General Market

Video of a committee meeting – Monday, 22 January 2018 – 15:06 – Committee on Budgetary Control

Disclaimer: The interpretation does not constitute an authentic record of proceedings.The simultaneous interpretation of debates provided by the European Parliament serves only to facilitate communication amongst the participants in the meeting. It doe…

General Market

Motion for a resolution on the European Parliament’s priorities for the Commission Work Programme 2018 – B8-2017-0435

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Framework Agreement on relations between the European Parliament and the European Commission, in particular Annex IV thereto,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement on Better Law-Making of 13 April 2016,

–  having regard to the Joint Declaration on the EU’s legislative priorities for 2017 of 13 December 2016,

–  having regard to the Conference of Committee Chairs’ Summary Report, which provides complementary input to this resolution from the point of view of parliamentary committees and which the Commission should take duly into account when drafting and adopting its Work Programme for 2018,

–  having regard to Rule 37(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the role of the Commission is to promote the general interest of the Union, to take appropriate initiatives to that end, to be committed to applying the rule of law, which is based on the core European values and is fundamental to Europeans living together in peace, to exercise coordinating, executive and management functions, and to initiate legislation;

B.  whereas the Commission has a duty to uphold the Treaties and enforce EU laws; noting with strong regret that both the implementation of EU policies and the enforcement of EU laws and rules are weak, as has become visible in areas such as environmental standards, fundamental rights and the rule of law, free movement of persons, and the Schengen area; whereas the Commission should make implementation and enforcement a top priority in 2017-2018;

AN AREA OF JUSTICE AND FUNDAMENTAL RIGHTS BASED ON MUTUAL TRUST

Justice

1.  Calls once again on the Commission to put forward a legislative proposal on EU administrative law which will guarantee an open, efficient and independent European administration, and to take due account of Parliament’s proposal for an EU regulation in this regard;

2.  Calls on the Commission to take into account concerns over access to and ownership of data in its work on Building the European Data Economy and related liability issues for intermediary service providers and other online platforms in order to ensure legal certainty, increase consumer trust and ensure full compliance with citizens’ rights to privacy and full protection of personal data in the digital environment;

Security

3.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the efficient and coordinated implementation of the European Agenda on Security for the 2015-2020 period and its priorities in the fields of counter-terrorism and cross-border organised crime and cybercrime, focusing on effective security outcomes; reiterates its call for an in-depth evaluation focused on the operational effectiveness of relevant existing EU instruments and on the remaining gaps in this field, prior to the presentation of new legislative proposals as part of the European Agenda on Security; deplores, in this regard, the continued and systematic absence of impact assessments on several proposals presented as part of that agenda;

4.  Calls on the Commission to seek to adopt legal acts amending or replacing the Union acts in the field of police cooperation and judicial cooperation in criminal matters that were adopted before the entry into force of the Treaty of Lisbon, in particular Council Decision 2005/671/JHA and Council Framework Decision 2006/960/JHA on the exchange of information and intelligence between law enforcement authorities, including the exchange of information on terrorist offences, by proposing a horizontal legislative instrument to improve the exchange of law enforcement information and increase operational cooperation between Member States and with EU agencies, with a view to ensuring mandatory exchanges of information for the purpose of combating serious transnational crime;

5.  Calls on the Commission to submit without undue delay an amendment to the new Europol founding regulation, in order to develop a genuine European investigation capacity, equip the agency with a legal capacity to request the initiation of a criminal investigation, and foster the sharing and pooling of information at EU level;

6.  Calls on the Commission to mobilise expertise and technical and financial resources in order to ensure EU-level coordination and exchanges of best practices in the fight against violent extremism and terrorist propaganda, radical networks and recruitment by terrorist organisations through offline and online means, with a particular focus on prevention, integration and reintegration strategies with a clear gender perspective;

7.  Calls on the Commission to fulfil its duty as guardian of the Treaties and assess the compliance with EU primary and secondary law of measures recently adopted by Member States in the field of counter-terrorism and surveillance, bearing in mind that any limitations to fundamental rights should be duly reasoned, provided for by law, respect the essence of the rights and freedoms recognised by the Charter of Fundamental Rights and be subject to the principle of proportionality, in accordance with Article 52(1) of the Charter;

Fundamental rights

8.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to make every effort to unblock the proposal for a horizontal anti-discrimination directive; invites it to upgrade its List of Actions to advance LGBTI Equality to a full European response to the fundamental rights problems faced by LGBTI people, in the shape of an EU roadmap against homophobia and discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation or gender identity;

9.  Calls on the Commission to speed up negotiations on the EU’s ratification of the Istanbul Convention, the first legally binding instrument on preventing and combating violence against women at international level; reiterates it call on the Commission to include a definition of gender-based violence in line with the provisions of the Victims’ Rights Directive and to present as soon as possible a legislative act for the prevention and combating of gender-based violence;

10.  Calls on the Commission to implement the actions outlined in its strategic engagement without delay and incorporate a systematic and visible gender equality perspective into all EU activities and policies;

11.  Encourages the Commission to continue to progress towards EU accession to the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR), taking into account the Court of Justice opinion on the matter and addressing the remaining legal challenges; urges the Commission to urgently seek solutions to the two most problematic issues relating to the Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP), namely mutual trust and judicial review;

12.  Calls on the Commission to ensure a timely and compliant entry into force of the data protection package, and to support a successful completion of the legislative process for the adoption of the ePrivacy Regulation; urges furthermore that the confidentiality of electronic communication be protected by promoting the use of end-to-end encryption and prohibiting by EU law any obligation imposed by Member States on undertakings providing public communications networks or publicly available electronic communications services that would result in the weakening of the security of their networks and services;

TOWARDS A NEW POLICY ON MIGRATION

13.  Calls for EU legal migration instruments to be replaced by a single horizontal regulation to create a true EU legal migration policy;

14.  Calls for a standalone European humanitarian visa regulation;

15.  Calls for a revision of the Facilitation Directive to clarify the distinction between illegal smuggling activities and the actions of ordinary citizens helping people in need;

16.  Calls for implementation and monitoring reports on the functioning of the European Border and Coast Guard;

A UNION OF DEMOCRATIC CHANGE

17.  Invites the Commission to put forward a proposal for a democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights pact in the form of an interinstitutional agreement, along the lines of the recommendation made by Parliament in its legislative own-initiative report;

18.  Reiterates its call for the setting-up of an endowment for democracy grant-giving organisations that would support local actors promoting democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights within the Union;

19.  Points to growing efforts by third states and non-state actors to undermine through hybrid means, including disinformation, the legitimacy of democratic institutions inside the EU, and urges the Commission to strengthen its resilience against hybrid threats and its capacity to advance strategic communication inside and outside the EU, and to improve its ability to adequately counter false news and disinformation in a systematic manner;

A NEW BOOST FOR JOBS, GROWTH AND INVESTMENT

MFF revision, budget and employment

20.  Recalls that, under Article 25 of the MFF Regulation, the Commission must normally present a proposal for a new multiannual financial framework before 1 January 2018; expects that this proposal will address such priorities as a comprehensive reform of the own resources system on both the revenue and the expenditure side, a greater emphasis on the unity of the budget to ensure full parliamentary control over all expenditure, more budgetary flexibility, including a new special instrument to be counted over and above the MFF ceilings, adjustments to the duration of the MFF to align it with the political cycles of both Parliament and the Commission and the modalities of the decision-making process that would ensure the availability of the necessary financial resources;

21.  Underlines the need for an in-depth reform of the own resources system, based on principles of simplicity, fairness, transparency and accountability; strongly welcomes in this regard the final report of the High Level Group on Own Resources; calls on the Commission to present, by the end of 2017, an ambitious legislative package on own resources post-2020, which would aim at ensuring that the EU budget focuses on areas bringing the highest European added value, phasing out all forms of rebates and ending the ‘juste retour’ approach; expects that any new own resources should lead to a reduction in Member States’ GNI contributions;

22.  Calls on the Commission to maintain the allocation of cohesion policy funds and European Structural and Investment Funds at the level decided in the MFF in 2013; considers, on this basis, that technical adjustment should avoid any decrease in the budget for cohesion policy, given its importance in creating growth and jobs, ensuring cohesion within the EU, and, in particular, supporting SMEs and innovation and research, as well as a low-carbon economy and urban policies;

23.  Calls on the Commission to coordinate the EU Urban Agenda and thus ensure the coherent and integrated policy solutions that cities need at European level, and to guarantee the link with the Better Regulation agenda; calls on the Commission to strengthen its internal coordination of issues relevant to urban areas and, for example, expand the instrument of impact assessments so as to include the urban dimension more systematically;

24.  Considers that the Youth Employment Initiative (YEI) is essential in tackling youth unemployment, which remains unacceptably high in the EU; calls on the Commission to secure adequate funding to fight youth unemployment and continuing the YEI up to the end of the current MFF, while at the same time improving its functioning and implementation and taking into account the latest findings of the European Court of Auditors special report on youth employment and the use of the YEI (No 5/2017); calls, furthermore, on the Commission to come forward with proposals to facilitate the employment of people aged over 50;

25.  Urges the Commission to put in place all suitable mechanisms for greater mobility among young people, apprenticeships included, as a way to address skills mismatches in the labour market and improve access to employment opportunities;

26.  Calls on the Commission to take further steps in the framework of the New Skills Agenda, such as developing a pan-European skills needs forecasting tool which would make it possible to estimate future skills needs and adapt them better to the jobs available on the labour market, including the blue growth agenda; recalls that, as part of the national strategies for digital skills, developed by Member States in the framework of the New Skills Agenda, it is important to provide adequate funding for educational institutions to ensure the development of the full range of digital skills that individual and companies need in an increasingly digital economy; calls on the Commission to assess and evaluate the financing and investment needs as regards overcoming the digital skills gap;

27.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a Green Paper on inequality and how it is hampering economic recovery; encourages it to analyse and assess this issue as a first step towards proposing political solutions, and to take immediate action to reverse this trend so as to reduce inequalities and poverty, and increase social cohesion;

28.  Calls on the Commission to revise the Equal Treatment Directive and launch the legislative procedure for a directive following the 2014 Commission Recommendation on pay transparency with a view to eliminating the persistent gender pay gap;

Horizon 2020

29.  Recognises the enormous added value of the Horizon 2020 research and innovation framework programme for Europe; calls on the Commission to act upon its mid-term evaluation and take Parliament’s resolution into consideration; urges the Commission to continue working towards simplification while minimising barriers to participation and ensuring the highest socio-economic returns – both short-term and long-term – for all parts of the programme, and to work towards an ambitious proposal for the next framework programme; stresses that building synergies with the ESI Funds is needed to bridge the innovation gap within the EU;

A more efficient and multimodal transport policy

30.  Calls on the Commission to implement Article 3 of Regulation 551/2004 establishing a single European upper flight information region (EUIR) and to develop a connectivity index on the basis of other existing indices and the exploratory work already carried out by Eurocontrol and the Airport Observatory;

31.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with guidelines on the timing and instruments to ensure the development of a European approach to rail freight noise; urges the Commission to continue supporting the development of innovative technologies focused on moving more freight from road to rail (Shift2Rail);

32.  Urges the Commission to come forward with a proposal aimed at harmonising the different national legislations in order to enhance the establishment of the European internal market for road transport; calls on the Commission, wherever legitimate, to take the necessary measures against national laws distorting the European single market;

33.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with an integrated and harmonised legislative proposal for the roll-out of connected and automated driving, by enabling cross-border test facilities, drafting proportionate European legislation regarding liability, privacy and data protection and supporting public-private initiatives;

34.  Calls for concrete maritime measures to reduce discharges of ship-generated waste and cargo residues into the sea and to improve the availability and use of facilities in ports to receive ship waste; urges the Commission to support the development of innovative technologies with a special focus on autonomous shipping;

35.  Calls on the Commission to swiftly deliver a multimodal package to ensure an integrated approach to transport policies, which should also include provisions for passenger rights and integrated door-to-door mobility for passengers and freight; asks the Commission to step up its attention to and support for the digital transformation of the multimodal transport sector (e-Documents) and to initiate the deployment of multimodal infrastructure and services along the TEN-T networks;

A DEEPER AND FAIRER ECONOMIC AND MONETARY UNION

36.  Welcomes the Commission’s initiative to enhance cooperation with Parliament in the field of competition; calls on the Commission to continue and strengthen that practice and to consider the application of the ordinary legislative procedure in competition policy, in particular where fundamental principles and binding guidelines are concerned;

37.  Calls on the Commission to come up very rapidly with concrete proposals in the field of retail financial services, noting that retail finance in the EU should work in the interests of citizens and provide better products and more choice on the market;

38.  Calls on the Commission to take effective measures within the framework of the European Semester to ensure that Member States implement the country-specific recommendations and structural reforms in order to modernise their economies, increase competitiveness and tackle inequalities and imbalances;

39.  Urges the Commission to speed up the work on the completion of a Capital Markets Union (CMU), in order to help unleash investment in the EU to create growth and jobs; calls on the Commission to come forward with proposals that improve the business environment in the EU in order to attract more foreign direct investment;

40.  Calls on the Commission, in accordance with Parliament’s resolution of 12 April 2016 on the EU role in the framework of international financial, monetary and regulatory institutions and bodies(1), to streamline and codify the EU’s representation in multilateral organisations and bodies with a view to increasing the transparency, integrity and accountability of the Union’s involvement in those bodies, its influence, and the promotion of the legislation it has adopted through a democratic process;

41.  Calls on the Commission to foster growth by building on a three-dimensional approach aimed at reinforcing investment and financing innovation, including through the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) and the CMU, conducting structural reforms to modernise economies and setting a common policy mix;

A CONNECTED DIGITAL SINGLE MARKET

42.  Is concerned by the delays taken by some of the legislative proposals contained in the Digital Single Market Strategy; considers that the EU institutions should not lose the momentum of the strategy and devote every possible effort to delivering and adopting the relevant proposals; asks the three institutions, at the time of its mid-term review, to commit at the highest level to giving them priority treatment in the legislative process so that citizens and businesses can benefit from their results;

43.  Welcomes efforts to develop and modernise the EU’s intellectual property laws, in particular in the area of copyright, in order to render them fit for the digital age and facilitate cross-border access to creative content, thereby creating legal certainty while protecting authors’ and performers’ rights; calls on the Commission to base any legislative initiative to modernise copyright on independent evidence as to the impact on growth and jobs, particularly as regards SMEs in this sector, access to knowledge and culture, intermediary liability, the open internet, fundamental rights and potential costs and benefits for the creative and cultural sectors; considers that copyright should maintain its primary function, which is to allow creators to gain rewards for their efforts through others making use of their work, while harmonising the exceptions and limitations in the field of research, education, preservation of cultural heritage and user generated content ; stresses that the important contribution of traditional methods of promoting regional and European culture should not be hampered by modernisation of reform proposals;

44.  Reiterates its calls for proposals to develop the potential of the cultural and creative sector as a source of jobs and growth; stresses, in this connection, the importance of enforcing as well as modernising intellectual property rights (IPR), and urges the Commission to follow up on its action plan to combat IPR infringements, including a review of the IPR Enforcement Directive, which is out of step with the digital age and inadequate to combat online infringements, and also to follow up on the Green Paper on chargeback and related schemes in the context of a potential EU-wide right to retrieve money unwittingly used to purchase counterfeit goods; calls on the Commission to further strengthen the remit of the EU Observatory on Infringements of Intellectual Property Rights, and welcomes its establishment of a group of experts on IPR enforcement;

45.  Calls on the Commission to ensure the preservation of the internet as an open, neutral, secured and inclusive platform for communication, production, participation and creation, and as a provider of cultural diversity and innovation; recalls that this is in the interests of all EU citizens and consumers and will contribute to the success of European companies globally; emphasises the need to ensure the rigorous application of the net neutrality principle as adopted in the ‘Connected Continent package’;

46.  Urges the Commission to come up with a notice and takedown directive in order to prevent the fragmentation of a digital single market, which would increase legal clarity by harmonising the procedures and safeguards for internet platforms and their users to take down content; stresses that the EU needs an effective due-process architecture to protect citizens from arbitrary content removals;

47.  Calls on the Commission to continue its efforts to secure the swift implementation of the EU e-Government Action plan and calls on the Commission to report back, after the launch in 2017 of the Once-Only Principle large-scale pilot project for businesses and citizens (TOOP);

A DEEPER AND FAIRER INTERNAL MARKET WITH A STRENGTHENED INDUSTRIAL BASE

The single market

48.  Regrets that the Commission has not listened so far to the repeated calls for the creation of a strong single market pillar within the European Semester, with a system of regular monitoring and identification of country-specific barriers to the single market, which have tended to be introduced lately with a greater impact, frequency and scope in Member States;

49.  Reiterates, therefore, its request to the Commission to issue recommendations focused on removing single market barriers in the country-specific recommendations; calls for an in-depth evaluation of single market integration and internal competitiveness; insists that the evaluation of the state of single market integration should become an integral part of the economic governance framework;

50.  Asks the Commission to focus its work on the implementation of the Single Market Strategy and in particular the legislative proposals for a Single Digital Gateway, which should be proposed without delay, and for a Single Market Information Tool; recalls in this context that, in its resolution on the Strategy, Parliament underlined that regulatory differences between Member States regarding differing labelling or quality requirements create unnecessary obstacles to the activities of suppliers of goods and to consumer protection, and to assessing which labels are essential and which are not essential for ensuring consumer information, and regrets that the Commission has not taken any steps in the matter;

51.  Calls on the Commission, with the support of the Body of European Regulators for Electronic Communications (BEREC) and the national regulatory authorities, to closely monitor the effects of the abolition of retail roaming surcharges from 15 June 2017, in particular the correct implementation and enforcement of the directive with regard to exception schemes, the evolution of data consumption patterns and the retail tariff plans available; urges that the impact of correct implementation of the voluntary fair use policies will have to be assessed;

52.  Urges the Commission to adopt as a matter of urgency the proposal for a revised Commission implementing regulation on deactivation standards and techniques for ensuring that deactivated firearms are rendered irreversibly inoperable; reminds the Commission that its adoption of this new proposal was one the conditions for Parliament adopting the Firearms Directive and asks the Commission, therefore, to deliver without delay in order to close security loopholes and strengthen deactivation regimes in the EU;

53.  Reminds the Commission that the adoption of the Directive on network and information security was a first step that was needed but that cannot be considered sufficient in the medium and long term; asks the Commission to make sure that Member States abide by its provisions and to prepare the ground for a revision of the directive as soon as possible in order to reach a higher level of operational and strategic cooperation between the Member States;

Consumer rights

54.  Considers that the ongoing evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive is an important step towards ensuring that the directive has achieved its objectives and that the anticipated impacts, as described in the original impact assessment accompanying the proposal for the directive, have materialised;

55.  Underlines the need to complete the REFIT Fitness check of consumer law in time so that its results can still be used within this legislative term and that it includes the results of the evaluation of the Consumer Rights Directive;

56.  Is concerned by allegations that qualitative characteristics of food as well as non-food products that are sold in the single market under the same brand and same packaging and with the use of other marketing texts could differ between Member States; asks the Commission to look into this question more closely;

A RESILIENT ENERGY UNION WITH A FORWARD-LOOKING CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY

57.  Calls on the Commission, following the adoption of various Energy Union, energy efficiency, market design, renewable energy and other energy-related legislative proposals and communications, to focus its attention on ensuring that Member States fully implement these; considers that, in cases where legal obligations are clearly not being met, the Commission should launch infringement procedures, the aim being to build a genuine Energy Union;

58.  Urges the Commission to complete as soon as possible its already delayed review of the legislation on CO2 emissions from cars and vans and from heavy duty vehicles, and to table legislative proposals for a fleet average emissions target for 2025 in line with the commitments made in the context of the agreement between the co-legislators in 2013;

59.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that the EU maintains its leadership role in the implementation and enforcement of the Paris Agreement; asks the Commission to propose Union-wide measures complementary to the EU’s commitment to a 40 % cut in domestic greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions with a view to the 2018 facilitative dialogue under the agreement; urges the Commission to prepare a mid-century decarbonisation strategy consistent with the goals set out in the Paris Agreement, including intermediate milestones to ensure cost-efficient delivery of the EU’s climate ambitions; calls on the Commission also to evaluate the consistency of current EU policies in relation to the objectives of the Paris Agreement, including with regard to the EU budget, the phasing-out of fossil fuel subsidies and ocean governance, especially with regard to the importance of the ocean for our climate; calls on the Commission to develop measures to support an orderly transition to a low-carbon economy in order to mitigate the systematic economic risks associated with high-carbon financial assets; expects the Commission to ensure that the work programme reflects the Sustainable Development Goals by putting sustainability at the core of economic policy and reiterates the importance of fully implementing the 7th Environmental Action Programme 2014-2020;

60.  Urges the Commission to bring forward without any delay the initiatives listed in the Circular Economy Action Plan, including in the areas of product policy and food waste, and to monitor the progress towards a circular economy in the framework of the EU semester;

61.  Calls on the Commission to come forward with a legislative proposal on environmental inspections – fully respecting the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality – in order to step up the implementation and enforcement of environmental laws and standards;

Agriculture and fisheries policies

62.  Stresses the important role that sustainable agriculture, fisheries and forestry sectors play in ensuring food security in the EU, providing jobs and improving environmental standards, and equally underlines the potential of European agriculture in contributing to climate change policies through innovation and adoption of policies which enhance the carbon sequestration potential of European agriculture;

63.  Calls on the Commission to simplify the implementation of the CAP and to cut red tape in order to increase its efficiency, alleviate the administrative burden on agricultural entrepreneurs, and make room for innovations that are indispensable for a forward-looking, competitive European agriculture sector; asks the Commission to ensure that the principle of better regulation is included in the upcoming CAP reform proposal which should provide more room and financial incentives for innovation in agriculture aimed at ensuring long-term food security in the EU, reducing agriculture’s impact on biodiversity and increasing its climate resilience;

64.  Calls on the Commission to make proposals to urgently address the continued loss of natural capital in Europe and to review existing policies, in particular the CAP, with a view to meeting the objectives of the EU’s Biodiversity Strategy;

65.  Stresses the urgency and importance of taking action against the persistently growing threat of increased antimicrobial resistance, since this can have an enormous impact on citizens’ health and productivity as well as on the Member States’ health budgets; calls on the Commission, therefore, to come forward with a proposal for an EU action plan on how to implement in the Union the World Health Organisation (WHO) Global Action Plan on Antimicrobial Resistance; calls on the Commission also to enhance measures already applied in the current Action Plan against antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and to ensure the consistent implementation thereof by all relevant parties;

66.  Reiterates that, in order to ensure the timely and proper implementation of the common fisheries policy adopted in 2013, the Commission must continue to come forward with legislative proposals for the adoption of renewed multiannual management plans for fish stocks;

67.  Highlights the importance of the strong control system laid down in the Control Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1224/2009 of 20 November 2009), which modernised the EU’s approach to fisheries control in line with the measures adopted to combat illegal fishing; calls on the Commission to undertake a comprehensive follow-up and to propose, if necessary, their revision with a view to addressing shortcomings and ensuring proper implementation and enforcement;

68.  Considers that illegal, unregulated and unreported (IUU) fishing is a form of organised crime on the seas, with disastrous worldwide environmental and socio-economic impacts and therefore calls on the Commission to take all necessary action against non-cooperating countries and all organisations contributing to IUU fishing;

TRADE

69.  Emphasises its support for an ambitious and values-based trade agenda which will strengthen the global rules-based system and contribute towards jobs and growth in Europe; welcomes, in this connection, the Commission’s efforts to conclude negotiations with Japan and to push ahead with other ongoing negotiations, such as with Mexico and Mercosur, as well as aiming to commence new ones with, for example, Australia and New Zealand and trying to unblock other negotiations, such as those with India;

70.  Calls on the Commission to reinvigorate the post-Nairobi WTO discussion, since multilateral trade negotiations must remain a priority matter for the EU even when they prove difficult; considers that it would also be worthwhile to look into new areas and issues within the WTO framework, such as digital trade, and welcomes the international initiatives taken by the Commission on investment protection;

71.  Stresses that the modernising and strengthening of the Union’s trade defence instruments is as a matter of urgency and of the utmost importance;

A STRONGER GLOBAL ACTOR

72.  Calls on the Commission to advance with setting up the European Defence Fund, which would encompass adequate funding for both collaborative research on defence technologies and the acquisition of joint assets by the Member States; encourages the Commission to step up the enforcement of the two directives framing the single market for defence and to come up with an initiative on development of shared industry standards for equipment and assets;

73.  Urges to Commission to pay particular attention to the rising tension in the Western Balkans and to seek ways to enhance the EU’s engagement in favour of reconciliation and reforms in all of the countries concerned;

74.  Commends the Commission for its emphasis on the Neighbourhood Policy, both eastern and southern, but underlines that the policy must acquire a more political content, notably through a combination of increased financial assistance, reinforced democracy support, market access and improved mobility; stresses that the policy needs to clearly identify areas of action in order to better address the challenges which the neighbouring countries are facing;

75.  Calls on the Commission to prioritise digitalisation as an integral part of the EU´s foreign policy instruments and to embrace it as an opportunity such as by leading in the fields of internet governance, people´s human rights online, state norms in cyberspace, cybersecurity and freedom online, access and development, digital literacy and net neutrality;

76.  Stresses that the promotion of, and respect for, human rights, international law and fundamental freedoms must be a central common denominator across EU policies; calls on the Commission not to neglect the importance of protecting human rights in the context of counter-terrorism measures; urges the Commission to actively continue pushing for human rights to be implemented effectively through all agreements, in particular the trade, political dialogue and cooperation and association agreements subscribed by the EU, in particular the so-called ‘democracy clause’ and Article 8 of the Cotonou Agreement; calls on the Commission to make a clear monitoring of the human rights situation in the countries with which the EU has agreements;

77.  Calls on the Commission to continue to work to help ensure accountability for war crimes, human rights violations and abuses and violations of international humanitarian law, including the confirmed use of chemical weapons; expresses its continued grave concern at the deliberate restrictions that are put in the way of the provision of humanitarian aid and reiterates its call on the Commission to make every possible effort to help ensure that full, unhindered, safe and sustainable country-wide humanitarian access for the UN and other humanitarian organisations is secured in countries where it is needed;

78.  Calls on the Commission to put forward an implementation plan for the revised European Consensus;

79.  Urges the Commission to show ambition in its updated EU Global Strategy and to better position the EU in a rapidly changing world to deliver the institutional and policy changes for the effective implementation of the Agenda 2030; calls on the Commission also to come forward with a proposal for an overarching Sustainable Development Strategy, encompassing all relevant internal and external policy areas, including the UN process, a detailed timeline up to 2030, a concrete implementation plan and a specific procedure ensuring Parliament’s full involvement and to provide information regarding the plan for implementation, monitoring, follow-up and incorporation of the 2030 Agenda into the EU’s internal and external policy;

80.  Emphasises its support for an ambitious External Investment Plan (EIP); believes that the implementation of the upcoming European Fund for Sustainable Development (EFSD) and the EU Trust Fund for Africa will be key in assessing the effectiveness of current efforts; calls on the Commission to give an active and effective impulse to the EU’s external policy; stresses that the EU should be a major actor that provides efficient responses to the challenges that Europe is facing, in order achieve the SDGs by 2030 and address the root causes of irregular and forced migration;

81.  Recalls the need to review the Humanitarian Aid Regulation (Council Regulation (EC) No 1257/96 of 20 June 1996), in order to make the EU’s humanitarian assistance more efficient and compliant with international humanitarian law, especially in view of the urgent need for comprehensive action against famine and to ensure a sustainable future for the millions of people affected by conflicts or natural or man-made disasters, as well as for education in the context of protracted crises;

82.  Calls on the Commission to increase its efforts to safeguard the sexual and reproductive health and rights of women and girls throughout the world, and to guarantee that the Global Gag Rule will not restrict EU humanitarian aid funds and the work of foreign family-planning organisations that the EU is funding;

83.  Calls on the Commission to present a legislative proposal on accompanying measures for the ‘Conflict Minerals Regulation’ (2014/0059(COD)) in line with the relevant Joint Communication (JOINT (2014) 8);

84.  Calls on the Commission, given the global nature of the garment industry and of its shortcomings in terms of improving worker’s conditions, to go beyond the presentation of a staff working document on the flagship initiative on the garment sector and to present a legislative proposal for due diligence obligations in the supply chain in the garment sector;

85.  Calls on the Commission to assist developing countries in combating fraud and tax evasion through the establishment of a comprehensive and binding framework;

86.  Calls on the Commission to take an ambitious approach in the context of the future negotiations for the Post-Cotonou Agreement with a view to a binding agreement, tailored to the new realities, with a strong political dimension and an economic development dimension, and oriented towards a framed market economy and inclusive growth;

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

General Market

Daily News 13 / 06 / 2017

College of Commissioners due to discuss more robust supervision of central counterparties (CCPs)

The College of Commissioners will meet today in Strasbourg to discuss a proposal to amend the so-called European Market Infrastructure Regulation (EMIR). As was announced during the EMIR REFIT review of at the beginning of May, today’s proposal aims to further improve the financial stability of the European Union. Specifically, the proposed reforms seek to ensure a more consistent and robust supervision of CCPs in EU and non-EU countries to deal with emerging challenges. The EU adopted the European Market Infrastructure Regulation in 2012 following the financial crisis to better manage and monitor the risks arising from derivatives markets for financial stability. A press conference and read-out of today’s College meeting by Vice-President Dombrovskis will take place in Strasbourg at 17:00 and can be followed live on EbS. You will be able to find press release and MEMO online. (For more information: Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Letizia Lupini – Tel.: +32 229 51958)

 

European Agenda on Migration: Commission reports on progress and calls on Member States to make further efforts to implement measures

Meeting in Strasbourg today ahead of next week’s European Council, the Commission will present four progress reports on measures taken under the European Agenda on Migration. The Commission will review the progress made in the EU’s emergency relocation and resettlement schemes and, as announced in its previous progress report, will specify its position on making use of its powers under the Treaties for those Member States that have not yet implemented the Council decisions. The Commission will also report on the roll-out of the European Border and Coast Guard and the implementation of the EU-Turkey Statement. In addition, the Commission will present results and lessons learned under the Partnership Framework on Migration one year after its launch and the efforts undertaken along the Central Mediterranean route. Press releases on the implementation of the European Agenda on Migration and Partnership Framework on Migration will be available online at the start of the press conference with Commissioner Avramopoulos in Strasbourg, which is scheduled for 15h30. (For more information: Natasha Bertaud – Tel.: +32 229 67456; Tove Ernst – Tel.: +32 229 86764; Catherine Ray – Tel.: +32 229 69921)

 

30 ans de séjours «Erasmus» à l’étranger: la Commission lance une application mobile pour fêter cet anniversaire

Aujourd’hui, l’UE célèbre les 30 ans de son programme de séjours d’étude et de formation à l’étranger «Erasmus», dont ont déjà bénéficié 9 millions de personnes. Le président de la Commission européenne Jean-Claude Juncker et le président du Parlement européen Antonio Tajani présideront les célébrations du 30e anniversaire du programme Erasmus, devenu Erasmus+ en 2014, qui se dérouleront au Parlement européen à Strasbourg aujourd’hui. À cette occasion, la Commission lancera une nouvelle application mobile Erasmus+. Conçue pour les étudiants, les élèves d’établissements professionnels et les participants à des échanges de jeunes, l’application facilitera les démarches administratives et l’intégration des bénéficiaires tout au long de leur séjour. Le président Juncker a déclaré: «Chaque euro que nous investissons dans le programme Erasmus+ est un investissement dans l’avenir — l’avenir d’un jeune et de notre idée européenne. Je ne vois pas dans quoi il pourrait être plus important d’investir que dans ces porte-drapeaux de demain. Alors que nous fêtons le 9 millionième participant au programme, faisons en sorte que nous soyons neuf fois plus ambitieux pour l’avenir d’Erasmus.» Pour un programme qui aura aidé plus de 4 millions de personnes à étudier, se former et faire du bénévolat à l’étranger entre 2014 et 2020, l’application mobile Erasmus+ contribuera à rendre le programme plus inclusif et accessible: la Commission a en effet la ferme volonté de bâtir l’avenir d’Erasmus+ au-delà de 2020 avec la génération Erasmus+, afin d’ouvrir le programme à un éventail encore plus large de jeunes. Un communiqué de presse, une fiche d’information et un MEMO sont en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations: Nathalie Vandystadt – Tél.: + 32 229 67083; Inga Höglund – Tél.: + 32 229 50698)

Recherche et innovation: dernière ligne droite pour un nouveau partenariat euro-méditerranéen

Carlos Moedas, commissaire pour la recherche, la science et l’innovation, a salué hier au Parlement européen les avancées décisives sur le partenariat en matière de recherche et d’innovation dans la zone méditerranéenne (PRIMA). Ce partenariat, soumis au vote des eurodéputés aujourd’hui, vise à développer des solutions innovantes pour une gestion durable de l’eau et de la production alimentaire dans la région. Le commissaire Moedas s’exprimait hier lundi en plénière à Strasbourg et a déclaré: «Avec le feu vert du Parlement, PRIMA pourra élaborer des solutions indispensables aux graves pénuries d’eau et d’alimentation dans les régions les plus affectées de la zone méditerranéenne, répondre aux besoins les plus essentiels et ainsi agir sur une des causes profondes de l’immigration subie. Ce partenariat euro-méditerranéen en matière de recherche et d’innovation est une occasion unique pour les États membres de l’UE et les pays tiers de la Méditerranée de mettre en commun leurs ressources et de travailler pour l’avenir de la région. PRIMA est également un excellent exemple de l’ouverture de la recherche et de l’innovation européenne sur le monde et c’est pour cela que je me félicite que ce vote ait lieu aussi rapidement.» La proposition pour établir PRIMA a été présentée par la Commission le 18 octobre 2016. Le partenariat inclut d’ores et déjà dix-neuf pays qui contribueront au financement de PRIMA en complément d’un apport de l’Union européenne de près de 200 millions d’euros au travers du programme-cadre de recherche Horizon 2020. Suite à l’accord du Parlement, le Conseil devrait formellement finaliser le processus législatif le 26 juin prochain. Une fois adopté, le partenariat débutera en 2018, pour une durée de dix ans. Plus de détails seront disponibles à l’issue du vote au Parlement, en début d’après-midi, ici et ici. (Pour plus d’informations: Lucía Caudet – Tél.: +32 229 56182; Mirna Talko – Tél.: +32 229 87278; Maud Noyon – Tél.: +32 229 80379)

 

La Commission approuve une nouvelle appellation d’origine protégée de France

La Commission européenne a approuvé la demande d’inscription de l’«Ail violet de Cadours» dans le registre des appellations d’origine protégées (AOP). Il s’agit d’un ail sec  produit à partir des variétés Germidour et Valdour. Ce produit est conditionné dans une région se situant au confluent des départements de la Haute-Garonne, du Gers et du Tarn-et-Garonne en France. L’ail, originaire d’Orient, a probablement été introduit dans la région par la colonisation romaine des premiers siècles. Le commerce de l’ail s’est développé régulièrement jusqu’à la mise en place d’un marché hebdomadaire spécifique à l’ail violet. Ce marché se tient toujours à Cadours tous les mercredis, de mi-juillet à mi-décembre. Cette nouvelle appellation devient le 1400ème produit à être protégé. La liste complète est disponible dans la base de données DOOR. Pour plus d’informations, voir aussi les pages sur la politique de qualité. (Pour plus d’information: Alexander Winterstein – Tel: +32 2 29 93265;Clémence Robin – Tel: +32 229 52 509)

 

Mergers: Commission approves acquisition of Intrum Justitia by Nordic Capital, subject to conditions

The European Commission has approved under the EU Merger Regulation the acquisition of Intrum Justitia by Nordic Capital. The decision is conditional on the divestment of the companies’ overlapping debt collection and debt purchasing activities in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. The Commission’s investigation focused on the markets for debt collection and debt purchasing where both Intrum Justitia and Lindorff, a portfolio company of Nordic Capital, are active. The Commission was concerned that the takeover would reduce competition in both markets in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden. In order to address the competition concerns identified by the Commission, Nordic Capital offered to divest the whole of the debt collection and debt purchasing businesses of Lindorff in Denmark, Estonia, Finland and Sweden, and the whole of the debt collection and debt purchasing business of Intrum Justitia in Norway. The Commission was therefore able to conclude that the proposed transaction, as modified by the commitments, would no longer raise competition concerns. The decision is conditional upon full compliance with the commitments. The full press release is available online in ENFR, DE and SV. (For more information: Ricardo Cardoso – Tel.: +32 229 80100; Maria Tsoni – Tel.: +32 229 90526)

 

Eurostat: La consommation par habitant a varié plus que du simple au double selon les États membres de l’UE – Rapport de près de un à six pour le PIB par habitant

La consommation individuelle effective (CIE) est un indicateur du niveau de bien-être matériel des ménages. Basée sur les estimations préliminaires pour l’année 2016, la CIE par habitant exprimée en standards de pouvoir d’achat (SPA) s’est échelonnée, parmi les États membres, de 53% à 132% de la moyenne de l’Union européenne (UE). Dix États membres ont enregistré une CIE par habitant supérieure à la moyenne de l’UE en 2016. Le niveau le plus élevé de l’UE a été relevé au Luxembourg, à 32% au-dessus de la moyenne de l’UE. L’Allemagne et l’Autriche se situaient à environ 20% au-dessus de la moyenne, suivis par le Royaume-Uni, le Danemark, la Finlande, la Belgique, la France, les Pays-Bas et la Suède, qui enregistraient tous des niveaux compris entre 10% et 15% au-dessus de la moyenne de l’UE. Un communiqué de presse est disponible en ligne. (Pour plus d’informations:Vanessa Mock – Tel.: +32 229 56194; Enda McNamara – Tel.: +32 229 64976)

STATEMENTS

 

Commissaire Jourová signe la convention sur la prévention et la lutte contre la violence à l’égard des femmes

La Commissaire Jourová signe aujourd’hui l’accession de l’UE à la convention sur la prévention et la lutte contre la violence à l’égard des femmes et la violence domestique ce midi à Strasbourg, en présence du Secrétaire Général, M. Thorbjørn Jagland. La convention d’Istanbul du Conseil de l’Europe est le plus vaste traité international sur la lutte contre la violence à l’égard des femmes et la violence domestique. Elle reconnaît que la violence à l’égard des femmes constitue une violation de leurs droits humains et prévoit des mesures visant à prévenir les actes de violence, à protéger les victimes et à poursuivre les auteurs de tels actes. Suite à une proposition de la Commission européenne, le Conseil a validé l’accession de l’UE à cette convention en mai dernier. La lutte contre la violence à l’égard est une des priorités en 2017 de la Commission européenne qui a lancé une campagne afin de soutenir les activités nationales de sensibilisation et les organisations de la société civile travaillant sur ce sujet. La campagne se décline aussi sur les médias sociaux: #SayNoStopVAW. La déclaration jointe du Premier Vice-Président Timmermans et de la Commissaire Jourová sur la décision du Conseil , ainsi que des fiches d’information sur la convention d’Istanbul et sur les actions de l’UE dans la lutte contre la violence à l’égard des femmes sont disponibles en ligne.  (Pour plus d’informations: Christian Wigand – Tel.: +32 229 62253;Mélanie Voin – Tel.: +32 229 58659)

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Commissioner Creţu visits the Greek islands of Chios and Leros

On 13-16 June Commissioner for Regional Policy Corina Creţu is in Greece. On 14 and 15 June the Commissioner will visit the Greek islands of Chios and Leros, meet the regional governors of the North and South Aegean islands and the mayors of the islands received in Brussels by President Juncker in March 2017. Commissioner Creţu will inaugurate a new EU-funded desalination plant in Leros and visit other Cohesion Policy projects. Ahead of the visit, Commissioner Creţu said: “Responding to President Juncker‘s call, I will meet mayors of the North and South Aegean islands to assess the current situation and reflect on measures and actions which could alleviate the impact of the refugee crisis while boosting the local economy. The way the mayors have dealt with the migration challenge is admirable and my visit is a clear signal that they shall not be left alone in dealing with this extraordinary pressure. My visit will also focus on Cohesion Policy in the country and on the future of Cohesion Policy. Thanks to the July 2015 “A New Start for Jobs and Growth in Greece” Plan and to the efforts of the Greek authorities, Greece ranks among the top Member States in terms of implementation. Overall, Greece has received almost €11 billion of EU funds since July 2015. We are ready to help Greece seize further the opportunities offered by EU funds, for the direct benefit of the country’s real economy.” In Athens, on 13 June, the Commissioner will meet the Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, and attend an event on resilient cities organised by the Mayor of Athens, Giorgios Kaminis. On 16 June, Commissioner Creţu will meet Dimitris Papadimitriou, Minister of Economy and Development, and Alexis Charitsis, Alternate Minister in charge of EU funds. The Commissioner will also deliver a keynote speech at an event on entrepreneurship, innovation and smart specialisation organised by the Governor of the region of Attica, Rena Dourou, and visit EU-funded projects in the capital. (For more information: Johannes Bahrke – Tel.: +32 229 58615; Sophie Dupin de Saint-Cyr – Tel.: +32 229 56169)

Food waste: EU leading the way in the fight against food waste

Tomorrow (14 June), Commissioner Vytenis Andriukaitis, in charge of Health and Food Safety, will address members of the EU Platform on Food Losses and Food Waste (FLW)at its second meeting where key deliverables from the Circular Economy Action Plan will be discussed. Ahead of the meeting, Commissioner Andriukaitis said: “At the first meeting the members called for policy coherence and integrated action at EU and national levels that I fully support. Now we need to get into the heart of the matter: methodology, guidelines on food donation, date marking. I am convinced that this unique forum dedicated to food waste prevention can help us all to move more quickly, find and adopt new solutions, seize opportunities to save food resources and together design new business models for healthier and more sustainable food systems”. The Platform brings together both public and private interests in order to foster cooperation amongst all key players in the food value chain and help accelerate the EU’s progress towards the global Sustainable Development Goal of halving food waste by 2030. Since its launch last autumn, the members of the Platform have supported the Commission in developing harmonised methodology for quantifying food waste, called for by the Commission’s waste legislation as well as the elaboration of EU guidelines on food donation, which the Commission intends to adopt by the end of 2017.  Focussed on supporting members in taking effective action to prevent food waste, a half-day will be dedicated to sharing experience in the implementation of national frameworks for action as well as new regulatory frameworks established in some Member States. New digital tools will also be presented to facilitate exchange of information, best practice and foster cooperation between members. The meeting will be web-streamed here. (For more information: Anca Paduraru – Tel.: +32 229 91269; Aikaterini Apostola – Tel.: +32 229 87624)

Upcoming events of the European Commission (ex-Top News)