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Eljárás : 2015/2234(INI)
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A8-0143/2016

Viták :

PV 07/06/2016 - 14
CRE 07/06/2016 - 14

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PV 08/06/2016 - 12.11
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P8_TA(2016)0263

Viták
2016. június 7., Kedd - Strasbourg Lektorált változat

14. Az EU és a Fülöp-szigetek közötti partnerségi és együttműködési keretmegállapodás (egyetértés) – Az EU és a Fülöp-szigetek közötti partnerségi és együttműködési keretmegállapodás (Horvátország csatlakozása) – Az EU és a Fülöp-szigetek közötti partnerségi és együttműködési keretmegállapodás (állásfoglalás) (vita)
A felszólalásokról készült videofelvételek
PV
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca, in discussione congiunta,

– la relazione di Elmar Brok, a nome della commissione per gli affari esteri, sulla raccomandazione sul progetto di decisione del Consiglio relativa alla conclusione dell'accordo quadro di partenariato e cooperazione tra l'Unione europea e i suoi Stati membri, da una parte, e la Repubblica delle Filippine, dall'altra (05431/2015 - C8-0061/2015 - 2013/0441(NLE)) (A8-0149/2016),

– la raccomandazione di Elmar Brok, a nome della commissione per gli affari esteri, sulla raccomandazione sul progetto di decisione del Consiglio relativa alla conclusione, a nome dell'Unione europea e dei suoi Stati membri, del protocollo dell'accordo quadro di partenariato e cooperazione tra l'Unione europea e i suoi Stati membri, da una parte, e la Repubblica delle Filippine, dall'altra, per tener conto dell'adesione della Repubblica di Croazia all'Unione europea (13085/2014 - C8-0009/2015 - 2014/0224(NLE)) (A8-0148/2016),

– la relazione di Elmar Brok, a nome della commissione per gli affari esteri, sulla relazione recante una proposta di risoluzione non legislativa sul progetto di decisione del Consiglio relativa alla conclusione, a nome dell'Unione, dell'accordo quadro di partenariato e cooperazione tra l'Unione europea e i suoi Stati membri, da una parte, e la Repubblica delle Filippine, dall'altra (2015/2234(INI)) (A8-0143/2016).

 
  
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  Elmar Brok, Berichterstatter. – Herr Präsident, Herr Ratspräsident, Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir haben unsere Zustimmung zu geben für das Abkommen mit den Philippinen, das am 11. Juli 2012 unterzeichnet worden ist. Wenn wir dies morgen tun sollten, wird es angesichts der Tatsache, dass eine Reihe von Mitgliedstaaten schon ratifiziert hat, möglich sein, dass dieses Abkommen noch in diesem Jahr in Kraft tritt.

Wir stimmen auch – und das ist das Leichteste –, über das Kroatien-Protokoll, das damit im Zusammenhang steht, wie auch unsere Entschließung ab. Wir sollten unsere bilateralen Beziehungen verstärken, weil es im gemeinsamen Interesse ist. Ich glaube auch, dass diese Beziehungen dann besonders gefestigt werden können, wenn die Philippinen auf ihrem Weg für Demokratie und den Respekt für fundamentale Rechte weiter vorangehen. Dann kann diese Beziehung sehr viel mehr auch formalisiert werden.

Die Philippinen sind mit über 100 Millionen Einwohnern im Herzen Südostasiens ein großer und wichtiger politischer und wirtschaftlicher Partner für uns. Die Philippinen liegen an der bedeutenden internationalen Schifffahrtstraße und der air navigation route im Südchinesischen Meer, und aufgrund der territorialen Diskussionen, die dort stattfinden, ist dies eine wichtige Frage, wo wir einen Stakeholder für eine friedliche Lösung brauchen. Deswegen ist es sinnvoll, mit den Philippinen gute Beziehungen zu entwickeln.

Die Philippinen sind auch involviert in diese territorialen Dispute im Südchinesischen Meer. Chinas aggressive Methoden in den diskutierten Gewässern sind von großer Bedeutung und sorgen in der internationalen Welt für große Besorgnis. Ich möchte unseren Appell hier erneuern, dass dieser Disput in friedlicher Weise und auf Grundlage des internationalen Rechts gelöst werden soll. Auch darf die Freiheit der Navigation nicht verletzt werden. Ich würde auch zum Ausdruck bringen und die Partner auffordern und ermutigen, eine friedvolle Lösung zu suchen und hier eine engere Zusammenarbeit auch in der Exploration der Ressourcen zu finden.

Die Philippinen sind wichtig im Kampf gegen den internationalen Terrorismus. Die militärischen Gruppen in den südlichen Philippinen stehen im engen Kontakt mit regionalen südostasiatischen und internationalen terroristischen Gruppen wie Al-Qaida und ISIS. Es ist notwendig, hier gemeinsam auch der Propaganda dieser internationalen Organisationen entgegenzutreten.

Ich finde, dass der Mindanao-Friedensprozess und die Vereinbarung vom März 2014 für ein Friedensabkommen eingehalten werden sollten und dass daran so weitergearbeitet werden muss, dass das Bangsamoro Basic Law endlich im neuen philippinischen Parlament angenommen werden soll.

Der neue Präsident der Philippinen wird am 30. Juli sein Amt übernehmen. Er hat manche harte Bemerkungen gemacht, die zu Diskussionen geführt haben. Die hardline zero-tolerance policy, die er zum Ausdruck gebracht hat, gibt auch Anlass für manche Sorgen, wie es mit der Entwicklung der Grundrechte weitergehen soll. Aber es gibt auch begründete Positionen und Auffassungen, dass er den Mindanao-Friedensprozess fortsetzen wird und wir darauf Wert legen.

Die Europäische Union hat den Philippinen im letzten Dezember GSP+ trade preferences gegeben. Das nutzt der philippinischen Wirtschaft und auch Europa. Das könnte auch ein Beispiel für andere ASEAN-Länder sein, die versuchen sollten, wie die Philippinen Kernkonventionen im internationalen Bereich zum Thema Menschenrechte und Arbeitsrechte, für bessere Umwelt und good governance zu ratifizieren und voranzubringen. Das sollte sicherlich als Beispiel und Erkenntnis, dass dies eine Vorbedingung für den GSP+-Status ist, vorangetragen werden. Wenn dieses Rahmenabkommen ein Erfolg wird, sollten wir als Europäische Union anstreben, in absehbarer Zeit ein Freihandelsabkommen mit den Philippinen auszuhandeln.

 
  
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  Bert Koenders, President-in-Office of the Council, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – I would like to thank also very much Elmar Brok for his report and for his presentation tonight. I agree with his view and the importance he attaches to strengthening and cementing the relationship with the Philippines.

The Philippines is sometimes, in my view, underestimated as to how important that country is. It is far away, but it is a key partner for the European Union. We have extensive trade contacts; it is an important country, as you mentioned, because of its strategic location in Southeast Asia. It is a country which has a very complex situation both internally and externally – you mentioned and correctly so the importance of the Mindanao peace process and the need to underpin this peace agreement, to invest in it, and to hope also that it will lead to further legislation in the Philippines itself.

We have a relationship – the Philippines and the European Union – as you know, grounded in a very long history and strong mutual interests. This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the European Union-Philippines partnership. Over the last quarter century our ties have grown into a partnership with many different elements, including trade development, I think probably at its core, but also increasingly encompassing political and security cooperation and with – which I think is important – extensive people—to—people contact. Of course many of us know this because actually the Philippines is a country which exports labour and we have to make sure that the way that the labour is exported also in Europe is respected in terms of human rights.

The new agreement that you were mentioning, Mr Brok, will provide political momentum – I hope in a modern and comprehensive framework, which will allow this relationship to grow even further over the coming decades, in particular when it comes to politics and political ties. The 11 March statement on behalf of the European Union on recent developments in the South China Sea, as well as the European Union’s continued support to the important Mindanao peace process has also been welcomed by the Philippines. I think the successful conclusion of that peace process has at least the potential to deliver an important peace dividend in the fight against radicalisation.

Some groups, and in particular Abu Sayyaf, have claimed allegiance to ISIS and, of course, the European Union wishes to work closely with the Philippines in the most intelligent way possible to see how the Philippine Government can deal effectively with this internal threat. Just to give an example on these political ties that we are working on, this cementing as you mentioned it, the Philippines have accepted to co-chair together us, an ASEAN regional forum on the prevention of violent extremism, in 2016/17, so that we can work on different parts of this – not only the repressive part but also on the prevention and the de—radicalisation part.

The entry into force of the PCA is expected to be followed by the conclusion of a free trade agreement in the coming years. It is a good step. The first round of negotiations on the FTA took place in a good atmosphere. Since December 2014, GSP+ is granting better access to the European Union market for the Philippines, based on its commitment – and I think that is important – to implement core international conventions on human and labour rights, sustainable development and good governance.

The positive effects of the GSP+ are seen in growing Philippine exports to Europe. The first report on this was presented to you in January, as well as your report, Mr Brok, and it points out that work still needs to be done, especially in the area of UN human rights conventions, referred to in the GSP+ decision. I think, as you mentioned – and we see it also in the report – that refers specifically to judicial reform and to issues such as impunity and extrajudicial killings. These issues were already raised by you, correctly so, in a June 2012 EP resolution on cases of impunity in the Philippines.

Air transport is another crucial area for our relations with the Philippines as it links people cultures and businesses. I am pleased to announce the expected signature in the near future of a horizontal agreement on air services between us and the Philippines. I think this will bring existing bilateral air services agreements between the Philippines and the EU Member States into conformity with European Union law.

Then development: the Philippines is also a country with a lot of inequality. There are a lot of development issues, including on the area of sustainable development goals. We have a multiannual indicative programme covering the period 2014 to 2020 amounting to EUR 325 million; that represents a pretty big increase – 2.5 times compared to the previous period. I think it is important now that we work together with the Philippines chairmanship of ASEAN next year, and I think the Philippines have been extremely important to us in their willingness to engage on our aspirations to join the East Asia Summit. Of course, it is important to note and to say something, and Mr Brok you did this as well in the general elections that took place on 9 May. First of all, voter turnout was high; many people voted. The result was clear and the outcome is largely thanks also to the electoral commission of the Philippines and to the cooperation of the outgoing Aquino administration. I am aware, as you are, of a number of statements made during and after the election campaign by the winning candidate, but also by others, and notably the stated intention to reintroduce the death penalty. I can assure you that the European Union is determined to uphold the values of democracy, rule of law and human rights in its relationship with the Philippines. We are looking forward to engaging with the new administration constructively on all issues; we have to judge the new administration by their deeds. I intend to learn about the policy orientations of the future administration as soon as possible, ideally in the margins of the Asia—Europe meeting which will take place on 15 July – two weeks after the inauguration of the President-elect, Roberto Duterte.

To conclude, Mr President, the ratification of the PCA will provide a platform for increased cooperation and institutionalised contacts across the board of our relationship, including through all these elements: development, trade GSP+, labour rights and a dialogue on human rights.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: RYSZARD CZARNECKI
Wiceprzewodniczący

 
  
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  Werner Langen, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. –Herr Präsident, Herr Vorsitzender! Ich möchte mich den beiden Vorrednern anschließen, dem Kollegen Brok für diesen sehr guten Bericht und dem Minister für die Analyse der noch offenen Probleme Danke sagen. Als Vorsitzender der ASEAN-Delegation im Europäischen Parlament befürworte ich ausdrücklich diesen Abschluss des Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommens. Wir sehen die Fortschritte, wir wissen, dass auf den Philippinen ein demokratischer Machtwechsel ohne Blutvergießen möglich ist, wir wissen, dass die Philippinen acht von neun Menschenrechtskonventionen unterzeichnet haben.

Wir kennen allerdings auch die Defizite, und insbesondere die Handelspräferenzen, die dazu führen, dass 65 Prozent aller philippinischen Exportgüter zollfrei in die EU eingeführt werden, war ein weiterer Fortschritt in den vergangenen Jahren. Wir waren selbst engagiert in den Verhandlungen zum Friedensprozess in Mindanao mit der MILF, und wir haben bedauert, dass das Abkommen nicht mehr unterzeichnet wurde. Aber wir setzen darauf, dass das unter dem neuen Präsidenten erfolgt und wir am Ende auf der Grundlage des jetzt zu verabschiedenden Partnerschafts- und Kooperationsabkommens ein Free Trade Agreement mit den Philippinen hinbekommen. Vielen Dank für die vielfältige Mithilfe.

 
  
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  Goffredo Maria Bettini, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'approvazione dell'accordo quadro di partenariato e cooperazione tra l'Unione europea e la Repubblica delle Filippine è davvero un atto molto importante. Come relatore ombra dell'S&D ringrazio tutti i colleghi, ma in particolare l'onorevole Brok, che ha tenuto conto con grande equilibrio e intelligenza degli emendamenti da noi proposti, raggiungendo così dei compromessi che hanno avuto una grande maggioranza. Questa approvazione dell'accordo conferma l'impulso che noi europei vogliamo dare agli scambi commerciali e alla loro libertà, anche come occasione di sviluppo della democrazia e dei diritti umani, condizioni decisive per concludere ogni intesa in campo commerciale.

Tuttavia, il particolare significato di questo accordo riguarda il fatto che la proposta investe un'area del mondo in enorme espansione. Il Sud-Est asiatico ha paesi che crescono assai più di quanto cresca l'Europa e ha popolazioni giovani, attive, voraci di vita. Tra questi paesi ci sono le Filippine: una grande e bellissima terra, con una storia antica e con un tradizionale rapporto con l'Occidente. Le Filippine, come tanti altri paesi, hanno ancora problemi gravi di criminalità, corruzione e abusi da parte delle forze dell'ordine, ma non va dimenticato che sono una grande democrazia, con una Costituzione che difende i principi fondamentali di libertà e di rispetto delle persone.

Ecco perché i richiami, che pure abbiamo sollevato riguardo ad un miglioramento dei diritti umani, delle condizioni di povertà e dell'intervento sul clima, sono nel quadro di una volontà di collaborazione, di sostegno e di amicizia con le Filippine, e non hanno un carattere distruttivo. Spero che nei prossimi mesi questa collaborazione con le Filippine possa andare molto avanti anche sul piano culturale e politico più in generale, e spero che questo governo che è stato eletto con una grande maggioranza possa davvero migliorare la situazione.

 
  
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  Bas Belder, namens de ECR-Fractie. – In paragraaf 12 van de resolutie van het Europees Parlement over de Filipijnen worden terecht onze ernstige zorgen aangesneden over de spanningen in de Zuid-Chinese Zee. Want deze spanningen raken evenzeer Europese belangen als Filipijnse, en wel in drie opzichten. Ten eerste is de veiligheid van een belangrijke handelsroute voor de EU rechtstreeks in het geding. Ten tweede is ons trans-Atlantisch partnerschap als geopolitieke factor in het geding. En, drie, de normatieve internationale rechtsorde is voor de EU evenzeer in het geding.

De resolutie van het Europees Parlement is ook helder over de knelpunten van de conflictsituatie in de Zuid-Chinese Zee. Met zijn weigering van internationale arbitrage en een beleid van voldongen feiten, ook militaire feiten ter plaatse, wordt Peking rechtstreeks aangesproken.

Bij deze constatering laat de resolutie het gelukkig echter niet. Er wordt gepleit voor een effectieve gemeenschappelijke gedragscode voor de Zuid-Chinese Zee. Inderdaad, Brussel en Washington moeten die losgelaten draad van 2002 weer energiek oppakken, wat zeker ook een stimulans zal zijn voor een soepele Europees-Filipijnse samenwerking.

 
  
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  Илхан Кючюк, от името на групата ALDE. – Въпреки своята сложна географска структура през изминалите години, страната постигна значителен прогрес и неслучайно през декември 2014 г. Европейският съюз предостави на Филипините статут по Общата схема за преференции (GSP+). Toва я прави първата държава от Асоциацията на страните от Югоизточна Азия, която ползва такива търговски преференции, като има възможност да изнася безмитно за Европейския съюз 66% от всичките си продукти.

По отношение на правата на човека, Филипините са образец за другите държави в региона и са ратифицирали осем от деветте главни конвенции в тази област. Ето защо Европейският съюз е важен чуждестранен инвеститор и търговски партньор за Филипините, и ние приветстваме подписаното Рамково споразумение за партньорство и сътрудничество. Следва да продължим да предоставяме на Филипините финансова подкрепа за облекчаване на бедността, подпомагане при бедствия и помощ за възстановяване, както и за борбата с тероризма, трафика на хора и справяне с измененията на климата.

По отношение на нарастващата настойчивост на Китай и териториалните му претенции в Южнокитайско море следва да се отнесем с особена загриженост. В тази връзка, настоятелно призовавам всички страни в спорната зона да се въздържат от едностранни и провокативни действия, и да разрешават споровете по мирен начин въз основа на юрисдикцията на Конвенцията на ООН по морско право и на Арбитражния съд.

В заключение, искам да приветствам споразумението от декември 2015 г. за започване на преговори за свободна търговия с Филипините и съм убеден, че то ще отвори нови хоризонти пред бъдещото развитие на търговията и инвестициите между Европейския съюз и Асоциацията на страните от Югоизточна Азия.

 
  
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  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, πάγια μας θέση είναι πως η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και τρίτες χώρες μπορούν να αναπτύσσουν δεσμούς, εφόσον αυτό είναι προϊόν ελεύθερης βούλησης των μερών. Στη συγκεκριμένη περίπτωση αναφερόμαστε στις Φιλιππίνες, μια χώρα που αντιμετωπίζει σοβαρότατα προβλήματα, ειδικότερα σε θέματα που άπτονται των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, του κράτους δικαίου και της διαφθοράς. Πολύ σοβαρές είναι και οι εξελίξεις που συμβαίνουν στη Νότια Κινεζική Θάλασσα. Τασσόμαστε ενάντια σε μονομερείς ενέργειες που δημιουργούν εντάσεις και απειλούν την ειρήνη και τη σταθερότητα. Υποστηρίζουμε την ειρηνική επίλυση των ζητημάτων μέσα από ένα δομημένο διάλογο.

Στη δική μας αντίληψη το ψήφισμα θα μπορούσε να είναι πιο ισορροπημένο, αφού αναφέρεται μόνο στην επιθετικότητα της Κίνας και παραλείπει να αναφερθεί στις κοινές στρατιωτικές ασκήσεις Φιλιππινών και Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών. Τέλος θεωρούμε προβληματική τη σύνδεση της σημερινής συμφωνίας συνεργασίας με μια ενδεχόμενη συμφωνία ελευθέρου εμπορίου με το σύνολο των χωρών της Νοτιοανατολικής Ασίας. Πεποίθησή μας είναι ότι οι συμφωνίες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και τρίτων κρατών θα πρέπει να έχουν στο επίκεντρό τους τη βελτίωση της θέσης των πολιτών, την προστασία των δικαιωμάτων τους, του περιβάλλοντος και την οικοδόμηση της ειρήνης και της σταθερότητας.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Unsere Fraktion unterstützt das Kooperations- und Partnerschaftsabkommen mit den Philippinen und wird ihm zustimmen. Im Rahmen der EU-ASEAN Beziehungen sind die Philippinen ein wichtiger Partner für die EU, und wir wollen, dass diese Partnerschaft mit dem anstehenden Regierungswechsel noch verbessert wird, nicht nur im wirtschaftlichen Bereich. Wir erwarten, dass die Praxis des neuen Präsidenten verantwortlicher sein wird, als seine Reden zum Teil waren.

Wir sind verständnisvoll gegenüber den Philippinen, was die schwierige Situation im Südchinesischen Meer betrifft. Wir unterstützen einen friedlichen Umgang mit den Spannungen dort, und dazu gehört auch der anstehende Spruch der UNCLOS-Schiedskommission, deren Entscheidung von allen Beteiligten respektiert werden muss. Wir bedauern Menschenrechtsverletzungen durch das Militär und paramilitärische Kräfte, die auf den Philippinen nach wie vor geschehen, ebenso wie die Tatsache, dass die Friedensverhandlungen um das Bangsamora Basic Law noch nicht zum endgültigen Erfolg geführt werden konnten. Wir hoffen, dass die Menschen und Arbeitnehmerrechtskonventionen, die die Philippinen zahlreich unterschrieben haben, auch praktisch umgesetzt werden.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, non possiamo che salutare con favore l'idea che ci sia un accordo di partenariato con le Filippine, sebbene ci siano anche delle criticità molto importanti che debbono essere necessariamente sottolineate. Anche la concessione dello status SGP+ sui diritti umani forse può essere stata un po' troppo frettolosa, alla luce del fatto che, come riportano molti report, tra cui Amnesty International, ancora esistono torture e trattamenti degradanti, operati soprattutto dalle forze di polizia, sparizioni forzate, impunità e attentati alla libertà di espressione, nonché abusi da parte delle milizie irregolari armate.

Inoltre, sottolineo anche quanto sia inopportuno da parte nostra inserirci in modo acritico nelle tensioni nel Mar Cinese meridionale, frontiera dello scontro tra blocchi tra Cina e Stati Uniti, esemplificato anche dalla firma del TPP. Bisogna invece approntare ben altro tipo di difese commerciali contro l'aggressione cinese ai nostri prodotti e non impelagarci invece in controverse territoriali che sono diretta continuazione delle priorità geopolitiche altrui. Aspettiamo da questo nuovo governo di Rodrigo Duterte passi in avanti veri e coerenti con quello che ha promesso in campagna elettorale.

 
  
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  Mario Borghezio, a nome del gruppo ENF. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il giudizio su questo accordo è un po' incrinato dalle conseguenze che esso può avere, conseguenze che ritengo anche pesanti e dannose per alcuni importanti comparti della produzione europea, in particolare di quella del mio paese, l'Italia. Per esempio, l'accordo che permette alle Filippine di esportare, esente da dazio, il 66% dei suoi prodotti, fra cui calzature e prodotti tessili: questo non va certamente nella direzione da noi auspicata.

Anche per le Filippine l'obiettivo dell'Unione europea pare essere quello di arrivare a un accordo di libero scambio commerciale. Ma nella relazione, nell'accordo, considerano che oggi come oggi chi volesse fare attività d'impresa nelle Filippine, partendo magari dall'Europa, sarebbe costretto, volente o nolente, a prendere accordi con un partner locale, che per legge deve avere la maggioranza. E questo con la libertà di impresa e di libero scambio fa a pugni, a mio modesto avviso. Il presidente Duterte ha annunciato grandi lavori, grandi piani di investimento, opere pubbliche, ma le nostre piccole e medie imprese potranno partecipare? Dubito molto.

 
  
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  Francisco José Millán Mon (PPE). – Señor Presidente, Filipinas es un importante miembro de la ASEAN y un país especialmente cercano a la Unión Europea con el que compartimos lazos históricos, principios y cada vez más intereses. El Acuerdo que mañana aprobaremos representa un gran avance: refuerza la relación política y pone las bases para una mayor cooperación bilateral en áreas tan destacadas como la lucha contra la pobreza, el cambio climático o el terrorismo. Filipinas lleva años sufriendo el terrorismo de Abu Sayyaf y además, la presencia del Dáesh es cada vez mayor. El acuerdo marco facilitará también la negociación del acuerdo de libre comercio entre la Unión Europea y Filipinas —negociaciones ahora en curso—, que sustituirá a un instrumento unilateral como el SPG + concedido en diciembre de 2014.

Quiero destacar, además, la necesidad de que Filipinas continúe su lucha contra la pesca ilegal no declarada y no reglamentada. La Comisión Europea deberá seguir este asunto con atención. Y termino celebrando, de nuevo, la conclusión de este acuerdo que facilitará una relación más estrecha de la Unión Europea con este importante país de la región Asia-Pacífico.

 
  
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  Neena Gill (S&D). – Mr President, I welcome the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the Philippines as a vital basis for strengthening relations with the country and region that is fast gaining its geopolitical importance. The EU is a major partner for the Philippines in trade and investment, but how much clout will we have once the TPP – a major US trade deal with the region which Philippines is eager to join – is fully ratified and implemented? So if we want to stay ahead of the game, it is key that we move forward on negotiations for an FTA which should serve as a stepping stone for a regional deal with South-East Asia.

Another area where we should really step up engagement is the South China Sea, where Chinese provocations are fuelling tensions on a daily basis. Finding a solution is not only key for global stability, but also for our trade routes. It is important for the EU to become a vastly more pro-active and visible actor in the region, but not by turning a blind eye to human rights issues in return, especially given that President-elect Duterte’s recent remarks yesterday are of real concern to us.

 
  
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  Adam Szejnfeld (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Azja Południowo-Wschodnia, szczególnie Morze Południowochińskie, to dzisiaj z jednej strony beczka prochu, która grozi wybuchem w każdej chwili ze względu na mnogość konfliktów i dużą koncentrację olbrzymich wojsk z różnych państw, ale z drugiej strony jest to rejon świetnie rozwijających się gospodarczo, ekonomicznie państw – tygrysów azjatyckich. Bardzo ważne jest więc, aby Unia Europejska miała bardzo silną zarówno polityczną, jak i dyplomatyczną oraz ekonomiczną obecność w tym rejonie. Dobre stosunki z Filipinami – stumilionowym, katolickim państwem powinny, moim zdaniem, być dla nas priorytetem i dlatego cieszę się, że finalizujemy umowę o partnerstwie i współpracy oraz rozpoczynamy negocjacje o wolnym handlu między Unią Europejską i Filipinami. Obyśmy jak najszybciej sfinalizowali obie umowy.

 
  
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  Alessia Maria Mosca (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, le Filippine sono un partner strategico in una regione cruciale dello scacchiere globale, con altissimo potenziale di sviluppo. L'accordo di cooperazione è uno strumento per approfondire il dialogo in materia economica e commerciale, così come per rafforzare la collaborazione sui diritti umani e sulla collaborazione strategica. Il partenariato e l'apertura dei negoziati commerciali dovranno rispondere a una maggiore coerenza fra interessi economici e principi democratici, in linea con il sistema GSP+ in vigore. L'accordo di cooperazione e il futuro accordo di libero scambio sono l'evoluzione di un percorso naturale che vede l'Unione europea al fianco delle Filippine. Considerando il dinamismo economico delle Filippine e l'importanza di stabilire nuovi e stretti legami con il paese della regione, l'intera strategia dovrà mirare alla realizzazione di un terreno comune, fatto di valori condivisi, di cui possono beneficiare i cittadini e i lavoratori di entrambe le parti, rinvigorendo la cooperazione e rafforzando gli scambi.

 
  
 

Pytania z sali

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς ( ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η νέα εταιρική σχέση Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης-Φιλιππίνων είναι σημαντική, κυρίως για τις ευρωπαϊκές πολυεθνικές, οι οποίες επιχειρούν να επενδύσουν εκεί σε μια αναδυόμενη οικονομία όπου όπως ισχύουν μισθοί πείνας. Ταυτόχρονα στις Φιλιππίνες και ιδίως στα ορυχεία δεν τηρούνται βασικά εργασιακά και κοινωνικά δικαιώματα, ενώ συναντάται συχνά το φαινόμενο της παιδικής εργασίας που αφορά δύο εκατομμύρια ανηλίκους. Η διαφθορά, η παραβίαση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, οι ποινικές διώξεις πολιτικών αντιπάλων είναι επίσης στην ημερήσια διάταξη. Οι κοινωνικές ανισότητες και η φτώχεια στις Φιλιππίνες αποτελούν λίπασμα για τους τζιχαντιστές, οι οποίοι εμφανίζουν επικίνδυνη δράση.

Η συμφωνία εταιρικής συνεργασίας Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης-Φιλιππίνων, όπως κάθε συμφωνία ελευθέρων συναλλαγών με φτωχές χώρες, θα πλήξει τον ευάλωτο τομέα των μικρομεσαίων επιχειρήσεων στα κράτη μέλη της Ένωσης και θα αυξήσει την ανεργία. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση δεν θα πρέπει στο όνομα της κερδοφορίας των ευρωπαϊκών εταιρειών να κλείνει τα μάτια στις παραβιάσεις των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, πολύ δε περισσότερο όταν η ίδια η εταιρική σχέση δρα υπέρ των συμφερόντων των μεγάλων επιχειρήσεων.

 
  
 

(Koniec pytań z sali)

 
  
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  Bert Koenders, President-in-Office of the Council, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I think this has been a very useful exchange and I thank all the honourable Members for the clarity of their interventions. I have listened carefully to most of your points, actually to all of your points, and taken good note of your expectations and concerns regarding the implementation of the Partnership and Cooperation Agreement (PCA), and beyond that regarding the overall relationship between the European Union and the Philippines.

I think from this debate with you that we both share a common desire to further develop European Union-Philippines relations, but to continue to ensure that this deepening remains based on our global common values and interests. You have referred to different issues there and I think they are around the issue of human rights, free and fair trade, the situation in the Chinese Sea and the issue of the peace process in the Philippines.

Let me start with the issue of the human rights situation. Let me remove all kinds of worries that this would remain unmonitored, so to speak. The EU’s assessment of the human rights situation in the Philippines has been described, notably in the report on the generalised scheme of preferences covering 2014—2015 – submitted to you in January 2016 – and I think we are planning to continue to judge compliance with the United Nations human rights conventions, referred to obviously in the GSP+ decision, and the EU’s GoJust programme will provide a vehicle to strengthen institutional capacities so that we do not only monitor but also strengthen the capacity and the work of the National Human Rights Commission in the Philippines.

In 2017, the universal periodic review will look at the implementation of the international commitments made by the Philippines while under the PCA, as you know, a human rights dialogue will be established.

On the FTA negotiations themselves: they were launched at the end of last year. We had a first round in May 2016 and we hope to conclude an agreement that covers a broad range of issues. As you know, in the ASEAN region the Philippines are very important to us; I think they are the fifth, and probably soon the fourth, largest economy and the second biggest market. The trade in services between the European Union and the Philippines was worth also substantial figures, over three billion in 2014. The European Union is also the largest investor, foreign investor, in the Philippines. That is sometimes not known. People think it is the United States; no, it is the European Union.

Now I think the issues surrounding unfair competition are very important and should be addressed, obviously, in the FTA, in negotiations. There will be a dedicated specific trade sustainability impact assessment for the bilateral FTA that will incorporate many issues, including this one, but also human rights dimensions, as well as impact assessment and sustainability impact assessments. I think it is important to say that.

Then you were all talking about the external and internal strategic situation in the Philippines and outside the Philippines. First of all, the issue of the country’s stands on the South China Sea and the Permanent Arbitration Court. Let me just say what the European Union’s position is. As you know, probably, we have already highlighted, in the EU-28 statement of 11 March 2016 on recent developments in the South China Sea, our principal position on the need to maintain the rule of law, to settle disputes peacefully without recourse to a threat or use of force and to abstain from unilateral actions which could increase the tensions. These are the three elements of the Council’s position on this.

Of course, concerning the sovereignty issues themselves, we have no position; we do not take a position. The European Union is a contracting party to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea and we have really full confidence in the proceedings underway and are looking forward to the Tribunal rendering its work public this summer. A negotiated solution on the code of conduct between China and ASEAN, underway for quite some time, supported by confidence-building measures, is the best solution, and we encourage ASEAN and the Philippines to continue on this path.

Let me mention in conclusion the importance of the internal peace processes in the Philippines. I think this will be one of the yardsticks, especially for the people of the Philippines: to what extent also the new incoming administration will be able to make progress in peace negotiations both in Mindanao and with the NPA. We will of course promote this. We will support that. I will not go into all the details of these negotiations, because of the time, but do realise and know that European Union support for Mindanao is also part of the Instrument contributing to Stability and Peace programme – for instance the EU’s support for implementation of the comprehensive agreement on Bangsamoro, which is a substantial programme of over EUR 5 million, implementation of which started in August 2015.

 
  
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  Przewodniczący. – Zamykam debatę.

Głosowanie odbędzie się w środę 8 czerwca 2016 r.

 
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