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Procedūra : 2014/0287(COD)
Procedūros eiga plenarinėje sesijoje
Dokumento priėmimo eiga : A8-0056/2014

Pateikti tekstai :

A8-0056/2014

Debatai :

PV 16/12/2014 - 17
CRE 16/12/2014 - 17

Balsavimas :

PV 17/12/2014 - 10.2
Balsavimo rezultatų paaiškinimas

Priimti tekstai :

P8_TA(2014)0087

Diskusijos
Antradienis, 2014 m. gruodžio 16 d. - Strasbūras Atnaujinta informacija

17. Ekvadoro kilmės prekėms taikomas muitų tarifų režimas (diskusijos)
Kalbų vaizdo įrašas
PV
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  Die Präsidentin. - Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Helmut Scholz im Namen des Ausschusses für internationalen Handel über den Vorschlag für eine Verordnung des Europäischen Parlaments und des Rates über die Zollbehandlung von Waren mit Ursprung in Ecuador (COM(2014)0585 - C8-0172/2014 - 2014/0287(COD)) (A8-0056/2014).

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, Berichterstatter. - Frau Präsidentin, Frau Kommissarin! Unsere heutige Debatte hat eine nicht unwichtige Vorgeschichte: Das Europäische Parlament und der Europäische Rat haben in der Vergangenheit zwei wichtige Entscheidungen gefällt, die uns in diese heutige Situation gebracht haben, nämlich schnell über einen solchen Vorschlag zu entscheiden.

Erstens: Die Mehrheit des Parlaments hatte beschlossen, dass ein Land wie Ecuador, dessen eigenständige Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik deutlich zu Abbau und Überwindung von Armut führte und ein Durchschnittseinkommen von 4 000 Dollar pro Kopf pro Jahr erreichte, deshalb vom Europäischen System der Handelspräferenzen ausgeschlossen wird. Für Ecuador wird das am 1. Januar 2015 der Fall sein.

Zweitens votierte der Rat und auch die gleiche Mehrheit im Europäischen Parlament für das nur mit Kolumbien und Peru ausgehandelte Freihandelsabkommen, das ursprünglich als regionales Abkommen vorgesehen war und aus Sicht Ecuadors eigenständige Entwicklungsziele in Frage stellt. Deshalb wollte Präsident Correa als Alternative ein Abkommen über Kooperation und Entwicklung abschließen. Statt nun mit allen Andenstaaten gemeinsame Ziele zu erarbeiten, ließ die Europäische Kommission jedoch nur den Beitritt zum Freihandelsabkommen als Option zu.

Diese Strategie ging leider auf. Insbesondere die Konkurrenzsituation, aber – das müssen wir auch anmerken – die Veränderung weltwirtschaftlicher Rahmenbedingungen für einige der wichtigsten Exportgüter Ecuadors haben sich so zugespitzt, dass nun die Regierung unter Präsident Correa dem Beitritt zum Kolumbien-/Peru-Abkommen zustimmte. Dies bleibt in der Zivilgesellschaft jedoch umstritten und könnte die komplizierte Regierungskoalition noch in eine schwierige Lage bringen. Wollen wir das?

Mit dem vorliegenden Gesetz wird Ecuador nun eine Brücke gebaut, damit es seine Handelspräferenzen bis zum Inkrafttreten des Freihandelsabkommens behalten kann. Im Interesse der Bevölkerung Ecuadors stelle ich mich ausdrücklich diesem Brückenbau nicht in den Weg. Ich weise jedoch ausdrücklich darauf hin, dass Sie, Frau Kommissarin, in der jetzigen Funktion bei der Formulierung der Verordnung bewusst die Augen vor der innenpolitischen Situation in Ecuador verschlossen haben. Sie haben sich ein ständiges Drohpotenzial geschaffen, die Brücke jederzeit wieder abreißen zu können, sollte Ecuador Regulierungen beschließen, die für europäische Exporte von Nachteil sein könnten. Das soll den wirtschaftsliberalen Teil der Regierung gegenüber den Linken in der Regierung stärken. Meine Anträge, mit denen ich diesen Konflikt entschärfen wollte, fanden hier im Ausschuss leider keine Mehrheit.

Eine Mehrheit rechts der Mitte hier im Parlament hat zudem bereitwillig das Recht des Parlaments aufgegeben, gegen einen Suspendierungsbeschluss der Kommission ein Veto einlegen zu können – und das trotz einer vorliegenden Expertise des Juristischen Dienstes des Parlaments, der das Verfahren eines delegierten Rechtsaktes für zwingend geboten hielt. Auch diesen Beschluss halte ich persönlich für einen Fehler und kann nun nur hoffen, dass daraus kein Präzedenzfall erwächst.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, dennoch appelliere ich am Ende an Sie, der Verordnung zuzustimmen, um die Bevölkerung Ecuadors vor Einbrüchen in der Exportwirtschaft zu bewahren.

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. - Madam President, this is an important moment for relations between the European Union and Ecuador. Just a few years after having left the negotiations in 2009, Ecuador has now made an important and clear policy choice in favour of trade and integration into the world economy and global value chains. Last Friday, I met with the Ecuadorian Trade Minister, Francisco Rivadeneira, and initialled the protocol for the accession of Ecuador to the EU-Colombia-Peru Agreement.

For Ecuador, this trade agreement supports its model of society and economic development. We will provide the country with an opportunity to diversify its trade and economy and improve the livelihoods of the population. We should support and encourage this choice, and it is in this perspective that we should consider the regulation as an important complement to the trade agreement.

We proposed this regulation very rapidly after the conclusion of the negotiations in order to ensure that there would be no disruption in the preferences that Ecuador is enjoying today. I welcome the European Parliament and the rapporteur’s quick adoption, extending the preferences and thereby preventing a negative impact on the exports of Ecuador. Ecuador will, as you know, graduate from the GSP+ preferences at the end of this year, and around 60% of Ecuadorian exports to the EU benefit from substantial preferences under this scheme. The regulation that we discussed today will bridge the gap until the agreement fully applies, and that provides certainty and predictability to producers and workers in the EU and, more importantly, in Ecuador.

If the gap between the graduation from GSP and the entry into force of the Agreement were not bridged, Ecuador would face a sudden increase in duties in January, only to see them fall back later on. A sudden increase in duties would be a lot when it comes to loss of market share, which is extremely difficult to recuperate later. We would be talking about increases in duties in excess of 20% for products such as tuna and shrimps, and an average increase of duties of more than 15% of all Ecuador’s export under the GSP scheme.

I am aware that many Members in this House attach great importance to the implementation of this regulation, particularly when it comes to the requirement for effective implementation by Ecuador of relevant human rights, ILO, environmental conventions and international agreements, as well as the procedure to be used in the event that a suspension of preferences is warranted. This is also important to me, and I raised this with the Minister whom I met last week.

Rest assured that we will monitor this and we will keep Parliament informed on the implementation of these provisions. We are ready to inform you, whenever requested to do so, and to ensure the required transparency in the implementation of the regulation, as well as to make use of the good practices that we are developing within the context of the GSP scheme.

 
  
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  Santiago Fisas Ayxelà, en nombre del Grupo PPE. – Señora Presidenta, señora Comisaria, muchas gracias.

El pasado mes de julio concluyeron con éxito las negociaciones del Acuerdo comercial entre Ecuador y la Unión Europea. Desde el Partido Popular estamos convencidos de que este Acuerdo será muy positivo para ambas partes, aunque tardará casi dos años en entrar en vigor. A partir del próximo enero, Ecuador dejará de beneficiarse de las ventajas que ofrece el SPG + y este desajuste ocasionaría un grave daño a los operadores económicos de ambas partes.

La presente propuesta de Reglamento pretende dar solución a esta situación de interinidad y en la Comisión INTA hemos votado a favor de la propuesta de la Comisión por una amplísima mayoría, sin introducir ninguna enmienda, para evitar alargar innecesariamente el proceso de negociación. La adopción de este Reglamento permitirá que tanto exportadores como importadores puedan seguir operando con normalidad, sin soportar un importante aumento de aranceles, que podría producir daños irreparables tanto a las empresas ecuatorianas como a muchas empresas europeas que operan desde Ecuador.

Es, por tanto, de vital importancia que mañana aprobemos esta propuesta de Reglamento y quiero agradecer al ponente, Helmut Scholz, el buen trabajo realizado. Y no quisiera terminar sin dar la bienvenida a Ecuador a los acuerdos internacionales de libre comercio.

 
  
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  David Martin, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, can I also add my congratulations to Mr Scholz for his work on this dossier. We supported his amendments in committee, but think it was right not to bring them back in plenary in order not to delay this process. The EU, as we have heard, is Ecuador’s most important trade partner for non-oil exports. Any temporary and unnecessary disruption in trade would have had a severe impact on Ecuador’s economy, and would most likely result in exporters looking for alternative markets with easier access than the European Union. Instead, with this bridging solution, we can continue to encourage and support trade between the EU and Ecuador in order to ensure that both parties are able to benefit from the future free trade agreement.

I welcome the fact that this agreement includes reciprocity, that the EU traders will get the same benefits they get now, as will Ecuadorian traders. I welcome the fact that the rules of origin will continue to apply, and I welcome the fact that there are safeguards in this agreement for European producers. This is a good deal for both parties. Again, I would like to thank both the Commission and the rapporteur for their work.

 
  
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  Tremosa i Balcells, Ramon, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, I would like to thank the Commissioner and colleagues for their hard work and good cooperation. I welcome the debate today and the vote we will have on this report tomorrow. After our positive vote in the Committee on International Trade (INTA) last week, it is important to bring it to plenary before the end of the year. The approval of this agreement before the end of the year is important, as many economic contracts in Ecuador have to be negotiated now for the next year.

I think that free trade agreements more than public debt can push Europe again into economic growth. I think that exports more than public deficits are a better way to recover our economic growth. I support the Commission’s attempts to open new markets and reduce tariffs and other regulatory areas to facilitate the entry into these markets for EU companies. In the International Trade Committee Liberals voted against the amendments proposed by the rapporteur as we believe that these amendments were risking delaying the application of this agreement. I fully support the extension of preferential access for goods originating from Ecuador before the FTA enters into force. However, I also believe this should be conditional on Ecuador showing a clear commitment that it will open its markets to EU companies.

Finally, I want to say that the current situation with Russia should push us even more to seek new potential markets in Asia and Central and Latin American countries.

 
  
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  Keller, Ska, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, I would also like to thank the rapporteur. However on the report as such, or on the matter rather, I am not completely happy because as the rapporteur, Mr Scholz, has pointed out, this is really showing how trade is not working for development, showing indeed how trade should not affect development.

Under the old conditions a regulation was put in place that effectively forces developing countries to make a choice as to whether they want to get rid of their preferred market access to the EU or sign up for a free trade agreement, even if that does not follow their development agenda and even if that is not what some in this Parliament, at least, think should happen from a developmental point of view. I think this is effectively blackmailing and undermining a society’s right to development.

This is precisely what happened here in Ecuador. Ecuador was forced to join the Peru-Colombia agreement otherwise it would lose its preferential market access. Since we have a new Commission now, I would really ask the Commissioner to rethink the trade development nexus because I think trade can do a lot for development; but currently it is undermining it, unfortunately, and I think we should really work on changing that.

 
  
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  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D). - Señora Presidenta, yo también quiero felicitar a todos los protagonistas de este Acuerdo, en particular al señor Scholz, por su pragmatismo. Compartíamos sus enmiendas, pero creo que, en beneficio de Ecuador y también de Europa, se ha acordado este Reglamento.

Yo quiero decirles, Señorías, que probablemente Europa está tomando una decisión muy importante también para sí misma. Porque, como presidente de EuroLat, les quiero decir que, cada vez más, los latinoamericanos miran hacia el Pacífico y no miran hacia Europa. Estamos perdiendo enormes oportunidades de acción política y de acción comercial. Desgraciadamente, la Unión Europea tiene una enorme responsabilidad, porque somos el territorio que más coopera, que más cooperación desarrolla en América Latina, pero estamos siendo sustituidos comercialmente y políticamente por China o por Rusia en América Latina. Ellos miran hacia otro sitio, ya no miran hacia aquí.

Por eso es importante aprovechar el Acuerdo con Ecuador, porque tiene una importancia política grande en el marco de las relaciones con América Latina y con los países del ALBA.

 
  
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  Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D). - Madam President, Ecuador is likely to join the EU-Colombia and Peru trade agreement in the coming months, but it will lose its preferential market access to the EU in just two weeks unless we act this week. I welcome the proposed regulation, which puts in place a provisional arrangement to ensure that trade between the EU and Ecuador is not disrupted before our important vote and which does not prejudge our decision in that deal and allows us to get the right framework with the Ecuadorian authorities.

There is one point that I would like to raise: two years ago this Parliament adopted a resolution asking the countries of the Andean Community – at that stage particularly Colombia and Peru – to commit to roadmaps on human rights and environmental protection before agreements were ratified. Applying the same standards to Ecuador would send an important signal that our trade relations are about more than just tariff lines, but are also a tool for our collective development and about improving human and labour rights around the world. I would therefore actively encourage the Ecuadorians also to put forward a roadmap.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye-Verfahren

 
  
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  Daniel Caspary (PPE). - Frau Präsidentin, meine geschätzten Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich bin dem Berichterstatter sehr, sehr dankbar, dass er mit dazu beigetragen hat, dass wir sicherstellen können, dass Ecuador seine Handelspräferenzen behalten kann und sehr schnell in den Genuss dieses Freihandelsabkommen kommt.

Es wäre aus meiner Sicht geradezu ein schlechter Witz gewesen, wenn ein Land, das mit uns ein Freihandelsabkommen abschließen möchte, in der Praxis erst einmal dafür bestraft wird und wir Handelserleichterungen wegnehmen, und es dazu geführt hätte, dass wir tatsächlich all die negativen Auswirkungen hätten, die die Kollegin Keller angesprochen hat.

Deswegen ist auch mein Aufruf an Ihre Fraktion: Wenn wir Entwicklung wollen, sollten wir die Menschen in diesen Ländern nicht bevormunden, sondern wir sollten zur Kenntnis nehmen, dass die demokratische Regierung in dem Land, die Regierung des Volkes, dieses Abkommen möchte. Wir sollten es nicht immer besser wissen, sondern wir sollten auch zur Kenntnis nehmen, dass in Demokratien am Ende auch Entscheidungen entsprechend von Mehrheiten akzeptiert und getroffen werden müssen.

Von daher vielen Dank, dass wir das diese Woche abstimmen können! Ich freue mich, dass wir gemeinsam für alle Völker in Europa und auch in Ecuador, Kolumbien und Peru nun die Vorteile dieses Handelsabkommens heben können.

 
  
 

(Ende des Catch-the-eye-Verfahrens)

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. - Madam President, through the adoption of this regulation exports from Ecuador will not be affected until the entry into force of the agreement. This is a necessary interim step and it sends a strong signal, on the one hand, to business that the EU is determined to ensure predictability and stability in trade. On the other hand, it also sends a clear political signal to Ecuador and its people that the EU is determined to forge closer relations and to proceed swiftly towards the entry into force of the agreement itself. It can also help Ecuador diversify its economy and work towards further eradication of poverty in that country.

We are also making progress towards the entry into force of the agreement. I expect that the protocol will be submitted to the European Parliament for its consent at some point in the middle of next year. Thank you again to the rapporteur, Mr Scholz, and to the Committee on International Trade (INTA) for the work that they have done in dealing with this file so quickly. I am positive that a proper implementation of this will respond to the preoccupations that some of you have raised today. To Ms Keller, I would like to say that I share her view that trade can be a very powerful tool in helping least-developed countries to develop and to bring them into the trade community, thereby forging a closer relationship in other areas too. This is clearly in my priorities, and as you know it was presented to you today in the work programme of the Commission. We will present a new trade strategy where this element also will be raised.

I am looking forward to discussing this internally in the College, with Ministers, and with Members of this Parliament as well. We hope to present a strategy by the end of next year and no later. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you, Madam President, and the Members a Happy Christmas. I thank you for the good cooperation we have had so far, and I am looking forward to working with you next year as well.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, rapporteur. - Madam President, I thank the Commissioner and my colleagues for the debate. At least it has become clear that there is a strong desire for good trade relations with Ecuador in the European Parliament. I also want to stress that time is not always democratically sufficient. So therefore I want to stress that, for trade relations to be good, they need to be designed and in particular fair. In the coming months we will have the opportunity during the ratification process to thoroughly examine the agreements admitted.

In particular the impact on employment and quality of life of the population, on the environment and also generally on the stability and integration of the whole region serve as a benchmark, Mr Caspary. I therefore strongly urge the Commission to stop interfering in the internal political situation of the countries in the region that have chosen a social and economic policy that breaks with the new liberal credo and could finally open up real opportunities of development for the population that are true for their countries.

As rapporteur for the ratification of the agreement, I shall very carefully watch whether the Commission will ask Ecuador next, even if only indirectly, to amend its legal acts or even its constitution to provide European companies better access to the markets for public procurement and public services. I would also like to advocate a roadmap, as was stressed during the debate, that outlines how the parties to the agreement want to ensure that the process of accession to the Peru-Colombia FTA will not be compromising their social and environmental progress in Ecuador, which we all want as a benchmark for the region.

 
  
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  President. - Thank you very much to the rapporteur, Mr Scholz. I would like also like to wish you, Commissioner, a Merry Christmas, I hope you can enjoy some holiday, and all the best for the New Year.

The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Wednesday, 17 December 2014.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Lola Sánchez Caldentey (GUE/NGL) , por escrito. – No estamos ante un acuerdo de libre comercio, sino ante una prórroga de las preferencias de exportación de Ecuador a la UE. Estas preferencias arancelarias son las recogidas en el SPG+, que pierde vigencia el 1 de enero de 2015 y, por tanto, y hasta que el nuevo marco comercial entre la UE y Ecuador entre en vigor, es importante para el pueblo de Ecuador que estas preferencias se prorroguen. Pese a estar en contra de la condicionalidad que ha tratado de imponer la Comisión Europea a Ecuador en el articulado del texto, al abrir este la puerta a la posibilidad de suspender las preferencias arancelarias si Ecuador adopta «medidas» que tengan algún tipo de efecto en las importaciones de la UE, y pese a considerar que las posibles decisiones que pueda tomar la Comisión a este respecto deberían hacerse bajo el marco de los actos delegados para que así el Parlamento pueda hacer un uso efectivo de sus funciones de control (ambos asuntos fueron enmendados por mi grupo parlamentario en la Comisión INTA pero tumbados por la derecha y la extrema derecha), consideramos importante para el pueblo ecuatoriano la prórroga de estas preferencias arancelarias y su urgente implementación.

 
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