 10.8.2000, p. 9.

(12)  Not yet published in the OJ.

(13)  NFC, which stands for Near Field Communication is a technology for the exchange of data over very small distances that enables radio-identification.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/50


Thursday 23 April 2009
The Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan

P6_TA(2009)0308

European Parliament resolution of 23 April 2009 on the Intelligent Transport Systems Action Plan (2008/2216(INI))

2010/C 184 E/10

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission Communication of 16 December 2008 entitled ‘the Action Plan for the Deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in Europe’ (COM(2008)0886),

having regard to proposal for a Directive of the European Parliament and the Council laying down the framework for the deployment of Intelligent Transport Systems in the field of road transport and for interfaces with other transport modes (COM(2008)0887),

having regard to the Commission White Paper of 12 September 2001 entitled ‘European Transport Policy for 2010: time to decide’ (COM(2001)0370),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 8 July 2008 entitled ‘Greening Transport’ (COM(2008)0433),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 8 July 2008 entitled ‘Strategy for the internalisation of external costs’ (COM(2008)0435),

having regard to the Commission Green Paper of 25 September 2007 entitled ‘Towards a new culture of urban mobility’ (COM(2007)0551),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 22 June 2006 entitled ‘Keep Europe moving – sustainable mobility for our continent: mid-term review of European Commission’s 2001 Transport White Paper’ (COM(2006)0314),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 17 September 2007 entitled ‘Towards Europe-wide safer, cleaner and efficient mobility: the first intelligent car report’ (COM(2007)0541),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 7 February 2007 entitled ‘A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework for the 21st Century – Commission’s position on the CARS 21 High Level Group Final Report, A contribution to the EU’s Growth and Jobs Strategy’ (COM(2007)0022),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 15 February 2006 entitled ‘On the Intelligent Car Initiative: Raising Awareness of ICT for Smarter, Safer and Cleaner Vehicles’ (COM(2006)0059),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 28 June 2006 entitled ‘Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the Key to Sustainable Mobility’ (COM(2006)0336),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 18 October 2007 entitled ‘Freight Transport Logistics Action Plan’ (COM(2007)0607),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 11 January 2006 entitled ‘On a Thematic Strategy on the Urban Environment’ (COM(2005)0718),

having regard to the proposals and guidelines of the Commission and the positions of the European Parliament on the structural funds, the cohesion fund and the 7th Research Framework Programme,

having regard to its position of 22 October 2008 on the revised proposal for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the promotion of clean and energy efficient road transport vehicles (1),

having regard to its resolution of 20 February 2008 on the input for the 2008 Spring Council as regards the Lisbon Strategy (2),

having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2008 on sustainable European transport policy, taking into account European energy and environment policies (3),

having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2008 on CARS 21: A Competitive Automotive Regulatory Framework (4),

having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2008 on Towards Europe-wide Safer, Cleaner and Efficient Mobility: The First Intelligent Car Report (5),

having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on keeping Europe moving – sustainable mobility for our continent’ (6),

having regard to its resolution of 5 September 2007 on Freight Transport Logistics in Europe – the Key to Sustainable Mobility (7),

having regard to its resolution of 18 January 2007 on European Road Safety Action Programme - mid-tem review (8),

having regard to its resolution of 26 September 2006 on the thematic strategy on the urban environment (9),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Transport and Tourism and to the opinion of the Committee on Regional development (A6-0227/2009),

A.

whereas Intelligent Transport Systems (ITS) are advanced applications which use Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) for transport and providing innovative services on transport modes and traffic management;

B.

whereas ITS have great potential for more efficient use of all modes of transport that can meet the needs and the challenges of European transport policy;

C.

whereas road traffic congestion affects 10 % of the road network and yearly costs amount to 1 % of EU GDP, road fatalities still amount to 42 953 (2006), far above the intermediate target set to reduce to 25 000 by 2010 and road transport accounts for 72 % of all transport-related CO2 emissions while 40 % of Europe’s CO2 road transport emissions are due to urban traffic;

D.

whereas ITS has proved essential in reducing energy consumption and greening transport;

E.

whereas intelligent applications have been developed for different transport modes such as railway transport (ERTMS and TAF-TSI), maritime and inland waterway transport (LRITS, SafeSeaNet, VTMIS, RIS), air transport (SESAR) and land transport, such as livestock transport;

1.

Stresses that ITS is a key instrument for using existing infrastructure effectively and for making transport more efficient, safer and secure and environmentally cleaner, thus contributing to the development of sustainable mobility for citizens and the economy;

2.

Stresses the positive effect on sustainable development that ITS have in improving the economic performance of all regions, including urban areas, establishing conditions for reciprocal accessibility, increasing local and inter-regional commerce, and developing the European Union’s internal market and the employment associated with the activities deriving from the implementation of ITS;

3.

Considers that ITSs can improve the living conditions of Europe’s citizens, particularly those living in urban areas, and will also contribute to improved road safety, reduce harmful emissions and environmental pollution, increase traffic efficiency, improve access in outlying areas and pursue the priority of reducing traffic;

4.

Deplores the delay in setting up a common framework for the implementation of ITSs in the EU and the lack of coordinated deployment of ITS with specific targets due mainly to barriers to interoperability, a lack of efficient cooperation among all actors, and unsolved data privacy and liability issues;

5.

Welcomes the Commission Action Plan on ITS(‘the action plan’) as a common framework of actions and programmes with clear deadlines for the delivery of results;

6.

Strongly believes that it is necessary to set up an instrument fostering the use of ITS in transport policy; supports a legislative instrument for laying down the framework for the deployment of ITS and requests that the Commission provide better information on the current situation with regard to actions, funding and programming of the action plan in order to ensure that a clear set of actions with deadlines is established in the Directive laying down the framework for the deployment of ITS;

7.

Is aware of the limited Community financial aid granted (in 2008) to the EasyWay action, which is a project for Europe-wide ITS deployment on the main Trans-European road network (TERN) corridors in 21 EU Member States led by national road authorities and operators with associated partners from public and private stakeholders;

Horizontal issues

8.

Points out that ITS should be deployed across all transport modes and for all travellers in Europe, in a coordinated approach with Galileo applications; strongly supports its immediate deployment in order to enhance intermodality between the public and private sector and within public transport through the improvement of overall information and increased capacity management;

9.

Urges the Commission and Members States to address the issue of liability which constitutes a major barrier to the smooth and coherent development of ITS in Europe;

10.

Considers that interoperability in the development of ITS is paramount for coherent and effective ITS deployment in Europe; stresses that in case of TERN investment (construction or maintenance), efforts should be made to comply with the necessary deployment of ITS services;

11.

As there is already a significant supply on the European ITS market, requests that the Commission defines specifications for the minimum level of ITS applications and services that is achievable by all Member States and necessary for the efficient deployment, implementation and operation of ITS;

12.

Considers it important to prepare a market demand assessment evaluating the real need beyond the defined minimum level of ITS applications and services and to strengthen internal market aspects of ITS through standardisation and an appropriate regulatory framework;

13.

Stresses the importance of cross-border cooperation both at the technical and administrative level at the EU external borders, which is crucial for the effective implementation of ITS in the EU;

Optimal use of road, traffic and travel data (action no 1)

14.

Stresses the need to provide the critical mass of data and information in the following five basic areas as a minimum for effective ITS deployment: real-time traffic and travel information; road network data; public data for digital maps; data for minimum universal traffic information services and multimodal door-to-door journey planners;

15.

Calls for minimum universal traffic information services to cover Trans-European network (TEN-T);

16.

Stresses that the large-scale adoption and implementation of ITS necessitates adherence to transport service information and timetables for the various modes of transport;

17.

Stresses the importance of providing real time information to travellers and for the infrastructure and of making this more accurate, reliable and uniform while respecting Europe’s specificities (geographical, cultural and linguistic) and ensuring geographical continuity;

18.

Considers it essential for the development of ITS to guarantee the private sector access to road, traffic and travel data while respecting privacy and addressing the issue of intellectual property rights;

Continuity of traffic and freight management ITS services on European transport corridors and conurbations (action no 2)

19.

Believes that it is essential to ensure harmonised, interoperable and reliable ITS whilst preserving users’ freedom choice on ITS;

20.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to coordinate and link ITS with EU urban mobility initiatives for more efficient transport mobility and management fluidity and reducing congestion from roads, TEN-T corridors, freight corridors and conurbations;

21.

Considers that cross-border cooperation and the development of programmes for the effective deployment and implementation of ITS, such as the EasyWay project, is necessary;

22.

Calls on the Commission to indentify priority information, transport equipment and vehicle standards for advancing ITS deployment and measures promoting more harmonised highway infrastructure;

23.

Considers it essential that the assessment of the economic cost per vehicle and for the infrastructure deriving from ITS deployment be based on a cost-benefit analysis covering all associated costs (economic, societal and environmental);

ITS for urban mobility (action no 2a)

24.

Advocates the development of user information procedures and systems regarding available urban transport services and the state of the networks, making use of GSM technology for example;

25.

Calls for research into integrated fare structures coordinated by the authorities of a given region and especially the technical aspects thereof;

26.

Urges the development of intermodal technologies providing better access to transport and urban mobility for persons with reduced mobility;

Road safety and security (action no 3)

27.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to prepare for the harmonised deployment and integration of the eCall application in all EU countries by 2010, as soon as the standardisation tests are completed;

28.

Considers that ITS applications and deployment should:

promote the Advance Driving Assistance Systems (ADAS) with sufficient potential to improve road safety, such as Electronic Stability Control (ESC) as well as eCall which alone could save up to 6 500 lives per year in the EU if fully deployed;

enhance road safety by preventing speeding, drink driving and driving without a seatbelt;

improve the health and safety conditions by supporting the use of dignified and secure parking places by supplying appropriate services to the lorry drivers by using the truckinform portal (10) and

improve the security of drivers and loadings in freight transport against theft, robbery and hijacking thus fighting organised crime, especially in cross-border areas and in international freight transport involving third countries;

29.

Urges the Commission to continue the process of reducing communication costs so that the communication and information equipment based on telecommunication could be used in a more comprehensive way;

30.

Welcomes the suggested ‘eFreight’ initiative and urges the Commission to introduce the principle of ‘Intelligent Cargo’ with a view to achieving a multimodal ITS services approach for freight, focusing on dangerous goods;

31.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to pay the same attention to both passengers and freight, in order to avoid discriminating against passenger traffic, which is particularly damaging for the mobility of persons;

32.

Advocates an appropriate regulatory framework on the human machine interface (HMI) and other ITS protocols and stresses the need to address liability issues;

33.

Calls on the Commission to address the issue of vulnerable transport users, including people with reduced mobility and to extend the actions on fostering ADAS deployment and others such as ITS and HMI to two-wheelers under the sub-actions proposed in the action plan;

34.

Urges the Commission to use TIS potential to the full for the purposes of preventive action against smog and high ozone concentrations and the reduction of noise levels and particle, NOx and CO2 emissions;

Integration of the vehicle into the transport infrastructure (action no 4)

35.

Stresses the importance of defining a common platform architecture for standardised interfaces and protocols that would facilitate the use of ITS, cooperative systems and specifications for infrastructure-to-infrastructure (I2I), vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V);

36.

Calls on the Commission to implement a road map on ITS with common platforms on ITS applications and deployment and with the participation of the private and public sector and to establish the appropriate framework for solving ITS liability issues;

37.

Notes that training on ITS applications should be encouraged to enhance users’ capacity on transport and facilitate human-machine interaction;

38.

Calls on the Commission and Member States to provide an open forum for exchanging information and addressing ITS issues;

Data security, protection and liability issues (action no 5)

39.

Emphasises the need to respect privacy and considers that privacy and data security and protection issues from the early phases of the ITS design development should be considered when defining architecture and implementation measures (‘Privacy by design’);

40.

Invites all parties involved in ITS applications to comply with the EC directives on the protection of personal data and privacy on communications (Directives 95/46/EC (11) and 2002/58/EC (12)) and calls on the Commission to ensure the appropriate use of data under ITS applications and deployment;

41.

Believes that the use of anonymous data on ITS applications is necessary for the unimpeded deployment of ITS while ensuring privacy and compliance with the EC legal framework on data protection;

European ITS cooperation and coordination (action no 6)

42.

Calls upon the Commission and the Member States to develop strong leadership and genuine governance towards the deployment of ITS in Europe;

43.

Encourages the promotion of the development of national and European multimodal door-to-door journey planners, taking due account of public transport alternatives, and their interconnection across Europe;

44.

Urges the Commission to better use the EU capabilities from the Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) programmes EGNOS and Galileo and enhance multimodal interconnectivity;

45.

Stresses, that these technologies should be applied in such a way as to avoid incompatibility between transport modes, and that there should be freedom of choice to use any of these technologies;

46.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to bear in mind that ITS should actively involve local and regional authorities and interested parties operating on European territory in the planning process and the implementation process;

47.

Stresses the importance of public-private partnerships (PPP) in implementing ITS and calls on the Commission and the Member States to take active steps to promote and facilitate their use;

48.

Calls on the Commission to provide a full explanation of the funding of the action plan and its programming and on the Council to secure sufficient funding;

49.

Urges the Member States, in carrying out the mid-term review of structural fund utilisation, to assess and include among the priorities for 2010 - 2013 urban mobility and reduced traffic congestion to be achieved by means of ITS;

50.

Points out the need for the significant potential of urban areas to be better defined and exploited, and highlights the role that rural and outlying areas can play in achieving balanced development and medium- and long-term objectives;

51.

Considers that it is of vital importance to implement intelligent transport networks in areas with high tourist potential with a view to easing traffic flows, reducing accidents and increasing safety; considers that ITS contribute to the economic development of the regions including outlying regions;

52.

Stresses the importance of inter-regional, cross-border and trans-national cooperation in developing and implementing ITS and urges the Commission to develop a system for exchange of good practice widely available in all EU languages, but urges the Member States to ensure that best practices are shared and exchanged among the regions themselves, with the dual objective of securing the transfer of ITS know-how and avoiding internal fragmentation within the system;

*

* *

53.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0509.

(2)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0057.

(3)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0087.

(4)  OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 1.

(5)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0311.

(6)  OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 556.

(7)  OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p. 154.

(8)  OJ C 244 E, 18.10.2007, p. 220.

(9)  OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 182.

(10)  www.truckinform.eu

(11)  OJ L 281, 23.11.1995, p. 31.

(12)  OJ L 201, 31.7.2002, p. 37.


Friday 24 April 2009

8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/57


Friday 24 April 2009
Women’s rights in Afghanistan

P6_TA(2009)0309

European Parliament resolution on 24 April 2009 on women’s rights in Afghanistan

2010/C 184 E/11

The European Parliament,

having regard to its previous resolutions on Afghanistan, in particular that of 15 January 2009 on the budgetary control of EU funds in Afghanistan (1),

having regard to the joint declaration issued by its Delegation for relations with Afghanistan and the Wolesi Jirga (the lower house of the Afghan Parliament) on 12 February 2009,

having regard to the Final Declaration of the International Conference on Afghanistan held in The Hague on 31 March 2009,

having regard to the NATO Summit Declaration on Afghanistan made by the Heads of State and Government participating in the meeting of the North Atlantic Council held in Strasbourg/Kehl on 4 April 2009,

having regard to the Joint Statement on legislation in Afghanistan issued by the Foreign Ministers of the EU Member States and the United States on 6 April 2009,

having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas Afghanistan is a party to a number of international agreements on human rights and fundamental freedoms, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women and the International Convention on the Rights of the Child,

B.

having regard to the Afghan Constitution of 4 January 2004, in particular Article 22 thereof, which stipulates that ‘the citizens of Afghanistan, men and women, have equal rights and duties before the law’, and whereas that article is consistent with the international treaties ratified by Afghanistan,

C.

having regard to the Afghan Family Code, which, since the late 1970s, has contained a number of provisions which grant women rights in the areas of health and education, and whereas the Code is currently being revised in order to bring it into line with the 2004 Constitution,

D.

whereas an Independent Human Rights Commission was set up in June 2002, on the basis of the Bonn agreement of 5 December 2001, and whereas the Commission, under the chairmanship of Sima Samar, plays a key role in defending human rights,

E.

whereas the new draft law on the personal status of Shiite women, which was recently approved by both chambers of the Afghan Parliament, places severe restrictions on women’s freedom of movement, denying them the right to leave their homes except for a ‘legitimate purpose’, requires women to submit to the sexual desires of their husbands, thus legitimising ‘marital rape’, and promotes forms of discrimination against women in the areas of marriage, divorce, inheritance and access to education which are not consistent with international human rights standards, in particularly standards regarding women’s rights,

F.

whereas this draft law, which would affect between 15 and 20 % of the Afghan population, has yet to come into force, since it has not yet been published in the Government Official Journal, although it has already been signed by the President of Afghanistan, Hamid Karzai,

G.

whereas, following the criticism it prompted both in Afghanistan and abroad, this draft law has been referred back to the Afghan Ministry of Justice so that the conformity of the text with the undertakings given by the Afghan Government in international agreements on women’s rights and human rights in general and in the Constitution can be verified,

H.

whereas violence against activists, particularly those defending women’s rights, continues to this day, and whereas many activists have been the victims of militants and radical groups, these victims include Sitara Achakzai, an Afghan women’s rights defender and member of the Kandahar provincial council, who was killed outside her home; Gul Pecha and Abdul Aziz, who were killed after being accused of immoral acts and condemned to death by a council of conservative clerics; and Malai Kakar, the first woman police officer in Kandahar, who ran the police department responsible for investigating crimes against women in that city,

I.

whereas the 23 year-old Afghan journalist Perwiz Kambakhsh was sentenced to death for circulating an article about women’s rights under Islam, and whereas, after strong international protests, that sentence was commuted to 20 years’ imprisonment,

J.

whereas threats and intimidation against women who are active in public life or who work outside the home continue to be reported and confirmed by the UN; and whereas there have been recent reports about the difficulties in increasing the participation of girls in the education system, which is opposed by militants and radicals,

K.

whereas a number of cases have been reported in recent years of young women who have deliberately set themselves on fire in order to escape forced marriages or conjugal violence,

1.

Calls for the revision of the draft law concerning the personal status of Shiite women in Afghanistan, since it is clear that the substance of that draft law is not consistent with the principle of equality between men and women, as laid down in the Afghan Constitution and in international agreements;

2.

Underlines the dangers of adopting legislation which applies only to certain sections of the population and which, by definition, promotes discrimination and injustice;

3.

Urges the Afghan Ministry of Justice to repeal all laws which give rise to discrimination against women and which breach the international treaties to which Afghanistan is a party;

4.

Regards it as essential for the democratic development of the country that Afghanistan should commit itself to safeguarding human rights in general, and women’s rights in particular, given that women play a crucial role in the development of the country and must be able to enjoy their fundamental and democratic rights to the full; reiterates its support for the fight against all forms of discrimination, including on grounds of belief and gender;

5.

Points out that the European Union’s strategy document on Afghanistan for the period 2007-2013 identifies gender equality and women’s rights as key aspects of Afghanistan’s national development strategy;

6.

Salutes the courage of and expresses its support for the Afghan women who demonstrated in Kabul against the new draft law; condemns the acts of violence perpetrated against them during those demonstrations, and calls on the Afghan authorities to guarantee their protection;

7.

Condemns the murders of activists working to promote human rights and the emancipation of Afghan women, in particular the recent assassination of the regional parliamentarian Sitara Achikzai;

8.

Is appalled to learn that the Afghan Supreme Court has upheld the 20-year prison sentence which Perwiz Kambakhsh received on a blasphemy charge and calls on President Karzai to pardon Mr Kambakhsh and authorise his release from prison;

9.

Calls on the Afghan authorities, including local authorities, to take all possible steps to protect women against sexual violence and other forms of gender-related violence and to bring the perpetrators of such acts to justice;

10.

Considers that the advances in the field of equality between men and women achieved as a result of the great efforts made in recent years should on no account be sacrificed to pre-electoral bargaining between parties;

11.

Encourages women to stand in the presidential election to be held on 20 August 2009 and insists that Afghan women should be able to participate fully in the decision-making process and that they should also have the right to be elected and to be appointed to senior state positions;

12.

Calls on the the Council, the Commission and the Member States to continue to raise the issue of the law on the personal status of Shiite women and any discrimination against women and children, emphasising that they are unacceptable and incompatible with the long-term commitment made by the international community to assisting Afghanistan in its rehabilitation and reconstruction efforts;

13.

Calls on the Commission to provide funding and programming assistance directly to the Afghan Ministry of Women’s Affairs and to promote gender mainstreaming in all its development policies in Afghanistan;

14.

Calls on the United Nations Development Fund for Women (Unifem) to be especially vigilant;

15.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Government and Parliament of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and to the President of the Independent Human Rights Commission.


(1)  Texts Adopted, P6_TA(2009)0023.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/60


Friday 24 April 2009
Support for the Special Court for Sierra Leone

P6_TA(2009)0310

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on support for the Special Court for Sierra Leone

2010/C 184 E/12

The European Parliament,

having regard to its previous resolutions on this subject, including that of 6 September 2007 on the financing of the Special Court for Sierra Leone (1),

having regard to the Cotonou Agreement between the European Community and the ACP countries, and the commitment by parties to the Agreement to peace, security and stability, respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law,

having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas the Special Court for Sierra Leone (SCSL) was established in 2000 by the United Nations and the Government of Sierra Leone pursuant to UN Security Council Resolution 1315 to bring to justice those who had committed serious violations of international humanitarian law, notably war crimes and crimes against humanity,

B.

whereas the SCSL is setting a number of important precedents in international criminal justice in that it is the first international court to be funded by voluntary contributions, the first to be established in the country where the alleged crimes took place and, in the case of former Liberian President, the first to indict a sitting African head of state for war crimes and crimes against humanity,

C.

whereas the mandate of the SCSL will end in 2010, and the Government of Sierra Leone has indicated that it is not in a position to enforce the sentences of the persons convicted by the SCSL,

D.

whereas the enforcement of sentences is an essential element of international justice, which plays an important role as regards peace and the further development of the rule of law in the country,

E.

whereas it is currently problematic, from a political, security and institutional perspective, for those convicted to serve their sentences in Sierra Leone itself,

F.

whereas the SCSL has concluded agreements with states including UK, Sweden and Austria to ensure that some of the convicted persons serve their sentences in these countries, and whereas more agreements are needed to ensure that all persons already convicted, and those that are standing trial and may face convictions, actually serve their sentences,

G.

whereas failure to find appropriate detention facilities for persons convicted of the most egregious crimes imaginable would seriously undermine the efforts of the international community to effectively implement the fight against impunity,

H.

recalling that the fight against impunity is one of the cornerstones of the European Union’s human rights policy and that the international community bears responsibility for supporting the accountability mechanisms put in place,

I.

whereas other tribunals and courts, such as the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia and the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda are facing similar problems, and whether other international bodies such as the International Criminal Court, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia are likely to face the same problem in the foreseeable future without a stronger commitment by states to support the enforcement of international justice,

J.

whereas international courts and tribunals are all playing important roles for peace and justice in their respective regions, and each is committed to ensuring a lasting legacy and to contributing to the further development of the rule of law in the region in which the crimes were committed,

1.

Welcomes the progress made by international courts and tribunals in bringing to trial those responsible for atrocities committed, and believes that these trials send a clear message to leaders around the world and to other war criminals that egregious human rights abuses will no longer be tolerated with impunity;

2.

Calls on the Council and the Member States to find a solution together with the SCSL in order to ensure that the persons convicted serve their sentences, since without such a solution the effort of the SCSL and the credibility of the international community, including the Union, will be severely undermined;

3.

Calls on all Member States to increase their contribution to the work of the international courts and tribunals as they seek to finalise a sustainable solution for the enforcement of sentences, whether by concluding agreements directly with the said institutions for the enforcement of sentences in the Member States’ jurisdictions or by helping them to find alternative solutions to ensure the enforcement of sentences in the regions themselves;

4.

Calls on the Member States and other international institutions to provide further financial assistance to the SCSL with a view to enabling those convicted by the SCSL to serve out their sentences in countries that have the capacity to enforce sentences in accordance with international standards but lack the financial means to do so;

5.

Considers that a lack of assistance and support will put the work of international courts and tribunals at great risk as they will not be able to ensure that the persons convicted serve the sentences imposed;

6.

Calls for a comprehensive study evaluating the work done by international criminal tribunals, drawing lessons from it and putting forward recommendations on how to improve their functioning and future financing;

7.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the governments and parliaments of the EU Member States, the Special Court for Sierra Leone, the International Criminal Court, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia, the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, the UN Security Council, the member states of the African Union and the Co-Presidents of the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly.


(1)  OJ C 187 E, 24.7.2008, p. 242.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/62


Friday 24 April 2009
Humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf residents

P6_TA(2009)0311

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the humanitarian situation of Camp Ashraf residents

2010/C 184 E/13

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Geneva Conventions and notably Article 27 of the Fourth Geneva Convention relative to the Protection of Civilian Persons in Time of War,

having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1951 relating to the Status of Refugees and the 1967 Protocol thereto,

having regard to the Status of Forces Agreement between the US and Iraqi Governments, signed in November 2008,

having regard to its resolution of 12 July 2007 on the humanitarian situation of Iraqi refugees (1) and its resolution of 4 September 2008 on executions in Iran (2), which include references to Camp Ashraf residents having legal status as protected persons under the Fourth Geneva Convention,

having regard to Rule 115(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas Camp Ashraf in Northern Iraq was established during the 1980s for members of the Iranian opposition group People’s Mujahedin Organisation of Iran (PMOI),

B.

whereas in 2003 US forces in Iraq disarmed Camp Ashraf’s residents and provided them with protection, those residents having been designated ‘protected persons’ under the Geneva Conventions,

C.

whereas in a letter dated 15 October 2008 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights urged the Iraqi Government to protect Camp Ashraf residents from forcible deportation, expulsion or repatriation in violation of the non-refoulement principle, and to refrain from any action that would endanger their life or security,

D.

whereas following the conclusion of the US/Iraqi Status of Forces Agreement, control of Camp Ashraf was transferred to the Iraqi security forces as of 1 January 2009,

E.

whereas, according to recent statements reportedly made by the Iraqi National Security Advisor, the authorities intend gradually to make the continued presence of the Camp Ashraf residents ‘intolerable’, and whereas he reportedly also referred to their expulsion/extradition and/or their forcible displacement inside Iraq,

1.

Urges the Iraqi Prime Minister to ensure that no action is taken by the Iraqi authorities which violates the human rights of the Camp Ashraf residents and to clarify the Iraqi government’s intentions towards them; calls on the Iraqi authorities to protect the lives and the physical and moral integrity of the Camp Ashraf residents and to treat them in accordance with obligations under the Geneva Conventions, in particular by refraining from forcibly displacing, deporting, expelling or repatriating them in violation of the principle of non-refoulement;

2.

Respecting the individual wishes of anyone living in Camp Ashraf as regards his or her future, considers that those living in Camp Ashraf and other Iranian nationals who currently reside in Iraq having left Iran for political reasons could be at risk of serious human rights violations if they were to be returned involuntarily to Iran, and insists that no person should be returned, either directly or via a third country, to a situation where he or she would be at risk of torture or other serious human rights abuses;

3.

Calls on the Iraqi Government to end its blockade of the camp, to respect the legal status of the Camp Ashraf residents as protected persons under the Geneva Conventions, and to refrain from any action that would endanger their life or security, i.e. to afford them full access to food, water, medical care and supplies, fuel, family members and international humanitarian organisations;

4.

Calls on the Council, the Commission and the Member States, together with the Iraqi and US Governments, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees and the International Committee of the Red Cross, to work towards finding a satisfactory long-term legal status for Camp Ashraf residents;

5.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Governments and Parliaments of the Member States, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, the International Committee of the Red Cross, the Government of the United States of America and the Government and Parliament of Iraq.


(1)  OJ C 175 E, 10.7.2008, p. 609.

(2)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0412.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/63


Friday 24 April 2009
Protection of the Communities’ financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual report 2007

P6_TA(2009)0315

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the protection of the Communities’ financial interests and the fight against fraud – Annual report 2007 (2008/2242(INI))

2010/C 184 E/14

The European Parliament,

having regard to its resolutions on previous annual reports of the Commission and the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF),

having regard to the report of 22 July 2008 from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council entitled ‘Protection of the Communities’ financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual report 2007’ (COM(2008)0475), including annexes (SEC(2008)2300 and SEC(2008)2301) thereto,

having regard to the OLAF Activity Report for 2007 (1), and to its second report of 19 June 2008 on the application of Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities’ financial interests against fraud and other irregularities, as well as to the guidelines replacing the OLAF Vademecum,

having regard to the Activity Report of the OLAF Supervisory Committee for the period from June 2007 to May 2008 (2),

having regard to the European Court of Auditors’ Annual Report on the Implementation of the Budget in the Financial Year 2007 (3),

having regard to Articles 276(3) and 280(5) of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1995/2006 of 13 December 2006 amending Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002 on the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the European Communities (4),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinions of the Committee on Regional Development and the Committee on Agriculture (A6-0180/2009),

Amount of irregularities notified

1.

Welcomes the inclusion of a chapter on direct expenditure, but stresses that it expects it to be further improved with more comprehensive data in the following reports;

2.

Reiterates its call for the annual reports for the protection of the Communities’ financial interests (annual PIF reports) and the corresponding resolutions by Parliament to be included on the Council’s agenda, and for the Council subsequently to forward its observations to Parliament and the Commission; is deeply disappointed that the Council has not done yet done so, despite the call by Parliament and the insistence of the Commission;

3.

Notes that in the areas of own resources, agricultural expenditure, structural actions and direct expenditure, irregularities notified in 2007 totalled EUR 1 425 million (compared to EUR 1 143 million in 2006); the amounts notified by the Member States to the Commission in 2007 can be broken down as follows:

Own resources: EUR 377 million (EUR 353 million in 2006),

Agricultural expenditure: EUR 155 million (EUR 87 million in 2006),

Structural actions: EUR 828 million (EUR 703 million in 2006),

Pre-accession funds: EUR 32 million (EUR 14 million in 2006),

Direct expenditure: EUR 33 million;

4.

Welcomes the fact that after last year’s parliamentary report, the Commission has defined the differences between an irregularity and fraud in its report; however, the definition of ‘suspected fraud’ still causes difficulties for the Member States;

General considerations

5.

Welcomes the efforts already made by the Member States but stresses once again that they should ensure the adequacy of their financial control mechanisms and emphasises the importance of preventive action by the Member States in order to increase the detection of irregularities before any payment is effectively made to the beneficiaries; underlines the fact that fighting fraud and corruption is an ongoing responsibility of all Member States and also that a concerted effort is needed in order to achieve real improvements;

6.

Emphasises the need for greater harmonisation of methods for collecting and using information, with the aim of providing a standardised framework for evaluating more efficiently the risk of fraud as part of an intensified prevention strategy;

7.

Welcomes the national management declarations issued by some Member States regarding European funds managed at national level; calls on the other Member States to carry out similar initiatives, and on the Commission to do all in its power to ensure that such national management declarations are introduced throughout the European Union;

Own resources

8.

Notes that the estimated amount affected by irregularities rose by 6 %; the products most affected by irregularities were, as in previous years, televisions and cigarettes;

9.

Deplores the delay in adopting the proposal for a regulation on mutual administrative assistance for the protection of the financial interests of the European Community against fraud and any other illegal activities (COM(2006)0473) and therefore invites the Council promptly to adopt the regulation;

10.

Welcomes the fact that, following its Communication concerning the need to develop a co-ordinated strategy to improve the fight against fiscal fraud (COM(2006)0254), the Commission adopted a Communication on a coordinated strategy to improve the fight against VAT fraud (COM(2007)0758), and follows with special attention both the Commission proposal for a Council directive concerning mutual assistance for the recovery of claims relating to taxes, duties and other measures (COM(2009)0028) and the Commission proposal for a Council directive on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation (COM(2009)0029);

11.

Insists that new political impetus is needed in order to achieve substantial improvements in cooperation in the fight against VAT fraud;

12.

Deplores the fact that since OLAF has no access to the content of the data exchange between the Member States under Council Regulation (EC) No 1798/2003 of 7 October 2003 on administrative cooperation in the field of value added tax (5), it cannot provide added value in the field of anti-VAT fraud intelligence, prevention and support of Member States’ anti-fraud operations; regrets in this context the fact that OLAF had no case on VAT fraud in 2007;

13.

Reminds Member States to be aware of the considerable number of transnational VAT fraud cases;

14.

Regrets the increase in cases of fraud involving the origin of products, relating not only to the preferential tariff arrangements, but also to the GATT tariff quotas;

15.

Invites the Commission to undertake a specific assessment of the potential for fraud, by product and by country, taking into consideration the possibility of carrying out systematic, targeted and, where appropriate, permanent, checks both in the country of origin and the country of destination, paying particular attention to the phenomenon of carousel fraud;

Agricultural expenditure

16.

Recalls that as from 1 January 2007, Member States are obliged to inform the Commission of irregularities involving more than EUR 10 000, the threshold introduced by Commission Regulation (EC) No 1848/2006 of 14 December 2006 concerning irregularities and the recovery of sums wrongly paid in connection with the financing of the common agricultural policy and the organisation of an information system in this field (6); observes that the number of cases of irregularities reported was down 53 % (1 548 cases, compared to 3 294 in 2006); points out that this relatively low number of irregularities can be explained by the higher threshold for reporting;

17.

Notes that the estimated amount affected rose by 44 %, an increase relating in part to cases with a significant financial impact which arose or were discovered in previous years, but were reported only in 2007; notes that the sectors most affected were milk and milk products, fruit and vegetables, sugar, rural development, beef and veal;

18.

Points out that the milk, fruit and vegetable, sugar and rural development sectors taken together account for about 77 % of the total amount of irregularities and that rural development represents alone about 38 % of all irregularities reported; further notes that the highest amount in irregularities within rural development is reported for the support measure ‘forestry’ and the highest number of irregularities is reported for the support measure ‘agri-environment’; therefore asks OLAF to pay special attention in its next annual report to the irregularities affecting rural development;

19.

Points out that the reporting compliance rates, in particular timely reporting, vary greatly between Member States; deplores that for Austria and Sweden the time gap between the detection and the reporting of the irregularities is far beyond the average time gap (1,2 years): 3,4 and 2,3 years respectively;

20.

Agrees with the statement of the European Court of Auditors (ECA) at paragraph 5.20 of its above-mentioned annual report that the Integrated Administration and Control System (IACS) continues to be an effective control system which limits the risk of irregular expenditure where properly implemented and if accurate and reliable data are entered into it; advocates extending the application of the system into new areas presently not covered by it; notes however that the quantity and quality of the checks made under it should be stepped up in order to reinforce fraud deterrence;

21.

Calls on the Commission to take a firm political decision should the Greek authorities fail to comply with the deadlines set by the action plan for setting up a new operational Land Parcel Identification System-Geographical Information System;

22.

Reiterates its call on the Commission to evaluate the efficiency and transparency of monitoring systems relating to payment of farmers in the context of its next annual report;

Structural actions

23.

Welcomes the simplified and clarified rules of Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 (7) and the implementing Commission Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006 (8); however, is concerned by the statement of the ECA at paragraph 6.31 of its above-mentioned annual report that the management and supervisory systems of the Member States as well as the supervision of their operation by the Commission are only partially effective;

24.

Acknowledges that irregularities in the use of EU funds relating to mismanagement and sometimes even fraud occur in a large number of Member States; notes that the Member States reported 3 832 irregularities in 2007 (which is an increase of 19.2 % in relation to 2006), that the total financial amount affected in 2007 was about EUR 828 million (equivalent to slightly less than 1.83 % of commitment appropriations), that suspected frauds as a percentage of the total number of reported irregularities represent around 12-15 % in 2007 and that the total irregular amount for the European Regional Development Fund has risen by 48 % in comparison to 2006;

25.

Stresses the importance of the Action Plan adopted by the Commission on 19 February 2008 to strengthen supervision under shared management for structural actions, which aims to reduce errors in payment claims from Member States; is confident that this new Action Plan will significantly improve the situation, not least by assisting Member States in developing their ability to check the eligibility of project expenditure; notes that the first progress report relating to this Action Plan presents some positive initial results;

26.

Endorses the Commission’s position in taking corrective action in the event of the detection of irregularities of a serious nature, including the suspension of payments and the recovery of undue or erroneous payments; recalls that the Commission should report four times a year on the progress achieved in the implementation of its Action Plan; nevertheless, calls on the Commission to intensify its efforts to support the Member States in preventing irregularities and transferring the necessary expertise to the competent national and regional authorities;

27.

Welcomes the quality of the results achieved in virtually all projects and, in order not to adversely affect the monitoring and proper implementation of the Structural Funds, emphasises the need to draw a distinction between:

administrative irregularities that must be corrected,

fraud (that is, 0.16 % of payments made by the Commission between 2000 and 2007) that must be punished;

28.

Acknowledges that effective absorption of the Structural Funds has posed significant challenges, especially for the new Member States, as they are called upon to comply with strict and often complex requirements for their utilisation; welcomes, therefore, the efforts made by these Member States to improve their implementation capacity and invites them to step up that work so as to be able to show tangible results within an acceptable timeframe;

29.

Calls on the Commission to take account of the administrative cost borne by Member States’ national, regional and local administrations in applying the often complex and expensive requirements involved in monitoring and checking co-financed projects;

30.

To this end, calls on both the Commission and the Member States to work methodically to provide advice on ways of avoiding irregularities and administrative errors and failings;

31.

Urges the Commission to simplify further the management and monitoring procedures of the Structural Funds programmes, which are to some extent responsible for irregularities on the part of the Member States in the implementation of these programmes;

32.

Is shocked by the lack of reporting discipline of the Member States after a number of years; finds it unacceptable that six Member States (9) still do not use electronic reporting, 14 (10) failed to comply with the reporting deadlines and some (11) did not classify any of their reported cases of irregularities; urges the Commission to find effective solutions, besides infringement proceedings, to address the situation, and invites the Commission to seriously consider establishing an effective financial sanctions system to be integrated in the future regulations, and to implement it systematically;

33.

Stresses that the classification of the irregularity (indicating whether or not it is a case of suspected fraud) is an element of the reporting by the Member States that needs to be strengthened, given that various Member States have yet to provide any classification at all and other Member States have only been able to provide the classification for a limited part of their reported irregularities;

34.

Urges the Member States who do not yet use the electronic modules AFIS/ECR for electronic reporting to do so quickly in order to improve their data quality and timeliness of reporting before the end of 2009; notes that the Commission is working on a new web based reporting system, the Irregularity Management System (IMS), to be applied from summer 2009, which will presumably improve reporting discipline;

35.

Advocates that more efforts need to be undertaken in view of an improved harmonisation of reporting of irregularities, especially as regards the Cohesion Fund;

36.

Regrets that notwithstanding the fact that the details of all beneficiaries of EU cohesion policy have to be published by the Managing Authorities under the rules governing the implementation of the Structural Funds 2007-2013 (Commission Regulation (EC) No 1828/2006), the database on the Commission website is incomplete; calls, therefore, on the Commission to work together with the Member States to speed up the flow of information with a view to the operation of a more effective and transparent database; urges, moreover, the Member States and the Commission to comply fully and timeously with this transparency obligation and in particular before June 2009 - the deadline set by Parliament’s resolution of 19 February 2008 on transparency in financial matters (12);

37.

Supports in the framework of the proposed revision of Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 May 1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) (13) the request to Member States that they systematically inform OLAF of the follow-up of those cases which were transmitted by OLAF; points out that this could improve the reporting discipline of national courts’ judgments on the fraudulent use of Structural Funds;

Pre-accession funds

38.

Calls attention to the fact that although the number of irregularities decreased, their financial impact increased by 2,2 times, and the financial impact of suspected fraud increased by three times, largely due to ‘non-eligible’ expenditures;

39.

Notes that the Commission has published a series of detailed, in-depth reports critically assessing the progress in Bulgaria and Romania of judicial reform and the fight against corruption under the Co-operation and Verification mechanisms and a separate report on the management of Community funds in Bulgaria, which highlight the need for sustained political commitment and implementation on the ground if the benchmarks set at the time of accession are to be met in full; notes also that in the case of Bulgaria the Commission has definitively suspended part of the EU funds under the Phare programme because of irregularities discovered through its control and auditing system; therefore calls upon these Member States to take urgent action to implement the specific follow up measures proposed in these reports; finally, supports the efforts so far made by these Member States and calls on them to take all the necessary measures to that end;

40.

Has reservations about the fact that according to OLAF there were no suspected fraud cases for ISPA in 2007; notes that Cyprus and Lithuania did not report any cases in 2007;

41.

Stresses that the insufficient quality of reported information remains an outstanding problem; observes that reliability of reported information is the worst in Bulgaria and Romania; however, in relative terms Hungarian notifications are the least reliable; notes that timely reporting also causes problems, in particular, in four Member States and in one candidate country (14);

42.

As there are serious problems with the reliability of reported information and the general compliance rate of the requirements in some EU-12 Member States (that is, the Member States having acceded to the European Union in 2004 and in 2007), which indicates whether the administrative set-up of the reporting mechanism in the beneficiary country is strong or very weak, believes that there will be similar problems concerning the implementation of the Structural and Cohesion Funds; therefore urges the Member States concerned to cooperate with the Commission to find ways to remedy this situation;

Direct expenditure

43.

Points out that external aid is a sector which is increasingly affected by irregularities and fraud;

44.

Is concerned about the findings of the OLAF Annual Activity Report, according to which in the external aid area OLAF investigators often encounter a modus operandi typical of organised fraud due to shortcomings in coordination between the different international donor organisations;

45.

Requests the Commission to pay attention to the problem of double financing of projects; in particular, requests the Commission, when concluding or amending agreements on the management and implementation of projects by international organisations, to send systematically all their internal and external audits on the use of Community funds to the ECA and to the Internal Auditor of the Commission;

Recoveries

46.

Regrets that recovery rates are still low, especially in sectors where Member States manage recoveries; points out that, according to the OLAF report, currently about EUR 3,75 billion in recoveries are still pending;

47.

Supports the fact that the recovered amounts stay in the same budget line from where they were unduly paid out;

48.

Welcomes the publication of the new central exclusion database for recipients of Community funds who have committed fraud (15); points out that it has been operational since 1 January 2009, and asks the Commission for an evaluation report by the beginning of 2010;

49.

Points out that a faster and more appropriate recovery procedure is needed; therefore reiterates its call on the Commission to include binding and precautionary elements in future legislation concerning shared management so that irregular payments can be recovered at the end of the recovery procedure;

50.

Requests the Commission to explore the possibility of introducing a system of surety, such as by putting a certain amount into a reserve or earmarking it, to speed up the recovery of outstanding amounts;

OLAF’s relationship with Europol and Eurojust

51.

Notes with satisfaction the signature by Eurojust and OLAF on 24 September 2008 of a Practical Agreement on arrangements of cooperation (16) governing modalities for close and increased cooperation and provisions for the exchange of general and personal data; supports the conclusion of a similar agreement with Europol;

52.

Feels that it is crucial to create a solid basis for operational and intelligence synergies with Eurojust and Europol, for example by means of a common operational and intelligence team, as this would certainly bring added value to the fight against fraud;

53.

Points out also that the currently overlapping competencies of these bodies should be clarified;

OLAF’s cooperation with Member States

54.

Supports the major aim of the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti Fraud Office (OLAF) (COM(2006)0244) of strengthening OLAF’s independence; recalls, however, the importance of interlinking the work and results of OLAF, the Commission’s services and the Member States’ authorities by effective communication channels avoiding duplication of work and lack of information;

55.

Points out that OLAF is the only authority to exercise all the powers of investigation to fight against and to prevent fraud, corruption and any other illegal activity detrimental to the general budget of the EU; therefore stresses that especially in relation to Structural Funds and External Aid with the highest irregularities reported, OLAF’s investigative function should be further strengthened;

56.

Points out that ‘follow-up’ cases have steadily increased since 2003, and that in 2007 OLAF cases were mainly closed with financial recovery or judicial follow-up recommendations; concludes that this means that OLAF’s investigation results are positive for the Member States and the EU institutions;

57.

Notes that OLAF’s recommendations are not binding, so that national authorities take the relevant decisions and impose sanctions independently; believes that the establishment of a European Public Prosecutor’s office would help to overcome difficulties arising from the cross-border nature of cases;

58.

Stresses the need for streamlining legal instruments, since the definitions of fraud, suspicions of fraud and other irregularities are scattered across a number of different legal instruments, in spite of repeated calls by Parliament for a recast of the anti-fraud rules;

59.

Notes the qualification problem of Member States in applying Articles 4 and 5 of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities financial interests (17); considers that in case of ambivalence, national courts should ask the Court of Justice for a preliminary ruling;

60.

Welcomes the publication of the above-mentioned second report of OLAF on on-the-spot checks and inspections outlining good practices for each stage of checks, as well as the new version of the OLAF Vademecum (guidelines); requests the Commission to send Parliament’s competent committee the updated and comprehensive version of OLAF’s manual by September 2009;

61.

Advocates the need for clearer provisions on procedures and binding time limits for competent authorities in providing the assistance required and generally more binding provisions for cooperation identifying the national authority competent to provide assistance; insists, with a view to solving this problem, on the usefulness of its position of 20 November 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) (18);

62.

Requests the Commission to take appropriate measures, including infringement proceedings, against those Members States which do not assist its services in carrying out on-the-spot checks as provided for by Council Regulation (Euratom, EC) No 2185/96 of 11 November 1996 concerning on-the-spot checks and inspections carried out by the Commission in order to protect the European Communities’ financial interests against fraud and other irregularities (19);

63.

Notes that since extensive judicial follow-up of cases has been observed but admissibility of evidence - by the national courts - collected by OLAF is very limited, the aim is to improve the judicial support for the investigative function of OLAF; considers moreover that Eurojust should be informed when information or final case reports are transmitted to the judicial authorities if they concern serious forms of transnational crime and two or more Member States are involved;

64.

Reminds the Commission of Parliament’s request to include in the 2008 PIF Report an analysis of the Member States’ structures involved in combating irregularities;

65.

Deplores the inadequate notification by Member States of action taken on information or final case reports transmitted by OLAF; requests the Member States to ensure that their competent authorities forward a report to OLAF on progress made in acting on the information or recommendations forwarded to them by OLAF;

66.

Notes that the national audit authorities have considerable competencies in audits regarding EU-funds and they provide the first source of information for both national prosecution authorities and EU institutions; believes therefore that maximising the cooperation and information flow between audit authorities, national prosecution authorities and OLAF would further strengthen the protection of the Communities’ financial interests;

67.

Notes that according to its above-mentioned position of 20 November 2008 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF), Member States shall systematically inform OLAF on the follow up of those cases which were transmitted by OLAF to them, therefore asks OLAF to report on this issue in its next annual report;

68.

Points out that the anti-Fraud coordination service (AFCOS) for OLAF in the Member States which acceded to the EU after 2004 are very important information/contact points for OLAF; however points out that so long as these offices are not independent from the national administration, their functional added value is minimal (especially concerning reporting of irregularities to the Commission); therefore invites the Commission to make a proposal to Parliament’s competent committee about making the work of these offices more valuable and also considers it necessary to improve collaboration with the candidate countries;

Tobacco - Agreement with Philip Morris

69.

Regrets that the Commission was unable to provide a comprehensive report on the follow-up to Parliament’s resolution of 11 October 2007 on the implications of the agreement between the Community, Member States and Philip Morris on intensifying the fight against fraud and cigarette smuggling and progress made in implementing the recommendations of Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into the Community Transit System (20), and in particular paragraph 49 thereof, which explicitly asked the Commission to publish such a report by the end of 2008; expects that the Commission will come forward with this report before the end of the discharge procedure for the financial year 2007;

70.

Cannot accept that, whereas under the Philip Morris and Japan Tobacco agreements the Community received USD 1,65 billion for the fight against fraud, instead of setting up a common approach, the Commission sent some 90 % of this money un-earmarked straight to the Ministers of Finance of the Member States; calls on the Council and the Commission to set up a tripartite working group with Parliament to find adequate solutions to make wise and better use of this and similar income of the Union; finds it unacceptable that in times of economic downturn billions of Euro of fines, paid by major companies who violated European competition rules to the detriment of European consumers, are not used by the Union to stimulate the economy to the benefit of the unemployed and /or to help developing countries who will suffer most under the crisis, but instead are simply sent to the national treasuries;

Organised crime

71.

Welcomes the publication of the Commission Communication of 20 November 2008 on proceeds of organised crime (COM(2008)0766), which deals with the confiscation and recovery of crime, and agrees with the Commission that confiscation is one of the most effective ways to fight organised crime and that measures should be put in place in order to increase the limited number of confiscation cases and the modest amounts recovered;

72.

Underlines that it is essential to have in place expedient and effective mechanisms to freeze and confiscate assets abroad and therefore a recasting of the existing EU legal framework should be considered; stresses that Council Decision 2007/845/JHA should be implemented, as a matter of urgency, in order to ensure that all Member States set up or designate Asset Recovery Offices (AROs);

73.

Reiterates its call on the Commission to provide Parliament with a detailed analysis of the system or systems used by organised crime to undermine the Communities’ financial interest; finds the yearly Europol Organized Crime Threat Assessment (OCTA) useful, but not sufficient in this respect;

74.

Deplores the fact that the Convention on the Protection of the European Communities’ Financial Interests of 1995 and its protocols of 1996 and 2007 have still not been ratified by the Czech Republic, Hungary, Malta and Poland, that one of the two protocols has not been ratified by Estonia and Italy and that in seven Member States the transposition of the provisions has shortcomings;

*

* *

75.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice, the European Court of Auditors, the OLAF Supervisory Committee and OLAF.


(1)  http://ec.europa.eu/atwork/synthesis/aar/doc/olaf_aar.pdf.

(2)  http://ec.europa.eu/anti_fraud/reports/sup-com_en.html.

(3)  OJ C 286, 10.11.2008, p. 1.

(4)  OJ L 390, 30.12.2006, p. 1.

(5)  OJ L 264, 15.10.2003, p. 1.

(6)  OJ L 355, 15.12.2006, p. 56.

(7)  Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 of 11 July 2006 laying down general provisions on the European Regional Development Fund, the European Social Fund and the Cohesion Fund (OJ L 210, 31.7.2006, p. 25).

(8)  OJ L 371, 27.12.2006, p. 1.

(9)  France, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, Latvia and Luxembourg; since November 2008 the situation has improved, with Germany and Estonia using an electronic file and no paper notification.

(10)  Timely reporting is especially a problem in Spain, France and the Netherlands.

(11)  Spain, France, Ireland and Luxembourg.

(12)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0051.

(13)  OJ L 136, 31.5.1999, p. 1.

(14)  Croatia, Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria and Poland missed the reporting deadlines.

(15)  OJ L 344, 20.12.2008, p. 12.

(16)  OJ C 314, 9.12.2008, p. 3.

(17)  OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1.

(18)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0553.

(19)  OJ L 292, 15.11.1996, p. 2.

(20)  OJ C 227 E, 4.9.2008, p. 147.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/72


Friday 24 April 2009
Parliamentary immunity in Poland

P6_TA(2009)0316

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on parliamentary immunity in Poland (2008/2232(INI))

2010/C 184 E/15

The European Parliament,

having regard to Articles 9 and 10 of the Protocol of 8 April 1965 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Communities,

having regard to Article 12(3) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

having regard to Article 105 of the Constitution of the Republic of Poland of 2 April 1997,

having regard to Article 7b of the Polish Law of 9 May 1996 on the performance of the mandate of deputy or senator,

having regard to Articles 9 and 142 of the Polish Law of 23 January 2004 on elections to the European Parliament,

having regard to its resolution of 23 June 2005 on the amendment of the decision of 4 June 2003 on the adoption of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament (1),

having regard to Rules 6, 7 and 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A6-0205/2009),

A.

whereas, in the current parliamentary term, Parliament and its Committee on Legal Affairs, as the committee responsible, have considered requests for waiver of the immunity of Members elected in Poland and have come up against certain difficulties in the interpretation of provisions of law that might be applicable in the case of those Members,

B.

whereas the responsible committee has been called upon, in particular, to decide on the admissibility of requests for waiver of immunity made directly by private persons to the President of the European Parliament; whereas under Polish law a private person has the right to make a direct request to the Polish Parliament (Sejm or Senat) to waive the immunity of one of its Members in the case of offences that may be the subject of a private prosecution, and whereas the relevant provisions of Polish law do not seem clearly to take account of all possible scenarios in the case of criminal proceedings relating to offences subject to private prosecution,

C.

whereas those provisions also apply to Members of the European Parliament elected in Poland, yet the admissibility of such requests raises difficult questions having regard to the Rules of Procedure, and in particular Rule 6(2) which refers to the ‘competent authority’,

D.

whereas under Rule 7(7) of the Rules of Procedure the responsible committee is competent to verify the admissibility of a request for waiver of immunity, including the question of the competence of the national authority to submit such a request; whereas, however, under the existing provisions the manifest conflict in this regard between the relevant provisions of Polish law and the Rules of Procedure would have to be resolved by regarding as inadmissible requests for waiver of immunity submitted by private persons,

E.

whereas the purpose of Rule 6(2) is to guarantee that Parliament receives only requests in proceedings that have received the attention of the authorities of a Member State; whereas it also guarantees for Parliament that requests for waiver of immunity which are received by it comply with national law as regards both substance and procedure, which in turn serves as a further guarantee that, in reaching its decision in its procedures on immunities, Parliament observes both the national law of a Member State and its own prerogatives; whereas the concept of ‘authority’ is clearly referred to in other provisions of Rules 6 and 7 in the context of the procedures on immunity,

F.

whereas to regard requests for waiver of immunity made by private persons as inadmissible would be unsatisfactory in that it could interfere with their rights in judicial proceedings and preclude prosecutors of some offences from being able to request waiver of immunity; whereas this could be regarded as giving rise to unjust and unequal treatment of applicants,

G.

whereas, however, it should be for the Member States to make provision for the exercise of such rights with regard to Members of the European Parliament in the light of the rules and procedures governing its functioning,

H.

whereas, by letters of 29 September 2004 and 9 March 2005, 25 Member States were invited, pursuant to Rule 7(12), to indicate which authorities are competent to present a request for waiver of a Member’s immunity; whereas to date only Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Lithuania, the Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Sweden and the UK have responded,

I.

whereas in its debates the responsible committee also addressed the question of the possible consequences of a waiver of immunity in the case of Members of the European Parliament elected in Poland,

J.

whereas, in the event that the Member is found guilty by the court and punished for an intentional offence prosecuted by public prosecution, such waiver might result in the automatic loss of his or her eligibility, which would result in turn in the Member losing his or her seat,

K.

whereas this automatism amounts, de facto, to an additional penal sanction being adjudged together with conviction,

L.

whereas in practice even minor offences might result in a loss of eligibility, despite the requirement that in order for an offence to give rise to ineligibility it must be both publicly prosecuted and committed intentionally,

M.

whereas there is no equivalent provision applicable to Members of the Polish Sejm or Senat, who do not cease to be eligible for election in such cases,

N.

whereas Member States are free to make a provision for the withdrawal of the mandate of a Member of the European Parliament where, as a result, the seat of the Member falls vacant; whereas, however, the principle of equal treatment, as one of the basic principles of EU law, requires that similar situations be treated in similar ways and there is an apparent differentiation in treatment of the Members of Polish Sejm and Senat, on the one hand, and Members of the European Parliament elected in Poland, on the other, when it comes to loss of eligibility; whereas that loss of eligibility results directly and automatically in the Member concerned losing his or her seat and prevents him or her from being re-elected,

O.

whereas this inequality of treatment was brought to the Commission’s attention by an oral question presented on behalf of the Committee on Legal Affairs by its Chairman and was debated in the European Parliament; whereas, notwithstanding this, the legal situation remains as it was,

P.

whereas equal treatment of Members of the national parliament and Members of the European Parliament should be secured as soon as possible, particularly in view of the coming elections in 2009,

1.

Encourages the Commission to look at the discrepancies between the legal situation of Members of the European Parliament elected in Poland and that of Members of the Polish Sejm and Senat, and to engage as a matter of urgency in contacts with the competent authorities in Poland with a view to identifying how to eliminate the manifest discrimination between the Members of the two Parliaments as regards their eligibility;

2.

Separately asks the Republic of Poland to review the current situation in which conditions of eligibility and loss of mandate of Members of two parliamentary assemblies are clearly unequal, and to take steps to put an end to this discriminatory treatment;

3.

Calls on the Commission to carry out a comparative study designed to ascertain whether discrepancies in treatment of Members of national parliaments and Members of the European Parliament exist in the Member States which acceded to the European Union on or after 1 May 2004, and to communicate the results of that study to Parliament;

4.

Calls on the Member States to respect the rights deriving from EU citizenship, including the right to vote and stand as a candidate in elections to the European Parliament, which is of particular importance in the run-up to the 2009 elections, including the principle of equal treatment of persons in a similar situation;

5.

Requests the Member States, and in particular the Republic of Poland, to ensure that procedural measures are put in place in order to ensure that requests for waiver of the immunity of Members of the European Parliament are always transmitted by the ‘competent authority’ in accordance with Rule 6(2) of the Rules of Procedure in order to guarantee observance of provisions of substantive and procedural national law, including the procedural rights of private persons, as well as Parliament’s prerogatives;

6.

In order to avoid any doubt, invites the Member States to indicate to Parliament the authorities which are competent to present requests for waiver of a Member’s immunity;

7.

Reiterates the need for a uniform Statute for Members of the European Parliament and recalls, in this context, the commitment made on 3 June 2005 by the representatives of the Member States meeting within the Council to examine the request by Parliament for a revision of the relevant provisions of the 1965 Protocol on the privileges and immunities of the European Communities as regards the part thereof relating to Members of the European Parliament, in order to reach a conclusion as soon as possible;

8.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Communities, the European Ombudsman and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  OJ C 133 E, 8.6.2006, p. 48.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/75


Friday 24 April 2009
Governance within the CFP

P6_TA(2009)0317

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on Governance within the CFP: the European Parliament, the Regional Advisory Councils and other actors (2008/2223(INI))

2010/C 184 E/16

The European Parliament,

having regard to Council Regulation (EC) 2371/2002 of 20 December 2002 on the conservation and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources under the Common Fisheries Policy (1),

having regard to Council Regulation (EC) 657/2000 of 27 March 2000 on closer dialogue with the fishing sector and groups affected by the common fisheries policy (2),

having regard to Commission Decisions 71/128/EEC, 1999/478/EC and 2004/864/EC,

having regard to Commission Decision 93/619/EC, renewed in 2005 by Commission Decision 2005/629/EC,

having regard to Commission Decisions 74/441/EEC and 98/500/EC,

having regard to Council Decision 2004/585/EC of 19 July 2004 establishing Regional Advisory Councils under the Common Fisheries Policy (3) as amended by Council Decision 2007/409/EC of 11 June 2007 (4),

having regard to the Communication from the Commission of 17 June 2008 on the review of the functioning of the Regional Advisory Councils (COM(2008)0364),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Fisheries (A6-0187/2009),

A.

whereas institutional governance of the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) involves the Commission, the European Parliament, the Council, the Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (ACFA), the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee on Fisheries (STECF), the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries (SSDC) and the Regional Advisory Councils (RACs),

B.

whereas the governance of the CFP also involves the national and regional administrations of the Member States,

C.

whereas the Community participates in various Regional Fisheries Organisations, and Fisheries Partnership Agreements are also concluded with third countries,

D.

whereas, under the Treaty of Lisbon, Parliament would continue to be excluded from the setting of total allowable catches (TACs) and quotas,

E.

whereas attendance of members of Parliament at meetings of Regional Fisheries Organisations is currently on an ad hoc basis,

F.

whereas communication concerning the actual operation of Fisheries Partnership Agreements, including the activities of the Joint Monitoring Committees, could be more satisfactory,

G.

whereas STECF was established in 1993, an Advisory Committee for Fisheries was established in 1971 and renamed the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (AFCA) in 1999, and a Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries was established in 1999, replacing a Joint Committee existing since 1974,

H.

whereas all seven RACs are now operational,

I.

whereas an Inter-RAC Committee has been established and holds co-ordination meetings with the Commission,

J.

whereas the Commission has recently undertaken evaluations of AFCA and of the RACs but none so far of the work of STECF,

K.

whereas the evaluation of AFCA has made a number of operational recommendations and suggested various options for its long term future,

L.

whereas the evaluation of the RACs has been positive, but the Commission has identified a number of actions, not requiring new legislation, to improve their functioning,

M.

whereas all parties are agreed that a stronger dialogue between scientists and fishermen is needed and the RACs have also called for better socio-economic input into decision-taking,

N.

whereas certain RACs and members of Parliament have expressed a desire for a more formal relationship,

O.

whereas increasing activity on the part of the RACs is hampered by limited funding and the Commission’s excessively bureaucratic and inflexible approach to management and financial control regarding the funds allocated to them,

P.

whereas the Commission has said that it will listen to the views of Parliament, the Council and the stakeholders before introducing new legal rules,

Q.

whereas Commission representatives frequently fail to attend RAC working group meetings,

R.

whereas there is, however, already evidence that increased compliance with the rules of the CFP results from the involvement of stakeholders in their creation and implementation,

S.

whereas there is a multiplicity of different Community fisheries, each with its own characteristics,

T.

whereas consultations are already taking place on the reform of the CFP,

U.

whereas RAC recommendations are not always given proper attention, especially when they have not been approved unanimously by the executive committees,

1.

Calls for members of its Fisheries Committee to be given observer status at meetings of the Council of Fisheries Ministers;

2.

Calls for the Council, the Commission, and Parliament to complete the work required to reach a genuine agreement laying down standard forms of participation for members of Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries in regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs) and other international bodies whose meetings are given over to discussion of subjects affecting the Common Fisheries Policy (CFP), on the understanding that this should in no way detract from their present observer status at meetings for which such an arrangement has been agreed;

3.

Also calls on the Council, in agreement with the Commission and Parliament, to allow members of Parliament’s Committee on Fisheries to serve on the joint committees set up under Fisheries Partnership Agreements, to enable them to bring the necessary scrutiny to bear on those agreements; points out in addition that the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon will entail much greater responsibilities for Parliament, since partnership agreements will have to be approved by the assent procedure;

4.

Points to the importance of ensuring that Commission representatives attend RAC working group and executive committee meetings more regularly;

5.

Calls on the Commission to notify Parliament of all consultations that are taking place in relation to the CFP and maritime policy;

6.

Calls on the Commission to engage in an evaluation of STECF;

7.

Notes the outcome of the evaluation of AFCA and that the Commission is awaiting AFCA’s own recommendations concerning:

a clearer definition of its role and objectives, with a representative composition adequately reflecting them and genuinely representative, and improved participation by the newer Member States;

its working methods in terms of the division of activity between plenary meetings and working groups, their number and remits, and their procedures;

better formulation of the questions addressed to it;

improvement of communication and information through use of electronic media, more direct access to data and improved facilities for translation and interpretation;

adequacy of funding and the best means of sustaining support functions;

8.

Stresses the importance of avoiding overlap, particularly with the work of RACs;

9.

Points out that the fisheries sector is still not considered to have a sufficient say in the decisions affecting it; points to the differences, in terms of roles and operation, between the ACFA and RACs, inasmuch as the former performs an advisory role extending to the CFP as a whole and covers the entire Community area, whereas the role of RACs is to give specialised advice within their spheres of influence; accordingly considers that the coexistence of the different advisory bodies helps to make for compatibility with maritime and marine policy and integrated coastal zone management;

10.

Calls on the Commission to take the following actions in respect of RACs:

increase their visibility and encourage participation by a wider range of stakeholders;

improve their access to scientific evidence and data and liaison with STECF;

involve them as early as possible in the consultation process;

provide benchmarks to allow an assessment of the consistency of their advice with CFP objectives and to debrief them on the use made of it;

11.

Considers that RACs are currently under-financed for the level of work that they are undertaking; notes that the Commission has issued guidelines concerning financial management but believes that further dialogue is necessary in this regard and that alternatives to the current system should be explored;

12.

Believes that wider participation in RACs requires a review of their composition, but that the current balance between the fishing industry and other organisations should not be disturbed;

13.

Expresses its disquiet at the fact that some organisations serving in RACs as ‘other interest groups’ repeatedly take advantage of their presence, even though they might be in the minority, to block decisions supported by a majority of fisheries sector representatives and obstruct decision-taking by consensus;

14.

Calls for closer links between the RACs and Parliament, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee;

15.

Calls for technical and political decisions to be separated; political decisions should be taken as part of a regional approach and technical decisions as part of a scientific approach;

16.

Requests its Committee on Fisheries, subject to the statutory approval procedures, to:

appoint member(s) of the Committee as a liaison for each RAC and to report on its activities,

ensure that at regular intervals and, in particular, when the agenda covers matters on which they are involved in giving advice or making recommendations, RACs are invited to participate in the Committee’s work in order to present their advice or recommendations,

establish a procedure to ensure that its secretariat and those of the RACs and the Inter-RAC Committee remain in regular contact for the purpose of exchanging and gathering information related to their activities, advice, and recommendations,

host an annual conference involving the RACs and the Commission;

17.

Calls on the budgetary authorities to allocate adequate funding for the above;

18.

Asks the RACs to keep members of its Fisheries Committee informed of their activities, advice and recommendations and to invite their attendance at meetings;

19.

Calls for any future legislation on RACs to afford members of Parliament formal status as active observers at their meetings;

20.

Asks the Commission and the Inter-RAC Committee to agree to the attendance of members of Parliament’s Fisheries Committee at their coordination meetings;

21.

Stresses the importance of the CFP as a means of ensuring the existence of standards, principles and rules that are applicable across all Community waters and to all Community vessels;

22.

Asks the Commission to fully accept and respect the advisory role of the RACs and to propose, with a view to the reform of the CFP, their increasing involvement in management responsibilities;

23.

Believes also that the coming reform of the CFP should take full advantage of the consolidation of the RACs to achieve an increased decentralisation of the CFP, in order that common measures adopted may be applied in the different zones in line with the specific peculiarities of different fisheries and fishing conditions;

24.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Regional Advisory Councils, the Advisory Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture, the Scientific, Technical and Economic Committee, the Committee of the Regions and the European Economic and Social Committee, the Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Sea Fisheries and to the governments and parliaments in the Member States.


(1)  OJ L 358, 31.12.2002, p. 59.

(2)  OJ L 80, 31.3.2000, p. 7.

(3)  OJ L 256, 3.8.2004, p. 17.

(4)  OJ L 155, 15.6.2007, p. 68.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/79


Friday 24 April 2009
Facility providing mid-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments

P6_TA(2009)0327

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments

2010/C 184 E/17

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission’s proposal of 8 April 2009 for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 332/2002 establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments (COM(2009)0169),

having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 332/2002 of 18 February 2002 establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments (1), and Parliament’s position of 6 September 2001 on the proposal for a Council regulation establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments (2),

having regard to its position of 20 November 2008 (3) on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC) No 332/2002 and its resolution of the same day on establishing a facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments (4),

having regard to Articles 100 and 119 of the EC Treaty,

having regard to Rule 103(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas the Council has already doubled the ceiling for medium-term financial assistance to EUR 25 000 000 000 from an original EUR 12 000 000 000 on the basis of Articles 119 and 308 of the Treaty by adopting Regulation (EC) No 1360/2008 of 2 December 2008 (5) amending Regulation (EC) No 332/2002,

B.

whereas, in conjunction with the arrangements of other international financial institutions, the Community granted a loan to Hungary of EUR 6 500 000 000 and to Latvia of EUR 3 100 000 000, and whereas an additional EUR 2 200 000 000 is committed to Latvia by some individual Member States,

C.

whereas the Community has decided to provide medium-term financial assistance to Romania of up to EUR 5 000 000 000 in light of the adverse effects of the global financial crisis on the economic and financial situation in Romania,

D.

whereas a case-by-case approach to medium-term financial assistance for Member States is preferable, in order to take into account the specificity of each Member State’s situation,

E.

whereas the impact of the current global financial and economic crisis should be considered,

F.

whereas solidarity needs to be fully exercised towards the Member States that have more recently acceded to the European Union,

G.

whereas there is a need for policy to address the specific problems of those Member States’ economies against the backdrop of the global financial crisis and a spreading recession in the European Union,

1.

Considers the current situation to be further proof of the relevance of the euro in regard to protecting the Member States in the euro area and invites the other Member States to join the euro area it as soon as they fulfil the Maastricht criteria;

2.

Requires that the Commission answer Parliament’s former calls for an analysis of the effects of the behaviour of banks that removed their assets from the more recently acceded Member States;

3.

Calls on the Commission to communicate, as soon as possible, the result of that study to its Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs;

4.

Recognises that, owing to the current global financial and economic crisis, the ceiling for the outstanding amount of loans to be granted to Member States as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 332/2002 should be significantly increased, taking due account of Parliament’s calendar; stresses that such an increase would also enhance the ability of the Community to respond more flexibly to further requests for medium-term financial assistance;

5.

Welcomes the voluntary agreements between banks and the Member States that more recently acceded to the European Union under which those banks refrain from cutting credit lines (for example, as regards Romania and the Vienna Accord), and encourages further such initiatives;

6.

Notes that the significant increase in the loan ceiling makes it possible to maximise the Commission’s borrowing potential on capital markets or from financial institutions; notes, furthermore, that there is no specific legal basis for the Community to issue bonds on the global market, but that the Commission is undertaking preparatory work with a view to allowing two or more Member States, jointly, to issue euro-denominated bonds;

7.

Calls on the Commission to investigate, together with the European Investment Bank, how the ‘credit crunch’ in the real economy can be overcome with the help of new innovative financial instruments; points out that a variety of financial instruments could be used to ensure the flexibility of the facility providing medium-term financial assistance for Member States’ balances of payments;

8.

Notes that raising the loan ceiling would have no budgetary impact because the Commission would acquire the loans on the financial markets and the beneficiary Member States would be required to reimburse them; stresses that the only possible budgetary impact of raising the loan ceiling would be in the event that a Member State were to default on its debt;

9.

Welcomes the role attributed by the above-mentioned Commission proposal to the Court of Auditors in case of need;

10.

Believes that the conditions attached to the granting of financial assistance should be in line with, and foster the promotion of, the Community’s objectives in terms of quality of public spending, sustainable growth and social security systems, full employment, the fight against climate change and energy efficiency;

11.

Recalls that Article 100 of the Treaty is applicable to all Member States and invites the Commission to put forward a proposal for a regulation to define the conditions of implementation of that provision; recalls that Article 103 of the Treaty provides that Member States ‘shall not be liable for or assume the commitments of central governments, regional, local or other public authorities, other bodies governed by public law, or public undertakings of another Member State, without prejudice to mutual financial guarantees for the joint execution of a specific project’, and that, ‘[if] necessary, the Council, acting in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 252, may specify definitions for the application of the prohibition referred to in Article 101 and in this Article’;

12.

Requests that Parliament be informed of the memorandums of understanding concluded between the Commission and the Member States concerned, which set out the conditions of the loans;

13.

Asks the Commission to ensure the coordination of economic policy at Community level during economic downturns and to set up a group of experts together with Parliament, and to prepare a framework and guidelines for the memorandums of understanding concluded between the Commission and the Member States concerned, setting out the conditions of the loans;

14.

Recalls that Parliament requested, in its above-mentioned positions of 6 September 2001 and 20 November 2008, that the Council examine, every two years, on the basis of a report by the Commission, after consulting Parliament and after the delivery of the opinion of the Economic and Financial Committee, whether the facility established continues to meet the needs which led to its creation; asks the Council and the Commission whether such reports have been drawn up since the adoption of Regulation (EC) No 332/2002;

15.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European Central Bank, the Eurogroup and the governments of the Member States.


(1)  OJ L 53, 23.2.2002, p. 1.

(2)  OJ C 72 E, 21.3.2002, p. 312.

(3)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0560.

(4)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0562.

(5)  OJ L 352, 31.12.2008, p. 11.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/82


Friday 24 April 2009
Nanomaterials

P6_TA(2009)0328

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on regulatory aspects of nanomaterials (2008/2208(INI))

2010/C 184 E/18

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission Communication of 17 June 2008 entitled ‘Regulatory aspects of nanomaterials’ (COM(2008)0366) and the accompanying Commission staff working document (SEC(2008)2036),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 12 May 2004 entitled ‘Towards a European strategy for nanotechnology’ (COM(2004)0338),

having regard to the Commission Communication of 7 June 2005 entitled ‘Nanosciences and nanotechnologies: An action plan for Europe 2005-2009’ (COM(2005)0243) (‘the action plan’) and to its resolution of 28 September 2006 (1) on the action plan,

having regard to the Commission Communication of 6 September 2007‘Nanosciences and nanotechnologies: An action plan for Europe 2005-2009. First Implementation Report 2005-2007’ (COM(2007)0505),

having regard to the opinions of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Newly Identified Health Risks (SCENIHR) on definitions and risk assessment of nanomaterials (2),

having regard to the opinion of the Scientific Committee on Consumer Products (SCCP) on the safety of nanomaterials in cosmetics (3),

having regard to the Commission Recommendation on a code of conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies research (COM(2008)0424) (‘Code of Conduct’),

having regard to the opinion from the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to the European Commission on the ethical aspects of nanomedicine (4),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 18 December 2006 concerning the Registration, Evaluation, Authorisation and Restriction of Chemicals (REACH) (5),

having regard to Directive 98/8/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 1998 concerning the placing of biocidal products on the market (6),

having regard to Council Directive 89/391/EEC of 12 June 1989 on the introduction of measures to encourage improvements in the safety and health of workers at work (7) and its daughter directives,

having regard to Directive 2001/95/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 December 2001 on general product safety (8) as well as specific product legislation, in particular Council Directive 76/768/EEC of 27 July 1976 on approximation of laws of the Member States relating to cosmetic products (9),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 178/2002 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 January 2002 laying down the general principles and requirements of food law, establishing the European Food Safety Authority and laying down procedures in matters of food safety (10), Regulation (EC) No 1333/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on food additives (11), Directive 2000/13/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 March 2000 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the labelling, presentation and advertising of foodstuffs (12), Regulation (EC) No 1830/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 concerning the traceability and labelling of genetically modified organisms and the traceability of food and feed products produced from genetically modified organisms (13), and Regulation (EC) No 258/97 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 27 January 1997 concerning novel foods and novel food ingredients (14),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1272/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on classification, labelling and packaging of substances and mixtures, amending and repealing Directives 67/548/EEC and 1999/45/EC, and amending Regulation (EC) No 1907/2006 (15),

having regard to Community environmental legislation, in particular Directive 2008/1/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 concerning integrated pollution prevention and control (16), Directive 2000/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 October 2000 establishing a framework for Community action in the field of water policy (17) and Directive 2006/12/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2006 on waste (18),

having regard to Directive 2006/114/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2006 concerning misleading and comparative advertising (19),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A6-0255/2009),

A.

whereas the use of nanomaterials and nanotechnologies (hereinafter referred to as ‘nanomaterials’) promises important advances with multiple benefits in innumerable applications for consumers, patients and the environment, as nanomaterials can provide different or new properties compared to the same substance or material in normal form,

B.

whereas the advances in nanomaterials are expected to have significant influence on policy decisions in the fields of public health, employment, occupational safety and health, information society, energy, transport, security and space,

C.

whereas despite the introduction of a specific European strategy on nanotechnologies and the subsequent allocation of approximately EUR 3 500 000 000 for research in nanosciences for the Seventh Framework Programme of the European Community for research, technological development and demonstration activities (2007-2013) (FP7), the European Union is lagging behind its current main competitors – the USA, Japan and South Korea – who account for over half of the investment and two-thirds of the patents filed worldwide,

D.

whereas nanomaterials on the other hand potentially present significant new risks due to their minute size, such as increased reactivity and mobility, possibly leading to increased toxicity in combination with unrestricted access to the human body, and possibly involving quite different mechanisms of interference with the physiology of human and environmental species,

E.

whereas the safe development of nanomaterials can make an important contribution to the competitiveness of the European Union’s economy and to the achievement of the Lisbon strategy,

F.

whereas the current discussion about nanomaterials is characterised by a significant lack of knowledge and information, leading to disagreement starting at the level of definitions:

a)

concerning the size: approximate indication of the size (‘in the order of 100 nm or less’) versus a specific size range (‘between 1 and 100 nm’),

b)

concerning different/new properties: different/new properties due to size effects, including particle number, surface structure and surface activity, as an independent criterion versus using such properties as an additional criterion for the definition of nanomaterials,

c)

concerning problematic properties: limitation of the definition of nanomaterials to certain properties (e.g. insoluble or persistent), or not making such limitations,

G.

whereas a fully developed set of harmonised definitions is not currently available although a number of international standards are either available or in progress, defining ‘nanoscale’ as ‘having one or more dimensions of the order of 100 nm or less’, and often distinguishing between:

nano-objects, defined as ‘discrete pieces of materials with one, two or three external dimensions at the nanoscale’, i.e. as materials constituted by isolated objects with very small dimensions,

nano-structured materials, defined as materials ‘having an internal or surface structure at the nanoscale’, e.g. exhibiting cavities of small dimensions,

H.

whereas there is no clear information about the actual use of nanomaterials in consumer products, for instance:

while inventories by renowned institutions list more than 800 manufacturer-identified nanotechnology-based consumer products currently on the market, trade associations of the same manufacturers question these figures, on the basis that they are overestimations, without providing any concrete figures themselves,

while companies happily use ‘nano-claims’, as the term ‘nano’ seems to have a positive marketing effect, they are strictly opposed to objective labelling requirements,

I.

whereas clear notification requirements on the use of nanomaterials, information to consumers as well as full enforcement of Directive 2006/114/EC are necessary to provide reliable information on the use of nanomaterials,

J.

whereas presentations about the potential benefits of nanotechnologies predict an almost infinite diversity of future applications of nanomaterials, but fail to provide reliable information about current uses,

K.

whereas there is a major debate about the possibility of assessing the safety of nanomaterials; whereas the scientific committees and Agencies of the European Union point to major deficiencies not only in key data, but even in methods of obtaining such data; whereas the European Union thus needs to invest more into adequate assessment of nanomaterials to close the knowledge gaps and to develop and implement as fast as possible, and, in collaboration with its agencies and international partners, methods of evaluation and an appropriate and harmonised metrology and nomenclature,

L.

whereas SCENIHR identified some specific health hazards as well as toxic effects on environmental organisms for some nanomaterials; whereas SCENIHR furthermore found a general lack of high-quality exposure data both for humans and the environment, concluding that the knowledge on the methodology for both exposure estimates and hazard identification needs to be further developed, validated and standardised,

M.

whereas current funding for research into the environmental, health and safety aspects of nanomaterials in FP7 is far too low; whereas moreover the evaluation criteria for granting research projects to assess the safety of nanomaterials under FP7 are too restrictive (i.e. they have a narrow innovation bias), and thus do not sufficiently promote the urgent development of scientific methods to assess nanomaterials; whereas it is essential to allocate sufficient resources for research on the safe development and use of nanomaterials,

N.

whereas knowledge about potential health and environmental impacts of nanomaterials lags significantly behind the pace of market developments in light of the very rapid developments in the field of nanomaterials, thus raising fundamental questions about the ability of the current regulations to deal with emerging technologies such as nanomaterials in ‘real time’,

O.

whereas, in its resolution of 28 September 2006 on nanosciences and nanotechnologies Parliament had called for investigation of the effects of nanoparticles that are not readily soluble or biodegradable, in accordance with the precautionary principle, before such particles are put into production and placed on the market,

P.

whereas the value of the above-mentioned Commission Communication entitled ‘Regulatory aspects of nanomaterials’ is rather limited due to the absence of information about the specific properties of nanomaterials, their actual uses, and potential risks and benefits, and thus no consideration of the legislative and policy challenges that result from the specific nature of nanomaterials, resulting in only a general legal overview that shows that there are no nano-specific provisions in Community legislation for the time being,

Q.

whereas nanomaterials should be covered by a multi-faceted, differentiated and adaptive body of law based on the precautionary principle (20), the principle of producer responsibility and the polluter-pays principle to ensure the safe production, use and disposal of nanomaterials before the technology is put on the market, while avoiding systematic recourse to general moratoria or undifferentiated treatment of different applications of nanomaterials,

R.

whereas the almost infinite application of nanotechnologies to such diverse sectors as electronics, textiles, biomedicals, personal care products, cleaning products, food or energy makes it impossible to introduce a single regulatory framework at Community level,

S.

whereas, in the context of REACH, it has already been agreed that further guidance and advice on nanomaterials, in particular on substance identification, as well as an adaptation of risk assessment methods is needed; whereas a closer look at REACH reveals several further deficiencies to deal with nanomaterials,

T.

whereas waste legislation in the absence of nano-specific provisions may not apply correctly,

U.

whereas nanomaterials, throughout their whole life cycle, raise major challenges for occupational health and safety, as many workers along the production chain are exposed to those materials without knowing whether the safety procedures implemented and the protection measures taken are adequate and efficient; notes that the number and diversity of workers exposed to the effects of nanomaterials are expected to increase in the future,

V.

whereas the significant amendments concerning nanomaterials adopted in a first reading agreement between the Council and the European Parliament in the context of the recast of the cosmetics directive (21), and the significant amendments adopted by the European Parliament in the first reading of the review of the regulation on novel food (22), respectively, highlight the need to amend relevant Community legislation to address nanomaterials adequately,

W.

whereas the current debate about regulatory aspects of nanomaterials is largely limited to expert circles, even though nanomaterials have the potential to bring about far-ranging societal change, which requires wide-ranging public consultation,

X.

whereas a broad application of patents to nanomaterials, as well as the excessive cost of patenting and the absence of patent access facilities for very small businesses and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), could stifle further innovation,

Y.

whereas the likely convergence of nanotechnology with biotechnology, biology, cognitive sciences and information technology raises serious questions relating to ethics, safety, security and respect for fundamental rights that need to be analysed by a new opinion of the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies,

Z.

whereas the Code of Conduct is an essential instrument for safe, integrated and responsible research in nanomaterials; whereas the Code of Conduct must be adopted and respected by all producers intending to manufacture or place goods on the market,

AA.

whereas the review of all relevant Community legislation should implement the principle ‘no data, no market’ for nanomaterials,

1.

Is convinced that the use of nanomaterials should respond to the real needs of citizens and that their benefits should be realised in a safe and responsible manner within a clear regulatory and policy framework (legislative and other provisions) that explicitly addresses existing and expected applications of nanomaterials as well as the very nature of potential health, environmental and safety problems;

2.

Deplores the absence of a proper evaluation of the de facto application of the general provisions of Community law in the light of the actual nature of nanomaterials;

3.

Does not agree, before an appropriate evaluation of current Community legislation, and in the absence of any nano-specific provisions therein, with the Commission’s conclusions that a) current legislation covers in principle the relevant risks relating to nanomaterials, and b) that the protection of health, safety and the environment needs mostly be enhanced by improving implementation of current legislation, when due to the lack of appropriate data and methods to assess the risks relating to nanomaterials it is effectively unable to address their risks;

4.

Considers that the concept of the ‘safe, responsible and integrated approach’ to nanotechnologies advocated by the European Union is jeopardised by the lack of information on the use and on the safety of nanomaterials that are already on the market, particularly in sensitive applications with direct exposure of consumers;

5.

Calls on the Commission to review all relevant legislation within two years to ensure safety for all applications of nanomaterials in products with potential health, environmental or safety impacts over their life cycle, and to ensure that legislative provisions and instruments of implementation reflect the particular features of nanomaterials to which workers, consumers and/or the environment may be exposed;

6.

Stresses that such review is not only necessary to adequately protect human health and the environment, but also to provide certainty and predictability to economic operators as well as public confidence;

7.

Calls for the introduction of a comprehensive science-based definition of nanomaterials in Community legislation as part of nano-specific amendments to relevant horizontal and sectoral legislation;

8.

Calls on the Commission to promote the adoption of a harmonised definition of nanomaterials at the international level and to adapt the relevant European legislative framework accordingly;

9.

Considers it particularly important to address nanomaterials explicitly within the scope of at least legislation on chemicals (REACH, biocides), food (foodstuffs, food additives, food and feed products from genetically modified organisms), relevant legislation on worker protection, as well as legislation on air quality, water quality and waste;

10.

Calls for the application of a duty of care for manufacturers that wish to place nanomaterials onto the market; and calls on them to adhere to the European code of conduct for responsible nanosciences and nanotechnologies research;

11.

Calls specifically on the Commission to evaluate the need to review REACH concerning inter alia:

simplified registration for nanomaterials manufactured or imported below one tonne,

consideration of all nanomaterials as new substances,

a chemical safety report with exposure assessment for all registered nanomaterials,

notification requirements for all nanomaterials placed on the market on their own, in preparations or in articles;

12.

Calls specifically on the Commission to evaluate the need to review waste legislation concerning inter alia:

a separate entry for nanomaterials in the list of waste established by Decision 2000/532/EC (23),

a revision of the waste acceptance criteria in landfills in Decision 2003/33/EC (24),

a revision of relevant emission limit values for waste incineration to supplement the mass-based measurements by metrics based on particle number and/or surface;

13.

Calls specifically on the Commission to evaluate the need to review emission limit values and environmental quality standards in air and water legislation to supplement the mass-based measurements by metrics based on particle number and/or surface to adequately address nanomaterials;

14.

Underlines the importance for the Commission and/or Member States to ensure full compliance with, and enforcement of, the principles of Community legislation on the health and safety of workers when dealing with nanomaterials, including adequate training for health and safety specialists, to prevent potentially harmful exposure to nanomaterials;

15.

Calls specifically on the Commission to evaluate the need to review worker protection legislation concerning inter alia:

the use of nanomaterials only in closed systems or in other ways that exclude exposure of workers as long as it is not possible to reliably detect and control exposure,

a clear assignment of liability to producers and employers arising from the use of nanomaterials,

whether all exposure routes (inhalation, dermal and other) are addressed;

16.

Calls on the Commission to compile before June 2011 an inventory of the different types and uses of nanomaterials on the European market, while respecting justified commercial secrets such as recipes, and to make this inventory publicly available; furthermore calls on the Commission to report on the safety of these nanomaterials at the same time;

17.

Reiterates its call for the provision of information to consumers on the use of nanomaterials in consumer products: all ingredients present in the form of nanomaterials in substances, mixtures or articles should be clearly indicated in the labelling of the product (e.g. in the list of ingredients, the name of such ingredients should be followed by the word ‘nano’ in brackets);

18.

Calls for full enforcement of Directive 2006/114/EC to ensure that that there is no misleading advertising with nanomaterials;

19.

Calls for the urgent development of adequate testing protocols and metrology standards to assess the hazard of, and exposure of workers, consumers and the environment to, nanomaterials over their entire life cycle, including in the case of accidents, using a multi-disciplinary approach;

20.

Calls for a major stepping up of the funding of research into the environmental, health and safety aspects of nanomaterials over their life cycle, e.g. via the establishment of a special European Fund within FP7; furthermore calls specifically on the Commission to revise the evaluation criteria under FP7 so that FP7 attracts and funds significantly more research to improve the scientific methodology to assess nanomaterials;

21.

Calls on the Commission to promote coordination and exchange between Member States on research and development, risk assessment, guidance development and regulation of nanomaterials by using existing mechanisms (e.g. REACH Competent Authorities Subgroup on Nanomaterials) or by creating additional ones, if appropriate;

22.

Calls on the Commission and Member States to propose, as soon as possible, the establishment of a permanent and independent European network responsible for monitoring nanotechnologies and nanomaterials, and a basic and applied research programme on the methodology for this monitoring (particularly metrology, detection, toxicity and epidemiology);

23.

Asks the Commission and the Member States to launch an EU-wide public debate on nanotechnologies and nanomaterials and on the regulatory aspects of nanomaterials;

24.

Recognises that it is essential to remove the obstacles preventing very small businesses and SMEs in particular from accessing patents and calls at the same time for patent rights to be limited to specific applications or production methods of nanomaterials, and only to be extended to nanomaterials themselves on an exceptional basis, to avoid stifling innovation;

25.

Considers that stringent ethical guidelines need to be developed in due time, particularly for nanomedicine, such guidelines being the right to privacy, free and informed consent, the limits set on non-therapeutic human enhancement, whilst offering encouragement to this promising interdisciplinary domain with breakthrough technologies such as molecular imaging and diagnostics, which can offer impressive benefits for the early diagnosis and smart and cost-effective treatment of many diseases; asks the European Group on Ethics in Science and New Technologies to draw up an opinion on this issue, building on its Opinion No 21 of 17 January 2007 on ‘Ethical aspects of nanomedicine’ and drawing on the ethical opinion issued by EU national ethics bodies as well as the work undertaken by international organisations such as UNESCO;

26.

Calls on the Commission and Member States to pay special attention to the social dimension of the development of nanotechnology; furthermore considers that the active participation of the social partners concerned has to be ensured from the earliest possible stage;

27.

Calls on the Commission to evaluate the need to review legislation to address nanomaterials that are created as unintended by-products of combustion processes in a cost-effective manner;

28.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  OJ C 306 E, 15.12.2006, p. 426.

(2)  Opinion on ‘The scientific aspects of the existing and proposed definitions relating to products of nanoscience and nanotechnologies; 29 November 2007’; http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_012.pdf And accompanying Information by Commission services concerning the SCENIHR Opinion on Scientific Aspects of Existing and Proposed Definitions relating to Products of Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies; http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_oc_012.pdf Opinion on The Appropriateness of the Risk Assessment methodology in accordance with the technical guidance documents for new and existing substances for assessing the risks of nanomaterials; 21-22 June 2007; http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_010.pdf Modified opinion (after public consultation) on The appropriateness of existing methodologies to assess the potential risks associated with engineered and adventitious products of nanotechnologies; 10 March 2006; http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_003b.pdf Opinion on Risk Assessment of Products of Nanotechnologies; 19 January 2009; http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_scenihr/docs/scenihr_o_023.pdf

(3)  Opinion on Safety of nanomaterials in cosmetic products; 18 December 2007; http://ec.europa.eu/health/ph_risk/committees/04_sccp/docs/sccp_o_123.pdf

(4)  Opinion No 21, 17 January 2007.

(5)  OJ L 396, 30.12.2006, p. 1.

(6)  OJ L 123, 24.4.1998, p. 1.

(7)  OJ L 183, 29.6.1989, p. 1.

(8)  OJ L 11, 15.1.2002, p. 4.

(9)  OJ L 262, 27.9.1976, p. 169.

(10)  OJ L 31, 1.2.2002, p. 1.

(11)  OJ L 354, 31.12.2008, p. 16.

(12)  OJ L 109, 6.5.2000, p. 29.

(13)  OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 24.

(14)  OJ L 43, 14.2.1997, p. 1.

(15)  OJ L 353, 31.12.2008, p. 1.

(16)  OJ L 24, 29.1.2008, p. 8.

(17)  OJ L 327, 22.12.2000, p. 1.

(18)  OJ L 114, 27.4.2006, p. 9.

(19)  OJ L 376, 27.12.2006, p. 21.

(20)  Commission Communication of 2 February 2000 on the precautionary principle (COM(2000)0001).

(21)  Position of the European Parliament of 24 March 2009, Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0158.

(22)  Position of the European Parliament of 25 March 2009, Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0171.

(23)  Commission Decision 2000/532/EC of 3 May 2000 replacing Decision 94/3/EC establishing a list of wastes pursuant to Article 1(a) of Council Directive 75/442/EEC on waste and Council Decision 94/904/EC establishing a list of hazardous waste pursuant to Article 1(4) of Council Directive 91/689/EEC on hazardous waste (OJ L 226, 6.9.2000, p. 3).

(24)  Council Decision 2003/33/EC of 19 December 2002 establishing criteria and procedures for the acceptance of waste at landfills pursuant to Article 16 of and Annex II to Directive 1999/31/EC (OJ L 11, 16.1.2003, p. 27).


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/90


Friday 24 April 2009
Annual debate on the progress made in 2008 in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ)

P6_TA(2009)0329

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the annual debate on the progress made in 2008 in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) (Articles 2 and 39 of the EU Treaty)

2010/C 184 E/19

The European Parliament,

having regard to Articles 2, 6 and 39 of the EU Treaty and Articles 13, 17 to 22, 61 to 69, 255 and 286 of the EC Treaty, which form the main legal bases for the development of the EU and the Community as an area of freedom, security and justice,

having regard to Oral Questions to the Council (B6-0489/2008) and to the Commission (B6-0494/2008), debated in plenary on 17 December 2008,

having regard to Rule 108(5) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas ten years after the entry into force of the Treaty of Amsterdam:

the EU acquis on justice, freedom and security has been growing significantly, thereby confirming the choice made by the Member States to involve the European Union institutions extensively in policy-making in this area so as to ensure freedom, security and justice to Union citizens,

a majority of Union citizens, according to Eurobarometer periodic surveys, increasingly feel that EU-level actions have an added value compared to those taken solely at a national level, and two thirds of citizens support EU-level actions which promote and protect fundamental rights (including children's rights), as well as the fight against organised crime and terrorism, and only 18 % consider that EU-level actions have had no extra benefit,

B.

whereas the positive factors mentioned above cannot offset:

the persistent legal weakness and complexity of the EU decision-making process, notably in areas such as police and judicial cooperation in criminal matters, which lacks an appropriate democratic and judicial control at EU level,

the reluctance of a majority of the Member States to strengthen policies linked to fundamental rights and citizens' rights; at the same time it appears increasingly essential to focus not only on cross-border cases, in order to avoid double standards within the same Member State,

the continuing need to further develop and correctly implement the EU common immigration and asylum policy, which is facing delays in relation to the timetable agreed on in the Hague Programme and the European Pact on Immigration and Asylum,

the difficulties faced by the Commission in ensuring the timely and correct implementation of much recently adopted Community legislation, together with managing a high volume of correspondence, complaints and a growing infringements case-load,

the need for a more extensive involvement of the European Parliament and national parliaments in assessing the real impact of EU legislation on the ground,

the still underdeveloped network of representatives of civil society and stakeholders in each AFSJ policy; it is worth noting that only recently the Ministers of Justice of the Member States decided to build a network aimed at mutually strengthening their national legislation, and the same should be done for the other AFSJ areas,

the fact that, even between EU agencies, cooperation is developing slowly and the situation risks becoming even more complex with the multiplication of other bodies with operational tasks at EU level,

C.

whereas it is necessary to recall:

the continuing prudent position taken by the Council and by the Commission following the adoption by Parliament of its resolution of 25 September 2008 on the annual debate on the progress made in 2007 in the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice (AFSJ) (Articles 2 and 39 of the EU Treaty) (1), and during the plenary debates in December 2008 on the protection of fundamental rights in the European Union and on progress in the AFSJ,

the support given by national parliaments to wider inter-parliamentary cooperation notably in the AFSJ, as demonstrated by their contributions to the general debates and on specific occasions such as to the revision of the EU rules on transparency, Council Framework Decision 2002/475/JHA of 13 June 2002 on combating terrorism (2), the new EU-PNR legislation (3), the implementation of Directive 2004/38/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2004 on the right of citizens of the Union and their family members to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States (4), the assessment of Council Directive 2003/9/EC of 27 January 2003 laying down minimum standards for the reception of asylum seekers (5) and to the implementation of judicial cooperation in criminal and civil matters,

1.

Calls on those Member States which have not ratified the Treaty of Lisbon to do so as soon as possible, as it will overcome the more significant shortcomings in the AFSJ by:

creating a more coherent, transparent and legally sound framework,

strengthening the protection of fundamental rights by giving binding force to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (‘the Charter’) and by allowing the EU to accede to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

empowering citizens of the Union and civil society by involving them in the legislative process and granting them greater access to the Court of Justice of the European Communities (ECJ),

involving the European Parliament and national parliaments in the evaluation of EU policies, thereby making European and national administrations more accountable;

2.

Calls on the European Council, the Council and the Commission to:

(a)

formally involve the newly elected European Parliament in the adoption of the next multiannual AFSJ programme for the period 2010-2014, as this programme, after the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, should be mainly implemented by the Council and Parliament by way of the codecision procedure; given that such a multiannual programme should also go far beyond the suggestions contained in the reports of the Council Future Groups, national parliaments should also be involved as they should play an essential role in shaping the priorities and in implementing them at national level;

(b)

focus on the future multiannual programme, and primarily on the improvement of fundamental and citizens' rights, as recently recommended by Parliament in its resolution of 14 January 2009 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union 2004-2008 (6), by developing the objectives and principles laid down in the Charter, which the institutions proclaimed in Nice in 2000 and again in Strasbourg on 12 December 2007;

3.

Considers it urgent and appropriate that the Commission:

(a)

take urgent initiatives to improve the protection of citizens' rights such as data protection, diplomatic and consular protection and freedom of movement and residence;

(b)

develop a mechanism to ensure a more extensive involvement of citizens in the definition of the content of citizenship of the Union by developing consultation mechanisms and supporting stakeholder networks;

(c)

submit a fully fledged programme of EU measures strengthening the procedural rights of defendants and the necessary safeguards in the pre-trial and post-trial phases, notably when they involve a non-national of the country concerned, and more generally develop screening of EU criminal justice and security measures with regard to the protection of citizens' rights;

(d)

collect and disseminate, on a regular basis, all the relevant neutral data on the evolution of the main AFSJ policies such as migratory flows, the evolution of organised crime and in particular of terrorism (see the EU Organised Crime Threat Assessment 2008 (OCTA) and the EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report 2008 (TE-SAT) by Europol);

(e)

present as soon as possible the pending legal instruments on other ‘EU blue card’ categories of third-country workers such as seasonal workers, intra-corporate transferees and remunerated trainees and on FRONTEX's mandate; in particular, ensure that FRONTEX has adequate resources in order to meet its objectives and keep Parliament fully informed of the negotiations on agreements in the field of immigration with third countries;

(f)

establish a European Internal Security Policy, which should complement national security plans so that citizens of the Union and national parliaments have a clear idea of the added value of EU action; in particular, reinforce EU policy regarding the fight against certain types of organised crime such as cybercrime, trafficking in human beings, sexual exploitation of children and corruption, by taking effective action and using all available cooperation tools to achieve measurable results, including action with a view to the adoption of a legislative instrument on the confiscation of financial assets and property of international criminal organisations and on their re-use for social purposes;

(g)

continue to implement the principle of mutual recognition of legal decisions in both the civil and criminal justice spheres, at all stages of the judicial procedure, in particular as regards criminal justice, to ensure a EU-wide system of recognition and mutual acceptability of evidence, taking the utmost account of respect for fundamental rights;

(h)

supplement the development of mutual recognition by a series of measures reinforcing mutual confidence, in particular by developing some approximation of substantive and procedural criminal law and of procedural rights, improving the mutual evaluation of the functioning of justice systems and improving ways of developing mutual confidence within the judicial profession, such as increasing judicial training and supporting networking;

(i)

build a transparent and efficient EU external strategy in the AFSJ, based on a credible policy, in particular where the Community has exclusive competence, for example in readmission agreements, external border protection and visa policies (as is the case concerning the US visa waiver issue);

(j)

invite the Council to consult Parliament regularly even in the case of international agreements dealing with judicial and police cooperation in criminal matters, as the current refusal by the Council to do so is contrary to the principle of loyal cooperation and of the democratic accountability of the EU; calls on the Commission in particular to present criteria on the development of a proper EU policy regarding agreements with third countries on mutual legal assistance or extradition in criminal matters, taking account of the principle of non-discrimination between EU citizens and the citizens of the third country concerned;

(k)

introduce specific legislation granting diplomatic and consular protection for all Union citizens whether or not the Member State in question is represented in the third country's territory;

(l)

submit new proposals in order to comply with the ECJ rulings on the protection of fundamental rights in the case of the freezing of assets of natural and legal persons, also with reference to the ECJ rulings relating to the persons listed in the Annexes to the Council Decisions implementing Article 2(3) of Council Regulation (EC) No 2580/2001 of 27 December 2001 on specific restrictive measures directed against certain persons and entities with a view to combating terrorism (7);

(m)

strengthen mutual trust and solidarity between the Member States' administrations by:

setting out, in cooperation with the Council of Europe, higher standards of quality for both justice (8) and police cooperation;

strengthening and democratising the mutual assessment mechanisms already provided for in the context of Schengen cooperation and in the fight against terrorism;

extending the model of mutual evaluation and assistance between the Member States established for Schengen to all AFSJ policies where citizens from other Member States or from third countries are concerned (such as for migration and integration policies but also for implementing anti-terrorism and anti-radicalisation programmes);

(n)

establish more extensive coordination and complementarity between the existing and future EU agencies such as Europol, Eurojust, FRONTEX and Cepol, as these bodies should go beyond their embryonic and uncertain cooperation and establish closer links with the corresponding national services by reaching higher standards of efficiency and security and being more accountable and transparent before the European Parliament and national parliaments;

(o)

continue to develop and strengthen, on an ongoing basis, the common Union policy on border management, while stressing the need to define, as rapidly as possible, a global architecture for the Union's border strategy, as well as the way in which all related programmes and projects should interact and function as a whole, with a view to optimising the way they interrelate and avoiding duplication or inconsistency;

4.

Urges the Commission to make all the necessary efforts with a view to completing the projects concerned and ensuring that the Visa Information System (VIS) and the second-generation Schengen Information System (SIS II) can enter into force as quickly as possible;

5.

Recommends that the Commission refrain from prematurely submitting any legislative proposals to introduce new systems - in particular the Entry/Exit System - until the VIS and the SIS II are up and running; advocates evaluating the actual need for such a system, given its evident overlap with the set of systems already in place; believes that it is essential to examine any changes needed to the existing systems and to provide a proper estimate of the actual costs of the entire process;

6.

Invites the Commission to include in its proposal for a multiannual programme the recommendations outlined above and those submitted by Parliament in its above-mentioned resolutions of 25 September 2008 and of 14 January 2009, as well as in the following resolutions:

resolution of 2 April 2009 on problems and prospects concerning European Citizenship (9),

resolution of 27 September 2007 on the application of Council Directive 2000/43/EC of 29 June 2000 implementing the principle of equal treatment between persons irrespective of racial or ethnic origin (10),

resolution of 10 March 2009 on the next steps in border management in the European Union and similar experiences in third countries (11), and

resolution of 10 March 2009 on the future of the Common European Asylum System (12);

7.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and to the governments and parliaments of the Member States.


(1)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2008)0458.

(2)  OJ L 164, 22.6.2002, p. 3.

(3)  Proposal for a Council framework decision on the use of Passenger Name Record (PNR) for law enforcement purposes (COM(2007)0654).

(4)  OJ L 158, 30.4.2004, p. 77.

(5)  OJ L 31, 6.2.2003, p. 18.

(6)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0019.

(7)  OJ L 344, 28.12.2001, p. 70.

(8)  European Parliament recommendation to the Council on the quality of criminal justice and the harmonisation of criminal law in the Member States (OJ C 304 E, 1.12.2005, p. 109).

(9)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0204.

(10)  OJ C 219 E, 28.8.2008, p. 317.

(11)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0085.

(12)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0087.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/94


Friday 24 April 2009
Conclusions of the G20 Summit

P6_TA(2009)0330

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on the London G20 Summit of 2 April 2009

2010/C 184 E/20

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Leaders’ Statement (Global Plan for Recovery and Reform) issued following the London Group of Twenty (G20) Summit and their declarations on ‘Strengthening the financial system’ and on ‘Delivering resources through the international financial institutions’, of 2 April 2009,

having regard to the progress report on the jurisdictions surveyed by the OECD global forum in implementing the internationally agreed tax standard, which requires exchange of information on requests in all tax matters for the administration and enforcement of domestic tax law, of 2 April 2009,

having regard to the Presidency Conclusions following the European Council meeting of 19 and 20 March 2009,

having regard to the Commission communication of 4 March 2009, entitled ‘Driving European recovery’ (COM(2009)0114),

having regard to the report by the High-Level Group on Financial Supervision in the EU chaired by Jacques de Larosière, of 25 February 2009,

having regard to the Commission communication of 29 October 2008, entitled ‘From financial crisis to recovery: A European framework for action’ (COM(2008)0706),

having regard to its resolution of 11 March 2009 on the European Economic Recovery Plan (1),

having regard to the Commission communication of 8 April 2009, entitled ‘Supporting developing countries in coping with the crisis’ (COM(2009)0160),

having regard to the report by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), entitled ‘The Implications of the Global Financial Crisis for Low-Income Countries’, of in March 2009,

having regard to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and the Member States’ commitments to provide aid to tackle hunger and poverty,

having regard to the report by the UN Environment Programme, entitled ‘Out of Crisis - Opportunity’, of 16 February 2009, which urged the G20 to take forward the ‘Global Green New Deal’,

having regard to the report by the International Labour Organization (ILO) and the International Institute for Labour Studies, entitled ‘The Financial and Economic Crisis: A Decent Work Perspective’, of 24 March 2009, which urges the G20 to put forward a coordinated stimulus package oriented toward social protection and job creation,

having regard to Rule 103(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas the world is falling deeper into a recession, the effects of which no country and no sector can expect to avoid, and whereas worldwide economic performance is declining fast during 2009 and only slow recovery is expected during 2010, according to even the most optimistic projections,

B.

whereas the consequences of the financial crisis for the real economy have given rise to exceptional economic circumstances that require timely, targeted, temporary and proportional measures and decisions with a view to finding solutions to an unprecedented global economic and employment situation,

C.

whereas the main challenges to be met in countering the downturn in the international and the European economy are the lack of confidence in the financial and capital markets and rising unemployment, and the contraction of international trade,

D.

whereas the current recession should be used as an opportunity to promote the Lisbon-Göteborg goals and the global commitment to fight unemployment and climate change and reduce energy consumption,

E.

whereas the Global Plan for Recovery and Reform (Global Plan) encompasses the following aims: (1) to restore confidence, growth and jobs; (2) to repair the financial system to restore lending; (3) to strengthen financial regulation and rebuild trust; (4) to fund and reform the international financial institutions in order to overcome the crisis and prevent future crises; (5) to promote global trade and investment and to underpin prosperity, while rejecting protectionism; and (6) to build an inclusive, environmentally friendly and sustainable recovery,

F.

whereas international coordination is essential to the task of reviving and then rebuilding the global economy,

G.

whereas membership of the euro area has been shown to enhance economic stability in the relevant Member States, as a result of their efforts to comply with the Maastricht criteria and the provisions of the Stability and Growth Pact and the shielding of their economies from currency fluctuations,

H.

whereas several Member States have encountered severe balance-of-payments problems, and whereas some of those Member States have had to resort to the IMF or the European Union for relief,

I.

whereas the MDGs, in particular the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger, must underpin ACP-EU cooperation under the Cotonou Partnership Agreement,

J.

whereas, as a result of the financial crisis, some donor countries have reduced their financial contribution to Official Development Assistance (ODA) to developing countries, endangering the efforts to achieve the MDGs,

K.

whereas the ACP countries are dependent on exports of commodities that account for over 50 % of their foreign currency revenue, and whereas the financial crisis is resulting in decreasing exports from and remittance flows into many developing countries, reduced access to credit and reduced foreign direct investment, and plummeting commodity prices,

L.

whereas offshore centres act in such a way as to allow avoidance and evasion of taxation and financial regulation,

M.

whereas growth in international trade is slowing down owing to a lack of credit and finance and to the general slowdown in the world economy,

N.

whereas strong multilateral cooperation is needed to ward off the protectionist measures the financial/economic crisis may give rise to,

General remarks

1.

Welcomes the G20’s Global Plan; notes that the Global Plan is in line with the efforts already made in the European Union to avoid conflicting policies the effect of which is to cancel each other out; welcomes the G20’s recognition that a global crisis requires a global solution and an integrated strategy to restore confidence, growth and jobs; considers that such recognition requires a serious follow-up at the next meeting of the G20, which will take place in early autumn 2009;

2.

Believes that the task ahead for the world’s leaders is not to patch up the present financial and economic system, but to recognise that a new balance must be struck in the regulatory framework which would take into account environmental and social sustainability, opportunity, revived global economic growth and job creation as well as social justice and participation; calls for better and all-encompassing regulation and supervision and for a new regulatory and governance framework to be developed; considers that the G20 should have addressed the problem of global imbalances in trade and finance, which have played a fundamental role in the current economic crisis;

3.

Stresses the fact that all the commitments entered into must be respected in full, put in place rapidly and fleshed out, at national and international level, in order to rebuild confidence and maximise effectiveness; takes note of the arrangements by the Financial Stability Board (FSB) and IMF assignment to monitor progress made on the Global Plan and invites them to present their report to Parliament;

4.

Stresses that the immediate priority must be to get the real economy moving again, to ensure that the capital markets and lending function properly, to sustain and promote employment, and to protect people from the adverse impact of the crisis, paying special attention to the poorest and most vulnerable;

5.

Lauds the G20 for having largely opted for solutions based on loans and guarantees, which will maximise economic effects whilst helping to reduce the long-term impact on government coffers of the package of measures that is worth over USD 1 trillion;

Restoring growth and jobs

6.

Welcomes the agreement to provide EUR 832 billion in additional financial resources for the IMF, other financial institutions and trade finance and the commitment to deliver the scale of sustained fiscal effort needed to restore credit, growth and jobs in the world economy whilst ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability; notes, however, that no additional European fiscal stimulus was agreed; recognises that the margin for action is different for each country, but that each needs to act to the limits of its possibilities;

7.

Recognises the essential role of central banks in this effort and their rapid reduction of interest rates, and welcomes the G20’s commitment to refrain from competitive devaluation of national currencies, which could trigger a vicious circle; welcomes the ECB’s successive rate cuts to foster growth, and its prompt provision of short-term financial facilities designed to revive inter-bank lending; draws attention to the need to create conditions that facilitate passing on interest rate cuts to borrowers; calls for every measure to be taken to enable financial markets to function properly again, including urgent moves to restore domestic lending and international capital flows;

8.

Notes with concern the rapid increases in public debt and budget deficits; stresses the importance of establishing sound State finances as soon as possible and of ensuring long-term fiscal sustainability in order to avoid imposing too heavy a burden on future generations, noting that, country-by-country this should be considered in the context of total indebtedness;

9.

Deplores the fact that global imbalances, which are at the root of the financial crisis, were not addressed at the G20 Summit; points out that if financial crises are to be prevented in the future, the underlying causes have to be addressed (i.e. an excessive US deficit financed by excessive Chinese trade surpluses), which have implications far beyond the realm of banking and financial regulation and institutional governance; considers that an effective multilateral response to the crisis must involve addressing the causes of exchange rate imbalances and commodity price volatility within multilateral frameworks; urges the European Council, therefore, to adopt a common position in order to tackle those issues before the next G20 Summit in New York;

Strengthening financial supervision and regulation

10.

Welcomes the common approach to better regulation of the financial sector and improved financial supervision on the basis of greater consistency and systematic cooperation between countries; urges all governments to act in accordance with the commitments they made at the G20 meeting; considers that the decisions taken and commitments made at the G20 Summit represent a minimum and not a maximum; welcomes the fact that the European Union is more ambitious in regard to the scope and requirements of regulation and supervision;

11.

Stresses the importance of rebuilding confidence in the financial sector, which is the key to restoring lending to the real economy as well as international capital flows; insists on the need to deal urgently with impaired banking assets which are constraining lending; urges Member State governments and competent authorities to obtain from banks full and transparent disclosure of the impairment of balance sheets, taking into consideration the Commission communication on the treatment of impaired assets in the Community banking sector (2), and to act in a coordinated manner whilst respecting competition rules; calls on the G20 governments to disclose how their impaired asset programmes work and what the results are; recommends maximising international cooperation and rejecting financial and regulatory protectionism;

12.

Welcomes the decision to regulate and oversee all systemically important institutions, markets and instruments (including hedge funds), but believes that further measures are needed to stamp out speculative excesses and that regulation and supervision must include those activities the size of which may individually be judged to be non-systemic, but which collectively represent a potential risk to financial stability; insists on the need to develop efficient cooperation and information-sharing mechanisms between national authorities in order to ensure effective cross-border supervision while maintaining open markets;

13.

Approves the G20’s decision to adopt the Basel II capital framework and its intention to make efforts to strengthen prudential regulatory standards as soon as possible;

14.

Takes the view that principles for cross-border cooperation on crisis management need to be urgently implemented at a high level; in the light of the growing interactions between national financial systems; urges the relevant authorities to cooperate at international level to prepare for and manage financial crises;

15.

Welcomes the G20’s decision to promote integrity and transparency in the financial markets as well as increased responsibility of financial actors; welcomes the G20 pledge to reform remuneration schemes in a more sustainable way as part of the financial regulatory review and insists on the importance of linking incentives to long-term performance, avoiding incentives that induce irresponsibility and guaranteeing an industry-wide application of the new principles in order to ensure a level playing field; will remain extremely vigilant regarding the effective implementation of the principles relating to pay and remuneration in financial institutions and calls for the adoption of more stringent measures in this area;

16.

Welcomes the measures with regard to credit rating agencies that aim to increase transparency and enhance cooperation between national supervisory authorities; remains concerned at the lack of competition in that sector and calls for significantly lower market entry barriers;

17.

Welcomes the intention to reach agreement on a single set of accounting standards; deplores the fact that the Financial Accounting Standards Board has amended the definition of ‘fair value’ for US market players, and urges the Commission to bring IAS 39 into line with the agreement without waiting for a decision by the International Accounting Standards Board;

18.

Calls on the next G20 Summit to agree on coordinated and concrete action both to close down all tax and regulatory havens and to close ‘onshore’ tax and regulatory loopholes which permit widespread tax avoidance even in major financial centres; welcomes the G20 statement regarding bank secrecy and lauds automatic exchange of information as the most effective tool to tackle tax avoidance; recommends that the European Union should adopt its own appropriate legislative framework regarding tax havens and calls on its international partners to do the same;

Strengthening our global financial institutions

19.

Fully supports the decision to assign the central role of coordinating the agreed agenda to the newly renamed and expanded FSB; supports the G20’s decision to provide the FSB with a stronger institutional basis and enhanced powers; underlines the importance of sharing common principles and ensuring convergence of rules in the financial services area to tackle global market players;

20.

Welcomes and fully supports the request made by the EUROLAT Parliamentary Assembly on 8 April 2009 to the EU-LAC countries to act at once to abolish all tax havens on their territory and to work at international level for the abolition of the rest and for sanctions against companies and individuals resorting to their services;

21.

Welcomes the G20’s plan to reform international financial institutions and calls for those reforms to begin as soon as possible; expects a far-reaching reform of global economic and financial governance, which must promote democracy, transparency and accountability and ensure coherence between the policies and procedures of the international economic and financial institutions, and urges a review of the conditionalities applied to most IMF and World Bank lending;

22.

Calls, in addition, for the representation of developing countries in international financial institutions to be improved; welcomes the commitment to an open, transparent and merit-based selection process for appointing the leaders of international financial institutions; urges the European Union, as a consequence, to speak with one voice;

23.

Asks the Commission to assess the increase in the IMF’s Special Drawing Rights in line with what may become necessary and asks the ECB to evaluate the effects of such an increase on worldwide price stability;

Resisting protectionism and promoting global trade and investment

24.

Endorses the G20’s pledge to increase the resources available to global financial institutions by USD 850 billion to support growth in emerging markets and developing countries; welcomes the substantial increase in the resources of the IMF, which is the main supplier of financial assistance to countries with balance-of-payments problems, including Member States, and which acts to support growth in emerging markets and developing countries;

25.

Welcomes the progress made by the IMF with its new Flexible Credit Line, moving away from its former prescriptive and rigid lending and conditionality framework, as illustrated in a the IMF’s report entitled ‘The Implications of the Global Financial Crisis for Low-Income Countries’ by the following statement: ‘In formulating spending policies, priority should be given to protecting or expanding social programmes or bringing forward approved investments, and, in general, to preserving the momentum toward achieving the MDGs’;

26.

Welcomes the reaffirmed commitment in the Global Plan to the MDGs and the promise to make an additional USD 50 billion available ‘to support social protection, boost trade and safeguard development in low income countries’; calls for those funds to be disbursed not only as loans, but also in the form of direct grants where possible, in order to support social protection and boost trade;

27.

Deplores the fact that the G20’s promises on Aid for Trade and ODA were insufficient; stresses that, although the Global Plan lists financial measures to increase resources for the developing world through the World Bank and IMF, there was no specific commitment to ensure that Aid for Trade represents additional funding;

28.

Welcomes the pledge further to promote global trade and investment; is alarmed, however, by the fall in world trade, which threatens a further deepening of the global recession; stresses the importance of reaching a rapid and successful conclusion to the Doha Round which serves to redress the imbalances in the world trading system which have worked to the detriment of developing countries;

29.

Rejects any form of protectionism both in the real economy and in the financial sector as a reaction to the economic downturn and falling world trade;

30.

Calls on the next G20 Summit also to address the reform of the world trading system and the governance of the WTO in order to promote fair trade, reverse the growing inequalities between North and South, improve coherence between commercial, social and environmental policies and make the WTO more democratic, transparent and accountable;

31.

Calls on the Member States to present actions and instruments introduced in response to the crisis in developing countries in order for the European Union to make a coordinated response; calls for the implementation of the actions thus identified to be assessed in the next Monterrey report on financing development;

32.

Draws attention to the persistent food crisis, which requires immediate action and reforms to make sure agricultural production is sustainable in developing countries;

Ensuring a fair and sustainable recovery for all

33.

Welcomes the G20’s acknowledgement of the importance of a more sustainable global economy; emphasises that a binding agreement on climate change at the forthcoming Copenhagen conference is critical; stresses, however, that the G20 leaders should recognise the broad nature of global sustainability challenges, such as fisheries, forests, and water crises, which most affect people in developing countries;

34.

Asks the Commission to launch, in the context of its reflections on the future of the Sustainable Development Strategy, the necessary processes aimed at fully taking into account the implications of climate change for all the existing policies;

35.

Stresses the need for the effective implementation of the Climate and Energy Package and more investment in energy from renewable sources, eco-innovation, eco-friendly energy and energy efficiency, which should be a central part of the Energy Action Plan for 2010-2014;

36.

Calls on the next G20 Summit to consider the ‘Decent work agenda’, as proposed by the ILO, which should, in particular, include a commitment to universal respect for human rights at the workplace, core labour standards and the elimination of child labour;

*

* *

37.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European Central Bank, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the governments and parliaments of the G20 States, and the International Monetary Fund.


(1)  Texts adopted, P6_TA(2009)0123.

(2)  OJ C 72, 26.3.2009, p. 1.


8.7.2010   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 184/100


Friday 24 April 2009
Consolidating stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans

P6_TA(2009)0331

European Parliament resolution of 24 April 2009 on consolidating stability and prosperity in the Western Balkans (2008/2200(INI))

2010/C 184 E/21

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the Copenhagen European Council of 21-22 June 1993,

having regard to the Declaration made at the EU-Western Balkans summit in Thessaloniki on 21 June 2003,

having regard to the Commission Communication of 27 January 2006 entitled ‘The Western Balkans on the road to the EU: consolidating stability and raising prosperity’ (COM(2006)0027),

having regard to the EU-Western Balkans Declaration, which was unanimously approved by the Foreign Ministers of all the Member States and by the Foreign Ministers of the Western Balkan States in Salzburg on 11 March 2006,

having regard to the Presidency conclusions of the European Councils of 14 December 2007 and 19-20 June 2008, as well as the Declaration on the Western Balkans annexed thereto, and the conclusions of the General Affairs and External Relations Councils of 10 December 2007, 18 February 2008 and 8-9 December 2008,

having regard to the Commission Communication of 5 March 2008 entitled ‘Western Balkans: Enhancing the European perspective’ (COM(2008)0127),

having regard to the Brdo Statement: New focus on the Western Balkans, issued by the EU Presidency on 29 March 2008, underlining the need to give a fresh impetus to the Thessaloniki agenda and the Salzburg Declaration,

having regard to the Commission's Enlargement Strategy and individual country progress reports of November 2008,

having regard to its resolution of 18 December 2008 on development perspectives for peace-building and nation building in post-conflict situations (1),

having regard to its resolution of 13 January 2009 on Trade and Economic relations with the Western Balkans (2),

having regard to Rule 45 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on International Trade (A6-0212/2009),

A.

whereas the Western Balkans undeniably form part of Europe, and whereas the future of all the countries of the region lies in being fully integrated Member States of the European Union,

B.

whereas the prospect of EU membership and its associated benefits is the primary guarantor of stability and the main driver of reforms for the countries of the Western Balkans, a part of Europe which has in the distant and recent past been plagued by wars, ethnic cleansing and authoritarian rule,

C.

whereas the legacy of the wars of the 1990s continues to be a significant impediment to the establishment of lasting security and political stability in the region; whereas this poses new and unique challenges for the EU's enlargement policy and whereas recourse must be had to all Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP)/European Security and Defence Policy (ESDP) tools at the disposal of the Union as a part of an overall approach tailored to the needs of post-conflict societies,

D.

whereas a number of regional partners of the EU continue to have unresolved issues with their neighbours; whereas the EU and the Western Balkan countries are agreed that good-neighbourly relations and regional cooperation remain key factors in advancing towards EU membership,

1.

Points out that the leverage of the European Union and its ability to function as an agent of stability and a driver of reform in the Western Balkans depend on the credibility of its commitment to allowing those States in the region that fully satisfy the Copenhagen criteria to become full members of the EU; stresses therefore that the Commission and the Member States must maintain a firm commitment to future enlargement encompassing the Western Balkans;

2.

Points out the need for the Western Balkan countries to assume ownership of their rapprochement to the European Union; stresses that the integration process must be driven from within and that successful accession depends on the existence of a strong civil society, a low degree of corruption and an overall change-over to knowledge-based economies and societies;

3.

Points out that, pending the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, the current Treaties would still technically allow for the institutional adjustments necessary for further enlargements; believes nevertheless that ratification of the Lisbon Treaty is of crucial importance;