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Menettely : 2015/2040(INI)
Elinkaari istunnossa
Asiakirjan elinkaari : A8-0197/2015

Käsiteltäväksi jätetyt tekstit :

A8-0197/2015

Keskustelut :

PV 07/09/2015 - 23
CRE 07/09/2015 - 23

Äänestykset :

PV 08/09/2015 - 5.7
Äänestysselitykset

Hyväksytyt tekstit :

P8_TA(2015)0287

Puheenvuorot
Maanantai 7. syyskuuta 2015 - Strasbourg Lopullinen versio

23. Komission jäsenten kuuleminen: vuoden 2014 kokemukset (lyhyt esittely)
Puheenvuorot videotiedostoina
PV
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die kurze Darstellung des Berichts von Richard Corbett über die Verfahren und Gepflogenheiten bei den Anhörungen der Kommissionsmitglieder – aus dem Verfahren 2014 zu ziehende Lehren (2015/2040(INI)) (A8-0197/2015).

 
  
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  Richard Corbett, rapporteur. Mr President, sometimes what we do here is an example that national parliaments might consider emulating – just sometimes – and, in my view, the process we have of holding public hearings of candidates for the Commission, before we take our vote of confidence on the Commission as a whole, is an example that they might consider. Just imagine how it would be if, when a government takes office in a national parliament, each minister, before taking office, had to go for a three-hour public grilling, with incisive questioning. I think it would be revealing.

We do it here, and it is to our credit, but what we do can always be improved, and my report has been about looking at how we operate this system and making a number of suggestions for improvement. Let me highlight just three.

The first is about the questioning – the incisive nature of the questions. We had at the last hearings, I think, 42 questions by individual Members to Commissioners and 42 answers. I propose that we cut that number to about 25, but allow each questioner to come back with a follow-up question. That would be more incisive: it would permit a real to and fro. The purpose of the hearings is not to give the floor to a maximum number of Members: the purpose is to get precise information and answers out of the candidate Commissioners.

The second proposal to improve things is to look at how we evaluate the Commissioners after the hearings. At the moment, the coordinators from each Group have a meeting, but our rules are not very clear on this. Indeed, our rules as they currently read could require a vote in every single committee, on every single Commissioner, at the request of just one Political Group. I do not think that is wise because formally, legally, the only vote that matters is the vote by Parliament as a whole on the Commission as a whole. The vote by individual committees on individual Commissioners has no legal consequence. Therefore, we have to make sure it has political consequences and carries weight. In other words, a vote should be taken on a Commissioner only in a case of genuine doubt, and not as a matter of routine. Then, if as we have seen in the past there is a negative verdict, it will have consequences. That is how I think we should proceed, and my report proposes to clarify the procedures in that regard.

A final point I would mention is the question of gender balance in the Commission. This Parliament has always attached importance to improving the gender imbalance that has existed up to now, but of course we are tied by the nominations that come from national governments if they all nominate just one candidate. Last time, however, there was at least one country which nominated two and allowed the President of the Commission to choose. Why do we not institutionalise that and propose – as a parliament we can only propose in this case – that each country’s government nominates two candidate Commissioners at least, one of each gender, two people in whom the national government has full confidence? The Commission President would then be in a better position to get gender balance in the team as a whole, and that would go some way to improving the balance.

There are some other suggestions in this report, but those are three worth highlighting. I urge colleagues to read the other suggestions as well because they all would improve the situation.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye-Verfahren

 
  
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  Milan Zver (PPE). Že odkar sem postal evropski poslanec, me je to vprašanje zelo vznemirjalo.

Najprej sem ugotovil, da imamo res neznansko nedodelan sistem imenovanja komisarjev in že nekajkrat sem tudi v tej hiši predlagal, da bi morali storiti vse, da ima predsednik Komisije, ki je izvoljen tukaj v Parlamentu, vso možnost izbrati maksimalno kompetentno in pa spolno uravnoteženo ekipo.

Sedanji način, če se smem osredotočiti samo na nominacijo, na rekrutacijo komisarjev iz držav članic, ni dober. Strinjam se z vami, gospod poročevalec, da bi bilo prav, da bi države članice predlagale najmanj dva kandidata, moškega in žensko. Idealno pa bi bilo, da bi tudi predlagale različne tipe strokovnih profilov kandidatov, tako da bi lahko kasneje predsednik Evropske komisije maksimalno imel na izbiro in oblikoval maksimalno kompetentno in uravnoteženo ekipo komisarjev.

 
  
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  Biljana Borzan (S&D). Gospodine predsjedniče, željela bih se zahvaliti kolegi Corbettu i ostalim kolegama iz drugih odbora s kojima sam imala prilike raditi na ovom izvješću. Saslušanja kandidata za europske povjerenike proces je koji Europskoj uniji, a osobito Parlamentu, daje veliku pozornost i veliku vidljivost.

Budući da tada biramo ljude koji će sljedećih pet godina obnašati najodgovornije pozicije i funkcije u Europskoj komisiji, moramo se pobrinuti da oni budu kompetentni, kvalificirani i da je njihova moralnost neupitna. Proces saslušanja povjerenike izlaže javnosti koja secira njihov život i karijeru i to tako i treba biti. No, smatram da u čitav proces trebamo uključiti i građane Europske unije kako bi oni mogli svojim pitanjima sudjelovati u saslušanjima.

Izuzetno mi je drago što je u konačni dokument ušao i moj prijedlog da se provjera financijskih interesa proširi i na članove obitelji. Zaključno, želimo da svaki sljedeći put države članice predlože i muškarca i ženu, dakle po dvoje kandidata, kako bismo imali stvarnu rodnu ravnopravnost.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). Κύριε πρόεδρε, θεωρώ ότι η διαδικασία της ακρόασης των Επιτρόπων είναι μια πολύ σημαντική διαδικασία διότι έτσι διαμορφώνεται ο δημοκρατικός έλεγχος. Μπορεί πραγματικά το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο να ασκήσει τα δικαιώματά του και να δώσει – όταν χρειαστεί – την ψήφο εμπιστοσύνης, συνολικά, στην ίδια την Επιτροπή. Βεβαίως, η διαδικασία πρέπει να είναι πιο ανοιχτή στην ίδια την κοινωνία. Πρέπει να μπορούν και οι πολίτες να συμμετέχουν. Είχα την ευκαιρία, όπως και εσείς, να λάβω πέρυσι μέρος σε αυτή τη διαδικασία. Λάβαμε πολλά e-mails από πολίτες που έθεταν ζητήματα για διάφορους υποψήφιους επιτρόπους. Νομίζω ότι, ως βουλευτές, πρέπει να έχουμε μεγαλύτερο ρόλο και πρέπει να έχουμε και περισσότερο χρόνο για να υποβάλουμε ερωτήσεις. Δεν πρέπει να αφήνουμε όλο το παιχνίδι στους συντονιστές. Τέλος, θέλω να θέσω ένα βασικό ζήτημα και να τονίσω ότι η Επιτροπή πρέπει να είναι πραγματικά ανεξάρτητο όργανο – έτσι όπως τη θέλουμε – και να μην υπηρετεί απλώς την Τρόικα. Αυτό είναι πολύ σημαντικό κ. Timmermans.

 
  
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  Jonathan Arnott (EFDD). Mr President, I respect Mr Corbett’s attempt to make the Commission a little more accountable, even if it is merely a drop in the ocean. There are some good suggestions here and also in the committee opinions. Allowing follow-up questions and genuine scrutiny is a great idea, for example. And, who knows, if we introduce something like that in the European Parliament itself, we might get something approaching a real debate here too. But we are completely ignoring the elephant in the Chamber. Commissioners hold huge power and yet we are given the opportunity to interview just one potential candidate. I can think of another union which used to love elections with just one candidate.

Ultimately, though, the problem is that it is we, here in this Chamber, who give away those positions of huge power. The people have no say. Unelected Commissioners are unaccountable Commissioners.

 
  
 

(Ende des Catch-the-eye-Verfahrens)

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. Mr President, I am tempted to ask Mr Arnott how many candidates he can hear in the House of Commons, let alone in the House of Lords, but we shall not go into that debate.

I want to thank the rapporteur, Mr Corbett, for his excellent and well—reflected report on a topic that Members will understand is of great relevance for the Commission. The Commission welcomes and fully supports the pursued objective of making the hearings a more flexible and dynamic exchange. The hearings not only allow for Parliament’s scrutiny of the Commission, in line with the Treaty, but also provide an important window for citizens on the workings of the Union.

Incidentally, I was a Minister in a national government, then I became a Commissioner and all of a sudden, in the media, I went from being in some quarters a politician to an anonymous bureaucrat, whereas the scrutiny I went through in this Parliament was much tougher than the scrutiny I had to face in the national parliament in the Netherlands before becoming a Minister. By the way, in quite a number of Member States – because the second objection you always get is ‘unelected’ – how many governments do you suppose there are (I do not know the exact number, but there are quite a number of governments) where Ministers are not elected? Parliaments are all elected like this Parliament. So it is very often simply a matter of perception.

For the Commission, it is of foremost importance that the hearings are conducted in an open, fair and consistent manner. In particular, hearings for all Commissioners-designate should follow the same approach for questions and answers, both in the written and in the oral phase, and for the evaluation of each Commissioner-designate. For Vice-Presidents-designate, who have a horizontal responsibility spanning the competences of a larger number of EP committees, it is indeed appropriate to foresee that hearings are carried out in an adapted format, such as an open Conference of Presidents.

More generally, the confirmation period should be enough time to ensure that the new Commission can take up office immediately on the normal expiry of the previous Commission’s mandate. In this context, the Commission supports the call on Member States to make timely and gender-balanced nominations for candidate Commissioners.

As to the conduct of the hearings, the Commission supports the envisaged increase of written questions from five to seven, on condition that sub—questions are abandoned. The Commission also welcomes the limitation of questions in the oral phase to 25, with the possibility of immediate follow—up questions.

In principle, the Commission supports Parliament’s objective to ensure that the hearing process is accessible and transparent for EU citizens. Hearings are, however, for the elected Members of Parliament to exercise their scrutiny on Commissioners-designate. Therefore, it is the right of Members of the European Parliament to directly put questions to Commissioners—designate.

The Commission is open to considering how best to facilitate Parliament’s examination of potential conflicts of interest of Commissioners-designate. Should the Commission consider it appropriate to come forward with an amendment to its Code of Conduct, it will seek Parliament’s opinion, as foreseen by the Framework Agreement.

To ensure that Commissioners-designate are evaluated exclusively with regard to their personal competencies and knowledge of the envisaged portfolio, the Commission maintains that the results of the evaluation of each Commissioner-designate should be published individually within 24 hours after completion of her/his evaluation.

As for horizontal issues affecting the composition and structure of the Commission as a whole, the Commission recalls the need to fully respect each Institution’s competences and prerogatives. The Commission looks forward to examining the concrete proposals for amendments to Parliament’s Rules of Procedure regarding the hearings of Commissioners—designate.

I would like once again to thank Mr Corbett for a job very well done from the Commission’s perspective.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett, rapporteur. Mr President, I did save one minute of my speaking time to be able to come back at the end, but I will be very brief. Firstly, I am pleased that I gather there is quite a high level of consensus between the Groups in Parliament on what I have proposed. I was also delighted that Mr Timmermans, for the Commission, went through in detail some of the things that I did not have time to cover in my speech, and that the Commission is very supportive of the thrust of what I propose – indeed, almost everything, bearing in mind his caveat that the devil can sometimes be in the detail. I am very glad of that support. I thank him very much, and may I at the same time thank him for his earlier speech, which was an exemplary reply in the previous debate on human rights.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Damit ist dieser Punkt abgeschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet am Dienstag, 8. September 2015, statt.

 
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