ISSN 1977-091X

doi:10.3000/1977091X.CE2013.165.eng

Official Journal

of the European Union

C 165E

European flag  

English edition

Information and Notices

Volume 56
11 June 2013


Notice No

Contents

page

 

I   Resolutions, recommendations and opinions

 

RESOLUTIONS

 

European Parliament
2011-2012 SESSION
Sittings of 1 December 2011
The Minutes of this session have been published in OJ C 77 E, 16.3.2012.
TEXTS ADOPTED

 

Thursday 1 December 2011

2013/C 165E/01

ECB Annual Report for 2010
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the ECB Annual Report for 2010 (2011/2156(INI))

1

2013/C 165E/02

Tackling early school leaving
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on tackling early school leaving (2011/2088(INI))

7

2013/C 165E/03

Application of Croatia to become a member of the European Union
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the application of Croatia to become a member of the European Union (2011/2191(INI))

19

2013/C 165E/04

European semester for economic policy coordination
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination (2011/2071(INI))

24

2013/C 165E/05

Single market forum
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the Outcome of the Single Market Forum

40

2013/C 165E/06

EU global response to HIV/AIDS
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the EU response to HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries, mid-term review of Commission Communication

43

2013/C 165E/07

Negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the negotiations of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (2011/2132(INI))

48

2013/C 165E/08

Modernisation of customs
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on modernisation of customs (2011/2083(INI))

56

 

II   Information

 

INFORMATION FROM EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS, BODIES, OFFICES AND AGENCIES

 

European Parliament

 

Thursday 1 December 2011

2013/C 165E/09

Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Georgios Toussas
European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Georgios Toussas (2011/2057(IMM))

68

2013/C 165E/10

Request for the defence of the parliamentary immunity of Luigi de Magistris
European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 on the request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Luigi de Magistris (2011/2076(IMM))

69

2013/C 165E/11

Amendment to the Rules of Procedure regarding the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament in respect of financial interests and conflicts of interest
European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 amending the Rules of Procedure relating to a Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with respect to financial interests and conflicts of interest (2011/2174(REG))

70

2013/C 165E/12

Requests for defence of the parliamentary immunity of Viktor Uspaskich
European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 on the requests for defence of the immunity and privileges of Viktor Uspaskich (2011/2162(IMM) and 2011/2099(IMM))

80

 

III   Preparatory acts

 

European Parliament

 

Thursday 1 December 2011

2013/C 165E/13

Mobilisation of the flexibility instrument
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument in favour of the EU 2020 Strategy and the European Neighbourhood Policy, in accordance with point 27 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (COM(2011)0373 – C7-0164/2011 – 2011/2126(BUD))

82

ANNEX

83

2013/C 165E/14

2012 budgetary procedure: joint text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee in the framework of 2012 budgetary procedure (17470/2011 ADD 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – C7-0446/2011 – 2011/2020(BUD))

83

ANNEX I

85

ANNEX II

97

2013/C 165E/15

Draft amending budget No 6/2011: Own resources, Integrated Maritime Policy, Greece, ESF, Palestine
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 6/2011 of the European Union for the financial year 2011, Section III – Commission (17631/2011 – C7-0440/2011 – 2011/2267(BUD))

98

2013/C 165E/16

Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2011/005 PT/Norte-Centro Automotive/Portugal
European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2011/005 PT/Norte-Centro Automotive from Portugal) (COM(2011)0664 – C7-0334/2011 – 2011/2262(BUD))

100

ANNEX

102

2013/C 165E/17

Repayable assistance and financial engineering ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards repayable assistance and financial engineering (COM(2011)0483 – C7-0215/2011 – 2011/0210(COD))

102

P7_TC1-COD(2011)0210Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 1 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards repayable assistance, financial engineering and certain provisions related to the statement of expenditure

103

2013/C 165E/18

Financial management for certain Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability (ERDF and ESF) ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards certain provisions relating to financial management for certain Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability (COM(2011)0482 – C7-0221/2011 – 2011/0211(COD))

103

P7_TC1-COD(2011)0211Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 1 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards certain provisions relating to financial management for certain Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability

104

2013/C 165E/19

Amendment of Decision 2002/546/EC as regards its period of application *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2002/546/EC as regards its period of application (COM(2011)0443 – C7-0233/2011 – 2011/0192(CNS))

104

2013/C 165E/20

Amendment of Decision 2007/659/EC as regards its period of application and the annual quota benefiting from a reduced rate of excise duty *
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2007/659/EC as regards its period of application and the annual quota benefiting from a reduced rate of excise duty (COM(2011)0577 – C7-0311/2011 – 2011/0248(CNS))

105

2013/C 165E/21

Financing instrument for development cooperation - banana accompanying measures ***III
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (PE-CONS 00059/2011 – C7-0379/2011 – 2010/0059(COD))

105

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

107

2013/C 165E/22

Establishment of a financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised countries ***III
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1934/2006 establishing a financing instrument for cooperation with industrialised and other high-income countries and territories (PE-CONS 00056/2011 – C7-0376/2011– 2009/0059(COD))

107

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

108

2013/C 165E/23

Financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide ***III
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1889/2006 on establishing a financing instrument for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide (PE-CONS 00058/2011 – C7-0378/2011 – 2009/0060B(COD))

109

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

110

2013/C 165E/24

Financing instrument for development cooperation ***III
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1905/2006 establishing a financing instrument for development cooperation (PE-CONS 00057/2011 – C7-0377/2011 – 2009/0060A(COD))

110

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

111

2013/C 165E/25

Statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road (recast) (COM(2010)0505 – C7-0286/2010 – 2010/0258(COD))

112

P7_TC1-COD(2010)0258Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 1 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on statistical returns in respect of the carriage of goods by road (recast)

113

2013/C 165E/26

Kaliningrad area and certain Polish administrative districts ***I
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 as regards the inclusion of the Kaliningrad area and certain Polish administrative districts in the eligible border area (COM(2011)0461 – C7-0213/2011 – 2011/0199(COD))

113

P7_TC1-COD(2011)0199Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 1 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EC) No 1931/2006 as regards the inclusion of the Kaliningrad oblast and certain Polish administrative districts in the eligible border area

114

2013/C 165E/27

Accession Treaty: Treaty concerning the accession of the Republic of Croatia ***
European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the accession to the European Union of the Republic of Croatia (14409/2011 – C7-0252/2011 – 2011/0805(NLE))

114

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 2011-2012 SESSION Sittings of 1 December 2011 The Minutes of this session have been published in OJ C 77 E, 16.3.2012. TEXTS ADOPTED

Thursday 1 December 2011

11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/1


Thursday 1 December 2011
ECB Annual Report for 2010

P7_TA(2011)0530

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the ECB Annual Report for 2010 (2011/2156(INI))

2013/C 165 E/01

The European Parliament,

having regard to the ECB Annual Report for 2010,

having regard to Article 284 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

having regard to Article 15 of the Statute of the European System of Central Banks and of the European Central Bank,

having regard to its resolution of 2 April 1998 on democratic accountability in the third phase of the EMU (1),

having regard to its resolution of 23 November 2010 on the ECB Annual Report for 2009 (2),

having regard to Rule 119(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A7-0361/2011),

A.

whereas in 2010 the euro area recovered, with GDP growth of 1.7 %, and is expected to grow at 1.6 % in 2011, after the slump in 2009 involving -4.2 % growth, although some international bodies have warned of a possible world economic slowdown;

B.

whereas the average general government deficit in the euro area increased to 6.0 % of GDP in 2010 and the average debt burden stood at 85.1 % of GDP, up from 0.7 % and 66.2 % respectively in 2007, and as compared to a debt burden of 101.1 % of GDP for the USA and 212.71 % for Japan;

C.

whereas the average annual HICP inflation rate in the euro area was 1.6 % in 2010 and M3 growth has remained low at an average rate of 0.6 % in 2010;

D.

whereas on 10 May 2010 the ECB announced that the Eurosystem would intervene temporarily in secondary markets for euro area public debt through the Securities Markets Programme, the book value of settled purchases of which amounted to EUR 129 billion at the beginning of September 2011; whereas these securities have been bought at a discount;

E.

whereas on 4 June 2009 the ECB decided to launch a programme of purchases of covered bonds in primary and secondary markets to a value of EUR 60 billion which was expected to be fully implemented by the end of June 2010;

F.

whereas at the end of 2010 the ECB held EUR 480 billion in asset-backed securities and EUR 360 billion in non-marketable financial instruments, the two categories making up 44 % of its total assets;

G.

whereas persistent rumours of debt restructuring and the impact thereof on the financial markets and the broader economy may once again delay the ECB’s exit from non-standard measures; considers, however, that a comprehensive, lasting solution not involving the ECB should be sought for sovereign debt management,

H.

whereas interest rates in the euro area remained at 1 % throughout 2010, but have since been raised by 25 basis points in April 2011 and again by 25 basis points in July 2011, bringing them to 1.5 %;

I.

whereas Article 282 of the TFEU states that the primary objective of the ECB is to maintain price stability and that the ECB should support general economic policies to help achieve it, and also notes the work by the ESRB under the auspices of the ECB on financial stability;

Introduction

1.

Welcomes the fact that so far the ECB has been remarkably successful in maintaining HICP inflation at close to 2 % despite a number of macro-financial shocks and volatile commodity prices and at a time when average GDP growth has been low in the Union;

2.

Expresses concern at the effect of interest rate increases on economic growth in the euro area; adds that this could hinder the already slow recovery in the euro area, particularly in its weakest economies;

3.

Emphasises that, while month-on-month HICP inflation has generally been above 2 % since the beginning of 2010, what matters for monetary policy are future inflation expectations, the low level of which is a testimony to the ECB's high degree of credibility and independence;

4.

Stresses that before the financial crisis private debt, as well as credit bubbles and in some cases public debt, increased in an unsustainable way, and that risks were created through private debt bubbles; notes, further, that the increase in government debt was the result of the need to save the private sector, in particular the financial sector;

5.

Takes the view that, in addition to the HIPC, asset price trends and credit growth in the EU and in Member States are crucial indicators for the effective monitoring of financial stability within the EMU and, more broadly, the EU;

6.

Notes that the public-debt-to-GDP ratio of the euro area is much lower that that of the US and Japan;

7.

Believes in the strength of the euro area economy and in the importance of the euro as an international currency;

8.

Recalls that, in accordance with Article 282 of the TFEU, the primary objective of the ECB is price stability and that this contributes to financial stability and proper liquidity in financial markets; notes that financial instability poses a serious risk to medium-term price stability in that it hampers the smooth functioning of the transmission mechanisms of monetary policy; welcomes the creation of the ERSB on 1 January 2011 under the auspices of the ECB; congratulates the ECB on the decisive role it has played by taking emergency measures to maintain market stability;

9.

Emphasises that under Article 127(6) of the TFEU the Council, acting by means of regulations in accordance with a special legislative procedure, may unanimously, and after consulting the European Parliament and the European Central Bank, confer specific tasks upon the European Central Bank concerning policies relating to the prudential supervision of credit institutions and other financial institutions with the exception of insurance undertakings;

10.

Emphasises that the repurchasing of bonds on secondary markets is justified by the aim of restoring a monetary policy which functions effectively, during this period of exceptional malfunctioning of certain sectors of the market; notes that these repurchasing programmes are complemented by programmes neutralising liquidity;

11.

Is deeply alarmed at the persistence of the renewed financial turmoil in the EU and the persistence of substantial macrofinancial imbalances between the euro area economies and deflationary pressures in many euro-area Member States;

12.

Recalls that the persistent and even worsening lack of economic convergence continues to be a structural problem for a single monetary policy in the euro area; emphasises that the impact of monetary policy differs considerably between Member States in the euro area; considers that this asymmetric impact of monetary policy is likely to become even more pronounced if the ECB keeps increasing rates, given the prevalence in several Member States of loans indexed to short-term interest rates; is convinced, therefore, of the need for common EU fiscal governance;

13.

Calls on the Commission to set up a European credit rating foundation and evaluate the pros and cons of temporarily suspending credit ratings for countries following an EU/IMF adjustment programme; deplores, further, the current credit rating oligopoly and calls for measures to boost competition among rating agencies and increase the number of such agencies;

14.

Calls on the Commission to take the steps needed to establish a European Monetary Fund and so ensure that the IMF will not need to be involved in Europe’s future credit policy, thereby reducing the Member States’ dependence on other international institutions and markets;

15.

Welcomes the entry of Estonia into the euro area as proof of the strength of the common currency project;

16.

Is concerned about global monetary developments and the external value of the euro, as non-conventional liquidity injections in most OECD countries have significant spillover effects; believes that much stronger international coordination is required to make the global monetary system more stable;

Crisis management

17.

Welcomes the determined and proactive stance taken by the ECB throughout the crisis since 2007, especially during the turmoil on the financial markets in 2007, 2008 and 2010 and, more recently, in the summer 2011 when some major EU economies were in difficulties in the face of continued indecisiveness on the part of the Member States, an attitude which is pushing the ECB into taking on an overtly political role in response to the current debt crisis;

18.

Notes that monetary policy must take a share of the responsibility for the creation of asset bubbles, given the unsustainable credit growth during the years leading up to the crisis;

19.

Takes note of the proposals on crisis management made by the ECB both in terms of economic governance and the bank resolution mechanism;

20.

Deplores the lack of an adequate EU economic policy framework for crisis management and the hesitant management of the crisis by the Commission and the Member States, particularly those in which reforms are needed, and urges the Council and the Commission rapidly to put forward the comprehensive and far-reaching measures required to safeguard the stability of the euro;

21.

Is alarmed at the continuous strains on the euro area sovereign bond markets, as reflected in widening spreads over the last two years; points out that the flight to safety provoked by the waves of panic during the current financial crisis have had massive distorting effects and have created costly negative externalities; commends the efforts made by the ECB by means of its Securities Markets Programme to reduce spreads in vulnerable Member States;

22.

Takes note of the restructuring of Greek debt by means of a coordinated, voluntary EU exchange offer; considers that the Greek debt burden reduction agreed at the 21 July 2011 summit has done nothing to restore public debt sustainability;

23.

Notes that, while deleveraging is continuing in parts of the private sector and most Member States, excessive debt levels are still very widespread in the public sector, not least as a result of measures to absorb the outcome of the financial crisis;

24.

Recalls that prior to the outbreak of the financial crisis the public-debt-to-GDP ratio of the euro area had fallen from 72 % in 1999 and to 67 % in 2007 and that, in contrast, debt levels of households and firms and the level of leverage in the financial sector increased significantly over the same period; points out, in particular, that household debt in the euro area increased from 52 % to 70 % of GDP during the same period and that financial institutions increased their level of debt from less than 200 % of GDP to more than 250 %; acknowledges that some Member States, such as Greece and Italy, were significant exceptions to these general trends;

25.

Notes the rapid increase in the leverage ratio of the ECB, as measured by its capital and reserves in relation to its assets, even though the leverage ratio cannot be applied to central banks in the same way as it can to commercial banks; notes, however, that by mid-August 2011 the ECB's balance sheet had already shrunk by around 10 % from its peak, although it has been increasing rapidly since then; notes that, while there has been also a substantial expansion in the balance sheets of other central banks, the ECB's leverage ratio is higher than that of other comparable central banks, with the exception of those which have implemented quantitative easing programmes, such as the Federal Reserve or the Bank of England;

26.

Points out and welcomes the fact that the ECB's balance-sheet expansion has not led to inflation; highlights its increasing role as a central counterparty between euro area banks, which reflects a temporary shift in intermediation from the interbank market to the Eurosystem and an increase in euro area assets held by the Eurosystem which will mature over time; points out, further, that providing liquidity to solvent banks does not necessarily entail an increase in monetary supply and notes that the non-standard measures are of a temporary nature; is convinced that all these developments, together with external factors, have ensured that inflation has consistently remained around 2 %;

27.

Draws attention once again to the worrying overreliance of many euro area banks on the liquidity provided by the ECB, in the absence of a fully functional interbank market; notes that while in 2010 the Eurosystem accepted EUR 488 billion of asset-backed securities (ABS) as collateral the eligibility criteria for ABS in Eurosystem credit operations have been tightened significantly, which should lead to a reduction in this amount over time;

28.

Stresses that the Eurosystem has refused to disclose the method used to determine the ‧theoretical price‧ of impaired assets eligible for its liquidity operations in the framework of the Enhanced Credit Support programme; emphasises that it is therefore impossible to verify whether the ECB has played a quasi-fiscal role; calls, therefore, on the ECB to disclose the valuation methods it has used throughout the crisis,

29.

Emphasises that given the lack of a proper euro area crisis framework the ECB was pushed to take risks not covered by its mandate;

30.

Asks the ECB to be more open about the quality and quantity of the securities it holds, including ABS accepted as collateral and other marketable and non-marketable securities held for monetary purposes and securities not held for monetary purposes;

31.

Acknowledges the need for non-standard monetary policy measures and notes their temporary nature, but calls for a those programmes to be phased out as soon as the financial markets have stabilised and the sovereign debt crisis has been resolved and provided that a Community framework is established to deal properly with financial instability; calls for measures to establish more integrated economic governance;

32.

Calls on the ECB to introduce as part of the Security Markets Programme a discount rate mechanism that can be adjusted if a given security is further downgraded by most credit rating agencies, with a view to ensuring that the ECB does not end up with too many risky assets; believes, further, that the ECB should consider the possibility of extending the policy of requiring at least two credit ratings before accepting a security as collateral from only ABS to all other types of collateral for which only one rating is currently required, and calls on the ECB to develop its own risk-assessment framework;

33.

Emphasises that conditions imposed on banks benefiting from the Target-2 settlement system and, more generally, ECB liquidity provision facilities are a matter of concern in terms of credit risks for the ECB itself; calls on the ECB, therefore, to provide more regular public information on flows between euro area central banks, as measured under the Target-2 settlement system, for the sake of increased transparency and to provide a proper insight into recent developments so that these flows are not mistakenly interpreted as permanent transfers from current account surplus countries to deficit countries;

34.

Is concerned at the high levels of debt maturity and currency mismatch of several systemically and non-systemically relevant euro area banking institutions;

35.

Takes the view that in the current emergency there is an urgent need to define and disclose additional strict conditions attaching to ECB liquidity provisions, including prudential conditions which go beyond internal and non-disclosed rules and haircuts linked to the collateral accepted for its refinancing operations;

36.

Asks the ECB to explore whether compulsory-reserve requirements could be an additional instrument, alongside the interest rate, to safeguard financial stability without hampering the recovery;

37.

Notes that in the US and the EU one of the consequences of the monetary policies implemented before and during the crisis has been the engineering of a steep yield curve which helps the banking system to recapitalise more rapidly with the help of depositors and short-term lenders;

38.

Emphasises the constant and rigorous stance taken by the ECB over many years on the issue of strengthening economic governance in the European interest;

Economic and financial governance

39.

Calls for macro-prudential supervision of the financial system which is better integrated into the monetary policy context and which takes account of differences between euro area and non-euro area countries; calls for further efforts to develop an integrated analytical framework to jointly assess the effects of macro-prudential and monetary policies and to further develop the ESRB's macro-prudential policy toolkit, taking national, legal and other financial system specificities into account;

40.

Calls for a significant increase in the resources available for the new financial supervisory architecture in order to increase its effectiveness, calls, further, for continuous analysis of the effectiveness of the new financial supervisory architecture with the aid of impact assessments and for an evaluation of the long-term option of establishing a single European financial supervisory authority, unifying under its umbrella the current European supervisory authorities and the European Systemic Risk Board;

41.

Stresses the need for a single European Minister of Finance, possibly drawn from the Commission, in keeping with the proposal made by Jean-Claude Trichet in Aachen on 2 June 2011; believes that the issue of the democratic legitimacy of such a proposal must be properly addressed; notes, in that connection, that in a monetary union fiscal policy does not only concern the Member States, but has many cross-border spillovers and that the present crisis has revealed the limits of 100 % decentralised fiscal policies; believes that the single European Minister of Finance should be democratically accountable to the European Parliament; stresses that a further step of this kind towards a fiscal union based on the Community method requires enhanced democratic ownership and a potential Treaty revision in the long term, but recognises that the current framework allows for stronger economic governance in the short term;

42.

Stresses the need for a single European Treasury to relieve the ECB of its quasi-fiscal role; takes the view that this European Treasury could be established by means of a change to the EU Treaty;

43.

Welcomes the fact that the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) has been given the right to purchase government bonds on the secondary market, as this could relieve the pressure on the ECB in the current circumstances;

44.

Deplores, in that connection, the fact that the ESM has been established outside the EU Treaties, and therefore calls on the Commission to propose a permanent crisis management mechanism based on Community rules (e.g. a European Monetary Fund);

45.

Emphasises the absolute need to quickly implement and apply the provisions of the economic governance package; in that connection, calls for the consistent and balanced application of the European Stability and Growth Pact and an automatic mechanism for the imposition of sanctions on countries which run budget deficits;

46.

Is looking forward to the submission before the end of 2011 of the Commission report on the setting-up of a system for the common issuance of European sovereign bonds, or euro securities, on the basis of joint and several liability, accompanied by legislative proposals if appropriate;

External dimension

47.

As the ECB, the IMF and the Commission work together on missions in some Member States, calls on the Commission to put forward proposals for a single external representation of the euro area, in accordance with Article 138 of the TFEU, particularly in the IMF;

Transparency and accountability

48.

Recommends that the ECB enhance the transparency of its work in order to increase its legitimacy and predictability; reiterates its long-standing call for the summaries of minutes of meetings of the Governing Council to be made public;

49.

Calls, in line with the Court of Auditors' reports, for more transparency and accountability when it comes to the documentation of decisions concerning the recruitment procedures and salaries and bonus reviews;

50.

Welcomes the ECB's commitment to its accountability to the European Parliament and stresses the very constructive role played by the ECB at the highest level and through its staff in the codecision procedure;

*

* *

51.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the Eurogroup and the European Central Bank.


(1)  OJ C 138, 4.5.1998, p. 177.

(2)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0418.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/7


Thursday 1 December 2011
Tackling early school leaving

P7_TA(2011)0531

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on tackling early school leaving (2011/2088(INI))

2013/C 165 E/02

The European Parliament,

having regard to Article 165 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

having regard to Article 14 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, in particular Articles 23, 28 and 29 thereof,

having regard to Decision No 1720/2006/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 November 2006 establishing an action programme in the field of lifelong learning (1),

having regard to the Commission Communication on equity and efficiency in European education and training systems (COM(2006)0481),

having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Youth on the Move: An initiative to unleash the potential of young people to achieve smart, sustainable and inclusive growth in the European Union’ (COM(2010)0477),

having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Tackling early school leaving: A key contribution to the Europe 2020 Agenda’ (COM(2011)0018),

having regard to the Commission proposal for a Council Recommendation on policies to reduce early school leaving (COM(2011)0019),

having regard to the Commission Communication entitled ‘Early Childhood Education and Care: Providing all our children with the best start for the world of tomorrow’ (COM(2011)0066),

having regard to the Commission communication entitled ‘An EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies up to 2020’ (COM(2011)0173),

having regard to the Conclusions of the Council and of the Representatives of the Governments of the Member States, meeting within the Council of 21 November 2008 on preparing young people for the 21st century: an agenda for European cooperation on schools (2),

having regard to the Council Conclusions of 12 May 2009 on a strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training (‘ET 2020’) (3),

having regard to the Council Conclusions of 26 November 2009 on the education of children with a migrant background (4),

having regard to Council conclusions of 11 May 2010 on the social dimension of education and training (5),

having regard to its resolution of 1 February 2007 on educational discrimination against young women and girls (6),

having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2008 entitled ‘Towards an EU strategy on the rights of the child’ (7),

having regard to its resolution of 23 September 2008 on improving the quality of teacher education (8),

having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2010 on key competences for a changing world: implementation of the education and training 2010 work programme (9),

having regard to its resolution of 18 May 2010 on an EU Strategy for Youth - Investing and Empowering (10),

having regard to its resolution of 9 March 2011 on the EU strategy on Roma inclusion (11),

having regard to its resolution of 12 May 2011 on early years learning in the European Union (12),

having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Culture and Education and the opinion of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (A7-0363/2011),

A.

whereas young people, if they are to participate fully in society and achieve self-fulfilment as individuals and citizens, must possess a broad spectrum of knowledge and skills essential for their intellectual and social development, including the ability to communicate effectively, work in teams, solve problems and critically evaluate information,

B.

whereas for young people education promotes values such as personal development, better social integration and a greater sense of responsibility and initiative,

C.

whereas rates of early school leaving (ESL) vary across EU Member States, as well as between towns and regions and between the socio-economic categories of their inhabitants, and are influenced by a range of complex factors,

D.

whereas one of the five Europe 2020 headline targets is to reduce the proportion of early school leavers to less than 10 % and to increase the share of the younger generation with a degree or diploma or equivalent level of education to at least 40 %,

E.

whereas the 10 % target was agreed by Member States in 2003, but only seven of them have managed to reach this benchmark, and whereas in 2009 the average ESL rate stood at 14,4 %,

F.

whereas, despite the steady decline in ESL rates in the last decade, most Member States still have a fragmented and inadequately coordinated approach to tackling the problem,

G.

whereas 24,1 % of all 15-year olds in the Member States are low performers in reading literacy,

H.

whereas reading is a basic tool for all young people, indispensable to making progress in any school subject and to becoming integrated into the world of work, understanding and analysing information, communicating correctly and participating in cultural activities, and whereas specific measures should therefore be taken to remedy deficiencies in reading skills,

I.

whereas ESL has severe consequences for the EU’s social cohesion, and not just for economic growth, the European skills base and social stability, as it damages the career prospects, health and well-being of young people, a low level of education also being a key cause of poverty and negative health outcomes,

J.

whereas ESL is a fundamental contributing factor to unemployment, poverty and social exclusion,

Characteristics of ESL

1.

Emphasises that the foundations for a child's future educational path and well-being are laid in the early years of childhood and can help to instil the idea of lifelong learning, and that early childhood is a time when receptiveness, language learning and the ability to form social contacts – attributes that will be essential in tomorrow's society – should be encouraged so as to facilitate the child's integration into both school and society from an early age, thus combating ESL; reiterates the call contained in its resolution on early years learning in the EU for the development of a European framework for early childhood education and care services from as early an age as possible, particularly through the development of free public crèche and day-care facilities;

2.

Notes that ESL is particularly pronounced among children from poor and disadvantaged backgrounds and children from migrant families and is frequently linked to poverty and social exclusion;

3.

Proposes that linguistic support should be provided for students from a migrant background;

4.

Stresses, in that connection, that steps must be taken to enable Roma children and children with no identity papers to attend school;

5.

Notes that among Roma children 20 % are not enrolled in school at all and 30 % are early school leavers; emphasises that although ESL is more common among boys than girls, traditional Roma communities are a special case, in that, owing to the custom of early marriages, ESL is more frequent among young girls and happens at an earlier age (around 12-13 years) than for boys (around 14-15 years); points out that in the case of traditional Roma communities there is a need for additional positive measures to overcome the ESL which results from these harmful traditional practices;

6.

Notes that ineffective work-life balance policies increase the prevalence of ESL and academic failure in general and that there is a need to step up efforts to improve such policies;

7.

Notes the existence of an intergenerational cycle, i.e. the strong tendency for children of early school leavers to become early school leavers themselves; stresses that family structure has a significant influence on children’s ability and motivation to succeed at school;

8.

Notes that, with regard to early childhood care, the role of the family and of close relationships between children and parents during the early years of life are of vital importance for ensuring proper integration at school;

9.

Warns of the impact of specific learning difficulties and related problems, which increase the risk of the children affected leaving school;

10.

Encourages the Member States to provide extracurricular and out-of-school activities for pupils with learning difficulties, to enable them to develop the key skills clearly needed on the labour market;

11.

Points out that ESL can have a detrimental effect on access to high-quality lifelong learning;

12.

Draws attention, in this regard, to the OECD’s PISA studies, which show that students in educational systems with a lesser degree of vertical and horizontal differentiation are less likely to repeat a year or to be expelled; highlights the OECD’s finding that students from socially disadvantaged backgrounds suffer most from having to repeat a school year or from being expelled;

13.

Highlights the OECD’s finding that early selection of students for different educational pathways increases socio-economic inequality in terms of educational opportunities without effecting any improvement in average performance in the educational systems in question;

14.

Draws attention, in this regard, to the OECD’s finding that the comparative performance of school systems in the PISA studies is negatively affected by the practices of moving students from one school to another on account of poor results, behavioural problems or specific learning difficulties and of streaming students in all subjects on the basis of ability;

15.

Points out in this regard that, according to the OECD, socio-economically disadvantaged students are often at a double disadvantage because they attend schools affected by various types of socio-economic disadvantage and in which there are fewer and less well-qualified teachers;

The need for a personalised approach

16.

States that equality of opportunities and choice in education, and access to high-quality education for individuals from all social, ethnic and religious backgrounds, regardless of gender or disability, is vital for creating a fairer, more equal and inclusive society that is vibrant, innovative and cohesive; stresses the role played by public services in that regard;

17.

States that school education is one of the best ways of giving everyone an equal chance of success and the opportunity to acquire the knowledge and skills which enable them to become integrated into the world of work, thus breaking the inter-generational cycle; calls for the educational support on offer to be better coordinated and made more accessible and for the provision of social services and family support to be extended;

18.

Calls for a personalised and inclusive approach to education, beginning with early school education and care, which includes targeted support for individuals at risk of ESL where necessary, particularly for children and young people suffering from a disability;

19.

Calls for greater efforts to be made to ensure that this personalised approach specifically benefits those pupils suffering from learning difficulties caused by dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, attention deficit or hyperactivity, for example;

20.

Notes that problems leading to ESL often have their roots outside school and that these must be identified and addressed;

21.

Suggests that secondary and vocational schools provide counselling staff, separate from teaching staff, so that students with problems can talk them through in confidence; stresses that staff providing counselling must have appropriate training and, with that aim in view, have facilities for ongoing training in specific skills;

22.

Encourages an early response to emerging learning difficulties, and suggests that efficient early-warning mechanisms and follow-up procedures be put in place to prevent problems from worsening; points out that, in order to achieve this, multilateral communication and closer cooperation between schools and parents and community leaders are crucial, as are local support networks with the involvement, if necessary, of school mediators;

23.

Considers that parental advisory services should be offered, in view of the influence that the family has on the educational and social development of pupils;

24.

Stresses that a frequent reason for failure among children and young people is that school curricula are ill-suited to the needs of children’s lives and their socially-conditioned interests; points out that an excessively rigid and uniform education system makes it hard to individualise school work and difficult to link education with everyday needs;

25.

Advocates better careers guidance and high-quality work-experience schemes, as well as cultural and educational visits and exchanges, organised by schools, including exposure to entrepreneurialism, in order to demystify the world of work, thereby ensuring that students are in a position to make informed career choices; stresses that careers guidance counsellors must receive appropriate and ongoing training so that they can proactively engage with potential early school leavers;

26.

Recognises the need for clear-cut policies to integrate students with sensory disabilities in ordinary schools, and calls on the Member States to abandon policies based on separate special education;

27.

Reiterates the crucial role played by the voluntary sector in promoting social integration, and calls on Member States to make the widest possible use of the European Voluntary Service as a factor in personal, educational and professional development;

28.

Recommends that mentoring schemes be set up in schools to provide pupils with exposure to former pupils in particular in order to exchange views on possible study and career options;

29.

Recognises that year repetition can stigmatise low achievers and does not necessarily lead to better results; stresses that limiting year repetition in Member States where it is widely practised and replacing it with individual flexible support is a more effective way to tackle ESL;

30.

Points out that information and communication technologies (ICT) can have positive effects under structured teaching conditions and can encourage motivation and learning; suggests that Member States promote and enhance pupils' access to ITC from their first years at school and set up training programmes for teachers;

31.

Notes that social and financial pressures on disadvantaged families can force students to leave school early in order to enter the labour market and supplement family resources; calls on Member States to consider introducing a system of means-tested financial support for those who need it in order to combat this problem; calls on the Member States to provide financial support for parents who devote time and love to bringing up young children and provide future benefits to society by investing in a human capital whose value is often underestimated;

32.

Suggests that other redistributive measures be introduced, such as the provision of free school meals, school books and essential sports equipment, to reduce the impact of social inequality while also combating the risks of stigmatisation these pupils face;

33.

Points out that additional support should be offered to persons with disabilities, in order to reduce the risk of their leaving school early and ensure that they obtain a proper qualification;

34.

Emphasises the crucial importance of state education systems of the highest quality, where learning is free and accessible to everyone and takes place in a safe and enabling environment;

35.

Calls for special efforts to be made to prevent and address bullying and violence at school;

36.

Recalls the importance of increasing the number of pupils finishing the first part of secondary education, thereby promoting the achievement of basic competence;

Shared responsibility

37.

Emphasises that there are many actors who can take steps to prevent children from leaving school prematurely; points out that these include not only parents and all those involved in education, but also public authorities, at both national and local level, and calls for closer cooperation between all these actors, together with local health and social services; notes that a ‘joined-up’ approach can be effective in helping the individuals concerned to overcome multiple barriers to educational achievement and employment; in this connection, stresses the importance of student grants which enable children from disadvantaged backgrounds to enjoy the same opportunities as others;

38.

Encourages Member States to take measures to counter the stereotypes held by people from the most disadvantaged socio-cultural backgrounds, which steer them at an early stage towards short vocational training courses, despite their children's educational achievements;

39.

Suggests that ESL strategies should take as their starting point an analysis, to be led by relevant authorities at local and regional level, of the main reasons behind ESL, encompassing different groups of pupils, schools, regions and municipalities;

40.

Stresses the need to strengthen the special relationship between parents and children, since it is vital to children's development and future stability and their smooth progress through school; stresses that looking after young children represents an added value for society and makes it possible to cut costs related to juvenile delinquency, crime, depression and other problems caused by the loss of stability which leads children to drop out of school;

41.

Stresses that young people, including early school leavers themselves, must be involved in discussions about the design and implementation of ESL policies and programmes; notes that active participation of students, for example via student councils, can motivate them by enhancing their feeling of being ‧included‧ in debates revolving around the issue of their own academic success;

42.

Stresses the need for a detailed examination of the effectiveness of current national strategies as a possible source of information for an exchange of experiences and best practices between Member States;

43.

Suggests that Member States should make parents responsible for their children’s education until the latter reach their 18th birthday, thus extending compulsory school attendance by two years from the child’s 16th to his or her 18th birthday or up to the end of secondary education;

44.

Recognises that mapping the interventions provided in Member States by different actors can be difficult, but should be encouraged with the aim of exchanging good practices; stresses the need for better EU-wide coordination between these various services, as well as better coordination within Member States between national, regional and local authorities;

45.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to create and develop policies that would make for early identification of those most likely to be affected by ESL;

46.

Notes that the targeted provision of high-quality early childhood education and care by highly trained professionals leads to a reduction in ESL;

47.

Encourages Member States to invest in teacher training and qualified staff for both pre-school and compulsory education, and regularly to review and update educational systems and programmes for the continuous development of teachers’ skills; stresses the importance of children entering a school environment from an early age and suggests that teaching assistants be employed in schools to work with struggling pupils and to assist teachers in their work, along with auxiliary staff to help disabled pupils in their schooling in standard educational establishments or in those that cater for their disability;

48.

Stresses the fundamental importance of supplementary remedial teaching in assisting pupils with learning difficulties and of encouragement and support for pupils who feel let down and abandoned by their schools and families; urges the Member States to invest in training and social assistance for parents who decide to stay home and look after young children;

49.

Reminds Member States of their obligation to submit national action plans, and calls on the Commission to present a survey, assessment and evaluation of these action plans to Parliament within one year;

50.

Emphasises that positive relationships between teachers and students are vital in engaging young people in the process of learning; therefore encourages Member States to invest in appropriate training for teachers to ensure they have the skills to engage with and motivate their students;

51.

Calls on teacher training institutions to draw up programmes for the continuous development of teachers’ skills, incorporating work with the ‘at risk’ group of pupils, who have a high level of absenteeism and a lack of motivation to learn, into pedagogical, psychological and methodological activities, and to make more methodological manuals available to teachers and parents;

52.

Points to the need to use educational interaction therapy in order to address the causes and symptoms of children’s learning difficulties, with the help of educational and teaching resources, the aim being to eliminate educational failure and its consequences;

53.

Recognises that teachers need the social skills and time required to recognise and support different learning styles, as well as the freedom and space to adopt different teaching and learning methods in agreement with students;

54.

Notes that students must be made aware as early as possible of the range of career options open to them and suggests that schools and universities forge partnerships with local authorities, organisations and associations, enabling pupils to meet professionals from different fields and also to learn more about entrepreneurship;

55.

Highlights the importance of appropriate class and group sizes and a stimulating and inclusive learning environment for young people;

56.

Points out, further,that frequent changes in class teachers, the use of a two-shift school system and poor timetabling also have an adverse effect on students’ ability to learn effectively and encourage a negative attitude to compulsory schooling;

Diverse learning approaches

57.

Recognises the universal entitlement to lifelong learning, which includes not only formal but also non-formal and informal learning;

58.

Calls on Member States and regional governments with powers in the area of education to recognise and validate knowledge acquired in a non-formal and informal way, thereby facilitating peoples' return to the education system;

59.

Recognises the benefits of sport, cultural activities, volunteering and active citizenship in providing a forum for non-formal education and lifelong learning;

60.

Stresses the importance of varied educational pathways for schoolchildren, combining general and vocational training, and is convinced that it is a judicious blend of the two, based on a pupil’s age and strengths, that offers them the best chance of a securing a high-quality job; points out, in this respect, that it is important to promote bridges between the education system and the world of work, as well as between training systems; stresses, further, the importance of opportunities to learn a second European language, in order to facilitate youth on the move and to motivate young people to develop interests and perspectives outside their own narrow environment;

61.

Emphasises the added value of initiatives and programmes intended for parents that enable them to take a lifelong-learning approach to improving their education and so strengthen teaching and learning at home with their children;

62.

Calls for school resources to be updated to exploit the potential benefits of digitised teaching methods and for attention to be paid to qualifications such as language proficiency or digital literacy, which are necessary for the jobs of tomorrow;

63.

Calls on Member States to take account of the requirements of the labour market and to take steps to raise the status of vocational qualifications, while also strengthening cooperation between vocational institutions and businesses, so that the former are seen as a viable option for students of all abilities;

64.

Stresses that the principle of ‘learning to learn’ should be at the heart of all school curricula; notes that active teaching methods are crucial to engaging more young people in the process of learning and encouraging them to expand their knowledge, and recommends the incorporation of new technological applications, such as those offered by the Internet of Things, with a view to increasing motivation and output;

65.

Stresses the importance of developing and supporting activities outside the education system; considers that access for all to extra-curricular activities, be these sports, cultural or simply leisure activities, can reduce rates of truancy and ESL and are very important for the children's development;

66.

Emphasises that extra-curricular activities should be developed within schools, as this helps to create a ‧positive‧ image of the school environment; acknowledges that giving pupils more incentives to go to school is a way of preventing ESL;

67.

Recognises the role that youth organisations play in preventing ESL by offering non-formal education, which provides young people with important competences, a sense of responsibility and increased self-esteem;

68.

Recognises that in all EU Member States adequate levels of literacy and numeracy are rarely reached by all school students, which contributes to ESL; emphasises that Member States should, as a matter of urgency, set targets to ensure that all pupils leave primary school with the ability to read, write and perform arithmetic at an appropriate level for their age; takes the view, moreover, that Member States should also establish literacy and numeracy schemes to allow students who have missed out on these essential skills during their formal education to catch up as quickly as possible;

Second-chance solutions

69.

Calls on Member States to find ways of reintegrating early school leavers into the school system by implementing suitable programmes, such as ‘second-chance’ schools, which provide a suitable learning environment that enables young people to rediscover confidence in themselves and in their capacity to learn;

70.

Notes that in order to ensure that these reintegration measures reach out to those most in need appropriate arrangements should be made to identify and monitor the pupils concerned, raise awareness and measure outcomes;

71.

Stresses that the highest reintegration rates are achieved by programmes which address the individual needs of early school leavers; calls on educational institutions to respect the needs and rights of individuals in developing programmes for them;

72.

Emphasises the need to organise activities at local level to encourage people to return to school and to promote a positive environment for people who left school early and intend to return;

73.

Notes that very few evaluations have been carried out of the various reintegration measures in Member States; calls, therefore, on Member States to monitor and assess their reintegration programmes and to set targets for improvement;

74.

Stresses the need to analyse the phenomenon of repeating a school year and its impact on ESL rates, highlighting the importance of individual programmes for individual pupils;

75.

Urges Member States to set up more second-chance schools, strengthening the content of their curricula and their material and technical equipment and boosting the capacity of the teaching staff available, given that these schools are emerging as an important tool for the reintegration of individuals who have slipped through the net of the formal educational system;

Education system and employment

76.

Notes that a reduction in ESL to no more than 10 %, meeting the EU 2020 headline target, would have an effect in reducing youth unemployment and in improving the employment rate, since currently 52 % of school leavers are unemployed and, according to academic estimates, the number of jobs available for low-skilled or unskilled labour will decline even further in the coming years; points out that reducing the ESL rate by only 1 % could boost the number of qualified potential employees by 500 000;

77.

Takes the view that ESL translates into missed opportunities for young people and a loss of social and economic potential for the EU as a whole; emphasises the fact that, in addition to the impact of current demographic changes, European countries cannot afford this enormous waste of talent, and stresses that this trend should be seen against the background of a labour market and a level of EU competitiveness that will both tend to favour holders of higher education qualifications; points out that improving educational attainment will thus help to reverse this trend in that higher skill levels will make for ‘smart growth’ and that tackling one of the main risk factors involved in unemployment and poverty will pave the way to ‘inclusive growth’;

78.

Highlights the link between ESL and youth unemployment; notes that more than half of early school leavers in the EU were unemployed in 2009 and that ESL can lead to an overdependence on precarious jobs, as well as exacerbating the problem of structural unemployment in the broader population;

79.

Notes that early school leavers are less likely to be actively involved in social and economic entrepreneurialism, which has negative consequences for the economy and society;

80.

Stresses the importance of combating ESL, not least in view of demographic trends in the EU;

81.

Notes that the long-term economic and social effects of ESL create a significant risk of poverty and that combating ESL is a way to prevent social exclusion among young people; therefore considers reducing the number of early school leavers to be a key measure in reaching the target, under strategies at both national and European level, of lifting at least 20 million people out of the risk of poverty, and urges the Member States not to reduce the statutory school-leaving age;

82.

Calls on employers, where possible, to encourage young workers who have not gained higher secondary education qualifications to become qualified, by introducing in-house policies enabling staff to combine study with work; notes, in that connection, the need to promote the participation of learners in the Leonardo da Vinci programme;

83.

Calls, therefore, on the Member States to draw up policies as quickly as possible with a view to creating new jobs based on new skills;

84.

Stresses the need to adapt education systems to meet the requirements of the labour market; points out that in a situation where it will be rare, in future, to spend one’s entire working life in a single sector, pupils need to acquire a broad range of abilities, such as creativity, creative thinking, general skills and the ability to adapt quickly and flexibly to changing conditions and requirements;

85.

Urges Member States, assisted by the Commission, to act effectively to record the phenomenon of NEET (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and tackle it;

86.

Proposes expanding the scope for taking company traineeships in parallel with continuing school education;

87.

Emphasises that the Member States should further improve their education and training systems in order to better match the needs of the individual with those of the labour market, including by tackling the problems of basic skills (literacy and numeracy), promoting vocational education and training and taking measures to ease the transition between education and the labour market;

88.

Notes that boys more often leave school early and that we are at risk of creating a lower class of young, unemployed men with little or no education and poor chances of becoming a part of the labour market and society in general; urges the Member States to pay special attention to boys who have difficulties adapting to the school environment and not to lower the compulsory school-leaving age;

89.

Bearing in mind that instances of short-lived and insecure employment are higher among persons with little education, calls on the Commission to ensure that efforts to enable early school leavers to return to the labour market invariably go hand in hand with additional training programmes to improve their future employment prospects;

90.

Points out that investment in retraining and in the modernisation of vocational training courses is essential in order to help early school leavers integrate into the labour market;

91.

Highlights the need to upgrade the skills provided in technical vocational training and more effectively to match the specialisations offered with labour market requirements, since linking education and employment is an integral part of tackling ESL;

92.

Considers that, to combat ESL, education policies must be linked to policies aimed at promoting economic recovery and hence at creating permanent jobs and averting any dropping-out of education, short-lived and insecure employment and a speeding-up of the brain drain;

93.

Recommends that training in NITC (new information and communication technologies), as well as in language technologies, should begin at an early age, given that these are particularly useful means of communication which young people have the ability to master quickly;

EU policies

94.

Welcomes the Commission proposal for a Council recommendation on policies to reduce ESL, which proposes a framework for comprehensive policies in this area, an analysis of the underlying reasons for ESL at national and local level in each Member State, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the existing measures and the integration of the prevention, intervention and compensation measures to combat this phenomenon;

95.

Believes that, while respecting the principle of subsidiarity, a European framework for comprehensive strategies to tackle ESL could provide a useful guide for Member States in ascertaining the correct approach to upgrading existing policies and developing their National Reform Programmes;

96.

Warns that the possible public spending cuts in the education sector on account of the economic crisis and the budgetary austerity policies being implemented in Member States will have adverse effects, in that they will further increase the numbers of early school leavers in the EU;

97.

Stresses that investing more money in combating ESL can have the long-term effect of preventing young people from becoming dependent on social security;

98.

Advocates, in the context of the 2012 EU budget, the proposed ‘Pilot Project on Youth’ with the objective of providing a guarantee to integrate young people, and in particular early school leavers, into the labour market;

99.

Advocates the targeted, efficient and coherent deployment of the Structural Funds, especially the European Social Fund, with a view to the full implementation of the Youth strategies, in particular for early school leavers, in order to promote social inclusion under specific programmes in each Member State, ensure high-quality education for all and prevent ESL and truancy;

100.

Notes that the nature of the problem of ESL varies from country to country and also within regions and that there is therefore no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution to it;

101.

Welcomes and endorses the plans announced by the Council regarding the social ‘mapping’ of early school leavers through the compilation of data from all the Member States; calls on the Commission to support this initiative;

102.

Urges the Member States to carry out an in-depth analysis of the problem of ESL, while taking due account of data protection requirements, in order to identify the root causes at national, regional and local level;

103.

Notes, however, that in order to analyse the fundamental reasons for ESL more comprehensive, consistent and coherent data from Member States is needed;

104.

Calls for more funds and improved accessibility for the EU’s Lifelong Learning Programme, which increases pupils’ and teachers’ mobility, enhances the exchange of best practices and contributes to improving teaching and learning methods; calls for more effective use to be made of the finance provided by the EU’s Structural Funds to implement measures for preventing non-attendance at school;

105.

Stresses the importance of the EU's Lifelong Learning Programme and its four sub-programmes, Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci and Grundtvig, with Comenius in particular playing a key role in combating the problem of ESL;

106.

Calls on the Commission to promote the visibility of the Comenius action programme on individual pupil mobility, which can contribute to reducing ESL;

*

* *

107.

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


(1)  OJ L 327, 24.11.2006, p. 45.

(2)  OJ C 319, 13.12.2008, p. 20.

(3)  OJ C 119, 28.5.2009, p. 2.

(4)  OJ C 301, 11.12.2009, p. 5.

(5)  OJ C 135, 26.5.2010, p. 2.

(6)  OJ C 250 E, 25.10.2007, p. 102.

(7)  OJ C 41 E, 19.2.2009, p. 24.

(8)  OJ C 8 E, 14.1.2010, p. 12.

(9)  OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 8.

(10)  OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 21.

(11)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0092.

(12)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0231.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/19


Thursday 1 December 2011
Application of Croatia to become a member of the European Union

P7_TA(2011)0539

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the application of Croatia to become a member of the European Union (2011/2191(INI))

2013/C 165 E/03

The European Parliament,

having regard to the draft Treaty concerning the Accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union, the Protocol and the Final Act,

having regard to the application for accession to the European Union submitted by the Republic of Croatia on 21 February 2003,

having regard to the Commission’s opinion of 20 April 2004 on the application by the Republic of Croatia to become a member of the European Union,

having regard to the decision by the Council on 3 October 2005 to open accession negotiations with the Republic of Croatia,

having regard to the Commission’s regular reports on Croatia’s progress towards accession covering the period 2005-2011,

having regard to the Commission’s interim report on reforms in Croatia in the field of judiciary and fundamental rights dated 2 March 2011,

having regard to the Presidency Conclusions of the Thessaloniki European Council of 19-20 June 2003 on the Western Balkan countries,

having regard to the conclusions of the European Council of 23 and 24 June 2011,

having regard to all its previous resolutions and reports on Croatia’s progress and the enlargement process,

having regard to all previous recommendations of the EU-Croatia Joint Parliamentary Committee,

having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Budgets and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0389/2011),

A.

whereas, twenty years after the declaration of its independence and some eight years after submitting its application for EU membership, Croatia has reached a historic milestone in its EU integration process by successfully closing accession negotiations; whereas Croatia’s achievements deserve unqualified recognition;

B.

whereas the accession process has significantly contributed to Croatia’s transformation into a solid and mature democracy based on European values; whereas the prospect of accession acts as a powerful catalyst for reform by mobilising the various actors in political, economic, social and cultural life; whereas reform efforts also need to be sustained beyond the completion of the negotiations and accession in order for the country and its citizens to benefit fully from EU membership;

C.

whereas Croatian membership will make the EU stronger, enrich its European culture and heritage and make an important contribution to maintaining the credibility of the enlargement process, while at the same time being a good example of how the conscientious implementation of all commitments given can lead to the achievement of all predefined goals;

D.

whereas it is essential in the accession process that each country should be judged on its own merits, that the pace of accession negotiations should be dictated by effective compliance with the Copenhagen criteria and that the degree of compliance with those criteria should also determine the final date of accession;

E.

whereas continued reforms, and their full implementation, in the fields of, inter alia, the judiciary and fundamental rights and the fight against corruption remain essential to the strengthening of the rule of law for the benefit of all Croatian citizens;

F.

whereas true reconciliation between different peoples and the establishment of good-neighbourly relations contribute substantially to a genuine European integration process; whereas prosecutions for war crimes and the reintegration of refugees and displaced persons are fundamental elements of the reconciliation process;

G.

whereas Croatia’s successful accession will have wider European and regional implications and will give positive impetus to the process of European integration in both the EU and the Western Balkan region; whereas the prospect of EU membership is a powerful incentive for candidate and potential candidate countries in the region, on the path to European integration, to pursue the necessary political, economic and legislative reforms and the strengthening of peace, stability and reconciliation based on good-neighbourly relations; whereas the EU should reinforce the European perspective for Croatia’s neighbouring countries and constantly encourage those countries to fulfil their obligations on their own route to full EU membership;

1.

Welcomes the conclusion of the accession negotiations with Croatia, bringing to an end almost six years of negotiation and several years of preparation that have significantly altered the country’s socio-political, economic and cultural landscape; stresses the need to keep up the reform momentum and considers that this process is not complete, but should continue with the same vigour and hard work after the conclusion of the negotiations and beyond accession; is confident that the positive results of this process will strengthen support for EU membership among Croatia’s citizens, and their trust in it, and will encourage people to participate in the EU referendum and support the Accession Treaty; supports the signing of the Accession Treaty and calls on EU Member States to complete its ratification in a timely manner; looks forward to receiving parliamentary observers from Croatia;

2.

Points out that the temporary provisions of the Accession Treaty introduce a derogation from the maximum number of seats in the European Parliament, as set in the Treaties, until the end of the 2009-2014 parliamentary term; is resolved to present its proposal for the decision determining the new composition of the European Parliament in good time before the 2014 elections, in accordance with Article 14(2) TEU; points out that all relevant institutional aspects of the accession must be taken into consideration in their entirety;

3.

Points out that the procedures for the adoption of, on the one hand, the Accession Treaty with the Republic of Croatia and, on the other, the protocols requested by Ireland and the Czech Republic have different treaty bases – Articles 49 TEU and 48 TEU respectively – and therefore that they could not be legally incorporated into a single act;

4.

Strongly believes that the conclusion of the accession negotiations is proof of the credibility of the EU’s enlargement process; emphasises that the progress achieved on the road to membership reflects the fact that accession prospects continue to promote political and economic reforms and that European integration serves as a means of reconciling countries even beyond EU borders;

5.

Expects the Commission to monitor further preparations for accession with objectivity and to help the Croatian authorities fulfil their commitments and obligations entered into in the negotiations; welcomes the reference in the Accession Treaty to civil-society involvement throughout the monitoring process and calls on the Commission to make full use of this clause and consult closely with representatives of civil society; takes the view that the pre-accession monitoring mechanism is a way of providing Croatia with additional support in its continued reform efforts; calls on the Commission to ensure that the aid granted through the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA) continues to be as appropriate and effective as possible;

6.

Underlines the need to focus in particular on commitments given on the judiciary, home affairs and fundamental rights – including protection of the freedom of the media, as one of the crucial instruments of democracy, as well as the continued implementation of judicial reform and efficiency, the impartial handling of war-crime cases, the fight against corruption, the protection of minorities, border management, police cooperation, the fight against organised crime and judicial cooperation in civil and criminal matters – as well as commitments on competition policy with a view to the adequate and efficient restructuring of the shipbuilding and steel industries; considers it important that Croatia builds up a positive track record in these areas before accession;

7.

Will follow the monitoring process, and calls on the Commission to keep it regularly informed of the extent to which the Croatian authorities honour the commitments given in the Accession Treaty so as to assume their membership obligations fully upon accession on 1 July 2013; calls on the Croatian authorities to implement the commitments in a transparent and inclusive manner, involving the Croatian Parliament and civil society, and to evaluate the progress of reforms regularly; reserves the right to address recommendations to the Commission and the Croatian authorities throughout the monitoring process;

8.

While acknowledging the good progress made on judicial reform, encourages Croatia to continue to implement reform of the judiciary, in line with the Commission’s recommendations, because an efficient, independent and impartial judicial system is important for economic development and strengthens citizens’ confidence in the rule of law; invites Croatia to address the remaining challenges in this area, especially with regard to improving judicial efficiency and implementing the provisions on the independence, impartiality and accountability of the judiciary and on objective and merit-based criteria for the appointment and promotion of judges;

9.

While welcoming Croatia’s determination to fight corruption, considers it one of the highest priorities to continue to combat, in particular, high-level corruption – in the judiciary, law-enforcement agencies, the public administration and state-owned companies – which must be pursued with determination wherever it occurs, by rigorous enforcement of the law and by developing a track record of successful prosecutions; notes the need further to strengthen transparency and integrity in public administration and in the police; believes it essential to implement public procurement legislation effectively, to ensure transparency in the public sector, to give citizens access to information on public expenditure and to increase the transparency of party financing;

10.

Calls on the Croatian authorities further to strengthen the administrative capacities of anti-corruption bodies, including by following EU best practice, and to foster a culture of political, public sector and judicial accountability as a prerequisite for building and strengthening the rule of law; stresses that continued efforts are needed to develop further the track record on handling organised-crime and corruption cases effectively and to strengthen legislation that prohibits companies with links to criminal organisations from participating in public procurement; considers it important to continue reforming law-enforcement agencies with the goal of making them efficient, effective, depoliticised and respectful of civil rights and freedoms;

11.

Encourages Croatia to step up its efforts on the prosecution of war crimes, to implement the new strategy on impunity, which is a key to ensuring justice and achieving lasting reconciliation in the region, and to address impunity cases where the victims were ethnic Serbs or the alleged perpetrators were members of the Croatian security forces; invites the Croatian Government, as an important step in the fight against impunity, to allocate adequate financial resources and provide full support to the Croatian judiciary in order to speed up the investigation of war crimes; furthermore, encourages the Croatian authorities to continue active cooperation with the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) and to comply with all remaining recommendations of the Office of the Prosecutor of the ICTY; invites Croatia and Serbia to cooperate fully in the field of justice, particularly as regards the prosecution of war crimes;

12.

Invites the Government to encourage further, and effectively facilitate, the return of refugees and displaced persons, paying special attention to the situation of ethnic Serbian returnees, and to improve their living and working conditions; calls on the Croatian authorities to continue launching social and economic recovery projects for vulnerable groups, especially the refugees, and seeking effective and sustainable ways of implementing housing and employment measures in a manner consistent with other social and employment programmes; expects all the countries of the region to have open-minded policies on refugee return;

13.

Welcomes the progress made in the area of women’s rights and gender equality; is concerned, however, that women continue to be severely under-represented in economic and political decision-making bodies; calls on the Croatian authorities swiftly to finalise implementation of the Gender Equality Act, to promote the participation of women in politics more actively, to strengthen the position of women on the labour market and to introduce the principle of equal pay;

14.

Supports efforts to promote a climate of tolerance in the country; encourages the Croatian authorities to pursue further efforts to combat all kinds of discrimination, to implement the anti-discrimination legislation and resolutely to address cases of hate crime, hate speech, racial threats and intolerance directed against ethnic and LGBT minorities; further calls on Croatia to continue to act in the spirit of tolerance and take appropriate measures for the protection of those who may still be subject to threats or acts of intimidation;

15.

Is deeply concerned by the violence against participants in the LGBT pride march in Split on 11 June 2011 and the inability of the Croatian authorities to protect the participants; urges the Croatian authorities fully to investigate and prosecute the crimes committed and to develop strategies for preventing similar incidents in the future; calls on the Croatian authorities quickly to adopt and implement an action plan against homophobia;

16.

Calls on the Croatian authorities to continue to tackle human trafficking;

17.

Encourages Croatia to further strengthen labour and trade unions rights, to strengthen social dialogue within the decision-making process and in policy design, and to promote capacity-building for the social partners, including by further strengthening the Economic and Social Council;

18.

Recognises that freedom of expression is provided for in Croatian law and is generally respected; encourages the Croatian authorities to take further steps to ensure media independence and professionalism; calls on the Croatian authorities to continue to demonstrate their commitment to ensuring that the media sector operates without political interference and that the independence of regulatory bodies is guaranteed;

19.

Calls on Croatia, in light of the existing economic problems, to continue its structural reforms of the economy, to stimulate employment by reviving the labour market and to pursue fiscal consolidation in order to boost competitiveness, enabling it to catch up with EU Member States and to benefit fully from accession to the EU; considers it important that economic recovery is accompanied by environmental modernisation, including through improved energy efficiency, the reinforcement of policy on renewable energy sources, and the harmonisation of spatial development and energy policies; encourages the Government to improve the overall business environment, to pay particular attention to small and medium-sized enterprises and to pursue further efforts to reform Croatia’s social system in order to secure sustainability of public finances; calls on the Croatian authorities to make the process of spatial development more transparent and to respect in full the public interest and environmental standards;

20.

Calls on Member States to apply decisions on transitional provisions concerning Croatian workers’ access to their labour markets on the basis of factual information and only in the situation of serious disturbance of the national labour market;

21.

Calls on Member States that want to apply transitional periods, limiting free access to their labour market, to inform the Commission of the numbers of workers expected on their territory;

22.

Points out that the financial consequences of the enlargement have to be fully addressed in the upcoming negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) 2014-2020 and in decisions concerning the Union’s own resources system;

23.

Calls on all involved parties to associate Croatia, to the greatest extent possible, in its capacity as an acceding country, in all exchanges of views and negotiations on the MFF 2014-2020; believes that the Croatian observers in the European Parliament, representatives in the Council and observers in the Committee of the Regions should seize the opportunity to promote their vision for the Union and contribute to shaping the EU budget and priorities for the period to 2020;

24.

Takes note of the EU’s position on the financial and budgetary provisions defined in the Conference on the Accession of Croatia and based on an accession date of 1 July 2013; notes that the required financial envelopes for Croatia’s accession, by heading and sub-heading of the budget, for the last semester of the last financial year of the current MFF would substantially increase expenditure in the EU budget; notes that the allocation for Croatia reserved under the IPA will be reduced from the amounts originally envisaged for 2013, offsetting to some extent the net impact on the EU budget;

25.

Notes Coreper’s position whereby the overall level of expenditure should not be changed for the financial year 2013, but recalls nevertheless that the current MFF, when presented, negotiated and adopted in 2006, did not take into account the potential accession of Croatia during the lifetime of this MFF;

26.

Urges the Commission therefore to propose as planned, in early 2012 following signature of the Accession Treaty in December 2011, and as provided for in point 29 of the Inter-Institutional Agreement (IIA), a revision of the MFF for the financial year 2013 in order to avoid financing Croatia’s accession by redeployments;

27.

Encourages the Croatian authorities – given that weaknesses remain in the administrative capacities of relevant Croatian institutions – further to reinforce the administrative structures and institutional capacities necessary for proper implementation of the acquis, so that the country can maximise the benefits of EU membership after accession;

28.

Welcomes the adoption by the Croatian Government in July 2011 of the declaration on promoting European values in South East Europe; invites Croatia to continue to advocate EU enlargement and promotion of the European values of peace, prosperity, freedom, the rule of law, democracy and the social market economy in the region; encourages Croatia to continue to enhance good-neighbourly relations, to remain an important and proactive promoter of regional cooperation on all levels and to maintain its commitment to translating reconciliation efforts into practical steps of economic, social and human benefit to all citizens of the region;

29.

Calls for increased use of the financial instruments that support SMEs, infrastructure development and the business environment as part of the multi-beneficiary programmes throughout the Western Balkans; notes that regional cooperation is of the utmost importance for the economic development of, and fruitful cooperation with, Croatia’s neighbouring countries;

30.

Calls for progress on resolving outstanding bilateral issues with neighbouring countries, in particular with Serbia, mainly regarding border demarcation, missing persons, property restitution and refugees, and strongly believes that while open issues of a bilateral nature must not halt the EU accession process of candidate and potential candidate countries in the Western Balkans, they should in general be settled before the accession, and therefore welcomes the Croatian Parliament’s declaration of 21 October 2011 to this end;

31.

Considering that the success of accession depends to a large extent on the support and commitment of citizens, encourages the Croatian authorities and civil society to conduct, with the help of the Commission, a wide-ranging and objective information campaign on the obligations, consequences and advantages arising from EU accession so that the Croatian people will be fully aware of their choice in the referendum and that they see the European project as belonging to them too;

32.

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


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/24


Thursday 1 December 2011
European semester for economic policy coordination

P7_TA(2011)0542

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the European Semester for Economic Policy Coordination (2011/2071(INI))

2013/C 165 E/04

The European Parliament,

having regard to Article 3 of the Treaty on European Union,

having regard to Articles 121, 126 and 148 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Protocol No 12 and the relevant provisions of Protocols 15 and 16 concerning the excessive deficit procedure,

having regard to the European Statistics Code of Practice as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 March 2009 on European Statistics,

having regard to Articles 152 and 153(5) of the TFEU,

having regard to Article 9 of the TFEU (horizontal social clause),

having regard to the respective Commission communications of 12 May 2010, entitled ‘Reinforcing economic policy coordination’ (COM(2010)0250), and of 30 June 2010, entitled ‘Enhancing economic policy coordination for stability, growth and jobs – Tools for stronger EU economic governance’ (COM(2010)0367),

having regard to the Commission communication of 3 March 2010 entitled ‘Europe 2020: A strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth’ (COM(2010)2020),

having regard to the conclusions of the ECOFIN Councils of 15 February 2011 and 7 September 2010,

having regard to the European Council Conclusions of 23 and 24 March 2011,

having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs and the opinions of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs, the Committee on Budgets, the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Culture and Education, the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A7-0384/2011),

A.

whereas the crisis and the increasing inequalities and macrofinancial imbalances and disparities in competitiveness since the introduction of the euro as well as the functioning of the financial system have highlighted the need for the Union to tackle macroeconomic imbalances on the basis of a symmetrical approach where appropriate which would address excessive deficits as well as excessive surpluses, coordinate economic and fiscal policies more closely and improve budgetary surveillance;

B.

whereas the improved economic governance framework should rely on several inter-linked policies for sustainable growth and jobs, which need to be coherent with each other, in particular a Union strategy for growth and jobs (EU2020 strategy), with particular focus upon development and strengthening of the internal market, fostering international trade and competitiveness, an effective framework for preventing and correcting excessive government deficits (the Stability and Growth Pact), a robust framework for preventing and correcting macroeconomic imbalances, minimum requirements for national budgetary frameworks, and enhanced financial market regulation and supervision, including macro-prudential supervision by the European Systemic Risk Board;

C.

whereas the experience gained and mistakes made during the first decade of functioning of the economic and monetary union show a need for improved economic governance in the Union, which should be built on stronger national ownership of commonly agreed rules and policies and on a more robust surveillance framework at Union level for national economic policies;

D.

whereas experience has shown that excessive debt and deficits in some Member States can have profound negative spill-over effects on other Member States and on the eurozone as a whole;

E.

whereas the national parliaments are freely elected by the citizens and are therefore the representatives and the guarantors of the rights acquired and delegated by the citizens; whereas the introduction of the European Semester should fully respect the prerogatives of national parliaments;

F.

whereas parliamentary approval of public budgets is one of the foundations of democracy;

G.

whereas the Member State parliaments now share their legislative role with the EU institutions and often only have limited control over the actions of their respective governments at European level;

H.

whereas the amended and complex legislative processes of the European Union are insufficiently familiar to most Union citizens; whereas the lack of transparency in decision-making and opinion forming processes, particularly in the European Council and the Council of Ministers, is undermining citizens’ trust in European integration and the democracies of the European Union and is hindering the exercise of active, constructive control by citizens;

I.

whereas social protest movements against austerity measures in various EU Member States also express increasing dissatisfaction with the democratic quality of European integration; whereas the democratic credibility of European integration has suffered enormously from the manner in which the euro crisis has been dealt with to date;

J.

whereas the effectiveness of national economic policies, on the basis of closer coordination, depends on the democratic legitimacy and accountability of those policies, which in turn depends on the intervention of parliaments;

K.

whereas there is a need to ensure greater interaction between employment, social and economic policies in the context of the European Semester, and whereas this has to be done for the benefit of all generations and in a manner fostering democratic accountability, ownership and legitimacy of all actors involved; whereas an essential part of this is the full involvement of the European Parliament;

L.

whereas on 24 March 2011 the participating Member States of the Euro Plus Pact agreed on taking ‘robust action at the EU level to stimulate growth by strengthening the Single Market, reducing the overall burden of regulation and promoting trade with third countries’;

M.

whereas the European Semester is an institutional process, under the leadership of the EU institutions, of increased coordination across Member States for the implementation of the EU strategy, notably in its macroeconomic dimension;

N.

whereas the EU budget is jointly agreed by the European Parliament and the Council in accordance with the Treaties, and national budgetary procedures are governed by the constitutional system of each Member State; whereas, however, stronger budgetary coordination does not violate the subsidiarity principle;

O.

whereas the great achievement of the common market in linking European economies needs to be coupled to a system of budgetary coordination in order to make use of substantial synergies;

P.

whereas the creation, by the Lisbon Treaty, of a stable presidency of the European Council has changed the Union’s institutional balance;

Q.

whereas a purely intergovernmental coordination system would be an inadequate response to the requirements of Article 121 TFEU, which states that the Member States shall regard their economic policies as a matter of common concern, and could not ensure the requisite action by the Union in the areas governed by the Community method;

R.

whereas the introduction of the European Semester should lead to the increased, well-defined involvement of the European and national parliaments and to changes in their work;

S.

whereas the European Parliament has a codecision competence in the budgetary procedure;

T.

whereas the European Employment Strategy and the Employment Guidelines based on Article 148 TFEU provide a policy framework for the employment and labour market measures to be implemented so as to meet the Europe 2020 objectives;

U.

whereas the European Parliament made a quasi-codecision contribution to the 2010 Integrated Employment Guidelines;

V.

whereas the unemployment rate in Europe is still well above 9 %, and especially unemployment of young people remains a major challenge; whereas employment, labour market and social policies are therefore an essential part of the reforms to be carried out under both the macroeconomic surveillance and the thematic coordination provided for by the Europe 2020 strategy;

W.

whereas the Europe 2020 strategy and the new governance structure anchored in the European Semester should help the EU deal with the crisis and its causes; whereas the EU’s high levels of social protection have cushioned the worst impact of the crisis, and whereas the legacy of the crisis is far-reaching and resulting in a large loss of economic activity, a substantial increase in unemployment, a steep fall in productivity and badly weakened public finances;

X.

whereas the European Semester has two objectives: to verify the application of budgetary discipline by Member States and – at the same time – to monitor the proper delivery of the Europe 2020 programme by securing the financial means necessary for its implementation;

Y.

whereas the failure of the Lisbon Strategy can essentially be attributed to the absence of any clear follow-up procedure for the implementation of this strategy by all actors concerned, and whereas it is important, therefore, to draw the right lessons that will ensure the success of the Europe 2020 agenda;

Z.

whereas, given the experience it has gained in the area of monetary dialogue, Parliament should be given a role in the democratic accountability of economic policies and budgetary surveillance;

AA.

whereas the Council has made substantial changes to the country-specific recommendations proposed by the Commission in the framework of the first year of the European Semester;

AB.

whereas the autonomy of social partners to bargain collectively and the national systems of wage setting need to be strictly respected;

AC.

having regard to the experience gained as a result of the interparliamentary meetings organised each year by Parliament’s Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs;

Outline of the challenges

1.

Considers that the current stage of the crisis calls for strong and ambitious answers;

2.

Notes that, besides the adoption of the legislative economic governance package, the eurozone summit on 26 October 2011 decided a set of measures modifying this package. considers that if any Treaty change is decided in the future, it should fully respect the procedure provided for by Article 48(3) of the Treaty on European Union, and the mandate of a Convention convened pursuant to that article should reflect the need for the EU to build upon strong democratic legitimacy and solidarity;

3.

Considers that, until further notice, the European Semester is the valid framework for the implementation of the EU strategy and for effective economic government, notably of the euro area Member States that are linked by a common responsibility, and that behind the wording a process over the full year is at stake for EU institutions and Member States;

4.

Emphasises that the success of the Europe 2020 strategy depends on the commitment of the EU as a whole, and on ownership by Member States, national parliaments, local and regional authorities and social partners; recalls the importance of a strong, competitive and properly functioning social market economy, structural reforms and collective agreements within the framework of the Europe 2020 strategy, as well as the promotion of a genuine European social dialogue on macroeconomic policies and measures;

5.

Reiterates that Member States should regard their economic and fiscal policies as a matter of common concern and that the economic pillar of Economic and Monetary Union, including its fiscal dimension, must therefore be strengthened through more coordination in the introduction and implementation of fiscal measures as well as an effective fight against tax fraud and tax evasion and the phasing-out of existing detrimental measures;

6.

Believes that the introduction of the ‘European Semester’ and enhanced economic and fiscal policy coordination should leave enough scope and flexibility to the EU Member States to pursue an effective budgetary, economic and social strategy, appropriate in accordance with the EU 2020 strategy, geared to distribution and development and providing an adequate level of public services and infrastructure for EU citizens; calls on the Commission to take into account in its annual Growth Survey what steps Member States have taken to complete the Single Market;

7.

Notes that development and strengthening of the Single Market and fostering international trade links are central to stimulating economic growth, increasing competitiveness and addressing macroeconomic imbalances, and calls on the Commission to take into account in its Annual Growth Survey what steps Member States have taken to complete the Single Market;

8.

Underlines that the guidelines for the employment policies of Member States and the broad economic policy guidelines both form integral parts of the European Semester and are equally important for the achievement of smart, sustainable and inclusive growth; calls on the Council and the Commission to ensure that all policy recommendations are consistent with the Integrated Guidelines;

9.

Views as regrettable the lack of clarity in, and the overlapping of, the different instruments and budgetary lines through which the Europe 2020 targets are to be achieved via the EU budget; recalls that the European Semester provides a good opportunity to develop greater synergy between EU and Member State budgets;

10.

Points out that the Europe 2020 strategy needs to have more of a territorial dimension; takes the view, consequently, that – taking into account the particularities and different development levels of European regions – directly involving regional and local authorities and partners in the planning and implementation of relevant programmes would lead to a greater feeling of responsibility for the goals of the strategy at all levels and would ensure greater awareness on the ground of its objectives and results;

Role of the Commission

Introduction

11.

Notes that the European Semester has been established to ensure sustained convergence of the economic and fiscal performance of the Member States, achieve closer coordination of economies and overcome the sovereign debt crisis; notes that the Annual Growth Survey (AGS) has been established as the initial basic document of the cycle;

12.

Recalls that the European Semester must take place without prejudice to the powers of the European Parliament conferred on it by the TFEU; calls on the Commission to develop proposals establishing how these different instruments are differentiated, create spill-over effects across policy areas and fit together;

Lessons from the first cycle

13.

Underlines that the codification of the European Semester must permit the flexibility necessary for possible adaptation in the light of the lessons taken from the first exercise; considers that, in its assessment and adaptation work, the Commission should focus in particular on the need for the framework to be more closely adapted to the euro area and its challenges;

14.

Notes that the quality of National Reform Programmes under the first European Semester varies greatly regarding concreteness, transparency, feasibility and comprehensiveness; calls on the Commission to invite Member States to upgrade the quality and transparency of their contribution and to elevate the National Reform Programmes of best quality to the standard format for future European Semesters;

15.

Calls on the Commission to ensure that the national policies and targets announced in the National Reform Programmes together add up to a level that is sufficiently ambitious to reach the EU 2020 headline targets; expresses its concern about the fact that under the first European Semester this was not the case; calls on the Commission to make sure that all Member States contribute to the headline targets according to their potential and give an exact road map together with the corresponding timetable for necessary actions;

Annual Growth Survey

16.

Considers that the AGS should be in line with:

the EU 2020 strategy,

the integrated guidelines (broad economic policy guidelines and employment guidelines),

specific Council agreements regarding the euro area or the Union as a whole such as the Euro Plus Pact;

17.

Notes that the Annual Growth Survey (AGS), as endorsed by the Spring European Council, guides the drafting of the Member States’:

National Reform Programmes (NRPs),

Stability and Convergence Programmes (SCPs), on the basis of which the Commission draws up country-specific recommendations;

18.

Notes that the preparation of the Annual Growth Survey is based on macroeconomic forecasting across Member States and the European Union; emphasises that steps needed to improve European economic governance should be accompanied by similar steps to improve its legitimacy and accountability; warns, therefore, against the current form of the Annual Growth Survey as a technical document which does not take into account the contribution of the European Parliament;

19.

Calls on the Commission to reflect better the comprehensive multidimensional (smart, sustainable and inclusive) approach of the EU2020 strategy in the benchmarks used to assess the progress made by Member States and to issue country-specific recommendations accordingly;

20.

Calls on the Commission to enlarge the set of indicators it uses to monitor national developments, taking account of the work performed, notably, in the framework of the follow-up to the Communication ‘GDP and beyond’ (COM(2009)0433) and the roadmap to a resource-efficient Europe;

21.

Requests that the AGS be transformed into ‘Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines’ (AS2G), focusing on enhancing sustainable growth;

22.

Calls on the Commission to adopt the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines by 10 January each year with a specific chapter for the euro area;

23.

Calls on the Commission, when drawing up the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines, to draw upon a wide range of scientific expertise to the greatest extent possible and to take relevant recommendations of the European Parliament, Member States and local and regional governments into account;

24.

Calls on the Commission clearly to assess, in the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines, the main economic and fiscal problems of the EU and individual Member States, to propose priority measures to overcome those problems, and to identify the initiatives taken by the Union and the Member States to support enhanced competitiveness and long-term investment, to remove obstacles to sustainable growth, to achieve the targets laid down in the Treaties and the current EU 2020 strategy, to implement the seven flagship initiatives and to reduce macroeconomic imbalances;

25.

Calls on the Commission and Council to ensure that policy guidance for fiscal consolidation and structural reforms is consistent with the EU 2020 strategy for growth and jobs; considers that, in defining and implementing the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines, the Union must take into account developments in micro-financial legislation, in particular prudential regulation, and long-term investment stimulating sustainable competitiveness, growth and job creation; considers that an impact assessment should also be conducted on the possible long-term costs of non-action by the Member States to implement EU 2020 strategy targets and structural reforms;

26.

Believes that the country-specific recommendations should be accompanied by social impact assessments, taking into account requirements linked to the promotion of employment, the guarantee of adequate social protection, the fight against social exclusion, and a high level of education, training, retraining and protection of human health;

27.

Calls on the Commission to identify explicitly in the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines potential cross-border spill-over effects of major economic policy measures implemented at the EU level as well as in Member States;

28.

Calls on the Commissioners responsible for the European Semester to come and debate the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines with the relevant EP committees as soon as they have been adopted by the Commission;

Country-specific recommendations

29.

Calls the Commission and the Council to ensure the implementation and equal treatment of 2020 targets and flagship initiatives in their guidance and recommendations addressed to each Member State and the EU as a whole;

30.

Recalls that the Council Directive on requirements for budgetary frameworks of the Member States (1) states that ‘the Commission shall make public the methodologies, assumptions, and relevant parameters that underpin its macroeconomic and budgetary forecasts’;

31.

Recommends that Member States should implement this Directive as soon as possible; calls on the Commission to ensure greater comparability of the National Reform Programmes and establish common benchmarks to assess the Programmes;

32.

Calls on the Commission to come and present its recommendations to the European Parliament at an appropriate time, once the analysis of the NRPs and SCPs has been completed, and to highlight the potential cross-border spill-over effects especially within the eurozone in view of the planned interparliamentary fora and the discussions in the Council on the country-specific recommendations;

33.

Calls on the Council to come to Parliament in July to explain any significant changes it has made to the Commission’s proposed country-specific recommendations; requests the Commission to take part in this hearing to provide its views on the situation;

34.

Calls on the Commission to organise a hearing with the aim of providing information on the yearly monitoring events announced in the various flagship initiatives; calls for this hearing to take place between the Spring and Summer meetings of the European Council with all relevant EU, national and regional bodies and other stakeholders;

35.

Calls on the Commission and the Council to step up the role of the macroeconomic dialogue introduced by the Cologne European Council in June 1999 so as to improve the interaction among those responsible for wage development, economic, fiscal and monetary policy;

36.

Proposes that the spill-over effects of economic developments in the Union for non-European countries should be taken into consideration in order to work towards the reduction of global economic imbalances; calls on the Commission to play an active part in the economic dialogue in the relevant UN institutions; notes that objectives agreed at international level must also be taken into account;

Role of the European Parliament

37.

Recalls that the parliamentary debate on economic policy guidelines is the cornerstone of any democratic system;

38.

Takes note that the crisis and the developments especially inside the euro area call for an upgrading of the European dimension of the economic policies of its Member States, especially within the eurozone;

39.

Will further adapt its structure and working methods to the latest developments within the Council and the Commission on the eurozone structure; recalls that the economic dialogue will be part of the answers to such a challenge; believes that any new or upgraded organisation and decision-making process within the Council and/or the Commission must go hand in hand with upgraded democratic legitimacy and appropriate accountability to the European Parliament;

40.

Highlights the need for upgrading the parliamentary dimension in parallel to the Council one;

41.

Will vote before the Spring Council on the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines with amendments proposals to be submitted to the European Council; calls for the Annual Sustainable Growth Guidelines to be subject to a codecision procedure that should be introduced by the next Treaty change; instructs its President to present at the European Spring Council the Annual Growth Guidelines as amended by the European Parliament;

42.

Is concerned about the democratic legitimacy of the introduction of the European Semester; maintains that Parliament and national parliaments have a crucial role to play in establishing the necessary democratic legitimacy and national ownership;

43.

Takes the view that the European Parliament is the appropriate venue for economic dialogue and cooperation between national parliaments and the European Institutions;

44.

Calls on the Member States and their regions to involve national and regional parliaments, social partners, public authorities and civil society more closely in the formulation of national reform, development and cohesion programmes, and to consult them regularly; underlines in this regard the timely engagement of the Committee of the Regions as a platform for coordination between regions in order to make them report on the state of play of regional and local participation in the European Semester;

45.

Calls for the organisation, in 2012, of an interparliamentary conference bringing together representatives from the budget, employment and economic committees of the European and national parliaments with the aim of defining the scope, method and means of multilevel and multidimensional democratic legitimacy of economic policy, in particular to ensure that the national policies and targets announced in the National Reform Programmes together add up to a level that is sufficiently ambitious to reach the EU 2020 headline targets; considers that care must, however, be taken to ensure that there is sufficient time for the adoption of national budgets;

46.

Intends to organise, from 2013, prior to the Spring European Council each year, an interparliamentary forum at the European Parliament for members of the competent national parliamentary committees, and recommends that this meeting be an integrated part of the annual meeting organised by the Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee for members of national parliaments; proposes that this forum include meetings of the political groups and the relevant committees, as well as a plenary sitting and invites the European social partners to participate in this meeting and provide their views;

47.

Intends to organise, from 2013, following the Spring European Council each year, a second interparliamentary meeting bringing together the Chairs of the committees responsible for the European Semester within national parliaments and the European Parliament (ECON, EMPL, BUDG, ENVI, ITRE) to discuss the Commission’s proposed recommendations;

48.

Warns against the establishment of any practice that lacks parliamentary approval at the European or national level; underlines the need for country-specific recommendations to be based on democratic procedures;

49.

Underlines the role of the economic dialogue with the European Parliament adopted with the economic governance package, which consists of enabling a dialogue between the European institutions as well as with the national level to initiate a cross-border and public debate, increase transparency and enable peer pressure; observes that the relevant committee of the EP may invite the President of the Commission, of the Eurogroup and of the European Council and offer the opportunity to a Member State concerned by decisions in the EDP and/or EIP to participate in an exchange of views;

50.

Wishes an economic dialogue to be held at Parliament with the heads of state or government of those Member States intending to make use of the European Financial Stability Facility and Mechanism as well as the European Stability Mechanism, before the latter is activated; underlines, in light of the role the EFSF and the ESM are supposed to play, the need for the EP to conduct a hearing with their management staff;

51.

Urges the Council and the Commission to ensure the consistency of economic conditionality and adjustment programmes in the framework of any rescue programme with the Union’s objectives of social and sustainable development and in particular employment and economic policy guidelines as well as EU 2020 objectives; asks them to include recommendations addressed in the framework of the EU Semester to Member States receiving financial assistance to take account explicitly of these consistency requirements;

52.

Intends to conduct an audit of the Union’s macroeconomic situation in the autumn, having recourse to a wide range of expertise, including international external independent advice and in consultation with the relevant stakeholders, and in particular the social partners, in order to foster debate and obtain a second opinion on economic issues in preparation for its discussions with the Commission prior to the drafting of the Annual Growth Survey;

53.

Takes the view that the European Parliament should be recognised as the appropriate European democratic forum to provide an overall evaluation at the end of the European Semester;

54.

Asks to become a partner in the macroeconomic dialogue and to participate herein, so as to achieve its objectives in terms of delivering a cooperative macroeconomic policy stance;

Role of the Council

55.

Calls on the European Council to invite the President of the European Parliament to participate in its meetings on the European Semester;

56.

Calls on the Council and the Commission in line with the rules of the economic governance package to report to it with an exact overview of actions and measures in the first few weeks of each year on the developments and successes of the previous European Semester;

57.

Observes that it became apparent during the first European Semester that the deadlines were tight and that there is therefore a risk, in future exercises, that national parliamentary involvement would be suboptimal should any Member State need to submit a corrective action plan or adjust its stability and convergence programmes as well as their National Reform Programmes pursuant to the recommendations of the Council;

58.

Calls on the Member States to provide information which is as detailed as possible on the measures and instruments provided for in the national reform programmes to attain the national objectives set, including the deadline for implementation, the expected effects, the potential spill-over effects, the risks of unsuccessful implementation, the costs and, if applicable, the use of EU Structural Funds;

59.

Calls for Member States to ensure the professional independence of national statistical authorities in line with the provisions laid down in the governance package and to ensure compliance with the European statistics code of practice as laid down in Regulation (EC) No 223/2009 in order to ensure the transmission of high quality statistics to the Commission for assessment during the European Semester;

60.

Believes that ensuring the success of the European Statistical System crucially relies upon the work of well-performing national courts of auditors and their thorough and accurate verification of the quality of public finance data and of the transmission process from public entities to the national statistical offices;

61.

Calls on the Council to strengthen the macroeconomic dialogue, in particular by establishing corresponding macro-dialogues at national level, to unlock the full potential of macroeconomic cooperation by exploiting employment opportunities via strong and balanced growth dynamics;

62.

Considers it to be of major importance to include in the constant dialogue between European Institutions the involvement of the European Central Bank;

Other

63.

Calls for the development of the concept of a European Treasury to strengthen the implementation capacity of the European Semester and the economic pillar of EMU; considers that future institutional developments should take into account the evolution of the EFSF and ESM;

64.

Notes with concern that economic policy coordination at EU level consists of a variety of binding and non-binding instruments and commitments (2) which might undermine the legal certainty of the EU order and which, in the eyes of public opinion, produces confusion as to the exact scope of the responsibilities undertaken by Member States in relation to their status as members or non-members of the eurozone;

65.

Notes that the Member States have failed to adhere to commonly agreed rules, in particular the Stability and Growth Pact, which stipulates that the Member States’ annual budget deficit must be less than 3 % of GDP and that public debt must be less than 60 % of GDP; calls on the Member States to comply with the Stability and Growth Pact and other commonly agreed rules;

66.

Stresses that, in order to be effective, integrated surveillance of economic policies must not be limited to the assessment of fiscal and structural policies of EU Member States, but must also be synchronised with the objectives and action taken at EU level, as well as with the extent and nature of the Union’s financial resources; underlines in this regard the crucial role of EU policies and action under the EU 2020 strategy, namely cohesion policies, research and innovation;

67.

Underlines that the policy guidance to Member States partly concerns policy areas like wages and pensions that fall under the competence of Member States and social partners but must be supported and complemented by the European Union, in line with Article 153 of the TFEU; emphasises that democratic accountability needs to be ensured and the principles of subsidiarity and social dialogue to be respected in order to preserve the policy space required for national implementation;

68.

Recalls that the Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the prevention and correction of macroeconomic imbalances states that "the application of this Regulation shall fully respect Article 152 TFEU and the recommendations issued under this Regulation shall respect national practices and institutions for wage formation. It shall take into account Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, and accordingly shall not affect the right to negotiate, conclude and enforce collective agreements and to take collective action in accordance with national law and practices";

Sectoral contributions to the European Semester

69.

Considers that, with a view to reaching the common objectives, Europe 2020 and the European Semester as a framework for strengthened economic and social governance have a potential to help reinforce a common approach to the challenges, the responses and the assessment of the employment and social situation in the Member States if these were to progress beyond the level of nominal intention and if the European Parliament were genuinely involved in this process, contrary to what happened during the first European Semester, including in relation to the first Annual Growth Survey, which marked the start of a new cycle of economic governance in the EU;

70.

Calls on the Council and the Commission, when providing policy guidance to Member States, including in relation to education, employment and social affairs, macroeconomic policy and the budget, to respect the principles of subsidiarity and social dialogue in the field of wages and pensions as well and, in keeping with Article 153(5) TFEU, to respect the competences of the Member States and social partners in these areas in order to preserve the policy space required for national implementation, and to consult the social partners before making their recommendations; emphasises that democratic accountability needs to be ensured at all levels;

71.

Calls on the Commission to make use of all available information and expertise, including that of the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, in its assessment of progress towards the Europe 2020 objectives and related initiatives;

72.

Calls for the Commission and Council recommendations to focus as a priority on a social policy that promotes education and training, access to employment, reintegration of the unemployed into the labour market and improved coordination of social protection systems in the Member States, together with completing the internal market and removing barriers to competition; calls for recommendations to be drawn up long enough in advance to have a real impact on national budgetary decisions;

73.

States its intention to contribute actively to the implementation of an ambitious Europe 2020 strategy by the EU and Member States and to the European Semester, including to its employment and social aspects, which are of crucial importance to European citizens; declares its intention to do so both by way of specific action and through contributions to important initiatives such as the European Year for Active Ageing; also declares that it will do its utmost to keep these aspects of Europe 2020 and the employment and social concerns of European women and men high on its political agenda throughout the year;

74.

States, furthermore, its intention to express its views on the employment and social aspects of Europe 2020 by means of a specific resolution to be adopted with a view to the Spring European Council;

75.

Declares its readiness to engage in a regular policy dialogue and exchange of views with national parliaments and other relevant stakeholders, including the social partners, business sector and NGOs, on the employment and social aspects of Europe 2020 and the European Semester, and in this framework:

(a)

Invites the Commission to present to Parliament its Annual Growth Survey, including the draft Joint Employment Report, its proposal for annual Employment Guidelines and any proposal for country-specific recommendations made on the basis of Article 148(4) TFEU,

(b)

Calls for transparency among European Semester stakeholders and in this context encourages the Employment Committee (EMCO) to regularly share the results of its employment surveillance with the competent committees of the European Parliament,

(c)

Invites the social partners, social NGOs and other stakeholders to take part in a regular exchange of views with Parliament, in particular on the implementation of employment and social policies and on progress towards achieving the related EU targets; requests that preparatory documents for exchanges of views be communicated in advance to the members of the appropriate parliamentary committee;

76.

Calls on the Commission to inform Parliament of the results of the activities carried out under the Mutual Learning Programme, in particular in the areas highlighted though the strategic guidance of the European Council; points to the importance of periodically monitoring the degree of access to, and the take-up rate of, the funding allocated to the programme, thereby providing a means of determining in real time what corrective measures might be needed to ensure that the usual bureaucratic pitfalls will not prevent the programme’s objectives being translated into reality;

77.

Believes that employment and social policies have a central role in the whole Europe 2020 strategy and in its governance; considers that these policies must be strengthened in the light of the crisis, and that the European Semester is essential in reaching this objective;

78.

Considers that, in the context of the European Semester and in order to implement effectively Employment Guidelines 7 to 10, Member States should be encouraged to attach special importance to specific issues, such as facilitating young people’s access to education, guidance and training and preventing early school-leaving, promoting lifelong learning, promoting employment and reducing unemployment, especially among young people, promoting integration of older people into the labour market, combating undeclared work, facilitating reconciliation of work and family life and improving childcare facilities;

79.

Calls on the Council and the Commission to assess comprehensively whether the measures proposed in national programmes to combat poverty and social exclusion and to increase employment levels are in line with the Europe 2020 objectives and headline targets; calls on Member States which have not set national targets, or which have not sufficiently committed themselves to achieving the employment rate in Europe for women and men of 75 % by 2020, to undertake to pursue this objective, focusing, in particular, on tackling the key structural weaknesses of the labour markets;

80.

Notes that measures taken within the framework of National Reform Plans, ‘economic governance’ and the European Semester should not contribute to the worsening social crisis in a number of countries with more fragile economies, making life more and more difficult for families and in particular for women and children, who are the main victims of growing poverty, unemployment and precarious and poorly paid work;

81.

Emphasises the need to reinforce and institutionalise the Macroeconomic Social Dialogue and considers that social partners must be involved in the development of actions the Commission wishes to undertake in the context of the European Semester and the implementation of the new economic governance and that social partners should address an opinion or, if appropriate, a recommendation to the Commission about these actions;

82.

Underlines the importance of ensuring mutually reinforced interaction between micro- and macroeconomic policies on the one hand, and employment and social policies on the other hand, which is essential to be able to deliver on the overall goals of Europe 2020;

83.

Remains committed to paying special attention, including in its deliberations on the European Semester, to the impact of employment and the social situation on the macroeconomic situation and vice versa, and calls on the Commission to follow the same approach;

84.

Calls on the Commission and Council to ensure that sustainable and inclusive growth linked to employment and job creation are at the heart of all policy proposals under the European Semester;

85.

Recalls the need to ensure that the financing of the Europe 2020 objectives is duly taken into account in the annual budgets of the EU and of the Member States; stresses that the most simple, democratic, European and efficient way of achieving this objective is to organise at the beginning of every European Semester an interparliamentary debate on the common budgetary orientations of the Member States and the Union; believes that such a debate, while helping to reduce duplicated structures significantly, would at the same time allow the Member States to take more account of the European dimension in their draft budgets and enable the European Parliament to take better account of national concerns;

86.

Recalls the important role of the EU budget in financing the Europe 2020 agenda, to which more than half of the Union’s resources are dedicated every year; notes, however, that – given the content of priority actions and the division of competences between the Union and the Member States – the largest share of financing for this strategy should come from national or regional budgets; concludes, therefore, that both the EU budget and the national budgets need to be taken into account in the part of the European Semester procedure that deals with the implementation of the Europe 2020 agenda;

87.

Underlines the crucial role of cohesion policy as a key instrument for Europe 2020; considers that a strong and well-funded cohesion policy is an effective and efficient instrument to implement Europe 2020 and prevent future economic and financial crises, owing to its long-term development programmes, budgetary dimension and decentralised administration system and the incorporation of the EU’s priorities for sustainable development; stresses in this regard the importance of involving regions in achieving the EU 2020 goal;

88.

Points out that, owing to the multi-level governance approach, regional policy has a consolidated methodology for an integrated approach and a reliable guidance system for mobilising investments and incentivising new initiatives on the ground which could support the effectiveness of economic policies in an appropriate manner and the development of greater synergy between EU and Member State budgets; calls, therefore, on the Commission to put forward specific recommendations on how the Structural Funds can be used to this end within the framework of the operational programmes;

89.

Considers it essential for cohesion policy to play a part in overcoming the challenges of reducing structural imbalances and internal competitive disparities, highlighting the importance of adapting policies to the specific conditions and needs in the regions so as to maximise their potential and mitigate their handicaps;

90.

Recalls the important role played by regional policy in the development of national programmes within the framework of the European Semester, notably by setting targets and determining actions to strengthen economic, social and territorial cohesion;

91.

Stresses that it is important for many Member States to improve their regions’ competitiveness so as to correct macroeconomic imbalances;

92.

Considers it necessary, therefore, for cohesion also to be to oriented towards strengthening regional (and not merely national) potentials and stakeholders in particular; believes that strengthening regional potentials in coordination with national potentials makes cohesion policy once again emerge as a necessary tool for achieving the requisite synergies;

93.

Stresses that the European Semester of ex-ante economic policy coordination must reflect promotion of the transition to an environmentally sustainable economy;

94.

Welcomes the suggestion of the current Annual Growth Survey to eliminate environmentally harmful subsidies, and calls for an assessment of the implementation of this policy during the 2012 European Semester;

95.

Calls on the European Council and the Commission to focus more, within the European Semester, on the Single Market, which constitutes the economic pillar of the EU, in order to tap the full potential of the internal market and attract public and private capital to finance infrastructural and innovative projects and promote efficient use of energy; stresses that the Single Market must be at the heart of a European Economic Governance focused on the aim of fostering smart, sustainable and inclusive growth, employment and social cohesion by overcoming internal imbalances, creating economic convergence and boosting competitiveness;

96.

Asks that each Spring Session of the European Council be partly devoted to assessing the state of the Single Market and backed by a monitoring process; calls on the President of the European Council to present annually to Parliament the actions to be taken following the Spring European Council, including in the area of the Single Market;

97.

Calls on the Commission to carry out an annual assessment of the Single Market implementation by Member States within the framework of their National Reform Programmes and to examine in this context progress on transposition and post-implementation reviews;

98.

Calls on the Commission to draw the attention of Member States which are found in the evaluation of their National Reform Programmes not to be making optimum use of EU funding to the specific areas in which there is still untapped potential;

99.

Welcomes the fact that ‘tapping the potential of the Single Market’ is listed in the 2011 Annual Growth Survey as one of ten objectives needing to be implemented by 2012;

100.

Calls on the Council and the Commission to link the European Semester still more systematically to current EU initiatives such as the Internal Market Scoreboard and the Single Market Act, with implementation of its 12 ‘levers’ established as a top priority, so as to take the completion of the Single Market fully into consideration and to secure the coherence of European economic policy;

101.

Calls particularly on the Commission to include in the 2012 Annual Growth Survey the 12 priority measures of the Single Market Act which are due for adoption by the end of 2012;

102.

Is of the opinion that the relaunch of the Single Market and in particular the implementation of the Single Market Act are an essential prerequisite for achieving sustainable growth in Europe by 2020; suggests that in order to guarantee European competitiveness on a global level, immediate improvements are needed in crucial areas such as the service sector, public procurement, research, innovation, education, energy and e-commerce amongst others;

103.

Underlines the need to take into account the EU 2020 strategy in the implementation of the European Semester; emphasises that the initiatives taken in the framework of the Single Market Act must be consistent with and contribute to achieving the objectives of the 7 flagships of the EU 2020 strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth;

104.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to increase support for SMEs, which form the backbone of the Single Market economy in accordance with the findings of the Annual Growth Survey, in particular by the full implementation of the Small Business Act, and by means of a package of measures to eliminate the obstacles faced by SMEs when accessing funding;

105.

Urges the Commission to take effective measures to improve access to finance for SMEs and innovative start-ups, as well as to ensure improvement of the business environment in the EU, simplify procedures and reduce administrative burdens on companies in the Single Market;

106.

Calls on the Member States to integrate a gender equality perspective into the European Semester process by taking into account women’s needs and situation when implementing the policy guidance given in the Annual Growth Survey; commends those Member States that have mainstreamed the gender dimension throughout their National Reform Programmes (NRPs) during the first European Semester and that pay specific attention to women in the design and monitoring of employment, anti-poverty and education policies; is disappointed with those Member States that have omitted any mention of gender in their NRPs;

107.

Calls on the Council to ensure that the FEMM Committee can discuss the gender aspects of the NRPs and the country-specific policy guidance with the responsible chair-in-office of the EPSCO, after the presentation of the country-specific policy guidance by the Commission;

108.

Invites the Member States to ensure that there is efficient participation of civil society organisations, including women’s organisations, in the drafting, implementation and evaluation of NRPs;

109.

Calls on the Member States to set qualitative targets in NRPs related to closing the gender pay gap, improving women’s entrepreneurship and creating childcare and elderly care;

110.

Calls on the Member States to set specific quantitative targets in their NRPs regarding women’s employment in general, together with specific measures targeting groups of women with very low employment rates, such as young women, older women, migrant women, disabled women, single mothers and Roma women;

111.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to raise awareness in civil society and among the social partners and the public in general of the 2020 headline targets and the national targets, including gender-segregated targets for employment;

112.

Calls on the Commission to ask civil society and social partners to contribute an annual shadow report on the progress of the Member States regarding the headline targets and the implementation of measures proposed in the NRPs, comparable with the shadow reports produced on the implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW);

113.

Deplores the cut in public spending and investment in the field of education observed in many national budgets, re-emphasises the need to prioritise public investment in sustainable growth-friendly areas such as R&D and education, and points out that, considering the high costs incurred when younger generations are marginalised in employment terms, investment in education and training is an economic policy measure; emphasises the importance of ensuring continued and significant investment in teacher education, training and lifelong learning, while maintaining coordinated, EU-wide efforts to achieve other common educational goals; points to the key role of the Lifelong Learning Programme;

114.

Urges the Commission, when identifying current and future employment trends during the economic semester, to use those trends to coordinate training strategies with third-level institutions;

*

* *

115.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European Council, national parliaments, the ECB and the President of the Eurogroup.


(1)  Not yet published in the Official Journal.

(2)  Articles 121, 126 and 148 TFEU, Protocol No 12 annexed to the Treaty of Lisbon, Resolution of the European Council on the Stability and Growth Pact of 17 June 1997, European Council Presidency Conclusions of 20 March 2005, Regulation (EC) No 1466/97, Regulation (EC) No 1467/97, Code of conduct ‘specifications on the implementation of the Stability and Growth Pact and guidelines on the format and content of stability and convergence programmes’, endorsed by the ECOFIN Council on 7 September 2010, October 2006 ECOFIN Council Conclusions and October 2007 ECOFIN Council Conclusions, Euro Plus Pact agreed by the euro area Heads of State or government and joined by Bulgaria, Denmark, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland and Romania on 24-25 March 2011.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/40


Thursday 1 December 2011
Single market forum

P7_TA(2011)0543

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the Outcome of the Single Market Forum

2013/C 165 E/05

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Single Market Forum, held in Krakow (Poland) on 3-4 October 2011,

having regard to the ‘Krakow declaration’ of the first Single Market Forum,

having regard to the Commission communication of 13 April 2011 entitled ‘Single Market Act. Twelve levers to boost growth and strengthen confidence "Working together to create new growth" ’ (COM(2011)0206),

having regard to the Commission Staff Working Paper of 16 August 2011 entitled ‘The Single Market through the lens of the people: A snapshot of citizens’ and businesses’ 20 main concerns’ (SEC(2011)1003),

having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas the European Single Market has brought tremendous benefits to 500 million Europeans, whilst opening up new opportunities for expansion for more than 21 million European businesses, and has become the real engine for growth within the European economy;

B.

whereas in a large number of areas there is still a gap between what people expect from the Single Market and what they experience in practice;

C.

whereas on the eve of its 20th anniversary, the Single Market is more crucial than ever before for revitalising the European economy and for the viability of the European project in the long term;

D.

whereas the first Single Market Forum brought together European businesses, social partners, non-governmental organisations, think tanks, journalists, national Parliaments, European institutions, public authorities at various levels of government and European citizens;

1.

Stresses the importance of converting the Single Market Forum into a regular event, to enable businesses and citizens as well as local and regional authorities to directly participate in and influence the further development of the Single Market;

2.

Calls on the Commission to work with Member States, applicant countries and EEA partners to hold and promote major public events in 2012 in order to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Single Market; considers that the objective should be at least one event in all participating countries, with regional activities as appropriate, linked to a central, main EU event, possibly organised with the EU Presidency;

3.

Calls on the Commission to put forward all 12 priorities in the Single Market Act by the end of 2011 to enable the Council and the European Parliament, in close cooperation with the Commission, to adopt a first set of priority measures by the end of 2012 to impart new impetus to the Single Market;

4.

Calls for continuous monitoring of the implementation of the Single Market Act at the highest political level by, inter alia, a regular review and reporting by the Commission, its inclusion as a key agenda item at the Competitiveness Council and progress reports at the European Council; underlines in this regard the need for timely and correct transposition and implementation of existing legislation;

5.

Underlines that the European Single Market contributes positively to innovation and that, underpinned by coordinated Commission initiatives and a strong commitment from the Member States, it will generate new opportunities for businesses – particularly innovative SMEs – and will strongly support job creation and social cohesion and bring about sustainable economic growth, as well as meet the needs of EU citizens and consumers;

6.

Underlines the lack of awareness and limited knowledge of citizens, consumers and SMEs about their rights and opportunities within the single market; calls on the Commission to consider the adoption of a user-friendly, regularly updated and easily accessible Citizens’ Rights Charter for all citizens moving, working, shopping and selling across borders, as called for in its resolution of 20 May 2010 (1), which will serve as a practical handbook outlining citizens’ rights and obligations within the single market;

7.

Takes note of the gaps identified by the participants in the Single Market Forum; calls for the adoption of measures in order to bridge these gaps as a matter of urgency;

8.

Highlights the recognition during the Forum of the overall success of the automatic recognition procedure in Directive 2005/36/EC on the recognition of professional qualifications and takes the view that it should therefore be extended to other professions; calls on the Member States, competent authorities and the Commission to provide for greater transparency, so that applicants can receive a full explanation as to the reasons for the non-recognition of their diploma or professional qualification; welcomes the announcement of the results of the professional card pilot projects and believes that such a card could be a useful tool to aid mobility for some professions, simplify administrative procedures and enhance safety;

9.

Underlines the need for efficient, affordable and simple Alternative Dispute Resolution systems in order to ensure higher consumer confidence in the Internal Market; stresses that an efficient Online Dispute Resolution system would be crucial for improving confidence in the digital Single Market;

10.

Suggests that Points of Single Contact be developed into fully-fledged e-Government centres allowing entrepreneurs to submit and manage administrative formalities online; highlights their potential in the context of the implementation of the Services Directive and regrets that some Member States have still not fully met their commitments in the context of PSC development;

11.

Underlines the need to complete the digital Single Market and to overcome technical barriers to cross-border trade and service provision, in particular by improving the interoperability and mutual recognition of electronic IDs, electronic signatures and electronic documents;

12.

Points out that in order to improve legal certainty for e-commerce it is essential to create an efficient and up-to-date system of copyright in the European Union and update European legislation on data protection;

13.

Stresses that cross-border provision of services and mobility of posted workers are key elements of the internal market and highlights that the Posting of Workers Directive should ensure a level playing field and guarantee respect for posted workers’ rights across EU; considers that, in order to avoid abuse and circumvention, these rules should be transparent and clear; notes that social partners have an important role in protecting posted workers’ rights;

14.

Calls on the Member States to ensure correct and timely transposition of the Internal Market legislation and to reduce non-compliance; underlines that use of correlation tables is beneficial for all parties in the transposition process of Internal Market Directives;

15.

Recalls the importance of simplification and proper implementation of public procurement rules and therefore calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure it in the existing and upcoming legal framework; notes the need to professionalise the public procurement sector through improved training, to confirm procurement objectives and to explore possible ways of achieving other policy objectives; considers that the participation of SMEs in public procurement tenders needs to be improved and that procurement procedures need to be less cumbersome, cheaper and more open to SMEs, and underlines the need for an extended use of the ‘most economically advantageous tender’ principle instead of the ‘cheapest price’ principle;

16.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to involve citizens and other stakeholders more closely in the development of the Single Market, in particular by organising timely public consultations on new legislation in a more proactive way, in partnership with national and local stakeholders and social partners, as well as with NGOs and the media; considers that documents for consultation should be available in all official EU languages and understandable to ordinary citizens;

17.

Calls on the EU institutions as well as national authorities on all levels to make joint efforts to raise citizen and stakeholder awareness of the existing tools conceived to facilitate the functioning of the Single Market, such as Points of Single Contact, the SOLVIT network, Your Europe and others;

18.

Calls on the Commission to create a Single Market Forum on-line, as a platform open to the general public, enabling them to keep abreast of Single Market developments and share experiences and current Single Market concerns;

19.

Calls on the national governments, regional and local entities, businesses, trade unions and non-governmental organisations to cooperate to ensure that Single Market rules work effectively on the ground for citizens and businesses;

20.

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


(1)  OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 84.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/43


Thursday 1 December 2011
EU global response to HIV/AIDS

P7_TA(2011)0544

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the EU response to HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries, mid-term review of Commission Communication

2013/C 165 E/06

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission Communication to the Council and the European Parliament on ‘Combating HIV/AIDS in the EU and neighbouring countries 2009-2013’ (COM(2009)0569),

having regard to its resolution of 8 July 2010 on a rights-based approach to the EU’s response to HIV/AIDS (1),

having regard to its resolution of 20 November 2008 on HIV/AIDS: early diagnosis and early care (2),

having regard to the Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS adopted at the 2011 UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS,

having regard to the Rome Statement adopted at the International Aids Society Conference 2011, which calls for more funding for the development of a functional cure for HIV,

having regard to the UNAIDS Strategy 2011-2015 and to the World Health Assembly Global Health Sector Strategy on HIV/AIDS 2011-2015, which identifies existing and agreed global targets to motivate countries to plan for HIV/AIDS responses through to 2015,

having regard to the World Health Organisation (WHO) European Action Plan for HIV/AIDS 2012-2015, which addresses the current situation with regard to the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the European region and sets out an effective response to it,

having regard to the ‘Dublin Declaration’ on the partnership to fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia, adopted at the Ministerial Conference on ‘Breaking the Barriers - Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia’ held in the framework of the Irish EU Presidency on 23-24 February 2004,

having regard to the 2010 report of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDPC) entitled ‘Progress on implementing the Dublin Declaration on the Partnership to Fight HIV/AIDS in Europe and Central Asia’,

having regard to the HIV Testing Guidance issued in 2010 by the ECDPC, which sets out how HIV tests could be conducted in Member States,

having regard to the 2010 WHO Europe Policy Framework on ‘Scaling up HIV testing and counselling in the WHO European Region’,

having regard to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities,

having regard to Rule 110(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.

whereas, according to the ECDPC's 2010 Report on HIV Surveillance, 25 917 newly-diagnosed cases of HIV infection were reported in 2009 by the countries of the European Union and European Economic Area;

B.

whereas in 2009 1610 00 people became infected with HIV in the EU and neighbouring countries, bringing the number of people living with HIV to a total of more than 2,2 million according to estimates by UNAIDS and WHO;

C.

whereas the number of HIV infections is rising at an alarming rate, particularly in Eastern Europe;

D.

whereas, despite improved long-term treatment and prognosis, the complexity of HIV continues to impose specific challenges on women that conventional healthcare may fail to address, and leaves women with an unaddressed gap between diagnosis and effective, informed healthcare (3);

E.

whereas AIDS is a fully preventable disease, and whereas primary prevention interventions, providing the information, skills, services and products needed to protect people against HIV transmission and promote safer forms of behaviour, are central to the efforts to prevent the spread of HIV;

F.

whereas the ECDPC estimates that in the EU 30 % of people infected with HIV do not know that they have the virus, and that of those diagnosed half are presenting at late stages of infection, by which time they cannot benefit fully from treatment, creating unnecessary risks of morbidity, mortality and transmission;

G.

whereas undiagnosed sufferers are 3,5 times more likely to transmit HIV than those who are diagnosed;

H.

whereas a large proportion of HIV infections remain undiagnosed; whereas many people do not know their serostatus and are likely to discover it only once they are affected by HIV/AIDS-related illnesses;

I.

whereas attention should also be paid to the issue of co-infection, in particular with tuberculosis and viral hepatitides B and C and their complications; whereas tuberculosis and viral hepatitides are highly prevalent, progress more rapidly and cause significant morbidity and mortality among HIV-positive people; whereas, for example, in western Europe an estimated 30 % of HIV-positive people are co-infected with hepatitis C, and whereas the rate is even higher in eastern Europe;

J.

whereas in its Written Declaration from March 2007 the European Parliament recognised the scale of hepatitis C under-diagnosis as an important EU health problem and the fact that hepatitis C develops faster in people already infected with HIV, emphasising the importance of comprehensive and early diagnosis;

K.

whereas HIV infectivity increases significantly in the presence of other sexually transmitted diseases, such as gonorrhoea, chlamydia, herpes and syphilis;

L.

whereas recent trials have shown the efficacy of early access to treatment in reducing both the infectiousness of patients and the HIV-transmission rate by up to 96 %;

M.

whereas levels of access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support services differ significantly between Member States;

N.

whereas the use of contaminated injection equipment among people who inject drugs is fuelling the rapid spread of HIV in many eastern European countries;

O.

whereas there is a critical need for cross-border and cross-disciplinary cooperation to address the epidemic;

P.

whereas the full participation of civil society is crucial in ensuring access to HIV treatment and services for at-risk and marginalised populations;

Q.

whereas particular attention should be paid to the issues facing the EU’s neighbouring countries, given that HIV/AIDS and other sexually transmitted infections know no borders, as emphasised in the ECDPC's Technical Report on ‘Hepatitis B and C in the EU neighbourhood: prevalence, burden of disease and screening policies’;

R.

whereas the full protection of the human rights of people affected by HIV is essential to every aspect of the response to HIV;

S.

whereas the social exclusion, stigma and discrimination resulting from HIV status, as well as the silence and denial surrounding the infection and the failure to respect the basic human rights of people living with HIV in general, and those belonging to vulnerable groups (men who have sex with men, people who inject drugs) in particular, persist and continue to undermine HIV prevention, care and treatment, and increase the impact of the epidemic on individuals, families, communities and countries;

T.

whereas HIV prevention, treatment, care and support programmes have been inadequately targeted or made accessible to persons with disabilities;

U.

whereas there is an urgent need to step up the development and implementation of comprehensive prevention approaches, along with continued investment in research into and development of new prevention technologies;

V.

whereas the economic and financial crisis should not be allowed to have a negative impact on the health sector, including reduced investments in areas essential to combating HIV/AIDS;

W.

whereas the difficult economic situation is endangering funding for HIV/AIDS programmes;

X.

whereas the predominant mode of HIV transmission in the EU is sex between men, followed by heterosexual contact, especially between individuals originating from countries with generalised HIV epidemics;

Y.

whereas gender inequality is one of the drivers of the HIV epidemic, and whereas women now account for almost half the newly-reported HIV infections in the EU’s neighbouring countries;

Z.

whereas young women are increasingly vulnerable to HIV, with roughly 45 % of all new infections occurring among women between the ages of 15 and 24;

AA.

whereas it is crucial to advocate strengthening and expanding policy and programming in the area of links between sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and HIV so that HIV/AIDS prevention programmes are integrated into SRHR programmes and HIV/AIDS prevention becomes an integral part of sexual and reproductive health care;

AB.

whereas, owing to their limited decision-making power, lack of control over financial resources, restricted mobility and child-care responsibilities, women are more likely to face barriers in accessing HIV prevention, treatment and care services;

1.

Calls on the Commission and Council to implement the Communication on ‘Combating HIV/AIDS in the European Union and neighbouring countries 2009-2013’ and its accompanying Action Plan by:

scaling up the implementation of prevention strategies which effectively target regional or local epidemiologic trends and needs, and working towards universal access to prevention, testing, counselling, treatment, care and support;

supporting an effective response to HIV/AIDS in priority regions, such as the worst affected EU Member States, the EU’s worst affected neighbouring countries and the Russian Federation and other CIS countries,

developing means to reach and support the population groups which are most at risk and most vulnerable to HIV/AIDS across Europe;

2.

Recalls that the enemy is HIV, rather than HIV carriers;

3.

Calls on the Council to demonstrate political leadership in addressing the continued HIV epidemic in Europe, to develop country-specific HIV action plans and to support effective responses to HIV in neighbouring countries through policy dialogue, technical capacity-building and support for civil society engagement;

4.

Calls on the Commission and Council to provide the resources needed to guarantee equitable access to HIV prevention, testing, treatment, care and support, to address stigma and other barriers to timely access to counselling, testing and early care, to increase investment in research to achieve an effective cure and to improve instruments and actions to address co-infections such as tuberculosis or hepatitides B and C, among others, through improved access to screening and effective access to treatment;

5.

Calls on the Member States to reduce the risks of co-infection by improving diagnosis of and access to treatment for hepatitis C, tuberculosis and other co-infections, while recognising the need to address women’s needs for HIV/AIDS treatment and care as an essential measure in curbing the epidemic;

6.

Calls on the Commission and Council to promote early diagnosis and care by implementing evidenced-based testing and linked treatment strategies;

7.

Calls on the Member States to promote and support continued investment in research on new prevention technologies (NPTs) employed and managed by women, including microbicides;

8.

Calls on the Commission and Council to ensure that civil society and the academic research community are involved at every stage in the implementation of the Communication on the EU response to HIV/AIDS and its Action Plan;

9.

Reaffirms that all people living with HIV/AIDS should enjoy the best available standards of care and treatment, regardless of their origin, nationality, opinion, age, gender, sexual orientation and religion or any other status, and with due regard for the principles of privacy and confidentiality;

10.

Calls on the Commission to develop joint EU action and approaches to promoting full respect for human rights and rights-based approaches to addressing HIV/AIDS policies, including information campaigns to combat the stigmatisation of and the discrimination suffered by people living with HIV/AIDS;

11.

Calls on the Member States to take all necessary action to end discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS, to promote and protect all human rights and fundamental freedoms, paying particular attention to all people vulnerable to and affected by HIV, to review laws and policies that adversely affect the delivery of effective HIV programmes and to ensure that people living with HIV/AIDS are involved and represented when anti-discrimination policies are drawn up; stresses the importance of taking account of the gender perspective in combating discrimination, so as to develop a comprehensive HIV/AIDS approach;

12.

Recognises the potentially enormous contribution which employers’ and workers’ organisations can make, in partnership with governments, to the fight against the spread of HIV/AIDS and to supporting workers living with HIV/AIDS;

13.

Calls on the Member States to take all necessary action to end any discrimination regarding access to and the terms and cost of insurance plans suffered by people living with HIV/AIDS;

14.

Calls on the Member States to ensure that all national AIDS programmes and strategies develop strong linkages between sexual and reproductive health and HIV services, as emphasised in the Cochrane Review (4) and reaffirmed at the 42nd session of the UN Commission on Population and Development, which monitors the implementation of the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD);

15.

Notes that prevention measures should explicitly include adequate information and sex education, access to means of protection, such as male and female condoms, and a strengthening of the rights and autonomy of women in sexual relationships;

16.

Points out that stigma and discrimination make fighting the spread of HIV/AIDS considerably more difficult;

17.

Welcomes the commitments made at the UN General Assembly High-Level Meeting on HIV/AIDS in 2011, in particular the aims of ensuring treatment for 15 million HIV-positive people worldwide by 2015 and of reducing new HIV infections by 50 % by 2015;

18.

Welcomes the UN call for continued commitment to funding HIV programmes;

19.

Welcomes the UN call for the timely delivery of affordable, high-quality and effective antiretroviral treatments by pharmaceuticals companies, with a special focus on cost-effective strategies, in particular the use of generic medicinal products;

20.

Calls on the Commission and Council to implement the changes needed to fulfil their obligations under the UNGASS (United Nations General Assembly Special Session) Political Declaration on HIV/AIDS;

21.

Calls on the Commission, the Council and the Member States to honour their obligations towards the Global Fund to Fight Aids, Tuberculosis and Malaria and to continue to support its work in developing countries;

22.

Calls on the Commission and Council to ensure access to high-quality, comprehensive sexual and reproductive health services, information and supplies; takes the view that this should cover, inter alia, confidential and voluntary counselling, testing and treatment for HIV and all sexually transmitted infections; prevention of unintended pregnancies; equitable and affordable access to contraceptives, including access to emergency contraception; safe and legal abortion, including post-abortion care; and care and treatment to prevent vertical transmission of HIV, including to partners and children;

23.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Member States, the UN Secretary-General, UNAIDS, the World Health Organisation and the governments of the Member States.


(1)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0284.

(2)  OJ C 16 E, 22.1.2010, p. 62.

(3)  WHO: ‘Gender inequalities and HIV’, http://www.who.int/gender/hiv_aids/en/

(4)  http://www.unfpa.org/webday/site/global/shared/documents/publications/2008/linkages_evidence.PDF.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/48


Thursday 1 December 2011
Negotiations on the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement

P7_TA(2011)0545

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 containing the European Parliament’s recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the negotiations of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement (2011/2132(INI))

2013/C 165 E/07

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA) between the European Union (EU) and Ukraine, which entered into force on 1 March 1998 and is set to be replaced by the Association Agreement (1),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1638/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 24 October 2006 laying down general provisions establishing a European Neighbourhood and Partnership Instrument (ENPI) (2), and to the National Indicative Programme 2011-2013 for Ukraine,

having regard to the ongoing negotiations between the EU and Ukraine on the Association Agreement, including negotiations on a deep and comprehensive free trade area (DCFTA),

having regard to the Council conclusions of 22 January 2007 on Ukraine, in which it adopted negotiating directives,

having regard to Ukraine’s membership of the World Trade Organisation, which has been effective since March 2008,

having regard to the statement by its President on the sentencing of former Ukrainian Prime Minister Yulia Tymoshenko on 11 October 2011,

having regard to the Joint Declaration of the Prague Eastern Partnership Summit of 7 May 2009,

having regard to the outcomes of recent EU-Ukraine summits, including the recognition by the 2008 EU-Ukraine summit in Paris of Ukraine as a European country which shares a common history and common values with the countries of the EU, and the conclusions of the EU-Ukraine summit held in Kiev on 4 December 2009,

having regard to its previous resolutions on Ukraine, in particular its resolutions of 25 February 2010 (3), of 25 November 2010 (4), of 9 June 2011 (5) and of 27 October 2011 (6),

having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions on the Eastern Partnership adopted on 25 October 2010,

having regard to the EU-Ukraine Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation adopted on 22 November 2010,

having regard to Ukraine’s accession to the Energy Community Treaty on 1 February 2011,

having regard to the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda, which replaced the Action Plan and was endorsed by the EU-Ukraine Cooperation Council in June 2009, and to the list of priorities for the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda for 2011 and 2012,

having regard to the joint communication of 25 May 2011 entitled ‘A new response to a changing Neighbourhood’ (COM(2011)0303), and to the Council conclusions on the European Neighbourhood Policy adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council on 20 June 2011,

having regard to the Commission’s progress report on Ukraine adopted on 25 May 2011 (SEC(2011)0646),

having regard to the EU Strategy for the Danube Region,

having regard to Rules 90(5) and 48 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 (A7-0387/2011),

A.

whereas the future Association Agreement with Ukraine heralds a new generation of association agreements under Article 217 TFEU and involves an unprecedented level of integration between the EU and a third country; whereas, with this agreement, Ukraine is committing itself to implement a large portion of the acquis communautaire; whereas the negotiations with Ukraine are among the most advanced in the Eastern Neighbourhood and therefore serve as an example for the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) as a whole;

B.

whereas Ukraine is a country of strategic importance to the EU; whereas Ukraine’s size, resources, population and geographical location give it a distinctive position in Europe, making it a key regional actor which exerts considerable influence on the security, stability and prosperity of the whole continent, and which should therefore bear its respective share of political responsibility;

C.

whereas Ukraine is a European state and, pursuant to Article 49 TEU, may apply for membership of the EU, as can any European state provided it adheres to the principles of democracy, respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms, minority rights and the rule of law; whereas the conclusion of an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, including a DCFTA, will be important to Ukraine’s European perspective,

D.

whereas the EU strongly advocates for a stable and democratic Ukraine that respects the principles of a social and inclusive market economy, the rule of law (including an independent judiciary), human rights and the protection of minorities, and which guarantees fundamental rights; whereas Ukraine’s efforts to build domestic political stability, to create an environment characterised by robust political pluralism, democratic freedoms and respect for the rule of law, and to step up internal reform, are accelerating and facilitating the further development of Ukraine’s European perspective;

E.

whereas the sentencing on 11 October 2011 of Ukraine’s former Prime Minister, Yulia Tymoshenko, to seven years in prison and the trials of other ministers have raised serious concerns in the EU and are widely seen as either acts of revenge or as part of an attempt to convict and imprison opposition members in order to prevent them from standing and campaigning in next year’s parliamentary elections or in the 2015 presidential election; whereas the law selectively applied against Tymoshenko dates back to Soviet times and makes provision for criminal prosecution for political decisions; whereas Articles 364 and 365 of that law, which are currently under review by the Verkhovna Rada, do not comply with EU and UN standards;

F.

whereas there have recently been concerns about media freedom, the freedom of civil society, the conduct of elections and the rule of law in Ukraine;

G.

whereas Ukraine’s political and state leadership has repeatedly confirmed its commitment to European integration and its long-term ambition to enable Ukraine to become an EU Member State, and considers an association agreement to be a key instrument in achieving this objective; whereas this goal continues to be supported by all actors on the Ukrainian political stage, as well as by civil society and the general public; whereas the increased level of cooperation between the Ukraine and Members of the European Parliament, and between Ukraine and the parliaments of the Member States, is a commendable example of different political forces working together to advance Ukraine’s European perspective, and should be continued;

H.

whereas the EU has made human rights and democracy a central aspect of its European Neighbourhood Policy;

I.

whereas Ukraine has actively participated in the creation and work of the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, which is the parliamentary dimension of the Eastern Partnership and a platform for cooperation between the European Parliament and the national parliaments of the EU’s eastern neighbours;

J.

whereas Ukraine’s European perspective must be based on a policy of systematic and irreversible reforms in a number of important institutional, political, economic and social areas; whereas important reforms have already been, or are being, carried out, while others still need to be introduced; whereas the framework afforded by the Association Agreement will provide Ukraine with a crucial modernisation tool and a roadmap for steering internal domestic reforms, as well as a tool for national reconciliation, which will help the country to overcome the recent negative trends, bridge existing cleavages in Ukrainian society and unite it in its goal in relation to its European perspective, on the basis of the values of democracy, rule of law, human rights and good governance;

K.

whereas Ukraine should be commended for its sound economic performance, including the reduction of its budget deficit, spending restraint and pension reform, which have contributed to a better foreign credit rating and increased foreign direct investment;

L.

whereas the Association Agreement will have a positive impact on the business climate in Ukraine, since it provides EU and Ukrainian businesses with common rules and standards, thereby enhancing the predictability and financial security of investments in Ukraine; whereas the Association Agreement is based on compliance with international taxation standards; whereas that positive impact would be further strengthened by the full and effective implementation of anti-corruption legislation;

M.

whereas the Russian Federation is exerting excessive pressure on Ukraine not to establish a DCFTA with the EU but instead to join a customs union with Russia, Belarus and Kazakhstan; whereas this is unprecedented in the history of the EU’s relations with external partners, and whereas these are countries outside the WTO which still constitute a major export market for Ukrainian products; whereas the DCFTA is a tool for modernisation and whereas its establishment offers Ukraine financial benefits, the tangibility of which will increase with time;

N.

whereas Ukraine recently celebrated the 20th anniversary of its independence; whereas there is a new generation of educated Ukrainians who did not experience the Soviet era, who have strong pro-European ambitions and who will ensure the modernisation of the country;

O.

whereas the current political situation in Ukraine, especially in the field of civil liberties and the rule of law, is at odds with the spirit of the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement under negotiation;

1.   Addresses, in the context of the ongoing negotiations on the Association Agreement, the following recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS:

(a)

to take the view that a deepening of relations between the EU and Ukraine and the fact of offering Ukraine a European perspective are of great significance and in the interests of both parties; to recognise Ukraine’s aspirations pursuant to Article 49 of the Treaty on European Union, provided that all criteria, including respect for the principles of democracy, human rights, fundamental freedoms and the rule of law, are met;

(b)

to make the necessary progress in order to achieve the rapid initialling of an EU-Ukraine Association Agreement, preferably by the end of 2011 if possible; to ensure at the same time, in line with the demands made in Parliament’s resolution of 27 October 2011, that this important initiative within the Eastern Partnership goes hand in hand with commitments by Ukraine to implement the necessary reforms and strengthen democratic values, human rights and the rule of law;

(c)

to reschedule the recently postponed meeting with President Yanukovych ahead of the foreseen EU-Ukraine Summit in December 2011 as this is to be considered an important opportunity to tackle serious concerns addressed towards the Ukrainian Government and re-establish a constructive dialogue that could lead to the Association Agreement to be initialled provided there is significant progress on both technical and vital political obstacles still in place;

(d)

to strive to have the agreement signed by the Council during the first half of 2012, and to make all documents pertaining to the ratification process available to the European Parliament and to national parliaments by the end of 2012 at the latest, provided that the call for respect for the rule of law and the other demands set out in the European Parliament’s resolution of 27 October 2011 have been met;

(e)

to provide Ukraine with sufficient financial, technical and legal assistance during both the preparatory period and the implementation of the agreement, and to strengthen its administrative capacity by increasing all forms of available assistance in this area; to this end, to make better use of the Comprehensive Institution-Building Programme (CIB) and to consider setting up a high-level EU advisory group to assist Ukraine in its efforts to align itself with EU legislation; whereas the precondition for any assistance should be an evaluation of the reforms designed to strengthen Ukraine’s administrative capacity, as published in annual reports to be prepared by EU and Ukrainian independent experts;

(f)

to set up a mutual exchange programme for civil and judicial servants in order to facilitate the implementation of the Association Agreement, and in particular the DCFTA;

(g)

to assist the Ukrainian authorities in informing the Ukrainian people of the benefits of the Association Agreement in order to build support for the reform agenda; to disclose the content of the agreement to the public as soon as possible;

(h)

to open an EU information office in Ukraine as soon as possible, which will work both to raise awareness among the Ukrainian public of the functioning of the EU and of its policies and values, and to facilitate greater participation in EU programmes;

Institutional aspects / political dialogue

(i)

to develop clear safeguard measures and a possible mechanism for the temporary suspension of the whole Association Agreement in the event that essential and fundamental principles thereof are ignored or deliberately violated;

(j)

to urge the President and the Government of Ukraine to bring the political, legal and administrative situation in the country into line with what was agreed in the Association Agenda, and to promote good governance and respect for the rule of law as fundamental principles in the context of relations between the EU and Ukraine; to ensure that Yulia Tymoshenko and other opposition leaders are allowed to exercise their right to participate fully in the political process, both as of now and in the forthcoming elections in Ukraine;

(k)

to strengthen the existing framework for cooperation between the EU and Ukraine in relation to the protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms;

(l)

to assist Ukraine in the process of achieving a comprehensive reform of the judiciary in line with EU standards, so as to prevent the selective use of justice and guarantee an independent, fair, impartial and transparent legal procedure ensuring that legal proceedings cannot be used for political purposes and are conducted in strict accordance with the rule of law; to set up, to this end, a joint mechanism involving Ukrainian and EU experts, with the participation of representatives of the Venice Commission; to establish further training and exchange programmes in the field of justice and home affairs and in the security sector with a view to implementing EU best practice in relation to the rule of law;

(m)

to assist the Ukrainian authorities in the process of reforming the country’s constitution and electoral law along the lines proposed by the Venice Commission and the OSCE/ODIHR; to ensure the expedient, inclusive and comprehensive implementation of these recommendations, with the involvement of both opposition parties and civil society, in order to prevent the shortcomings which have occurred in previous election campaigns; to stress, in this regard, the importance of media freedom and the freedom of civil society, and to ensure that the Ukrainian authorities refrain from any attempt to control, directly or indirectly, the content of national media reporting;

(n)

to include in the Association Agreement a comprehensive mechanism between Parliament and the EEAS, so as to allow for the regular provision of comprehensive information on the progress made in implementing the agreement, and in particular in achieving its objectives; this mechanism should contain the following elements:

information on the action taken and positions adopted by the EU with regard to the implementation of the agreement;

EEAS progress reports setting out the results of the action taken by the EU and Ukraine, highlighting the situation of human rights, democracy and the rule of law in the country;

(o)

to stress the importance of implementing all rulings of the European Court of Human Rights, and to draw the attention of the Ukrainian authorities to the high number of cases against Ukraine pending before that court;

(p)

to support the necessary reforms and to ensure that the Ukrainian authorities give high priority to developing an anti-corruption policy, including appropriate legislation on conflicts of interest;

(q)

to ensure that the Ukrainian authorities make the archives of former communist secret services available to the public, since this is essential for successful national reconciliation, particularly with regard to atrocities having taken place during the 20th century;

(r)

to stress the importance of Ukraine ratifying the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, as part of the process of constitutional reform;

(s)

to take the necessary action to step up dialogue between the EU and Ukraine’s various political parties, and to encourage dialogue within Ukraine between parties and with representatives of civil society, the social partners and national minorities;

(t)

to ensure that the interim agreement contains provisions on cooperation between the civil societies of the contracting parties, so as to enable them to exercise their rights and become influential actors under the Association Agreement;

(u)

to include standard conditionality clauses on the protection and promotion of human rights which reflect the highest international and EU standards, taking full advantage of the OSCE framework, and to encourage the Ukrainian authorities to promote the rights of persons belonging to national minorities, in accordance with the Council of Europe Framework Convention on National Minorities and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

Economic and sectoral cooperation

(v)

to strengthen, as part of the agreement, cooperation between Ukraine and the EU in the energy field; to strive for the conclusion of further agreements between the EU and Ukraine aimed at securing energy supplies for both sides, including a reliable and diversified transit system for oil and gas and a common response mechanism in the event of disturbances or interruptions to oil and gas deliveries from the Russian Federation;

(w)

to provide the necessary technical assistance in the energy sector, in order to help Ukraine substantially improve and modernise its electricity grid and energy efficiency, and to ensure that the Ukrainian authorities comply fully with the targets set in the energy efficiency programme for the 2010-2015 period and continue to implement innovative and environmentally conscious solutions in order to tackle their energy needs; to assist, at the same time, the Ukrainian authorities in negotiating the conditions governing the delivery of gas from Russia, in order to ensure that Ukraine’s gas trade with Russia is consistent with EU trade standards and prices;

(x)

to note that, although the liberalisation of services and investment in the energy sector would be beneficial to the EU, taking on commitments in respect of particular energy services may involve some risks, since strong energy players controlling Ukrainian companies could use the free trade agreement to dominate transmission networks in the EU;

(y)

to call for action to improve EU and Ukrainian energy security through the introduction of bilateral mechanisms to provide early warnings and prevent interruptions to the supply of energy and the related raw materials;

(z)

to ensure the acceptance of geographical indicators and European patents;

(aa)

to stress how important it is to the EU for Ukraine to ensure that toxic and nuclear waste are disposed of properly on its territory, thereby protecting food safety;

(ab)

to step up cooperation with regard to youth and student exchanges and the development of scholarship programmes, thereby enabling Ukrainians to become acquainted with the EU and its Member States and vice versa;

(ac)

to ensure that the Association Agreement reflects the highest environmental standards, bearing in mind inter alia the Strategy for the Danube Region; to give further consideration to the importance of regional cooperation in the Black Sea region and of Ukraine’s active participation in EU policies for this area, including as part of a future EU strategy for the Black Sea;

(ad)

to develop specific instruments (such as a civil society platform) to support Ukraine’s civil society, given its vital role in the democratisation process, for instance in raising awareness and increasing social and political participation;

(ae)

to ensure that cooperation in relation to the implementation of health reform addresses the health needs of patients suffering from incurable illnesses, including through the provision of technical assistance for reforming the relevant health and drug policies in line with international standards and best practice;

Trade issues

(af)

to recognise the substantial efforts made by the Ukrainian Government in terms of reducing barriers overall and adapting geographical indications, and in relation to sanitary and phytosanitary measures, competition and technical barriers to trade, as well as the very limited achievements reached in the course of the DCFTA negotiations in areas such as investment, services, agriculture, energy and export barriers;

(ag)

to call on Ukraine to refrain from applying export tariffs or any other export restrictions, which would increase price volatility in EU markets;

(ah)

to ensure that the tariff rate quota opened in respect of sugar does not lead to unintended triangular trade or fraud;

(ai)

to emphasise that the agreement must include a chapter on animal welfare, thereby ensuring equal competition between EU and Ukrainian farmers;

(aj)

to note that sustainable development is one of the priority areas set out in the National Indicative Programme for 2011-2013; recommends, therefore, including a sustainable development chapter as part of the free trade area;

(ak)

to stress that the sustainable development chapter should contain a provision concerning Ukraine’s undertaking to respect the OECD Guidelines on Multinational Enterprises and the ILO Tripartite Declaration on Multinational Enterprises and Social Policy;

(al)

to prepare for its implementation in conjunction with Ukraine so as to ensure that commitments which have not been backed up by preconditions and will not deliver immediate rewards, especially in the field of animal welfare, become a reality and have a substantial impact in the long run; to call for the free trade agreement eventually to lead to the full dismantling of tariff barriers in every sector of industry, without any negative listings or import quotas, and therefore to the effective elimination of both export taxes and import and export restrictions; to provide Ukraine with post-liberalisation adjustment funds, as envisaged in the ENP National Indicative Programme for 2011-2013, and with technical assistance in relation to customs issues and the adaptation of geographical indications;

(am)

to continue to call for political and economic reforms in Ukraine that would lead to the modernisation of its infrastructures, notably in the energy and transport sectors; to help the business sector, most urgently through easier access to credit and land and simpler and faster processes for tax collection and customs, in particular by making noticeable improvements in the areas of refunding value-added tax to exporters, customs clearance and approval procedures for imports (particularly in respect of taxation, documentation requirements and product testing for certification); to remove red tape and corruption; to enforce the rule of law and democratic practices; to give consideration to lower transaction costs and secure procedures, in particular for SMEs, bearing in mind that this is a vital prerequisite for building commercial relationships; and to improve the law in the area of protection of material assets and intellectual property and more effective mechanisms for the vindication of rights and claims by businesses through the courts;

(an)

to call for a fundamental improvement in the investment climate for foreign investors in Ukraine, and in particular for a rapid resolution of national budget indebtedness in respect of entities on account of untimely refunding of VAT overpayments, and for steps to be taken to prevent such situations occurring again in the future; to make customs procedures more effective (and in particular to curtail the common practice of applying an unjustified increase in customs value to goods imported into Ukraine);

(ao)

to promote entrepreneurship and SME development through macro-economic cooperation;

(ap)

to stress that Ukraine should not relax its protection of labour standards in order to attract foreign investment;

(aq)

to call – pursuant to the provisions of Article 218(5) TFEU – for a decision to be taken authorising provisional application of the regulations of the free trade agreement, which is a fundamental part of the Association Agreement, before it enters into force;

Justice, freedom and security

(ar)

to work actively towards the establishment of a visa-free regime between Ukraine and the EU rather than maintaining a long-term perspective, provided that Ukraine fulfils the necessary technical criteria set out in the Action Plan on Visa Liberalisation; to establish the intermediate objective of abolishing existing visa fees; and to introduce appropriate measures during the European Football Championship with a view to using this special occasion as a trial period for a visa-free regime;

(as)

to encourage Ukraine to play a constructive role in 5+2 talks, with a view to helping to find a sustainable solution to the Transnistrian conflict;

(at)

to strengthen Ukraine’s potential as a key partner in the management of migration flows and borders, and to envisage further joint action in the fight against organised crime;

(au)

to request, as a matter of urgency, that the Association Agreement include provisions to counteract fraud and the smuggling of excisable products in accordance with the EU’s Internal Security Strategy and taking into account the anti-illicit trade protocol to the World Health Organisation’s Framework Convention on Tobacco Control;

(av)

to step up cooperation in the area of integrated border management, using the highest EU standards and building capacity with a view to fighting cross-border crime, illegal migration, human trafficking and illicit trade more effectively;

(aw)

to support convergence on regional and international issues, conflict prevention and crisis management, and to strengthen coordination in combating security threats;

*

* *

2.   Instructs its President to forward this resolution, containing Parliament’s recommendations, to the Council, the Commission, the EEAS and, for their information, the Ukrainian authorities.


(1)  OJ L 49, 19.2.1998, p. 3.

(2)  OJ L 310, 9.11.2006, p. 1.

(3)  OJ C 348 E, 21.12.2010, p. 1.

(4)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2010)0444.

(5)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0272.

(6)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0472.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/56


Thursday 1 December 2011
Modernisation of customs

P7_TA(2011)0546

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on modernisation of customs (2011/2083(INI))

2013/C 165 E/08

The European Parliament,

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 450/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 April 2008 laying down the Community Customs Code (Modernised Customs Code) (1),

having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 of 12 October 1992 establishing the Community Customs Code (2),

having regard to Commission Regulation (EEC) No 2454/93 of 2 July 1993 laying down provisions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code (3),

having regard to Decision No 70/2008/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 January 2008 on a paperless environment for customs and trade (4),

having regard to Decision No 624/2007/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 May 2007 establishing an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2013) (5),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 648/2005 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 April 2005 amending Council Regulation (EEC) No 2913/92 establishing the Community Customs Code (6) (Security and Safety Amendment),

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 765/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 9 July 2008 setting out the requirements for accreditation and market surveillance relating to the marketing of products and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 339/93 (7),

having regard to Council Decision 2007/668/EC of 25 June 2007 on the exercise of rights and obligations akin to membership ad interim by the European Community in the World Customs Organization (8),

having regard to the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on entrusting the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) with certain tasks related to the protection of intellectual property rights, including the assembling of public and private sector representatives as a European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy (COM(2011)0288),

having regard to the proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights (COM(2011)0285),

having regard to the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission (9),

having regard to its resolution of 10 May 2011 on the Court of Auditors’ special reports in the context of the 2009 Commission discharge (10),

having regard to its resolution of 8 March 2011 on the revision of the General Product Safety Directive and market surveillance (11),

having regard to its resolution of 19 June 2008 on the fortieth anniversary of the Customs Union (12),

having regard to its resolution of 5 June 2008 on implementing trade policy through efficient import and export rules and procedures (13),

having regard to the report of its Committee of Inquiry into the Community Transit System (January 1996 – March 1997),

having regard to the European Court of Auditors Special Report 1/2010: ‘Are simplified customs procedures for imports effectively controlled?’,

having regard to the Agreement between the European Community and the United States of America on customs cooperation and mutual assistance in customs matters (14), signed on 28 May 1997,

having regard to the Joint Statement on Supply Chain Security (US Department of Homeland Security and European Commission), signed on 23 June 2011,

having regard to the Report on the EU customs enforcement of intellectual property rights: Results at the EU border – 2010, European Commission – Taxation and Customs Union,

having regard to the report from the Commission entitled ‘Midterm evaluation of the Customs 2013 programme’(COM(2011)0537),

having regard to the report from the Commission entitled ‘Final evaluation of the Customs 2007 programme in accordance with Article 19 of Decision 253/2003/EC of the European Parliament and the Council of 6 February 2003 adopting an action programme for customs in the Community (Customs 2007)’ (COM(2008)0612),

having regard to the communication from the Commission entitled ‘Strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union’ (COM(2008)0169),

having regard to the communication from the Commission ‘on a Customs response to latest trends in counterfeiting and piracy’ (COM(2005)0479),

having regard to the progress report regarding strengthening air cargo security (Council document 11250/11),

having regard to the EU Customs Action Plan to Combat IPR Infringements 2009-2012 (Council document 5345/09),

having regard to the Council Resolution of 23 October 2009 on a reinforced strategy for customs cooperation (15),

having regard to the Council conclusions of 14 May 2008 on the strategy for the evolution of the Customs Union,

having regard to the hearing on ‘Modernised Customs and Internal Market’ held on 16 July 2011,

having regard to the study commissioned by its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs entitled ‘Customs Cooperation in the Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice: the role of customs in the management of the external border of the EU’, published in May 2011,

having regard to Rule 48 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade and the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0406/2011),

A.

whereas an efficient Customs Union is one of the essential cornerstones of the European integration process and a basis for the free movement of goods, economic development and growth in the internal market;

B.

whereas customs has a crucial role in guaranteeing safety and security, protecting consumers and the environment, ensuring complete revenue collection, strengthening the fight against fraud and corruption, and ensuring the enforcement of intellectual property rights;

C.

whereas customs, being conveniently located at the border, can efficiently contribute to ensuring that only safe goods enter the EU;

D.

whereas customs still play an important role in safeguarding the EU’s financial interests even though the role of collection of customs duties has been declining over recent years;

E.

whereas very recent air cargo security incidents prove that the focus on security is appropriate and that customs administrations have to remain vigilant to threats of terrorism;

F.

whereas the importation into the EU of counterfeit and pirated goods leads to a loss in revenue and violates intellectual property rights; whereas counterfeit products can pose serious risks to the safety and health of European consumers;

G.

whereas customs today face increasing volumes of import, export and transit transactions while resources remain limited, and efficient and effective risk management is therefore of particular importance;

H.

whereas e-customs, in particular centralised customs clearance, is one of the main aspects of customs modernisation and simplification;

I.

whereas a smooth, simple and well functioning customs system is essential to facilitate mobility of goods, and trade on the internal market, especially for SMEs;

J.

whereas it is crucial to strike an appropriate balance between customs controls and facilitation of legitimate trade; whereas ‘authorised economic operator’ status should offer tangible benefits to trusted traders;

Customs strategy

1.

Considers that the Modernised Customs Code which was adopted in 2008 was highly ambitious in terms of deadlines, and takes the view that the new proposal must truly aim to enhance the current situation, bringing clear added value for EU operators and SMEs in particular;

2.

Is convinced that modernisation of the EU’s customs strategy and customs instruments should be a high political priority with a budget to match this ambition, as a future-proof policy on well functioning, efficient and simplified customs procedures is essential in contributing to global EU economic competitiveness and reliable trade relations with third countries;

3.

Stresses the fact that a well functioning customs policy plays a key role in protecting intellectual property rights, combating the illegal entry of goods and counterfeit products into the single market, and therefore enhances safety and security for European consumers;

4.

Calls for the fight against breaches of customs regulations and against threats posed by smuggling, organised crime, corruption, terrorism and other criminal acts to be intensified, paying particular attention to implementing the recommendations of the World Customs Organization on risk management, the protection and security of legal trade, development partnerships with business in the area of customs automation, on the fight against corruption, the introduction of the single window principle and the exchange of information and knowledge between customs administrations;

5.

Believes that the mission and image of customs should be adapted to the Modernised Customs Code requirements in order to be given additional stimulus and be able to reach the full potential of its effectiveness;

6.

Considers that, as customs are entrusted with more and more responsibilities, the Member States should match these with adequate resources; considers that allocation of appropriate financial resources in line with the budgetary frameworks for customs-related procedures and processes, in particular the development of IT systems, is essential for achieving the much needed modernisation of customs; believes that, in order to enable customs to perform its priority tasks, particular emphasis should be placed on the use of the available, limited resources in the area of risk management, on guaranteeing the protection and security of the market and society and on border protection at the EU’s external borders;

7.

Is concerned that different national interpretations of the EU customs legislation create red tape for business, with a consequential negative impact on European competitiveness, and weaken the EU’s ability to administer an efficient risk-based approach to compliance; therefore calls on the Member States to commit fully to the process of modernisation of customs and especially to the uniform application of EU customs legislation; insists moreover that the Commission, without delay, takes all necessary actions to ensure a seamless and harmonised application of the EU customs legislation throughout the EU;

8.

Calls on the Commission to provide by June 2012 a report to the European Parliament on the current status of compliance by the Member States with the EU customs legislation, including an action plan to address any shortcomings identified; considers that the industry should be consulted by the Commission when performing this task;

9.

Notes that customs administrations must be modernised by creating a results-oriented administrative system, implementing quality management methods based on international standards and tried-and-tested procedures, and improving the internal monitoring system and management of organisational risk, taking account of operational and information processes;

10.

Acknowledges that customs are of vital importance to international trade; appreciates, in this regard, the regulatory role of the WTO agreement on customs valuation that aims for a fair, uniform and neutral system for the valuation of goods for customs purposes, outlawing the use of arbitrary or fictitious customs values that can constitute a barrier to open and fair trade;

11.

Believes there is a need for modernisation measures such as simpler customs legislation and interoperable computerised customs systems which will help facilitate commercial practices, and that they should be introduced as quickly as possible, as well as a need for greater coordination of prevention and prosecution activities by the tax police at European level; expresses the wish for the work in progress on updating the Customs Code to stress the central role of eliminating customs declarations in order to facilitate trade;

Ensuring competitiveness and risk management

12.

Is of the opinion that, in order to increase European economic competitiveness, simplification, standardisation and modernisation of customs legislation and procedures and the use of modern and efficient IT tools are paramount; considers that one of the major achievements of modernised customs is predictability for business, especially for SMEs, which in turn stimulates economic growth;

13.

Notes that considerable investments may be needed to adapt to new customs procedures and modernised e-customs requirements; stresses that these must be reasonable, so as not to create unnecessary burdens especially on SMEs; stresses the need to alleviate bureaucracy and costs for SMEs;

14.

Considers that customs controls should primarily target high-risk consignments, whereas low-risk consignments should be speedily released for free circulation; emphasises in that regard the crucial role of risk management techniques and strongly supports the introduction and further modernisation of electronic customs clearance systems;

15.

Considers that effective risk management is dependent upon timely collection of appropriate information throughout the electronic processing, ensuring safety and public security;

16.

Insists that any future extension of supply chain security legislation within the EU must follow a fully risk-based approach, targeting only higher-risk consignments for both documentary and physical evaluation;

17.

Identifies the need, in a functional EU of 27 Member States, to define a common set of mandatory physical checks on goods applicable to all the different points of entry (ports, airports, roads) to the single market;

18.

While recognising the importance of supply chain security, considers that the US legislative requirement of 100 % scanning is overly burdensome and excessively costly, while actual benefits are doubtful, and is determined to continue the transatlantic legislative dialogue with the US in order to achieve the repeal or amendment of this legislation;

Modernised customs

Implementation of the Modernised Customs Code (MCC)

19.

Emphasises that the MCC is an important tool to streamline and truly harmonise customs procedures in order to contribute to the strengthening of the European economy; considers that the provisions implementing the MCC should fully reflect its spirit; is concerned that some essential implementing provisions are still under consideration and strategic decisions with regard to the IT architecture have not yet been taken;

20.

Is convinced that the MCC can reach its full potential only if fully supported by properly developed and advanced IT systems; strongly believes that any further investments in IT should be guided by the core principles of the MCC;

21.

Highlights the need for trade to have access to proper specifications by the Member States well in advance, as businesses also need time to develop and implement their own IT applications; stresses, in this regard, that the technical and financial capabilities of national administrations and economic operators in deploying new systems must be taken into account in setting the new deadline for the application of the MCC;

22.

Welcomes the envisaged alignment of provisions of the MCC with the Treaty of Lisbon in terms of delegation of powers and granting of implementing powers; underlines that this new system is representative of a newly established balance between the European Parliament and the Council, especially as, with regard to delegated acts, the two institutions are placed on an equal footing;

23.

Recognises that the postponement of the application of the MCC is appropriate; calls on the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States and taking into account the difficulties experienced, mainly in relation to the development of IT systems, to explore the possibilities of considering 2016 as a new deadline for the uniform implementation of the MCC – directly linking such a postponement to the necessary safety guarantees;

Centralised customs clearance and harmonisation

24.

Stresses the need for consistency in the management of the EU’s external borders; reiterates its call on the Commission and the Member States to step up harmonisation of customs control systems on the one hand, and sanctions on the other hand;

25.

Strongly supports the concept of centralised clearance depending utterly on the appropriate IT systems, which is one of the principal aspects of modernised customs as conceived in the MCC, and regrets the lack of progress in the implementation of this concept; underlines the central role that customs should have in the centralised clearance procedure;

26.

Calls on the Member States to commit themselves fully to the concept of centralised clearance, as only truly harmonised customs rules, information exchange systems and data formats can ensure its successful implementation;

27.

Finds it regrettable that the pace of development is slow in the process of simplification of VAT and excise rules in the Member States, and that problems are arising in the collection of VAT and excise duties, these areas being crucial to a truly centralised clearance system; calls too for increased cooperation and exchange of best practice in relation to the collection of VAT on imported goods, the opening hours of customs services, and fees and penalties for non-compliance with the Community Customs Code, as existing differences are resulting in trade distortions;

28.

Considers that there needs to be some flexibility with regard to rules and customs processes, in order to enable the Member States to continue, where possible, to tailor their approach in relation to logistical speed, complexity and volume of goods handled;

Authorised economic operator (AEO) status

29.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve service quality in relation to economic operators and other persons and to reduce the administrative burdens on them; supports the Commission’s efforts to encourage traders across the EU to apply for AEO status; is concerned, however, that considerable investments necessary to obtain AEO status might be a serious obstacle for traders, especially SMEs; calls on the Commission to consider simplifying the procedure for applying for AEO status;

30.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to propose additional concrete benefits which could be granted to traders holding AEO certificates and which would encourage businesses to apply; believes that such tangible benefits could primarily entail significant reductions in administrative burdens or costs, for example by relieving AEOs, as a rule, from the requirement to lodge a security of customs debt, and facilitating the payment of customs duties and VAT;

31.

In particular, calls on the Commission to look into dispensing with pre-arrival and pre-departure notifications for both imports and exports in the case of especially trusted operators such as AEOs and, accordingly, to enable transaction-based customs declarations to be dispensed with in the context of self-assessment and the local clearance procedure;

32.

Draws attention, nevertheless to all the necessary prerequisites for the acquisition of AEO status as set out in Article 14 of the MCC: namely compliance with customs and tax requirements; the existence of a satisfactory system of managing commercial and, where appropriate, transport records, allowing appropriate customs controls; proven financial solvency; practical standards of competence or professional qualifications directly related to the activity carried out; and safety and security standards;

33.

Expects all the Member States to ensure that the AEO status granted by one Member State is fully recognised by the other Member States;reiterates the importance of ensuring equal treatment for AEOs throughout the Community customs territory as regards uniformity of the controls and mutual recognition;

34.

Calls on the Commission to include in the MCC more rigorous requirements for the provision of the EU’s customs representation services, helping to increase the level of professionalism and ownership on the part of these intermediaries and laying down clear rules to guide relations between customs agents and forwarding undertakings, so as to change the role of the agents to that of consolidators for small and medium-sized importers that do not have the capacity to implement customs compliance programmes similar to those of European AEOs;

35.

Welcomes the activation of the cooperation agreement between the EU and Japan on the mutual recognition of AEO status; encourages the Commission to negotiate similar agreements with other major partners, such as the USA, Canada, China and Russia, having full regard to the role of the European Parliament, and to include this element in the negotiation of bilateral trade agreements, in order to make AEO status more beneficial to EU companies;

Simplifications and exceptions

36.

Welcomes the Commission’s intention to introduce procedural simplifications in the area of imports and exports;

37.

Calls on the Commission in future, in the context of ‘local clearance procedures’, to dispense with individual notifications and to provide for goods to be released without the involvement of the customs authorities, in order to ensure that procedures operate smoothly, particularly in the case of just-in-time consignments;

38.

Points out that, in a number of Member States, SMEs in particular use the option that is available under the Community Customs Code of ‘oral’ customs declarations for the import and export of consignments under the value of EUR 1 000;

39.

Urges that the existing duty thresholds and derogations in respect of customs applications for the smallest consignments in import and export trade in many Member States be retained and standardised across the EU, for example up to an amount of EUR 1 000, and included in the area of pre-arrival and pre-departure notifications, as abolishing this simplified procedure would considerably increase the administrative and financial burdens on SMEs in particular, and would therefore be at odds with the Union’s aim of reducing red tape; insists that the option of ‘oral’ customs declarations should be retained in the implementing rules for the MCC;

40.

Calls for maintenance of the existing provisions concerning sale for export and the inclusion of certain royalties and license fees in the customs value, as unwarranted changes to these provisions will result in a higher customs value and thus a higher tax burden;

Non-preferential origin

41.

Calls on the Commission to maintain the principle that the non-preferential origin of goods is determined according to the place where their last substantial economically justified processing occurred;

42.

Is concerned about the trend towards seeking to establish rules regarding non-preferential origin using different methods to determine origin for imports and exports;

43.

Stresses that, if additional origin rules are established, this should be done in such a way as to avoid unnecessary administrative burdens for businesses, and should take into account the importance of facilitating international trade;

44.

Stresses at the same time that export certificates on non-preferential origin issued by the relevant authorities of third countries must also in future be recognised by the EU;

45.

Supports the implementation of list-based rules in the area of non-preferential origin only for special cases, which should be regarded as exceptions; calls for the established rules as currently laid down in Annexes 10 and 11 to the implementing provisions of the Community Customs Code to be retained and for there to be no further extension of list-based criteria to other products, so as to prevent what would be a clear increase in the administrative burden on customs authorities and economic operators without any compensatory economic benefits;

46.

Calls for the ‘first sale’ rule to be retained and for the recording of costs in connection with risk analysis – which entails significant costs for operators – to be dropped; is concerned about proposals currently being discussed with regard to establishing a transaction value, as they do not comply with the requirement relating to sale for export to the customs territory of the Community, but rather represent a paradigm shift towards sale for import into the customs territory of the Community, which is not in accordance with the GATT Customs Valuation Code;

Customs’ role in ensuring product safety, protection of financial interests and protection of intellectual property rights

Product safety

47.

Expects strong cooperation between customs administrations, market surveillance authorities and businesses, e.g. to intercept unsafe and/or non-compliant products at the border of the destination Member States; calls on the Commission and Member States to see to it that officers are properly trained so as to ensure even better detection of products presenting a risk;

48.

Welcomes the progress made on drafting the guidelines for import controls in the area of product safety, and calls on the Commission to update them on an ongoing basis, monitor their implementation and keep the European Parliament informed of further developments in this area;

49.

Calls on the Commission to consider establishing a public database to which Member States could submit information on dangerous goods intercepted as the result of customs control;

Financial interests

50.

Underlines that the proceeds from customs duties are an important part of the EU’s traditional own resources, representing, together with sugar levies, EUR 16 777 100 000 for the year 2011, and that an efficient customs system is of primary importance when it comes to protecting the EU’s financial interests; stresses that the correct operation of customs has direct consequences in terms of the calculation of VAT, which is another important source of EU budget revenue;

51.

Stresses that efficient prevention of irregularities and fraud in the customs field, through proper controls, not only secures the protection of the EU’s financial interests but also has important consequences for the internal market, eliminating the unfair advantage held by economic operators who underpay duties or understate the values declared to customs over honest and compliant economic operators who do not engage in such practices;

52.

Continues to support Member States’ efforts to enhance tax and customs regulation and tax collection capacities, to reinforce international conventions against corruption, tax evasion and illegal flows, and to increase financial transparency; likewise supports increased exchanges of information on current customs legislation;

53.

Recalls that the Commission’s objective is to make national customs administrations act as if they were one, ensuring controls with equivalent results at every point of the Union’s customs territory; points out that this cannot be achieved without interoperable communication and information-exchange systems at Member State and Commission level; deplores the very slow progress in this respect; points out that the controls must be based on mutually agreed standards and reliable risk-evaluation criteria with regard to the selection of goods and economic operators;

54.

Calls for closer cooperation, and the active exchange of information and proven procedures, with the customs authorities of the EU’s neighbouring countries with regard to customs modernisation and efforts to combat smuggling and corruption in the customs system;

55.

Welcomes the simplified customs control system that was introduced in 2009, and recognises its importance in facilitating international trade; stresses that the widespread use of simplified customs procedures for imports, which tend to reduce customs formalities and control before the release of goods, is one of the key elements of the EU’s customs policy; recalls that over 70 % of all customs procedures have been simplified; finds it regrettable, however that those procedures have led to unjustified levels of loss to the EU budget and breaches of EU trade policy;

56.

Notes with concern that the European Court of Auditors has revealed insufficient control and auditing of these simplified procedures in Member States; therefore emphasises the importance of suitable implementation of the control system in this regard, and encourages the Commission to follow this process closely in order to avoid losses to the EU budget as well as breaches of trade policy provisions;

57.

Calls on the Commission, in order to reduce the risk of Traditional Own Resources (TOR) losses, to ensure that, at Member State level, proper system audits of operators are carried out prior to the issuing of authorisation to use simplified customs procedures, and that proper ex-post audits are conducted;

58.

Recalls that customs control should be based on risk analysis using, inter alia, automated data-processing techniques, and points out that, in the European Court of Auditors’ view, only automated risk profiles integrated into the processing of customs declarations can sufficiently protect the EU’s financial and trade policy interests; deplores the fact that very few Member States have in place automated risk profiles for TOR and common trade policy issues; urges the Commission to take the necessary measures to address this situation;

59.

Reiterates its position set out in the conclusions of Part III of its resolution of 10 May 2011 on the Court of Auditors’ special reports in the context of the 2009 Commission discharge, concerning the Court’s special report entitled ‘Are simplified customs procedures for imports effectively controlled?’;

Intellectual property rights

60.

Notes the recent Commission proposal for a draft regulation concerning customs enforcement of intellectual property rights, and firmly believes that customs can effectively contribute to the protection of intellectual property rights; stresses that the further developed regulation makes it possible to retain goods suspected of violating intellectual property law, and that the regulation thus comprises one pillar of the Union’s legal framework for the protection of intellectual property rights;

61.

Supports the work carried out in the framework of the European Observatory on Counterfeiting and Piracy and encourages full use of the Observatory’s potential; welcomes in that regard the recent Commission proposal for a draft regulation on entrusting the Office for Harmonisation in the Internal Market (Trade Marks and Designs) with certain tasks related to the protection of intellectual property rights;

Transparency

62.

Encourages the Commission to adhere fully to the spirit of the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission in terms of improved cooperation and flow of information, especially in the context of Commission meetings with national experts;

63.

Supports the Commission’s efforts to facilitate communication between traders and Member States; proposes, however, further improvements: in particular urges the Commission to publish all the relevant information and documentation on the meetings with national experts as soon as they are available in order to provide direct access to overviews, for trade representatives and any citizens concerned by developments in the area of customs, of the discussions carried out at those meetings; is convinced that this would, in particular, benefit SMEs, ensure transparency and raise public awareness of customs-related issues;

Cooperation

64.

Believes that engagement between customs, market surveillance authorities and business is of the utmost importance and should be based on the principles of transparency, consistency, coherence and predictability, and considers that all parties should acknowledge and respect the needs, realities and expectations of the others and combine their knowledge, expertise in their respective fields and wide-ranging talents in order to achieve optimal performance and outcomes;

65.

Considers that all Member States should have formal mechanisms in place for transparent dialogue between customs administrations and the private sector; calls on customs and the private sector to identify and promote best practices for cooperation, and encourages both parties to assess their cooperation and develop necessary evaluation tools in order to identify problems and offer possible solutions;

66.

Considers that customs clearance has to be streamlined by involving all the relevant authorities at the earliest possible stage in the process; therefore strongly supports coordinated border management and the single window principle under customs responsibility, with the necessary legislative measures;

67.

Emphasises that the one-stop-shop principle should be applied efficiently, ensuring that goods are inspected only once by all the authorities concerned;

68.

Is of the opinion that the skills, knowledge and experience of customs professionals should be in constant development and improvement, as these are prerequisites for high quality customs procedures; supports the Member States and the Commission in their work on promoting regular training of customs officials;

69.

Calls for the establishment of operational platforms common to the Member States and the Commission, and stresses the need to provide customs officers and economic operators with adequate training in order to ensure the uniform enforcement of EU rules and better protection for consumers;

70.

Emphasises that research is of particular importance when considering legislative initiatives; welcomes and strongly supports the work carried out by universities and research centres across the EU contributing to the academic development of customs officials; encourages the Member States to ensure that relevant academic programmes are available to promote the excellence of the customs profession;

71.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to explore the possibilities of further increasing customs cooperation, including with the other relevant authorities, as well as the harmonisation of customs rules, in order to improve the functioning of the Customs Union; calls on the Commission to consider this issue in the follow-up to the Customs 2013 programme;

72.

Believes that the follow-up to the Customs 2013 programme should, in particular, support uniform implementation of the EU customs legislation and a balanced approach to contributing to European competitiveness, while at the same time guaranteeing safety and security.

73.

Calls on the Commission and the Member States to improve the organisation of customs procedures at the EU’s external borders, to create better conditions for legal business activity, international trade and swift movement of persons and goods, to overhaul the infrastructure at customs offices at the EU’s external borders, taking account of the implementing provisions of the Community Customs Code, to furnish customs offices with modern monitoring equipment and to ensure that these tools are used effectively in the carrying out of customs checks;

74.

Emphasises the value of stepping up customs cooperation with Russia and the Eastern Partnership and Mediterranean Partnership countries in order to facilitate international trade and combat customs fraud and counterfeiting;

75.

Encourages the Commission to develop multilateral cooperation and coordination plans within the WCO, in order to lay down joint standards and rules that will improve the security and effectiveness of customs and border procedures and reduce costs through the sharing of standards and the exchange of good practice;

76.

Believes that an agreement on trade facilitation as part of the Doha Round would benefit the member states of the World Trade Organization (WTO), notably by strengthening legal certainty and reducing commercial costs; thus encourages the Commission, for its part, to push forward the conclusion of this agreement with a view to the ministerial conference due to take place on 15-17 December 2011 in Geneva;

77.

Stresses the importance of ensuring that legitimate customs checks carried out by third countries are not, in certain circumstances, misused to create new, de facto non-tariff barriers to goods originating from the EU;

*

* *

78.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission


(1)  OJ L 145, 4.6.2008, p. 1.

(2)  OJ L 302, 19.10.1992, p. 1.

(3)  OJ L 253, 11.10.1993, p. 1.

(4)  OJ L 23, 26.1.2008, p. 21.

(5)  OJ L 154, 14.6.2007, p. 25.

(6)  OJ L 117, 4.5.2005, p. 13.

(7)  OJ L 218, 13.8.2008, p. 30

(8)  OJ L 274, 18.10.2007, p. 11.

(9)  OJ L 304, 20.11.2010, p. 47.

(10)  OJ L 250, 27.9.2011, p. 63.

(11)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0076.

(12)  OJ C 286 E, 27.11.2009, p. 20.

(13)  OJ C 285 E, 26.11.2009, p. 1.

(14)  OJ L 222, 12.8.1997, p. 17.

(15)  OJ C 260, 30.10.2009, p. 1.


II Information

INFORMATION FROM EUROPEAN UNION INSTITUTIONS, BODIES, OFFICES AND AGENCIES

European Parliament

Thursday 1 December 2011

11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/68


Thursday 1 December 2011
Request for the waiver of the parliamentary immunity of Georgios Toussas

P7_TA(2011)0524

European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 on the request for waiver of the immunity of Georgios Toussas (2011/2057(IMM))

2013/C 165 E/09

The European Parliament,

having regard to the request for waiver of the immunity of Georgios Toussas received from Judge Ilias Stavropoulos of the Piraeus Court of First Instance, Section 7, dated 9 February 2011 and announced in plenary sitting on 9 March 2011,

having heard Georgios Toussas on 19 September 2011 in accordance with Rule 7(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to Article 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008 and 19 March 2010 (1),

having regard to the provisions of Article 62 of the Constitution of the Hellenic Republic,

having regard to Rules 6(2) and 7 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0410/2011),

A.

whereas the judge at the Piraeus Court of First Instance, Section 7, has requested the waiver of the immunity of Georgios Toussas, Member of the European Parliament, in order to enable him to conduct the criminal proceedings started as a result of the instructions issued by the Public Prosecutor’s Office of the Piraeus Magistrates’ Court concerning an alleged breach of trust resulting in damages exceeding EUR 147 000 (Article 390 of the Greek Penal Code and Article 1 of Law 1608/1950) and for which a judicial inquiry was ordered (Articles 246, 248 and 250 of the Greek Code of Criminal Procedure);

B.

whereas the judge intends to summon Georgios Toussas to testify as a defendant in that case and to answer the abovementioned charges against him pursuant to Articles 270, 271 and 273 of the Greek Code of Criminal Procedure;

C.

whereas it is therefore advisable to recommend that parliamentary immunity be waived in the case in question;

1.

Decides to waive the immunity of Georgios Toussas;

2.

Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its competent committee immediately to the appropriate authorities of the Hellenic Republic and to Georgios Toussas.


(1)  Case 101/63 Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier [1964] ECR 195; Case 149/85 Wybot v Faure and others [1986] ECR 2391; Case T-345/05, Mote v Parliament [2008] ECR II-2849; Joined Cases C-200/07 and C-201/07 Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente [2008] ECR I-7929; Case T-42/06 Gollnisch v Parliament (OJ C 134, 22.5.2010, p. 29).


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/69


Thursday 1 December 2011
Request for the defence of the parliamentary immunity of Luigi de Magistris

P7_TA(2011)0525

European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 on the request for defence of the immunity and privileges of Luigi de Magistris (2011/2076(IMM))

2013/C 165 E/10

The European Parliament,

having regard to the request by Luigi de Magistris of 31 March 2011, announced in plenary on 6 April 2011, for the defence of his immunity in connection with proceedings pending before the Court of Naples, Italy,

having regard to the written submissions made by Luigi de Magistris in accordance with Rule 7(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to Article 8 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, and to Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the Members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008, 19 March 2010 and 6 September 2011 (1),

having regard to Rules 6(3) and 7 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0412/2011),

A.

whereas a Member of the European Parliament, Luigi de Magistris, has requested the defence of his parliamentary immunity in connection with proceedings before an Italian court,

B.

whereas the request by Luigi De Magistris relates to a writ of summons filed against him before the Court of Naples on behalf of Bagnolifutura SpA, a company domiciled in Naples engaged in design and in soil remediation, in connection with press releases issued by him and published on his website,

C.

whereas, according to the writ of summons, statements made in those press releases constitute libel, resulting in a claim for damages,

D.

whereas the press releases were published on the website at a time when Luigi de Magistris was a Member of the European Parliament, following his election at the 2009 European Parliament elections,

E.

whereas in those press releases Luigi de Magistris published information relating to a follow-up written question to the European Commission, in which he asked for additional details concerning public procurement irregularities noted in May 2009 by the Commission, and whereas he also asked for more details about an alleged waste of public funds in the area of Naples where Bagnolifutura conducts its business,

F.

whereas, according to Article 8 of the Protocol on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union, Members of the European Parliament shall not be subject to any form of inquiry, detention or legal proceedings in respect of opinions expressed or votes cast by them in the performance of their duties,

G.

whereas, in accordance with Parliament’s established practice, the fact that the legal proceedings fall under civil or administrative law, or contain certain aspects falling under civil or administrative law, does not per se prevent the immunity afforded by that article from applying,

H.

whereas the facts of the case, as presented in the writ of summons and in Luigi de Magistris’s written submissions to the Committee on Legal Affairs, indicate that the statements made do have a direct and obvious connection with Luigi de Magistris’s performance of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament,

I.

whereas Luigi de Magistris, in publishing the press releases in question, was therefore acting in the performance of his duties as a Member of the European Parliament,

1.

Decides to defend the immunity and privileges of Luigi de Magistris;

2.

Instructs its President to forward this decision and the report of its competent committee immediately to the competent authority of the Italian Republic and to Luigi de Magistris.


(1)  Case 101/63 Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier [1964] ECR 195, Case 149/85 Wybot v Faure and Others [1986] ECR 2391, Case T-345/05 Mote v Parliament [2008] ECR II-2849, Joined Cases C-200/07 and C-201/07 Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente [2008] ECR I-7929, Case T-42/06 Gollnisch v Parliament (not yet published in the ECR) and Case C-163/10 Patriciello (not yet published in the ECR).


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/70


Thursday 1 December 2011
Amendment to the Rules of Procedure regarding the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament in respect of financial interests and conflicts of interest

P7_TA(2011)0540

European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 amending the Rules of Procedure relating to a Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with respect to financial interests and conflicts of interest (2011/2174(REG))

2013/C 165 E/11

The European Parliament,

having regard to the letter from its President dated 31 August 2011,

having regard to the recommendation from the Bureau Working Group on Codes of Conduct to the members of the Conference of Presidents and the Bureau on the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament, endorsed by the Bureau on 6 July 2011 and by the Conference of Presidents on 7 July 2011,

having regard to Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union,

having regard to Rules 211, 212 and 215 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A7-0386/2011),

1.

Decides to amend its Rules of Procedure as shown below;

2.

Instructs its Secretary-General to adapt Annex X of its Rules of Procedure accordingly, showing the correlation between the references to Annex I contained therein and the corresponding provisions of Annex I in the version thereof resulting from this decision;

3.

Decides that these provisions will come into force on 1 January 2012;

4.

Notes that, on account of the mid-term reconstitution of Parliament’s bodies in accordance with the Rules of Procedure, the Advisory Committee provided for in Article 7 of the Code of Conduct set out in Annex I to the Rules of Procedure as a result of this decision cannot be established before the end of January 2012; decides, therefore, that Members will have 90 days following the entry into force of the Code of Conduct to submit the declaration of financial interests referred to in Article 4 of that Code, and that declarations submitted on the basis of the provisions of the Rules of Procedure in force on the date this decision is adopted will remain valid until the expiry of the aforementioned deadline; decides, furthermore, that the latter provisions will also apply to any Member who takes office during that period;

5.

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

PRESENT TEXT

AMENDMENT

Amendment 1

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Rule 9 – paragraph 1 – subparagraph 1

1.   Parliament shall lay down rules governing the transparency of its Members’ financial interests, which shall be attached to these Rules of Procedure as an annex.

1.   Parliament shall lay down rules governing the transparency of its Members’ financial interests in the form of a Code of Conduct which shall be adopted by a majority of its component Members, in accordance with Article 232 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and attached to these Rules of Procedure as an annex.

Amendment 2

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Rule 19

The Conference of Presidents may, acting by a majority of three-fifths of the votes cast, representing at least three political groups, propose to Parliament that it terminate the holding of office of the President, a Vice-President, a Quaestor, a Chair or Vice-Chair of a committee, a Chair or Vice-Chair of an interparliamentary delegation, or any other holder of an office elected within the Parliament, where it considers that the Member in question has been guilty of serious misconduct. Such a proposal shall be approved by Parliament by a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast, constituting a majority of its component Members.

The Conference of Presidents may, acting by a majority of three-fifths of the votes cast, representing at least three political groups, propose to Parliament that it terminate the holding of office of the President, a Vice-President, a Quaestor, a Chair or Vice-Chair of a committee, a Chair or Vice-Chair of an interparliamentary delegation, or any other holder of an office elected within the Parliament, where it considers that the Member in question has been guilty of serious misconduct. Parliament shall take a decision on that proposal by a majority of two-thirds of the votes cast, constituting a majority of its component Members.

 

Where a rapporteur breaches the provisions of the Code of Conduct for Members of the European Parliament with respect to financial interests and conflicts of interest, the committee which appointed him or her may, on the initiative of the President and on a proposal by the Conference of Presidents, terminate the holding of that office. The majorities laid down in the first paragraph shall apply mutatis mutandis to each stage of this procedure.

Amendment 3

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Rule 32 – paragraph 2

2.   Such groupings may not engage in any activities which might result in confusion with the official activities of Parliament or of its bodies. Provided that the conditions laid down in the rules governing their establishment adopted by the Bureau are met, political groups may facilitate their activities by providing them with logistical support. Such groupings shall declare any external support in accordance with Annex I.

2.   Such groupings may not engage in any activities which might result in confusion with the official activities of Parliament or of its bodies. Provided that the conditions laid down in the rules governing their establishment adopted by the Bureau are met, political groups may facilitate their activities by providing them with logistical support.

 

Such groupings shall be required to declare any support , whether in cash or kind (e.g. secretarial assistance), which if offered to Members as individuals would have to be declared under Annex I.

 

The Quaestors shall keep a register of the declarations referred to in the second subparagraph. That register shall be published on the Parliament’s website. The Quaestors shall adopt detailed rules on those declarations.

Amendment 4

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Rule 153 – paragraph 3 – point d

(d)

submission to the Conference of Presidents, in accordance with Rule 19, of a proposal for the Member’s suspension or removal from one or more of the elected offices held by the Member in Parliament.

(d)

submission to the Conference of Presidents, in accordance with Rule 19, of a proposal for the Member’s suspension or removal from one or more of the offices held by the Member in Parliament.

Amendment 5

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I – title

Amendment 6

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I – Articles 1 to 4

Article 1

1.     Before speaking in Parliament or in one of its bodies or if proposed as rapporteur, any Member who has a direct financial interest in the subject under debate shall disclose this interest to the meeting orally.

2.     Before Members may be validly nominated as office-holders of Parliament or one of its bodies, under Rule 13, 191 or 198(2), or participate in an official delegation, under Rule 68 or 198(2), they must have duly completed the declaration provided for in Article 2.

Article 2

The Quaestors shall keep a register in which all Members shall make a personal, detailed declaration of:

(a)

their professional activities and any other remunerated functions or activities,

(b)

any salary which the Member receives for the exercise of a mandate in another parliament,

(c)

any support, whether financial or in terms of staff or material, additional to that provided by Parliament and granted to them in connection with their political activities by third parties, whose identity shall be disclosed.

Members of Parliament shall refrain from accepting any gift or benefit in the performance of their duties.

The declarations in the register shall be made under the personal responsibility of the Member and must be updated as soon as changes occur, and a fresh declaration shall be submitted at least once a year. Members shall bear full responsibility for the transparency of their financial interests.

The Bureau may, from time to time, draw up a list of matters which it considers should be declared in the register.

If after the appropriate request Members do not fulfil their obligation to submit a declaration under (a) and (b), the President shall remind them once again to submit the declaration within two months. If the declaration has not been submitted within the time limit, the names of the Members concerned together with an indication of the infringement shall be published in the minutes of the first day of each part-session after expiry of the time-limit. If the Members concerned continue to refuse to submit the declaration after the infringement has been published the President shall take action in accordance with Rule 153 to suspend them.

Chairs of groupings of Members, both intergroups and other unofficial groupings of Members, shall be required to declare any support, whether in cash or kind (e.g. secretarial assistance), which if offered to Members as individuals would have to be declared under this Article.

The Quaestors shall be responsible for keeping a register and drawing up detailed rules for the declaration of outside support by such groupings.

Article 3

The register shall be open to the public for inspection.

The register may be open to the public for inspection electronically.

Article 4

Members shall be subject to the obligations imposed on them by the legislation of the Member State in which they are elected as regards the declaration of assets.

deleted

Amendment 7

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 1 (new)

 

Article 1

Guiding principles

In exercising their duties, Members of the European Parliament:

(a)

are guided by and observe the following general principles of conduct: disinterest, integrity, openness, diligence, honesty, accountability and respect for Parliament’s reputation,

(b)

act solely in the public interest and refrain from obtaining or seeking to obtain any direct or indirect financial benefit or other reward.

Amendment 8

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 2 (new)

 

Article 2

Main duties of Members

In exercising their duties, Members of the European Parliament shall:

(a)

not enter into any agreement to act or vote in the interest of any other legal or natural person that would compromise their voting freedom, as enshrined in Article 6 of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage and Article 2 of the Statute for Members of the European Parliament ,

(b)

not solicit, accept or receive any direct or indirect financial benefit or other reward in exchange for influencing, or voting on, legislation, motions for a resolution, written declarations or questions tabled in Parliament or any of its committees, and shall consciously seek to avoid any situation which might imply bribery or corruption.

Amendment 9

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 3 (new)

 

Article 3

Conflicts of interest

1.     A conflict of interest exists where a Member of the European Parliament has a personal interest that could improperly influence the performance of his or her duties as a Member. A conflict of interest does not exist where a Member benefits only as a member of the general public or of a broad class of persons.

2.     Any Member who finds that he or she has a conflict of interest shall immediately take the necessary steps to address it, in accordance with the principles and provisions of this Code of Conduct. If the Member is unable to resolve the conflict of interest, he or she shall report this to the President in writing. In cases of ambiguity, the Member may seek advice in confidence from the Advisory Committee on the Conduct of Members, established under Article 7.

3.     Without prejudice to paragraph 2, Members shall disclose, before speaking or voting in plenary or in one of Parliament’s bodies, or if proposed as a rapporteur, any actual or potential conflict of interest in relation to the matter under consideration, where such conflict is not evident from the information declared pursuant to Article 4. Such disclosure shall be made in writing or orally to the chair during the parliamentary proceedings in question.

Amendment 10

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 4 (new)

 

Article 4

Declaration by Members

1.     For reasons of transparency, Members of the European Parliament shall be personally responsible for submitting a declaration of financial interests to the President by the end of the first part-session after elections to the European Parliament (or within 30 days of taking up office with the Parliament in the course of a parliamentary term), in accordance with a form to be adopted by the Bureau pursuant to Article 9. They shall notify the President of any changes that have an influence on their declaration within 30 days of each change occurring.

2.     The declaration of financial interests shall contain the following information, which shall be provided in a precise manner:

(a)

the Member’s occupation(s) during the three-year period before he or she took up office with the Parliament, and his or her membership during that period of any boards or committees of companies, non-governmental organisations, associations or other bodies established in law,

(b)

any salary which the Member receives for the exercise of a mandate in another parliament,

(c)

any regular remunerated activity which the Member undertakes alongside the exercise of his or her office, whether as an employee or as a self-employed person,

(d)

membership of any boards or committees of any companies, non-governmental organisations, associations or other bodies established in law, or any other relevant outside activity that the Member undertakes, whether remunerated or unremunerated,

(e)

any occasional remunerated outside activity (including writing, lecturing or the provision of expert advice), if the total remuneration exceeds EUR 5 000 in a calendar year,

(f)

any holding in any company or partnership, where there are potential public policy implications or where that holding gives the Member significant influence over the affairs of the body in question,

(g)

any support, whether financial or in terms of staff or material, additional to that provided by Parliament and granted to them in connection with their political activities by third parties, whose identity shall be disclosed,

(h)

any other financial interests which might influence the performance of the Member’s duties.

Any regular income Members receive in respect of each item declared in accordance with the first subparagraph shall be placed in one of the following categories:

EUR 500 to EUR 1 000 a month;

EUR 1 001 to EUR 5 000 a month;

EUR 5 001 to EUR 10 000 a month;

more than EUR 10 000 a month.

Any other income Members receive in respect of each item declared in accordance with the first subparagraph shall be calculated on an annual basis, divided by twelve and placed in one of the categories set out in the second subparagraph.

3.     The information provided to the President in line with this Article shall be published on Parliament’s website in an easily accessible manner.

4.     Members may not be elected as office-holders of Parliament or of one of its bodies, be appointed as a rapporteur or participate in an official delegation, if they have not submitted their declaration of financial interests.

Amendment 11

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 5 (new)

 

Article 5

Gifts or similar benefits

1.     Members of the European Parliament shall refrain from accepting, in the performance of their duties, any gifts or similar benefits, other than those with an approximate value of less than EUR 150 given in accordance with courtesy usage or those given to them in accordance with courtesy usage when they are representing Parliament in an official capacity.

2.     Any gifts presented to Members, in accordance with paragraph 1, when they are representing Parliament in an official capacity shall be handed over to the President and dealt with in accordance with implementing measures to be laid down by the Bureau pursuant to Article 9.

3.     The provisions of paragraphs 1 and 2 shall not apply to the reimbursement of travel, accommodation and subsistence expenses of Members, or to the direct payment of such expenses by third parties, when Members attend, pursuant to an invitation and in the performance of their duties, at any events organised by third parties.

The scope of this paragraph, in particular the rules designed to ensure transparency, shall be specified in the implementing measures to be laid down by the Bureau pursuant to Article 9.

Amendment 12

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 6 (new)

 

Article 6

Activities of former Members

Former Members of the European Parliament who engage in professional lobbying or representational activities directly linked to the European Union decision-making process may not, throughout the period in which they engage in those activities, benefit from the facilities granted to former Members under the rules laid down by the Bureau to that effect (1).

Amendment 13

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 7 (new)

 

Article 7

Advisory Committee on the Conduct of Members

1.     An Advisory Committee on the Conduct of Members (‘the Advisory Committee’) is hereby established.

2.     The Advisory Committee shall be composed of five members, appointed by the President at the beginning of his or her term of office from amongst the members of the bureaux and the coordinators of the Committee on Constitutional Affairs and the Committee on Legal Affairs, taking due account of the Members’ experience and of political balance.

Each member of the Advisory Committee shall serve as chair for six months on a rotating basis.

3.     The President shall also, at the beginning of his or her term of office, nominate reserve members for the Advisory Committee, one for each group not represented in the Advisory Committee.

In the event of an alleged breach of this Code of Conduct by a member of a political group not represented in the Advisory Committee, the relevant reserve member shall serve as a sixth full member of the Advisory Committee for the purposes of investigation of that alleged breach.

4.     Upon request by a Member, the Advisory Committee shall give him or her, in confidence and within 30 calendar days, guidance on the interpretation and implementation of the provisions of this Code of Conduct. The Member in question shall be entitled to rely on such guidance.

At the request of the President, the Advisory Committee shall also assess alleged breaches of this Code of Conduct and advise the President on possible action to be taken.

5.     The Advisory Committee may, after consulting the President, seek advice from outside experts.

6.     The Advisory Committee shall publish an annual report of its work.

Amendment 14

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 8 (new)

 

Article 8

Procedure in the event of possible breaches of the Code of Conduct

1.     Where there is reason to think that a Member of the European Parliament may have breached this Code of Conduct, the President may refer the matter to the Advisory Committee.

2.     The Advisory Committee shall examine the circumstances of the alleged breach, and may hear the Member concerned. On the basis of the conclusions of its findings, it shall make a recommendation to the President on a possible decision.

3.     If, taking into account that recommendation, the President concludes that the Member concerned has breached the Code of Conduct, he shall, after hearing the Member, adopt a reasoned decision laying down a penalty, which he shall notify to the Member.

The penalty may consist of one or more of the measures listed in Article 153(3) of the Rules of Procedure.

4.     The internal appeal procedures defined in Rule 154 of the Rules of Procedure shall be open to the Member concerned.

5.     After the expiry of the time-limits laid down in Rule 154 of the Rules of the Procedure, any penalty imposed on a Member shall be announced by the President in plenary and prominently published on Parliament’s website for the remainder of the parliamentary term.

Amendment 15

Parliament’s Rules of Procedure

Annex I (new) – Article 9 (new)

 

Article 9

Implementation

The Bureau shall lay down implementing measures for this Code of Conduct, including a monitoring procedure, and shall update the amounts referred to in Articles 4 and 5, when necessary.

It may bring forward proposals for revision of this Code of Conduct.


(1)   Bureau Decision of 12 April 1999.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/80


Thursday 1 December 2011
Requests for defence of the parliamentary immunity of Viktor Uspaskich

P7_TA(2011)0541

European Parliament decision of 1 December 2011 on the requests for defence of the immunity and privileges of Viktor Uspaskich (2011/2162(IMM) and 2011/2099(IMM))

2013/C 165 E/12

The European Parliament,

having regard to the request by Viktor Uspaskich for defence of his immunity of 5 April 2011, announced in plenary sitting on 9 May 2011, and to his request of 11 April 2011, announced in plenary sitting on 4 July 2011, for a review of Parliament’s decision of 7 September 2010 to waive his immunity (1),

having heard Viktor Uspaskich on 10 October 2011, in accordance with Rule 7(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to Articles 7 and 9 of Protocol No 7 on the Privileges and Immunities of the European Union ("the Protocol"), and Article 6(2) of the Act of 20 September 1976 concerning the election of the members of the European Parliament by direct universal suffrage,

having regard to the judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union of 12 May 1964, 10 July 1986, 15 and 21 October 2008 and 19 March 2010 (2),

having regard to the provisions of Article 62 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania,

having regard to Parliament’s decision of 7 September 2010 to waive the immunity of Viktor Uspaskich,

having regard to Rules 6(3) and 7 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the reports of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A7-0411/2011 and A7-0413/2011),

A.

whereas it is appropriate to deal with the requests made by Viktor Uspaskich on 5 and 11 April 2011 together since they relate to the same legal proceedings;

B.

whereas criminal proceedings have been brought against Viktor Uspaskich, Member of the European Parliament, who is accused in the proceedings pending in the Vilnius Regional Court of criminal offences under Article 24(4) in conjunction with Article 222(1), Article 220(1), Article 24(4) in conjunction with Article 220(1), Article 205(1) and Article 24(4) in conjunction with Article 205(1) of the Criminal Code of the Republic of Lithuania;

C.

whereas, according to Article 9 of the Protocol, during the sessions of the European Parliament its Members enjoy ‘in the territory of their own State, the immunities accorded to members of their parliament’, whereas ‘immunity cannot be claimed when a Member is found in the act of committing an offence and shall not prevent the European Parliament from exercising its right to waive the immunity of one of its Members’;

D.

whereas, according to Article 62 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania, a Member of the national parliament (the Seimas) may not be held criminally liable or arrested, nor may his freedom be otherwise restricted, without the consent of that parliament;

E.

whereas Article 62 of the Constitution of the Republic of Lithuania goes on to provide that a Member of the Seimas may not be persecuted for his voting or his speeches in the Seimas, although he may be held liable under the general procedure for personal insult or slander;

F.

whereas Viktor Uspaskich is charged essentially with offences of false accounting in relation to the financing of a political party during a period prior to his election to the European Parliament;

G.

whereas on 7 September 2010 Parliament waived Viktor Uspaskich's immunity, considering that no cogent evidence had been adduced as to the existence of any fumus persecutionis and that the criminal offences with which Viktor Uspaskich is charged had nothing to do with his activities as a Member of the European Parliament;

H.

whereas on 28 October 2010 Viktor Uspaskich brought an action for the annulment of Parliament’s decision of 7 September 2010 before the General Court, only to withdraw it in July 2011;

I.

whereas in his letter of 5 April 2011 requesting the defence of his immunity Viktor Uspaskich claims that the criminal proceedings initiated by the Lithuanian authorities prevent him from performing, or make it difficult for him to perform, his parliamentary duties by restraining his freedom of movement contrary to Article 7 of the Protocol;

J.

whereas Article 7 of the Protocol has the function of protecting Members against restrictions on their freedom of movement, other than judicial restrictions, and consequently contains not an immunity but a privilege, and does not protect against judicial restrictions on Members’ freedom of movement (3);

K.

whereas, consequently, it is impossible for Parliament to accede to Viktor Uspaskich’s request of 5 April 2011 to defend his immunity on the basis of Article 7 of the Protocol;

L.

whereas in his letter of 11 April 2011 Viktor Uspaskich requests the revision of Parliament’s decision of 7 September 2010 on the grounds of alleged new facts raised by WikiLeaks, which he maintains show he was the victim of fumus persecutionis;

M.

whereas this claim should be rejected on the grounds that no sufficient nexus has been established between the alleged new facts and the bringing of proceedings against Viktor Uspaskich for false accounting;

N.

whereas in addition – and this applies also to Viktor Uspaskich’s claim that his fundamental right of defence and the European Charter of Fundamental Rights were violated by the adoption of the decision of 7 September 2010 –, the application for a review of Parliament’s decision of 7 September 2010 does not constitute a request for the defence of his immunity and privileges within the meaning of Rules 6 and 7;

1.

Decides not to defend the immunity and privileges of Viktor Uspaskich;

2.

Instructs its President to forward this decision and the reports of its competent committee immediately to the appropriate authority of the Republic of Lithuania.


(1)  OJ C 308 E, 20.10.2011, p. 90.

(2)  Case 101/63 Wagner v Fohrmann and Krier [1964] ECR 195; Case 149/85 Wybot v Faure and Others [1986] ECR 2391; Case T-345/05 Mote v Parliament [2008] ECR II-2849; Joined Cases C-200/07 and C-201/07 Marra v De Gregorio and Clemente [2008] ECR I-7929; Case T-42/06 Gollnisch v Parliament.

(3)  Case T-345/05 Mote v Parliament [2008] ECR II-2849, paragraphs 48 to 52.


III Preparatory acts

European Parliament

Thursday 1 December 2011

11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/82


Thursday 1 December 2011
Mobilisation of the flexibility instrument

P7_TA(2011)0520

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument in favour of the EU 2020 Strategy and the European Neighbourhood Policy, in accordance with point 27 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (COM(2011)0373 – C7-0164/2011 – 2011/2126(BUD))

2013/C 165 E/13

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Draft General Budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012 (COM(2011)0300), presented by the Commission on 20 April 2011,

having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0373 - C7-0164/2011),

having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (1) (IIA of 17 May 2006), and in particular point 27 thereof,

having regard to its position adopted on 26 October 2011 on the 2012 draft general budget (2),

having regard to the Joint conclusions on the 2012 budget adopted on 19 November 2011,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0353/2011),

A.

whereas the ceilings of the Multiannual Financial Framework, especially for subheading 1a and heading 4, do not allow the financing of Union priorities without jeopardising the existing instruments and policies,

B.

whereas the Commission had proposed in Amending letter No 1/2012 to mobilise the Flexibility Instrument to offset the reinforcement for the European Neighbourhood Policy under heading 4 for an amount of EUR 153 343 576,

C.

whereas the conciliation committee convened for the 2012 budget agreed to the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for a total amount of EUR 200 million beyond the ceilings of subheading1a and heading 4;

1.

Notes that, despite contained reinforcements in commitments on a limited number of budget items and several decreases on other budget items, the ceilings of subheading 1a and heading 4 do not allow for the adequate financing of selected priorities carried by Parliament and the Council;

2.

Agrees, therefore, to the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for the financing of the EU 2020 Strategy under subheading 1a, and the financing of the European Neighbourhood Policy under heading 4 for a total amount of EUR 200 million;

3.

Reiterates that the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument, as provided for in point 27 of the IIA of 17 May 2006, highlights once more the crucial need for the Union budget to be increasingly flexible;

4.

Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

5.

Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

6.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.


(1)  OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.

(2)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0461.


Thursday 1 December 2011
ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2012/3/EU.)


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/83


Thursday 1 December 2011
2012 budgetary procedure: joint text

P7_TA(2011)0521

European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee in the framework of 2012 budgetary procedure (17470/2011 ADD 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – C7-0446/2011 – 2011/2020(BUD))

2013/C 165 E/14

The European Parliament,

having regard to the joint text approved by the Conciliation Committee (17470/2011 ADD 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – C7-0446/2011) and the Parliament, Council and Commission statements annexed to this resolution,

having regard to its resolution of 26 October 2011 on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012 as modified by the Council – all sections (1) and the budgetary amendments therein,

having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012, adopted by the Commission on 20 April 2011 (COM(2011)0300),

having regard to the position on the draft general budget of the European Union adopted by the Council on 25 July 2011 (13110/2011),

having regard to Letters of Amendment No 1/2012,2/2012 and 3/2012 to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012 presented by the Commission on 17 June 2011, 16 September 2011 and 25 October 2011 respectively,

having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

having regard to Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities' own resources (2),

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 (3),

having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (4),

having regard to Rule 75d and 75e of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of its delegation to the Conciliation Committee (A7-0414/2011),

1.

Approves the joint text agreed by the Conciliation Committee, which consists of the following documents taken together:

list of budget lines not modified, compared to the draft budget or the Council's position;

summary figures by multiannual financial framework headings;

line-by-line figures on all budget items;

consolidated document showing the figures and final text of all lines modified during the conciliation;

2.

Confirms the joint statements by Parliament, the Council and the Commission included in the joint conclusions agreed by the Conciliation Committee annexed to this resolution;

3.

Instructs its President to declare that the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2012 has been definitively adopted and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

4.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the other institutions concerned and the national parliaments.


(1)  Texts adopted, P7_TA(2011)0461.

(2)  OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.

(3)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(4)  OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


Thursday 1 December 2011
ANNEX I

Budget 2012 – Joint conclusions

These joint conclusions cover three sections:

1.

Budget 2012

2.

Budget 2011 – Amending Budget 6/2011

3.

Joint statements

1.   Budget 2012

1.1.   ‧Closed‧ lines

Unless stated otherwise below in these conclusions, all budget lines not amended by either Council or Parliament, and those for which Parliament accepted Council's amendments during their respective reading are confirmed.

For the other budget items, the Conciliation Committee has reached the following conclusions:

1.2.   Horizontal issues

Decentralised agencies

The total EU contribution in 2012 (consisting of appropriations to be inscribed in the 2012 budget and assigned revenues available, in commitment appropriations and in payment appropriations) for decentralised agencies is reduced by 1 %, as compared to the Draft Budget (DB) as amended by Amending Letter 3/2012. However, the total EU contribution (in commitment appropriations and in payment appropriations) is set at the level of the DB for FRONTEX (Title 1 & 2), the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), the European Banking Authority (EBA), the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA). For FRONTEX Title 3, see heading 3a under section 1.3 below.

As compared to the Commission's Draft Budget, this leads to an overall reduction in the EU contribution to the following decentralised agencies of EUR 6.1 million, as shown in the table below:

in EUR million

Budget line

Name decentralised agency

Total EU contribution in 2012 (budget appropriations and assigned revenues): commitment appropriations

Budget 2012

Initial amount

Revised amount

Reduction in Budget 2012

02 03 03

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – Chemicals

p.m.

p.m.

p.m.

02 05 02

European GNSS Agency (GSA)

10,600

10,494

–0,106

04 04 03

European Foundation for Improvement of Living and Working Conditions (EUROFOUND)

20,590

20,384

–0,206

04 04 04

European Agency for Safety and Health at Work (EU-OSHA)

14,830

14,682

–0,148

06 02 01

European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA)

35,214

34,862

–0,352

06 02 02

European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA)

53,565

53,229

–0,336

Of which anti-pollution measures (06 02 02 03)

20,000

20,000

06 02 08

European Railway Agency (ERA)

25,260

25,007

–0,253

09 02 03

European Network and Information Security Agency (ENISA)

8,420

8,336

–0,084

09 02 04

Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communication – Office (BEREC)

4,336

4,293

–0,043

15 02 25

European Centre for Development of Vocational Training (CEDEFOP)

17,610

17,434

–0,176

17 03 10

European Medicines Agency (EMA)

39,188

38,841

–0,347

Of which orphan medicinal products (17 03 10 03)

4,488

4,488

32 04 10

European Agency for Cooperation of Energy Regulators (ACER)

7,315

7,242

–0,073

33 06 03

Gender Institute (EIGE)

7,820

7,742

–0,078

Sub-total

Heading 1a

 

 

–2,203

07 03 09

European Environment Agency (EEA)

36,676

36,309

–0,367

07 03 60

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – Biocides

2,756

2,728

–0,028

07 03 70

European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) – Prior Informed Consent

1,470

1,455

–0,015

11 08 05

Community Fisheries Control Agency (CFCA)

9,310

9,217

–0,093

Sub-total

Heading 2

 

 

–0,502

18 02 11

Agency for the Operational Management of large-scale IT Systems

20,000

19,800

–0,200

18 05 02

European Police Office (EUROPOL)

84,500

83,655

–0,845

18 05 05

European Police College (CEPOL)

8,536

8,451

–0,085

18 05 11

European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction (EMCDDA)

15,708

15,551

–0,157

33 02 03

Fundamental Rights Agency (FRA)

20,400

20,196

–0,204

33 03 02

EUROJUST

33,300

32,967

–0,333

Sub-total

Heading 3a

 

 

–1,824

17 03 03

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC)

57,300

56,727

–0,573

17 03 07

European Food Safety Authority (EFSA)

77,122

76,351

–0,771

Sub-total

Heading 3b

 

 

–1,344

15 02 27

European Training Foundation (ETF)

20,247

20,045

–0,202

Sub-total

Heading 4

 

 

–0,202

31 01 09

Translation Centre

p.m.

p.m.

p.m.

Sub-total

Heading 5

 

 

p.m.

Total

Net impact

 

 

–6,076

As regards the level of appropriations to be entered in the 2012 budget, the abovementioned reductions for individual agencies by budget article will be shared out by budget item proportionally to the weight in the Draft Budget of the two budget items concerned (contribution to Title 1 & 2 and contribution to Title 3).

The number of posts for all decentralised agencies is set at the level proposed by the Commission in the Draft Budget, as amended by Amending Letter 3/2012.

Executive agencies

The EU contribution (in commitment appropriations and in payment appropriations) and the number of posts for executive agencies are set at the level proposed in the Draft Budget, with the exception of the ‧closed‧ line for the EU contribution to EACI from the Marco Polo programme (06 01 04 32).

Pilot Projects/Preparatory Actions

A comprehensive package of 70 pilot projects/preparatory actions (PP/PA), including two projects/actions in section X (EEAS) of the budget, for an amount of EUR 105.4 million in commitment appropriations is agreed, including all PP/PA proposed by the Parliament, the Commission and the European External Action Service. When a pilot project or a preparatory action appears to be covered by an existing legal basis, the Commission may propose the transfer of appropriations to the corresponding legal basis in order to facilitate the implementation of the action. Furthermore, the changes to the budget remarks for the pilot project ‧European Institute of Peace‧ in section X (EEAS) set out in Annex are agreed.

As regards the payment appropriations for pilot projects and preparatory actions, specific rules are defined in section 1.4 below.

This package fully respects the ceilings for pilot projects and preparatory actions provided in the IIA.

1.3.   Expenditure headings of the financial framework - commitment appropriations  (1)

After taking into account the above conclusions on ‧closed‧ budget lines, agencies and pilot projects and preparatory actions, the Conciliation Committee has agreed on the following:

Heading 1a

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the Draft Budget, with amendments to the following programmes and actions:

in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of commitment appropriations

DB 2012

Budget 2012

Difference

02 02 01

CIP – Entrepreneurship and Innovation Programme

148,6

156,1

+7,5

02 04 01 01

Space Research

250,3

251,3

+1,0

02 04 01 02

Security Research

242,1

243,0

+0,9

04 03 04

EURES

19,5

20,6

+1,1

04 03 15

European Year for Active Ageing (already closed)

2,7

+2,7

08 02 01

Cooperation - Health

637,2

639,5

+2,3

08 03 01

Cooperation – Food, agriculture and fisheries, and biotechnology

311,6

312,8

+1,2

08 04 01

Cooperation – Nanosciences, nanotechnologies, materials and new production technologies

499,2

501,0

+1,8

08 05 01

Cooperation – Energy

166,0

178,3

+12,3

08 06 01

Cooperation – Environment (including climate change)

279,8

280,9

+1,1

08 07 01

Cooperation – Transport (including aeronautics)

322,6

323,8

+1,2

08 08 01

Cooperation – Socioeconomic sciences and the humanities

92,1

92,4

+0,3

08 09 01

Cooperation – Risk-sharing finance facility (RSFF)

197,3

198,0

+0,7

08 10 01

Ideas

1 547,5

1 564,9

+17,4

08 12 01

Capacities – Research infrastructures

50,0

50,2

+0,2

08 13 01

Capacities – Research SMEs

238,6

251,2

+12,6

08 14 01

Capacities – Regions of knowledge

20,0

20,1

+0,1

08 15 01

Capacities – Research potential

66,4

66,6

+0,2

08 16 01

Capacities – Science in society

44,6

44,8

+0,2

08 17 01

Capacities – International cooperation activities

32,0

32,1

+0,1

08 19 01

Capacities – Support for coherent development of research policies

13,1

13,1

+0,0

09 04 01 01

Support for research cooperation in the area of information and communication technologies (ICTs – Cooperation)

1 240,4

1 244,5

+4,1

09 05 01

Capacities – Research infrastructures

31,2

31,3

+0,1

10 02 01

Non-nuclear activities of the Joint Research Centre (JRC)

31,4

31,5

+0,1

15 02 02

Erasmus Mundus

103,8

105,6

+1,9

15 02 22

Lifelong Learning

1 058,5

1 110,5

+52,0

15 07 77

People

886,4

905,7

+19,3

32 04 06

CIP – Intelligent Energy

122,3

129,8

+7,5

32 06 01

Research – Energy

147,6

162,6

+15,0

Sub-total

Reinforcements

 

 

+ 165,0

 

Of which reinforcements CIP

 

 

+15,0

 

Of which reinforcements FP7

 

 

+92,0

04 03 07

Analysis, studies and awareness raising (already closed)

4,9

2,2

–2,7

 

Reductions support expenditure (various lines – already closed)

 

 

–0,5

Sub-total

Reductions

 

 

–3,2

Total

Net impact

 

 

+ 161,8

 

Margin heading 1a

 

–50,0

 

The impact on payment appropriations of the agreed reinforcements and reductions in commitment appropriations, as set out in the table above, is explained in section 1.4 below.

The Flexibility Instrument will be mobilised for an amount of EUR 50.0 million for the ‧Europe 2020 Strategy‧.

Without prejudice to the joint statement on the financing of the ITER project set out in section 3.4 below, the commitment appropriations put in the reserve for ‧ITER‧ (budget article 08 20 02) are set at EUR 417.9 million.

Heading 1b

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed in the Draft Budget, with the exception of the budget line 13 03 31 ‧Technical assistance and dissemination of information on the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and an improved knowledge of macro-regions strategy‧, for which an amount of EUR 2.5 million in commitments is agreed. As a consequence, the margin under the expenditure ceiling of heading 1b amounts to EUR 8.4 million.

Heading 2

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the Draft Budget, as amended by Amending Letter 3/2012, with amendments to the following programmes and actions:

in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of commitment appropriations

DB 2012

Budget 2012

Difference

 

Increase in appropriations for agriculture in Amending Letter 3/2012

 

 

+ 115,5

Of which reinforcement aid to producer groups for preliminary recognition (budget item 05 02 08 11)

150,0

195,0

+45,0

 

Decrease in appropriations for agriculture in Amending Letter 3/2012

 

 

– 201,2

Sub-total

Net reduction of appropriations for agriculture in AL 3/2012

 

 

–85,7

05 07 01 06

Clearance of accounts

–69,0

– 200,0

– 131,0

05 02 12 08

School milk

81,0

90,0

+9,0

Sub-total

Net impact of changes

 

 

– 122,0

 

Margin heading 2

 

834,2

 

The impact on payment appropriations of the agreed reinforcements and reductions in commitment appropriations, as set out in the table above, is explained in section 1.4 below.

Reflecting the political agreement reached on the ‧Programmes for deprived persons‧ (budget item 05 02 04 01), the appropriations currently in reserve for this purpose are put on the line concerned.

The three institutions agreed on the joint statement set out in section 3.3 below.

Heading 3a

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the Draft Budget, with amendments to the following programmes and actions in line with the level agreed between Council and Parliament (‧closed‧ lines):

in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of commitment appropriations

DB 2012

Budget 2012

Difference

18 02 03 02

Frontex – Title 3

50,5

59,5

+9,0

18 03 03

European Refugee Fund

93,5

102,5

+9,0

33 02 05

Daphne

17,5

19,5

+2,0

Sub-total

Reinforcements

 

 

+20,0

18 01 04 16

Prevention, preparedness and consequences management of terrorism – support expenditure (already closed)

0,3

0,2

–0,10

33 01 04 01

Fundamental rights and citizenship – support expenditure (already closed)

0,35

0,3

–0,05

33 01 04 03

Criminal justice – support expenditure (already closed)

0,4

0,35

–0,05

33 01 04 04

Civil justice – support expenditure (already closed)

0,3

0,25

–0,05

Sub-total

Reductions

 

 

–0,25

Total

Net impact

 

 

+19,75

 

Margin heading 3a

 

38,2

 

The impact on payment appropriations of the agreed reductions in commitment appropriations, as set out in the table above, is explained in section 1.4 below.

Heading 3b

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the Draft Budget, with amendments agreed to the following programmes and actions:

in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of commitment appropriations

DB 2012

Budget 2012

Difference

15 05 06

Special annual events

p.m.

1,5

+1,5

15 05 55

Youth in Action

134,6

139,6

+5,0

16 02 02

Multimedia actions

30,5

31,5

+1,0

16 03 04

Communicating Europe in Partnership

12,7

13,0

+0,3

Sub-total

Reinforcements

 

 

+7,8

 

Reductions support expenditure (various lines – already closed)

 

 

–0,3

Sub-total

Reductions

 

 

–0,3

Total

Net impact

 

 

+7,5

 

Margin heading 3b

 

1,6

 

The impact on payment appropriations of the agreed reinforcements and reductions in commitment appropriations, as set out in the table above, is explained in section 1.4 below.

Heading 4

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the Draft Budget, including Amending Letter 1/2012, with amendments agreed to the following programmes and actions:

in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of commitment appropriations

DB 2012

Budget 2012

Difference

19 08 01 02

ENPI – Palestine, MEPP, UNRWA

200,0

200,0

AB6

19 04 03

Electoral observation

35,1

38,0

+2,9

19 06 01 01

Instrument for Stability

225,0

232,8

+7,8

19 09 01

Latin America

352,6

364,3

+11,7

19 10 01 01

Asia

506,4

520,9

+14,5

22 02 07 03

Turkish Cypriot Community

25,0

28,0

+3,0

Sub-total

Reinforcements

 

 

39,9 + AB6

01 03 02

Macro financial assistance (already closed)

105,0

95,6

–9,45

04 06 01

IPA – Human Resources

114,2

112,2

–2,0

05 05 02

IPA – Rural Development

237,5

234,5

–3,0

05 06 01

International agricultural agreements (already closed)

6,5

6,4

–0,1

07 02 01

Multilateral environmental activities (already closed)

2,3

2,2

–0,1

19 05 01

Industrialised third countries (already closed)

25,0

24,0

–1,0

19 10 01 02

Afghanistan

199,9

198,9

–1,0

19 11 01

Evaluation of results, follow-up and audit (already closed)

15,6

14,0

–1,6

19 11 02

Information programmes for third countries

12,5

11,5

–1,0

19 11 03

EU in the world

5,0

2,5

–2,5

20 02 01

External trade relations (already closed)

9,8

7,3

–2,5

20 02 03

Aid for trade – multilateral (already closed)

4,5

3,8

–0,7

21 06 03

Adjustment support for sugar protocol countries

186,4

174,8

–11,6

21 07 04

Commodities agreements (already closed)

5,9

3,4

–2,5

21 08 01

Evaluation of results, follow-up and audit (already closed)

11,7

9,6

–2,2

21 08 02

Awareness on development issues (already closed)

10,8

9,9

–0,9

22 02 10 02

Information and communication for third countries

11,0

10,0

–1,0

23 02 03

Disaster preparedness (already closed)

35,2

34,8

–0,4

19 01 04 04

CFSP – support expenditure (already closed)

0,75

0,5

–0,25

 

EP reductions support expenditure (various lines)

177,3

168,0

–9,25

Sub-total

Reductions

 

 

–53,0

Total

Net impact

 

 

–13,1

 

Margin heading 4

 

– 150,0

 

The impact on payment appropriations of the agreed reinforcements and reductions in commitment appropriations, as set out in the table above, is explained in section 1.4 below.

The Flexibility Instrument will be mobilised for an amount of EUR 150.0 million for the European Neighbourhood Policy. Furthermore, the frontloading of 2011 commitment appropriations for Palestine is agreed, as set out in section 2 below.

Heading 5

As far as the appropriations and establishment plan posts of all Institutions are concerned, the position of the European Parliament is approved. Furthermore, the reinforcements proposed in Amending Letter 2/2012 are approved. Finally, an amount of EUR 10.4 million is added for pensions. As a consequence, the margin under the expenditure ceiling of heading 5 amounts to EUR 474,4 million.

1.4.   Payment appropriations

The overall level of payment appropriations in the 2012 budget is set at EUR 129 088,043 million. As part of the overall compromise, the Conciliation Committee agrees on the joint statement on payments as set out in section 3.1 below.

The following methodology is applied to share the agreed reduction in the overall level of payments as compared to the Draft Budget (as amended by Amending Letters) across the headings and budget lines, so as to translate the overall compromise on commitments into corresponding payments, and to balance the overall payments level across the headings.

1.

The starting point for the calculation is the overall level of payments as agreed above, amounting to EUR 129 088,043 million in 2012.

2.

As a second step, the method takes into account the agreed level of commitments for non-differentiated appropriations.

By definition, the level of commitment appropriations for this type of expenditure is equal to the level of payment appropriations, which is not affected in the following steps.

By analogy, the same applies to decentralised agencies, for which the EU contribution in payment appropriations is set at the level proposed in section 1.2 above.

3.

Thirdly, payment appropriations for pilot projects and preparatory actions are set as follows:

Section III (Commission): the payment appropriations for all new pilot projects and preparatory actions are set at 50 % of the corresponding commitments or to the proposed level if lower; in the case of extension of existing pilot projects and preparatory actions the level of payments is the one defined in the Draft Budget plus 50 % of the corresponding new commitments, or to the proposed level if lower;

Section X (EEAS): the payment appropriations for pilot projects and preparatory actions are set at the level proposed by the European Parliament.

4.

Fourthly, in addition to the agreed reinforcements and reductions in commitment appropriations for differentiated expenditure, as set out in the draft compromise proposal by financial framework headings above, the following specific amounts in payment appropriations are agreed:

a.

Heading 1a: the level of payment appropriations for the ‧European Globalisation Adjustment Fund‧ is set at EUR 50 million; the level of payment appropriations for the ‧European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations‧ is set at the level agreed between Council and Parliament (‧closed‧ line);

b.

Heading 2: the level of payment appropriations for ‧International Fisheries Agreements‧ is set at the level proposed in Amending Letter 3/2012;

c.

Heading 3b: the level of payment appropriations for the ‧Special Annual Events‧ is set at the level proposed in the Parliament position;

d.

Heading 4: the level of payment appropriations for the ‧Emergency Aid Reserve‧ is set at EUR 90 million; the level of payment appropriations for ‧Palestine‧ is set at the level proposed in the Draft Budget; the level of payment appropriations for ‧Macro Financial Assistance‧ is set at the level agreed between Council and Parliament (‧closed‧ line); the level of payment appropriations for ‧Sugar Protocol Countries‧ is set at the level agreed between Council and Parliament (‧closed‧ line, in payment appropriations).

5.

The overall reduction of payments to be shared across headings and budget lines equals:

a.

the overall level of payments agreed under point 1 above, minus:

b.

the Draft Budget as amended by Amending Letters 1/2012, 2/2012 and 3/2012 combined with the impact on payments of the steps taken in points 2 to 4 above.

This overall reduction in the level of payments (5a - 5b) is then distributed across budget lines for differentiated expenditure under the expenditure headings, according to the following distribution key, which takes into account a limited rebalancing of payment cuts in favour of heading 1a, stemming from headings 2 and 4:

a.

:

Heading 1a

:

31.00 %;

b.

:

Heading 1b

:

38.45 %;

c.

:

Heading 2

:

21.25 %;

d.

:

Heading 3a

:

1.00 %;

e.

:

Heading 3b

:

zero %;

f.

:

Heading 4

:

8.30 %.

6.

Without prejudice to the amounts defined in points 2 to 4 above, the cuts by heading as defined in point 5 above are then spread across budget lines, including ‧closed‧ lines, on the basis of the weight of payments for individual budget lines concerned in the Draft Budget as amended by Amending Letters 1/2012, 2/2012 and 3/2012.

As an exception to this rule, however, it is proposed to distribute the overall cut for heading 1b proportionally to the Council position, i.e. preserving the Draft Budget for the Convergence objective.

1.5.   Budgetary remarks

All textual amendments introduced by the European Parliament or the Council are agreed under the understanding that they cannot modify or extend the scope of an existing legal base.

1.6.   New budget lines

Unless mentioned otherwise in the joint conclusions agreed by the Conciliation Committee or agreed jointly by both arms of the budgetary authority in their respective reading (new budget article 04 03 15 ‧European Year for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations‧), the budget nomenclature as proposed by the Commission in its Draft Budget and its amending letters will remain unchanged, with the exception of pilot projects and preparatory actions.

The split of budget article 16 03 02 between budget item 16 03 02 01 (heading 3b) ‧Communication of the Commission Representations‧ and budget item 16 03 02 02 (heading 5) ‧European Public Space‧ proposed by the European Parliament is agreed.

1.7.   Reserves

All reserves voted by the European Parliament are maintained. The amount of the reserve on line 26 01 20 (EPSO) is decreased by 50 %, as are the reserves on lines A4 01 01 and A4 02 01 01.

2.   Budget 2011

Draft Amending Budget 6/2011 is approved with the following modifications:

in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of commitment appropriations

DAB 6/2011

Difference

AB 6/2011

04 02 20

ESF – Operational technical assistance

+3,25

+3,25

19 08 01 02

ENPI – Palestine, MEPP, UNRWA

+60,4

+39,6

+ 100,0

21 06 07

Banana Accompanying Measures

+13,4

+13,4

Sub-total

Reinforcements

+63,7

+53,0

+ 116,7

01 03 02

Macro financial assistance

–51,4

–53,0

– 104,4

05 06 01

International agricultural agreements

–0,1

–0,1

07 11 01

Multilateral and international climate agreements

–0,2

–0,2

14 03 03

International organisations customs and tax

–0,1

–0,1

15 02 03

Third countries education and vocational training

–6,3

–6,3

21 07 03

FAO contribution

–0,3

–0,3

21 07 04

Commodities agreements

–2,0

–2,0

Sub-total

Reductions

–60,4

–53,0

– 113,4

Total

Net impact

+3,25

+3,25


in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of payment appropriations

DAB 6/2011

AB 6/2011

04 02 17

ESF – Convergence

+ 204,0

+ 226,35

04 02 19

ESF – Regional Competitiveness

+ 204,0

+ 226,35

04 02 20

ESF – Operational technical assistance

+0,3

+0,3

08 04 01

Cooperation – Nanosciences, nanotechnologies

+82,0

+82,0

09 04 01

Cooperation – ICTs

+60,0

+60,0

Sub-total

Reinforcements

+ 550,3

+ 595,0

05 04 05 01

Rural Development

p.m.

– 395,0

Sub-total

Reductions

p.m.

– 395,0

Total

Net impact

+ 550,3

+ 200,0

As proposed by the Commission, the reduction in payment appropriations for ‧Rural development programmes‧ is used to meet the outstanding payment needs for the European Social Fund (ESF).

In accordance with the joint statement on Draft Amending Budget 7/2011 (European Solidarity Fund) agreed as set out in section 3.2 below, an amount of EUR 38 million in payment appropriations is to be redeployed from ‧Rural development programmes‧ to finance the payment appropriations for the mobilisation of the European Solidarity Fund, as shown in the table below:

in EUR million

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements / reductions of payment appropriations

DAB 7/2011

13 06 01

Solidarity Fund – Member States

+38,0

Sub-total

Reinforcements

+38,0

05 04 05 01

Rural Development

–38,0

Sub-total

Reductions

–38,0

Total

Net impact

0

3.   Joint statements

As part of the agreement on the 2012 Budget and DAB 6/2011 as set out above, the following joint statements have been agreed.

3.1.   Joint statement on payment appropriations

Taking into account the ongoing fiscal consolidation efforts in Member States, the Council and the European Parliament agree on a reduction of the level of payment appropriations for 2012 as compared to the Commission's Draft Budget. They ask the Commission to request additional payment appropriations in an amending budget if the appropriations entered in the 2012 budget are insufficient to cover expenditure under sub-heading 1a (Competitiveness for growth and employment), sub-heading 1b (Cohesion for growth and employment), heading 2 (Preservation and management of natural resources), heading 3 (Citizenship, freedom, security and justice) and heading 4 (EU as a global player).

In particular, the Council and the European Parliament urge the Commission to present by the end of September 2012 at the latest updated figures concerning the state of play and estimates regarding payment appropriations under sub-heading 1b (Cohesion for growth and employment) and rural development under heading 2 Preservation and Management of Natural Resources, and, if necessary, to present a draft amending budget.

The Council and the European Parliament will take position on any draft amending budget as quickly as possible in order to avoid any shortfall in payment appropriations. In addition, the Council and the European Parliament undertake to process swiftly any possible transfer of payment appropriations, including across financial framework headings, in order to make the best possible use of payment appropriations entered in the budget and align them to actual execution and needs.

3.2.   Joint statement on Draft Amending Budget 7/2011

The Council and the European Parliament take note of the Commission's intention to present on 21 November 2011 a Draft Amending Budget (DAB 7/2011) for the mobilisation of the European Solidarity Fund, which is expected to amount to EUR 38 million, both in commitment and payment appropriations. The payment appropriations will be redeployed from ‧Rural development programmes‧ (budget item 05 04 05 01).

The Council and the European Parliament will endeavour to take position on Draft Amending Budget 7/2011 before the end of 2011, in accordance with their respective internal procedures.

3.3.   Joint statement on preventing measures for future crisis in the fruit and vegetable sector

The E-coli crisis has highlighted the need for an appropriate response mechanism to market crisis within the EU. In this light, the Council and the Parliament undertake to act swiftly on related transfer requests from the Commission or, after examination of the scope for reallocating authorised appropriations, on an amending budget to be proposed by the Commission in case of an exceptional market crisis in the fruit and vegetable sector requiring the definition of specific emergency measures as foreseen in article 191 of Regulation (EC) No 1234/2007 (‧Single CMO‧ Regulation), in the spirit of the Commission's proposal to dispose of mechanisms to prevent future crisis through producers organisations.

3.4.   Joint statement on the financing of the ITER project

The European Parliament and the Council agree to meet in a Trilogue with the participation of the Commission on Wednesday 23 November 2011 afternoon to address the issue of the additional cost of the ITER project in 2012-2013, in order to arrive at an agreement before the end of the year.

The European Parliament and the Council invite the Commission to facilitate reaching an agreement on the additional financing needs of the ITER project, taking into account the concerns of both arms of the budgetary authority.


(1)  The summary tables by financial framework headings in this section do not include the reduction of appropriations for decentralised agencies and the agreed package on pilot projects and preparatory actions (see section 1.2 above).


Thursday 1 December 2011
ANNEX II

modification of budget remarks:

Pilot project Section X (EEAS)

Voted text, with changes proposed in BOLD ITALICS

Pilot project — European Institute of Peace

Building on the 2009 Concept on Strengthening EU Mediation and Dialogue Capacities, t he pilot project aims, at analysing and examining options, and related costs and benefits, to efficiently serve the needs of EU in peace mediation.

Building on previous and ongoing efforts on the EIP, taking into account existing studies, including from the European Parliament, as well as existing business plans developed for this purpose, this cost-benefit analysis would consider questions such as possible institutional set up, including costs structures, management systems and funding requirements.

The pilot project should, in particular, explore the possibilities of optimizing the potential of, and ensuring synergies with, existing capacities within the EEAS, other EU institutions, the European Union Institute for Security Studies, the European Security and Defence College, the Member States and their national entities engaged in peace mediation, as well as other stakeholders.

The EIP's objectives should be based on the EU's fundamental values and objectives as defined by the treaties.

Without prejudice to the results of the pilot project , the EIP's tasks could include advice, research, training, mediation and informal diplomacy aiming at conflict prevention and the peaceful resolution of conflicts; lessons learned and best practices from the implementation and management of relevant EU missions, outreach to the wider academic, research and NGO community and public advocacy in these areas. The pilot project should in particular focus on how a possible independent Institute could both enhance EEAS and wider EU capacities in these fields and optimise existing resources in co-ordination with the relevant EU Institutions.

Preparatory action Section III (Commission)

Cross-border journalism (Budget line 16 02 06)

A paragraph is addedat the end of the remarks, as follows:

This preparatory action for European research grants for journalists is intended to facilitate and develop serious cross-border journalistic research at Union level. Calls for tenders will be organised with a view to selecting common investigation projects involving journalists from at least two Member States, with a cross-border or European dimension resulting from a national, regional or local perspective. The results of the journalistic investigation selected will be published in at least all the Member States involved.

For this purpose, a feasibility study will be set-up in order to find new ways to launch this project. The study must look at ways in which independent, critical journalism can be funded by the EU, while ensuring the independence of information.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/98


Thursday 1 December 2011
Draft amending budget No 6/2011: Own resources, Integrated Maritime Policy, Greece, ESF, Palestine

P7_TA(2011)0522

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 6/2011 of the European Union for the financial year 2011, Section III – Commission (17631/2011 – C7-0440/2011 – 2011/2267(BUD))

2013/C 165 E/15

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and in particular Article 314 thereof and to the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community, and in particular Article 106a thereof,

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 (1), and in particular Articles 37 and 38 thereof,

having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2011, as definitively adopted on 15 December 2010 (2),

having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (3),

having regard to Draft amending budget No 6/2011 of the European Union for the financial year 2011, which the Commission presented on 18 October 2011 (COM(2011)0674),

having regard to the Council position on Draft amending budget No 6/2011, which the Council established on 30 November 2011 (17631/2011 – C7-0440/2011),

having regard to Rules 75b and 75e of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0407/2011),

A.

whereas Draft amending budget No 6/2011 to the general budget 2011 covers, inter alia, reinforcements in commitment appropriations in headings 1 and 4 for a respective amount of EUR 3,25 million and EUR 113,4 million, an increase of payment appropriations to cover needs in heading 1 for an amount of EUR 550,3 million, and an update in the forecast of the revenue;

B.

whereas the Council has modified Draft amending budget No 6/2011 by decreasing to EUR 200 million the total net reinforcement in payment appropriations;

C.

whereas Parliament has persistently stressed, throughout the entire 2011 budgetary procedure, that the overall level of payments advocated by the Council and adopted for the financial year 2011 was insufficient and would not enable all clearly agreed needs to be met;

D.

whereas both branches of the budgetary authority had agreed, during conciliation on the budget for the financial year 2011, on a Joint Statement on payment appropriations committing Parliament and the Council to "avoid any shortfall in payment appropriations";

E.

whereas some payment needs have already been addressed in part through the global transfer in payment appropriations (DEC 34/2011) for a total amount of EUR 719,2 million, and whereas the Commission will soon have to present a new global transfer to address, as much as possible, needs not covered by the agreement on Draft amending budget No 6/2011, i.e. EUR 1 047 million as of 18 November 2011, in order to fulfil the legal obligations of the Union with regard to payment appropriations;

F.

whereas the proposed increase in payment appropriations by EUR 200 million represents only a limited part of the identified supplementary needs until the end of 2011, amounting to EUR 1 642 million as of 18 November 2011;

G.

whereas reinforcements under heading 4 for financial assistance to Palestine, the peace process and UNRWA, and for Banana Accompanying Measures are redeployed from unused appropriations under the Macro-Financial Assistance, and are part of the agreement reached by the conciliation committee on the budget for the financial year 2012;

H.

whereas part of the revenue increase stems from fines and interest on late payments totalling EUR 435 million, i.e. from the enforcement of competition policy;

1.

Takes note of Draft amending budget No 6/2011 and of subsequent reassessments leading to the updating of needs in payment appropriations and possible redeployments in commitment appropriations;

2.

Notes that Draft amending budget No 6/2011, as amended by the Council, reflects the agreement reached by the conciliation committee, which covers both the budget for the financial year 2012 and Draft amending budget No 6/2011;

3.

Deeply regrets the climate of mistrust prevailing during the negotiations between the Commission and the Member States as to the level of extra payment appropriations needed in 2011 for the Commission to be able to fulfil the legal obligations of the Union; requests the Commission to communicate to the two arms of the budgetary authority and to the public in general, what are the consequences of this agreement on the implementation of ongoing programmes; is particularly concerned about the effects of this decision on the running of structural and cohesion funds in the Member States, along with key programmes under the heading "Sustainable growth";

4.

Underlines that the Council's approach is at odds with the processes of the European Semester and a strengthened European economic governance whereby synergies and complementarities between the Union and the national budgets should be sought; is all the more concerned by the stance of the Council since, if the Union is to recover from the current economic and social crisis, forward-looking investments need to be supported;

5.

Expresses its willingness to take part, together with the Council and the Commission, in a stocktaking exercise in order to address potential shortcomings and shortfalls in the implementation of the current multiannual programmes, particularly those under subheadings 1a and 1b.

6.

Reiterates its firm conviction that part of the revenue stemming from fines and interest on late payments, i.e. from the enforcement of competition policy, which is an exclusive Union competence, should be directly put back and reinvested in the Union budget and not returned to the Member States in the context of the balance;

7.

Approves, without amendment, the Council position on Draft amending budget No 6/2011 and instructs its President to declare that Amending budget No 6/2011 has been definitively adopted and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

8.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


(1)  OJ L 248, 16.9.2002, p. 1.

(2)  OJ L 68, 15.3.2011.

(3)  OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/100


Thursday 1 December 2011
Mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund: application EGF/2011/005 PT/Norte-Centro Automotive/Portugal

P7_TA(2011)0523

European Parliament resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund, in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2011/005 PT/Norte-Centro Automotive from Portugal) (COM(2011)0664 – C7-0334/2011 – 2011/2262(BUD))

2013/C 165 E/16

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0664 – C7-0334/2011),

having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (1) (IIA of 17 May 2006), and in particular point 28 thereof,

having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1927/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 December 2006 on establishing the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (2) (EGF Regulation),

having regard to the trilogue procedure provided for in point 28 of the IIA of 17 May 2006,

having regard to the letter of the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A7-0395/2011),

A.

whereas the European Union has set up the appropriate legislative and budgetary instruments to provide additional support to workers who are suffering from the consequences of major structural changes in world trade patterns and to assist their reintegration into the labour market,

B.

whereas the scope of the EGF was broadened for applications submitted from 1 May 2009 to include support for workers made redundant as a direct result of the global financial and economic crisis,

C.

whereas the Union’s financial assistance to workers made redundant should be dynamic and made available as quickly and efficiently as possible, in accordance with the Joint Declaration of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission adopted during the conciliation meeting on 17 July 2008, and having due regard for the IIA of 17 May 2006 in respect of the adoption of decisions to mobilise the EGF,

D.

whereas Portugal has requested assistance in respect of a case concerning 726 redundancies, all targeted for assistance, in three enterprises operating in the NACE Revision 2 Division 29 (‧Manufacture of motor vehicles, trailers and semi-trailers‧) in the NUTS II regions of Norte (PT11) and Centro (PT16) in Portugal,

E.

whereas the application fulfils the eligibility criteria laid down by the EGF Regulation,

1.

Requests the institutions involved to make the necessary efforts to improve procedural and budgetary arrangements in order to accelerate the mobilisation of the EGF; appreciates in this sense the improved procedure put in place by the Commission, following Parliament's request for accelerating the release of grants, aimed at presenting to the budgetary authority the Commission's assessment on the eligibility of an EGF application together with the proposal to mobilise the EGF; hopes that further improvements in the procedure will be made within the framework of the upcoming review of the EGF and that greater efficiency and transparency of the EGF will be achieved;

2.

Recalls the institutions’ commitment to ensuring a smooth and rapid procedure for the adoption of the decisions on the mobilisation of the EGF, providing one-off, time-limited individual support geared to helping workers who have been made redundant as a result of globalisation and the financial and economic crisis; emphasises the role that the EGF can play in the reintegration of workers made redundant into the labour market, in particular the most vulnerable and least qualified workers;

3.

Stresses that, in accordance with Article 6 of the EGF Regulation, it should be ensured that the EGF supports the reintegration of individual redundant workers into employment; further stresses that the EGF assistance should co-finance only active labour market measures which lead to long-term employment; reiterates that assistance from the EGF must not replace actions which are the responsibility of companies by virtue of national law or collective agreements, nor measures restructuring companies or sectors;

4.

Notes that the information provided on the coordinated package of personalised services to be funded from the EGF includes information on the compatibility and complementarity with actions funded by the Structural Funds; reiterates its call to the Commission to present a comparative evaluation of those data in its annual reports as well;

5.

Notes the fact that following repeated requests from Parliament, for the first time the 2011 budget shows payment appropriations of EUR 47 608 950 on the EGF budget line 04 05 01; recalls that the EGF was created as a separate specific instrument with its own objectives and deadlines and that it therefore deserves a dedicated allocation, which will avoid there being transfers from other budget lines, as happened in the past, which could be detrimental to the achievement of the various policies objectives;

6.

Welcomes the foreseen reinforcement of the payment appropriations on the EGF budget line that will be requested through the Global Transfer and that will be used to cover the amount of EUR 1 518 465 needed for this application;

7.

Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

8.

Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

9.

Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.


(1)  OJ C 139, 14.6.2006, p. 1.

(2)  OJ L 406, 30.12.2006, p. 1.


Thursday 1 December 2011
ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund in accordance with point 28 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 17 May 2006 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline and sound financial management (application EGF/2011/005 PT/Norte-Centro Automotive from Portugal)

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision 2012/4/EU.)


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/102


Thursday 1 December 2011
Repayable assistance and financial engineering ***I

P7_TA(2011)0526

European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards repayable assistance and financial engineering (COM(2011)0483 – C7-0215/2011 – 2011/0210(COD))

2013/C 165 E/17

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0483),

having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 177 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0215/2011),

having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 16 November 2011 to approve Parliament's position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Development and the opinion of the Committee on Budgetary Control (A7-0380/2011),

1.

Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.

Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.

Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


(1)  Opinion of 27 October 2011 (not yet published in the Official Journal).


Thursday 1 December 2011
P7_TC1-COD(2011)0210

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 1 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards repayable assistance, financial engineering and certain provisions related to the statement of expenditure

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 1310/2011.)


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/103


Thursday 1 December 2011
Financial management for certain Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability (ERDF and ESF) ***I

P7_TA(2011)0527

European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards certain provisions relating to financial management for certain Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability (COM(2011)0482 – C7-0221/2011 – 2011/0211(COD))

2013/C 165 E/18

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2011)0482),

having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 177 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7-0221/2011),

having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (1),

after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 16 November 2011 to approve Parliament's position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

having regard to Rule 55 of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Development (A7-0383/2011),

1.

Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.

Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.

Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


(1)  Opinion of 27 October 2011 (not yet published in the Official Journal).


Thursday 1 December 2011
P7_TC1-COD(2011)0211

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 1 December 2011 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1083/2006 as regards certain provisions relating to financial management for certain Member States experiencing or threatened with serious difficulties with respect to their financial stability

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 1311/2011.)


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/104


Thursday 1 December 2011
Amendment of Decision 2002/546/EC as regards its period of application *

P7_TA(2011)0528

European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2002/546/EC as regards its period of application (COM(2011)0443 – C7-0233/2011 – 2011/0192(CNS))

2013/C 165 E/19

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2011)0443),

having regard to Article 349 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C7-0233/2011),

having regard to Rules 55 and 46(1) of its Rules of Procedure,

having regard to the report of the Committee on Regional Development (A7-0381/2011),

1.

Approves the Commission proposal;

2.

Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

3.

Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

4.

Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.


11.6.2013   

EN

Official Journal of the European Union

CE 165/105


Thursday 1 December 2011
Amendment of Decision 2007/659/EC as regards its period of application and the annual quota benefiting from a reduced rate of excise duty *

P7_TA(2011)0529

European Parliament legislative resolution of 1 December 2011 on the proposal for a Council decision amending Decision 2007/659/EC as regards its period of application and the annual