Procedure : 2014/2781(DEA)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : B8-0081/2014

Texts tabled :

B8-0081/2014

Debates :

Votes :

PV 18/09/2014 - 10.9
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :


MOTION FOR A RESOLUTION
PDF 123kWORD 58k
10.9.2014
PE536.983v01-00
 
B8-0081/2014

pursuant to Rule 105(4) of the Rules of Procedure


COMMISSION DELEGATED REGULATION (EU) No .../... of 25 July 2014 amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements, as amended by Regulation (EU) No 527/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 as regards the exclusion of a number of countries from the list of regions or states which have concluded negotiations (2014/2781(DEA))


Helmut Scholz, Marie-Christine Vergiat, Dimitrios Papadimoulis, Sofia Sakorafa on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group
Franziska Keller on behalf of the Greens/EFA Group

B8‑0081/2014


European Parliament resolution on Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No .../... of 25 July 2014 amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements, as amended by Regulation (EU) No 527/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 as regards the exclusion of a number of countries from the list of regions or states which have concluded negotiations (C(2014)5214 – 2014/2781(DEA))    

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission delegated regulation of 25 July 2014 amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements, as amended by Regulation (EU) No 527/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 as regards the exclusion of a number of countries from the list of regions or states which have concluded negotiations,

–  having regard to Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 of 20 December 2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of Economic Partnership Agreements (hereinafter ‘the Market Access Regulation’), as amended by Regulation (EU) No 527/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 as regards the exclusion of a number of countries from the list of regions or states which have concluded negotiations,

–  having regard to Articles 2a and 2b of the Market Access Regulation, which empower the Commission to adopt delegated acts with regard to the reinstatement of countries in Annex 1 to the Regulation,

–  having regard to the Cotonou Agreement, signed in Cotonou on 23 June 2000 and revised in Ouagadougou on 22 June 2010, and in particular to Article 9 thereof,

–  having regard to its resolution of 14 December 2006 on the situation in Fiji(1),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2013/476/EU of 26 September 2013 amending Decision 2007/641/EC, concerning the Republic of Fiji and extending the period of application thereof,

–  having regard to Rule 105(4) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the interim Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) between the EU and Pacific ACP states was signed by Papua New Guinea in July 2009 and by Fiji in December 2009; whereas, despite the military coup that had overthrown the elected government in 2006 and the fact that there had not been any return to parliamentary democracy, the EPA was approved by the European Parliament in January 2011 and ratified by Papua New Guinea in May 2011;

B.  whereas Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 (the Market Access Regulation) governs the EU duty-free, quota-free import regime for 36 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries that have concluded EPAs but not yet ratified them;

C.  whereas Regulation (EU) No 527/2013 amended Regulation No 1528/2007 to allow the removal of ACP countries from Annex I to the Market Access Regulation if they do not agree with, and have therefore have not taken the necessary steps towards ratification of, their respective EPAs;

D.  whereas eight ACP countries, including the Republic of the Fiji Islands, were consequently faced with removal from Annex I to the Market Access Regulation as of 1 October 2014;

E.  whereas on 5 December 2006 the military took control of the government in Fiji; whereas the leader of the army, Frank Bainimarama, appointed himself temporary President and continues to be the country’s unelected Prime Minister; whereas this was Fiji’s fourth military coup in only 20 years, reflecting the social, political and economic instability of the island country;

F.  whereas the self-proclaimed Government of Fiji notified the EU on 17 July 2014 of its decision to apply the interim EPA; whereas Fiji will therefore start to implement the EPA from the end of July 2014;

G.   whereas Articles 2a and 2b of the Market Access Regulation empower the Commission to adopt delegated acts with regard to the reinstatement of countries in Annex I to the Regulation; whereas on 25 July 2014 the Commission adopted a delegated act to reinstate the Republic of the Fiji Islands in Annex I;

H.  whereas respect for human rights, democratic principles and the rule of law constitutes an essential element of the Cotonou Agreement, which governs relations between the ACP states and the EU; whereas the Cotonou Agreement remains the basis for the EU’s partnership with the ACP states; whereas Article 9(2) of the Cotonou Agreement is of particular importance in this regard;

I.  whereas Council Decision 2007/641/EC was adopted in order to take appropriate measures following the violation of the essential elements referred to in Article 9 of the Cotonou Agreement and of the values referred to in Article 3 of the Development Cooperation Instrument; whereas Council Decision 2013/476/EU of 26 September 2013 extended the application of Council Decision 2007/641/EC until 31 March 2015, stating that this would provide the necessary flexibility and give both the EU and Fiji the time they needed to agree on commitments and adapt the appropriate measures accordingly, and allow the Fijian Government to hold the elections scheduled for September 2014;

J.  whereas on 28 March 2014 an Electoral Decree establishing the legal framework for the conduct of elections in Fiji was published, with elections set to take place on 17 September 2014;

K.  whereas, in this connection, the EU states that it is ‘cautiously optimistic about a prospective return to democracy in Fiji’; whereas prominent NGOs such as Amnesty International report a ‘worrying pattern in Fiji of the authorities trying to silence journalists ahead of the elections in September’;

L.  whereas a delegated act enters into force only if no objection has been expressed by either the European Parliament or the Council within two months of notification of the act; whereas that period is extended by two months at the initiative of Parliament or of the Council;

M.  whereas, under paragraph 2 of the Common Understanding between Parliament, the Council and the Commission on delegated acts, the three institutions are required to cooperate throughout the procedure leading to the adoption of delegated acts, with a view to the smooth exercise of delegated powers and effective control of these powers by Parliament and the Council;

1.  Objects to the Commission delegated regulation;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and to notify it that the delegated regulation cannot enter into force;

3.  Is of the opinion that the current, self-proclaimed military government of Fiji is not legitimated to take any decision with regard to the application and ratification of the interim Economic Partnership Agreement, and that the decision of 17 July 2014 therefore needs to be considered void;

4.  Calls on the Commission to put on hold any decision that allows for the reinstatement of Fiji in Annex I of the Market Access Regulation as a result of the implementation of the interim EPA until after the announced elections have been successfully conducted in line with international standards; is of the opinion that only after a transitional period that allows for a proper assessment of the stability and irreversibility of the democratic reform process and only if the newly elected parliament confirms the decision of 17 July 2014, can the Commission come forward with a new delegated act in this regard;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, to the governments and parliaments of the Member States, and to the Pacific Islands Forum countries.

 

(1)

OJ C 317 E, 23.12.2006, p. 898.

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