Index 
Debatten
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Dinsdag 14 november 2017 - Straatsburg Herziene uitgave
1. Opening van de vergadering
 2. Paradise Papers (debat)
 3. Samenwerking tussen de nationale instanties die verantwoordelijk zijn voor handhaving van de wetgeving inzake consumentenbescherming (debat)
 4. Hervatting van de vergadering
 5. Stemmingen
  5.1. Beschikbaarstelling van middelen uit het Europees Fonds voor aanpassing aan de globalisering: aanvraag EGF/2017/004 IT/Almaviva (A8-0346/2017 - Daniele Viotti) (stemming)
  5.2. Mensenlevens redden: verbeteren van de veiligheid van voertuigen in de EU (A8-0330/2017 - Dieter-Lebrecht Koch) (stemming)
  5.3. Territoriale typologieën (A8-0231/2017 - Iskra Mihaylova) (stemming)
  5.4. Erkenning van beroepskwalificaties in de binnenvaart (A8-0338/2016 - Gesine Meissner) (stemming)
  5.5. Samenwerking tussen de nationale instanties die verantwoordelijk zijn voor handhaving van de wetgeving inzake consumentenbescherming (A8-0077/2017 - Olga Sehnalová) (stemming)
  5.6. De inzet van cohesiebeleidsinstrumenten door regio's om demografische veranderingen aan te pakken (A8-0329/2017 - Iratxe García Pérez) (stemming)
  5.7. Actieplan voor financiële retaildiensten (A8-0326/2017 - Olle Ludvigsson) (stemming)
 6. Stemverklaringen
  6.1. Mensenlevens redden: verbeteren van de veiligheid van voertuigen in de EU (A8-0330/2017 - Dieter-Lebrecht Koch)
  6.2. Territoriale typologieën (A8-0231/2017 - Iskra Mihaylova)
  6.3. Erkenning van beroepskwalificaties in de binnenvaart (A8-0338/2016 - Gesine Meissner)
  6.4. Samenwerking tussen de nationale instanties die verantwoordelijk zijn voor handhaving van de wetgeving inzake consumentenbescherming (A8-0077/2017 - Olga Sehnalová)
  6.5. De inzet van cohesiebeleidsinstrumenten door regio's om demografische veranderingen aan te pakken (A8-0329/2017 - Iratxe García Pérez)
  6.6. Actieplan voor financiële retaildiensten (A8-0326/2017 - Olle Ludvigsson)
 7. Rectificaties stemgedrag/Voorgenomen stemgedrag: zie notulen
 8. Hervatting van de vergadering: zie notulen
 9. Goedkeuring van de notulen van de vorige vergadering: zie notulen
 10. Samenstelling commissies en delegaties: zie notulen
 11. De rechtsstaat in Malta (debat)
 12. Multilaterale onderhandelingen met het oog op de elfde Ministeriële Conferentie van de WTO (debat)
 13. Rectificatie (artikel 231 van het Reglement): zie notulen
 14. Oostelijk Partnerschap: top in november 2017 (debat)
 15. Beschermende maatregelen tegen invoer met dumping en invoer met subsidiëring uit landen die geen lid zijn van de Europese Unie (debat)
 16. De strategie EU-Afrika: een stimulans voor ontwikkeling (debat)
 17. Een actieplan voor de natuur, de mensen en de economie (debat)
 18. Agenda van de volgende vergadering: zie notulen
 19. Sluiting van de vergadering


IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

1. Opening van de vergadering
Video van de redevoeringen
 

(The sitting opened at 9.02)

 

2. Paradise Papers (debat)
Video van de redevoeringen
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the Council and Commission statements on the Paradise papers (2017/2956(RSP)).

 
  
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  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, honourable Members, we have witnessed a series of revelations in respect of tax evasion and avoidance over the last years: Offshore Leaks, LuxLeaks, SwissLeaks, the Panama Papers, and now the Paradise Papers. The Council attaches great importance to such investigative journalism. Not only have these revelations been instrumental in providing bases for informed policy-making, but they have also helped in creating political awareness. It might be the case that many of the practices described in the Paradise Papers are formally legal; however, we cannot exclude that certain schemes exist with the sole objective of reducing the taxes that would otherwise be due. This is unfair for those citizens and enterprises who are paying their fair share of taxes.

Against this background, Member States are working very hard to change the legislation so that unwanted practices leading to loss of tax revenue would become illegal. Here, we have to work in the context of 28 different systems of national law which, strictly speaking, fall into the area of national competence, but progress is being made.

The Council and the Commission have worked hand in hand. The Commission was quick to present new proposals to tackle the problems identified and the Council swiftly found necessary compromises and has adopted tax legislation. The list of EU legislation that the Council has adopted against tax evasion and tax avoidance over the last four years, under the unanimity rule, is impressive, especially compared to the previous decades. Clearly, our response is picking up speed. Just to name a few: the revision of the Savings Taxation Directive and of the parent Subsidiary Directive, the adoption of four successive revisions of the Directive on Administrative Cooperation in Tax Matters, the adoption of a new Anti-Tax Avoidance Directive and of amendments concerning hybrid mismatches, the adoption of a new Directive on Dispute Resolution Mechanisms and, lastly, the conclusion of EU agreements on automatic exchange of information with five ‘third countries’ to the European Union.

In some of the cases, for instance with regard to hybrid mismatches, the measures are just about to be implemented by Member States. Their impact on the tax avoidance practices highlighted in the Paradise Papers will therefore only be visible in a few years’ time.

We have also adopted conclusions at the Ecofin meeting in November 2016 setting out the process for establishing an EU list of non-cooperative third country jurisdictions for tax purposes. This important work is led by the Council’s Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation and has been particularly intense over the past months, including in terms of dialogues with a number of countries. At this stage the Code of Conduct Group is seeking commitments from jurisdictions to address the issues that were determined by our experts in the areas of tax transparency, fair taxation and the implementation of anti-base erosion and profit shifting standards. This work of promoting good tax governance standards is also carried out in coordination with the OECD and G20 agenda.

The Code of Conduct Group also continues to perform other important non-legislative tasks such as peer review of our Member States’ potentially harmful tax regimes, development of new guidance to enable fairer tax competition between Member States, dialogue with our immediate neighbours (recently Switzerland and Liechtenstein), and an update of the tax good governance clause to be included in EU agreements with third countries.

All in all, these legislative and non-legislative initiatives just mentioned have been politically important steps for the EU. Among the results achieved so far, we have seen bank secrecy de facto coming to an end, a shift of our policy focus from removing double taxation to tackling double non-taxation, development of new EU policy instruments to combat tax avoidance, and steps taken towards harmonisation of our national practices affecting the functioning of our single market.

However, we cannot be complacent. More work will be needed, since tax planning methods are evolving constantly. We are currently examining several proposals, inter alia the revision of the Mandatory Disclosure Rules Directive, which would require tax advisers to disclose aggressive tax planning schemes to their tax administration. In addition, work is ongoing on several VAT legislative proposals, where we hope to adopt the VAT e-commerce package at the next Ecofin meeting on 5 December.

The Presidency has also initiated a debate on the taxation of the digital economy, which should provide input into OECD discussions. We are also happy that the Commission has announced that it will put forward a legislative proposal on this matter next spring. On this front, we will need the cooperation of our global partners so that international tax rules could be revised and adjusted to the reality of digitalisation. We are, in this respect, closely monitoring international developments. The Council is taking the Paradise Papers revelations very seriously and is moving fast to deliver progress. A fairer tax system is what our citizens expect from us.

 
  
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  Pierre Moscovici, membre de la Commission. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Ministre, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, comme vous tous, je suis profondément indigné par les récentes révélations des «Paradise Papers» qui suivent d’autres scandales de même nature.

Chaque jour, de nouvelles informations parues dans les journaux de tous nos pays mettent un peu plus en lumière ce qu’il faut appeler un circuit planétaire, parfaitement huilé, de planification fiscale agressive. Un vrai système de planification fiscale agressive. Je suis choqué, mais je ne suis pas surpris. Nous savons depuis longtemps que multinationales, contribuables fortunés, cabinets de conseil et banques travaillent main dans la main pour soustraire à l’impôt des pans immenses de revenus et que pour cela, ils ne ménagent ni leur argent ni leur imagination. Nous ne sommes pas là face à des incidents isolés, mais face à des pratiques qui sont systémiques, qui sont mondiales et qui sont organisées.

Ces schémas d’optimisation fiscale agressive sont d’autant plus choquants que nombre d’entre eux – cela reste à vérifier – sont apparemment légaux. Par conséquent, nous devons répondre sur le terrain de la loi à un défaut de la loi, avec un nouveau cadre réglementaire. Si c’est légal, comme certains le prétendent, alors il faut changer la loi et c’est ce que je veux faire avec l’aide de ce Parlement.

C’est pourquoi, depuis le début du mandat que j’exerce à la Commission européenne, j’ai mis l’accent sur la transparence, parce que je suis persuadé que la transparence est notre première arme. C’est elle qui permettra de mettre un terme à la culture du secret et au sentiment d’impunité des praticiens et des bénéficiaires de l’évasion fiscale. Ceux-ci sont un peu comme des vampires, d’une certaine façon: ils ne craignent rien tant que la lumière. À nous de faire cette lumière.

Aujourd’hui, il reste trois propositions majeures à finaliser pour garantir une plus grande transparence dans nos systèmes fiscaux.

En ce qui concerne la première, j’ai proposé devant vous, en juin dernier, de nouvelles règles de transparence pour les intermédiaires fiscaux, c’est-à-dire les avocats, les banquiers, les consultants qui vendent ces schémas d’optimisation fiscale. Derrière cela, il y a une démarche, en effet, tout à fait commerciale. Si la proposition que j’ai faite est acceptée, ils devront systématiquement déclarer ces montages au fisc du pays de l’acheteur. Si ces schémas sont illégaux, alors les administrations fiscales pourront engager des poursuites. S’ils sont légaux, les administrations fiscales pourront repérer la faille et la réparer.

Je souhaite, et je le dis ici avec fermeté, que le Conseil adopte la proposition sur les intermédiaires fiscaux dans les six prochains mois. C’est une proposition facile, qui est simple, et c’est donc une question avant tout de volonté politique. Il n’y a pas de temps à perdre. Il n’y a aucune raison en vérité de différer cette adoption. En parallèle, comme vous le savez, ma collègue, Vera Jourová, a proposé plus de transparence sur les bénéficiaires effectifs dans le cadre de la directive contre le blanchiment d’argent. Cette information doit être publique pour lutter contre les structures opaques, que les «Paradise Papers» ont révélées au grand jour. Aujourd’hui, je dois avouer que les négociations peinent à trouver une réponse et une issue satisfaisantes. Je le regrette profondément et j’encourage les colégislateurs à tout mettre en œuvre pour que ces nouvelles règles puissent s’appliquer au plus vite. Les citoyens ne comprendraient pas notre inaction après le nouveau coup de semonce que constituent les «Paradise Papers».

La deuxième proposition à laquelle je tiens fondamentalement, c’est le fait de cibler les entreprises à travers la publication d’informations publique obligatoire, pays par pays. Que changerait concrètement cette publication? Elle donnerait à chaque citoyen un pouvoir de contrôle et de pression qu’il n’a pas aujourd’hui. Si cela est réalisé, nous aurions une publication accessible à tous, aux citoyens, aux médias, aux ONG, à vous-mêmes parlementaires, de données comptables et fiscales qui, aujourd’hui, sont mises à disposition – c’est déjà un progrès – des administrations fiscales, mais à elles seulement. Car c’est par la pression de la presse, c’est par la pression de l’opinion publique que l’on pourra changer les règles. Ces «Paradise Papers», comme tous ces scandales, sont à chaque fois une bonne et une mauvaise nouvelle. Une mauvaise parce qu’ils révèlent, une bonne parce qu’ils constituent un aiguillon tout à fait décisif. Là encore, je le dis à ceux qui sont hésitants au Conseil: je ne crois pas qu’il faille opposer la transparence et la compétitivité. Au contraire, je pense que la transparence est un facteur de compétitivité des entreprises et qu’une entreprise a toujours intérêt à se comporter en bon citoyen, en bon contribuable ex ante plutôt que d’être ensuite dénoncée ex post dans des révélations ou des leaks. N’ayons pas peur de cette publication d’informations pays par pays, j’insiste sur cette notion de publication. C’est ce que je dis depuis le premier jour de ma présence ici.

Enfin, c’est ma troisième proposition, nous devons nous doter d’une liste noire européenne de paradis fiscaux que les États membres ont voulu établir sous leur propre responsabilité, le ministre en a parlé. Je me suis engagé à faire aboutir rapidement cette liste après le scandale des «Panama Papers» et, rapidement, la Commission a fait sa proposition. J’invite instamment les États membres à l’adopter cette fois-ci, pas dans six mois, mais dès le prochain Conseil des ministres des finances, le Conseil Ecofin du 5 décembre. Le 5 décembre, nous devons avoir une liste noire de paradis fiscaux. Le travail entrepris jusqu’à présent dans ce cadre a déjà débouché, à ce stade, sur des avancées intéressantes. 92 pays tiers ont été, comme on dit «screenés», examinés, et la très grande majorité a coopéré avec les experts de l’Union européenne. Plusieurs d’entre eux se sont d’ores et déjà engagés à réformer leur législation fiscale pour se mettre en conformité avec les normes européennes, mais je suis persuadé que nous avons quand même de quoi faire une liste qui soit crédible. Les autres pays qui posent problème ont encore maintenant l’opportunité de prendre des engagements au plus haut niveau politique, par écrit, d’ici à la fin de cette semaine, pas plus tard. Les États membres ont indiqué que ces engagements seront pris en compte lors de l’adoption de la liste noire début décembre, mais j’invite les États membres et le groupe «Code de conduite» à rester fermes et unis sur les demandes de l’Union européenne et à n’accepter que des engagements très concrets. Ces engagements devront être suffisamment précis sur la substance, notamment pour les pays tiers qui, aujourd’hui, n’appliquent aucun impôt sur les bénéfices. Selon moi, ne pas appliquer d’impôt sur les bénéfices constitue un manquement sérieux. L’absence d’impôt ne doit pas être utilisée par ces pays pour attirer de manière artificielle les profits réalisés ailleurs et ainsi favoriser l’établissement d’«entreprises boîte aux lettres». Ce que je souhaite, c’est une liste qui soit crédible, ambitieuse, avec des sanctions dissuasives. Pas de mystère. Il faut frapper au portefeuille les fraudeurs et les paradis fiscaux pour faire bouger les lignes. C’est un combat capital à remporter dans les toutes prochaines semaines. La dernière discussion du Conseil Ecofin m’a rendu plutôt optimiste, même si j’ai encore entendu chez certains ministres telle ou telle nuance qu’ils pourront, je l’espère, gommer d’ici au 5 décembre. Oui, des sanctions sont nécessaires et oui, ne pas avoir d’impôt sur les bénéfices constitue incontestablement un problème. Je le dis à certains de mes collègues qui se sont exprimés à ce moment-là.

Un mot sur une autre notion. Parallèlement à la transparence, il nous faut aussi une convergence des règles fiscales. C’est l’absence de règles communes en Europe qui permet à des entreprises de pratiquer cette planification fiscale agressive. Ce système prospère et perdure grâce aux failles des législations nationales actuelles, ainsi qu’aux divergences entre ces législations. C’est pourquoi, là encore, j’invite les États membres à adopter le plus vite possible l’assiette fiscale européenne pour l’impôt sur les sociétés. L’ACCIS permettrait, en effet, de limiter encore davantage les transferts artificiels de bénéfices entre pays qui sont un des problèmes majeurs auxquels nous sommes confrontés. Là encore, la balle est dans le camp des capitales pour avancer sur ce projet majeur.

Il faut impérativement accélérer les discussions et se doter d’un calendrier pour conclure cette assiette fiscale commune et consolidée européenne pour l’impôt sur les sociétés en 2018. Il est fondamental que ce texte fasse maintenant l’objet d’un accord.

Mesdames et Messieurs les parlementaires, des progrès remarquables ont été faits dans la lutte contre la fraude et l’évasion fiscales sous ce mandat. Je ne veux pas et je ne peux pas laisser dire que l’Union européenne aurait péché par inaction. Non, nous avons fait ensemble des progrès qui n’avaient pas été faits auparavant et nous ne devons pas nous flageller, battre notre coulpe. Nous ne sommes pas responsables de ce qui ne va pas, mais nous sommes responsables d’essayer de faire en sorte que les choses aillent mieux. Le secret bancaire n’existe plus dans toute l’Europe, pas seulement l’Union européenne, depuis cette année. La taxation des bénéfices là où ils sont générés, elle limite les transferts de profits vers les pays à fiscalité avantageuse. Elle existe grâce à nous. Avec l’adoption des mesures actuellement sur la table, que j’ai rappelées, notre bouclier anti-évasion serait considérablement renforcé. Si ces mesures avaient été mises en place ces trois dernières années, si la transparence était la règle, si la lumière était faite, alors je pense que nous aurions pu éviter le dernier scandale. Les États membres doivent prendre leurs responsabilités en transposant au plus vite les mesures déjà adoptées. Certains des cas soulevés par les «Paradise Papers» résultent de dispositifs légaux qui devront être abrogés dans le cadre de l’application des directives anti-évasion fiscale. Pourquoi attendre le dernier moment et laisser perdurer des pratiques qui ne devraient plus avoir cours?

Il faut accélérer les travaux en adoptant la liste des paradis fiscaux le 5 décembre prochain, en adoptant des règles sur les intermédiaires fiscaux dans les six mois, en adoptant l’assiette fiscale européenne pour l’impôt sur les sociétés d’ici un an. Vous voyez que je fixe un agenda à notre travail commun pour l’année qui vient.

Je sais pouvoir compter sur le Parlement européen parce que de facto nous sommes alliés depuis le début de cette bataille de longue haleine avec des sensibilités et des positions différentes pour pousser les États membres dans cette voie dans laquelle ils ne s’engagent pas toujours avec spontanéité, mais qu’ils finissent toujours par suivre grâce à vous et un peu grâce à nous.

Je veux vous remercier ici avec chaleur, car aucun des progrès que nous avons engrangés ensemble ces trois dernières années n’aurait été possible sans le soutien de la représentation européenne. Maintenant, il nous faut franchir une nouvelle étape décisive, là encore, nous le ferons ensemble.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
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  Luděk Niedermayer, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, we are talking again, unfortunately, about new tax scandals. We do not know how many millions of documents, with more than 100 000 names, constitute illegal behaviour. Maybe most of them are actually legal; but they matter, not only because in the view of many people they are immoral – they matter because they are harming our society. Extensive use of loopholes in tax systems, or intentional or unintentional creation of special tax regimes by some tax authorities, are harming our economy. They are harming competition, they are creating unfair ways of increasing inequality. They are harming fiscal policy and, as a consequence, citizens are losing their trust in our society.

How to react on actions that can in a broad sense be legal? There are two basic tools. The first one is better, simpler and clearer tax rules, and we should make them. And the second is to convince the others to do the same. As the European Union, we are in an extremely good position to pursue this agenda. First of all, we are a superpower. We can not only lead by example, but more decisively use soft and hard powers to persuade the others that are making the game unfair. And secondly, we must acknowledge that many of the problems are not outside the EU but within the EU.

This is the moment where I have to turn to the Finance Ministers, because they have the power. This is what the Treaty says. They have power but they also have responsibility, so I ask you, or rather I urge you, not to use the cheap excuses, not to insist on small benefits for you that are paid for in multiples by the others, and not to hide behind the unanimity rules and to act.

We should modernise the tax regime. We can close the loopholes. And in some cases, do not be afraid to go for harmonisation. I am not talking about tax rates, I am talking about the tax base. If we progress in that, we will benefit all. Society will benefit, the economy will benefit. It will make Europe stronger so we should not hesitate. We should act.

 
  
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  Gianni Pittella, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sembra che ad ogni squillo di tromba ci si debba stupire, in realtà scopriamo l'acqua calda. La nostra economia è divorata da un cancro: la frode e la truffa fiscale. È vergognoso che, mentre agli Stati venivano imposte cure da cavallo di austerità, alcune società multinazionali e privati cittadini sottraevano miliardi di euro alle casse pubbliche non pagando le tasse.

Abbiamo denunciato come socialisti e democratici questa vergogna e dobbiamo riconoscere alla Commissione Juncker e in particolare al Commissario Moscovici di aver messo sul tavolo proposte importanti e coraggiose. Penso alla rendicontazione paese per paese: vogliamo che nei bilanci delle multinazionali le informazioni sulle loro attività finanziarie siano riportate paese per paese. È giusto che i cittadini sappiano dove le multinazionali fanno i profitti perché è in quel paese che devono pagare le tasse. Lo ripetiamo fino alla noia: le tasse devono essere pagate nel paese in cui si fanno i profitti.

Il Parlamento ha approvato la sua posizione su questo. Cosa sta facendo il Consiglio? Cosa stanno facendo gli Stati membri? Pochissimo, quasi nulla. Vogliamo poi una definizione chiara e credibile di paradiso fiscale. L'attuale lista contiene Trinidad e Tobago, è ridicolo! Si faccia una lista credibile e si prevedano delle sanzioni. Anche su questo gli Stati membri frenano.

Inoltre, chi fa il furbo deve pagare. Le autorità competenti devono sospendere o revocare le licenze bancarie delle istituzioni finanziarie e dei consiglieri finanziari che aiutano ad organizzare le frodi. Dietro a tutti questi scandali ci sono sempre i soliti noti, i soliti consulenti, le solite banche. Su questi impegni noi sfidiamo il Consiglio. Come spesso succede, il Parlamento è pronto, ma il Consiglio deve dare la sua mano per dare una risposta credibile ai cittadini. Se non facciamo questo, noi sciupiamo quel margine di fiducia che ancora abbiamo nei nostri cittadini.

 
  
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  Bernd Lucke, im Namen der ECR-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, meine Damen und Herren! Wir haben es mal wieder mit einem großen Leak zu tun, dem vierten derartigen Leak innerhalb von nur zwei Jahren. Wir hatten die Luxembourg Leaks, wir hatten die Panama Papers, wir hatten die Bahamas Papers, und jetzt kommen die Paradise Papers. Jedesmal, wenn ein solcher Skandal aufkommt – und langsam desensibilisiert man sich ja bezüglich des Wortes „Skandal“, langsam empfindet man es vielleicht gar nicht mehr als so skandalös, weil ein solches Leak nach dem anderen kommt –, heißt es: Na ja, es kann ja sein, dass das auch alles legal war.

Wir dürfen nicht die Augen davor verschließen. Wenn das alles so legal wäre, dann würden die Leute, die das betreiben, das wohl kaum auf irgendwelchen Karibikinseln ablaufen lassen. Dann würde sich kaum alles irgendwo im Verborgenen abspielen. Wir müssen ganz klar sagen: Selbst wenn es technisch gesehen legal ist, dann ist es gegen den Sinn der Gesetze gewesen, weil man eben diese Art von Heimlichtuerei betrieben hat. Und es ist nicht nur so, dass die Sachen vielleicht formal legal sind, sondern es geht jenseits des Bereiches der aggressiven Steuervermeidung hinein in den Bereich der Steuerflucht, in die Geldwäsche, in die Korruption, in die Terrorismusfinanzierung, und es geht, wie wir gesehen haben, sogar hinein in den Bereich des gezielten politischen Mordes. In Malta beispielsweise, wo Whistleblower, die so etwas offengelegt haben, für derartige Sachen ihr Leben lassen müssen.

Nun müssen wir doch einmal feststellen: Wir haben hier öfter die Spitze des Eisberges gesehen – so wurde es gesagt. Wir haben es gesehen bei den Luxembourg Leaks – aufgedeckt durch Journalisten. Wir haben es gesehen bei den Panama Papers – aufgedeckt durch Journalisten. Wir haben es gesehen bei den Bahamas Papers – aufgedeckt durch Journalisten. Wir haben es jetzt gesehen bei den Paradise Papers – aufgedeckt durch Journalisten. Und da muss man doch mal die Frage stellen: Warum wird so etwas ständig von Journalisten aufgedeckt, und was macht eigentlich die Steuerfahndung unserer Länder? Haben denn unsere Mitgliedstaaten nicht bessere investigative Möglichkeiten als Journalisten? Warum wird denn so etwas nicht endlich einmal von den zuständigen Behörden aufgedeckt? Warum kommen Millionen von Seiten von Dokumenten ständig durch Journalisten ans Licht, aber nicht durch die Verwaltungen unserer Mitgliedstaaten, die dafür eigentlich zuständig sind?

Herr Kommissar Moscovici! Was Sie gesagt haben, ist sicherlich alles korrekt – Transparenz und Informationsaustausch und schwarze Listen –, aber wir müssen sicherstellen, dass Steuerkriminelle gefasst werden! Das ist das wesentliche Ziel, das zu erreichen ist.

 
  
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  Petr Ježek, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, the Paradise Papers revelations show once again the urgent need for Europe to intensify its fight against tax evasion and money laundering. I would like to thank the journalists again for their work.

The names of the leaks may change, but the mechanisms revealed remain the same: anonymous companies or trusts set up and maintained by intermediaries in tax havens, low or zero transparency and low or zero taxes, and the rich and famous involved, including the Queen, whose finances are internally and externally audited. I hope this new leak has opened the eyes of those Member States who had not comprehended the magnitude of the problem. There is a good opportunity for them to prove that, as this afternoon we will conduct a crucial trilogue negotiation on the revision of the Anti—Money Laundering Directive.

After more than a year’s work, a month ago the European Parliament’s Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) adopted its report and recommendations, which will be voted on in plenary in December. The Committee calls on the European Union and its Member States to properly implement and reinforce its legal tools, to shift from secrecy to transparency, mutual cooperation and exchange of information. It urges both the Commission and the Member States to step up their efforts, commitments, cooperation and investment in financial and human resources, to improve supervision and enforcement. It counts on the leading role of the Commission in setting up criteria for a common EU list of non—cooperative tax jurisdictions, and calls on the Council not to dilute, but rather to increase, the ambition of the criteria of the said list. It calls for more efficient sanctions against banks and intermediaries that are knowingly involved in illegal tax or money laundering schemes. There are more than 200 recommendations adopted by the Committee. The way to prevent money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion is charted, and a lot has already been done, but still more needs to be done in the area of adoption, implementation and enforcement of legislation.

 
  
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  Miguel Urbán Crespo, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. – Señora presidenta, una vez más, una nueva filtración masiva de documentos sobre evasión y elusión fiscal, esta vez llamados «papeles del paraíso». No es una cuestión coyuntural, señorías. Es una cuestión estructural y la tenemos que tratar como tal. Una vez más nos enteramos de esta nueva filtración por la labor de los periodistas y por la labor de los filtradores. Filtradores o periodistas como Daphne Caruana, que murió justamente por hacer su trabajo. ¿Hasta cuándo vamos a tener que esperar para tener verdaderamente una legislación que proteja a los whistleblowers dentro de la Unión Europea?

Una vez más se constata el papel fundamental de los facilitadores. Facilitadores de la evasión y de la elusión fiscal: bancos. Sí, señorías, bancos. ¿Hasta cuándo vamos a permitir que no se apliquen sanciones disuasorias como la retirada de la licencia bancaria o profesional? Sin estos facilitadores no sería posible la evasión y la elusión fiscal.

Una vez más, políticos implicados. Los que tienen que legislar contra la evasión son muchas veces los primeros evasores. ¿Cuándo tomaremos cartas en el asunto para acabar con las obscenas puertas giratorias y la connivencia entre evasores y representantes públicos?

Una vez más, guaridas fiscales. ¿Hasta cuándo vamos a permitir que sigan existiendo paraísos fiscales en el seno de la Unión Europea? ¿Hasta cuándo? ¿Cómo podemos creer en el Consejo cuando tenemos guaridas fiscales dentro del propio Consejo?

Miren, en el próximo pleno de Estrasburgo tenemos la posibilidad de votar las recomendaciones de la comisión de investigación relativas a los papeles de Panamá. Tenemos la oportunidad de mandar un mensaje: o con los evasores o contra los evasores. Ustedes verán, señorías.

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Madame la Présidente, 2008 le scandale UBS, 2013 «Offshore Leaks», 2014 «Lux Leaks», 2015 «Swiss Leaks», «Football Leaks», c’est le scandale HSBC, 2016 les «Panama Papers» et les «Bahamas Leaks», 2017 les «Malta files» et à présent les «Paradise Papers».

Vous avez bien compté, mesdames et messieurs, avec ces dix scandales, dont l’immense majorité de nos concitoyens sont les victimes, leur carte de fidélité est pleine. Que vont-ils donc gagner au onzième, peuvent-ils espérer enfin une fiscalité juste?

À supposer que rien ici ne soit illégal, ce dont on peut douter, est-ce pour autant légitime? Car une chose est sûre, l’injustice fiscale n’est pas le produit d’un phénomène naturel, elle est au contraire le résultat de choix politiques délibérés.

Ce n’est pas à leur insu que depuis 30 ans, les majorités politiques élues en Europe rendent nos impôts de moins en moins progressifs et rivalisent de créativité pour y créer les brèches dans lesquelles s’engouffrent les profiteurs du système.

Mais pourquoi, pourquoi donc, aujourd’hui encore, ceux qui nous gouvernent, comme ici en France, Emmanuel Macron, continuent de faire adopter des lois fiscales qui profitent aux plus riches?

Bien sûr, il y a chez certains la volonté de lécher la main qui les nourrit, ou les nourrira peut-être un jour. Mais par-dessus tout, il y a cette imposture selon laquelle rendre les riches plus riches et protéger les méga-entreprises, profite à tous.

En réalité, tout ceci ne fait que renforcer leurs capacités d’extraire une rente de nos sociétés et de la planète.

C’est pour cela que les administrations fiscales en sont réduites au régime sec, c’est pour cela que la transparence comptable des multinationales et celle des bénéficiaires des trusts, fondations et sociétés écran n’est toujours pas la règle.

C’est pour cela que l’harmonisation de l’impôt des sociétés n’avance pas, c’est à cause de cela que les paradis fiscaux continuent de prospérer, y compris au sein de l’Union.

Et tout cela à cause de qui? Des ministres des finances qui ne consentent à agir que sous la pression et à condition qu’on ne remette pas en cause les fondamentaux du système.

Je tiens à leur adresser ici une mise en garde, car l’évasion fiscale ne fait pas que creuser les inégalités et mettre à mal nos services publics, elle met gravement en cause nos démocraties, car la confiance sur laquelle repose notre société s’effrite chaque jour davantage, du fait de votre refus d’agir.

Elle finira tôt ou tard par voler en éclats, à moins bien sûr, et je conclus, Madame la Présidente, que vous ne trouviez le courage, Messieurs les Ministres des finances d’abandonner vos croyances toxiques.

C’est ce que l’écrasante majorité de nos citoyens vous demande.

 
  
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  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, as Mr Moscovici said at the start of this, the leak of all these papers and lists of people with offshore holdings has come about because of the Society of Investigative Journalists, but what has not been said this morning, and I think is relevant, is that the funding of these investigations came from one George Soros.

(Interjection from Mr Lamberts: ‘So what?’)

Now I say this at a time – I am going to come back to ‘so what?’ and it may have some personal interest for you as well – when the use of money and the influence it may have had on the Brexit result, or the Trump election, has reached a level of virtual hysteria. Just last week the Electoral Commission in the UK launched an investigation to find out whether the Leave campaign took offshore money or Russian money. This came about as a result of questions asked in the House of Commons by one Ben Bradshaw, somebody linked to an organisation called Open Society.

I just wonder when we are talking about offshore money, when we are talking about political subversion, when we are talking about collusion, I wonder whether we are looking in the wrong place. And I say that because George Soros recently gave Open Society – his organisation, which of course campaigns for free movement of peoples and supports supranational structures like the European Union – USD 18 billion. And his influence here and in Brussels is truly extraordinary. Open Society boasts that they had 42 meetings last year with the Commission. They have even published a book of reliable friends in the European Parliament and there are 226 names on that list, including yours, Sir. I thought you would find this interesting.

We even had last week Mr Verhofstadt lobbying on behalf of Mr Soros at the Conference of Presidents in a battle that is going on with Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary.

If we are going to have a debate and we are going to talk about full, political and financial transparency, well let’s do it. So I shall be writing today to all 226 of you asking some pretty fair questions: ‘Have you ever received funds, directly or indirectly, from Open Society?’ ‘How many of their events have you attended?’ ‘Could you please give us a list of the meetings of all the representatives, including George Soros, yourself.’ And I think this Parliament should now set up a special committee to look into all of this. I say that because I fear we could be looking at the biggest level of international political collusion in history.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Evelyn Regner (S&D), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Sie weichen vom Thema ab. Es geht hier um die Paradise Papers, nämlich dass Unternehmen Steuern zahlen sollen. Sind Sie dafür, dass auf den Britischen Jungferninseln und in anderen Steueroasen weiterhin solche Konstrukte der Steuerumgehungen zulässig sind, Ja oder Nein?

 
  
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  Nigel Farage (EFDD), blue-card answer. – If you are going to completely ban people from putting money, which in many cases could be utterly legitimate investments, be it in the British Virgin Islands or the Bahamas or anywhere else, if you are going to do that then please be consistent. Make sure that you ban the sale of duty-free cigarettes and make sure that you stop anyone using their personal allowances to avoid tax when it comes to investments.

By the way, while you are at it, what about the 25 000 people who work for the European Commission and the European Parliament and pay a maximum tax rate of 16%? It is time, perhaps, to put your own House in order.

 
  
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  Barbara Kappel, im Namen der ENF-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Minister, Herr Kommissar! Die Paradise Papers zeigen erneut auf, wie Steuervermeidungsstrategien von prominenten Politikern und multinationalen Konzernen aussehen, und es finden sich diesmal sehr prominente Namen auf der Liste, vom US-Minister Wilbur Ross über den kanadischen Premierminister bis zu Königin Elisabeth II. oder dem U2-Frontmann Bono, aber auch Konzerne wie Apple und Nike. Ich möchte hier auf eine skandinavische Studie zum Thema Steuervermeidung und —ungleichheit auf Basis eines HSBC-Datensatzes aus den Swiss Leaks verweisen, dier sagt, dass Bezieher sehr großer Kapitaleinkommen Steuerhinterziehung dann betreiben, wenn das Entdeckungsrisiko möglichst gering ist, und das gilt selbst für Länder mit hohem sozialem Zusammenhalt und hoher Gesetzestreue wie in Skandinavien. Konzerne hingegen hinterziehen keine Steuern, sie optimieren ihre Veranlagung mittels Lizenzgebühren, Markenrechten, Patentboxen oder interner Verrechnungspreise – alles ganz legal – mit dem Ziel, die Steuerlast zu minimieren. Und die EU hat darauf mit zwei Pfeilern reagiert, nämlich mit zwei Maßnahmenbereichen: der Erhöhung von Transparenz und dem Schließen von Steuerschlupflöchern. In beiden Bereichen sind in den letzten eineinhalb Jahren große Fortschritte erzielt worden; es haben sich mehr als hundert Staaten dazu verpflichtet, Informationen über Finanzkonten auszutauschen. Es gibt eine länderspezifische Berichterstattung, es gibt einen Maßnahmenkatalog gegen Steuervermeidung, und es gibt den BEPS-Aktionsplan der OECD. Damit aber nicht genug: Es wird auch eine Liste wirtschaftlich Berechtigter an Stiftungen geben, eine schwarze Liste nicht kooperativer Steuergebiete, Sanktionen für Vermittler und einen stärkeren Informationsaustausch zwischen den Mitgliedstaaten. Im Zuge von Swiss Leaks, Lux Leaks, Panama Papers und Paradise Papers sind viele Maßnahmen gesetzt worden, um Steuervermeidung zu bekämpfen, Ungleichheit zu reduzieren und die Steuergerechtigkeit zu erhöhen. Und in der EU wirken diese Maßnahmen bereits, denn mit Ausnahme von Briten fanden sich keine Europäer in den Paradise Papers.

 
  
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  Λάμπρος Φουντούλης (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, Panama papers, LuxLeaks, Paradise Papers και ποιος ξέρει πόσες ακόμα διαρροές θα προκύψουν στο μέλλον;

Tι σημασία έχει; Αφού κάθε φορά θα κάνουμε μια έκτακτη συζήτηση στην Ολομέλεια, θα καταδικάζουμε γενικά και αόριστα και στο τέλος δεν θα γίνεται τίποτα απολύτως.

Και πώς να γίνει, αφού μεγάλο μέρος εταιρειών και πολιτικών ολόκληρης της Ευρώπης επωφελούνται από τις διάφορες τρύπες στη νομοθεσία, ώστε να μπορούν να μεταφέρουν τα χρήματά τους σε μια εξωχώρια εταιρεία, στα πιο απίθανα μέρη του κόσμου, και να αποφεύγουν νομιμότατα τη φορολογία;

Αντίθετα με τον απλό πολίτη, ο οποίος στενάζει κάτω από φόρους που σε μερικές περιπτώσεις, όπως για παράδειγμα στην Ελλάδα, ξεπερνούν το 50%. Στην Ελλάδα, όπου -παρεμπιπτόντως- η σύζυγος του αρχηγού της αξιωματικής αντιπολίτευσης εμφανίζεται στις διαρροές αυτές, αλλά εκείνος ευαγγελίζεται την κάθαρση.

Βέβαια, εδώ στην Ευρώπη τον ρόλο αυτόν αναλαμβάνει ο κύριος Juncker, που είναι γνωστά τα έργα του όταν ήταν πρωθυπουργός του Λουξεμβούργου. Τελικά η νομοθεσία δεν θα αλλάξει και θα συνεχίσουν να λειτουργούν αυτές οι εταιρείες-φαντάσματα, γιατί έτσι βολεύει τους περισσότερους πολιτικούς, που νομοθετούν οι ίδιοι, και το μεγάλο κεφάλαιο που τους βοηθάει στο έργο τους.

 
  
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  Werner Langen (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Dass Steuervermeidung, Steuerhinterziehung, Steuerbetrug und Geldwäsche weiter auf der Tagesordnung sind, zeigen die jüngsten Veröffentlichungen.

Ich will nicht über die persönliche Verantwortung der Steuerhinterzieher reden, die Trittbrettfahrer einer solidarischen Gesellschaft sind. Ich möchte die Geschäftsmodelle derjenigen Länder auf den Prüfstand stellen, die sich als Steueroasen gerieren und bewusst darauf setzen, die internationale Steuerteilung zu unterlaufen.

Beispiele gibt es genug in der Europäischen Union: Ob die Niederlande, Malta, Luxemburg – sie alle gehören in die Prüfung und nicht nur Drittstaaten! Deshalb fordern wir einen Paradigmenwechsel. Bisher sind immer Doppelbesteuerungsabkommen abgeschlossen worden. Wir fordern Mindestbesteuerungsabkommen! Auch wenn Fortschritte erzielt wurden, Herr Kommissar, die Fortschritte sind sehr, sehr bescheiden.

Deshalb müssen wir über die Grundlagen diskutieren. Da höre ich immer: Steuerwettbewerb ist gesund. Die Frage der gerechten Steuerteilung und das Akzeptieren von steuerlichen Mindestregeln ist keine Abkehr von einem gesunden Steuerwettbewerb, sondern die notwendige Grundlage in Zeiten der Globalisierung und neuer mächtiger Konzerne im digitalen Zeitalter.

Deshalb besteht die Verantwortung der Mitgliedstaaten nicht nur darin, die Zusammenarbeit der Behörden zu verbessern, Meldepflichten einzuführen, eine schwarze Liste der nicht kooperativen Drittländer zu erstellen, sondern wir müssen innerhalb der Europäischen Union selbst für Ordnung sorgen. Deshalb hat das Europäische Parlament seine Maßnahmen beschlossen. Es genügt nicht zu sagen: Es sind die anderen, die das machen, sondern wir müssen ansetzen. Wir können auf Dauer nicht hinnehmen, dass internationale Konzerne und wohlhabende Menschen sich ihrer solidarischen Steuerverpflichtungen entziehen und den Staaten nichts anderes übrig bleibt, als Arbeit und Konsum stärker zu besteuern. Das ist die gemeinsame Verantwortung, vor der wir stehen, und da bitte ich alle um Unterstützung.

 
  
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  Udo Bullmann (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Nein, wir sollten uns nicht mehr wundern. Nach all den vielen Skandalen sollten wir uns bestenfalls noch wundern über diejenigen, die sich wundern.

Herr Ratspräsident, Sie sind ein Diplomat. Sie sagen: Vieles von dem, was wir jetzt über Paradise Papers erfahren, mag legal gewesen sein. Aber sie können nicht ausschließen, dass das eine oder andere auch zur Steuervermeidung beigetragen hätte. Herr Ratspräsident, das ist zu diplomatisch.

Diese diplomatische Sprache ist nicht ein Teil der Lösung, sie ist ein Teil des Problems. Wir müssen klar erkennen, dass diese Konstrukte dazu geschaffen worden sind, Steuern zu vermeiden. Nur deswegen gibt es sie, die wir dort ausfindig machen können, die in der Tat – wie das Haus sich einig ist – die Menschen betrügen, die anständig Steuern bezahlen. Deswegen müssen wir ein bisschen härter zur Sache gehen. Es reicht nicht nur zu wähnen, dass vielleicht Steuerbetrug und Steuervermeidung in Rede stehen. Nein, wir müssen dieses Schweigekartell zerschlagen. Es ist ein Schweigekartell der Unternehmen, die begünstigt werden. Es ist ein Schweigekartell der Superreichen, die Steuern hinterziehen. Aber es ist auch ein Schweigekartell der Finanzbürokratien, mit dem wir endgültig Schluss machen müssen.

Herr Moscovici, Sie haben die Unterstützung des ganzen Hauses. Es muss dringend dafür gesorgt werden, dass der Kampf gegen Steuervermeidung ein europaweiter, ein globaler Kampf wird. Nur das schafft Gerechtigkeit.

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR). – System rajów podatkowych nie mógłby osiągnąć takich rozmiarów, gdyby nie było na to przynajmniej cichego przyzwolenia polityków, w tym polityków europejskich. Na rajach nie zarabia się przecież tylko w rajach. Ktoś te wszystkie konstrukcje musi zorganizować, nadzorować przepływ pieniędzy i ktoś musiał dbać, żeby całość była „zgodna” z prawem. Tacy ludzie nie siedzą na bermudzkich plażach, lecz raczej w stolicach europejskich. Także w Brukseli. Przypomnijmy sobie LuxLeaks i przypadek słynnej Steelie Neelie – komisarz Unii Europejskiej.

Problem rajów podatkowych da się rozwiązać tylko na poziomie globalnym, dlatego też jest konieczna umowa w tej sprawie na tym poziomie, a nie tylko w ramach Europy. Albowiem płacenie podatków nie może być obowiązkiem, od którego obowiązuje immunitet dla najbogatszych oraz korporacji globalnych.

Chciałbym przy tym zaznaczyć, że mój kraj, Polska, jest od dwóch lat europejskim liderem w redukowaniu luki w podatku VAT, a także jednym z pierwszych państw, które regularnie podnosi problem rajów podatkowych na spotkaniach unijnych ministrów finansów.

 
  
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  Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz (ALDE). – Señora presidenta, el señor Moscovici lo define bien: prácticas sistemáticas mundiales y organizadas en un circuito organizado. Y dice que los ciudadanos no entenderían nuestra pasividad. Somos demasiado indulgentes; es que ya no lo entienden. Con cada nuevo escándalo conocemos nuevos nombres. Da igual la ideología. Tenemos de izquierdas, de derechas, de un país, de otro... Ahora se nos ha sumado un presidente del Fútbol Club Barcelona; un secesionista catalán, el exalcalde de Barcelona...

Da igual: todas las élites mundiales, las redes criminales están en este negocio. Y solo tenemos una parte pequeña del puzle, y el problema, la incómoda cuestión es que los Estados miembros, obsesionados con sus competencias, no pueden hacer frente a una evasión globalizada en un mundo globalizado desde el punto de vista financiero y económico.

Por tanto, señor Moscovici, estamos echando agua al mar. Si no cambiamos el paradigma, no va a funcionar. Y no podemos ser indulgentes. Y, además, ustedes en la Comisión no tienen recursos para ver si se implementan bien o no las normas. El problema está en que el crimen es globalizado y los Estados no pueden actuar solos. Y esta es la terrible y miserable realidad.

 
  
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  Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, I fully support this Parliament forming a new committee to examine revelations in the Paradise Papers. Issues of corporate tax avoidance and evasion are now so prevalent that we need a permanent committee for investigations. It is also time for the UN to convene a global summit in response to this latest leak in order to deal decisively and at a global level with financial secrecy.

The Paradise Papers revealed that the world’s richest corporation, Apple, went shopping for a new offshore jurisdiction after the role its Irish subsidiaries were playing in tax avoidance was exposed. The Apple leak shows that Apple settled on Jersey, but it also highlights the role that the Irish Government played in helping Apple set up its new tax avoidance structure. In 2014, the Irish Government claimed it was abolishing the notorious ‘double Irish’ but not only did they provide an absurdly long phase-out period, they also created a grace period that allowed new companies to be established which could then use the double Irish until 2020.

The Paradise Papers show Apple took full advantage of this move to set up the ‘double Irish’ structure in Jersey. How many more billions in profit will this scheme allow Apple to avoid paying in tax over this period? Apple has repeatedly shown its contempt for ordinary taxpayers by using every trick in the book to avoid paying its fair share of tax, and yet this is the company that the Irish Government is desperately trying to avoid collecting unpaid taxes from. If we in Ireland are to garner any credibility on these matters, then our government needs to stop wasting millions of our money on its appeal and act now to collect the taxes that the Irish people are owed.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Während wir hier diskutieren, diskutieren wir an dem Tag, an dem wir eigentlich im abschließenden Trilog die Reform der Geldwäscherichtlinie beschließen wollten. Vor einem Jahr ist das von der Kommission mit den Panama Papers auf den Weg gebracht worden. Das Parlament hat eine starke Position, um Konsequenzen aus den Panama Papers zu ziehen.

Was passiert heute? Der Rat, die Ratspräsidentschaft, hat nicht mal ein Mandat bekommen, um mit dem Parlament heute einen schlechten Kompromiss zu schließen, geschweige denn ernsthafte Konsequenzen zu ziehen. Der heutige Trilog wird scheitern – genau wie viele andere Vorschläge von Herrn Moscovici derzeit auf Eis liegen –, weil der Rat und wichtige Mitgliedstaaten nicht bereit sind, ernsthafte Schritte gegen Steuervermeidung und Geldwäsche auf den Weg zu bringen.

Die Frage ist deshalb: Wann ändern Sie diese Linie im Rat? Wann ändern die Mitgliedstaaten diese Linie? Und für uns hier im Parlament ist die Frage: Wann hören wir auf, uns nur darüber zu beklagen, sondern sind bereit, unsere Machtmittel zu nutzen, um den Rat und die Mitgliedstaaten zu zwingen, damit diese Blockade gegen die Steuergerechtigkeit endlich aufhört? Daran misst sich, ob wir ernsthaft sind hier im Parlament.

Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Wir Grünen sind bereit, ernsthaft mit Ihnen zusammen auch Maßnahmen gegen den Rat und die Mitgliedstaaten hier einzuleiten – im Interesse Europas.

(Der Redner ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ gemäß Artikel 162 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
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  David Coburn (EFDD), blue-card question. – Mr Giegold, in the UK jurisdiction, company directors have a duty to minimise taxation for the benefit of their shareholders. It is their duty. No one in their right mind wants to pay more tax than is correctly demanded, especially since governments, especially the European Union, squander taxpayers’ hard-earned money. The question is: do you agree with me, Mr Giegold, that governments squander money?

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Sven Giegold (Verts/ALE), blue-card answer. – The key question here, Mr Coburn, is the following: the UK and its related offshore territories are offering their sovereignty to the dirty money of the world with zero tax rates. Now, in the proceedings of Brexit, we have the chance to tell the UK very clearly: if you want to get good business with us, you must change this stealing of taxpayers’ money, which has been going on so far and which your Government was able to protect inside the EU. In the future this deep dirty business will be over, Mr Coburn.

 
  
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  Marco Valli (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, per un'altra volta uno scandalo fiscale incredibile, dove si scopre che, in modo totalmente legale, più di 100 multinazionali, 120 politici, manager e celebrità non hanno pagato le tasse, mentre ci troviamo in delle situazioni, nei nostri paesi dell'Unione europea, dove i cittadini e le imprese ordinarie sono schiacciati continuamente da una pressione fiscale incredibile.

Questo è un senso di ingiustizia che i cittadini sentono e quello che percepiscono è che la politica non riesce a reagire proprio perché è collusa, proprio perché sono coinvolte le persone più influenti al mondo. Mi chiedo, per quanto rispetti il Commissario Moscovici e il lavoro che sta facendo, dove diavolo è il Presidente Juncker, la persona che ha guidato il Granducato del Lussemburgo per vent'anni e che ha fatto dell'elusione fiscale un metodo per arricchire il proprio paese. Dove diavolo è? Perché rappresenta lui, oggi, l'istituzione della Commissione europea e su questi temi dovrebbe metterci la faccia.

Io sono stato in Lussemburgo: hanno un sacco di belle aziende con tantissimi citofoni, tantissime caselle postali e pochissime persone che ci lavorano dentro. Questo cosa significa? Che è un sistema all'interno dell'Unione europea, in un paese fondante, che molto spesso fa la morale a noi paesi del Sud sulle riforme da applicare, che non applica la riforma più importante che dovrebbe fare, ovvero quella di eliminare questo sistema schifoso di elusione fiscale, perché si tratta di interessi di migliaia di miliardi e sono coinvolti tutti, ripeto, politici, grandi aziende, manager e personaggi famosi. Riportiamo giustizia a partire dai paesi fondanti dell'Unione europea.

 
  
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  Bernard Monot (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, depuis la fin des frontières nationales et en l’absence de régulations sérieuses, l’Union européenne fédéraliste et ultralibérale est le coresponsable direct de l’évasion fiscale des multinationales.

Que ce soit la fraude à la TVA ou l’optimisation fiscale abusive des impôts sur les sociétés, les préjudices budgétaires pour les États sont immenses. Le coût pour la France est de plus de 80 milliards d’euros par an depuis deux décennies.

À cause de la complicité active de certains États membres, les grandes entreprises numériques américaines, comme Apple, parviennent en toute légalité à payer un impôt effectif sur leurs bénéfices européens qui est proche de zéro.

Les profits réalisés dans toute l’Union européenne sont en effet réaffectés à des maisons mères, notamment en Irlande ou au Luxembourg, où ils sont soumis à une imposition insignifiante avant leur départ définitif pour les paradis fiscaux.

Il faut rendre ces pratiques de vagabondage fiscal impossibles et illégales. Malheureusement, les réformes de lutte contre l’évasion fiscale envisagées, sont bloquées par ces mêmes États membres qui vampirisent les finances publiques de leurs partenaires.

La solution politique efficace est donc que la France et les autres États victimes de l’évasion fiscale concluent d’urgence un accord intergouvernemental. Il s’agira de forcer les États membres non coopératifs à accepter que la base fiscale des multinationales soit réaffectée, pays par pays, là où l’activité et les profits sont véritablement créés.

Stoppons d’urgence, Monsieur Moscovici, cette hémorragie fiscale. Nos citoyens l’exigent.

 
  
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  Diane James (NI). – Madam President, can I say that European Union hypocrisy is alive and kicking? Mr Moscovici, you made a comment, which is that you can count on the Parliament. Can I remind you that when this Parliament had before it a vote to effectively sanction Mr Juncker and ask him to stand aside due to his alleged links with LuxLeaks, that was declined and voted against. So this Parliament cannot be counted on and you should not even state that.

A far bigger scandal that nobody has yet addressed is the issue of the big German and French corporates who own, for instance, UK water, energy, waste collection companies, and they make full use all of the so-called tax avoidance and tax evasion mechanisms which this Chamber and this Parliament finds so unacceptable. Can I suggest that your investigation widens and includes the big German and French corporates?

 
  
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  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). –Madam President, we have not yet completely finished our work in the Committee of Inquiry into Money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion (PANA) and yet we have another scandal surfacing. This gives an idea of the scope and extent of tax evasion and tax avoidance by big multinational companies and wealthy individuals. One could say

"déjà vu, déjà entendu"

Most of the cases uncovered in the Paradise Papers seem to be legal from a purely legalistic point of view, although they are not in accordance with the spirit of law. But what does ‘legal’ mean? Is it legal for Apple, a company, simply not to pay a single euro of taxes on 120-something billion US dollars when small and medium-sized companies in Europe have to pay 20% or 30% in corporate tax every year? How come it is possible that this is legal? If this is legal then the law is imperfect and the laws have to be changed. Apart from that, we have to remember that these practices are unfair and deeply immoral. They undermine the trust and confidence of our citizens in state institutions. This has to stop.

Commissioner Moscovici, I very much welcome your promises and your proposals that by the end of the year you will come up with a blacklist of countries that are not cooperative jurisdictions. This is very important and this list also has to include the British dependent territories that provide a nice place for money to be hidden from taxation. Moreover, not only is the list necessary, but so are the sanctions on all those territories that do not cooperate with us and will still continue these practices. I thank the journalists for uncovering this scandal, but the main task is for tax authorities, and we have called on the Member States to increase efforts to finish and stop these unlawful practices.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue—card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Hugues Bayet (S&D), Question "carton bleu". – Madame la Présidente, j’ai écouté avec attention notre collègue Rosati, et je veux dire qu’en termes de légalité, je suis entièrement d’accord avec ce qu’il a dit.

Je me pose juste la question de savoir pourquoi, dans le cadre de la commission «Panama Papers», lui et son groupe n’ont pas soutenu toute une série d’amendements qui auraient permis de rendre toutes ces choses illégales?

Pourquoi, dans le cadre du dossier de notre collègue Rozière, sur la protection des lanceurs d’alerte, lui et son groupe, le PPE, ont-ils déposé toute une série d’amendements qui ne protègent pas les journalistes?

 
  
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  Dariusz Rosati (PPE), blue-card answer. – Mr Bayet, we have supported all the amendments and all the provisions that, in our opinion, will lead to an improvement in the whole situation. We are against tax evasion, we are against money laundering, and we are in favour of solutions that will make the whole system more efficient and more effective. However, not all the amendments submitted by you go in the same direction. That is why we have not agreed on everything but, on balance, we are in favour of a much stronger fight against tax evasion, tax avoidance and money laundering.

 
  
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  Peter Simon (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Diskussion heute Morgen hat – wie die Arbeit in den TAXE-1- und TAXE-2-Sonderermittlungsausschüssen, wie im Panama-Papers-Untersuchungsausschuss – gezeigt: Steueroasen existieren nicht nur außerhalb der Grenzen der Europäischen Union, sondern auch innerhalb. Und einzelne Staaten dieser Union haben es sich zum Geschäftsmodell gemacht, anderen Staaten die Steuern zu klauen. Das führt genau zu dem Problem, das heute Morgen beschrieben wurde, dass nämlich die Mitgliedstaaten selbst nicht richtig voranschreiten, der Wille nicht da ist, um hier entschieden gegen Steuervermeidung und Geldwäsche vorzugehen.

Deswegen ist es unsere Aufgabe als Parlament, hier den Gegenpol zu setzen, gemeinsam mit der Europäischen Kommission den Kampf gegen Steuervermeidung und Geldwäsche aufzugreifen. Wir haben gezeigt, dass unser Druck hier im Haus einiges bewirken kann, Mitgliedstaaten zum Agieren bringen kann. Deswegen muss die Konsequenz aus den Paradise Papers für unsere Arbeit sein: jetzt erst recht! Wenn wir wirklich Steuervermeider aus dem Steuerparadies vertreiben wollen, dann müssen wir jetzt gemeinsam mit der Europäischen Kommission die Mitgliedstaaten vor uns hertreiben – parteiübergreifend – und zeigen, dass es diesem Parlament ernst ist mit dem Kampf gegen Steuervermeidung und Geldwäsche.

 
  
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  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR). – Arvoisa puhemies, PANA-tutkintavaliokunnan työssä olemme usein muistuttaneet, kuinka Mossack Fonseca on lopulta vain yksi toimija veroparatiisiyhtiöiden markkinoilla eikä edes suurimpia sellaisia. Paratiisin paperit ja sen kautta vuotaneet Appleby-lakitoimiston tiedot ovat erinomainen muistutus tästä asiasta. Samalla tietovuoto alleviivaa sitä, miten tärkeää on nyt jatkaa PANAssa aloitettua työtä porsaanreikien tilkitsemiseksi. PANAn toiminnassa esiin tulleet hankaluudet tietojen saannissa korostavat entisestään sitä, että asiaa ei voi jättää yksin komission, neuvoston ja jäsenmaiden harteille. Nyt on äärimmäisen tärkeää edistää edelleen avoimia omistajarekistereitä, automaattisen verotietojen vaihdon aukkokohtien tilkitsemistä sekä avointa maakohtaista veroraportointia. Lisäksi paratiisin papereita perkaamalla löytyy varmasti myös uusia porsaanreikiä, jotka odottavat tilkitsemistä.

 

 
  
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  Morten Løkkegaard (ALDE). – Fru formand! Ja, det er et forstemmende billede, der tegner sig i disse tider, ikke bare af grådige velhavere med skatteadresse på eksotiske østater, men også af multinationale giganter, der unddrager sig deres ansvar med hensyn til skattebetaling, og tilmed også europæiske lande, der konkurrerer med hinanden i en ødelæggende cirkel. Det er selvfølgelig ikke i orden! Det skal vi ikke acceptere. Jeg vil gerne appellere til, at man tænker over, at der ikke findes nogle nemme løsninger på dette problem, selv om man ud fra debatten godt kunne få det indtryk, fordi den langt hen ad vejen er styret af forargelse og vrede. Løsningen er derfor heller ikke, at vi fastsætter skattesatserne her i EU-systemet. Det er de enkelte medlemsstater, der er og bliver bedst til det: Hvordan man sikrer sine egne borgeres interesser, og hvor meget skatteopkrævning, det kræver. Men noget skal der selvfølgelig gøres, og her er det godt at få sortlistet disse skattely, at få et naming and shaming-princip, som udstiller lande med moralsk fallerede skattevilkår. Denne liste skal selvfølgelig bruges aktivt! Den skal have afgørende betydning for, om et land f.eks. skal have støttekroner fra EU. Det skal have konsekvens at underminere EU’s medlemslande, også for medlemslandene selv. Der skal ryddes op i dette morads, og der for støtter vi de planer, der er.

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL). – Muito foi dito sobre mais este escândalo fiscal: muitos dados, muitos lamentos, muitas promessas, num discurso que se repete, escândalo após escândalo. Para nós, este episódio dos “Paradise Papers” confirma o carácter sistémico da evasão fiscal, tal como sempre denunciámos, e confirma também a total inoperância das instituições da União Europeia em lutar contra esta tragédia.

Oiço muitos de vós verberar contra os governos, omitindo que estes governos representam os partidos que estão aqui representados e que, naturalmente, criticam aquilo que é justamente criticável. E eu pergunto, mas afinal quais são os interesses que estão protegidos por estes governos e por estes partidos que representam também aqui a maioria? Como explicar então que os paraísos fiscais, que são anões políticos económicos, possam impor a sua lei aos países mais fortes? Porque esta é a contradição fundamental, uma contradição que decorre da política neoliberal que nos é imposta pela União Europeia e que leva os poderes públicos a serem meros representantes dos interesses financeiros da União Europeia e do Mundo.

 
  
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  Eva Joly (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, «Panama Papers» hier, «Paradise Papers» aujourd’hui. Combien de millions de documents faudra-t-il encore pour que les gouvernements prennent la mesure de l’enjeu? Combien de milliards d’euros laissera-t-on être détournés de nos finances publiques, de nos écoles et de nos hôpitaux?

Les scandales à répétition imposent une réaction politique. La responsabilité des États membres, c’est d’adopter une liste européenne des paradis fiscaux crédible. Il serait insupportable de ne voir que quelques pays y figurer alors que les «Paradise Papers» ont fait la lumière sur un système d’évasion fiscale impliquant un trop grand nombre de pays, y compris au sein de notre Union. Surtout, cette liste doit être accompagnée de sanctions efficaces dénonçant les accords fiscaux conclus avec chaque pays figurant sur cette liste. L’effet serait redoutable. Nous pourrions enfin taxer les profits qui partent en vacances fiscales.

Nous ne sommes pas condamnés à nous faire voler éternellement nos finances publiques. Nous connaissons les solutions pour combattre l’évasion fiscale. Seul le courage fait défaut.

 
  
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  Patrick O'Flynn (EFDD). – Madam President, hard-pressed citizens across Europe are rightly enraged that a wealthy global elite pays so little tax, when they pay so much. Today we are debating the Paradise Papers, three years ago it was the LuxLeaks. I am afraid the EU’s record on this issue is shameful.

Remember, it was an EU directive in the 1980s that let multinational companies pay tax in any European headquarters country rather than where their revenues and profits were really made. Remember, tougher action has been taken against the LuxLeaks whistle-blowers, than against the accountants, corporate executives or politicians involved. Remember that the Commission’s own President, Mr Juncker, was Prime Minister of Luxembourg when his country was conniving with big accountancy firms to erode the tax bases of larger EU economies. In the EU, larger member countries will always be vulnerable to smaller ones acting as tax havens. British voters will surely think, yet again: thank goodness we are leaving.

 
  
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  Mario Borghezio (ENF). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, esplodono a ritmo continuo gli scandali sull'evasione fiscale e sulle attività illecite che, per quanto riguarda l'Italia, è emerso addirittura che coinvolgono anche elementi legati alla mafia. E voi vorreste farci credere che questa Commissione europea, presieduta dal signor Junker, vorrebbe lottare contro i paradisi fiscali di cui, almeno per il Lussemburgo, il signor Juncker è, direi, un acclarato protettore.

Non siete credibili perché le sue proposte, caro signor Moscovici, sono fuffa. Lei non propone niente di incisivo nella lotta ai paradisi fiscali. Per esempio, non propone di vietare, nel territorio dell'Unione europea, l'attività di quelle società che ormai questi scandali hanno reso conosciutissime in tutto il mondo, la cui ragione sociale è esclusivamente di consigliare gli evasori fiscali su dove andare a depositare i loro conti correnti nei paradisi fiscali.

Questo provvedimento è semplice, non ci vuole una scienza a prenderlo. Se non volete proteggere l'evasione fiscale e l'attività dei paradisi fiscali, cominciate con provvedimenti come per esempio quello di imporre degli accordi bilaterali che impongano gli Stati membri di rispondere alle autorità fiscali e giudiziarie che chiedono notizie. Questo in molti paesi dell'Unione europea non avviene, e lei signor Moscovici lo sa molto bene.

 
  
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  Σωτήριος Ζαριανόπουλος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, LuxLeaks, Panama Papers, τώρα Paradise Papers, offshore φορολογικοί παράδεισοι, τρανταχτά ονόματα επιχειρήσεων, και πόσες ακόμα αποκαλύψεις στο μέλλον, ανάλογα με τα ανταγωνιστικά συμφέροντα που υπηρετούν και οι αποκαλυπτόμενοι αλλά και οι αποκαλύπτοντες.

Γιατί παριστάνετε ότι ταράζεστε; Υποκρίνεστε. Εσείς εδώ, Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και κυβερνήσεις, δεν νομοθετείτε προσφέροντας τα πάντα σε αυτούς για επενδύσεις και κέρδη, συντάξεις και μισθούς πείνας, εργασιακά κάτεργα; Οι παράνομες συναλλαγές είναι ψίχουλα μπροστά στις νόμιμες φοροαπαλλαγές στο κεφάλαιο, που είναι βγαλμένες από την άγρια φορολογία του λαού. Τα funds στα οποία πουλάτε δάνεια δεν φωλιάζουν στους φορολογικούς παραδείσους; Αφού δήθεν τους καταγγείλετε, δεν τους καλείτε μετά να επιστρέψουν σαν επενδυτές με νέες φοροαπαλλαγές;

Ο ψευτοκαβγάς των κομμάτων για το ποιος εμπλέκεται και ποιος αποκαλύπτει δεν κρύβει ότι τα δισεκατομμύρια γεννήθηκαν από την κοινωνική εκμετάλλευση που όλοι εξυπηρετούν. Τα δάκρυα ακροδεξιών, συντηρητικών, σοσιαλδημοκρατών και δήθεν νεοαριστερών, στυλ ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, είναι υποκρισία. Δίκαιη ανάπτυξη σε ένα άδικο σύστημα και ηθικός καπιταλισμός δεν υπάρχει. Είναι και θα είναι παράδεισος για τους λίγους και κάτεργο για τους πολλούς.

 
  
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  Markus Ferber (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und liebe Kollegen! Eigentlich kommt einem ja alles das, was wir jetzt in den Paradise Papers lesen können, wie ein Déjà-vu vor: trickreiche Steuersparmodelle, Briefkastenfirmen, zwielichtige Anwaltskanzleien, die sich auf legale, semilegale und auch illegale Praktiken im Steuerbereich spezialisiert haben.

Das kennen wir alles längst. Wir hatten zwei Sonderausschüsse, einen Untersuchungsausschuss und die Praktiken sind bekannt. Wir werden weitere Leaks haben, weil auch andere Anwaltskanzleien irgendwann mal gehackt werden. Natürlich ist es nicht besonders überraschend, dass es bei Appleby besonders die britischen Überseegebiete betrifft. Das ergibt sich aus dem Klientel, das von dieser Anwaltskanzlei auch vertreten wird.

Es geht jetzt nicht darum, auf das nächste Datenleak zu warten, sondern es geht darum, endlich zu handeln. Wir kennen die Mechanismen, und deswegen, Herr Kommissar, hoffe ich schon, dass wir die schwarze Liste für Steueroasen und Geldwäschehochburgen bekommen, damit wir an der Stelle endlich arbeiten können.

Ich möchte aber auch dafür werben, dass wir uns innerhalb der Europäischen Union mit den Fragen der Steuerschlupflöcher beschäftigen. Es kann nicht sein, dass auch innerhalb der Europäischen Union ein unfairer Steuerwettbewerb zwischen Mitgliedstaaten stattfindet. Ich kann die Mitgliedstaaten nur ermuntern, eine Vielzahl von Vorschlägen, die wir jetzt auch im Panama-Untersuchungsausschuss erarbeitet haben, aufzugreifen und umzusetzen.

Es kann ja nicht sein, dass hier Steuervergünstigungen gewährt werden, die zulasten anderer Mitgliedstaaten gehen. Ich sage schon ganz deutlich: Wer mit dem Finger auf andere Länder zeigen will, der muss sein eigenes Haus sauber aufgeräumt haben. Ansonsten ist er unglaubwürdig. Deswegen, Herr Kommissar, erwarte ich auch, dass hier entsprechende Vorschläge gemacht werden, damit wir unsere internen Probleme in der Europäischen Union endlich auch mal gelöst bekommen und nicht immer nur mit dem Finger auf andere Jurisdiktionen außerhalb der Europäischen Union zeigen.

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, vous nous avez dit que c’est un nouveau scandale mais, effectivement, est-ce vraiment une surprise? Ici, nous sommes un certain nombre à penser qu’il ne sert à rien de pousser des cris d’orfraie. Il y a une complicité des États membres et, Monsieur le Président du Conseil, la responsabilité sur vos épaules est immense. Les citoyens en ont assez de découvrir jour après jour de nouvelles listes, de nouveaux papiers. Le papier qu’ils veulent voir, c’est celui que vous devrez adopter le 5 décembre, à savoir la liste des paradis fiscaux, tels que l’Union européenne doit les considérer.

Regardons les choses en face: chacun, ici, a-t-il conscience que la liste qui est actuellement en vigueur est celle de l’OCDE ? Sur cette liste , parmi les 19 pays et territoires visés par les «Paradise Papers», un seul est considéré comme un paradis fiscal, cinq sont «largement conformes» et un «partiellement conforme»? Il y a visiblement des trous…

Lorsque j’observe que 22 pays ont déjà été considérés «sans doute sans risque» et que parmi ces pays figurent les États-Unis, alors que l’État de Delaware est manifestement un paradis fiscal, je pense que nous devons être courageux. C’est ce que les citoyens attendent de notre part.

Monsieur le Président du Conseil, la responsabilité des États membres pour cesser de se tirer une balle dans le pied est immense.

 
  
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  Arne Gericke (ECR). – Frau Präsidentin! Wenn ich mir überlege, dass ich auf diese Tasse Tee schon mehr Steuern bezahlt habe als ein internationaler Sportkonzern auf seinen gesamten Umsatz, dann koche ich. Und das ist kein Einzelfall: Von der Queen bis Facebook, von George Soros bis Uber, von Shakira bis eBay – sie alle werden in den Paradise Papers genannt. Über 60 Mrd. EUR jährlich entgehen der EU, etwa ein Fünftel aller Unternehmenssteuern. Das kann doch nicht wahr sein!

Anders als bei den Panama Papers ist bei den Paradise Papers nahezu alles ganz legal. Legale Steuertricks? Jetzt reicht’s! Wie lange wollen Regierungen noch warten und solch fiese grenzübergreifende Tricks der Konzerne und Superreichen zu Lasten von Mittelstand und bravem Steuerzahler dulden? Mein Appell: Palavern wir nicht übers paradise, der Tunnel der Steuerflucht beginnt bereits auf Malta, in Holland, Irland und auf der kleinen Isle of Man. Es liegt an der Politik, Steuersümpfe trockenzulegen und echte Steuergerechtigkeit zu schaffen. Jetzt, nicht erst zur nächsten teatime.

 
  
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  António Marinho e Pinto (ALDE). – Senhor Ministro, Senhor Comissário, a fuga aos impostos é crime, seja qual for o meio usado para atingir esse resultado. Tão criminosas são as condutas daqueles que, para conseguirem vantagens ilegais, usam as vias que a lei proibiu, como as daqueles outros que, para atingir o mesmo resultado, utilizam caminhos diferentes dos que a lei previra e proibira.

A fuga aos impostos é também moralmente repugnante, não só porque se privam os Estados de meios relevantes para a realização das suas funções sociais, mas sobretudo porque tal prática é levada a cabo por empresas muito lucrativas e por pessoas muito ricas, algumas das quais são apresentadas mesmo como modelos de virtudes públicas, como agora revelam os “Paradise Papers”.

Sejamos claros, Senhor Ministro, Senhor Comissário: para que estes debates não se transformem em meras teatralizações rotineiras e sem sentido, a UE deve estabelecer rapidamente um sistema de sanções a aplicar aos países cujos sistemas financeiros são cúmplices na fuga aos impostos. Quem ajuda alguém a comer um crime não deve ficar impune.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (GUE/NGL). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, έχουμε μια προκλητική φοροδιαφυγή της παγκόσμιας ελίτ σε βάρος του 99,99% της κοινωνίας των συνεπών φορολογουμένων, των εσόδων των κρατών μελών και του κοινωνικού κράτους. Και θέτω το ερώτημα: γιατί μερικοί δημοσιογράφοι, τους οποίους πρέπει να προστατεύσουμε ενισχύοντας την προστασία των καταγγελτών, βρίσκουν περισσότερα στοιχεία από το Συμβούλιο, κύριε Maasikas, από την Κομισιόν, κύριε Moscovici, από τα κράτη μέλη; Ως πότε θα μένουμε στα λόγια και τα ευχολόγια;

Κύριε Moscovici, μετά τα Panama Papers καταθέσατε κάποιες -ανεπαρκείς κατά τη γνώμη μου- προτάσεις, οι οποίες μπλοκαρίστηκαν στο Συμβούλιο και δεν έγινε τίποτα, γιατί οι κυβερνήσεις της Γερμανίας και της Ολλανδίας, μαζί με άλλες, τις μπλοκάρανε και αυτές.

Άρα πρέπει να πάμε σε πράξεις. Δίκαιο σύστημα φορολογίας, κύριε Moscovici, σημαίνει τα κέρδη να φορολογούνται εκεί που παράγονται, και όχι με μηδενικούς συντελεστές σε φορολογικούς παραδείσους. Μαύρη λίστα για τους φορολογικούς παραδείσους· αύριο, στις αρχές Δεκεμβρίου, φορολογική εναρμόνιση και διεθνής συνεργασία και αυστηρές κυρώσεις.

Επιτέλους, βαρεθήκαμε τα λόγια, θέλουμε αποτέλεσμα.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, another day, another leak of embarrassing documents about the role of the City of London as the global centre for tax avoidance. Successive British Governments have postured about leading on transparency but it is easy to play the good guy when you have so many post-colonial territories to do the dirty work at your bidding. The Paradise Papers also reveal the link between leading Brexiteers, including Tory donor Lord Ashcroft and Jacob Rees-Mogg, and these palm-fringed islands with their thousands of secret trusts and letterbox companies.

Avoiding civilized rules on tax was always part of the Brexit agenda but any attempt to turn Britain into the Bermuda of the North is likely to flounder since the EU will surely make cleaning up the overseas territories a condition for any future trade deal. So, I am hopeful that UK citizens may continue to benefit from green changes to EU laws on tax, including the abolition of the sort of blind trust that was Appleby’s speciality, as well as country-by-country reporting by corporations.

 
  
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  Marco Zanni (ENF). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, i Paradise Papers dimostrano ancora una volta quale sia la vera essenza dell'Unione europea. Questa è la patria del dumping, del dumping salariale fatto attraverso la moneta unica, del dumping fiscale fatto attraverso queste politiche di alcuni Stati membri che esprimono anche rappresentanti ad alto livello all'interno dell'Unione europea. È la patria del tutti contro tutti, del mors tua vita mea e delle politiche "beggar-thy-neighbor".

La soluzione non può essere l'Unione europea, perché l'Unione europea è il problema. Non c'è coraggio nell'affrontare queste tematiche, gli Stati membri continuano a vivere e a ingrassarsi facendo danno ad altri e non esiste alcuna solidarietà. Io vorrei vedere se l'Unione europea sarà in grado di inserire in una lista di paesi non collaborativi paesi come il Lussemburgo di Juncker, come l'Olanda di Dijsselbloem, come l'Irlanda e come altri paesi, come gli Stati Uniti, che sono di fatto dei paradisi fiscali. Ci vuole più coraggio. La soluzione non può essere l'UE.

 
  
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  Alain Lamassoure (PPE). – Madame le Président, des «LuxLeaks» aux «Paradise Papers», les scandales qui ont ému l’opinion ont montré que nous avions désormais deux devoirs au sein de la famille européenne.

D’abord un devoir moral: mettre fin une fois pour toutes aux pratiques par lesquelles certains membres de la famille ont volé le potentiel fiscal de leurs voisins.

Attirer les talents ou les investisseurs par des taux bas, publiquement affichés et pratiqués, cela relève d’une concurrence fiscale normale.

En revanche, autoriser, encourager, faciliter et finalement organiser des montages qui suppriment de fait tout impôt, c’est un outrage, un outrage contre l’égalité entre les contribuables au sein d’un même pays et un outrage contre la solidarité européenne. Ce sont nos valeurs fondatrices communes qui sont bafouées.

Ensuite, nous avons un devoir économique, nous offrons à nos entreprises, un espace unique commercial, réglementaire, monétaire. Nous achevons de construire, Monsieur le Commissaire, l’espace unique bancaire et financier, nous leur devons aussi un espace fiscal européen. Il est temps d’abolir les cloisons qui fragmentent le grand marché en 28 espaces fiscaux différents. Les PME en sont les premières victimes.

Le projet AXIS, présenté par la Commission, est la réponse commune à ces deux devoirs. Le Parlement propose de l’enrichir, en posant les bases d’une imposition des plateformes numériques.

Pour une fois, l’Union a un temps d’avance sur l’OCDE et sur le Congrès des États-Unis. Nous avons l’opportunité rare d’être les pionniers et donc la première référence mondiale pour la mise en œuvre d’une politique majeure adaptée aux besoins du 21e siècle.

 
  
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  Jeppe Kofod (S&D). – Madam President, the Paradise Papers, the Panama Papers, LuxLeaks and so on are not just scandals: they are the melting ice cap of our economic system. They are the financial climate change that threatens to drown Europe’s welfare states and fundamental fairness in our societies, and we must not and cannot allow this to go on in secret. The Paradise Papers have exposed a corrupt global elite of companies and individuals who, through tax havens, write their own tax laws, their own tax rates, as a result of a sick and greedy form of capitalism that has been allowed to run amok. It forces countries into a never-ending race to the bottom on tax rates and, sadly, we know that some Member State governments contribute to this by stalling and diluting new anti—tax evasion initiatives. They do so because the Council and the Code of Conduct Group operates on the principle of unanimity and also confidentiality. This secrecy allows the global elite to deposit their fortunes in tax havens and leaves ordinary citizens to pay the bill.

This must change. We urgently need reform of the Council and its secretive way of working on this issue. The people of Europe need to see transparency, and we in the S&D Group also call for a full public investigation into this new scandal. We urge all other groups to join us in a special committee to look into the Paradise Papers and put the spotlight on what is going on.

 
  
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  Marisa Matias (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, Offshore Leaks, Lux Leaks, Swiss Leaks, Panama Papers e agora Paradise Papers: esta é apenas uma ponta do iceberg.

De escândalo em escândalo, chega agora a vez de cerca de 120 políticos e líderes mundiais. Os que reclamam mais austeridade e mais sacrifícios para os pobres são os mesmos que vão drenando os cofres do Estado com as suas fugas fiscais.

Até quando é que vamos continuar a defender que estes acordos, que beneficiam 0,1 % dos mais ricos, são legais quando põem em causa uma das estruturas mais basilares da democracia que é a justiça fiscal? Está tudo documentado. A União Europeia tem os dados e as conclusões sobre a evasão fiscal, mas continuamos de comissão especial em comissão especial e até hoje os únicos condenados foram os que prestaram um serviço público e denunciaram as situações escandalosas.

Na verdade, o que nos falta mesmo é uma comissão especial sobre os “falta de vergonha papers”.

 
  
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  Judith Sargentini (Verts/ALE). – Als rapporteur voor de wet tegen het witwassen heb ik slecht nieuws. Vanmiddag vindt de achtste onderhandelingsronde plaats met de lidstaten en het had de laatste ronde moeten zijn, maar dat is het niet. De Paradise Papers tonen opnieuw aan dat bedrijven, criminelen en puissant rijke mensen allerlei constructies gebruiken om maar ongezien te blijven voor onze belastingdiensten.

Daar kunnen wij wat aan doen door zonlicht te laten schijnen in alle donkere hoekjes. Wij willen dat eigenaars van bedrijven en trusts vindbaar zijn in openbare registers, maar de lidstaten willen niet met ons onderhandelen. Zij hebben geen mandaat voor vanmiddag.

Ik kan eigenlijk alleen maar concluderen dat er verschillende hoofdsteden zijn die blij zijn met die donkere hoekjes en die graag de boel houden zoals het is, en dat is een schande. Voor LuxLeaks, PanamaLeaks, Paradise Papers en we doen niets.

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, a União Europeia tem de repudiar todos os paraísos fiscais que existam para lavar dinheiro, ocultar lucros ilícitos, auxiliar no produto de crimes. Deve repudiá-los dentro e fora, sem dúvidas nem estados de alma.

Uma lista negra, uma verdadeira lista negra, é fundamental. Significa uma lista negra que seja exaustiva e não uma lista negra que seja minimalista. Condenar em discursos o que se permite na prática é simplesmente uma hipocrisia. Ainda assim, sublinhe-se que paraísos fiscais são uma coisa diferente de regimes fiscais mais favoráveis, que existem, e bem, para ajudar as regiões mais desfavorecidas, desde logo as regiões ultraperiféricas, que não dispõem dos mesmos instrumentos capazes de gerar receita, riqueza e emprego que muitos países, felizmente para esses países, possuem.

Na União Europeia não são permitidos, não são aceitáveis paraísos fiscais. O problema não está na União Europeia, certamente, na lei. Estará eventualmente e casuisticamente na fiscalização. Se na União Europeia a lei for, em algum caso ou em algum momento, incumprida, então fiscalize-se e atue-se, não se transforme, é o que em muitos casos acontece na União Europeia, na pouca-vergonha que existe em muitos outros lados do mundo.

Finalmente, uma palavra sobre esta comissão de inquérito que foi útil, mas foi insuficiente. Demonstrou que está aquém, que tem muito menos instrumentos do que muitas das comissões de inquérito nacionais. Houve muitas pessoas, muitas entidades que recusaram entregar documentos, que negaram depoimentos, quando podiam ajudar à descoberta da verdade, muitos que foram governantes, sublinhe-se e assinale-se.

(O orador aceita responder a uma pergunta formulada ao abrigo do procedimento "cartão azul" (artigo 162.º, n.º 8, do Regimento))

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D), Pergunta segundo o procedimento "cartão azul". – O Sr. Deputado Nuno Melo está a referir-se, quando fala das regiões ultraperiféricas com regimes especiais, à Madeira? Quer aceitar que esse tipo de raciocínio que nos invoca é o que justifica que países como, por exemplo, Malta, Luxemburgo e outros, na própria União Europeia, continuem efetivamente a ser verdadeiros paraísos fiscais?

 
  
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  Nuno Melo (PPE), Resposta segundo o procedimento "cartão azul". – Dra. Ana Gomes, eu não falei na Madeira. A Sra. Dra. vive obcecada com a Madeira. E o que lhe quero dizer é o seguinte: comparar a Madeira ao Panamá é uma obscenidade, é uma vergonha, e não é por razão de patriotismo. A Sra. Dra. fá-lo e faz muito mal. Como sabe, inclusivamente no seu próprio partido, não a acompanham. Por alguma razão será. A Madeira não é o Panamá, felizmente. A Madeira é uma região ultraperiférica e possa a Madeira continuar a beneficiar da solidariedade da União Europeia que é assim que é suposto.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Direitos humanos, justiça social, contrato democrático espezinhados por governos, políticos e profissionais capturados pela indústria da evasão, fraude, dita de planeamento fiscal. É o que os “Paradise Papers” vêm mais uma vez expor.

O trabalho legislativo neste Parlamento para tornar ilegais práticas ditas legais é bloqueado pelos Estados-Membros como aqueles que eu referi há pouco, no Conselho, que servem os interesses dos invasores fiscais e dos branqueadores de capitais.

Precisamos de harmonização e transparência fiscal na União Europeia, da lista de países não cooperantes com sanções dissuasoras, precisamos de sancionar os infratores que recusam revelar os esquemas às autoridades tributárias. Por exemplo, no meu país, Portugal, advogados estão neste momento a mobilizar-se desavergonhadamente, recusando cumprir esta obrigação no quadro da quarta diretiva antibranqueamento de capitais. Precisamos fundamentalmente de acesso público aos registos de beneficiários efetivos de empresas e de trusts estabelecidos na União Europeia ou que operam economicamente na União Europeia! Mas uma proposta neste sentido, aprovada por este Parlamento, após sete meses de negociações sobre a quinta diretiva antibranqueamento de capitais, continua vergonhosamente bloqueada no Conselho.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, another major leak, another impressive work of journalistic research, more light on the turbulent world of tax evasion and avoidance and more outrage among ordinary people, who see how the richest move their money wherever it best suits their greed. Everything that big fortunes and large multinationals save in taxes must be offset by higher fiscal pressure on lower-income households. If the choice is for less taxes, then public spending has to fall, so that a privileged minority wins and an immense minority loses.

According to recent studies, the income EU countries lose to tax havens amounts to the equivalent of about half of public spending on higher education. How many more papers and leaks: Panama, Paradise, Lux, football – you name it – do we need in order to take action? I call on the Members of this Parliament to vote for the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) report and its recommendations during the final vote in December and to set up an inquiry committee in this House.

 
  
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  Tom Vandenkendelaere (PPE). – Belastingontduiking is strafbaar, belastingontwijking is dat niet. In principe heeft iedereen het recht om zo weinig mogelijk belastingen te betalen, zolang men binnen de krijtlijnen van de wetgeving blijft. En misschien moeten we inderdaad daarom de wetgeving aanpassen zoals u voorstelt, mijnheer de commissaris. Maar de kern van het probleem is dat, hoewel elk individu en elk bedrijf dezelfde rechten heeft, ze niet beschikken over dezelfde mogelijkheden. Een kmo bij mij in West-Vlaanderen kan de diensten van Appleby niet betalen. Dat is wat ik noem klassenfiscaliteit.

Sommigen vinden dat de superrijken en de multinationals het recht moeten behouden om door de mazen van het net te blijven glippen omdat die winst toch "doordruppelt" naar de gewone man, omdat dat geld toch terecht komt. Maar dat is achterhaald, de feiten bewijzen dat.

We moeten de politieke keuze maken voor een fiscale rechtvaardigheid en als we zo'n keuze maken, dan moeten we dat allemaal samen doen. Maar daarvoor moet iedereen ook mee het bad in, alle Europese lidstaten. Ik was echt verbijsterd toen ik dit weekend de Nederlandse premier Rutte hoorde aankondigen dat de dividendbelasting afgeschaft zou worden. In één adem voegde hij eraan toe dat Nederland niet wilde eindigen zoals België, ik citeer: "een economische woestijn die slechts één multinational over heeft."

De denkfout daarin is dat dit een soevereine beslissing is van één lidstaat. Dat is natuurlijk niet het geval. Het is kortetermijndenken. Het is blind meestappen in de logica van multinationals en die laatste zijn de enige echte winnaars. Hoe groot moet de verontwaardiging nog zijn voordat iedereen inziet dat deze klassenfiscaliteit vreet aan de fundamenten van onze samenleving?

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D). – Zelfs Bono, de held van mijn jeugd, komt in Paradise Papers voor. Zelfs Bono. We hoeven dus niet te rekenen op een morele inkeer van de rijken en de grote bedrijven op deze aarde. We zullen het zelf moeten doen, de aanpak van belastingontwijking. Dat begint ermee te erkennen dat er moderne piraten zijn die landen enteren, schatkisten plunderen buiten Europa, maar ook binnen Europa. Nederland, Malta, Luxemburg, Ierland, we weten het, maar wat doen we eraan? Het is toch onbestaanbaar dat we in Europa samenwerken en elkaar toch proberen te benaderen.

Daarom is een Europese aanpak heel hard nodig, zoals één Europese geconsolideerde winstbelasting. Daarover moet in 2018 een akkoord komen, ik onderschrijf de woorden van Pierre Moscovici volledig. "Sometimes you can't make it on your own," zingt Bono. Belastingpiraterij tegengaan kan alleen maar samen. Europa en Nederland moeten zich dat ter harte nemen.

 
  
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  Frank Engel (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, j’ai l’impression que tout le problème prend racine dans le fait que chacun de nos États membres participe à une course vaine, mais d’autant plus effrénée, pour attirer les quartiers généraux des grandes entreprises multinationales. Chaque État membre leur fait des faveurs – chaque État membre.

Ce n’est pas comme si le nombre de filiales de McDonald’s au Luxembourg engendrait des bénéfices tels que cette entreprise aurait besoin ensuite de recourir à des paradis fiscaux pour blanchir de l’argent.

Le nombre de ses filiales en Allemagne ou en France ou dans d’autres grands pays est bien plus important et étrangement, comme le disait un collègue précédemment, les autorités fiscales des États concernés ne semblent pas avoir pris ces entreprises en défaut par le passé, avant qu’elles ne transportent leurs fonds vers d’autres pays ou territoires.

Bien évidemment, ce nivellement par le bas auquel nous participons tous, pratiquement sans exception, à l’heure actuelle, est à la base du problème auquel nous sommes confrontés, à côté de l’avidité et de la cupidité de certains grands, qui n’ont rien à voir avec la réalité de vie, même pas dans les petits pays européens qui sont régulièrement épinglés comme étant des prétendus paradis fiscaux alors qu’il n’en est rien.

Les véritables paradis, comme cela a été dit par Mme Scott Cato, sont souvent vraiment des paradis. Ils dépendent de grands États, qui ont la puissance et le pouvoir de s’en servir à volonté.

Trois quarts des fonds qui transitent par la Cité de Londres chaque jour sont générés dans les dépendances de la Couronne britannique, soit dans les Caraïbes, soit dans la Manche.

Tout cela fait partie de ce débat que nous ne faisons qu’effleurer, alors qu’il s’agit d’aller au fond des choses.

 
  
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  Hugues Bayet (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, il est clair que les pratiques fiscales des plus riches et des multinationales inspirent un véritable dégoût. En défiant toute justice fiscale et sociale, ils ne font que nourrir tous les populismes. En effet, ces ultraprivilégiés privent l’immense majorité de nos concitoyens qui, eux, paient des impôts, de meilleures écoles, de meilleurs soins de santé ou encore de la création de centaines de milliers d’emplois. C’est parfaitement insupportable et il faut le marteler sans cesse.

Je pense que l’austérité, tout comme l’évasion fiscale, n’est pas une fatalité. C’est uniquement une question de volonté politique. Vous l’avez dit, la nécessité absolue d’un rapport public pays par pays pour les entreprises en est un exemple majeur. Il permettra d’apporter la transparence impérative sur leurs profits et d’imposer les bénéfices là où ils sont réalisés. L’ACCIS en est évidemment son corollaire direct et nécessaire.

La responsabilité du Conseil dans l’aboutissement rapide de cette avancée est donc aujourd’hui immense. Mais je me pose une question: combien de temps les gouvernements des États membres, et à commencer par mon gouvernement belge, vont-ils encore nager en pleine hypocrisie vis-à-vis de ces comportement honteux, qu’ils soient illégaux ou immoraux?

Monsieur le Commissaire, nous avons besoin de vous pour que les choses changent.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, depois dos “Panama Papers”, temos os “Paradise Papers”. Mais uma vez, estes dados de milhares de empresas e indivíduos mostram-nos a urgência de uma ação concertada e coordenada a nível global.

A União Europeia deve ser pioneira e, por isso, os Estados-Membros, sobre os quais recai, sobretudo, esta competência, têm o dever de agir com urgência, e também eles de forma coordenada e concertada. Nesta matéria, a partilha de soberania acaba por reforçar a justiça fiscal, a equidade e a transparência. Um passo importante é a publicação a nível europeu de uma lista negra de offshores, que está, aliás, prevista para antes do final do ano. Sem esta lista comum teremos sempre triangulações. A harmonização fiscal é também fundamental, assim como o aumento da cooperação entre as autoridades tributárias, a troca automática de informação, por exemplo. Mas harmonização fiscal não significa a harmonização de taxas.

É essencial que não se confunda também regimes fiscais mais favoráveis com offshores. O artigo 349.º do Tratado de Lisboa permite que as regiões ultraperiféricas possam ter um regime fiscal beneficiário para atrair o investimento, criar emprego, promover o desenvolvimento, uma vez que estas regiões são prejudicadas pelo afastamento e a insularidade. Este regime, ainda que tenha de ser melhorado, já provou que tem efeitos positivos no desenvolvimento das regiões.

 
  
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  Evelyn Regner (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Sehr geehrter Herr Kommissar Moscovici, ich teile Ihre Sicht. Steueroptimierer sind wie Vampire, sie scheuen das Tageslicht, sie scheuen Transparenz. Also bringen wir Licht ins Dunkel und setzen uns für mehr Transparenz ein. Deshalb fordere ich hier die Finanzminister auf, endlich die Blockade bei der öffentlichen länderweisen Berichterstattung zu beenden. Land für Land müssen Unternehmen Steuern eben dort zahlen, wo sie die Gewinne haben. Dieser Aufruf gilt vor allem für die Finanzminister des Vereinigten Königreichs, von Malta, von Luxemburg und auch von Österreich. Stellen wir uns auf die Seite der Steuerzahlerinnen und der Steuerzahler!

Wichtig auch noch: Die Kommission ist dabei, Ende November ein Paket zum Unternehmensrecht vorzulegen. Klare Regeln, klare Regeln brauchen wir, um gerade Briefkastenfirmen, dieses Unsystem von Briefkastenfirmen zu stoppen. Daher meine Aufforderung, es in diesem Zusammenhang, bei Paradise Papers, auch nicht zu ermöglichen, dass über grenzüberschreitende Spaltungen und anschließende Verschmelzungen das System von Briefkastenfirmen weiter ermöglicht wird.

 
  
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  Cătălin Sorin Ivan (S&D). – Doamna președintă, problema este că, dacă până acum câțiva ani nu aveam legi cu care să putem lupta împotriva marilor companii care își ascund profiturile sau împotriva celor bogați care nu vor să plătească taxe și impozite și folosesc tot felul de scheme financiare, acum avem aceste legi. Sigur că pot fi îmbunătățite, sigur că se poate mai mult, dar Directiva din 2015 trebuia să fie implementată în toate statele membre până în 2017, în iunie. Sunt încă state membre ale Uniunii Europene unde avem, de exemplu, firme cu acțiuni la purtător, cu acționariat ascuns, care în zece ani de zile au luat cinci sute de milioane de euro contracte din bani publici, care au luat peste o sută patruzeci de milioane de euro contracte fără licitație și sunt în Uniunea Europeană, ba mai mult accesează și fonduri europene, iar Directiva din 2015 împotriva spălării banilor nici în acest moment nu este pusă în aplicare și suntem în Uniunea Europeană și spunem că ne luptăm cu paradisurile fiscale. Nu ne luptăm, doamnă președintă.

 
  
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  Elly Schlein (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, si stimano 21 000 miliardi di dollari nei paradisi fiscali, di cui l'80 % nelle mani dello 0,1 % dei più ricchi al mondo. Ma sta cadendo il muro di omertà attorno all'offshore, i Paradise Papers confermano ciò che diciamo da tempo: evasione ed elusione fiscale hanno portata devastante e vanno combattuti a livello globale. Non basta ottenere trasparenza a livello europeo. Serve, come il Parlamento già chiedeva nel 2015, un vero organismo intergovernativo all'ONU che riscriva le regole fiscali globali, coinvolgendo i paesi in via di sviluppo che pagano il prezzo più alto. Servono registri pubblici trasparenti sui beneficiari finali di aziende e trust, scambio automatico di informazioni, una lista nera con dure sanzioni per chi opera coi paradisi, ma basata su criteri obiettivi e non politica.

Bisogna regolamentare il ruolo degli intermediari e inserire la trasparenza fiscale nei trattati commerciali, a partire poi dei negoziati per la Brexit. Ed è essenziale approvare al più presto l'obbligo di rendicontazione pubblica Stato per Stato per le multinazionali, affinché ci dicano quanti profitti fanno e quante tasse pagano in tutti gli Stati dentro e fuori dall'UE, come ha già chiesto e votato quest'Aula.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Csaba Sógor (PPE). – Elnök Asszony! Meggyőződésem, hogy az off-shore paradicsomok működése nem az államok költségvetése, vagy a politikai vezetők és híres emberek karrierje és hitelessége szempontjából okozza a legnagyobb károkat. A jelenség – amely a mai korban nem maradhat rejtve a nyilvánosság elől – a demokráciára és a szabadpiacon alapuló gazdaságra jelenti a legnagyobb veszélyt. Ha tömegek számára válik nyilvánvalóvá, hogy éppen a társadalmakat vezető elitek nem tartják be a játékszabályokat – még akkor is, ha törvényeket állítólag nem sértenek vele – az végzetes bizalomvesztéshez vezet.

Ha világossá válik, hogy a közteherviselés elve csupán jól hangzó frázis, de a vagyonos emberek és vállalatok megtalálják a kiskapukat az adófizetés elkerülésére, miközben további áldozatokat kérnek az emberektől, akkor nem kell csodálkozni a reakciókon. A politika a képviseleti demokráciákban az emberek érdekeit kell szem előtt tartsa, így nem elég a törvényekre hivatkozni, hanem fel kell számolni ezt a gyakorlatot, és el kell felejteni a képmutatást.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta. Comisario Moscovici, muchos apreciamos en este Parlamento Europeo su posición contra la evasión, el fraude y el blanqueo, pero pedimos mucho más. Pedimos que la Comisión se emplee a fondo después de LuxLeaks, Panamá y los papeles del paraíso, que son un infierno para los contribuyentes que pagan sus impuestos y quieren tener confianza en sus instituciones, y un gran sacrificio para los whistleblowers a los que puede costar la vida, como ha sucedido en Malta. Que se emplee a fondo con los Estados miembros para obtener una prohibición de la apertura de cuentas y la apertura de sociedades en paraísos fiscales, que retire la licencia a los bancos que facilitan ese tipo de operaciones manifiestamente ilegales, que prohíba que pueda producirse en la Unión Europea que las empresas que realizan operaciones en paraísos fiscales puedan licitar en concursos públicos y que se produzca una armonización de los programas fiscales que luchan contra la evasión y contra el fraude con evaluación objetiva.

Porque, de otro modo, no conseguiremos ganar esta batalla contra lo intolerable y lo inmoral de la elusión fiscal y del fraude.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η φοροδιαφυγή και η φοροαποφυγή είναι στην ημερήσια διάταξη, τόσο στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση όσο και παγκοσμίως. Οι πολυεθνικές, οι ολιγάρχες και οι διάφοροι μεγαλοσχήμονες, αξιοποιώντας την ισχύουσα νομοθεσία και τα νομοθετικά κενά, μεταφέρουν κάθε χρόνο τα κέρδη τους σε φορολογικούς παραδείσους και γλιτώνουν δισεκατομμύρια φόρων. Το φορολογικό ντάμπινγκ και ο επιθετικός φορολογικός σχεδιασμός είναι καθημερινό φαινόμενο στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Η Ολλανδία του Dijsselbloem, το Λουξεμβούργο του Juncker και η Μάλτα είναι χώρες που παρέχουν κίνητρα φοροαποφυγής στις διάφορες πολυεθνικές.

Οι αποκαλύψεις των LuxLeaks, των Panama Papers και των Paradise Papers απλά αποδεικνύουν δημόσια αυτό που είναι ευρέως γνωστό: ότι οι πλούσιοι φοροδιαφεύγουν και τα γνωστά υποζύγια, δηλαδή μισθωτοί και συνταξιούχοι, πληρώνουν φόρους.

Κύριε Moscovici, προκαλούν αγανάκτηση στον ελληνικό λαό οι αποκαλύψεις ότι τουλάχιστον 130 Έλληνες μεγαλοσχήμονες βρίσκονται στα Paradise Papers, ενώ η τρόικα και οι δανειστές καταληστεύουν τον ελληνικό λαό. Πρέπει επιτέλους οι πολυεθνικές να φορολογούνται εκεί που βγάζουν τα κέρδη τους.

 
  
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  Paloma López Bermejo (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, LuxLeaks, papeles de Panamá, papeles del paraíso, y tantos otros que no cito. ¿Cuántos escándalos fiscales más necesitamos para que la Unión Europea actúe? ¿Cuántos más para que dimitan el señor Juncker y los otros implicados en estas turbias tramas tributarias? Debemos sancionar y prohibir los movimientos de capitales hacia aquellos países y territorios donde no se pagan impuestos, donde los registros de propiedad no son públicos y los activos financieros son opacos.

Por ello, la Unión Europea debe implicarse en los foros multilaterales y en la aplicación de la legislación europea, incluida la cuarta Directiva contra el blanqueo de dinero o la propuesta de una nueva base para el impuesto de sociedades. Pero también debemos poner fin a la competencia fiscal dentro de la propia Unión Europea, con una armonización tributaria exigente y la restricción de los movimientos de dinero y activos que no responden a los flujos reales. De lo contrario, la corrupción y la desigualdad seguirán destruyendo la más que frágil democracia europea.

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, τα Paradise Papers είναι ένα σκάνδαλο φοροδιαφυγής το οποίο προστίθεται στον μακρύ κατάλογο σκανδάλων με οικονομική, αλλά πρωτίστως ηθική, διάσταση και στο οποίο εμπλέκονται πολιτικοί από πλείστες χώρες.

Δυστυχώς, είναι πλέον κανόνας ότι τα υπεράκτια κέντρα φορολογικών παραδείσων ξεπλένουν βρώμικο χρήμα, προσελκύουν εμπόρους ναρκωτικών, εγκληματίες, μεγιστάνες και πολιτικούς. Παρ’ όλες τις εξαγγελίες και τις δεσμεύσεις κυβερνήσεων, κοινοβουλίων και πολιτικών γενικότερα, τα σκάνδαλα αποτυπώνουν μία κοινωνικοπολιτική παθογένεια, χαρακτηρίζουν την πολιτική ζωή και τροφοδοτούν την κρίση μεταξύ της κοινωνίας και των πολιτικών.

Η λύση δεν βρίσκεται στην επικοινωνιακή διαχείριση των σκανδάλων ώστε να μην πληγεί η δημόσια εικόνα των ιθυνόντων. Ο μόνος τρόπος καταπολέμησης του φαινομένου είναι η νομική θεσμοθέτηση, η αυστηρότητα των ποινών και των κυρώσεων. Ας εξετάσουμε κατά περίπτωση την επιβολή αυστηρών ποινών φυλάκισης, την κατάργηση της βουλευτικής ασυλίας, τη δήμευση περιουσιών και τη στέρηση πολιτικών δικαιωμάτων. Μια τέτοια νομοθετική πρωτοβουλία θα φέρει όλους εμάς αντιμέτωπους με τις ευθύνες των πράξεών μας και θα στερήσει από τους επαγγελματίες πολιτικούς της διαπλοκής την ελευθερία της ασυδοσίας τους.

 
  
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  Romana Tomc (PPE). – Vsi smo ogorčeni, ko izvemo za kakšno novo afero, ampak te se nikakor ne končajo. In ne moremo reči, da na evropski ravni nismo naredili nič, da bi preprečili davčno utajevanje, vendar imamo očitno še zelo veliko manevrskega prostora.

Čeprav z zakonodajo lahko naredimo veliko, pa je ravno tako pomemben nadzor in sankcije in tukaj se pokaže delovanje pravne države. Če tega ni, je vse zaman. Podpiram večjo preglednost, omejitev brezpogojne davčne tajnosti in črne sezname, ampak ti seznami ne smejo biti sami sebi namen. Po mojem mnenju pa bi morali pri tej problematiki se malo več ukvarjati tudi z vzroki za davčno izogibanje.

Seveda je jasno, da kriminala ne podpiramo niti neplačevanja davkov. Če zakon omogoča, da neko podjetje sploh ne plača davka, potem to ni fer. Vendar pa bi morale biti države previdne pri oblikovanju svojih davčnih sistemov in s svojimi sistemi ne odganjati podjetja drugam.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Doamna președintă, domnule comisar, iată dezbatem de două ore un subiect extrem de important, l-am mai dezbătut. Dacă ar fi să analizez poziția Comisiei și poziția Consiliului, evident, sunt de acord cu toate propunerile domnului comisar. Aveți dreptate: trebuie să umblăm la buzunarul celor care fură bani până la urmă de la cetățeni pentru că sărăcesc bugetele naționale și oamenii suferă, dar, domnule ministru, nu am înțeles poziția Consiliului: ne-ați informat că avem un grup de conduită. Nu ajută. Trebuie să fiți fermi în Consiliu și să determinați miniștrii de finanțe și să determinați guvernele să ia măsuri, să fie pe de o parte transparent, pe de altă parte, trebuie să cooperăm cu organismele internaționale pentru că da, banii se transferă înaintea Uniunii Europene și nu putem să vorbim aici de combaterea evaziunii fiscale dacă nu vom avea acea listă neagră despre care vorbea domnul comisar, dacă nu vom avea o legislație armonizată și dacă nu vom lupta împreună, nu fiecare țară singură, ci împreună.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Gospođo predsjednice, izbjegavanje plaćanja poreza preko offshore računa nije ništa novo, tako da su Rajski dokumenti samo potvrdili da oni najbogatiji i najmoćniji uvijek nađu način da zaštitite svoje bogatstvo.

Nacionalni proračuni zbog ove prakse trpe ogromnu štetu i ostaju bez novca koji bi mogao biti upotrijebljen za dizanje kvalitete života svih stanovnika.

Koliko su krivi oni koji izbjegavaju plaćati poreze, toliko su krivi i oni koji im to dopuštaju, a to su politika i porezne ustanove.

Danas je dosta teško sakriti trag novca i stoga još više budi sumnju da je to sprega politike i utajivača poreza. Ako doista želimo pokazati da nije tako, pokrenimo se konačno i zaustavimo izvlačenje i sakrivanje novca u porezne oaze, a ako nismo spremni onda čekajmo drugi financijski leak pa ćemo opet samo pričati o tome.

 
  
  

Preşedinte: IOAN MIRCEA PAŞCU
Vicepreşedinte

 
  
  

(Încheierea procedurii „catch the eye”)

 
  
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  Pierre Moscovici, membre de la Commission. – Monsieur le Président, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, merci de ce débat politique qui a été, je crois, de grande qualité.

Ce que je constate, je n’en suis pas surpris non plus, c’est une très grande convergence de vue entre nous sur la volonté politique, mais aussi sur les mesures à adopter.

Cette alliance entre la Commission et le Parlement européen, elle est fondamentale si nous voulons poursuivre notre combat contre l’évasion fiscale, la fraude et l’optimisation fiscale agressive.

Au fond, maintenant, l’enjeu est sur la table, c’est de gagner la bataille contre l’évasion fiscale.

À ceux qui disent le contraire, je réponds tout de même que nous avons fait, oui, beaucoup de progrès ces trois dernières années et je suis impressionné par cette vraie révolution de la transparence, qui est en cours, avec tout de même une avancée historique que nous devons valoriser qu’est la fin du secret bancaire en Europe.

Mais, vous avez tous raison, ce n’est pas assez, face à un phénomène qui est systémique et planétaire.

Il nous faut donc continuer à agir avec détermination et rapidement, avec encore plus de détermination, encore plus de rapidité.

Dans 18 mois, nos concitoyens vont voter pour élire un nouveau Parlement européen et si nous ne faisons pas la preuve de changement sur ce sujet fondamental, nous perdrons tous ces élections au profit des populistes, des cyniques qui, en vérité, sont les alliés des fraudeurs.

Nous devons donc tous prendre nos responsabilités.

Tous? C’est qui? Ce sont d’abord les États membres, qui ont déjà entamé leur évolution, mais qui parfois ont encore des timidités, qui doivent aller plus loin, qui doivent accélérer leurs travaux, qui doivent conclure rapidement sur les propositions qui sont sur la table.

Je pense à l’annonce, le 5 décembre, de la liste européenne des paradis fiscaux et des sanctions dissuasives. Je pense à des règles comme la lutte contre les intermédiaires fiscaux dans les six mois. Je pense à une assiette fiscale européenne pour les sociétés d’ici un an et je pense aussi, bien sûr, au trilogue en cours sur le blanchiment d’argent.

C’est ensuite la Commission européenne qui doit prendre ses responsabilités. Croyez-le bien, cette Commission, et moi-même en tant que commissaire chargé de la fiscalité, allons poursuivre sans relâche, jusqu’au dernier jour de notre mandat, cette bataille. Il n’y aura pas d’année finale, timide sur ce terrain.

D’autres propositions viendront qui pousseront toutes à plus de transparence, plus de coopération entre administrations fiscales et, d’ici là, je continuerai à aiguillonner les États membres pour qu’ils adoptent cette liste de paradis fiscaux.

Pour qu’elle soit crédible et ambitieuse, nous coopérons bien avec l’OCDE, je veux le dire, mais nous avons une ambition supérieure, tout simplement parce que nous avons un degré d’intégration supérieur et des critères qui sont plus puissants.

La Commission sera la gardienne de cette liste, mais attention, ne négligez pas que cette liste, ce n’est pas nous qui la proposons, ce n’est pas nous qui l’élaborons, ce sont les États membres.

J’ajoute, enfin, qu’il faudra ensuite poursuivre les infractions contre les États qui ne respectent pas les règles, mais je prends ici un engagement: si la liste noire n’est pas à la hauteur, si elle n’est pas assez crédible, si elle n’est pas assez substantielle, si les sanctions ne sont pas assez dissuasives, alors, je le dirai, parce que je crois qu’il ne faut pas avoir d’hypocrisie, il faut que les choses soient extrêmement claires.

Le Parlement européen doit aussi prendre ses responsabilités, c’est-à-dire maintenir la pression, continuer à exercer son influence à travers les propositions législatives qui sont sur la table.

Je viendrai en décembre discuter, ici, le rapport PANA, je félicite ses membres, c’est un excellent rapport, je dois le dire. J’invite votre assemblée à poursuivre ce travail, quelle que soit la forme institutionnelle que vous choisirez.

Enfin, collectivement, nous devons, je crois, ouvrir deux pistes pour l’avenir.

La première ne nous rassemblera peut-être pas tous, mais je la formule tout de même, avec mes convictions personnelles. Nous devons aider les États européens et les autres, ceux qui ont fait un peu de l’évasion fiscale un business d’État, à développer un autre modèle économique et social, et je le dis pour ceux pour qui c’est un business, mais aussi pour ceux pour qui c’est encore des pratiques tolérées.

Cette révolution-là, elle ne se fera pas seule, c’est le sens même de l’action politique.

Finalement, nous devons, je le crois, décider le passage des questions fiscales à la majorité qualifiée avant les prochaines élections européennes.

Nos concitoyens – vous les rencontrez, je les rencontre – ne cessent de nous demander plus d’Europe sociale ou une véritable harmonisation fiscale, mais ne leur racontons pas d’histoires, il y aura des progrès dans l’Europe sociale, il y aura des progrès dans la transparence et la convergence fiscales, mais il n’y aura pas d’avancées décisives pour l’Europe sociale et pour l’harmonisation fiscale tant que nous resterons dans un système où la volonté d’un seul peut paralyser, bloquer, ce que tous souhaitent.

La Commission, vous le savez, son président l’a dit, ici devant vous, Mesdames et Messieurs les parlementaires européens, fera des propositions en 2018 en ce sens.

Je sais à quel point ce combat sera difficile, je sais qu’il demande du courage politique et je sais que pour cela il faudra que votre assemblée, à nos côtés, mette toute l’énergie nécessaire, mais je sais, je crois pouvoir compter presque par définition sur votre soutien majoritaire et je veux vous dire que sur tous ces sujets, eh bien, j’en aurai bien besoin.

 
  
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  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, thank you to the Commissioner and all the Members who have spoken in this in—depth and highly thorough discussion, which I have listened to with great attention.

First, there was this concrete question from Mr Giegold, who seems no longer to be in the room. I do not want to prejudge today the result of the trilogue on the Anti-Money Laundering Directive but I can reconfirm the rock-solid commitment of the Estonian Presidency to have an agreement by the end of this year on this piece of legislation.

All things need to be seen in perspective and in context. I know people do not want to hear how hard other people’s work is. Therefore I will not list again all the constraints that we have to face in the Council while working on tax matters; which include unanimity, and this, Mr Bullmann, explains my diplomatic language. You only achieve results in the EU with diplomacy. I listed the initiatives and the new regimes that have been agreed on and that have been implemented during the last couple of years and it beats all the records if you compare it in the perspective of the last couple of decades. And this work is ongoing.

At the Ecofin Ministers meeting in December, the Estonian Presidency will strive for the endorsement of a blacklist of non-cooperative third countries, as proposed by the Conduct Group. We strive for the adoption of a VAT e—commerce package and we strive for the adoption of Council conclusions on the taxation of the digital economy.

I will conclude, perhaps, with one observation of a more general kind. Some speakers here may have the impression that it is only the European Parliament that takes the moral high ground here, that it is only the European Parliament that stands for fair taxation, that stands for our citizens, and that governments indulge in hypocrisy, as if the Member States and their governments were not interested in having fair tax systems, and as if the Member States and their governments were not interested in tax revenues for their state coffers. All of us here are in the same boat and we are working towards reaching the same goals.

 
  
 

Președintele – Dezbaterea a fost închisă.

Declaraţii scrise (articolul 162)

 
  
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  Francisco Assis (S&D), por escrito. – Como ficou demonstrado mais uma vez com esta questão dos “Paradise Papers”, a evasão fiscal é um dos principais entraves ao bom e regular funcionamento das nossas economias. Urge tomar uma posição decisiva contra este problema na Europa.

É vergonhoso que muitos dos nossos concidadãos passem dificuldades económicas e enfrentem os rigores de uma economia em crise quando, ao mesmo tempo, muitas corporações e cidadãos privados escondem seu dinheiro em paraísos fiscais para evitar o pagamento de impostos que serviriam para equilibrar as contas de diversos Estados—Membros.

Os socialistas sempre estiveram na linha da frente do combate a este e outros tipos de evasão fiscal. O Parlamento e a Comissão já tomaram posições que ajudam a combater este flagelo. Do que está à espera o Conselho?

 
  
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  José Blanco López (S&D), por escrito. – Las filtraciones conocidas como «Papeles del Paraíso» han vuelto a poner de relieve el escandaloso fenómeno de la evasión y la elusión fiscal, mediante la ocultación del patrimonio de los más ricos en sociedades pantalla sin actividad económica real, ubicados en jurisdicciones donde no cumplen en la práctica con los estándares de intercambio automático de información entre administraciones tributarias o en los que los no residentes están exentos de tributación. Estas revelaciones, que se suman a las de los «Papeles de Panamá», obligan a que la Comisión publique cuanto antes la lista europea de paraísos fiscales, habida cuenta de que la lista de la OCDE no se ajusta a las prácticas reales de muchos Estados, los cuales logran no ser clasificados nominalmente como tales. Asimismo, reclamamos a los Estados miembros que prohíban la apertura de cuentas bancarias por no residentes que no realizan actividades comerciales en los Estados incluidos en la futura lista de la Unión Europea, ya que la finalidad de la misma no puede ser otra que la elusión fiscal. Los socialistas españoles reiteramos que la lucha sin cuartel contra la gran injusticia social que supone el fraude fiscal es una prioridad absoluta de nuestra acción política.

 
  
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  Laura Ferrara (EFDD), per iscritto. – Non è più una novità la divulgazione di nuovi documenti che provano, per l'ennesima volta, come sia facile per una facoltosa élite mondiale nascondere le proprie immense fortune al fisco. I comuni cittadini, stretti sempre più dalla morsa della pressione fiscale, percepiscono che chi li governa non ha la volontà politica di contrastare adeguatamente sistemi e luoghi che consentono la fuga di ricchezze, l'assenza di controlli e l'evasione di tasse. Come potrebbe essere altrimenti se anche potenti uomini di Stato, premier e ministri fanno uso o si avvantaggiano di paradisi fiscali? È evidente la corresponsabilità di una certa politica e dei governi nel consentire a società multinazionali e ad una cerchia di super-ricchi di sottrarre risorse alle casse pubbliche costringendo i cittadini comuni, le piccolo aziende e i meno abbienti a subire, oltre alle politiche di austerità, anche le conseguenze negative di una ridotta possibilità da parte dello Stato di finanziare servizi pubblici e di intervenire con politiche sociali o di investimento.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – Mais um escândalo envolvendo paraísos fiscais. A sucessão de escândalos corre o risco de os banalizar, antes mesmo de qualquer medida de fundo ser tomada para resolver o problema. Este novo escândalo vem confirmar o carácter sistémico da evasão fiscal. Vem, além disso, expor a inoperância e cumplicidade da UE perante a situação.

Os mesmos que impõem aos trabalhadores e aos povos o empobrecimento estendem ao grande capital o tapete vermelho que lhe permite pôr a salvo da justa tributação os rendimentos acumulados à custa da exploração do trabalho e da especulação (um seu prolongamento). Aqui está a demonstração do falso dilema: ou se sufocam os trabalhadores com impostos ou se desmantelam as funções sociais dos Estados.

Não. O que é preciso é acabar com estes centros de crime económico que são os paraísos fiscais e aumentar as receitas dos Estados através de uma justa tributação do capital. Uma maior justiça fiscal e um combate eficaz à fraude e evasão fiscal não são compatíveis com o neoliberalismo reinante, imposto pela União Europeia e por governos que demonstram não ser mais do que representantes dos interesses das grandes empresas multinacionais e das grandes instituições financeiras.

 
  
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  Eider Gardiazabal Rubial (S&D), por escrito. – Las filtraciones conocidas como «Papeles del Paraíso» han vuelto a poner de relieve el escandaloso fenómeno de la evasión y la elusión fiscal, mediante la ocultación del patrimonio de los más ricos en sociedades pantalla sin actividad económica real, ubicados en jurisdicciones donde no cumplen en la práctica con los estándares de intercambio automático de información entre administraciones tributarias o en los que los no residentes están exentos de tributación. Estas revelaciones, que se suman a las de los «Papeles de Panamá», obligan a que la Comisión publique cuanto antes la lista europea de paraísos fiscales, habida cuenta de que la lista de la OCDE no se ajusta a las prácticas reales de muchos Estados, los cuales logran no ser clasificados nominalmente como tales. Asimismo, reclamamos a los Estados miembros que prohíban la apertura de cuentas bancarias por no residentes que no realizan actividades comerciales en los Estados incluidos en la futura lista de la Unión Europea, ya que la finalidad de la misma no puede ser otra que la elusión fiscal. Los socialistas españoles reiteramos que la lucha sin cuartel contra la gran injusticia social que supone el fraude fiscal es una prioridad absoluta de nuestra acción política.

 
  
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  Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D), por escrito. – Las filtraciones conocidas como «Papeles del Paraíso» han vuelto a poner de relieve el escandaloso fenómeno de la evasión y la elusión fiscal, mediante la ocultación del patrimonio de los más ricos en sociedades pantalla sin actividad económica real, ubicados en jurisdicciones donde no cumplen en la práctica con los estándares de intercambio automático de información entre administraciones tributarias o en los que los no residentes están exentos de tributación. Estas revelaciones, que se suman a las de los «Papeles de Panamá», obligan a que la Comisión publique cuanto antes la lista europea de paraísos fiscales, habida cuenta de que la lista de la OCDE no se ajusta a las prácticas reales de muchos Estados, los cuales logran no ser clasificados nominalmente como tales. Asimismo, reclamamos a los Estados miembros que prohíban la apertura de cuentas bancarias por no residentes que no realizan actividades comerciales en los Estados incluidos en la futura lista de la Unión Europea, ya que la finalidad de la misma no puede ser otra que la elusión fiscal. Los socialistas españoles reiteramos que la lucha sin cuartel contra la gran injusticia social que supone el fraude fiscal es una prioridad absoluta de nuestra acción política.

 
  
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  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D), por escrito. – Estamos ante una muestra más, y ya van demasiadas, de que la elusión y la evasión fiscal en todo el mundo es una práctica generalizada de ricos y empresas para ocultar patrimonios, beneficios y riqueza en general. Hay una maquinaria gigantesca realizando este trabajo y la base operativa de estas prácticas es la opacidad de los paraísos fiscales. Por tanto, la transparencia en las actividades económicas, en los patrimonios, el combate a los paraísos fiscales y a las administraciones fiscales no cooperativas es urgente. La evasión fiscal es un torpedo en la línea de flotación de la credibilidad de nuestras instituciones democráticas y junto a la desigualdad y la devaluación del mundo socio-laboral está poniendo en riesgo el Estado social y de derecho europeo. Es urgente: - Que antes de fin de año la UE apruebe la lista de paraísos fiscales de fuera y de dentro de la UE. - Que establezca un marco de sanciones a los países de esa lista y a los intermediarios que operen en ellos. - Que se convoque una cumbre en las Naciones Unidas para coordinar los esfuerzos internacionales para poner fin a estas prácticas.

 
  
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  Javi López (S&D), por escrito. – Las filtraciones conocidas como «Papeles del Paraíso» han vuelto a poner de relieve el escandaloso fenómeno de la evasión y la elusión fiscal, mediante la ocultación del patrimonio de los más ricos en sociedades pantalla sin actividad económica real, ubicados en jurisdicciones donde no cumplen en la práctica con los estándares de intercambio automático de información entre administraciones tributarias o en los que los no residentes están exentos de tributación. Estas revelaciones, que se suman a las de los «Papeles de Panamá», obligan a que la Comisión publique cuanto antes la lista europea de paraísos fiscales, habida cuenta de que la lista de la OCDE no se ajusta a las prácticas reales de muchos Estados, los cuales logran no ser clasificados nominalmente como tales. Asimismo, reclamamos a los Estados miembros que prohíban la apertura de cuentas bancarias por no residentes que no realizan actividades comerciales en los Estados incluidos en la futura lista de la Unión Europea, ya que la finalidad de la misma no puede ser otra que la elusión fiscal. Los socialistas españoles reiteramos que la lucha sin cuartel contra la gran injusticia social que supone el fraude fiscal es una prioridad absoluta de nuestra acción política.

 
  
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  Sergei Stanishev (S&D), in writing. – The Paradise Papers have shed light yet again on the magnitude of offshore empires. We must applaud those who uncovered these schemes, but also understand that the ball is in our court, and that the EU and its Member States must take action. Contrary to what many believe, tax havens are not a question of legality, but fairness. Tax avoidance contributes to existing divisions in our societies, making the rich richer, whilst depriving those in need from the social safety net they deserve. It is unfair that while many economies in Europe are still dominated by budget cuts, we are witnessing even more creative schemes for avoiding financial responsibility. There shouldn’t be one rule for the super—rich and another for loyal taxpayers. Commissioner Moscovici played a key role in stepping up the fight against corporate tax avoidance and progress has been made. Parliament should now take the initiative by setting up a committee to address these new leaks. Fair taxation is one of the fundamentals for the progressive functioning of our societies and if we are to have the ability to take on major challenges – unemployment, inequality and lack of cohesion – everyone should be paying their fair share.

 
  
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  Theodor Dumitru Stolojan (PPE), în scris. – Noile dovezi cu privire la amploarea evitării plății impozitelor, relevate de către Paradise Papers, confirmă, încă o dată, cârdășia existentă între bănci, firme de consultanță, firme de avocatură și paradisuri fiscale cu un singur scop: cei bogați să nu plătească impozite acolo unde locuiesc și sunt rezidenți fiscali. De ce nu se poate stăvili acest fenomen dăunător pentru orice țară? Răspunsul este simplu: beneficiarii fac parte din guverne, din mari concerne industriale, financiare și au puterea de a bloca orice demers serios care să pună capăt transferuruilor și tranzacțiilor financiare prin firme „cutii poștale” înregistrate în paradisurile fiscale. Este o sfidare la adresa tuturor cetățenilor care plătesc corect impozitele în țările lor și care trebuie oprită.

 
  
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  Elena Valenciano (S&D), por escrito. – Las filtraciones conocidas como «Papeles del Paraíso» han vuelto a poner de relieve el escandaloso fenómeno de la evasión y la elusión fiscal, mediante la ocultación del patrimonio de los más ricos en sociedades pantalla sin actividad económica real, ubicados en jurisdicciones donde no cumplen en la práctica con los estándares de intercambio automático de información entre administraciones tributarias o en los que los no residentes están exentos de tributación. Estas revelaciones, que se suman a las de los «Papeles de Panamá», obligan a que la Comisión publique cuanto antes la lista europea de paraísos fiscales, habida cuenta de que la lista de la OCDE no se ajusta a las prácticas reales de muchos Estados, los cuales logran no ser clasificados nominalmente como tales. Asimismo, reclamamos a los Estados miembros que prohíban la apertura de cuentas bancarias por no residentes que no realizan actividades comerciales en los Estados incluidos en la futura lista de la Unión Europea, ya que la finalidad de la misma no puede ser otra que la elusión fiscal. Los socialistas españoles reiteramos que la lucha sin cuartel contra la gran injusticia social que supone el fraude fiscal es una prioridad absoluta de nuestra acción política.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – Ciclicamente a União Europeia tem sido envolvida em escândalos associados a procedimentos de fuga fiscal, com contornos mais ou menos legais, mas fortemente lesivos da justiça fiscal e da tributação adequada da riqueza gerada no seu território. Estas práticas têm um forte impacto na credibilidade das instituições e na capacidade dos Estados-Membros para desenvolverem as suas políticas de soberania e concretizarem as opções de política social e dinamização económica democraticamente legitimadas.

O Parlamento Europeu através da criação de Comissões de Inquérito que têm vindo a mapear os contornos dos comportamentos lesivos, tem dado um contributo válido para que a Comissão Europeia e os Estados-Membros sejam mais eficazes no combate às fugas e às entorses fiscais, que penalizam os contribuintes e enfraquecem a União enquanto potência económica global.

Em consequência, a Comissão Europeia tem tomado medidas no sentido positivo, mas é necessário ir mais longe no combate à corrupção e na cooperação ativa entre administrações para evitar a elisão fiscal e promover a harmonização fiscal no seio da União. Estas práticas de cooperação fiscal devem ser alargadas aos países que constituem o perímetro das interações económicas que podem propiciar práticas fraudulentas ou eticamente condenáveis.

 

3. Samenwerking tussen de nationale instanties die verantwoordelijk zijn voor handhaving van de wetgeving inzake consumentenbescherming (debat)
Video van de redevoeringen
 

Președintele – Următorul punct de pe ordinea de zi este dezbaterea privind raportul doamnei Olga Sehnalová, în numele Comisiei pentru piața internă și protecția consumatorilor, referitor la propunerea de regulament al Parlamentului European și al Consiliului privind cooperarea dintre autoritățile naționale însărcinate să asigure aplicarea legislației în materie de protecție a consumatorului (COM(2016)0283 – C8-0194/2016 – 2016/0148(COD)) (A8-0077/2017).

Înainte de a intra direct în dezbatere, vreau să fac un apel, pentru că știți foarte bine, noi, astăzi la ora 12.00, avem o ceremonie: acordarea Premiului Lux, după care urmează voturile și nu am vrea să intrăm peste aceste două puncte ale ordinii de zi cu discuția noastră. Așa că, îi voi ruga pe fiecare dintre colegi să își păstreze timpul anunțat, astfel încât să terminam în timp util.

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová, zpravodajka. – Pane předsedající, paní komisařko, již více než deset let existuje v Evropské unii systém přeshraniční spolupráce dozorových orgánů v oblasti ochrany spotřebitele, který zkvalitnil dozor, vyšetřování a stíhání přeshraničního porušování práva. Revize jeho fungování ovšem poukázala na řadu limitů, které brání efektivnějšímu vymáhání nastavených pravidel. Dozorové orgány v rámci vnitřního trhu EU musí spolupracovat doslova na dennodenní bázi a mít dostatečné pravomoci a nástroje k řešení přeshraničních případů. Tuto potřebu ještě umocnil rozvoj e-commerce. Připomínám, že návrh patří mezi priority strategie jednotného digitálního trhu. Předložená aktualizace stávajících pravidel pro přeshraniční spolupráci v oblasti dozoru má zajistit rychlejší, aktivnější a důslednější vymáhání předpisů. Potřebujeme účinné mechanismy, které také zamezí různorodým přístupům k vymáhání práva u téhož porušení.

Dovolte mi přiblížit několik konkrétních opatření, kterými má toto nařízení přispět ke zvýšení ochrany spotřebitelů a nastavení férových podmínek pro všechny podnikatele na vnitřním trhu. Předložená legislativa podstatně posílí pravomoci dozorových orgánů v oblastech vyšetřování, vymáhání práva a stanovení nápravných opatření. Usnadnit vyšetřování má nově dozorovým orgánům ve všech státech EU například možnost kontrolního nakupování zboží pod skrytou identitou. Dozorové orgány budou mít pravomoc ukládat sankce a požadovat od obchodníka závazek nabídnout spotřebitelům, kteří utrpěli škodu, odpovídající nápravu. Nová pravidla zlepší vymáhání spotřebitelských práv také v online prostředí. V případě hrozícího rizika závažné a nenapravitelné újmy poškozující zájmy spotřebitelů budou moci dozorové orgány vyžadovat pozastavení internetové stránky v případě, že její provozovatel nereaguje a odmítá zjednat nápravu. Dozorové orgány by také měly mít pravomoc požadovat informace od registrátorů domén a bank ke zjištění totožnosti odpovědného obchodníka. Podvodné internetové stránky jsou narůstající fenomén, který je pro zodpovědné orgány v současné době složité účinně potírat.

Důležitou součástí nařízení jsou pravidla pro vykonávání zmíněných pravomocí. Zde jsme byli velmi důslední v tom, aby výkon byl přiměřený v souladu s právem Unie, vnitrostátním právem a zásadami Listiny základních práv. Členské státy si i nadále, stejně jako dosud, budou moci zvolit, zda příslušný orgán bude vykonávat pravomoci přímo nebo prostřednictvím podání k soudům. Děje se tak již podle platného nařízení a není nutné v tomto ohledu podle mého názoru nic měnit. Jednou z novinek, které revize přináší, je institut tzv. rozsáhlého porušování právních předpisů na ochranu spotřebitele s unijní dimenzí. Jedná se o nový nástroj, v jehož případě se předpokládá složité vyšetřování a koordinované vymáhání práva ve velkém množství členských států. Koordinační rolí bude v tomto případě vždy pověřena Komise, každý ze zapojených aktérů bude ovšem jasně vědět, co se od něj očekává a jak postupovat. Zlepší se také fungování databáze a systému výměny informací, díky Evropskému parlamentu bude celý systém spolupráce i více transparentní.

Revize pravidel také zlepší postavení spotřebitelských organizací, které budou moci dozorovým orgánům oficiální cestou poskytovat informace o podezření na porušování práv. S informacemi od spotřebitelů takzvaně z první ruky dozorové orgány dosud často nemohly nebo nechtěly pracovat, což se změní. Stranou nezůstanou ani obchodní sdružení, která rovněž dobře znají trh a mají informace, ke kterým se dozorové orgány leckdy nemusí dostat. Dozorové orgány budou také moci snáze koordinovat vyšetřování spotřebitelských trhů. V momentě, kdy tržní trendy, stížnosti spotřebitelů nebo jiné náznaky ukážou, že by mohlo dojít nebo již dokonce dochází k rozsáhlým porušováním právních předpisů na ochranu spotřebitele, může být svolán celoevropský průzkum a mohou být přijata závazná opatření ve všech členských státech. Dosud se tak dělo v omezené míře a pouze v online prostředí.

Věřím, že nařízení bude účinným nástrojem na postihování všech dobře známých nezákonných praktik, ale poslouží také například v boji proti dvojí kvalitě výrobků a všude tam, kde jsou spotřebitelé diskriminováni nebo se s nimi nejedná fér. Usnadnění výměny poznatků dozorových orgánů z jednotlivých států a možnost společně zakročit je hlavní devizou této legislativy.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, the revision of the Consumer Protection Cooperation Regulation, which you will vote on today, is a key deliverable of the Commission’s consumer strategy. I would like to thank the rapporteur on this file, Ms Olga Sehnalová, and all the shadow rapporteurs who have spared no effort to get a good deal for EU consumers.

Europe has the best consumer legislation in the world. However, it needs more effective enforcement, as was shown in the recently performed fitness check of EU consumer and marketing laws. This has confirmed the outline of our consumer strategy, which means focusing on public and private enforcement of consumer protection rules and laws. In the coming months the Commission will continue to ensure that consumer law is fully complied with and that no consumer is left without the chance for better individual redress, especially in mass harm situations. This will also be one of the main objectives of the measures that we are going to propose as our new deal for consumers in the spring of next year.

The Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) review has responded to the trend of the opening and digitalisation of the consumer markets, which has also increased possibilities for illegal and unfair practices. Unfortunately public enforcement systems in most Member States date back to the pre—digital era, and in all Member States the reach of public authorities is limited by national jurisdictional rules. It was therefore high time that we modernised the public enforcement of consumer laws in the EU. We have proposed to reform the way public authorities work together and, with the Commission, to tackle illegal practices harming consumers’ interests and fair competition, as well as trust in the European single market.

I would like to thank Parliament for its support throughout the negotiations, which were swift, focused and very purposeful. Once the new regulation is implemented, our citizens will be able to benefit from better working institutions securing fairer markets. Public authorities throughout Europe will have modern enforcement tools to tackle online offences, such as the power to find out who is behind an illegal commercial online practice, trace back financial flows, block online content or issue appropriate online warnings.

A real breakthrough is that consumer protection authorities will get more leverage in their joint negotiations with multinational players. Equipped with the power to accept traders’ commitments on remedies to consumers, as foreseen in the respective national laws, the authorities will be in a position to correct traders’ practices swiftly in all the Member States concerned with large—scale breaches of consumer rights. This will also avoid many lengthy civil court actions in situations where harm has been caused to many consumers across borders.

Last but not least, the Commission will have a key market surveillance role. It will be in a position to request Member States investigate in a coordinated manner practices that do not look right when such practices concern a large part of the Union. The Regulation on Consumer Protection Cooperation review that you will approve today is a key part of the mosaic of the consumer strategy of this Commission. Thank you in advance for your support.

 
  
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  Κώστας Χρυσόγονος, Εισηγητής της γνωμοδότησης της Επιτροπής Νομικών Θεμάτων. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η έκθεση για τη συνεργασία μεταξύ των εθνικών αρχών με στόχο την προστασία των καταναλωτών αποτελεί μέρος της συζήτησης του νέου σχετικού ευρωπαϊκού κανονισμού.

Η ταχύτατη ανάπτυξη του διεθνούς εμπορίου σε ψηφιακό περιβάλλον προσφέρει μεγάλες ευκαιρίες, αλλά δημιουργεί και σημαντικούς κινδύνους για τους καταναλωτές, με αρνητικές οικονομικές συνέπειες σε ατομικό, κρατικό και ενωσιακό επίπεδο. Τούτο οδηγεί σε υπονόμευση της εμπιστοσύνης των καταναλωτών προς τις διασυνοριακές συναλλαγές. Υπολογίζεται πως το 1/3 των ιστότοπων ηλεκτρονικού εμπορίου παραβιάζει την ευρωπαϊκή νομοθεσία προστασίας του καταναλωτή.

Συνεπώς, δεν αρκεί η θεωρητική αναβάθμιση των δυνατοτήτων των εθνικών αρχών που προβλέπει ο νέος κανονισμός. Οφείλουμε στην πράξη να ενισχύσουμε τις δυνατότητες των αρχών, ιδιαίτερα των πλέον ευάλωτων οικονομικά κρατών μελών της Ένωσης, με στόχο την καταπολέμηση των αθέμιτων πρακτικών που απειλούν τους πολίτες και την οικονομία.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho, em nome do Grupo PPE. – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, Caras e Caros Colegas, a coerência na aplicação coerciva do acervo essencial da União em matéria de Direito do Consumo contribui, tem de contribuir, para reforçar a confiança dos consumidores no mercado único digital europeu.

O Regulamento 2006/2004 criou uma rede de autoridades nacionais responsáveis pela aplicação da lei para garantir a aplicação das principais leis de consumo da União de forma consistente transfronteiras.

A avaliação desse regulamento mostrou, porém, que as regras existentes tinham de ser revistas para responder aos desafios da economia digital e ao desenvolvimento do comércio transfronteiriço na União Europeia. É necessária uma coordenação efetiva entre as diversas autoridades competentes que integram essa rede, bem como uma coordenação efetiva entre outras autoridades públicas ao nível dos Estados-Membros. O texto acordado é resultado de meses de compromissos entre a proposta inicial da Comissão e as posições do Parlamento e do Conselho, e prevê mecanismos modernos, eficazes e eficientes.

Enquanto relator-sombra do Partido Popular Europeu, quero aplaudir 5 aspetos fundamentais do texto que vamos votar. Primeiro, reforça a aplicação das leis dos consumidores em toda a União, sem afetar as competências dos Estados-Membros neste domínio. Segundo, fornece um conjunto comum alargado de poderes mínimos para as autoridades competentes dos Estados-Membros. Terceiro, aumenta o nível de harmonização que se traduz numa cooperação efetiva e eficiente entre as autoridades públicas competentes, abrangendo toda a dimensão do mercado único. Quarto, estabelece um envolvimento das organizações de consumidores e de comerciantes no mecanismo. E quinto, cria um procedimento comum ao nível da União para as infrações generalizadas à escala da União, garantindo à Comissão um papel forte de coordenação.

Ao contrário do que alguns alegam, o exercício dos poderes deste regulamento tem de ser proporcional e adequado à natureza da infração e respeitar as disposições do direito nacional e da União, nomeadamente as garantias jurisdicionais e os direitos fundamentais.

Para concluir, Senhor Presidente, desejo felicitar a relatora Olga Sehnalová, os colegas relatores—sombra e a Comissão Europeia pelo resultado alcançado que beneficia claramente os direitos dos consumidores na União.

 
  
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  Nicola Danti, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissario, con il testo che oggi approveremo i consumatori europei saranno più tutelati nei loro diritti quando decidono di acquistare, anche online, in un altro paese dell'Unione. Un ulteriore passo in avanti verso la realizzazione di un mercato unico, anche nella sua dimensione digitale, più vicino e attento ai cittadini e ai consumatori, che in misura crescente acquistano online, si parla di circa 290 milioni di europei.

La revisione di questo regolamento ha due principali obiettivi: da una parte, adeguare le attuali norme della tutela dei consumatori alle nuove sfide poste dal digitale e dalla rapida diffusione del commercio elettronico, che vale nel 2016 circa 530 miliardi di euro, dall'altra, rendere più efficiente la cooperazione tra le differenti autorità nazionali, che già oggi sono responsabili della loro applicazione. Quest'ultime vedranno rafforzati e incrementati i loro poteri esecutivi, quali quello di infliggere sanzioni e quello di obbligare il responsabile dell'inflazione a compensare i consumatori danneggiati.

Si tratta di strumenti necessari per prevenire abusi significativi che oggi non vengono individuati né affrontati in maniera adeguata, anche e soprattutto a causa della loro dimensione transfrontaliera. Sarà inoltre istituito un meccanismo ad hoc per contrastare le pratiche abusive che avvengono in più di due terzi dei paesi e che dunque rischiano di minacciare l'interesse comune dei cittadini europei.

Con l'approvazione di questo regolamento i consumatori e le autorità avranno strumenti più efficaci per contrastare i casi diffusi di frode ai danni dei cittadini europei, come purtroppo è accaduto in passato, a partire dal caso Volkswagen.

Vorrei infine ringraziare la collega Olga Sehnalová per l'ottimo risultato raggiunto in sede di trilogo, dove è ben riuscita a difendere la gran parte delle istanze avanzate dal Parlamento europeo.

 
  
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  Richard Sulík, za skupinu ECR. – Vážený pán predseda, vyše desaťročia Komisia navrhuje a Únia prijíma legislatívu týkajúcu sa ochrany spotrebiteľa. Často sa stáva, že nejaká legislatíva nie je dodržiavaná, Komisia navrhne novú namiesto toho, aby vymáhala dodržiavanie tej existujúcej legislatívy. Výsledok je 2700 otvorených infridžmentov, teda konanie o porušenie legislatívy EÚ, z toho 320 v oblasti vnútorného trhu. Výsledok je aj, že prehnanou ochranou spotrebiteľa robíme z neho nesvojprávnu ovečku. To sa týka možno členských štátov a ich legislatívy viac ako Únie.

Ďalším problémom sú priority. Komisia ich má príliš veľa a niektoré z nich sú aj protichodné. Legislatíva na ochranu spotrebiteľa mnohokrát zbytočne komplikuje život podnikateľom, pričom zlepšovanie podnikateľského prostredia je takisto jednou z deklarovaných priorít Únie. Podnikatelia sa potom v zákonoch často nevyznajú, vyznať nedokážu a právna istota je nízka. Tým trpia ale aj samotní spotrebitelia. Zároveň chápem, že v oblasti elektronického obchodu, ak je cezhraničný, je legislatíva na úrovni Európskej únie potrebná.

Oceňujem snahu spravodajkyne hľadať a nájsť skutočný a poctivý kompromis. Výsledný návrh podľa môjho názoru má potenciál zlepšiť vymáhanie už dnes existujúcich pravidiel, a to najmä pri cezhraničnom obchode. Chcem veriť, že aj ďalšie zmeny, ako napríklad minimálne právomoci národných obchodných inšpekcií, pomôžu vymáhať existujúce zákony. Avšak je ilúzia si myslieť, že zákonmi dokážeme spotrebiteľa ochrániť dokonale. V prvom rade sa musí chrániť on sám, a preto by bolo veľmi dobré, keby v oblasti legislatívy ochrany spotrebiteľa Únia teraz niekoľko rokov nekonala a venovala sa zlepšovaniu podnikateľského prostredia.

 
  
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  Jasenko Selimovic, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, let me first start by thanking the rapporteur, the Commission and my fellow colleagues who were working on this file. I am sure that they agree with me that this important file will better protect consumers and prevent fraud.

My personal experience of fraud online was actually buying, booking and paying for a hotel room only to find out that in reality there were no rooms... nor even a hotel! Only a voice at the other end of the telephone line saying: ‘but I can see your room on my website.’ I am completely sure that all of us have had such an experience when buying online: fraudulent websites selling incredibly cheap products that are actually never delivered; websites offering products that turn out to be counterfeit; the ‘free-trial’ scams that promise consumers that they can try a product for free, only to find out later on that they have to pay something for the services... The list can be long and this piece of legislation today is directed at those consumers who have been deceived on the internet while buying products. It will make sure that consumer protection authorities collaborate better and prevent these infringements going on in the EU.

We need to protect consumers because we have to buy things on the internet. There is a greater choice, there is a possibility of better value, but shopping on the internet has to be safe. I did want to see stronger wording on the need for a court decision before closing a website but nevertheless I do support the outcome of the negotiations and I do hope that the Member States will implement this legislation as soon as possible.

 
  
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  Jiří Maštálka, za skupinu GUE/NGL. – Pane předsedající, v poslední době došlo k mnoha změnám na vnitřním trhu Evropské unie. Musíme reagovat na výzvy digitální ekonomiky a rozvoje přeshraničního obchodu v EU. Věřím, že nařízení, které dnes projednáváme, přispěje k včasnému odhalování nekalých praktik, jako je například dvojí kvalita potravin. Ukazuje se, že na trhu EU se prodávají zdánlivě podobné výrobky, které však mají v některých členských státech například nižší obsah masa, vyšší obsah tuku nebo obsahují jiný druh sladidla.

(Předsedající přerušil řečníka z důvodu problému s tlumočením.)

A to zejména v zemích střední Evropy, což je pro naše občany nepřijatelné. Posílení role spotřebitelských organizací a včasné odhalování nekalých praktik přispěje k řešení rozšíření porušování v celé EU. Fyzická osoba – spotřebitel nesmí být rozvojem vnitřního trhu poškozována, nesmí být jeho rukojmím ani otloukánkem. Apeluji na všechny kolegy, aby dohodu dosaženou v trialogu podpořili, neboť ji považuji za vyvážený kompromis. Děkuji zpravodajce za vynikající práci.

 
  
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  Julia Reda, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, the reform of the Consumer Protection Cooperation was an opportunity to update an important and already well-established system of cooperation of national consumer protection authorities. Parliament went into trilogue with a strong position on much-needed aspects. Consumers who have been harmed need compensation. Dieselgate has shown that we cannot leave this up to the discretion of the companies. Illicit profits would need to be restituted. The trilogue outcome we are debating today unfortunately falls short on these key points of the original Commission proposal. On top of that, it establishes overreaching internet blocking measures that are neither proportionate nor suitable for the goal of protecting consumers and come without mandatory judicial oversight. I am asking you not to just sign off on the trilogue outcome today but rather to please support the plenary amendments that reinstate the Parliament position on these critical issues, in order to really provide an added value for citizens.

 
  
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  Marco Zullo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, nel mondo online i confini non esistono e le frodi transnazionali sono più difficili da contrastare, anche perché l'azione delle autorità nazionali viene limitata dalle diverse procedure esistenti tra paesi. Il risultato è quello che le frodi che colpiscono i consumatori in più paesi non vengono risolte in maniera coordinata e coerente, a danno di tutti i cittadini, come nello scandalo Volkswagen che ha coinvolto otto milioni di veicoli in Europa.

È dunque necessario che le autorità nazionali europee abbiano dei poteri minimi in comune, in modo da garantire un livello base di protezione dei consumatori, sotto il quale non è possibile scendere. Questo regolamento sulla cooperazione tra le autorità nazionali per la tutela dei consumatori è un passo in avanti in questa direzione. Si dà la possibilità alle autorità, per esempio, di reperire informazioni sensibili oltre confine, come i flussi finanziari. Si coinvolgono le associazioni dei consumatori che possono segnalare sospette frodi direttamente agli Stati e alla Commissione.

Ma chiediamo di essere più ambiziosi nei confronti dei cittadini in materia di risarcimenti. Abbiamo perciò presentato degli emendamenti per garantire alle autorità nazionali il potere di ordinare alle compagnie che frodano di risarcire i cittadini danneggiati anche restituendo i profitti. Si tratta di un atto dovuto nei confronti dei consumatori. Chiedo pertanto a quest'Aula di sostenere questi emendamenti.

 
  
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  Mylène Troszczynski, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, mes chers collègues, je me permets, une fois n’est pas coutume, d’apprécier l’esprit du texte qui sera proposé au vote aujourd’hui.

Les prérogatives des autorités nationales chargées de la protection des consommateurs y sont préservées et renforcées et de nouveaux outils juridiques sont mis à leur disposition pour s’adapter à l’ère numérique.

La coopération entre ces autorités nationales à l’honneur dans ce texte dans un réel souci d’efficacité et de compétence est satisfaisante.

Le rôle de coordinateur ou de facilitateur donné à la Commission, dans les cas d’infraction de grande ampleur et de dimension européenne, paraît aussi pragmatique et en accord avec le contexte commercial actuel.

Nous avons enfin réussi à éviter l’écueil des tentations centralisatrices de la Commission, généralement déconnectées des réalités commerciales et donc généralement contre-productives.

Cette volonté tentaculaire n’a pas prévalu aujourd’hui et je m’en félicite.

En conséquence, mon groupe soutiendra l’accord provisoire et considère ce texte comme une base intéressante de travail pour l’avenir.

L’échelon de protection optimale des citoyens comme des consommateurs demeure évidemment la «Nation» et je suis ravie de constater que nous sommes ici tous d’accord.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Go raibh maith agat a Uachtaráin. Molaim an Rapóirtéir agus an Coimisinéir as ucht na moltaí seo a chabhróidh go mór le saoránaigh na hEorpa.

Mr President, the agreement reached at trilogue will ensure the development of modern, efficient and effective consumer protection cooperation measures which will reduce consumer detriment caused by cross—border infringements. It is vital that all Member States reach similar outcomes on the same malpractices across the board in relation to consumer and marketing law. I think that this text will help to ensure this. There are a number of positive points in this text. I particularly welcome that the Commission will be empowered to assist Member States in coordinating common actions – for example those of national enforcement – to get commitments from traders to change their malpractices. Additionally, I welcome the new surveillance mechanism to replace the current CPC system of alerts, widening the exchange of information. This agreement will enable enforcement authorities to cooperate more efficiently and act faster in the single market, especially the digital single market. It is vital that this cooperation is facilitated, as consumers must be protected to the same degree throughout the EU—28. I look forward to the implementation of the regulation.

Job maith, comhghairdeachas.

 
  
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  Christel Schaldemose (S&D). – Hr. formand! Digitaliseringen giver forbrugerne mange nye muligheder. E-handelen blomstrer, og vi har kun set begyndelsen. Men sammen med stigende handel ser vi også stigende problemer for forbrugere, der handler digitalt. Nogle bliver snydt bevidst, og andre får bare ikke den beskyttelse, de egentlig er berettigede til. Det skal vi håndtere, og det er præcis det, vi gør, med den lov, vi skal stemme om i dag. Vi styrker samarbejdet mellem myndighederne i EU’s medlemslande, og det er helt centralt for at sikre, at forbrugernes rettigheder bliver håndhævet - håndhævet stærkt og godt og hurtigt. Med loven styrker vi nemlig myndighedernes redskaber til at gå efter dem, der ikke efterlever vores forbrugerbeskyttelse, med bl.a. bedre regler for at sanktionere og give bøder og den slags. Det er rigtig, rigtig vigtigt! Jo tryggere vores forbrugere er, jo mere vil de handle, og de er kun trygge, hvis vi har nogle ordentlige forbrugerbeskyttelsesregler, der bliver håndhævet. Så jeg støtter resultatet i dag.

 
  
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  Anneleen Van Bossuyt (ECR). – In het digitale tijdperk staan de consumenten steeds vaker voor de uitdaging om een goede bescherming te genieten. Een veilige internetomgeving is nochtans cruciaal om hun vertrouwen in online shoppen te versterken. Vandaag zijn er nog cijfers bekend gemaakt dat maar 38 % van de consumenten het veilig acht om grensoverschrijdend online te shoppen. We moeten dus kort op de bal spelen om de strijd tegen de criminele webhandelaars aan te pakken.

De versterking van de capaciteiten van de nationale bevoegde instanties, in combinatie natuurlijk met een grensoverschrijdende samenwerking, zullen het voor de lidstaten makkelijker maken om deze strijd aan te gaan. En het is nodig, want die criminele webhandelaars kunnen al te gemakkelijk hun activiteiten van land naar land verplaatsen. Daarom moeten we alle actoren bij het proces betrekken: een Europees waarschuwingssysteem waar consumentenorganisaties alarm kunnen slaan en ook recht op betere informatie en compensatiesystemen.

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (ALDE). – Mr President, within the European Union businesses and consumers should know no borders. This is the key to the digital single market and to the Union as a whole. Sadly, however, just as companies and individuals know no borders, so too do bad operators and bad products, people who do not respect consumer protection law and think they can get away with it because they are in one Member State and the victim is in another. Consumers will only go cross-border if they have trust: trust that all national authorities are working together to keep out and sanction those bad apples.

Up to 37% of European e-commerce websites are in breach of EU consumer protection law. It is in the collective interest of each Member State to ensure the better enforcement of consumer protection law, both at home and cross-border. While we do have some doubts as to the website takedowns, it is thanks to the good work of Commissioner Jourová, the rapporteur, and others that the overall package is a fine outcome.

 
  
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  Andreas Schwab (PPE). – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich glaube, zunächst mal den beteiligten Berichterstattern und Schattenberichterstattern bei diesem schwierigen Dossier danken zu müssen.

Denn ich glaube, dass es am Anfang so war, dass die Kommission natürlich mit einem sehr ambitionierten Vorschlag hier ins Verfahren gekommen ist. Ich glaube, es ist auf allgemeine Zustimmung im Europäischen Parlament gestoßen, dass wir dringend dafür sorgen müssen, dass die Durchsetzung der europäischen Verbrauchervorgaben, der europäischen Verbrauchergesetze in der Europäischen Union besser werden muss, und worauf gerade schon hingewiesen wurde – dass es uns auch besser grenzüberschreitend gelingt.

Am Ende ist es natürlich so, dass in vielen Mitgliedstaaten die Schließung einer Website eine Entscheidung eines Richters sein muss und nicht einfach administrativ durchgeführt werden kann. Insofern glaube ich, dass der Kompromiss, den wir hier erzielt haben, eine wirklich gute Grundlage ist, auf der einen Seite zu erreichen, dass die Europäische Kommission die Verbraucherrechte in den Mitgliedstaaten – in Europa – besser durchsetzen kann, es uns aber auf der anderen Seite auch gelungen ist, die bestehenden Strukturen in den Mitgliedstaaten – so unterschiedlich sie im Einzelnen eben sein mögen – auch zu erhalten.

Deswegen ganz herzlichen Dank an alle, die daran mitgewirkt haben. Ich gehe davon aus, dass wir heute für diesen Vorschlag eine ganz breite Mehrheit finden werden.

 
  
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  Marlene Mizzi (S&D). – Mr President, in the online digital world, there are no borders. This makes it very difficult for consumers and national authorities to tackle any problems emanating from the digital single market. Consumers are often confused and powerless and find themselves in a catch-22 situation. They do not know which authority to contact, who is responsible or who can help them. Even if they contact the right authority, the authority itself is limited by the procedures of its own national regulations.

Not only are consumers powerless but so is the national authority. This is unacceptable in a modern digital single market. Challenges must be addressed by creating a digital environment, by adopting digitally proved consumer laws that can ensure strong and enforceable consumer rights for everyone in the EU. I would like to congratulate the rapporteur, Olga Sehnalová, for finalising this proposal during the Maltese Presidency. This legislation will empower public authorities by giving them improved tools to protect consumers from rogue traders, particularly in online cross-border negotiations.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Gospodine predsjedniče, sustav zaštite potrošača na jedinstvenom tržištu iznimno je važan za europske ekonomije jer gradi povjerenje koje uvijek rezultira većom potrošnjom i višestrukim pozitivnim učincima na gospodarstvo.

Bolja suradnja nacionalnih tijela u ovom pitanju ključ je dobrog funkcioniranja jedinstvenog tržišta, čija je heterogenost u mnogo aspekata dobrodošla, ali ne bi smjela biti olakšavajući faktor za varanje potrošača.

Uredba ostavlja dovoljno prostora državama članicama da same izaberu sustav provedbe koji smatraju prikladnim te odluče o raspodjeli ovlasti među nacionalnim tijelima. Također, slobodne su odrediti hoće li nadležna tijela ovlasti izvršavati izravno ili uz pomoć drugih javnih tijela, odnosno pod nadzorom pravosuđa, od kojeg se traži samo učinkovitost i proporcionalnost troškova postupka.

Ovo je dobar put. Standardi zaštite potrošača moraju nam biti zajednički, a države članice trebaju moći birati kako će ih implementirati. Naravno, poštujući pritom ovu Uredbu.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, vreau să vă felicit de la bun început pentru că ați venit cu propunerea de revizuire a regulamentului. Iată, după zece ani, vreau să o felicit pe Olga, colega noastră raportor, care a lucrat extrem de mult să ajungă la compromisuri și la amendamente care să ajute, pentru că spunea aici un coleg: „avem foarte multe reglementări, important este să le facem eficiente”. Nu vreau să mai repet ce au spus colegii mei, dar vreau să subliniez trei lucruri: în primul rând, în acest raport, consider că este bine că s-a precizat termenul de prescripție pentru exercitarea anumitor competențe în cazul unei încălcări; este un termen rezonabil la cinci ani și cred că este binevenit; apoi, cred că trebuie să sprijinim, și acest raport prevede, participarea organizațiilor de consumatori, de exemplu în cadrul mecanismului de alertă, așa cum e prevăzut la articolul 34 deoarece entitățile care reprezintă un interes legitim pentru protecția consumatorului iau la cunoștință de încălcări adeseori mult mai rapid decât autoritățile; și al treilea, cred că prezentarea unor planuri bianuale de asigurare a aplicării legislației de fiecare stat membru este foarte binevenită.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Commissaire, chers collègues, je vais commencer par vous donner un chiffre: 37. C’est le pourcentage de sites qui ne respectent pas les législations européennes en matière de protection des consommateurs.

Grâce à la révision de cette législation en matière de coopération des autorités nationales chargées de veiller à l’application de la législation en matière de protection des consommateurs, de véritables avancées sont à saluer, car les autorités nationales bénéficieront maintenant de pouvoirs élargis et adaptés à l’évolution de la société numérique, adaptés à leur temps afin de mettre fin aux trop nombreuses violations en ligne de ces droits.

Je tiens d’ailleurs à féliciter Olga Sehnalová, comme cela a déjà été fait, pour son excellent travail de rapporteure en la matière et je salue notamment les avancées suivantes: le réel pouvoir d’enquête pour les autorités nationales, la création de sanctions et l’indemnisation du consommateur, la mise en place d’un mécanisme d’alerte et le renforcement du rôle des associations de protection des consommateurs dans ce processus.

 
  
 

Procedura „catch the eye”

 
  
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  Marijana Petir (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, kada je u pitanju učinkovitiji nadzor istraga i kazneni progon u smislu povreda koje iskorištavaju nepošteni trgovci u unutardržavnom ili zajedničkom europskom prostoru

, jasno je kako je svakim danom potrebno učinkovitije nadzirati i tražiti bolja rješenja kako bi se nepoštenju stalo na kraj. Još uvijek su najveći problemi vidljivi u internetskom poslovanju gdje potrošači nisu dovoljno zaštićeni, prije svega kupujući proizvode ili usluge izvan matične države.

No ovdje želim upozoriti na to da je čak trećina prehrambenih proizvoda koje nalazimo na policama trgovina u novijim članicama Europske unije lošije kvalitete nego što je to na zapadu. Istraživanja su potvrdila da je istočno tržište prevareno istim ambalažama u kojima su nekvalitetni proizvodi. Od voćnih napitaka i zubnih pasti do deterdženata, istočne verzije marki prodanih diljem Europe pokazale su da su manje kvalitetne od onih prodanih na zapadu i tome treba stati na kraj. U Europskoj uniji ne smije postojati zemlja s potrošačima druge klase.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'obiettivo primario del regolamento sulla cooperazione per la tutela dei consumatori è quello di garantire la certezza del diritto nel mercato unico.

Tuttavia, l'attuale tasso di inosservanza dell'acquis dell'Unione in materia di tutela dei consumatori dimostra che la situazione non è proprio ottimale. Le verifiche coordinate dei siti web per il commercio elettronico registrano un tasso di non conformità delle norme fondamentali tra il 32% e il 69% nei mercati sottoposti a controllo.

L'impostazione data dal nuovo regolamento servirà a sviluppare meccanismi moderni, efficienti ed efficaci per ridurre le situazioni in cui le infrazioni transfrontaliere non vengano affrontate in maniera sufficiente e per garantire che le autorità preposte alla tutela dei consumatori raggiungano conclusioni simili su pratiche abusive identiche.

Un quadro armonizzato per coordinare le attività di esecuzione svolte dalle autorità consentirà un'efficace cooperazione transfrontaliera tra le autorità pubbliche per evitare che gli operatori inadempienti possano sfruttare carenze, limitazioni territoriali e altre limitazioni che incidono sulla capacità di far rispettare le norme di ciascuno Stato membro.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η άναρχη ανάπτυξη της ενιαίας αγοράς και η ανάπτυξη του ηλεκτρονικού εμπορίου καθιστούν αναγκαία τη λήψη μέτρων με τη μορφή κανονισμού για την προστασία των ίδιων των καταναλωτών. Διότι αυτό που προκύπτει και από τη συζήτηση είναι ότι τουλάχιστον το 37% των ιστοσελίδων, οι οποίες υπάρχουν για παροχή υπηρεσιών, παραβιάζουν στην πράξη τα δικαιώματα των καταναλωτών.

Επομένως, χρειάζεται να ληφθούν μέτρα. Πρώτον, να ενισχυθούν οι αρμοδιότητες των εθνικών αρχών, διότι μόνον έτσι μπορεί να υπάρξει αποτελεσματική προστασία. Δεύτερον, να υπάρξει ενίσχυση των οργανώσεων καταναλωτών, οι οποίες θα μπορούν μόνες τους, απευθείας, να λαμβάνουν ένδικα μέτρα προκειμένου να προστατεύουν τους καταναλωτές. Φυσικά, και η διεύρυνση του δικαιώματος των ίδιων των καταναλωτών με ένδικα μέσα, είναι πάρα πολύ σημαντική. Επομένως, θεωρώ ότι τα μέτρα αυτά είναι προς τη σωστή κατεύθυνση και θα έχουμε τη δυνατότητα να πούμε περισσότερα και κατά την ψηφοφορία.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η μεγάλη ανάπτυξη του Διαδικτύου παρέχει τη δυνατότητα σε αριθμό καταναλωτών να πραγματοποιούν εμπορικές συναλλαγές μέσω αυτού, εξ αποστάσεως. Αυτή η δυνατότητα, όμως, τους εκθέτει στον κίνδυνο να πέσουν θύματα μικρής ή μεγάλης απάτης, όπως π.χ. να καταθέσουν χρήματα για αγορά ειδών που δεν υφίστανται, είτε να αγοράσουν είδη αμφιβόλου ποιότητας.

Είναι, λοιπόν, αναγκαία η συνεργασία μεταξύ των εθνικών αρχών, ούτως ώστε να προστατευτούν οι καταναλωτές από την απάτη αυτή και να ενημερώνονται σχετικά με το τι συμβαίνει σε αυτές τις εταιρείες μέσω Διαδικτύου. Πρέπει να υπάρχει η δυνατότητα να εφαρμοστεί μια αυστηρή νομοθεσία, ούτως ώστε όσες εταιρείες παρανομούν να επιστρέφουν τα χρήματα στους καταναλωτές, όπως επίσης και να ακυρώνονται κάποιες ιστοσελίδες οι οποίες ανήκουν σε εταιρείες που παρανομούν. Με αυτόν τον τρόπο θα αυξηθεί η εμπιστοσύνη των καταναλωτών και θα αυξηθεί επίσης και το εμπόριο εξ αποστάσεως.

 
  
 

(Încheierea procedurii „catch the eye”)

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, in my concluding remarks I would like to explain the two basic pillars of our consumer policy.

Consumer policy in the EU is based on the protection of the weaker side of the commercial relationship. As we can see, we are facing a totally new situation because the position of the consumer in the online world is very different from the position in his or her shop in his or her street. This asymmetry of power is something we have to address.

The second pillar is that we need to have our consumers in the EU legally well-equipped, with the possibility of defending their rights themselves. That is why we are focusing, on the one hand, on better public enforcement: we are doing this through the CPC Regulation review and I am sure we are doing the proper thing for EU consumers. On the other hand, there are dishonest traders who cause much harm to consumers.

The second thing, which we plan for Spring next year, is to improve the situation in private enforcement for consumers. You know that we are considering some possibility of European Union collective redress. Of course, as Justice Commissioner, I also have in mind to come with measures which will not increase the workload for the European courts, so I welcome alternative ways to settle disputes and this is where the CPC review can help.

Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for your support and I hope for your positive vote later today.

Commission Statement

(in writing)

The European Commission declares the following.

Article 21 requires competent authorities to take the necessary enforcement measures to cease widespread infringements. The Article sets out (in a non-exhaustive manner) in what situations enforcement measures are particularly appropriate.

Amongst these situations, Article 21 lists: in paragraph (1) (d) commitments which are insufficient to ensure the cessation of the infringement or, where appropriate, to remedy consumers harmed by the infringement; and in paragraph (1) (e) the failure by the trader to implement those commitments.

Article 21 (1) (d) and (e) must be read in consistency with the objectives of the Regulation, which are to set up an effective and efficient enforcement cooperation among competent public enforcement authorities to detect, investigate and order the cessation of intra-Union infringements and widespread infringement, and with the main provisions on remedial measures contained in the Regulation, in particular Article 9 (4) (c). In coordinated actions, where a competent authority has sought to obtain commitments from the trader to offer adequate remedies to the consumers concerned by an infringement, it may be particularly appropriate to take enforcement measures when those commitments are insufficient to remedy consumers harmed by the infringement or when those commitments are not implemented."

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová, zpravodajka. – Pane předsedající, já bych na tomto místě ráda poděkovala všem stínovým zpravodajům, a to jmenovitě Carlosu Coelhovi, Richardu Sulíkovi, Jasenku Selimovičovi a Julii Redové, a také administrativě Evropského parlamentu za konstruktivní spolupráci a podporu během celé práce. Mé poděkování patří také zástupcům slovenského a maltského předsednictví za enormní nasazení k dosažení dohody.

Děkuji samozřejmě také předkladatelům návrhu, paní komisařce Jourové a generálnímu ředitelství pro spravedlnost a spotřebitele, ale v prvé řadě svému asistentovi Michalu Vaňáčkovi za obrovský kus práce, kterou odvedl na tomto textu. Jako každá legislativa i tato revize je kompromisem mezi Evropským parlamentem a členskými státy. Vyjednaný text se neodklonil od svého zamýšleného cíle a může přinést hmatatelné výhody evropským občanům.

Já bych ráda proto vyzvala všechny kolegyně a kolegy, kteří podporují nastavení a vymáhání férových podmínek na vnitřním trhu, aby dnes tuto vyjednanou dohodu podpořili.

 
  
 

Președintele – Dezbaterea a fost închisă.

Votul va avea loc astăzi, 14 noiembrie 2017, după ceremonia acordării Premiului LUX.

Declaraţii scrise (articolul 162)

 
  
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  Caterina Chinnici (S&D), per iscritto. – Signora Commissario, la revisione del regolamento di cui oggi si discute si rendeva ormai necessaria per superare le nuove sfide poste dall'avvento dell'era digitale e dalla crescita esponenziale del commercio elettronico. Già nel 2014, infatti, due terzi dei reclami individuali riguardavano acquisti transfrontalieri avvenuti online, a fronte di danno stimato a circa 770 milioni di euro all'anno per i consumatori. L'UE, al fine di sfruttare appieno il potenziale di crescita del mercato unico digitale, deve contrastare con fermezza le pratiche illecite e sleali che ledono direttamente i consumatori e la fiducia che essi ripongono nei confronti dell'e-commerce. La tutela dei consumatori va quindi perseguita attraverso il rafforzamento dei poteri delle autorità nazionali competenti al fine di assicurare l'impegno degli operatori economici a compensare i consumatori in caso di pratiche illecite, con condizioni eque per tutti e con procedure efficienti e trasparenti, con un ruolo di coordinamento della Commissione europea in caso di infrazioni che minaccino l'interesse collettivo dei consumatori. Mi congratulo con la collega relatrice per l'ottimo lavoro svolto e per aver ottenuto una maggiore partecipazione delle associazioni dei consumatori che potranno segnalare alle autorità competenti casi di sospetta violazione.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D), in writing. – I strongly support the outcome of this highly important report, which builds on the proposal of reforming a pivotal piece of legislation, the so-called Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation that governs the powers of enforcement authorities and the way in which they can cooperate in order to ensure effective surveillance, investigation and prosecution of cross-border breaches of consumer law. Indeed, the increased momentum of e—commerce as well as widespread consumer law infringements across the internal market call for an overhaul of the Regulation, so that the latter does not fall short of what would be needed in order to ensure strong and enforceable consumer rights for everyone in the European Union.

Therefore, welcoming the reform proposal, I share the opinion that the Commission has rightly put the spotlight on the powers needed by the enforcement authorities in all Member States, which will certainly underpin proper cross-border cooperation. Finally, I consider that a structured dialogue between public enforcers and consumer associations is paramount as these entities very often become aware of infringements much earlier than the competent authorities.

 
  
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  András Gyürk (PPE), írásban. – Az uniós polgárok fogyasztóvédelmi jogainak megerősítésére irányul a rendeletmódosítás, amelynek célja a határokon átnyúló jogsértések megakadályozása és a kiszabott büntetések végrehajtása. A csalárd kereskedők bevett gyakorlata, hogy olyan tagállamba teszik át székhelyüket, ahol a fogyasztóvédelem kevésbé fejlett, ezzel elkerülve a jogi következményeket. Az ehhez hasonló esetek megakadályozása érdekében szükséges, hogy a tagállamok megerősítsék az együttműködésüket a fogyasztóvédelem terén.

A tagállamok hatóságai többletjogosultságokat kapnak, mint például a székhelyekre való behatolás, házkutatás, vagy a próbavásárlás, az új szankciók között pedig a weboldal/domain név felfüggesztése, illetve megszüntetése szerepel. A határokon átnyúló jogsegély előmozdítása érdekében bevezetésre kerül egy közös adatbázis, amely elősegíti az információcserét a tagállamok között. A végrehajtó hatóságok kétéves ciklusokban dolgoznak, amelyet a Bizottság szintén kétévente ellenőriz.

 
  
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  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D), γραπτώς. – Συγχαρητήρια στην εισηγήτρια και στους σκιώδεις εισηγητές για την έκθεση με στόχο τη συνεργασία των κρατών μελών για την προστασία των καταναλωτών. Οι παράνομες και αθέμιτες πρακτικές που χρησιμοποιούν οι εταιρείες ζημιώνουν τους καταναλωτές και νοθεύουν τον υγιή και δίκαιο ανταγωνισμό. Η βελτίωση της νομοθεσίας με προσαρμογή στις μεταβαλλόμενες συνθήκες είναι απαραίτητη. Ωστόσο, υπάρχει ήδη σημαντική νομική προστασία των καταναλωτών, που δεν τυγχάνει αποτελεσματικής εφαρμογής σε όλη την ΕΕ. Σε ορισμένα κράτη έχει προκύψει οικονομικό και κοινωνικό κόστος, με απόγνωση και απελπισία, αφού οι ευρωπαίοι πολίτες εναποθέτουν τις προσδοκίες τους για προστασία στην ΕΕ.

Στην έκθεση επισημαίνω ιδιαίτερα την εισαγωγή των εννοιών της «εκτεταμένης παράβασης» και της «εκτεταμένης παράβασης με ενωσιακή διάσταση». Φαινόμενο εκτεταμένης παράβασης με ευρωπαϊκή διάσταση υπήρξε η συστηματική και μαζική χρήση παράνομων και καταχρηστικών ρητρών-πρακτικών από το τραπεζικό σύστημα σε διάφορα κράτη μέλη, και ιδιαίτερα στην Κύπρο, που είναι παράδειγμα προς αποφυγήν. Η καταχρηστική συμπεριφορά των τραπεζών και, ταυτόχρονα, η μη αποτελεσματική εφαρμογή της ευρωπαϊκής νομοθεσίας για εξάλειψη των καταχρηστικών ρητρών και πρακτικών συνέδραμαν καθοριστικά στην οικονομική καταστροφή που κορυφώθηκε το 2013, τις φοβερές επιπτώσεις της οποίας βιώνει μεγάλο μέρος του πληθυσμού στην Κύπρο, μέχρι σήμερα, και απαιτεί απονομή δικαιοσύνης. Η αποτελεσματική εφαρμογή της νομοθεσίας θα είχε αποτρέψει το πρόβλημα.

 
  
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  Pavel Poc (S&D), in writing. – I support the work of the rapporteur Olga Sehnalová. Parliament should adopt this report as it will strengthen national authorities to enforce consumer rights. The Consumer Protection Cooperation (CPC) Regulation from 2004 set up effective methods of cooperation between public authorities responsible for enforcing consumers’ rights, but the latest development in e-commerce and trade is asking for a reform of the rules. We need efficient tools for cooperation between the enforcers of consumer law that are effective enough in the digital age to ensure consumers a safe online shopping experience. The reform of the CPC Regulation empowers consumers by giving the national authorities powers to impose fines and penalties payments, or to seek to obtain commitment to compensate the consumers for the harm done. Consumer rights are becoming progressively more important as the trade develops new ways of business and so the legislation needs to adapt to this evolution as well.

 
  
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  Valdemar Tomaševski (ECR), raštu. – Neabejotina, kad vartotojų apsauga ES rinkoje yra svarbus elementas kuriant bendrijos teisę. Jau 2003 m. Komisija pirmą kartą pasiūlė nacionalinių valdžios institucijų tarpvalstybinio bendradarbiavimo sistemą, siekdama palengvinti veiksmingesnę tarpvalstybinių nusikalstamų veiklų stebėseną, tyrimą ir patraukimą baudžiamojon atsakomybėn, taip pašalinant nesąžiningų prekybininkų naudojamas spragas. Siekiant užtikrinti teisinį tikrumą ir vykdymo veiksmų veiksmingumą kalbant apie pažeidimus tarpvalstybiniu mastu ir išvengti skirtingo požiūrio į vartotojus ir įmones bendrojoje rinkoje, reikalingas senaties termino įvedimas. Tai reiškia konkretų laikotarpį, per kurį kompetentingos institucijos, vykdydamos tarpvalstybinius pažeidimus reglamentuojančias taisykles, gali taikyti sankcijas, skirti kompensaciją vartotojams arba pareikalauti sugrąžinti iš pažeidimo gautas pajamas. Tačiau nepamirškime, kad tai valstybės narės turėtų nuspręsti, ar kompetentingos valdžios institucijos šiuos įgaliojimus naudos tiesiogiai savo kompetencijų ribose ar teikiant pareiškimus kompetentingiems teismams. Jei valstybės narės nustatys, kad kompetentingos institucijos naudojasi savo įgaliojimais, jos turėtų užtikrinti, kad teises būtų galima laiku ir veiksmingai įgyvendinti.

 
  
 

(Ședința a fost suspendată între 11.59 și 12.30 pentru acordarea Premiului LUX)

 
  
  

ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ: ΔΗΜΗΤΡΙΟΣ ΠΑΠΑΔΗΜΟΥΛΗΣ
Αντιπρόεδρος

 

4. Hervatting van de vergadering
Video van de redevoeringen
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  Πρόεδρος. – Κυρίες και κύριοι συνάδελφοι, κηρύσσω την επανάληψη της συνεδρίασης μετά την απονομή του βραβείου LUX. Πριν προχωρήσουμε στις ψηφοφορίες θα δώσω τον λόγο στον κ. Amjad Bashir.

 
  
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  Amjad Bashir (ECR). – Mr President, yesterday Sky News vividly showed the entire world what the suffering of the Rohingya has been. I saw that first—hand when I visited the survivors of this genocide in Bangladesh. In Myanmar babies are being born on the beach. The lucky ones will be put on a boat to Bangladesh. The rest will be left to die.

The UK Prime Minister has vowed to tackle the inhuman destruction of the Rohingya people. I plead only for the President’s authorisation for an extraordinary debate to consider the situation of the Rohingya, in accordance with Rule 153(4), because, after lengthy discussions with the UN, Bangladesh, Myanmar and the UK, I believe the EU should now convene an intergovernmental summit to put an end to this genocide. For the sake of humanity, let this House lead the way forward.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Πρόεδρος. – Κύριε Bashir άκουσα με προσοχή την πρότασή σας και τους λόγους που τη στηρίζουν. Δεσμεύομαι να διαβιβάσω αμέσως στον Πρόεδρο του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου την πρότασή σας.

 

5. Stemmingen
Video van de redevoeringen
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  Πρόεδρος. – Το επόμενο σημείο στην ημερήσια διάταξη είναι η Ώρα των ψηφοφοριών.

(Για τα αποτελέσματα και άλλες πληροφορίες σχετικά με τις ψηφοφορίες: Βλέπε Συνοπτικά Πρακτικά)

 

5.1. Beschikbaarstelling van middelen uit het Europees Fonds voor aanpassing aan de globalisering: aanvraag EGF/2017/004 IT/Almaviva (A8-0346/2017 - Daniele Viotti) (stemming)

5.2. Mensenlevens redden: verbeteren van de veiligheid van voertuigen in de EU (A8-0330/2017 - Dieter-Lebrecht Koch) (stemming)
 

- Μετά την ψηφοφορία επί της έκθεσης του κ. Viotti (Α8-0346/2017)

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, may I have a technician, please, as my voting machine is not working.

 

5.3. Territoriale typologieën (A8-0231/2017 - Iskra Mihaylova) (stemming)

5.4. Erkenning van beroepskwalificaties in de binnenvaart (A8-0338/2016 - Gesine Meissner) (stemming)

5.5. Samenwerking tussen de nationale instanties die verantwoordelijk zijn voor handhaving van de wetgeving inzake consumentenbescherming (A8-0077/2017 - Olga Sehnalová) (stemming)
 

- Πριν από την ψηφοφορία:

 
  
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  Julia Reda, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I would like to propose that the Chamber votes on the amendments to the draft legislative act first, in order to give the Members the opportunity to reinstate Parliament’s position on fundamental rights, safeguards against website blocking and a stronger position on consumer rights.

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová, zpravodajka. – Pane předsedající, já jsem proti tomuto návrhu jako zpravodajka, doporučuji hlasovat o výsledku vyjednávání, o té konečné dohodě.

 
  
 

(Το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο απορρίπτει την αίτηση.)

 

5.6. De inzet van cohesiebeleidsinstrumenten door regio's om demografische veranderingen aan te pakken (A8-0329/2017 - Iratxe García Pérez) (stemming)
 

- Πριν από την ψηφοφορία:

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, Ponente. – Señor presidente, Europa envejece. El 80 % de la población está en el 20 % del territorio. Nuestro medio rural agoniza y son urgentes medidas desde la Unión Europea para luchar contra la despoblación.

Pero quiero hoy poner en esta Cámara una especial atención a las declaraciones de ayer del señor diputado Korwin-Mikke respecto a este debate, en las que decía que las responsables de la despoblación somos las mujeres. Que nos ha dado por salir a trabajar y no por quedarnos en nuestras casas teniendo hijos. Esto es un insulto a las mujeres.

(Fuertes aplausos)

Un insulto a las mujeres que hemos decidido ser libres para trabajar dentro o fuera de nuestras casas. Hemos decidido ser libres para decidir si queremos ser madres o no queremos serlo. Por eso, pido a la Mesa del Parlamento que estudie estas declaraciones para ver si es posible alguna sanción al respecto, porque es totalmente inaceptable.

(Aplausos y abucheos)

Y quiero decir a sus señorías que quienes realmente deberían quedarse en su casa son los misóginos que no respetan a las mujeres que hemos decidido ser libres.

(Aplausos)

 
  
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  Bruno Gollnisch (NI). – Monsieur le Président, mon rappel au règlement se fonde sur l’article qui prévoit des sanctions pour les députés.

Je souhaite dire que je ne partage pas toujours, tant s’en faut, les opinions ou les propos de M. Korwin-Mikke mais, étant un ancien député dans ce Parlement, je ne vous cache pas, mes chers collègues, que je suis assez inquiet de la dérive répressive qui se manifeste de plus en plus.

Autrefois, le Président et le Bureau du Parlement ne pouvaient sanctionner que pour des députés perturbant gravement les travaux de l’assemblée. Or, de plus en plus, il semble que ceux qui tiennent des propos incorrects – mais qui va décider de la correction ou de l’incorrection d’un propos? – peuvent être sanctionnés, peuvent se voir ponctionner leurs indemnités, stigmatisés par le Bureau du Parlement.

Je crois qu’il s’agit là d’une dérive aussi dangereuse que celle à laquelle nous avons assisté, relativement au mandat d’arrêt européen utilisé aujourd’hui à l’encontre d’une personne, M. Puigdemont, dont je ne partage pas du tout les convictions, je ne suis pas favorable à l’indépendance de la Catalogne, mais j’estime anormal que ce mandat d’arrêt européen soit utilisé contre un réfugié indiscutablement politique.

 
  
 

Πρόεδρος. Κυρία García Pérez ως Προεδρεύων δεσμεύομαι να μεταφέρω και στον Πρόεδρο του Κοινοβουλίου και στο Προεδρείο του Ευρωκοινοβουλίου την πρότασή σας να μελετήσουμε τις δηλώσεις του συναδέλφου Κorwin Μikke και δεσμεύομαι να το κάνω και για έναν πρόσθετο λόγο ότι ανάμεσα στις αρμοδιότητες που έχω ως αντιπρόεδρος είναι η προάσπιση της ισότητας των φύλων και νιώθω διπλή υποχρέωση να κάνω αυτό που προτείνατε.

 
  
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  Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NI). – Panie Przewodniczący! Tutaj pani García Pérez dokonała rzeczy oburzającej, mianowicie wypowiedziała się przeciwko wolności słowa, która jest fundamentem Unii Europejskiej. Ja się domagam od Prezydium, żeby zajęło stanowisko w stosunku takich skandalicznych wypowiedzi.

 

5.7. Actieplan voor financiële retaildiensten (A8-0326/2017 - Olle Ludvigsson) (stemming)
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  Πρόεδρος. – H ώρα των ψηφοφοριών έληξε.

 

6. Stemverklaringen
Video van de redevoeringen

6.1. Mensenlevens redden: verbeteren van de veiligheid van voertuigen in de EU (A8-0330/2017 - Dieter-Lebrecht Koch)
Video van de redevoeringen
 

Προφορικές αιτιολογήσεις ψήφου

 
  
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  Alex Mayer (S&D). – Mr President, I am pleased to support the Saving Lives: Boosting Car Safety in the EU report, including its section on newly qualified drivers. Despite years of hard-hitting campaigns, one in eight deaths on British roads still involves a driver over the drink—drive limit, and it is newly qualified drivers in their 20s who have the highest rates of drink—driving crashes.

Not a single drop of alcohol before driving for newly qualified drivers is a simple and easy message. Yes, it is a controversial recommendation, but I believe it would save lives. As we have heard, alcohol bans for young and newly qualified drivers are already in place in other European countries, including Germany, Switzerland and Croatia. So I urge the British Government to take heed of this report and back the British Medical Association and the road safety charity, Brake, who have also called for the law to be tightened. We can stop needless, tragic deaths – so let us do it.

 
  
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  Adam Szejnfeld (PPE). – Rozmawiamy na temat bardzo ważny, a mianowicie na temat bezpieczeństwa na drogach Unii Europejskiej. Ważny jest on dlatego, że dotyka właściwie wszystkich obywateli państw członkowskich, a skutki tego bezpieczeństwa są przerażające: ponad 25 000 śmiertelnych ofiar rocznie, ponad 140 000 ludzi ciężko rannych, z czego 43% procent ofiar to piesi oraz rowerzyści. Powinniśmy więc podjąć bardzo ważne i skuteczne działania, i to na trzech płaszczyznach: pierwsza to ta, która dotyczy człowieka, druga to ta, która dotyczy infrastruktury, a trzecia oczywiście dotycząca już samych pojazdów, zwłaszcza że trzy czwarte pojazdów poruszających się po drogach Unii Europejskiej nie ma żadnych systemów wspomagania kierowców. To jest duże wyzwanie dla Unii Europejskiej.

 
  
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  Tania González Peñas (GUE/NGL). – Señor presidente, quiero felicitar al ponente por este buen informe ante un tema que es de la máxima importancia, y es que la seguridad vial en la Unión Europea provoca unas 25 500 muertes al año y más de 135 000 heridos graves, que son unas cifras absolutamente dramáticas. La mitad de las víctimas se encuentran en entornos urbanos y las estadísticas muestran que, mientras el número y la gravedad de los accidentados dentro de los vehículos se reducen, el porcentaje de víctimas entre los usuarios no motorizados, los peatones y ciclistas, no deja de aumentar.

Un mejor diseño de los vehículos, sistemas de alerta automáticos, disminuir la tasa de alcohol en sangre, en estos temas hemos avanzado mucho y seguiremos avanzando, pero hoy, ahora, debemos impulsar que nuestras ciudades prioricen este tema en sus agendas urbanas y adopten medidas que, con costes mínimos y perfectamente asumibles, tienen efectos enormes sobre la seguridad de sus habitantes, como limitar la velocidad de circulación urbana, limitar el número de vehículos privados en el área urbana y apostar por un transporte colectivo público y de calidad que garantice una movilidad accesible, inclusiva y segura para todas.

 
  
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  Daniel Hannan (ECR). – Mr President, this report is not really about car safety. It is about where the proper boundary should be drawn between regional, national and European authorities.

I am required, as a matter of EU law, to carry my children around in car seats until they reach a certain age or a minimum height. I had been looking forward to discarding the wretched yogurt-encrusted blobs at a much earlier stage – I speak obviously of the car seats, not of the children. You might think that makes me a terrible father, or you might think that it is a question of freedom, but that isn’t really the point. The point is, how on earth did we reach this point where this cannot be decided by our national democratic mechanisms and procedures? Where is the cross-border element? How is this a matter for proper international jurisdiction?

If the European Union restricted itself to those parts of jurisdiction that are genuinely in their nature international, no one would have had a problem with it. There would not have been a British referendum. The problem is, it doesn’t know when to stop.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, este un raport important și cred că viața oamenilor nu poate să fie pusă în fața a nimic altceva și cred că siguranța rutieră este în atenția noastră și a Comisiei pentru că are importanță. Am spus și în dezbatere: cred că este nevoie să ținem cont de cine influențează securitatea în transport. -Pe de-o parte, calitatea infrastructurii. Dacă nu vom corela programele, ca fondurile europene, fondurile structurale, fondul strategic de investiție să fie dirijat spre îmbunătățirea infrastructurii vor continua să fie accidente și familii care își pierd viața pe șoselele Uniunii Europene.

Mai trebuie să ținem cont de o îmbunătățire a calificării șoferilor și trebuie să fie uniformă această pregătire profesională pentru că altfel nu putem vorbi de mobilitate în piața unică.

Susțin raportul și îl felicit pe raportor și sper să avem o îmbunătățire în fapt a securității în circulația rutieră.

 
  
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  Michela Giuffrida (S&D). – 25 000 morti in un anno nell'Unione europea e 135 000 feriti gravi rappresentano tragedie e numeri terribili che riguardano tutti, ma proprio tutti noi, raccontando la quotidianità nelle strade della modernissima Europa. Il miglioramento della sicurezza stradale nell'Unione europea è elemento primario, se non per eliminare del tutto questi numeri, certamente per ridurre sensibilmente le statistiche. Le tecnologie di sicurezza da includere nella prossima revisione della normativa, come l'assistenza alla guida, la frenata di emergenza automatica e l'assistenza intelligente per il controllo della velocità sono priorità e devono divenire al più presto caratteristiche standard, ma davvero in tutta Europa. Non basta però soltanto questo. Dobbiamo pretendere che, qualora siano riscontrate non conformità, i consumatori europei debbano poter contare su misure correttive rapide, adeguate e coordinate. Solo così potremo contribuire a un processo che eviterà una strage sulle strade.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE). – Mr President, Europe’s roads are becoming safer each year. However, the number of fatalities still exceeds 25 000 a year. Hence I strongly support this proposal to take extra measures aimed at reducing the number of incidents on the roads. We need to ensure that there is the necessary infrastructure, especially in urban areas, so that pedestrians and cyclists are not at risk. In addition, we should not neglect the vehicle factor, which is fundamental for road safety, as the majority of incidents are caused by human error.

If we installed mandatory safety-related driver assistance systems as singled out in these proposals, it could prevent some of those incidents by assisting and correcting drivers’ behaviour. We should live under the principle that even one saved life on the roads matters.

 
  
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  Frédérique Ries (ALDE). – Monsieur le Président, 730 tués sur les routes belges, 4 200 blessés graves. Derrière les chiffres, qui sont terribles, autant de drames vécus chaque année par des parents et des familles. En Europe, ce sont plus de 25 000 personnes qui perdent la vie au volant ou à cause de lui.

Cette tendance est à la baisse – on l’a dit – mais une question reste lancinante: comment améliorer la sécurité sur les routes?

Le rapport Lebrecht Koch sur le renforcement de la sécurité des véhicules, que nous venons d’adopter ce midi, contient des propositions intéressantes, par exemple: l’obligation d’installer des systèmes intelligents de sécurité de la conduite dans chaque nouveau véhicule.

C’est évidemment insuffisant, nous devons aller plus loin, c’est ce que demandent les organisateurs de la conférence qui s’est déroulée, vendredi dernier à Bruxelles, autour du projet LISA Car (Light and save car, voiture légère et sûre).

Il est essentiel que l’Europe s’engage aux côtés des constructeurs automobiles dans la fabrication de voitures moins lourdes et moins puissantes et mette en place un cadre réglementaire qui protège vraiment l’environnement et l’intégrité physique de tous les usagers de la route.

 
  
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  Morten Messerschmidt (ECR). – Hr. formand! Det er ikke bare en fejl, når huset her og EU som institution tror, at ethvert problem, der måtte være på kontinentet, er et problem, EU skal løse. Det er faktisk et fundamentalt udtryk for et mistillidsforhold mellem EU og medlemslandene. For netop et spørgsmål som trafiksikkerhed er ikke et anliggende for EU. Det er tydeligvist noget, som skal håndteres regionalt eller nationalt, hvor vi med al respekt for huset her har politikere, der typisk er valgt med langt større stemmetal og dermed langt større demokratisk mandat end de fleste her i kammeret. Det er der, demokratiet hviler, og hvis EU ville noget med sig selv, ville tage sig selv alvorligt, så gjorde man det først og fremmest ved at tage subsidiaritetsprincippet/nærhedsprincippet alvorligt. Men det betyder selvfølgelig, at huset her får langt mindre at lave. Hvis man kun skal tage sig af de ting, som virkelig er grænseoverskridende, så bliver der færre ting at rode med. Til gengæld får de nationale parlamenter mere indflydelse, og det vil fundamentalt nok gøre, at også EU får en større opblomstring i befolkningen. Er det ikke værd at tage med?

 
  
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  Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NI). – Panie Przewodniczący! Głosowałem przeciwko sprawozdaniu, bo autorzy sprawozdania wydają się sądzić, że kierowcy są idiotami, którzy chcą pozabijać ludzi i sami zginąć, co nie jest prawdą. Natomiast jest jedna rzecz niepokojąca, otóż bardzo efektywnym środkiem karania ludzi jest kara śmierci, i dlatego właśnie kierowcy łamią różne przepisy, ale nigdy czy prawie nigdy nie wymuszają pierwszeństwa, bo za to grozi kara śmierci na miejscu. Otóż w tym sprawozdaniu nie ma ani słowa o jednym zagrożeniu, jakim jest wprowadzenie pojazdów autonomicznych. Jeżeli pojawią się pojazdy autonomiczne, to kierowca tego pojazdu nie będzie się bał umrzeć. Gwarancją bezpieczeństwa jest to, że inni kierowcy boją się umrzeć, i dlatego nie wymuszają pierwszeństwa. Jeżeli pojawią się pojazdy autonomiczne, to koniec z wszelkim bezpieczeństwem na drogach. Będę się bał jeździć po takiej drodze i o tym w sprawozdaniu nie ma ani słowa, a to jest podstawowe zagrożenie. Poza tym sądzę, że Unia Europejska musi być zniszczona.

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, δυστυχώς, περίπου το 92% όλων των ατυχημάτων οφείλεται στον ανθρώπινο παράγοντα ή σε αλληλεπίδραση του σφάλλοντος ανθρώπινου παράγοντα με τα οχήματα ή και τις υποδομές.

Πέραν όμως από την ανάπτυξη και εφαρμογή συστημάτων ασφαλείας που προσανατολίζονται στη συμπεριφορά του οδηγού και του οχήματος, πρέπει να δοθεί βαρύτητα και στη βελτίωση σε σημαντικό βαθμό της κατάστασης των οδικών υποδομών, κυρίως μέσω τακτικής και αποτελεσματικής συντήρησης οδικών συστημάτων και συστημάτων οδικής σήμανσης και μέσω των κατάλληλων αναβαθμίσεων, ώστε να αντιμετωπιστεί ο κυκλοφοριακός φόρτος.

Υπερψηφίζω τη συγκεκριμένη έκθεση, διότι κινείται προς τη σωστή κατεύθυνση ως προς τη διαμόρφωση της υπάρχουσας νομοθεσίας με σκοπό την εξασφάλιση της οδικής ασφάλειας σε πανευρωπαϊκό επίπεδο, με αποτελεσματικούς και τακτικούς οδικούς ελέγχους, χρηματοδότηση για τη δημιουργία νέων βέλτιστων οδικών υποδομών αλλά και την ενίσχυση της έρευνας και της τεχνολογίας στα αυτοκίνητα.

 

6.2. Territoriale typologieën (A8-0231/2017 - Iskra Mihaylova)
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Προφορικές αιτιολογήσεις ψήφου

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, υπερψηφίζω τη συγκεκριμένη έκθεση διότι οριοθετεί βασικούς ορισμούς και στατιστικά κριτήρια για τις διάφορες εδαφικές τυπολογίες, ώστε να υπάρχει κοινός τόπος αναφοράς για την εξαγωγή συμπερασμάτων και τη διαμόρφωση της περιφερειακής πολιτικής της Ένωσης.

Παρόλο που επί του παρόντος δεν υφίσταται επιλογή διαφορετικών εδαφικών επιπέδων και δεδομένων από τα κράτη μέλη, κατά κάποιον τρόπο ώστε η διαφοροποίηση του μεγέθους των εδαφικών μονάδων να είναι όσο το δυνατόν μικρότερη, η έκθεση κινείται στη σωστή κατεύθυνση. Τα στατιστικά εργαλεία πρέπει να βελτιωθούν περισσότερο, να είναι τεχνολογικά ουδέτερα, ενημερωμένα και πάντα προσαρμοσμένα στον στόχο, ώστε να εξασφαλίσουν τη βέλτιστη ποιότητα αποτύπωσης της πραγματικότητας.

 
  
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  Morten Messerschmidt (ECR). – Hr. formand! Ved flere lejligheder har vi konstateret, hvor følsomt et anliggende sprog er. Jeg husker, hvordan man dels grinede og rystede på hovedet, da Kommissionsformand Juncker i sin tid foreslog, at Brexit ville betyde, at vi slet ikke måtte tale engelsk mere i lokalet her eller i EU’s institutioner. På den måde rører sproget os, uanset hvor vi befinder os, og jeg stemte for strategien om, at fremtidige betænkninger og statistikker osv. skulle være tilgængelige også på regionale sprog og dialekter. Men netop fordi det er så sensitivt et område, er det væsentligt, at den slags går igennem de nationale ansvarlige demokratiske myndigheder. Det kan have store politiske og følelsesmæssige betydninger, hvordan man håndterer regionale sprog, og jeg frygter ærlig talt, at EU meget vel kan komme at begå sig som en elefant i en glasbutik, hvis man bare tromler løs. Så det er enormt vigtigt, at vi har de nationale myndigheder med, hvis man ønsker at fremme de lokale og regionale sprog. Det mener jeg er vigtigt i denne betænkning.

 

6.3. Erkenning van beroepskwalificaties in de binnenvaart (A8-0338/2016 - Gesine Meissner)
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  Danuta Jazłowiecka (PPE). – Żegluga śródlądowa jest istotnym elementem systemu transportowego w Unii Europejskiej. Aż 6% towarów przewozi się w ten sposób. Co jednak istotniejsze, Komisja Europejska w ostatnich latach kładzie istotny nacisk na rozwijanie sektora żeglugi śródlądowej, między innymi ze względu na stosunkowo niewielką szkodliwość dla środowiska. Plany Komisji mogą jednak zostać pokrzyżowane przez problem niedoboru wykwalifikowanych pracowników. Średnia wieku marynarzy śródlądowych to 55 lat, dodatkowo istniejące regulacje utrudniają ich mobilność pomiędzy państwami członkowskimi, bowiem nie ma spójnego systemu uznawania kwalifikacji, a istniejący dotyczy tylko kapitanów i nie obejmuje wszystkich rzek.

Dlatego też z zadowoleniem przyjmuję wniosek legislacyjny Komisji. Nowa dyrektywa może poprawić sytuację w sektorze, zwłaszcza ułatwić przenoszenie się do żeglugi śródlądowej marynarzy morskich i rybaków. Jednak najważniejszym jej elementem jest ustanowienie zharmonizowanego systemu egzaminacyjnego, dającego uprawnienia uznawane we wszystkich państwach członkowskich.

Żegluga śródlądowa to temat bardzo ważny z punktu widzenia regionu, z którego pochodzę. Mam nadzieję, że omawiana dyrektywa zostanie odpowiednio wdrożona przez państwa członkowskie i znacząco poprawi podaż wykwalifikowanych pracowników na rynku pracy.

 
  
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  Diane James (NI). – I voted against this proposal. Via its energy policies the European Union has taken control over the industrial base. Via its climate policies it has taken control over the power and air transport sector, and via this directive and the amendment it is taking full control over the major rivers and canals in the European Union.

The directive insists upon training requirements and certification, safety standards, environmental controls, workers’ and women’s rights, and so on. Crucially, and I emphasise ‘crucially’, it then demands that all the data related to waterway traffic is passed to and held by the Commission.

This is yet another of the European Union’s salami tactics decided on and driven towards ever closer union. Fine if you are an EU arch-federalist, not fine if you are a Euro-sceptic like myself.

 
  
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  Morten Messerschmidt (ECR). – Hr. formand! På arbejdsmarkedsområdet er det uhyre følsomt, hvordan og hvornår EU lovgiver. Vi har i mit land, Danmark, oplevet, hvordan EU er tromlet ind over gamle traditioner og velfungerende institutioner, som vores kollektive overenskomster og andre ting, som har skadet mere, end det har gavnet arbejdsmarkedet. På dette område, som handler om mobilitet, som handler om, at varer og dermed også arbejdstagere skal kunne bevæge sig ad søvejen mellem lande, der kan det selvsagt godt give mening at have fælles regler, forudsat at disse fælles regler respekterer de nationale regler, der findes som udgangspunkt. Så vidt jeg læser denne betænkning, så er det for en gangs skyld opfyldt, i modsætning til hvad vi har set bl.a. med udstationeringsdirektivet og vikardirektivet. Jeg har derfor stemt ja til denne betænkning. Jeg vil gerne understrege, at det er et ja, som er betinget, og at jeg hele tiden vil holde øje med, om Kommissionen går videre og overskrider sine beføjelser. Hvis den gør det, så mister den samtidig vores opbakning.

 

6.4. Samenwerking tussen de nationale instanties die verantwoordelijk zijn voor handhaving van de wetgeving inzake consumentenbescherming (A8-0077/2017 - Olga Sehnalová)
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  Adam Szejnfeld (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Ochrona konsumentów to jedno z największych wyzwań na budowanym w Unii Europejskiej jednolitym rynku, choćby dlatego, że rynek składający się dzisiaj z dwudziestu ośmiu państw (w przyszłości zobaczymy jeszcze, jaka to będzie liczba), jest rynkiem, który tworzy na pewno wiele patologii. Jednym z największych problemów jest rynek cyfrowy. Aż 68% konsumentów, którzy zgłaszają się do Europejskiego Centrum Konsumenckiego, narzeka właśnie na handel elektroniczny.

Dlatego potrzebujemy w Unii Europejskiej zwiększenia współpracy i współdziałania na rynku europejskim wszystkich organów ochrony konsumentów z państw członkowskich. To jest wielkie zadanie, dlatego popieram dzisiejsze sprawozdanie.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE). – Mr President, I voted in favour of this proposal. It aims to make the existing rules for cooperation among Member States on consumer protection laws be enforced more effectively. Taking into account an increase in international retail traffic and challenges related to the digital single market, adapting the rules is crucial in order to protect our citizens’ rights and their economic interests when doing e-commerce online or using other services of the internal market. For this we need to fight secrecy, have adequate consumer protection legislation and its enforcement plans in place, and of course ensure a functioning database among Member States and swift information exchange.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já jsem návrh zprávy paní kolegyně Sehnalové podpořil, protože přeshraniční spolupráce vnitrostátních orgánů, která může přímo podpořit účinnější dozor, vyšetřování či stíhání přeshraničního porušování práva, to vnímám skutečně jako jeden ze základních pilířů dodržování zákona na ochranu zájmů spotřebitelů.

Vzhledem k tomu, že obchodníci neustále rozšiřují okruh působnosti na jednotném trhu, je třeba přistupovat k případnému porušování práv spotřebitelů taktéž jednotně. Revidovaná nařízení tak musí vymezit mechanismy vymáhání práva, které používají vnitrostátní orgány při odstraňování nezákonných praktik a jsou aplikovatelné ve všech členských státech. Vnímám tak návrh Komise, který zavádí nové pojmy, jako je rozsáhlé porušování právních předpisů na ochranu spotřebitele s unijní dimenzí nebo novum výstražného mechanismu, za skutečně posun vpřed a podpořil jsem je.

 

6.5. De inzet van cohesiebeleidsinstrumenten door regio's om demografische veranderingen aan te pakken (A8-0329/2017 - Iratxe García Pérez)
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  Danuta Jazłowiecka (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Na pierwszym miejscu jest pan Polčák, dlatego właśnie myślałam, że to on będzie pierwszy występował.

Zmiany demograficzne to jedno z największych wyzwań dla Unii Europejskiej i jej państw członkowskich. Malejąca liczba ludności w wieku produkcyjnym osłabia potencjał naszej gospodarki, a w niedalekiej przyszłości może przyczynić się do załamania systemów emerytalnych. Większość specjalistów uważa, że właściwe rozwiązanie problemu może być przygotowane przede wszystkim na poziomie regionalnym, głównie ze względu na występujące zróżnicowane źródła zmian demograficznych. Dlatego niezmiernie cieszę się, że Komisja Rozwoju Regionalnego Parlamentu Europejskiego przygotowała sprawozdanie z zaleceniami działań na poziomie Unii Europejskiej i w państwach członkowskich, co z przyjemnością poparłam w głosowaniu.

Przy tej okazji chciałabym zwrócić Państwa uwagę na program realizowany w regionie, z którego pochodzę, w województwie opolskim. Sytuacja demograficzna w moim regionie jest jedną z najtrudniejszych w całej Unii. Aby do problemu podejść kompleksowo, stworzono program specjalnej strefy demograficznej. Przyjęty program składa się z czterech pakietów dotyczących pracy, edukacji, opieki żłobkowo-przedszkolnej oraz osób starszych. Program jest dobrym przykładem wykorzystywania instrumentów polityki spójności przez władze regionalne do przeciwdziałania negatywnym zmianom demograficznym. Jestem przekonana, iż doświadczenia mojego rodzinnego regionu mogą być pomocne w przyszłych próbach wykorzystywania funduszy unijnych do przeciwdziałania depopulacji innych obszarów w Europie.

 
  
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  Adam Szejnfeld (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Europa się starzeje, ludność produkcyjna w 2080 roku ma spaść z 66% do 56%, natomiast ludność powyżej 65 roku życia ma się zwiększyć z 19% do 29%. Bardzo groźnie zmieni się więc stosunek ludzi aktywnych zawodowo do tych, którzy już nie będą pracowali. Z dzisiejszego stosunku czterech do jednego zmniejszy się do poziomu dwa do jednego. Mimo tak zatrważających perspektyw wydaje się, że Unia Europejska nie ma przekrojowej, europejskiej strategii rozwiązywania problemów demograficznych. To wydaje się jednym z największych wyzwań bieżącego stulecia i powinniśmy stawić temu czoła już teraz, dzisiaj, między innymi wykorzystując instrumenty finansowe Unii Europejskiej z całym wachlarzem funduszy, w tym z Funduszem Spójności.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (ALDE). – Iš tiesų mažas gimstamumas, jaunimo trūkumas, senstanti visuomenė, emigracija kelia daug rūpesčių, ir pagrįstai. Mes visi suprantame, kad Europa be europiečių kaip projektas neturi ateities. Mums visiems reikia suprasti, kad demografinė dimensija, apie kurią mes kalbame šiame pranešime, yra ir privalo būti svarbi regioninės politikos dalis. Klausimas: kaip įgyvendinti šią regioninę politiką ir kaip geriau sukaupti tuos fondus arba tas politikos priemones, kurios turi vesti prie geresnės demografinės situacijos. Aš galbūt kvestionuočiau tuos siūlymus, kuriuos mes šiandien priėmime, nors pritariu bendram sprendimui. Aš manau, kad ekonominė politika, darbo vietų kūrimas ir perspektyvumas tam tikruose regionuose – toks turi būti mūsų atsakymas, nei labai jau dosnus socialinės politikos vystymas tuose regionuose. Šeimas reikia remti visoje Europoje, taip pat ir mano valstybėje Lietuvoje. Išskirtinis šeimų rėmimas kažkur atskiruose regionuose sukurs nelygybės jausmą, o ne atvirkščiai. Todėl aš tikiuosi, kad priėmę šitą sprendimą mes turėsime galimybę jį ir patobulinti.

 
  
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  Момчил Неков (S&D). – Г-н Председател, миграцията, ниската раждаемост и застаряването на населението не са нови феномени. Това, което е новото в случая е, че интензитетът е много по-голям. По данни на Националния статистически институт в България всеки втори, който е напуснал страната, е под 39 години. Младите и образовани хора избират еднопосочен билет за по-добра реализация и по-добро бъдеще като цяло. Наред с това страната ни е на път да попадне и в класацията на хиперзастаряващите общества в световен мащаб.

Питам се кога тази статистика най-накрая ще стресне управляващите в България да започнат да работят целенасочено за справянето с този проблем. Целенасочен подход е необходим и на европейско ниво. Смятам, че политиката на сближаване трябва да играе ключова роля в този процес.

В Многогодишната финансова рамка след 2020 година смятам, че трябва да се предвиди специален ресурс за тези европейски региони, които са най-сериозно засегнати от демографските промени.

 
  
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  Branislav Škripek (ECR). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, hovoríme tu o rôznych krízach, ale s tou skutočnou krízou v Európe je to, že vymierame. Som preto rád, že pani García Pérez prišla na to, že pomôcť regiónom v Európskej únii znamená, že zlepšíme podmienky na život mladým, starým ako aj detí, a potom dospelí ľudia nebudú musieť odchádzať od svojich rodín za prácou do iných regiónov, či štátov a ohrozovať tak rozvoj svojich rodín. Je dôležité budovať spoločnosť tak, aby sa znovu vybudovali medzigeneračné rodinné vzťahy. Európska únia k tomu môže pomôcť práve riešením tej demokratickej krízy práve budovaním regionálnej infraštruktúry, kultúry života a hlásením sa k rodinným tradíciám. Veď budúcnosť Európy sú naše deti, ktoré vyrastajú v zdravých a prirodzených rodinách. Kde je tu, prosím, ocenenie matiek a otcov a prirodzených rodín? Prečo venujeme milióny na podporu rôznych projektov LGBTI a rovnakým dielom nepodporujeme prolife projekty, či mnohodetné rodiny. Áno, rodinná politika je v kompetencií členských štátov a má to tak zostať, ale ak chceme aby Európa mala nádej, je nutné chrániť životy našich detí, a to aj tých počatých a nenarodených. Preto Vás povzbudzujem, vykročme takouto cestou a budeme rásť a nebudem mať demografický problém a nezomrieme.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, there is no doubt about it, but demographic change is a significant strategic challenge for all of Europe. The Eurostat projection figures have revealed the decreasing labour force, which is expected to decline by 1.9 million people by 2020. Throughout the period 2008-2030, population decline is anticipated in one-third of European regions. Furthermore, it is predicted that the proportion of persons over the age of 65 will increase from 18.9 % in 2015 to 28.7 % in 2080.

Thankfully in my own country, while we will have an aging population, we do have a very young population as well. The highest proportion of young people in the total population is 21.9 %. This of course offers its own challenges, especially in creating employment. The demographic change will affect education systems, health and community services. I am pleased that this was addressed by our new leader Leo Varadkar at our national convention at the weekend and he will be speaking before Parliament here in the new year.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já chci zdůraznit, že na této zprávě vnímám celou řadu pozitivních momentů. Je skutečností, že demografická změna představuje nejvýznamnější výzvu pro členské státy Evropské unie a pro Evropu vůbec v tomto století.

Nicméně jakkoliv vnímám za pozitivní, že se tato zpráva těmto momentům věnuje, je důležité říci, že tato zpráva rovněž v zásadě říká, že by mělo být oslabeno kritérium HDP pro poskytování podpor v rámci kohezních fondů. A zpravodajka tak trochu nahlédla do dveří, které otevřela, ale neřekla, jaké má být tedy zapojení těch jiných dalších kritérií do rozdělování prostředků v rámci kohezní politiky. Já se domnívám, že je důležité, aby to kritérium HDP zůstalo jako prvotní a právě pro ty ekonomiky, které nemají tak výraznou výkonnost, zůstalo toto kritérium jako hlavní, případně doplněné právě o demografické ukazatele. Ty ekonomiky, které jsou výkonné, tak ty demografické ukazatele musí být schopny zvládnout v rámci svých vlastních ekonomických parametrů.

 

6.6. Actieplan voor financiële retaildiensten (A8-0326/2017 - Olle Ludvigsson)
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  Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE). – Mr President, the financial and banks services in the EU is the area where the internal market has not progressed as far as we might have wished. The numbers are astonishing. For example, 92% of the respondents in the Eurobarometer Survey said that they have never purchased any financial products or services in countries other than their own. Less than 20 of these respondents have any bank account, any credit account, anything in states other than their own and, most gravely, if you have one, you will probably be considered a criminal. We have to change this. One way of changing it is with this file, with its clear proposals ending territorial restrictions, enhancing transparency of cross-border fees, and making it easier for consumers to change financial services and providers. These are crucial steps we need to take, and that is why I voted for this file.

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, καταψηφίζω την έκθεση για το σχέδιο δράσης για τις λιανικές χρηματοπιστωτικές υπηρεσίες, παρότι έχει αρκετά θετικά σημεία και σωστές επισημάνσεις. Όμως, η εφαρμοζόμενη πολιτική της Ένωσης στην αγορά των λιανικών χρηματοπιστωτικών υπηρεσιών έχει συμβάλει στην αύξηση των τιμών των προϊόντων, στη μείωση της ανταγωνιστικότητας, στην αύξηση της καχυποψίας των καταναλωτών και στον αργό θάνατο του χρηματοοικονομικού τομέα των λιανικών υπηρεσιών.

Τα οργανωμένα συμφέροντα, η διαπλοκή και ο αθέμιτος ανταγωνισμός τροφοδοτούν τα φαινόμενα απάτης, την ανελέητη φορολογία, την αφερεγγυότητα των υπηρεσιών προσφυγής των καταναλωτών, ενώ ταυτόχρονα βάζουν εμπόδια σε πλείστες λιανικές χρηματοπιστωτικές υπηρεσίες, όπως οι διαδικτυακές πωλήσεις χρηματοπιστωτικών υπηρεσιών, η ανταλλαγή τραπεζικών προϊόντων, οι συναλλαγματικές χρηματικές πράξεις, οι πωλήσεις ασφαλιστικών προϊόντων, κ.λπ.

Τέλος, θέλω να επισημάνω ότι κάθε νομοθετική πρωτοβουλία βελτίωσης υφιστάμενων κανόνων θα πρέπει να συνοδεύεται από ένα δικονομικό σύστημα επιβολής ποινών και κυρώσεων στους παραβάτες σε ενωσιακό επίπεδο, αλλιώς είναι καταδικασμένο σε αφάνεια και ανυποληψία.

 
  
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  Lucy Anderson (S&D). – Mr President, this report underlines that the retail financial services market requires innovation in order genuinely to help consumers and businesses. I welcome that fact. It also shows that there needs to be a focus on ensuring prevention of predatory lending and payday loans, which have resulted in the exploitation of small businesses and individual consumers, particularly the vulnerable, across the EU.

It is therefore vital that, in order to do so, the relevant European financial supervisors are given the appropriate resources to fulfil their full range of duties. A strong regulatory system will increase consumer confidence and the internal market cannot function properly without strong consumer protection mechanisms. Additionally, developing retail financial services should not be to the detriment of more traditional methods of banking and should bear in mind the needs of those who prefer face-to-face interaction. The report acknowledges that branch closures destroy community cohesion and are detrimental to the development of good financial services at a local level. This was reflected in the final text and that is why I voted in favour of this report.

 
  
 

Πρόεδρος. Ολοκληρώθηκε η διαδικασία επεξήγησης ψήφου. Η συνεδρίαση διακόπτεται έως τις 15.00.

 

7. Rectificaties stemgedrag/Voorgenomen stemgedrag: zie notulen
Video van de redevoeringen
 

(Η συνεδρίαση διακόπτεται έως τις 13.29.)

 
  
  

PRÉSIDENCE DE MME Sylvie GUILLAUME
Vice-présidente

 

8. Hervatting van de vergadering: zie notulen
Video van de redevoeringen
 

(La séance est reprise à 15 heures)

 

9. Goedkeuring van de notulen van de vorige vergadering: zie notulen
Video van de redevoeringen

10. Samenstelling commissies en delegaties: zie notulen
Video van de redevoeringen

11. De rechtsstaat in Malta (debat)
Video van de redevoeringen
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  La Présidente. – L’ordre du jour appelle le débat sur les déclarations du Conseil et de la Commission sur l’état de droit à Malte (2017/2935(RSP)).

 
  
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  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, common values such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and human rights are the cornerstone of the European Union. Each Member State must therefore respect, protect and promote them. Three weeks ago I intervened in this Chamber after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. We all condemned this barbaric crime and expressed the expectation that the perpetrators would be brought to justice.

We were all in agreement that media freedom is an indispensable pillar of our democratic societies. For this reason, freedom of expression, media freedom and pluralism are guaranteed in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights. They are among the core basic democratic values on which the European Union is founded.

In October, the Council held its annual rule of law dialogue, which was an important opportunity to take a critical look at the rule of law situation in the Member States and the Union. This year the dialogue was about media pluralism in the digital age and about the challenges that the digital age brings to the rule of law. In the context of that debate, all Member States agreed that free, reliable and pluralistic media underpins effective democracy.

The continued debate on these issues shows again that the protection and promotion of the rule of law and human rights are a constant challenge. This challenge requires unwavering attention and efforts across different policy areas. Our core values are put to the test every day. Our societies are still facing multiple inter—related crises, be it in the area of migration or internal security. Discussions such as the one today are important. Our citizens must be able to have trust in the functioning of our democratic institutions.

We commend the Maltese Government for having acted immediately as news broke of the assassination to ensure that justice is done. The Maltese authorities also opened up their investigations and sought international assistance. The police force asked for assistance and teamed up with the American FBI, Dutch and Italian forensic forces, as well as Europol, to make sure that no stone is left unturned in the investigation. I would like to recall the readiness of the Member States to help in all matters as needed.

Malta has shown that its institutions are well—functioning in responding to this challenge. Ensuring the rule of law is an absolute priority and has to be our joint commitment – of the Member States and of EU institutions together. Equally, fundamental rights need to be upheld and defended as our best guarantee for sustaining stable, open and free societies. We trust that the Maltese authorities will ensure that justice will be delivered in the case of the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia. I will listen to the debate with great interest.

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, it has been ten days since the world witnessed Daphne Caruana Galizia’s funeral in Malta. A nation in mourning. We all saw it.

The Commission condemned this brutal assassination in the strongest words possible. The rights of a journalist and blogger to investigate, to ask uncomfortable questions and to report effectively is at the heart of our values and needs to be guaranteed at all times. There can be no free and democratic societies without free media. The Commission takes the view that ensuring an independent and thorough investigation of the facts and bringing those responsible to justice must be the top priority for the Maltese Government. The Maltese authorities and institutions must deliver on their clear commitment to do everything in their power to ensure that the perpetrators will be brought to justice.

More generally, Malta needs to show to Europe – and indeed the world – that its rules and regulations are healthy and robust. This is why it is important that the Maltese Government has indicated that the investigation and prosecution should be allowed to run their full course regardless of the consequences. I want to add that, on every occasion that I have to talk to members of the Maltese Government, I make this point and it is acknowledged by them that they will do so and that they will commit to that.

But this also includes making sure that the rules that we agreed at European level are implemented on the ground. The fight against money laundering, for instance, is a key priority for the Commission in this respect. With regard to the issue of money laundering in Malta, the Commission has conducted a fact-finding exercise and an analysis. The guiding principle was to identify quality and reliable data. The facts as they resulted from our analysis – and let me stress this – raise no general concerns on Malta’s overall compliance. However, improvements could be made on various levels. In this context, the Commission recently sent a letter to the Maltese authorities regarding follow-up investigations to recommendations after the Maltese Financial Intelligence and Analysis Unit published its report, and we are now carefully studying their comprehensive reply.

As part of our efforts in the fight against money laundering, moreover, we are making sure that all Member States, including Malta, adopt the necessary provisions to transpose the Fourth Anti—Money Laundering Directive. The Commission decision on infringement proceedings against those Member States which have not yet notified their national transposition laws is imminent. We encourage those Member States to adopt the necessary rules now, without further delay.

The Commission regularly collects data on the functioning of the judicial systems of all Member States in the EU Justice Scoreboard, and we are monitoring corruption in Member States as part of the European Semester. The Commission agrees with Parliament that we need to improve the protection of whistle—blowers throughout the EU. The revision of the Fourth Anti—Money Laundering Directive, currently under negotiation between Parliament and the Council, will enhance the powers of the competent authorities to prevent and fight money laundering. I hope that this legislation will be adopted soon. Finally, the Commission encourages Malta to swiftly join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. This would send a strong positive signal of Malta’s commitment to working actively together in the area of freedom, security and justice.

In conclusion, let me say that every time I have the occasion to meet with the Maltese authorities – I met with the Minister for European Affairs and Equality, Ms Dalli, and the Minister for Justice, Culture and Local Government, Mr Bonnici, last week – they have clearly expressed their determination to do whatever is necessary to make sure that these things are implemented to the full, and also to make sure that those responsible for this atrocious crime are brought to justice. The commitment of the Maltese Government on this was made very clear to all its partners in Europe.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, this Thursday it will be one month since the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia and we do not yet know who killed her, who ordered the killing and who supported the killers.

I am ashamed, and we all should be ashamed because without this killing we would never have known here what happens in Malta: journalists being harassed, denounced and even killed, media houses being blackmailed by banks suspected of money laundering and tax evasion, high government officials suspected of being implicated also in the same operations, and police authorities refusing to investigate those allegations because they have been appointed by and have economic and personal ties with the government.

We cannot remain silent, so today we ask for three concrete actions. First, we want the Commission to immediately launch a rule of law dialogue with Malta. Second, we want the Maltese authorities to investigate and to prosecute money laundering, no matter the names or the organisations implicated. Thirdly, we want an independent and international investigation into the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

We have to say, loud and clear, that Europe’s values and principles are much more important than money. Daphne’s moral legacy belongs to Europe now. Europe is about justice, about separation of powers and about the rule of law. Everybody knows that. But Europe is also about freedom, transparency and truth. Every time Europe has faced the abyss, the ballpoint pen of a journalist has been the last defensive line for our democracy. This is the Europe Daphne Caruana Galizia dreamed of and wanted, and so do we.

 
  
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  Tanja Fajon, v imenu skupine S&D. – Brutalen umor Daphne Caruana Galizia je odprl številna vprašanja o svobodi medijev. Svoboda izražanja in medijev je ključ obstoja demokracije, zato me ta vprašanja še posebej skrbijo. Malteški kolegi mi zagotavljajo, da si vlada z vsemi silami prizadeva pri raziskavi umora, v katero je vključila neodvisne mednarodne strokovnjake in organizacije. To močno pozdravljam.

Pozdravljam tudi modernizacijo in korenite vsebinske spremembe na področju medijskih in drugih zakonov, predvsem glede klevetanja, zaščite prijaviteljev, oziroma žvižgačev, ukinitvijo cenzure za umetniška dela, financiranja političnih strank. Umor je poglobil tudi vprašanja glede korupcije, predvsem v političnih vrhovih, pranja denarja, vpletenosti politikov v škandale, vloge bank, zaskrbljujoča so poročila o prodajanju državljanstev in spolitiziranost nekaterih javnih ustanov. In na vsa ta vprašanja pričakujemo odgovore.

Kljub temu pa ne morem pozdraviti močno pretiranih reakcij kolegov, predvsem iz EPP, ki po umoru novinarke naznanjajo, da je na Malti prišlo do kolapsa pravne države in sistema. S tem se, kolegi, ne strinjam. Dejstvo je, da se številne države v Evropski uniji soočajo z ožanjem prostora svobode medijev, korupcijo, vpletenostjo v finančne škandale in zmanjšuje neodvisnost sodstva, dejavnosti civilne družbe. Samo na primeru Madžarske ali Poljske, ki imata kar nekaj resnih sistemskih problemov v zagotavljanju temeljnih pravic, je jasno, da imamo lahko skupaj upravičene skrbi v delovanje pravnih držav.

V tem trenutku je pomembno prvič, da malteška vlada transparentno izvede in predstavi preiskavo umora ter z državami članicami in EU institucijami sodeluje pri naslavljanju vseh omenjenih skrbi, in drugič, da smo v boju za vladavino prava in skrbi za državljane enotni in v vseh državah uporabljamo enake vatle.

(Govornica je zavrnila vprašanje z dvigom modrega kartončka, ki ga je postavil Paulo Rangel)

 
  
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  Maite Pagazaurtundúa Ruiz, en nombre del Grupo ALDE. – Señora presidenta; Malta: 436 000 habitantes y un puñado de héroes. Desde el 16 de octubre, una persona íntegra menos.

Daphne Caruana se vio obligada a tener un comportamiento heroico porque algunos habitantes no quisieron ni quieren saber, otros consienten, otros callan, mientras algunos van corrompiendo bancos y espacios de poder.

Las filtraciones del blanqueamiento de capitales a nivel internacional han puesto a Malta ante el espejo y en el punto de mira. El Estado de Derecho ha fallado y Daphne sufrió muerte civil y económica, querellas, cuentas bloqueadas antes de su asesinato. Cada ciudadano europeo debe conocer el asesinato de Daphne, porque sus inductores no pueden controlarlo todo.

El comisario Moscovici, esta mañana, ha indicado que existen prácticas sistemáticas mundiales y organizadas de elusión y evasión fiscal. Una filtración tras otra, una investigación periodística tras otra... Sabemos que fallan los órganos supervisores, fallan los Estados miembros, fallan las listas de paraísos fiscales. Pero, en algunos lugares, la corrupción alcanza el corazón del Estado y, cuando esto ocurre, la libertad de expresión formalmente existe, pero entraña riesgos.

Daphne colaboró con este Parlamento a través de la comisión de investigación de los papeles de Panamá que dirige el señor Langen, que está aquí. Gracias a las filtraciones hemos podido tener una panorámica sistemática de cómo se eluden las legislaciones nacionales y las normas de los organismos de control y supervisión nacionales e internacionales; cómo el crimen organizado y ciertos oligarcas actúan a nivel mundial.

Desde hace más de un año, en la comisión de investigación sobre los papeles de Panamá hemos indiciado que existe en Malta un problema estructural que debilita la democracia, por esta lacra mundial. En Malta, pero no solo en Malta —y lo digo con tristeza—, también en mi país, con dinero suficiente se compra a la ciudadanía, y eso debe ser prohibido.

Daphne trabajó las pistas maltesas. Ella contó todo lo que sabía, y ahora nuestra obligación es no olvidar, evitar la impunidad, pero no solo de su asesinato, también de lo que denunció y por lo que la mataron. Debemos hacerlo en defensa propia, porque estas formas de delito que denunció pueden pudrir cada una de nuestras democracias. Contra la impunidad no valen las lágrimas de cocodrilo, ni de la Comisión ni del Consejo.

Señor Timmermans, el señor Juncker debe poner en cuarentena su amistad con el señor Muscat hasta que se aclare el asesinato y la situación de la democracia en Malta. En el siglo XXI la democracia se la juega contra los populistas, pero también contra la delincuencia internacional. Nuestra Resolución debe traducirse por tanto en hechos.

 
  
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  Patrick Le Hyaric, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Madame la Présidente, le lâche assassinat de notre confrère la journaliste Daphne Caruana Galizia ne fait que soulever le couvercle sur le non-respect de l’état dit de droit par le gouvernement de Malte.

C’est parce qu’elle dénonçait de multiples pratiques contraires à ce que nous appelons «nos valeurs», dont la vente de la nationalité au plus offrant, le changement à cinq reprises du chef de la police en quatre ans, l’évasion fiscale et le blanchiment d’argent, et le camouflage de la corruption d’Azerbaïdjan qu’elle a été assassinée.

Si vraiment l’Union européenne est une communauté de droit, elle ne peut tolérer des manquements aussi manifestes à ses principes et doit d’urgence modifier ses instruments pour faire respecter précisément cet état de droit, tout comme elle ne peut davantage tolérer les pratiques fiscales d’États qui sapent une des bases de nos démocraties, et sans doute de la civilisation, l’égalité devant l’impôt.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, I would like to say clearly why we are here today, and why we are here today again after such short notice. The last discussion focused, also in the response by the Council and the Commission, very much on the precise death and murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, but we did not discuss seriously the wider issues. Today again, the Council has not answered the questions concerning the rule of law we have raised in our resolution, and therefore I was very disappointed by your response.

While the Commission today has given much clearer answers than last time, I would like to stress that several issues are still open and, Mr Timmermans, I hope your notebook is open for these issues. How is it possible that the Head of the Financial Services Authority, Mr Bannister, is, at the same time, the vice-president of the Financial Development Agency of Malta? This is basically saying that the boss of the supervisors is at the same time the boss of those who should develop the sector. Therefore, the Commission should take action to clarify what the status of a financial supervisor is, and what conflicts of interest in that area mean.

Malta has recently had big financial and economic success with online gambling and I would like to say on behalf of our Group that there is nothing wrong with online gambling as such, but there is a problem if the cross-border provision of these services is based on hyper-low taxation, and secondly, on the illegal provision across borders through the internet, which allows financial companies to make at least EUR 1 billion just for the transfers to the respective societies. So the question is: isn’t there a hole in the application of national and European law in the area of online gambling?

There were also important questions about the buying of voters in the last Maltese elections, and there is the question why do Nexia BT and Pilatus Bank still have licences in Malta? So there are serious issues which were not on your list, Mr Timmermans. Will you commit today to look into these subjects and take seriously the questions that Parliament is raising?

 
  
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  Monica Macovei, în numele grupului ECR. – Doamna președintă, mii de oameni au ieșit în stradă cerând dreptate pentru Daphne Caruana Galizia, omorâtă, reamintesc, în cruciada împotriva corupției din Malta. Au protestat împotriva corupției care ucide. Colegii ei au spus: „ucigașii nu i-au omorât spiritul, nu vor putea să ne amuțească pe noi toți!” și oamenii au strigat: „ nu luați în deșert democrația!” Ce s-a întâmplat după moartea lui Dahpne? Au apărut Paradise Papers și avem peste treisprezece milioane de noi documente care ne arată dimensiunea enormă a corupției și a spălării banilor. Totul se întâmplă aici, sub ochii noștri și în Europa și cu complicitatea noastră, dacă nu facem nimic.

Daphne avea dreptate și tocmai de aceea a murit. Suntem complici pentru că nu luptăm până la capăt, dacă nu luptăm până la capăt, pentru desființarea paradisurilor fiscale, pentru eliminarea acțiunilor la purtător, pentru accesul public, total, la beneficiarii reali ai acțiunilor din toate companiile private sau de stat și pentru multe alte lucruri care ar putea elimina acest război împotriva oamenilor, a oamenilor cinstiți, acest război al celor care se îmbogățesc și fac miliarde prin corupție, fraudă, spălare de bani și reușesc să scape de lege. Pe noi nu ne-au redus la tăcere și vom merge mai departe și mai mult având în noi spiritul lui Daphne.

 
  
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  Raymond Finch, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, obviously our heartfelt condolences go out to the family of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The murderers and those who instructed them to carry out this awful deed must be found and brought to justice, whoever they may be. This situation, though, must not be used as an oyster knife to open the judicial system of Malta and the other nation states to interference by the European Union. Rather, it is an opportunity for Malta itself, as a sovereign nation, to expunge the taints of gangsterism.

Malta has proven itself in the past to be a proud and brave nation, and this is an opportunity to show that it is still that nation, and to honour the life and the memory of Daphne Caruana Galizia.

 
  
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  Edouard Ferrand, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Présidente, mes chers collègues, l’île de Malte est un des berceaux de la civilisation européenne. C’est une île stratégique en Méditerranée, à une époque où la Méditerranée est complètement bouleversée. Cependant, malheureusement, l’île de Malte ne vit pas aujourd’hui ses meilleurs jours dans l’actualité.

L’île de Malte, aujourd’hui, connaît deux problèmes. D’une part, l’évasion fiscale et, d’autre part, la corruption. L’évasion fiscale, parce que nous en avons parlé avec les «Paradise Papers», mais aussi pour la fraude à la TVA. Quant à la corruption, malheureusement, c’est un problème répandu dans un certain nombre d’États qui composent l’Union européenne.

Peut-on ajouter que c’est un gang criminel qui dirige aujourd’hui ce petit État?

À une époque où on attaque violemment Madrid et Varsovie, où l’Espagne et la Pologne sont les victimes de l’Union européenne, je crois qu’il est temps, aujourd’hui, de désigner les vrais coupables et qu’il est temps que l’Union envoie une mission de parlementaires européens pour examiner ce qui se passe sur l’île de Malte.

 
  
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  Frank Engel (PPE). – Madam President, Ms Fajon has said that the European People’s Party (the PPE) is insinuating that the rule of law in Malta has collapsed after the assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia. The truth is, we insinuate that the rule of law collapsed a long time before that murder and that this murder is one of the consequences of the total collapse of the rule of law in Malta, that it is one of the consequences of the privatisation of state institutions, the subjugation of institutions of state to the private interests of the highest actors of the state, and of one particular party that created the atmosphere, created the circumstances in which such a heinous crime could take place in the 21st century in the middle of the European Union.

The contempt in which the Maltese Government holds this House, by the way, has never been more visible than by the fact that Mr Maasikas has to defend Malta in this debate. Have we ever seen the Hungarian Prime Minister – and everyone knows that I am not carrying him in my heart – refusing or cowing out from defending his country or a potential attack on his country in this House. We have never seen anything like that. We now see Mr Maasikas, who has nothing to do with the corrupt practices of the Maltese Government, having to stand up for something which is indefensible and unjustifiable.

Some of Daphne’s last written words were: ‘there are crooks everywhere you look, the situation is desperate’. Well, depending on where you looked, you always saw the same thing and that is prominent people from Azerbaijan – very prominent people from Azerbaijan – in the company of very prominent people from Malta – virtually half the leadership of the Labour Party, be that the Prime Minister, be that the Prime Minister and his small party who travelled there unaccompanied and brought back I don’t know what, or be that Mr Farrugia, who is still the speaker of the Parliament of Malta and who has nothing better to do than regularly travel there and applaud them for the brilliant elections that they hold.

This is what has rotted Malta through – the fact that a country like Azerbaijan could insinuate itself in the form of a bank called Pilatus, in the heart of a European democracy, and from there reach out its tentacles to stifle democratic expression. This is what we are confronted with. This is why this murder needs to be investigated. And this is why no angle needs to be left untouched in this investigation.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D). – Madam President, this House prides itself on being strong in the defence of human rights and the rule of law according to our common human European values, but to remain strong the action it takes must be based on due process that collects facts as evidence, puts them in context and assesses them as a whole. Otherwise this Parliament risks losing credibility. Worse, it risks devaluing the values that we all claim to believe in.

A brutal assassination has taken place in Malta. It has shocked us all. Justice needs to be done. In the investigation the Maltese Government has called upon the Dutch and US police authorities, as well as Europol, for help, but the outcome of one murder investigation, whatever and whenever it is, cannot be held to reflect on the rule of law here or wherever. Malta is being assailed for perceived deficiencies in the rule of law on the basis of jumbled facts and semi—facts, unproven allegations taken at face value, innuendos and issues irrelevant to the rule of law. Is this being done as a tit—for—tat related to processes about the rule of law that other Member States are being subjected to?

Yet the Maltese Government has repeatedly agreed to receive delegations of this Parliament to investigate issues that are raised and it is still doing so. It has accepted – indeed invited – Commission scrutiny over a variety of areas, as Mr Timmermans has told us. Partisanship over the rule of law will undermine the moral basis of this House, when it has to raise issues related to it. This is being done because, in the wash of interests and allegiances that define this House, it is easiest for EU Member States to overlook Malta’s realities and to cast doubts on the motives of the Maltese Government.

Yet that Government has just been re—elected with an absolute majority, possessed by no other party that is represented in this House. It has guided the Maltese economy towards growth rates that are among the highest – if not the highest – in Europe.

Attitudes in a debate like this should be objective. They are being tendentious. We need well—informed assessments. Instead we have prejudice and polemical opinions brewed like instant coffee. Subjected to such a methodology, all Member States can be made to smell foul. If the joint motion before us passes as written, the credentials of this Parliament to really show how to defend European values transparently and honestly could well be put at risk.

 
  
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  Bernd Lucke (ECR). – Frau Präsidentin! Es ist ein schrecklicher Mord in Malta geschehen. Aber der Gegenstand dieser Debatte ist nicht dieser Mord, über dessen Verurteilung wir uns ja alle einig sind, sondern der Gegenstand dieser Debatte ist die Frage, wie es mit der Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta bestellt ist. Herr Engel hat das sehr gut ausgeführt, Herr Sant hat gerade eine andere Meinung dazu von sich gegeben. In diesen beiden Redebeiträgen – und ich hoffe in vielen, die jetzt noch folgend werden – werden die entscheidenden Fragen gestellt: Wie steht es mit der Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta? Wie steht es mit der Rechtsstaatlichkeit in einem Staat, der seine Staatsbürgerschaften einfach verkauft? So, wie die katholische Kirche früher ihre Ämter verkauft hat, so werden die Staatsbürgerschaften verkauft! Und dann hört man in der Debatte sogar noch, dass es in Spanien auch so geht, was ich bislang nicht wusste.

Wir müssen fragen: Wie steht es mit den Verleumdungsgesetzen in Malta, von denen behauptet wird, dass sie die Pressefreiheit einschränken? Wir müssen doch fragen: Was macht diese Pilatus Bank in Malta, und setzt man ihr die angemessenen Grenzen? Das sind doch die Fragen, die hier gestellt werden müssen. Hat Malta noch die Kraft, seine Gesetze durchzusetzen, und sind die Gesetze so beschaffen, dass sie unseren Ansprüchen in der Europäischen Union genügen? Das ist das Thema der Debatte und nicht die Verurteilung des Mordes.

 
  
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  Louis Michel (ALDE). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, je dois vous dire que je suis un peu troublé, voire inquiet, de l’intervention de notre collègue S&D qui semble minimiser le trouble qu’inspire la situation à Malte.

L’assassinat lâche et abject de Daphne Caruana Galizia exige que l’Union européenne et au-delà la communauté internationale agissent d’une manière déterminée et urgente pour mettre fin aux flux financiers illicites et aux paradis fiscaux.

Le travail des lanceurs d’alerte et des médias est essentiel pour révéler l’ampleur de la fraude et de l’évasion fiscales. Leur protection doit être juridiquement garantie et renforcée sur tout le territoire de l’Union.

Je suis évidemment très heureux que nous ayons voté en faveur d’un mécanisme général de protection au niveau de l’Union européenne, mais il faut aller plus loin et mettre en place un statut légal des lanceurs d’alerte, qui pourrait, le cas échéant, donner lieu à des dédommagements.

Un élément me trouble particulièrement, Monsieur Ferrand, c’est que – et je le regrette – Malte ait choisi de ne pas participer au Parquet européen, qui apporte une réelle plus-value dans la protection des intérêts financiers de l’Union. Une fois mis en place, il nous permettrait de renforcer les enquêtes relatives aux fraudes financières et serait comptable d’investigations indépendantes.

Alors que la protection des intérêts financiers de l’Union relève de la responsabilité partagée de l’Union et de tous ses États membres, je trouve choquant, inacceptable que des États membres puissent se soustraire à leurs obligations de lutte contre la fraude, sachant qu’ils bénéficient des aides européennes. Je le dis clairement, je pense qu’on devrait conditionner le bénéfice de ces aides à la participation de ces pays au Parquet européen.

Je vous ai connus, Monsieur Ferrand et le S&D, plus vigoureux, quand il s’agissait de dénoncer les failles de l’État par rapport aux droits humains.

 
  
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  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου (GUE/NGL). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κύριε Timmermans, επικεντρώνεται δικαιολογημένα η προσοχή στη Μάλτα, καμιά αμφιβολία γι’ αυτό, όμως νομίζω ότι το θέμα δυστυχώς ξεπερνά τα σύνορα αυτής της χώρας. Ζούμε σε μια εποχή καταβύθισης σε ανθρώπους υπερβολικά πλούσιους, την ώρα που εκατομμύρια άνθρωποι βρίσκονται κάτω από το όριο της φτώχειας. Αυτά τα χρήματα, τα τρισεκατομμύρια -όπως υπολογίζονται από πολλούς- που χάνονται από τη φοροδιαφυγή θα μπορούσαν να ενισχύσουν κάλλιστα σε μεγάλο βαθμό την οικονομία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.

Είπα ότι ξεπερνά κατά πολύ τα σύνορα της Μάλτας και επιτρέψτε μου να αναφερθώ σε ένα δημοσίευμα του Spiegel, όπου έπειτα από αξιολόγηση χιλιάδων σελίδων εγγράφων, αναφέρεται σε επιλήψιμες τακτικές διάσημων επιχειρήσεων και κάνει λόγο για εικονικές θυγατρικές ομίλων και υποκαταστήματα εταιρειών, όπως οι διάσημες και πασίγνωστες BMW, BOSCH, BASF, Deutsche Βank και PUMA που είναι εγκατεστημένες στη Μάλτα. Όπως αποκαλύπτει το Spiegel, πολλές από αυτές δεν αναφέρονται καν στον τηλεφωνικό κατάλογο, ούτε έχουν προσωπικό, ενώ 3 εξ αυτών μοιράζονται το ίδιο κουδούνι. Πρέπει να επικεντρωθούμε σε συγκεκριμένους κανόνες, ώστε να κατασπαραχθεί -αν είναι δυνατόν- αυτό το σύστημα της φοροδιαφυγής, του γκανγκστερισμού και του εγκλήματος.

 
  
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  Eva Joly (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, j’ai trois mauvaises nouvelles pour le premier ministre maltais, Joseph Muscat.

Premièrement, une réélection ne remplacera jamais le travail de la justice. Les soupçons de corruption et de blanchiment d’argent pesant sur ses proches entachent son action politique. L’absence d’enquête la décrédibilise.

Deuxièmement, les règles fiscales de Malte doivent changer. Elles mettent à mal la cohésion européenne et, plus largement, l’avenir de l’Union. Les révélations des «Paradise Papers» ont fini par dégoûter les citoyens, à qui on impose l’austérité et qui voient leurs services publics se dégrader. Une procédure d’infraction, telle qu’évoquée par le commissaire Moscovici, serait un minimum. L’Union européenne doit aller plus loin et faire cesser la concurrence fiscale déloyale en son sein.

Troisièmement, le gouvernement maltais doit savoir que le travail d’investigation de Daphne Caruana Galizia ne cessera pas avec son assassinat. D’autres journalistes le termineront avec le soutien des citoyens européens choqués que de telles horreurs puissent se produire au cœur de l’Union européenne.

 
  
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  Rolandas Paksas (EFDD). – Žurnalistės mirtis, nepriklausomai, kurioje valstybėje tai įvyko, yra tragedija, kuri neturi pasikartoti. Lygiai taip pat neturi pasikartoti ir teisėjų, ir prokurorų, ir policijos pareigūnų tiriančių korupciją, kitus kriminalinius nusikaltimus, mirtys. Gal mūsų siūloma rezoliucija pagaliau galėtų būti tas atskaitos taškas, nuo kurio prasidėtų konkretūs žingsniai apsaugant atskirus visuomenės narius, nepaisant jų profesijos, užimamos statuso, nuo persekiojimo ir susidorojimo. Tikiuosi, kad šis tragiškas atvejis nebus tik galimybė pigiam politikavimui ir garsiems pareiškimams. Tegu rezoliucijos žodžiai krinta į vyriausybių vadovų širdis ir tampa tinkamai veikiančiais teisės aktais. Žmonių žūtys turi būti sustabdytos.

 
  
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  Georg Mayer (ENF). – Frau Präsidentin! „Was geht hier vor, im schönen Malta?“, möchte man ausrufen. „Was geht hier vor?“, möchte man die sozialistischen Familienmitglieder des sozialistischen Regierungschefs Muscat hier im Haus fragen.

Eines ist jedenfalls klar: Es sind sehr ernst zu nehmende Dinge, die wir in Malta erleben. Da wird eine investigative Journalistin am helllichten Tag mit einer Autobombe gesprengt. Das erinnert doch eher an die Netflix-Serie Narcos, wo es um den Drogenhändler Pablo Escobar geht, als an die politische Realität in der Europäischen Union. Das ist aber leider die Realität in Malta.

Dazu kommen immer mehr neue Tatsachen und Vermutungen an den Tag: Drogenhandel und Korruption. Es wird dort zwar gegen Drogendealer und korrupte Politiker ermittelt, es wird aber nie zur Anklage gebracht. Da frage ich mich schon: Was liegt hier im Argen in Malta? Ich denke, da sollten wir dringend dafür sorgen, dass wir Licht ins Dunkel bringen.

 
  
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  David Casa (PPE). – Is-saltna tad-dritt hija waħda mill-iżjed valuri importanti u essenzjali għaliex mingħajrha, jikkrolla kollox. Kummissarju Timmermans, is-saltna tad-dritt tinqered:

meta bank li jinqabad jaħsel il-flus ta’ dittaturi mill-Ażerbajġan, jitħalla jopera f’Malta. Għaliex? Għax qed jaħsel ukoll il-flus ta’ nies fil-Gvern Malti.

meta l-Kummissarju tal-Pulizija jintgħażel speċifikament minħabba l-inkompetenza tiegħu.

meta l-FIAU, aġenzija ta’ kontra l-ħasil ta’ flus, tirrapporta korruzzjoni estensiva u bla preċedent li timplika lill-Gvern; u l-Pulizija ma jieħdu l-ebda azzjoni;

meta l-korruzzjoni titħalla għaddejja għaliex in-nies implikati huma nies fil-Gvern;

meta l-kultura ta’ impunità issir in-norma f’pajjiż, jikkrolla kollox.

Kummissarju, illum qegħdin hawn magħqudin, biex ngħidulek li l-istat tad-dritt f’Malta għandu bżonn l-intervent immedjat u urġenti tiegħek.

Dan mhux kliem ġdid għalik, Mr. Timmermans, għaliex jien u l-kollegi tiegħi ktibnilek uffiċċjalment xhur ilu, u ma sar xejn. Jien u l-kollegi tiegħi issottomettejna mistoqsijiet parlamentatri fuq din il-kriżi, u ma sar xejn. Tkellimna fuq din is-sitwazzjoni f’dibattitu parlamentari f’Ġunju li għadda, u ma sar xejn.

Tkomplux intom u l-Kunsill tiddefendu l-indifensibbli. Nappellalkom kollegi tiegħi f’din il-Kamra, ftakru fil-valuri li jgħaqqduna u jagħmluna Ewropej. Ieqfu lil korruzzjoni u kunu fuq in-naħa tal-poplu. Din mhijiex ġlieda kontra il-poplu Malti, din hija ġlieda għall-poplu Malti, u lill-familja Caruana Galizia li qiegħda hawn magħna llum ngħidilhom, ommkom u l-mara tiegħek kienet mara bla biża, b’saħħa u kuraġġ fenominali. Ma beżgħet qatt mit-theddid, abbuż, redikolaġni u tgħajjir.

Iżjed iva milli le, kienet tispiċċa one-woman army, waħidha, tiġġieled il-korruzzjoni u l-abbuż tal-poter għax ħadd iżjed ma kellu l-kuraġġ li jagħmel dan magħha. Lil uliedha nixtieq ngħidilhom: mhux ser inħallu l-qtil ta’ Daphne jkun għal xejn, u jiena ngħidilha li bħala ħabiba tiegħi mhux ser inħalli li l-qtil tagħha jkun sar għal xejn.

Kummissarju, ibda investiga issa.

Mr Timmermans, let’s finish together what Daphne started; do not ignore us any more, please.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Eugen Freund (S&D). – Madam President, one does not have to be a journalist, like I was for most of my life, to mourn over Daphne Caruana Galicia. This is a tragedy that concerns us all. Journalists in more and more countries live a dangerous life: they are harassed and coerced and are often thrown into prison, or, in countries such as Honduras, Mexico and Russia, they are killed. But in the European Union? We did not deem it possible that this could happen here. Something is terribly wrong.

We know that Ms Caruana Galicia was trying to join the dots with regard to the Panama Papers and the possible enmeshment of government officials in the affair. Since she was murdered before the Paradise Papers became public, we do not know what else she might have discovered. There have also been other questionable affairs in Malta.

I am very concerned when I hear that foreigners have been buying Maltese passports just like that, a couple of tens of thousands of euros, and the door to the European Union becomes wide open. This is unacceptable.

Daphne Caruana Galizia must not have died in vain. The circumstances of her murder must be scrutinised until every stone is turned and everything is laid bare. I support the decision by the Maltese Government to get both Europol and the FBI involved in the investigation. The rule of law must not be compromised.

And to one side of the House I would also say that as long as you do not support whistle-blowers, you have no credibility in trashing Malta.

 
  
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  Branislav Škripek (ECR). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, škorpióny zvyknú žiť v skrytosti. Darí sa im najmä medzi skalami a trhlinami. Keď sa však na škorpiónov posvieti ultrafialovým svetlom, tak sú jasne viditeľné, pretože všetky škorpióny majú fluorescenčnú vonkajšiu vrstvu, a tak proste zasvietia. A takto je čas posvietiť si na korupciu a odhaľovať skrytých škorpiónov, ktorí sa skrývajú aj v politike a v biznise. Takáto vražda maltskej novinárky je jasným prejavom zhubnosti a zhubnej korupčnej siete zlých ľudí, ktorí sa navzájom držia a pomáhajú si. Ale začína sa aj neschopnosťou silových a justičných zložiek často pretaviť dobré zákony do praxe. Namiesto nich vidíme frustrovaných občanov, ktorí hlboko nedôverujú inštitúciám. A moja krajina Slovensko môže byť tiež považovaná za vlajkovú loď takejto korupcie, klientelizmu a špinavých kšeftov, ktorých vidíme v politike príliš veľa. Ja však verím v zmenu a očakávam čas, keď občania, ako aj úradníci a štátni predstavitelia naberú odvahu a posvietia do tmavých kútov korupčných systémov. Podobne ako Daphne Caurana Galizia. Lenže odstránenie príde vtedy, keď na miestach zodpovednosti budú stáť čestní ľudia, ktorí sú ochotní niesť zodpovednosť voči Bohu aj voči ľudom a zostať čestnými.

 
  
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  Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, we don’t have to use Malta as a scapegoat to cover up our collective mistakes. Is Malta the only tax haven in the European Union? No. Is Malta the only country that facilitates tax evasion? No. Is Malta the only country that facilitates money-laundering? No. Is Malta the only country in the European Union that does not protect whistle-blowers? No. All these phenomena together are producing corruption, and corruption produces violence and crime. So if we want to avoid crime we have to establish pan-European legislation against those phenomena: against corruption, against money-laundering, against tax evasion, against tax havens. Let’s do that. Stop crying crocodile tears for Caruana.

 
  
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  Josep-Maria Terricabras (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I will focus only on points 5 and 6 of our resolution on Malta. Point 5 expresses concerns about the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights, including freedom of the media, independence of the police and judiciary. Point 6 calls on the Commission, the Council and Parliament to establish a dialogue with the Maltese Government. Thus, concern and dialogue with a Member State.

But a similar concern and wish for dialogue in relation to Spain is not shown by the European Union institutions, in spite of having there more than strong signals of breaches of the rule of law, of democracy and of fundamental rights. There the police have brutally beaten peaceful people; the central government has sacked a democratically elected regional government; half of this government is in prison, the other half in exile; the President of the parliament was sent to prison; 700 mayors are judicially indicted. Do we need more? There is more. Why this unequal treatment? I ask Mr Timmermans: are the European institutions applying the principle of be strong with the weak, be weak with strong?

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ci sarebbero tante cose da dire su quel che succede a Malta, dai miei vicini di casa. Ma, in un minuto, mi sento innanzitutto di esprimere il mio apprezzamento per la decisione del Parlamento di inviare la delegazione di deputati delle commissioni LIBE e PANA nell'isola. Tuttavia, ritengo estremamente contraddittoria la decisione di tenere fuori dal tema della missione ogni tipo di riferimento al caso dell'efferato omicidio di Dafne Caruana Galizia, la giornalista che era venuta in questo Parlamento per far luce sui Panama Papers.

In quell'occasione, aveva denunciato quello che aveva scoperto sul sistema dei paradisi fiscali e gli affari che ci ruotano intorno, sia europei che extraeuropei. Le sue indagini erano giunte a un punto cruciale quando sono state bruscamente interrotte da chi aveva e ha tuttora un interesse a tenere nascosti questi gravi reati finanziari e non solo. Pertanto mi chiedo: con che coraggio parliamo oggi di Stato di diritto se non riteniamo una priorità assoluta far luce su un attentato di tale rilevanza?

In quanto relatore della direttiva sulla lotta al riciclaggio di denaro mediante il diritto penale, mi auspico che si possano fare davvero passi avanti sia sulla lotta al riciclaggio a livello europeo sia nell'utilizzare questa delegazione che andrà a Malta per far luce sui problemi che sono emersi.

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde (ENF). – Madame la Présidente, début novembre, la Commission rejetait les appels à une enquête indépendante sur l’assassinat de Daphne Caruana Galizia. Pourtant intransigeante contre certains États comme la Hongrie, la Commission semble donc encline à laisser prospérer dans l’Union un système de corruption endémique. Ce «deux poids, deux mesures» est d’autant plus frappant que ce crime intervient après de multiples mises en garde, notamment de l’organe de contrôle du pluralisme des médias, sur les insuffisances maltaises en matière de libertés fondamentales et de transparence.

Lorsque Malte a assuré la présidence du Conseil, elle a pourtant fait de la lutte contre le blanchiment une priorité. Les hommages à Mme Caruana Galizia ne sauraient être un cache-misère à l’attentisme dans la lutte anticorruption.

La Commission doit prendre ses responsabilités s’agissant de pratiques comme l’achat de la citoyenneté, dénoncées par la résolution de mes collègues, qui compromettent fortement l’ensemble de l’Union.

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola (PPE). – Madam President, standing up here today is not easy. Standing up rarely is. I represent a fiercely proud people, a hard—working people. We Maltese have worked tirelessly for everything we’ve ever had, and battled geography to claim our rightful place as EU members. That is the Malta I know and that is the Malta I fight for.

But all is not well in my country today, and to remain silent is to be complicit. Too many people have sacrificed too much for me not to speak as our authorities pillage our children’s legacy and destroy our reputation. To this House I would say: you have become the last bastion of hope for the people we represent, and this is what the EU means to us – hope, and a guarantee that the rule of law will always be protected, because joining the EU was our way of ensuring that no politician with delusions of grandeur would ever trample on our rights again without our European partners stepping in to help us.

Daphne Caruana Galizia was executed – assassinated – and her killing exposed the urgency of the situation in Malta, where the ruling party has used its majority to ride roughshod over the rule of law. Malta is a great country, but we have to have the courage to say that it is unacceptable that journalists are killed with impunity, that it is outrageous that the press is under threat, and that it is disgraceful that the police refuse to investigate corruption. Because we know that there can be no rule of law without law enforcement, that there can be no true democracy with a shackled media, and that there can be no justice when those exposing crimes are the ones targeted.

Instead of facing the issue, our Prime Minister spends his time addressing rallies, calling us traitors, claiming he is defending Malta, even from Europe. He thinks he can intimidate everyone, but we will not be silent, and neither should the Commission: it should launch a rule-of-law dialogue with the Maltese authorities and help our country move forward.

The situation is desperate. I ask all of you: stand with us, do not let us down now that we need you most.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Miriam Dalli (S&D). – Fil-fatt, iva kienu ġimgħat diffiċli għal Malta wara l-qtil atroċi ta’ Daphne Caruana Galizia, imma kontra l-impressjoni inġusta li qed tingħata f’dan il-Parlament, Malta għandha u qegħda tintroduċi liġijiet b’saħħithom u li jaħdmu, u iva, Malta lesta tiddiskuti fejn hemm bżonn, jiġi indirizzat, kif diġà insistiet.

Il-Partit tal-Popolari Ewropew qed jgħidilna li r-Rule of Law f’Malta ikkollassa. Nistaqsi jien: f’pajjiż fejn ir-Rule of Law jikkollassa, jidħlu liġijiet ġodda bħal-liġi tal-finanzjament tal-partiti? Bħat-tneħħija tal-preskrizzjoni dwar atti ta’ korruzzjoni minn politiċi? Bħal Whistleblowers’ Protection Act? F’pajjiż fejn il-gvern jhedded il-libertà tal-espressjoni, tkun ippreżentata liġi li temenda l-Att dwar l-istampa billi tipproponi t-tneħħija ta’ libell kriminali, u Precautionary Warrant f’każ ta’ libell ċivili? F’pajjiż mingħajr Rule of Law, jiddaħħlu fost l-aqwa liġijiet favur il-komunità LGBTI?

Dawn huma kollha liġijiet li ddaħħlu f’dawn l-aħħar erba’ snin f’Malta kemm ilu li hemm gvern Soċjal Demokratiku, liġijiet li l-Partit Nazzjonalista, li jagħmel parti mill-familja tal-EPP, lanqas biss ikkunsidra f’ħamsa u għoxrin sena. F’pajjiż fejn ir-Rule of Law suppost ikkollassa jkun hemm is-segretezza u nirreferi hawnhekk għall-Financial Secrecy Index mit-Tax Justice Network, li jikkunsidra lil Malta aktar trasparenti minn pajjiżi bħall-Ġermanja, ir-Renju Unit, u l-Lussemburgu, li huma plejers kbar fis-servizzi finanzjarji offshore. Ara dan l-index, dan l-index ma ġiex ikkwotat fir-riżoluzzjoni konġunta li dan il-parlament ser jivvota dwarha.

Malta mhijiex tgħid li ma tridx tirranġa fejn hemm bżonn, imma sfortunatament l-għaġġla ta’ xi uħud f’dan il-Parlament biex jikkundannaw lil Malta mingħajr lanqas biss jippruvaw jagħmlu analiżi oġġettiva ta’ realtà qegħda tkompli tikkonferma kemm jiġu adottati double standards ma’ pajjiżi differenti.

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Oskarżenia elit maltańskich o korupcję, nieuczciwe praktyki współpracy z biznesem oraz wspieranie funkcjonowania rajów podatkowych nie są czymś nowym – wystarczy wspomnieć sprawę Johna Dalliego, byłego komisarza ds. zdrowia, która wstrząsnęła Brukselą w 2012 r. Znamienne jest też to, że po raz kolejny w tym roku omawiamy tu w Parlamencie kwestię praworządności Malty. Wcześniej uczyniliśmy to w kontekście „Panama Papers” oraz kontrowersyjnego maltańskiego programu sprzedaży obywatelstwa. Coraz częściej się mówi o tym, że działające na Malcie zbyt luźne regulacje finansowe zamieniły ją w kraj przestępczości zorganizowanej.

W związku z tym chciałbym zapytać pana przewodniczącego Timmermansa, którego troska o praworządność jest nam w Polsce doskonale znana, jak to się stało, że nie był pan w stanie dostrzec wcześniej, aż do tego strasznego mordu, że na Malcie być może nie jest najlepiej z praworządnością? Jak to się dzieje, że pan nie jest w stanie dostrzec problemów związanych z prawami fundamentalnymi w Hiszpanii, we Francji, w pana kraju? Może ma pan fałszywe priorytety? Może pańska uwaga jest wybiórcza? A może ma pan podwójne standardy?

 
  
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  Luke Ming Flanagan (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, Daphne Caruana Galizia was a journalist apart, not just because of the quality of her writing, not just because of those whom she was exposing for their corruption decided to murder her, but because of her courage in an ocean of cowardice. Traditional journalism was about fearlessly and objectively holding authority to account, about protection of the interests of the masses, about exposing wrongdoing, especially at the highest level. All of those would describe Daphne to a tee.

Modern journalism is about fearfully and subjectively kowtowing to authority, about protection of the interests of the powerful few, about burying wrongdoing especially at the highest level. I can think of many so-called journalists whom that would describe. People who aren’t just writing and speaking to defend those named and shamed in the Panama papers and the Paradise papers but in some cases are actually on their payroll, owned and controlled.

In the same way that we have political parties, who besmirch the word ‘people’ by incorporating it in their name, we have news outlets who besmirch the word ‘independent’. I hope Daphne’s death was not in vain, but given how this place works I fear it will be.

 
  
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  Marco Valli (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quanto successo a Malta e quanto successo alla giornalista Dafne Caruana Galizia è tremendo, perché era una persona onesta, che stava indagando su questioni molto complesse, nelle quali ci sono conflitti e interessi enormi tra politica, criminalità organizzata e finanza, insomma poteri molto grossi che in qualche modo influenzano un po' anche la nostra attività.

Lei ha lanciato un messaggio sul suo blog, prima di essere assassinata, affinché queste istituzioni si prodigassero per cercare di sposare la sua causa. Purtroppo, non è più qui con noi. Io non vorrei che questo segnale rimanesse nell'ombra, come succede ogni volta in questi casi, visto che anche in Italia abbiamo avuto dei casi di assassini cruenti come questi. Bisogna reagire, bisogna fare in modo che la parte sana delle istituzioni inizi a fare veramente delle regole sane e che la si smetta di coprire tutto quello che succede poi dopo nella realtà.

Ad esempio, mi spiace che oggi non sia qua, per il secondo dibattito di questo Parlamento sul tema, il Presidente della Commissione Juncker, che già oggi sullo scandalo dei Paradise Papers non si è presentato. Un po' di serietà sarebbe nel venire a rappresentare l'istituzione della Commissione europea su dei temi che lo vedono anche direttamente coinvolto, come nello scandalo LuxLeaks.

 
  
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  Werner Langen (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Während wir hier über die Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta diskutieren, verkauft der Premierminister in Hongkong Pässe. Er nennt das vornehm „to promote investment and job creation in Malta“. Genau das ist der Punkt: die arrogante Art und Weise der sozialistischen Regierung in Malta gegenüber dem PANA-Ausschuss, gegenüber der Öffentlichkeit, gegenüber den Journalisten. Das zeigt, dass hier vieles nicht in Ordnung ist.

Die Selbstheilungskräfte in Malta reichen nicht aus, um europäisches Recht einzuhalten. Das stolze Volk der Malteser baut auf uns, auf unsere Hilfe und, Herr Vizepräsident der Kommission, auch auf Ihre Hilfe. Es genügt nicht zu sagen: Wir haben das alles geprüft. Sie müssen auch die Bedingungen des Beitritts vor 13 Jahren erneut auf den Prüfstand stellen. Morgens vergießt der Fraktionsvorsitzende der Sozialisten im Zusammenhang mit den Paradiespapieren Krokodilstränen, und nachmittags ist die gesamte Riege der S&D entweder nicht anwesend oder verteidigt die fehlende Rechtsstaatlichkeit in Malta als normal und lenkt ab. Das kann nicht die Arbeitsteilung sein.

Solange die Sozialisten ihrem Mitglied Muscat nicht auf die Finger schauen, wird er sein arrogantes Verhalten nicht ablegen. Und wir haben die Verpflichtung, nach Malta zu schauen: Was ist System? Was ist Regierungsversagen? Wo ist das Versagen der Europäischen Kommission? Wie können wir helfen?

Wir haben die Erfahrung gemacht: Nach den Ermittlungen ist der Polizeichef entlassen worden, der Generalanwalt, die Ergebnisse der Ermittlungen gegen Regierungsmitglieder wurden nie veröffentlicht, das Verfahren ist nicht abgeschlossen, intern sind Leute in verantwortlicher Position in der Justiz, die uns den Eindruck hinterlassen: Die Gewaltenteilung ist nicht ordentlich gewährleistet. Und, Herr Vizepräsident, Malta braucht auch die massive Unterstützung der Kommission und des Parlaments. Wir werden das liefern.

(Beifall)

 
  
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  Ana Gomes (S&D). – Em Malta não há ataque ostensivo à “rule of law” pelo Governo, como vemos na Hungria ou na Polónia. O problema em Malta é a captura do Estado, através de membros do Governo, deputados, autoridades de supervisão, magistrados, polícias, funcionários, por parte de interesses financeiros ou serviços de intermediários, como a Nexia BT. Por essa razão Malta se opõe à transparência sobre os beneficiários efetivos das “trusts” que este Parlamento propõe nas negociações sob a 5.ª Diretiva antibranqueamento de capitais e financiamento do terrorismo.

O problema não se confina ao atual Governo: foram políticas desregulatórias de décadas, transversais aos partidos políticos, orquestradas a partir de Londres com o beneplácito de Bruxelas, que tornaram Malta um paraíso fiscal no seio da União Europeia, fazendo ali desenvolver-se uma indústria especializada em planeamento fiscal agressivo e na multiplicação de empresas de fachada, instrumentais para esquemas de lavagem de dinheiro, corrupção e outra criminalidade.

O programa de venda da nacionalidade maltesa e europeia é vértice destas políticas com riscos maiores para a segurança de Malta e da União Europeia. O assassinato à bomba da corajosa jornalista Daphne Caruana Galizia atesta-o de forma alarmante.

O Primeiro-Ministro Muscat mantém o chefe de gabinete e o ministro expostos pelos Panama Papers e ainda não permitiu uma investigação independente às alegações sobre uma conta ligando a sua mulher ao banco Pilatos. Como pode assegurar que o Governo maltês garante, como deve, a independência dos meios de supervisão, a despolitização da polícia e das autoridades judiciais? Nem sequer se propõe acabar com a acumulação de funções políticas e do Estado com a prestação de serviços financeiros, fiscais e empresariais!

Não podemos iludir-nos. Malta tem de repensar o seu modelo de desenvolvimento e deixar de servir como um dos centros europeus especializados na facilitação da evasão fiscal e branqueamento de capitais.

Cabe à Comissão e ao Conselho não só pressionar Malta para o fazer, mas também garantir, através de legislação europeia, que estas práticas são ilegalizadas e combatidas em Malta, na União Europeia - e há mais paraísos fiscais destes na União Europeia - e globalmente.

 
  
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  Lara Comi (PPE). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, l'uccisione di Dafne deve rappresentare un punto di svolta. Non è assolutamente sufficiente l'indignazione che tutti hanno espresso tramite i media, ma anche alla famiglia. Questo non è sufficiente. Noi dobbiamo ricercare la verità e la verità ne deve venir fuori, e il primo ad essere responsabile di questa ricerca deve essere il governo maltese.

Il Parlamento europeo, che ricordo essere la più grande istituzione al mondo votata democraticamente, ha il compito di ritrovare insieme a Malta la verità, e soprattutto l'appello anche dei nostri colleghi è a non lasciar soli questa realtà e questo Stato dell'Unione europea. La battaglia per Dafne e per la sua famiglia dovrà infatti diventare la battaglia di tutti gli europei, nel rispetto della tolleranza. Al fianco di Dafne dovranno esserci tutti i cittadini che credono in questa Europa civile.

Vedete, è Malta che deve dimostrare di essere uno Stato di diritto e io ho delle grandi perplessità, anche da italiana, nel momento in cui uno Stato permette di vendere la propria cittadinanza, i propri valori, la propria dignità e la propria origine, svendendola per qualche euro. Questo è anche da valutare all'interno dello Stato di diritto e, vedete, io vorrei anche ricevere una risposta chiara e precisa – ma penso non solo io, ma anche tutti i cittadini europei – perché Dafne ha ricevuto minacce, ha denunciato, ma nessuno ha fatto niente. Perché questo? Perché nessuno si è mosso? Perché si poteva evitare questa morte e non c'è stata nessuna reazione da parte del governo maltese e da parte delle autorità e dalla polizia.

Io veramente ringrazio il Parlamento europeo e mi auguro che la Commissione faccia verità e spinga a Malta a trovare la verità.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, comisario Timmermans, en los últimos dieciocho meses seis coches bomba han explotado en el país más pequeño de la Unión Europea, que no tiene un problema de criminalidad generalizada: Malta. El último de ellos se ha llevado por delante la vida de Daphne Caruana Galizia, lo que muestra de forma suprema el sacrificio inasumible de los denunciantes que tienen el coraje de trabajar por la exposición al público de lo inaceptable, la corrupción, buscando transparencia y sirviendo a la libertad de expresión.

El sacrificio de la propia vida ha tenido lugar, efectivamente, en Malta, que no tiene un problema general de retroceso de libertades ni de Estado de Derecho. Sí tiene un problema de un sistema financiero acostumbrado a las prácticas inadmisibles de captación de dinero de origen ilícito y de competición fiscal desleal, extremadamente vulnerable a la penetración del dinero procedente de la criminalidad organizada y al blanqueo.

Y, por tanto, Malta tiene que hacer un esfuerzo y mostrar con toda claridad su compromiso con la reparación, no solamente urgiendo una investigación plena e independiente en la que colabore Europol y colabore Interpol en el esclarecimiento de todos y cada uno de los crímenes y, sobre todo, de este.

Pero, tal y como nos piden dramáticamente los hijos de Daphne Caruana, Andrew, Matthew y Paul, Malta tiene que hacer mucho más. Tiene que combatir esa corrupción en su sistema financiero, incorporándose a la Fiscalía Europea como una herramienta crucial para la investigación de la delincuencia grave transnacional. Porque esa será la señal definitiva de que su sacrificio no habrá sido en vano y de que la Unión Europea está dispuesta a llevar hasta sus últimas consecuencias la reparación de esa vulnerabilidad del sistema financiero maltés y hacer buena la tarea por la que Daphne Caruana Galicia ha sacrificado su vida.

(El orador acepta responder a una pregunta formulada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul» (artículo 162, apartado 8, del Reglamento))

 
  
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  Paul Rübig (PPE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Ich möchte mich ganz besonders für die Argumentation bedanken, denn ich glaube, das ist unsere gemeinsame Basis, dass wir den Rechtsstaat und die Gewaltenteilung vorantreiben wollen. Glauben Sie, dass OLAF hier in Zukunft eine stärkere Rolle spielen sollte?

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – No hay ninguna institución europea que pueda sustraerse al compromiso de fortalecer el Estado de Derecho ahora que está tan amenazado, pero, particularmente, frente a la criminalidad organizada, que es seguramente la amenaza más lacerante. Y una forma de criminalidad organizada, sin duda ninguna, es la corrupción y el blanqueo de dinero procedente de negocios ilícitos.

Lo discutíamos aquí esta mañana en relación con los papeles del paraíso, que son un infierno para los contribuyentes que pagan sus impuestos honradamente y quieren tener confianza en sus instituciones. Por tanto, la OLAF, pero también Europol, Eurojust y, desarrollo de Eurojust, la Fiscalía Europea, a la que Malta tiene el deber moral y político de incorporarse si quiere mostrar efectivamente compromiso con la lucha contra la criminalidad grave transnacional.

 
  
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  Michał Boni (PPE). – Madam President, Malta is a beautiful country but its Government has let it down. We have journalists being assassinated, the press being targeted by a bank at the centre of serious criminal accusations, high Government officials implicated in corruption and money laundering, and a police force that defends the Government instead of people in the streets calling for justice.

All these issues taken together indicate to me a collapse of the rule of law. Winning an election does not mean the victorious party can divide up the country and ignore its obligations as an EU Member State. Malta and Poland joined the EU on the same day in 2004. Our people share the same values and joined for the same reasons. We – Poles and Maltese – act in the name of the EU and want the EU to act.

The Commission should immediately launch a rule—of—law dialogue with the Maltese authorities. The Maltese authorities should immediately investigate money-laundering activities. The independent international investigation into the killing of Daphne Caruana Galizia is necessary.

I will say something about the Maltese colleagues who have taken the floor today. I have heard that the Socialists in Malta have called them traitors. This is unacceptable. They are doing their duty. We stand with them. We stand with Malta.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Marlene Mizzi (S&D). – Għat-tieni darba f’ħames xhur l-Istat Malti qiegħed fil-bank tal-akkużati - b’mod l-aktar diskriminatorju - quddiem il-Parlament Ewropew; u din mhix ħaġa normali. Hemm min qed jinqeda b’dan il-Parlament biex jimmina Stat Membru u jagħmel bsaten fir-roti lil gvern elett demokratikament u biex jaqdi aġenda partiġġjana.

Din ir-riżoluzzjoni miktuba bla dubju minn idejn Maltin hi taħwida ta’ punti u ta’ akkużi intiżi biss biex jitfgħu dell ikrah fuq Malta u li ħafna minnhom lanqas biss għandhom x’jaqsmu fuq ir-Rule of Law.

L-istituzzjonijiet Maltin mhumiex perfetti, bħalma mhumiex perfetti f’kull stat ieħor. L-ebda stat mhu meħlus mill-kriminalità - ukoll dik finanzjarja; l-ebda pajjiż ma jista’ jgħid li hu meħlus mill-iskandli. Ma jfissirx ukoll li m’għandniex niġġieldu kull tip ta’ kriminalità u abbużi - anzi, dak li ġara ġo Malta ġara u qed jiġri f’kull pajjiż ieħor, iżda fil-każ ta’ Malta, kollox qed jitkabbar apposta biex ipaxxu aġenda partiġġjana.

Kull wieħed minnkom li qed tippuntaw subgħajkom lejn Malta għandkom erba’ swaba’ oħra jippuntaw lejkom. Li Malta tintuża bħala scapegoat mhijiex xi ħaġa li għandha tiġi aċċettata f’din l-istituzzjoni.

Il-ħsara li qed issir lil Malta hi intenzjonata u qed tipperikola investimenti, impjiegi, l-ekonomija u l-futur ta’ pajjiżna. L-iskop ta’ din ir-riżoluzzjoni mhijiex ġenwina iżda intiża biex tagħmel ħsara lill-gvern Malti, imma fuq kollox biex tipprova tniżżel lil Malta għarkobbtejha.

Mhux se jirnexxilkom.

 
  
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  Monika Hohlmeier (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich empfinde es schon als ein wenig dreist zu behaupten, dass wir alle hier im Europäischen Parlament die maltesische Gesellschaft anklagen.

Wir klagen nicht die maltesische Gesellschaft an, wir möchten den Frauen, Männern, Bürgerinnen und Bürgern in Malta helfen, Korruptlinge, organisierte Kriminelle, Terroristen, Schwarzgeld, Steuerflüchtige, schwarze Kassen und was auch immer loszuwerden und geordnete Strukturen zu bekommen. Das heißt: Wir wollen den Menschen Unterstützung geben und nicht den diejenigen, die das System zu einem Filzsystem ausgebaut haben.

Den Verkauf von Pässen an unseriöse Personen – kriminelle Personen – darf es in Zukunft nicht mehr geben. Dubiose Geldquellen, dubiose Geldflüsse, die z. B. Daphne Caruana Galizia recherchiert hat – da hätte es sein müssen, dass man ihr hilft und Unterstützung gibt, dass die entsprechenden Institutionen ihr bei den Untersuchungen helfen, und man hätte ihr Schutz geben müssen vonseiten Maltas. Das wäre erforderlich gewesen und nicht, sie auch noch anzugreifen.

Des Weiteren: Ist es notwendig, dass diese Regierung auch in einem Panama-Ausschuss mit einer Arroganz aufgetreten ist, keine Auskünfte gab, keine Kooperationsbereitschaft gezeigt hat? Das ist nicht das Malta, das eigentlich hier beitreten wollte. Denn nach den Kriterien dieses Beitritts müssten die Institutionen und Gesetze entsprechend schon vorhanden sein und demnach dürfte es das alles nicht geben, was wir hier zu beklagen haben. Wir wollen den Menschen auf Malta helfen, damit sie einen gesunden Staat haben, und nicht eine sozialistische Regierung schützen. Sonst regen sich die Sozialisten ununterbrochen bei Ungarn oder sonst was sich furchtbar auf, aber wenn es um ihre Regierung geht, wird es plötzlich ganz ruhig hier im Saal.

Gleiche Verhältnisse bitte für alle einfordern.

 
  
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  La Présidente. – Alors, Monsieur Lavrilleux, vous aviez un point d’ordre?

 
  
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  Jérôme Lavrilleux (PPE). – Madame la Présidente, je voulais m’exprimer pour protester contre le fait que vous accordez de temps en temps un carton bleu et qu’à d’autres occasions, nous n’avons pas la possibilité d’en adresser un, ce qui me semble une rupture d’égalité des parlementaires au sein de cet hémicycle.

Je voulais simplement réagir auprès de notre collègue socialiste qui s’est exprimée il y a quelques instants, qui a osé dire qu’il se passait à Malte ce qui se passe dans de nombreux pays. Je n’ai pas connaissance qu’il y ait eu dans les autres pays de l’Union européenne des assassinats de journalistes qui enquêtaient sur la corruption qui gangrène un gouvernement.

Si elle a connaissance de tels faits, pourrait-elle nous les rapporter?

 
  
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  Ramón Jáuregui Atondo (S&D). – Señora presidenta, les quería decir que yo no creo que haya diferencias entre nosotros a la hora de expresar el sentimiento que produjo el asesinato de Daphne Caruana. Yo creo que condenamos el asesinato con la misma fuerza y defendemos los mismos valores europeos en relación con Malta y con los países de la Unión Europea.

El salto que quizás con toda honradez yo querría trasladarles es el que yo no me atrevo a dar para ligar o para relacionar ese crimen con el Estado. Yo no me atrevo a establecer una relación directa entre ese crimen y la destrucción del Estado de Derecho en Malta. Yo exijo justicia, pero no condeno a un país. Yo exijo una investigación independiente y que los culpables sean llevados ante la justicia, pero no cuestiono la separación de poderes en Malta.

Yo creo que hay que exigir a Malta, y ahí estamos todos unidos, que hay que exigir que descubra a los asesinos, que los lleve ante la justicia, que ponga fin a las mafias y a las organizaciones ligadas al dinero sucio y que ponga fin al fraude fiscal. Ahí estamos todos de acuerdo.

 
  
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  Agustín Díaz de Mera García Consuegra (PPE). – Señora presidenta, quiero que escuchen lo que decía Daphne treinta minutos antes de que la asesinaran: «Mires donde mires, hay delincuentes por todas partes. La situación es desesperante».

Lo que tú veías, Daphne, era crimen organizado instalado cómodamente en el país, un nido de crimen organizado. Veías lavado de dinero facilitado por los bancos; veías persecución contra la prensa hostil, pena de muerte para el periodismo libre e incómodo. Eso es lo que tú veías. Veías también una Policía que no investiga y un Gobierno que dice, pero que no hace. Malta no se merece lo que está ocurriendo.

Es esencial que la prensa independiente tenga su espacio de libertad, que el Gobierno maltés y las fuerzas policiales se impliquen en la investigación del asesinato de Daphne Caruana Galizia. La seguridad en democracia es una cuestión esencial, vinculada a la fortaleza o a la fragilidad del Estado de Derecho. Valoro muy positivamente que ya se encuentren en La Valeta, de forma permanente, dos funcionarios de Europol para contribuir al esclarecimiento de este asesinato.

Y, por último, señor Timmermans, quiero pedir a la Comisión que se involucre de inmediato iniciando un diálogo sobre el Estado de Derecho con las autoridades maltesas.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, «ma mère a été assassinée, car elle se trouvait, comme d’autres journalistes, entre le règne de la loi et ceux qui la violent, mais elle a également été prise pour cible, car elle était la seule personne à le faire. C’est ce qui arrive quand les institutions d’un État sont devenues incapables. La dernière personne à rester debout est souvent un journaliste.»

C’est par ces mots que le fils de la journaliste d’investigation maltaise, Daphne Caruana Galizia assassinée dans l’explosion de son véhicule, a qualifié le meurtre de sa maman.

Le moment que vous avez décidé de m’accorder, ici dans cet hémicycle, j’ai eu envie de lui consacrer, à elle et à tous ces lanceurs d’alerte qui risquent leur vie pour ce qu’ils estiment être juste. Et le combat de cette journaliste maltaise était juste, elle servait bien l’intérêt général.

Au printemps, un magazine américain bien connu avait classé Mme Daphne Caruana Galizia parmi les 28 personnalités qui font bouger l’Europe, la décrivant comme un WikiLeaks entier, en une seule femme en croisade contre le manque de transparence et la corruption à Malte.

Je rejoins les déclarations de la Commission européenne sur ce sujet, je suis, moi aussi, horrifié par cet assassinat.

Je demande à cette même Commission de dépasser la posture et de passer aux actes.

Ce meurtre crapuleux perpétré à Malte doit être le dernier, espérons-le. Nous attendons avec impatience que la Commission européenne propose enfin une législation qui protège les lanceurs d’alerte, comme d’ailleurs lui suggère le Parlement européen, via plusieurs requêtes.

Enfin, il faut prendre conscience que la disparition de Daphne est une attaque contre la liberté d’expression, est une attaque contre ceux qui luttent pour une bonne gouvernance, est une attaque contre tous ceux qui en Europe se battent pour plus de justice.

Ils ont voulu l’assassiner pour la faire taire, faisons en sorte de continuer à porter sa voix et à continuer le combat pour des pratiques plus propres.

Justice doit être rendue.

 
  
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  Milan Zver (PPE). – Sprva mi dovolite, da izrazim iskreno sožalje družini Daphne Galizia, ki je bila zaradi svojega pogumnega in poštenega novinarskega dela brutalno umorjena. Še težje se je sprijazniti z njeno smrtjo, če vemo, da bi to dejanje lahko preprečili.

Kaže in slišimo danes, da ima Malta težave pri delovanju pravne države in vse slabšo situacijo na področju medijske svobode. S tem dejanjem je bilo preiskovalcem korupcije in kriminala ter raziskovalnim novinarjem poslano grozno in jasno sporočilo. Znano je, da je ustrahovanje način dela mafije. Če pa sodstvo, policija in mediji niso resnično neodvisni in odporni, potem imamo že sistemski problem. Toda Malta glede tega ni izjema.

Nedavno tega je preiskovalna komisija slovenskega parlamenta razkrila primer obsežnega pranja denarja. Nekateri so izrabili največjo slovensko banko in pred sedmimi leti oprali milijardo evrov v korist iranskega režima, ki je bil domnevno uporabljen za financiranje terorizma. Predsedniku te preiskovalne komisije dr. Anžetu Logarju in njegovim staršem je s smrtjo javno grozil neki radikalni levičar. Tudi uglednemu novinarju Jožetu Možini so pred dnevi grozili s smrtjo, še prej politiku Janezu Janši. Pa se nič ne zgodi. Kam pelje? Kam peljejo vse te grožnje?

Nekatere države članice očitno niso sposobne same zagotoviti varnosti svojim državljanom, zato pozivam Unijo, da hitreje ukrepa v takih posebnih situacijah, da odpre strukturiran dialog z vladami in tako zaščiti ogrožene.

Naj se za konec zahvalim predsedniku Evropskega parlamenta, ki je včeraj po Daphne poimenoval dvorano oziroma novinarsko središče v Evropskem parlamentu.

 
  
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  Christel Schaldemose (S&D). – Fru formand! Er det bekymrende, at en kritisk journalist dræbes med koldt blod på Malta? Ja! Er det bekymrende, at Malta er et skattelyland? Ja! Men er det grund nok til at ligestille Malta med lande i EU, der ikke overholder retsstatsprincipperne? Nej! Malta er ikke Ungarn, Malta er ikke Polen. Malta er i dialog med resten af EU. Malta har rakt ud og bedt om hjælp. Lad os bruge den dialog til at hjælpe Malta med at få opklaret mordet, få fundet ud af, hvordan man beskytter journalister bedre, få stoppet skattely og i øvrigt bistå med at styrke retsstatsprincipperne, herunder gennemsigtigheden i Malta. Så lad nu vær med at sammenligne Malta med Ungarn og Polen. Derimod kunne vi opfordre Polen og Ungarn til at gøre det samme som Malta, nemlig at række hånden ud og bede om hjælp fra EU-Kommissionen.

 
  
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  Μανώλης Κεφαλογιάννης (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, όπως είναι γνωστό, η Daphne Caruana δολοφονήθηκε στο παγιδευμένο με εκρηκτικά αυτοκίνητό της. Η Daphne έγινε γνωστή για τη μάχη της υπέρ της διαφάνειας, διερευνούσε τα Panama Papers και τις ενδεχόμενες διασυνδέσεις με την κυβέρνηση της Μάλτας. Κατήγγειλε τις απειλές που δέχτηκε αλλά δεν της παρασχέθηκε προστασία· στο πρόσωπό της πλήττεται το κράτος δικαίου εντός της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και αυτό δεν μπορεί να γίνει αποδεκτό.

Ζητούμε από την Επιτροπή να στηρίξει το κράτος δικαίου και να αναλάβει όλες τις αναγκαίες πρωτοβουλίες σε κάθε κράτος μέλος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, ώστε να πέσει άπλετο φως σε αυτή την υπόθεση και σε όσες άλυτες υποθέσεις υπάρχουν. Όπως έλεγε και ο Πλάτωνας στην «Πολιτεία», να δούμε τα «όντως όντα», δηλαδή τα πράγματα όπως είναι, την αλήθεια των πραγμάτων.

Η πραγματικότητα για το κράτος δικαίου στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση αρχίζει να γίνεται προβληματική· Πολωνία, Ουγγαρία, Μάλτα, Ελλάδα είναι μόνο η αρχή. Περιμένουμε πρωτοβουλίες από την Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή και το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο.

 
  
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  Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Dafne era da molti considerata una pioniera del giornalismo investigativo. Dafne era stata inserita tra le persone che avrebbero plasmato e scosso l'Europa nel 2017. Dafne credeva nella libertà di espressione e svolgeva con passione e professionalità un mestiere che amava più di ogni altra cosa.

Dafne è stata barbaramente assassinata perché, con la forza delle sue parole, stava difendendo i valori fondamentali in materia di libertà, democrazia, uguaglianza e Stato di diritto, e si è frapposta a coloro che questo Stato di diritto cercano di violarlo. Non c'è un unico responsabile dietro la sua morte. C'è un sistema corrotto che agisce contro il grande valore della democrazia e che ha ramificazioni all'interno e all'esterno dell'Unione europea.

Contiamo sul governo maltese e sull'assistenza che riceve dalle principali agenzie investigative europee e internazionali, affinché faccia luce su questo barbaro assassinio, per rendere giustizia a Dafne e al suo lavoro di giornalista investigativo e al suo contributo straordinario all'affermazione dello Stato di diritto, non solo a Malta ma in tutta Europa.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Madam President, dear colleagues, the situation of the rule of law in Malta has been raising many questions in recent years. Now it has reached its peak. Daphne Caruana was murdered because she reported on the Panama Papers scandal which directly implicated the Maltese Government.

This murder has become a symbol of the fight against corruption and lack of activity and transparency of the Maltese Government is completely unacceptable in an EU Member State. It is proof of a weakened state institution.

I would like to appeal to Maltese colleagues from S&D, the Maltese Labour Party – you must put pressure on your Prime Minister and Government.

Mr Commissioner, you have to play a more active role of control and enforcement of justice.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: PAN PAVEL TELIČKA
místopředseda

 
  
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  Lívia Járóka (PPE). – Elnök Úr! Daphne Galizia borzalmas és fájdalmas halála mindannyiunkat – nem csak azokat, akik a korrupció ellen lépnének föl, vagy az emberi jogokért, a sajtószabadságért – megrengetett és megfélemlített. Többször is meggondoljuk, azt hiszem, hogy hogyan lépjünk ilyen ügyekbe bele ezentúl. Hogy bele lehet halni az oknyomozó újságírásba, azt eddig is tudtuk, de hogy ez Európában, a XXI. században történik meg... És akkor már a máltai kormány reakcióiról nem is beszélek.

Ez teljesen elkeserítő, és azoknak a kollégáknak mondanám, akik Máltát Magyarországhoz vagy Lengyelországhoz hasonlítják, hogy ez nagyfokú tudatlanságra utal, és szerintem ezt a manipulációt vissza kell utasítanunk. Itt elvettek egy életet, lemészároltak egy asszonyt, egy újságírót. Az igazság eltusolása volt a cél, és a Bizottság véleményem szerint feltűnően lassan reagált. Óriási hiba volt, hogy ma sem kaptunk sokkal tisztább válaszokat. Arra szeretném kérni a Bizottságot, hogy azonnali párbeszédre szólítsa föl a feleket, és mindenképpen kerülje el még annak a látszatát is annak, hogy kettős mérce alapján ítéli meg az EU-s országokat.

 
  
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  Francis Zammit Dimech (PPE). – Ninsab kburi li nkun f’dan il-Parlament nirrapreżenta lill-poplu Malti, għax il-poplu Malti meta vvota għad-dħul ta’ pajjiżna fl-Unjoni Ewropea ried preċiżament li jkollu l-ħarsien tas-saltna tad-dritt u tal-valuri fundamentali, inkluż dak tal-libertà tal-espressjoni.

Ngħixu f’sitwazzjoni mill-iktar surreali. Għaliex? Għaliex illum min qiegħed jipprova jgħidilna li qiegħed jinvestiga l-qtil ta’ Daphne Caruana Galizia huwa l-istess persuna li m’għamel xejn biex jinvestiga l-iskandli kollha li żvelat Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Illum qegħdin fis-sitwazzjoni surreali li min qed jgħidilna li jrid jagħmel ġustizzja magħha fil-mewt tagħha, naturalment ma kienx kapaċi jipproteġiha f’ħajjitha. Illum qegħdin fis-sitwazzjoni surreali li min kasbarha fil-ħidma ġurnalistika tagħha issa qed jgħid li jrid iħares lejn kull ma kitbet biex jara jasalx għal tarf fuq il-qtil tagħha.

Kummissjoni, il-poplu Malti jistenna li inti tkun l-għassiesa tal-valuri Ewropej u mhux apoloġista ta’ gvern jew ieħor.

 
  
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  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). – Mr President, I visited Malta as part of the Committee of Inquiry into Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA) investigation. The reason for our visit was that several names of Maltese Government high officials appeared in the Panama Papers and we wanted to get some explanations. Unfortunately, we met with a lack of cooperation on the side of Maltese Government. The Prime Minister’s chief of cabinet simply refused to meet us. We even asked the Prime Minister to help us in organising the meeting with Mr Schembri, with no result, unfortunately. The other minister of Mr Muscat’s cabinet failed to convince Members of the European Parliament of his innocence. And then we also met with Daphne Caruana Galizia. She explained to us the situation in the country, and only a few months later she was assassinated.

Mr President, I think that this strategy should mobilise all of us to make sure that all those responsible are brought to justice and that such a tragedy never happens again.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Mr President, before the shocking assassination of Daphne Caruana Galizia, before the massacre perpetrated against the freedom of expression and the European way of life, I can only recall the surprisingly sensible, calm and quiet words of Mark Anthony before the corpse of Julius Caesar in Shakespeare’s masterpiece: ‘O, pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth, That I am meek and gentle with these butchers!’.

The only thing that we ask the Commission and the Maltese authorities to do is to grant respect and observation of the rule of law.

Malta is geographically and historically one of the gates and one of the doors of the European Union. It should be the bastion of the protection of human rights, the rule of law, the independence of judicial power and impartially of criminal prosecution.

Daphne Galizia was known internationally, was known globally for her fight against corruption. She reported on the corruption. She reported on the Panama Papers and we have seen, we have read, we have heard and we could not ignore that the Panama Papers are directly implicated with some Maltese authorities. Nothing was done to protect her life, to protect her job, to protect her freedom.

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Patricija Šulin (PPE). – Svoboda medijev je steber sodobnih demokratičnih družb. Današnja razprava o pravni državi na Malti kaže, da Evropski parlament ne molči, ko se je potrebno zavzeti za svobodo govora in medijski pluralizem.

Slovenskega novinarja Mirota Petka so leta 2001 našli pred domačo hišo hudo pretepenega, šlo je za poskus umora. Novinar Miro Petek je pisal o mahinacijah Nove kreditne banke Maribor, lokalnega gospodarstva, prepletenega s političnimi in kapitalskimi interesi posameznikov. Slovenska država pa vse do danes ni bila sposobna odkriti in kaznovati napadalcev.

Umor novinarke Galizie je črn dan za demokracijo. Poleg odločne obsodbe tako zavrženih dejanj, moramo zahtevati neodvisno mednarodno preiskavo umora ter malteške organe pozvati k zaščiti svobode medijev, pravne države in temeljnih pravic.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, καταδικάζουμε για άλλη μια φορά τη δολοφονία της Daphne Caruana Galizia και εκφράζουμε την ανησυχία μας για τη φίμωση του Τύπου και τις απειλές κατά των δημοσιογράφων. Η άτυχη δημοσιογράφος διερευνούσε τα Panama Papers και τις ενδεχόμενες διασυνδέσεις κυβερνητικών αξιωματούχων για ξέπλυμα μαύρου χρήματος και διαφθορά.

Κύριε Timmermans, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση οφείλει να ενισχύσει καθοριστικά το νομικό καθεστώς ενάντια στο ξέπλυμα μαύρου χρήματος και στη διαφθορά, και ταυτόχρονα να καταπολεμήσει νομοθετικά και άμεσα τα φαινόμενα των φορολογικών παραδείσων, της φοροδιαφυγής, της φοροαποφυγής και του φορολογικού ντάμπινγκ. Αυτό βέβαια δεν αφορά μόνο την Μάλτα, αφορά πολλά κράτη μέλη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, αφορά το Λουξεμβούργο, αφορά την Ολλανδία.

Πρέπει να σταματήσει ο επιθετικός φορολογικός σχεδιασμός και πρέπει να ενισχυθεί το κράτος δικαίου.

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η πρόταση ψηφίσματος για το κράτος δικαίου στη Μάλτα υπερβαίνει τα εσκαμμένα και θεωρώ ότι ξεπερνάει τα όρια της πολιτικής ορθότητας και αποτελεί προσπάθεια ευθείας παρέμβασης σε εσωτερικά ζητήματα κράτους μέλους.

Αρχικά να καταδείξω για μια ακόμα φορά την επιλεκτική αναφορά στο κράτος δικαίου, η οποία δεν εφαρμόζεται σε περιπτώσεις πολιτικών και δικαστικών διώξεων εθνικιστών. Αφετέρου, η Δημοκρατία της Μάλτας έχει νόμιμα εκλεγμένη κυβέρνηση η οποία έχει την αποκλειστική ευθύνη να εφαρμόζει και να προστατεύει τον χώρο ελευθερίας, ασφάλειας και δικαιοσύνης και να σέβεται τα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα. Βέβαια, η ήπια φρασεολογία που χρησιμοποιείται από τη σοσιαλιστική ομάδα, εν αντιθέσει με τις περιπτώσεις της Πολωνίας και της Ουγγαρίας, δικαιολογείται λόγω της ύπαρξης των σοσιαλιστών στην κυβέρνηση της Μάλτας.

Προτείνω λοιπόν στους ευρωβουλευτές που κατέθεσαν την πρόταση ψηφίσματος να προχωρήσουν σε παρόμοια ενέργεια, κατονομάζοντας και καταδικάζοντας όλους τους σοσιαλιστές και μη, διεφθαρμένους πολιτικούς που συμμετέχουν σε σκάνδαλα. Έβλαψαν το δημόσιο συμφέρον, καταχράστηκαν την εξουσία, φοροδιέφυγαν και τα ονόματά τους φιγουράρουν σε λίστες και papers.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η δολοφονία της άτυχης Daphne Caruana Galizia έφερε στην επιφάνεια κάποια θέματα που σχετίζονται με την εφαρμογή του κράτους δικαίου στη Μάλτα. Για τον λόγο αυτό, η κυβέρνηση οφείλει αφενός μεν να εντοπίσει και να συλλάβει τους δολοφόνους της, αλλά παράλληλα να δώσει πειστικές απαντήσεις σχετικά με το αν υπάρχει διαφθορά στη χώρα ή όχι.

Βεβαίως, η Μάλτα είναι ένα ανεξάρτητο κράτος και προσπαθεί να εφαρμόσει τις αρχές του κράτους δικαίου στο εσωτερικό της, όμως μπορεί η κυβέρνηση να εγγυηθεί την προστασία του Τύπου καθώς επίσης και την προστασία όσων ερευνούν σκάνδαλα και των πληροφοριοδοτών; Είναι αλήθεια ότι μια βασική πηγή πλούτου για τη χώρα είναι η παροχή υπηρεσιών, αυτό όμως δικαιολογεί να μετατραπεί η χώρα σε οικονομικό παράδεισο;

Σε κάθε περίπτωση, η κυβέρνηση της Μάλτας οφείλει να δώσει απάντηση σε τα ερωτήματα, διαφορετικά θα δώσει τη δυνατότητα στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να παρέμβει στα εσωτερικά της και να καταργήσει την ανεξαρτησία ενός ελεύθερου και κυρίαρχου κράτους.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, if a journalist is murdered it is to silence her. If it is done in this way I surmise it is not just to silence her but also to send a clear message to anybody else who might want to investigate things. That is why the way this murder was carried out is reminiscent of the attacks on Borsellino and Falcone.

So what we are dealing with here is a very serious matter that needs to be pursued, and the investigation should be allowed to run its full course and no stone left unturned.

That is why it is good that the Maltese authorities also engage in international cooperation with the FBI, with Scotland Yard, with the NFI in the Netherlands, calling also on the European institutions and on Interpol to help them.

What is not on though is already today to draw conclusions about who did it. I think we should be clear that we stress that this investigation should be allowed to run its full course, regardless of the consequences for anyone anywhere in Malta, or elsewhere by the way.

But I would caution in drawing conclusions today, as some appear to be doing here, about who is responsible for this. That is not for now.

My second point is this. Many questions were put here today, many pertinent questions about many issues relating to the situation in Malta in a number of areas. I give you the assurance here today that the European Commission will pursue all these questions and give you answers when we can, especially Mr Giegold had a number of questions – we’ve taken careful note. Other Members had also a number of questions. We will pursue those questions and then provide them with the answers whenever we can and continue to pursue them if we need to investigate further.

But again, what is not on as far as the Commission is concerned is to start with a conclusion and then look for facts to support that conclusion. That is not how we do this. We first look into the questions that were put on the table, and then if we come up with conclusions on those questions it is soon enough to then see what other steps might need to be taken. I think every Member State deserves that way of acting when we look into issues pertaining to the rule of law and other such subjects.

One issue I want to briefly highlight, because it was raised by many Members, is the so-called sale of passports.

In our 2017 citizens’ report we announced that we would produce next year, 2018, a report on national schemes granting EU citizenship to investors.

And by the way, Malta is not the only Member State that has such a scheme. A few Member States have it and, aside from that, other Member States have schemes to grant permanent residency to people who invest. So it is not just a one Member State issue, it is a broader issue and we will refer to that in our 2018 report.

This report will describe the Commission’s actions in this area, current national law and practices in all Member States, and provide some guidance. We are working on this report right now.

Member States – and this I can already say now – should use their prerogatives towards citizenship in line with their international and EU law obligations and in a spirit of sincere cooperation with other Member States. Simply because, if you become a citizen of one Member State that grants you access to all the other Member States. So you have to have an attitude of sincere cooperation with all Member States. So we will go into that in our report.

And I want to stress also, because that was raised several times, the Commission insists with Malta to really seriously look into the possibility to join the European Public Prosecutor’s Office. It would be in Malta’s interest. There is another Member State that I know very well that also did not want to join the EPPO but now, with a new government, they have changed their mind and they have expressed their intention to join it, and I welcome that. I think Mr Michel is right when he says that it would be good for all Member States to be part of that so that we can have these European investigations into the use of European funds.

Let me conclude very briefly by saying that I do express the hope that, given the seriousness of this issue, and given the seriousness of the questions that were put on the table, we do not turn this into a party-political fight.

That is not what she deserves. That is not what Daphne deserves. Let’s continue to act as this House has always done with integrity and perseverance so that we allow the investigation to run its full course so that the ones responsible for this atrocious crime are brought to justice, and if we discover systemic issues that need to be addressed, that we address them in a spirit of cooperation with the Member State concerned.

 
  
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  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, the Estonian Presidency and the Council as a whole attach great importance to upholding the rule of law and fundamental rights in all Member States and in the Union. We are confident that the Maltese law enforcement authorities are capable of upholding the rule of law in the face of recent developments. The Maltese citizens seem to believe that as well, according to a recent opinion poll.

One observation of a more general nature: the EU is much better at dealing with the political issues between the Member States than within the Member States because that is what the Union was created for. It is also worth remembering that the effectiveness of the EU rests on the delicate balance between respecting the sovereignty of its nation states and cooperating together to make states stronger together. Nevertheless, it is clear that all Member States have to comply with fundamental democratic standards and the rule of law.

Speaking on behalf of the Council and in the name of all its members, I am not in a position to state more at this stage. However, the Council is following this debate closely and I can assure the honourable Members that I will pay particular attention to the views expressed here today.

 
  
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  President. – I have received two motions for resolutions tabled in accordance with Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Wednesday, 15 November 2017.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Pirkko Ruohonen-Lerner (ECR), kirjallinen. – Maltalla korruptiota tutkinut journalisti ja bloginpitäjä Daphne Caruana Galizia murhattiin 16.10.2017 autopommi-iskussa. Kyseinen murha johti Maltalla mielenosoituksiin. Tiedotusvälineiden moniarvoisuuden seurantaa koskevassa maakohtaisessa raportissa 2016 todettiin, kuinka Maltan tiedotusvälineillä on markkinoiden moniarvoisuutta ja poliittista riippumattomuutta koskevia suuria riskejä. Niitä voimistivat useat tekijät, kuten toimittajien ja toimituksellisen autonomian suojelun ja itsesääntelyn puute, tiedotusvälineiden poliittinen omistajuus sekä tiedotusvälineitä koskevan lukutaidon puutteellisuus. Toimittajat ilman rajoja -järjestön julkaisemassa tiedotusvälineiden vapautta käsittelevässä indeksissä 2017 todettiin, että Maltalla sanavapautta rajoittavat erityisesti kunnianloukkausta koskevat lait, joiden nojalla voidaan tuomita sakkoja tai vankeutta ja joita etenkin poliitikot käyttävät yleisesti toimittajia vastaan. Maltan koko poliittista kirjoa edustaneet poliitikot olivat nostaneet Daphne Caruana Galiziaa vastaan useita syytteitä kunnianloukkaukseen vedoten. Myös hänen pankkitilinsä jäädytettiin aiemmin tänä vuonna tuomioistuimen antamalla ennakkopäätöksellä, joka liittyi hallituksen ministerin nostamaan kunnianloukkauskanteeseen, jota ei ollut vielä ratkaistu oikeudessa. Maltan tiedotusvälineiden raportoidaan joutuneen kohtaamaan voimakasta painostusta rahanpesusyytösten kohteena olevalta Pilatus-pankilta. Pilatus-pankin asiakkaat ovat olleet enimmäkseen poliittisesti vaikutusvaltaisia azerbaidžanilaisia, joiden osalta pankki ei ole noudattanut rahanpesun torjuntaa koskevassa direktiivissä edellytettyä asianmukaista huolellisuutta. Maltan on todettu myyvän kansalaisuuttaan 650 000 eurolla kolmansien maiden kansalaisille kuten esimerkiksi venäläisille, jotka saavat samalla myös EU-kansalaisuuden siihen liittyvine oikeuksineen. Maltan tilanne on hyvin huolestuttava, joten kannatan vahvasti Euroopan parlamentin 15.11.2017 hyväksymää päätöslauselmaa oikeusvaltioperiaatteen toteutumisesta Maltalla.

 
  
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  Romana Tomc (PPE), pisno. – Daphne Caruana Galizia je bila novinarka, ki je raziskovala politične škandale na Malti. Preiskava njene smrti je bila dodeljena sodniku, ki ga je preiskovala. Je to pravna država?

Daphne Caruana Galizia je pokazala na koruptivnost malteške politike. Po njeni smrti se je pokazalo, kako velike so razsežnosti korupcije v tej demokratični državi članici in kako nihče ne sprejme odgovornosti. Je to pravna država?

Vse to me spominja na mojo državo, Slovenijo. Tudi v Sloveniji smo priča korupciji, ki ima lovke visoko v državnem vrhu. Tudi v Sloveniji, kot na Malti, ni še nihče odstopil. Imamo enega od najslabših sodnih sistemov v EU. Ljudje, ki so bili na položajih v času velike afere o pranju denarja in poslovanjem z Iranom, so danes v vlogi preiskovalcev, ki odkrivajo, da pri poslovanju NLBja ni bilo nepravilnosti. Dragi kolegi, kaj pa to, je to za vas pravna država?

 

12. Multilaterale onderhandelingen met het oog op de elfde Ministeriële Conferentie van de WTO (debat)
Video van de redevoeringen
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the Commission statement on Multilateral negotiations in view of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference (2017/2861(RSP)).

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, there is only one month remaining until the WTO member states will be in Buenos Aires for the 11th Ministerial Conference of the WTO. It is a critical moment for WTO. A strong, multilateral trading system with the WTO at its centre is very much in the interests of the EU and the world. It is the best way to deal with international trade issues and it is now being seriously challenged. Both central features of the WTO; its negotiating and its dispute settlement, are under severe pressure for the moment. A month from MC  11??, the prospects of a negotiated outcome still remain highly uncertain, although some elements are becoming clearer. We will see a difficult process of negotiations regarding a possible ministerial declaration where the questions of how to prioritise work for the future will be key.

Preparations for the conference are significantly affected by the situation surrounding the ?? body where the unprecedented decision of the United States to block the appointment of new members put at risk the functioning of one of the most important and well-functioning elements of the WTO. We are, of course, ready to discuss possible concerns regarding the ?? body but we cannot and we will not accept measures which weakens it or puts its independence into question. Today, it is more important than ever that the EU shows its strong support for the work of the organisation. Following the success of the last two conferences in Bali and Nairobi – notably they accepted the adoption of the trade facilitation agreement – and an agreement on agriculture export competition, it is important that the positive momentum is maintained and that concrete outcomes are agreed.

The European Union is working very hard in Geneva with other countries and we have taken the leadership in preparing such outcomes by tabling texts in several key areas. Unfortunately, the divergences among the members are still strong. Despite our efforts to build convergence among members, there is a huge uncertainty. The WTO members are pursuing the objective of reaching agreement on public stock-holding for food security and fishery subsidies. We support this; this would be good, but we strongly believe that it would not be enough; it has to be part of a broader package, in particular, including e-commerce, domestic regulation in services and new transparency rules benefiting SMEs. In this context it is necessary to accelerate the work towards a balanced package.

Let me just give you a few details on where we are. Firstly, public stock holdings for food security purposes and fisheries subsidies have garnered support of most of the membership in terms of aspiration for outcomes. If this is not sufficient in terms of the outcome, we will continue to work in these areas, but also it has to be accompanied by progress in other areas.

We have tabled together with Brazil and other WTO members a former current proposal for a comprehensive solution addressing domestic support in agriculture and public stock-holdings, and we really think this is a realistic proposal. However, there are other proposals on the table reflecting unrealistic ideas that are not boding well for a substantial outcome in agriculture. Regarding fishery subsidies, the political commitment to implement the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals on marine resources has contributed to advance work here, but it remains doubtful whether we can be able to achieve an ambitious outcome.

Secondly, we also believe that other issues that are of relevance to many WTO members and relevant to today’s global trade should be addressed. As I mentioned, domestic regulation of these services, e-commerce, transparency of regulatory measures; these issues are right for the MC 11. Moreover, it would be important to agree on a strong future-orientated element which would set the stage for the post-Buenos Aires work avoiding contentious and sterile debates about Doha Joe and non-Doha work.

Thirdly, there has been call by some members, notably the United States, to reform the WTO. We are ready to engage in discussions on this, but we need to see concrete proposals on what precisely such reforms would entail. We are also finally committed to work on trade and gender, and we support the declaration on trade and women’s economic empowerment, and that will be adopted in the margins of the conference.

Mr President, Honourable Members, this is an up-coming conference which is of utmost importance. We need to make sure that we can defend a strong, functioning WTO with concrete outcomes because it has to be at the centre of the multilateral trading system. I very much appreciate the support of the European Parliament and I am looking forward to seeing the big delegation that you will send to Buenos Aires in four weeks. Thank you very much.

 
  
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  Paul Rübig, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Kommissarin Malmström! Ich bedanke mich für Ihr Engagement, und ich glaube, dass es für uns wichtig ist – und da spreche ich, glaube ich, auch für Herrn Kollegen Lange –, dass wir die Agenda weiterbringen. Wenn wir davon ausgehen, dass die WTO erst 1995 mit dem Auftrag gegründet wurde, multilaterale Handelsabkommen zu schließen und deshalb die Armut in der Welt zu bekämpfen, dann haben wir gesehen, dass es nicht so einfach ist, mit über 160 Ländern auf einen Nenner zu kommen. Ich kann mich noch gut erinnern an 1999, als wir in Seattle vor Riesendemonstrationen gestanden sind und versucht haben, hier vernünftige Argumente vorzubringen und letztlich dann auch 2001 das Abkommen von Doha mit der Handelshilfe für die Entwicklungsländer. Wir haben das jetzt von der UNO ergänzt bekommen mit den Zielen für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung.

Das sind große Schritte in die richtige Richtung auf der internationalen Ebene. Letztlich ist es uns auch gelungen, 2003 mit der Interparlamentarischen Union und dem Europäischen Parlament auf Augenhöhe eine Parlamentarische Versammlung für die WTO zu gründen, wo es vor allem darum geht, die Abgeordneten der am wenigsten entwickelten Länder aufzuklären und ihnen zu helfen, mit ihren Regierungen auf gleichem Niveau zu verhandeln. Wir haben 2015 dann auch Landwirtschaftsagenda letztlich noch durchgesetzt. Ich glaube, es ist für uns alle wichtig, dass die Agenda jetzt bei der elften Konferenz wieder einen großen Erfolg bringt. Das hilft den Menschen auf dieser Welt.

 
  
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  Bernd Lange, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin! Ja, wir unterstützen die Arbeit der Kommission, auch wenn wir das eine oder andere Mal Streitigkeiten haben.

Aber in diesem Fall hundertprozentige Unterstützung, weil wir in der Tat wollen, dass das multilaterale Handelssystem gestärkt wird. Nur dann, wenn es gelingt, auf einer regelbasierten Ebene weiterzuarbeiten, können wir auch garantieren, dass Handel für die Entwicklung dienlich ist. Deswegen sind wir so stark dahinterher, dass wir auch in Buenos Aires einen Erfolg haben werden.

Wir brauchen ein klares Signal, dass die Überfischung der Meere durch unerlaubte Subventionierung aufhört. Wir müssen auch ein klares Signal geben, dass Lebensmittellagerung, um Lebensmittelsicherheit zu garantieren, eine längerfristige Lösung bekommt. Wir müssen auch gucken, wie wir die Ziele für eine nachhaltige Entwicklung integrieren können, wie auch das Pariser Klimaschutzübereinkommen und auch die Frage von Handel und gender balance. Das sind drängendste Probleme, die wir multilateral anpacken müssen.

Deswegen kann es nicht sein, dass bei diesen 164 Ländern ein oder zwei Länder beigehen, dieses System zu sabotieren. Ich finde es skandalös, dass die Vereinigten Staaten versuchen, durch die Nichtnominierung von Richterinnen und Richtern beim Berufungsgremium das System infrage zu stellen. Ich finde es skandalös, dass die USA sich verweigern, über konkrete Fortschritte nachzudenken, und sich sogar verweigern, letztendlich überhaupt einen Text auf den Tisch zu legen.

Das ist natürlich eine Grundvoraussetzung, um sich aktiv beteiligen zu können, dass wir uns verständigen auf einen Text, auf konkrete Schritte, die vielleicht auch über Buenos Aires hinausgehen können. Das wird die zentrale Aufgabe sein, dass dieses eine Land nicht damit durchkommt, sondern dass wir gemeinsam Fortschritt nach vorne bringen können.

 
  
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  David Campbell Bannerman, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, having recently returned from an international trade mission to New Zealand, a country that is among the world’s greatest exporters, and now with no subsidies for its farmers, I reminded them of the importance of free trade and open markets through the World Trade Organization (WTO). The ECR Group is committed to the multilateral trade agenda and to a positive outcome at this biannual WTO ministerial conference this December. I will do my part working together with the world’s trade ministers to champion the central role of the WTO as a global rules-based organisation.

The WTO is quite simply the spring that flows into the rivers of trade agreements around the world, including all EU trade deals and amongst the WTO’s 164 members. We support the outstanding items of the Doha Development Agenda, but where progress is not possible, the WTO should not stay stuck but advance in areas where it can progress, for example, e-commerce, investment facilitation, and in services by seeking to unlock the Trade in Services Agreement (TiSA) on top of GATS. Trade liberalisation has shown huge benefits for developing countries, but trade facilitation and market opening must be accompanied by appropriate flanking measures covering, say, education, equality, infrastructure development and good governance. The work of the WTO and a commitment to multilateralism are absolutely essential to this aim.

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula, ALDE-ryhmän puolesta. – Arvoisa puhemies, arvoisa komissaari, hyvät kollegat, multilateraalinen kauppa elää tällä hetkellä vaikeita aikoja, sillä WTOssa on muutamia jäseniä, jotka eivät ole vahvasti sitoutuneet yhteiseen agendaan. Me kuitenkin tarvitsemme multilateraaleja sääntöjä globaalille kaupalle, eikä ainoastaan muutaman maan sitoutuminen yhteisiin päätöksiin riitä. Kestävien ratkaisujen saavuttaminen edellyttää sitä, että kaikki pelaavat samoilla sovituilla säännöillä.

Buenos Airesissa meidän tulee keskustella vahvasti myös substanssikysymyksistä. On ehdottoman tärkeää, että EU ottaa aktiivisen roolin seuraavassa ministerikonferenssissa, jotta voimme taata rakentavia tuloksia.

Maatalous ja sähköinen kaupankäynti ovat teemoja, joissa meillä on paljon keskusteltavaa. Erityisesti näillä sektoreilla yhteiset säännöt ovat ehdottoman tärkeitä, ja maatalouden osalta meillä on vielä mahdollisuuksia konkreettisiin tuloksiin ministerikonferenssissa.

Kuten tiedämme, meillä on jäseniä, jotka eivät ole halukkaita sitoutumaan mihinkään konkreettiseen tällä hetkellä, mutta aina tulee myös muistaa, miltä tilanne näytti ennen Nairobia, viime kokousta. Joten meillä on edelleen mahdollisuus saada rakentava tulos Buenos Airesissa, jos vain lähdemme sinne kunnianhimoisella agendalla. Ja uskon, että näin myös tulemme tekemään.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin! Die Welt verändert sich. Die WTO verändert sich. Der multilaterale Handel steht vor gewaltigen Herausforderungen.

Globale Wertschöpfungsprozesse, die Veränderung der traditionellen Warenproduktion, datenbasierte Produktion in Industrie und Landwirtschaft, Dienstleistungen und neue Regelsetzungen bestimmen zunehmend die Agenda der Handels- und wirtschaftlichen Zusammenarbeit aller Länder und regionalen Kooperationsstrukturen.

Die alten Handelsmächte – und die USA wurden schon genannt – wehren sich gegen neue Wettbewerber. Die Globalisierung der Produktivkräfte hat die Veränderung der Weltwirtschaft mit sich gebracht. Und zugleich müssen alle WTO-Mitgliedstaaten damit umgehen, dass sie sich im Rahmen der UNO den Nachhaltigkeitszielen der Agenda 2030 verpflichtet haben.

Stichwort: Armutsbekämpfung. Wie damit verantwortungsbewusst im Interesse der Bürger und Bürger auf allen Kontinenten umgehen? Das steht im Dezember in Buenos Aires auf der Tagesordnung – nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Diese WTO-Ministertagung wird nur vorankommen, wenn endlich die alten Verpflichtungen der Doha-Runde eingelöst werden. Vorher wird es kaum einen allseits akzeptablen Durchbruch, auch bei den bereits genannten anderen Fragen, geben können. Die EU muss liefern. Vielleicht kann die Parlamentarische Konferenz einen Beitrag dazu leisten.

 
  
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  Klaus Buchner, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Frau Kommissarin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Bei jeder Gelegenheit lassen wir verlauten, wie wichtig uns gemeinsame globale und multilaterale Handelsregeln sind. Gleichzeitig stürmt die EU doch vorwärts und beschließt Handelsverträge mit nur einem oder mit wenigen Handelspartnern. Auf diese Weise schwächt sie die Chancen für eine Einigung der Welthandelsorganisation und gleichzeitig für weltweite Übereinkommen, wo auch die Entwicklungsländer mitsprechen können. Bei diesen bilateralen Abkommen sind sie außen vor.

Jetzt aber zu meinem wichtigsten Anliegen: Bei der kommenden 11. Konferenz der Welthandelsorganisation ist der Abschluss der sogenannten Doha-Runde von besonderer Bedeutung. Hier geht es um eine Einigung zur Lebensmittelsicherheit und zum Abbau von unfairen Lebensmittel- und Fischereisubventionen, die arme Länder noch ärmer machen und die Umwelt zerstören. Wenn wir es nicht bald erreichen, das abzuschaffen und gerechte Regeln zu bekommen, dann schaffen wir noch mehr Flüchtlinge, noch mehr Armut in diesen Ländern.

Und deswegen, liebe Kolleginnen und liebe Kollegen, wäre es eine fatale Nachricht an diese Entwicklungsländer, wenn wir die Entschließung, über die morgen abgestimmt wird, so abstimmen, wie sie vorgeschlagen wird, nämlich dass wir die Verhandlungen über den elektronischen Handel sofort beginnen, ohne die Doha-Runde. Bitte denken Sie an die Entwicklungsländer!

 
  
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  Tiziana Beghin, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Commissario, il mondo non è mai stato così interconnesso e tuttavia non è mai stato così iniquo. Per questo l'OMC deve funzionare e assicurare a tutti un commercio giusto e basato su regole chiare.

L'OMC necessita innegabilmente un rinnovo che metta al centro i cittadini, ma questo non può avvenire senza il contributo essenziale degli Stati Uniti, che invece stanno lavorando sistematicamente per indebolirlo o asservirlo ai loro interessi di parte. I diritti e il commercio corrono sullo stesso binario e, se l'OMC comincia a fare il lavoro sporco degli americani e a mettere in dubbio il pericolo di usare cadmio, glifosato e ormoni nei prodotti alimentari, allora resteremo immobili a guardare grandi paesi come Stati Uniti o Cina a distruggere le nostre leggi.

Dalla conferenza di Buenos Aires mi aspetto un impegno concreto per rilanciare finalmente l'OMC in questo senso, o tanto varrà dire addio a questa istituzione.

 
  
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  France Jamet, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, mes chers collègues, 21 points divers et variés sont égrenés dans cette proposition de résolution. Et si, comme le reconnaît le directeur général Roberto Azevêdo, ces suggestions ne devraient sans doute avoir aucun impact – chaque État bénéficiant de facto d’un droit de veto –, il arrive malheureusement que ça fonctionne et, dans ces cas-là, c’est toujours à notre détriment.

Ainsi, en Occitanie, et plus particulièrement à Sète, nos producteurs de biodiesel de colza ont été contraints de réduire leurs activités et de licencier à la suite de la décision de l’Union européenne de favoriser l’importation de biodiesel de soja argentin. En effet, chaque fois, Bruxelles préfère sacrifier les intérêts des acteurs économiques des États membres sur l’autel de l’ultralibéralisme, que défend l’OMC, plutôt que de protéger nos entrepreneurs et nos producteurs du mondialisme et de la concurrence déloyale.

Nous, nous sommes résolus à défendre un autre choix: celui du protectionnisme intelligent et la défense de notre production et des emplois de nos compatriotes.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – Mr President, after Brexit I am pleased that the United Kingdom will have its own functioning trade policy outside of the European Union. We should freely look to new global markets where 90% of the world’s growth will be seen in the next 15 years. Since December, the Government has been in discussions to reclaim our place as an independent member of the World Trade Organization (WTO). The final terms of our membership will depend on the deal struck between the United Kingdom and Brussels.

A comprehensive free trade agreement that retains cooperation with the European Union is the most preferable. However, the European Union’s block on opening talks on the future relations is preventing progress. A no-deal scenario would see us revert to trade on most-favoured nations tariffs. Research by the think-tank Civitas suggests that this would cost EU firms twice as much as those in the United Kingdom. UK exporters would face 5.2 billion in tariffs on goods being sold to the EU, while EU exporters would face 12.9 billion in the opposite direction. There would be 1.8 billion worth of tariffs on German car-related exports alone.

So consider, colleagues, while Brussels continues to preside over demands for the divorce bill, it should be aware that actions have consequences on both sides of the Channel.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE), blue-card question. – In 30 seconds I have many questions, and I accept your figures about the potential costs from a ‘no deal’. You and I share a boundary – it is called the border between the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland – and I hope and expect that both you and I understand the dire consequences for our citizens if there is no deal and should things go wrong.

I would ask you to reflect on your words about a divorce bill and, rather, frame it as a divorce settlement. For all divorces, if they are to be good ones, there is a cost, and I would ask the UK to meet its commitments so that we can move on.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI), blue-card answer. – Of course, and I thank my colleague for the question.

In terms of the divorce bill we are an honourable people. We have said we will meet reasonable demands and I believe that that is right and proper, and I am happy to put that on the record. But what we should not meet is the exorbitant, ever-ongoing demands that seem to be now made, and we need to progress quite quickly.

In terms of Northern Ireland, I think that you and I would both agree that we do not want to see a hard border, but this will require cooperation from both governments, the Republic’s Government and the United Kingdom’s Government, and so far I think that the Republic has been lacking.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D), blue-card question. – Mr President, I simply wanted to ask Ms Dodds if she would look at the screen, which says: ‘multilateral negotiations in view of the 11th WTO Ministerial Conference’ and tell us in her reply to my 30 seconds, what on earth her contribution had to do with the subject we are debating today?

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI), blue-card answer. – The World Trade Organization (WTO) will be an incredibly important organisation for the United Kingdom going forward. We seek individual membership of that organisation and we continue to support it as a rules-based organisation for international trade. However, what we should absolutely be clear about here is the consequences of not negotiating a free-trade agreement between the United Kingdom and the rest of the European Union, and sometimes this needs to be spelt out for our European partners and for the benefit of their constituents.

 
  
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  José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (PPE). – Señor presidente, señora comisaria, señorías, la elección el año pasado del presidente de los Estados Unidos no solo ha cambiado la política exterior de este país ―hemos visto la reciente visita a Asia, o con China, Rusia, Irán o Cuba―, sino sobre todo y fundamentalmente la política comercial. Se han suspendido las negociaciones del TTIP, se ha decidido no ratificar el Acuerdo Transpacífico, se ha revisado el acuerdo NAFTA y se han adoptado sobre todo toda una serie de baterías de medidas proteccionistas.

Hay que decir, señora comisaria, que la Comisión ha reaccionado rápida y eficazmente, desplegando toda una serie de negociaciones muy importantes en el ámbito bilateral y regional. Es en este contexto donde se sitúa la reunión de la organización ministerial de la Organización Mundial del Comercio que la comisaria ha definido en su intervención inicial como crítica. Y aquí no se trata solamente de mantener la agenda, que es apoyada por la Resolución del Parlamento, sino sobre todo de intentar que los principios del multilateralismo que la Organización Mundial del Comercio representa sobrevivan. La no discriminación, la liberalización progresiva y recíproca de los intercambios a través del diálogo, la predictibilidad y seguridad jurídica y la resolución de las controversias.

Por eso, señora comisaria, esta reunión de Buenos Aires es muy importante. Confiamos en la Comisión y esperamos que la ronda multilateral y las negociaciones bilaterales en curso ―Japón, Mercosur, México y Chile― prosperen con éxito y en los tiempos previstos.

(El orador acepta responder a una pregunta formulada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul» (artículo 162, apartado 8, del Reglamento interno))

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D), Întrebare adresată conform procedurii „cartonaşului albastru”. – Stimate coleg, ați spus că, între altele, doamna comisar a afirmat aici că este o situație critică în întâlnirea de la Buenos Aires și ați amintit și viitoarele acorduri pe care noi trebuie să le facem: cu Japonia, cu Chile, Mercosur. Care credeți că sunt punctele critice în ceea ce privește viitoarele acorduri comerciale? Considerați că trebuie să facem acorduri comerciale și, dacă da, care sunt punctele critice pe care le vedeți?

 
  
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  José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra (PPE), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Creo que es una pregunta que va más dirigida a la Comisión que a mí. Ha sido la comisaria la que ha dicho que estamos viviendo una situación crítica. Yo comparto esa afirmación y creo que comercio es progreso, que comercio es paz, y creo que los muros, las murallas, hoy se sitúan en el paleolítico de la historia europea. Y precisamente lo que tenemos que construir, como dice muchas veces la comisaria Malmström, son puentes y no muros.

Es evidente que estas negociaciones son muy importantes. Tienen sus sensibilidades por ambas partes, pero creo que lógicamente debemos aspirar a construir y a concluir con éxito...

(El presidente interrumpe al orador)

 
  
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  Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández (S&D). – Señor presidente. Muchas gracias, señora comisaria por su trabajo y defensa del multilateralismo y de la OMC, y desde luego, también mi felicitación a los dos coponentes.

Todos conocemos la dificultad de alcanzar acuerdos internacionales, pero también que son imprescindibles en defensa de la paz y de la estabilidad mundial. Es verdad que es necesario reformar la OMC, pero, como usted acaba de decir, con propuestas concretas. No se pueden dinamitar las instancias multilaterales en una mal entendida defensa de los intereses nacionales ni bloquear cualquier avance en favor de la gobernanza mundial del comercio.

Estamos viendo cómo las amenazas proteccionistas de Trump se convierten en realidad mientras bloquea la elección de los miembros del Órgano de Apelación de la OMC, poniendo en riesgo la propia razón de ser de esta organización. Frente al «America first» de Trump, nosotros defendemos en la Unión Europea «Las personas primero».

Y por eso es tan importante el voto favorable de mañana. Para respaldar a la Comisión en sus negociaciones ante la próxima conferencia ministerial de Buenos Aires y desde luego, también, para que se tengan en cuenta las recomendaciones de este Parlamento, de forma que podamos avanzar y actualizar la agenda de Doha para el desarrollo, asegurar un comercio justo y sostenible de productos agrarios y pesqueros, alcanzar efectivamente una solución permanente para la reserva pública de seguridad alimentaria y afrontar nuevos desafíos.

También es importante en materia de comercio electrónico, en materia de pymes y desde luego, para incluir la dimensión de género en política comercial.

Termino, presidente. Pido, por favor, apoyo mayoritario a este informe.

(El presidente retira la palabra a la oradora)

 
  
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  Zbigniew Kuźmiuk (ECR). – Zabierając głos w debacie dotyczącej przygotowań do 11. Konferencji Ministerialnej Światowej Organizacji Handlu w Buenos Aires, chciałbym podkreślić, że to właśnie rolnictwo powinno być centralnym elementem deklaracji, która zostanie na niej podjęta. Moim zdaniem przyszłe zobowiązania unijne w ramach WTO nie powinny wymuszać zmiany obecnych mechanizmów wsparcia europejskich rolników i rolnictwa w ramach Wspólnej Polityki Rolnej. Zobowiązania te powinny także pozostawiać niezbędny margines swobody do kształtowania aktualnej WPR, również w przyszłości, w tym także możliwości stosowania instrumentów klasyfikowanych obecnie do tzw. bursztynowej skrzynki, a więc wsparcia zakłócającego handel międzynarodowy.

Europejskie rolnictwo zapewnia do tej pory skuteczne bezpieczeństwo żywnościowe Europejczykom, i dopiero gwałtowne zawirowania na niektórych rynkach rolnych unaoczniają nam, jak kształtują się ceny żywności, gdy zaczyna brakować niektórych produktów, jak obecnie na rynku masła czy jaj kurzych.

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake (ALDE). – Mr President, this debate could not be more timely. While the EU continues, and we should pursue an ambitious trade agenda with global rules, other parts of the world are also moving on. Last Saturday, 11 countries agreed, in principle, to move ahead with the Trans-Pacific Partnership, without the US. The Trump Administration seems to have no desire to advance a multilateral trading system either – how quickly times can change.

The blocking of judges on the World Trade Organization’s (WTO) Appellate Body is also a troubling case in point. More than ever, European leadership is needed to safeguard international trade based on rules. Only by thinking globally, but also joining forces with like-minded partners, can we advance the multilateral trading agenda. An agenda including modern 21st century principles, such as services and digital trade, but first and foremost an agenda that sets high standards and is based on the values that we here in Europe cherish.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, I would remind the Commissioner that Parliament, led by the rapporteur Ms Schaake, is now discussing the EU digital trade strategy and it is very important that the EU should manage to bring its values and norms in digital trade to multilateral bodies such as the World Trade Organization. However, I would like to issue a brief warning: in my view, this should not be done at the cost of unfinished negotiations in the WTO. I would like to know what you think about this, Commissioner.

There are challenges for the global south in including this very important new dimension in trade agreements at all, so I would suggest that before formally engaging in negotiations on new topics we should conclude the Doha Round. Let me also point out that the EU has a lot to do in terms of increasing the transparency of the WTO’s processes and introducing the Sustainable Development Goals to its work.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė (PPE). – Europai yra gyvybiškai svarbi stipri Pasaulio prekybos organizacija, kuri skatintų atviras rinkas bei laisvą ir sąžiningą prekybą pasaulyje. Dėl to labai svarbu, kad ministrų konferencijos Buenos Airėse sprendimai būtų subalansuoti Europos Sąjungos interesų požiūriu ir numatytų aiškias darbų programas ateičiai, mums svarbiausiose srityse, kaip horizontalios subsidijos, elektroninė prekyba, netarifinių kliūčių šalinimas, reguliarios PPO veiklos efektyvinimas, skaidrumo įsipareigojimų įgyvendinimas.

Atsižvelgiant į pasyvų JAV dalyvavimą ruošiantis artėjančiai ministrų konferencijai, vengimą skirti teisėjus, būtina ieškoti būdų, kaip konstruktyviai įtraukti į procesus JAV, kaip į darbotvarkę įtraukti Europos Sąjungai aktualius klausimus.

Susiduriame su naujais iššūkiais kaip perprodukcija. Problema yra didelė, su ženkliomis ekonominėmis pasekmėmis. Dėl to ES pastangos PPO, G20 ir kituose formatuose yra labai svarbios, siekiant išspręsti šią problemą, kurią sukelia nesąžiningai teikiamos subsidijos tam tikriems sektoriams. Pavyzdys – plieno sektorius, kuriame Kinijos vyriausybės subsidijos sukėlė krizę. Su tokiomis pat problemomis susiduria ir saulės energijos modulių ir baterijų sektorius. Tai tiesiogiai ir neigiamai veikia ir Lietuvos gamintojus.

Pabaigai pasakysiu, jog kartu svarbu užtikrinti, kad šioje konferencijoje priimti įsipareigojimai žemės ūkio vidaus paramos srityje niekaip nepaveiktų mūsų veiksmų laisvės reformuojant žemės ūkio politiką. „raudonosios linijos“ negali būti peržengtos.

 
  
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  David Martin (S&D). – Mr President, notwithstanding the Commission’s and the Commissioners’ Herculean efforts to keep the show on the road, it is, frankly, quite difficult to imagine a positive outcome to the 11th Ministerial Council. The agenda that the Commission are promoting on fishing subsidies, on food security, on transparency and on e—commerce is the right agenda.

But it is disappointing that, as other colleagues have said, historically, our biggest ally on many of these issues, the United States, will not be supporting us in Buenos Aires. It is sad that they have moved from a nation based on promoting a global rules—based system, to one that now seems to be more interested in protecting its own very narrow interests. The 2017 US Trade Representative (USTR) trade policy agenda, for example, states that the administration will not be bound by WTO rulings that undermine the ability of the United States to respond effectively to unfair trade practices. That does not inspire you as a nation that is committed to seeing the development of the WTO as a rules-based organisation.

Nevertheless, notwithstanding that, we should be prepared to listen to the United States’ proposals for reform, but that has to stop short of undermining in any way the developments that we have seen in terms of two thirds of the WTO membership now being from developing nations, and we should not undermine their role and their equality in the organisation. Reform, yes, but not back to a rich man’s club.

 
  
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  James Nicholson (ECR). – Mr President, there are many misconceptions about the attitude that EU producers have towards free trade. The truth is, all they want to be given is a level playing-field and it is an understanding from the sensitive sectors that they will be defended. All too often, there is a sense that agriculture is simply used as the last bargaining chip in the negotiations, so I do welcome the fact that the Committee on Agriculture (AGRI) will have a representative travelling to attend the meeting in Buenos Aires and this is particularly timely in respect of many of other things, and I have to say that this debate is extremely timely as well.

The truth is, I think we should go to Buenos Aires and the World Trade Organization (WTO) in a positive way because in Europe we don’t believe we have much to fear. I think we have got to be positive, we should not be negative. I posed the question on agriculture the other day about multilateral versus bilateral, and I think that when some of us look back to the past we are maybe sorry we didn’t get better deals under the multilateral system, and I am more worried about what the Commissioner is up to in the bilateral negotiations she is having in Mercosur at the moment than I am with the rest.

Trade is extremely important, we all know how important it is, so that is why I believe we must go positively forward. But we all know there is no such thing as a quick fix, and there is no such thing, above all else, as a quick trade deal. So from that point of view can I just say that compared to the last speaker I am not as confident that the UK will come out of the negotiations all that well.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, the idealistic days when it was argued that trade could help to ‘make poverty history’ seem long ago now. The data are clear that trade has benefited a tiny elite and massively increased global inequality. The trade system we have now prioritises the interests of capital above those of people. We can change this and we must, if we are to defeat the forces of nationalism and reassure our citizens that globalisation can work for them.

Forgive me if I doubt the extent to which this concern was considered seriously at the recent WTO discussions. While Commissioner Malmström is developing plans for a Multilateral Investment Court to protect businesses from potential losses, the UN is debating an international binding treaty enforcing minimum human-rights standards on multinational corporations, who too often slip through national legal controls. Given the clear support by the European Parliament for such a charter, it was deeply disappointing that the EU chose to hold hands with the Trump administration in an attempt to block this process.

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Wydaje się, że pogłoski o zaniku, żeby nie powiedzieć o śmierci WTO, jakie pojawiły się w ostatnich latach na fali rosnącej popularności umów regionalnych, okazały się przedwczesne. Organizacja ta nadal stanowi najważniejsze forum negocjacji handlowych w skali globalnej. Agenda zbliżającej się 11. konferencji ministerialnej WTO w Buenos Aires jest zdominowana przez sprawy związane między innymi ze wspieraniem wewnętrznym rolnictwa na świecie. Dobrze, że Komisja Europejska przyjęła w kontekście tego spotkania podejście proaktywne, choć wspólna propozycja unijno-brazylijska nie wszystkich usatysfakcjonowała. Naczelnym celem Unii w obszarze handlu, w tym handlu rolnego powinno być ujednolicanie standardów oraz usuwanie barier technicznych, aby wyrównać warunki konkurencji na rynku światowym. W tym celu należy miedzy innymi pomagać krajom rozwijającym się w budowie systemów certyfikacyjnych. Równocześnie musimy oczywiście w pełni zabezpieczyć interesy naszego rolnictwa, zwłaszcza jeśli partner negocjacyjny jest znaczącym eksporterem produktów rolnych. Równocześnie nie można zaakceptować ustępstw w sektorze rolnictwa w zamian za korzyści w innych obszarach.

Komisja Europejska opublikowała niedawno analizę wpływu przyszłych umów handlowych na sektor rolny w Unii. Opracowanie to nie wzięło jednak pod uwagę pełnego zakresu produktów rolnych i pominęło produkty przetworzone. Brak tam również odniesień do barier pozataryfowych. Dlatego potrzebne jest uzupełnienie, by zwiększyć jego użyteczność.

(Przewodniczący odebrał posłowi głos)

 
  
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  Eric Andrieu (S&D).(Début d’intervention hors micro) ...plus dure sera au centre des discussions de cette conférence de Buenos Aires avec au menu la question du soutien aux agriculteurs.

Je fais partie de ceux qui pensent que la politique agricole commune doit être réformée en profondeur et il ne faudrait pas que les positions de l’Union européenne à l’OMC viennent préempter nos futurs débats.

Ne nous mettons pas de contraintes supplémentaires, Madame la Commissaire, je vous demande, en particulier, de nous permettre de continuer à apporter un soutien à nos filières en difficulté. De grâce, pas de plafonnement de la boîte bleue, il nous faut garder une marge de manœuvre dans la gestion des crises à venir.

L’Europe a déjà plusieurs fois modifié sa politique agricole pour se conformer à l’OMC avec les volets axés sur les marchés et les subventions à l’exportation. Ce qui n’est pas le cas des autres grandes puissances agricoles.

Il ne faudrait pas qu’une fois encore, l’Union se comporte naïvement comme le seul bon élève de l’OMC.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Gospodine predsjedniče, u posljednje dvije godine došlo je do jačanja suverenističkih političkih opcija i pokreta u zapadnom svijetu. Na taj proces gledam s odobravanjem, ali on nažalost pokazuje i neke nuspojave, poput negativnih stavova prema slobodnoj međunarodnoj trgovini i otvorenoj ekonomskoj suradnji među državama. Na taj se način teško može stvoriti novo bogatstvo i osigurati stabilan rast.

Multinacionalni trgovinski okvir, ma koliko on danas bio nepopularan i na ljevici i na desnici, mora postojati kako bi se prema njemu odvijali bilateralni razgovori i dogovarali pošteni sporazumi.

Rezolucija ispravno prepoznaje potrebu za boljim okvirom za digitalnu trgovinu i lakše investiranje. Slažem se da u tom pogledu pravila WTO-a moraju biti unaprijeđena kako bi u potpunosti slijedila duh vremena u kojem živimo.

 
  
 

Διαδικασία «Catch-the-Eye»

 
  
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  Mairead McGuinness (PPE). – Mr President, the agenda for this ministerial conference is not overly ambitious and I am not so sure that our hopes are very high, but I think we will go there as the European Union in good faith. What strikes me is that, in the absence of a structure like the World Trade Organization that functions, there is a yawning gap, a vacuum. The real worry – and others have mentioned this – is that one of the main global players, the USA, is not participating fully in the WTO at the moment and is perhaps acting to weaken the structures that we all rely on.

It is also important to mention that, every time trade is discussed, agriculture is very high on the agenda, and there is no agreement as to how to deal with agriculture, save to say that it is a sector different from others. It is about rural areas, about people, about food and food security, and I hope the sensitivities of agriculture will be fully taken on board at our meeting.

 
  
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  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE). – Wspieramy rozmaite porozumienia handlowe, które ułatwiają nabywanie usług, produktów, ale także obniżają ceny. To, na co chciałbym zwrócić dziś uwagę, to przede wszystkim, aby nie dążyć do kompromisów, lecz do rozwiązań optymalnych. W tych rozwiązaniach optymalnych kluczowe jest chronienie mniejszych podmiotów gospodarczych. Bardzo istotna jest elastyczność, szybsze reagowanie na zmieniający się rynek, zwłaszcza na handel, wymianę, usługi internetowe. Świat cyfrowy zmienił świat handlu. Natomiast to, co obecnie martwi, to przede wszystkim postawa Stanów Zjednoczonych wobec porozumień międzynarodowych. Rynek amerykański jest prawie samowystarczalny, ale poszczególne rynki państw słabszych od tych, które funkcjonują na obszarze Unii Europejskiej, już tak silne nie są.

 
  
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  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, je ne sais pas si la rencontre interministérielle de l’OMC à Buenos Aires sera celle de la dernière chance, mais ce que je sais, c’est qu’il est urgent d’agir si nous voulons sauver cette institution actuellement dans la difficulté devant la multitude d’accords bilatéraux et le peu d’enthousiasme – c’est le moins qu’on puisse dire – de certains pays installés ou émergents à respecter les règles communes. Des juges plus nombreux sont indispensables pour les faire respecter. L’Union européenne, qui est le bon élève de l’OMC, ne doit pas pâtir de cette absence de contrôle suffisant.

Je voudrais, pour ma part, spécifiquement intervenir sur la question des services publics qui, de mon point de vue, doivent être protégés afin de répondre aux besoins des citoyens et des territoires. Oui, à des règles internationales pour le commerce des services marchands, mais une exception pour les services publics librement mis en place par les autorités publiques.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η υπουργική σύνοδος του ΠΟΕ στο Μπουένος Άιρες μας δίνει την ευκαιρία για έναν γόνιμο προβληματισμό για το μέλλον του ΠΟΕ, που ενώ οφείλει να στηρίξει το δίκαιο εμπόριο και την ανάπτυξη, στην πράξη ενισχύει τις κοινωνικές ανισότητες, τη φτώχεια και το άνοιγμα των αγορών που διαλύουν τις τοπικές οικονομίες.

Η περίφημη λοιπόν διευκόλυνση του διεθνούς εμπορίου μέσω του ΠΟΕ διαλύει τον ευρωπαϊκό Νότο, τις μικρομεσαίες επιχειρήσεις, τον αγροτικό και κτηνοτροφικό τομέα της Ένωσης. Ο ΠΟΕ ενισχύει το outsourcing, τη μεταφορά βιομηχανιών στον αναπτυσσόμενο κόσμο και τις αθέμιτες εμπορικές πρακτικές, μια και οι βιομηχανίες αυτές των ευρωπαϊκών και άλλων πολυεθνικών που είναι εγκατεστημένες στο αναπτυσσόμενο κόσμο δεν τηρούν τους νόμους του Διεθνούς Γραφείου Εργασίας για τα εργασιακά, και ανθεί πλέον εκεί η παιδική εργασία. Παρά λοιπόν την ανάπτυξη του εμπορίου και την αύξηση των αποθεμάτων των τροφίμων, αυξάνεται η πείνα των πληθυσμών.

Αναμένουμε ακόμη μια μελέτη κοινωνικών επιπτώσεων της λειτουργίας του ΠΟΕ.

 
  
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  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου (GUE/NGL). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, τασσόμαστε καταρχήν ενάντια στις δημόσιες δηλώσεις και ενέργειες του προέδρου των ΗΠΑ, οι οποίες διασπούν και υποσκάπτουν την κατά το δυνατόν δίκαιη συνεργασία των κρατών.

Πρέπει άμεσα να γίνουν μερικά πράγματα. Να αυξηθεί η πίεση στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες για τη συμμόρφωσή τους με το πρωτόκολλο για τις κλιματικές αλλαγές και, δεύτερον, να εξεταστεί το ενδεχόμενο παραπομπής των ΗΠΑ στην επιτροπή διαιτητικών διακανονισμών, αφού η θέση των ΗΠΑ ισοδυναμεί με συγκαλυμμένη επιδότηση για την εγχώρια βιομηχανία τους, πράγμα που δεν συμβαδίζει με τους κανονισμούς του ΠΟΕ.

Τέλος, απαιτείται άμεση λύση στο θέμα της συμφωνίας για τα δικαιώματα πνευματικής ιδιοκτησίας. Το εμπόριο, αγαπητοί συνάδελφοι, πρέπει να υπηρετεί τους ανθρώπους και όχι να συμβαίνει το ανάποδο, δηλαδή οι άνθρωποι ή τα κράτη να υπηρετούν το εμπόριο. Αυτό που συμβαίνει σήμερα είναι ότι τα αδύνατα κράτη, προκειμένου να υπερασπιστούν τους εαυτούς τους, προτιμούν να προβαίνουν σε διμερείς συμφωνίες παρά να είναι μέσα στη συνεργασία του ΠΟΕ.

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η συμμετοχή της Ένωσης στην υπουργική διάσκεψη του Παγκόσμιου Οργανισμού Εμπορίου μπορεί να διαδραματίσει σπουδαίο ρόλο στην κανονικότητα ενός πολυμερούς εμπορικού συστήματος. Τα θέματα της συζήτησης, όπως οι στόχοι βιώσιμης ανάπτυξης και οι δεσμεύσεις της συμφωνίας του Παρισιού, δεν είναι ελάσσονος σημασίας σε σχέση με την προώθηση του εμπορίου και τη συνδεσιμότητα για βιώσιμη ανάπτυξη. Τα αποτελέσματα όμως της κοινής εμπορικής πολιτικής, παρά τις αρχικές καλές προθέσεις, δείχνουν ότι έχει αποσταθεροποιήσει τις αγορές των κρατών μελών, δεν διασφαλίζει πλήρως λογικές τιμές για τους ευρωπαίους καταναλωτές και δεν καταπολεμά τον αθέμιτο ανταγωνισμό.

Αυτό που πρωτίστως επηρεάζει τις ζωές ευρωπαίων παραγωγών και καταναλωτών είναι η νομιμότητα των δημόσιων προμηθειών, η επιβίωση των πολύ μικρών, μικρών και μεσαίων επιχειρήσεων, οι επιδοτήσεις, το ηλεκτρονικό εμπόριο, οι αναίτιες ποσοστώσεις και η βιωσιμότητα των εταιρειών τους. Ειδικά για τους έλληνες παραγωγούς και εμπόρους, που έχουν κυριολεκτικά καταστραφεί από τα μνημόνια, την ύφεση και τις αρρυθμίες της Κοινής Αγροτικής Πολιτικής.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I really appreciate the support that you have given to the Commission and the EU negotiating tactics here, and the priorities.

Ideally we would depart from Buenos Aires just before Christmas with a balanced package of negotiated outcomes and an ambitious agenda of work going forward. It would show that the World Trade Organization (WTO) is still relevant, still alive and kicking, and that the multilateral global trading system is still there and is functioning.

Certain forces are putting that into question. I can tell you that it is not only the US, there are also other countries who are problematic in this regard, but we are really working towards that aim in the European Union. Our team in Geneva is doing a fantastic job to reach out to the different embassies and delegations there. I have personally spoken to a lot of different ministers, and our people around the world are trying their utmost to see if we can find compromises that are as broad as possible. As I told you, we have in the EU, sometimes together with other countries, put forward proposals that we think would bring the multilateral agenda forward. We always had the least—developed countries in mind at the centre of this, in order to see how we can help them to further integrate into the global trading system.

As for the proposals, you could say that they are not ambitious enough, but they would still move the global agenda forward in a way that is reasonable in 2017. Bilateral trade agreements are today necessary as a complement to that – the WTO cannot solve all the issues that ambitious trade agreements can do bilaterally, but the multilateral system is still key in this, together with its disputes system. That has been working very well and it has served us in the European Union well, but it has also served the United States very well – evidence shows that they very often come out winners of their procedures. We must really find a solution to the blockage of the Appellate Body.

I heard many concerns here about agriculture. There is a willingness to debate trade in more general terms. I am happy to do that on another occasion. I can assure you that we are very aware of the limits and the red lines when it comes to agriculture. So you can rest assured that we will not compromise on this, and I will also be going with Phil Hogan, we will be there together for the whole week.

We are not naive, we know that it is not easy to agree, it is difficult enough between 28 countries in this Union but in the WTO there are 164 Member States. So it is not easy, but when we do agree it is really powerful.

We are also willing to listen to calls for reform: an organisation always needs to reform, but it has to be in a way that strengthens and further develops the WTO; it cannot be a way to undermine or to weaken the WTO. That is why we need to listen to concrete proposals and bring that forward. That discussion cannot take hostage the actual agenda of the WTO Ministerial Conference.

I thank you for the resolution that I hope you will vote through tomorrow. It contains a lot of very important issues and I am happy that there will be such a knowledgeable and an engaged delegation in Buenos Aires from the European Parliament, and I look forward to cooperating with you there.

 
  
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  President. – Madam Commissioner, thank you. I appreciate the fact that this is a debate where you have responded to the question – I think the applause is a sign of that. This is not always the case with every Commissioner, so it is highly appreciated.

I have received one motion for a resolution tabled in accordance with Rule 123(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Wednesday, 15 November 2017.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE), in writing. – The World Trade Organisation regulates international trade. All major decisions are made by member governments, either by ministers who usually meet at least once every two year. The forthcoming 11th WTO Ministerial Conference will be held in Buenos Aires (Argentina). In this context, I call on the Commission to be closely involved in the preparation of the WTO Ministerial Conference. The EU, as a world’s leading trading power, should persuade WTO Member States to further develop e-commerce and turn digital opportunities into trade realities. WTO Member States should acknowledge the fact that internet connectivity offers business opportunities like never before by making trade easier, cheaper and accessible.

 
  
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  Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – A OMC (Organização Mundial do Comércio) é um instrumento do neoliberalismo que promove a globalização dos mercados mediante a liberalização, a desregulamentação e as privatizações. A prosperidade económica que promete não existe, as regras que impõe e os acordos de livre comércio que promove consistem em dar facilidades às corporações transnacionais para continuarem a obter enormes benefícios à custa da exploração cada vez maior da classe trabalhadora, do campesinato, dos povos indígenas, da terra, dos territórios e dos recursos naturais.

Através da OMC e dos acordos de livre comércio, as grandes corporações estão a tentar usurpar a soberania dos povos, minando a capacidade dos governos democraticamente eleitos de tomar medidas legislativas que protejam os direitos da população e do meio ambiente contra os abusos das multinacionais. A agricultura, os serviços públicos, os medicamentos e os bens comuns devem estar fora das mãos da OMC.

 

13. Rectificatie (artikel 231 van het Reglement): zie notulen
Video van de redevoeringen

14. Oostelijk Partnerschap: top in november 2017 (debat)
Video van de redevoeringen
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  President. – The next item is the report by Laima Liucija Andrikienė and Knut Fleckenstein, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, on a European Parliament recommendation to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS on the Eastern Partnership, in the run-up to the November 2017 Summit (2017/2130(INI)) (A8—0308/2017).

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė, rapporteur. – Mr President, the Eastern Partnership policy is an important and long-standing policy of the European Union. We want this policy to be effective and result-driven. The summit in Brussels should be forward-looking, injecting new dynamism and providing a clear political vision for the future of our Eastern Partnership.

If the Brussels summit lacks this and is only a stock-taking summit, if its final declaration lacks novelty, then the November summit will demonstrate the inability of the European Union to meet the challenges ahead of us, and it will be another missed opportunity.

The European Parliament is far more ambitious than for instance some EU Member States. We in the Parliament fully acknowledge our responsibility for the consequences of any failure of our Eastern Partnership policy. That this why in our recommendations we propose very concrete steps to be taken by the European Union in order to guarantee that our Eastern Partnership policy is a success.

The European Parliament is playing its legitimate role. Its recommendations to the summit should be taken into account and duly reflected in the final declaration. Among other important aspects of the EP recommendations, we propose an EAP Plus format which includes the establishment of a trust fund, a new European investment plan, a financial support mechanism for the implementation of the association agreements, etc.

All these proposals are for the countries which have association agreements and free trade agreements with the European Union and enjoy a visa-free regime with the EU, namely Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova. When that time comes, when the homework is done and the necessary requirements fulfilled, potential membership of these countries in the customs union, the digital union and the energy union should be considered as an option.

Secondly, differentiation is key, as our resources are limited. The principle of ‘more for more and less for less’ should be implemented. We should focus our resources much more on those Eastern Partnership countries who have made remarkable progress on their European path.

A few words now about the trust fund and the new European investment plan. In the present geo-political context, and taking into account the geo-political realities, we should offer Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova – and in our recommendations we proposed that – a new European plan for these countries, including a new investment plan to boost investments and economic development.

According to international experts, a sizeable doubling of the volume of investment, for instance in Ukraine, of up to EUR 5 billion annually can result in 6-8% annual economic growth in the country over the next 5-10 years. Conditionality is in place also. I have in mind structural reforms and the creation of an investment-friendly environment, the strengthening of the rule of law and the fight against corruption in the countries concerned. This is absolutely a must.

The investment support is dedicated not to the oligarchy – not to profit oligarchs in these countries – it is dedicated to ordinary people, notably in such fields as energy savings, road infrastructure, jobs, public services, small and medium-sized businesses and reconstruction if, as in the case of Ukraine, the country is at war. I look forward to our debate.

 
  
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  Knut Fleckenstein, Berichterstatter. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ziel der Östlichen Partnerschaft ist es, unseren Nachbarn Ukraine, Georgien, Moldau, Armenien, Aserbaidschan – und hoffentlich auch bald Belarus – den politischen Dialog, wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Unterstützung bei ihren Reformen anzubieten.

Deshalb darf der Gipfel auch keine ausschließliche Bestandsaufnahme werden. Wir haben uns im AFET-Ausschuss viel Mühe und Arbeit gemacht, was man auch daran sieht, dass es hier eine große Übereinstimmung zwischen den Fraktionen gibt. Wir haben dies getan, weil wir glauben, es ist wichtig, dass wir ein geschlossenes Signal abgeben, dass wir diese Östliche Partnerschaft nach wie vor wollen und weiterentwickeln wollen.

Ich bin sehr gespannt, wie der Rat mit unseren Vorschlägen umgehen wird, zumal die Erklärung des Gipfels schon geschrieben ist. Ja, der Artikel 49 der Europäischen Verträge gilt. Aber fairerweise müssen wir auch sagen, um keine falschen Hoffnungen zu wecken: Wir sind weit, weit weg davon. Dennoch ist das kein Grund zu verzagen. Denn zum Gipfel wollen wir gerne beitragen und zeigen, dass unser Bericht auch attraktive längerfristige Modelle für eine erweiterte Östliche Partnerschaft gegeben hat.

Der Beitritt zur Zollunion, Energieunion, Digitalunion, zum Schengenraum bis hin zu den schrittweisen Abschaffungen von Roaming-Gebühren gibt eine breite Palette an, wie man diese Östliche Partnerschaft weiterentwickeln kann und sollte.

Das gilt zunächst für die assoziierten Staaten. Aber wir sind uns auch einig, dass der Weg auch für andere offen sein muss, die innerhalb der Östlichen Partnerschaft hinterherkommen. Wir empfehlen der Kommission, sich stark zu engagieren, damit multinationale oder multilaterale Finanzinstitutionen wie die Europäische Investitionsbank sich stärker engagieren. Auch Treuhandfonds verschiedener Art sind – wie wir aufgezeigt haben – denkbar.

Aber wir müssen auch ganz deutlich sagen, dass wir die Östliche Partnerschaft wollen und dass wir Ideen haben, sie intensiv weiterzuentwickeln. Voraussetzung dafür ist die Umsetzung der verabredeten Reformen. Mit dieser Umsetzung können wir bisher nicht überall zufrieden sein. Der Gipfel darf deshalb nicht nur über das Erreichte sprechen, sondern er muss auch klar benennen, was noch zu tun ist und wo es Schularbeiten zu machen gilt.

Dabei geht es ja nicht um Vorschriften, die wir aus Brüssel machen. Jedes Land ist frei in seinen Entscheidungen. Keiner muss Herrn Kommissar Hahn oder Herrn Präsident Juncker oder Frau Mogherini einen Gefallen tun. Die Ergebnisse unserer Zusammenarbeit müssen aber für die Menschen vor Ort spürbar sein. Die Ergebnisse unserer Zusammenarbeit sind wichtig für die Bürger in den Partnerstaaten, und deshalb ist es wichtig, dass wir nicht nur über Infrastruktur, Verringerung von sozioökonomischen Unterschieden und Visafreiheit reden, sondern auch beispielsweise über den Kampf gegen Korruption.

Es ist auch wichtig für unsere EU-Mitbürger, die von uns wissen wollen, wem wir eigentlich mit unseren Maßnahmen nutzen. Sie wollen am Ende nicht hören, dass ein paar Oligarchen reicher geworden sind. Sie wollen hören, dass sich im System etwas bewegt.

Lassen Sie mich zum Abschluss eins sagen, ich weiß das ist immer kritisch hier: Für die wirtschaftliche und politische Stabilität unserer östlichen Nachbarn sind auch die Beziehungen zu Russland wichtig. Die Sowjetunion existiert nicht mehr, daran müssen sich alle gewöhnen. Aber wer auf seine Nachbarn und deren Interessen gar keine Rücksicht nimmt, wird auf Dauer mit ihnen nicht in Frieden leben können.

 
  
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  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, I wanted to participate in this debate because the Eastern Partnership Summit is coming up and I would like to share with you some thoughts and to listen to your recommendations.

The fifth Eastern Partnership Summit on 24 November will be the key event in the Eastern Partnership since the last summit in Riga in 2015. I do not have to underline the importance the Estonian Presidency attaches to this event and indeed to the whole policy of Eastern partnership. In Riga, we reaffirmed our strong engagement and our firm determination to pursue closer, tailor-made relations with the six partner countries. This summit, which will be held for the first time in Brussels, will build on that. It will provide an opportunity to reaffirm the EU’s united and strong commitment to its Eastern partners and project a message of confidence. It will also highlight the value of the Eastern Partnership for citizens of the European Union and the partner countries, while providing them with tangible solutions and concrete benefits.

The summit will take stock of developments across the four priority areas of cooperation: economic development and market opportunities; strengthening institutions and good governance; connectivity, energy efficiency, environment and climate change; and, fourthly, mobility and people-to-people contacts. There has been much progress since the Riga summit. Association agreements between the EU and Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine have fully entered into force. Significant reform efforts in Georgia and Ukraine have enabled visa liberalisation for the citizens of these countries. Relations with Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan are being enhanced on a tailor-made basis, either through the pursuit of new Framework Agreements or through new coordination arrangements.

The Eastern Partnership has also further advanced on the basis of the revised European neighbourhood policy and the EU global strategy. However, the summit will also have a forward-looking and result-oriented agenda and will provide an opportunity to discuss ways of strengthening bilateral, multilateral and sectoral cooperation. The Council is currently working hard on the summit joint declaration, with the aim of reiterating the inclusive, consolidating and forward-looking nature of the Eastern Partnership.

On the basis of the 20 deliverables for 2020 prepared by the European External Action Service (EEAS) and the Commission, in cooperation with Member States and partner countries, the summit is expected to provide guidance, in particular, on the four priority areas of cooperation with their tangible and visible impact on people’s lives. The list is long. It includes the fight against corruption, the modernisation of public administrations, improved transport and energy connections, digitalisation, greener economies, trade and investment promotion, support for small and middle-sized enterprises, educational exchanges and youth empowerment.

Several important events have taken place in the run-up to the summit, demonstrating that the Eastern Partnership goes beyond inter-governmental relations to involve civil society, media, businesses, youth and other stakeholders. I would like to recall the following events that have contributed to preparing the discussion among the summit participants: the third Eastern Partnership Youth Forum in June in Warsaw; the second Eastern Partnership Media Conference in September in Kiev; the Eastern Partnership Civil Society Conference and the Business Forum in Tallinn in October. In addition, the Estonian Presidency organised an e-Partnership Conference at the beginning of October in Tallinn, as well as four ministerial-level meetings: on justice and home affairs, transport, and the digital economy as well as a post-Gymnich informal lunch for Foreign Ministers, devoted to common challenges in the security field.

As you see, the preparations for the Eastern Partnership Summit go hand in hand with the activities undertaken by the European Parliament when preparing and adopting the report containing the recommendations to the Council, the Commission and the EEAS. The Council agrees that further actions need to be built on the previous commitments and on citizens’ expectations, and they need to provide new impetus for the future of the partnership.

Last but not least, we will work to ensure that the visibility of the EU’s engagement in the Eastern Partnership demonstrates that we are stronger together. The Eastern Partnership is based on a free choice of the parties involved and is aimed at promoting prosperity, stability and good governance without affecting third parties. The Eastern Partnership is the only EU policy in which we state that the policy is not directed against anyone – and, of course, this is true. Bearing that in mind, we also need to recognise that the Eastern Partnership has become part of the EU’s policy towards Russia. In March 2016, the EU Foreign Ministers adopted five guiding principles for the EU’s policy towards Russia: one of the principles is strengthening relations with the EU’s eastern partners, and rightly so.

Active communication about the summit and its objectives is being coordinated with EU Member States and the six partners, with the aim of providing factual information and countering disinformation.

I would like to thank the honourable Members for their attention, I will listen carefully to their recommendations and I will convey them to my colleagues in the Council.

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, this discussion is, of course, extremely timely in the light of the summit that starts in a week, but, as the President has indicated, the summit has already started in a way. There have been a number of related side events involving young people, media, civil society, business, etcetera, because the whole point is to engage broadly, putting citizens at the centre of this partnership.

Our engagement goes well beyond governments and, as you know, it has a very strong parliamentary dimension. The Euronest Parliamentary Assembly ordinary session took place two weeks ago in Kiev, and I know that both the plenary and the various working groups were conducted in a very constructive atmosphere, and the message of the Euronest bureau was adopted unanimously. That has sent a very powerful message to those involved in preparing for the summit.

We welcome the attention that the European Parliament is paying to this, and I would like to thank the two rapporteurs and acknowledge all the work that has been done in the various committees and groups. As the report highlights, the summit is an opportunity not only to build on achievements to date but also to inject new dynamism into relations with the partnership countries. We are building on the existing policy network and particularly the global strategy for foreign and security policy, the European Neighbourhood Policy (ENP) review and previous summit declarations.

However, let me also stress, as your report does, the importance of the 20 deliverables for 2020. This is an ambitious programme aiming at very concrete achievements. The report by the Committee on Foreign Affairs takes into account some of the key elements that have been identified for the summit: firstly, supporting an ambitious investment for the trans-European transport core network; secondly, increasing political ownership of energy efficiency; thirdly, supporting SMEs and their access to finance; fourthly, paving the way for a reduction in roaming tariffs among partner countries; fifthly, boosting trade opportunities with the EU and among the partner countries; sixthly, providing broad and targeted support to grass-root NGOs; seventhly, supporting young people, and especially addressing youth unemployment through entrepreneurship education; and, finally, stepping up strategic communication through a comprehensive approach based on the four priorities agreed in Riga and the new Eastern Partnership visual identity.

These initiatives are all in line with the 20 deliverables. Our priorities are perfectly aligned and they all stem from the most urgent needs of our citizens. We take these deliverables very seriously and we want to make sure that they are implemented in a transparent and accountable way.

The recent evaluation shows that, overall, we have made good progress on our commitments, especially with respect to the milestones set for the summit. But, at the same time, each country from the Eastern Partnership has specific needs and specific aspirations, so differentiation is an important principle of the partnership. Association agreements are now fully in place with Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine. We have concluded negotiations for a comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement with Armenia – we will sign that on the fringe of the summit – and we are negotiating a new comprehensive agreement with Azerbaijan. Relations with Belarus are evolving through the EU-Belarus Coordination Group.

We have taken note of the proposed ‘EaP+’ model contemplated in the report, seeking to offer new opportunities especially for the associated countries and, while we remain ambitious in our proposals, we must also remain realistic and preserve the inclusive nature of the EaP which involves all six partners. This inclusivity is key, not only to bringing our people closer together, but also to contributing to further coordination and cooperation between the partners themselves. This has been part of the logic behind the whole partnership from its inception and, for these reasons, we believe the focus should be on implementing existing commitments reflected in the various agreements and documents and the 20 deliverables, as I mentioned. In doing that, the Eastern Partnership should be taken forward not in isolation but in conjunction with other global commitments: the Sustainable Development Goals, the Paris Agreement, etcetera.

Sustainable development in the Eastern Partnership matters to the European Union. We all realise that our neighbour’s strength is our own strength, so our neighbours’ security and stability are very much linked to our own security. The fact that five out of six partners suffer from protracted conflicts is a reflection of the challenging security situation that we have in our neighbourhood. Our Eastern partners are indeed experiencing at first-hand the challenges of the European security architecture, as the Foreign Affairs Committee report highlights.

The Eastern Partnership was never designed as a conflict-resolution mechanism, but it has a unique framework for building confidence and progressively strengthening the resilience of states and societies. We believe that the resolution of conflict in the region requires respect for international law and that peace will come in the framework of agreed negotiated formats. But peace also requires good governance and democracy, better economic opportunities for all, better infrastructure and closer people-to-people contact. This is what the Eastern Partnership is about and this is what we will highlight at the summit next week – not a partnership against anybody, as the Presidency said, but a partnership for the economy and for trade, a partnership for resilience and good governance, a partnership for democracy, the rule of law and human rights.

The summit next week is essential to achieve practical progress on all these issues. I know this House is very committed and we count on your support not only in the run-up to the summit but also afterwards, to help in implementing and moving forward.

 
  
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  David McAllister, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Frau Kommissarin, meine sehr geehrten Damen und Herren, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Beim Gipfeltreffen der Östlichen Partnerschaft in zehn Tagen geht es in der Tat darum, dass neue Wege gefunden werden müssen, wie die Ziele des Artikels 8 des Vertrags über die Europäische Union erreicht werden können. Es geht nämlich darum, besondere Beziehungen zu unseren Nachbarn aufzubauen und zugleich einen Raum des Wohlstands zu schaffen, der auf den Werten unserer Union aufbaut.

So, wie es die Kommissarin gerade getan hat, möchte auch ich die Assoziierungsabkommen mit Moldau, Georgien und der Ukraine, die in den vergangenen 18 Monaten in Kraft getreten sind, ausdrücklich positiv hervorheben. Dennoch bremsen – und alle, die hier im Saal sind, kennen ja auch die sechs betroffenen Länder – je nach Land in unterschiedlicher Intensität regionale Spannungen sowie starke Defizite bei Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit unsere Partnerschaft. Um die Bereitschaft zu Reformen in den Staaten der Östlichen Partnerschaft zu erhöhen, sollte die Europäische Union daher – das sollte sie klarer als bislang tun – Anforderungen formulieren, die konkreter und messbarer sind, die Zivilgesellschaft in den Partnerländern besser unterstützen und insbesondere auch das Prinzip „more for more and less for less“ konsequenter anwenden.

Diese wesentlichen Punkte sind in dem Bericht der Kollegen Andrikienė und Fleckenstein enthalten. Es ist ein guter Bericht. Er ist mit einer breiten Mehrheit im Ausschuss für auswärtige Angelegenheiten verabschiedet worden. Uns verbindet die Erwartungshaltung, dass diese Punkte auch in den Schlussfolgerungen am 24. November berücksichtigt werden.

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: RYSZARD CZARNECKI
Wiceprzewodniczący

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, I would like to start by highlighting the importance of an efficient and strategic Eastern Partnership for the security and stability not only of our partners, but also of our Union, and this is the right place to welcome and applaud the commitment, the energy and the vision of the Estonian Presidency in building such an opportunity for all of us.

The importance of these countries is shown by the way other actors like Russia behave when we try to bring them closer to the European project. We have already managed to achieve a lot and to show the benefits to our partners, including visa liberalisation, the freedom to travel across Europe, and economic exchange which has only increased in recent years. And yes, more appetite for the democratic functioning of their societies.

But here, referring to the shopping list, I will start first by referring to the frozen conflicts. We have and we need to have the courage to discuss the frozen conflicts because these are the ones which destabilise not only those countries, but equally, the region, and have a negative impact on our Union as well. In addition, let’s not forget hybrid threats and cyber—threats to our partners and the daily propaganda campaigns that destabilise and negatively affect the perception of our Union within those societies by trying to destabilise the functioning of the institutions.

The November summit should enhance East StratCom capabilities and focus on the way to fully promote the principles of democracy, the rule of law and good governance. In a nutshell, all the advantages of EU integration. But let’s be open, let’s be wise and be strategically driven, to treat the region not in terms of how much money we spend but of how many strategic benefits we take out of this more stable, better functioning region. This is our duty, and we are the only ones who can do that. At the same time, we must also be ready to give all the support and assistance required without ignoring the specificity of each and every country. I wish us every success.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, given the strong political links that I have enjoyed for many years with many of the Eastern Partnership countries, some of which boast large diaspora communities in my London constituency, I am pleased today to debate the upcoming November summit.

This September has finally seen the full implementation of the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area (DCFTA) with Ukraine and talks continue to progress with Armenia, in concluding a comprehensive and enhanced partnership agreement – one that does not affect its membership of the Eurasian Economic Union. We also see an existing Association Agreement in DCFTA with Moldova and Georgia already in force. All of these initiatives are important, improving economic and political links between the European Union and each of the respective Eastern Partnership countries, but we can still do more. If the Eastern Partnership is to become a meaningful instrument, its incentives must move beyond those on offer to other third countries further afield.

This resolution proposes, therefore, the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP+) model which would plot a course beyond visa liberalisation and Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) to potential membership of the Customs Union, the Energy Union and perhaps the Schengen area. This would follow the mantra of ‘more for more’ and act as an incentive to encourage further reforms and bring the Eastern partners more closely into the European orbit.

Allowing greater benefits as outlined in the EAP+ model would offer a favoured relationship to countries with whom the EU is geographically, culturally and historically linked. This is not a partnership against anyone, but it is a partnership of our common, shared democratic values. Maybe post-Brexit, this will be the kind of arrangement that the UK ends up with.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I wish to start by welcoming the Parliament recommendation on the Eastern Partnership summit to be held in Brussels in 10 days’ time. It is a solid and forward-looking document which contains very concrete elements of further engagement, such as Eastern Partnership Plus and fully fledged CSDP missions, just to mention a few. I call on the summit to read the document very carefully, and most importantly, to come from a perspective that is the role of the European Union to act, and to be an engaging and responsible partner.

Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are the only EU neighbours with Europeanisation and pro-European reforms clearly set as their national and strategic goals. They expect reaching a true partnership with us, the European Union. If the summit fails, despite being action- and engagement-oriented, this will only mean that our partners are addressed with a message of a new, so-called ‘paper curtain’ – another effort to keep Europe divided with a huge bureaucracy, distrust, and indifference that we brand as ‘fatigue’.

It must not be us and them, it must be all of us together, it must be about a Europe whole and free. My worry is, however, that the ‘more for more’ principle so proudly proclaimed in Riga is now being turned into a ‘one-size-fits-all’. This size will be destined by the participation of Alexander Lukashenko, Europe’s longest-serving dictator. I remain strongly convinced that this invitation is a critical mistake.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Minister, Frau Kommissarin! Es sieht so aus, als würde die Amtszeit ihres Kollegen Hahn davon geprägt bleiben, dass er eine gescheiterte Politik gestalten muss. Leider muss ich eine andere Bilanz ziehen als viele meiner Kollegen. Vor zwei Jahren sollte die östliche Nachbarschaftspolitik noch an den Realitäten ausgerichtet werden. Davon ist heute, trotz Assoziierungsabkommen und more for more keine Rede.

Einige Zielländer wandern zu alternativen Integrationsprojekten ab. Die Aassoziierten Ukraine und Moldau stagnieren politisch oder verzeichnen regressive gesellschaftliche Entwicklungen. Der gewollte Regelexport aus der EU in diese Länder läuft politisch ins Leere. Die von den Bevölkerungen dieser Länder an die EU geknüpften Hoffnungen auf Unterstützung sozialer, politischer und wirtschaftlicher Transformation für alle Mitglieder der Gesellschaften sind enttäuscht.

Das Europäische Parlament hatte jüngst damit begonnen, die Kommission endlich zu verbindlichen Bedingungen für EU-Leistungen zu drängen. Die heutige Entschließung wirft diesen Ansatz jedoch über Bord: Blankoschecks in Geld und Vergünstigungen werden wieder an Oligarchen verteilt. Der anstehende Gipfel wird so die hier von Berichterstattern, dem Rat und der Kommission angekündigten und gut klingenden positiven Wandlungen nicht induzieren.

 
  
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  Rebecca Harms, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Gerade nach der Rede von Herrn Kollegen Scholz möchte ich noch mal sagen, dass es für die Bürgerinnen und Bürger der Europäischen Union eigentlich ein großes Glück ist, dass sich die Staaten in unserer östlichen Nachbarschaft für den Weg in Richtung Westen und für den Weg hin zur Europäischen Union entscheiden. Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit in unserer Nachbarschaft sind die beste Versicherung, dass auch wir unseren friedlichen und stabilen Weg in der Europäischen Union fortsetzen können.

Ich möchte auch gerade nach Ihrer Rede nochmal darauf hinweisen, dass meiner Meinung nach die Reformen, zu denen sich die Staaten in unserer Nachbarschaft – unsere Partner – im Assoziierungsabkommen verpflichtet haben, unter sehr viel schwierigeren Bedingungen stattfinden als die Reformen, die in den baltischen Ländern oder in den Ländern des Warschauer Pakts – auch in Ihrer Heimat – stattgefunden haben. Denn diese Länder hatten für den schwierigen Weg der Reformen eine klare Beitrittsperspektive.

Wir machen es heute unseren Nachbarn nicht mehr leicht. Wir machen es denen, die es sehr viel schwieriger haben, noch viel schwieriger. Und deswegen möchte ich an dieser Stelle nochmal ausdrücklich auch als Vorsitzende von EuroNest an den Gipfel appellieren: Seien Sie nicht kleinlich! Wertschätzen Sie diese Entscheidung, die dem Grunde nach für Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit getroffen ist! Und halten Sie die Türen in die Europäische Union offen. Denn diese Reformen, die da jetzt anstehen, ohne diese Perspektive durchzustehen, das macht es sehr viel schwieriger.

Zudem hat sich Russland alle Mühe gegeben, hat sich Putin alle Mühe gegeben, diesen Prozess, zu dem sich die Staaten freiwillig entschieden hatten, den sie gewählt hatten, zu erschweren.

Es ist ein sehr wichtiger Punkt in der Entschließung des Europäischen Parlaments, der darauf hinweist, dass wir den Ländern auch helfen müssen, gegen Okkupation, gegen Annexion und gegen diese sogenannten eingefrorenen Konflikte einen Weg gegenüber Putin zu finden.

 
  
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  Raymond Finch, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, our shared security on the European continent is vital to our mutual safety and prosperity. The UK has always contributed to maintaining this security and will continue to do so in the future. NATO and the Commonwealth have shown the way for sovereign status to cooperate while retaining independence. State governments have built up over the last 70 years an expertise on Russia and the East and this, along with NATO, has kept the peace.

Instead, what the EU offers is political subjugation to Brussels. The idea that the EU equates to security for either its current or potential members is false. The EU shooting from the hip can only jeopardise this fragile peace. I firmly believe that the ambitions of your European project run contrary to the security of Eastern Europe and are a direct threat to the hard-fought independence of the countries in this region. Fear of Russia should not lead towards serfdom to Brussels.

 
  
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  Marie-Christine Arnautu, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, lorsqu’elle se mêle de politique étrangère, l’Union européenne a tout faux. Cette recommandation du Parlement en est une parfaite démonstration. Sans surprise, elle est très hostile à la Russie, rendue seule responsable et coupable des maux ukrainiens. Que les atlantistes, ici présents, se rappellent de la jurisprudence Kosovo. Qu’ils se rappellent aussi des ingérences des ONG financées par Georges Soros et soutenues par l’Union européenne, au prétexte de renforcer la société civile.

La voie prise par ce partenariat poussant à mettre en porte-à-faux la Russie avec ses pays voisins est irresponsable. Les peuples européens, que vous êtes censés représenter, n’ont aucun intérêt, mais alors vraiment aucun, à ce que les relations entre l’Union européenne et la Russie se dégradent encore davantage.

Les sanctions, en plus d’être parfaitement inutiles, ont coûté des dizaines de milliards d’euros à nos agriculteurs, notamment, sans parler des milliards d’euros d’aides déversés dans ces pays corrompus qui, elles aussi, coûtent cher aux contribuables européens, mais rapportent gros à certains élus ou fonctionnaires européens bénéficiaires, par exemple, de la «diplomatie du caviar» de l’Azerbaïdjan, à en croire les révélations faites par la presse en septembre dernier.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση αποτελεί μια φιλόδοξη αλλά και ευαίσθητη πολιτική της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, που αν δεν υλοποιηθεί σωστά υπάρχει κίνδυνος να δημιουργηθούν πολλά προβλήματα στην Ένωση. Αν και έχουν περάσει 8 χρόνια από την εγκαινίασή της, τα θετικά αποτελέσματα είναι πολύ περιορισμένα. Είναι η υπογραφή των συμφωνιών σύνδεσης και ελεύθερων συναλλαγών με Μολδαβία, Γεωργία και Ουκρανία και κάποιες υποσχέσεις από την πλευρά της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για την απελευθέρωση του καθεστώτος των θεωρήσεων για την έκδοση βίζας.

Από την άλλη πλευρά, σε όλα σχεδόν τα ιδρυτικά μέλη της Σχέσης, έχουν παρουσιαστεί προβλήματα επιδείνωσης των ανθρώπινων σχέσεων και εφαρμογής των αρχών της δημοκρατίας.

Επιπλέον, το Αζερμπαϊτζάν με την Αρμενία συνεχίζουν να έχουν διαμάχη για την περιοχή του Ναγκόρνο Καραμπάχ και η Λευκορωσία, μεταξύ των άλλων, έχει συμμετάσχει στη μεγάλη ρωσική άσκηση που έγινε τον Οκτώβριο του 2017 με την επωνυμία Zapad.

Πρέπει λοιπόν η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να δώσει ιδιαίτερη προσοχή στον περαιτέρω χειρισμό της Ανατολικής Εταιρικής Σχέσης και να μην τη χρησιμοποιήσει ως ένα μέσον πίεσης εναντίον της Ρωσίας κάνοντας παραχωρήσεις στους εταίρους, ιδιαίτερα όταν αυτοί αποδεικνύουν ότι δεν σέβονται το διεθνές δίκαιο και αμφισβητούν και δεν εφαρμόζουν τις θεμελιώδεις ευρωπαϊκές αρχές.

 
  
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  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). – Mr President, the Eastern Partnership has been a success. It has been an important instrument in building support for democracy, the rule of law and human rights in the countries of our Eastern Neighbourhood, and it has also been instrumental in supporting the process of reform. But having said that, we also have to admit that the progress along the road of reforms and on the pro-European path has been uneven among the partner countries.

In this context, I very much support the recommendations of our Parliament, especially of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, to apply the principle of ‘more for more and less for less’ which would simply mean that the European Union is ready to respond to more expectations and hopes on the side of countries that are willing and able and ready to be more ambitious on the pro-European path. I think this is an important signal that the European Union should send in order to support pro-European tendencies in those countries.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D), blue-card question. – Dear colleague, I always appreciated very much your interventions on issues like the Eastern Partnership. Don’t you think that it might be time for the European Union to differentiate, among the member countries of the Eastern Partnership, between those countries that have or could have the possibility in the future to join the European Union, and other Eastern Partnership countries that will never join the European Union?

 
  
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  Dariusz Rosati (PPE), blue-card answer. – I am very much in favour, let me repeat, of the principle of ‘more for more and less for less’. Those countries that are willing and display more ambitions to join the European family of nations should be given this possibility and this opportunity. I do not want to close the doors to the European Union to anyone. I would never say that any country would in future not be admitted. Everything is in the hands of the countries concerned. We should be open to those who are prepared to fulfil the conditions, display the respect for democracy, the rule of law and the principles of the market economy.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  James Carver (EFDD), blue-card question. – Thank you for taking my blue card. Have you not just let the cat out the bag by saying what you said about those countries that want to seek European Union membership? Is this not actually a ploy and openness about your, the European Union’s, neo-colonialist ambitions now to actually increase your empire further? And now that you have this defence force, does that not now give you the military power that you’ve desired for so long?

 
  
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  Dariusz Rosati (PPE), blue-card answer. – I could not disagree more. I have never had the idea of the European Union as a colonial power, contrary to the UK in history. So I have to insist that it is up to the applicant countries first of all to display this ambition to join the European Union and then to fulfil the conditions. Nobody forces anyone, any country in Europe, to be a Member of the European Union, but everyone is welcome provided that the conditions are fulfilled.

 
  
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  Clare Moody (S&D). – Mr President, firstly I would like to congratulate the rapporteurs on this excellent report. As many colleagues have already said, this is a significant report with substantial recommendations. It highlights the need for clear, political vision for the Eastern Partnership and it is important to note that this specifically includes gender equality, which I’m afraid neither the Council nor the Commission representatives mentioned. Our European values are part of what makes us attractive in the EU, and in our partner countries.

The inclusion of the principle of a ‘more for more and less for less’-based approach and the aligning of financial support to this principle is a practical way of implementing the differentiation that is necessary. I’m also glad to see the inclusion of Georgia in a proposed Trust Fund, and the stress that the fund should focus on social and economic infrastructure.

I hope the Brussels summit conclusions will respond to and reflect the direction of this report.

 
  
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  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR). – Mr President, Russia’s policies create a direct security threat to a majority of our Eastern partners. War in Ukraine, including the annexation of Crimea, borderisation in Georgia, and destabilisation in Moldova are matters of the utmost international concern. Acknowledging the open, inclusive character of the Eastern Partnership, we have to ensure that countries pursuing aggressive policies, violating international law, are excluded from participation in the project. We have to ensure this by adopting appropriate language in the summit declaration.

 
  
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  Norica Nicolai (ALDE). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, summitul Parteneriatului Estic, printre puținele proiecte de succes în materie de politică externă ale Uniunii Europene este condamnat să continue și este condamnat să fie întărit și susținut pentru că este obligatoriu ca situația securitară a zonei, o situație destul de delicată într-o perioadă destul de turbulentă, să fie menținută, chestiune benefică și pentru Uniunea Europeană. Este, de asemenea, important ca acest parteneriat să cuprindă elemente de cooperare economică și este foarte important să susținem aspirațiile europene ale celor trei state și să întărim standardele democratice și cooperarea cu celelalte două care au ales mai puțin decât celelalte trei state.

Nu trebuie să uităm că aceste state sunt foste republici sovietice și datul, realitatea geopolitică și securitatea din zonă nu este una care să ne facă să abdicăm și să ne comportăm dincolo de ceea ce înseamnă o relație de parteneriat. Aceste state au nevoie de suport, sunt democrații fragile, au o situație economică, marea majoritate a lor, precară și dacă Uniunea Europeană le dorește alături va trebui să le susțină.

 
  
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  Jaromír Kohlíček (GUE/NGL). – Pane předsedající, doporučení Evropského parlamentu k Východnímu partnerství je zvláštní směsicí reálných ambiciózních cílů, politických deklarací, nesmyslné rusofobie a ignorování výsledků referend v řadě zemí.

Mezi ambiciózní cíle patří uvolnění vízového režimu, případně dosáhnutí bezvízového styku na základě stanovených kritérií a readmisní dohody s jednotlivými státy. Mezi nereálné cíle patří snaha snížit závislost na fosilních palivech s ukončením provozu starších jaderných elektráren a pokusy zabránit výstavbě nových zařízení, jako je jaderná elektrárna v běloruském Ostrovci.

Zpráva zcela ignoruje výsledky lidového referenda v řadě zemí dané oblasti. Vůbec se nezmiňuje o nepřípustnosti budování cizích základen v této části světa. A bezprecedentním způsobem stanovuje, co je a co není přijatelné ve vojenské oblasti. U minských dohod zcela chybí apel na Ukrajinu, která je zjevně nedodržuje. Z těchto důvodů nemohu zprávu podpořit.

 
  
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  Bronis Ropė (Verts/ALE). – Noriu pakartoti jau aksioma turėjusį tapti teiginį, jog Rytų partnerystė yra visų pirma Europos Sąjungos minkštosios galios įrodymas. Ir testas to, kiek Europa gali būti lyderė pasaulyje. Kiek gali būti alternatyva agresyviems šovinistiniams diktatoriams.

Labai gerai, kad kasmet peržiūrime Rytų Partnerystės rezultatus vadovų susitikimuose. Būtų dar geriau, jei Europos Sąjungos ir valstybių vadovai panaudotų tokius susitikimus aiškiai išsakyti mūsų esmines vertybines nuostatas ir užtikrinti jų įgyvendinimą.

Turime aiškiai pasakyti, kad branduolinės grėsmės kūrimas ties Europos Sąjungos siena, kaip tai daro Baltarusija, yra griežtai už „raudonosios linijos“ ribų. Priešingu atveju mes ir toliau turėsime nepaaiškinamai dosnią Europą ir jos kaimynes, manančias, kad Europa joms turi kažką duoti vien dėl to, kad jos yra.

 
  
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  James Carver (EFDD). – Mr President, the European Union has long sought justification for its defence ambitions by seeking out problems in its near neighbourhood and fabricating a role for itself, despite the existence of more appropriate and effective institutions such as NATO. A consequential side effect of the British electorate’s wise decision on Brexit has clearly increased its impetus for a common EU defence policy.

There are many things that I fear about these developments – some more pressing than others. This report openly discusses the deployment of Common Security and Defence Policy (CSDP) missions into Ukraine and elsewhere. Thus, the EU now seems eager to try out its new toy and Eastern Europe might well prove to be its playground. This clearly contradicts its ridiculous mantra about the EU supposedly keeping the peace in Europe.

Do not become entangled in complex security situations as a means of justification for your political ambitions! Have you learned nothing from the lessons of European history?

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 162(8))

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE), blue-card question. – When I listen to our colleagues on that side of the House, I wonder: have you learned anything about European history, and do you notice anything in European history? Do you look upon the development of Russia – where the rule of law is undermined, where democracy is undermined – as a good thing for Europe? Do you like that Russia is trying to do the same thing with all these countries? What would you prefer – for these countries to go the way of Russia, or to go the European way? Would you like them to be freer and more democratic or would you like them to follow the system of Putin and others? Tell us now – what would you prefer?

 
  
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  James Carver (EFDD), blue-card answer. – What I prefer is a military approach through NATO. Having had a grandfather who fought at Passchendaele and on the Somme in 1917 and 1918, and having had an uncle who laid down his life in a Lancaster bomber over Berlin in 1944, I very much know the expensive price of freedom that has been paid. I’m absolutely delighted that my country has taken the route through NATO. And I think history, as has often been said, is littered with wars which everybody knew would never happen. And this, I fear, is what is coming for the European Union.

 
  
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  Bernard Monot (ENF). – Monsieur le Président, le partenariat oriental, ce dispositif européen chargé de passer des accords politiques et économiques avec les pays de l’Est hors-UE, est encore un jeu de dupe qui a des répercussions tragiques pour eux.

Prenons l’Ukraine par exemple. Ce pays n’a rien à attendre de bon de l’Union européenne en contrepartie du partenariat oriental, même pas une éventuelle adhésion à l’Union, puisqu’une majorité d’États membres s’y oppose.

L’accord de libre-échange approfondi est lui-même une supercherie européenne pour l’Ukraine. La plupart des produits ukrainiens, en particulier dans les régions industrielles de l’Est, ne pourront jamais être aux normes des marchés de l’Union et ne seront donc jamais exportables. Les produits de l’Union, plus compétitifs, continueront de balayer les productions locales en Ukraine et de mettre des millions de travailleurs ukrainiens au chômage.

En réalité, le seul objectif caché du partenariat oriental était de déconstruire la relation économique et politique antérieure entre l’Ukraine et la Russie.

Rappelons que les populations de l’Ukraine de l’Est sont de culture russe, elles sont démographiquement à cheval entre la Russie et l’Ukraine, et toute l’économie de l’Ukraine de l’Est était intégralement tournée vers la Russie. Par respect des Ukrainiens, arrêtons ce mensonge institutionnel de l’Union européenne qu’est le partenariat oriental.

 
  
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  Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NI). – Panie Przewodniczący! Zaczynając od kwestii wolności, chciałbym, żeby pan Hökmark porównał podatki w Rosji i podatki w Unii Europejskiej, i zobaczy wtedy, gdzie jest więcej wolności, bo decydują liczby.

Natomiast przechodząc do Partnerstwa Wschodniego, uczestniczą w nim bardzo różne kraje: kraje, w których korupcja jest względnie niewielka, jak w Gruzji i na Białorusi, i kraje, w których korupcja jest ogromna, jak na Ukrainie i Mołdawii. Jest faktem, że korupcja stanowi ogromny problem w tych krajach. Jest pewien człowiek, który częściowo opanował korupcję w Gruzji i usprawnił administrację w Gruzji. To pan Michał Saakaszwili, który obecnie przebywa na Ukrainie. Uważam, że dobrze byłoby, żeby Unia zrobiła coś, żeby pomóc panu Saakaszwilemu, który walczy z korupcją obecnego rządu na Ukrainie. A poza tym sądzę, że Unia Europejska musi być zniszczona.

 
  
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  Gunnar Hökmark (PPE). – Mr President, the Eastern Partnership is a partnership for freedom, democracy, the rule of law and peace. That is what we see. But we also see all the difficulties. And when I listen to the colleagues over there, and some of the colleagues over there, I see even more the importance of the Eastern Partnership, laying down the infrastructure for cooperation between all these countries and together with the European Union; but also calling for Russia to respect the sovereignty of each of these countries, because it is only in this way that democracy and freedom can be real. And calling upon all these governments to do more in order to get more, to secure the rule of law, fight corruption and strengthen democracy.

Many of you over there, and many of you over there, are against that and that is why we are supporting the Eastern Partnership, for democracy, freedom and the rule of law.

 
  
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  Georgi Pirinski (S&D). – Mr President, today Ministers Margot Wallström and Witold Waszczykowski published a joint opinion entitled EU’s Eastern Partnership needs revival. In it they point out that, despite past successes, the Eastern Partnership (EaP) needs a revival to remain relevant in the future and that it needs to be more focused on the needs of people and produce more concrete results.

The other week we were in Kyiv at the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly and in our Committee on Employment and Social Affairs two burning issues came up. One is tuberculosis, the other is irregular and undeclared work. The data shows that the tuberculosis increase rate in all Eastern Partnership countries except Armenia is above 100 cases per 100 000 inhabitants, while in the EU in general this rate is below 24. We also agreed that our next joint report will be on irregular and undeclared work, which is another scourge both in the Eastern Partnership countries and in the EU, so I very much believe that it is high time for the Eastern Partnership to come down to earth and face real people’s needs.

And one last quote from the joint opinion. Next year, Poland and Sweden will be represented at the UN Security Council. They say: ‘We want to use this opportunity to promote conflict resolution and crisis management, especially in the EaP region’. So let’s move beyond these geopolitical and reform—transformation mantras and try to use the Union’s Eastern Partnership to a good purpose.

 
  
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  Bas Belder (ECR). – Allereerst wil ik beide rapporteurs, waarde collega Andrikienė en waarde collega Fleckenstein, hartelijk danken voor solide en inspirerende aanbevelingen voor een vitaal Oostelijk Partnerschap. Hun lijn zie ik ook goed onderbouwd in de zojuist verschenen aanbevelingen van een werkgroep van experts uit Frankrijk, Duitsland en Polen, de zogenaamde Genshagener Papiere.

Terecht beklemtonen deze experts, en dat zien we ook terug in het verslag van ons Parlement, inzake de EU-invulling van het Oostelijk Partnerschap "a shift from a government-centred policy to a citizen-centred policy". Met andere woorden: Brussel schept zichtbaar en tastbaar draagvlak onder de bevolking van de betrokken landen. Steun dus bijvoorbeeld sterker het midden- en kleinbedrijf, aanjager bij uitstek van hervormingen en groeikern van een sterke middenklasse.

In die aanbevelingen spraken twee dingen bijzonder aan. Zou het geen goed idee zijn om een Oostelijk Partnerschap Universiteit te stichten in de regio om veelbelovende jongeren een stimulans te geven voor Europese integratie? En ten slotte, denk ook aan de psychologische effecten van die onopgeloste territoriale conflicten. Ook daar zou een "Post-Conflict Trauma Healing Centre" van Europese origine goed inpasbaar zijn.

 
  
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  Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE). – Mr President, the forthcoming 5th Eastern Partnership Summit will discuss the way forward in further strengthening cooperation between the partner countries and the EU. I believe it is time for the EU and the Eastern Partnership countries to achieve further progress in the four priority areas agreed in Riga: strengthening institutions and good governance; mobility and people-to-people contact; economic development; and market opportunities – but also connectivity, energy, efficiency and climate change.

In particular, I believe it is time for the EU and the partner countries to meet the high expectations of citizens in the Eastern Partnership countries by adopting and fully implementing reforms related to the judiciary, public administration and the fight against corruption and organised crime, on the basis of an adequate road-map with clearly defined objectives and deadlines. In addition, the EU has to focus on its support for civil society across the region, because in recent years this has come under increasing pressure.

 
  
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  Merja Kyllönen (GUE/NGL). – Arvoisa puhemies, EU tarjoaa runsaasti taloudellista tukea maihin, joissa arvoja sävyttää edelleen syvälle juurtunut korruptio ja ihmisoikeusrikkomukset. Meillä on itsellämmekin syytä pohtia arvojamme, sillä omatkin arvomme ovat koventuneet viime aikoina huomattavasti: puheissa hehkutamme rauhaa ja ihmisten välistä tasa-arvoa, mutta käytännössä meilläkin asuu kokonaisia perheitä kaduilla ja eurooppalaisia jaetaan menestyjiin ja häviäjiin. Mitä vastinetta me odotamme rahalle itäisiltä kumppaneiltamme: sitäkö, että ihmiset esimerkiksi eri kieliryhmiin kuuluessaan olisivat oikeutettuja saamaan tarvitsemiaan palveluita ja lapset opetusta omalla kielellään vaiko sitä, että osissa itäisiä kumppanuusmaita edelleen niiden korruptoituneet johdot röyhkeästi keräävät EU-rahan omiin taskuihinsa?

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ο πολυπλόκαμος μηχανισμός και οι ιμπεριαλιστικές συμμαχίες που στήνει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση στο μαλακό υπογάστριο της Ρωσίας, με την επωνυμία Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση, συνοδεύονται από πλήθος σαθρών προσχημάτων: αντιμετώπιση της διαφθοράς, καταπολέμηση τρομοκρατίας, εδραίωση της δημοκρατίας. Τα μέσα γνωστά: συγκέντρωση στρατευμάτων με ή και χωρίς το ΝΑΤΟ, διείσδυση μονοπωλίων σε νέες αγορές, κυρώσεις, κλαίουσες και καλοθρεμμένες με ευρωκονδύλια ΜΚΟ. Επίδικο: ποια ιμπεριαλιστική δύναμη -Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, Ρωσία ή Κίνα- και ποιοι μονοπωλιακοί όμιλοι θα ελέγξουν αγορές, πηγές ενέργειας και δρόμους μεταφοράς της; Πρόκειται για ένα μόνο κομμάτι του παζλ στον ευρύτερο ανταγωνισμό που μαίνεται σε Μέση Ανατολή, Βαλκάνια, Μεσόγειο, Αφρική και Αρκτική.

Στο παιχνίδι και η ελληνική κυβέρνηση, εμπλέκοντας τον λαό μας σε περιπέτειες για την αναβάθμιση των γαιοστρατηγικών συμφερόντων της ελληνικής αστικής τάξης. Οι λαοί να μην πληρώσουν τους ιμπεριαλιστικούς ανταγωνισμούς με το αίμα τους, με την πάλη τους να διεκδικήσουν και να γίνουν ιδιοκτήτες του πλούτου που παράγουν οι ίδιοι και τον καρπώνονται μια χούφτα μονοπώλια.

 
  
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  Tunne Kelam (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to welcome the Estonian Presidency’s endeavours to reaffirm a united and strong commitment for the Eastern Partnership, because what we really need is to inject new dynamism and set a clear long—term political vision for this system, because association agreements do not necessarily constitute a final goal. Therefore, I would say that the summit should knowledge very clearly the European aspirations of these nations, including sometimes a right to apply for EU membership. I should encourage also the European Commission and European Investment Bank to agree on a long—term strategic investment bank, especially for Ukraine and also the other two Association Agreement countries, accompanied by a necessary support mechanism.

Finally, I shall support the establishment of the special trust fund for Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia and hold a donors’ conference to support Ukrainians’ humanitarian needs.

I think they should constitute priorities for the next conference.

 
  
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  Andi Cristea (S&D). – Mr President, it is now time to take stock of the different choices and the specific progress made by the six countries. We can no longer ignore the gap and the divergence in ambition and aspirations. The new state of play must be reflected at the summit and in our policy. The three associated partners, Moldova, Georgia and Ukraine, have made substantial progress on EU reforms while also making a clear strategic choice and political commitment. They have real and tangible European ambitions – they are simply part of Europe.

This is why it is high time to inject a new dynamic into the Eastern Partnership and to set a clear political vision by doing more for those who have decided to join the European path and who deliver. This is the spirit of the EaP+ model and the trust fund, and we expect the Council and Commission to embrace this new vision.

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (ECR). – Pe 24 noiembrie, la summit, trebuie să le spunem țărilor din Parteneriatul Estic clar două lucruri: primul - suntem lângă ei, îi vrem să vină spre Europa pe drumul integrării europene pentru că numai în Europa este democrație, pace, dreptate adevărată și dreptate pentru toți și prosperitate individuală. Știu că este foarte greu, lupta dintre comunism și democrație, și le este foarte greu să se rupă de comunism, dar îi ajutăm și suntem lângă ei. Al doilea lucru pe care trebuie să îl spunem foarte clar: că vor adera la Uniune numai în anumite condiții. Nu mai acceptăm limbajul dublu: bani de la Uniune și reforme pe hârtie. Oamenii vor să vadă reforme reale și noi la fel.

Încă un lucru la care aș vrea să mă refer pe scurt: propaganda rusă falsă care este peste tot în aceste țări și care este foarte dăunătoare. Prezintă Uniunea Europeană, de exemplu că se prăbușește sau, chiar afirmații absurde precum că interzicem oamenii de zăpadă, noi, în Uniunea Europeană. Deci această propagandă nu mai poate fi acceptată, trebuie să venim cu mijloace deștepte, cu oameni de comunicare care se pricep, ca să răsturnăm aceste minciuni despre Uniunea Europeană.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (ALDE). – Mul on hea meel, et Eesti on Euroopa Liidu eesistujariigina alati üheselt toetanud vabadusi ja õigusriigi tugevdamist idapartnerluse riikides. Samas on mitme idapartnerluse riigi puhul jätkuvaks murekohaks lahendamata konfliktid: Venemaa jätkuv agressioon Krimmis; sõda Ida-Ukrainas; Gruusias Lõuna-Osseetia, Abhaasia; Moldovas Transnistria ja Mägi-Karabahhia konflikt. Need konfliktid pidurdavad oluliselt meie idapartnerluse riikide arengut ja ohustavad ka Euroopa julgeolekut. Seetõttu on väga oluline säilitada Euroopa Liidu ühine lähenemine ja surve, et lahendada need Euroopas siiani olevad konfliktid.

Novembrikuisel idapartnerluse tippkohtumisel tuleb anda ka selge sõnum, et Euroopa Liit ootab põhjalikku edasiliikumist korruptsiooni väljajuurimisel, organiseeritud kuritegevuse vastu võitlemisel ning õigusriigi ja hea valitsemistava tugevdamisel. Reformidega tuleb edasi liikuda ja tuleb järgida põhimõtet „rohkem rohkema eest“. Õigusriiki ja demokraatiat tugevdavaid reforme tuleb ka meie idapartnerlusühiskondades teha ennekõike nende ühiskondade endi pärast.

 
  
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  Zoltán Balczó (NI). – Elnök Úr! A keleti partnerségben részt vevő országok esetében van egy kényes, érzékeny kérdés: a viszonyuk Oroszországhoz. Vannak közöttük konfliktusban lévők és vannak jó barátságot ápolók. Oroszország a térség meghatározó állama, a konfliktusok megszüntetése, a partnerség kiteljesítése nélküle nem lehetséges.

Az amerikai elnök Hanoiban kijelentette: nagyon fontos jó kapcsolatot ápolni Oroszországgal. Vajon az EU most is szinkronban lesz az amerikai felfogással, ahogy ezt tette Obama elnök idején? Az EU-nak is felül kellene vizsgálnia a szankciók eredményességét. Politikai célját nem érte el, ugyanakkor számos tagországnak súlyos kereskedelmi veszteséget okozott. Éppen holnap tárgyaljuk majd itt az uniós zöldség és gyümölcságazatnak azt a kritikus helyzetét, ami az orosz tilalom miatt alakult ki. Ez önmagáért beszél. Tehát a keleti partnerséggel összefüggésben is az Uniónak újra kellene gondolnia Oroszország-politikáját.

 
  
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  Michael Gahler (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Zunächst Dank an die Berichterstatter für einen zukunftsweisenden Bricht.

Es ist gut, dass wir für die sechs Länder maßgeschneiderte Programme haben. Denn wir akzeptieren, dass deren level of ambition unterschiedlich ist. Wenn jemand kein ambitioniertes DCFTA unterschreiben will, antworten wir jedenfalls nicht mit grünen Männchen und Panzern. Vier der sechs Länder haben sicherlich den Anspruch, im Innern normal funktionierende demokratische europäische Staaten zu werden. Wir unterstützen das bereits umfänglich: Schaffung von Rechtsstaatlichkeit und Korruptionsbekämpfung stehen hier im Vordergrund. Ermutigen wir weiter alle politischen und zivilgesellschaftlichen Akteure bei diesen Anstrengungen.

Ich erwarte vom Rat, dass er auch weitergehende Ambitionen einiger Mitgliedstaaten zur Kenntnis nimmt und nicht hinter bereits vereinbartes wording zurückfällt. Der Erfolg bei der demokratischen und der wirtschaftlichen Entwicklung dieser Länder ist in unserem eigenen Interesse. Langfristig werden wir das aber nur absichern können, wenn wir denen, die es wünschen, auch eine Beitrittsperspektive eröffnen, wie sie im Vertrag vorgesehen ist.

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D). – Mr President, I think that the European Partnership Programme is an ideological challenge: we understand that something does not work but really do not understand what. In Ukraine we have a lot of problems with mass media freedom, the fight against corruption and economic reforms. The new education act that eliminates education in national minority languages is an example of nationalistic policy that is not compatible with European values and the respect of national minorities.

We cannot understand how to react in the absence of progress. We have received empty words and promises from some of our partners who exchange inertia for money and political support. We in the European Union should change our attitude.

The positive example is Georgia. Georgians have made big progress. They have a lot to do in the future, but we can see real progress. I think that the European Union should support Georgia more actively and should not bind Georgia with the Ukraine and Moldova which, let’s be frank, do not show this progress.

 
  
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  Kosma Złotowski (ECR). – Partnerstwo Wschodnie to bardzo ważny projekt polityczny, który jest kluczowy dla przyszłości najbliższego sąsiedztwa Europy. Bardzo wiele udało nam się osiągnąć do tej pory, szczególnie w relacjach z Gruzją, Mołdawią, Ukrainą. Reformy wdrażane przez rządy tych państw muszą być kontynuowane przy konsekwentnym wsparciu instytucji europejskiej i państw członkowskich. Cieszą również konkretne osiągnięcia w wymagających relacjach z Armenią i Azerbejdżanem.

Mam nadzieję, że listopadowy szczyt przyniesie konkretne propozycje zacieśnienia współpracy w poszczególnych obszarach oraz zapewni gwarancje długoterminowego wsparcia finansowego najważniejszych projektów. Realizm w tym obszarze jest ważniejszy niż wielkie, ale niemożliwe do zrealizowania w krótkiej perspektywie ambicje. Inwestycje w infrastrukturę, budowanie profesjonalnej administracji publicznej, czy wspólna walka z dezinformacją i rosyjską propagandą, to obecnie najważniejsze obszary, w których Unia może być szczególnie aktywna.

 
  
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  László Tőkés (PPE). – Elnök Úr! Nagyra értékelem a keleti partnerség regionális vetületét. Erre továbbra is építenünk kell. Mindazonáltal mint Örményországért felelős néppárti előadó fontosnak tartom, hogy a reformok végrehajtása terén jelentősebb eredményeket elérő országok számára egy hosszabb távú „keleti partnerség+” modellt vezessünk be. A térség stabilitásának megerősítése érdekében viszont az is fontos volna, hogy ezt a modellt a partnerség más országai előtt is megnyissuk, amint ezek készen állnak a fokozott kötelezettségvállalásra, és jelentős eredményeket érnek el a reformok terén.

Másodsorban ez alkalommal is felvetem az új ukrajnai oktatási törvény joggal vitatott kérdését. Üdvözlöm azon javaslatot, hogy a csúcstalálkozó zárónyilatkozata explicit módon vegye védelmébe a nemzeti kisebbségek jogait az oktatás területén. A Karpatszka Szics szélsőséges ukrán katonai alakulat múlt hétvégi provokatív kárpátaljai demonstrációja intő figyelmeztetés arra nézve, hogy az Európai Közösségnek határozottan vissza kell utasítania az etnikai intolerancia és a kisebbségellenes diszkrimináció térhódítását.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Gospodine predsjedniče, uoči samita o Istočnom partnerstvu dobro je da je postignut kompromis o ovom izvješću između dvoje izvjestitelja tako da su izbjegnuti potencijalno štetni politički problemi prilikom sutrašnjeg glasovanja. Europski parlament treba imati što jedinstveniju i jasniju poziciju o ovom pitanju.

Samit je značajan, ali njegovu pravu vrijednost mjerit ćemo opipljivim rezultatima koje moraju osjetiti građani partnerskih država. Istočno partnerstvo, nema nikakve sumnje, treba novu energiju i obnovljenu europsku viziju. Pritom je ključno poštivanje načela „više za više”.

Drago mi je da izvješće potvrđuje postojeći stav Europskog parlamenta prema kojem svaka europska država može podnijeti zahtjev za članstvo u Europskoj uniji, pod uvjetom da zadovoljava kriterije iz Kopenhagena te poštuje načela demokracije, vladavinu prava, temeljne slobode, ljudska i manjinska prava.

Europska unija je zajednica vrijednosti, njene granice ne mogu biti isključivo određene zemljopisom. Sporazumi o pridruživanju s Gruzijom, Moldovom i Ukrajinom su važni, ali ne smiju predstavljati završnu etapu u odnosima tih zemalja s Europskom Unijom.

 
  
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  Marek Jurek (ECR). – Pani Przewodniczący! Każdy kraj ma obowiązek utrzymywać dobre stosunki z życzliwymi sąsiadami, tak jak każdy kraj musi bronić wolności przed nieżyczliwymi sąsiadami. Władze ukraińskie powinny wziąć pod uwagę to, że jeżeli w tej Izbie ludzie, którzy zawsze bronili prawa Ukrainy do niepodległości, do obrony i do całości terytorialnej, dzisiaj muszą protestować przeciwko zagrożeniom, jakie powstały dla społeczności mniejszościowych z powodu ustawy szkolnej, jeżeli ci ludzie protestują, to najlepszy znak, że naprawdę jest problem do rozwiązania.

Wzywam władze ukraińskie, żeby jak najszybciej uzupełnić obecną ustawę oświatową o zastrzeżenie, że mniejszości, których prawa regulowane są na podstawie dwustronnych umów międzynarodowych albo umów z organizacjami międzynarodowymi, są wyjęte spod rygorów tej ustawy. Ukraina ma prawo opierać się sowietyzacji również w planie społecznym, ale walka z sowietyzacją i skutkami wielowiekowej pogardy dla języka ukraińskiego nie może się odbywać kosztem rdzennych mniejszości, które dzielą życie narodu ukraińskiego.

 
  
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  Eduard Kukan (PPE). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, gratulujem Laime Andrikienė a Knutovi Fleckensteinovi k veľmi dobrej správe a odporúčaniam pre nadchádzajúci samit. Východné partnerstvo je bezo sporu jedným z najúspešnejších iniciatív v zahraničnej politike Európskej únie. Mnoho krajín v susedstve však momentálne prechádza turbulentným obdobím. Musíme mať preto jasnú víziu o smerovaní tohto projektu a o tom, čo chceme našim partnerom ponúknuť.

Som presvedčený, že Východné partnerstvo má byť o hmatateľných výsledkoch a naplnených potrebách obyvateľov partnerských krajín. Nesmieme však pritom  zabúdať na hodnoty, či už vo forme fungujúcich demokratických inštitúcii, právneho štátu alebo aj boja proti korupcii.

Súhlasím s princípom diferenciácie v prístupe k našim východným partnerom. Malo by to znamenať tiež ďalšie napĺňanie princípu „more for more” a stimulovanie reforiem v krajinách, ktoré chcú užšiu spoluprácu s Európskou úniou.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, doamnă comisar, stimați colegi, cred că Parteneriatul Estic nu poate fi pus la îndoială, este bazat pe un angajament asumat între Uniunea Europeană și țările care fac parte din Parteneriatul Estic și cred că trebuie să ne concentrăm ca la summit-ul care urmează, în noiembrie, să vedem cum ne orientăm spre viitor, cum putem să insuflăm o nouă forță de acțiune și să stabilim o viziune politică clară pentru viitorul Parteneriatului Estic ca o politică de lungă durată, să se asigure că rezultatele acestui summit vor constitui o prioritate primă, o bază pentru respectarea valorilor fundamentale ale Uniunii Europene. Trebuie și este necesar să verificăm și dacă toate angajamentele deja asumate de statele membre sunt respectate și, sigur, aici s-a spus și aș vrea să subliniez și eu nevoia ca Ucraina să revizuiască legea educației pentru că da, sunt cetățeni care trăiesc acolo și nu pot să studieze în limba lor.

Însă cred că noi, Uniunea Europeană trebuie să conlucrăm pentru o mobilitate mai mare cu țările partenere, să susținem Moldova, Georgia, Ucraina în aplicarea acordului de liberalizare a vizelor și să luăm măsuri pentru ca mecanismele de suspendare să nu mai fie activate în viitor, în special printr-o strânsă cooperare în domeniul poliției și al vămilor.

 
  
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  Mark Demesmaeker (ECR). – Enkele weken geleden was ik nog in het oosten van Oekraïne. De immense schade, de verhalen, maar vooral de gezichten van de mensen maakten indruk. Soms vol ontreddering, maar vaak ook vol verwachting. Van hieruit lijkt dit conflict voorbij maar voor de bevolking daar is niets minder waar. De Russische agressie en de repressie blijven dagelijkse realiteit. Ook de integriteit van andere Oostelijke partners is nog altijd bedreigd. We mogen hier van de EU toch een actievere rol verwachten want die conflicten bedreigen ook de Europese veiligheid.

We moeten ook eerlijk zijn naar onze partners toe. Europa is gebouwd op pijlers van democratie, rechtsstaat en solidariteit, een goed werkende vrije markt. De macht van oligarchen, de repressie soms en de corruptie druisen hier fundamenteel tegenin. Jazeker, er is vooruitgang en de visumliberalisering voor Moldavië, Georgië en Oekraïne is daar het resultaat van. Maar we moeten erover waken dat alle overeenkomsten worden uitgevoerd. Het zijn geen inspanningsverbintenissen, maar resultaatsverbintenissen. Het middenveld is daarbij een belangrijke speler. Dat moet volop zijn rol kunnen spelen zonder gekortwiekt te worden. Laten we bij de Oostelijke top een sterke boodschap brengen. Een boodschap van steun en partnerschap, maar ook van realiteit en engagement.

 
  
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  Jaromír Štětina (PPE). – Pane předsedající, ruská agrese vůči Ukrajině pokračuje, anexe Krymu trvá a pokračuje i okupace dvou gruzínských regionů. Je nezbytné, aby chystaná deklarace summitu fakt agrese explicitně pojmenovala, jak to činí ve své zprávě Evropský parlament. Ruské hybridní hrozby šíří v zemích Východního partnerství o EU nepravdivé informace a snaží se zatloukat klíny mezi národy Unie.

Velice bych si přál, aby se závěry summitu, který proběhne v příštím týdnu, zabývaly zejména závažnými bezpečnostními hrozbami. V deklaraci summitu by měla být vyslovena podpora vyslání ozbrojené policejní mise OBSE na východní Ukrajinu stejně tak jako odhodlání zapojit mise či operace společné bezpečnostní a obranné politiky. Bez posily zvenčí a mezinárodní kontroly hranice mezi Ruskem a Ukrajinou bude konflikt pokračovat.

 
  
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  Joachim Schuster (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Die Östliche Partnerschaft befindet sich in einer schwierigen Entwicklungsphase. Das liegt zum Teil daran, dass der notwendige Reformprozess bei unseren östlichen Nachbarn sehr schleppend verläuft. Der Kampf gegen Korruption oder der Aufbau rechtsstaatlicher Strukturen sind etwa in der Ukraine ins Stocken geraten. Deswegen wird in dem Bericht zu Recht gefordert, dass finanzielle Unterstützung für unsere östlichen Partner an konkrete Reformauflagen gekoppelt werden muss. Finanzielle Hilfe darf nicht eine verkappte Unterstützung für Oligarchen sein, sondern muss den Reformprozess befördern, der der gesamten Bevölkerung zugutekommen muss.

Das heißt aber umgekehrt auch, dass finanzielle Hilfen nur dann ausgezahlt werden dürfen, wenn die Auflagen auch erfüllt sind. Das war zu meinem Bedauern in der Vergangenheit nicht immer der Fall, denn der Rechnungshof hat in einem Prüfbericht zur Ukraine festgestellt, dass finanzielle Unterstützung ausgezahlt wurde, obwohl Auflagen zur Korruptionsbekämpfung nicht erfüllt wurden.

Das darf sich aus meiner Sicht in der Zukunft nicht wiederholen. Dass Auflagen ernst gemeint sind, auch das muss auf dem Gipfel deutlich werden und muss auch in Zukunft die Praxis der Kommission immer bestimmen.

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, na početku želim čestitati izvjestiteljima na ovom izvješću, koje su uspjeli sastaviti baš pred sastanak Istočnog partnerstva. Slažem se, nije lako dobiti bitku između komunizma i demokracije, ali Istočno partnerstvo je uspješna priča i drago mi je da svih šest zemalja pokazuje europske aspiracije i potrebno je, naravno, da građani tih zemalja to također primijete.

Dobar je stav našeg Odbora i princip kojeg smo primijenili „more for more and less for less”, čime smo dali šansu da svaka od ovih zemalja pojedinačno iskazuje svoje želje i pojedinačno pristupa europskim integracijama.

U svakom slučaju, geopolitička situacija ovih zemalja vrlo je delikatna, demokratski standardi vrlo su krhki i odavde, danas, poruka s moje strane Rusiji je da im omogući da se razvijaju u miru, da njeguju demokratske standarde, da manje ruske propagande bude tamo i da se ovih šest zemalja, posebice mislim prije svega na ove četiri zemlje: Ukrajinu, Moldaviju, Gruziju, ali i Armeniju, naravno i Azerbajdžan djelomično, koji pokazuju aspiracije, ali i poziv Bjelorusiji da se uključi u demokratske procese. U svakom slučaju, dobro je došla ova Rezolucija prije sastanka Istočnog partnerstva slijedeći tjedan u Bruxellesu.

 
  
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  Bogdan Andrzej Zdrojewski (PPE). – Partnerstwo Wschodnie bez wątpienia jest w stanie pewnego kryzysu. Może ten kryzys nie jest bardzo głęboki, ale jest dość rozległy. Mówię o tym z dwóch powodów: po pierwsze, widać wyraźnie rozpiętość w ocenach tego, co udało się uzyskać. Nasi partnerzy mówią, że czynimy za mało, my uważamy, że ich reformy są niewystarczające i realizowane w niewystarczającym tempie. To, co mnie jednak martwi, to pewna dysproporcja pomiędzy samymi słowami a czynami. I od razu zacznę od refleksji dotyczącej nas, eurodeputowanych. Dziś w tej debacie brało udział około 50 osób. Natomiast niedawno mieliśmy szczyt Partnerstwa Wschodniego, nasz szczyt, czyli Euronestu, w Kijowie. Było tam nas zaledwie kilkunastu. Martwi mnie to, dlatego że prawidłowy dialog, dobra komunikacja musi za każdym razem oznaczać fizyczną obecność. W innym wypadku nie uda nam się przekonać naszych partnerów, a nasza działalność nie będzie wystarczająco skuteczna.

 
  
 

Zgłoszenia z sali

 
  
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  Zigmantas Balčytis (S&D). – Pirmiausia noriu pasveikinti savo kolegas už tai, kad parengė labai svarbų dokumentą. Po paskutinio Rytų partnerystės šalių susitikimo Rygoje, prieš du metus, padaryta didžiulė pažanga, kalbant tiek apie įsigaliojusius Asociacijos susitarimus, tik apie bevizio režimo suteikimą ir Gruzijai, ir Ukrainai. Tačiau būtina toliau stiprinti ir plėtoti Rytų partnerių šalių ir Europos Sąjungos veiksmus. Ypač svarbu, kad visapusiškai būtų įgyvendintos visos Asociacijos susitarimo teikiamos galimybės ir atliekama esminė pažanga būtinų reformų įgyvendinimui.

Iš artėjančio susitikimo tikiuosi, jog bus susitarta dėl naujų paskatų gilinti politinę ir ekonominę Rytų partnerių integraciją, bus peržiūrėti Europos Sąjungos ir partnerių abipusiai įsipareigojimai bei gilinamas bendradarbiavimas atremiant bendrus iššūkius, ypač branduolinės saugos ir aplinkos apsaugos susitarimo srityse.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η Ανατολική Εταιρική Σχέση αφορά την Αρμενία, το Αζερμπαϊτζάν, τη Λευκορωσία, τη Γεωργία, τη Μολδαβία και την Ουκρανία. Οι οικονομικές σχέσεις τους μπορούν να διαδραματίσουν σημαντικό ρόλο με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, υπό τον όρο ότι θα είναι αμοιβαία επωφελείς.

Όμως, η συμφωνία Ελευθέρων Συναλλαγών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης με την Ουκρανία, από τη στιγμή που θα τεθεί σε εφαρμογή, είναι βέβαιο ότι θα οδηγήσει σε ιδιαίτερα προβλήματα για την ευρωπαϊκή γεωργία και κτηνοτροφία, ιδίως δε για τους Έλληνες κτηνοτρόφους. Θα έχουμε μία κατάσταση ιδιαίτερα κρίσιμη, καθώς θα έχουμε πλέον αδασμολόγητες εισαγωγές, αθρόες εισαγωγές κτηνοτροφικών προϊόντων -αμφιβόλου μάλιστα ποιότητας- από την Ουκρανία.

Επιπλέον, αυτό που θα πρέπει να λάβουμε υπόψη είναι ότι οφείλουν οι χώρες αυτές να τηρήσουν τις διεθνείς συμφωνίες για την πυρηνική ασφάλεια, και μας ανησυχεί ιδιαίτερα ότι υπάρχουν απηρχαιωμένοι πυρηνικοί σταθμοί στη Λευκορωσία και την Ουκρανία.

Η ανεργία θα αντιμετωπιστεί με επενδύσεις στην περιοχή και όχι βέβαια με ελεύθερη κυκλοφορία εργαζομένων προς τις χώρες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Είναι βέβαιο ότι, τόσο στην Ελλάδα όσο και στην υπόλοιπη Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, δεν αντέχουμε άλλους οικονομικούς μετανάστες.

 
  
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  Τάκης Χατζηγεωργίου (GUE/NGL). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, υπάρχουν μερικά πράγματα που πρέπει ειδικά να καταγραφούν.

Οι έξι αυτές χώρες που, μαζί με την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, επιθυμούν σύσφιξη των σχέσεών τους θα πρέπει να λάβουν υπόψη και να συνδυαστεί αυτό το θέμα με τις αναγκαίες πολιτικές ισορροπίες με την περιοχή και τη Ρωσία. Οι τρεις από τις έξι ανατολικές χώρες, Ουκρανία, Γεωργία και Μολδαβία, πιέζουν έντονα για στενότερους δεσμούς, ενώ το Αζερμπαϊτζάν, που κατηγορείται από τις Βρυξέλλες για παραβιάσεις ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων, τηρεί ουδέτερη στάση. Η Αρμενία και η Λευκορωσία τείνουν περισσότερο προς την πλευρά της Ρωσίας.

Τρίτον, όλα πρέπει να έχουν ως στόχο την ανάπτυξη μέσα στα πλαίσια της ειρήνης και της βιώσιμης ανάπτυξης και αυτό σίγουρα δεν μπορεί να επιτευχθεί ούτε με συγκρουσιακό πνεύμα ούτε, βέβαια, με την ενίσχυση των ολιγαρχών σε κάποια από αυτά τα κράτη.

Η σύγκρουση με τη διαφθορά θα πρέπει να αποτελεί θεμέλιο σε οποιαδήποτε συνεργασία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, in my experience, if dialogue between governments is key, people-to-people contact is just as important for cooperation, intercultural dialogue and the breaking down of barriers. I therefore call for more support for grassroots projects and civil participation.

I deeply believe that more consideration must be given to the power of civil society to pursue intercultural exchange, people-to-people dialogue and peace—building initiatives. Because it is what I did before I came into politics, I know that the Arts can be a powerful tool to bring this about. For example, the EU with its cultural diplomacy strategy can be a key player. It is able to share, support and develop best practice, particularly in respect of young people. I particularly welcome, therefore, the call in the report to guarantee access to key programmes such as Erasmus Plus and Creative Europe.

A young generation in the Eastern countries has grown up with a European vision: they must not be let down. Their participation in decision—making that will affect their future is absolutely key. The Eastern Partnership mechanism must also encourage that, along with visa liberalisation.

 
  
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  Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL). – Pane předsedající, jsem i nadále přesvědčen, že projekt Východního partnerství za určitých okolností má smysl. Nicméně se domnívám, že je naprosto nezbytné provést důkladné posouzení jeho úspěchů, kterých je málo, a neúspěchů. Samozřejmě je nutno zamyslet se i nad jeho dalším vývojem a směřováním. Varianta vícerychlostního projektu mi připadá stejně nepřijatelná jako myšlenka vícerychlostní Evropy. Půjde jenom o zdůvodnění politiky dvojího metru ze strany Evropské unie.

Místo toho se musíme zeptat našich partnerských států, co vlastně od EU očekávají a v jakých oblastech jim můžeme pomoci. Bezhlavé sypání peněz do rozpočtu těchto zemí bez prokazatelně úspěšných reforem v oblasti boje s korupcí a justice také postrádá smysl. Musíme se více soustředit na investování do bezprostředního pokroku pro občany. Nejde nám přece o rozklížení celého projektu, ale o jeho větší efektivnost.

(Řečník souhlasil s tím, že odpoví na otázku položenou zvednutím modré karty (čl. 162 odst. 8 jednacího řádu).)

 
  
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  Andrejs Mamikins (S&D), zilās kartītes jautājums. – Paldies, Maštálka kungs, ka akceptējāt manu zilās kartītes jautājumu. Mans jautājums ir: mēs zinām, ka Austrumu partnerības programmā Krievija nepiedalās, un tam ir zināmi nosacījumi vēsturē un attieksmē. Mans jautājums ir: vai jūs varat iedomāties situāciju, ka kādreiz Austrumu partnerības programmā piedalīsies arī Krievijas Federācija? Paldies!

 
  
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  Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL), odpověď na otázku položenou zvednutím modré karty. – Já si vzpomínám, že když jsme na minulém plenárním zasedání mluvili o tomto tématu – Východní partnerství –, že pan komisař říkal, že tento projekt Východního partnerství není namířen proti někomu, tedy proti Rusku, ale pro spolupráci s Ruskem. Tedy dovedu si, pane kolego, představit, že pro Rusko bude zajímavé, když to tak vytvoříme, aby spolupracovalo i na tomto projektu.

 
  
 

(Koniec zgłoszeń z sali)

 
  
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  Cecilia Malmström, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, it has been a very long debate, but it shows the engagement and the high expectations that you all have, not only for the summit per se, but also for the whole Eastern Partnership agreement and how it should be developed.

As was said, this is a partnership for cooperation, it is a partnership for trade, it is a partnership for people-to-people contact, and it involves a lot of different projects. Different countries have chosen different ways of incorporating, but they are all part of a very big network of different projects where we can support them on their way towards a stronger rule of law, fighting corruption, increasing the involvement of civil society, free press, and so on. This is not easy. Many of you know that these transitions do not happen overnight. Also, all six countries joined this partnership voluntarily and I am a bit surprised that some of you think you know what is in their best interests better than their governments themselves do.

I would like to express my gratitude to the rapporteurs. You have done very good work on this, and I think the resolution is a useful contribution to the reflection on the future of the Eastern Partnership – for the summit, as I said, but also beyond that.

Eight years after it was launched, it now has an established framework and it has reached cruising speed, but it has a lot of untapped potential. The focus needs to be on implementing the commitments that we have made for ourselves in making sure that all countries can benefit from the opportunities that are there. In this endeavour, we must be realistic and ambitious all at once, and I hope that the summit next week will convey a sense of unity and confidence in this partnership. I would like to pay tribute to the important role that you play as a Parliament and in the Euronest Parliamentary Assembly, and I hope that you will continue to support the legislative process that accompanies the reform effort in our partnership countries.

 
  
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  Matti Maasikas, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, thank you for the opportunity to take part in this valuable discussion, and my thanks to the rapporteurs for their invaluable work. I am sure that the summit on 24 November will reaffirm the EU’s united and strong commitment to the Eastern Partnership and will also provide guidance on how to strengthen this policy even further. I want to thank sincerely all those speakers who commended the Estonian Presidency’s commitment to this policy of ours. It really means the world to me.

There were many contributions that showed clearly how much work still needs to be done in stabilising our neighbourhood, but there were also many comments about history, and indeed about geopolitics. The Eastern Partnership is a geopolitical issue. There is currently no consensus among the Member States about the membership prospects for the Eastern partners. Meanwhile, we need to do our utmost to help and assist these partner countries, who have freely opted to be that, to get as close to Europe as possible, and to integrate them as closely as we can into European policies, and, indeed, European bodies.

It is a very simple piece of foreign policy wisdom that you want to have your neighbours as similar to you as possible. They are more predictable that way, and they are better to deal with. This very basic foreign policy wisdom applies to the EU’s neighbourhood policy as well.

 
  
  

Puhetta johti HEIDI HAUTALA
varapuhemies

 
  
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  Puhemies. – Kiitokset neuvostolle, ja herra Maasikas, tämä on ensimmäinen kerta, kun johdan täysistuntoa varapuhemiehenä, ja tämä aihe on minulle hyvin läheinen samoin kuin seuraavakin aihe. Mutta ennen kuin siirrymme eteenpäin, annan vielä kahdelle esittelijälle puheenvuorot. Ensinnäkin rouva Andrikienė, kaksi minuuttia, olkaa hyvä.

 
  
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  Laima Liucija Andrikienė, rapporteur. – Madam President, first of all I would like to thank my co-rapporteur Mr Knut Fleckenstein for your excellent cooperation. I cordially thank our shadow rapporteurs and all colleagues who contributed to the draft report, in order to have well-balanced European Parliament recommendations for the Eastern Partnership Summit. I thank the Estonian Presidency for your commitment and your leadership and I sincerely wish the forthcoming summit every success. I very much hope that the recommendations of the European Parliament will be well reflected in the final declaration of the summit.

On Belarus, President Alexander Lukashenko is invited to the summit. I hope and I wish that he will use this real opportunity to present and prove his country’s achievements in the process of European integration in becoming closer to the EU. Certainly, no one can expect the EU to stop defending human rights, equal opportunities, the rule of law, democracy and human dignity. These are our core values and we will stand firmly behind these values, whatever country is concerned.

 
  
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  Knut Fleckenstein, Berichterstatter. – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich will ein bisschen Zeit sparen. Deshalb danke ich allen, denen Frau Andrikienė auch gedankt hat, nur nicht mir selbst. Aber dafür danke ich Ihnen für die Zusammenarbeit. Es war nicht selbstverständlich, dass wir so schnell – manchmal auch nicht so schnell – auf einen Nenner gekommen sind. Das ist ein gutes Zeichen für dieses Haus.

Zweitens: Ich bitte um Vorsicht. Ich will jetzt nicht auf alles eingehen, das kann ich auch gar nicht von der Zeit her, denn wir haben das Haus schon fast leer geredet. Aber zu einem Wort würde ich gerne noch etwas sagen, das ist das Wort „Erfolgsgeschichte“. Ich warne davor. Die Östliche Partnerschaft ist für mich bis heute noch keine Erfolgsgeschichte. Wir haben in Moldau eine Regierung von Europafreunden gehabt, die das Land fast in den Ruin regiert hat. Wir stellen fest, dass in der Ukraine heute plötzlich die Regierung wieder rückwärts geht, wenn es um Minderheitenrechte geht. Und auch wir haben nicht alles richtig gemacht.

Aber ich gebe all denjenigen recht, die sagen: Es kann eine großartige Erfolgsgeschichte werden, wenn wir uns sozusagen gegenseitig beim Wort nehmen können, wenn diejenigen, die die Reformen zusagen, auch die Reformen machen, damit die Menschen in ihren Ländern mitbekommen, dass es etwas Vernünftiges ist, diesen Weg zu gehen – und wenn wir auch berechenbar bleiben, das heißt: auf der einen Seite nicht zu viel versprechen, aber auf der anderen Seite zu unserem Wort stehen und wirklich unterstützen, nicht nur in Reden hier im Plenarsaal. Ich bin sicher, dass die meisten von uns das wollen. Und ich bin sicher: Es wird eine großartige Erfolgsgeschichte.

 
  
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  Puhemies. – Keskustelu on päättynyt.

Äänestys toimitetaan huomenna.

Kirjalliset lausumat (työjärjestyksen 162 artikla)

 
  
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  Javier Couso Permuy (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – Considero que es muy lamentable que desde la UE se sigan impulsando políticas que atentan contra el bienestar de los ciudadanos europeos, y por eso rechazamos la actual Política de Vecindad del Este. La política de la Asociación Oriental representa el instrumento de la UE para la rivalidad geopolítica con Rusia en el vecindario común y por lo tanto causa inestabilidad e inseguridad en el vecindario oriental de la UE. Ignora las relaciones históricas, económicas, culturales y humanas de estos países con Rusia. Fue desarrollado como una herramienta para estrategias ofensivas hacia la relación con el vecino clave - Rusia - y desestimó sus intereses políticos, económicos y de seguridad. Si bien la UE avanzó en el desarrollo de las relaciones con los países del vecindario común, las negociaciones sobre acuerdos de asociación estratégica con Rusia fracasaron. Este desarrollo culmina en una política de confrontación entre Occidente y Rusia. Adicionalmente, la PEV nunca ha aclarado su relación ambigua con la ampliación de la UE, aumentó las expectativas sobre la adhesión, que la UE no está preparada para cumplir, y no aborda los problemas estructurales de la pobreza, el desempleo y el crecimiento sostenible.

 
  
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  Julia Pitera (PPE), na piśmie. – Szczyt Partnerstwa Wschodniego jest dobrą okazją do jasnego określenia przyszłości naszej polityki wobec tych sąsiadów, którzy wypełniają zobowiązania umów stowarzyszeniowych. Uatrakcyjnienie Partnerstwa Wschodniego poprzez umożliwienie sąsiadom w przyszłości dostępu m.in. do unii celnej, unii cyfrowej, unii energetycznej i strefy Schengen jest właściwym krokiem służącym skutecznemu osiągnięciu celów wytyczonych w art. 8 Traktatu o Unii Europejskiej, który stanowi, że Unia rozwija szczególne stosunki z państwami z nią sąsiadującymi, dążąc do utworzenia przestrzeni dobrobytu i dobrego sąsiedztwa, opartej na wartościach Unii i charakteryzującej się bliskimi i pokojowymi stosunkami opartymi na współpracy. Zarówno pogłębienie stosunków w ramach „Partnerstwa Wschodniego +”, a tym bardziej ewentualna perspektywa członkostwa w UE, wymagają jednak znacznych postępów w procesie transformacji systemowej u naszych sąsiadów. Konieczne jest konsekwentne wdrażanie reform strukturalnych na rzecz silnych instytucji i dobrych rządów. Konieczne jest także wprowadzanie w życie wartości UE takich jak poszanowanie demokracji, praw człowieka i praworządności. Wspólnie z obywatelami tych państw oczekujemy prawdziwej reformy systemu gospodarczego mającej na celu stopniową eliminację monopolów, ograniczenie roli oligarchów oraz skuteczne zwalczanie korupcji. Poziom współpracy powinien zależeć od postępów we wdrażaniu reform. Natomiast w przypadku cofnięcia reform popieram konsekwentne przestrzeganie przez Unię przepisów dotyczących warunkowości, w tym możliwość zawieszania porozumień.

 
  
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  Algirdas Saudargas (PPE), raštu. – Rytų partnerystė – vienas iš esminių ES darbotvarkės klausimų. Visi suprantame, kad saugi kaimynystė yra ir saugios Europos Sąjungos garantas, todėl turime ir toliau aktyviai prisidėti ir skatinti demokratinius pokyčius šalyse partnerėse. Pritariu pranešime įtvirtintam principui „parama pagal pažangą“. Neturime užmiršti, kad šio principo taikymas šalims partnerėms turi būti aiškus, nusakantis būtinų reformų žmogaus teisių srityje ar rinkos ekonomikos plėtroje mastą ir kokybę. Reiktų susitelkti ir į dabartinių įsipareigojimų įvertinimą. ES institucijų žinia turėtų būti aiški, tikslinga ir nepavaldi politinėms simpatijoms a