Index 
Debates
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Thursday, 18 May 2017 - Strasbourg Revised edition
1. Opening of the sitting
 2. Negotiations ahead of Parliament's first reading (approval) (Rule 69c of the Rules of Procedure): see Minutes
 3. Achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes
 4. EU Strategy on Syria (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes
 5. Dadaab refugee camp (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes
 6. Making relocation happen (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes
 7. Implementation of the Council's LGBTI Guidelines, particularly in relation to the persecution of (perceived) homosexual men in Chechnya, Russia (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes
 8. The right funding mix for Europe’s regions: balancing financial instruments and grants in EU cohesion policy - Future perspectives for technical assistance in cohesion policy (debate)
 9. Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law
  9.1. Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema
  9.2. Ethiopia, notably the case of Dr Merera Gudina
  9.3. South Sudan
 10. Composition of Parliament : see Minutes
 11. Voting time
  11.1. Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema (RC-B8-0361/2017, B8-0361/2017, B8-0363/2017, B8-0365/2017, B8-0366/2017, B8-0368/2017, B8-0372/2017) (vote)
  11.2. Ethiopia, notably the case of Dr Merera Gudina (RC-B8-0369/2017, B8-0369/2017, B8-0371/2017, B8-0373/2017, B8-0374/2017, B8-0375/2017, B8-0376/2017, B8-0377/2017) (vote)
  11.3. South Sudan (RC-B8-0358/2017, B8-0358/2017, B8-0359/2017, B8-0360/2017, B8-0362/2017, B8-0364/2017, B8-0367/2017, B8-0370/2017) (vote)
  11.4. Agreement between the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway on an EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 (A8-0072/2017 - David Borrelli) (vote)
  11.5. The right funding mix for Europe’s regions: balancing financial instruments and grants in EU cohesion policy (A8-0139/2017 - Andrey Novakov) (vote)
  11.6. Future perspectives for technical assistance in cohesion policy (A8-0180/2017 - Ruža Tomašić) (vote)
  11.7. Cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market (A8-0378/2016 - Jean-Marie Cavada) (vote)
  11.8. Decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations: Coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities (A8-0192/2017 - Sabine Verheyen, Petra Kammerevert) (vote)
  11.9. Implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (A8-0123/2017 - Adam Szejnfeld) (vote)
  11.10. Achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (RC-B8-0345/2017, B8-0345/2017, B8-0346/2017, B8-0347/2017, B8-0348/2017, B8-0352/2017, B8-0354/2017) (vote)
  11.11. EU Strategy on Syria (RC-B8-0331/2017, B8-0331/2017, B8-0333/2017, B8-0335/2017, B8-0337/2017, B8-0338/2017, B8-0341/2017, B8-0342/2017) (vote)
  11.12. Road transport in the European Union (B8-0290/2017) (vote)
  11.13. Dadaab refugee camp (RC-B8-0300/2017, B8-0300/2017, B8-0332/2017, B8-0334/2017, B8-0336/2017, B8-0339/2017) (vote)
  11.14. Making relocation happen (B8-0340/2017, B8-0343/2017, B8-0344/2017) (vote)
  11.15. Implementation of the Council's LGBTI Guidelines, particularly in relation to the persecution of (perceived) homosexual men in Chechnya, Russia (B8-0349/2017, B8-0349/2017, B8-0350/2017, B8-0351/2017, B8-0353/2017, B8-0355/2017, B8-0356/2017) (vote)
 12. Explanations of vote
  12.1. Agreement between the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway on an EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 (A8-0072/2017 - David Borrelli)
  12.2. The right funding mix for Europe’s regions: balancing financial instruments and grants in EU cohesion policy (A8-0139/2017 - Andrey Novakov)
  12.3. Future perspectives for technical assistance in cohesion policy (A8-0180/2017 - Ruža Tomašić)
  12.4. Cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market (A8-0378/2016 - Jean-Marie Cavada)
  12.5. Implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (A8-0123/2017 - Adam Szejnfeld)
  12.6. Achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (RC-B8-0345/2017, B8-0345/2017, B8-0346/2017, B8-0347/2017, B8-0348/2017, B8-0352/2017, B8-0354/2017)
  12.7. EU Strategy on Syria (RC-B8-0331/2017, B8-0331/2017, B8-0333/2017, B8-0335/2017, B8-0337/2017, B8-0338/2017, B8-0341/2017, B8-0342/2017)
  12.8. Road transport in the European Union (B8-0290/2017)
  12.9. Dadaab refugee camp (RC-B8-0300/2017, B8-0300/2017, B8-0332/2017, B8-0334/2017, B8-0336/2017, B8-0339/2017)
  12.10. Making relocation happen (B8-0340/2017, B8-0343/2017, B8-0344/2017)
 13. Corrections to votes and voting intentions : see Minutes
 14. Council position at first reading: see Minutes
 15. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting : see Minutes
 16. Major interpellations (debate)
 17. Documents received: see Minutes
 18. Petitions: see Minutes
 19. Decisions concerning certain documents: see Minutes
 20. Forwarding of texts adopted during the sitting : see Minutes
 21. Dates of forthcoming sittings : see Minutes
 22. Adjournment of the session


PRZEWODNICTWO: RYSZARD CZARNECKI
Wiceprzewodniczący

1. Opening of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(Posiedzenie zostało otwarte o godz. 9.00)

 

2. Negotiations ahead of Parliament's first reading (approval) (Rule 69c of the Rules of Procedure): see Minutes
Video of the speeches

3. Achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes

4. EU Strategy on Syria (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes

5. Dadaab refugee camp (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes

6. Making relocation happen (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes

7. Implementation of the Council's LGBTI Guidelines, particularly in relation to the persecution of (perceived) homosexual men in Chechnya, Russia (motions for resolutions tabled): see Minutes

8. The right funding mix for Europe’s regions: balancing financial instruments and grants in EU cohesion policy - Future perspectives for technical assistance in cohesion policy (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Przewodniczący. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dnia jest wspólna debata nad:

– sprawozdaniem sporządzonym przez Andreya Novakova w imieniu Komisji Rozwoju Regionalnego w sprawie właściwej kombinacji funduszy na rzecz regionów Europy: zapewnienie równowagi między instrumentami finansowymi a dotacjami w ramach polityki spójności UE (2016/2302(INI)) (A8-0139/2017) oraz

– sprawozdaniem sporządzonym przez Ružę Tomašić w imieniu Komisji Rozwoju Regionalnego w sprawie perspektyw pomocy technicznej w ramach polityki spójności (2016/2303(INI)) (A8-0180/2017).

 
  
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  Андрей Новаков, докладчик. – Г-н Председател, още в началото искам да благодаря за подкрепата и сътрудничеството на координатора на ЕНП в комисията REGI, г-н ван Нистелрой, както и за подкрепата на всички колеги, работещи в комисията по регионално развитие във връзка с този доклад. Качествена работа и добри резултати не бихме могли да представим и без доброто сътрудничество с комисар Крецу, която постоянно се опитва да подобри резултатите на политиката на сближаване.

Говорейки за политиката на сближаване, трябва да си кажем, че това отдавна не е просто една от политиките на Европейския съюз. Това отдавна не са просто фондове, нито просто проекти. Политиката на сближаване и проектите, които финансираме чрез европейските структурни инвестиционни фондове, се превърнаха в част от вярванията и ценностите, които споделяме – пример за това как можем да изразяваме нашата европейска солидарност.

Превърнахме се от институция в отражение на мнението и интересите на хората. Ето защо е изключително важно след 2020 г. да продължим да запазваме този фин баланс между портфолиото от финансови инструменти и безвъзмездно финансиране, което предоставяме за нашите региони и общини. Централната ни задача трябва да бъде да отговаряме на техните желания и на техните потребности, като едновременно с това нито една от кризите, които сполетяват Европейския съюз, или предизвикателствата, пред които сме изправени, не бива да ни пречат да изпълняваме тези ангажименти.

Ето защо не е редно още от сега да започнем да говорим за това какъв процент трябва да бъдат финансовите инструменти, в какъв процент трябва да бъде безвъзмездното финансиране, след като то трябва да бъде подчинено само и единствено на интересите на нашите общини и региони.

Важно е обаче да предвидим какво ще последва след нашата интервенция и какво би било най-важно за бенефициентите. Да поставим приоритети! Моето предложение е те да са малко на брой, но обезпечени с ресурс, така че лесно да можем да видим резултатите. Отдавна, това което се брои от нашата работа, не са докладите, не са отчетите, не е счетоводството. Това са видимите резултати, които нашите граждани виждат. Причината да ни изпратят тук, особено хората, които работят в комисията по регионално развитие, е да правим живота им по-лесен, а държавите от Европейския съюз – по-богати. Считам, че това е ролята поне на нашата работа в тази комисия.

Новите инициативи, които започваме в Европейския съюз, са похвални. Много от тях са успешни и отговарят на очакванията на хората, отговарят на предизвикателствата, които са пред нас. Обаче не бива да забравяме, че политиката на сближаване и безвъзмездното финансиране за развиващите се региони не са подаяния. Те са част от цялото, което представлява Европейският съюз, част от стремежа да представим еднакво качество на живот във всяка точка на Европейския съюз. В противен случай ограждането с огради няма да бъде просто физическо, но и още по-страшно. Ще бъде в разбиранията ни, където вместо да градим мостове, ще градим прегради.

Ето защо считам, че е изключително важно с този доклад да поставим началото на смислен дебат по същество как да запазим безвъзмездното финансиране за развиващите се региони и да представим финансови инструменти за по-бързо развиващите се, като освен това успеем да направим така, че всичко ново, което представяме – и финансови инструменти, и грантове, да бъдат еднакво достъпни във всяка точка на Европейския съюз, а сигурен съм – хората ще оценят това.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić, izvjestitelj. – Gospodine predsjedniče, poštovana izaslanice Crețu, kohezijska je politika možda jedan od najboljih primjera kako članstvo u Europskoj uniji može biti pozitivno za slabije razvijene države članice. Jedinstveno tržište i četiri temeljne slobode u teoriji zvuče krasno, ali ako su države članice previše različite u svom stupnju ekonomskog razvoja, uvijek se stječe dojam da netko nekog iskorištava.

Iz slabije razvijenih članica radnici odlaze u one razvijenije spremni raditi za manje novca od domicilne radne snage što spušta cijenu rada i stvara nezadovoljstvo domaćih ljudi. S druge strane, slabije razvijene članice gube radno sposobno stanovništvo i tako ulaze još dublje u dugoročnu ekonomsku i demografsku krizu.

Smanjenje ovih razlika tako da one ne potiču prevelike migracijske valove iz siromašnijih u bogatije članice Unije i stvaraju nezadovoljstvo građana vrlo je važno za budućnost Europske unije. Kohezijska politika ima važno mjesto u tom procesu, a tehnička je potpora, o kojoj danas govorimo, kvalitetan mehanizam za stvaranje pretpostavki za dobro korištenje fondova i financiranje kvalitetnih projekata u slabije razvijenim članicama.

Manjak administrativnog kapaciteta u slabije razvijenim članicama velika je prepreka boljem korištenju europskog novca. Postkomunističke zemlje u pravilu imaju veliku administraciju u odnosu na broj stanovnika, ali je ona nedovoljno istrenirana za brzo, učinkovito i transparentno povlačenje sredstava iz europskih fondova.Promjene koje će u kohezijskoj politici zasigurno uslijediti nakon 2020. mogle bi slabije razvijene članice zateći nespremnima, zbog čega bi one bile trajno onemogućene u hvatanju priključka s razvijenijima.

Zato je pravilno, učinkovito i transparentno korištenje tehničke potpore u sljedećem financijskom razdoblju toliko važno! Novim pristupom koji bi se temeljio na stvarnoj decentralizaciji, dobroj edukaciji i, što je najvažnije, evaluaciji provedenih projekata stvorit ćemo pretpostavke da se administracija bolje snalazi i osigura veću apsorpciju novca s europske razine.

U vrijeme pisanja izvješća razgovarala sam s nizom dionika iz različitih država članica i kod nekolicine sam primijetila isti problem – korištenje tehničke potpore tek je puko zadovoljavanje forme koje se u pravilu odvija na državnoj razini.

To moramo mijenjati. Ovaj novac treba biti korišten na nižim razinama i uključivati lokalne i regionalne aktere, anticipirati i zadovoljavati njihove potrebe, a osposobljavanja moraju biti prilagođena ciljanoj skupini sudionika.

Stoga ovim izvješćem pozivam da države članice bolje izvješćuju o vrstama aktivnosti koje se financiraju sredstvima tehničke pomoći, ali i o postignutim rezultatima. Vrijeme ide, novac se troši, a rezultati izostaju i to vrlo vjerojatno zato što nije bilo pravog sustava evaluacije. Zato mislim da treba razmotriti i redovito ažuriranje i javnu dostupnost baze podataka o aktivnostima koje države članice namjeravaju poduzeti ili su ih već poduzele.

Nadam se da ćemo učiti na dosadašnjim greškama i doista se posvetiti poboljšanju buduće uporabe tehničke pomoći. Svrha nije samo potrošiti novac nego ga prvenstveno iskoristiti za one kojima je namijenjen, a to možemo samo ako ih pravovremeno informiramo o ponuđenim mogućnostima osposobljavanja i stvorimo svijest o tome da tehnička potpora može puno pomoći u ekonomskom uzdizanju pasivnijih krajeva.

 
  
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  Daniele Viotti, relatore per parere della commissione per i bilanci. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la politica di coesione è uno dei maggiori successi dell'Unione europea, grazie ad essa molte regioni sono uscite dalla povertà ed essa ha garantito lo sviluppo anche delle regioni più periferiche.

In questi anni abbiamo fatto molto, ma non basta o almeno non basta più. Procedure burocratiche troppo lunghe, difficoltà nel combinare strumenti e fondi diversi e lungaggini varie stanno limitando il potenziale di questa straordinaria politica. È necessario, per esempio, che i fondi strutturali e i fondi per gli investimenti strategici, che stiamo rinnovando proprio in questi giorni, lavorino insieme andando a coprire le varie necessità di investimento o semplificare le radicalmente, come stiamo provando a fare in commissione bilanci, il regolamento finanziario, con poche norme ma chiare e applicabili.

La convergenza delle varie regioni europee è e deve rimanere una priorità assoluta per la Commissione e spero che le future prospettive per la politica di coesione possano davvero segnare un nuovo inizio per il nostro lavoro legislativo.

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, Membră a Comisiei. – Stimați membri ai Parlamentului European, dragi colegi, bună dimineața!

Aș dori să îmi încep discursul astăzi prin a mulțumi, în primul rând, Comisiei REGI, Comisiei pentru dezvoltare regională din cadrul Parlamentului European, dar și celor doi raportori, domnul Novakov și doamna Tomašić, pentru aceste rapoarte.

În primul rând, voi vorbi despre raportul cu privire la echilibrul potrivit dintre instrumentele financiare și granturi în cadrul politicii de coeziune a Uniunii Europene. Comisia bineînțeles că salută acest raport care vizează un subiect esențial pentru discuțiile în curs cu privire la Omnibus, schimbările propuse adoptării dumneavoastră în cadrul revizuirii cadrului financiar multianual, dar și pentru elaborarea politicii post-2020. În opinia noastră, a Comisiei Europene, o combinație adecvată între granturi și instrumente financiare este esențială pentru a face diferența pe teren, la nivel local și regional. Cred că putem fi cu toții de acord cu privire la câteva principii comune, necesare pentru a realiza acest lucru cu succes. În primul rând mixul de finanțare trebuie făcut în funcție de tipul investițiilor, dar și în funcție de caracteristicile fiecărui sector și a fiecărei regiuni în parte. Suntem de părere că o parte semnificativă a politicii de coeziune trebuie livrată prin intermediul granturilor și nici nu ar putea fi livrată altfel atunci când este vorba de infrastructuri esențiale, precum școli, spitale, îngrijirea copiilor care nu au un profit direct. Instrumentele financiare sunt cele care completează acest sprijin vizând investiții generatoare de venituri. În același timp, instrumentele financiare nu ar trebui rezervate doar instrumentelor bogate și știți foarte bine că încurajăm toate statele membre și acordăm asistență tehnică pentru ca toate regiunile, inclusiv cele mai sărace, să adopte și să își dubleze instrumentele financiare. Comisia sprijină toate regiunile în consolidarea capacității de a utiliza, așa cum spuneam, instrumentele financiare.

Al doilea principiu este cel al responsabilității, al responsabilizării părților interesate. Cred că acest lucru este esențial pentru a permite politicii de coeziune să aibă rezultate pe teren. Autoritățile de gestiune din cadrul programelor noastre sunt cei mai buni și cei mai apropiați parteneri ai noștri fără de care nu am putea implementa programele noastre. Aceștia sunt strategic plasați pentru a identifica acele combinații de granturi și instrumente financiare care se potrivesc fiecărei regiuni în parte. În schimb, băncile naționale și regionale de promovare beneficiază de expertiză fundamentală, de care trebuie să profităm pentru a ne consolida capacitatea de a atrage și a realiza cele mai bune investiții. De aceea, prin Omnibus propunem acordarea direct de contracte pentru implementarea instrumentelor financiare și bineînțeles că noi, în Comisie, am aprecia dacă aceste regulamente propuse prin Omnibus vor fi adoptate de către dumneavoastră și apoi de către Consiliu în cel mai scurt timp posibil.

Al treilea principiu: avem nevoie de un cadru bine determinat care să permită elaborarea unor proiecte sigure, de lungă durată și astfel este important ca schimbările pe care le discutăm acum să fie echilibrate și calibrate.

În ceea ce privește raportul din proprie inițiativă al doamnei Tomašić cu privire la viitoarea perspectivă a asistenței tehnice în politica de coeziune, Comisia bineînțeles că salută acest raport. Sunt recunoscute mai multe inițiative ale Comisiei, precum TAIEX REGIO PEER 2 PEER. Din păcate, în vizitele mele, pe care le am săptămânal în multe state membre, am de multe ori sentimentul că nici măcar miniștrii nu cunosc toate aceste instrumente pe care Comisia le pune la dispoziție și acest lucru mă întristează pentru că, practic, am inventat toate aceste instrumente tocmai pentru a veni în sprijinul statelor membre. Avem 250 de mii de lucrători pe teren în domeniul fondurilor europene. Aceștia au acumulat o experiență, mai mare sau mai mică; unii lucrează în acest domeniu de patruzeci și doi de ani, de când Fondul de dezvoltare regională a fost inventat, alții lucrează de zece ani, ca în România sau Bulgaria, alții de patru ani. Cred foarte mult în acest schimb de bune practici care sprijină schimbul între administratori de fonduri și experți pentru a crește capacitatea administrativă între statele membre, regiuni și municipalități. Oferim aceste servicii la cererea statelor membre și vă mărturisesc că avem foarte puține cereri în această privință; deci, dacă mâine un stat membru ne spune că are nevoie de asistență tehnică în privința achizițiilor publice, în cinci zile Comisia se mobilizează și trimite pe teren cei mai buni experți din regiunile care fac performanță în acest domeniu. Deci, din acest punct de vedere vă încurajez pe toți să faceți cunoscute toate instrumentele pe care Comisia le pune la dispoziție, gratuit, statelor membre. De aceea, vă felicit pentru acest raport pentru că oferiți sugestii prețioase cu privire la utilizarea mai eficientă a asistenței tehnice, un instrument foarte util, mai ales în contextul discuțiilor post-2020. Așadar, vreau să subliniez încă o dată că noi, în Comisia Europeană, încurajăm statele membre să adopte o abordare de utilizare a instrumentelor financiare direcționate având în vedere dificultățile și experiențele cu care s-au confruntat în trecut. De exemplu le-am sugerat statelor membre să folosească asistența tehnică pentru a finaliza îndeplinirea condiționalităților prealabile - ceea ce numim condiționalități ex-ante pentru investiții, dar și pentru implementarea acțiunilor de combatere a fraudei și a corupției. Din păcate, în general, statele membre doresc să folosească această asistență tehnică, în general, pentru a acoperi costurile personalului și a salariilor.

Apreciez discursul dumneavoastră și al domnului Novakov, care a subliniat foarte bine provocările legate de migrația forței de muncă, de fuga creierelor, brain drain, provocările demografice din regiunile mai puțin dezvoltate. Suntem aici să ajutăm. Aveți dreptate: training-ul și pregătirea sunt câteodată mai importante decât banii și mă bucur că ambii raportori, inclusiv reprezentantul Comisiei pentru bugete au subliniat responsabilitatea statelor membre, pentru că atunci când vine vorba de implementare, sută la sută este responsabilitatea acestor state. Am rugat statele membre să asigure că toate fondurile pot sprijini personalul și autoritățile care îndeplinesc cele mai importante sarcini, incluzând aici organismele intermediare, dar și autoritățile regionale și locale. Cred, la fel ca și dumneavoastră, că putem îmbunătăți felul în care folosim asistența tehnică, eu cred că trebuie sprijinită evoluția, suntem la începutul dezbaterii pentru viitorul politicii de coeziune. Ne gândim, de pildă, să devansăm asistența tehnică la începutul perioadei de finanțare, nu în fiecare an, astfel încât sistemul de implementare să poate fi pregătit înainte de demararea programelor și selecția proiectelor - este una dintre idei. Am putea folosi, de asemenea, asistența tehnică și pentru a sprijini administrațiile naționale și regionale să își consolideze rezerva de proiecte. Acest lucru ne va ajuta să ne asigurăm că implementarea proiectelor poate începe deîndată ce finanțările vor fi disponibile pentru că este foarte important pentru noi să învățăm din lecțiile trecutului și să nu mai începem ciclul financiar cu toate aceste întârzieri pe care le înregistrăm acum și le-am înregistrat și cu 7 ani în urmă. În orice caz, luăm în considerare și idei precum direcționarea mai bună a asistenței tehnice pentru beneficiari sau schimburile de experiență între regiuni.

Vă mulțumesc foarte mult. De asemenea, domnul de la buget, domnul Viotti a subliniat rolul fundamental al fondurilor strategice și fonduri de investiții structurale, modul cum acestea pot fi combinate pentru a maximiza impactul pe teren.

Aștept cu nerăbdare comentariile și sugestiile dumneavoastră. Mulțumesc foarte mult!

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas, relator de parecer da Comissão da Agricultura e do Desenvolvimento Rural. – Senhor Presidente, neste período de convergência, a União Europeia entrou a partir do ano 2000 numa trajetória de divergência com as regiões menos desenvolvidas e com essas regiões menos desenvolvidas a afastarem-se da média europeia e das regiões mais ricas.

Aliás, o Quadro Financeiro Plurianual reflete esta realidade com uma diminuição significativa das verbas dirigidas para a coesão, em comparação com quadros anteriores. E a questão dos instrumentos financeiros representa, de facto, uma outra face desta opção deliberada de subalternizar as políticas redistributivas e em matéria de política agrícola.

Devo dizer que, de acordo com as audições que realizámos no quadro da Comissão AGRI, ficou amplamente provado que os instrumentos financeiros não podem, em nenhum caso, substituir os apoios existentes, designadamente ao nível do segundo pilar da PAC e, portanto, a coesão não pode ser uma palavra de ordem. Implica meios, mas implica também, e não posso deixar de referir isso, o fim das políticas de austeridade, o fim das imposições da moeda única, que constrangem os Estados nacionais na realização dos seus planos de investimento público e limitam, em muitos casos, o próprio aproveitamento dos fundos estruturais.

 
  
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  Μαρία Σπυράκη, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας PPE. – Κυρία Επίτροπε, η στοχευμένη παροχή τεχνικής βοήθειας είναι καταλύτης για το μέλλον της συνοχής. Για τον λόγο αυτό, Επίτροπε Crețu, υποστηρίζω απολύτως την ιδέα σας για εμπροσθοβαρή χρηματοδότηση των προγραμμάτων στη συνοχή, σε συνδυασμό με εξειδικευμένη τεχνική βοήθεια. Στη νέα πραγματικότητα είναι απαραίτητο η τεχνική βοήθεια να είναι προσβάσιμη και να μπορεί να προσφέρει ειδικές υπηρεσίες, σε επίπεδο έργου, ή ακόμη και δικαιούχου. Σε κάθε περιφέρεια, σε κάθε δήμο, σε κάθε πανεπιστήμιο, σε κάθε υπουργείο υπάρχουν ξεχωριστές ανάγκες. Υπάρχουν ξεχωριστοί άνθρωποι, ξεχωριστοί πόροι και η τεχνική βοήθεια μπορεί να συμβάλει ώστε να γίνουν πράξη σχέδια με ιδιαίτερη σημασία για τις τοπικές κοινωνίες. Είναι, ως εκ τούτου, απαραίτητο πρώτα απ’ όλα να ενισχύσουμε τη διαφάνεια για τη δαπάνη των πόρων στην τεχνική βοήθεια και αμέσως να προχωρήσουμε σε μια μελέτη για τη συμβολή της τεχνικής βοήθειας στην εφαρμογή της πολιτικής συνοχής ώστε να καταλήξουμε σε στοχευμένους δείκτες και σε μεθόδους αξιολόγησης για την επόμενη προγραμματική περίοδο.

Έχουμε άλλωστε δείγμα γραφής για εξειδικευμένη τεχνική βοήθεια και είναι αυτό που συνέβη στην Ελλάδα με την task force. Σύμφωνα με την έκθεση του Ελεγκτικού Συνεδρίου, έχουμε θετικά αποτελέσματα στην απορρόφηση των πόρων, αλλά μικτά αποτελέσματα στην εφαρμογή βιώσιμων διαρθρωτικών μεταρρυθμίσεων. Για τον λόγο αυτό, η τεχνική βοήθεια είναι απαραίτητο να εστιάζει τόσο στην απορρόφηση όσο και στην εφαρμογή διαρθρωτικών μεταρρυθμίσεων που είναι απαραίτητες για τη βιώσιμη ανάπτυξη των κρατών μελών.

 
  
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  Liliana Rodrigues, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, os instrumentos financeiros são um meio para alcançar os objetivos da política de coesão e não um fim em si mesmos. Devem ser utilizados como uma ferramenta adicional para os sectores em que demonstrarem ser mais adequados do que as subvenções. As subvenções devem ser mantidas como o principal instrumento da política de coesão, especialmente para os pequenos beneficiários.

Para nós, socialistas, é claro que nos vamos concentrar nos projetos que mais importam aos cidadãos da União Europeia. Os investimentos devem centrar-se em domínios suscetíveis de produzir efeitos multiplicadores no emprego e no crescimento, como os investimentos em inovação, educação e energia sustentável.

As pessoas são a verdadeira força motriz por detrás da inovação e do estabelecer de sociedades justas e progressistas. Por esta razão, os instrumentos financeiros deverão também contribuir para o reforço do pilar social da política de coesão.

Importa também melhorar o desempenho dos instrumentos financeiros nas regiões menos desenvolvidas, isto é, nas regiões que possuem taxas de desemprego mais elevadas, tentando encontrar medidas, através de uma discriminação positiva, que ajudem a reduzir as assimetrias.

Por último, queremos uma política de coesão que continue a distribuir os fundos públicos da União Europeia mas que, ao mesmo tempo, defenda uma exigente responsabilização e prestação de contas. É crucial que sejam estabelecidas regras claras e que sejam fornecidas orientações de assistência técnica às administrações envolvidas para superar os problemas, algo que, desde o primeiro momento, a Sra. Comissária sempre defendeu a par do Parlamento Europeu.

Por fim, um bem-haja a todos aqueles que defendem a política de coesão como uma das melhores expressões de solidariedade entre as regiões da União Europeia.

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula, ALDE-ryhmän puolesta. – Arvoisa puhemies, ensinnäkin haluan kiittää esittelijää hyvästä työstä, tämä on hyvä mietintö.

Koheesiopolitiikassa ja EU:n budjetissa yleisesti tulisi olla käytössä sellainen rahoitusjärjestelmä, joka tekee mahdolliseksi budjetin suomien mahdollisuuksien hyödyntämisen, mutta joka myös houkuttelee yksityisiä sijoittajia niin, että sen tuloksena rahoitusvaje täyttyy.

Haluan korostaa, että lainoituksen ei kokonaan pidä korvata avustuksia, vaan tavoitteena tulee olla tarkoituksenmukainen yhdistelmä, joka parhaiten hyödyntää yrityksiä, alueita ja paikallista hallintoa.

Kun tarkastelemme EU:ssa sekä kehittyneempiä että vähemmän kehittyneitä jäsenmaita ja niiden investointitarpeita, huomaamme, että rahoitusvaje vaihtelee eri sektoreiden ja priorisointien suhteen. Yksi asia on kuitenkin selvä: avustuksen lisäksi tarvitaan muita rahoituskanavia. Ratkaisu löytyy lainoituksesta. Euroopan investointipankilla tulee olla tässä keskeisempi rooli. Euroopan investointipankki perustettiin Rooman sopimuksen yhteydessä, mutta nyt sen on aika saada keskeisempi rooli myös koheesiopolitiikassa. Jo nyt se tarjoaa lainoitusta, lainatakuita ja pääomaa, jotka yhdessä tukien ja avustusten kanssa muodostavat toimivan yksityisen ja julkisen rahoituksen järjestelmän.

Rahoitukseen liittyvät ongelmat ovat myös seurasta riittävän tiedon puutteesta. Kaikilla hallinnon tasoilla tarvitaan koulutusta ja ohjausta niin, että voidaan löytää sopiva rahoitusvalikoima kuhunkin tilanteeseen. Myös Euroopan investointipankin roolia tiedon jakajana tulee vahvistaa. Kuhunkin tilanteeseen mietitty tarkoituksenmukainen rahoitusvalikoima on tärkeä tekijä, kun luodaan luoda uutta tulevaisuuteen tähtäävä koheesiopolitiikkaa.

 
  
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  Martina Michels, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Im Weißbuch zur Zukunft der EU gibt es mindestens ein Szenario, in dem die EU-Kohäsionspolitik über Bord gehen würde. Dabei geht es doch dort um nicht weniger als um Solidarität, sozialen Ausgleich und – wenn man so will – um die Freiheit, in den Regionen sinnvoll zu investieren.

Wer will denn ernsthaft all diese Grundwerte, die in der Kohäsionspolitik praktisch aufgehoben sind, entsorgen? Immerhin, das neue Reflexionspapier „Globalisierung gestalten“ will dies nicht. Sie, Frau Kommissarin, kann ich nur unterstützen, wenn Sie immer wieder laut sagen: Die Kohäsionspolitik ist kein Finanzinstrument, sondern eine Politik mit langfristig angelegter Zielstellung, nämlich der Schaffung gleichwertiger Lebensverhältnisse in der Union. Und deshalb ist es meines Erachtens unsinnig, wenn wir den Instrumentenmix in der Kohäsionspolitik auf Kreditinstrumente verkürzen. Kohäsion – das will ich deutlich sagen – darf nicht zur kleinen Schwester des EFSI werden. Hören wir endlich auf, die Strukturfondsförderung, die Zuschüsse kleinzudiskutieren! Machen wir die Förderpolitik lieber praktisch effizienter, ermöglichen wir Kommunen und Projektträgern die Kofinanzierung und letztlich nachhaltige Erfolge! Das schließt natürlich die Förderpolitik insbesondere für grenzüberschreitende Bildungs-, Kultur-, Forschungs- und Wissenschaftsvorhaben ein.

 
  
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  Bronis Ropė, Verts/ALE frakcijos vardu. – Gerbiamas pirmininke, gerbiama komisare, sulig pastarąja Komisijos kadencija stiprėjanti tendencija sanglaudos politikoje vis labiau naudoti finansinius instrumentus kelia pagrįstą susirūpinimą. Sanglaudos politika yra skirta padėti atsiliekantiems regionams. Akivaizdu, kad rinkos sąlygomis didesnę lėšų dalį susirenka konkurencingesni veikėjai. Regioninės politikos atveju tokiais yra turtingesni regionai. Todėl, leidus plačiai naudoti finansinius instrumentus, akivaizdu, kad mes ne tik tai nuskriausime neturtingus, bet ir apdovanosime turtingesnius. Asmeniškai aš to tikrai nenoriu. Todėl, būdamas žaliųjų šešėliniu pranešėju, raginu balsuoti už šį pranešimą. Jame, noriu padėkoti pranešėjui, pavyko deramai įvertinti finansinių instrumentų naudojamo keliamas grėsmes. Ir tai ne vien regioninių netolygumų didinimas. Tai ir neskaidrumas, partnerystės principo stiprinimas ir daug kitų. Taip pat, pranešime pavyko sudėlioti deramą pusiausvyrą tarp sanglaudos politikos ir sanglaudos filosofijos, kartu neatmetant galimybės išnaudoti ir finansinių instrumentų potencialą ten, kur yra tikslinga.

Kolegos, Ruža Tomašić pranešimas yra skirtas svarbiai ir kartais ignoruojamai temai. Europos Sąjunga skiria dešimtis milijardų mokesčių mokėtojų eurų sanglaudos politikai. Europos Sąjunga kūrė šios paramos panaudojimo taisykles. Atitinkamai, Europos Sąjunga turi pasirūpinti ir tuo, kad valstybės narės turėtų pakankamai gebėjimų šia paramą tinkamai panaudoti. Iki šiol techninė parama buvo finansuojama iš sanglaudos biudžeto. Deja, daugiau atvejų ši parama likdavo nacionaliniame lygmenyje ir retai kada pasiekdavo regionų, jau nekalbant apie savivaldybių lygį. O kur dar, žemesnis nei municipalinis lygmuo, yra bendruomenės. Nepamirškime, kad bendruomenių inicijuojama vietos plėtra tampa vis svarbesniu Sanglaudos politikos instrumentu.

Ačiū už dėmesį.

 
  
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  Rosa D'Amato, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi votiamo due relazioni.

Nella prima parliamo di bilanciamento fra gli strumenti finanziari e le sovvenzioni nella politica di coesione, ma la risposta che si cerca di dare è pericolosa. Una bomba a orologeria, fatta dal ricorso sempre più spinto a strumenti finanziari opachi e ad elevato rischio, con costi alti e difficili da giudicare o giustificare, o meglio, lo sono certamente per uno stuolo di banche e di intermediari finanziari che, attraverso sottili astuzie di ingegneria finanziaria, promettono la moltiplicazione degli investimenti, ma molto meno per le imprese e i cittadini europei.

Siamo alle solite promesse mentre, nel frattempo, si riempie il mercato con prodotti che possono alimentare una bolla speculativa, con effetti tossici proprio per le micro e piccole e medie imprese. Rischiamo di avere davanti un colosso dai piedi di argilla che, da un lato, ammalia il mondo della finanza, i paesi membri e l'economia reale ma, dall'altro, può crollare rovinosamente, trascinando con sé le aziende e la vita di milioni di cittadini europei.

Dall'altra parte invece la seconda relazione. Il tema dell'assistenza tecnica e della capacità amministrativa sono fondamentali per la buona riuscita della politica di coesione. Occorre però evitare di riprodurre gli errori e gli sprechi che l'hanno caratterizzata in diversi Stati membri e quindi, se da un lato bisogna insistere soprattutto sul coinvolgimento delle autorità regionali e locali, sia nel design che nell'attuazione delle misure di assistenza tecnica, dall'altro bisogna rendere più trasparente la spesa relativa ad essa, che ammonta a ben 13,4 miliardi.

Una cosa è certa, le iniziative di assistenza tecnica devono consentire alle istituzioni di rafforzare le loro capacità in termini di risorse umane, ma soprattutto aumentare la trasparenza dei bandi, qualità dei progetti, risparmiare sui costi e migliorare la concorrenza, grazie ad appalti pubblici migliori.

Per questo il nostro voto sarà positivo.

 
  
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  Zoltán Balczó (NI). – Elnök Úr! A kohéziós politika célja a közösség gazdasági és szociális összetartozásának erősítése, a fejletlenebb régiók felzárkóztatása. 2004-ben tíz ország, döntően kelet-közép-európai ország csatlakozott az Európai Unióhoz. Ha a lakosságukat megkérdeznénk most, hogy hogy érzik, ez a felzárkózás bekövetkezett-e a várt mértékben, a válaszuk: nem. Persze lehet mérni régiós felzárkózást GDP-ben, versenyképességben, infrastruktúrában, ahol volt fejlődés. De számukra az alapvető kérdés az, hogy 13 év alatt az életminőségük hogyan változott meg. Az árak megközelítették a nyugat-európait, a bérek között a szakadék megmaradt. Ezzel uniós szinten, döntéshozatali szinten kell foglalkozni. Ha a régiók kormányai ezt nem teszik meg, akkor a lakosságnak egy lehetősége marad, az európai polgári kezdeményezés.

Így a Jobbik Magyarországért Mozgalom egy ilyen kezdeményezés élére állt, megtalálta a partnereket hat másik európai uniós országból, és elindította a bérek felzárkóztatására vonatkozó kezdeményezést, amellyel kapcsolatban el kell mondani, hogy a fejlett országoknak is ez célja, hiszen ha ilyen nagy a bérleszakadás, annak az a következménye, hogy elvándorolnak emberek ezekből az országokból, ott pedig feszültséget okoznak. A Bizottság két nappal ezelőtt zöld utat adott ennek a kezdeményezésnek. Elismerte, hogy uniós szinten van tennivaló, ezért mi azt várjuk, hogy amikor az egymillió aláírás összegyűlt, ténylegesen az Európai Bizottság konkrét lépéseket fog tenni ennek érdekében.

 
  
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  Lambert van Nistelrooij (PPE). – Voorzitter, commissaris, collega's, ik denk dat we met deze twee verslagen op zoek zijn naar een juiste balans, een balans tussen datgene wat banken kunnen doen – leningen, garanties, banking business – en datgene wat je in de cohesie wil doen – sociaaleconomische, territoriale cohesie, samenhang in regio's in Europa en in het totale Europa. En dan kan het niet alleen zo zijn dat je uitsluitend met leningen, zaken die je moet terugbetalen werkt. In het hele sociale domein zijn er legio projecten die je gewoon van de grond moet helpen. Daar zit geen marktmechanisme achter dat dat wel even eventjes trekt. Die helderheid krijgen we vandaag, want af en toe lees ik in de communicatie van de Commissie of van de EIB: "banking business solves everything". Nee, dat zal echt niet gebeuren. Dus, dit is een goed evenwicht hier.

Tweede opmerking: het is verdraaid moeilijk om in plaats van met subsidie-instrumenten met Public Private, met allerlei Revolving Funds te werken en daarvoor hebben we die technische assistentie nodig. Ik denk ook dat de Commissie met lidstaten die nieuwe instrumenten willen gebruiken, ook die kwaliteitseisen moet stellen en veel strakkere afspraken zou moeten maken voor zeven jaar. Dat is een mooie opstap naar de nieuwe periode.

Tenslotte, er gaan ook een aantal dingen goed. Let the stars shine. Laten we zien waar het wel kan. En laten we elkaar niet als het ware met slechte voorbeelden, verslagen van de Rekenkamer de put inpraten. Let the stars shine. En ik kan u zeggen: er is een initiatief van negen EP—leden die met een actie komen. U heeft een actieprogramma over communicatie uitgebracht, die door de lidstaten, door de regio's en steden samen moet worden opgepakt. Laten we die actie met elkaar doen.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, credo che abbiamo fatto un buon lavoro con le due relazioni, che sono anzi un contributo importante per la stagione che stiamo aprendo di revisione della politica di coesione, fino al forum del giugno prossimo.

Sulla relazione sulle sovvenzioni, vorrei dire che noi segnaliamo i rischi di un eccesso di utilizzo degli strumenti finanziari, ma facciamo anche una scelta e diamo un indirizzo come Parlamento, cioè di continuare a mantenere il tema delle sovvenzioni, lo strumento delle sovvenzioni come uno strumento strategico della politica di coesione. È dunque su questa scelta che dobbiamo concentrare l'attenzione, lo sforzo e il dialogo con la Commissione e con il Consiglio.

Ancora più importante mi pare la seconda relazione sull'assistenza tecnica. Qui segnalo tre questioni: abbiamo fatto una scelta di merito, non solo nel senso che lo strumento è importante per aiutare gli Stati, le regioni e le autonomie locali a fare di più e meglio nella programmazione dei fondi comunitari, e fa bene il Commissario a sollevare il tema di una maggiore informazione, ma noi abbiamo fatto una scelta, io credo, che va nella direzione giusta. Abbiamo detto che l'assistenza è tecnica non solo in termini di assorbimento delle risorse ma significa più qualità, per capire esattamente come le risorse comunitarie modificano i caratteri fondamentali dell'economia e della società laddove intervengono.

Più cooperazione, ispirata dalla politica di coesione tra le riforme strutturali che introduciamo nei singoli paesi per renderli più competitivi e il rilancio di una politica di investimenti pubblici e, quindi, un cuore importante della politica dell'assistenza tecnica.

Infine un punto su cui credo dobbiamo lavorare di più e su questo chiedere un contributo anche alla Commissione: non fare dell'assistenza tecnica uno strumento fuori dalla riforma dello Stato e delle istituzioni pubbliche. Costruire una moderna classe dirigente europea che sa utilizzare meglio le risorse comunitarie e in grado di offrire politiche nuove di innovazione e di sviluppo. Questa è la sfida della nuova assistenza tecnica, non uno strumento di mercato, ma una capacità di costruire una nuova statualità soprattutto in tante regioni dove abbiamo bisogno di un contributo di una nuova classe dirigente, in grado di utilizzare meglio questi strumenti.

 
  
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  Mirosław Piotrowski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Nasz Parlament będzie dzisiaj głosował nad sprawozdaniem dotyczącym Funduszu Spójności.

Jest on duży, bo opiewa na kwotę 75 miliardów euro w okresie 2014–2020. W przedmiotowym sprawozdaniu w punkcie 6. podkreślamy, że nie należy zmniejszać środków na Fundusz Spójności. Sądzę, że generalnie jest to podejście właściwie, gdyż współgra ono zdeklarowaną solidarnością europejską. Jednakże – co również odnotowujemy w sprawozdaniu – instrumenty finansowe charakteryzują się pewnymi wadami (punkt 11.). Już w punkcie 1. sprawozdania odnotowujemy, że były one zaprojektowane przed kryzysem finansowym i gospodarczym i nie były one najwłaściwsze.

Można znaleźć przykłady nietrafionego wykorzystywania tych funduszy, trzeba jednak zauważyć, że trafiają one do państw członkowskich, które dołączyły później do Wspólnoty, i – mimo czasem problematycznego ich wykorzystywania – nierzadko są jedyną przyczyną poparcia dla Unii Europejskiej.

Podobne tendencje można zaobserwować w moim okręgu wyborczym, na Lubelszczyźnie w Polsce, gdzie istnieją duże społeczne oczekiwania, że Unia Europejska będzie dążyć konsekwentnie i poważnie do realnego wyrównywania poziomu rozwoju regionów w całej Wspólnocie. Dlatego, gdy pojawi się nadwyżka budżetowa, liczę, że zostanie ona przekierowana do regionów mniej zamożnych, takich jak na przykład Lubelszczyzna.

 
  
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  Искра Михайлова (ALDE). – Г-н Председател, и двата доклада, които разглеждаме днес и ще гласуваме малко по-късно, са ориентирани към основни направления, които могат да подобрят ефективността на политиката на сближаване и в сегашния период до 2020 г., и нейното ефективно използване и след 2020 г. като основен инструмент за подобряване на сближаването и заличаване на разликите в развитието на регионите на Европейския съюз.

И двата доклада адресират основни проблеми като гъвкавостта, допълняемостта, комбинирането на европейските структурни и инвестиционни фондове с други финансови инструменти на Европейския съюз, а също така и адресират един основен проблем, който вече беше споменат – добрия баланс: баланс между опита, който имаме вече досега при изпълнението на политиката на сближаване и баланс за бъдещото изпълнение.

Изключително важно е да обърнем внимание на проблема с финансовите инструменти, защото това е в основата на добрия баланс в бъдеще. Финансовите инструменти дават възможност да бъдат привлечени допълнителни инвестиции извън публичните инвестиции на Европейския съюз. Финансовите инструменти дават възможност за по-ефективно разгръщане на политиката на сближаване и в такъв смисъл допълняемостта между техническа помощ, развиване на финансовите инструменти и подобряване на политиката на сближаване е направлението, в което ще се движим в бъдеще.

(Ораторът прие да отговори на един въпрос „синя карта“ (член 162, параграф 8 от Правилника за дейността))

 
  
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  Tibor Szanyi (S&D), Kékkártyás kérdés. – Tisztelt Képviselő Asszony! Van egy vitatott dolog, hogy a technikai segítségnyújtás kire fokuszáljon. Alapvetően ez a kormányoknak a játéktere. De Ön például egyetért-e azzal, hogy a regionális, a helyi szervek, önkormányzatok is részesedhessenek a technikai segítségnyújtásból? És ezt kérdezem azért, mert a például a „smart village”-koncepció megvalósításához szerintem erre szükség lenne.

 
  
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  Искра Михайлова (ALDE), отговор на въпрос, зададен чрез вдигане на синя карта. – Благодаря за въпроса. Разбира се, напълно съм съгласна, че техническата помощ трябва да бъде адресирана не само към централните управляващи органи на оперативните програми, но и към всички бенефициенти на оперативните програми и на първо място към местните власти.

Изграждането на капацитет в местните органи е от основно значение за ефективното използване на проектите, за подготовката и реализирането на проекти, които са адресирани към местните общности. Но освен това техническата помощ трябва да бъде насочена към подобряване на видимостта на политиката на сближаване, за да бъде тя по-близка до гражданите.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (GUE/NGL). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, κυρία Crețu, το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο με τις δύο εκθέσεις του ζητάει ισχυρότερη πολιτική συνοχής. Ξέρω πολύ καλά, ότι εσείς το θέλετε, αλλά και μέσα στην Επιτροπή υπάρχουν αρκετοί που δεν σας βοηθούν τόσο. Εμείς ζητάμε η Επιτροπή να κάνει περισσότερα για την κοινωνική συνοχή και για την περιφερειακή συνοχή, γιατί πολύ απλά οι ανισότητες, και οι κοινωνικές και οι περιφερειακές, τα τελευταία χρόνια έχουν αυξηθεί. Και δεν είναι μόνο ένα θέμα που αφορά τον ευρωπαϊκό Νότο ή την Ανατολική Ευρώπη. Αφορά και φτωχές περιφέρειες μέσα και στα πιο ισχυρά κράτη μέλη, και μέσα στη Γερμανία, και μέσα στη Γαλλία, και τα εκατομμύρια ανέργους, και τα εκατομμύρια φτωχούς, και κυρίως τους νέους ανθρώπους.

Χρειάζεται λοιπόν και περισσότερη τεχνική βοήθεια, και εμπροσθοβαρής χρηματοδότηση, και περιορισμός της γραφειοκρατίας, αλλά και περισσότερα κονδύλια για την κοινωνική συνοχή. Γιατί τα τελευταία χρόνια ακόμη και ο όρος «συνοχή» λιγοστεύει ολοένα και περισσότερο στα κείμενα της Επιτροπής και, ακόμη περισσότερο, του Συμβουλίου. Ξέρω πολύ καλά από την εμπειρία της χώρας μου, της Ελλάδας, ότι αξιοποιούμε ολοένα και πιο παραγωγικά αυτά τα κονδύλια και με τη δική σας συνδρομή. Αλλά έχετε έναν ισχυρό σύμμαχο, το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, για να πιέσετε και εσείς να κάνει και η Επιτροπή περισσότερα.

(Ο ομιλητής δέχεται να απαντήσει σε ερώτηση με «γαλάζια κάρτα» (άρθρο 162 παράγραφος 8 του Κανονισμού))

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE), otázka položená zvednutím modré karty. – Já bych se zeptal, souhlasím s vámi, že technická pomoc je důležitá právě pro čerpání prostředků z koheze.

Uvědomujete si, že rozdíly mezi regiony by byly daleko větší, pokud by kohezní politika nebyla? Tzn. ty rozdíly, o kterých vy jste hovořil, by byly daleko markantnější mezi jednotlivými regiony a dokonce tedy i uvnitř některých států.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (GUE/NGL), απάντηση σε ερώτηση με «γαλάζια κάρτα». – Κύριε Polčák, ακριβώς αυτό επεσήμανα. Τα τελευταία χρόνια αυξάνονται οι διαφορές και οι ανισότητες, και οι περιφερειακές και οι κοινωνικές, όχι μόνο ανάμεσα στις χώρες αλλά και μέσα στις χώρες, και γι’ αυτό, αν θέλουμε μια Ευρώπη ενωμένη, ευημερούσα, που όλοι να ωφελούνται από την εξέλιξή της, πρέπει η πολιτική συνοχής να ενισχυθεί. Όχι απλώς να συνεχιστεί και μετά το 2020, αλλά με περισσότερα κονδύλια και με περισσότερη τεχνική βοήθεια. Για να πιάσουν τόπο αυτά τα χρήματα εκεί που πραγματικά υπάρχει ανάγκη.

 
  
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  Jakop Dalunde (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, the European Union’s cohesion policy is a crucial tool in order to bridge the inequalities between the EU’s various regions. We have to make sure that the entire Union is able to benefit from the economic development, and a transition to a sustainable society and social equality, which the cohesion policy helps promote. However, a key aspect that we believe is lacking is synergies between the Cohesion Fund and the non-cohesion funds, such as the Framework Programme for Research and Innovation, which is a programme that helps promote excellent research projects all over Europe, even though there have been some challenges for some parts of the Union to fully participate in this programme.

One goal of the cohesion policy is to work as a tool in order to foster excellence so that the regional fund can become the region’s stairway to excellence and better participation in the research programme, which would benefit the whole of Europe. This is something that the Commission is trying to promote with a tool for smart specialisation strategies. This is a good start and I call on all stakeholders involved to improve the synergies in the next programme periods so that all this nice talk on synergies can actually become a reality.

 
  
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  Raymond Finch (EFDD). – Mr President, this report calls for the Commission to ‘raise the profile of ESI Funds’ investments and to make it clearer that EU funding is involved’. Let me make it crystal clear right from the start of this speech that there is no such thing as EU funding. This money comes from the pockets of citizens of your constituent nations and for you to even consider throwing more of it away on self—promotion is simply a sign that you understand nothing of the issues confronting your voters.

We have already seen the decades of audits proving that the EU is utterly unable to prevent misappropriation, misspending and fraud. Giving you tens of billions of euros for self—aggrandisement between 2014 and 2020 seems tantamount to financial suicide. This budget is no more than a very expensive carnival parade, replete with all the clowns and sideshows, parading throughout Europe to the music of the danse macabre and the smell of burning money. The profusion of EU spending plaques across Europe, following this deluge of taxpayers’ money on projects which could have been done – if indeed they should be done – by the nation states much more cheaply and more effectively, may indeed prove to be no more than gravestones for your expansionist empire.

The concern this report states regarding the backlog of unpaid invoices is extremely valid. Who is going to bail out your vanity schemes when the UK leaves? Many of the nations in the south and east of Europe are already groaning under the weight of supporting the euro and your backing of the banking establishments. This empire—building will come to a shuddering halt sooner or later and, for the good of your peoples, I urge you to make it sooner.

(The speaker declined a blue-card question from Franc Bogovič)

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, έχει αποδειχθεί ότι ο συνδυασμός τεχνικής συνδρομής και χρηματοδοτικών μέσων των Διαρθρωτικών Ταμείων δεν έχει φέρει τα επιθυμητά αποτελέσματα, ενώ υπάρχουν σκιές σκανδάλων και περιπτώσεις κακοδιαχείρισης κονδυλίων. Η Ένωση και τα κράτη μέλη είναι δέσμιοι συγκεκριμένων κανόνων. Ο έλεγχος για την ορθή χρήση των κονδυλίων γίνεται δειγματοληπτικά από την Επιτροπή εκ των υστέρων, ένεκα των προνοιών των συνθηκών, που προβλέπουν την ύπαρξη αμοιβαίας εμπιστοσύνης. Η ευθύνη διαμοιράζεται μεταξύ των ευρωπαϊκών θεσμών, κυρίως της Επιτροπής και των κυβερνήσεων των κρατών μελών. Κατ’ αυτόν τον τρόπο, θεσμικές και διοικητικές αδυναμίες, διαφθορά, εξαπάτηση των κοινοτικών υπηρεσιών και κατασπατάληση των ευρωπαϊκών πόρων, οδηγούν σε οικονομικά ελλείμματα και περιφερειακές ανισότητες. Οι κυβερνήσεις συστηματικά υπέκυψαν στα θέλγητρα του πελατειακού κράτους, τα συμφέροντα του καρτέλ των κατασκευαστικών εταιρειών, τα μικροσυμφέροντα τοπικών παραγόντων και τις ευκαιριακές πολιτικές επιδιώξεις. Η αποτελεσματικότητα της δημόσιας διοίκησης και του ιδιωτικού τομέα να αξιοποιήσουν επαρκώς τα κοινοτικά κονδύλια και να μεγιστοποιήσουν τα οφέλη είναι προφανής, ώστε να σταματήσει να αιμορραγεί ο κοινοτικός προϋπολογισμός. Χρειάζονται εξατομικευμένες λύσεις, σεβασμός στις μακροπεριφερειακές προτεραιότητες των κρατών μελών και στις ιδιαιτερότητες, τα χαρακτηριστικά και στις διαφορές των επιμέρους περιοχών. Χρειάζονται προσβασιμότητα, διαφάνεια και αξιοκρατία. Πάνω απ’ όλα όμως, χρειάζονται εθνικοκεντρικές φιλολαϊκές κυβερνήσεις.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: PAN PAVEL TELIČKA
místopředseda

 
  
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  Ramón Luis Valcárcel Siso (PPE). – Señor presidente, señora comisaria, hoy de nuevo el Parlamento Europeo acoge un debate trascendental con el que intentar hacer más Europa, con soluciones para mejorar la tan importante política de cohesión, para lograr también los resultados que está pidiendo la ciudadanía. Porque la política de cohesión es la máxima expresión de la solidaridad europea; es esa herramienta invisible que consigue beneficios visibles. La política de cohesión es la rehabilitación del centro de Málaga, es el puerto exterior de Ferrol, es la autovía de Zeneta-San Javier, por citar algunos ejemplos.

La política de cohesión, además y fundamentalmente, es la que trabaja para que nadie se quede atrás. Lo demostró creando más de medio millón de empleos en plena crisis y ayudando a mitigar sus efectos en las regiones más vulnerables. Por eso defiendo que la política de cohesión es irrenunciable e insustituible. Lo que hay que garantizar es que cada programa haga lo que le corresponda y que no haya duplicidades. Ni un solo euro debe perderse por la burocracia.

No se trata, pues, de buscar sustitutos a la cohesión; porque la defensa europea es importante, porque negociar bien el brexit es muy importante, pero es más importante garantizar que los hospitales públicos sigan funcionando, que el agua siga llegando y que los niños sigan teniendo buenos colegios; porque es nuestro deber combatir la desigualdad y garantizar la igualdad de oportunidades para todos los ciudadanos, ya vivan en París, en Canarias o en Berlín; y eso solo podemos hacerlo con más cohesión.

 
  
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  Момчил Неков (S&D). – Г-н Председател, икономическата ножица в Европейския съюз по оста изток – запад продължава да бъде широко отворена, дори и след над 10 години членство за така наречените „новоприсъединили“ се държави членки.

Бих искал да ви припомня, че в Европейския съюз все още има селища, включително в моята страна България, без основна селищна инфраструктура, като канализация и достъп до питейна вода. Към днешна дата използването на финансовите инструменти, като заеми, гаранции и микрокредити от земеделски оператори, е ограничено. Това говори, че тези инструменти не са пригодени за различните икономически сектори.

Общата селскостопанска политика гарантира доходи и подпомага изпълнението на някои европейски политики. Политиката на сближаване и финансовите инструменти, обаче, помагат на регионите да растат. Има дейности и проекти, като напояване, къси вериги, затворени цикли на производство и изграждане на цифрова инфраструктура, които изискват икономически капитал, непосилен за местните администрации.

Инвестициите в такива проекти дават решения на проблеми в региони с по-нисък стандарт на живот. Затова смятам, че селските региони и операторите в тях, трябва да имат гарантиран достъп до наличните финансови инструменти в рамките на политиката на сближаване на Европейския съюз.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, την ώρα που ο κύριος Draghi δαπανά εντός μιας διετίας 2,3 τρισεκατομμύρια ευρώ, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αποφάσισε να δαπανήσει στο διάστημα 2014 – 2020 μόνο 454 δισεκατομμύρια ευρώ, ενώ είναι αναγκαία η αυξημένη παρέμβαση της Ένωσης με πόρους, προκειμένου να ενισχυθεί η συνοχή και να μειωθεί η ανεργία. Επισημαίνεται επίσης ότι στην Ελλάδα, τα μεγαλύτερα έργα που χρηματοδοτήθηκαν από το ΕΣΠΑ, τελικά μέσω της διαδικασίας ιδιωτικοποίησης-παραχώρησης, καταλήγουν σε κρατικές ή ιδιωτικές επιχειρήσεις άλλων κρατών μελών της Ένωσης. Έτσι, στο πλαίσιο παραχώρησης των δεκατεσσάρων περιφερειακών αεροδρομίων, η γερμανική κρατική εταιρία Fraport πήρε προίκα 520 εκατομμύρια ευρώ υπό τη μορφή έργων ΕΣΠΑ, που εκτελέστηκαν και ακόμη εκτελούνται στα αεροδρόμια Θεσσαλονίκης και Χανίων, παρότι αυτό απαγορεύεται από τους κανονισμούς της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Επιπλέον, οι αυτοκινητόδρομοι παραχωρήθηκαν σε ισπανικές εταιρίες, η γέφυρα Ρίου–Αντιρρίου σε γαλλική εταιρία, ενώ το αεροδρόμιο «Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος» το διαχειριζόταν, μέχρι πριν λίγο καιρό, η Hochtief. Επομένως, η ‘Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση κερνάει, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση πίνει’.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, želim podržati oba izvješća zato što vrlo jasno govore o važnosti kohezijske politike koja je izraz solidarnosti unutar Europske unije, ali i više toga: šansa za razvoj svih onih područja koja trebaju novac od onih koja ga imaju više, i naravno želim posebno naglasiti važnost u ovim izvještajima koji govore napokon o ulozi lokalne i regionalne samouprave.

Imao sam prilike realizirati na stotine europskih programa i svjestan sam i znam jako dobro koliko je važno da upravo lokalne i regionalne samouprave imaju odlučujuću ulogu u realizaciji tih programa. I zato, financijski miks o kojemu govorimo ovdje u financiranju raznih projekata sigurno je nešto što je iznimno bitno, ali tko će odlučivati o tome da tehnička pomoć, bespovratna sredstva plus sredstva iz Europske investicijske banke ili iz EFSI fonda ili, ne daj Bože, od privatnog sektora budu povezani u realizaciji nekog projekta. To je vrlo kompliciran proces, ali mislim da trebamo biti hrabri i da trebamo nastaviti upravo na tom putu.

 
  
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  Ángela Vallina (GUE/NGL). – Señor presidente, creo que estamos desviando mucho el foco de atención con debates sobre si es mejor aplicar subvenciones o instrumentos financieros y en qué porcentajes unas u otros tienen su mayor efecto, o cuál es el nivel de asistencias técnicas que hacen falta; debate que es necesario, sin duda, pero antes deberíamos focalizarnos en otra prioridad.

Seguimos teniendo una Europa duramente dividida entre regiones de primera y regiones de segunda: unas están muy capacitadas para gestionar inversiones y pedir fondos y conocen a la perfección qué instrumentos son los más adecuados para sus intereses; y otras, de segunda, no tienen ni el conocimiento ni la capacidad técnica financiera para siquiera solicitar fondos, no digamos ya para gestionarlos. Y, peor aún, son unas regiones de segunda que no pueden acceder a gran parte de dichos fondos, porque desde la propia Unión Europea les imponemos medidas de austeridad que cargan sobre los bolsillos de la gente corriente y que limitan terriblemente a la administración local, que es la más cercana a la ciudadanía.

Por eso, creo que debemos poner más atención para reducir las diferencias entre las diversas regiones y el retraso de las regiones menos favorecidas, que es para lo que están los fondos de cohesión.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Hetman (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowna pani komisarz! Koleżanki i koledzy! Instrumenty finansowe, zarówno w poprzedniej, jak i w obecnie realizowanej perspektywie finansowej, pokazały swoją przydatność i dobre rezultaty. Niemniej jednak ich wykorzystanie nie jest wolne od problemów, a potencjał nie jest w pełni wykorzystany.

Jestem zdania, że instrumenty finansowe stanowią dobre uzupełnienie grantów, gdyż w odpowiednich sytuacjach są w stanie przyciągać dodatkowe wsparcie finansowe. Ich wartość dodaną należy docenić zwłaszcza w takich dziedzinach jak badania naukowe czy MŚP. Uważam jednak, że także w nowej perspektywie finansowej podstawą polityki spójności powinny pozostać granty. Stanowią one sprawdzoną i dobrą podstawę inwestycji publicznych w dziedzinie infrastruktury, środowiska czy inwestycji społecznych. Aby znaleźć w przyszłości najwłaściwszy model kombinacji grantów z pożyczkami i gwarancjami, należy unikać odgórnego jednolitego podejścia, a raczej zachować elastyczność i umożliwić władzom lokalnym i regionalnym wybór najlepszej formy oferowanego wsparcia w oparciu o lokalne uwarunkowania. I to właśnie lokalne uwarunkowania oraz specyfika poszczególnych regionów powinny być decydujące co do celów wsparcia dla projektów realizowanych w ramach polityki spójności. Europa regionów potrzebuje większego zaufania. Musimy pamiętać, że to ci, którzy realizują na dole te projekty, budują potencjał swoich miast, firm, regionów oraz ostatecznie Unii Europejskiej.

 
  
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  Георги Пирински (S&D). – Г-н Председател, ключовото предизвикателство пред Европейския съюз днес са задълбочаващите се неравенства в Съюза. Ето защо политиката на сближаване, която е ключов инструмент за борба с неравенствата, днес придобива ново, още по-голямо значение.

В доклада на г-н Новаков основателно се заявява, че безвъзмездната помощ трябва да запази водещата си роля за основните публични политики, а финансовите инструменти биха могли да имат допълващ принос.

Безспорно са необходими усилия за привличането и съчетаването на частни инвестиции с публични средства. Трябва обаче да има ясно разграничаване на сферите, в които безвъзмездната помощ или финансовите инструменти работят най-добре. Когато се използват структурните и инвестиционните фондове, обаче, най-важното е да се постигат целите на сближаването. Ако не се възприеме решителна политика в полза на сближаването, трябва да е ясно, че един силно разбалансиран Съюз няма бъдеще.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, EU cohesion funding has been vital for the north of Ireland and for border communities recovering from years of conflict and neglect. Now all of this good work is under threat because of a Brexit that most people in the north do not want and did not vote for. By supporting Brexit, the DUP has let the people of the north down, again, as we stand to lose EUR 982 million of much-needed and essential structural funding. This is funding for thousands of projects in the north of Ireland that people depend on for their businesses, for community projects and for infrastructure. Some projects are already being delayed because of the fears and uncertainties surrounding Brexit. It is hurting our communities now as you know, we spoke about this, and it will only get worse in the future if we do not have access to such cohesion funding and structural funding for the north, because we will see projects collapse.

Commissioner, the EU needs to ensure that the benefits of decades of cohesion funding for a community that has been emerging from conflict are not lost, by ensuring that the north is guaranteed ongoing access to cohesion funding in the future after Brexit, as part of us being afforded designated special status, or whatever it is called, within the EU.

 
  
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  Franc Bogovič (PPE). – Solidarnost je ključna vrednota Evropske unije in kohezijska politika je orodje, kako to solidarnost v praksi izvedemo v življenje. Na osnovi kohezijske politike so se v osemdesetih, devetdesetih letih razvile pokrajine v Irski, v Walesu, Španiji, Portugalski, Grčiji, drugih državah članicah.

V tem tisočletju smo imele nove članice priložnost, da smo koristile izdatna kohezijska sredstva. Tudi sam sem bil župan v občini s 25 tisoč ljudmi, ki smo koristili več kot 40 milijonov evropskih sredstev.

Številni vodovodi, čistilne naprave, širokopasovne povezave na vrhu visokih hribov so rezultat kohezijske politike. In če kohezijska politika rabi denar in različna sredstva, rabi tudi dobro, močno tehnično pomoč.

Tehnično pomoč, s katero usposobimo najprej državno raven, s katero se približamo lokalnim skupnostim, gospodarstvu, znanosti, raziskavam.

In če smo v prejšnjem finančnem obdobju morali osvojiti tehnologijo, kako zgraditi velik objekt, je sedaj potrebno zgraditi znanje, kako povezati med sabo gospodarstvo, znanost, lokalne skupnosti, državo, in skozi pametno specalizacijo pripeljati nove tehnologije, razvoj, v posamezne države.

In to je to, o čemer danes govorimo, zato zelo podpiram ti dve poročili in prepričan sem, da mora ostati kohezijska politika temelj tudi v novi finančni perspektivi, če želimo imeti Evropsko unijo.

 
  
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  Viorica Dăncilă (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, vreau să felicit cei doi raportori pentru abordarea avută pentru un domeniu atât de important cum este politica de coeziune. Politica de coeziune a Uniunii și-a demonstrat eficiența, fiind o dovadă de necontestat a capacității Uniunii Europene de a sprijini obiectivele de creștere și redresare. În acest exercițiu financiar, așa cum sublinia și doamna comisar, este important faptul că există o flexibilitate sporită pentru beneficiari prin intermediul unei game largi de instrumente, precum și faptul că sectorul privat este implicat sub formă de co-investiții sau know-how. Consider, totodată, benefică implicarea Băncii Europene de Investiții în politica de coeziune și, mai ales, sprijinirea autorităților naționale și locale în vederea îmbunătățirii calității proiectelor, dar și contribuția sa la atragerea altor investitori pentru proiecte din regiuni dezavantajate prin reducerea riscurilor.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Andor Deli (PPE). – Elnök Úr! Úgy gondolom, hogy a kohéziós politikában a profitorientáltság nem kaphat aránytalanul nagy szerepet, mert például az oktatási vagy az egészségügyi területen a befektetések megtérülése és sikeressége nem mérhető kizárólagosan a haszon mércéjével. Ezért a pénzügyi eszközök bekapcsolása fontos, de ezeken a területeken nem válthatják ki, hanem csak kiegészíthetik a vissza nem térítendő támogatásokat. Az eddigi tapasztalatok már megmutatták, hogy a tartósan magas munkanélküliségi rátával és alacsony népsűrűséggel rendelkező régiók befektetési vonzereje igencsak gyenge. A vissza nem térítendő támogatások pedig pontosan az ilyen helyzetű régiók felzárkóztatásához járulnak hozzá. Ezért a 2020 utáni kohéziós politika kialakításánál fontos, hogy a pénzügyi eszközök részesedésének növelése ne járjon a vissza nem térítendő támogatások összegének csökkenésével, mivel az gátolná a kohéziós politika fő célkitűzésének megvalósulását, a régiók közötti egyenlőtlenségek felszámolását.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sovvenzioni e strumenti finanziari, ciascuno con le proprie specificità, hanno generato risultati tangibili per le PMI, per la ricerca, per l'ambiente e l'agricoltura.

Occorre tuttavia fare ancora tanto per ottimizzare l'utilizzo delle risorse disponibili in tutte le regioni d'Europa, occorre eliminare i fattori che disincentivano l'uso degli strumenti finanziari, ovvero ridurre gli oneri burocratici, semplificare le procedure d'accesso, ridurre i costi di attuazione e le spese di gestione. È indispensabile rendere più semplici, chiare e trasparenti le regole che disciplinano la combinazione di diversi fondi e favorire i partenariati di investimento, affinché Stati membri e regioni siano sempre più incentivati a usufruire degli strumenti messi a disposizione.

L'ampia gamma di opportunità offerte dai fondi SIE ha bisogno di un adeguato sostegno consultivo sotto forma di assistenza tecnica, assistenza tecnica che purtroppo, in alcuni Stati membri, non raggiunge in misura sufficiente e in modo efficace le autorità locali e regionali.

È fondamentale istituire canali di comunicazione validi e trasparenti al fine di attuare con successo i fondi SIE e ripristinare la fiducia nel funzionamento efficace degli strumenti messi a disposizione dall'Unione europea.

 
  
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  Ivana Maletić (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, čestitam kolegama izvjestiteljima, kolegi Novakovu i Ruži Tomašić i pozdravljam povjerenicu.

Jako je bitno da kohezijska politika i kroz financijske instrumente i tehničku pomoć isto tako bude na usluzi građanima i poduzetnicima. Zato moramo slušati što nam oni govore, a kažu da su im financijski instrumenti poprilično komplicirani. Čak je i Europski revizorski sud rekao da su troškovi upravljanja financijskim instrumentima jako visoki.

Naš odgovor na to treba biti povjerenje, a ne stotine stranica novih uputa. Dakle, moramo se više orijentirati na outpute, a manje na kontrolu inputa i to je ono što je važno da odgovorimo na ono što traže od nas. Isto tako tehnička pomoć mora naravno pomoći jačanju upravljačkih struktura, ali i krajnjim korisnicima koje moramo više informirati o mogućnostima financiranja njihovih ideja.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, firstly, we must not underestimate the negative impact of Brexit on deprived areas of the United Kingdom who benefit from ERDF and ESF regional development funding, particularly my region, the North-West of England, and specifically the rural area of Cumbria, but also Liverpool, which was regenerated with European money after Margaret Thatcher’s government decided to let it rot.

It is crucial that future cohesion policy is in line with sustainable development goals encompassing a broad range of objectives, not only oriented towards economic growth but promoting sustainable development of societies and individual and collective wellbeing of communities. Therefore, structural investment funds must be used for creative, innovative and smart initiatives that benefit a large part of the population, including the most vulnerable people. Although I welcome the important work done on urban agendas, I believe the specific needs and challenges of rural areas must continue to receive proper attention.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Já bych obecně chtěl ke kohezní politice říci, že to má být páteřní politika EU. Právě proto, že vyjadřuje zásadu solidarity, tzn. snižovaní rozdílů, je to zásadní klíčové politika EU. Nesmí být oslabována dalšími nástroji anebo neoliberálními teoriemi o tom, že kohezní politika je zbytečná.

K technické pomoci bych chtěl říci, zpráva velmi správně poznamenává, že ty státy, které mají problémy v čerpání, tak i špatně čerpají v oblasti technické pomoci. Nad tím by se nepochybně měly zamyslet orgány členských států, které jsou zejména zodpovědné za čerpání.

Pokud jde o růst administrativy, je nutno souhlasit s tím, že růst administrativy v kohezní politice za několik posledních let je neuvěřitelný a je produkcí i z úrovně evropských institucí.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, politica de coeziune trebuie să stea în centrul acțiunii Uniunii Europene. Dacă analizăm rezultatele obținute până acum, doar dacă nu suntem sinceri, nu spunem că am avut beneficii de pe urma politicii de coeziune. Scopul politicii a fost de la bun început stabilit ca un instrument prin care să se dezvolte zonele mai sărace, să se diminueze diferențele de nivel de trai al cetățenilor. Este nevoie să continuăm cu acordarea fondurilor pentru coeziune și este nevoie să se evite întârzierile la plăți la care au dreptul agricultorii în temeiul PAC.

Doamnă comisar, ați acționat și ați susținut politica de coeziune și vă mulțumim. Dorim să sprijiniți crearea unei platforme multiregionale de investiții pentru agricultură care să fie eligibilă pentru finanțarea din programul de dezvoltare rurală. Credem și cred că nu trebuie să uităm că este o diferență mare între zone, regiuni ale Europei în domeniul infrastructurii, în transport, educație, sănătate. Trebuie găsite soluții ca fondurile de coeziune să ajungă în aceste zone.Vă mulțumesc și vă dorim succes!

 
  
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  Victor Negrescu (S&D). – Domnule președinte, vreau să felicit raportorii pentru că au pus această temă pe ordinea de zi. Este important să reiterăm importanța politicii europene de coeziune și rolul jucat în reducerea decalajelor de dezvoltare și pentru prosperitatea Uniunii Europene. În acest sens, vreau să o felicit din nou pe comisarul Corina Crețu. Eforturile sale pentru a face mai vizibile aceste investiții, dar și pentru a concentra resursele către domeniile și obiectivele cheie pentru dezvoltarea Europei au dat roade și trebuie sprijinite în continuare. Cu toate acestea, există colegi sau lideri politici care vor ca politica de coeziune să dispară prin crearea unor mecanisme financiare în care criteriile sociale sau de distribuție geografică să nu conteze. Nu trebuie să privatizăm politica de coeziune, nu trebuie să predăm politica de coeziune instituțiilor financiar- bancare și în acest sens, doamnă comisar, aveți întregul nostru sprijin. Revizuirea cadrului financiar multianual sau viitorul cadru financiar nu trebuie să afecteze politica de coeziune pentru că aceasta reprezintă un instrument-cheie în dezvoltarea viitoare a Uniunii Europene. Mulțumesc.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, thank you very much for this fruitful and very interesting debate. Thank you for your contributions. I really share your views that this policy is more important than ever, in times where we have so many divisions. I think it is very important to show solidarity between Member States, and this debate shows that together we can make this policy stronger.

I would like to make some clarifications because I think there were some misunderstandings. I would like to underline that financial instruments do not lead to reallocation of funds between Member States or regions. When financial instruments are used, we do not support banks, we use them to transfer EU resources, with strict rules. Synergies are, of course, very important. I would like to thank Mr Lambert van Nistelrooij for [mentioning] this communications idea, a very elaborate document. I am very grateful to the Maltese Presidency that they also included in the Luxembourg meeting the Commission’s communications issue, on our debates between ministries for cohesion policy, because it is very important.

I am very sorry that Mr Finch is not here any more because the irony of our policy is that this policy was created because of pressure by the UK, in 1975, when the United Kingdom said it would not go to the Council in Paris if this ERDF solidarity fund were not created, because there was the situation with the closure of mines, and it was the European funds, the ERDF solidarity fund, which retrained people in new activities. I am very sorry, but I do not know if the people when voting for Brexit knew that they had jobs because of the European Union. Mr Finch is right. It is not European money, it is taxpayers’ money, but this money is also going to the UK: in Liverpool, as you said, we now have the Metro in Cardiff ongoing and a lot of big projects, such as the university in Manchester.

You mentioned the Peace programme, which is very important. I am very worried, like you, about this because it was not London, it was not Belfast, it was not Dublin, but Brussels who put the money together for the reconciliation policy. I fully trust that Mr Barnier, our Chief Negotiator, will deal with that because this is a very important programme and shows that this policy also has a role in healing the wounds that we have on the map of Europe.

Thank you very much and I will now say a few words in my mother tongue.

Cred că cei doi raportori au avut un rol important în a sublinia necesitatea de a folosi atât granturile, cât și instrumentele financiare. Granturile sunt practic foarte necesare atunci când este vorba de infrastructuri, lucruri, spitale, școli, drumuri, care nu produc neapărat profit imediat, iar instrumentele financiare, domnule Novakov, într-adevăr, împărtășesc poziția dumneavoastră, sunt la fel de indispensabile, dar trebuie să ne asigurăm că această combinație se face într-o manieră potrivită, calibrată, eficientă. Deci, încurajez toate părțile interesate, cele la nivel național, regional și local, autoritățile de gestiune, băncile - pentru că dânșii au capacitatea și expertiza necesară pentru a găsi acest echilibru între granturi și instrumente financiare. În acest sens, asistența tehnică despre care vorbea atât de mult doamna Tomašić este foarte importantă. Pentru această perioadă, știți bine că noi, în Comisia Europeană, am lucrat îndeaproape cu statele membre pentru a ne asigura că vor fructifica această perioadă de finanțare, dar, într-adevăr, sunt de acord cu dumneavoastră că putem mai mult. În ceea ce ne privește, încurajăm toate statele membre, le ajutăm să își îmbunătățească capacitatea administrativă, dar și să stabilească legislația potrivită.

Așa cum vă spuneam la început, încercăm să identificăm noi priorități pentru asistența tehnică. Părerea mea personală și a DG REGIO este că această asistență tehnică ar trebui devansată la începutul perioadei de finanțare pentru a sprijini din timp pregătirea programelor, pentru a nu mai avea aceste întârzieri pe care le întâmpinăm acum în statele membre, pentru a facilita schimbul de experiență între regiuni și în unirea eforturilor cu nou creatul Serviciu de sprijin pentru reforme structurale, pentru a lucra împreună pe teren.

Aștept cu interes colaborarea noastră în lunile care vin pentru dezbaterile privind bugetul post-2020 pentru a ne asigura că cele 500 de milioane de europeni vor beneficia de politica pe care o merită, pentru a le asigura o viață mai bună pentru ei și pentru copiii lor, este, cred, responsabilitatea noastră ca oameni politici și vă asigur că eu, personal, și serviciile mele vom face tot ce ne stă în putință pentru a ne aduce aportul în această privință. Mulțumesc foarte mult.

 
  
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  Андрей Новаков, докладчик. – Искам да благодаря на всички, които участваха в дебата днес. Щастлив съм, че имаше и критични гледни точки. Наред с тях обаче трябва да кажем нещо. До края на този програмен период в европейските региони ще бъдат инвестирани почти половин трилион евро.

Всеки ден стотици милиони са инвестирани в европейските общини, за да решават проблемите на хората. И това са факти, които не можем да пренебрегнем.

Разбира се, че има проблеми за решаване, разбира се, че има място за подобрение. Дали можем да направим процедурите по-бързи, по-лесни и по-разбираеми? Може. Дали можем да направим политиката на сближаване по-видима? Предполагам, че може. Но тук подкрепям комисар Крецу, която казва, че политиката на сближаване достига до хора, общини и региони повече отколкото всяка друга политика на Европейския съюз и ние трябва да подкрепяме този подход. Защото всеки един проект, реализиран чрез Европейския съюз, чрез европейските структурни и инвестиционни фондове, отслабва популистите, а това е качествената разлика между всички конструктивни политици и популистите. Първите доставят резултати, вторите само говорят.

Аз съм сигурен, че накрая хората ще оценят това, което сме свършили и ще ни съдят по делата.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić, autor. – Gospodine predsjedniče, želim se također svima zahvaliti koji su sudjelovali u ovoj raspravi. Posebno zahvaljujem izvjestiteljima u sjeni.

Ovo zapravo pokazuje, kada imamo zajednički cilj da možemo jako dobro raditi zajedno jer je dosad ova tehnička pomoć bila kao kada vam netko proda mašinu za pranje rublja, a onda vam dvije godine kasnije pošalje instrukcije kako koristiti tu mašinu. Dakle sada imamo instrukcije, imamo mašinu, pa idemo raditi.

 
  
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  President. – The joint debate is closed.

The vote will take place shortly.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE), γραπτώς. – Η Πολιτική Συνοχής αποτελεί πολύ σημαντικό πυλώνα της ΕΕ, καθώς στηρίζει όλες τις περιφέρειες και τις πόλεις της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και στηρίζει τη δημιουργία θέσεων εργασίας, την ανταγωνιστικότητα των επιχειρήσεων, την οικονομική ανάπτυξη, τη βιώσιμη ανάπτυξη και τη βελτίωση της ποιότητας της ζωής των πολιτών. Αποτελεί επίσης χειροπιαστό δείγμα της Ευρωπαϊκής αλληλεγγύης, καθώς το μεγαλύτερο μέρος της χρηματοδότησης της πολιτικής συνοχής συγκεντρώνεται στις λιγότερο ανεπτυγμένες Ευρωπαϊκές χώρες και περιφέρειες ώστε να τις βοηθήσει να φτάσουν στο επίπεδο των άλλων χωρών και να μειωθούν οι οικονομικές, κοινωνικές και εδαφικές διαφορές οι οποίες εξακολουθούν να υφίστανται στην ΕΕ. Στηρίζουμε την πρωτοβουλία της Επιτροπής για εμπροσθοβαρή χρηματοδότηση των προγραμμάτων στη συνοχή, σε συνδυασμό με εξειδικευμένη τεχνική βοήθεια, καθώς η στοχευμένη παροχή τεχνικής βοήθειας είναι καταλύτης για το μέλλον της πολιτικής συνοχής της ΕΕ.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – A União Europeia, enquanto processo de integração capitalista que é, não está orientada para a coesão económica e social, mas sim para a divergência. A política de coesão, enquanto tal, apenas surgiu quando se temeu que as divergências criadas pela livre concorrência capitalista entre economias com grau muito diferente de desenvolvimento se tornassem insustentáveis.

Todavia, os recursos que lhe foram devotados, ao longo dos anos, nunca permitiram que a política de coesão cumprisse a sua função. Jacques Delors, há mais de vinte anos, defendia a duplicação do orçamento da UE para que se pudesse efetivar a coesão. Desde então, a UE alargou-se mas o orçamento encolheu. O que nunca chegou a ser suficiente foi ainda mais enfraquecido.

Desde o início do século, a União Económica e Monetária e o Euro deram um ainda mais vigoroso impulso à divergência. Os fundos estruturais – que agora querem direcionar para a especulação, para insuflar “instrumentos financeiros” – assumem, neste contexto, um papel central. Para além de nunca terem sido suficientes, a sua utilização passou, ao longo do tempo, a ser cada vez mais condicionada, submetida às prioridades políticas e estratégias da UE (de liberalização, privatização, desregulação) em vez de orientada para as necessidades específicas de cada país, de acordo com as suas opções soberanas.

 
  
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  Pavel Poc (S&D), písemně. – Finanční instrumenty, které na sebe berou podobu půjček, záruk, mikroúvěrů a soukromého a rizikového kapitálu, se staly nedílnou součástí regionální politiky Evropské unie. Zatímco v programovém období 2007–2013 představovaly jen 6 procent objemu prostředků regionální politiky, v období 2014–2020 je jejich poměr už 12 procent. Jejich potřeba je neoddiskutovatelná. Stejně tak neoddiskutovatelná je ale potřeba grantů. Ačkoliv se v dnešní době najde mnoho odpůrců přímého financování z rozpočtu Evropské unie, kterému na oko chybí multiplikační účinky a tedy i širší rozsah, není možné tvrdit, že finančními instrumenty můžeme granty nahradit. Jsou to prostředky zásadní pro tzv. menší příjemce. Zejména projekty v oblasti školství, sociálních věcí a podpory zaměstnanosti se spoléhají na grantovou politiku evropského rozpočtu. Nemůžeme si tedy dovolit na jejich úkor podporovat velké projekty a příjemce, pro které jsou vhodnější jiné finanční mechanismy. Několik příštích měsíců a let představuje výbornou příležitost k reflexi týkající se politiky soudržnosti jakožto největšího investičního nástroje Evropské unie. Měli bychom se tedy pokusit o zlepšení synergie mezi evropskými rozpočtovými nástroji, včetně velmi aktuálního Evropského fondu pro strategické investice, a zejména o zlepšení poradenské podpory v podobě technické pomoci, která zaostávala v minulém programovém období, a o odstranění časových zpoždění, se kterými máme problémy nyní.

 
  
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  Laurenţiu Rebega (ENF), în scris. – Rolul cel mai important al politicii de coeziune este să reducă decalajele între regiunile din Europa. Atunci când stabilim sursele de finanțare pentru politica de coeziune și raportul dintre acestea, trebuie să nu pierdem din vedere acest obiectiv.

Creșterea proporției instrumentelor financiare în cadrul politicii de coeziune nu trebuie în niciun caz să înlocuiască sistemul actual de granturi, pentru că s-ar crea un dezechilibru în politicile publice. Fiecare stat membru trebuie să poată să stabilească proporția între instrumentele financiare și granturi, pentru că nu există o formulă universală avantajoasă pentru toată lumea.

Nu se poate accepta ca Comisia să impună folosirea obligatorie a anumitor instrumente financiare. Cu cât autoritățile naționale sunt mai mult implicate în procesul de luare a deciziilor, cu atât mai bune vor fi rezultatele.

Sunt state, cum este și România, care momentan au mare nevoie de granturi și nu au capacitatea necesară pentru a le înlocui cu instrumente financiare. Obligarea acestor state să utilizeze instrumentele financiare în cadrul politicii de coeziune arată că, de fapt, Comisia pune interesele financiare ale anumitor instituții și intermediari financiari mai presus decât politica de coeziune.

 
  
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  Monika Smolková (S&D), písomne. – Nachádzame sa v polovici súčasného sedemročného programovacieho obdobia pre čerpanie štrukturálnych a investičných fondov. Preto sa začínajú otvárať diskusie o tom, ako bude politika súdržnosti vyzerať po roku 2020. Jednou z kľúčových otázok bude, do akej miery budú priority politiky súdržnosti financované grantmi a do akej miery budeme využívať finančné nástroje. Správu kolegu Novakova podporujem, pretože vyjadruje aj moje presvedčenie, že grantový systém je v určitých oblastiach nevyhnutné zachovať. Granty by mali byť uprednostňovanou formou investícií najmä pri budovaní verejnej infraštruktúry, v sociálnych službách, ale aj v oblasti výskumu a inovácií. Samozrejme sa musí členským štátom a regiónom ponechať možnosť slobodne si zvoliť podiel grantov a finančných nástrojov pri vykonávaní ich priorít. Zároveň musím konštatovať, že kombinácia týchto dvoch typov nástrojov stále ponúka neprebádaný potenciál. Súhlasím tiež s názorom, že finančné nástroje (ako rôzne druhy úverov či zábezpek) majú svoj význam a sú efektívne najmä v rozvinutých regiónoch a väčších mestách. Ale netreba zabúdať, že odľahlé regióny, regióny s vysokou nezamestnanosťou či nízkou hustotou obyvateľstva sa vždy budú stretávať s ťažkosťami prilákať investície. Práve pre tieto oblasti, ktoré sa nám vyľudňujú, bude nevyhnutné grantový systém ponechať, aby tam bolo možné udržiavať vysokú úroveň vzdelanosti a sociálnych služieb.

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica (PPE), napisan. – Gotovo trideset godina nakon stupanja na snagu Europskog jedinstvenog akta (EJA) 1. srpnja 1987., kohezijska politika igra ključnu ulogu za dugoročni ekonomski rast u manje razvijenim regijama Europske unije. Obilježavanje obljetnice pravi je trenutak da Europski parlament ocjeni učinak i ulogu europskih strukturnih i investicijskim fondova.

U razdoblju od 2014. do 2020. Europska komisija i države članice imaju na raspolaganju 14,6 milijardi eura tehničke pomoći u okviru investicijskih i tehničkih fondova. Smatram da je povećavanje sredstava za tehničku pomoć preduvjet za sve ostale ekonomske djelatnosti i strateška ulaganja. Uspostava efikasnih administrativnih i infrastrukturnih uvjeta izuzetno povoljno djeluje na razvoj mnogih gospodarskih grana. Kako bi se transparentnost dodjele sredstava očuvala i vodilo računa o regionalnoj razini, nužno je uključiti i informirati građane, pogotovo koristeći tehničku pomoć na nacionalnoj razini za osposobljavanje lokalnih kapaciteta.

Uvjerena sam da bolja koordinacija s postojećim uslugama tehničke pomoći, poput JASPERS-a, može doprinijeti fleksibilnosti u dodjeli sredstava, što je za različite izazove, poput proračunskih poteškoća, primjeren način postupanja.

 
  
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  Claudia Țapardel (S&D), în scris. – Politica de coeziune este principala ramură de investiții a UE, oferind cetățenilor plusvaloare, fie că este vorba despre crearea de noi locuri de muncă sau despre o infrastructură de transport de calitate. Această politică a adus beneficii tuturor statelor membre ale UE și a însemnat un sprijin important pentru state precum România, mai ales în perioada crizei economice.

Este adevărat că implementarea politicii de coeziune până în momentul de față nu a fost una perfectă, iar statele membre întâmpină încă dificultăți în ceea ce privește absorbția fondurilor și elaborarea de proiecte de calitate. Beneficiile acestor fonduri sunt însă evidente și atârnă mai greu decât impasurile de moment. De aceea politica de coeziune trebuie să rămână o prioritate pentru Europa, pentru a nu accentua și mai mult decalajele de dezvoltare dintre regiuni.

În ceea ce privește viitorul politicii de coeziune, susțin fără rezerve alocarea de mai multe fonduri și prioritizarea statelor din Europa Centrală și de Est în redistribuția acestora, pe baza principiului solidarității, astfel încât dezechilibrele să fie corectate.

Nu în ultimul rând, valoarea adăugată pe care această politică o are pentru relația dintre UE și cetățeni este de necontestat: prin investiții în sectoare cheie, fondurile de coeziune generează locuri de muncă și creștere economică, răspunzând astfel la nevoile cetățenilor europeni.

 
  
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  Iuliu Winkler (PPE), în scris. – Viitorul politicii de coeziune a UE după 2020 trebuie decis printr-o dezbatere transparentă bazată pe argumente concrete și evaluări realiste. Nu este nicio exagerare dacă afirm că această dezbatere reprezintă o parte esențială a dezbaterii mai ample referitoare la viitorul UE. Construcția europeană are la bază solidaritatea, iar o UE lipsită de coeziune este lipsită de viitor.

Implementarea eficientă a politicii de coeziune este precondiția reușitei Strategiei Europa 2020. Creșterea inteligentă, durabilă și favorabilă incluziunii este răspunsul UE la provocările ce-i stau în față. Diminuarea fondurilor structurale și de investiții europene (ESI) oferind alternativa utilizării Fondului european pentru investiții strategice (Planul Juncker) nu este o soluție acceptabilă deoarece numai fondurile de coeziune asigură distribuirea teritorială echitabilă, echilibrată, care ține cont de gradul de dezvoltare a regiunilor implicate. Granturile alocate prin politica de coeziune abordează problema disparităților structurale regionale și permit UE să mențină o politică de finanțare regională echilibrată.

Din păcate, pericolul planează atât asupra viitorului politicii de coeziune după 2020, cât și asupra implementării acestor politici începând din 2019, anul probabil al Brexitului.

Parlamentul European trebuie să-și exprime sprijinul clar și puternic în favoarea menținerii politicii de coeziune ca fundament al solidarității europene și al viitorului UE.

 

9. Debates on cases of breaches of human rights, democracy and the rule of law

9.1. Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on six motions for resolutions on Zambia.

As I have said already, we are behind schedule as this House does not always have the best of discipline before the vote. I would like to keep to the schedule and be on time so that we are able to hear the closing remarks at the end of the debate on the urgent issues.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, author. – Mr President, Zambia is one of the few countries in Africa that have seen more than two peaceful transfers of power: one of the continent’s democratic success stories since moving to multi—party elections in 1991. The close elections last year, which saw incumbent President Lungu narrowly beat the opposition party leader Hakainde Hichilema, has the potential to jeopardise that success.

Concerns were first raised after the Constitutional Court quickly dismissed Hichilema’s electoral petition, with events coming to a head after the bizarre arrest of Hichilema on charges of treason. In response, the influential Zambia Conference of Catholic Bishops issued a strongly-worded letter claiming that the country had become a dictatorship in all but name. Despite Zambia’s overall success, this is not the first time that a President there has sought to consolidate his power, as was seen by the former President Chiluba’s unsuccessful attempts to secure an unconstitutional third term in 2001.

We must now support the EU’s efforts to see tensions relieved and ensure that Zambia and its democratic constitution is upheld and supported by the European Union.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao, autore. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Hakainde Hichilema, leader dell'opposizione, è stato arrestato con l'accusa di tradimento poiché il suo convoglio ha ostacolato il passaggio di quello del Presidente Lungu, mentre entrambi procedevano sulla stessa strada. Sembra incredibile, eppure è successo davvero.

A tal punto si è arrivati, pur di eliminare o limitare l'opposizione politica in Zambia e, come se non bastasse, alcuni suoi collaboratori, anch'essi posti agli arresti, sono stati sottoposti a torture di vario genere.

La forza e la qualità di un governo stanno anche nel permettere critica e dissenso, se si vuole crescere e giungere all'elaborazione di politiche che portino progresso e sviluppo per il paese. Hichilema e tutti coloro che sono stati arrestati insieme a lui devono essere rilasciati immediatamente, considerata anche la recente sentenza di proscioglimento per ingiuria. Allo stesso tempo, va aperta un'indagine volta a verificare se veramente ci sono state violazioni dei diritti umani nei confronti degli arrestati e, in tal caso, perseguire i colpevoli.

Alla luce dei recenti accordi di cooperazione, ritengo necessario che l'Unione europea utilizzi la leva economica nei confronti del governo di Edgar Lungu finché non vi sia un pieno rispetto dei diritti dell'opposizione e dei diritti umani.

 
  
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  Soraya Post, author. – Mr President, Zambia has for many years been one of the more promising countries on the African continent. The country has two peaceful transfers of powers, making it unusual in Africa. But in the last months there has been a serious backsliding. Zambia is now, as the important national body Conference of Catholic Bishops noted in an unusually strongly-worded criticism of the government, ‘all except in designation a dictatorship’. The leader of the opposition, Hakainde Hichilema, has been arrested on trumped-up charges. The government accuses him of treason but has not presented a shred of evidence against him. Mr Hichilema’s arrest is just the tip of the iceberg – civil society is attacked, the judiciary and police is politicised. The political pressure needs to be upped. We need to start considering Zambia as a country heading for dictatorship. President Lungu needs to know that we are watching him.

 
  
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  Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, autora. – Señor presidente, considerando la situación actual en el país queremos hacer un llamamiento al Gobierno y a la oposición para iniciar un diálogo pacífico y constructivo para superar las tensiones políticas actuales y para concentrarse en resolver los graves problemas socioeconómicos que afectan al pueblo zambiano. Solo algunos datos: la tasa de pobreza rural en Zambia en el año 2015 fue del 76,6 %, lo que triplica la pobreza urbana, y no se ha observado casi ninguna disminución entre 2010 y 2015.

Se estima que la desnutrición es un factor subyacente en el 54 % de las muertes infantiles. Un elevado número de personas no tienen acceso al agua potable ni a los servicios de saneamiento adecuados. Y el VIH y el sida son pandémicos en el país. Por eso pedimos al Gobierno también que respete, proteja y promueva los derechos civiles y políticos de sus ciudadanos; que garantice un juicio justo para Hakainde Hichilema de conformidad con la Carta Africana y otros instrumentos internacionales y regionales de derechos humanos, así como que ponga fin a las prácticas represivas y discriminatorias contra las personas LGBTI.

 
  
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  Bogdan Brunon Wenta, autor. – Panie Przewodniczący! Na wstępie chcę podziękować pozostałym grupom politycznym za dobrą współpracę i przygotowanie wspólnego projektu rezolucji. Od czasu kampanii wyborczej i wyborów z 2016 roku rośnie – jak każdy wie – napięcie polityczne między partią rządzącą a partią opozycyjną w Zambii, państwie, które przez ostatnie 25 lat dokonało wielu pokojowych przemian prodemokratycznych.

Jak wszyscy już powtarzają, w konsekwencji Hakainde Hichilema, główny lider partii opozycyjnej, nieuznający zwycięstwa wyborczego prezydenta Lungu, został aresztowany, umieszczony w więzieniu, a także oskarżony o zdradę stanu. Jest to przestępstwo, za które maksymalnym wyrokiem w Zambii jest kara śmierci. Jak wiemy, już od 20 lat nie wykonano żadnej egzekucji w tym państwie, ale jak na razie taki najwyższy wymiar kary jest w Zambii ciągle możliwy za przestępstwo określone jako zdrada stanu. Jako że odnotowaliśmy także liczne doniesienia o motywacji politycznej w związku z zarzutami postawionymi Hichilemie, i biorąc pod uwagę fakt, że proces sądowy rozpocznie się już w tym tygodniu, chciałbym zaapelować o pilny dialog polityczny między obiema partiami przy wsparciu partnerów międzynarodowych, w tym Unii Europejskiej i organizacji regionalnych. Rząd Zambii musi doprowadzić do tego, aby Hichilema miał sprawiedliwy proces.

 
  
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  António Marinho e Pinto, Autor. – Senhor Presidente, o combate às violações dos direitos fundamentais, como aquela que está a acontecer na Zâmbia, passa por duas ordens de medidas.

Em primeiro lugar, é necessário o reforço dos poderes e das competências do Tribunal Penal Internacional e de um alargamento da sua área de atuação, mesmo a países que não tenham assinado o Tratado de Roma. A certeza de que nenhum violador do Direito Humanitário ficará impune é a maior garantia que podemos dar às potenciais vítimas dessas violações, porque é o maior elemento dissuasor que podemos impor aos violadores.

Outras medidas são de natureza política e económica e exigem um combate genuíno e determinado à pobreza. Onde houver pobreza haverá sempre violações dos direitos humanos, até porque a pobreza é, em si mesma, uma violação qualificada do Direito Humanitário.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda, în numele grupului PPE. – Domnule președinte, Grupul Partidului Popular European a fost inițiatorul dezbaterii despre Zambia. Climatul politic din această țară a fost marcat de tensiuni după alegerile prezidențiale din vara trecută. Arestarea liderului opoziției, Hichilema, accentuează criza politică. Împrejurările care au condus la arestare sunt de-a dreptul bizare. Hichilema este acuzat de trădare și riscă să fie condamnat la moarte pentru un incident rutier minor: el ar fi obstrucționat convoiul prezidențial. De fapt, președintele Lungu este nemulțumit fiindcă adversarul său din alegerile de anul trecut a contestat rezultatul competiției.

Cer autorităților zambiene să rămână în limitele democrației, revanșa absurdă nu rezolvă absolut nimic, așa cum au spus și alți colegi, soluția sănătoasă este un dialog între putere și opoziție.

 
  
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  Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ho avuto l'opportunità di guidare la missione di osservazione elettorale dell'Unione europea nello Zambia. Ne approfitto ancora una volta per ringraziare l'Alto rappresentante per la politica estera, Federica Mogherini, per la fiducia accordatami.

Non lo nego, abbiamo riscontrato alcune difficoltà nel processo elettorale, dettate dalla limitazione della libertà di espressione, dall'accesso ai media, dalla scarsa partecipazione delle donne, dal funzionamento della Corte costituzionale per i ricorsi. Tuttavia, il risultato è stato oggettivo, il presidente uscente ha riportato una stretta maggioranza sul candidato dell'opposizione.

Con questa risoluzione il Parlamento riconosce gli sforzi del popolo e del governo dello Zambia. La liberazione, dopo un giusto processo, del candidato sconfitto Hakainde Hichilema sarà un'occasione straordinaria per confermare i progressi compiuti in questi ultimi decenni in termini di governance e alternanza politica, nonché per essere un esempio di consolidamento democratico anche per gli altri paesi del continente africano.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Chers collègues, nous devons évidemment nous préoccuper de la situation des droits de l’homme et je trouve que nous faisons œuvre utile.

Néanmoins, je me pose des questions. L’atteinte à la sûreté de l’État et la trahison sont des affaires que nous avons vues chez nous aussi, tout comme l’utilisation de la politique et même de la notion de sûreté de l’État, que ce soit aux États-Unis ou en France. Cette notion a été utilisée pour déstabiliser des hommes politiques.

Deuxièmement, nous intervenons au nom de nos valeurs. Mais justement, nos valeurs sont remises en question parce que, par ce double standard, il est très facile d’accuser les autres. Que faisons-nous chez nous? Puis, comme par hasard, nous sommes les seuls. La Chine, l’Inde et d’autres grands pays n’ont pas l’obligation d’intervenir sur tout.

En ce qui concerne la Zambie, comme beaucoup d’États africains, elle fait face à des contradictions insolubles. Elle doit gérer son exode rural, sa modernisation et sa démocratisation, ô combien difficile, surtout qu’elle est dans une situation de concurrence internationale qui empêche la constitution d’un tissu économique propre et qu’elle est sous surveillance du FMI.

La Zambie fait donc partie de ces États ballottés par les marchés et sous surveillance de l’Occident. La meilleure action que nous pouvons faire pour ce pays, c’est de laisser la Conférence des évêques et l’Union africaine agir ensemble pour trouver des solutions et venir en appui à ces solutions, selon le principe de subsidiarité.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, há cinco semanas o líder da oposição zambiano, Hakainde Hichilema, foi detido de forma brutal em sua casa enquanto dormia, acusado de traição. Este grave episódio e os protestos que ele originou são o culminar das restrições à liberdade de expressão e do aumento da violência policial e política que se verificam na Zâmbia desde a campanha eleitoral das eleições presidenciais de agosto do ano passado.

A violência desproporcionada e desnecessária utilizada pelas forças policiais no momento da sua prisão, as condições em que se encontra detido e a possibilidade de incorrer numa pena de prisão perpétua ou até pena de morte constituem uma ameaça ao Estado de Direito e violam claramente as obrigações internacionais da Zâmbia.

A União Europeia deve condenar, de forma clara, todas as formas de intimidação contra aqueles que o Governo considera opositores e apoiar a promoção de um diálogo aberto e construtivo entre a Frente Patriótica e o Partido Unido para o desenvolvimento nacional que permita resgatar a democracia na Zâmbia.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, situația generală în Zambia ar trebui monitorizată atent și rezoluția prevede acest lucru.Trebuie inițiat urgent un dialog pașnic și constructiv. Salut implicarea partenerilor internaționali și regionali în democratizarea din Zambia. Am vizitat această țară și am văzut oameni care trăiesc în sărăcie, dar și cu teama zilei de mâine. Și acolo sunt oameni și dacă vrem să fim cu adevărat solidari ar trebui să acționăm alături de alte instituții europene și mondiale pentru democratizare, dar și pentru eradicarea sărăciei. Nu trebuie să uităm că există încă pedeapsa cu moartea, ceea ce este de neacceptat. Există multe restricții legate de libertatea de exprimare și libertatea de asociere ce pot duce la conflicte, de aceea este bine să punem în aplicare această rezoluție.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η Ζάμπια είναι μία φτωχή αφρικανική χώρα, η οποία πραγματικά αντιμετωπίζει ένα τεράστιο πρόβλημα και λόγω της εξάπλωσης του ΑΙDS. Οι συγκρούσεις που διαμορφώνονται μεταξύ της κυβέρνησης και της αντιπολίτευσης οφείλονται στην αμφισβήτηση των αποτελεσμάτων των προεδρικών εκλογών τον Αύγουστο του 2016, όταν ο Πρόεδρος Λούνγκου κέρδισε με πολύ μικρή διαφορά. Έτσι η αμφισβήτηση εκ μέρους του Χιτσιλέμα, του αρχηγού της αντιπολίτευσης, έχει οδηγήσει σε συγκρούσεις, έχει συλληφθεί ο αρχηγός της αντιπολίτευσης και κινδυνεύει ακόμη και η ζωή του. Είναι προφανές ότι πρέπει να υπάρξει μία συνεννόηση μεταξύ κυβέρνησης και αντιπολίτευσης. Νομίζω ότι και η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, η Επιτροπή, πρέπει να παίξει ένα σημαντικό ρόλο στο θέμα αυτό για να αποκατασταθεί η ηρεμία στην περιοχή, να μπορέσουν οι δύο αντιμαχόμενες δυνάμεις να βρουν μία λύση, διότι το κυρίαρχο πρόβλημα στη Ζάμπια είναι η φτώχεια. Αυτό πρέπει να δουν και με βάση αυτόν τον γνώμονα να λύσουν τις διαφορές τους.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, si può essere accusato di tradimento per aver bloccato un corteo presidenziale? A quanto pare, nello Zambia, sfortunatamente sì. Il leader dell'opposizione Hakainde Hichilema, che era il principale sfidante dell'attuale presidente alle ultime lezioni presidenziali, è stato arrestato insieme a molti suoi collaboratori e addirittura abbiamo visto retrodatare le accuse di tradimento a un precedente arresto, quando si era recato in carcere a visitare alcuni sostenitori.

Anche la missione di osservazione elettorale dell'Unione ha sottolineato delle pesanti irregolarità che si sarebbero svolte nel corso delle ultime elezioni, dando quindi atto alle opposizioni di non avere tutti i torti nel denunciare una serie di problematiche e, tra l'altro, non abbiamo avuto neanche la possibilità di monitorare l'aggregazione finale dei risultati durante il loro invio al centro nazionale.

Noi chiediamo che lo Zambia rispetti pienamente gli accordi di Cotonou, che liberi Hakainde Hichilema e i suoi collaboratori e, soprattutto, che venga meno questo processo farsa per il quale rischierebbero addirittura la pena di morte.

Torture, maltrattamenti e persecuzioni politiche non sono accettabili in nessun caso e dobbiamo ricordare anche che quei 484 milioni di euro non potranno essere erogati altrimenti.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Já bych chtěl zejména poděkovat autorům tohoto usnesení, protože nás upozorňuje na problém chudé země, u které jsme si mysleli, že již došlo k určitému pokroku. Jak se ukazuje, tak ten pokrok je velmi křehký a zatčení opozičního vůdce je věc, která by se mohla udát pouze na základě nezpochybnitelných důkazů. Samotná kauza budí velké rozpaky, budí velké otazníky.

Mučení spolupracovníků zatčeného lídra opozice, to jsou myslím naprosto nepřípustná jednání. Zambie bude nyní stát před zkouškou své justice, zdali i ona nepodlehla tlaku státní moci, zdali je skutečně nezávislá a nestranná. Je naším bytostným zájmem sledovat tento proces, zdali bude naplňovat veškeré atributy spravedlivého procesu a zdali se Zambie z toho pokroku, který byl konstatován, skutečně nevymkla a nesklouzla do původních kolejí.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I would like to thank Members for this timely debate on the developments in Zambia, which deserve our attention.

The European Union values highly its partnership with Zambia. We are proud of our significant contribution to that country’s development and are firmly committed to remaining a key partner. The European Union is also aware of the various challenges the country is facing and supports its ambitious economic and governance reform agenda.

You may recall the EU’s involvement, through the deployment of an EU election observation mission, led by the honourable Member Cécile Kyenge, who has just taken the floor. We are very grateful for the work she has done. We are advocating implementation of the mission’s recommendations, in particular in response to its concerns relating to freedom of expression and assembly.

Zambia has traditionally been a peaceful and democratic nation in a neighbourhood so often marked by political instability and human rights violations. It is therefore of even greater concern that Zambia’s democratic trajectory is being questioned, particularly since the highly—contested elections in August 2016, which revealed the polarised nature of the country. The arrest of the opposition leader, Hakainde Hichilema, on 11 April resulted in increased political tensions, to which the European Union was quick to respond by calling on all parties to refrain from any action or rhetoric likely to aggravate the situation. The European Union, in close coordination with the Member States, will further convey a strong message to both the government and the opposition to play a constructive role and to engage in a dialogue to restore trust in support of an inclusive political environment.

Regarding the ongoing proceedings against Mr Hichilema, the European Union calls upon the government of Zambia to ensure transparency, independence of the judiciary and the right to a fair trial and due process, according to international human rights law. Making Zambia’s institutions accountable and inclusive is vital for upholding its democratic credentials and political stability. The European Union will continue to engage with our Zambian partners through all political and diplomatic means, at all levels, calling upon the wisdom and sense of responsibility of all parties to avoid further reputational damage to Zambia’s strong democratic traditions.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will be held at the end of the debates.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου (GUE/NGL), γραπτώς. – Υπερψηφίσαμε το ψήφισμα καθώς εκφράζει την ανησυχία του για τη σύλληψη και φυλάκιση του Χακάιντε Χιτσιλέμα και επιμένει στην ανάγκη εξασφάλισης αμεροληψίας, επιμέλειας και διαφάνειας σε όλα τα στάδια της εφαρμογής του νόμου και καθ’ όλη τη διάρκεια της δικαστικής διαδικασίας. Επίσης σημειώνει με ανησυχία τις αναφορές σύμφωνα με τις οποίες οι κατηγορίες βασίζονται σε πολιτικά κίνητρα και, για τον λόγο αυτό, υπενθυμίζει την ανάγκη να γίνονται σεβαστά τα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα και το κράτος δικαίου, συμπεριλαμβανομένων της πρόσβασης στη δικαιοσύνη και του δικαιώματος σε δίκαιη δίκη, όπως προβλέπεται στον Αφρικανικό Χάρτη, και σε άλλα διεθνή και περιφερειακά μέσα για τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα.

 

9.2. Ethiopia, notably the case of Dr Merera Gudina
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on seven motions for resolutions on Ethiopia, notably the case of Dr Merera Gudina.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, author. – Mr President, as host of the African Union and a key regional contributor to UN peace missions, Ethiopia’s role is strategic. With conflicts in neighbouring South Sudan and Somalia, in addition to the repressive regime of Afwerki in Eritrea to its north, Ethiopia has found itself host to the largest refugee population in Africa. For one of the poorest countries in the world by GDP per capita, such responsibilities place great strain on the country’s resources. I hope therefore that today’s resolution can be seen in a constructive manner, reminding Ethiopia’s government that the EU is here to support its actions but that fundamental human rights to free speech and a right to peaceful protest must still be upheld.

I welcome the calls in the resolution for a UN-led inquiry into the heavy-handed actions taken by the government in response to the protests in Oromia state. This, along with the release of political prisoners including Dr Gudina, will be vital to improving Ethiopia’s record of enforcing the rule of law and democracy – a key part also of honouring its obligations under the EU’s Cotonou agreement.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo, autore. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quando parliamo di Etiopia parliamo di un paese chiave negli equilibri dell'Africa subsahariana, un paese firmatario dell'accordo di Cotonou che però, purtroppo, lo sta smentendo con le sue azioni.

A seguito di un'audizione organizzata dall'onorevole Ana Gomes, che saluto, alcuni leader dell'opposizione, tra cui Merera Gudina, sono stati arrestati semplicemente per aver partecipato a questa audizione e sono stati imputati di aver esercitato pressioni contro il governo e minacciato la società, addirittura mediante violenza, perturbando l'ordine costituzionale. Non hanno diritto alla difesa e sono stati contestati loro ben quattro violazioni del codice penale.

In Etiopia, purtroppo, avvengono ancora violazioni dei diritti umani, c'è un uso eccessivo della forza contro gli oromo e altri gruppi etnici e, contestualmente, il governo sta abusando della legge antiterrorismo contro chiunque lo critichi, attaccando giornalisti, blogger e manifestanti.

Proprio per la sua importanza nella regione, noi richiediamo il rilascio di tutti i prigionieri politici, tra cui Merera Gudina, Berhanu Nega e Jawar Mohammed, e un'inchiesta veramente internazionale e indipendente che chiarisca tutte le violazioni dei diritti umani, non possiamo permetterle più.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé, author. – Mr President, Ethiopia is a key partner and a hope for economic improvement and political stability in a troubled region, but the truth is also that the country’s regime is authoritarian, cracking down mercilessly on those who voice dissent. Economic growth and enforced political stability are prioritised at the expense of human rights and civil liberties, and especially the fundamental rights of the country’s unrepresented groups are being violated on a daily basis. Most of these groups are systematically marginalised by the central government. Those living in the Ogaden and Oromia regions are most vulnerable to the persecution, as the case of Dr Gudina and others show. There is a need for greater ethnically-diverse democratic participation and more equal access to political, economic, social and cultural opportunities among the different groups. Being aware of the importance of Ethiopia for the economic and political stability of the region should not relieve us from the moral obligation of addressing and denouncing the severe human rights violations still taking place there.

 
  
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  Soraya Post, author. – Mr President, a decade of strong development in Ethiopia has lifted many out of poverty, of which it can be proud, but now this is all at risk. Ethiopia is in its eighth month of emergency rule. The government is systematically repressing freedom. In November, the leader of the opposition, Professor Merera Gudina was detained shortly after arriving in Addis Ababa from Brussels, where he gave a speech in this House. Independent media and civil society are also under attack. If the Ethiopian government values its long-standing cooperation with the EU and the great achievements of Ethiopia, it has to start respecting its own constitution. The government needs to immediately end emergency rule and let the United Nations in to visit political prisoners. Crucially, it needs to immediately release Professor Merera Gudina from prison.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Vergiat, auteure. – Monsieur le Président, l’Éthiopie est un grand pays, riche de son histoire et de la diversité de sa population. C’est un pays clé dans la région, qui compte beaucoup d’amis, y compris dans cette enceinte. Mais respecter un ami, c’est savoir lui dire les choses; aujourd’hui notamment, avec l’arrestation du Docteur Merera Gudina, à son retour d’Europe, où il est venu témoigner, ici même, de la situation des Oromos, nous ne pouvons pas nous taire. À plus forte raison quand on nous dit que les relations UE-Éthiopie pourraient pâtir de notre vote, notamment en matière de migration. Cela s’appelle du chantage.

Depuis plusieurs mois, la situation se dégrade, en particulier depuis la mise en œuvre de l’état d’urgence. On parle de 26 000 arrestations, de centaines de morts – plus de six cents, selon un rapport officiel –, de tortures dans les prisons. Nous ne pouvons pas nous taire. Il faut demander aux autorités éthiopiennes de faire la lumière sur ce qu’ils appellent des allégations, d’accepter une enquête internationale et de libérer les prisonniers politiques arrêtés au nom de la lutte contre le terrorisme, qui a bon dos.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam, author. – Mr President, there is no doubt about EU sympathy towards Ethiopia. Only 11 months ago, EU-Ethiopia strategic engagement agreement was signed, recognising the crucial role of Ethiopia in Africa, especially for providing stability for the region of the Horn of Africa. Ethiopia also has generously received almost one million refugees from neighbouring countries. However, today we are very much worried that the leader of the opposition party, Dr Merera Gudina, has been under arrest for almost half a year. Ironically, following his visit to the European Parliament, he is accused of creating pressure against the government – that is the opposition’s constitutional role – and so disrupting the constitutional order. Sadly, Dr Gudina is not alone. Our resolution lists several names – journalists, one-line activists – who are kept in detention. Today, therefore, we strongly urge the Ethiopian government to release immediately Dr Gudina and all other political prisoners; to allow international investigation on the killings of protesters on government-sponsored land grabs; to start genuine dialogue with the opposition, which is the only way toward a more democratic society; to stop using anti-terrorist laws and a state of emergency to suppress peaceful protests and dissent; and to provide unrestricted access for human rights organisations and NGOs to all parts of the country. These are also criteria for meaningful and credible implementation of our strategic engagement agreement.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, author. – Mr President, Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries in the world and the people suffer from drought and other dire challenges that leave millions hungry and dependent on aid. It is important that the EU cooperate to help people and save lives, but it would be a grave mistake only to look at the challenges of people in Ethiopia through the lens of ‘managing migration’ and not to address the dire human rights violations which risk being overshadowed. Counter—terrorism laws are being abused, critics are being silenced and farmland has been expropriated. Hundreds of people were killed last month, according to Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission itself. However, human rights organisations and NGOs claim that even more people were killed in demonstrations.

Today we call on the government of Ethiopia to respect the rights to freedom of expression, including the press freedom of critics, to lift the remaining elements of the state of emergency, and especially to give access to aid organisations for all areas and all people who are in need of assistance. It is important that political prisoners, journalists and human rights defenders be freed from detention and for the Ethiopian Government to adhere to its own commitments made under the African Charter, in the context of the Cotonou Agreement, towards democracy and respecting human rights.

 
  
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  Agnieszka Kozłowska-Rajewicz, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowni państwo! Etiopia odgrywa kluczową rolę w zapewnianiu bezpieczeństwa w Rogu Afryki, a borykając się z klęskami suszy, z epidemiami, z napływami i odpływami uchodźców, dźwiga naprawdę ogromne ciężary na swoich barkach.

Jest ważne, by te wszystkie problemy rozwiązywać w sposób szanujący prawo i demokrację, także w oparciu o niedawno zawartą umowę o współpracy z Unią Europejską. Tymczasem władze Etiopii wielokrotnie nadużyły siły wobec opozycji, tłumiąc pokojowe demonstracje, dopuszczając się aktów prześladowań, arbitralnych aresztowań i zabójstw wobec mniejszości etnicznych, dziennikarzy, blogerów i działaczy politycznych.

Dlatego wzywamy rząd Etiopii do zwolnienia za kaucją i wycofania zarzutów wobec dra Merery Gudiny i pozostałych więźniów politycznych, a także apelujemy do przedstawicieli Unii Europejskiej, by podjęli działania na rzecz wszczęcia pod egidą ONZ międzynarodowego dochodzenia, które dotyczyłoby zabicia demonstrantów.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, in Ethiopia two days ago Yonatan Tesfaye, spokesperson for the opposition Blue Party, was sentenced as a terrorist for comments he made on Facebook about human rights. Last November, Dr Merera Gudina, the Oromo opposition leader, was arrested and tortured under terrorist charges for the crime of participating in a public hearing here, at the European Parliament, with Dr Berhanu Negra, another opposition leader democratically elected in 2005, then sent to jail, now in exile, and also deemed a terrorist. Thousands of political prisoners languish in jail in Ethiopia, jailed by a totalitarian government which was never elected, and whose last farcical election emulated North Korea, with the ruling party winning 100% of the votes. The violation of human rights in Ethiopia is systematic and aggravated under the state of emergency, with excessive force against peaceful demonstrators, massacres like at Irreecha, brutalising victims of the garbage dump landslide last March, brutal repression against the Roma community and other ethnic groups, arbitrary arrests, torture, killings, and terrorist charges against those who dare to dissent.

In this resolution we call on the High Representative to mobilise members to support a UN-led inquiry into the killings in Ethiopia. The Commission and Council must stop the pretence that they are dealing with a respectful government in Ethiopia as justification for wasting piles of EU taxpayers’ money on development aid, security capacity and the migration compact. They are, in fact, assisting a corrupt dictatorship which rules by terror, thus fuelling rebellion and insecurity. Ethiopia is indeed strategic. When Ethiopians revolt all Africa will tremble.

 
  
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  Bodil Valero, för Verts/ALE-gruppen. – Herr talman! Igår röstade vi för kommissionens förslag om att lägga till Etiopien på EU:s lista över högriskländer, för bl.a. korruption och penningtvätt.

Jag vill berätta om fallet Fikru Maru, som är en svensk läkare som 2006 startade ett hjärtsjukhus i Addis Abeba. 2010 anklagades han för att försöka smuggla in sjukhusmaterial, då han vägrade betala en muta. Anklagelserna lades ner och han släpptes.

I maj 2013 arresterades han för händelsen 2010 p.g.a. korruptionsmisstankar mot Etiopiens tullminister. Efter tre och ett halvt år i fängelse i Kaliti dömdes han för kännedom om korruption på ministernivå. Han fick fyra år och åtta månaders fängelsestraff förutom böter.

I september 2016 anklagades han för att ligga bakom upploppet i fängelset, och därmed terrorbrott, som innehåller dödsstraffet i straffskalan, trots att han samtidigt befann sig på sjukhus för behandling av en kollapsad lunga. Vittnesförhören de ogiltigförklarades därefter i högsta domstolen i Etiopien, men den 11 maj var det fyra år sedan som Fikru Maru fängslades och han är fortfarande inte fri.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, la situation de l’Éthiopie est fragile. Elle compte parmi les pays africains qui connaissent la plus grande croissance économique, mais reste extrêmement pauvre. Sa situation sécuritaire se dégrade, particulièrement en ce qui concerne les rapports entre l’ethnie majoritaire et les autres ethnies.

Dans ce contexte, il est important de voir garantir effectivement les droits fondamentaux. Certes, nous avons un rôle de vigilance sur les droits de l’homme, mais essayons aussi de regarder d’abord chez nous.

L’Afrique a ses propres institutions multilatérales. A-t-elle besoin de nos leçons sur les droits de l’opposition? Les pays africains ont leur propre voie vers la démocratie.

Renforçons le pouvoir de l’Union africaine, qui saura, je l’espère, affronter cette complexité. Nous ne sommes pas mandatés par les Nations unies pour organiser ce gendarme des droits de l’homme.

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Die Menschenrechtssituation in Äthiopien beschäftigt uns in diesem Haus kontinuierlich. Auch der Menschenrechtsbeauftragte Stavros Lambrinidis hat sich nach seinem letzten Besuch besorgt gezeigt. Entgegen offiziellen Beteuerungen macht die äthiopische Regierung keine Anstalten, von ihrem restriktiven Kurs abzurücken. Ein besonderer Affront war die Verhaftung von Dr. Godina, unmittelbar nach seinem Auftritt hier im Europäischen Parlament.

Mit diesem Kurs schadet sich die äthiopische Regierung selbst. Sie gefährdet damit die nicht unbeträchtlichen Mittel für die Entwicklungszusammenarbeit. Und wieso soll so eine Politik belohnt werden? Indem sie diese Mittel gefährdet, gefährdet sie auch den wirtschaftlichen Aufschwung im Land, der sich abzeichnet.

Man kann es nicht oft genug betonen: Die Einschränkung der Menschenrechte und die Beseitigung demokratischer Strukturen schaffen niemals Stabilität. Im Gegenteil, sie gefährden Stabilität, und das muss man sich angesichts der dramatischen Lage am Horn von Afrika mit Millionen von Flüchtlingen auch vor Augen halten.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, the case of Dr Merera Gudina offers a worrisome insight into the state of freedom of expression, association, and assembly in Ethiopia. I therefore strongly support calls on the Ethiopian authorities to prevent ethnic, religious or political discrimination and to encourage and act in favour of a peaceful and constructive dialogue between all communities.

I also wish to remind the Ethiopian Government of their obligations to guarantee fundamental rights, including access to justice and the right to a fair trial, as provided for in the African Charter. There can be no denying that the political, economic and democratic stability of Ethiopia is crucial to the development of the countries of the Horn of Africa. We must therefore remain dedicated to the fostering of a healthy working relationship between the EU and the Ethiopian Government in order to advance democratic values in this state. We have got to keep working and we intend to do so.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, colleagues, I am very glad to see the issue of human rights in Ethiopia brought to this agenda. However, I am deeply concerned that the resolution bears no mention of the systematic and widespread sexual violence against women as part of the persecution of ethnic minorities in Ethiopia. We have had testimonies in this Parliament from victims, survivors and civil society activists. We heard of mass rape and torture in prisons and camps, we heard of systematic abuse to break up Ogaden and Oromo communities. These are horrifying crimes, taking place far away from the cameras and the gaze of the world’s media. All of us here must give voice to the voiceless and issue a strong call to the Ethiopian Government to stop these atrocities immediately, investigate reports and bring the perpetrators to justice.

 
  
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  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, l’état d’urgence ne peut en aucun cas signifier l’emprisonnement des opposants politiques. Ce n’est pas par la violence et la terreur que se résoudront les problèmes. Quelle que soit la situation stratégique des États, l’Union européenne ne peut tolérer que les systèmes démocratiques soient bafoués.

Lorsque le docteur Merera Gudina est venu témoigner ici même, devant ce Parlement, de la situation dans son pays, il n’a fait que son devoir et ne peut en aucun cas être condamné pour cela, bien au contraire.

Au Parlement européen, nous devons rappeler sans cesse qu’un pays démocratique doit se caractériser par le respect du droit démocratiquement établi, notamment d’un droit d’expression de l’opposition, et par l’existence d’une justice indépendante.

Partout, particulièrement avec des États partenaires, nous devons exiger que la démocratie et les libertés d’expression soient garanties, de même que tous les droits de l’homme.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η Αιθιοπία είναι μια σημαντική χώρα για το Κέρας της Αφρικής, πραγματικά μπορεί να διαδραματίσει ένα ακόμα πιο σημαντικό ρόλο. Έχει υπογράψει συμφωνία με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, βεβαίως δεσμεύεται και από την συμφωνία του Κοτονού, αλλά απ’ ό,τι φαίνεται η κατάσταση έχει ξεφύγει, διότι έχουμε πλέον μία κατάσταση επιβολής έκτακτης ανάγκης, έχουμε φυλακίσεις, έχουμε συλλήψεις της αντιπολίτευσης, έχουμε αρπαγή γαιών, έχουμε μια κατάσταση η οποία πλέον είναι ανεπίτρεπτη. Δεν σέβονται την ελευθερία της έκφρασης, ούτε την ελευθερία του Τύπου και βεβαίως συλλαμβάνουν και δημοσιογράφους και bloggers. Νομίζω ότι πρέπει να σταλεί ένα αποφασιστικό μήνυμα στην κυβέρνηση της Αιθιοπίας, ότι η κατάσταση δεν πάει άλλο και θα πρέπει πλέον να τηρήσει τα συμφωνηθέντα και βεβαίως να προστατεύσει τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, honourable Members of the European Parliament, of course, the European Union watches with great concern the difficult domestic situation in Ethiopia and follows closely reports of human rights violations. Ethiopia faces multiple challenges and a deteriorating humanitarian situation, including several droughts and a cholera outbreak, but also persisting pockets of violence throughout the country. The European Union is aware of the difficult situation that the Oromo People’s Congress and other key opposition parties face and has repeatedly highlighted these concerns to the government. The EU delegation in Ethiopia closely follows the case of Dr Merera. They attend his trials and have regular contact with his lawyers. The delegation equally monitors trials of other opposition leaders detained and has regular contacts with their remaining leadership.

The situation has further deteriorated under the state of emergency, and the stability of the country and of the wider region remains at serious risk.

Ethiopia is an important partner, and the situation warrants the EU’s close attention. The EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement is the right framework to address and follow issues of concern. The visit of High Representative Mrs Mogherini to Addis Ababa in March was an opportunity to discuss political developments with the Prime Minister, emphasising the imperative to respect human rights and fundamental freedoms under the state of emergency as well as for a credible political dialogue with the opposition.

She reiterated him again in the margins of the Somalia conference in London, and he was grateful for the EU’s continuous engagement. It is important to note that the first dialogue at the EU-Ethiopia Strategic Engagement was the governance and human rights sectoral dialogue. It was formally launched in the presence of the EU Special Representative for Human Rights, Stavros Lambrinidis, during his visit to Addis Ababa from 4 to 6 April. Topics discussed included due process of law and detention conditions; youth empowerment and children’s rights, including female genital mutilation; and migrants’ rights. We are now working on concrete follow-up, in particular on the strengthening of independent civil society, the establishment of a strong political dialogue, and the improvement of conditions in detention centres. Since this visit, the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission has reported to the Parliament on its findings on the violence that led to the current state of emergency.

We welcomed the recommendation that security personnel responsible for the excessive use of force should be held accountable. We have encouraged the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission to work with the independent civil society organisations and human rights defenders and to publicly share all of their reports. We also welcome the recent visit of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Mr Al Hussein, to the country and strongly encourage Ethiopia to cooperate with UN special procedures. The EU continues to stress the need to address guidance of the population and encourage tangible changes to laws and practices to ensure more outlets for citizens to express their views and concerns freely and peacefully, including through independent media, political parties and civil society. The arrest of senior leaders of the opposition such as Dr Merera is detrimental to a process of reconciliation and dialogue. We have called for the release of the leaders of the opposition and supported calls for independent investigations into all acts of violence.

The European Union stands ready to work together in addressing these issues. Given the enormous task that the country is facing in terms of humanitarian challenges and its key role in issues of common concerns – regional peace and security, migration, climate change – we must be ready to support them to foster democracy and prosperity and we think that one cannot exist without the other.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will be held at the end of the debates.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Mark Demesmaeker (ECR), schriftelijk. – Ethiopië is een belangrijke politieke bondgenoot van de EU en vele andere westerse landen. Het land speelt een sleutelrol binnen de Afrikaanse Unie en is een belangrijke partner bij talrijke VN-veiligheidsmissies. Ook economisch doet het land het lang niet slecht. Met een gemiddelde groei van 10 % is het een van de snelst groeiende economieën van Afrika.

Toch is het niet al goud dat blinkt. Behalve met droogte en armoede worstelt het land ook met een overheid die de democratische basisprincipes aan haar laars lapt. Zo beschuldigt de Ethiopische regering activisten, journalisten en bloggers al te gemakkelijk van terrorisme, worden protesten van de Oromo-minderheid bloedig neergeslagen en wordt het afkondigen van de noodtoestand misbruikt om oppositieleden de mond te snoeren. Daarom steunt de N-VA-delegatie de voorliggende resolutie die de Ethiopische regering oproept om Merera Gudina en alle andere politieke gevangenen vrij te laten en de rechtstaat te herstellen.

 

9.3. South Sudan
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on seven motions for resolutions on South Sudan.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao, author. – Mr President, South Sudan is collapsing. The civil war has brought the country to its knees and now there is a serious risk that the conflict will take on a full ethnic dimension and could lead to genocide. Almost half of the population do not have enough food. If not bullets, then malnutrition and starvation will kill them. Humanitarian workers are blocked because the danger is great and there are too many difficulties, which means that they cannot assist the population affected and anyone who urgently needs help.

The conflict cannot be solved militarily. We must immediately declare a ceasefire that brings together all the actors, and not just the parties in conflict, in order to recognise that the country has suffered enough and that the next steps are those of reconciliation and reconstruction.

 
  
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  Bas Belder, Auteur. – Precies een week geleden verscheen in mijn land, Nederland, een opmerkelijk opinieartikel over Zuid-Sudan, want deze bijdrage droeg de titel: "Wanhoop en hoop in Zuid-Sudan". Wat een contradictie! Wanhoop, menselijke wanhoop bij de bevolking van Zuid-Sudan is volstrekt voorstelbaar. Onze gezamenlijke resolutie benoemt de oorlogsgruwelen waaraan Zuid-Sudanezen sinds jaar en dag zijn blootgesteld.

Echter, is er in deze bijna uitzichtloze situatie toch nog sprake van hoop in en voor Zuid—Sudan? Jazeker! Weldoordachte lokale initiatieven werpen thans vruchten af – dat mogen we niet vergeten –, geven hoop. Ik citeer: Als een meisje naar school kan – en dat gebeurt in Zuid—Sudan –, niet wordt uitgehuwelijkt – en dat gebeurt ook –, en met meer respect wordt behandeld, is dat grote winst voor haar, nu en later. Het geeft haarzelf hoop voor eigen toekomst en hoop voor haar eigen land Zuid-Sudan.

Ik hoop van harte dat dankzij Europese steun nog vele tekenen van zulke hoop in het verscheurde, verdroogde, hongerende Zuid-Sudan worden gerealiseerd met onze hulp.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé, author. – Mr President, the situation in South Sudan is a nightmare. Civil war, appalling human rights violations and under-development have caused huge suffering to the population and have forced millions of its citizens to flee. Famine has been declared in some regions, and particularly worrying is the situation for the children. They make up 62% of the refugees and 17 000 have been used as child soldiers.

Arms trafficking is fuelling the tragedy, and the UN report gives details about arms trafficking networks within the European Union. This is a clear violation of the EU common position on exports of arms and dual use goods. This is outrageous, and I appeal to the Member States concerned to fully take their responsibilities. The EU is a major humanitarian and aid contribution to South Sudan, but the laxness of at least one of our Member States when it comes to arms exports counteracts all these efforts.

 
  
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  Soraya Post, author. – Mr President, the women and children of South Sudan cannot stand here today to express their desperation, so we must speak up for them. Women and girls are systematically raped and abducted as a weapon of war. A UN survey has found that 70% of women living in IDP camps in Juba have been raped, the vast majority by police or soldiers. Tens of thousands of children are believed to have been recruited by armed groups.

By the end of 2017, half of the country’s population will have been displaced or perished. The country is facing famine and economic collapse. President Salva Kiir and former Vice—President Riek Machar must respect their obligations. President Kiir has committed to unilateral ceasefire; he must implement it and must immediately bring the rapists and murderers among the police and military to justice.

 
  
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  Lola Sánchez Caldentey, autora. – Señor presidente, desde 2013 Sudán del Sur se ha precipitado hacia una guerra civil de carácter étnico, y, según la ONU, el conflicto ha generado tres millones y medio de desplazados, de los cuales dos millones son niños. Además, la peor sequía en la historia del país ha dejado a dos de cada tres sudaneses en grave peligro de hambruna. Pero el terrible escenario labrado por la represión, la violencia étnica y los recortes de libertades, así como los efectos del cambio climático, es de origen humano.

Es inaceptable que nuestra acción exterior no haga más que contribuir al problema. Es vergonzoso que nuestra política de ayuda responda únicamente a nuestros desacertados intereses geoestratégicos, obviando por completo las necesidades de los sudaneses y reforzando la legitimidad de un Gobierno criminal. El proceso de Jartum es un ejemplo de ello, pues destina ayuda al desarrollo para externalizar el control de fronteras, adornándola con una bonita retórica pro derechos humanos.

Por eso, el papel de la Unión Europea debería pasar por establecer canales de ayuda guiados por criterios de eficacia y no una condicionalidad ligada a la colaboración en política migratoria, como el control de flujos de frontera.

 
  
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  Tomáš Zdechovský, Autor. – Já bych na začátku chtěl poděkovat všem politickým skupinám. Nestává se v této místnosti velmi často, že politické skupiny se opravdu shodnou jednotně na tomto poměrně závažném a poměrně důležitém textu.

Já si myslím, že je důležité hledat jednotu. Je důležité najít důslednost vůči režimu v Jižním Súdánu. To, co se děje v Súdánu, je samozřejmě naprostá katastrofa, 40 % lidí nemá denně přístup k jídlu. Řada žen, jak zde již bylo mými předřečníky zmíněno, byla znásilněna. Řada dětí je užívána jako dětští vojáci.

My se tady nemůžeme jen tak beztrestně dívat na to, co se v Jižním Súdánu děje. My právě proto chceme vyzvat všechny vlády EU a především ty vlády států, které tam v minulosti měly své zájmy, aby skutečně začaly s touto situací něco dělat. Není možné, abychom jen přihlíželi humanitární katastrofě a utrpení řadě lidí.

Je naprosto skandální, že vlastně nemůžeme zaručit bezpečnost humanitárních pracovníků. Řada humanitárních pracovníků v minulých měsících byla zabita nebo byla unesena. Je proto znovu potřeba vyzvat členské státy i další státy demokratického společenství, aby se zasadily o to, abychom v Súdánu znovu nastolili pořádek a právo. Aby se zde respektovaly alespoň některé prvky Mezinárodní úmluvy OSN o lidských právech. Jinak ty generace, které ponesou následky, budou mít hrůzný zážitek a bude hrůzný zážitek vědět, že za to můžeme i my.

 
  
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  Javier Nart, autor. – Señor presidente, uno está bastante aburrido de las retóricas condenas en las que todos estamos de acuerdo para no llegar a otra cosa que tranquilizar nuestra propia conciencia, en ocasiones nuestra propia hipocresía. Sudán es una tragedia que está realizada por los hombres. Es un etnocidio creado por el género humano, concretamente por los dos líderes (el nuer y el dinka) que son Salva Kiir y Riek Machar.

Tenemos primero que establecer un cese el fuego. En segundo lugar, la presencia de tropas verdaderas de interposición. Tropas activas, no el escándalo de la MONUSCO en el Congo, esto es, «soldados turistas». Verdaderamente fuerzas de interposición ante la tragedia del pueblo del Congo.

En tercer lugar, gracias a ello podrá llegar la ayuda humanitaria. Y por último, establecer un tribunal penal que lleve a ese tribunal a los criminales, a los etnocidas, que son los líderes de Sudán del Sur. El líder que gobierna y la oposición. Y, desde luego, congelar sus activos en el exterior —¡en bancos europeos!—, que son consecuencia de la corrupción.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly, thar ceann an Ghrúpa PPE. – A Uachtaráin, is dóigh liom gurb é seo an tríú nó an ceathrú huair go bhfuilimid ag déanamh díospóireachta anseo faoin tSúdáin Theas ó bunaíodh an tír thall ansin. Ach in ionad rudaí a bheith ag éirí níos fearr, tá siad ag éirí níos measa agus an chúis ná an cogadh cathartha – an cogadh is measa. Mar i gcogadh cathartha déanann daoine scrios ar a dtír féin agus tá scrios déanta acu sa tSúdáin Theas.

Tá na daoine ag fulaingt go huafásach dá bharr; 2 mhilliún duine ídithe as a mbailte, 1.6 milliún duine tar éis teitheadh trasna na teorann agus 7.5 milliún duine i mbaol ocrais. Meastar go mbeidh ar a laghad EUR 1.4 billiún ag teastáil chun cuidiú leis na bochtáin agus, chun creidiúint a thabhairt don Aontas, táimid ag tabhairt EUR 381 mhilliún. Ach i ndeireadh na dála, níl ach freagra amháin ann: deireadh a chur leis an gcogadh cathartha uafásach seo.

 
  
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  Jytte Guteland, för S&D-gruppen. – Herr talman! Tack till alla politiska grupper för den breda samstämmighet som har visats med den här resolutionen.

Först en ögonblicksbild: Jag såg min son, min lilla bebis med knubbiga kinder, jollrande på golvet hemma, och samtidigt får man rapporter från tv-nyheter med barn med stora ögon, matta ögon, liten kropp.

Sedan en debatt om matsvinn i Europa, om 90 miljoner ton i matsvinn. Och därtill insikten om att människor flyr från hungersnöd, konflikter, sexuellt våld; 3,6 miljoner människor på flykt. Nära två miljoner av dem är barn.

Ett fåtals makthunger leder till ett flertals – människornas, folkens, barnens – desperation, flykt och sorg. De här stridigheterna måste få ett slut – brotten mot mänskliga rättigheter kan inte tillåtas fortgå.

Tack för den här resolutionen, men låt det här vara starten på ett arbete inom EU. Inte minst kommissionen och medlemsländerna måste agera.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, it is just five months since our last resolution concerning South Sudan, and the situation there has actually worsened. The country is verging on becoming a failed state. Famine was declared in parts of the country in February, in part due to the chaotic political and economic situation; increasingly, voices are being raised with concerns that the conflict is escalating towards genocide; and such grave war-crime concerns must now be taken extremely seriously and all options considered. Not only is there a humanitarian obligation to act but the impact of further escalation, in an already destabilising region of the Horn of Africa, would be detrimental to EU Member State interests.

Nearly a year after the UN Security Council voted to send a regional military protection force of 4 000 troops to supplement the existing UNMISS peacekeeping forces, I am pleased to note at last that the South Sudanese authorities have finally, and for the first time, allowed these troops to arrive and be stationed on their territory. This is a welcome step but the EU must now go on to pressure South Sudan fully to honour all its obligations and to bring all the war criminals to justice.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries, au nom du groupe ALDE. – Monsieur le Président, mardi dernier, dans cet hémicycle, le président de la Commission de l’Union africaine nous appelait: «à renforcer le partenariat Afrique-Europe et à construire des ponts». Je crains que le régime sanguinaire de Djouba ait choisit l’isolement.

Les chiffres sont tragiques: des dizaines de milliers de morts depuis le début de la guerre civile il y a trois ans, plus de 3 millions d’habitants déplacés, le viol comme arme de guerre, les enfants soldats et puis cette famine, qui laisse un million de personnes gravement sous-alimentées, dont 600 000 enfants.

Et pourtant, parce que l’espérance est un risque à courir – comme l’écrit Bernanos –l’Union européenne doit peser de tout son poids dans la recherche d’une issue. À ce titre, je salue l’ouverture toute récente par le Soudan de corridors humanitaires et le rôle de médiateur que souhaite prendre la République démocratique du Congo pour mettre en place un dialogue de réconciliation.

Les Nations unies aussi ont, bien évidemment, un rôle de premier plan à jouer; le déploiement d’une force régionale sous commandement de l’ONU pour assurer la sécurité, qui viendrait en renfort du contingent des 13 000 casques bleus déjà sur place, sonne aujourd’hui comme une évidence.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, je me rappelle d’une réunion sur le Soudan où il y avait le conseiller spécial de notre Président, l’ambassadeur et l’Église en détresse. Nous étions contre la partition du Soudan car nous imaginions les conséquences de cette partition.

La communauté internationale, à savoir l’Occident, a soutenu cette partition pour des raisons énergétiques et économiques. Depuis, les oppositions interethniques ont pris leurs droits avec le soutien bienveillant de puissances régionales, comme l’Ouganda, et des pays occidentaux, qui ont déjà parrainé la sécession, comme les États-Unis, provoquant la guerre civile.

Le Soudan est un cas d’école de ce que l’Occident fait subir à l’Afrique. D’ailleurs, c’est ce que nous voyons aussi en République démocratique du Congo. Nous avons joué sur les partitions ethniques pour obtenir des partitions territoriales et servir nos intérêts derrière tout cela.

La seule voie possible, c’est de laisser les communautés africaines redessiner leur mode d’organisation au sein d’États viables et souverains.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, conflictul politic și foametea au creat o criză umanitară fără precedent în Sudanul de Sud. Peste cinci milioane de persoane din țară au nevoie de ajutor, milioane de oameni se confruntă cu foametea, peste 3,6 milioane de persoane sunt strămutate, inclusiv un milion de copii. Conflictul din Sudan ar trebui să ne îngrijoreze pe toți. Este vital pentru Uniunea Europeană să se asigure că părțile aflate în conflict doresc să se angajeze la un acord de încetare a focului. Fluxul de arme încurajează în continuare conflictul. Uniunea Europeană trebuie să impună embargou asupra armelor. Rapoartele potrivit cărora mai multe țări, inclusiv Ucraina și Israel continuă să transfere arme în Sudanul de Sud, acestea fiind facilitate de brokeri din statele membre exprimă o profundă îngrijorare. În ianuarie 2016, anchetatorii ONU au descoperit că în afară de sute de mitraliere ușoare și grele o companie privată ucrainiană numită Motors Sich a vândut în sudul Sudanului un elicopter de atac în valoare de 42 de milioane de dolari într-un contract autorizat de către autoritatea de export a statului ucrainian. Să nu uităm că aceasta a fost în 2014, după ce Ucraina a semnat cu Uniunea Europeană embargo-ul pentru arme. În plus, este suspectat că mercenari ucrainieni se află în țară pentru a se asigura că aceste elicoptere funcționează. Este nevoie de control.

 
  
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  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie i panowie posłowie! Kiedy sześć lat temu powstawał Sudan Południowy, patrzyliśmy z nadzieją, że społeczności chrześcijańskie żyjące na południu będą mogły uwolnić się spod kontroli upadłego państwa, jakim był Sudan w całości. Jednakże, Wysoka Izbo, w nowo powstałych państwach wojny domowe się zdarzają. Są one przewidywalne, można było to przewidzieć. Zdarzało się to również w Europie.

Wzięliśmy za małą odpowiedzialność za to państwo, które w swoim otoczeniu geopolitycznym potrzebowało naszej pomocy, i dzisiaj te uwagi, które poczynili na tej sali moi koledzy – Charles Tannock, Javier Nart – są bardzo trafne. Sudan potrzebuje większej solidarności ze strony Zachodu, bo świat w ogóle potrzebuje nie nowej eurocywilizacji, ale odpowiedzialności ze strony Europy i wartości cywilizacji europejskiej. Potrzebuje sprawdzonych wartości i naszego konkretnego zaangażowania, a nie ogólnych pouczeń.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, ontem tivemos aqui o Secretário-Geral da ONU, António Guterres, que alertou para o crescente número de conflitos mundiais que, atualmente, afetam milhares de pessoas em todo o mundo e que, em estreita cooperação entre a ONU e a União Europeia, urge dirimir. E precisamente um dos conflitos que aqui foi relembrado foi aquele que perdura, há já três anos, no Sudão do Sul e que se transformou numa verdadeira guerra civil de dimensões dantescas, onde o Governo é um dos principais responsáveis pela violação dos direitos humanos, através de operações militares de grande envergadura.

Caros colegas, sem questionar a boa vontade da ONU, a verdade é que, em 2016, o Conselho de Segurança das Nações Unidas, que poderia ter intervindo para impor ao Governo sudanês um termo imediato de todas as operações militares, não quis adotar uma resolução que teria imposto ao Sudão do Sul um embargo ao armamento.

Entendo, pois, que, independentemente da prontidão ou da inércia da ONU, a União Europeia deve agir já e aumentar a ajuda humanitária ao Sudão do Sul, ao mesmo tempo que deve impor um embargo total à venda de armas ao Sudão do Sul, com cumprimento rigoroso do controlo de exportação de armas da União Europeia àquele país. Essa é a nossa obrigação enquanto europeus.

 
  
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  Pavel Svoboda (PPE). – Situace v Jižním Súdánu je skutečnou výzvou pro EU. Obyvatelé Jižního Súdánu bojují spíše o samotné přežití, i když uplatňování základních lidských práv nesmí být pominuto.

Čísla se různí, ale jde o miliony a z toho většina je dětí. Tito lidé hledají útočiště v 6 sousedních zemích, kde jsme svědky nejrychleji se zvětšující uprchlické krize na světě. Podle UNHCR je třeba k zajištění základní pomoci těmto uprchlíkům do konce roku 2017 poskytnout 1,4 miliardy dolarů. EU proto musí uplatnit svůj vliv a pokusit se na poli mezinárodní diplomacie dosáhnout politického řešení konfliktu v Jižním Súdánu a poskytnout podporu sousedním zemím, aby se situace v regionu nezhoršovala.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η απελπιστική κατάσταση που επικρατεί στο Σουδάν περιγράφεται στο ψήφισμα το οποίο και εγώ έχω υπογράψει και υποστηρίζω. Αυτή τη στιγμή μαίνεται ο εμφύλιος πόλεμος. Έχουμε χιλιάδες πρόσφυγες, εκατομμύρια θα έλεγα, οι οποίοι προσπαθούν να σωθούν. Οι περισσότεροι απ’ αυτούς είναι παιδιά. Ο υπόλοιπος πληθυσμός αντιμετωπίζει τεράστιο πρόβλημα πείνας. Αυτό που με ανησυχεί περισσότερο είναι ότι γίνεται στρατολόγηση παιδιών μέσα στις ομάδες οι οποίες συγκρούονται, γεγονός το οποίο από αποδεικνύει αποτελεί βεβαίως και έγκλημα πολέμου. Έχουμε συνεχείς βιασμούς γυναικών και κοριτσιών, έχουμε αφανισμό των χριστιανικών κοινοτήτων, κι όλα αυτά βέβαια εντάσσονται στη διαμάχη των διαφόρων φυλών, αλλά και σ’ αυτούς που υποδαυλίζουν αυτές τις συγκρούσεις, προκειμένου να αρπάξουν τον πλούτο που υπάρχει στη χώρα αυτή. Επομένως, πρέπει να υπάρξει άμεση παρέμβαση της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και σε οικονομικό επίπεδο και κυρίως εμπάργκο για την πώληση όπλων στην περιοχή αυτή.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (EFDD). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, in Sud Sudan la guerra civile iniziata nel 2013 sta ormai largamente degenerando in direzione di un probabile genocidio.

Ormai gli omicidi etnici e i discorsi sulla retorica etnica dei leader politici sono all'ordine del giorno, violenza sessuale, stupro, stupro di gruppo, rapimento di donne e ragazze e schiavitù sessuale sono tecniche largamente utilizzate come armi di guerra. Gli scontri ormai quotidiani tra l'opposizione e il governo sul campo stanno portando a un flusso di oltre 100 000 persone, solo la settimana scorsa, il 42 per cento della popolazione vive in condizioni di insicurezza e più di 7 milioni di persone hanno bisogno di assistenza umanitaria urgente, mentre l'impunità dilaga.

Noi condanniamo in questa risoluzione l'attuale stato della situazione e chiediamo fermamente che si arrivi a un cessate il fuoco, che l'Unione europea e tutti i suoi Stati membri si impegnino fortemente per fermare i massacri da parte di entrambe le fazioni, riaprire i corridoi umanitari e arrivare a una vera cooperazione pacifica.

In questo momento poi è fondamentale che le forze di interposizione abbiano un ruolo centrale perché tali violenze potrebbero effettivamente degenerare in un genocidio, del quale potremmo anche essere responsabili per la nostra inerzia.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I will start with a personal remark because, during the last parliamentary term, I discussed the situation in South Sudan on many occasions with a number of you from the Committee on Development and the Committee on Foreign Affairs.

Now, on behalf of Vice-President / High Representative Mogherini, I would like to tell you how sorry I am to see that, after our many years of discussing this same issue here, the situation is getting worse instead of improving. The situation is on the verge of catastrophe. The country is consumed by anarchy and disorder, with atrocious acts of violence commonplace. Civilians are being deliberately and systematically attacked, often with an ethnic intent, by a range of armed opposition groups, and notably in large offensives by the Sudan People’s Liberation Army. A hundred people are dying each month and some 1.8 million refugees have fled to neighbouring countries, while almost 2 million persons are internally displaced. Famine has been declared in parts of the country.

The European Union is doing everything possible to encourage peace. It undertakes ongoing political dialogue with the transitional government to urge implementation of the 2015 Peace Agreement. We are fully engaged with regional efforts, through the African Union and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, to end the conflict. The European Union has provided almost EUR 0.5 billion in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan since the conflict started in December 2013. Our support to the region has been increased to address a massive influx of refugees. The European Union has imposed an arms embargo against South Sudan and is lobbying for the UN Security Council to follow it.

The European Union is appalled at the gross violation of human rights and international humanitarian law perpetrated by all parties with complete impunity. It has encouraged the African Union to establish a ‘hybrid court’ for South Sudan, as envisaged in the Peace Agreement, as soon as possible.

Let me reiterate today our messages to all parties. There can be no military solution. All parties must observe the ceasefire in full. The United Nations peacekeeping mission in South Sudan must be allowed to exercise its mandate without restriction, so all parties must allow unfettered humanitarian access to those in need, and attacks on aid workers must stop. The national dialogue launched by President Kiir must be transformed into an inclusive political process, truly open to all parties, which is deemed credible by the South Sudanese people. People’s lives – mainly the lives of South Sudanese people – hang in the balance, threatened by violence, famine and destitution. The European Union will continue to deploy all instruments available – political pressure, sanctions, development assistance, international justice – with a view to encouraging the parties to replace conflict with dialogue.

Thank you for your attention. I look forward to good news.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will take place shortly.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (ENF), per iscritto. – In Sud Sudan è in corso una sanguinosa guerra civile, iniziata nel 2013. La guerra ha messo in ginocchio l'economia e la società di questo già poverissimo paese africano. Da tempo i diritti umani non vengono rispettati e la popolazione è costretta a subire ogni genere di violenze e soprusi. Omicidi, stupri e rapimenti, sono purtroppo la triste quotidianità. Come se non bastasse, questa crisi umanitaria è aggravata da una terribile carestia, che secondo le stime dell'ONU sta mettendo a rischio la vita di milioni di persone in Sud Sudan. Di fronte a questo quadro disperato che è oggi il Sud Sudan, serve un'azione decisa, immediata e congiunta dell'Unione europea con gli altri attori internazionali per salvare questo Paese africano. Vanno fermate il prima possibile la guerra e le violenze. Servono al più presto dei corridoi umanitari per alleviare le atroci sofferenze della popolazione. Dobbiamo far sentire la nostra voce per far sì che quello che sta accadendo in Sud Sudan non passi sotto silenzio!

 
  
  

(The sitting was suspended for a few minutes)

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: ULRIKE LUNACEK
Vice-President

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE). – Madam President, despite the fact that we are in a hurry, I think this is an opportunity to remind ourselves of the fate of a small nation, the Crimean Tatars, who were deported as an ethnic group 73 years ago, on 18 May 1944. Yesterday a Ukrainian delegation was here and they reminded us that the famous ‘never again’ does not apply, until now, to Crimean Tatars. They are under Russian occupation now and several of them have no access to their homeland. So I call on us to remember this and express our solidarity with this nation.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Σωτήριος Ζαριανόπουλος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η Ουκρανία έχει απαγορεύσει την είσοδο στη χώρα σε ευρωβουλευτές και σε εμένα, λόγω επίσκεψής μου στο Ντομπάς το 2014, όπως επίσης απαγορεύει και πολιτικά κόμματα και βγάζει εκτός νόμου το Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Ουκρανίας. Η ουκρανική προεδρία σε ανακοίνωσή της χθες αναφέρει ότι ο Ποροσένκο στη χθεσινή συνάντηση με τον Πρόεδρο του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου ζήτησε να δώσει απάντηση στους ευρωβουλευτές αυτούς και να πάρει μέτρα για την πρόληψη επισκέψεων ευρωβουλευτών στο Ντομπάς και την Κριμαία. Δεν είναι προσωπικό ζήτημα, αλλά σοβαρό πολιτικό ζήτημα. Αφορά τους ευρωβουλευτές και το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο. Πρέπει άμεσα να καταδικαστεί τόσο η απαγόρευση εισόδου όσο και το απαράδεκτο αίτημα Ποροσένκο να ελέγχει το Προεδρείο για το πού επιτρέπεται να πάνε και πού όχι οι ευρωβουλευτές. Μήπως το επόμενο βήμα είναι να ελέγχεται και το τι θα πούνε;

 
  
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  President. – This was not really a point of order, but I accepted it because there was also another statement before and so I accepted both of those. But we are not having a debate on any of these things. This is just about a point of order.

 
  
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  Eleonora Forenza (GUE/NGL). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mi associo soltanto a quello che è stato appena detto, in dieci secondi voglio dire che ieri non solo qui è stato Poroshenko, ma anche il ministro degli Esteri ucraino, a cui ho potuto leggere le dichiarazioni sue e della sua portavoce, che parlavano di una richiesta di arresto e incriminazione per terrorismo. Io credo che sia molto grave che si possano proferire queste parole ai danni di una parlamentare europea...

(Il Presidente ritira la parola all'oratore)

 
  
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  President. – Ms Forenza, we are not having a debate. I am sorry, I will have to cut you off. We are not having a debate on what happened yesterday in this Parliament. This is on points of order, nothing else.

 

10. Composition of Parliament : see Minutes
Video of the speeches

11. Voting time
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the vote.

 

11.1. Zambia, particularly the case of Hakainde Hichilema (RC-B8-0361/2017, B8-0361/2017, B8-0363/2017, B8-0365/2017, B8-0366/2017, B8-0368/2017, B8-0372/2017) (vote)

11.2. Ethiopia, notably the case of Dr Merera Gudina (RC-B8-0369/2017, B8-0369/2017, B8-0371/2017, B8-0373/2017, B8-0374/2017, B8-0375/2017, B8-0376/2017, B8-0377/2017) (vote)
 

– Before the vote on Amendment 2:

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Madam President, my Group wishes to move an oral amendment which has been lodged, I am afraid, very late, so it does not appear on the voting lists. On paragraph one, this is a technical-factual update to the text, asking to incorporate the following: ‘and to drop the cases against Berhanu Nega and Jawar Mohammed, who were charged in absentia and are currently in exile;’.

 
  
 

(The oral amendment was accepted)

– Before the vote on Amendment 1:

 
  
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  Charles Tannock (ECR). – Madam President, again it is a factual update. I wish to add the following: ‘whereas online activist Yonatan Tesfaye has been convicted under anti-terrorism legislation for comments he made on Facebook, and faces between 10 to 20 years in prison;’.

 
  
 

(The oral amendment was accepted)

 

11.3. South Sudan (RC-B8-0358/2017, B8-0358/2017, B8-0359/2017, B8-0360/2017, B8-0362/2017, B8-0364/2017, B8-0367/2017, B8-0370/2017) (vote)

11.4. Agreement between the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway on an EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 (A8-0072/2017 - David Borrelli) (vote)

11.5. The right funding mix for Europe’s regions: balancing financial instruments and grants in EU cohesion policy (A8-0139/2017 - Andrey Novakov) (vote)

11.6. Future perspectives for technical assistance in cohesion policy (A8-0180/2017 - Ruža Tomašić) (vote)

11.7. Cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market (A8-0378/2016 - Jean-Marie Cavada) (vote)

11.8. Decision to enter into interinstitutional negotiations: Coordination of certain provisions laid down by law, regulation or administrative action in Member States concerning the provision of audiovisual media services in view of changing market realities (A8-0192/2017 - Sabine Verheyen, Petra Kammerevert) (vote)
 

- before the vote

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula (ALDE). – Arvoisa puhemies, työjärjestyksen 59 a artiklan mukaan pyydän, että tämä mietintö palautetaan valiokuntaan. Keskustelin tänään oikeuspalvelujen kanssa: tämä mietintö, josta äänestämme nyt, ei ole sama kuin mistä äänestimme kulttuurivaliokunnassa.

Mietintö on muuttunut radikaalisti sen jälkeen. Osittain perusteluna on käytetty sitä, että oikeuspalvelu on sen jälkeen muuttanut tekstiä. En syytä tästä esittelijöitä, mutta kun oikeuspalvelussa sanotaan, että teksti ei ole enää sama, olisi mielestäni kohtuullista, että otetaan huomioon jäsenten tekemät esitykset ja teksti palautetaan valiokuntaan ja sitä viedään ajan kanssa eteenpäin.

Ei voi olla niin, että valiokunta hyväksyy tekstin ja sen jälkeen se muuttuu radikaalisti ja siitä äänestetään täällä istuntosalissa. Tässä on myös kysymys meppien oikeusturvasta. Pitää olla hyvää lainsäädäntöä eikä kiireellä juostua.

 
  
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  President. – Mr Takkula, you cannot use Rule 59 on this. You have to use Rule 190. If you want to do that you have to tell us, and then you need the support of a Group, your Group or another one, or you need 38 MEPs who support it. So my first question to you is: do you want to use Rule 190?

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula (ALDE). – Arvoisa puhemies, vaikka sitten se 190 artikla. Kysymys on siitä, että jos tänä aamuna saat tiedon, että teksti on radikaalisti eri kuin mikä on hyväksytty, en tiedä, auttavatko tässä artiklat. Mielestäni tämän talon pitää silloin katsoa, että lainsäädäntö on asianmukaista. 190 sitten.

 
  
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  President. – Mr Takkula, Rule 193 says texts adopted by Parliament shall be subject to legal-linguistic finalisation under the responsibility of the President. As far as I understand, this has been done on this text. Legal linguistic changes are fine and should be done with every text so they fit what it is supposed to mean. So if you are not asking for Rule 190, I cannot follow up on a vote or whether you have enough support on a vote about referral back to committee, so either you ask for Rule 190 or I have to continue with the vote. Please decide what you want.

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula (ALDE). – Arvoisa puhemies, päätin asian jo äskeisissä puheenvuoroissa, mutta ehkä se ei tullut tulkkauksen kautta ilmi. Pyydän kohteliaasti soveltamaan artiklaa 190.

 
  
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  President. – Now I understand you well – you want to apply Rule 190. Do you have the support of your Group? Just a second, let me go one step after the other. Do you have the support of your Group? It does not look like it. Or the support of 38 MEPs? Will those who support the request please stand up? Is it the ALDE Group? All right. We have a Group supporting the request for Rule 190 on adjournment of the vote and referral back to committee. We will now have one MEP speaking in favour and one speaking against. I will first give the floor for one minute to an MEP speaking in favour of Rule 190 and referral back to committee. Mr Dzhambazki, you have the floor.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, от името на групите на ECR, ALDE, EFDD и GUE, които рядко намираме допирни точки и се обединихме около идеята, основавайки се на принципите на пълна прозрачност, демократична легитимност, казваме като избрани представители в този парламент, че желаем да предотвратим щетите, които този вреден в сегашния си вид доклад би донесъл, когато се превърне в законодателство. Той е гласуван от по-малко от 3 процента от евродепутатите.

Докладът на комисията по култура и образование не успява да се справи и с двата елемента, като в същото време фрагментира, вместо да насърчава, единния цифров пазар на Европейския съюз. Докладът пропуска да постигне поставените си цели, когато става въпрос за осигуряване на равнопоставени условия на новите и старите участници на пазара.

Не на последно място, той значително разширява обхвата на настоящата директива, отправното съдържание, което е предназначен да регулира, до онлайн общностите, където хората споделят информации, идеи, лични съобщения.... (изказващият се е прекъснат от Председателя)

 
  
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  President. – Mr Dzhambazki, can you come to the end please? It was one minute but the time was set late.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR)...останалите групи, тъй като явно нямате желание да изслушате цялата обосновка, от името на ECR, ALDE, EFDD и GUE, моля гласувайте против мандата!

 
  
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  President. – Mr Dzhambazki, there are certain rules on how we proceed in situations like this, that is why I asked you to keep to one minute. The clock was set a bit late so thank you for finishing your remark. Who is going to speak against the proposal for referral back to committee? Ms Verheyen, you have the floor also for one minute.

 
  
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  Sabine Verheyen, Berichterstatterin. – Frau Präsidentin! Der Kollege Hannu Takkula spricht in einer Erwägung einen Punkt an, der aber im Artikel nicht geändert worden ist. In der Erwägung können wir keine gegensätzlichen Aussagen treffen zum Artikel. Insofern hat der Juristische Dienst konsequenterweise einen bestimmten Teil aus der Erwägung herausgenommen, der im Artikel nicht so widergespiegelt ist.

In der bis jetzt geltenden Richtlinie ist das advertisement für Wetten und Spiele bereits inbegriffen. Wir haben die Spiele selber, also betting und gambling aus dem Anwendungsbereich der Richtlinie herausgenommen. Dies bleibt auch so. In der Erwägung wollte Herr Takkula das advertisement hineinnehmen, aber nicht im Artikel, und deshalb hat der Juristische Dienst das herausgenommen. Das ist der Streitpunkt, der im Moment von Herrn Takkula angesprochen wurde. Ich habe heute Morgen versucht, es ihm zu erklären. Es ist so, dass der Juristische Dienst eigentlich nur das gemacht hat, was der Juristische Dienst tun soll: alles, was juristisch nicht okay ist, zu korrigieren.

Insofern spreche ich gegen diesen Antrag. Grundsätzlich hat der Ausschuss mit einer Zweidrittelmehrheit das Mandat für den Trilog so angenommen. Wenn wir hier jetzt der Meinung sind, dass der Ausschuss nicht für das Parlament sprechen darf, dann müssen wir entsprechend anders abstimmen.

 
  
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  President. – We have heard the arguments. What we are going to vote on now is just whether we postpone the vote or whether we vote on it now. Let me put it differently. The question is: are we going to postpone the vote? Is that clear to everybody? Postponement of the vote. Who is in favour of postponement? Who is against? This is a majority. It was very clear, but I will check so that we do not have any concerns here.

(The request to postpone the vote was rejected)

 

11.9. Implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (A8-0123/2017 - Adam Szejnfeld) (vote)

11.10. Achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (RC-B8-0345/2017, B8-0345/2017, B8-0346/2017, B8-0347/2017, B8-0348/2017, B8-0352/2017, B8-0354/2017) (vote)

11.11. EU Strategy on Syria (RC-B8-0331/2017, B8-0331/2017, B8-0333/2017, B8-0335/2017, B8-0337/2017, B8-0338/2017, B8-0341/2017, B8-0342/2017) (vote)

11.12. Road transport in the European Union (B8-0290/2017) (vote)

11.13. Dadaab refugee camp (RC-B8-0300/2017, B8-0300/2017, B8-0332/2017, B8-0334/2017, B8-0336/2017, B8-0339/2017) (vote)

11.14. Making relocation happen (B8-0340/2017, B8-0343/2017, B8-0344/2017) (vote)

11.15. Implementation of the Council's LGBTI Guidelines, particularly in relation to the persecution of (perceived) homosexual men in Chechnya, Russia (B8-0349/2017, B8-0349/2017, B8-0350/2017, B8-0351/2017, B8-0353/2017, B8-0355/2017, B8-0356/2017) (vote)
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  President. – That concludes the vote.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: EVELYNE GEBHARDT
Vizepräsidentin

 

12. Explanations of vote
Video of the speeches

12.1. Agreement between the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway on an EEA Financial Mechanism 2014-2021 (A8-0072/2017 - David Borrelli)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Madam President, I wonder what the case is for these countries to be making payments to less developed parts of the EU. I do not think we can make a moral case for it: there are many more deserving parts of our planet than EU Member States. If you have extra money to give away you should surely be giving it to the places where it will be most put to use. It is bizarre that we are giving more to wealthy European farmers than to poor African farmers.

Perhaps the case is supposed to be economic, but if it is then I submit it is not working terribly well. If grants from the EU raised a country’s economic standard, then Greece would be the wealthiest country in Europe, having been the biggest per capita recipient of funds since 1981. There would be arguments in this House about whether the Greeks should continue to bail out the Germans.

In fact, the best way for us to raise the standards of living of any country is simply to allow them to engage in global markets, and that means looking beyond Europe and raising our eyes to more distant horizons.

 

12.2. The right funding mix for Europe’s regions: balancing financial instruments and grants in EU cohesion policy (A8-0139/2017 - Andrey Novakov)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D). – Madam President, EU cohesion policy mainly consist of a mix of grants and financial instruments. Some Latvian officials support the replacement of grants with loans in the future. The arguments are that it is more difficult to receive grants than loans, because you have to persuade the bank to give you the loan to realise the project for this money, check the proper realisation of the project and only after that do you receive the grant.

This algorithm makes it difficult for businesses. Sometimes projects do not, at the beginning, have a profitable future but receiving the grant is a final aim of the project. On the other side, grants have a lot of positive features, each of these instruments have their strengths and weaknesses, both grants and financial instruments have their specific roles in cohesion policy. Financial instruments perform better in well-developed regions and metropolitan areas while grants address regional structural issues in outermost regions and regions with a high unemployment rate. I voted in favour.

 

12.3. Future perspectives for technical assistance in cohesion policy (A8-0180/2017 - Ruža Tomašić)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Igor Šoltes (Verts/ALE). – Tehnična asistenca glede kohezijskih sredstev je eno najbolj pomembnih orodij, da ta sredstva tudi dosežejo svoj cilj. Res pa je, da je vse premalo poti odprtih na tako imenovani lokalni in pa regionalni ravni, s čemer se možnost črpanja evropskih sredstev lahko bistveno zmanjšuje. So pa kohezijska sredstva, kot smo danes lahko že slišali, bistvena za enakomeren in pravičnejši razvoj Evropske unije.

Zato je v bodoče potrebno tudi več pozornosti nameniti razrezu kohezijskih sredstev za bolj uravnotežen razvojni potencial evropskih držav. In ravno ta tehnični aspekt in tehnična asistenca je tista, ki lahko krepi tako administrativni del in kapacitete po eni strani, kot seveda tudi sposobnost črpanja na vseh ravneh. In ravno tu se mi zdi, da je še veliko prostega teka v smislu povezovanja na državni, regionalni in pa lokalni ravni, zato seveda gre podpreti vse napore, ki gredo v to smer.

 
  
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  Момчил Неков (S&D). – Г-жо Председател, политиката на сближаване играе много важна роля за постигането на политиките, заложени в Договора за функциониране на Европейския съюз. Член 174 от него изисква разработване и осъществяване на инициативи, които водят до укрепването на икономическото, социалното и териториално сближаване.

В тази връзка ролята на кохезионните фондове е ключова. Местните, регионалните и националните органи, обаче, често не разполагат с необходимия капацитет за ефективно и ефикасно изпълнение на европейските структурни и инвестиционни фондове и за организиране на партньорство с други публични органи, като селищни органи, икономически и социални партньори и представители на гражданското общество.

След влизането в употреба на техническата помощ в областта на политиката на сближаване, не е направен общ анализ за установяване на реалния ѝ принос. Добре използваните технически мерки са предпоставка за привличане на индустриални инвестиции във високотехнологични и иновативни сектори с малко въздействие върху околната среда.

 

12.4. Cross-border portability of online content services in the internal market (A8-0378/2016 - Jean-Marie Cavada)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Já jsem podpořila tento návrh, který si klade za cíl stanovit závaznou povinnost pro všechny členské státy harmonizovat přístup spotřebitelů k on-line službám, ke kterým si zaplatili přístup v jejich domovské zemi.

Přenositelnost by tedy měla být nepopíratelným právem spotřebitele, aniž by byl dotčen princip teritoriality. Tato legislativa bude moci být uvedena do praxe, pokud budou jasně definovány pojmy s tím spojené, jako je třeba členský stát, bydliště spotřebitele, dočasná přítomnost v jiném státě.

Myslím si, že tato dočasná přítomnost by neměla být omezena konkrétním počtem dnů či týdnů, protože toto omezení omezuje vlastně účel tohoto nařízení. Tedy poskytnout všem spotřebitelům možnost cestovat po EU a zachovat si přitom legálně získaný přístup k on-line službám poskytujícím obsah. Toto je tedy mé stanovisko a děkuj, že zpráva byla schválena.

 
  
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  Момчил Неков (S&D). – Г-жо Председател, свободното движение на хора, стоки, капитали и услуги е основополагащ елемент на единния европейски пазар. За да бъде той напълно функциониращ, е необходимо да добавим и свободно движение на данни. Изглежда парадоксално, че европейските граждани могат да се движат свободно в рамките на Европейския съюз, но не така стои въпросът със закупените от тях услуги, които не могат да се движат заедно с тях.

Днес всеки един от нас използва в ежедневието си смартфон, лаптоп или таблет с презумпцията, че интернет пространството няма граници. Това, обаче, е само привидно. Така например, ако български потребител е закупил абонамент за онлайн телевизионни услуги, където може да гледа любимите си български сериали, то достъпът до тях ще бъде автоматично ограничен в момента, в който той реши да напусне територията на България.

Отстоявам позицията, че на тази несправедливост трябва да се сложи край и поради тази причина подкрепих предложението за регламент. Смятам, че на българските и на европейските граждани им се полага правото да слушат любимата си музика и да гледат предпочитаните от тях филми, докато пътуват извън своята родина.

 

12.5. Implementation of the EU-Korea Free Trade Agreement (A8-0123/2017 - Adam Szejnfeld)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Já jsem podpořila tuto zprávu z vlastního podnětu o provádění dohody o volném obchodu mezi EU a Korejskou republikou. Ta dosavadní bilance potvrzuje, že obchodní dohoda je oboustranně velmi výhodná.

Pokud se týká zboží, tak Jižní Korea je 9. největší exportní destinací pro členské země EU, zatímco EU je 3. největším vývozním trhem ze strany Jižní Koreje. Proto vítám fakt, že se podařilo mezi EU a Jižní Koreou úspěšně odstranit téměř všechny celní překážky. Díky této dohodě, navýšení exportu do EU a korejským investicím se v EU vytvořilo 100 000 nových pracovních míst.

Nicméně upozorňuje tato zpráva také na to, že na korejské straně se začaly vyskytovat opatření ochranářského charakteru zavádějící necelní překážky. Jedná se např. o nové technické normy pro stroje dovážené z EU a je třeba, aby Komise na to dohlédla.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin (ALDE). – Madam President, while there are a number of very positive suggestions in this resolution on the EU-Korea free-trade deal, I still abstained because of the proposals on setting up the special investor courts to replace the old ones. The new system would involve the setting up of special courts, outside the jurisdiction of national courts or the European Court of Justice, where investors could sue governments if they believe that the actions taken or the legislation adopted by those governments would put their investments at risk. Examples of this are where tobacco companies have successfully sued the Uruguay Government over public health legislation or where American waste companies successfully sued the Canadian Government when it tried to ban the export of toxic poly-chlorinated biphenyl (PCB) waste.

I strongly argue that we do not need special courts to protect investors. We do not have special courts to protect citizens’ rights, to protect the environment, or to protect human rights or workers’ rights. This week, the Commission launched a communication on harnessing globalisation and making it work for citizens. Giving the same level of protection to citizens, to workers and to investors would be a great start.

 
  
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  Sean Kelly (PPE). – As we approach the fifth anniversary of the entry into force of the free-trade agreement (FTA) between the European Union and the Republic of Korea, I find it most timely that we should review its implementation. I therefore welcome this report’s assessment of an agreement that went so much further than previous FTAs in lifting trade barriers with our Asian partners. Notably, the agreement has led to a 47% increase in EU exports to Korea, transforming a EUR 7.6 billion deficit into a EUR 2.5 billion European Union trade surplus and creating 200 000 jobs.

Looking to the future, we should therefore aim to strengthen this trading relationship further, a relationship that we may harness to encourage further economic growth and development for the mutual benefit of the EU and Korean citizens: a ‘win win’!

 

12.6. Achieving the two-state solution in the Middle East (RC-B8-0345/2017, B8-0345/2017, B8-0346/2017, B8-0347/2017, B8-0348/2017, B8-0352/2017, B8-0354/2017)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, afinal esta resolução, apesar de pontos positivos, representa um retrocesso relativamente a posições tomadas anteriormente pelo Parlamento Europeu em apoio da solução dos dois Estados.

Preocupa-me que coloque em igualdade ocupante e ocupado, não ferindo, sequer, a ocupação e falhando em pedir aos Estados-Membros que cumpram estritamente o princípio de diferenciação, a resolução 2334 do Conselho de Segurança; que não condene a lei da nacionalidade, racista, que Israel acaba de adotar, tornando os árabes israelitas cidadãos de segunda classe; que a menção ao acordo comercial UE-Israel seja ambígua, não esclarecendo que é preciso garantir que produtos produzidos na Palestina, ou que têm por base a exploração ilegal de recursos palestinianos, não podem ser comercializados na Europa sob rótulo israelita; que façam um ataque enviesado, na linha do Governo da extrema-direita israelita, à iniciativa francesa que o Parlamento Europeu apoiou, tal como a Comissão, a Alta Representante e o Conselho; que condene apenas atos de violência e ataques terroristas contra israelitas. Então e contra palestinianos?

Em suma, esta resolução falha em enviar uma mensagem consistente ao Governo de Israel e às autoridades palestinianas de determinação europeia no apoio à solução dos dois Estados e a uma solução de paz, justa e duradoura para os dois povos em conflito.

 

12.7. EU Strategy on Syria (RC-B8-0331/2017, B8-0331/2017, B8-0333/2017, B8-0335/2017, B8-0337/2017, B8-0338/2017, B8-0341/2017, B8-0342/2017)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D). – Madam President, it is positive that the EU has made an attempt to adopt and implement a new strategy to resolve the Syrian crisis. Frankly speaking, Europeans had begun to lose faith in the European Union as a serious participant in the settlement of the Syrian conflict. According to recent opinion polls in Latvia, only 10% of the Latvian population think that EU action to resolve the Syrian conflict is effective.

High Representative Federica Mogherini’s speech two days ago, in this House, gave me hope that the EU position had become more realistic and more effective. Diplomacy cannot be based on the allegation that virtually all parties to the conflict, except us, are criminals and we will not speak with them! This is not diplomacy, this is stupidity. Such a position leads to isolation and offers no hope to the Syrian people. I support Federica Mogherini’s assertion that the main EU instruments are humanitarian aid and money for reconstruction, negotiation, cooperation and diplomacy.

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, votei a favor desta resolução porque considero que, face ao desastre humanitário, sem precedentes, na nossa história recente, que aquele país vive, a União Europeia deve continuar a envidar todos os esforços políticos e diplomáticos para combater a utilização de armas químicas, para criar uma política europeia de migração mais humana, humanitária e segura e para encontrar uma solução pacífica para o conflito sírio, que inclua instrumentos de acompanhamento destinadas a reforçar o respeito pelos compromissos assumidos no âmbito do grupo internacional que apoia a Síria.

A União Europeia, sendo o maior dador de fundos, reforça com esta resolução o seu empenho em contribuir, de forma mais visível e eficaz, para aliviar as consequências humanitárias do conflito e voltar a apelar à necessidade de responsabilização os autores das atrocidades inqualificáveis cometidas pelo regime e seus aliados, condição necessária a uma paz duradoura naquele tão martirizado país.

Como referiu ontem, no seu brilhante discurso nesta Casa, o Secretário-Geral das Nações Unidas, António Guterres, o conflito sírio é uma terrível ameaça para a segurança global, onde ninguém ganha e todos perdem.

 

12.8. Road transport in the European Union (B8-0290/2017)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Dovolte, abych vysvětlila, proč jsem nepodpořila nakonec usnesení o silniční dopravě. Toto usnesení obsahuje řadu podnětných návrhů, mezi něž patří např. důraz na nové technologie a ekonomické modely. Samořídící auta, carsharing Jsou budoucností silniční dopravy a Evropská komise musí stanovit správný regulační rámec pro jejich rozvoj.

Nakonec jsem ovšem usnesení nepodpořila a vysvětlím proč. Protože odmítám některé návrhy a tlak starých členských států svou mzdovou politiku aplikovat i na řidiče z jiných členských zemí, a to nad rámec minimálních standardů. Tyto kroky ohrožují volný pohyb služeb a zboží po evropském trhu. Další regulace pracovních i jiných podmínek kromě toho zabraňuje přístupu malých a středních podniků na trh, což je v přímém rozporu s cíli deklarovanými v některých bodech.

V neposlední řadě pochybuji o účelnosti této rezoluce krátce před tím, než Komise představí komplexní balíček pro silniční dopravu.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Гласувах против този доклад, защото противоречи на основните свободи в Европейския съюз, защото е лобистки, защото налага недопустим протекционизъм и защото е срещу интересите на гражданите в Източна Европа. А защо е срещу тях?

Поне 100 хиляди човека в моята родина, в България, се прехранват от транспортния бизнес. Вероятно милиони други в Чехия, в Полша, в Унгария, в Румъния, се прехранват от този бизнес. Те са дали една цена на услугата, спечелили са тези поръчки и возят на територията на целия Европейски съюз.

Фирмите в Германия, в Белгия, във Франция са завидели на тези цени и са решили да „пазят“ правата на работниците в Източна Европа, като им вземат работните места. Това е абсолютно нередно. Това няма да проработи. Въвеждат се недопустими ограничения на правото на свободно придвижване, на предприемачеството, настоява се шофьорите да си оставят камионите и да отидат да спят на 10, 15, 20 километра с такси.

Това няма да стане. Този доклад противоречи на свободата на движение в Европейския съюз. Този доклад е срещу интересите на предприемачите от Източна Европа. И затова гласувах против него и затова казвам, че е вреден.

 
  
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  Lucy Anderson (S&D). – Madam President, in the next few weeks, the Commission will unveil its new proposals for regulation of road transport. Improving workers’ rights in this sector and stopping the exploitation of truck, bus and coach drivers should be the absolute top priority of these proposals.

Unfortunately, this resolution does not sufficiently underline this priority and in particular the paragraph on establishing a European road transport agency to protect and promote workers’ rights, amongst other areas, including proper enforcement of road transport legislation, was rejected. This resolution also does not establish sufficiently strong protections on tackling climate change and air pollution. So in overall terms, I am sorry to say that I voted against this resolution.

 

12.9. Dadaab refugee camp (RC-B8-0300/2017, B8-0300/2017, B8-0332/2017, B8-0334/2017, B8-0336/2017, B8-0339/2017)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Jens Rohde (ALDE). – Fru formand! Vi har i Europa-Parlamentet i dag vedtaget en vigtig beslutning om somaliske flygtninge. Der sidder 260 000 mennesker i Dadaab-lejren i Kenya. Europa-Parlamentet konstaterer, at der er en europæisk erkendelse af vores ansvar for at bidrage til bedre forhold i lejren specifikt og for somaliere generelt, fordi det ikke er en mulighed for Kenya at sende folk tilbage til Somalia som følge af forholdene i landet.

Så meget desto mere himmelråbende er det, at nogle af vores egne regeringer aktivt deporterer mænd, kvinder og børn, tilmed børn født i EU's medlemslande, til Somalia.

Kenya må åbenbart ikke, vi må godt! Et land som Etiopien gør det ikke, vi gør det! Det er uholdbart, og derfor er det ekstremt vigtigt, at vi fik en generel formaning med i punkt 7, hvor det fastslås, at grundet den alvorlige situation bør enhver tilbagevenden til Somalia udelukkende og altid være frivillig. Det burde give sig selv, at der ikke sker udvisning til verdens måske farligste land.

Jeg opfordrer kraftigt menneskerettighedsadvokater til at bruge denne beslutning i de sager, de måtte indbringe for menneskerettighedsdomstolen.

 

12.10. Making relocation happen (B8-0340/2017, B8-0343/2017, B8-0344/2017)
Video of the speeches
 

Mündliche Erklärungen zur Abstimmung

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D). – Madam President, we are concentrating too much on the issue that not all Member States have fulfilled their commitments with regard to the relocation of 160 000 refugees, and we are failing to pay attention to what happens with these people after relocation. According to the Integration Foundation in Latvia, from April 2016 to April 2017, 308 refugees out of 487 left Latvia.

Latvia has rather good results on relocation, our Government does not loudly oppose relocation, as Hungary, Poland and Slovakia do, but Latvian legislators have adopted a very small and poor social package for refugees and have imposed severe language restrictions that do not allow these people to work, even casually.

Colleagues, I see no practical necessity for formal relocation if the people concerned will not live in this country.

 
  
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  José Inácio Faria (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Caros Colegas, votei a favor desta resolução porque considero que, tendo em conta o último relatório da Comissão sobre regulação e reinstalação e na falta de um tão necessário sistema europeu de asilo fundado na partilha de responsabilidades, os Estados-Membros têm que honrar as obrigações assumidas perante os requerentes de asilo provenientes da Grécia e da Itália e, caso não o façam, devem estar sujeitos à instauração de processos por infração.

Como referi, Sra. Presidente, até agora apenas foram recolocados 17 903 requerentes de asilo. Que justificação poderemos nós dar às mais de 142 000 pessoas, muitas delas menores, não acompanhados, que, em condições indignas e sistema vulnerabilidade, aguardam que os Estados-Membros cumpram com os compromissos assumidos?

Caros colegas, a crise de refugiados é também fruto da crise da solidariedade europeia. Por isso, entendo que é nosso dever tudo fazer para que, no espaço europeu, os refugiados sejam devidamente acompanhados e protegidos.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Damit sind die Erklärungen zur Abstimmung geschlossen.

 

13. Corrections to votes and voting intentions : see Minutes
Video of the speeches
 

(Die Sitzung wird um 13.05 Uhr unterbrochen und um 15.00 Uhr wieder aufgenommen.)

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: PAVEL TELIČKA
Vice-President

 

14. Council position at first reading: see Minutes
Video of the speeches

15. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting : see Minutes
Video of the speeches

16. Major interpellations (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the oral question to the Commission on the major interpellation (Rule 130b) by Dubravka Šuica, Franc Bogovič, Daniel Buda, Pál Csáky, Andor Deli, György Hölvényi, Marijana Petir, Ivan Štefanec, Patricija Šulin, Alojz Peterle, Marian-Jean Marinescu, Miroslav Mikolášik, Ivana Maletić, Milan Zver, Tomáš Zdechovský, Inese Vaidere, Traian Ungureanu, Željana Zovko, Eduard Kukan, Krišjānis Kariņš, Ivica Tolić, Romana Tomc, Dariusz Rosati, Artis Pabriks, Adam Szejnfeld, Renate Sommer, Pavel Svoboda, Michaela Šojdrová, Iuliu Winkler, Zigmantas Balčytis, Nicola Caputo, Doru-Claudian Frunzulică, Georgi Pirinski, Monika Smolková, Olga Sehnalová, Biljana Borzan, Tonino Picula, Anna Elżbieta Fotyga, Ruža Tomašić, Monica Macovei, Jana Žitňanská, Georgios Epitideios, Ivan Jakovčić, Ivo Vajgl, Merja Kyllönen and Julia Pitera (O-000019/17 - B8-0220/2017) (2017/2676(RSP)).

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica, autor. – Gospodine predsjedniče, gospođo povjerenice, pozdravljam Vas i na početku želim izraziti veselje što je ova točka došla na dnevni red. Želim se zahvaliti kolegama koji su poduprli ovaj prijedlog s 43 potpisa i koristim priliku zahvaliti se da je interpelacija ugledala svjetlo dana na ovoj plenarnoj sjednici. Isto tako me veseli što su od danas ovdje prisutni moji kolege zastupnici iz zemalja kojih se najviše tiče ova problematika.

U svakom slučaju, ono na što mi želimo ukazati to je na evidentnu razliku u kvaliteti proizvoda između zapadnoeuropskog tržišta i srednjeeuropskog i istočnog tržišta. U mnogim su zemljama već završene studije i to je dokazano. U nekim se zemljama te studije još rade, ali u svakom je slučaju evidentna razlika i mi želimo ukazati na jedinstveno europsko tržište i smatramo da svi potrošači moraju imati jednaka prava, da težimo koheziji, težimo jednakosti i upravo zbog toga smo podigli ovu interpelaciju na dnevni red. Željeli bismo da naša djeca uživaju jednake standarde u toj zajedničkoj Europi za koju smo se svi zajedno toliko zalagali.

Moja dva pitanja Komisiji koja su izražena u ovoj interpelaciji glase: Uzimajući u obzir jedinstveno tržište, koje mjere Komisija kani poduzeti kako bi se uklonile prakse podijeljenosti jedinstvenog tržišta? I drugo pitanje: Hoće li Komisija revidirati zakonodavstvo Europske unije kako bi zaštitila potrošače uklanjanjem dvostrukih standarda u kvaliteti proizvoda koji se prodaju u srednjoj, istočnoj i zapadnoj Europi? Rok za odgovor bio je 12. travnja. Nismo ga dobili. To je jedan od razloga zašto je ova točka došla na dnevni red. Zatražili smo također inicijaciju, odnosno pokretanje promjene zakonodavstva vezano za ovu problematiku, pa očekujem nakon rasprave danas popodne da i gospođa Crețu možda odgovori kako Komisija kani nastaviti s ovom problematikom.

Još jedanput, hvala svim kolegama koji su u ovome sudjelovali i kolegici iz Hrvatske koja je započela i studiju po ovom pitanju kako bismo dokazali da stvarno postoje razlike. To je već dokazano u Slovačkoj, dokazano je u Češkoj, Mađarskoj. Naši ministri poljoprivrede također su podržali ovo pitanje na sastanku Vijeća i ja vjerujem da ćete i vi kao Komisija na ovo odgovoriti.

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, dear rapporteur, I am glad to speak on behalf of Commissioner Věra Jourová, my colleague, on this very important and so sensitive issue, as you rightly raised. It is very important to discuss it. Existing EU legislation aims to ensure a high level of consumer protection, safety, and correct and reliable consumer information. We think that only safe food products are allowed on the EU market – as we said, we have a single market – and of course, consumers must be accurately informed and not misled about the composition and characteristics of food offered for sale. We have general labelling rules and requirements to that effect, and it is EU legislation which ensures that producers have to make a complete list of ingredients that enables the consumers to be fully informed of the composition of the food product.

This being said, as long as products comply with EU legal requirements and their labelling does not mislead consumers as to the main characteristics, companies are not prevented from differentiating products according to the market. There is no legal basis, unfortunately, at EU level to challenge differences in food composition in individual Member States, as long as the relevant food information is not misleading. However, should a trader advertise a product as being the same in several Member States, but at the same time deliberately reduce the quality of the product in some of these countries compared to others, this practice could be addressed under the Directive on unfair commercial practices by the competent national authority.

EU consumer law allows national enforcement authorities or courts to end specific misleading commercial practices if they consider that they are harming consumers. After the investigations and many events coming from this House, the Commission has called on Member States to provide further data and evidence in order to assess the existence and extent of these alleged practices and possible reasons for them. So far, the Commission has received 21 replies from the Member States. According to the received replies, the issue of dual quality is considered a big problem, especially in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia and Croatia. The main products concern food, laundry detergents and pet food.

The investigations carried out in several countries showed said the labelling of these products corresponds to their composition. In other Member States there is no particular data or evidence related to the issue of dual quality so far. In order to tackle this important issue, more cooperation among enforcement agencies is needed, so as to elaborate an objective mapping and to compare products sold in several Member States. The Commission intends to provide the results of this mapping for the next SHERPA meeting of the high-level forum for a better functioning of the food supply chain on 20 June, in line with a conclusion of the European Council of 9 March 2017.

This forum will enable, for the first time, an exchange of views between all concerned actors, such as consumer representatives, industry at various stages of the supply chain, Member States’ authorities and the Commission. Some of you have called on the Commission to propose a specific legislation to prohibit dual quality. In our view, the reinforcement of existing laws should be strengthened in the first place. I trust that the on-going debate on the process of collecting evidence will raise the awareness of all concerned players on the issue and help address it to the benefit of all European citizens and consumers. On our part, we will build on the results of the consultation of national authorities and the outcome of debate in the high-level forum. I am looking forward for our debate.

 
  
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  Róża Gräfin von Thun und Hohenstein, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani komisarz! Dziękuję bardzo, ale bez zaufania konsumentów do przedsiębiorców wspólny rynek nie ma szans na dobre funkcjonowanie, a sam fakt, że na pewne rynki – w tym wypadku środkowoeuropejskie – kierowane są produkty niższej jakości, obniża to zaufanie.

Nie krytykuję przedsiębiorców za to, że kierują różne oferty na różne rynki, bo mają do tego prawo, ale nie do przyjęcia jest występowanie zasadniczych różnic w jakości, a one są, oraz wprowadzanie konsumentów w błąd. Jeśli prawdą jest, że ciastka pewnej firmy sprzedawane w Polsce zawierają 5% masła i pewną ilość oleju palmowego, a te same ciastka w takim samym opakowaniu w Niemczech zawierają 12% masła i nie zawierają oleju palmowego, to jest to po prostu skandal. Może coś tam petitem jest napisane, nie wiem. O proszkach do prania, które są tak samo pakowane, ale różnie się pienią i różnie pachną, mówi się często, dlatego złożyliśmy propozycję projektu pilotażowego, żądając oceny domniemanych różnic w jakości produktów sprzedawanych na wspólnym rynku.

Pani komisarz! Proszę, by Komisja poparła ten projekt. Razem zmienimy te złe praktyki.

 
  
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  Viorica Dăncilă, în numele grupului S&D. – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, mai multe state membre se confruntă cu o serie de ipoteze îngrijorătoare atât în rândul consumatorilor, dar și în rândul producătorilor în ceea ce privește calitatea produselor importate pe teritoriul național, comparativ cu aceleași produse existente în alte țări europene. Desigur că nu putem compara un produs cu alt produs decât dacă are același furnizor, dacă are aceeași calitate, dacă este etichetat fel. Într-un cuvânt nu putem face diferența decât dacă produsele au aceeași origine și aceeași distribuție în statele membre, iar la toate acestea trebuie să mai ținem cont și de faptul că legislația actuală permite adaptarea produselor de brand la piața pe care sunt vândute, aceasta fiind o practică comună din mai multe motive: adaptarea la gusturile consumatorilor, la obiceiurile locale și accesul la materiile prime. În acest context, doamnă comisar, cred că trebuie găsită o soluție la nivel european astfel încât pe baza diferențelor obiective de calitate și a comunicării brandurilor respective să se determine în ce măsură producătorii își induc în eroare consumatorii atunci când vine vorba de calitatea produselor importate pe teritoriul național, comparativ cu aceleași produse existente în alte țări europene.

 
  
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  Kosma Złotowski, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Temat naszej dzisiejszej dyskusji tylko z pozoru wydaje się błahy, bo w rzeczywistości dotyczy ogromnej rzeszy obywateli Unii Europejskiej – zarówno w moim kraju, w Polsce, ale także wielu innych nowych państwach członkowskich – którzy są ewidentnie dyskryminowani przez producentów żywności czy środków czystości.

Obecnie mamy już pewność, że powszechna opinia o niższej jakości produktów oferowanych na rynkach państw Europy Środkowo-Wschodniej ma podstawy w wielu badaniach i analizach. Konsumenci w moim kraju zgłaszali podobne zastrzeżenia co do jakości żywności, przyborów toaletowych, środków czyszczących i dezynfekujących od wielu lat. Najbardziej bulwersująca w całej tej sprawie jest jednak polityka wielu wielkich koncernów.

Po pierwsze, wprowadzają one konsumentów w błąd, nie informując rzetelnie o różnym składzie tych samych produktów na zachodzie i wschodzie Europy, różnicach, które na przykład w odniesieniu do żywności mogą mieć negatywny wpływ nawet na zdrowie publiczne. Po drugie, ceny produktów niższej jakości dostępnych między innymi w Polsce są w wielu przypadkach wyższe niż ceny ich odpowiedników na Zachodzie. Traktowanie konsumentów z mojego regionu Europy jako klientów drugiej kategorii bez wątpienia zasługuje na reakcję na poziomie europejskim.

Nikt nie oczekuje zupełnej unifikacji składu wszystkich produktów w całej Europie, jednak nie możemy zgodzić się na tak daleko idące różnice między składem i jakością tych samych towarów oferowanych na wspólnym rynku, ale w różnych państwach członkowskich. Biorąc pod uwagę, że problem ma charakter europejski, Komisja powinna nie tylko zająć stanowisko w tej bulwersującej sprawie, ale także użyć wszelkich dostępnych narzędzi i środków do zbadania tego problemu i podjęcia właściwej reakcji w celu ochrony konsumentów.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić, u ime kluba ALDE. – Gospodine predsjedniče, moram reći da mi je vrlo drago da ste Vi ovdje, gospođo povjerenice, jer vjerujem da ste vrlo senzibilni na temu o kojoj govorimo.

Naravno, htio bih se odmah na početku zahvaliti svojim kolegicama koje su pokrenule već više mjeseci ovu temu koja je iznimno, iznimno aktualna. A problematična je zbog jednog jednostavnog razloga. Dovodi u pitanje čitavu našu vjerodostojnost. Vjerodostojnost čitavog sustava kojega smo stvarali u Europskoj uniji, agencija koje smo stvarali u Europskoj uniji, svega onoga što znači kontrola i praćenje unutar Europske unije.

Ne možemo imati građane prvog i drugog reda. Pa dame i gospodo, imamo kućne ljubimce prvog i drugog reda izgleda u Europskoj uniji. Mislim da je to definitivno nevjerodostojno. I zato pozivam Komisiju da dobro razmisli i da čim prije krene u izradu novih propisa.

(Govornik se složio da odgovori na pitanje podizanjem plave kartice na osnovi članka 162. stavka 8. Poslovnika.)

 
  
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  Igor Šoltes (Verts/ALE), Vprašanje, postavljeno z dvigom modrega kartončka. – Strinjam se z vašo tezo o dvojnosti kakovosti, ki lahko vpliva tudi na zdravje in pa seveda kakovost življenja. Ali sem vam zdi, da bi bilo smiselno razmisliti o tem, da na evropskem nivoju, kjer imamo tako imenovano evropsko zvezo potrošnikov, prepustimo tudi njej, kot neodvisnemu organu, da naredi evropsko raziskavo teh problemov in pravzaprav na podlagi tega predlaga ustrezne ukrepe in ustrezne upravne okvire, predvsem pa sankcije, ki lahko preprečijo to zavajanje?

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE), odgovor na pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice. – Potpuno se slažem s Vama, gospodine Šoltes, i moram reći da upravo takvo jedno neutralno istraživanje radi djelomično i gospođa Borzan u ovom trenutku i financira iz svojih sredstava, ali upravo malo prije je to predložila i gospođa von Thun und Hohenstein. Mislim da je upravo to put kojim treba ići. Institucije trebaju napraviti ta istraživanja, a ne samo zastupnice i zastupnici koji se žele zaista maksimalno založiti da bi pokazali ispravnost ovih naših stavova.

 
  
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  Jean-Luc Schaffhauser, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, je voudrais d’abord remercier mes collègues qui sont présents. Si je suis là, c’est parce que je suis strasbourgeois et que je veux soutenir la tenue de la session à Strasbourg ainsi que le travail le jeudi après-midi. D’ailleurs, la session pourrait même s’étendre jusqu’au vendredi pour faire de Strasbourg le siège unique dans les travaux parlementaires.

La question posée par les gouvernements slovaque et hongrois sur la plainte des consommateurs de ces pays est légitime, mais elle me semble mal posée.

En effet, les essais menés par ces gouvernements ne démontrent aucune infraction dans le respect de la protection sanitaire des consommateurs et dans leur information telle qu’elle est prévue par la législation européenne. Nous ne sommes donc pas dans un cas de fraude ou même de tromperie manifeste. Il s’agit de l’utilisation du prestige d’une marque et de ses normes de qualité, reconnues au fil des ans en Europe occidentale, pour vendre un produit de moindre qualité, en adapter le prix au niveau de la vie locale et préserver les marges de la maison mère.

Au-delà de ce mensonge marketing, il faut que nous réfléchissions plus profondément sur la question de l’alimentation. Les multinationales ne sont pas idéologiques, elles adaptent de façon pragmatique leurs conditions de production à l’économie et au marché local.

La Commission poursuit une logique mondialiste de normalisation, d’aseptisation, d’uniformisation qui substitue les marques au terroir, qui affaiblit notre alimentation et fait perdre petit à petit leur identité culinaire à nos pays.

Cette politique profite évidemment aux grosses multinationales de l’agroalimentaire. La seule solution à long terme à ce problème est de relocaliser les productions plus près des consommateurs, de rendre à nos concitoyens les goûts et les saveurs de leur territoire et de laisser aux États le droit d’être plus rigoureux sur les normes de qualité, sur les appellations d’origine et sur la protection de leur identité culinaire.

Nous devons ainsi rompre avec le libre-échange, qui accélère cette course à la malbouffe en ouvrant nos marchés à des fruits et légumes cueillis sans goût, transportés sur des milliers de kilomètres dans des containers réfrigérés.

Il faut aussi mettre fin au monopole des centrales d’achat et des appels d’offres généralisés. Nous sommes confrontés à cette situation. J’ai moi-même implanté la grande distribution et je suis malheureux par rapport à cette politique qui est menée, qui conduit, en fin de compte, à la normalisation et à l’uniformisation et qui contourne les productions locales lors des appels d’offres parce qu’elles ne sont pas compétitives.

Nos peuples ont le droit à la souveraineté alimentaire et au respect de leur identité culinaire, qui sont des problèmes bien plus importants que la querelle des marques.

 
  
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  Alojz Peterle (PPE). – Mr President, dear colleagues, a quarter of a century after the fall of the Iron Curtain, we see that all the walls between the West and the East still have not been pulled down. Even new ones have been created, and when we speak about food, we do not speak about cosmetics. We are not talking about two-speed Europe again; what we are more concerned about is already two-quality Europe. This is not acceptable: we should not allow multinational corporations to act against European values or against the spirit of our internal market.

Misleading consumers’ calls for legal responsibility – but making differences between consumers within the European Union calls also for our political responsibility. I do not want Coca Cola, Nutella or Camembert West and Coca Cola, Nutella or Camembert East. Misleading consumers will last for so long, as long as they will find in their stores different products under the same brand. We need credibility of European brands, and there is no credibility without fair play. We have not been politically uniting our continent in the last decades in order to divide the citizens on the matter of quality, and surely not when food – that is, when our health – is in question.

 
  
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  Biljana Borzan (S&D). – Gospodine predsjedniče, poštovane kolegice i kolege, poštovana gospođo povjerenice, osobito mi je drago da danas raspravljamo o ovoj, za mnoge građane Europske unije, i te kako bitnoj i emotivnoj temi. U početku smo kolegica Olga Sehnalová i ja bile pomalo usamljene u raspravama o ovoj temi, međutim, drago mi je da se sve veći broj zastupnika uključuje.

Ja sam u Hrvatskoj pokrenula istraživanje o različitoj kvaliteti, prvo koje obuhvaća, osim hrane, i higijenske proizvode. Prethodno smo napravili anketu koja je pokazala da je više od 80% građana uvjereno da se na istočna tržišta plasiraju proizvodi lošije kvalitete nego na zapadna.

Kolegice i kolege, nalazimo se na zajedničkom europskom tržištu koje ne poznaje granice. Nalazimo se u Europskoj uniji koja strašno drži do jednakosti i ravnopravnosti svih njezinih građana. Upravo zbog toga, ako se pokaže u svim istraživanjima da postoji razlika u kvaliteti, na nama je da damo sve od sebe da ne postoje građani prvog i drugog reda Europske unije.

 
  
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  Jozo Radoš (ALDE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, gospođo povjerenice, ja bih htio zahvaliti kolegici Biljani Borzan i kolegici Dubravki Šuica na pokretanju ove inicijative koju sam ja podržao, a posebno bih htio zahvaliti svim onim kolegama i kolegicama koji su organizirali istraživanja, paralelnu usporedbu proizvoda, koji su definitivno već za sada jasno pokazali da postoji razlika u ključnim namirnicama između nekih proizvoda na istoku i na zapadu, posebice prehrambenih i higijenskih proizvoda.

No, ova tema nije od jučer, ova tema traje već deset godina, to pitanje dakle postoji deset godina i naravno unosi nepovjerenje među institucije Europske unije koje nisu u stanju riješiti ovo pitanje. Stoga je krajnje vrijeme jer se radi o narušavanju jednog od temeljnih načela Unije, a to je zajedničko tržište. Pozivam Komisiju da poduzme sve mjere, da otkloni ove nedostatke uključujući i potrebne zakonodavne mjere.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Já chci poděkovat paní komisařce za její vyjádření, kterým ovšem jen potvrdila oprávněnost našich obav a naši iniciativu.

Různé složení značkových výrobků v různých státech EU je legislativně obtížně postižitelné, to ostatně také ona sama sdělila. Pokud informace na obale odpovídají složení výrobku, výrobek je bezpečný, ale jednotlivý spotřebitel těžko tedy posoudí, že v sousední zemi by za stejnou cenu koupil výrobek, který by obsahoval jiný druh cukru, více nebo méně tuku, více nebo méně kakaa atd.

Národní kontrolní orgány nemají možnost srovnávat a ani postihnout odlišnost zboží stejné značky s jiným složením v jiných zemích. Myslím, že proto také jednotlivé země dělají studie, o kterých tady již padla zmínka, které ale jasně prokazují odlišnost ve složení, tedy odlišnost kvality daného výrobku.

Vzhledem ke společnému trhu považuji za správné, aby aktivita Komise byla větší, a myslím, že návrh paní kolegyně z Polska na pilotní projekt je na místě.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Mulțumesc, domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, stimați colegi, și eu vreau să felicit inițiatorii, dar trebuie să nu fie o simplă întrebare lăsată fără răspuns.

Este o certitudine că în țările din Est sunt produse sub același brand cu calități inferioare. Asta este înșelăciune. Eu sunt membră a Comisiei pentru piața internă și protecția consumatorului și e datoria mea să apăr consumatorii, dar aici este mult mai mult decât consumatorul. A vinde un produs care are calități inferioare, dar poartă același brand, este o contrafacere până la urmă și distrug pe producătorii corecți.

Pe de altă parte, consumatorul plătește un preț necuvenit. Nu oprim diversificarea, dar producătorul care vrea să vândă pentru putere de cumpărare mai mică nu are decât să schimbe denumirea produsului, să pună alt brand, să pună numărul doi la brandul respectiv, nu să înșele punând același brand și să iei detergent și să folosești de trei ori mai mult deoarece coeficientul de spălare este mai mic.

Așadar, doamna comisar, eu cred că aici trebuie să intervenim cu o legislație unitară, europeană evident, și cu autoritățile naționale. Dar este clar acum că cei din Est sunt coșul de gunoi, cum de multe ori s-a mai dovedit.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (ALDE). – Toto téma zde na půdě EP neprojednáváme poprvé, ale bohužel zatím nedochází k žádné změně, k žádné nápravě. Přitom i podle těch posledních průzkumů je jasné, že na jednotném trhu jsou pod stejnou značkou k prodeji výrobky, které se liší kvalitou a složením.

Považuji za nepřípustné, abychom nadále tolerovali situaci, kdy se českému spotřebiteli nabízí výrobek, který je v sousední zemi kvalitnější a kolikrát cenově dostupnější. Z mého pohledu se jedná o jasné klamání spotřebitele a z tohoto důvodu je nutné jednat. Jednat na úrovni členských států, ale jednat i na úrovni EU.

Jsem zvědavá, jak vyhodnotíte informace, které aktuálně požadujete po členských státech. Myslím si ale, že je potřeba i zadat komplexní srovnávací analýzu, která by jasně ukázala rozsah těchto praktik a upozornila na nejkritičtější případy. Problémy se musíme zabývat zapojením spotřebitelských organizací, výrobců, obchodníků, ale výsledkem by měla být konkrétní akce, konkrétní kroky, ať už je to lepší naplňování stávající legislativy či nová legislativa.

 
  
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  Mihai Ţurcanu (PPE). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, dragi colegi, doresc să solicit ca și consumator, ca și client al magazinelor din țara mea să plătesc același preț și să consum aceleași produse pe care și voi, dragi colegi din Vest, le consumați. Problema dublului standard este apăsătoare pentru noi, esticii. Este dezbătută de două luni și da, nu este nimic concret, nu este mare interes din partea Comisiei sau a celorlalte state pentru a rezolva această împărțeală a calității vieții. Colegi din România, Slovacia, Ungaria au cerut Comisiei în nenumărate rânduri să ia măsuri în ceea ce privește dublul standard al alimentelor, doar colegii care reprezintă partea de est a Europei au cerut asta. Niciun reprezentant din țările vestice nu a fost curios să vadă dacă producătorul său, unități de producție din țara sa, fie că vorbim de Germania, Austria, Belgia sau Franța trimite marfă de o altă calitate în Est. Europa nu se împarte în patru categorii după punctele cardinale, așa cum nici producția pe care o exportă unii mari producători nu ar trebui să fie împărțită.

Cer Comisiei să demareze o acțiune care să clarifice aceste ipoteze, o acțiune prin care să recolteze probe din toate statele membre ale Uniunii Europene și să testeze dacă acest fenomen, de dublu standard, al produselor comercializate în estul Europei este real.

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová (S&D). – Chce se mi říci – výborně. Dnešní debata je důkazem toho, že dvojí kvalita se i v EP konečně stává politickým tématem. Dříve tomu tak bohužel nebylo a v řadě aktivit jsme zůstali, jak už bylo zmíněno kolegyní Biljanou Borzanovou, často osamoceni. Naposledy, když jsme navrhovali např. dvojí kvalitu jako diskriminační praktiku omezit v nařízení o zeměpisném blokování.

Připomínám usnesení Parlamentu z roku 2013 a schválení mého požadavku na provedení reprezentativního průzkumu ze strany Evropské komise ohledně dvojí kvality a zhodnocení platné legislativy. Dodnes není naplněno. Výbor IMCO jde nyní tomuto požadavku naproti a schválil náš společný pilotní projekt, který takový rozsáhlý průzkum potravinářského i nepotravinářského zboží umožňuje.

Dvojí kvalitu je potřeba řešit z pohledu vnitřního trhu EU. Dle mého názoru se jedná o nekalou obchodní praktiku a diskriminaci spotřebitelů. Netýká se pouze potravin, ale také nepotravinářského zboží. Já budu velmi ráda, když se závěry dnešní debaty promítnou do podpory konkrétních návrhů řešení.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, Commissioner, first of all, both of you have been very busy this week, compliments to you. I listened carefully to the Commissioner’s statements and I think they are logical. Obviously we have to create awareness, and this debate will help to do that. Secondly, getting more evidence; and thirdly, she said enforcement authorities need to cooperate more, and maybe in due course legislation here at European level.

There is no doubt about it. I think Mr Peterle put it very well; he said we do not want a two-quality Europe, and definitely this is emerging regarding some food products. If food products have the same packaging throughout the European Union, the same brand name and are marketed as being the same, then we must ensure that the ingredients are the same. We have been given examples of biscuits and fish where this is not the case – fish fingers and probably many more. This has to stop; we have to have equality across Europe – that is what the single market is about, that is what EU citizenship is about. So this is a good debate.

 
  
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  Момчил Неков (S&D). – Г-н Председател, в единния европейски пазар, в който важат еднакви правила за производство и етикетиране, е скандално, че има продукти от една марка, но с различни качества и съставки в различни държави членки. Необяснимо е как в страни, като България и Словакия, се използва по-евтина съставка като фруктозо-глюкозен сироп при някои напитки, докато в същия продукт, например в Австрия, такава няма.

Не съм изненадан от реакции в западната преса, че двойните стандарти били „фалшива новина номер едно“. Да се наричат анализи, проведени в държавни лаборатории на държавите членки „фалшива новина“, само по себе си е показателно за настроенията сред производителите в Западна Европа.

Ако гражданите предпочитат храна с друг и местен вкус, скъпи производители, то произвеждайте такава под различна марка със суровини в съответната държава и ангажирайте работна ръка там!

Преди повече от 2 месеца българската Агенция по безопасност на храните се ангажира с анализи по темата. Само за 2 дни аз успях да идентифицирам подобни разлики в няколко продукта. Чакането на диктовки от новата власт или от бизнеса не е в интерес на безопасността на българските граждани. Време е за действия!

 
  
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  Daniel Buda (PPE). – Domnule președinte, mulțumesc. Existența unor standarde duble pentru produsele comercializate în statele din estul și vestul Europei este de mult timp o realitate asumată. Studiile de specialitate recente au confirmat existența unei astfel de situații îngrijorătoare.

În același timp, alte studii vin și confirmă o incidență crescută a numărului de bolnavi de cancer în statele din estul Europei comparativ cu celelalte state. Legătura dintre cele două realități este una clară și neîndoielnică: alimentele slab calitativ provoacă apariția unor boli de cele mai multe ori fatale pentru consumatori.

Comisia trebuie să ia măsuri ferme în acest sens inclusiv prin modificarea legislației existente pentru a evita astfel standardele duble de calitate. Iar mesajul nostru este unul foarte clar: nu acceptăm ca țările din estul Uniunii să devină groapa de gunoi a Europei.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Patricija Šulin (PPE). – Sem proti diskriminaciji kupcev in se zavzemam za to, da bi bili vsem kupcem, tako na vzhodu kot na zahodu Evrope, na voljo izdelki enake kakovosti. Zato sem tudi v lanskem letu podala pisno izjavo, v kateri smo pozvali Komisijo, da razčisti vsa vprašanja in nejasnosti, ki razburjajo naše državljanke in državljane.

Ključno vprašanje pri tem je, ali gre za to, da podjetja le prilagajajo okuse svojih proizvodov navadam ljudi, kjer se ti proizvodi prodajajo, ali pa gre za diskriminacijo potrošnikov in se dejansko na vzhodnih trgih prodajajo izdelki slabše kakovosti.

Prej kot z dodatno regulacijo, ki je povezana tako s stroški uvajanja kot nadziranja, bi bilo po mojem mnenju smiselno ukrepati s spodbujanjem testiranj in primerjav preko potrošniških organizacij in obveščanjem javnosti.

Zaključujem ... menim pa, da bi poleg Evropske komisije pri tem morala sodelovati tudi ministrstva za gospodarstvo držav članic.

 
  
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  Monika Smolková (S&D). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, svojím podpisom parlamentnej otázky, ale aj vystúpením sa pripájam ku všetkým mojím kolegom, ktorí naliehavo žiadajú Komisiu, aby vykonala revíziu právnych predpisov EÚ s cieľom chrániť spotrebiteľov prostredníctvom odstránenia dvojitých štandardov v kvalite výrobkov predávaných v strednej, východnej a západnej Európe.

Som veľmi rada, že aj na marcovom samite EÚ odznela aj táto téma dvojitej kvality potravín. Táto téma je práve v tomto období viac naliehavá ako kedykoľvek predtým. Sme v procese brexitu, v EÚ silnejú hlasy europesimistov a euroskeptikov a aj dvojitá kvalita potravín a rozdeľovanie ľudí na lepších a horších, na menej náročných a viac náročných nahráva extrémistickým stranám, aby vyvolávali nepokoje a ohlasovali ďalšie referendá pre vystúpenie z EÚ.

Preto je načase, aby Komisia urobila rýchle a rázne opatrenia v celom dodávateľsko-spotrebiteľskom reťazci, aby ziskuchtiví predajcovia a výrobcovia nemohli klamať spotrebiteľov a aby akýkoľvek podvod týkajúci sa potravín bol aj náležite potrestaný.

 
  
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  Urszula Krupa (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pani Komisarz! Chciałam tylko zwrócić uwagę, że jest to pewien rodzaj fałszowania żywności. Ten problem fałszerstwa żywności jest też bardzo ważny, zwłaszcza, że w tej chwili już – że tak powiem – organoleptycznie nie możemy sami zbadać tych produktów. Do badania tych fałszerstw potrzebne są wysokiej klasy laboratoria z nowymi technikami.

W związku z tym myślę, że problem ten wymaga właśnie centralnego rozwiązania na szczeblu Unii, tak by można było te produkty w jakiś sposób badać.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Corina Crețu, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, dear Members, as you mentioned during this very interesting debate for me, there are concrete elements pointing to objective composition differences and as qualitative differences in products sold under the same brand and similar packaging in various countries across Europe. Yes, Mr Jakovčić and all my colleagues, I am very sensitive as a person when it comes to two standards, two qualities, two speeds and so on. It is very important to say that, from my point of view, I do not consider it acceptable that identically-branded products would be deliberately advertised and sold as being the same in different Member States but in fact with a lower quality in one country or another. It is not only about our health but that of our children and next generations.

In such a scenario, I think people will rightly feel treated as second-class citizens by industry and perceive that there is no benefit from the single market for them. This said, I must repeat that the companies are not prevented from differentiated products within the EU legislation to better adapt them to the local taste and other conditions – including local market environment – such as competition pressures. As I said in my introductory speech, there is an on-going debate and a process of collecting evidence. This debate will raise awareness, I hope, including for our debate for the benefit of the EU citizens.

However, the EU legislation is clear: a product marketed as being the same in several Member States when in fact it presents significant differences in certain countries may be considered as unfairly marketed under consumer protection legislation.

Thank you very much for this debate, I will pass the word to my colleague in charge of this issue. I am looking forward to the discussion at the high-level forum on 20 June which I hope will surely also follow up to the debate held here today.

 
  
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  President. – Commissioner, thank you, and as has been said, it is very good that Parliament held this debate today with the Commission, as it has become an issue of political attention in this House.

The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Andor Deli (PPE), írásban. – A fogyasztók bizalmának elnyerése kulcsfontosságú az egységes belső piac szempontjából. Ehhez pedig szorosan kapcsolódik az, hogy nem téveszthetjük meg a fogyasztókat az azonos termékek alapösszetevőinek tekintetében fennálló minőségi különbségekkel.

A tagállamok között végrehajtott harmonizáció pontosan az ilyen akadályok leküzdését célozza, ezért elfogadhatatlan, az hogy az azonos termékek alapösszetevőiben jelentős minőségi különbségek mutatkozzanak az Unió különböző országai, térségei vonatkozásában. A magyarázat, hogy egyes termékek, mint például a kávé esetében, a felhasználók ízléséhez igazodnak, még elfogadható. Azonban az, hogy ugyanazon márkájú és csomagolású mosópor használata miért eredményez az egyik országban tiszta, illatos ruhákat, míg a másikban hatékonysága messze elmarad ettől, már nehezen magyarázható a fogyasztók különböző igényeivel. Nem elfogadható, és ellentmond nemcsak a fogyasztóvédelmi szabályoknak, hanem az egységes európai belső piac elvének is az az immár évtizedekre visszamenő jelenség, hogy a közép-kelet-európai országok piacain másodosztályú, gyengébb minőségű áru kerül a polcokra azonos, sőt esetenként magasabb áron. Nem hiszem, hogy a megoldás egy „Nutella-rendőrség” létrehozása, de a fogyasztók jogosan várják el azt, hogy a Bizottság alaposan, részrehajlás nélkül vizsgálja meg ezeket az eseteket, annak érdekében, hogy ennek a jelenségnek véget vessünk.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR), в писмена форма. – Когато преди повече от десет години нашият преговарящ за влизане в ЕС с лека ръка затваряше глави, в повечето случаи в ущърб на България, при нас се разхождаха доста копринени костюми, които ни обещаваха едва ли не реки от благоденствие, просперитет и безкрайно щастие в Общността. Когато станахме част от тази иначе добра, но смея да твърдя засега зле изпълнена идея, се оказа, че тези обещания са само поредната лъжа. Получихме едно управление на бюрократи, които никой никога не ги е избирал. Тези същите много често са обвинявани в прокарването или прикриването на политики на големия бизнес. Ето защо, когато стана известно, че една и съща стока се произвежда от различни продукти за различните части на Съюза, аз въобще не се учудих. Приветствам колегите от Източна Европа, които взеха присърце този проблем и търсят някакво решение. За съжаление обаче, тези действия, извършвани от корпорациите и може би прикривани от бюрократите, ми приличат на: „Всички сме равни, но някои са по-равни” - девиз на един вече отричан политически строй, или за съжаление на проява на сегрегация, което противоречи на стълбовете на развитие на тази Общност.

 

17. Documents received: see Minutes

18. Petitions: see Minutes

19. Decisions concerning certain documents: see Minutes

20. Forwarding of texts adopted during the sitting : see Minutes
Video of the speeches

21. Dates of forthcoming sittings : see Minutes
Video of the speeches

22. Adjournment of the session
Video of the speeches
 

(The sitting closed at 15.40)

 
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