Index 
Dezbateri
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Miercuri, 28 februarie 2018 - Bruxelles Ediţie revizuită
1. Reluarea sesiunii
 2. Deschiderea ședinței
 3. Declaraţiile Preşedinţiei
 4. Aprobarea procesului-verbal al ședinței anterioare
 5. Alegerea unui vicepreședinte al Parlamentului European (depunere de candidaturi): consultaţi procesul-verbal
 6. Componenţa Parlamentului
 7. Verificarea prerogativelor: consultaţi procesul-verbal
 8. Componența grupurilor politice: consultaţi procesul-verbal
 9. Componența comisiilor și delegațiilor: consultaţi procesul-verbal
 10. Negocieri înaintea primei lecturi a Parlamentului (articolul 69c din Regulamentul de procedură): consultaţi procesul-verbal
 11. Semnarea actelor adoptate în conformitate cu procedura legislativă ordinară (articolul 78 din Regulamentul de procedură): consultaţi procesul-verbal
 12. Continuări ale avizelor Parlamentului: consultaţi procesul-verbal
 13. Măsuri de executare (articolul 106 din Regulamentul de procedură): consultaţi procesul-verbal
 14. Acte delegate [articolul 105 alineatul (6) din Regulamentul de procedură]: consultaţi procesul-verbal
 15. Depunerea documentelor: a se vedea procesul-verbal
 16. Ordinea lucrărilor
 17. Situația umanitară din Siria, în special din Ghuta (dezbatere)
 18. Reuniunea informală a Consiliului European din 23 februarie 2018 (dezbatere)
 19. Decizia Comisiei de activare a articolului 7 alineatul (1) din TUE în ceea ce privește situația din Polonia (dezbatere)
 20. Prioritățile UE pentru sesiunile Consiliului ONU pentru Drepturile Omului din 2018 (dezbatere)
 21. Definirea, prezentarea și etichetarea băuturilor spirtoase și protecția indicațiilor geografice ale acestora (dezbatere)
 22. Situația drepturilor fundamentale în UE în 2016 (dezbatere)
 23. Activitatea și moștenirea Tribunalului Penal Internațional pentru Fosta Iugoslavie (dezbatere)
 24. Activitățile interzise de lobby ale fostului președinte al Comisiei, Barroso, de exemplu întâlnirea cu comisarul Katainen (dezbatere)
 25. Eliminarea anumitor state terțe de pe lista UE a jurisdicțiilor necooperante în scopuri fiscale (dezbatere)
 26. Perspective și provocări pentru sectorul apicol din UE (dezbatere)
 27. Intervenţii de un minut privind chestiuni politice importante
 28. Ordinea de zi a următoarei ședințe: consultaţi procesul-verbal
 29. Ridicarea ședinței


PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. ANTONIO TAJANI
Presidente

1. Reluarea sesiunii
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Presidente. – Dichiaro ripresa la sessione del Parlamento europeo interrotta giovedì 8 febbraio 2018.

 

2. Deschiderea ședinței
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(La seduta è aperta alle 15.04)

 

3. Declaraţiile Preşedinţiei
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  Presidente. – Da Presidente del Parlamento europeo, da cittadino, da giornalista, esprimo la mia più profonda indignazione e la mia ferma condanna per l'uccisione del giornalista slovacco Ján Kuciak e della sua compagna Martina Kušnírová, avvenuta nei pressi di Bratislava. È un nuovo, inaccettabile attacco alla libertà di stampa, che è un valore fondante della nostra democrazia. Questo omicidio avviene a pochi mesi dal tragico assassinio della giornalista maltese Daphne Caruana Galizia.

Ján Kuciak esercitava con passione e coraggio la sua professione. Nel corso della sua breve ma promettente carriera, stava conducendo inchieste su casi di finanziamenti sospetti ed evasione fiscale. Cercava con determinazione la verità, senza guardare in faccia a nessuno. La polizia ha dichiarato che quasi certamente è stato ucciso per fermare le sue inchieste.

A nome del Parlamento, voglio affermare con forza che abbiamo tutti il dovere di continuare la sua battaglia per la verità. Non è ammissibile oggi che all'interno dell'Unione europea un giornalista venga ucciso perché sta svolgendo la sua professione. Come possiamo condannare chi intimidisce e imprigiona i giornalisti ovunque nel mondo, se non riusciamo a garantire la libertà di stampa e la possibilità di svolgere in sicurezza il proprio lavoro ai giornalisti europei?

Conto sulle autorità slovacche affinché facciano tutto il possibile per arrivare alla verità, anche facendo appello alla cooperazione internazionale tra polizie. A nome del Parlamento europeo, posso assicurare che, come per Daphne Caruana Galizia, non smetteremo di levare la nostra voce, continuando a vigilare affinché tutti i colpevoli vengano assicurati alla giustizia.

Così come è accaduto per ricordare Daphne Caruana Galizia, vi chiedo di unirvi a me in un minuto di silenzio.

(L'Assemblea, in piedi, osserva un minuto di silenzio)

Purtroppo l'ultima settimana è stata densa di notizie negative.

Il gruppo terrorista di Boko Haram ha attaccato di nuovo una scuola nel Nord Est della Nigeria, e a seguito di questo attacco oltre cento ragazze sono scomparse. Si tratta di un rapimento che riporta alla mente il drammatico ricordo delle studentesse rapite nel Chibok, nel 2014.

Il Parlamento europeo condanna fortemente questo attacco e lancia un appello per la liberazione di queste ragazze. A ogni bambino andrebbe garantito il diritto di andare a scuola in un ambiente sicuro e libero. Il presidente Buhari lo ha definito un disastro nazionale, ma non ho timore a definirlo un disastro umanitario mondiale. Questo tragico evento dovrebbe spingerci ad impegnarci più concretamente a livello politico, finanziario e militare con i nostri partner africani nella lotta contro il terrorismo.

Vi devo altresì informare di un incidente che ha visto protagonista la nostra collega Ska Keller, qualche settimana fa in Bulgaria. L'on. Keller è stata oggetto di una dichiarazione del ministro Simeonov con la quale si chiedeva che fosse espulsa dal paese a causa della sua partecipazione a una manifestazione di protesta contro la costruzione di infrastrutture nel parco nazionale Pirin in Bulgaria. Appena informato di questo, sono immediatamente intervenuto presso il governo bulgaro e ho ricevuto assicurazione che le dichiarazioni di Simeonov non rappresentano la posizione del governo. L'incidente si è così risolto.

Voglio ribadire che la libertà di esprimere la propria opinione è un diritto fondamentale per qualsiasi cittadino dell'Unione europea, in particolare per chi, come l'on. Keller, è eletto dal popolo e rappresenta i cittadini. Questa libertà è il fondamento della nostra democrazia e comporta il diritto di dissentire, di manifestare e anche di protestare. Ringrazio il governo bulgaro per aver immediatamente preso le distanze da queste dichiarazioni e mi auguro che nel futuro simili episodi non si ripetano.

 
  
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  Bruno Gollnisch (NI). – Monsieur le Président, j’apprécie énormément les propos que vous venez de tenir. Je regrette simplement que cette liberté d’expression ne soit pas respectée à l’intérieur même du Parlement. Je déplore, en particulier, que la commission juridique chargée d’examiner ces questions lève systématiquement l’immunité parlementaire des députés de la minorité quand il s’agit de l’expression de leur opinion dissidente, ce qui n’était pas le cas quand je suis entré dans cette institution où il était de règle que l’opinion politique soit exonérée de toute poursuite, dès lors qu’elle était poursuivie par des adversaires politiques et exprimée par le parlementaire.

Aujourd’hui, nous vivons une situation bien différente où, dans l’enceinte même de ce Parlement européen, d’ailleurs, des députés sont sanctionnés, non pas en raison de la perturbation qu’ils apportent aux travaux de l’Institution, mais en raison des propos qu’ils ont tenus, si contestables qu’ils soient, ce qui me paraît tout à fait contraire, précisément, à l’essence même de la vie parlementaire. Je vous remercie de m’avoir entendu, Monsieur le Président.

 
  
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  Cécile Kashetu Kyenge (S&D). – Signor Presidente, La ringrazio per aver riportato in quest'Aula la storia delle ragazze di Boko Haram. Volevo rivolgere un altro appello a questo Parlamento: combattere il terrore. Lo dobbiamo fare investendo di più nell'istruzione e soprattutto nell'educazione. Questo Parlamento si è impegnato tantissimo nella lotta contro Boko Haram, contro il rapimento delle ragazze. Io insisto affinché questo appello non rimanga nel vuoto. Investiamo contro il terrore, con più istruzione ed educazione.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Si sta per aprire il dibattito sul prossimo QFP, quindi credo che il Parlamento farà ascoltare la sua voce anche per quanto riguarda tutte le iniziative importanti che dovremo avviare nel continente africano.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE). – Κύριε πρόεδρε, είμαι υποχρεωμένος από αυτό το βήμα, το ισχυρό βήμα του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου που εκφράζει τη βούληση και τη θέληση όλων των λαών της Ευρώπης, από το Ευρωκοινοβούλιο που είναι θεματοφύλακας και προασπιστής των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων θεσμών αρχών και αξιών, να καταγγείλω μία χώρα η οποία θέλει να γίνει και μέλος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, μία χώρα που διαρκώς παραβιάζει κάθε αρχή, κάθε κανόνα δικαίου των ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων, θέσεις και αρχές της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, που παραβιάζει τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα στην ίδια τη χώρα της, που εισβάλλει στο Afrin, που κατέχει εδώ και 43 χρόνια χώρα-μέλος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και που αυτές τις μέρες εισέβαλε παράνομα, πειρατικά και τρομοκρατικά στην Κυπριακή Αποκλειστική Οικονομική Ζώνη, παρεμποδίζοντας τις έρευνες για ανεύρεση φυσικού αερίου στα χωρικά ύδατα της Κύπρου και στη δική μας Αποκλειστική Οικονομική Ζώνη, παρεμποδίζοντας το ιταλικών συμφερόντων Saipem 12000 να προχωρήσει στη διερεύνηση των ενεργειακών πόρων στο Οικόπεδο 3, το οποίο είναι αδειοδοτημένο.

Χρησιμοποίησε πολεμικό στόλο και, με πειρατικό τρόπο, έξι πολεμικά πλοία της Τουρκίας μπλόκαραν και παρεμπόδισαν την ΕΝΙ στην άσκηση των νόμιμων δικαιωμάτων της και την Κυπριακή Δημοκρατία στην άσκηση των κυριαρχικών της δικαιωμάτων. Θέλω να εκφράσω καταρχήν τις απεριόριστες ευχαριστίες του κυπριακού λαού για την άμεση παρέμβαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου και εσάς για την καταδίκη της Τουρκίας, όμως, εδώ στο Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, πρέπει να πούμε στην Τουρκία «Ως εδώ και μη παρέκει!» διότι δεν μπορεί με αυτόν τον τρόπο να πλήττει τα συμφέροντα όχι μόνο μιας χώρας μέλους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης αλλά τα συμφέροντα της ίδιας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Τα ενεργειακά αποθέματα είναι αποθέματα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και οφείλει να τα υπερασπιστεί. Οι εταιρείες που δραστηριοποιούνται στην Κύπρο είναι η Τotal και η ΕNI, ευρωπαϊκών συμφερόντων, και οφείλει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να τα υπερασπιστεί. Η Τουρκία δεν καταλαβαίνει άλλη γλώσσα από τη γλώσσα των κυρώσεων και οφείλουμε όλοι εμείς εδώ να πούμε στην Τουρκία ότι, με τέτοιες πειρατικές ενέργειες, δεν μπορεί να ζητά αναβάθμιση τελωνειακής ένωσης, δεν μπορεί να ζητά την απελευθέρωση των θεωρήσεων και δεν μπορεί να έχει μέλλον μέσα στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Il Parlamento ha sempre fatto sentire forte e alta la sua voce per difendere l'indipendenza di Cipro e per far rispettare il diritto sempre e comunque, anche a un paese candidato quale è la Turchia. Sono intervenuto personalmente e ho chiamato il Presidente della Repubblica di Cipro per esprimergli la mia solidarietà.

 
  
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  Liliana Rodrigues (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, devido à situação que se vive na Venezuela cerca de oito mil cidadãos de origem europeia regressaram a uma região ultraperiférica da Europa, a Região Autónoma da Madeira.

Gostaria de saber, e aproveito estar cá, Sr. Comissário, que apoios e medidas tem a Comissão disponíveis para ajudar esta região, que é tão pequena e que recebe tantos migrantes e que, desde ontem, está a ser fustigada por uma grande tempestade.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Dovremo chiederlo alla Commissione europea, che è già impegnata con una strategia per l'immigrazione, e credo che anche nel prossimo QFP ci sarà un impegno, da parte di tutti noi, per affrontare la questione dell'immigrazione – quella legale, quella illegale, i rifugiati – e anche una particolare attenzione all'Africa.

 

4. Aprobarea procesului-verbal al ședinței anterioare
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Janice Atkinson, on behalf of the ENF Group. – Mr President, on behalf of the ENF Group I would like to make a request to change the agenda by having a joint debate on jihadists. Specifically, we wish to replace the debate on Thursday morning ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  President. – We are not speaking about the agenda.

 
  
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   Chi deve intervenire sul processo verbale? Non sull'ordine del giorno, sul processo verbale della seduta dell'8 febbraio.

(Il processo verbale della seduta precedente è approvato)

 

5. Alegerea unui vicepreședinte al Parlamentului European (depunere de candidaturi): consultaţi procesul-verbal
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

6. Componenţa Parlamentului
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Presidente. – Vi ricordo che domani, giovedì 1o marzo, procederemo all'elezione di un nuovo Vicepresidente del Parlamento europeo, che sostituirà l'on. Czarnecki. Ho ricevuto due candidature: quella di Zdzisław Krasnodębski, proposta dal gruppo ECR, e quella di Indrek Tarand, proposta da un numero di deputati pari almeno alla soglia bassa.

A seguito della nomina dell'on. Hannu Takkula a membro della Corte dei conti europea, il Parlamento prende atto della vacanza del suo seggio a decorrere dal 1o marzo 2018.

 
  
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  Hannu Takkula (ALDE). – Mr President, today is my last day as a Member of this honourable institution. Tomorrow I take up my duties as a Member of the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg.

I have served this institution as a Member for 13 enjoyable years, and, whilst welcoming the challenges and opportunities the next six years will bring, I am of course leaving with a certain regret. I would like to place on record my thanks and gratitude to you, Mr President, to your predecessors, to my fellow Members and to the able and competent staff of this institution. Thank you.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Presidente. – On. Takkula, le formuliamo i migliori auguri per il nuovo incarico che ha avuto. Resteremo certamente in contatto e avremo l'occasione di confrontarci ancora parlando di bilancio dell'Unione. Grazie e ancora buon lavoro.

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° ° °

Le competenti autorità della Spagna, della Finlandia e della Lettonia hanno comunicato l'elezione a deputato al Parlamento europeo di Ana Miranda Paz, Elsi Katainen e Miroslavs Mitrofanovs, a decorrere rispettivamente dal 28 febbraio, 1° marzo e 5 marzo 2018, in sostituzione di Iosu Juaristi Abaunz, Hannu Takkula e Tatjana Ždanoka. Do il benvenuto ai nuovi colleghi e ricordo che siedono con pieni diritti nel Parlamento e nei suoi organi alle condizioni previste dal regolamento.

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° ° °

A seguito delle dimissioni dell'onorevole Janusz Korwin-Mikke, il Parlamento prende atto della vacanza del suo seggio a decorrere dal 2 marzo 2018, conformemente al regolamento, e ne informa l'autorità nazionale competente.

 

7. Verificarea prerogativelor: consultaţi procesul-verbal
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

8. Componența grupurilor politice: consultaţi procesul-verbal
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

9. Componența comisiilor și delegațiilor: consultaţi procesul-verbal
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

10. Negocieri înaintea primei lecturi a Parlamentului (articolul 69c din Regulamentul de procedură): consultaţi procesul-verbal
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

11. Semnarea actelor adoptate în conformitate cu procedura legislativă ordinară (articolul 78 din Regulamentul de procedură): consultaţi procesul-verbal
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor

12. Continuări ale avizelor Parlamentului: consultaţi procesul-verbal

13. Măsuri de executare (articolul 106 din Regulamentul de procedură): consultaţi procesul-verbal

14. Acte delegate [articolul 105 alineatul (6) din Regulamentul de procedură]: consultaţi procesul-verbal

15. Depunerea documentelor: a se vedea procesul-verbal

16. Ordinea lucrărilor
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Presidente. – Il progetto definitivo di ordine del giorno, fissato dalla Conferenza dei presidenti, ai sensi dell'articolo 149 del regolamento, nella riunione dell'8 febbraio 2018 è stato distribuito. A seguito delle consultazioni con i gruppi politici, desidero sottoporre all'Aula le seguenti proposte di modifica al progetto definitivo di ordine del giorno.

Mercoledì

Una dichiarazione del Presidente sulla situazione umanitaria in Siria, in particolare a Ghuta, seguita da un giro di interventi di oratori dei gruppi politici, è aggiunta come primo punto all'ordine del giorno. La discussione sulla riunione informale del Consiglio europeo del 23 febbraio 2018 sarà spostata al secondo punto dell'ordine del giorno e sarà introdotta sempre dal Presidente del Parlamento.

Una dichiarazione del Vicepresidente della Commissione/Alto rappresentante sulle priorità dell'UE per le sessioni del Consiglio dei diritti umani delle Nazioni Unite nel 2018 è aggiunta come quarto punto all'ordine del giorno, dopo la discussione sulla situazione in Polonia.

La dichiarazione del Vicepresidente della Commissione/Alto rappresentante sulle prospettive dell'Unione per la prima riunione del Consiglio congiunto UE-Cuba è rinviata.

Giovedì

L'ordine dei primi due punti è invertito: la relazione dell'on. Loones sull'Unione bancaria – Relazione annuale 2017 sarà trattata come primo punto, e sarà seguita dalla discussione sulla relazione dell'on. Maurel sullo scambio automatico obbligatorio di informazioni nel settore fiscale.

Ci sarà poi un intervento di Nils Muižnieks, Commissario per i diritti umani del Consiglio d'Europa, che si aggiungerà alle 11.30, prima delle votazioni.

Sono aggiunti alle votazioni i seguenti punti: la relazione dell'on. Gualtieri sulla nomina di un membro del Comitato di risoluzione unico, l'obiezione a norma dell'articolo 106 sull'autorizzazione del granturco geneticamente modificato 59122 e l'obiezione a norma dell'articolo 106 sull'autorizzazione del granturco geneticamente modificato MON 87427 × MON 89034 × NK603.

(Il Parlamento approva le modifiche)

Passiamo ora alle altre richieste di modifica del progetto definitivo di ordine del giorno.

Mercoledì

Il gruppo GUE/NGL ha chiesto di aggiungere una dichiarazione della Commissione sulle attività di lobbying proibite svolte dall'ex Presidente della Commissione Barroso, come l'incontro con il Commissario Katainen, come ottavo punto all'ordine del giorno, dopo le dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sul lavoro e l'eredità del Tribunale penale internazionale per l'ex Jugoslavia.

 
  
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  Dennis de Jong, namens de GUE/NGL-Fractie. – Dank u wel, Voorzitter. De 20e van deze maand hebben we kunnen lezen in de EU Observer dat er een brief is, en die hebben we ook kunnen zien, van vicevoorzitter Katainen waarin deze zegt dat hij op 25 oktober van vorig jaar in een hotel in de buurt van de Commissie een ontmoeting heeft gehad met de heer Barroso, voormalig voorzitter van de Commissie, en dat die ontmoeting zou gegaan zijn over handel en defensie. Nu heeft de heer Barroso een probleem gehad toen hij de Commissie verliet en ging werken voor Goldman Sachs. Het ad-hoccomité, het ethisch comité van de Commissie, heeft gezegd: we kunnen ermee leven omdat de heer Barroso plechtig beloofd heeft nooit te zullen gaan lobbyen voor Goldman Sachs bij de Europese instellingen.

Wij willen nu graag dit punt aan de agenda toevoegen om te weten wat er precies gebeurd is. Is er hier sprake van een lobbyactiviteit van de heer Barroso voor Goldman Sachs of niet? En wat was precies de inhoud van het gesprek? De voorkeur van mijn fractie is om het vanmiddag aan de agenda toe te voegen. Mocht dit door alle drukte problematisch zijn, dan kunnen wij ook eventueel leven met een toevoeging aan de agenda van bijvoorbeeld de maart I-zitting in Straatsburg, maar bij voorkeur willen we het vanmiddag bespreken.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Poniamo in votazione la proposta del gruppo GUE/NGL di aggiungere una dichiarazione della Commissione sulle attività di lobbying proibite svolte dall'ex Presidente della Commissione Barroso, come l'incontro con il Commissario Katainen. La votazione si svolgerà per appello nominale.

(Il Parlamento accoglie la richiesta del gruppo GUE/NGL)

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru (S&D). – Un altro voto a favore.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La maggioranza già ce l'ha.

Giovedì

Il gruppo ENF ha chiesto di aggiungere dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sulle mogli jihadiste che tornano in Europa, nell'ambito di una discussione congiunta sui jihadisti, insieme alla relazione dell'on. Nart sul prosciugamento delle fonti di reddito dei jihadisti.

 
  
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  Janice Atkinson, on behalf of the ENF Group. – Mr President, on behalf of my Group, we wish to replace the debate on Thursday morning on the Nart report, on cutting the sources of income for jihadists, with a joint debate on jihadists, comprising the debate on the Nart report, from the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET), and Council and Commission statements on jihadist brides returning to Europe.

The reason for this is that Frontex last week estimated that there are a thousand jihadi brides planning on returning to our continent. These people have given up their right to their citizenships, be they French, German, British, Swedish – they have revoked their citizenship rights. They have rejected our way of life and Frontex says they are an evolving threat: they are terrorists pure and simple and they should not be allowed back onto this continent. If you don’t want more jihadist terrorism in your countries I suggest you agree to this urgent debate. As Gavin Williamson, the Conservative UK Defence Secretary, said, a dead terrorist can’t do any harm.

 
  
  

(Il Parlamento respinge la richiesta del gruppo ENF)

 
  
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  Presidente. – On. Atkinson, la democrazia è fatta di voti. Se una proposta viene respinta, bisogna accettare il voto della maggioranza, anche in Parlamento.

L'ordine dei lavori è così fissato.

 

17. Situația umanitară din Siria, în special din Ghuta (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulla dichiarazione del Presidente del Parlamento sulla situazione umanitaria in Siria, in particolare a Ghuta (2018/2602(RSP)).

Ricordo agli onorevoli deputati che per questa discussione non è prevista la procedura "catch the eye", né saranno accettate domande "cartellino blu".

 
  
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   Mes chers collègues, je tiens à saluer la présence parmi nous de Monseigneur Jean-Clément Jeanbart, archevêque de l’archéparchie grecque melkite catholique d’Alep, que j’ai rencontré ce matin et avec lequel nous avons évoqué la situation dramatique en Syrie.

Ces derniers jours, les pilonnages sur la Ghouta orientale, en particulier contre les civils et les hôpitaux, ont fait plus de 550 morts dont 120 enfants, des femmes, des personnes âgées et vulnérables.

(Le Président s’interrompt)… Ils ont fini par comprendre, nous sommes en train de parler des morts et des victimes innocentes en Syrie!

Je parlais des pilonnages sur la Ghouta orientale qui ont fait plus de 550 morts dont 120 enfants, des femmes, des personnes âgées et vulnérables. Des milliers de blessés sont en situation d’urgence absolue.

Le 24 février, le Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies a adopté la résolution 2401 exigeant l’arrêt des combats en Syrie et la mise en œuvre d’une trêve humanitaire d’au moins 30 jours dans ce pays. La Suède et le Koweït, avec le soutien actif de la France, du Royaume-Uni et des États-Unis, ainsi qu’avec la coopération de l’Union européenne qui assure un rôle de coordination, ont agi avec détermination pour que la résolution 2401 permette de mettre fin aux bombardements, d’apporter une aide humanitaire et d’organiser l’évacuation des blessés et des personnes les plus vulnérables. Cette résolution n’est à ce jour pas respectée. Pour que le cessez-le-feu soit mis en œuvre sans délai partout en Syrie, toutes les parties, tous ceux qui ont une influence sur le terrain doivent prendre leurs responsabilités, y compris les garants d’Astana auxquels un appel a été lancé.

Aucun intérêt ne peut justifier la barbarie, le nettoyage ethnique, le massacre d’innocents. Aucune situation ne peut excuser l’abus de faiblesse d’un peuple en souffrance, des personnes fragiles. À cet égard, je tiens à condamner avec la plus grande fermeté le chantage, le harcèlement et l’exploitation sexuelle qui ont pu avoir lieu dans le cadre de la distribution d’aide humanitaire en Syrie.

La poursuite des négociations dans le cadre du processus de Genève est un autre impératif pour aboutir à un règlement politique du conflit en Syrie. L’Union européenne, sous la médiation des Nations unies à Genève, continue à travailler dans cette direction. Les 24 et 25 avril prochains, la deuxième conférence de Bruxelles portera sur des solutions politiques et humanitaires pour soutenir les Syriens dans le besoin et les pays qui accueillent des réfugiés syriens. Cette conférence ne devra pas se contenter de déclarations, mais aboutir à des solutions concrètes. Il y va de l’avenir de la Syrie et de la région toute entière. La Syrie ne peut pas être le théâtre d’une guerre menée par deux autres pays. Les Syriens sont en train de payer les problèmes qui opposent d’autres pays: c’est inadmissible. C’est pourquoi le Parlement européen doit, selon moi, être très ferme sur ces sujets. Nous devons par conséquent travailler avec la Commission européenne et le Conseil pour obtenir la paix. La tâche n’est pas facile. Nous parlons toujours de la politique étrangère de l’Union européenne, or ce n’est pas un exercice théorique: il faut s’engager pour défendre les Syriens. On ne peut pas les obliger à quitter leur pays, on ne peut pas les obliger à aller en Allemagne, en Italie ou en France: ils ont le droit de vivre dans leur pays, avec leurs mosquées, leurs églises. Nous avons le devoir de nous engager d’une façon forte en tant que Parlement et envoyer ce message d’amitié et de solidarité à nos frères syriens qui vivent, depuis des années, confrontés à de grandes difficultés.

Voilà pourquoi je donne tout de suite la parole au commissaire Stylianides, dont je salue la présence ici, pour qu’il nous informe de la situation sur le terrain.

 
  
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  Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, seven years into the war in Syria, the suffering of the Syrian people unfortunately continues. Each new escalation brings a new humanitarian crisis and a new level of horror. Unfortunately it is now evident, as we have been saying for months and years, that the war is far from over, and a political solution is more urgent than ever.

The situation in Eastern Ghouta, where over 400 000 people are in dire need, is of extreme concern to me as Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid. I had hoped that the tragedy experienced in Aleppo last year was behind us, but unfortunately what is happening in Eastern Ghouta as we speak proves otherwise. The ongoing violence and human suffering are unacceptable. We have worked endlessly to stop the massacre and we went public in order to increase the pressure on the regime and its supporters.

I issued a joint statement together with the High Representative on 19 February, and the High Representative also made a declaration on 23 February, on behalf of 20 of our Member States. We are equally concerned about the reports that chlorine gas is being used in Eastern Ghouta. Investigation in the field should definitely be supported. The EU sanctions regime has already been used to target perpetrators and can be mobilised again. The resolution adopted by the United Nations Security Council last Saturday is an essential step forward, but it is only a first step. As highlighted by the High Representative, it is now essential to implement a ceasefire to allow a genuine humanitarian pause for at least 30 consecutive days throughout Syria.

For that reason, earlier this week the High Representative wrote to the three guarantors of the Astana process, Russia, Turkey and Iran. They have committed to creating four de—escalation zones and they have a special responsibility to work for an immediate ceasefire. This will enable safe, sustained delivery of humanitarian aid, as well as services and medical evacuations for the critically ill and the wounded, in accordance with applicable international law.

We, the European Union, the principal humanitarian donor, are maintaining our commitment to delivering strictly on the basis of needs across the whole of Syria. In Eastern Ghouta we have been providing assistance across sectors including health, food and protection. We are in constant contact with our partners operating there on the ground. These include five UN agencies, the ICRC as always, and five international and local governmental organisations, which have pre-positioned the requisite emergency supplies to be delivered as soon as access is granted. I reiterated that it is a matter of the utmost urgency to allow access for our partners to deliver the long—awaited vital assistance. I am alarmed to witness the human suffering while assistance is waiting in warehouses. This is completely unacceptable.

The situation in Eastern Ghouta illustrates the plight of the three million vulnerable people trapped in besieged and hard-to-reach areas. I totally agree with you that it is time to act. I look forward to your support in continuing to call on the parties to the conflict to respect the UN resolution and allow humanitarian aid to be delivered.

(Applause)

 
  
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  José Ignacio Salafranca Sánchez-Neyra, en nombre del Grupo PPE. – Señor presidente, señor comisario, señorías, en el sur de Damasco, en Guta Oriental, se está produciendo lo que ha calificado el secretario general de las Naciones Unidas como «el infierno en la Tierra». Un ejército regular —el sirio— con sus aliados —Rusia— bombardea sin piedad a 400 000 personas desesperadas. Usted, señor presidente, nos recordaba las espeluznantes imágenes de los cadáveres de niños amortajados que golpean duramente nuestra conciencia.

Como decía un diplomático del Consejo de Seguridad, cada minuto que la comunidad internacional ha estado esperando a Rusia, se ha producido la muerte de muchísimas personas.

Rusia ha ejercido su derecho de veto en el Consejo de Seguridad once veces desde el inicio del conflicto de Siria. Por eso, señor presidente, hay que saludar el coraje de Alemania y de Francia, de Suecia y de Kuwait, al instar la aprobación de esta Resolución del Consejo de Seguridad, que, desgraciadamente, como usted nos recordaba, no está parando el horror.

Ahora, la primera prioridad, señor presidente, es aliviar el sufrimiento de la población. Como ha dicho la alta representante, hay que poner fin a la masacre: no por cinco horas, sino definitivamente. Hay que restaurar el Derecho internacional humanitario en Siria, responder, como decía el comisario, con la ayuda humanitaria y evacuar a los heridos y a los enfermos de Guta.

La Unión Europea tiene que seguir paliando los efectos de este terrible conflicto, como ha hecho en el Líbano, como ha hecho en Egipto, como ha hecho en Irak o como ha hecho en Jordania, y, al mismo tiempo, favorecer las conferencias internacionales, como ha sido el caso de Londres y también el caso de Bruselas.

Pero, señor presidente, la Unión Europea se tiene que implicar y buscar denodadamente movilizar todos sus esfuerzos para encontrar una paz estable y duradera en Siria y acabar con esta pesadilla.

 
  
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  El presidente. – No podemos tampoco olvidar, señor Salafranca, lo que están haciendo los seguidores fundamentalistas del Estado Islámico, que están matando a muchísima gente.

Por esto, se ha de ser duros con las fuerzas armadas de Siria y de Rusia, pero tampoco podemos olvidar lo que hacen los terroristas del Estado Islámico, que están matando, por ejemplo, a muchísimos cristianos que están dejando Siria.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, the tragic routine of more than seven years of war in Syria may give us the false idea that is there is not much we can do about it other than ignore it. There is a sense that the lives and the suffering of civilians dying under the bombs and chemical attacks of Assad, Russia and Iran-backed militias in Homs, Aleppo, Zabadani, Madaiya, Idlib and now Ghouta are just numbers – the casualties of a war without restraint.

The violation of international humanitarian law can be tolerated for some without any consequences for the future. You are so wrong. Our responsibility is greater than we are prepared to assume. All parties are guilty in the failure to prevent the worst bloodshed of the 21st century. The warning signals of a humanitarian catastrophe in Ghouta have been there for a long time, but the world has chosen to accept it with fatalism – tragic fatalism, I would say.

I feel shame for those who are selling us this shameful apathy towards the Syrian massacre in the name of the so-called fight against terrorism. Shame on those who dare to close their eyes and hope that Russia will solve all their problems. You are deluded. The war in Syria might only be the beginning of war after war, which could be even worse.

This is a place for wars. Do not underestimate the war and the traumas inflicted on all Syrian people and on the region because of the involvement of an increasing number of local and regional actors. What happens today will have repercussions in the long term. Refugees will not stop. The EU will continue to play its chronic inability to act. The UN Resolution asking for an immediate ceasefire continues to be ignored by Assad and his allies. A so-called ceasefire of only five hours has been implemented by Russia. This ceasefire was a poisoned gift that only served to allow Assad’s troops to advance on the ground. This move only side-lined the UN as a decision-maker and allowed Russia to impose its Pax Russica and further establish and strengthen its authority and role in the region.

After Syria vetoed the UN Resolution on chemical weapons used in Syria, we have evidence today of the selling of arms, including chemical weapons, from North Korea to Syria. One question now hangs in the air: are we really unable today to make sure that at least the embargo on the selling of arms to Syria is respected? This is a devastating question mark for our Union and for humanity.

Finally, I will dare to look cautiously to the future. The only bridge to the future of the Syrian people is a ceasefire and a UN-led political solution, which includes UN monitoring and an enforcement mechanism. While sounding a bit naive, I hope that the butchers of Syria will be brought to international justice to answer for the war crimes and the crimes against humanity that they have committed.

 
  
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  Charles Tannock, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, with the defeat of Isis, which is undoubtedly led by war criminals, the conflict in Syria has now finally reached the end game. As Turkey continues its own offensive against Afrin as a means to prevent any semblance of Kurdish governance along its borders, we now see the Assad regime seek to defeat the remaining rebel strongholds across Syria. The offensive in Eastern Ghouta on the outskirts of Damascus, home to some 400 000 civilians, is the latest target. It is those civilian, including women and children, who are being killed on a daily basis by bombings, that we must keep upmost in our minds at this time. It is they that will bear the brunt of this brutal seven—year tragic conflict.

I too welcomed the recent UN Security Council resolution imposing a ceasefire to allow for very short humanitarian aid to get through, but it needs to be enforced. Russia does now have an opportunity to demonstrate that it is compelling the Assad regime to adhere to the terms of that ceasefire, but also to demonstrate its adherence to international humanitarian law and, in particular, its duty and obligation under the Geneva Convention to protect all non-combatants.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Marietje Schaake, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, we keep hearing that there is no military solution to the war in Syria, but in fact we are all witnessing it. It is not a solution, but it is a reality that cannot be denied. Four hundred thousand civilians are trapped in Eastern Ghouta. They are starving and they are being bombed by Syrian and Russian forces, despite the UN ceasefire. Ghouta was a so-called de-escalation zone for those besieged in Aleppo, Idlib and other areas of the country in the past, but instead, the moving of people into one area seems to have put a target on their head, and the world, the EU, cannot stand by.

We are also seeing the use of chemical weapons again, but what are we doing? After endless vetoes, last week we saw Russia stalling the UN Security Council Resolution for other criteria that it wanted. Clearly Putin only plays by his own cynical rules: together with Iran, it had forced an exception which allows for so-called terrorists to be targeted, despite the ceasefire. In reality that means that women, children, hospitals and schools are now accused of being terrorists, or harbouring them. This cruelty must stop. There must be, and there will be, consequences for Assad, Putin and Khamenei for what they are doing.

We must do more as Europeans to reach a political solution negotiated under UN auspices. Accountability for the brutality should be our key priority. There cannot be peace without justice. But now, first and foremost, we have to actively push for guarantees that make sure humanitarian aid reaches those in need. The EU, as the biggest donor of humanitarian and development aid, must look into the terrible cases of sexual abuse of the most vulnerable refugees by aid organisation workers that are supposed to help them and not attack them. It is an absolute scandal, which we must seek an investigation into. Frankly, it is time, after the nth debate we are now having, to stop repeating empty phrases. We must take a more active and stronger political role for the EU and prioritise peace, accountability and safety for those on the run from the horrendous violence and sexual attacks that we are witnessing today.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Gabriele Zimmer, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar! Ich kann dem, was Sie eingangs der Debatte gesagt haben, so gut wie zustimmen. Das Problem stellt sich für mich nur dar, wenn wir bei der Einschätzung der Situation, dass auf jede Eskalation in einem bereits seit sieben Jahren andauernden Krieg neue Leiden für Menschen erwachsen, sie tagtäglich in ihrem Leben bedroht sind, wir inzwischen mehr als 300 000 Tote in diesen sieben Jahren zu beklagen haben – Männer, Frauen, Kinder –, Millionen von Menschen Syrien verlassen haben, Millionen von Menschen innerhalb von Syrien fliehen und 13 Millionen Menschen auf unsere Hilfe warten. Wenn wir wissen, dass 400 000 Menschen in Ost-Gutha eingeschlossen sind, abgeschlossen von jeder medizinischen und humanitären Versorgung, dann stellt sich doch die Frage: Was können wir wirklich konkret tun?

Ich habe den Eindruck, auch wenn ich die Diskussion so verfolge – und ich möchte niemandem etwas unterstellen, niemandem zu nahe treten –, aber definieren wir nicht inzwischen, oder besteht nicht die Gefahr, dass inzwischen jeder, der aktiv ist, der überhaupt nur in Syrien lebt, von einer Seite, von der jeweils anderen Seite wiederum als Terrorist betrachtet wird? Wie wollen wir diesen Kreislauf denn überhaupt durchbrechen? Jeder ist letztendlich Terrorist – immer aus der Sicht der anderen. Und heraus kommt dabei, dass der Krieg weiter zugespitzt wird, dass neue Anlässe gefunden werden, dass wieder Bomben fallen, dass Raketen fallen und dass letztendlich Giftgas eingesetzt wird, ohne dass jemand bestraft wird.

Das ist doch nicht der erste Giftgaseinsatz. Auch die vorhergehenden Giftgaseinsätze – zu welchen Konsequenzen haben sie geführt? Haben sie dazu geführt, dass wir als Europäische Union auch wirklich alles dafür getan haben, um letztendlich jede Form eines Waffenexports zu unterbinden, um uns ganz klar dagegen auszusprechen? Haben sie dazu geführt, dass wir auch eine klare Haltung gegenüber einigen der Länder, die dort wirklich aktiv in diesem Spiel mitmachen – und es ist ein böses Spiel, es ist nicht nur ein dirty game, es ist ein richtig tödliches Spiel –, dass wir klare Positionen beziehen? Damit meine ich Russland, ich meine aber auch die Türkei, ich meine andere Länder, ich meine den Iran, ich meine darüber hinaus eine ganze Reihe weiterer Länder.

Wir reden über Ost-Gutha. Das ist richtig und notwendig, und wir müssen sofort dafür sorgen, dass dort Schluss ist. Wir haben das letzte Mal über Afrin geredet. Jetzt tun wir so, als wären das zwei völlig unterschiedliche Sachen, als würden die nicht in einem Land passieren. Es sind aber Menschen in diesem Land, und da ist mir egal, zu wem sie gehören, welcher Ethnie sie angehören. Es geht darum, dass wir helfen müssen, dass wir dafür sorgen müssen, dass die Menschen leben können.

Als letzten Punkt möchte ich noch ansprechen: Wenn wir uns hier so dafür aussprechen, dass sofort Schluss ist mit jeder Form von militärischer Gewaltattacke gegenüber Menschen in Syrien, dann, verdammt nochmal, verstehe ich nicht, warum wir überhaupt ein Problem innerhalb der Europäischen Union haben, über die syrischen Flüchtlinge in unserer Union zu reden. Dann verlange ich, dass wir alles dafür tun, insbesondere auch den verletzten, den traumatisierten Menschen zu helfen und wirklich etwas für sie zu tun. Das wäre meine Aufforderung an uns alle.

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, un siège digne du Moyen Âge. Des milliers d’enfants malades, blessés, mourant littéralement de faim sur les décombres fumants d’une zone sans arrêt pilonnée. Un enfer sur terre qui nous couvre de honte. La Ghouta orientale, le verger de Damas, est devenue son cimetière. Cimetière de civils innocents, mais aussi de la capacité de la communauté internationale, et notamment de l’Europe, de mettre un terme à la boucherie qui ensanglante la Syrie, un pays qui n’en finit pas d’enterrer ses enfants, de Kobané à Alep, de Raqqa hier à la Ghouta aujourd’hui.

La communauté internationale mérite ici bien peu son nom de communauté. Elle ne fait que constater son incapacité à faire fléchir les parrains étrangers, ceux qui soufflent sur les braises du conflit et méprisent les règles de droit et les lignes des frontières.

Ah! Il doit trembler de peur, Assad, confortablement installé dans les 35 000 m2 de son palais présidentiel, à quelques kilomètres seulement des hôpitaux bombardés par son armée, transformés en mouroirs dans lesquels s’entassent des centaines de blessés.

Dans ce conflit sanglant, chers collègues, l’Union européenne semble impuissante, tragiquement impuissante. Elle semble inaudible à New York et à Genève, elle semble effacée face à Moscou, à Téhéran et à Ankara. Elle est absente des pourparlers d’Astana.

L’Union européenne doit faire plus, beaucoup plus. Elle doit faire plus vis-à-vis de la Russie qui, rendez-vous compte, qualifie de «psychose de masse» les témoignages des assiégés. Poutine, le grand marionnettiste, se retrouve débordé par sa créature, Assad. C’est dans son intérêt de trouver une issue politique à ce cimetière aux allées sans cesse élargies.

L’Europe doit aussi faire plus en ce qui concerne l’Iran. Si ce pays veut s’engager dans une relation constructive avec l’Union européenne, nous nous attendons à ce qu’il joue de son influence, qui est très grande, sur le régime d’Assad pour qu’il fasse cesser le massacre. C’est dans l’intérêt de tous, y compris des Iraniens, dans une logique d’ouverture.

L’Union européenne doit aussi faire plus vis-à-vis d’Erdoğan qui a lâché son armée, équipée largement par nous-mêmes, contre les Kurdes de Syrie à Afrin.

Enfin, l’Europe doit continuer à marteler haut et fort, mais aussi en coulisses, que rajouter de la guerre à la guerre ne résoudra rien et que seule une solution politique pourra mettre fin au drame syrien.

L’Europe se doit enfin d’accueillir dignement les milliers de personnes qui fuient ces terribles violences et frappent à nos portes.

 
  
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  Nicolas Bay, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, toute guerre est horrible, en particulier pour les populations civiles qui la subissent. Le régime syrien n’a certes pas été tendre avec ses ennemis, mais il faut en finir avec le mythe des «rebelles islamistes modérés». Mohammed Allouche, qui retient en otage les civils de la Ghouta avec son groupe Jaïch al-Islam, n’est pas plus modéré que les dirigeants de Daech ou d’Al-Nosra.

Dans la lettre qu’elle nous adressée hier soir, Mme Mogherini parle de Nasser Al-Hariri. Mais qu’espérez-vous négocier avec cette nouvelle marionnette des Saoudiens placée à la tête de la «Coalition nationale syrienne»? L’Arabie saoudite, qui commet des atrocités au Yémen et qui soutient et finance, directement ou indirectement, un certain nombre de factions islamistes.

Aujourd’hui, sept millions de personnes habitent à Damas, où de nombreux Syriens se sont réfugiés. Eux aussi subissent quotidiennement des bombardements en provenance des quartiers ou banlieues qui sont tenus par les islamistes.

Le quartier chrétien de Bab Touma est une des cibles privilégiées des soi-disant «rebelles». Hôpitaux, écoles et orphelinats sont visés en priorité. La semaine dernière, le siège du Croissant-Rouge a ainsi reçu plus de dix obus. Parmi les victimes, on compte Lama Fallouh, la courageuse directrice de l’opéra, qui continuait d’œuvrer pour le maintien de ces offres culturelles que les barbares islamistes honnissent.

Quelle capitale occidentale accepterait-elle de se laisser ainsi bombarder par une banlieue rebelle?

Que faire maintenant pour épargner au maximum les civils? Il faut d’abord assurer la défaite totale des djihadistes, les éradiquer jusqu’au dernier et, à titre transitoire, il faut soit des corridors humanitaires pour évacuer les habitants de la Ghouta, soit laisser temporairement une porte de sortie aux islamistes pour qu’ils regagnent Idlib. C’est très exactement ce qui a été fait à Alep, ville martyre qui renaît aujourd’hui de ses cendres.

 
  
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  Christos Stylianides, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I can only add my voice to our collective outrage at the complete disregard for human life in Eastern Ghouta, but unfortunately, beyond Eastern Ghouta, the escalation of violence is also deeply worrying. As you said in Italy, we have seen – and the United Nations has reported – almost 250 000 new displacements since December. Out of 2.4 million civilians there, half are now internally displaced. Food and shelter are also in short supply. I could certainly continue this list to include other areas, for instance, the berm along the border with Jordan, which is very close. All this gives enough evidence that we are still far from the normalisation of the situation in Syria.

Unfortunately, the humanitarian dimension will therefore feature prominently again at the second conference in Brussels on Syria and the region, to take place on 24 and 25 April, where we will need to discuss how to improve our assistance and how to mobilise funding beyond this year, 2018. Needs are likely to increase further. This is the humanitarian situation on the ground and this is why the conference is an opportunity for us, as chair, to further work together towards the shared objective of supporting the Syrians in need, their host countries and communities, and promoting a sustainable political solution. But I totally agree with you, and let us also be clear that only a political solution to this crisis can end the suffering of the Syrian people.

We must support and relaunch the Geneva talks because that they are the only realistic path towards peace. In the present conference we will also work to support Geneva, keeping together the humanitarian and the political track. We have been – and will be – at the forefront of the work to reach sustainable peace in Syria, with you and all the EU institutions and Member States together. I strongly believe that Syrians deserve this and we have a political and moral duty to keep Syria at the core of our common action and our common foreign policy. This is the hard reality on the ground. All of us know all the obstacles to engaging more as Europeans in this unbelievable situation, but by following this pragmatic path, we can continue our work together in order to see results on the ground as soon as possible.

My last point is about sexual abuse by some organisations. Maybe you do not know that the Commission expects our partners to abide by strict ethical and professional rules, codes of conduct and principles. There is no change in our position. We definitely take a zero—tolerance approach across the board to any allegation of misconduct by organisations receiving our funding. Last week we sent a letter to all EU—funded humanitarian organisations to remind them of their strict obligations. The letter requests a detailed description of all measures that they have put in place. At the same time, we are ready to review and, if necessary, cease funding any partner who is not living up to the required high, critical ethical and professional rules and standards, as we have already established. So, we are following the situation and I strongly believe that we have to be very tough regarding any such incidents in order, above all, to sustain our reputation as humanitarians.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Anna Elżbieta Fotyga (ECR), na piśmie. – To dobrze, że Parlament przychylił się także do mojego wniosku, popartego przez ECR, o przeprowadzenie tej debaty. Europa nie może pozostać obojętna na to, co dzieje się we Wschodniej Gucie. Ale przede wszystkim nie może pozostać bezczynna, przyglądając się dokonywanym w Syrii zbrodniom wojennym. Baszszar al-Asad od siedmiu lat, wszystkimi dostępnymi rodzajami broni, dokonuje mordów na bezbronnych cywilach, prowadząc politykę czystek etnicznych i ludobójstwa na społecznościach, które miały odwagę przeciwstawić się krwawym praktykom reżimu.

Każde naruszenie rezolucji Rady Bezpieczeństwa ONZ nr 2401 z 2018 r. musi spotkać się ze zdecydowaną reakcją Zachodu. Niestety nie wierzę w zapewnienia o wsparciu wykonania rezolucji przez rosyjskich i irańskich sojuszników Asada. Trwające trzy dni, niepotrzebnie przeciągane negocjacje w sprawie oczywistych treści rezolucji, podczas gdy w tym samym czasie na głowy cywilów, w tym kobiet i dzieci, wciąż spadały bomby, jasno pokazują prawdziwe intencje Damaszku, Moskwy i Teheranu. Zachód, skrywając się za obłudną naiwnością i dobrymi chęciami, nie może po raz kolejny markować działań. Koszty ludzkie takiej polityki są zbyt wielkie.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR), γραπτώς. – H ανθρωπιστική κατάσταση στη Συρία έχει χτυπήσει κόκκινο με εκατοντάδες άμαχους να χάνουν τη ζωή τους και να τραυματίζονται βαριά, και αυτό δεν αφορά μόνο την κατάσταση στην Ghouta αλλά και στο Afrin, μια άλλη περιοχή της Συρίας όπου έχει εισβάλει παράνομα η Τουρκία και επιδίδεται σε πογκρόμ αμάχων διαπράττοντας έτσι εγκλήματα πολέμου, η Τουρκία η οποία ως γνωστόν συνεργάζεται απροκάλυπτα με τους τζιχαντιστές. Ήρθε λοιπόν η ώρα, όπως έχουμε πει και σε άλλη μας ομιλία στην Ολομέλεια του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου στις 28/2/2018, η Τουρκία να παραπεμφθεί για εγκλήματα πολέμου στο Διεθνές Ποινικό Δικαστήριο.

 
  
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  Tokia Saïfi (PPE), par écrit. – Cela fait 7 ans que dure la guerre en Syrie et que les crises humanitaires s’enchaînent. Après Homs, Alep c’est au tour de la Ghouta orientale et de plus de 400 000 civils d’être sous les feux des bombardements incessants. Cette situation n’est plus acceptable!

L’Union européenne doit agir et mettre en œuvre concrètement la stratégie qu’elle a adoptée en mars 2017. Les États membres et les institutions européennes doivent tout faire pour mettre fin aux massacres et accroître la pression sur le régime et ses alliés. La résolution du Conseil de sécurité des Nations unies appelant à un cessez-le-feu est une première étape dans la bonne direction.

Il faut, maintenant, le faire appliquer et que toutes les forces en présence le respectent. Une pause humanitaire est nécessaire afin de protéger les civils, de permettre un acheminement sûr de l’aide humanitaire et d’évacuer les blessés. Nous, Européens, devons favoriser la médiation et lancer un appel pour trouver une issue à ces escalades de violence.

Le droit international prévoit l’interdiction de l’utilisation d’armes chimiques, l’accès sûr à l’aide humanitaire et la protection des civils. Il est temps qu’il soit respecté et que les civils, notamment les femmes et les enfants, cessent d’être les premières victimes de cette guerre sanglante.

 
  
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  Miguel Viegas (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – O PCP é solidário com os homens, as mulheres e as crianças vítimas da guerra de agressão contra a República Árabe Síria, exigindo o fim da hedionda agressão que está na origem da morte, da destruição e do sofrimento que têm sido impostos desde há sete anos àquele país.

Por isso, rejeitamos a propaganda que visa branquear a agressão e os seus responsáveis, assim como os reais objetivos de quem a faz, defende ou promove. Depois de terem criado, financiado e armado o Daesh, dividido o Iraque e promovido a guerra na Síria, os Estados Unidos da América e os seus aliados - em especial Israel, Turquia e França - procuram superar a derrota infligida aos seus grupos terroristas e retomar, agora pelas suas próprias mãos, o objetivo da divisão da Síria, tal como fizeram no Iraque e na Líbia. Apoiam-se, uma vez mais, numa gigantesca operação mediática que reproduz a propaganda de guerra para dar suporte aos seus objetivos.

 

18. Reuniunea informală a Consiliului European din 23 februarie 2018 (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulla dichiarazione del Consiglio concernente la riunione informale del Consiglio europeo del 23 febbraio 2018 (2018/2575(RSP)).

Venerdì scorso ho illustrato al Consiglio europeo informale la nostra proposta sulla composizione di questo Parlamento nella prossima legislatura e le nostre posizioni sulle altre questioni istituzionali e sul prossimo quadro finanziario pluriennale. Ringrazio il Presidente Tusk per aver voluto informarmi anche ieri sulle discussioni intercorse durante la colazione di lavoro.

Sono lieto di potervi annunciare che la proposta sulla futura composizione del Parlamento, che abbiamo approvato a larga maggioranza durante la scorsa tornata a Strasburgo, è stata accolta in maniera positiva dai capi di Stato e di governo, che l'hanno giudicata sensata ed equilibrata. Quindi ringrazio ancora una volta i relatori Danuta Maria Hübner e Pedro Silva Pereira per l'eccellente lavoro che hanno svolto.

Al Consiglio, ho sottolineato che la proposta del Parlamento assicura che nessun paese perderà seggi rispetto alla situazione attuale e tiene conto dell'esigenza politica di avere un Parlamento più ridotto in seguito all'uscita del Regno Unito, della necessità di adeguare la composizione del Parlamento ai cambiamenti demografici degli ultimi anni nei vari paesi membri, e dell'opportunità di serbare un margine per la futura assegnazione di seggi a paesi di nuova adesione.

Sono convinto che questa proposta otterrà una rapida approvazione da parte del Consiglio europeo, anche perché la decisione attualmente in vigore, che è del 2013, si applica soltanto alla legislatura in corso e quindi abbiamo la necessità di adottarne una nuova in tempo utile per le elezioni europee del prossimo anno.

Interrogato sull'argomento, ho anche spiegato che nella sua proposta il Parlamento non ha ripreso l'idea di istituire liste transnazionali, un'idea suggestiva ma che, per il momento, non gode del sostegno di una maggioranza all'interno dell'Assemblea. I capi di Stato e di governo torneranno probabilmente sulla questione, in futuro, magari in vista delle elezioni del 2024.

Ho ricordato inoltre che il Parlamento ha presentato una proposta di revisione della legge elettorale già nel 2015 e ci auguriamo che il Consiglio europeo approvi almeno le parti sulle quali c'è consenso in tempo utile per le prossime elezioni.

Come saprete, il Consiglio ha anche discusso degli Spitzenkandidaten. Ho sottolineato la posizione ampiamente maggioritaria in Parlamento, secondo cui l'introduzione di questa pratica alle elezioni del 2014 ha rappresentato un passo importante sulla via di un'Europa più politica, da cui non si deve tornare indietro. Non soltanto la pratica va mantenuta, ma dovrebbe essere migliorata, al fine di rafforzare la legittimazione della Commissione attraverso un legame fiduciario con il Parlamento più forte. Se vogliamo ridurre le distanze che esistono oggi tra le istituzioni e i cittadini, dobbiamo dare loro la convinta sensazione di essere parte delle decisioni sul futuro governo dell'Unione europea. Questo è comunque un punto che rimane problematico per il Consiglio europeo, dato che a diritto costante occorre trovare il modo per far salve le prerogative attribuite al Consiglio dal trattato. Io credo però che sia possibile trovare un accordo.

Al Consiglio europeo informale abbiamo anche discusso del nuovo quadro finanziario pluriennale. Ho detto che l'Europa che auspichiamo deve poter disporre delle risorse finanziarie necessarie a conseguire gli obiettivi che avremo concordato. Ho riaffermato che il bilancio post 2020 deve essere un bilancio politico, basato non su logiche meramente redistributive ma su una strategia chiara e obiettivi precisi. Occorre prima compiere le scelte politiche e soltanto dopo stabilire le risorse di bilancio necessarie per realizzarle, e non il contrario.

Ho detto che le priorità del Parlamento sono quelle dei nostri cittadini ed è evidente che il nuovo quadro finanziario dovrà permettere all'Unione di uscire rafforzata dalle crisi del recente passato e affrontare le nuove sfide, come il controllo efficiente della migrazione, la lotta alla disoccupazione giovanile e la sicurezza interna ed esterna, quindi anche la lotta al terrorismo e naturalmente la questione della difesa e della lotta al cambiamento climatico.

Accanto alle nuove sfide rimangono poi quelle tradizionali, come la disoccupazione giovanile, che resta un problema grave. Siamo tutti d'accordo sul fatto che il nuovo quadro finanziario debba essere finalizzato a favorire il benessere, la crescita economica a lungo termine sostenibile, l'occupazione di qualità e l'innovazione, oltre che naturalmente a promuovere l'economia mediante la coesione sociale e territoriale.

Ho sottolineato che il Parlamento riconosce anche la fondamentale importanza di una politica agricola comune moderna ed ecocompatibile, che possa assicurare la sicurezza alimentare e garantire la sopravvivenza della popolazione rurale.

Durante il dibattito, ho sottolineato anche quanto sia importante per noi puntare su risorse proprie. Ho detto che il Parlamento europeo ha una posizione che punta all'1,3 % del PIL europeo, e quindi più soldi nel bilancio, ma ho insistito non poco sulla questione delle risorse proprie, come avevamo concordato anche nel corso della riunione informale che ho avuto con i presidenti dei gruppi. Ho indicato anche quali sono: web tax, tassa ambientale per le importazioni e tassa sulle transazioni finanziarie speculative – ho citato questi tre esempi.

Quanto al calendario, ho illustrato qual è la posizione maggioritaria all'interno del Parlamento, cioè la volontà di avere un voto in Aula sul bilancio prima delle prossime elezioni europee. I tempi tecnici ci sono, dovremo utilizzare al meglio quelli politici. Ho detto che noi siamo pronti a fare tutto ciò che è possibile se questo diventa il nostro obiettivo comune.

Queste, in sintesi, sono le cose che ho riferito a nome e per conto del Parlamento dopo essermi incontrato ancora una volta in maniera informale con tutti i presidenti dei gruppi, proprio perché, data la delicatezza della questione e la sua importanza, ho preferito veramente fare sempre più il portavoce della maggioranza di quest'Aula dicendo sempre, dove c'erano scelte a maggioranza, che erano scelte fatte a maggioranza.

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, one would almost assume that there’s an election going on somewhere. Thank you very much, Mr President. I can be very brief on the institutional issues because the Commission concurs fully with how you reflected the discussion at the summit. I want to comment on a few points. Spitzenkandidaten are apparently now part of the Italian language as well as of the English language. The other German word that I know is in both the Italian and the English languages is angst, but probably there’s no relation between the two.

What do I have to say about this? As far as the Commission is concerned, this is something that was done in 2014 and therefore is established. We at the Commission have to add that the Treaty is leads the way here, so the Commission is, if you could put it that way, a child of Parliament and the European Council. So of course we want to strengthen our position in Parliament and our democratic legitimacy, as you’ve explained, Mr President, but we also have to face the reality that the European Council has a say as well. What we said in our communication is that it does not follow that the person who heads the political group that ends up with the most seats in the European Parliament automatically becomes a Commission President. A majority in the European Parliament might be a factor. Somebody else might be chosen if they secured a majority in the European Parliament and could also be carried by the European Council. That is how way we have put it in our communication.

The leaders did not decide, for now, on the size of the next Commission, although the 2013 decision means that they will have to come back to this issue before the next Commission is put in place, and the issue of a transnational constituency has also been left open. I know that the majority in Parliament is not in favour, but the matter was discussed and we will surely come back to it ahead of the 2024 elections; and I must point out that the leaders do not have much of an appetite at present for the idea of a double-hatted President of the Commission and the European Council.

Finally, I just want to welcome the renewed interest which the leaders have expressed in different forms of outreach and engagement with our citizens. We are really looking forward to sharing our experience with Member States, especially in view of the new impetus that Member States have given to this. We’ve run, I think, 478 citizens’ dialogues so far and before the end of our term we want to do 500 more.

The second topic on the agenda was our future budget. Discussion among the leaders was less abrasive than some might have expected, and that should be welcomed: they all understand that at the end of the day we will need a budget. Many Member States expressed a willingness to increase the level of their contributions. Some did not. At the same time the Commission made it clear that savings on redeployments would be needed for some parts of the budget if new priorities were going to be properly funded. When we, as politicians, formulate new priorities, we also have to face the fact that other issues will then have to be deprioritised, and that has financial consequences. So this is going to be a major task.

We will make our formal proposals for the future budget by the beginning of May at the latest. At last week’s meeting, we stressed the need to decide on the final deal and yes, in some cases, agreed trade-offs between different deserving causes before the next European elections. But I also note that opinions diverge on that point and that many people would like to have the decision after the European elections. I see Mr Verhofstadt, who has also, if I’m correct, expressed his view in favour of having the decision after the elections.

Why do we want to take the decision before the elections? Because the current MFF was decided upon only at the very end of 2013, which meant that the programmes putting it into effect could not be brought into being until 2014, so the first year was actually lost when it came to actually getting money out into the real world, which we need urgently to do, to get money invested in our society in order to make sure that convergence starts happening again in Europe.

One of the fundamental threats to the future of the European Union is divergence within and between Member States, and we need to put taxpayers’ money to good use to restart the engine of convergence in our Union. Of course the benefits of EU membership go far beyond the budget. Some of these benefits can be quantified, others not. I think that we should be talking more in terms of the EU dividend, which is not just a balance sheet, but much more than that. Perhaps if we can talk more in terms of EU dividends we can also come to an agreement on how the EU budget should be structured in the future. Not everybody can recognise that this is in everybody’s interest.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, I regret that Donald Tusk is not with us today, because I have had a new experience when discussing the informal Council experience. I am quite fine with the outcome of the meeting on Friday. That is why I regret that he is not present with us, because, first of all, in the preparations for 2019, the EPP Group is very thankful that we can agree on the composition and that we have legal certainty for 2019, which is important.

Secondly, as regards the Spitzenkandidat, the role is clear. The Council is insisting on its role, which is legally defined in the Lisbon Treaty, and that is fine. However, I also see that the same personalities who stressed, in the informal meeting on Friday, the role of the Council are part of the party meetings, and there they are supporting the process to nominate candidates in the party format. My party will do this in Helsinki in November. That is agreed upon and that is what we will do.

Frans Timmermans explained once again what parliamentary democracy means. It is not the biggest group which will have the chance, but only the candidate who can organise a majority will have the chance to be elected as Commission President. However, one thing is again crystal clear: nobody will be elected from this Parliament and from the next Parliament who was not, before the elections, put forward as a candidate from a democratic party. That is a principle. It is fixed and it has now been approved.

The innovation that is ahead of us is that we need not only candidates, but we also really need attractive programmes from the different political parties to show people an alternative and to make a really European campaign.

On MFF, things are on the right path. It was a constructive discussion. First of all, we have to make the EU more effective and spend money in a more effective way. Then there are the new tasks on the table, and we will need fresh new money. I sometimes hear the argument that the EU will be smaller. Dear friends, when I look at the tasks on the table – the demands for the African Fund, for the Defence Fund and for strengthening Frontex – I do not see how Europe will be smaller in the next MFF. There are lot of tasks on the table which have to be financed.

The last point I want to make in my intervention today is about the most important discussion this week on Brexit, because tomorrow Theresa May will make a speech on this subject. When I look to the outcome and the developments in the last weeks in the British debate, the key question is still what the new relationship between the European Union and Great Britain will look like. One principle is clear for us: a country outside the EU cannot have the same standards and the same rights as a country inside the European Union. It is also clear for us that an endless transition period is not acceptable to us. That is why we welcome today’s presentation of a possible Leave Treaty.

One point is still open, and that is the question of what these long-term relationships will look like. We need clarity on this. We hope that, when we listen tomorrow to Theresa May, we will have more clarity, for example on the future relationship with the City of London and how the Open Skies will look in the future. There are many questions on the table and we need a clear idea.

I have to pick up one message we received from the UK Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. When I look at what he said, especially on the question of the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, I must say that a politician should try to solve problems and not create problems. Don’t play with the achievements of the past; don’t play with the peace process; don’t play with the future of the young generation in Northern Ireland. The EPP will be on the side of the Irish people: we will not accept a hard border, and will not risk the peace process. That is what we want to achieve. Europe is ready. We hope that London is also already.

 
  
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  Udo Bullmann, on behalf of the S&D Group. Mr President, thank you for informing us about what Mr Tusk told you regarding the conclusions. Frans Timmermans on behalf of the Commission, thank you for drawing the conclusions, a lot of which we share, not all of them but a lot. But the main question today is: where is the European Council? I haven’t met the European Council on the floors of this chamber. I have not seen them here. Thanks to our Bulgarian colleagues, there is not even an empty chair and there is not even an elephant in the room. There’s just nothing. I do not regret that, my dear colleague Manfred Weber – I find it a scandal – because this is about the future of Europe, and where is the President of the European Council? He will learn to take this House seriously, and he and his colleagues will learn to take this Chamber of European parliamentarians seriously because it’s about our common future, and we will not give in on these kinds of procedures.

Bei der Zukunft Europas geht es um Geld – natürlich auch. Deswegen ist es völlig unverständlich, warum so wenig dabei herauskommt. Diese informellen Gipfel sind doch eingeführt worden, damit es leichter geht, damit Sie vertrauensvoller sprechen. Aber was ist denn das Ergebnis? Wie sollen denn die formalen Gipfel aussehen, wenn die informellen schon so wenig zutage fördern?

Natürlich sind wir einverstanden, neue Aufgaben zu übernehmen. Natürlich wissen wir, dass Europa sich um eine anständige Flüchtlingspolitik kümmern muss, dass wir dafür sorgen müssen, dass es in den Migrationsfragen vernünftig zugeht. Und dass wir uns um Sicherheit kümmern, alte Fragen der Sicherheit – neue Fragen der Sicherheit. Das ist unsere klare Position. Aber wie soll das ohne zusätzliche Finanzmittel gehen? Wo ist die Zusage der Damen und Herren im Europäischen Rat, uns davon mehr zuzugestehen? Und insbesondere: Wo ist die Frage der Eigenmittel?

Ich danke Ihnen, Herr Präsident, dass Sie das erneut erwähnt haben, so haben wir es besprochen. Aber warum – es liegt doch in den Händen der Herrschaften im Europäischen Rat – nicht endlich eine Finanztransaktionssteuer, die in das Budget Europas einzahlt? Warum nicht endlich eine Steuer auf die Multinationalen, die im Internethandel ihre Geschäfte machen, ohne anständige Steuern abzuführen? Es ist hohe Zeit dafür, und exakt das hat zu passieren, exakt das hat umgesetzt zu werden. Wir warten darauf.

Der Europäische Rat sagt, dass er nicht einverstanden ist oder nicht garantieren kann, dass die Spitzenkandidaten am Ende des Tages auch vorgeschlagen werden oder die Wahl aus dem Kreis der Spitzenkandidaten erfolgt.

We have to say to Mister Tusk and the colleagues: We could not care less. Warum? We could not care less, weil die Frage, ob die europäischen Parteien Spitzenkandidatinnen und -kandidaten aufstellen, nicht Eigentum des Europäischen Rates ist, sondern der europäischen Zivilgesellschaft, und die Parteien und die Bürgerinnen und Bürger werden eine Entscheidung dazu fällen, und nicht die Herrschaften und die Damen im Europäischen Rat, so wird es nicht sein!

Deswegen erkläre ich ganz eindeutig: Dieses Haus hat sich verpflichtet, niemanden zu wählen, der sich diesem demokratischen Wettbewerb um Programme und um Personen nicht gestellt hat. Wir in der Sozialdemokratischen Fraktion werden das schon gar nicht tun, weil wir die Vorreiter dieses Prozesses waren. Wir werden niemanden wählen, der sich dem demokratischen Wettbewerb entzieht. Wir werden keine Hinterzimmerveranstaltungen mehr gutheißen. Wir wollen Demokratie für die europäischen Bürgerinnen und Bürger.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Solo per vostra informazione, si trattava di un Consiglio europeo informale e il Presidente del Consiglio non è obbligato a venire a riferire al Parlamento. È sua facoltà, poi l'opportunità politica è un'altra. Dico questo soltanto per informazione.

 
  
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  Syed Kamall, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, with friends like that, who needs enemies? Can I come back another time? (Referring to remarks made by members of the EFDD Group.)

So what came out of last Friday’s Council meeting? A clear signal that there is still a long way to go to persuade Member States to sign up to a bigger budget and also how to select the next Commission President. A number of EU Member State governments know that their voters do not want them to simply sign blank cheques to fund the ambitions of the Commission and the leaders of two or three of the larger Member States. Members of this House can no longer dismiss those voters, those politicians and those governments who question the agenda of political integration or simply label them as being anti-EU, for once you step outside the EU bubble, it is clear that the call for more Europe, whatever the problem, is the voice of an elite, not the voice of citizens in many of our countries.

National governments and voters want to feel that they get value out of the EU for what they pay in. Not all of them want to see a 1950s agenda of political integration. On the whole, the voters want to see a budget that is well managed and matches their priorities, a budget that provides security and well—functioning asylum and immigration systems, and a budget that encourages a cleaner environment, innovation and job creation. But – and members of the ECR Group would want me to be very clear on this point – a budget should not be used to buy solidarity, to bribe Member States into taking asylum seekers, or to control or punish the actions of individual Member States, especially when the Member State pushing for the policy itself broke the rules and, in the process, nearly destroyed the EU’s asylum system.

So, as President Tusk has already admitted, agreeing a budget before the next election is probably unrealistic, but even if all of you here and the EU institutions cannot agree on a budget, those politicians facing their electorates in 2019 should all be clear about what modernising the budget really means, about how the EU will face the massive hole after the UK leaves, and whether the EU budget will be one of coercion rather than cooperation between 27 equal Member States.

So the ECR Group’s question to the Council and the Commission is simple: Is the EU facing a future where decisions continue to be made by all 27 Member States, or a future where decisions are dictated by the few?

(Applause)

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, first of all we have to thank Mr Kamall for all the recommendations he is giving for the next budget, in which Britain will no longer be involved. Thank you Mr Kamall.

Secondly, I think we have to pay you, Mr President, a double salary in February because you have taken over the role of Mr Tusk today and that is significant because you, Mr Timmermans, spoke of the idea of ‘one hat’ in the European Union, and we have proved that it is possible for the Commission to double-hat for the Council. The only other thing, maybe, is that you can go over to the other side once, and then come back.

But I will not go over the whole discussion that you had in that informal Council about Spitzenkandidaten and transnational lists. I have already said what I think about that, namely that you are making an enormous strategic mistake. You are endangering the Spitzenkandidat concept by not embedding it in a democratic process in a transnational list. The reality is that the Spitzenkandidat continues to be a toy of political parties and again between the Council on the one hand and Parliament on the other, but there is no legitimacy on the democratic front. Transnational lists provide precisely that – putting the Spitzenkandidat concept into a democratic process so it is our people who decide who is elected, and then the European Council could no longer object to the outcome of such an election.

But okay: Rome was not built, as you know Mr President, in a day, and the same is true of transnational democracy. We will come back to this in 2024.

On the issue of the budget, I have been involved three times in the adoption of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), twice as a member of the Council and once as a Member of the European Parliament, and my fear is very simple, Mr Timmermans: that it will be business as usual. It will be a budget for seven years in which the next Parliament will have no say – no say in five years! Secondly, I fear it will be again a list of 50-60 rebates, exceptions, earmarkings, and exceptional monies to buy the support of all the Member States, and 80% of it will be money paid by the Member States going back to the Member States, and not going to the new priorities that we have – border management, innovation, migration, defence and things like that.

So my appeal to all the political groups represented here is: let’s break the cycle of this European budget. Let’s make an agreement, together with the Commission, on the priorities.

Secondly, on conditionality: will we continue to hear, for example, that Mr Orban is misusing European money to build a football stadium in his town, or to make his friends and family multimillionaires on the basis of European money? No! Let us establish conditionality: if you don’t accept the values, you don’t need our money. That must be the principle.

And thirdly, on the issue of our responsibility. This is the only Parliament, colleagues, which has no say about income: the only one worldwide which has nothing to say about revenue. That has to change, and that means Article 311 of the Treaty, once there is a change to the Treaty, will need to incorporate co-decision by the European Parliament on income. My plea to you – and it is more important for me than the period of five years or of seven years – is that, for once, we have can cohesion in this Parliament, unity in this Parliament, on our refusal ever to accept an MFF without co-decision by Parliament on the issue of revenue.

That said, if we do not decide before the next election, it will not be the fault of this Parliament. I’m pretty sure that the European Council will not be capable of reaching agreement on the next MFF before the elections.

 
  
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  President. – Mr Verhofstadt, thank you very much. We want more power for the European Parliament. Not for the President of the European Parliament, but for the European Parliament!

 
  
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  Νεοκλής Συλικιώτης, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, τα αποτελέσματα του άτυπου Συμβουλίου επιβεβαιώνουν δυστυχώς πως η Ένωση συνεχίζει τις ίδιες νεοφιλελεύθερες πολιτικές, καταστρατηγώντας διακηρυγμένες αρχές αλλά και τα συμφέροντα των λαών. Σε σχέση με το πολυετές δημοσιονομικό πλαίσιο, αντί να συζητηθούν μέτρα αλληλεγγύης για αντιμετώπιση της προσφυγικής κρίσης, προτάθηκε η αύξηση των δαπανών για τη δημιουργία της Ευρώπης-Φρούριο, με ενίσχυση των συνόρων και των περιπολιών. Οι ηγέτες της Ένωσης συμφώνησαν επίσης στην αύξηση των επενδύσεων στη στρατιωτική βιομηχανία αντί να προτείνουν μέτρα για να στηριχθεί η πραγματική οικονομία, για να προωθηθούν κονδύλια και επενδύσεις για κοινωνική και περιφερειακή συνοχή, για καταπολέμηση της φτώχειας, για την απασχόληση και τη δημιουργία νέων ποιοτικών θέσεων εργασίας. Οι πολιτικές αυτές που προωθούν δεν θα ωφελήσουν τους λαούς αλλά θα οδηγήσουν σε νέες πολεμικές συρράξεις, σε νέα κύματα προσφύγων. Η σημερινή ανθρωπιστική κρίση στη Συρία είναι, νομίζω, χαρακτηριστική. Όσον αφορά τις σχέσεις της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης με την Τουρκία, η δήλωση-έκκληση μετά το άτυπο Συμβούλιο του Προέδρου Tusk για τερματισμό των παραβιάσεων στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο και το Αιγαίο είναι θετική αλλά δεν αρκεί.

Η Τουρκία εμπόδισε γεωτρύπανο της ευρωπαϊκής ιταλικής εταιρείας ΕΝΙ να προχωρήσει σε ερευνητική γεώτρηση στην Κυπριακή Αποκλειστική Οικονομική Ζώνη και μέχρι σήμερα συνεχίζει να παραβιάζει το διεθνές δίκαιο και το Δίκαιο της Θάλασσας με τις παράνομες Navtex. Συνεχίζει τις κατάφωρες παραβιάσεις των κυριαρχικών δικαιωμάτων της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας. Αναμένουμε λοιπόν έμπρακτη αλληλεγγύη από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και πιο δραστικά μέτρα, αναμένουμε δηλαδή να ασκηθούν πιέσεις στην Τουρκία για να σταματήσει άμεσα τις παράνομες ενέργειες, για να σεβαστεί τα κυριαρχικά δικαιώματα της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας και για να στηρίξει την επανέναρξη των συνομιλιών από το σημείο που έμειναν κατά τις τελευταίες συνομιλίες στο Crans-Montana, ώστε να μπορέσουμε επιτέλους να οδηγηθούμε στη λύση του Κυπριακού. Θέλω να υπενθυμίζω ότι στο ζήτημα της μελλοντικής διαχείρισης του φυσικού αερίου υπάρχουν ήδη συγκλίσεις των δύο ηγετών των δύο κοινοτήτων από το 2010, στις οποίες κάνει αναφορά και ο Γενικός Γραμματέας του ΟΗΕ António Guterres στην τελευταία του έκθεση. Οι συγκλίσεις αυτές επιλύουν συνολικά το ζήτημα προς το συμφέρον ολόκληρου του Κυπριακού λαού, Ελληνοκυπρίων και Τουρκοκυπρίων, αφού με τη λύση του Κυπριακού και την επανένωση της Κύπρου θα αποκομίσουν και οι δύο οφέλη από το φυσικό αέριο.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, how we set up our long—term budget obviously reflects how we want to deal with the European Union overall, and there I do see some cause for concern. Some Member States say they just want to have enough money for their national pet projects, they want money for their farmers, they want internal security and external security, a lot of things, but they also want to pay less money, and that simply cannot work because a strong and active European Union needs resources. That does not mean that we can just spend it how we want. We have to be careful with where we invest taxpayers’ money, and I can think of quite a few cases where we can save on some of them, from big pie—in—the—sky projects like ITER to the way we choose to travel ourselves, dear colleagues.

There are also plenty of examples of how EU money is being misspent in the Member States, and there we need more control and more guidance before the damage is done. EU money always needs to be spent well and in the interests of the people living in Europe, and it must never, ever contribute to corruption.

The fight between Member States about who should pay what shows that we need to put the EU’s budget on a more independent footing. Own resources should be introduced now and we think they should be done in a way that enables us to actually tax and take the money from what is destroying our very own habitat. The budget will always reflect what we value most. It is a tool to finance the vision that we have for this place where we all live, for the future, and we must put the money where we think the EU should be going. We should not forget either that we have actually agreed some important international commitments. I am thinking of the Paris Agreement and climate protection, sustainable development goals, to name just a few.

But money alone does not bring happiness. What we also need in the Union is a strengthened European debate and to bring decision-making closer to EU citizens, and that is where the whole discussion about the leading candidates comes in. Sure, that concept does not solve all the problems that we have, but it was – and it is – a vital step forward for a more accountable Commission and, more generally, a more accountable European Union. If Member States were to give up that progress because they were afraid that they themselves might not win or because they prefer to have some backroom deals, then this really is a slap in the face of European democracy, and whoever goes down that path should not be surprised if Europe herself gets up at some point and slaps back.

 
  
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  Gerard Batten, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, this debate is of course taking place because you have to talk about how you are going to fill the shortfall of money left when Britain leaves the European Union. I will say something about Brexit. What the Commission is proposing is not a withdrawal agreement so much as a ‘UK not really leaving at all’ agreement – leaving in name, but not in reality. You intend to impede and delay that process and overturn it if at all possible.

Now I do not blame you, because you do not want us to leave and you have no incentive whatsoever to help us do it, but I do blame the British Prime Minister. What Britain needs now is a leader with the courage and spirit of a Boadicea, and instead we have got ‘Theresa the Appeaser’. In the referendum, the British people voted to leave the European Union, and what that means is that we don’t give any more money to the European Union. It means we are not bound by European Union law. It means we don’t have open borders and it means that we are not subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice. To make that happen, the Government should take control of the process. The British Government should stop asking the European Union how it might leave please, and it should start telling them how it’s going to work.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Marcel de Graaff, namens de ENF-Fractie. – Voorzitter, de nieuwe meerjarenbegroting komt eraan en de Commissie wil meer EU, meer geld voor migratie, meer geld voor uitbreiding, meer geld voor een eigen leger. Maar nu Engeland uit de EU stapt, is er minder geld, veel minder: tussen de 14 en 25 miljard euro per jaar. De meeste lidstaten, zo hoorden we vrijdag, willen niet méér betalen. En dus roept mijnheer Verhofstadt, roept de ALDE-Fractie, om directe EU-belastingen. Dat lost het probleem op. Je ziet het niet terug in de nationale begroting, maar de burger betaalt het wel. De andere eurofiele partijen hier sluiten zich hierbij aan. De burger is weer de klos. De burger betaalt voor dit falende project. Ik zeg u: de EU moet niet méér uitgeven, maar minder. De begroting moet niet hoger, maar lager. De burger moet niet méér betalen, maar minder. Dus de prioriteiten zijn duidelijk: geen nieuwe EU-taken, maar minder EU, geen directe belastingen, maar minder EU-afdracht, en bij voorkeur geen uitbreiding van de EU, maar opheffing.

 
  
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  Krisztina Morvai (NI). – Elnök Úr! Tajani elnök úr most már sajnos távozik, pedig őhozzá szerettem volna a kérdést feltenni, és Timmermans főbiztos úrhoz, a kormány- és államfők informális tanácskozásával kapcsolatosan. Az egyik téma az Európai Unió hosszú távú költségvetése volt, és noha itt most nem vetették föl ezt a Magyarország és a visegrádi országok számára olyan kiemelkedően fontos kérdést, én mégis szeretném, ha ezt pótlólag megtennék, és fölteszem ezt.

Ez pedig a következő: A sajtó szerint, különösen Merkel asszony javaslatára, el akarják vonni a kohéziós pénzeket, felzárkóztatási pénzeket és esetlegesen más forrásokat is azoktól a tagállamoktól, amelyek nemet mondanak a tömeges migrációra, a tömeges bevándorlásra. Mi ebből az igazság? Van-e ilyen tervük? Ezt már csak azért is tudnunk kell, hiszen Magyarországon április 8-án választások lesznek, megy folyamatosan a bagatellizálása ennek a migrációkérdésnek, a butának és tájékozatlannak beállítása azoknak, akik azt mondják, hogy igenis az Európai Unió folyamatosan nyomja ezt a kérdést. Folyamatosan terrorizál bennünket a legkülönbözőbb eszközökkel.

Ha csak ennek a mostani ülésnek a különböző jelentéseit megnézzük, akkor is látjuk, és ugye itt van ez a bizonyos pénzzel való terrorizálás is. Mi ebből az igazság? Vagy esetleg már letettek-e erről? Vagy azért nem beszélnek róla, mert félnek, hogy akkor esetleg a választókat ez Magyarországon befolyásolná, hiszen látnák, hogy igenis az Önök számára ez a legfontosabb prioritás, nem tesznek le róla, minden eszközzel térdre akarják kényszeríteni Magyarországot és a visegrádi országokat. Várom, ha lehet, Tajani úr válaszát, de feltétlenül Timmermans úr válaszát is.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: PAN PAVEL TELIČKA
místopředseda

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE). – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Lassen Sie mich einige Bemerkungen machen. Wenn ich das Letzte gerade gehört habe, dass ein Land gebeutelt wird: Ich glaube, es wird kein Land gebeutelt, wenn man darauf hinweist, dass die Ordnung der Europäischen Union, insbesondere die Rechtsstaatlichkeit, gewahrt wird. Das sind Prinzipien, über die wir nicht streiten sollten, und das ist nicht als Unter-Druck-Setzen zu verstehen.

Aber ich möchte zum Europäischen Rat eines sagen und letztlich nur ein Thema aufgreifen. Das ist die Frage ein Jahr vor den Europäischen Wahlen, wie wir unser politisches Projekt noch deutlicher an den Wähler heranbringen können. Da ist ein entscheidender Punkt gewesen im Vertrag von Lissabon, den wir beim letzten Mal bei der Wahl des Kommissionspräsidenten eingeübt haben, der aber von den politischen Parteien noch nicht voll und überall in gleicher Weise in die politische Debatte gebracht worden ist: Das ist die Frage des Spitzenkandidaten. Wir möchten, dass in Zukunft so vorgegangen wird, wie der Vertrag es vorsieht – und wir werden es nicht erlauben, dass der Europäische Rat in den Hinterstuben die eigenen Interessen wahrnimmt. Wir möchten feststellen, dass der Chef der europäischen Administration in Zukunft von den Wählern über das Europäische Parlament gewählt wird, wie der Vertrag es vorsieht, und das nicht eine Klüngelei zwischen Regierungschefs ist.

Wenn wir dieses Europa in den entscheidenden Positionen nicht an den Bürger heranbringen, dann wird dieses Europa auf Dauer keine Chance haben. Nach dieser Erklärung des Europäischen Rates sollten wir klarmachen, dass das Europäische Parlament in den nächsten fünfzehn Monaten für dieses Recht kämpfen wird.

(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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  Hans-Olaf Henkel (ECR), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Sie setzen sich ja immer so eloquent für den Spitzenkandidaten ein. Nun bin ich ja auch im Wahlkampf unterwegs gewesen: Können Sie mir mal erklären, warum ich in ganz Deutschland im Jahre 2014 während des Wahlkampfes nicht ein einziges Plakat Ihres Spitzenkandidaten Juncker gesehen habe?

 
  
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  Elmar Brok (PPE), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Ich will Ihnen dazu zwei Antworten geben. Erstens habe ich gesagt: Es ist eingeübt worden; das muss sehr viel besser werden. Inzwischen hat die EVP ihre Satzung geändert, und wir werden im November einen Spitzenkandidaten wählen, sodass das nicht mehr läuft wie beim letzten Mal. Ich gehe davon aus, dass das andere Parteien auch so machen.

Zur zweiten Frage war es wahrscheinlich der Fall, dass Sie zu dem Zeitpunkt nur noch auf Plakate der AfD schauten – die Sie ja inzwischen verlassen haben – und schon deswegen keinen Blick für demokratische Kandidaten hatten.

 
  
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  Maria João Rodrigues (S&D). – Mr President, at their last meeting some leaders proved that they are not really understanding what a budget to pave the way for a better future in the European Union should be. Of course we need to cope with new challenges – for example, managing migration means Europe delivering on better cooperation in development and peace-building with its entire neighbourhood – that’s for sure. But Europe also need to be ambitious on programmes which have proved to be a success, such as Erasmus, the programme for science and technology or the youth initiative. Most of all, we need to ensure strong means to provide social and territorial cohesion in Europe, because without that there is no unity among European citizens. This also means – because convergence is a central problem for us – that, when it comes to the eurozone, we need to include a fiscal capacity in the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework.

So how can we deliver on all this? Well, the answer is easy. We have to accept, once and for all, that we need new own resources to finance our common budget. And there is a further matter on which the leaders were too shy, namely the right way to understand European democracy, because some of them are hesitant about the need for European parties to put up their own candidates in European elections, presenting their own programmes in such a way that citizens can choose not only legislators but also executive power. From our side, this is very clear. The Parliament …

(The President asked the speaker to conclude)

I have two minutes.

(The President urged the speaker to conclude briefly)

Usually I am very precise, Mr President.

Parliament will elect a President of the European Commission only if that person is properly presented to the electorate. From our side this is very clear.

 
  
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  Hans-Olaf Henkel (ECR). – Mr President, let me reflect on the withdrawal agreement which was published yesterday. For me this is a very clear sign that Brexit is a declaration of war on European industry, not only on British industry. Are you aware of the fact that, economically, Brexit is equivalent to 19 countries leaving the European Union at the same time? There are very complex logistical supply chains in danger – customer relationships, supplier relationships – and, in the end, Britain will become the largest British customer.

I wonder why we are continuing to try to punish Britain for their decision. Instead the Commission should focus on placing the interests of the European Union as priority number one. Those interests are very similar to Britain’s interests. Any deal which is good for British industry is also a very good deal for European industry, and that is why I believe we should change the Commission’s priorities. Let’s make sure that British industry has access to the European common market as before and, likewise, let’s make sure that common market industries have the same access to British industry.

 
  
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  Harald Vilimsky (ENF). – Herr Präsident, meine Damen und Herren! Ausgangspunkt der Debatte ist doch die Entscheidung des britischen Volkes gewesen, diese Europäische Union verlassen zu wollen. So weit – so gut. Die Entscheidung wurde getroffen. Aber was macht die Europäische Union? Nicht die 73 Sitze, die die Briten hier innehatten, einfach wegzustreichen, der europäischen Steuerzahleröffentlichkeit zu signalisieren, dass man auch entsprechend zu sparen bereit ist. Nein, man krallt sich von diesen 73 wegzusparenden Sitzen 27 und bläst dieses Parlament abermals auf. Eine falsche Entscheidung, weil dieses Parlament, wenn es arbeitsfähig und effektiv und akzeptiert sein sollte, doch entsprechend redimensioniert sein soll. Genauso ist es mit der Kommission, wo es auch im Bereich des Vertrags von Lissabon hier entsprechende Festschreibungen gibt, diese Kommission um mindestens ein Drittel zu verkleinern. Und was tut man? Eine einstimmige Entscheidung des Rates, diese Kommission in der ursprünglich großen Größe von 27 Mitgliedern zu belassen. Ein falsches Signal.

Wenn diese Europäische Union und dieses Projekt Einigung und Akzeptanz finden will, dann muss man sich redimensionieren.

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Mr President, colleagues at the beginning of this month we voted, by a large majority, on the new composition of the European Parliament for the European elections of 2019. We reduced the size of the House from 751 to 705 seats and proposed a composition that is fair, based on objective principles, respects the EU’s Treaty and adheres to the principle of digressive proportionality. I appreciate that during the informal European Council meeting, our proposal was broadly supported. Let me however underline the fact that, after a formal decision is taken by the European Council, it will have to come back to the European Parliament so that we can have a final vote as part of the consent procedure. This should happen by summer this year.

On the issue of the Spitzenkandidaten, I wish to reiterate that this process, endorsed again by a large majority of this Chamber three weeks ago, is a matter of principle and of interinstitutional balance and cooperation for us. We see this process as a reinforcement of the democratic accountability of the European institutions and as an enhancement of the role of the European political parties. So I trust that the European Council will pursue this democratic advance with a view to helping citizens develop the feeling of ownership of Europe.

 
  
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  Isabelle Thomas (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, Mesdames de la présidence bulgare, mes chers collègues, dans les discussions désormais ouvertes sur les finances de l’Union européenne, le président Juncker nous invitait, il y a quelques jours, à sortir de la logique comptable. Bien sûr, nous devons maintenir notre sérieux budgétaire et cependant, nous devons effectivement embrasser le débat sur l’avenir de l’Europe à travers cette discussion. Alors de grâce, sortons des oppositions stériles, de la mise en concurrence entre cohésion et agriculture ou, pire encore, de situations où la solidarité est sacrifiée au profit de la sécurité.

Posons-nous la question de ce que nous voulons faire ensemble; ce Parlement, avec ses 750 députés, s’apprête à le faire. Accord sur le climat, pilier social, convergence, jeunesse, objectifs de développement durable, investissements d’avenir: nous avons notre cap.

Il ne s’agit donc pas de couper dans la PAC ou dans la cohésion, mais au contraire, de leur laisser les moyens d’évoluer pour atteindre ces objectifs. La PAC doit devenir l’instrument d’une autonomie alimentaire respectueuse des sols, de l’eau et de ceux qui y travaillent, et bien sûr de nous qui nous en nourrissons.

Quant à la cohésion, c’est notre clé pour converger vers un développement pour tous les peuples, toutes les régions, un développement environnemental et social.

J’invite le Conseil, bien qu’il soit absent, à accepter la main tendue du Parlement. Elle augmente les chances de son consentement ou, si vous préférez, diminue les risques de son veto.

Définissons avec la présidence bulgare les modalités de notre méthode de discussion. Laissons-nous jusqu’à la proposition de la Commission, le 2 mai, pour trouver un accord partagé sur un nouveau cadre financier pluriannuel.

 
  
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  Monica Macovei (ECR). – Domnule președinte, comandantul suprem al forțelor aliate din Europa, generalul Breedlove, a avertizat că forțele rusești care au amplasat rachete în Marea Neagră pot să controleze întreaga zonă a Mării Negre și să instaleze arme nucleare în zonă. Un alt avertisment a venit recent, acum câteva luni, de la șeful contraspionajului militar din Germania care din nou a spus „Federația Rusă nu ne este o prietenă și trebuie să fim pregătiți pentru orice”. România are a doua graniță externă ca dimensiune din Uniunea Europeană. Avem graniță cu Republica Moldova unde încă staționează trupe sovietice, avem graniță cu Serbia care practic se află sub control rusesc, avem graniță cu Ucraina, cu Marea Neagră, implicit cu Crimeea ocupată de ruși. Avem informații privind amestecul Rusiei în alegerile din multe state democratice prin bani și propagandă falsă. Războiul împotriva democrației a început. Trebuie să creștem finanțarea pentru securitatea Uniunii, să creștem finanțarea și să întărim agențiile europene care luptă împotriva terorismului.

 
  
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  Janice Atkinson (ENF). – Mr President, today’s draft Brexit document is just a work of pure fantasy, but it is also dangerous one, particularly on Northern Ireland. We will decide on our borders for our citizens. To paraphrase Margaret Thatcher, we have not voted successively to take back control of our frontiers in Britain only to see them reimposed at a European level, in a European superstate, exercising a new dominance from Brussels. No, no, no. The UK is not for turning. And the only common sense that has been spoken in this Chamber today was the ECR’s Mr Henkel. What matters is people’s jobs, industry and their GDP.

Your companies want to have a free-trade deal with us. Our companies want to have a free-trade deal with you. If you do not want to see this Parliament split apart – because that is what is happening because of the populist vote: my side of the Parliament is actually gaining control of governments or being in opposition – then I suggest you listen to Mr Henkel if you don’t listen to us.

 
  
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  Jan Olbrycht (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Przed spotkaniem Rady Europejskiej przewodniczący zadał w swoim liście trzy pytania dotyczące po pierwsze priorytetów, po drugie wielkości budżetu, po trzecie kalendarza. Po spotkaniu Rady Europejskiej otrzymaliśmy komunikat, co do którego zastanawiamy się, czy to jest dobra czy zła wiadomość dla Parlamentu.

Jeżeli chodzi o zawartość, to my w Komisji Budżetowej Parlamentu Europejskiego staraliśmy się odpowiedzieć na te pytania, również zakładając, że one padną później. W naszym stanowisku, które przyjęliśmy dzień przed spotkaniem Rady Europejskiej, wyraźnie powiedzieliśmy, w jaki sposób chcemy traktować nowe priorytety, i w tej kwestii zgadzamy się z Radą Europejską. Po drugie, mówiliśmy o wielkości budżetu, i tu reakcja Rady Europejskiej nie jest jeszcze jasna, co jest dobrą wiadomością, ponieważ oznacza, że nie odrzuca się dzisiaj pewnej propozycji. Co do kalendarza, na dzisiaj również odpowiedzi jasnej nie ma, co także uważamy za znak raczej pozytywny niż negatywny. Innymi słowy Rada Europejska zostawiła drzwi otwarte i rozpoczyna się poważna debata z Parlamentem Europejskim.

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Wir debattieren heute über die Tagung des Rates, so wie wir das regelmäßig tun. Wieder einmal kritisieren wir, dass die Erwartungen nicht oder nur teilweise erfüllt wurden.

Zu Hause werden wir dann mit enttäuschten Erwartungen konfrontiert. Die Menschen werden dann lapidar behaupten, die EU würde nicht funktionieren. Zu unübersichtlich sind die Dinge für die Menschen geworden, und weil sich keine Verantwortlichkeiten festmachen lassen, ensteht oft Skepsis und Ablehnung. Dieses Mal hätten es die Staats- und Regierungschefs in der Hand gehabt, einen wichtigen Schritt zu setzen. Wie immer man zum Spitzenkandidatenprinzip stehen mag – es ist auf jeden Fall ein wesentlicher Beitrag dazu, Verantwortlichkeit herzustellen.

Die Vertreter der Mitgliedstaaten haben es vorgezogen, alles auf die lange Bank zu schieben, anstatt konkrete Vorschläge zu machen. Besonders enttäuschend ist aber, dass darunter auch Staatschefs – wie jener von Frankreich – sind, denen normalerweise nichts zu schnell gehen kann.

 
  
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  Jeppe Kofod (S&D). – Mr President the latest agenda and informal summit are important stepping stones towards a better and more inclusive Europe. The open and frank exchange of ideas on the future of Europe is how democracy works on a truly European scale. Not all ideas are good ideas, and only a fraction will become reality. Personally, I do not believe in the idea of a transnational list, but I think it’s important that we had the debate and found a clear majority, both in Parliament and in Council, of the same opinion.

On the budget, it’s clear that it’s not set in stone. We need to adopt the budget so it represents the real needs and concerns of our citizens. We wholeheartedly support additional EU spending to stop illegal migration, trafficking and to counter human smugglers and criminal networks who prey on those who are already most vulnerable. But at the same time Europe cannot and will not isolate itself from the world. We need to step up our engagement with and in Africa. The MFF should be a cornerstone in a new Marshall Plan for Africa, so we can help those who are most vulnerable more, help them sooner and help them where they are.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, para quem defende o avanço do projeto europeu, as conclusões do último Conselho informal são motivo de preocupação, mas numa coisa o Conselho esteve bem, ao endossar a proposta que foi aprovada aqui neste Parlamento sobre a recomposição do Parlamento Europeu e que foi aprovada por larga maioria e em que tive a honra de ser correlator.

Numa questão difícil, o Parlamento provou que era capaz de gerar soluções justas e consensos alargados. O Conselho faria bem em dar mais ouvidos a este Parlamento também noutras questões, como o Quadro Financeiro Plurianual.

O Sr. Comissário disse—nos aqui que uma das maiores ameaças ao futuro do projeto europeu é o agravamento das divergências. Pois há, hoje, quem no Conselho e na Comissão defenda cortes nas políticas de coesão e de convergência. Era bom que também aí fossem dados ouvidos a este Parlamento Europeu.

 
  
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  Daniele Viotti (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il Consiglio informale della scorsa settimana ha discusso, tra le altre cose, anche del prossimo quadro finanziario pluriennale per la nostra Europa. È una discussione importantissima perché ha a che fare con il futuro, ha a che fare con il futuro delle nostre imprese, della ricerca, del lavoro, dei nostri giovani, dell'ambiente, cioè ha a che fare con l'idea che abbiamo di Europa da qui in avanti, nei prossimi sette anni.

Per far questo noi abbiamo bisogno – l'abbiamo scritto nei nostri documenti, l'abbiamo detto alla Commissione e al Consiglio – di un bilancio che sia forte, di un bilancio che sia in grado di rispondere alle aspettative dei cittadini, che sia in grado di rispondere alle aspettative delle nostre imprese, del nostro mondo dell'economia, del nostro mondo del lavoro. Per avere un bilancio forte, bisogna avere delle risorse europee, delle risorse proprie molto forti: su questo mi sembra che ci sia pochissima spinta da parte del Consiglio e che non ci sia la volontà di andare avanti.

Noi invece riteniamo che occorra liberare delle risorse per gli Stati membri e, parallelamente, avere un'Europa che sia in grado di provvedere per conto proprio ad almeno il 50 % del proprio fabbisogno, del proprio bilancio. Queste sono le aspettative non soltanto di questo Parlamento, ma sono le aspettative per il futuro delle cittadine e dei cittadini d'Europa.

 
  
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  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, θα ήθελα και εγώ στο ένα λεπτό που έχω να επικεντρωθώ στα θέματα της Ευρωπαϊκής αντιπροσώπευσης. Αλλά, όταν ο Erdoğan επεμβαίνει στη νότια θάλασσα της Κύπρου που είναι και θάλασσα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, δεν έχουμε άλλη επιλογή παρά να συζητήσουμε αυτό το θέμα. Πόσα εγκλήματα πρέπει να κάνει αυτό το καθεστώς για να δράσουμε επιτέλους; Συνεχίζει την παράνομη κατοχή του Βόρειου τμήματος της Κύπρου. Κατέλυσε το κράτος δικαίου εντός της Τουρκίας. Φυλακίζει κάθε αντίθετη άποψη. Εξοντώνει τους Κούρδους και κάθε άλλο λαό εντός της Τουρκίας. Συμμαχεί εδώ και τόσα χρόνια με τους τζιχαντιστές τους οποίους, όπως γνωρίζουμε όλοι μας, χρηματοδοτεί και τους χρησιμοποιεί σήμερα στην επίθεση στο Afrin. Το τελευταίο συμβάν φυσικά είναι η επιδρομή στην Αποκλειστική Οικονομική Ζώνη της Κύπρου και στο Αιγαίο. Νομίζω ότι, αν μείνουμε κι αυτή τη φορά απλώς στις καταδικαστικές δηλώσεις και στα λόγια, θα έχουμε αποτύχει και σύντομα θα το μετανιώσουμε.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, θεωρώ ότι πολύ ορθά το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο αποφάσισε και καταδίκασε με σκληρή γλώσσα την Τουρκία για τις απαράδεκτες ενέργειες της στην Κυπριακή Αποκλειστική Οικονομική Ζώνη. Θεωρώ ότι αυτές οι ενέργειες στρέφονται κατευθείαν εναντίον της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Όταν παραβιάζει την Αποκλειστική Οικονομική Ζώνη της Κύπρου, παραβιάζει τα εξωτερικά σύνορα και τα θαλάσσια σύνορα της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Όταν στοχοποιεί τους ενεργειακούς σχεδιασμούς της Κύπρου, στοχοποιεί και πλήττει την ίδια την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Όταν η Τουρκία παρεμποδίζει ευρωπαϊκές εταιρείες, όπως είναι οι ENI και TOTAL, πλήττει εταιρίες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, πλήττει τα ίδια τα συμφέροντα της ΕΕ. Η Τουρκία σήμερα, με όλες αυτές τις προκλητικές ενέργειες, αποτελεί πρόκληση και προσβολή για την ίδια την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση. Επειδή η Τουρκία αντιλαμβάνεται μόνο τη γλώσσα των κυρώσεων και των μέτρων, θεωρώ ότι επιβάλλεται να σκεφτούμε ξανά τις οποιεσδήποτε ευρωτουρκικές σχέσεις, την αναβάθμιση τελωνειακής Ένωσης που είναι αδιανόητη και απαράδεκτη, την απελευθέρωση της βίζας για Τούρκους πολίτες, αλλά και κάτι σημαντικότερο και κυριότερο, επί του οποίου έχει λόγο και το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο, τη χρηματοδότηση με κονδύλια από τα Ευρωπαϊκά Ταμεία. Αυτή η Τουρκία χρειάζεται μέτρα και καταδίκες.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Chci se také krátce vyjádřit k neformálnímu zasedání Evropské rady, které se konalo v počtu 27 lídrů. Už si tedy zvykáme na brexit, bohužel.

Souhlasím s panem místopředsedou Komise, že je třeba se jasně přihlásit k prioritám pro následující finanční rámec EU. Těmi prioritami má být bezpečnost, řešení migrace a jsem velmi ráda, že se Evropská rada přihlásila k programu Erasmus+, protože vzdělání, mobilita mladých, to je budoucnost EU. Rovněž podmínka pro Turecko, aby mohlo proběhnout příští měsíc jednání ve Varně, musí být ukončeny aktivity Turecka ve Středomoří a v Sýrii a měla by být přidána také lidská práva, protože věznění novinářů a akademiků je pro nás nepřijatelné. Pokud se jedná o proces Spitzenkandidaten, pak já se domnívám, že dohoda je tady více než automatické pravidlo.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to focus on these additional issues to say that the composition is very balanced and I am very happy that there is a positive response. Secondly, I am also very happy that transnational lists were not considered. This is very important because, for true federalists and true pro-Europeans, there is no experience of a joint and single constituency in the United States, the Federal Republic of Germany or in Switzerland. This would create an imbalance between the countries. If you want to change the rules in Parliament on the balance of the countries, you have to change it first in the Council and then we will see.

Finally, I fully understand the position of the Council in the Spitzenkandidaten issue, but they also have to understand ours, because we have to approve the candidate, we have to approve their programme, and we have to approve the College. We have three opportunities to reject the Council’s proposal.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, este Consejo informal de febrero se ha ocupado del marco financiero plurianual, de Turquía y hasta de Siria y, por supuesto, del brexit. Pero hace muy bien este Parlamento Europeo en poner el acento en la oportunidad que el Consejo se arriesga a perder al dejar pasar una cita ineludible con una Europa mejor que esta, porque la propuesta aprobada por el Parlamento Europeo que intenta vincular la presidencia de la Comisión a la cabeza de lista de cada una de las grandes familias políticas es una apuesta cívica, ciudadana y de cultura europea.

Somos muchos los que votamos, además, a favor de las listas transnacionales, porque significan el comienzo de una respuesta paneuropea a una necesidad de una ciudadanía y una representación paneuropeas en este Parlamento Europeo.

Pero el Consejo en ningún caso puede perder la oportunidad de relanzar a Europa y sacarla de este estado de declive, si no de parálisis, en el que lamentablemente ha estado estos últimos años.

Spitzenkandidat: sí.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, οι ευρωεκλογές του Μαΐου 2019 πρέπει να διεξαχθούν με τον πιο ανοιχτό και δημοκρατικό τρόπο. Αυτό σημαίνει διασφάλιση της πολυφωνίας στα μέσα μαζικής ενημέρωσης των κρατών μελών. Δυστυχώς στην Ελλάδα τα κρατικά ΜΜΕ και η πλειοψηφία των ιδιωτικών ΜΜΕ έχουν επιβάλει καθεστώς φίμωσης στο κόμμα μας «Ελλάδα - Ο Άλλος Δρόμος». Παρότι αποτελούμε Κόμμα εκπροσωπούμενο στην Ευρωβουλή, παρότι ο ομιλών είναι ευρωβουλευτής μέλος του ECR της τρίτης σε κοινοβουλευτική δύναμη πολιτικής ομάδας του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου, εντούτοις τα ελληνικά ΜΜΕ μεροληπτούν εις βάρος μας και μας αποκλείουν συστηματικά από όλες τις εκπομπές ενημερωτικού περιεχομένου. Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ζητούμε από το Ευρωπαϊκό Κοινοβούλιο και από εσάς προσωπικά τη στήριξή σας προκειμένου να διασφαλιστεί η πολυφωνία στα ελληνικά ΜΜΕ και να παύσει ο αποκλεισμός του ECR και του κόμματός μας «Ελλάδα - Ο Άλλος Δρόμος» εν όψει των ευρωεκλογών του 2019 διότι, διαφορετικά, οι εκλογές το 2019 στην Ελλάδα θα αποτελέσουν μνημείο φίμωσης και αυθαιρεσίας και μεροληψίας.

 
  
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  Νικόλαος Χουντής (GUE/NGL). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, τον τελευταίο καιρό η Τουρκία έχει επιλέξει το δρόμο της επιθετικότητας και της πρόκλησης στο Αιγαίο και στην Κύπρο, αμφισβητώντας τα κυριαρχικά δικαιώματα δύο χωρών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Η επιθετικότητα αυτή, εκτός των άλλων, δίνει το έναυσμα για ένα νέο κύμα στρατιωτικών εξοπλισμών στην Ελλάδα και στην Τουρκία, όπως αποδεικνύουν τα στοιχεία της Eurostat και του ΝΑΤΟ, αφαιρώντας έτσι σημαντικούς πόρους που θα μπορούσαν να χρησιμοποιηθούν για την ευημερία των δύο λαών. Στην επιθετικότητα αυτή της Τουρκίας αντέδρασε το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο με μια πολιτικά υποκριτική ανακοίνωση κατά τη γνώμη μου, με την οποία ζητεί απλώς από την Τουρκία να σταματήσει τις προκλητικές ενέργειες ενάντια στην Ελλάδα και στην Κύπρο και λέω πολιτικά υποκριτική γιατί είναι οι ευρωπαϊκές πολεμικές βιομηχανίες που συνεχίζουν να πουλάνε όπλα στην Τουρκία, γιατί αυτές κερδίζουν τα περισσότερα από την ένταση μεταξύ Ελλάδας και Τουρκίας. Κατά τα άλλα άλλωστε, στο πλαίσιο του πολυετούς δημοσιονομικού πλαισίου, ζητούμε αύξηση των στρατιωτικών δαπανών. Οι λαοί θέλουν ειρηνική επίλυση των διαφορών. Αντίθετα, είναι οι ιμπεριαλιστικοί σχεδιασμοί του ΝΑΤΟ και τα συμφέροντα της πολεμικής βιομηχανίας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης που αναζητούν την αστάθεια …

(Ο Πρόεδρος διακόπτει τον ομιλητή)

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, σε ό,τι αφορά τις σχέσεις της ΕΕ με την Τουρκία το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο έκανε ένα ακόμη απαράδεκτο λάθος. Πρότεινε δηλαδή να συνεχιστούν οι συνομιλίες με τη χώρα αυτή. Οι αρχηγοί των κρατών, προφανώς είτε αδιαφορούν, είτε δεν ενδιαφέρονται να αντιμετωπίσουν με τρόπο αποφασιστικό αυτόν τον διεθνή ταραξία, ο οποίος θέτει σε κίνδυνο την ασφάλεια και την ειρήνη στο Αιγαίο, στην Ανατολική Μεσόγειο και στη Μέση Ανατολή. Τι επιπλέον έπρεπε να κάνει η Τουρκία ούτως ώστε να αντιμετωπιστεί με αποφασιστικότητα από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση; Να συλλάβει το ιταλικών συμφερόντων ερευνητικό πλοίο και να ζητήσει μετά λύτρα - ευρωπαϊκά κονδύλια - για να το απελευθερώσει; Έπρεπε να επιτεθεί για να καταλάβει και το ελεύθερο τμήμα της Κύπρου ή έπρεπε να δημιουργήσει θερμό επεισόδιο με την Ελλάδα στο Αιγαίο; Όσο η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση ανέχεται την Τουρκία και δεν της κλείνει την πόρτα της εισόδου, τόσο αυτή υπερεκτιμά τις δυνάμεις της και δημιουργεί προβλήματα αποθρασυνόμενη.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, I see a broad consensus between the Commission and a majority of this Parliament, on both the institutional issues and the issue of the Multiannual Financial Framework, so there is no need for me to go into that right now. I need to react briefly to the many comments that were made on the issue of Brexit, especially because of the decision today by the Commission on the draft treaty.

It is fair to say, from my perspective, that Brexit is a decision taken by the British people that needs to be respected by all of us. The right is there of a Member State to decide to leave. At the same time, I shan’t hide the fact that this saddens me greatly, and I also do not want to hide the fact that if they change their minds and want to come back to the European Union, I think we would all welcome them warmly back into the European Union family. I insist on that, because I think there is not one person present in this august forum, including the people up there, who has never changed their minds in their lives. Everybody changes their minds sometimes, and I think that deserves just as much respect as when people decide that they want to go along one course. But I do think there is one responsibility nobody can shy away from, whatever your position is on Brexit, and that is to explain in great detail the consequences of Brexit. That is the reason why the Commission translated the decisions from December into concrete text on concrete issues, and we will be putting it before your Parliament very soon. I also think that those who championed Brexit and are very vocal about that have a responsibility to explain to their constituents why it is going to be such a tremendous success. It is just too easy to then invent a situation which makes it seem as though we were there to punish them. It is not our fault that things are not working out. It is not our fault that you said ‘we are shackled to a corpse’, but now the corpse seems to be doing much better than you are. That is our fault? That is because these Europeans are being so nasty to us. Stop it. Take responsibility for your own position. Explain to your voters what you want from Brexit and then face the consequences if everything you have promised doesn’t work out. We will negotiate in a faithful, honest way, because Brexit will do harm. It will do harm to the UK. It will do harm to Europe, and we have a collective responsibility to make sure that we do as little harm as possible.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D), por escrito. – El Consejo Europeo informal de febrero se ha ocupado del Marco Financiero Plurianual, de Turquía y Siria y, por supuesto, del brexit. No hay duda de que debemos hacer frente a los nuevos desafíos. Pero también necesitamos garantizar la cohesión social y territorial en la Unión, porque sin una política de cohesión fuerte no hay unidad entre los ciudadanos europeos. Asimismo, el Parlamento Europeo debe poner el acento en la oportunidad que el Consejo Europeo se arriesga a perder al dejar pasar una cita ineludible con una Unión Europea mejor que la actual. La propuesta aprobada por este Parlamento para vincular la presidencia de la Comisión a la cabeza de lista de cada una de las grandes familias políticas es una apuesta cívica, ciudadana y de cultura europea. Somos muchos los que votamos, además, a favor de las listas transnacionales, porque significan el comienzo de una respuesta paneuropea a una necesidad de una ciudadanía y una representación paneuropeas en este Parlamento Europeo. El Consejo Europeo en ningún caso puede perder la oportunidad de relanzar a la Unión Europea y sacarla de este estado de declive, si no de parálisis, en el que lamentablemente ha estado en los últimos años.

 
  
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  Francisco Assis (S&D), por escrito. – Na passada reunião do Conselho Europeu, de 23 de Fevereiro, foi novamente abordada a brutal e infindável catástrofe na Síria, na qual continuamos a assistir à perda de vidas humanas, à disseminação do terror, à miséria e à desgraça.

O Conselho pediu a imediata implementação de um cessar-fogo. Felizmente, esse cessar-fogo foi decretado, ainda que, entretanto, se tenham verificado violações do mesmo. Este é um primeiro passo, mas não podemos esquecer que este primeiro passo já foi dado no passado, sem que a partir dele se tivessem produzido as condições para o estabelecimento de uma paz duradoura.

A União Europeia e os seus Estados-Membros devem agir de forma intransigente e sem excluir à partida o recurso a formas de intervenção mais fortes, se a tal for necessário recorrer, para que se ponha de uma vez por todas fim a esta tragédia, que ceifa vidas, destrói um país e envergonha a Humanidade.

 
  
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  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE), in writing. – Regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), Romania has confirmed that Member States need to increase their contributions to the EU budget in order to enhance the Union’s capacities to deal with new realities in an efficient manner. Facing the numerous security challenges arising from the south and east, reinforcing border management through the European Border and Coast Guard Agency and showing European solidarity with Africa represent new engagements that require new capital.

Furthermore, I would like to stress that, in the new EU27 format, the budgetary gap caused by Brexit should not under any circumstances be filled by resources from our European fundamental policies such as the cohesion fund or the common agriculture policy (CAP), given the alarming effects that scenario could produce on our societies. Therefore, I salute the decisions of the Member States that have already expressed their agreement on an increased budgetary contribution, and I would remind the ones that have not done so that the European project brings to each of us incomparably more gains than our expenditure.

I will end by making a comparison: while the EU’s annual budget is below 1% of Europe’s GDP, the federal budget of the United States is equivalent to 30% of its GDP.

 
  
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  Soledad Cabezón Ruiz (S&D), por escrito. – El Consejo Europeo informal de febrero se ha ocupado del Marco Financiero Plurianual, de Turquía y Siria y, por supuesto, del brexit. No hay duda de que debemos hacer frente a los nuevos desafíos. Pero también necesitamos garantizar la cohesión social y territorial en la Unión, porque sin una política de cohesión fuerte no hay unidad entre los ciudadanos europeos. Asimismo, el Parlamento Europeo debe poner el acento en la oportunidad que el Consejo Europeo se arriesga a perder al dejar pasar una cita ineludible con una Unión Europea mejor que la actual. La propuesta aprobada por este Parlamento para vincular la presidencia de la Comisión a la cabeza de lista de cada una de las grandes familias políticas es una apuesta cívica, ciudadana y de cultura europea. Somos muchos los que votamos, además, a favor de las listas transnacionales, porque significan el comienzo de una respuesta paneuropea a una necesidad de una ciudadanía y una representación paneuropeas en este Parlamento Europeo. El Consejo Europeo en ningún caso puede perder la oportunidad de relanzar a la Unión Europea y sacarla de este estado de declive, si no de parálisis, en el que lamentablemente ha estado en los últimos años.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez (S&D), por escrito. – El Consejo Europeo informal de febrero se ha ocupado del Marco Financiero Plurianual, de Turquía y Siria y, por supuesto, del brexit. No hay duda de que debemos hacer frente a los nuevos desafíos. Pero también necesitamos garantizar la cohesión social y territorial en la Unión, porque sin una política de cohesión fuerte no hay unidad entre los ciudadanos europeos. Asimismo, el Parlamento Europeo debe poner el acento en la oportunidad que el Consejo Europeo se arriesga a perder al dejar pasar una cita ineludible con una Unión Europea mejor que la actual. La propuesta aprobada por este Parlamento para vincular la presidencia de la Comisión a la cabeza de lista de cada una de las grandes familias políticas es una apuesta cívica, ciudadana y de cultura europea. Somos muchos los que votamos, además, a favor de las listas transnacionales, porque significan el comienzo de una respuesta paneuropea a una necesidad de una ciudadanía y una representación paneuropeas en este Parlamento Europeo. El Consejo Europeo en ningún caso puede perder la oportunidad de relanzar a la Unión Europea y sacarla de este estado de declive, si no de parálisis, en el que lamentablemente ha estado en los últimos años.

 
  
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  Enrique Guerrero Salom (S&D), por escrito. – El Consejo Europeo informal de febrero se ha ocupado del Marco Financiero Plurianual, de Turquía y Siria y, por supuesto, del brexit. No hay duda de que debemos hacer frente a los nuevos desafíos. Pero también necesitamos garantizar la cohesión social y territorial en la Unión, porque sin una política de cohesión fuerte no hay unidad entre los ciudadanos europeos. Asimismo, el Parlamento Europeo debe poner el acento en la oportunidad que el Consejo Europeo se arriesga a perder al dejar pasar una cita ineludible con una Unión Europea mejor que la actual. La propuesta aprobada por este Parlamento para vincular la presidencia de la Comisión a la cabeza de lista de cada una de las grandes familias políticas es una apuesta cívica, ciudadana y de cultura europea. Somos muchos los que votamos, además, a favor de las listas transnacionales, porque significan el comienzo de una respuesta paneuropea a una necesidad de una ciudadanía y una representación paneuropeas en este Parlamento Europeo. El Consejo Europeo en ningún caso puede perder la oportunidad de relanzar a la Unión Europea y sacarla de este estado de declive, si no de parálisis, en el que lamentablemente ha estado en los últimos años.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D), in writing. – The informal Council meeting discussed the make-up of the upcoming European Parliament, including the so-called ‘Spitzenkandidaten’ process to elect the President of the Commission. This issue needs to be given further consideration both by the European Parliament and by the Council. Both sides seem to be making assumptions about democracy and political legitimacy that have little to no resonance among European people. Another point discussed was the upcoming Multiannual Financial Framework. Given new priorities and the funding vacuum being created through Brexit, there is clearly a need to explore other ways of funding. When proposing own resources for EU funding, the economic sensitivities of each Member State must be duly respected. Similarly, new funding priorities should not downgrade cohesion as a crucial tool of European policy. They must take into consideration the different constitutions of the Member States. Defence has now emerged for some as a leading priority. The EU as of now is not a military union. Defence spending should be kept separate from the common MFF. This would allow those that want to participate in a defence union to do so, without imposing additional burdens on those Member States wishing to opt out.

 
  
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  Olga Sehnalová (S&D), in writing. – The European Council discussed important topics for its future seeking to find common ground, acceptable for all. We shouldn’t be divided on issues where we should be united. Tackling effects of the migration crisis is our common endeavour. We have to allocate resources in the financial framework which would help us to tackle migratory challenges. These resources, nevertheless, shouldn’t be unduly mixed with other European issues, such as cohesion policy and structural funds in general. These have been created to underpin a strong European economy and cohesion between Member States within the single market. Creating undue linkages with other sectorial agenda would compromise their effectiveness and added value. This does not mean conditionalities shouldn’t be put in place. The Rule of Law is a basic prerequisite not only for participating in the European project but also in the common market, and they could be included in one way or another in close linkage with the spending of the budget. This does not mean either that we shouldn’t fight to have resources to address migratory pressures. On the contrary, these are needed. But resources to address such pressures should stay transparently separated to be able to withstand migratory challenges effectively and in a united way.

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE), na piśmie. – Wśród tematów dyskutowanych na ostatnim posiedzeniu Rady Europejskiej w kontekście przyszłego budżetu wieloletniego UE znalazła się też wspólna polityka rolna. WPR to 37% budżetu UE, jednakże w przeszłości udział ten był nawet dwa razy większy. Finansowane z niej dopłaty bezpośrednie stanowią aż 50% dochodów rolników – dochodów, które wynoszą tylko połowę dochodów innych grup zawodowych. Niskie dochody rolników są przyczyną braku młodych rolników. Sytuacja finansowa rolników bez WPR byłaby katastrofalna. Pamiętajmy, że z WPR korzystają nie tylko rolnicy, ale wszyscy konsumenci, bo dzięki środkom w ramach WPR żywność jest tańsza i rośnie zakup środków produkcji, co poprawia też sytuację przemysłu maszynowego i chemicznego oraz handlu. WPR zapewniła bezpieczeństwo żywnościowe w zakresie powszechnego dostępu do żywności o odpowiedniej jakości i przystępnych cenach. Rolnicy zapewniają społeczeństwu szereg dóbr publicznych w zakresie środowiska, kształtowania krajobrazu, za które nie są wynagradzani. Taka sytuacja wymaga utrzymania finansowania WPR na niezmienionym poziomie.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D), por escrito. – A definição do próximo Quadro Financeiro Plurianual é fundamental para consolidar o projeto europeu. Os líderes europeus tiveram no Conselho Informal de 23 de fevereiro uma primeira oportunidade de transmitirem aos cidadãos europeus uma mensagem credível e consistente sobre o percurso a seguir. Sendo uma primeira abordagem, é normal que as posições ainda tenham sido muito diferenciadas, mas no momento em que nos aproximamos de um novo ciclo eleitoral no quadro europeu é fundamental que os próximos passos sejam ambiciosos e mobilizadores.

Num contexto global cada vez mais competitivo, a União Europeia tem de fazer da convergência a palavra-chave em todas as suas estratégias: convergência interna para aproveitar as sinergias e a totalidade do seu potencial e convergência externa com os mais elevados padrões de inovação e sustentabilidade. As políticas de competitividade, coesão, agrícola, migrações, segurança e defesa têm de estar interligadas entre si por um forte impulso de inovação e inclusão social. Esta é a abordagem que permitirá tirar o máximo partido dos recursos orçamentais disponibilizados pelos Estados-Membros e dos recursos próprios, designadamente daqueles que resultarem da cobrança feita em cadeias de valor transnacionais no domínio financeiro, ambiental ou digital.

 

19. Decizia Comisiei de activare a articolului 7 alineatul (1) din TUE în ceea ce privește situația din Polonia (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the Commission statement on the Commission decision to activate Article 7(1) TEU as regards the situation in Poland (2018/2541(RSP)).

I would like to inform you that there will be no catch-the-eye procedure and no blue cards will be accepted.

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, thank you to Parliament for putting this issue on the agenda. The Commission’s concerns, raised in our three previous recommendations of July and December 2016 and July 2017, have not been addressed and you know what steps we took on 20 December 2017. On 21 December, the Polish President signed two new laws on the Supreme Court and on the National Council for the Judiciary into law, raising additional grave concerns about the consequences for the independence of the Polish judiciary. In a nutshell, within a period of only 2 years, 13 laws were adopted in Poland. Their cumulative effect is to limit the independence of the judiciary and the separation of powers.

The entire structure of the justice system is affected, in particular, the Constitutional Tribunal, the Supreme Court, the ordinary courts and the National Council for the Judiciary. The executive and legislative powers can now interfere with the composition, the powers, the administration and the functioning of judicial authorities in a way that, in our view, undermines judicial independence and the separation of powers, and if you undermine judicial independence and the separation of powers, there is a clear risk of a serious breach of the rule of law. These concerns are fully shared by a wide range of European and international organisations, including the European networks of the Presidents of the Constitutional Courts, the Supreme Courts and the highest administrative courts. A particularly informative read, including for the historical context, are the Council of Europe’s Venice Commission opinions of December 2017.

In light of these developments, the Commission adopted on 20 December last year a reasoned proposal for the Council in accordance with Article 7(1) of the Treaty. Simultaneously, the Commission also adopted a fourth recommendation under its rule of law framework in which we invited the Polish authorities to solve the problems identified in that recommendation within three months. The Commission also decided to refer Poland to the Court of Justice of the European Union for breaches of EU law by the Law on Ordinary Courts. The recommendation sets out clearly a list of steps that the Polish authorities can take in order to remedy the current situation. In particular, the Commission believes that the Polish authorities should address five key concerns, and they could do it as follows: first, by publishing and implementing the three unpublished 2016 judgments of the Constitutional Tribunal. Under the rule of law, no government should be able to decide which court rulings are published, especially if publishing is essential for these rulings to be valid.

Secondly, by restoring the independence and legitimacy of the Constitutional Tribunal, by ensuring that its judges, its President and its Vice-President are lawfully elected and appointed. The changes over the past two years have led to a complete re—composition of the Tribunal outside the normal constitutional process so that it is no longer able to provide effective constitutional review of laws.

They could also amend the law on the Supreme Court so as to not apply a lowered retirement age to the current Supreme Court judges or the current first president, thereby avoiding almost 40% of its current judges being forced into early retirement. That’s a third option that should be used. Also, the discretionary powers of the President of the Republic over those judges who wish to stay should be removed, as should the truly extraordinary – so—called extraordinary – appeal procedure that makes it possible to re—open and overturn judgments going back 20 years, not on grounds of new facts but on grounds of social justice. This is unheard of in any Member State of the European Union.

Fourthly, they should amend the law on the ordinary court so as to remove the new retirement regime for judges of ordinary courts, including the discretionary power of the Minister of Justice to prolong mandates of judges that wish to stay. Also, the arbitrary and unjustified decisions to dismiss court presidents should be remedied.

Fifthly, they should amend the law on the National Council for the Judiciary to ensure that the mandates of current judges—members of that council are not prematurely terminated and that judges—members are elected by other judges and not by politicians.

I am pleased to inform you that since January this year, since the new government has been in power, exchanges between the Commission and the Polish authorities have been taking place again. For the first time in two years, we really have a dialogue, and I think we should continue this at all levels. We met with the Prime Minister and with the Foreign Minister: Jean—Claude Juncker met with the Prime Minister and Věra Jourová met the Foreign Minister, so we are intensifying our contact.

I really hope that this dialogue will lead to concrete measures which address adequately these five key issues before the end of March because the dialogue, however pleasant and intensive, is only useful if it produces results. I’m really looking forward to Poland’s concrete reactions to our recommendation.

I cannot overstate the importance of the rule of law for the functioning of the European Union. Respect for the rule of law is not only a prerequisite for the protection of all the fundamental values listed in Article 2; it is also a prerequisite for upholding all rights and obligations deriving from the Treaties and for establishing mutual trust of citizens, businesses and national authorities in the legal systems of all other Member States. The proper functioning of the rule of law is also essential, in particular, for the seamless operation of the internal market and an investment—friendly environment.

Let me also draw your attention to the Court of Justice of the European Union’s ruling from yesterday in case C-46/16. The CJEU has clarified the scope of Article 2 and Article 19 in relation to the need to ensure at national level an independent and effective judiciary. We will examine this judgment very carefully as a basis of our dialogue with the Polish authorities.

I would like to underline that the Commission does not question the right of any Member State to reform its judicial system. It is up to Member States to define and reform their judicial system. However, whatever the model chosen or reform carried out, full judicial independence should be safeguarded in line with EU law and European standards. You cannot use the argument of needing to reform the judicial system to then introduce political oversight or political control by the executive or the legislative force of the judiciary, which should remain independent.

The discussion today and the whole process that we have been engaged in for two years is not against Poland, and I’m really quite saddened by the fact that, every time, this is presented as a one—man operation against Poland or the Polish nation. We have a very strong difference of opinion with this Polish Government, not with the Polish nation. The Commission is working for a union with Poland and for Poland within the Union. I’ve said this before in this Parliament: I cannot imagine a European Union without Poland. We need Poland and I think Poland also needs the European Union.

(Applause)

The independence of Poland’s judicial system and its respect of the rule of law are essential cornerstones for a strong Poland in the European Union, for an independent Poland, a sovereign Poland. There is no contradiction between being a fully fledged, active member of the European Union and being a sovereign nation. It’s about time for people who sell this nonsense to be called out.

To conclude, the Commission has always stressed that upholding the rule of law is a joint responsibility shared among all EU institutions. That is why I’m so glad your Parliament has taken the time to look at this so intensively again today. We are now in a new interinstitutional phase which reflects this joint responsibility. Yesterday the Commission got very vocal and very strong support from an overwhelming majority of Member States in the Council, and both parties – the Polish Government and the Commission – were urged to continue the dialogue and to come up with concrete solutions to the problem. We are game. The Commission wants that to happen and I trust that this Parliament will continue to show its strong determination to uphold the rule of law in all of our Member States, including Poland. That is in our collective interest.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, let me start by saying how upsetting it is to me, to my group and to my colleagues that today we stand here again in the shadow of Article 7 discussing Poland, the land where solidarity was born in all its senses: solidarity – that force for freedom and independence – which inspired so many in Europe to do the same. But we cannot close our eyes to what is happening, not on our watch. We remain seriously concerned about what is going on in Poland, and I cannot but express our sincere regret regarding the lack of will on the side of the Polish Government to even engage in a real, constructive dialogue with the Commission, let alone contemplate the changes that are needed.

We are here for the sixth time on this issue and we are here not because we want to be or because we want to somehow punish Poland. We are here because someone must stand up for the people of Poland. We are here because the authorities in Poland have shown little sign of moving. Rather than work to improve the circumstances and start to rebuild the bridges they have burnt, the situation has deteriorated even further. We have seen countless heads and deputy heads of lower courts fired, often by means of a fax. We have seen the reform of the National Council for the Judiciary get underway in a manner that, even with so many Polish judges resisting, serves to undermine the independence of the judiciary. We have seen Poland regress.

Democracy and the rule of law in Poland are being seriously threatened today, and this cannot continue. Polish people are looking to us to act, and act we must. The Polish Government is even going as far as attempting to control historical narratives as a means toward somehow bolstering its own nationalistic aims.

Europe simply cannot afford to close its eyes to what is happening and so tomorrow’s vote will mean that we fully support the Commission’s decision to trigger Article 7 for Poland. It did not need to come to this, but unfortunately the Polish Government left us with little choice. Our intention is to do everything in our means for Poland to come back to the heart of Europe. The Commission has always made it clear, as we have just heard, that it is willing and ready to talk, but we need concrete results from Poland. We need to see respect for Poland’s constitution and the independence of its courts.

No one wants to push Poland away; we have been trying to do exactly the opposite. But being an EU Member State means respecting EU values, honouring your commitment to fundamental rights and understanding that an electoral majority does not give you a free hand to do as you please. It means respecting critical voices. If you are a member of the European Union, you cannot ignore what it stands for. That is why we will always stand up for the people of Poland, the land that gave Europe and the world the values of Saint John Paul II, the genius of Marie Skłodowska Curie, the music of Chopin, the courage of Lech Wałęsa and so much more. Polish heroes are European heroes, and we are one.

So I repeat (Applause), it is not only about Poland. We know that if the rule of law is allowed to collapse anywhere then it has failed everywhere. This is the very nature of our Union and we, as the European People’s Party, cannot allow it. We also know that there is a huge gap between the rights that we demand as EU citizens and the mechanisms that are available to ensure their protection. It is something that we must address. The situation that we see in Poland has again underlined the need for a concrete mechanism that would protect the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights across the European Union.

Our message to Poland is clear: do not turn your backs on Europe, do not drive a wedge where one does not exist. Let us all come back – as we have just heard – to the negotiating table, engage in active dialogue and act on the Commission’s recommendations so that the current situation can be remedied as soon as possible. I conclude with this message. We will not – we will never – turn our backs on the people of Poland.

(Applause)

 
  
  

VORSITZ: RAINER WIELAND
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, more than two years ago our House started to debate the situation of the rule of law in Poland, seen as difficult and serious but still solvable. In the meantime, we have observed a dramatic deterioration. Whereas the position of the European institutions did not alter and our concerns remained, the Polish Government continued its activities. Dialogue did not happen for months, whilst Vice-President Timmermans was constantly urging cooperation. There is now a new situation. The language has softened, but the substance remains.

As we all know, the triggering of the Article 7 procedure by the Commission was not something done lightly. The activation of Article 7 is a last resort. We know this and we know that action has been taken only because the situation is serious. The Polish people deserve a free and fair judicial system. No citizen should ever feel that their judges could be under political influence. No Polish person must ever doubt that they can receive a fair and free trial.

There are also other issues we have to address. Three months ago we passed a resolution criticising attacks on civil society organisations and the threat to the sexual and reproductive rights of women, and we are also concerned at the repression of some groups as retired public servants. But today we are focusing on the matter of the judiciary to make it clear that triggering Article 7 in the case of Poland is not directed against the people of Poland. It is a last signal and it is against the government which systematically neglects European concerns, concerns which are not developed by so-called Brussels bureaucrats. There is a clear foundation in the Treaties and an obligation. A government that does not accept this is telling lies to its people. You may win elections but you put the future at risk. We stand fully behind the Commission in its triggering of Article 7.

 
  
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  Ryszard Antoni Legutko, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Szanowni Państwo! Rezolucja jest niedorzeczna, podobnie jak całe to nękanie Polski przez ostatnie dwa lata. Problem jest taki, że tak naprawdę ogromna część z państwa w ogóle nie ma pojęcia, co się dzieje w Polsce, o co chodzi, na czym polegają te reformy i dlaczego są przeprowadzane. Pan przewodniczący Timmermans bardzo długo się sprawą Polski zajmuje, a jednak braki informacyjne są tutaj zasadnicze. Spróbuję zarysować szerszy kontekst, nie wdając się w polemiki, bo w polemiki się już wdawałem.

Proszę państwa! Gdy upadł komunizm, zaczęto budować w Polsce nowy system sprawiedliwości, uznano, że najlepiej będzie, jeśli kontrolę nad tym systemem sprawiedliwości przejmą korporacje prawnicze. I one dostały władzę, jakiej nie miały w żadnym innym kraju europejskim. Po prostu takiej władzy nie miały, jaką dostały w Polsce. To było o tyle dziwne, że niemała część prawników zachowywała się fatalnie w systemie komunistycznym i powinna była zostać odsunięta. Tak się nie stało. Środowisko oczyści się samo, jak powiedział jeden z ówczesnych, skądinąd bardzo szanowanych prawników, ale środowisko się nie oczyściło. Do tej pory w Sądzie Najwyższym mamy sędziów, którzy gnębili opozycję demokratyczną w czasach komunistycznych.

Ta decyzja o przyznaniu korporacjom prawniczym tak wielkiej władzy była ze strony ówczesnych prawodawców, nas wszystkich straszną naiwnością. Myśmy sobie wyobrażali, że te korporacje prawnicze to jest jakaś chodząca sprawiedliwość, to jest jej ucieleśnienie, to jest ta kobieta z zasłoniętymi oczami i trzymająca wagę, czysty rozum prawniczy. No, oczywiście to się okazało nieprawdą. Komunistów nie usunięto, pojawili się ich następcy i tak dalej, i tak dalej – cały ten system klientelizmu: kto się nie zgadzał, był marginalizowany, kto się naraził środowisku, był skończony. Takim oczywistym przykładem tego było to, że prezesi sądów mieli absolutną władzę wyznaczania składu sędziowskiego, co często – oczywiście nie zawsze, ale bardzo często, zbyt często –oznaczało, że zanim proces się rozpoczął, już wiadomo było, jak się skończy.

Mieliśmy największą liczbę sędziów i największą przewlekłość procesową. Polska była jednym z krajów z największą liczbą przegranych spraw przed Europejskimi Trybunałami. A wszystko to wynikało właśnie ze sposobów funkcjonowania sędziów. Trudno się dziwić, że te korporacje, poczuwszy władzę, popadły w pychę – każdy, jak ma taką nieograniczoną władzę, popada w pychę. Zaczęły się zachowywać jak podmioty partyjne, nie ukrywając swoich partyjnych sympatii czy antypatii, co się odzwierciedlało również w sposobach rozstrzygania spraw.

Zasada niezawisłości sędziowskiej, która brzmi: jestem posłuszny tylko prawu, została w praktyce zmieniona w zasadę: mogę robić, co chcę, a komu się nie podoba, przepraszam za wyrażenie, niech spada na drzewo. Znane są przecież przypadki sędziów na telefon, a najbardziej bulwersujący przypadek to prowokacja dziennikarska: dziennikarz zadzwonił do jednego z sędziów i podał się za współpracownika ówczesnego premiera Polski Donalda Tuska, przez co uzyskał od nowego sędziego różne obietnice. Albo inny przypadek: były prezes Trybunału Konstytucyjnego wydał orzeczenie w składzie, którego nie przewiduje żadne prawo, ani konstytucja, ani żadna ustawa, była czy obecna – po prostu było to zebranie towarzyskie przyjaciół prezesa – i później dziwił się, że rząd tego orzeczenia nie opublikował. To skandal – wołał – przecież mi wszystko wolno – prawo to ja.

No, proszę państwa, to są patologie, nie można tego tolerować. Szczytowym momentem tego mariażu korporacji prawniczych i partii politycznej był skok na Trybunał Konstytucyjny, który miał doprowadzić praktycznie do politycznego kontrolowania Trybunału przez wiele lat naprzód. Skok dokonany przez poprzedni rząd – zupełnie monstrualny z punktu widzenia rządów prawa i widzenia prawa – w tej Izbie ani w Komisji Europejskiej nie wywołał żadnej reakcji. Natomiast to, że uniemożliwiliśmy ten skok, wprawiło większość z państwa w moralne oburzenie graniczące z histerią. Ja już mówiłem wielokrotnie, że dlatego się państwo nie oburzali, że to byli koledzy, stronnicy polityczni. Zasada podwójnych standardów jest tak naprawdę jedyną zasadą, która jest tutaj konsekwentnie przestrzegana.

Proszę państwa! To, co się dzieje w Polsce, to reforma systemu sprawiedliwości, spóźniona przynajmniej o 25 lat, reforma systemu, który od początku działał źle, bo był źle pomyślany. Więc ten, kto mówi, że w Polsce były rządy prawa, a dopiero później, jak się władza zmieniła, to sytuacja się pogorszyła, ten mówi nieprawdę. Było fatalnie, a teraz jest próba zmiany tego stanu rzeczy i żadne z rozwiązań nie jest oryginalne, każde z nich w jakimś tam zakresie występuje w jakimś kraju europejskim. Dlatego nie dziwcie się, drodzy państwo, że gdy polscy obywatele słuchają debat o Polsce tutaj w tej Izbie, słyszą wypowiedzi moich szanownych kolegów z pierwszego rzędu, przedstawicieli Komisji, to wpadają w osłupienie. To, co mówicie państwo, nie ma się nijak do rzeczywistości, w której żyją Polacy. Mówicie o jakiejś Polsce, której nie ma, mówicie o jakimś rządzie, który nie istnieje. Jesteście natomiast państwo traktowani jako ci, którzy bronią starego ustroju, bronią ancien regime’u, którego już wszyscy mają dość. I proszę to przyjąć do wiadomości. Ten ancien regime już nie wróci, bo się skompromitował, więc nie warto go bronić, bo on jest nie do obrony.

(Oklaski z jego grupy)

 
  
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  Sophia in ‘t Veld, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, after all this, first of all, I would like to echo the wonderful statement made by Roberta Metsola, every word of it. The ALDE Group very much welcomes the decision by the European Commission to trigger Article 7.1 in the case of Poland. Since the last time we discussed this, unfortunately, further worrying developments have taken place, like the controversial Holocaust law and the new initiatives on a full ban on abortion, and it escapes me how these measures are solving the problems that you have mentioned, Mr Legutko.

We call on the Council to act swiftly as well because with every day that passes, democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights are damaged further. So, no further delays. This is about the moral authority of the European Union in the world. People are watching us and asking themselves, ‘will the EU rise in defence of its own values?’ The Commission has set the deadline of 28 March, but in the meantime I would like to know what the consequences are for police and justice cooperation if the Polish judiciary cannot be considered to be independent – Member State authorities must work together on the basis of the presumption of compliance and not the pretence of compliance.

All Member States have to be treated equally, and yes, we’re criticising Poland, but applying double standards undermines the credibility of the European community of values. In this respect, dear colleague Weber, I would really like to ask you, why is it that you were highly critical of Poland but you’re still protecting Viktor Orban? Viktor Orban, the man of the dirty anti-Semitic, anti-Soros, anti-Brussels and anti-migrants campaigns. I think the EPP has to choose where it stands.

Finally, it is high time for us to get a neutral objective mechanism for upholding the values of the European Union. This House put forward a legislative initiative in 2016. We urge the Commission to present their announced proposal for such a mechanism as soon as possible and not wait until the end of the year.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Barbara Spinelli, a nome del gruppo GUE/NGL. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, alcuni diranno che attivare l'articolo 7 è un gesto solo verbale visto che, alla fine, non ci sarà unanimità al Consiglio. Non è quello che penso. Pur conoscendo il rischio dell'impotenza, questo Parlamento deve esprimersi se constata in uno Stato membro violazioni gravi dell'articolo 2.

È stato un dissidente dell'Est, Václav Havel, a insegnare che esiste un potere degli impotenti ed è questo potere che vogliamo esercitare per mettere in guardia non solo il governo polacco, ma tutti i governi che imboccassero la strada che porta a smantellare la rule of law, compresi i governi che già la stanno smantellando, come l'Ungheria.

In democrazia, governi e parlamenti non sono gli unici a detenere il monopolio della legittimità: lo condividono con il potere giudiziario – ultimo garante dei diritti – indipendentemente dalle elezioni. In democrazia non esistono leggi che impongono una visione unica della storia nazionale.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, there were many times in history in which Poland was the forerunner for the rule of law in Europe. It was the first country in our continent with a modern constitution that established an independent judiciary. Poland also has a long and proud tradition of civil movements for freedom and democracy, from the resistance against the German occupation to the Solidarność movement.

Unfortunately, the Polish Government does not seem to remember the proud traditions of Poland and it certainly does not seem to care about the future of the country. It is taking Poland away from the path of democracy and civil rights. It sees opposition and debate not as a sign of a living society, but as a threat. But Poland is much more than the Polish Government, and we as the European Parliament, as the European Union, need to support the judges who fight against their dismissal. We need to fight for the people protesting against the destruction of the last primary forest in Europe and we need to support the women fighting for their rights over their own bodies. Supporting them means keeping up the dialogue, supporting cross-border initiatives and taking a strict and strong line with the Government when it comes to rights and rules, for when their own government does not want to live up to the most basic standards what do people do? They turn to Europe.

That is why we support the Commission’s proposal to trigger Article 7, and if the Council does not do its job on Poland asap then it should expect a full investigation into the Polish case by Parliament, as we promised last November. And let us remember that the people of Europe expect us to stand up for the standards and rights that define us as Europeans. This is a great responsibility that we bear in relation not just to Poland, but to all citizens of the European Union. They have the right to be governed well, to an independent judiciary, and to see their rights well guarded, and that is something which we need to maintain.

 
  
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  Nigel Farage, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Mr President, I am always hearing about new values, I am always hearing about human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and yet in 2011, when journalists in Poland were being apprehended, held and sacked for being critical of the Government, what did the Commission do? Nothing. Why? Well, of course, because Mr Tusk, as the then Prime Minister, was pro the European Union.

But when you get Law and Justice in power, who are critical of the European Union, here you are, Mr Timmermans – just because they tried to clear out the Communist old guard and modernise their system – on the verge of invoking Article 7 and taking away their democratic rights within the Union.

And it is the same story in Hungary, where Viktor Orbán quite rightly refuses to accept your ludicrous migrant quota programme and he is now cast as the devil. Maybe the real reason is that he is taking on Soros, perhaps the most dangerous man in Western democracy today. ‘Keep going, Viktor Orbán’, is all that free democrats can say.

And you are happy to interfere, Mr Timmermans, in every single Member State where you think you see an infringement, apart from – I had nearly forgotten – in the case of Catalonia. Nine hundred and fifty people get beaten up by the police because they want to turn out on a Sunday morning and express an opinion – a totally clear violation, Mr Timmermans, of people’s human rights, an absolute abuse of any sense of a democratic process – yet you say, in that case, that it is none of our business. But, of course, they are a pro-EU Government, so the iron fist of the European Union is reserved purely for your critics.

You said today you hoped that the United Kingdom would change its mind and reverse Brexit. Well, looking at the way you are treating Poland, I would have thought the answer must be a very big ‘no’. This, for Poland, is the modern-day Brezhnev doctrine of limited sovereignty. You rebelled against that system, Polish people, and I hope you go on and rebel against this one.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  Stanisław Żółtek, w imieniu grupy ENF. – Panie Przewodniczący! Nie będę polskiego rządu chwalił ani ganił, bo tak naprawdę należy mu się jedno i drugie. Chciałbym dzisiaj poruszyć kwestię wolności, którą grupa urzędników chce zabrać Polsce, innym krajom i większości tu obecnych posłów. Ci urzędnicy uznali, że skoro mają tak wysokie pensje, to są upoważnieni do tego, by rządzić tymi, którzy ich mianowali. Jeśli Wy, wybrani przedstawiciele narodów, pozwolicie, by ci urzędnicy wygrali w wewnętrznych sprawach Polski, to za chwilę podporządkują oni sobie i Wasze kraje. Zamiast rządzić w imieniu narodów będziecie służącymi Komisji Europejskiej. Będziecie służyć grupie urzędników, których ego po mianowaniu ich na komisarzy urosło tak niebotycznie, że uznali siebie za władców narodów i krajów. Niektórzy szefowie grup Parlamentu są powiązani z tymi urzędnikami i zagłosują tak, jak się z nimi umówili, ale większość posłów nie jest powiązana. Nie dajcie kupić wolności swojej i swoich krajów, poddając się szantażowi reelekcji czy lojalności partyjnej.

 
  
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  Janusz Korwin-Mikke (NI). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pan Franciszek Timmermans ma absolutną rację, mówiąc o zagrożeniu prawa w Polsce, dlatego jutro rzucam Parlament Europejski i wracam do Polski walczyć z nadciągającą dyktaturą PiS-u. Ale Wy mi w tym przeszkadzacie. Nie znacie sytuacji w Polsce. Każdy Wasz nacisk na rząd PiS-u wzmaga jego popularność. Niedługo dzięki Panu, Panie Timmermans, PiS dojdzie do większości konstytucyjnej. Dzięki Panu.

To Wy chcieliście w Polsce demokracji. Gdyby w Niemczech panowało cesarstwo, to Adolf Hitler byłby w pałacu cesarskim tylko po raz do roku: na konkursie akwarelistów. To dzięki demokracji tacy ludzie jak Hitler, Obama, Trump dochodzą do władzy. To dzięki Panu, Panie Timmermans. Dlatego musimy z tym walczyć.

A poza tym sądzę, że Unia Europejska musi być zniszczona.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Herr Kollege Korwin-Mikke! Ich rufe Sie zur Ordnung. Der Vergleich, den Sie angestellt haben, war unparlamentarisch.

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, we have made clear why we believe Article 7(1) was warranted. We are also in a dialogue with the Polish Government to try and resolve the issue. The Commission is very much committed to that. And the interesting thing is that, from the beginning of this process, I was warned: ‘Don’t do it, you’ll bring about Polexit’; ‘Don’t do it, the Polish people will no longer support the Union’. Well, as a matter of fact, support for the EU in Poland has gone up, not down. It has gone up.

So, do the Polish people understand that Mr Farage, who speaks out in support of their Government, is someone who wants to break up the European Union? Do the Polish people understand which country will be the biggest victim of a broken-up European Union, given its geographic position? Poland.

Do the Polish people understand that Mr Farage’s best friend is Vladimir Putin?

(Applause)

Do the Polish people know that?

(Heckling from Nigel Farage)

When someone says something you do not like, you just try to prevent them saying it, don’t you Mr Farage? You admire Vladimir Vladimirovich …

(More heckling from Nigel Farage)

I’m shaking in my boots, because I’m next to you, Mr Farage, but what I want to say is this: the European Union cannot survive without Poland in its midst, and Poland has a strategic interest in being a member of the European Union. Polish people will not be fooled by anyone. They know this. They know this and, at some point – to quote a young American – ‘there’s only so much BS people will take’.

Let me be very clear on this. I respect Mr Farage’s idea of leaving the European Union. I respect that, but I also want those whom he now addresses as friends to understand what his agenda is. I am quite sure it should not be Poland’s agenda. I would urge the Polish Government to see where their true friends are, and they are not among those who want to break up the European Union.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Gemäß Artikel 123 Absatz 2 der Geschäftsordnung wurden drei Entschließungsanträge eingereicht.

Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet morgen, Donnerstag, 1. März 2018, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 162 GO)

 
  
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  Beata Gosiewska (ECR), na piśmie. – Kolejny raz na tej sali debatujemy nad praworządnością w Polsce tylko dlatego, że kilku polskim posłom przez trzy lata nie udało się pogodzić z powyborcza porażką, a mówiąc wprost, nikt z państwa nie zadał sobie trudu, żeby zobaczyć, jak naprawdę wygląda sytuacja w Polsce. Dlaczego? Ponieważ wówczas musieliby państwo przyznać, że jest ona bardzo dobra: – że polskie rodziny mają wreszcie wystarczające środki na utrzymanie (podniesienie płacy minimalnej i program 500+), – że Polska osiąga coraz lepsze wyniki gospodarcze, – że dzięki ciężkiej pracy rządu mamy rekordowe wpływy do budżetu, – a wreszcie, że po wielu latach zaniedbań Polska stała się silnym, bezpiecznym i stabilnym gospodarczo krajem i w mojej ocenie to jest właśnie powód kolejnej debaty, że Polska śmiała wstać z kolan i podnieść głowę, że chce być równorzędnym aktorem europejskiej sceny politycznej. Każdy, kto zechciałby uznać prawdę o Polsce, musiałby podobnie jak komisarz Juncker dostrzec aktualnie toczący się intensywny dialog pomiędzy Polską a Komisją Europejską i podzielić jego opinie o zbliżeniu stanowisk między Polską a KE. Tylko nie macie państwo ani woli, ani odwagi, by to zrobić.

 
  
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  Jiří Maštálka (GUE/NGL), písemně. – Dnes jsme se zabývali návrhem Komise aktivovat článek 7 Smlouvy o EU proti Polsku. Chtěl bych zdůraznit, že v historii EU tento článek ještě nikdy použit nebyl a mohlo by se jednat o nebezpečný precedent. Domnívám se, že situace v Polsku a probíhající reformy, např. v justičním systému, se nám nemusí líbit a zřejmě nejsou ani příliš demokratické. Ale vyhrožovat některému členskému státu, že ho zbavíme hlasovacích práv v Radě anebo že proti němu uplatníme ještě přísnější sankce kvůli jeho vnitrostátním reformám, je v dnešní době, kdy je EU v hluboké krizi a potřebujeme naopak být jednotní, nesprávné. I když se neztotožňuji se všemi změnami a reformními kroky, které v Polsku probíhají, nemohl jsem návrh podpořit.

 
  
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  Marijana Petir (PPE), napisan. – Pitanje situacije u Poljskoj je već dugo pred europskim institucijama koje su s oprezom pratile sva zbivanja i događanja u Poljskoj. Razumijem zabrinutost kolega koji pozdravljaju i podržavaju Rezoluciju LIBE Odbora za aktivacijom članka 7., stavka 1. Ugovora o Europskoj uniji, međutim, napominjem potrebu za oprezom kako poljski narod ne bi ovaj potez europskih institucija shvatio kao grubo kršenje njihove suverenosti i autonomije.

Načelo supsidijarnosti, poštovanje granica nacionalne jurisdikcije i djelovanja unutar pravnih okvira su temeljne vrijednosti Europske unije preko kojih ne smijemo olako preći. Trenutno nerazumijevanje koje postoji između Poljske i Europske unije nije od koristi niti Europi niti poljskom narodu, stoga sam mišljenja da bi trebali ustrajati na traženju rješenja koje ne bi nužno u opasnost dovelo širenje snažnog anti-europskog osjećaja među poljskim narodom.

Stoga bih se založila da na EU razini dijalogu razmotrimo otvorena pitanja, poštujući pri tom pravo Poljske na samoodređenje, suverenost i autonomiju.

 
  
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  Laurenţiu Rebega (ENF), în scris. – Activarea articolului 7 din TUE este cea mai dură sancțiune împotriva unui stat-membru. Nu mă pot pronunța asupra situației din Polonia decât superficial. S-a decretat cumva starea de asediu? S-au abolit instituțiile statului democratic? Au fost interzise drepturi cetățenești? Nimic din toate acestea!

Să presupunem, însă, că, peste noapte, situația a devenit extrem de gravă. În acest caz, trebuie să ne aducem aminte că, pentru europeni, Polonia a fost premianta Estului. Polonia nu a intrat în UE ca România sau Bulgaria – cu semne de întrebare, cu monitorizări infinite, cu avertismente și controale. Nu, Polonia a intrat „curată” și cu fruntea sus. Dar, dacă s-a schimbat ceva în ordinea democratică din Polonia, atunci, în mod logic, aceste schimbări au avut loc de când ea este membră a Uniunii! Deci, la fel de logic, tocmai apartenența la Uniune a generat în Polonia presupusele abateri de la democrație.

Suntem în stare să acceptăm această concluzie? Dacă da, atunci nu Polonia, ci Uniunea are o mare problemă! Dacă nu, înseamnă că problema e alta. Și e foarte simplă: nu democrația este preocuparea Comisiei, ci influențarea politicii dintr-un stat membru! Iar ceea ce face Comisia se numește poliție politică!

 
  
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  Henna Virkkunen (PPE), kirjallinen. – Haluan kiittää komissiota siitä aktiivisuudesta jolla se on Puolan kanssa pyrkinyt käymään dialogia viimeisten vuosien ajan, mutta valitettavasti keskustelu ei ole johtanut tuloksiin. Näin ollen komissio on tehnyt täysin oikean johtopäätöksen esittäessään 7 artiklan kohdan 1 mukaisten toimien käynnistämistä.

Liittyessään Euroopan unionin jäseneksi kaikki EU-maat ovat sitoutuneet puolustamaan eurooppalaisia perusarvoja: ihmisarvon ja ihmisoikeuksien kunnioittamista, vapautta, kansanvaltaa, tasa-arvoa ja oikeusvaltiota. Näistä arvoista on pidettävä kiinni.

Euroopan parlamentti totesi jo marraskuussa päätöslauselmassaan että on olemassa vaara, että Puola loukkaa EU:n arvoja oikeusvaltioperiaate mukaan lukien. Kyse on vallanjaon periaatteiden kunnioittamisesta, oikeuslaitoksen riippumattomuudesta ja perusoikeuksista. Komissio on tehnyt asiassa parhaansa, mutta nyt tarvitaan vahva tuki jäsenmailta. Puola on uhkaavasti luisumassa pois eurooppalaisista arvoista, eikä tällaista tilannetta voi sallia. Kyse on EU:n tärkeimmistä perusperiaatteista. Ministerineuvoston on nyt ryhdyttävä pikaisesti toimiin EU:n perussopimuksen 7 artiklan 1 kohdan määräysten mukaisesti.

Samalla on todettava, että EU:n sääntöjä on syytä uudistaa niin, että vastaaviin oikeusvaltioperiaatteiden loukkauksiin voidaan puuttua jatkossa aiempaa nopeammin ja tehokkaammin. Yhtenä keinona tulisi käyttää myös EU-tukien jäädyttämistä vakavasti sääntöjä rikkovilta jäsenmailta.

 

20. Prioritățile UE pentru sesiunile Consiliului ONU pentru Drepturile Omului din 2018 (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Vizepräsidentin der Kommission und Hohen Vertreterin der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zu den Prioritäten der EU für die Tagungen des Menschenrechtsrats der Vereinten Nationen im Jahr 2018 (2018/2603(RSP)).

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I am taking this point on behalf of my colleague, Ms Mogherini, who unfortunately cannot be here this evening.

These are challenging times for human rights all around the world. The space for civil society continues to shrink in several countries, and human rights defenders are too often a target of violence and intimidation. There is a growing belief that national laws can disregard universal human rights. The International Criminal Court and the very idea of international justice have too often been questioned and it is against this background that we Europeans have an even stronger duty to invest in the United Nations and in the protection of human rights through the UN system.

This is why the European Union continues actively to engage in the UN human rights forums. Earlier this week, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted new conclusions on the political priorities for the European Union in the human rights forums in 2018. When human rights come under threat, we must mobilise all of our tools to protect the people in need and improve the situation. This means that our action on the ground, where the violations are happening, must always be backed by diplomatic action at all levels. That includes multilateral action within the United Nations system, particularly in dedicated forums such as the Human Rights Council and the General Assembly’s Third Committee.

We want the UN Human Rights Council to be a strong and effective forum to protect and advance human rights worldwide. For that reason, we also support reforms that would make the Council as effective and as accountable as possible to the citizens of all of our countries. The Council’s ability to address country situations must be preserved and, at the same time, the Council must adapt to a more challenging global environment. A more effective UN system is a stronger UN system and, for this reason, we support the United Nations Secretary—General’s ambitious reform agenda.

During the ongoing session of the Human Rights Council, the EU will play a leadership role on the matter of country-specific and thematic initiatives. We remain deeply concerned about the continuing grave and systematic violations of human rights by North Korea. Together with Japan, the European Union will table an initiative to address the human rights situation in the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). We will also present a resolution on the human rights situation in Myanmar. In light of the violence suffered by minorities in Myanmar, and particularly by the Rohingya people, we will propose to renew the mandate of the Special Rapporteur and we will confirm our support for the Independent International Fact—Finding Mission.

The European Union, together with partners from all over the world, will also continue to build on its initiative on freedom of religion or belief and, together with the Group of Latin America and Caribbean Countries (GRULAC), on the rights of the child, focusing on the protection of children in all humanitarian situations.

Just a few hours ago, this House discussed the situation in Eastern Ghouta in Syria. The suffering of Syrian children is a stark reminder of how crucial is our work to protect children in crisis. We will also continue to bring human rights in Syria to the attention of the Human Rights Council. The fight for accountability and against impunity is not just a matter of moral justice but is also essential to the perspective of national reconciliation. So we will keep on working to allow access for the commission of inquiry, ensure unhindered humanitarian access, call for the release of detainees, and demand the full application of humanitarian law by all sides.

It is sad that so many human rights violations are taking place in this very year, as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the UN Declaration of Human Rights, but we should not lose sight of important good news coming from all around the world. Support and awareness of human rights is increasing throughout the global population and this is thanks to social media, to the use of major sports events, to the power of youth movements, to more responsible businesses and corporations, and to celebrities and influencers who use their voices to advocate. This also demonstrates that every person can contribute in a positive way and stand up for human rights.

Likewise, together with the EU Special Representative, Stavros Lambrinidis, we have been working on the good human rights stories, with a view to the upcoming General Assembly. This initiative aspires to promote a fresh, positive narrative on human rights in the world. Its central focus will be on promoting good human rights stories by identifying, sharing and showcasing the implementation of human-rights-based policies in all fields through positive examples. We believe this can be a powerful source of inspiration for people all over the world. In times when human rights defenders are under attack and human rights are too often violated, it is easy to fall into cynicism and despair. As we work to find practical solutions to protect people and their rights, we must also focus on all the progress we have achieved together and try to keep the hope alive.

 
  
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  Andrzej Grzyb, w imieniu grupy PPE. – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Dziękuję za to wprowadzenie. W przyszłym tygodniu 37. sesja Rady Praw Człowieka w Genewie, która ma bardzo napiętą agendę. Ale napiętą agendę będzie też miała delegacja Parlamentu Europejskiego, która będzie w tej sesji uczestniczyła, wspierając z jednej strony priorytety przyjęte przez Radę w konkluzjach z 26 lutego, a z drugiej strony obierając za nasz, parlamentarny punkt wyjścia do tych debat ostatnie roczne sprawozdanie o prawach człowieka i demokracji na świecie, przyjęte przez Parlament Europejski w grudniu 2017 r.

Wiele priorytetów ujętych w sprawozdaniu jest aktualne w kontekście agendy, która została przyjęta na doroczną sesję Rady Praw Człowieka. Po pierwsze, wiemy, że w dalszym ciągu stosowana jest kara śmierci. Wyroków kary śmierci wykonuje się niestety coraz więcej. W niektórych krajach, które mają umowę GSP+ z Unią Europejską w sprawie uprzywilejowanej współpracy, też przywrócono karę śmierci. Po drugie, prawo do pokoju i do życia w pokoju. Przykładem jest Syria i inne obszary konfliktu, gdzie w szczególności trzeba zwrócić uwagę – i tu się w pełni zgadzam – na cierpienia dzieci na obszarach konfliktu i ochronę dzieci na obszarach konfliktu, nie tylko przed bezpośrednim zagrożeniem, ale i wtórnymi zagrożeniami, które się z tym wiążą. I wreszcie wolność religii i wyznania. Wydaje mi się, że tu w pełni należy poprzeć naszą inicjatywę dotyczącą zgłoszenia rezolucji o wolności religii i wyznania w ramach Rady Praw Człowieka Organizacji Narodów Zjednoczonych.

Ostatnia sprawa, na którą chciałbym zwrócić uwagę, to biznes i prawa człowieka, czyli odpowiedzialność społeczna przedsiębiorstw. Leży ona również w interesie przedsiębiorstw europejskich, bowiem te elementy, które są tutaj źle prezentowane, w innych krajach niestety wpływają też na konkurencyjność gospodarki.

 
  
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  Pier Antonio Panzeri, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la prossima settimana ci recheremo a Ginevra alla 37a sessione del Consiglio dei diritti umani, e come Lei ha detto, Commissario, quest'anno si celebra anche il 70o anniversario della Dichiarazione universale dei diritti umani.

Sempre più spesso i diritti umani sono oggetto di attacchi crescenti in tutto il mondo e la politica, oggi, sembra voler derubricare questo tema a tema secondario, sacrificandolo sull'altare della realpolitik. Ma bisogna essere consapevoli che, così facendo, quelle società che contraggono lo spazio dei diritti favoriscono il declino della democrazia e si autoannientano. Stupisce la scarsa lungimiranza politica di tanti, che sembrano non vedere questa deriva pericolosa. Insomma, abbassare l'asticella dei diritti è un lusso che una società che vuole definirsi democratica non può permettersi. Per questo, mi auguro che a partire da questa tornata vi sia davvero un'inversione di marcia sul tema dei diritti umani.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, the very idea of the European Union is built on democracy, common values and human rights. Moreover, as a leading global player, we have a clear-cut responsibility to never compromise on the protection of basic rights and freedoms worldwide. Voicing resolute declarations, this is what we are good at. However, let us admit that we often get confused when our economic interests are at stake. Take Turkey or Russia, Saudi Arabia or Cambodia, or many other places around the globe, this space of freedom is shrinking. Future generations will judge us according to the extent to which we are standing for each and every human rights defender at this very moment, here and now. Furthermore, we should do our utmost in order to strengthen our engagement in stopping the ongoing atrocities in such countries as Syria, Yemen, Myanmar, Congo and others. We have the means and the ways. What we miss is political will. Finally, there are undoubtedly very visible cases of a positive change in our close neighbourhood in particular. They must be saluted and acknowledged as a solid basis to further enhance our relations with these partners.

 
  
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  Javier Couso Permuy, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. – Señor presidente, estos últimos años han sido particularmente dramáticos para el devenir de los derechos humanos, como consecuencia de la acción de dos dinámicas diferentes: el incremento de la xenofobia y el racismo y las políticas de austeridad. Hay muchos lugares en el mundo en que ambos factores, juntos o por separado, han golpeado la vida cotidiana de millones de personas, y Europa ocupa un lugar destacado.

La xenofobia se ha convertido en política oficial en algunos países, que hacen de la defensa de una supuesta identidad un recurso para la represión y la exclusión de refugiados e inmigrantes. La austeridad y las políticas neoliberales son también una cuestión de derechos humanos: las consecuencias de las políticas «austericidas» puestas en marcha por la mayoría de los países dejan un saldo devastador.

Así que aconsejamos y sugerimos que la UE lleve a los foros de Naciones Unidas sobre derechos humanos dos compromisos: el primero sobre las acciones emprendidas para luchar contra la xenofobia y el racismo y, en segundo lugar, los compromisos adquiridos para devolver a millones de europeos y europeas los derechos humanos arrebatados por la lógica socialmente suicida de las políticas de austeridad.

 
  
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  Barbara Lochbihler, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, it is positive that the EU delegation in Geneva will give major priority to defending the universality of human rights against efforts from several countries to undermine this concept. Even from some EU Member States, we hear voices who prefer to hold back criticism on human rights violations elsewhere, among other reasons, in an attempt to distract from their own attacks on fundamental rights. More than ever, it is crucial that the EU supports the UN Human Rights Council financially and politically to ensure that it can continue to work independently. The Council conclusions on the EU priorities in the UN human rights fora are generally supportable. However, I deeply regret that the Council did not include a reference to the UN binding treaty on business and human rights, the single most important normative process currently going on. I deplore that the EU has not been constructive in the process and hope that the EU will listen to the requests by the European Parliament and give its full and unconditional support to the UN binding treaty process.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE). – Monsieur le Président, je salue l’adoption des priorités de l’Union européenne pour la 37e session du Conseil pour les droits de l’homme de l’ONU. Je crois qu’il est important qu’au cours des travaux de cette session, la voix de l’Union soit unie et cohérente, et que nous construisions des alliances élargies sur des questions importantes.

L’une de ces questions est notre engagement contre le génocide, les crimes de guerre et les crimes contre l’humanité, sujet sur lequel j’ai présenté un rapport qui a été voté par cette plénière il y a quelques mois.

Nous devons, je crois, contribuer à la prévention de toute situation qui pourrait conduire à un génocide et œuvrer en faveur de la résolution des conflits qui en sont la cause, mais aussi nous battre pour le respect du droit humanitaire.

Je pense tout particulièrement à la situation tragique des Syriens, ainsi qu’au massacre des Rohingyas.

Les violations des droits de l’homme en Iran requièrent aussi notre attention. En ce qui concerne la peine de mort, l’Iran est en tête du classement du nombre d’exécutions par habitant. Selon nos informations, des exécutions ont eu lieu même pendant la visite, la semaine dernière, d’une délégation de ce Parlement, à laquelle j’ai participé.

 
  
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  Liliana Rodrigues (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, das prioridades da União Europeia para o Conselho dos Direitos Humanos das Nações Unidas, gostaria de destacar a ideia de que todos os membros deste Conselho da ONU devem manter os mais altos padrões na promoção e proteção dos direitos humanos. Mas também não posso deixar de referir que as Nações Unidas continuam amarradas a países que claramente violam os direitos humanos.

Apesar de todo o importante trabalho humanitário feito, a força que se espera das Nações Unidas é agora outra. É urgente a reforma das Nações Unidas. Alguma da sua dificuldade de ação, muito por culpa do direito de veto no Conselho de Segurança, revela-se inadequada perante a nova ordem mundial. Longe de promover a resolução dos conflitos, o direito de veto tem servido para permitir a violação dos direitos fundamentais, como é o caso da Síria.

Como podem as Nações Unidas aceitar que membros do seu próprio Conselho persistam na violação dos direitos humanos? Como podem as Nações Unidas assistir ao definhar de, por exemplo, a própria Venezuela? Como podem as Nações Unidas ficar neste silêncio?

 
  
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  Francis Zammit Dimech (PPE). – Sur President, huwa b’interess kbir li fil-bidu tal-ġimgħa d-dieħla ser inkun qed nipparteċipa fis-37 sessjoni tal-Kunsill dwar id-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem ġewwa Ġinevra.

Qed niċċelebraw f’ċertu sens is-70 anniversarju mid-Dikjarazzjoni dwar id-Drittijiet tal-Bniedem. Sfortunatament m’iniex daqshekk ċert però li l-kelma ċelebrazzjoni hija dejjem korretta għaliex 70 sena wara qed nitkellmu dwar daqshekk ksur tad-drittijiet tal-bniedem u allura dik hija dikjarazzjoni li tibqa’ rilevanti. Jien ninnota b’sodisfazzjon li meta nħarsu lejn il-konklużjonijiet tal-Kunsill dwar dak li rridu nagħtu prijorità, insibu wkoll enfażi dwar il-midja.

Nafu li l-qtil tal-ġurnalisti, kellna fil-każ ta’ Malta l-qtil tal-ġurnalista Daphne Caruana Galizia, qed nitkellmu fil-ġranet ilu dwar il-qtil tal-ġurnalist investigattiv Slovakk li wkoll ifakkarna f’punt fundamentali dwar dan id-dritt fundamentali li meta l-ġurnalisti, u hemm pajjiżi li qed jissemmew, jiġu mhedda, jiġu mqiegħda f’sitwazzjoni li ma jistgħux jaqdu d-drittijiet tagħhom, dak huwa dritt imċaħħad lill-poplu kollu li ma jkollux iktar aċċess għall-informazzjoni li jrid.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Mr President, respect for human rights is a founding value of the European Union. Commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law is a central pillar of our external action. For us, the United Nations system regarding the promotion and protection of human rights is very important as well. Peace and security and human rights and development are inseparable and mutually reinforcing. The international community must never accept impunity when genocide, criminality against humanity, war crimes or violations and abuses of international human rights law happen.

I will continue to support a stronger system for the protection of human rights on the European continent. Moreover, it is of paramount importance that we maintain an increasing focus on the protection and promotion of economic, social and cultural rights and that we protect human rights effectively, paying particular attention to the specific rights of those in vulnerable situations.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, every Thursday in Strasbourg we have urgent discussions on the abuse of human rights right round the world, and rightly so. Sometimes there are sensitivities because we have a close trading relationship with some of these countries, but that should never stop us from condemning and decrying abuses of human rights. My colleague Cristian Preda referred to Syria, the death penalty in Iran, not just Iran but many more countries as well. We have to constantly try and bring these countries along the path of respecting the human rights of all.

The United Nations has been mentioned, and the veto. I suppose the best example, in some respects, of the ineffectiveness of the international community is when we learn that 100 girls were taken by Boko Haram and there is little we seem to be able to do about it. We haven’t made much progress, in that sense, if such a thing can happen and the international community can do little about it.

 
  
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  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, la démocratie et le respect des droits de l’homme sont inscrits dans l’ADN de l’Union européenne. Partout en Europe, mais aussi dans le monde, notre Union européenne doit rester vigilante: la Commission, le Conseil et le Parlement européen doivent mener ensemble ce combat aux côtés des Nations unies.

Les atrocités de la guerre sont à l’évidence des violations des droits de l’homme, et ce qui se passe un Syrie n’est pas supportable. Les images que l’on peut voir à la télévision nous font honte et nous ne pouvons passer sous silence l’intervention hors de proportion de la Turquie. Quand on pense qu’il a fallu négocier âprement pour obtenir cinq heures de cessez-le-feu à des fins humanitaires! Par ailleurs, comme cela a été dit, la peine de mort existe encore malheureusement dans de nombreux pays. Il est donc temps de proposer des solutions contraignantes. Que l’humanité soit enfin humaine!

Les propositions faites par le commissaire Hogan vont dans le bon sens. Il incombe à nous tous, groupés, de faire des droits de l’homme notre combat prioritaire.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, συζητούμε τις προτεραιότητες της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, τις οποίες θα αναπτύξει, σε σχέση με τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα, στις συνόδους του Συμβουλίου Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων του ΟΗΕ, στο Συμβούλιο αυτό όπου συμμετέχει η Σαουδική Αραβία. Μια χώρα η οποία δεν τηρεί τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα! Μια χώρα η οποία επιβάλλει τη θανατική ποινή! Μια χώρα στην οποία δεν υπάρχουν δικαιώματα των γυναικών! Μια χώρα η οποία, πραγματικά κάθε μέρα, επιτίθεται στην Υεμένη και εμείς συζητούμε τι θα πει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση στο πλαίσιο του Συμβουλίου Ανθρωπίνων Δικαιωμάτων του ΟΗΕ όπου είναι η Σαουδική Αραβία! Τρομερή διγλωσσία. Κάποιος πρέπει να το καταγγείλει αυτό. Φυσικά πρέπει να καταγγελθούν οι παραβιάσεις ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στην Τουρκία όπου ο Erdoğan, ως νέος σουλτάνος, έχει διαλύσει κάθε έννοια Δημοκρατίας, κάθε έννοια προστασίας ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και φυσικά απειλεί, παράνομα, και την Ελλάδα και την Κύπρο. Μέτρα λοιπόν εναντίον όλων όσων παραβιάζουν τα ανθρώπινα δικαιώματα!

 
  
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  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, συζητάμε για τις προτεραιότητες των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων και είμαι βέβαιος ότι πάρα πολλοί μας παρακολουθούν από πολλά κράτη εκτός Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Για να μην είμαστε υποκριτές και θεωρητικολογούμε, σας λέω το εξής απλό πράγμα: το βράδυ του Σαββάτου, το Συμβούλιο Ασφαλείας του ΟΗΕ ομόφωνα αποφάσισε και ζήτησε τον τερματισμό όλων των στρατιωτικών επιχειρήσεων στη Συρία για 30 τουλάχιστον μέρες, συμπεριλαμβάνοντας και το Afrin. Ποια ήταν η απάντηση των εμπλεκομένων μερών; Συνεχίζουν να βομβαρδίζουν. Το χείριστο βεβαίως είναι η στάση της Τουρκίας, επί της οποίας έχουμε δυνατότητες επιρροής γιατί, αυτή τη στιγμή που μιλάμε, βρίσκεται επίσημα σε ενταξιακό καθεστώς. Και τι είπε η Τουρκία; Λέει ότι θα συνεχίσει τις επιχειρήσεις της παραγνωρίζοντας την απόφαση του Συμβουλίου Ασφαλείας. Φυσικά θα μπορούσε να μιλώ για ώρες για τις παραβιάσεις εκ μέρους της Τουρκίας αλλά μια μόνο φράση αρκεί: από το 1974 κατέχει μέρος της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης στην Κύπρο.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission, on behalf of the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I would like to thank the honourable Members for their comments. From this debate I think we can conclude that we all share a common interest in the promotion and protection of human rights in the multilateral forums. Of course there is room for improvement and room to further improve their effectiveness in terms of organisation as well, but is equally essential not to underestimate their importance. Multilateral engagement remains a vital component of an effective and strong EU policy in the field of human rights and beyond.

Since the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights 70 years ago, the international human rights system has continued to show great resilience and it remains the single most effective framework through which we can address concerns and aspire to build a better world in the future for all of us, which should be our duty and our calling. So once again, Mr President, I want to signal our appreciation of Parliament in its role in keeping this important issue on the international agenda.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 162 GO)

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao (EFDD), per iscritto. – A Ginevra, la 37a sessione del Consiglio dei diritti umani, quest'anno è ancor più significativa, perché si celebra anche il 70° anniversario della Dichiarazione universale dei diritti umani. Richiamo l'attenzione sulla grave situazione in cui operano giornalisti ed attivisti dei diritti umani nelle varie parti del mondo. È inaccettabile la serie di aggressioni, violenze e omicidi troppo spesso dimenticati. Mi associo al rammarico di alcuni miei colleghi per il fatto che il Consiglio non abbia previsto un riferimento al trattato vincolante delle Nazioni Unite sulle imprese e sui diritti umani, un importantissimo processo normativo attualmente in corso.

 

21. Definirea, prezentarea și etichetarea băuturilor spirtoase și protecția indicațiilor geografice ale acestora (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Pilar Ayuso im Namen des Ausschusses für Umweltfragen, öffentliche Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit über die Begriffsbestimmung, Aufmachung und Kennzeichnung von Spirituosen, die Verwendung der Namen von Spirituosen bei der Aufmachung und Kennzeichnung von anderen Lebensmitteln sowie den Schutz geografischer Angaben für Spirituosen (COM(2016)0750 - C8-0496/2016 - 2016/0392(COD) (A8-0021/2018)).

 
  
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  Pilar Ayuso, ponente. – Señor presidente, señor comisario, en primer lugar, quiero agradecer a los ponentes alternativos su colaboración en este dossier. También quiero agradecer a las Secretarías de la Comisión ENVI y del Grupo PPE, así como a mi asistente, su colaboración, y también a los servicios de la Comisión, que han estado siempre prestos a aclararnos cualquier duda sobre este informe.

El objetivo es modificar el Reglamento (CE) n.º 110/2008 sobre bebidas espirituosas que está actualmente en vigor. Este Reglamento es un muy buen reglamento y no se trata de cambiar lo que funciona bien, pero era necesaria su modificación para adecuarlo al Tratado de Funcionamiento de la Unión Europea. La legislación existente tiene que ser coherente con los nuevos instrumentos jurídicos introducidos en el Tratado de Lisboa y de eso trata, fundamentalmente, esta revisión.

Al mismo tiempo, los ponentes alternativos y yo misma consideramos fundamental el mantenimiento de las prerrogativas que tiene el Parlamento bajo la legislación en vigor. Por ello, hemos introducido una serie de enmiendas que introducen actos delegados para proteger los derechos actuales del Parlamento.

En relación con este mismo tema, hemos modificado la propuesta para que estos actos delegados no incidan sobre los elementos esenciales del Reglamento y, además, proponemos limitar en el tiempo estos poderes para que tengan una duración de cinco años con la posibilidad de que puedan ser prorrogados por un periodo equivalente.

La Comisión, en su propuesta, propone armonizar los procedimientos de gestión de las indicaciones geográficas en el sector de las bebidas espirituosas con los que están ya vigentes para los productos alimenticios en general y, para ello, introduce una modificación importante en el capítulo III que regula las indicaciones geográficas.

Este cambio era necesario, y el Parlamento lo comprende y comparte ya que es necesario armonizar los distintos regímenes aplicables, pero, al mismo tiempo, hay que dar cabida a las cuestiones específicas del sector de las bebidas espirituosas. Por ello, hemos introducido una serie de enmiendas en este sentido.

Otra de las modificaciones esenciales de la propuesta es la supresión del anexo III, que está en el Reglamento (CE) n.º 110/2008, sobre indicaciones geográficas. En su lugar, la propuesta de la Comisión introduce un registro electrónico de manera similar a lo establecido en las denominaciones de origen protegidas y las indicaciones geográficas para vinos y alimentos.

Este registro electrónico es un instrumento innovador y de fácil acceso. Sin embargo, dada la importancia del registro, proponemos la participación del Parlamento en futuras modificaciones del mismo mediante actos delegados.

Tanto el Reglamento (CE) n.º 110/2008 como esta propuesta no establecen el contenido máximo de azúcar a la hora de redondear el sabor. Hay Estados miembros que tienen una legislación nacional para determinadas categorías y establecen un límite máximo, y otros que no tienen nada. El Parlamento ha considerado necesario establecer un límite para cada categoría, pero siempre respetando el límite más alto ya existente en las legislaciones nacionales para cada categoría.

También es importante destacar, dentro del sector de las bebidas espirituosas, la existencia de métodos tradicionales y centenarios para su producción y envejecimiento, y es necesario y justo reconocerlos y perpetuarlos en la legislación.

En definitiva, esta es una propuesta de carácter fundamentalmente técnico y tenemos que ceñirnos a ello. Yo soy consciente, no obstante, de que los temas relacionados con la salud y la protección de los consumidores respecto al consumo excesivo de alcohol nos preocupan a todos, pero este no es el cuerpo normativo adecuado en el que debemos tratar esta problemática. Estoy en contra de incluir en este Reglamento aquellas enmiendas que hablen de indicar en el etiquetado de las bebidas espirituosas el contenido calórico nutricional, pero esto no quiere decir que considere que las bebidas alcohólicas deban estar exentas. Lo que ocurre es que no es el lugar para hacerlo. El lugar es el Reglamento (UE) n.º 1169/2011 sobre etiquetado nutricional.

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, on behalf of the Commission I’d like to express my appreciation to the Members of Parliament who have worked hard in recent months to examine and to improve the Commission proposal on the alignment of the spirit drinks regulation. In particular I wish to thank Ms Ayuso, as rapporteur, and the shadow rapporteurs for their work.

The current Regulation (EC) No 110/2008 was the last CAP regulation still left to be aligned to the Lisbon Treaty.

The spirit drinks sector is strategic for EU geographical indications (GIs) and is a top GI export category. It brings a significant value added to the EU agricultural sector. Given its importance and successful application, the Commission proposal did not seek to change the rules but merely to improve the legislative text and to simplify current lengthy and burdensome GI procedures in the spirit of simplification.

The Commission notes that most of the amendments voted by the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee last month go in this direction and provide real improvements to the text. However we do regret the position of the Environment Committee in favour of withdrawing many of the empowerments that in the past years have allowed the Commission to maintain the current regulation in line with the actual needs of the market. In its proposal, the Commission has used these empowerments only when necessary to supplement provisions of the basic act and adopt uniform rules for implementation that are currently dealt with by means of Commission regulations or that may need to be tackled in the future.

The Commission has divided those empowerments into delegated and implementing acts. There is little margin of manoeuvre for the definition of these empowerments so therefore the Commission considers to have proposed an appropriate balance in compliance with the requirements of the Treaty.

I would point out that the empowerments currently provided for in the regulation that I’ve mentioned are wider than the empowerments proposed for the alignment, as those did not need to be framed by specific conditions for their implementation as is the case under the Lisbon Treaty. In particular, we need to maintain a sufficiently flexible framework to allow changes in spirit drink categories. If the structure is too rigid we will not be able to respond to the needs of the sector as the Commission has done by amending the Regulation annually since 2012, always upon request of Member States and always with the support of the sector.

Furthermore, amendments to definitions and categories are already subject to the scrutiny of the Parliament and the Council. The Commission can amend them under the regulatory procedure with scrutiny which, however, no longer exists under the Lisbon Treaty.

Turning to the proposal to introduce the possibility of using ethyl alcohol from beer in the production of spirit drinks, the Commission acknowledges the issues at stake. Nonetheless, we would prefer not to open the door to the use of ethyl alcohol not obtained from agricultural products that are listed in Annex 1 to the Treaty, as is currently the case. In fact, we considered that spirit drinks, and alcoholic beverages in general, should continue to be produced on the basis of high-quality agricultural products to preserve their reputation worldwide.

Using a by-product of beer production to produce other alcoholic beverages may undermine the prestige of those products.

As regards the chapter on geographical indications, we would prefer to maintain the current definition of spirit GI, which is in line with the TRIPS agreement – meaning that geographical indications are all indications identifying spirit drinks linked to a geographical area, and not only the indications which are already registered.

In addition we hope to conclude the validation of the established GI before the adoption of the new regulation. However, we should be allowed to continue that process in the new legal framework in cases where such an examination has not being concluded. Therefore we need to maintain a legal basis for that purpose.

We remain confident that these and other issues will be resolved smoothly during the forthcoming trilogue negotiations, given the collaborative spirit of all concerned in these institutions and in the common objective of reaching the most balanced and satisfactory result which allows for a modern framework for the growth of the spirit sector.

 
  
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  Nicola Danti, relatore per parere della commissione per il commercio internazionale. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, il settore delle bevande spiritose, con 10 miliardi di euro nel 2016, rappresenta l'8 % delle esportazioni agroalimentari europee. Per questo, il provvedimento riveste una particolare importanza non solo per il mercato interno, ma anche per il commercio internazionale di tali prodotti.

Nello specifico, il contributo della nostra commissione si è focalizzato su tre punti. Il primo è il nuovo registro elettronico, che dovrà avere caratteristiche di trasparenza e accessibilità e sarà aperto alla registrazione delle produzioni di qualità dei paesi con cui stipuliamo accordi. Il secondo riguarda la reintroduzione in etichetta della traduzione addizionale dei nomi originali protetti, elemento essenziale per facilitare la riconoscibilità di tali prodotti nei paesi terzi. Il terzo, infine, è il rafforzamento della tutela delle indicazioni geografiche contro la contraffazione e gli abusi. Il regolamento, infatti, prevede per la prima volta la possibilità di intercettare e bloccare quei prodotti che utilizzano in maniera fraudolenta le indicazioni geografiche e che transitano sul territorio dell'Unione per raggiungere i paesi terzi.

 
  
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  Sofia Ribeiro, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development. – Mr President, I would like to apologise on behalf of Angélique Delahaye, rapporteur for the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development, who unfortunately could not be here today. On her behalf, I would like to share some key points with you.

First of all, I would like to thank Pilar Ayuso for the work that she has done. It is a good base for the negotiation to come with the Council.

I would also like to point out that this dossier is more technical than political, and it does not deal with health issues. Nonetheless, it is of great importance for all the spirit sectors, especially in regard to European exports. The production of spirit drinks in Europe accounts for the second biggest share.

In fact, the system of the protection of geographical indications plays a huge role in the EU’s trade policy. Europe not only succeeds in obtaining protection for its quality labels on external markets, but also encourages third countries to set up equivalent systems, and this is a very important issue for us. I would also like to highlight the diversity of the products. It is impossible to have a one—size—fits—all approach. As each Member State has its own culture and tradition that is reflected in consumer habits, it makes sense that labelling also acknowledges each country’s specificities.

 
  
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  Renate Sommer, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Ich danke zunächst einmal der Berichterstatterin Pilar Ayuso für ihren Bericht, der ja ein sehr technischer ist.

Ich selber möchte ich hier zwei Punkte ansprechen, die eher politischer Natur sind, die mich aber besonders wichtig sind, nämlich: Ethylalkohol aus Bier und die mögliche Auslobung „hergestellt ohne Zuckerzusatz“. Ethylalkohol aus Bier unterscheidet sich in keiner Weise von Ethylalkohol aus Wein. Aber trotzdem darf der Bieralkohol bisher nicht für die Herstellung von Spirituosen verwendet werden. Das geht zurück auf eine rein politische Entscheidung aus dem Jahr 1958, und die lautet, dass Spirituosen nur aus Erzeugnissen landwirtschaftlichen Ursprungs hergestellt werden dürfen. Bier wurde damals, vor 60 Jahren, nicht als solches Erzeugnis eingestuft – ohne fachlichen oder gar wissenschaftlichen Hintergrund.

Ich denke, das muss beendet werden, denn de facto ist Bier natürlich aus Erzeugnissen landwirtschaftlichen Ursprungs hergestellt. Es gilt hier eine Ungleichbehandlung zu beenden. Es kann nicht sein, dass der wertvolle Bieralkohol – der in der Herstellung teurer ist als der Weinalkohol und deswegen auch nicht die große Konkurrenz für den Weinalkohol darstellen wird – nur für Kosmetika oder Treibstoff verwendet werden darf.

Zum Thema Zucker: Es muss erlaubt sein, dass ausgelobt werden darf, wenn Spirituosen kein Zucker zugesetzt wurde. Das ist ein Qualitätsmerkmal – wenn man hochwertige Früchte verwendet, braucht man keinen Zuckerzusatz – eine wertvolle Information für den Verbraucher, und es widerspricht auch nicht der Health Claims-Verordnung. Ich verweise dazu auf den Artikel 3 b sowie insbesondere auf Artikel 4, der gegebenenfalls einzelstaatliche Lösungen gestattet. Ich bitte auch die Kommission, da in sich zu gehen.

 
  
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  Susanne Melior, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, verehrte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Spirituosen – das ist hier schon gesagt worden – sind ein wichtiges Exportgut der Europäischen Union. Wir verdienen damit im Jahr etwa 10 Milliarden Euro – also ein ganz, ganz wichtiges Produkt.

Der Kommissar hat den Hauptkritikpunkt, den Hauptstreitpunkt vorhin schon angesprochen – einen Streitpunkt, der vermutlich zwischen Parlament und Kommission auch bleiben wird. Es geht um den Anhang, in dem 47 Kategorien von Spirituosen aufgeführt werden. Die Kommission möchte Veränderungen an dieser Stelle per delegiertem Rechtsakt vornehmen. Wir als Parlament sehen das deutlich anders. Wir sagen: Das ist ein Kernstück der Verordnung und sollte somit auch der Gesetzgebung des Parlaments anheimgestellt bleiben.

Ich will auch noch etwas zur Vielfalt der Spirituosen sagen, die wir in der EU haben.

So wird Wodka mal mit W, mal mit V geschrieben, und auch die Zugabe von Milch oder Sahne im Advocat oder Eierlikör ist unterschiedlich geregelt. Auch darauf sind wir eingegangen.

Vielen Dank an Frau Ayuso. Ich wünsche uns weiter viel Genuss in Vielfalt.

 
  
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  Ulrike Müller, im Namen der ALDE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kollegen! Europäische Spirituosen haben weltweit einen erstklassigen Ruf und werden dementsprechend nachgefragt. Mit einem Exportvolumen von zehn Milliarden Euro stellen sie den größten Anteil der europäischen Agrifood-Exporte. Aber nicht nur das: Der europäische Spirituosensektor ist traditionell eng an die Landwirtschaft geknüpft; neben einigen großen Herstellern ist er noch überwiegend klein und mittelständisch geprägt. In meinem Mitgliedstaat, Deutschland, gibt es derzeit etwa 16 000 kleinbäuerliche Brennereien.

Ohne Zweifel sind Spirituosen für unseren Außenhandel, aber auch für die Erhaltung eines lebendigen ländlichen Raumes von Bedeutung. Deshalb möchte ich mich herzlich bei der Berichterstatterin und den Kollegen bedanken. Ich denke, dass wir gute Vorschläge erarbeitet haben, wie die Spirituosenverordnung zukunftsfest gemacht werden kann. Für die vielen kleinen und mittelständischen Brennereien wird das System der geografischen Indikation vereinfacht, und aus Sicht der Konsumenten schaffen wir beispielsweise durch klare Regeln zur Abrundungszuckerung mehr Transparenz.

 
  
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  Lynn Boylan, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank the rapporteur for her work on this file. It may be a technical file, but we do have a duty as elected representatives to protect citizens and their health. I am fully aware that the spirits drinks industry is due to present a self—regulatory proposal for nutritional information, but it is because of this, rather than in spite of this, that I am proposing the two amendments to include the nutritional declarations on spirit drinks and allow for other voluntary nutritional information on the labelling. Any sort of self—regulating proposal will not suffice when it comes to providing citizens with clear information on the products that they buy, and we have an opportunity now to fulfil that.

Consumers’ rights to information should prevail over business interests. The Commission’s report in this matter from March last year identified a knowledge deficit for consumers regarding nutritional information on alcoholic beverages. It also found that there were no grounds to exempt spirit drinks from the Food Information to Consumers Regulation and identified a clear desire among consumers for this information. I would also echo the calls of my colleagues to reject the use of beer alcohol in the production of spirit drinks.

 
  
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  Marco Zullo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, le bevande cosiddette spiritose, quindi liquori e distillati, godono di un regime normativo differente. Questo è giusto, in ragione della peculiarità di queste filiere; tuttavia questa specialità deve essere legata a elevati standard qualitativi che devono sempre essere garantiti.

Molti produttori di questo settore – spesso sono piccole e medie imprese – si caratterizzano per metodi di produzione tradizionali, per l'utilizzo di materie prime di altissima qualità, per i rigidi controlli a tutela della salute del consumatore. Per questi produttori virtuosi che puntano a prodotti di qualità, abbiamo il dovere di fornire norme chiare e misure efficaci per combattere la contraffazione, e questo ancora di più quando parliamo di prodotti DOP o IGP, quindi con indicazione geografica. Troviamo infatti sul mercato prodotti alterati per lucrare e bevande che sfruttano la notorietà di nomi affermati senza averne i requisiti, traendo così in inganno i consumatori. Quello che deve fare l'Unione è porre freno a queste pratiche illegali con voce chiara e ferma.

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Mr President, as one who’s off all alcohol for Lent, I can’t claim to be in high spirits as we discuss these spirits files, but it was a pleasure for me to work on this file on behalf of the PPE/INTA with Pilar Ayuso, Nicola Danti and others. As Commissioner Hogan has pointed out, the Commission’s proposal was put forward to align EU legislation on spirit drinks with the Lisbon Treaty. In addition, it was supposed to contain minor technical adjustments and replace the existing procedures for the management of geographical indications in the spirit drinks sector with new procedures modelled on the more exhaustive and well tested procedures for agricultural products and foodstuffs.

Pilar Ayuso and her team have done great work on this legislation. It is not easy to satisfy all Member States, and the work is ongoing, as the Commissioner pointed out. Ireland was satisfied with Regulation 110/2008, and in general did not expect or see the need for a wide ranging discussion on, or reinterpretation of, the spirits regulation that this realignment exercise has turned into. There are a few issues that affect my own country of Ireland, and these would need to be discussed further, such as the system of aging or the issue of Article 8.5 and flavouring, among others. I hope that the trilogues will be able to sort these out to everybody’s satisfaction.

Finally, in my country a few years ago there were only four distilleries; now there are 18. This indicates the growth in exports for these wonderful products. I know that Commissioner Hogan has done tremendous work, especially in the Asean countries, to grow agricultural exports in spirits and others as well.

 
  
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  Pavel Poc (S&D). – Já gratuluji kolegyni Pilar Ayusové i stínovým zpravodajům k výsledku, protože předložené znění je v mnoha ohledech přehlednější a konzistentnější než znění stávajícího nařízení.

Jsem spokojen s tím, že je stanoveno maximální množství cukru a sladivých látek, kterými lze lihoviny doslazovat, maximální obsah cukru totiž nebyl v původním nařízení stanoven a jde jasně o významné zlepšení.

Z pohledu mé země jsem především spokojen s tím, že se podařilo zachovat výjimku z výroby slivovice, protože slivovice vyráběná v ČR za použití přídavku lihu zůstala v návrhu nařízení ve stejném znění jako ve stávajícím, což je jednoznačně správné rozhodnutí.

Doporučil bych hlasovat proti pozměňovacím návrhům 27, 28. Zastáváme názor, že v oblasti možnosti použití lihu z piva do alkoholických nápojů a lihovin platí status quo, tzn. nerozšiřovat suroviny, ze kterých lze líh vyrábět, je lepší.

 
  
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  Herbert Dorfmann (PPE). – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, geschätzte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich möchte in der Kürze der Zeit nur kurz auf die Frage der Zumischung von Alkohol aus Bier zu Spirituosen eingehen.

Natürlich ist Ethanol, das aus der Verarbeitung von alkoholfreiem Bier kommt, auch Ethanol. Genau gleich, wie man Ethanol eben aus den Nebenprodukten der Weinbereitung, aus Zuckerrüben, aus Mais und auch vielen anderen Dingen herstellen kann. Darum geht es ja gar nicht. Es geht darum, dass vor Jahrzehnten für die Nebenprodukte der Weinbereitung dieser kleine Wettbewerbsvorteil geschaffen wurde, dass diese Produkte eben Spirituosen beigemischt werden können, während das Nebenprodukt aus der Bierbereitung, das ja zugegebenermaßen erst in den letzten Jahren aufgetaucht ist – seit wir ebem im alkoholfreies Bier haben –, halt ein Abfallprodukt ist und diesen Vorteil nicht hat. Ich denke, wir sollten uns schon gut überlegen, ob wir ohne jedes Wissen, von welchen Mengen wir hier überhaupt reden und was da auf uns zukommt, das jetzt einfach über Bord werfen, der ob wir diesem Abfallprodukt – denn um ein Abfallprodukt handelt es sich am Ende in der Bierherstellung – diese zusätzliche Veredelung geben sollten und zulassen sollten, dass es Spirituosen beigemischt werden kann.

Ich werde mich jedenfalls morgen in der Abstimmung dafür aussprechen, dass wir den heutigen Status quo aufrechterhalten, dass also nach wie vor bei der Herstellung von Spirituosen jenen Produkten der Vorzug gegeben wird, die eben aus der Destillation von Nebenprodukten der Weinproduktion kommen.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, informações puníveis e credíveis sobre o conteúdo e a valorização das práticas tradicionais e dos territórios de origem são duas componentes-chave para que a União Europeia cumpra os seus objetivos de transparência e de identidade no domínio das bebidas espirituosas.

É fundamental também valorizar a dimensão histórica, cultural e económica associada aos métodos tradicionais de produção, defendendo as denominações de origem, garantindo a sua fiabilidade e protegendo as práticas associadas à diferenciação de produtos de elevada qualidade.

É muito importante que se assegure, em particular, que no quadro do envelhecimento dinâmico dos brandies seja respeitada a fórmula específica que foi aprovada em sede da comissão parlamentar.

Num quadro de massificação do comércio global no que diz respeito também às bebidas espirituosas, a União Europeia deve dar o exemplo porque, dando esse exemplo, garante aos consumidores uma informação relevante para fazerem as suas opções de compra e melhora a sua capacidade competitiva em termos comerciais.

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, najprije želim zahvaliti gospođi Ayuso Pilar i čestitam na ovom dosjeu. Shvaćam da je ovo tehnički dosje i da se radi o usklađivanju s novim zakonima i usklađivanju s Lisabonskim sporazumom.

Smatram da je ovaj report odličan temelj za daljnje pregovore, vodeći računa da imamo 8 % izvoza iz ovog sektora i da se vrti 10 milijardi eura u ovom sektoru, ovo je jedan vrlo važan dosje, a mene posebno zanimaju proizvodi sa zaštićenim porijeklom, ali i sustav oznaka zemljopisnog porijekla.

Treba voditi računa o tradicionalnoj proizvodnji alkohola i nadam se da će to Komisija također uvažiti. Ono što je važno je novi online registar, također, dodatni popis zaštićenih proizvoda te zaštita proizvoda od krivotvorenja. To je ono na što bih ja stavila akcent.

Meni je ovo prigoda spomenuti dubrovačku malvasiju, posebno vino iz dubrovačkog kraja koje se proizvodi još od vremena Dubrovačke Republike i koje se spominje u starom Dubrovačkom statutu i nadam se da je ovo prigoda za razgovarati i uvrstiti i ovaj proizvod na dodatnu listu proizvoda zaštićenog porijekla. Mislim da ćemo naći sporazum, dogovoriti se između Komisije i Parlamenta i da će Parlament zadržati ulogu koju je i dosada imao.

Dakle, podržavam sve ono što je odbor ENVI dosada zaključio.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE) – Vážení priatelia, vážený pán komisár, tento text o alkoholických nápojoch, o liehovinách, ich použití, ich názvoch a tiež o ochrane zemepisných názvov je veľmi technický, ale som rád, že sme všetci konštruktívne dospeli k dobrému výsledku.

Je tu aj významná zmena, že pre platné naradenie bude v budúcnosti zmenený právny základ. Tento legislatívny text má významný dopad na poľnohospodárstvo aj preto, že etylalkohol používaný na výrobu liehovín musí byť poľnohospodárskeho pôvodu. Je to veľká exportná komodita. Európska únia exportuje ročne desať miliárd, je to taká vlajková loď Európskej únie. Kvalitný alkohol sa vyváža do cudziny, vrátane slovenských alkoholov borovičky, slivovice, a verím, že tieto zemepisné názvy, ktoré aj na Slovensku máme, ako aj bolo dojednané v tomto texte, budú naďalej v novom texte zachované a rešpektované.

Tiež som veľmi spokojný s tým, že bol stanovený maximálny obsah cukru pri výrobe liehovín a to je len správne.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Po 10 letech tedy máme na stole nové nařízení, které se týká lihovin, a já oceňuji ty změny, které přinášejí zjednodušení pravidel.

Považuji za správné, aby při výrobě lihovin bylo možné použít i etylalkohol, který vzniká při výrobě nealkoholického piva. Pravidla je potřeba přizpůsobit nové realitě a tou je také vyšší produkce nealkoholického piva. Neexistuje žádný věcný důvod, proč by výrobci měli být omezeni v tom, jak se zbytkovým etylalkoholem naložit. Proto, na rozdíl od některých kolegů, podporuji pozměňovací návrhy, které jeho využití umožní.

Export by také mohla ohrozit změna jazykového režimu, který by omezil užívání zeměpisného označení pro třetí země, pro export v jazyce těchto třetích zemí. Budu tedy podporovat také pozměňovací návrh v této oblasti a měla by také platit ochrana tradiční receptury pro výrobce a spotřebitele. V ČR je pozitivní to, že u slivovice se podmínky měnit nebudou.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: PAN PAVEL TELIČKA
místopředseda

 
  
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  Clara Eugenia Aguilera García (S&D). – Señor presidente, quiero sumarme a las felicitaciones a la ponente, Pilar Ayuso, y a todo el equipo de ponentes alternativos, porque creo que ha quedado una magnífica propuesta para el proceso de negociación de trílogo. Creo que se ha hecho un gran trabajo de actualización y que se ha atendido a todas las necesidades y variedades locales.

Quiero especialmente agradecer el trabajo que se ha hecho con la incorporación del modelo aplicado a una bebida espirituosa muy conocida, como el brandy de Jerez, un modelo en el que, en cuanto al redondeo del sabor final del producto, se suele utilizar vino dulce natural. Este redondeo se llama de «solera y crianza» y es algo muy tradicional recogido en la legislación nacional. Esto viene recogido en la propuesta —de lo que me alegro—, como otras variedades y métodos tradicionales, y me felicito por ello.

Quiero igualmente referirme a las enmiendas sobre los perfiles nutricionales. Yo no estoy en contra; estoy en contra de las enmiendas: este no es el sitio. Hay que aguardar al Reglamento del etiquetado y hacer ahí las aportaciones oportunas.

 
  
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  Marc Tarabella (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Commissaire, avec un excédent commercial annuel avoisinant les 10 milliards d’euros, soit 8 % du total des exportations agroalimentaires européennes, le secteur des boissons spiritueuses est l’un des secteurs les plus importants en la matière et génère autour d’un million d’emplois.

Jusqu’à présent, le règlement (CE) nº 110/2008 instituait un cadre réglementaire pour ces boissons spiritueuses qui, de manière générale, satisfaisait les professionnels du secteur. C’est donc la modernisation globale de cette législation qui est au centre de nos préoccupations.

Je me félicite que l’article 43, paragraphe 2, du traité sur le fonctionnement de l’Union européenne ait été introduit comme base juridique, procurant ainsi un ancrage agricole à cette législation. En effet, les boissons spiritueuses représentent un débouché important pour la production agricole de l’Union européenne, que ce soit en termes qualitatifs ou quantitatifs. D’ailleurs, l’alcool utilisé dans la production de boissons spiritueuses doit être d’origine agricole.

Je termine en disant qu’il est crucial que les consommateurs puissent légitimement être sûrs, en toute confiance, qu’au sein de l’Union, toute boisson étiquetée comme la vodka, le whisky ou le rhum, est le produit auquel ils s’attendent.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, οι γεωγραφικές ενδείξεις και η ονομασία προέλευσης των αλκοολούχων ποτών αποτελούν άυλα συλλογικά αγαθά τα οποία είναι απαραίτητο να προστατεύονται από την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση γιατί συμβάλλουν στην ανάπτυξη. Αυτό ισχύει ειδικότερα, κύριε Hogan, για την Ελλάδα η οποία παράγει πλήθος παραδοσιακών ποτών, όπως είναι η τσικουδιά, το τσίπουρο και το ούζο. Η προστασία των γεωγραφικών ενδείξεων για τα αλκοολούχα ποτά τίθεται συνεχώς σε κίνδυνο λόγω των διεθνών συμφωνιών απελευθέρωσης εμπορίου που υπογράφει η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση με τρίτες χώρες, όπως είναι η CETA. Επιπλέον και παρά τις πιέσεις της Επιτροπής, δεν πρέπει στην Ελλάδα να καταργηθεί ο μειωμένος ειδικός φόρος κατανάλωσης για τα εθνικά παραδοσιακά ποτά, όπως είναι η τσικουδιά και το τσίπουρο, γιατί πρέπει επιτέλους η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση να προστατεύσει τους μικροπαραγωγούς τσικουδιάς και τσίπουρου και όχι τις πολυεθνικές του ουίσκι και του τζιν. Αποσύρετε λοιπόν την προσφυγή κατά της Ελλάδος στο Δικαστήριο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης!

 
  
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  Maria Gabriela Zoană (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar, stimați colegi, este important pentru consumatorii din Uniunea Europeană ca aceștia să găsească pe etichete ingredientele și informațiile nutriționale care intră în compoziția tuturor băuturilor alcoolice și acest lucru este necesar pentru a asigura un nivel ridicat de protecție a consumatorilor, dar și pentru a asigura prevenirea practicilor frauduloase, precum și transparența pieței și o concurență loială.

Tocmai de aceea este benefic atât pentru industrie, cât și pentru consumatori să avem la nivelul Uniunii în cel mai scurt timp o propunere de reglementare care să vizeze furnizarea de informații cu privire la ingredientele și conținutul nutrițional al băuturilor alcoolice. Asemenea măsuri vor putea contribui la protejarea reputației pe care băuturile spirtoase produse în Uniune au dobândit-o pe piața mondială, respectându-se practicile tradiționale utilizate în procesul de producție a băuturilor spirtoase.

Consider important ca inovarea tehnologică să ocupe un loc important în acest sector în contextul în care ea poate contribui la îmbunătățirea calității fără a afecta caracterul tradițional al băuturilor spirtoase în cauză.

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Mr President, spirit drinks are among the products covered by the EU protective scheme based on geographical indication. It is important to have rules concerning the protection of these products and to have regulations for making management procedures for spirit drinks more homogeneous. Therefore, I support the modification of geographical indications, as the different schemes for geographical indications in the European Union need to be harmonised, taking into consideration, however, the specificities of the spirit drinks sector of each and every Member State.

I welcome any action which would lead to increased consumer protection and stronger protection of consumer interests. It is of great importance that consumers, when buying anything labelled as vodka, whisky or pálinka on the EU market, have confidence that they will receive exactly what they expect – the original product and not a fake – and unfortunately there are still lots of fake products on the market.

 
  
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  Γεώργιος Επιτήδειος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε η πρόταση κανονισμού για τα αλκοολούχα ποτά παρουσιάζει κάποιες ατέλειες. Κατ’ αρχάς, δεν ανταποκρίνεται στις αρχές της επικουρικότητας και της αναλογικότητας και δεν λαμβάνει υπόψη ότι, λόγω της φύσεως των αλκοολούχων ποτών, πρέπει να προστατεύονται οι γεωγραφικές ενδείξεις των προϊόντων αυτών. Σε περίπτωση κατά την οποία τεθεί θέμα άρσης αυτής της προστασίας, πρέπει να αποτελέσει αυτό πρωτοβουλία του κράτους μέλους και όχι της Επιτροπής. Επίσης η εμφιάλωση και η συσκευασία των αλκοολούχων ποτών πρέπει να γίνεται εντός της οικείας γεωγραφικής περιοχής για να προστατεύονται η ποιότητα και τα ιδιαίτερα χαρακτηριστικά τους. Σε διαφορετική περίπτωση, υπάρχει κίνδυνος αυτά να νοθευτούν και να μην προστατεύεται ο καταναλωτής. Τέλος, στην Ελλάδα η παραγωγή των παραδοσιακών αλκοολούχων ποτών, όπως είναι το ούζο, η τσικουδιά και το τσίπουρο, πρέπει να προστατεύεται διότι οι παραγωγοί αυτών των προϊόντων έχουν μικρές οικογενειακές επιχειρήσεις και, εάν αρθεί αυτή η προστασία, θα υποστούν οικονομική καταστροφή.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I would like to thank all those who have contributed to this evening’s debate. There is a clear acknowledgment of the importance of the spirit drinks sector across the European Union, and I agree with Ms Ribeiro’s and Mr Kelly’s assessment that the work undertaken by the rapporteur and Parliament as a whole is a good basis for taking the negotiations forward and into the trialogues. Mr Marias knows very well that the Commission has achieved geographical indications protection for many Greek products where it was difficult to achieve, particularly in relation to free trade agreements such as CETA and SADC and with Vietnam and Japan. We will do so again in negotiations that are ongoing.

It seems to me that there are a relatively small number of political issues which need to be resolved, though I would recall the reservations that I mentioned in my opening remarks, particularly around empowerments. Other issues were mentioned here this evening as well, one of which Ms Boylan and Ms Aguilera García mentioned, which was around nutrition labelling.

I hope that, following the plenary vote, the Council will move quickly to adopt its mandate in order to allow us to start trialogues. I am confident that together we can reach an agreement that meets most people’s concerns and continues to support the strong European spirits and drinks sector, which, as Mr Tarabella mentioned, is worth EUR 10 billion and one million jobs in the European Union.

 
  
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  Pilar Ayuso, ponente. – Señor presidente, muchas gracias a todos los que han intervenido. Yo entiendo que este es un buen informe, con la ayuda de todos, con las enmiendas de todos, y que es verdad que tenemos un problema subyacente importante —en el fondo estamos de acuerdo en todo— que es el problema del alcohol de la cerveza. Hay argumentos a favor y argumentos en contra, y todos son válidos. Pero yo soy consciente de que para este tipo de bebidas siempre se ha utilizado alcohol de productos vegetales del anexo II, y la cerveza no es un producto del anexo II, aunque sí es cierto que el alcohol de la cerveza tiene su origen en productos vegetales. En cualquier caso, veremos qué sucede en la votación mañana.

Por último, lo que yo quisiera es solicitar su apoyo para obtener un mandato y poder así comenzar las negociaciones con el Consejo. Espero que con la ayuda de los ponentes alternativos, del Consejo y de la Comisión podamos llegar a conseguir un buen reglamento, a la altura del que tenemos actualmente, que proteja un sector tan importante —como se ha dicho aquí— como es el sector de las bebidas espirituosas.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Thursday, 1 March 2018.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Esther Herranz García (PPE), por escrito. – Quiero felicitar a la ponente de este informe por la gran labor que ha realizado. A mi juicio estamos ante un buen informe en términos generales que recoge cuestiones básicas como la necesidad de dejar clara la importante vinculación de este sector con la agricultura y el marco legislativo agroalimentario.

Este es un sector enormemente vinculado al saber hacer tradicional de muchas regiones europeas, y esto es algo que el informe deja claro. Debido a ello, es necesario que las diferentes legislaciones nacionales, redactadas con mejor conocimiento de cada realidad nacional y regional, sean respetadas por la normativa europea.

Como diputada española, una de mis mayores preocupaciones fue el reconocimiento por la legislación europea de los métodos de envejecimiento aplicados en la producción del brandy. Me alegra saber que esto ha sido efectivamente recogido tras la votación en la Comisión de Medio Ambiente y que serán aceptadas las menciones en el etiquetado al sistema de «criaderas y solera».

 

22. Situația drepturilor fundamentale în UE în 2016 (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  President. – The next item is the report by Frank Engel, on behalf of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, on the situation of fundamental rights in the EU in 2016 (2017/2125(INI)) (A8—0025/2018).

 
  
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  Frank Engel, rapporteur. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Commissaire, chers collègues, alors que nous commençons ce soir ce débat, nous nous trouvons encore sous le choc de l’assassinat d’un deuxième journaliste au sein de l’Union européenne en quelques mois. Ces assassinats lâches et abjects nous révèlent que, dans l’Union européenne, des gens sont déterminés à remettre en question de façon radicale la liberté d’expression – l’une des nombreuses libertés publiques, l’un des nombreux droits fondamentaux dont nous disposons. Ces assassinats nous montrent combien il est urgent de maintenir la veille pour les droits fondamentaux, pour le droit d’expression, pour notre liberté à tous, pour la liberté de ceux qui investiguent et dévoilent des faits qui, certes, ne sont pas agréables pour tous mais qui doivent être révélés au grand public parce que celui-ci a le droit de savoir.

Monsieur le Président, dans l’élaboration de ce rapport, nous sommes parvenus – et je m’en réjouis – à une entente quasiment œcuménique au sein de notre assemblée – du moins entre ses partis raisonnables et constructifs. Nous avons réussi à couvrir l’ensemble du terrain qui était à couvrir, moyennant 44 grands amendements de compromis. Cependant, nous nous sommes tout de même concentrés sur quelques grands thèmes. J’en avais proposé deux au début: l’état de droit et le phénomène migratoire, dans toutes ses déclinaisons et aussi dans son interaction avec l’état de droit, car l’état de droit et le respect des droits fondamentaux sont à la base de la construction européenne. On ne construit pas une communauté démocratique sur des bases autres que la prévisibilité de l’État, la raison de son action, l’absence d’arbitraire et la garantie des droits que les citoyens ont acquis au fil des siècles. Les critères de Copenhague existent, mais par la suite, ils n’existent plus trop, nous en avons de nouveau discuté cet après-midi, dans cette assemblée, dans le contexte de l’activation de l’article 7 contre la Pologne.

Il est évident que nous avons besoin d’instruments qui nous permettront à l’avenir de parvenir à une logique européenne de gouvernance dans laquelle nous sommes tous d’accord sur ce qui est acceptable et sur ce qui ne l’est pas, sur ce à quoi peut servir une élection et sur ce à quoi elle ne peut pas servir. Elle ne doit pas servir à changer fondamentalement la nature d’un État. Elle doit changer les politiques, politiques qui doivent pouvoir changer encore une fois après la prochaine élection, sans que la nature de l’État ne soit remise en question entre l’une et l’autre. Afin de parvenir à cette logique européenne de la gouvernance, ce Parlement a déjà suggéré, par une résolution votée le 25 octobre 2016, la mise en place d’un mécanisme européen pour la démocratie, l’état de droit et les droits fondamentaux. Nous avons demandé à la Commission de faire siennes les idées contenues dans ce rapport. Je crois avoir compris, de la bouche du commissaire Timmermans, il y a un certain temps, qu’il veut s’atteler à cette tâche et je trouve que c’est louable.

Pour ce qui est du phénomène migratoire, Monsieur le Président, nous savons qu’il va continuer et qu’il vaut mieux que nous nous habituions à concevoir des politiques d’accompagnement au lieu de faire comme si nous allions arrêter les migrations. Les migrations ne s’arrêtent pas, elles ne se sont jamais arrêtées au fil de l’histoire. Il faut que nous inventions des voies légales pour la migration, y compris en l’absence de conflits. Il faut améliorer l’accueil des migrants, surtout des mineurs et des enfants, il faut investir lourdement dans la formation, l’éducation et le dialogue interculturel.

Je vous passe les autres éléments du rapport, Monsieur le Président, premièrement parce que mon temps touche à sa fin, deuxièmement parce que tout cela est consigné par écrit.

Je me réjouis du débat que nous allons avoir et j’aurai l’occasion d’y revenir encore une fois par la suite.

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, členka Komise. – Nejdříve mi dovolte pozdravit naše krajany, kteří jsou podle mých informací na balkóně, dobrý večer, pěkně zdravím.

Yes, I am a politician after several years. But to be serious, for this is a very serious topic that we are going to discuss here today. First of all, let me start my contribution by strongly condemning the shocking murder of two innocent young people, one of whom was a brave journalist. This is not only an attack on people, it is an attack on freedom of speech and on democracy and our values, and I strongly believe that the Slovak authorities, maybe in cooperation with the European agencies, Europol and Eurojust, will find and punish the perpetrators so that we can see that justice works and justice lives in Slovakia and in the European Union.

Now let me come back to the report and start by thanking the rapporteur, Mr Engel, for drafting it. This is a very comprehensive report which touches upon a number of issues that are very relevant to the current context.

First, let me highlight the crucial importance of upholding EU values, including the rule of law and the rights enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights. I assure you that the Commission is using all the means at its disposal to promote and uphold the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights. This includes the application of the rule of law framework and the launching of infringement proceedings when needed, as well as triggering the mechanisms of Article 7 of the Treaty where necessary.

In line with its communication on the enforcement of EU law, the Commission has started to pursue a strategic approach with regard to infringement proceedings, in particular when respect for the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights is at stake. The Commission has initiated infringement proceedings to fight a key challenge, the segregation of Roma children in education, which is explicitly raised in the report. The Commission has mobilised and aligned its targeted and mainstreamed policy and funding instruments to promote inclusive reforms of public policies.

On the rule of law, as announced in 2018 work programme, the Commission will, towards the end of this year, present an initiative to strengthen its enforcement within the EU.

Secondly, you have raised the issue of the shrinking space for civil society in Europe. Within the last month the Commission has strongly affirmed the importance it attaches to the existence of a vibrant and free civil society and to regular and transparent engagement with civil society. We are monitoring developments at national level and will not hesitate to act when measures are taken in violation of Member States’ obligations under the Treaties and the Charter of Fundamental Rights – just as we did in Hungary’s case in December 2017, when we initiated proceedings in the Court of Justice concerning the Hungarian law on foreign-funded NGOs. We are also considering how to further support and empower civil society actors to help them perform their role and build resilience, encompassing that subject within the broader discussion on the next multiannual financial framework.

Thirdly and finally, the report very much underlines the need to take action against racism, intolerance, disinformation and toxic narratives, which are shrinking the space for well-informed democratic discussions in the public sphere and polarising our societies. We could not agree more. The Commission is leading the work on countering the increasingly worrying phenomenon of illegal online hate speech. Just this morning we have adopted a recommendation on measures to effectively tackle illegal content online. In this proposal we strike the right balance between the need to take effective measures against illegal content and ensuring that we can address the special challenges of terrorism content without stifling innovation or the exploitation of business opportunities offered in the online world.

The recommendation recognises that the need for measures may vary depending on the types of illegal content and combines the need for effective notice and action procedures with strong safeguards on over-removal and caution in areas where contextualisation is needed to determine the illegality of content when automatised means of detection are used without human intervention. The particular needs and urgencies relate to tackling terrorist content.

The recommendation sends a strong signal to industry on our expectations and keeps up pressure through the possibility of regulatory action. We are continuing to work intensively with Member States and civil society to step up the implementation of EU law on the ground, combat racism and xenophobia and ensure that prompt investigation, prosecution and proportionate punishment become a reality in Member States. The fight against intolerance starts with civil education and a deeper understanding by public authorities and institutions of the reasons behind this engagement of citizens with values. This year we are particularly supporting initiatives to re-engage citizens in the EU democratic process, not least in anticipation of the 2019 European elections, and we need to work together on this endeavour.

 
  
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  Předseda. – Vypadá to, že Češi mají pro jednou v zasedacím sále většinu.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská, za skupinu PPE. – Vážený pán predseda, vážená pani komisárka, vďaka patrí môjmu kolegovi Frankovi Engelovi za vypracovanie tejto správy. Napriek tomu mám k tejto správe niektoré výhrady a týkajú sa troch okruhov: inštitucionálneho, migrácie a rodových otázok.

Po prvé, ak niektorý členský štát systematicky porušuje základné práva a oslabuje vládu zákona, je povinnosťou Komisie obrátiť sa na Európsky súdny dvor. Zavedenie akéhosi nového európskeho administratívno-politického mechanizmu nič nevyrieši.

Po druhé, téma migrácie a azylu predstavuje veľmi závažný a zároveň zložitý problém. O to viac by sme mali vždy jasne rozlišovať medzi utečencami a nelegálnymi migrantami. V opačnom prípade dospejeme k tomu, že začneme spochybňovať právo členských štátov rozhodovať o tom, kto a za akých okolností a podmienok môže vstúpiť a pobývať na ich vlastnom území.

Nakoniec je tu skupina návrhov týkajúcich sa sexuality, rodu, manželstva a reprodukčného zdravia. Mám vážne výhrady k viacerým paragrafom, ale spomeniem len jeden: je to výzva na politické ovplyvňovanie medicínskych postupov a štandardov. Je to pre mňa ako lekárku neprijateľné – Komisia, vlády ani poslanci jednoducho nemajú diktovať lekárskej vede, čo má považovať za chorobu a čo nie.

 
  
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  Cécile Kashetu Kyenge, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, ringrazio il collega Engel, con cui abbiamo portato avanti questo lavoro. Abbiamo iniziato questa tornata ricordando il giornalista slovacco brutalmente assassinato ieri, nonché tutte le vittime del giornalismo d'inchiesta. Ci siamo alzati in piedi, consapevoli che le libertà di espressione, di informazione e dei media sono fondamentali per garantire la democrazia e lo Stato di diritto. Le nostre società non possono svilupparsi senza un sistema dei media libero, indipendente, responsabile, fondato su principi quali la verifica dei fatti, le misure per limitare le notizie false, la protezione delle fonti e la sicurezza dei giornalisti.

Condanniamo con fermezza ogni forma di incitamento all'odio, comprese le sempre più frequenti dichiarazioni, da parte di leader politici e partiti, di idee politiche e discorsi razzisti e xenofobi. Nella risoluzione ricordiamo il legame intrinseco tra Stato di diritto e diritti fondamentali. Condanniamo senza mezzi termini ogni tipo di discriminazione fondata sul sesso, sulla razza, sul colore della pelle, sull'origine etnica e sociale e sull'orientamento sessuale.

Chiediamo alla Commissione di nominare dei coordinatori per l'afrofobia e l'antiziganismo e di potenziare la lotta contro le forme di razzismo e discriminazione verso afrodiscendenti e rom. Abbiamo riscontrato che i migranti e i rifugiati sono sempre più spesso vittime di atti di discriminazione e violenza e oggetto di politiche di chiusura da parte di altri Stati membri. Infine chiediamo a piena voce la solidarietà e il rispetto dei diritti fondamentali dei migranti richiedenti asilo, ma soprattutto, in materia di migrazione, che canali sicuri e legali verso l'Europa siano presto rafforzati.

 
  
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  Branislav Škripek, za skupinu ECR. – Vážený pán predsedajúci, aj ja keď som si prečítal túto správu, samozrejme, vidím na nej širokú prácu kolegu a predsa však som len nadobudol dojem, že Európa je akýmsi kontinentom strachu, ktorý je ovládaný fóbiami.

Spomína sa tu xenofóbia, transfóbia, islamofóbia, intersexfóbia, homofóbia, afrofóbia. Strach zo všetkých vrstiev, rás a skupinový identít. Neprimerane sa skupina homofóbov rozrastá o tých, čo majú odlišný názor na spôsob spolužitia medzi ľuďmi, medzi mužmi a ženami.

Ja pozorujem fenomén, že ľudia začínajú mať strach verejne povedať svoj názor na zavádzanie nových sociologických a hodnotových rámcov. Takže kde sa stratilo právo nesúhlasiť? Toto je naše základné právo vyjadriť nesúhlas a ten nesúhlas ako názorová odlišnosť musí byť rešpektovaný. Prečo sú tí, čo majú odlišný názor, okamžite nálepkovaní ako fanatici, populisti, fundamentalisti, bigoti?

Európa by sa nemala báť rozmanitosti, najmä nie tej názorovej. Opakované adresovanie výziev členským štátom na ratifikovanie kontroverzného Istanbulského dohovoru v tejto správe považujem za nenáležité a ďalšie porušovanie princípu subsidiarity. Tretina štátov istanbulský dohovor ...

(Predsedajúci odobral rečníkovi slovo)

 
  
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  Cecilia Wikström, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, I wholeheartedly welcome the report as it addresses key challenges in the area of fundamental rights and also addresses the recent worrying developments in certain Member States. I would like to congratulate Mr Engel on a very comprehensive text which is also very timely. Some colleagues have already mentioned the recent attacks on freedom of speech. The assassination of journalists is an absolute disaster, a tragedy beyond words, and my heart reaches out to the people suffering now from the sorrow of the loss.

Rule of law, democracy and respect for fundamental rights must always be upheld, because they are the principles and values upon which the European Union was founded. I would just like to mention that the Common European Asylum System needs to be addressed. We are lacking this in the Union at this moment and we need to ensure that a resilient system is built, based on the participation of all Member States and the fair sharing of responsibilities, as is mentioned in the report. It is imperative that the rule of law also prevails in respect of those seeking asylum in our Union. We have all ratified the Geneva Convention, so it goes without saying that this is imperative. It is also imperative to defend and protect values and principles and to take action in any case of breaches of these values.

 
  
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  Κώστας Χρυσόγονος, εξ ονόματος της ομάδας GUE/NGL. – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η προστασία των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων οφείλει να αποτελεί προτεραιότητα για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, τόσο στο εσωτερικό της, όσο και στις εξωτερικές της σχέσεις. Η συρρίκνωση των δικαιωμάτων, η οποία παρατηρείται σε κρίσιμους τομείς, όπως είναι τα κοινωνικά δικαιώματα, δεν επιτρέπει κανένα εφησυχασμό. Η έκθεση που συζητούμε σήμερα δεν τονίζει επαρκώς τα ελλείμματα προστασίας των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων στην πράξη. Είναι χαρακτηριστικό ότι δεν γίνεται καμία αναφορά στις επιπτώσεις που επιφέρει η εφαρμογή προγραμμάτων δημοσιονομικής προσαρμογής σε θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα εκατομμυρίων πολιτών της Ένωσης, όπως είναι τα εργασιακά δικαιώματα και η υγεία, αλλά ούτε και στις συνέπειες της υποβάθμισης του περιβάλλοντος. Ομοίως αποσιωπάται η συστηματική καταπάτηση των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων σε κράτη υποψήφια προς ένταξη, όπως η Τουρκία. Απαιτείται καθολική και όχι επιλεκτική προστασία, με αποτελεσματικές πράξεις και όχι ευχολόγια.

 
  
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  Bodil Valero, för Verts/ALE-gruppen. – Herr talman! Vi lever i en tid då våra grundläggande fri- och rättigheter utmanas i Europa. I en anda av kollektiv rädsla för terrorism och migranter stärks känslan av nationalism och odemokratiska krafter. Allt är värt att offras på rädslans altare, och särskilt utsatta är minoriteter i olika länder. Men det räcker inte med det. Stater i EU lagstiftar om, eller i övrigt agerar för, att inskränka yttrandefriheten och/eller pressfriheten, begränsar domstolarnas oberoende och/eller låter korruptionen dränera de gemensamma resurserna utan att de skyldiga straffas. EU kan i princip inget göra.

Sedan flera månader tillbaka sitter den före detta EU-parlamentarikern Oriol Junqueras häktad tillsammans med tre andra i Spanien, anklagade för bland annat uppror och uppvigling under den omtvistade folkomröstningen i oktober 2017 i Katalonien, trots att inget våld användes från den katalanska sidan. Den spanska domstolen argumenterar att de borde ha förstått att den spanska polisen skulle använda våld; därför är de skyldiga.

När två grundläggande EU-värderingar står emot varandra får det inte innebära att vikten av att följa den ena inskränker den andra.

 
  
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  Bruno Gollnisch (NI). – Monsieur le Président, le rapport de M. Engel est un condensé du double langage de l’hypocrisie pratiqué habituellement par la majorité de ce Parlement au détriment des peuples qu’il aurait pourtant pour mission de protéger.

Ce texte ahurissant, mais qui vient après beaucoup d’autres, ne vise, par exemple, ni la situation des lanceurs d’alerte – comme Julian Assange, toujours menacé d’arrestation à Londres, comme Edward Snowden, qui n’a trouvé refuge, mes chers collègues, qu’à Moscou –, ni la situation des Européens qui deviennent chaque jour des étrangers dans leur propre pays, ni les restrictions à la liberté d’expression, en histoire, en morale, en politique, que les lois mémorielles ont multiplié et qui nous valent, en Europe, des centaines de persécutions d’État, de poursuites, de condamnations pénales – y compris des peines de prison ferme. Non! Il vise seulement les plaintes des indigènes qui deviennent chaque jour étrangers dans leur propre pays et qui sont victimes de la délinquance.

En réalité, c’est bien d’un discours de haine dont il s’agit, mais il est dans le rapport, c’est la haine de l’identité européenne. C’est la haine de tout ce que nous devrions défendre …

(le Président retire la parole à l’orateur)

 
  
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  Csaba Sógor (PPE). – Mr President, I appreciate the fact that the report raises the situation of autochthonous national minorities in the EU. While the protection of minorities is a basic value of the European Union and an essential part of the Copenhagen criteria, there are still no common standards for minority protection in the EU. Relegating this competence to the national sphere means that the situation of such minorities varies extremely in our shared area of freedom, security and justice from almost full equality to denied existence.

The initial hopes of minorities in newly acceded Member States gave way to disappointment. Post-accession practice showed that once their country became an EU Member State, there were no EU legal provisions and there was no political pressure to guarantee their rights. The Fourth Council of Europe Opinion on the application in Romania of the Framework Convention on the Protection of National Minorities, published a week ago, clearly illustrates this unfortunate situation. The expert opinion describes in detail what I have also repeatedly drawn attention to in this House: it expresses serious concerns regarding matters such as hate speech against minorities, difficulties regarding education in students’ mother tongue, the obstruction of the restitution process for properties stolen by the communist regime, the prohibition of the use of national symbols, and so on. It is time that the EU also addressed these matters and no longer allowed the rights of EU citizens to be disrespected.

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Der jährliche Bericht zur Situation der Grundrechte in Europa ist ein wichtiger Eckpunkt unserer Tätigkeit. Heuer haben wir es mit einem besonders ausgewogenen und zukunftsweisenden Bericht zu tun. Dazu ist dem Berichterstatter Frank Engel und seinen Schattenberichterstattern sehr herzlich zu gratulieren. Besonders hervorzuheben an diesem Bericht ist die Konzentration auf die Rechtsstaatlichkeit, sind wir doch mit einer Reihe von besorgniserregenden Entwicklungen in einigen Mitgliedstaaten konfrontiert. Im Falle Polens hat die Kommission bereits ein Artikel-7-Verfahren eingeleitet, und im Falle Ungarns prüft der LIBE-Ausschuss derzeit gerade diesen Zusammenhang.

Es geht hier freilich nicht darum, einzelne Länder an den Pranger zu stellen, sondern genau zu beobachten, ob Entwicklungen in eine falsche Richtung laufen, und sie bereits in einem frühen Stadium zu beheben. Wir brauchen ein niederschwelliges Instrument. Daher begrüße ich auch die Empfehlung der Einführung eines permanenten Mechanismus für Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit.

 
  
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  Ελευθέριος Συναδινός (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η προς συζήτηση έκθεση αποτελεί μνημείο διάκρισης κατά των Ευρωπαίων πολιτών. Διαστρεβλώνεται η πραγματικότητα διά της επιλεκτικής ερμηνείας αποσπασματικών δεδομένων, ενώ επιχειρείται αδόκιμη διεύρυνση των εννοιών που αφορούν σε διακρίσεις και μειονότητες, επιδιώκοντας ευθέως τη διάσπαση του κοινωνικού ιστού. Επιπλέον, σχεδιάζεται η ανατροπή της ισχύουσας νομικής τάξης με οδηγό την καταστροφική πολιτική των ανοιχτών συνόρων χωρίς να λογίζονται οι επιθυμίες και οι ανάγκες των κρατών μελών. Η Ένωση όμως είναι υποχρεωμένη να σέβεται την εθνική ταυτότητα που είναι συμφυής με τη θεμελιώδη πολιτική και συνταγματική δομή. Όσο προωθούνται παρά φύσει η πολυπολιτισμικότητα και η περιθωριοποίηση των Ευρωπαίων πολιτών, μέσω της αναγκαστικής ενσωμάτωσης των λαθρομεταναστών, οι οποίοι αρνούνται να μοιραστούν ανθρώπινες και χριστιανικές αξίες, τόσο θα αυξάνονται τα κρούσματα τρομοκρατίας, ληστειών και βιασμών. Η έκθεση είναι μέσο αποπροσανατολισμού, εργαλείο επιβολής και προϊόν φαιάς προπαγάνδας που προωθεί την παγκοσμιοποίηση και τη διάλυση της εθνικής ταυτότητας και συνειδήσεων.

 
  
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  Teresa Jiménez-Becerril Barrio (PPE). – Señor presidente, acojo con satisfacción estos informes anuales en los que se busca la defensa de los derechos humanos de todas las víctimas y, por ello, me resulta particularmente chocante que, en un informe que se refiere al año 2016, donde Europa fue salvajemente castigada por el terrorismo, no haya ninguna referencia a las víctimas del terrorismo.

Veintidós páginas que hablan acertadamente —y que yo aplaudo y apoyo— de mujeres víctimas de violencia de género, de trata, de colectivos LGTB víctimas del odio, de migrantes, etcétera. Pero ni una sola mención a las víctimas del terrorismo. O ¿acaso hemos olvidado el atentado del 2016 de Bruselas, donde treinta y dos personas perdieron la vida y mucha fueron heridas? ¿O el atentado de Niza, donde ochenta y cuatro personas, —muchos de ellos niños— fueron asesinadas y hubo cientos de heridos?

Y podría seguir citando ciudades europeas donde los terroristas violaron el primero de los derechos fundamentales: el derecho a la vida.

Cuando el ponente cita en su exposición de motivos los numerosos informes del Parlamento que le han servido de referencia, no aparece el informe sobre la lucha contra el terrorismo, cuyo principal objetivo es garantizar la libertad, la seguridad y la justicia de todos los europeos.

Voy a dar mi voto positivo a este informe porque para mí todas las víctimas merecen el mismo respeto, pero quiero manifestar que las víctimas del terrorismo necesitan mayor apoyo de la Unión Europea en la protección de sus derechos fundamentales y en la defensa de la memoria, la dignidad y la justicia.

 
  
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  Anna Hedh (S&D). – Herr talman! Jag är glad att vi varje år gör en rapport om grundläggande rättigheter i EU. För mig är det oerhört viktigt att veta hur EU:s medborgare har det.

Rapporten lyfter många viktiga frågor, men oftast känns de här rapporterna mer som fina ord på papper. Jag har varit EU-parlamentariker i mer än ett decennium. Samma frågor har kommit upp varje år utan att det har skett någon större förbättring. För mig är det särskilt sorgligt att se hur flyktingsituationer har hanterats. Här ser vi att de som drabbas är kvinnor och barn. Det är en skam! Vi ska skämmas över att vi inte har en solidarisk flyktingpolitik.

Det är också med sorg jag ser på EU:s jämställdhetspolitik. Många frågor har genom åren glädjande nog lyfts upp på EU:s bord, till exempel mäns våld mot kvinnor, men det går alldeles för långsamt. Alla medlemsländer måste underteckna Istanbulkonventionen! Dessutom måste vi ta kampen för ett jämställt samhälle mer på allvar och jobba hårdare. Kommissionen ska ge oss en jämställdhetsstrategi och en människohandelsstrategi nu. Det ger mer än vad vi tror och sätter tryck på medlemsländerna. Det är 2018 och kvinnor ska ha samma grundläggande rättigheter som män.

 
  
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  Udo Voigt (NI). – Herr Präsident! Eigentlich hat dieser Bericht sein Thema verfehlt, denn wenn ich diesen Bericht lese, ist das ein Migrationsbericht, dann ist das ein Integrationsbericht. Aber es geht hier doch um die Grundrechte der Bürger der EU.

Die Bürger der EU kämpfen heute darum, ihre Identität zu bewahren – sas auch ein Grundrecht ist – ihre Kultur und ihre Sprache zu bewahren. Sie kämpfen darum, dass sie das Recht auf Meinungsfreiheit und das Recht auf Informationsfreiheit haben. Dass aber Tausende von Europäern wegen ihrer Meinung verfolgt werden, dass alleine in Deutschland 1 200 Leute im Gefängnis sitzen, weil sie die falsche Meinung geäußert haben, das lässt dieser Bericht nicht zu, dass man darüber spricht.

Ich kann Sie nur dazu auffordern: Beschäftigen Sie sich mehr mit der Realität, denn unsere Aufgabe ist es, die Völker Europas zu bewahren und zu erhalten und nicht in erster Linie, Fremde nach Europa herzuholen, die hier nicht hergehören.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhora Comissária, Caros Colegas, sou dos que consideram que a Europa não se pode reduzir à dimensão económica, ao Mercado Único. Defendo a Europa dos cidadãos, assente nos direitos fundamentais e no Estado de Direito.

O respeito pelos direitos fundamentais é um dos critérios de adesão à União Europeia e não podemos aceitar que possam ser esquecidos pelos Estados—Membros depois de entrarem na União. Este Parlamento, enquanto representante de todos os cidadãos europeus, deve ser vigilante e intransigente com aqueles que desrespeitam estes direitos ou falham em protegê-los. Infelizmente, a experiência recente confirma a necessidade de mecanismos mais eficazes na monitorização e sanção dos Estados prevaricadores.

Nos últimos anos, chegaram à nossa costa homens e mulheres que fugiam da guerra e da opressão, refugiados que, amparados pelo Direito Internacional, vinham em busca de quem os protegesse. Tristemente, também não estivemos à altura.

Vivemos atualmente numa situação de discriminação e racismo grave que os líderes europeus admitem mas não querem enfrentar. De acordo com as estatísticas, um número elevado de europeus é discriminado pela sua idade, género, cor, orientação ou tantas outras razões.

Lamento que cada ano seja preciso lembrar que os Estados-Membros continuam a bloquear uma diretiva sobre algo tão essencial: a igualdade de todos perante a lei.

Felicito, francamente, o relator Frank Engel pelo excelente relatório e por ter conseguido demonstrar que, apesar de a União ser a parte do mundo que mais protege os direitos fundamentais, ainda há muito trabalho a fazer.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, este Parlamento Europeo hace bien en ocuparse de los derechos fundamentales protegidos por la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea, que no solamente cubren a los ciudadanos europeos, sino a cualquier persona que se encuentre en nuestro territorio. Y el paisaje descrito es oscuro, señalado por el populismo, el nacionalismo extremo, el odio al diferente, la estigmatización del otro y el discurso del odio que conduce a la xenofobia y al racismo.

Y, por eso, creo que es imprescindible hablar de tres desafíos urgentes. El primero, el de la inclusión —migrantes y refugiados— y solidaridad frente a quienes levantan muros contra los que tocan a las puertas de Europa. El segundo es el de la igualdad: sí, también, derechos de las mujeres frente a la violencia y frente a la reducción, a la restricción de sus derechos de salud sexual y reproductiva. Y el tercero, el de la lucha contra toda forma de discriminación, que afecta no solamente al colectivo LGBTI sino también, en Europa, a los miembros de la población romaní, a los judíos que padecen crecientemente antisemitismo, a los que padecen cualquier discurso de odio y de fobia …

(el presidente retira la palabra al orador).

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Maria Gabriela Zoană (S&D). – Mr. President, equality is a fundamental right in the European Union. It should be recognised and respected by all the Member States and the European institutions. We are defending it through internal and external actions. Nevertheless, we cannot only discuss equality when it suits us. For example, the report talks about the rule of law and corruption. However, the Commission has shown corruption in the European Union, while the cooperative and verification mechanism for both Romania and Bulgaria has been maintained. It is difficult not to feel a sense of double standards or inequality in the European Union. Let’s talk about equality when it comes to accession to the Schengen area or double standards concerning the composition of food products in different Member States. I strongly believe that equality between all European Union citizens is a fundamental right, regardless of the Member State they come from, and it should be taken more seriously. I look forward to working closely with my colleagues in the European Parliament to defend it in order to ensure that this right will be applied to all European Union citizens without any double standards…

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Gospodine predsjedniče, izgradnjom europskog projekta trebali smo dobiti zajednički prostor vladavine prava i slobodne trgovine u kojem se poštuju građanske i vjerske slobode i u kojima su svi građani slobodni biti ono što jesu, dok god poštuju zakone.

Nažalost, europski projekt pretvorio se u moćan alat za nametanje svjetonazorskih stajališta državama članicama i njihovim građanima. Umjesto pluralizma, dobili smo jednoobrazni pogled na ljudska i manjinska prava, a svatko tko ima drugačije razmišljanje biva etiketiran kao ekstremist, mrzitelj ili čak fašist.

Želimo li demokratsku Europu u kojoj će svi građani biti sretni i zadovoljni, moramo prestati sa stvaranjem političkih i svjetonazorskih monopola i dopustiti svima da se slobodno izraze i žive sukladno svojim vrijednostima dok god time ne krše zakone i negativno utječu na slobodu drugih ljudi.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, τα μνημόνια και οι πολιτικές λιτότητας αύξησαν τη φτώχεια και την ανεργία στην Ελλάδα και οδήγησαν σε παραβίαση των θεμελιωδών δικαιωμάτων των Ελλήνων και ιδίως σε παραβίαση των κοινωνικών τους δικαιωμάτων. Τα μνημονιακά μέτρα στέρησαν από τον φτωχοποιημένο ελληνικό λαό το δικαίωμα πρόσβασης σε βασικά δημόσια αγαθά όπως η υγεία, η παιδεία και η κοινωνική ασφάλιση. Ταυτόχρονα, πετσόκοψαν τις συντάξεις, παραβιάζοντας το δικαίωμα στην ιδιοκτησία. Η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και ιδίως η Επιτροπή πρέπει να σέβεται το Χάρτη Θεμελιωδών Δικαιωμάτων στην Ελλάδα, αυτό όμως δεν συμβαίνει και το ομολόγησε ακόμη και ο ίδιος ο κ. Moscovici, απαντώντας σε ερώτηση προς την Επιτροπή σχετικά με την παραβίαση του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινωνικού Χάρτη και ισχυριζόμενος ότι ο Ευρωπαϊκός Κοινωνικός Χάρτης δεν έχει δεσμευτικό χαρακτήρα και δεν επιβάλλει νομικές υποχρεώσεις στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και στα κράτη μέλη. Δηλαδή εν προκειμένω η Ευρωπαϊκή Επιτροπή νίπτει τας χείρας της και αποδέχεται παραβίαση του Χάρτη Κοινωνικών Δικαιωμάτων στην Ελλάδα. Αυτή είναι μέλος της τρόικας που παραβιάζει τα δικαιώματα στην Ελλάδα.

 
  
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  Ramon Tremosa i Balcells (ALDE). – Mr President, today freedoms and rights are at stake in Spain. Freedom of speech, freedom of communication, freedom of assembly, the right to choose your own government and the independence of the judiciary have all been violated in Catalonia. Today, four Catalan leaders are being held in custody without trial and without bail. Although they have always been peaceful, they are accused of violent sedition and rebellion. They could be jailed for 30 years. The Catalan President and some Ministers have decided to go into exile in Belgium and Switzerland in order to avoid an unfair trial. Madam Commissioner, for how long will the Commission keep supporting these policies?

 
  
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  Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL). – Osobně se obávám, že tato zpráva postrádá zásadní téma. Je samozřejmě dobře, že se věnujeme otázkám menšin, ale nesmíme přehlížet problémy, které má obrovské množství Evropanů, tedy většina.

Všichni přeci dobře víme, že většina obyvatel EU se neustále bojí o finanční stabilitu rodiny či se bojí zadlužení, bojuje s ním a je v exekucích. Mladé páry neví, jestli si budou moci dovolit vlastní rodinu, mladé rodiny s dětmi neví, jestli si budou někdy moci dovolit vlastní bydlení, pracovníci se bojí o výši svého důchodu a důchodci živoří. Toto jsou témata, která bychom měli řešit a která se týkají základních lidských práv.

Na konci považuji za nutné a dovolte mi zmínit smutné novinky ze Slovenska. Smrt Jána Kuciaka a Martiny Kušnírové musí být co nejdříve prošetřena, abychom znali pravdu o tom zbabělém a odporném činu. Upřímnou soustrast rodinám pozůstalých.

 
  
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  Krisztina Morvai (NI). – Elnök Úr! Kedves Jourová biztos asszony! Nagyon örülök, hogy föltette a fülhallgatóját, mert Önhöz szeretnék szólni, és kérdezni, Ön szerint, mint jogásztól is kérdezem, kollegaként, melyik a súlyosabb jogsértés? Közel ezer embert a rendőrség által véresre verni, miközben a választáshoz való jogukat gyakorolják, lásd Spanyolország, illetve Katalónia, spanyol rendőrség, vagy pedig a külföldről támogatott civil szervezetek működésének a szabályozása?

Megkérném szépen, legyen kedves az ujjával mutogatni, vagy egy egyest, vagy egy kettest, hogy a kedves európai uniós polgárok előtt világos legyen, hogy az Ön számára melyik a nagyobb jogsértés. Megtenné, hogy megmutatja? Csodálkozom, hogy ezt nem hajlandó fölvállalni, ugyanis a nyitó beszédében ebben a témában a magyar „jogsértésről” beszélt, a katalánról nem. Ideje most már, hogy ne csak a transzfóbiát, a homofóbiát, a xenofóbiát hagyják abba, hanem a magyarfóbiát is, a hungarofóbiát. Elegünk volt, hagyják most már abba…

(Az elnök megvonta a szót)

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Věra Jourová, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, let me conclude on behalf of the Commission by reiterating two basic principles which I mentioned in my opening speech. Fundamental rights in the EU belong to all citizens, not only to parts of the societies, and we have a duty to guarantee this in all Member States. We speak about equality in front of the law, and it applies to everybody.

The second principle. The European Commission is a very strong defender of the freedom of expression, and we show this very clearly in our activity and initiative in relation to online hate speech, where we work with the IT sector in a very careful way and where we always emphasise that freedom of expression is untouchable unless there are calls for violence, which are prohibited by criminal law in all the Member States.

So these are the principles which I wanted to remind you of in this place. The last comment concerns what I heard here in on Istanbul convention. I am convinced that we are not breaching the principle of subsidiarity. The convention has been signed by all Member States. Slovakia, if I’m not mistaken, signed the Istanbul Convention in 2011. Now we are in the process of ratification, and yes, I confirm here that I invest a lot in convincing the Member States to ratify this very useful piece of legislation.

Let me remind you of the horrifying statistics we have in the EU. Every third woman has experienced physical violence in the last five years, and I ask all of you how big this statistic must be to start acting at the legislative level?

The Istanbul Convention is a very important legislative contribution to enable the Member States to investigate, prosecute and penalise the perpetrators of violence against women, and I want to emphasise that the convention can be an efficient instrument against such horrible phenomena as forced abortion, forced marriage and female genital mutilation, to mention some of the horrible forms of violence. However, it also addresses the traditional – and I use this word intentionally – forms of violence.

Tradition is a very important element in our society, but there are things which we should get rid of, and I am very much convinced that it is violence against women which we have to combat and get rid of in our societies.

All actors have a role to play to renew our commitment to fundamental rights, rule of law and democracy, be it at national, European or international level, and we are fully committed to play ours.

 
  
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  Frank Engel, rapporteur. – Monsieur le Président, comme il se fait tard, je ne retarderai pas plus longtemps les travaux de l’Assemblée.

Je voulais encore une fois remercier les rapporteurs fictifs avec lesquels j’ai pu travailler sur ce rapport et avec qui il a été possible de dégager un travail d’ensemble que je trouve somme toute très présentable.

Je remercie Mme la commissaire pour cette approche convergente que nous avons entre la Commission et le Parlement européen, dans ce domaine et dans beaucoup d’autres.

J’aimerais répondre à l’un ou l’autre collègue qui semble se soucier de l’absence de certains sujets que celle-ci peut être due à deux facteurs: aux orientations du rapporteur ou de ses collègues au début ou, aussi, à l’absence totale d’amendements proposés parce qu’avec les collègues, je me suis fait un point d’honneur à incorporer chaque grand point de préoccupation qui aurait été soumis par un collègue. Si quelque chose n’est pas contenu dans le texte, c’est parce que personne ne l’a proposé.

Enfin, je pourrais encore m’engager dans un long débat épique avec M. Gollnisch sur l’identité européenne, mais je ne vais pas surélever de la sorte le canal historique du Front national. Dès lors, je voulais juste lui dire ainsi qu’à tous ses compères que tout ce qui est excessif est insignifiant.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Thursday, 1 March 2018.

Written statements (Rule 162)

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), raštu. – Šioje ataskaitoje dėl žmogaus teisių ES 2016 m. nemažai dėmesio skiriama moterų teisėms ir lyčių lygybės klausimams. Visų pirma, reikia vis priminti, kad moterims ir vaikams kyla didesnė rizika tapti prekybos žmonėmis aukomis, būti išnaudojamiems ir patirti seksualinę prievartą, todėl reikia sukurti ir stiprinti vaikų apsaugos sistemas, kuriomis būtų galima užkirsti kelią smurtui prieš vaikus, prievartai prieš juos, jų nepriežiūrai bei išnaudojimui. Mes griežtai smerkiame suaktyvėjusią prekybą žmonėmis, kurios vykdytojai turi atsakyti už savo veiksmus ir stoti prieš teismą. Taip pat valstybės narės turėtų glaudžiau bendradarbiauti ir aktyviau kovoti ne tik su organizuotu nusikalstamumu, įskaitant neteisėtą žmonių gabenimą ir prekybą žmonėmis, bet ir su išnaudojimu, priverstiniu darbu, seksualiniu išnaudojimu ir kankinimu, kartu apsaugant aukas. Antra, vis dar neišsprendžiame didelės lyčių nelygybės problemos – tai moterų ir vyrų atlyginimų skirtumo, kuris siekia daugiau kaip 16 proc. ir tai daro neigiamą poveikį moterų pensijoms, kurios yra 40 proc. mažesnės nei vyrų. Todėl moterys senatvėje patiria didesnę skurdo grėsmę ir atskirtį. Todėl raginame valstybes nares parengti atitinkamas politikos priemones, siekiant remti vyresnio amžiaus moteris ir panaikinti su lytimi susijusių užmokesčio skirtumų struktūrines priežastis. Galiausiai, turime ir toliau raginti valstybes nares ratifikuoti Stambulo konvenciją, nes privalome kovoti su smurtu prieš moteris, o iki šiol jos dar nėra ratifikavusios daugiau nei trečdalis visų ES šalių.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D), per iscritto. – La base dell'integrazione europea risiede nel rispetto e nella promozione dei diritti umani, della democrazia e dello Stato di diritto. Per questo nel mondo gli Stati europei sono percepiti come un baluardo per la tutela delle libertà individuali. Tuttavia, nonostante le recenti relazioni delle agenzie e delle organizzazioni internazionali ed europee segnalino rilevanti progressi, si continuano a registrare violazioni dei diritti fondamentali. In aumento i casi di discriminazione delle minoranze e di incitamento all'odio razziale. La situazione è allarmante. La tutela dei diritti umani dei gruppi più vulnerabili merita particolare attenzione. Chi fugge da guerre e disperazione deve essere accolto in modo adeguato e dignitoso. Mi preme tuttavia segnalare un dato che stranamente nessuna relazione sui diritti fondamentali conterrà mai. Dall'inizio del gelo di questi giorni in Europa sono morte circa 20 persone che vivevano in condizioni di indigenza. Se tra i diritti fondamentali vi è la tutela della dignità della persona umana, l'uguaglianza morale e giuridica e il diritto alla salute, queste cose non possono accadere in Europa.

 
  
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  Pál Csáky (PPE), írásban. – Az alapjogok helyzetéről szóló jelentés egy lehetőség arra, hogy felmérjük minden évben, hogyan teljesítenek az EU és tagállamai e fontos területen. A felsorolt témákat az adott évben összegyűjtött adatok, tapasztalatok, aktuális kérdések is adhatják, ugyanakkor egy bizonyos állandósult vizsgálati kerethez szintén tartania kellene magát e parlamenti helyzetjelentésnek. Az ezévi jelentés olyan irányt vett és olyan témákra helyezi a fő hangsúlyt, amellyel nehéz azonosulnom. Hiányzik viszont belőle vagy legalábbis marginálisan kerül megtárgyalásra az EU lakosainak 10%-at kitevő őshonos kisebbségek jogainak és helyzetének vizsgálata.

Ezért is fontos, hogy a Parlament egy hónappal korábban, február 7-én elfogadott egy határozatot A kisebbségek védelme és a megkülönböztetésükkel szembeni küzdelem az EU tagállamaiban címmel, amely kifejezetten az őshonos kisebbségekkel foglalkozik és a velük szemben elkövetett diszkriminatív bánásmód felszámolásáról az EU-ban. Ez utóbbi egy új fejezetet nyit az őshonos kisebbségek védelme érdekében tett lépések terén, egyben az illetékes európai parlamenti szakbizottságoknak, illetve a többi uniós intézménynek is iránymutatásul szolgálhat a jövőbeni munkában.

 
  
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  Kinga Gál (PPE), írásban. – Az éves alapjogi jelentés kimondja, hogy a jogállamiságnak és az európai unió alapvető értékeinek nincs közös definíciója, de ezt mégis számon kéri a tagállamokon, sürgeti a 7-es cikk szerinti eljárás alkalmazását és szorgalmazza a jogállamisági mechanizmus bevezetését. Ez önmagában is ellentmondás és ezzel politikai útra tereli egyes tagállamok megítélését. Véleményem szerint az alapjogi jelentés jelen formájában ahhoz járul hozzá, hogy a jogállamiságot aszerint mérjék, hogy a migrációval kapcsolatban egy tagállam milyen álláspontot vesz fel és ez teljes mértékben elfogadhatatlan. Emellett számos olyan területet érint, ami egyértelműen tagállami hatáskörbe tartozik és ezért nincs mit keressen egy hasonló jelentésben.

 
  
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  Péter Niedermüller (S&D), írásban. – Az évente készülő jelentések egyre kedvezőtlenebb képet mutatnak az emberi jogok, az alapjogok, a jogállamiság helyzetéről az Európai Unióban. Nincs lényegi javulás a legnagyobb európai kisebbség, a romák tekintetében. Továbbra is számos elfogadhatatlan megkülönböztetés éri a LMBGT embereket Európában szinte mindenütt. A menekültkérők körében is gyakori az emberi jogoknak a hatóságok által történő durva megsértése. A legaggasztóbb jelenség azonban a civil társadalom mozgásterének a fokozatos beszűkülése. Különösen botrányosak azok a fejlemények, amelyek Magyarországon történnek.

Ahol a kormány „Stop Soros” elnevezésű törvényjavaslata a legdurvább eszközökkel igyekszik meggátolni a civil társadalom működését, különös tekintettel a menekülteket segítő szervezetekre. A magyar kormány a menekülteket, és ebből következően az őket segítő szervezeteket nemzetbiztonsági kockázatnak tekinti. Ezért ezek működését külön belügyminiszteri engedélyhez köti, a külföldről jövő pénzügyi támogatásokra külön adót vet ki, sőt, titkosszolgálati eszközökkel is ellenőrizni kívánja őket.

Az Európai Parlamentnek alapvető kötelessége védelmeznie a civil szervezeteket, amelyek híján nincs demokrácia. Ki kell állnunk mellettük, és létre kell hoznunk egy olyan Demokrácia Alapot, amely közvetlenül és hosszú távon támogatja ezeket a civil szervezeteket. Határozottan el kell utasítanunk minden olyan politikai kezdeményezést, amely alantas politikai okokból a civil társadalom működésének korlátozására, megakadályozására irányul.

 
  
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  Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D), în scris. – Trebuie să remarc faptul că raportul anual din proprie inițiativă referitor la drepturile fundamentale din UE din 2016 (la fel ca și în ceilalți ani) se concentrează asupra statului de drept, migrației, integrării și discriminării și nu asupra tuturor aspectelor legate de drepturile fundamentale din UE. Deși UE se întemeiază pe valorile respectării demnității umane, libertății, democrației, egalității, statului de drept, precum și pe respectarea drepturilor omului, inclusiv a drepturilor persoanelor care aparțin minorităților.

Este adevărat că în 2016 a continuat afluența de migranți și solicitanți de azil către Europa, reacțiile rasiste și xenofobe împotriva acestora fiind larg răspândite, iar populațiile vulnerabile continuând să se confrunte cu niveluri ridicate de discriminare și violență. Însă, considerăm că trebuie să luptăm pentru principiile egalității și justiției în întreaga UE, neacceptând sub nici o formă încălcările drepturilor fundamentale ale omului, care continuă în unele state membre și nici o formă de discriminare împotriva oricărui cetățean european sau amenințări la adresa statului de drept. Desigur, statele membre au responsabilitatea ultimă pentru a proteja drepturile omului, prin ratificarea și aplicarea tratatelor și convențiilor internaționale privind drepturile omului.

 
  
  

Președinte: IOAN MIRCEA PAŞCU
Vicepreședinte

 

23. Activitatea și moștenirea Tribunalului Penal Internațional pentru Fosta Iugoslavie (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Preşedinte. – Următorul punct de pe ordinea de zi este dezbaterea privind Declarațiile Consiliului și Comisiei referitoare la activitatea și moștenirea Tribunalului Penal Internațional pentru Fosta Iugoslavie (2018/2530(RSP)).

 
  
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  Monika Panayotova, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia was established by the UN Security Council in 1993 to deal with war crimes committed during the conflicts in the Western Balkans in the 1990s. The European Union has consistently supported the work of the Tribunal. Human rights violations and war crimes – whether in the past or in the present – have to be addressed. The Tribunal carried out important work and contributed to ending a prevalent sense of impunity, hence contributing to peace as well as fostering reconciliation and strengthening the rule of law.

The Tribunal also contributed to the development of international law and legal praxis. It built up an extensive jurisprudence in international criminal law. The EU commends these developments that will contribute to future work in the area of international justice. The EU has always underlined the need to address impunity and ensure accountability, as well as to fully cooperate with and support the work of the Tribunal. We condemn any attempt to minimise or deny war crimes and genocide.

Over the years, the EU has been supporting the Tribunal in different ways, using various programmes and contracts. We have banned certain persons close to the fugitives from travelling to or through EU Member States’ territory, and we froze their assets.

The aim is to communicate to those affected by the conflict not only the findings of the Tribunal but also the important concepts which underpin its work. These include the concept of individual criminal responsibility, the rule of law and respect for human rights. These principles are among the core tenets shared by all members of the European Union.

The Council has reiterated the need to continue handling domestic war crimes cases without discrimination, as well as addressing impunity and ensuring accountability, including through meaningful regional cooperation, as well as full cooperation with and support for the work of the Tribunal. The EU also called upon the governments concerned to pursue with greater determination the proper conduct of domestic war crime trials. The EU has made clear that political leaders should avoid statements and measures that could call into question the importance of reconciliation, and on the need to serve justice through the prosecution of war crimes.

Full cooperation with the Tribunal is also addressed in the context of the Stabilisation and Association Process and is an essential condition for membership for the countries of the former Yugoslavia. For example, when accession negotiations were opened with the first country from the former Yugoslavia – Croatia – full cooperation with the Tribunal was a key requirement.

Full cooperation with the Tribunal is also an essential element of the Stabilisation and Association Agreement with Serbia and of its accession negotiations under Chapter 23 (Judiciary and fundamental rights). This remains a matter of concern which the European Union continues to raise with Serbia. More generally, cooperation with the Tribunal is a regular feature of the dialogue with Western Balkan partners.

We are grateful to the European Parliament for the support provided during the years, especially in urging the Western Balkans’ partners to cooperate fully with the Tribunal in order to bring justice to the victims and their families, and in condemning the occasional promotion of regional intolerance and hate speech linked to the activities of the Tribunal.

When the Tribunal closed down on 31 December 2017, it marked the completion of all its judicial work. The Tribunal concluded proceedings against all 161 of the individuals that were indicted for serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The Tribunal’s successor – the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals – was established to perform a number of essential functions. This mechanism provides a further framework in which to address the reconciliation. The European Union fully respects the decisions of the Tribunal and reiterates the need for full cooperation with its successor mechanism.

To conclude, let me express my sincere hope, as we look back to the last twenty years, to see the dark chapters of the Western Balkans’ history being finally put to rest.

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I am taking this point on behalf of my colleague, Commissioner Hahn, who unfortunately cannot be here.

There has never been a more timely moment to address the subject of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, or the broader issues of the legacy of past, impunity and reconciliation in the Western Balkans. These issues are directly addressed in the strategy for the Western Balkans, which the Commission adopted on 6 February. It states that ‘the process of transitional justice is incomplete. The outstanding sensitive issues, such as the handling of war crime cases, including through full cooperation with the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals and the Kosovo Specialist Chambers, and the fate of missing persons, refugees and internally displaced persons, as well as the identification and removal of remaining landmines in the region, must be urgently addressed.

The International Tribunal has been a mainstay in the process of bringing justice to the region. As United Nations Secretary—General António Guterres said at the closing ceremony of the Tribunal in December last year, ‘The Tribunal has pushed international expectations of accountability beyond what was anticipated in 1993, transforming how we speak about, and addressing, situations in which serious international crimes are committed.’ Commissioner Hahn has been in regular contact with both the President of the International Tribunal and the chief prosecutor. Both have made it clear that its achievements would not have been possible without the European Union, without our political engagement and without our financial support – some EUR 10 million in total – and without the leverage of our accession conditionality.

So today I confirm that the commitment of the Commission is as strong as ever, stronger indeed, as we must see that the closure of the Tribunal is not the end of the matter. The successor to the Tribunal, which is the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals, is now well established. In the strategy which the Commission adopted recently, we are explicit in our continued support. This applies in particular to regional cooperation. Without such regional cooperation, perpetrators will continue to walk free outside the jurisdiction of national courts, and the families of the 10 000 still missing will not have their loved ones identified.

Our political support is essential, but so is our financial support. Up to EUR 1 million is available this year. Our conditionality remains an integral element in the accession negotiations. More than this, it has been refined to reflect our ‘fundamentals first’ approach to the accession negotiations, allowing more thorough and detailed work than ever before. This work is set in the broader context of promoting reconciliation. We will work towards a more integrated approach, bringing many existing strands together. Not only will this include the issues of war crimes, missing persons, and also landmines, but we will also look to education, youth and culture and the ongoing regional cooperation in many fields as vectors to support the reconciliation process.

However, as our strategy adopted today clearly spells out, ‘Regional cooperation, good neighbourly relations and reconciliation cannot be imposed from outside. The leaders of the region must take full ownership and lead by example. They must avoid and condemn any statements or actions which would fuel inter—ethnic tension, and actively counter nationalist narratives.’ There must be no place in the European Union for inflammatory rhetoric, let alone for glorification of war criminals from any side.

I would like the Parliament to work closely with the Commission on both of these aspects, in supporting the actions which the Commission will undertake and also in being clear in the messages that we will need to put across if reconciliation is to become a reality.

 
  
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  Dubravka Šuica, u ime Kluba zastupnika PPE-a. – Gospodine predsjedniče, žao mi je što se ponovno moramo vratiti u prošlost jer očito je da je bez razjašnjavanja odnosa i istine o prošlosti teško graditi budućnost. A svi ste svjedoci da ovih dana intenzivno razgovaramo o budućnosti Europske unije. Vjerujem da se svi sjećate srpsko-crnogorskih agresorskih napada na hrvatski Vukovar i na moj rodni grad, pod UNESCO-vom zaštitom, Dubrovnik. Sigurna sam da niste zaboravili ni genocid koji se dogodio u Srebrenici, prvi priznati genocid nakon Drugog svjetskog rata.

A radilo se, zbog istine, o velikosrpskoj agresiji i Miloševićevoj želji da svi Srbi žive u jednoj državi, u velikoj Srbiji. I rat u Hrvatskoj i u Bosni i Hercegovini su rezultat tih velikosrpskih težnji. Haški sud je imao ulogu procesuirati sve ratne zločine, drago mi je da ste spomenuli to, po mom osobnom mišljenju potrebno je suočavanje s istinom.

Po mom osobnom mišljenju, ovaj je sud bio vrlo kontroverzan, ali želim vjerovati da će Srbija nastaviti pravedno procesuirati svoje ratne zločince i da počinitelji, kao što ste rekli, gospodine Hogan, neće slobodno hodati; kako bi mogli neometano nastaviti svoj put u Europsku uniju.

Još niz zločina ostao je neistražen, no svi svijetli trenuci i vrijednosti koje je sud trebao zastupati zasjenjeni su posljednjom presudom i samoubojstvom generala Praljka u Haškom sudu.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, after 24 years of investigations, the court that sentenced Slobodan Milošević, Radovan Karadžić, Ratko Mladić and also Slobodan Praljak, among others, as well as another 86 war criminals, has closed its doors at the end of last year, leaving a powerful legacy in relation to war crimes. It is an essential legacy that should be further used and better explained – for this time we strongly encourage the opening of an information office and access to all the archives. This is probably the most important legacy for the future.

Political tensions and the burdens of the war still overshadow the Western Balkan countries. The war has left deep wounds, and I have noted bitterly that some criminals are still celebrated like heroes by some in certain places in the region, while the victims are still side-lined. I trust that justice is one of the important tools of reconciliation, but a lot remains to be done and I encourage the Western Balkans leaders and politicians to put an end to the current situation by fostering regional cooperation and coordination.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić, u ime Kluba zastupnika ECR-a. – Gospodine predsjedniče, Haški sud trebao je procesuirati sve zločine koji su se dogodili u ratovima pri raspadu bivše Jugoslavije te donijeti svojevrstan pravorijek o ratnim zbivanjima na temelju kojega bi se pisala povijest i stvorili uvjeti za pomirenje i suživot u budućnosti. Malo je reći da je sud potpuno podbacio u svojoj misiji.

Pošteda od progona nekih od glavnih arhitekata rata iz vrha Jugoslavenske narodne armije i obavještajnih službi bivše Jugoslavije, sramotno niske kazne za pokolj na Ovčari i oslobađajuća presuda zlotvoru Vojislavu Šešelju, sporost zbog koje je Milošević izbjegao ruci pravde, a optužnica Ratku Mladiću morala biti reducirana, zatim politizacija rada tužiteljstva – samo su neki od razloga zašto ICTY na kraju priče ne može dobiti prolaznu ocjenu.

ICTY nije raščistio nasljeđe rata te kažnjavanjem pravih zločinaca pokazao da se ratni zločin ne isplati. Naprotiv, on je dokaz da se međunarodno pravo često zloupotrebljava u političke svrhe i bojim se da je zasijao sjeme budućih netrpeljivosti.

Gospođa Panayotova kaže da će sada doći do pomirenja i da će se povijest konačno staviti u mirovanje. A svi znate i sami da samo istina vodi pravdi, a pravda trajnom miru. A ovdje se jako, jako malo držalo do istine.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić, u ime Kluba zastupnika ALDE-a. – Gospodine predsjedniče, pitanje je ostalo otvoreno nakon završetka rada Haškog tribunala. No jedno je sigurno, žrtve osuđenih zločinaca dobile su barem malu satisfakciju odlukama Suda. Da tih presuda nije bilo, zločinci bi danas, neosuđeni, bili oko nas.

Osuđeni su pojedinci, a ne narodi. I to je jedina istina. Ipak, treba naglasiti da smo kod svake odluke Tribunala svjedočili licemjernim reakcijama u Srbiji, Hrvatskoj i Bosni i Hercegovini. Ovisno je li odluka oslobađajuća ili osuđujuća, imali bismo nastavak medijskog rata i verbalnih konstrukcija političara koji sebi umišljaju da predstavljaju cijele narode.

Ta nesposobnost izlaska iz dnevnopolitičkih igara znači nespremnost suočavanja s prošlošću. Najžalosnije su bile reakcije crkvenih vlasti, gdje je srpski patrijarh rad Suda nazvao đavolskim delom, a katolički biskup ljubio ruke osuđenog ratnog zločinca. Uzimanjem kao istine samo one odluke Suda koje pojedinoj zemlji ili političkoj eliti odgovara, ne doprinosi pomirenju, niti istini.

Mada je bilo nevjerojatnih tehničkih propusta u radu Suda, svi trebaju poštivati njegove odluke. Nitko nema pravo negirati genocid u Srebrenici, kao najveći zločin na europskom tlu nakon Drugog svjetskog rata. Nitko nema pravo odbacivati presude za zločine učinjene zbog navodnih viših ciljeva. Ne postoje viši ciljevi. Život je najviši cilj. Pravo na život je svetinja.

Samo iskreno suočavanje s istinom može donijeti iskupljenje grijeha za sve one osobe koje su činile, podržavale ili zataškavale zločine na području bivše Jugoslavije.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! In den 24 Jahren seiner Existenz hat der Strafgerichtshof für Jugoslawien einen wichtigen Beitrag im Kampf gegen die Straffreiheit bei schwersten Verbrechen geleistet. Es gibt zugleich Lehren aus seinen Erfahrungen zu ziehen, da der Internationale Strafgerichtshof und das Strafvölkerrecht geschützt und gestärkt gehören.

Das Mandat des Internationalen Strafgerichtshofs für Jugoslawien erstreckte sich auf Gesamtjugoslawien, aber die Rechtsprechung ist am Ende ungleich verteilt geblieben, auch da die Realpolitik der Staaten der Völkergemeinschaft in der Region unterschiedliche Interessen verfolgte.

Lehre Nummer 1: Wir brauchen eine weitergehende Emanzipation des Rechts von der Macht. Es stellt sich zugleich die Frage: Wie ist Beweissicherung zu organisieren, ohne vor Ort zu sein?

Lehre Nummer 2: Gelingt es, die Erfahrungen der United Nation War Crimes Commission aus dem Zweiten Weltkrieg politisch zu erschließen und mit den heutigen modernen Technologien zu verknüpfen, wären schwerste Straftaten quasi zeitnah und auf Vorrat dokumentierbar.

Und schließlich geht es auch um die individuelle Gerechtigkeit, das heißt, wir sollten als EU in bedürftigen Partnerländern gezielt die Fähigkeiten zur eigenen Rechtsprechung bei solchen schwersten Verbrechen stärken können.

 
  
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  Σωτήριος Ζαριανόπουλος (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, το Διεθνές Ποινικό Δικαστήριο της Χάγης, με κύρια ενασχόληση τη Γιουγκοσλαβία, μια παρακαταθήκη αφήνει: αθώωση των εγκλημάτων του ΝΑΤΟ και της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης που, υποδαυλίζοντας εθνικισμούς και αλυτρωτισμούς, βομβαρδίζοντας αμάχους, διέλυσαν τη Γιουγκοσλαβία, επαναχάραξαν σύνορα, έστησαν κράτη, χρήσιμα προτεκτοράτα σήμερα στο σημερινό ανταγωνισμό της με τη Ρωσία και την Κίνα που κάνουν πάλι τα Βαλκάνια πυριτιδαποθήκη. Αυτός ο μηχανισμός καταδίκασε σαν έγκλημα πολέμου την αντίσταση στη διάλυση της χώρας, την υπεράσπιση της εδαφικής ακεραιότητας. Το Δικαστήριο αυτό, με προφάσεις, απέρριψε αναγνώριση της ναζιστικής σφαγής του Διστόμου στην Ελλάδα. Τέτοια δικαιοσύνη, «αλά κάρτ», διατεταγμένη από τους Ιμπεριαλιστές, όργανο υλοποίησης και νομιμοποίησης των σχεδίων τους, παρεμβαίνοντας εξ ορισμού στην επαναχάραξη συνόρων! ΝΑΤΟ και Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και το Δικαστήριο τους δεν σημαίνουν ειρήνη ασφάλεια, σταθερότητα, όπως διαλαλεί ο σημαιοφόρος τους στα Βαλκάνια ΣΥΡΙΖΑ, αλλά και η Νέα Δημοκρατία και συμφωνούν οι εθνικιστές, αλλά πόλεμο, αλλαγή συνόρων, αίμα λαών για τα συμφέροντα των μονοπωλίων. Αυτό βροντοφώναξε χθες ο λαός της Αθήνας, και το ίδιο θα κάνει μεθαύριο κι αυτός της Θεσσαλονίκης, μετά από κάλεσμα του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος Ελλάδας.

 
  
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  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, zahvaljujem povjereniku Hoganu na izuzetno dobro izrečenom i na dobroj želji zbog čega je služio Međunarodni kazneni sud za bivšu Jugoslaviju. Zbog čega se večeras vodi rasprava o ovom Sudu? Njegova zadaća je bila suditi počiniteljima individualnih zločina koji nisu mogli biti procesuirani na lokalnim sudovima, a ona još plemenitija izvršenjem pravde pridonijeti pomirenju na prostoru bivše Jugoslavije, o čemu je govorio večeras i povjerenik Hogan.

Koliko je ovaj Sud odgovorio na svoju misiju? Ostaje samo pravnim ekspertima da to isto prosude. Kako bi napravili učinkovitu analizu njegovog rada potrebno je konačno organizirati znanstveno-stručni skup o naučenim lekcijama ovoga Suda, na kojem će samo pravni stručnjaci iznijeti mišljenje o radu i učinkovitosti presuda s pravne strane. A o pomirenju i učinkovitosti Suda u tom pogledu, dovoljno je pogledati medijska izvještavanja o ovom radu, kako bi se, nažalost, zaključilo da Sud nije ispunio zadaću.

Presude se koriste u političke kampanje, kao što večeras, nažalost, i ovdje imamo slučaj, a odgovornost se traži u narodima i u kolektivnoj krivnji.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Gospodine predsjedniče, kraj rada Haškog tribunala bio je jednako dramatičan kao i njegov početak, ali najdramatičnije su ipak bile okolnosti u kojima je nastao. Velikosrpsku agresiju na Hrvatsku i Bosnu i Hercegovinu svijet je pasivno promatrao.

UN-ov tribunal je konačno osnovan 1993. godine. Bilo je potrebno 11 tisuća dana suđenja da se donese odluka o 161 optuženiku; 83 je osuđeno, a 19 oslobođeno.

Sud je od osnivanja pokazao cijeli niz koncepcijskih i organizacijskih nedostataka, neujednačenost kriterija, ali radilo se o sudištu koje je odgovorilo jedinstvenom izazovu zbog pretpostavke da nacionalni sudovi zemalja u ratu neće procesuirati ratne zločine koje počine njihovi državljani. O njegovoj misiji će se još dugo i pristrano raspravljati, a naslijeđe će biti testirano preko razine demokratske zrelosti država zbog kojih je ustanovljen i njihovih međusobnih odnosa.

Tribunal je trebao biti generator pomirbe i suočavanja s prošlošću. Međutim, mnogi smatraju da je Sud, doduše izrekao presude, ali da je pravda u dosta slučajeva ustupila mjesto političkom oportunitetu.

 
  
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  Eugen Freund (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Als einer der wenigen Vertreter eines Nachbarlands des ehemaligen Jugoslawien möchte ich mit einem Zitat beginnen: „Das Tribunal hat den Opfern eine Stimme gegeben.“ Diesen Worten von UNO-Generalsekretär António Guterres, die er zur Beendigung der Arbeit des ICTY gehalten hat, kann ich nur zustimmen. Die abscheulichen Taten, die von den Verurteilten während des Jugoslawienkriegs begangen wurden, mussten ausführlich aufgearbeitet und anschließend angemessen bestraft werden. Nur so war es möglich, eine Art Gerechtigkeit für die Opfer zu schaffen.

Nun hat der Internationale Strafgerichtshof für Jugoslawien seine Arbeit beendet. Diese Arbeit hat den Opfern die Möglichkeit gegeben, die Gräueltaten, die während des Krieges begangen wurden, öffentlich zu benennen. Welchen Beitrag der Gerichtshof dabei für die Stabilität in der Region geleistet hat, wird noch zu bewerten sein. Unbestritten ist, dass Urteile des Gerichtshofs auch immer wieder zur Polarisierung in der Region geführt haben. Dennoch hat das Haager Tribunal Rechtsgeschichte geschrieben, hat abscheulichste Verbrechen klar genannt und war Vorbild für nachfolgende Einrichtungen. Für mich ist klar: Diese Arbeit muss als Mehrwert für das Recht und die internationale Gemeinschaft gewertet werden.

 
  
 

Intervenții la cerere

 
  
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  Marijana Petir (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, smisao osnivanja Haškog suda bio je kažnjavanje osoba odgovornih za teška kršenja međunarodnog humanitarnog prava počinjena na području bivše Jugoslavije od početka 1991. godine, stoga su očekivanja od ovog Suda bila izrazito visoka.

Međutim, Haški je sud propustio procesuirati najviše vodstvo Jugoslavenske narodne armije zbog ratnih zločina počinjenih tijekom agresije na Hrvatsku. Na grad Vukovar tijekom opsade palo je više od 6 i pol milijuna različitih projektila, ubijeno je više od 4 000 osoba, a šteta stradanja grada procijenjena je na više od milijardu eura. I za to nitko nije odgovarao.

Haški sud se trebao voditi načelom pravičnosti i kažnjavanja najgorih i najtežih oblika zločina. Međutim, završetak njegovog rada ostavio je gorak osjećaj da se Srbiji, kao glavnom agresoru, oprostilo puno toga za što se je trebalo kazneno goniti.

Voljela bih da je Haški sud svoj rad priveo kraju vjerodostojno, potvrdivši svoj autoritet, a ne tragedijom zbog nepravične presude oko koje niti samo sudsko vijeće nije ostvarilo puni konsenzus.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, με αφορμή το έργο και την παρακαταθήκη του Διεθνούς Ποινικού Δικαστηρίου για την πρώην Γιουγκοσλαβία, είναι σημαντικό να προβληματιστούμε για το τι θα γίνει με άλλα εγκλήματα πολέμου που διαπράττονται σε άλλες περιοχές του κόσμου και να προβληματιστούμε για το τι θα γίνει με την Τουρκία, η οποία πραγματικά διαπράττει εγκλήματα πολέμου, έχοντας εισβάλλει στη Συρία και στο Ιράκ, όπου διαλύει κυριολεκτικά το Afrin, εκεί όπου διαπράττονται εγκλήματα πολέμου. Μήπως ήρθε λοιπόν η ώρα να προβληματιστούμε για το πώς θα παραπεμφθούν οι υπαίτιοι που προέρχονται από την Τουρκία για την παραβίαση των ανθρωπίνων δικαιωμάτων στη Συρία, για τη συνεργασία τους με τους τζιχαντιστές, για τα εγκλήματα τα οποία διαπράττονται αυτή τη στιγμή στο Afrin και σε άλλες περιοχές; Ίσως αυτό θα πρέπει να είναι ένα από τα βασικά συμπεράσματα που θα βγάλουμε από τη σημερινή συζήτηση: να παραπεμφθεί η Τουρκική ηγεσία για τα εγκλήματα πολέμου στο Διεθνές Ποινικό Δικαστήριο.

 
  
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  Jozo Radoš (ALDE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, puno je prigovora koji se mogu uputiti Međunarodnom kaznenom sudu za bivšu Jugoslaviju. To nije univerzalan sud, odnosi se samo na neke zemlje. Najveće svjetske sile danas ne podliježu nikakvom Međunarodnom kaznenom sudu.

Sud je veliki broj zločina ostavio bez procesa i bez kazne, drastično je mijenjao svoje odluke i nije imao jedinstvene kriterije. Negdje je sudio po zapovjednoj, ponekad i po političkoj odgovornosti, a ponekad je sudio samo po individualnoj odgovornosti, što i jedno i drugo otvara prostor političke manipulacije.

Ugled Suda je na prostoru zapadnog Balkana mali i njegov doprinos pomirenju nije velik. Ali, taj Sud je prikupio značajnu dokumentaciju za daljnje istraživanje istine i donošenje pravde i sigurno je donio broj presuda puno veći nego što bi bilo da toga Suda nije bilo.

Zbog toga djelovanje i rad Suda unatoč svim nedostacima zaslužuje pozitivnu ocjenu.

 
  
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  Ivica Tolić (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, Hrvatska je jedan od inicijatora uspostave Međunarodnog suda za ratne zločine počinjene na području bivše Jugoslavije. Bio je to razuman čin zemlje koja je doživjela agresiju jedne komunističke vojne sile, možda i zadnje u Europi s ideološkim predznakom, a dominantno u funkciji okupacije hrvatskog državnog teritorija i stvaranja takozvane velike Srbije.

Vjerovali smo kako će se na Sudu suditi pokretačima agresije, ne samo na Hrvatsku nego i na susjedne zemlje, Sloveniju i Bosnu i Hercegovinu, jer je agresor za sve bio isti.

Istina je da je u ratovima izazvanim velikosrpskom agresijom na svim stranama bilo u većoj ili manjoj mjeri zločina. Tako je bilo i u Drugom svjetskom ratu, ali je sudski proces nakon njegovog završetka pokrenut isključivo protiv poraženih sila Osovine.

Sud je osnovan rezolucijom na temelju poglavlja 7. Povelje Ujedinjenih naroda. U dugotrajnim procesima optuženi su brojni visoki dužnosnici, zapovjednici svih zaraćenih strana, kako oni koji su pokrenuli agresivni rat, tako i oni koji su se u njemu samo branili.

Je li Sud ispunio svoju svrhu, provodit će se brojne polemike. Hrvatska je ostvarila punu suradnju, a često su pojedinci išli više od toga, surađujući kao predstavnici institucija samo s tužiteljstvom, a ne Tribunalom.

 
  
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  Jasenko Selimovic (ALDE). – Mr President, 149 men named Selimovic – just like me – are in graves in Srebrenica. I’ve been for years listening to stories about what happened to them – the Serbian, Croatian and Bosniak version – and of course, all involved have the rights to their own story. But if we are not to live in a state of internal denial and nationalistic autism, one single truth has to be established. By unearthing the graves, by examining the military orders and mutilated bodies, ICTY tried to establish the truth. We need it desperately. We need it to acknowledge the suffering. We need it for possible future reconciliation, and we need in order to be able to continue our lives without shame. And I do believe that the Balkans need it in order to wake up from the nationalistic nightmare. Has the truth been established? No – the complete truth can never be established. But thanks to the works of ICTY, the number lies have been diminished, and that is more than enough.

 
  
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  Ivana Maletić (PPE). – Gospodine predsjedniče, žrtva i onaj tko se branio ne mogu imati licemjernu reakciju na presudu, nego samo iskrenu reakciju na nepravdu. A agresor i napadač u ovom slučaju je bila Srbija, koja nije htjela prihvatiti ustavno pravo republika bivše Jugoslavije na odcjepljenje i osamostaljenje. Oni imaju licemjerne reakcije.

Haški sud je u nekim slučajevima upao u zamku izjednačavanja odgovornosti i donošenja presuda neutemeljenih u pravu i dokazima i zbog toga kreirao presude koje su produbile bol i patnju žrtava. Zbog toga, unatoč nekim dobro odrađenim poslovima, ne možemo reći da je ispunio svoj cilj, a to su istina i izraženo poštovanje i pravednost prema žrtvama.

 
  
 

(Încheierea intervențiilor la cerere)

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, as always this has been a very useful exchange of views and understandable comments, ideas and commitment to the work. I will be sure to bring your views to the attention of Commissioner Hahn. I think it is fair to say that the Commission, Parliament, the European Council and all of us are committed to reconciliation. The fight against impunity is an integral part of this approach. We have strong conditionality and we will continue to use it. We have learned from previous accessions that our approaches evolve but our ultimate aim is the same – to support justice for the victims.

In December, Commissioner Hahn had the honour to be invited to the closing ceremony of the International Tribunal. There were groups present representing the families of victims, victims of every nationality and every ethnicity, men, women and children. All had their criticisms of the Tribunal and its work in specific cases, but all were in total agreement that without the Tribunal, without the support of the international community and without the support of the European Union, there would have been no justice at all.

With our strategy for the Western Balkans we have reconfirmed our commitment to justice in the region. Through our work together we can help bring that justice to all the victims regardless of ethnicity, religion, gender or age, and the Commission looks forward to having Parliament on its side as we engage in this important work in the future.

 
  
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  Monika Panayotova, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, firstly let me express my sincere gratitude for the work of the European Parliament in supporting international humanitarian law and the important work of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia. We join you in stressing the importance of policies of reconciliation as part of the European integration process so that civilians of all ethnicities may overcome the tensions of the past and begin peaceful and genuine coexistence in the interests of sustainable peace, stability and economic growth.

The specific priority of the Bulgarian Presidency is the European perspective and connectivity in the Western Balkans, as the European perspective continues to be a major driving force for achieving stability in serious political and economic transformations. Emphasising the importance of the Tribunal in terms of building peace, fostering reconciliation and endorsing the rule of law, we encourage the respective governments involved in the Tribunal’s processes to cooperate fully with, and respect the decision of, its successor, the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals.

As one of our main priorities, we will continue to support concrete progress on each country’s EU path, on the basis of merit, focusing on further strengthening institutions, good governance and the rule of law, building and fostering good neighbourly relations and inclusive regional cooperation, mitigating stability risks and promoting social economic development and cohesion.

The Tribunal has finished its existence, but there is still work to be done, so we encourage our Western Balkan partners to make further efforts to overcome legacies of the past and to foster reconciliation, including through promoting a climate of tolerance.

 
  
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  Preşedintele. – Dezbaterea a fost închisă.

Declarații scrise (articolul 162)

 
  
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  Dominique Bilde (ENF), par écrit. – La contribution du Tribunal pour l’ex-Yougoslavie au droit pénal international est inestimable, puisque cette cour a servi de modèle aux grands procès internationaux, comme ceux afférents aux crimes du Rwanda. Sa contribution au travail de mémoire est également considérable, au regard des milliers de pages de débats judiciaires documentant minutieusement des faits historiques d’une rare atrocité.

Pour autant, si ces missions ont été, pour l’essentiel, remplies, l’objectif politique de cette saga judiciaire d’un quart de siècle, qui consistait en la réconciliation des peuples des Balkans, s’est quant à lui soldé par un échec. De fait, les décisions du Tribunal sont trop souvent, à tort ou à raison, passées notamment aux yeux du peuple serbe comme le fruit d’une justice des vainqueurs partisane.

Certains acquittements spectaculaires, comme celui l’actuel premier ministre kosovar Ramush Haradinaj, resteront gravés dans leurs mémoires comme une démonstration de ce deux poids deux mesures. Car, à n’en pas douter, les passions nationales sont toujours à vif dans les Balkans occidentaux.

Et alors que l’Union européenne tente cette année de relancer le processus d’adhésion, la persistance de profonds antagonismes territoriaux, ethniques et religieux rend cette perspective toujours plus lointaine.

 
  
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  Carlos Coelho (PPE), por escrito. – O Tribunal Penal Internacional para a antiga Jugoslávia encerrou os trabalhos em 31 de Dezembro de 2017, 24 anos depois da sua instituição. O julgamento de genocídios, crimes contra a Humanidade, crimes de guerra e violações das Convenções de Genebra foi um exercício complexo, com 161 acusações (das quais 90 condenações, 13 reenvios para jurisdição nacional, 37 mortes ou acusação retirada e 19 absolvições), 4 650 testemunhas, 10 800 dias de julgamento e 2 milhões e meio de páginas de processo.

Registo a colaboração permanente da União Europeia nos trabalhos, congelando bens ou proibindo a circulação de acusados nos seus Estados-Membros, e recordo a exigência de cooperação com o TPIJ no acordo de adesão da Croácia. Neste sentido, defendo que qualquer negociação com a Sérvia tem de considerar esta matéria.

O contributo do Tribunal para o Direito Penal Internacional é inegável e espero que a jurisprudência produzida seja útil para futuros mecanismos semelhantes. Infelizmente, hoje assistimos à prática de crimes de guerra e violações flagrantes do Direito Humanitário Internacional, com a Síria em destaque. Espero que o aprofundamento dos princípios de responsabilidade criminal individual em situação de guerra contribua para uma futura ação determinada contra os criminosos que, hoje mesmo, exterminam populações inteiras.

 
  
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  Karol Karski (ECR), na piśmie. – Międzynarodowy Trybunał Karny dla Byłej Jugosławii, który zakończył swoją działalność w zeszłym roku, okazał się wielkim sukcesem społeczności międzynarodowej. 161 osób, które zostały oskarżone o zbrodnie wojenne w czasie wojny w byłej Jugosławii, zostało osądzonych, z czego ponad 80 skazanych. Trybunał ad hoc – powstały w 1993 roku na mocy rezolucji Rady Bezpieczeństwa ONZ – był pierwszym po Norymberdze i Tokio, który sądził osoby oskarżone o zbrodnie międzynarodowe. Choć powołanie Trybunału nie zapobiegło zamordowaniu ośmiu tysięcy bośniackich mężczyzn i chłopców w 1995 roku w Srebrenicy, to dzięki jego późniejszej, w sumie prawie 25 letniej działalności panuje dziś przekonanie, że za zbrodnie międzynarodowe sprawcy będą musieli prędzej czy później odpowiedzieć. Dobrze rokuje to też dla haskiego, już stałego, Międzynarodowego Trybunału Karnego.

 
  
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  Ilhan Kyuchyuk (ALDE), in writing. – The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was a United Nations court of law that examined and prosecuted crimes committed during the bloody conflicts in the Balkans in the 1990s. Since its establishment, it irreversibly changed the landscape of international humanitarian law and international jurisdiction. Тhe tribunal was unique because it gave the victims an opportunity to voice the horrors they witnessed and experienced. The court was supposed to demonstrate that no one was above the law, and that every person would have to answer for his actions, regardless of his position in the society. Over the last 25 years some 161 people have been charged with crimes and 151 faced trial, including high-ranking persons such as Radovan Karadzic, Ratko Mladic and Slobodan Milosevic. The death by suicide of Slobodan Praljak has overshadowed the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia’s final verdict. The court has been heavily criticised by nationalists in Serbia, but the truth is that justice has prevailed and after 25 years the court will cease to exist, but its impact will remain.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (ALDE), kirjalikult. – Aastal 1993 moodustatud ÜRO Endise Jugoslaavia Rahvusvaheline Kriminaaltribunal on tänaseks lõpetanud töö, olles mõistnud süüdi 90 inimest kuritegudes, muu hulgas genotsiidi, sõjakuritegude ja inimsusevastaste kuritegude toimepanemises. Tribunal on teinud märkimisväärset tööd nii mõneski aspektis. Ta saatis signaali, et rahvusvaheline kogukond on pühendunud sellele, et kõige tõsisemad kuriteod ja nende toimepanijad ei jää karistuseta. Samuti on tänu tribunali tööle nüüd olemas suur arhiiv sellest, mis Sarajevos, Srebrenicas ja mujal toimus, ning seda ei unustata ka tulevikus. Lisaks on tribunali loomine aidanud kaasa suurema süsteemi loomisele ning on suurenenud arusaam ning vajadus Rahvusvahelise Kriminaalkohtu järele. On oluline, et võimalikult paljud riigid Rahvusvahelise Kriminaalkohtu jurisdiktsiooni aktsepteeriksid, et oleks võimalik ka edaspidi inimsusevastaste kuritegude eest inimesi vastutusele võtta, ning loodetavasti mõjub kartus vastutusele võtmise ees nii mõnelgi puhul ka heidutusena.

 
  
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  Cristian Dan Preda (PPE), in writing. – The 24 years of operation of the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) represent a legal success emerging from tragedy, from the atrocious crimes committed on the territory of former Yugoslavia. At the time of its creation, few would have imagined that the perpetrators of these horrendous crimes would, one day, be brought to justice.

During its 10 800 trial days, the ICTY heard 4 650 witnesses and convicted 90 people out of the 161 indicted. Through its work, accountability for atrocities became a universal value and the landscape of international criminal and humanitarian law was irreversibly changed. Its ground-breaking decisions have indeed played a pivotal role in shaping the architecture of international criminal justice of today. Its work also helped alleviate the suffering of the victims and contributed to regional reconciliation.

Genuine and lasting reconciliation can be achieved only by explaining and accepting the reality of the crimes that have occurred in ex-Yugoslavia – recognising and accepting, for instance, the genocide in Srebrenica. While the Tribunal’s work has ended, the reconciliation process should begin in earnest. It is the responsibility of political elites to carry the process forward in good faith, instead of glorifying the perpetrators of war crimes as happens regularly in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

 

24. Activitățile interzise de lobby ale fostului președinte al Comisiei, Barroso, de exemplu întâlnirea cu comisarul Katainen (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Preşedintele. – Următorul punct de pe ordinea de zi este dezbaterea privind Declarația Comisiei referitoare la activitățile interzise de lobby ale fostului președinte al Comisiei, Barroso, de exemplu întâlnirea cu comisarul Katainen (2018/2605(RSP)).

 
  
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  Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, unfortunately there are not that many Members around, but perhaps there are more important issues on their agendas. Nevertheless, thank you very much for your kind invitation to participate in this very interesting, timely and important debate. I am glad to have a chance to discuss transparency practices in the EU institutions with you, to tell you about my rendezvous with my friend and former Commission President, Mr Barroso, and also to correct some unintentional – and also some intentional – misperceptions concerning the meetings.

I did not think that the glass of beer I had with Mr Barroso would merit such attention, but I think it is good to clarify what this Commission does to meet the highest standards of transparency in general and, in particular, how we decided to deal with meetings with Mr Barroso after he accepted the position with Goldman Sachs.

This Commission took a very clear commitment from the very beginning to be transparent vis-à-vis European citizens and its actions. It is very important for this Commission and very important for me. This is why I have always paid great attention to the transparency of my meetings, and you can consult this on my website.

The European Commission as a whole is fully committed to enhancing transparency across all areas of its work. Upon taking office, the Juncker Commission decided first to limit meetings between Commissioners, their cabinets, the Commission Directors-General, to organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy and policy implementation who are registered in the transparency register. Secondly, and at the same time, the Commission took a specific decision in November 2014 obliging its members to publish these meetings. Unfortunately, the same level of transparency does not occur in all the EU institutions. The Commission is the most transparent institution in the EU.

Now to the particular case of my meeting with Mr Barroso on 25 October 2017. When Mr Barroso accepted the position with Goldman Sachs, President Juncker decided, and announced, that he would be received in the Commission in the future as a representative of an organisation. This is why a meeting with Mr Barroso always needs to be registered, and this is exactly what I did. I told my cabinet to publish the meeting on my website, in the section dedicated to meetings with organisations and self-employed individuals engaged in EU policy-making and policy implementation. The Commission decision of November 2014 provides for the publication of the name of the organisation, not of the names of individual persons representing the organisation. This is why I published the meeting with Goldman Sachs.

Some of you are interested in details of the meeting, so I am happy to clarify this. The meeting was set up at Mr Barroso’s request, in his personal capacity and not as a representative of the organisation. It was arranged over the phone by my office. I met him in the bar of the Silken Berlaymont hotel for a beer. Mr Barroso and I were the only persons present at this meeting. I consider José Manuel Barroso as a friend. I worked a lot with him when he was the President of the European Commission and I was the Finance Minister and Prime Minister of my country at the time. We worked together through one of the most difficult periods in Europe’s recent history, during the economic and financial crisis. For about four months I was Vice-President in this Commission in 2014, during his second mandate. In spring 2016, before he accepted a position with Goldman Sachs, I visited the United States. During my visit I spoke at the University of Princeton, where Mr Barroso was a lecturer and held a faculty, and he was kind enough to organise the event with the students to discuss Europe. Mr Barroso and I were also, at the same time, on a panel at the Atlantic Council event during my visit.

When he proposed we have a cup of coffee, I suggested going for a beer instead. My office took care of setting up the time and place of the meeting. If he had not contacted me, I would have contacted him, because I had already been thinking for a long time that it would be nice to see him again.

When we met it was me doing most of the talking. I told him about our ambitious trade and defence agenda. He is a lecturing professor, travelling a lot and meeting world leaders, so I thought it would be useful for him to know that Europe is on the move again. I hoped he would spread the word. I also spoke to him about the ‘Future of Europe’ discussion, which many of you are familiar with. Of course, we discussed politics, life and personal matters, as many people do when they are sitting with a friend.

Our meeting respected in full the rules the Commission has adopted. The Commission has never said that Mr Barroso could not have meetings with members of the Commission and that members of the Commission would not be allowed to have meetings with him. The meeting took place in public, according to the rules and the commitment taken by President Juncker. Had I not made this meeting public, I could understand questions being asked, but do not criticise the Commission for having made the meeting public, because this is a request we are imposing on ourselves.

We all have a right to have a private life and we all have a right to select our friends. I could not imagine myself politicising other people’s friendships. The NGOs which had questions have received answers from the European Commission, and those who still have questions will also get answers.

It is in this spirit of transparency that I am discussing here with you today.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel, em nome do Grupo PPE. – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Vice-Presidente Katainen, antes de mais, queria agradecer-lhe pela forma clara, sóbria, e eu diria com respeito por esta casa, como explicou este assunto.

Na verdade, fazer este debate, hoje, nesta casa, com este motivo, é mais próprio de um reality show do que de um parlamento. Não há na conduta de José Manuel Durão Barroso, nem enquanto foi Presidente da Comissão por dois mandatos, nem no período que se seguiu, nem a partir do momento em que regressou à vida privada, nada que se lhe possa apontar do ponto de vista ético ou do ponto de vista da correção de comportamento.

Há talvez perseguição pessoal, há talvez inimizade, há talvez gente que neste Parlamento não gostou das linhas políticas que ele assumiu. E por isso, de cada vez que fala, de cada vez que aparece, de cada vez que pratica um ato normal da sua vida privada, é motivo de ataque neste Parlamento.

É estranho que numa semana em que sai o escândalo Manafort e até há altos dignitários da Comissão que estão envolvidos em questões da Ucrânia, nós não estejamos aqui a debater isso e estejamos a debater se José Manuel Durão Barroso devia, ou não devia, ter bebido uma cerveja num bar de um hotel em Bruxelas.

Pobre parlamento que perde tempo com um assunto destes e que não respeita aqueles que o serviram com dignidade e com sentido ético, como é o caso de José Manuel Durão Barroso.

 
  
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  Ana Gomes, em nome do Grupo S&D. – Senhor Presidente, ao contrário do que afirmou o Presidente Juncker, o encontro entre Durão Barroso e o Vice-Presidente Katainen não é um não assunto. Não me espanta que Durão Barroso tenha quebrado o compromisso de não fazer lobby junto das instituições europeias quando estava em causa a compatibilidade do seu emprego no Goldman Sachs com os seus deveres como ex—Presidente da Comissão Europeia.

Mas quem aqui tem esclarecimentos a prestar, ao Parlamento Europeu e aos cidadãos, é justamente o Sr. Vice-Presidente Katainen, que bem sabia que é impróprio, pouco recomendável, reunir com Durão Barroso, dada a controvérsia causada pela sua nomeação para aquele banco privado depois de ter ocupado o cargo de Presidente da Comissão.

Ainda para mais quando o próprio Vice-Presidente Katainen, depois de ter de reconhecer que o encontro com alguém do Goldman Sachs era com Durão Barroso, o que inicialmente omitiu do registo, acabou também por admitir que tinham tratado de assuntos de política europeia no campo do comércio e da defesa. Obviamente, ao contrário do que disseram o Presidente Juncker e o próprio Sr.Vice-Presidente, não se tratou de um copo entre amigos, e por isso, há demasiadas contradições e mudanças na narrativa, Sr. Vice—Presidente. Precisamos de saber, precisamos que esclareça que assuntos específicos de comércio e de defesa discutiu com o Sr. Durão Barroso, empregado do Goldman Sachs.

 
  
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  Marian Harkin, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, Commissioner, I believe in listening to both sides of the story, but any explanation must have real credibility. First, your meeting is logged in the register as a meeting with Goldman Sachs, yet you said it was a meeting between friends. You say that Mr Juncker said that it is a rule that any meeting with Mr Barroso has to be logged, so why not by name? Secondly, we have the sorry saga of Barroso’s hasty exit from the Commission to Goldman Sachs, a company that carries at least some responsibility for the crash where millions of EU citizens’ lives were damaged or destroyed. You cannot ignore that fact. At any meeting logged in the transparency register, you are a Commissioner first and a friend of Barroso second.

The golden circle of powerful interests and powerful people meeting with no account of proceedings does not have the confidence of EU citizens. No matter how you explain it, your meeting with Barroso falls into that category.

 
  
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  Dennis de Jong, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, thank you, and thanks also to the Vice-President for being here. I am very happy that we are talking about transparency and we share the interest of the Commission in transparency, but I must say that the more I listen to the Vice-President, the more confused I get. You enter into the register, rightfully so, that you meet a lobbyist. That is also the policy of the Commission, that Mr Barroso is treated only as a lobbyist, not as a friend, not as a beer drinker, nothing like that: just a lobbyist. Then you say, ‘but we had a chat, and of course this wasn’t about Goldman Sachs; I wrote down in the register Goldman Sachs, but it wasn’t about Goldman Sachs, it was about a university background, trade and defence and the European Union’.

This is all very contradictory. I really think that we, as Parliament, deserve to know exactly whether he was there in his capacity as a lobbyist for Goldman Sachs, because then we would also have a problem with the Commission. The ad hoc committee – the ethical committee – made very clear that his commitment not to lobby for Goldman Sachs with people like you was important for the committee when taking the decision not to take sanctions against Mr Barroso. So I think we need far more clarity than you have given, and at this hour it is quite normal that the people who are spokespersons for their Groups are here, but not the entire Parliament.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Herr Kommissar Katainen, ich muss Ihnen ganz offen sagen: Sie haben Recht, dass die Kommission, was die Transparenz von Treffen angeht, weiter ist als das, was wir hier im Parlament selbst praktizieren, weiter als was die Mitgliedstaaten praktizieren. Die Transparenz über die Treffen der Spitzenbeamten und auch Sie als Kommissare, das ist ein echter Schritt nach vorne, was Lobbytransparenz angeht.

Das Ziel von Lobbytransparenz ist niemals Kontaktverbote zwischen Freunden – darum geht es nicht. Aber das eigentliche Problem, über das wir hier sprechen, ist, wie so ein solcher Seitenwechsel von Herrn Barroso zu Goldman Sachs überhaupt möglich war. Sie haben leider die Gelegenheit verpasst, eine tiefe Reform der Seitenwechselregeln einzuleiten; Sie haben nur ein bisschen an den Regeln die Schrauben angedreht. Was nach wie vor fehlt, ist ein unabhängiges Ethikkomitee, das über diese Fragen entscheidet und das nicht von der Kommission ernannt wird, sondern aus eigenständigen Persönlichkeiten besteht. Bitte ziehen Sie die Konsequenz aus dieser Geschichte, diese Regeln jetzt endlich demokratiefreundlich auszugestalten.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, l’ancien président de la Commission de Bruxelles, M. Barroso, a été engagé en 2016 par la banque Goldman Sachs, tristement célèbre pour avoir provoqué la crise financière de 2008.

Officiellement, il n’a pas été engagé pour faire du lobbying – ce qui paraît difficile à croire, mais le comité d’éthique, commandité par la Commission, a fait semblant de croire à cette baliverne. Entre eurocrates, il faut bien se serrer les coudes. Oh! surprise, M. Barroso vient pourtant d’être surpris en pleine conversation avec le commissaire Katainen. Le spectre du lobbying reparaît et les explications que vient de donner M.  Katainen – une rencontre entre amis – ne sont guère convaincantes.

Cet événement prouve à mes yeux que l’Union européenne est l’Europe des banques et des affairistes sans foi ni loi. C’est d’une autre Europe dont nous avons besoin: une Europe respectueuse des nations et des libertés.

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Vice-Président, j’ai l’impression que, si vous nous avez parlé de transparence, en réalité, vous avez été d’une confusion totale.

Vous nous parlez de transparence et d’un café avec un ami, mais de quel ami s’agit-il?

Vous ne pouvez pas ignorer que votre responsabilité comme vice-président de la Commission doit vous amener à vous interroger sur le type de rendez-vous et de contacts que vous pouvez avoir avec M. Barroso, qui est engagé par Goldman Sachs pour les conseiller sur la question du Brexit. Et pour parler de quoi? De commerce et de défense!

Me diriez-vous qu’il n’y a pas de passerelle entre les deux, entre le mandat de M. Barroso au sein de Goldman Sachs et du thème même que vous avouez avoir évoqué avec lui?

Alors c’est peut-être autour d’un verre de bière, mais cela ne change rien au fait que vous avez par là même franchi toutes les frontières de ce qui est possible dans le cadre du respect, de l’indépendance et des règles minimum qui devraient être celles de la Commission, s’agissant du lobbying exercé par M. Barroso, qui a été pris la main dans le sac.

 
  
 

Intervenții la cerere

 
  
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  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Monsieur le Président, je sais bien que les promesses n’engagent que ceux qui y croient, mais M. Barroso avait fait la promesse de ne pas intercéder en faveur de son nouvel employeur, Goldman Sachs. Déjà, nous avions été un certain nombre à considérer qu’un commissaire – pardon, un ancien président de la Commission – n’avait pas à aller pantoufler, comme on dit en France, dans des délais aussi courts.

Aujourd’hui, on apprend qu’il est allé prendre une bière avec un ami qui se trouve être, s’il vous plaît, un vice-président de la Commission – en fait, peut-être pour parler quand même affaires.

Les citoyens européens attendent de leurs responsables de la transparence dans les relations que ceux-ci ont avec les lobbies. Pour ma part, comme la plupart de mes collègues, je publie toutes les rencontres que j’ai pu avoir dans le cadre de mes fonctions. Nous avons le devoir de vérité, vous, M. Katainen, comme moi, Jean-Paul Denanot.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, η πρόσληψη του Barroso από την Goldman Sachs προκάλεσε σάλο κυριολεκτικά στην ευρωπαϊκή κοινή γνώμη. Τώρα βλέπουμε ότι ο Barroso είναι και λομπίστας της Goldman Sachs, παρότι υποσχέθηκε ότι δεν θα το κάνει, γεγονός το οποίο προκαλεί την ευρωπαϊκή κοινή γνώμη και αυτό είναι το βασικό στοιχείο. Από κει και πέρα κ. Katainen, με τις απαντήσεις που δώσατε, μάλλον περισσότερα ερωτήματα δημιουργήσατε παρά εξηγήσατε το τι συνέβη. Διότι, αν ήταν μια ιδιωτική συνάντηση, τότε δεν είχε νόημα να καταγραφεί ως συνάντηση με την Goldman Sachs και, αν ήταν μια συνάντηση με την Goldman Sachs, θα έπρεπε να έχετε περιγράψει και να αναφερθείτε και στη συνάντηση με τον Barroso. Είναι προφανές λοιπόν ότι υπάρχει ατόπημα από τη δική σας πλευρά κι αυτό θα πρέπει να αποκατασταθεί. Το ότι συζητήσατε για θέματα άμυνας, έτσι γενικώς και αορίστως, δεν μας πείθει. Υπάρχει ενδιαφέρον της Goldman Sachs για μετοχές επιχειρήσεων άμυνας; Για defence stocks; Ναι ή όχι; Γνωρίζετε γι’ αυτό το θέμα;

 
  
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  Krisztina Morvai (NI). – Elnök Úr! Együttérzéssel gondolok azokra a szegény fiatalokra Magyarországon, meg hát idősebbekre is, akik az Európai Unió lobogóját lóbálva kelnek ki a magyarországi korrupció ellen. Szánalmas dolog ez, hiszen látjuk, mi folyik az Európai Unióban. Most kivételesen lebuktak, porszem esett a gépezetbe, de ez egy abszolút tipikus történet. Itt van Barroso úr, az Európai Bizottság volt elnöke, miután lejár a mandátuma már minden politikai kapcsolatát ugye megfelelően kiépítette. Elszegődik a Goldman Sachs-hez, az egyik olyan céghez, hogy így mondjam, amelyik eminens felelőse annak, hogy európai polgárok millióinak tönkrement az élete.

Majd pedig visszajár lobbizgatni a Goldman Sachs érdekében az európai uniós pajtásaihoz. Így megy ez, kérem szépen, tehát ne az Európai Unió zászlóját lobogtassuk, hogyha a korrupciótól meg akarunk szabadulni, mert ez nem az a hely, ahonnan tanulni lehetne. Ha nem akarunk Magyarországon korrupciót, nagyon helyes, én is gyűlölöm, de nem az Uniótól van tanulnivalónk.

 
  
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  Elly Schlein (S&D). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, Vicepresidente Katainen, mi pare che ci siano degli elementi contraddittori nelle spiegazioni fornite a questo Parlamento e quindi ai cittadini europei. L'incontro con Barroso viola gli impegni che aveva preso, ed è inopportuno che chi ha avuto l'onore di servire da Presidente della Commissione possa poi, tramite le revolving doors, mettersi a fare attività di lobbying sulla Commissione stessa. Anche dai Commissari ci aspettiamo trasparenza e indipendenza, il che vuol dire evitare ogni potenziale conflitto di interesse.

Vorremmo almeno sapere di quali temi, in concreto, avete discusso. La sfida di ridurre la distanza dei cittadini europei dalle nostre istituzioni parte anche da qui, da una maggiore trasparenza, una misura indispensabile per capire quali interessi si muovono in questi corridoi, altrimenti rafforzerete l'idea che l'UE abbia, con le sue istituzioni, più orecchie per i portatori di grandi interessi economici che non per i problemi dei cittadini e le loro difficoltà.

 
  
 

(Încheierea intervențiilor la cerere)

 
  
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  Jyrki Katainen, Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, thank you very much for the questions.

First, I would like to answer Ms Gomes’s question regarding the defence and foreign policy-related issues which we discussed. I am sure you know most of them. I explained what we are planning to do with the Defence Industrial Fund, how we have established a preparatory action on defence research, and also the latest developments on Permanent Structured Cooperation on Security and Defence (PESCO), etc. On the trade agenda, I explained or listed all the countries with whom we are negotiating, and things like that. As I am in charge of these issues and am interested in these issues, it says a lot that things are now moving in a positive direction in Europe. Those MEPs who are involved in these files will know more or less the substance of what I discussed.

A couple of other remarks. I understand that people have controversial thoughts regarding Goldman Sachs as a financial institution. Everybody has the right to have a negative, positive or neutral position on this. Also, some people may have a certain attitude or opinion regarding Mr Barroso. I think we all can agree here that, as Mr Giegold said, transparency does not mean denying people the chance to meet each other. Commissioners are allowed – just like anyone else – to meet Mr Barroso, for instance. He cannot be the only person in the world who cannot be met. I am sure that many of you can understand that it is natural to meet and discuss with a person who I know from many years back and who I consider a friend, who has a wide view on how the world is moving, just like anyone else meets him. If I invited him to my home with my wife, as a group of other friends, I would not expect anyone to ask me to invite a Commission official to sit in the corner of my dining room and record what we are discussing. It is nothing more than a normal discussion. I checked my website today and I have never received anybody from Goldman Sachs. I would not have a problem meeting Goldman Sachs if they had something to say.

A couple of my cabinet members have once or twice received representatives of Goldman Sachs, just like they meet all the other financial institutions, NGOs, labour unions or industrial organisations who are interested in meeting with us.

Taking into account all the controversies around this topic, in my mind friendship also matters. I understand that everybody does not consider friendship in the same way that I do. It is not a matter which is relevant to public debate. Friendship has its own value, and I do hope that we all see things like that. I will meet Mr Barroso next time: I do not know when, but hopefully, soon enough. We see each other very rarely nowadays because he is travelling and I am busy, but hopefully I will have a chance to meet him again, and I will do exactly the same as I did this time. I will disclose this meeting, even if it is a private meeting, because we have a principle on this. I will do the same as I did this time.

Mr Barroso has followed the Commission rules and his personal commitment. He has not lobbied the Commission. I do not know, but I am sure that all of you here always disclose every time you meet somebody and you make notes on these discussions. It is a good principle, because we need to do whatever it takes to strengthen the confidence of our citizens towards the political decision-makers. In this House it is very important, because you are the real decision makers, together with the Council.

Thank you very much for this discussion. I am always available if you want to continue this particular discussion or a discussion on other issues.

 
  
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  Preşedintele. – Dezbaterea a fost închisă.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: EVELYNE GEBHARDT
Vizepräsidentin

 

25. Eliminarea anumitor state terțe de pe lista UE a jurisdicțiilor necooperante în scopuri fiscale (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärungen des Rates und der Kommission zur Streichung mehrerer Drittländer von der EU-Liste nicht kooperativer Länder und Gebiete für Steuerzwecke (2018/2564(RSP)).

 
  
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  Monika Panayotova, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, you have asked the Presidency to give you an update on the delisting by the Ecofin Council of eight jurisdictions – Barbados, Grenada, the Republic of Korea, Macao, Mongolia, Panama, Tunisia and the United Arab Emirates – removing them from the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes. Let me start by recalling the political process that led us to where we are now, as I believe this is very important.

On 25 May 2016, the Council agreed on the establishment of an ‘EU list of third-country non-cooperative jurisdictions’, and to explore coordinated defensive measures at EU level. Since the start of the process we have therefore been talking about a European Union list of non-cooperative jurisdictions, not about a blacklist of tax havens, contrary to what some may say. The Council’s Code of Conduct Group on business taxation was entrusted with the task of preparing the necessary elements for our decision.

In November 2016, the Council approved the process, geographical scope and screening criteria for this work. At the beginning of 2017, the Code of Conduct Group then wrote to all the jurisdictions concerned to start the dialogues, and constituted expert panels to screen the jurisdictions concerned against the criteria. These panels identified deficiencies in most jurisdictions. Some jurisdictions have chosen, up to now, not to cooperate with the European Union, which is why they remain listed in Annex I. Defensive measures are already being applied towards these jurisdictions.

However, most of the jurisdictions chose to cooperate with the European Union and agreed, through commitment letters signed at a high political level, to take the necessary steps to address the concerns identified. This is illustrated by Annex II of the Council conclusions of 5 December, which contained 47 jurisdictions. This shows that the approach chosen by the Council has led to a constructive engagement with many jurisdictions around the world and that the initiative has so far been a success. The objective is not to name and shame, but to provoke effective changes through cooperation.

The same process applied to the eight jurisdictions delisted on 23 January, but their commitment letters were not received in time to allow them to be included in Annex II at the 5 December Ecofin Council meeting. We take these commitments very seriously and we will closely monitor their implementation through the Code of Conduct Group.

Regarding transparency (an issue on which I know that there is sometimes criticism), while the process can be diplomatically sensitive, appropriate transparency will nevertheless be ensured. As a follow-up to the Bulgarian Presidency’s publicly stated commitment to greater transparency, during the last Ecofin Council meeting, its current chair, Mr Goranov, sent a letter to the Chair of the Code of Conduct Group inviting her to request permission from the relevant jurisdictions to publish their commitment letters. The letter was discussed at the Code of Conduct meeting on 14 February and the Group approved the text of the letter to the jurisdictions requesting consent to publish their commitment letters. The letter was sent on 22 February 2018. Furthermore, the Council conclusions and their annexes are very explicit on substance and process.

We are also in the process of publishing the letters seeking commitments sent last autumn to jurisdictions. We have published on the Council website consolidated versions of Annexes I and II of the 5 December conclusions. A six-monthly report by the Code of Conduct Group on its activities concerning both Member States and third countries is also available. The next one will be in June this year.

I am looking forward to listening to your views. Thank you very much for inviting us and for your attention.

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I am taking this debate, as you know, this evening on behalf of my friend Commissioner Moscovici, and this is a debate in an area in which the Commission has made progress in only three years. Three years ago, the idea of having a European list of tax havens was not a plausible one at all, and I’m sure you can recall the outcry when the Commission simply published a compilation of national lists.

Parliament should also be very proud of the steps we have taken because they are also the result of the constant pressure that many of your Members exerted, particularly through the recommendations of the Special Committee on Tax Rulings (TAXE Committee) and the Committee on Money Laundering, Tax Avoidance and Tax Evasion (PANA Committee). This is pressure that you will continue to exert with the new TAXE 3 Committee, the terms of reference for which you will vote on tomorrow. Among its other objectives, this committee will evaluate the process that led to the establishment of the list and its impact.

It is important at Parliament continues to follow this issue closely and I know that I don’t have to tell the honourable Members to do so. Parliament’s pressure is essential for our goal of promoting tax justice at international level.

Clearly the adoption of the list has not put an end to the existence of tax havens and I want to give you some more detail about that. In the negotiations leading to the conclusion of the list, 47 jurisdictions made written commitments to reform their tax systems in order to avoid being blacklisted. Eight of the countries listed then quickly realised their interest in cooperating with the European Union and committed themselves to reforming their tax legislation. The publication of the list has triggered positive momentum.

I note that some people disliked the speed with which these commitments were achieved and the shrinking of the list. However, the blacklist is not an end in itself. The so-called grey list is more important for the credibility of the process. This list includes 55 third countries. We want these countries and territories to comply with our expectations in terms of transparency and good fiscal governance. The grey list places these countries in a process whereby they are required to abolish the aspects of their tax systems that encourage fraud before the end of the year, or by 2019 for developing countries. If they do not do so, they will be included in the blacklist.

But the work is far from finished: our attention must now turn to the precise and uncompromising monitoring of the commitments undertaken by the third countries. We will have to continue to work hard with them to ensure that they change their legislation and meet the criteria to which they have committed. Transparency will help us to move on from words to action, and that is why my colleague Commissioner Moscovici has called for the scope of the commitments given to be made public, for NGOs, for citizens, for the media and, of course, for our national parliaments and the European Parliament to see for themselves.

It is important that everybody can scrutinise the implementation of the commitments made. That is why the Commissioner asked the EU Finance Ministers at the ECOFIN Council on 23 January this year to publish the commitments made by the states on the grey list. These commitments are contained in letters signed by the authorities of these countries. The Member States are the drivers of this process and therefore the guarantors of its credibility and legitimacy. Transparency must play a crucial role here and Member States have undertaken to ask third countries for permission to publish these letters. We are confident that they will understand that it is in their interest to allow such transparency.

Member States have recognised that the Commission should have a central role in the technical monitoring of these commitments. This is something that the Commission takes very seriously. Countries that have honoured their commitments will get off the grey list. Countries that have not complied with them will return to blacklist. The process must be clear, precise and transparent.

The legitimacy of this list also depends on the question of whether the threat of sanctions is posed. This is why Commissioner Moscovici has called for strong and credible sanctions to be agreed by Member States to target financial flows through blacklisted countries. The European Union will assume its responsibilities at its own level, especially when it comes to the use of European funds. The Commission will soon issue guidelines on the use of these funds.

Finally, let me say a word about the absence of Member States on these lists. This is a criticism of the process that has been consistently made, particularly by Parliament, and there is a misunderstanding here. The purpose of drawing up a European list of tax havens was always to deal with external threats to Member States’ tax bases. The aim was to reflect in our relations with our non-EU partners all the ambitious reforms that have been adopted over the past three years to make the European tax system fairer.

Member States were therefore never part of the evaluation process when drawing up these lists because they are already obliged to implement all of the provisions that have already been adopted by the European Union, in particular our proposals on the automatic exchange of information and the measures under the Anti-Tax-Avoidance Directive, to combat tax evasion. Of course, Member States are not perfect and tax-optimisation practices continue within the European Union. The abolition of these tax arrangements is a long-term task to which the Commission is fully committed. That is the whole point of the discussions and harmonisation of the tax base for businesses, which were relaunched by Commissioner Moscovici in October 2016.

At the same time, and for the first time, last November the Commission called, in its recommendation on the euro area, for Member States to adopt and implement measures aimed at combating aggressive tax planning. The Commission can assure you that it will do everything in its power to ensure that the commitments made by third countries are effective, and that the results of this list on the ground match our ambitions.

 
  
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  Theodor Dumitru Stolojan, în numele grupului PPE. – Doamnă președintă, am felicitat Comisia atunci când, în sfârșit, după ani de zile, a reușit să publice această listă cu jurisdicțiile fiscale care nu cooperau pentru transparență în materie fiscală. Acum, după numai două luni de la publicarea listei, ne trezim că se vine cu propuneri de a se scoate de pe această listă pe baza unor angajamente luate. Noi avem o foarte mare experiență chiar cu state membre ale Uniunii Europene care își iau angajamente și nu și le îndeplinesc. Cred că creăm un precedent periculos, care va fi urmat și de către alte asemenea jurisdicții fiscale aflate pe lista publicată, care vor veni cu scrisori de angajamente pentru a fi scoase de pe listă.

A fost foarte mare efortul de a se ajunge la această listă și nu cred că este soluția potrivită în relația cu aceste țări. Ele trebuie întâi să îndeplinească măsurile, să oprim odată pentru totdeauna această scurgere masivă de fonduri care se realizează prin paradisurile fiscale.

 
  
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  Pervenche Berès, au nom du groupe S&D. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, que s’est-il passé avec ces huit États? J’ai entendu le Conseil nous dire que les informations étaient arrivées au dernier moment et qu’il avait fallu la réajuster. Mais tout de même, dans cette affaire où l’Europe a voulu être exemplaire en adoptant sa propre liste de territoires non coopératifs, reconnaissez-le, cela fait désordre et ne correspond pas à l’esprit des travaux que nous avons menés dans ce Parlement. En effet, une liste dont le Panama est immédiatement sorti ne peut pas être la liste crédible que nous attendons pour faire de l’Europe le fer de lance de la lutte contre les États non coopératifs. Et puis, nous voyons bien, avec les récents développements autour de cette liste, notamment lorsque le Conseil se débrouille pour qu’aucun des États membres de l’Union européenne n’y figure, qu’il y a encore une marge de progrès.

Ce que nous exigeons aujourd’hui, ce que nous vous demandons, Monsieur le Commissaire, c’est de la clarté, c’est de savoir dans quelle mesure les engagements sont effectivement tenus. À ce titre, il ne suffit pas de retirer un nom d’une liste, il faut nous dire pourquoi, comment et après quelles vérifications un nom en est retité, et nous fournir des faits et des moyens de vérification qui nous permettent de rester crédibles, car sinon cette liste ne pourra pas atteindre ses objectifs.

 
  
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  Petr Ježek, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Madam President, last December for the first time the EU agreed on a list of tax havens. This is to be welcomed, and this is also thanks to the strong pressure from the European Parliament for this list. Since then, it has taken less than three months to clear almost half of the countries from the list. If such progress continues we will have an empty list by May and therefore all the work done. We will have eliminated all tax havens in the world. Well done. I do not know why the Member States were so afraid of such a magic list!

But seriously, it does not look credible at all. We should be given detailed information about the criteria used to delist those countries and what they have committed to. We have heard that the Council is seeking permission to apply transparency. We shall see what and when will be available.

Tomorrow, the EP will vote on the mandate for a new committee on financial crime, tax avoidance and tax evasion. This committee will carefully assess the methodology, the country-screening process and the impact of the EU list of non-cooperative jurisdictions for tax purposes, as well as the removal of countries from the list and measures adopted towards countries still listed. Hopefully, the explanations Member States give us will be more detailed and credible then the current ones.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, werte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Mich beschleicht zunehmend der Verdacht, dass das Parlament hier am Nasenring durch die Manege geführt wird.

Erst im Dezember kritisiert das Parlament in seinem Bericht die Machenschaften einer windigen panamaischen Anwaltskanzlei, die ihren Klienten dabei hilft, hunderte Milliarden Euro jährlich zu hinterziehen. Panama landet dann auch auf der schwarzen Liste der Steuerparadiese. Aber bereits im Januar nimmt der Rat Panama sowie sieben andere Länder in einem völlig intransparenten Verfahren – weil irgendein Brief irgendwo eingegangen sein soll – wieder von dieser Liste.

Sie erklären damit im Nachhinein, dass Sie Steuervermeidung, Steuerflucht und Geldwäsche für ein Kavaliersdelikt halten. Sie erklären, dass diejenigen, die aus bloßem Eigennutz die Gesellschaft um hunderte Milliarden Euro prellen, ohne Konsequenz so weitermachen können. Aber wir reden hier von Geld, das eben nicht in die öffentliche Infrastruktur, das nicht in die Zukunft der Bildung, nicht in die Zukunft des Gesundheitswesens, nicht in Straßen, Schulen und Krankenhäuser investiert wird.

Sie machen an dieser Stelle eine falsche Politik. Wir jedoch werden uns weiterhin für Steuergerechtigkeit einsetzen und gegen Steuervermeidung, Steuerhinterziehung und Geldwäsche kämpfen.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Präsidentschaft! Ich muss schon sagen, dass die Intransparenz dieses Prozesses das eigentliche Problem ist. Grundsätzlich hat Europa hier einen großen Erfolg erzielt. Wir haben es in kurzer Zeit geschafft, dass sich eine ganze Zahl von Steueroasen verpflichtet hat, ihre Steuerpolitik zu ändern. Darauf können wir auch ein Stück stolz sein. Aber es geht nicht, dass intransparent gemacht wird, welche Länder auf die Liste gekommen sind und warum sie auf die Liste gekommen sind. Die Dokumente für das Screening – also nicht nur, wie Sie gesagt haben, Herr Kommissar, die Verpflichtungsbriefe, sondern auch das Screening selbst ist intransparent.

Wir haben inzwischen – und heute veröffentlicht – eine ganze Reihe von Protokollen aus der Code of Conduct-Gruppe. Und dort lernen wir, dass etwa Brasilien und Georgien, obwohl sie Sonderwirtschaftszonen betrieben, die als schädlich eingestuft wurden, letztlich nicht auf der grauen Liste oder auf der schwarzen Liste gelandet sind. Deshalb möchte ich vom Rat wissen: Warum sind diese beiden Länder nicht aufgenommen worden? Und zweitens: Wann veröffentlichen Sie sämtliche Unterlagen, auch das entsprechende Monitoring?

 
  
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  David Coburn, on behalf of the EFDD Group. – Madam President, I am pleased that the EU have taken so many off the black list – especially Tunisia, which has worked so hard to eliminate the problem of money laundering. Despite assurances on this, the EU still put Tunisia on the blacklist and damaged its economy. This had severe consequences for businesses and, in turn, jobs in Tunisia. This will create yet another wave of economic migrants desperately risking their lives crossing the Mediterranean and flooding an already-full jobs market.

I want to see Tunisians and others remain in their countries or Tunisians remaining in Tunisia, building their businesses and employing their fellow Tunisians. The European Union are just as keen to put Britain on a blacklist after Brexit, as they believe that our successful, low-tax economy is tantamount to money laundering. No it’s not – it’s just a threat to your command Soviet economy that you’re trying to create here in Europe. You just don’t get free market enterprise, which is why Britain is leaving the EU. The EU should stop extending its new cortical tentacles into North Africa and the rest of the world on the pretext of money laundering. Let’s be frank: the EU just hates free enterprise.

 
  
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  Bernard Monot, au nom du groupe ENF. – Madame la Présidente, il est normal que l’Union européenne, sous l’égide du Conseil, dispose d’une liste des pays fiscalement non coopératifs. Mais ce qui est bien moins normal dans le fléau de l’évasion fiscale européenne, c’est que l’hémorragie des recettes fiscales soit au cœur même de l’Union européenne. Les destinations exotiques ne se trouvent qu’en fin de liste: c’est bien parce que l’Irlande, le Luxembourg ou les Pays-Bas permettent aux multinationales d’y concentrer artificiellement leurs profits que ces sommes-là, ensuite, peuvent être exportées vers d’autres paradis fiscaux. La responsabilité de la Commission européenne est totale dans cette affaire.

Deuxièmement, la liste des pays tiers manque la cible principale: les États-Unis. Je parle ici du fait que les États-Unis restent opaques et sont donc devenus la meilleure place financière offshore. En effet, les États-Unis sont le seul pays de l’OCDE à avoir refusé de s’engager au reporting commun et à l’échange automatique d’informations. Or, avec le départ des fonds, notamment, de Suisse, de Panama et des îles Vierges britanniques, qui ont eux souscrit aux engagements de transparence, c’est environ 1 500 milliards de dollars de fonds offshore issus de l’évasion fiscale qui seront localisés aux États-Unis, principalement dans 3 États: le Delaware, le Nevada et le Dakota du Sud. La hausse annuelle de ces encours serait de l’ordre de 15 %.

Malheureusement, le groupe ENL n’espère, sur ce sujet des paradis fiscaux, aucune action efficace de l’Union européenne. Cette Union européenne qui perd une fois de plus une occasion de prouver une capacité de coopération internationale pour affirmer sa crédibilité réelle. Contrairement aux dernières déclarations de M. Moscovici, cette liste non crédible est, encore une fois, un coup d’épée dans l’eau.

 
  
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  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, meine Damen und Herren! Es zieht sich durch alle Wortmeldungen: Wir haben zwei zentrale Kritikpunkte: den Mangel an Transparenz und den Mangel an Glaubwürdigkeit. Weder das Europäische Parlament als Bürgerkammer noch die Europäische Kommission als Hüterin der Verträge hat Einsicht in die politischen Zusagen der acht Länder bekommen, die heute zur Debatte stehen. Wie sollen wir beurteilen, ob die Ratsentscheidung gerechtfertigt ist oder nicht? Und wie sollen wir unsere Kontrollfunktion wahrnehmen, wenn wir keinen Zugang zu diesen Informationen erhalten?

Der zweite Punkt ist die Frage der Glaubwürdigkeit. Wenn wir von anderen Ländern Verbesserungen einfordern, ohne unsere Entscheidungen nachvollziehbar zu begründen, dann verlieren wir unsere Glaubwürdigkeit. Wir dürfen uns mit Briefen nicht abspeisen lassen, und wir dürfen uns mit Zusagen, die erst später umgesetzt werden, nicht an der Nase herumführen lassen. Wir müssen den Kampf gegen Steuervermeidung und Steuerhinterziehung, für Transparenz und Glaubwürdigkeit fortsetzen. Daher ist es auch gut, richtig und wichtig, dass wir morgen den Sonderausschuss Steuern beschließen, weil wir unsere Arbeit konsequent fortsetzen müssen und unsere Kontrollaufgaben wahrnehmen sollten. Daher haben wir große Skepsis und verlangen von den Mitgliedstaaten Transparenz, Glaubwürdigkeit und die Offenlegung ihrer Unterlagen.

 
  
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  Peter Simon (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Es ist doch erstaunlich –haben wir doch eine Verpflichtung aller einzelnen Mitgliedstaaten gegenüber ihren Bürgerinnen und Bürgern, zu Hause Rechenschaft über ihr Handeln abzulegen.

Das Europäische Parlament – als Bürgerkammer für den Zusammenschluss all dieser Länder – will nicht mehr und nicht weniger, als ergänzend zu den nationalen Parlamenten hier überprüfen, ob das Handeln der Summe der Mitgliedstaten so in Ordnung ist wie es ist. Es ist ein bisschen arg wenig, wenn man uns über die Medien zur Kenntnis gibt, dass es über Briefe dazu geführt hat, dass einzelne Länder von der Liste der Steueroasen gestrichen wurden.

Ich denke, Sie stehen in der Verantwortung gegenüber den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern Ihres Landes, gegenüber der gesamten europäischen Bürgerschaft, genau darzulegen, nach welchen Kriterien ein Land überhaupt auf eine solche Liste kommt und nach welchen Kriterien es genau von dort wieder heruntergenommen werden kann, um dann im Einzelfall darzulegen, welche Anstrengungen ein Land versprochen hat zu unternehmen, damit es hiervon wieder verschwindet.

Sofern Sie dies nicht tun, werden Sie Ihrer Verpflichtung gegenüber den europäischen Bürgerinnen und Bürgern, den europäischen Steuerzahlern und dem Europäischen Parlament als Bürgerkammer nicht gerecht.

 
  
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  Marco Valli (EFDD). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la lista dei paradisi fiscali – questa black list – è una priorità per gran parte di questo Parlamento e per gran parte dei cittadini per assicurare una giustizia nei confronti di chi incentiva l'elusione e l'evasione fiscale.

Purtroppo questa lista, a distanza di un mese dalla sua applicazione, ha visto paesi, come Panama, essere depennati. Panama: esiste una commissione d'inchiesta in questo Parlamento sui Panama Papers e noi andiamo a depennarlo e a passarlo in una lista grigia! Quindi Panama è una giurisdizione che sta cooperando? Effettivamente, se andiamo a vedere, a Panama io vedo ancora tanto di oscuro, che bisogna portare alla luce.

Come ha dimostrato una recente simulazione di Oxfam, se i criteri – applicati in modo trasparente, indipendente e senza interferenze politiche – fossero applicati a tutti i paesi, ci sarebbero come minimo 35 paesi extra UE, tra cui Svizzera, Bermuda, Isole Cayman, Singapore e Isole Vergini, nonché quattro paesi all'interno della stessa Unione europea, ossia Lussemburgo, Malta, Paesi Bassi e Irlanda. Lussemburgo e Paesi Bassi: due paesi fondatori dell'Unione europea, due paesi che hanno visto di recente rappresentanti come Juncker e Dijsselbloem avvicendarsi all'Eurogruppo e imporre pesanti riforme a Grecia, Italia, Spagna, a tutti i paesi del Sud, mentre i loro paesi, che sono i primi a dover fare delle riforme molto impegnative sul fronte fiscale, si tirano sempre indietro.

Io chiedo fortemente che questo Parlamento, la Commissione e tutti quanti chiedano le giuste riforme (con la stessa solerzia con cui fanno richieste ai greci, agli italiani, alle persone del Sud) per quanto riguarda le questioni fiscali a questi paesi fondatori dell'Unione europea, come Paesi Bassi e Lussemburgo.

 
  
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  Jeppe Kofod (S&D). – Madam President, after delaying the adoption of an EU blacklist for more than a year, it only took the Council 49 days to remove half of the countries on the list. Panama and seven other countries were removed from the list, based on secret letters of intent and closed discussions in the Council’s Working Group. As a co—rapporteur of the Committee of Inquiry on the Panama Papers, I find this decision deeply problematic. What is truly indefensible is that the citizens of Europe, the Parliament and the Commission have been kept entirely in the dark during the process. Now, finally, we have a Council representative to answer our questions. I have three simple questions:

What concrete guarantees did Council ministers obtain from Panama and the seven other countries removed from the list? Secondly, what sanctions have the Council of Ministers prepared, in case they do not fulfil these guarantees? Finally, when will the Council abide by the recent conclusion by the European Ombudsman that the current lack of transparency and access to documents constitutes a clear democratic deficiency and publish documents and minutes from these closed and secret working groups?

We need transparency and we need it now.

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

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE), blue-card question. – We understand from Code of Conduct Group minutes that a member of the screening panel, representing one Member State, blocked the inclusion of 11 jurisdictions in the tax haven black list. Given that these 11 territories include some of the UK’s most notorious offshore tax havens, including Bermuda and Cayman, I would like to ask Mr Kofod whether he shares my suspicion that this Member State was the UK. Does he think this is consistent with the UK’s stated support for tax transparency, and does he agree with me that in future these deliberations in Council should be made public?

 
  
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  Jeppe Kofod (S&D), blue-card answer. – Thank you for this very important question. Yes, I do agree that this is a very problematic case. We have a clear suspicion that the country is the United Kingdom, and I want to say that this illustrates the problem of the lack of transparency. We need transparency on the Council side, in the Code of Conduct Group for Business Taxation, in the way they deal with this issue on tax havens and tax transparency. It is the only way to be accountable to the citizens and to Parliament, and I think it is needed very much.

Thank you for this question. I agree very much with the question asked.

 
  
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  Dariusz Rosati (PPE). – Madam President, in this House we have consistently and repeatedly called for an EU blacklist of tax havens. The blacklist that the Council published in December last year is a step in the right direction, but it is far from satisfactory. First of all, it consists only of 17 jurisdictions, with some obvious cases of tax havens excluded from the list, as has been made clear from the final report of the Panama Committee. Secondly, those countries have been put on the list without actually giving us specific information on the basis of which criteria the selection has been made. Finally, less than two months later, eight countries have been removed from this list, again without giving us a full explanation and justification for this step. So I call on the Council to give this House full information, including the criteria by which countries are put on and removed from the blacklist.

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D). – Dank u, Voorzitter. Beloftes zijn niet voldoende. De Kaaimaneilanden hebben geen stelsel van winstbelasting en beloven toch beterschap. Bermuda was ooit uitgeroepen tot het ergste belastingparadijs en belooft toch beterschap. Waarom zouden we ze geloven? Waarom zouden we deze acht geloven? Temeer omdat de schimmige lijst over schimmige belastingparadijzen is opgesteld door een schimmige gedragscodegroep.

Wat we vragen is simpel: welke verbeteringen moeten worden doorgevoerd en welke sancties zijn er als die verbeteringen niet worden doorgevoerd? Simpel maar uiterst belangrijk. Geld kent geen grenzen, letterlijk en figuurlijk. De Unie moet de belastingparadijzen dwingen tot veranderingen of zal die belastingparadijzen moeten uitsluiten. Er zijn grenzen. En dat geldt ook voor landen binnen de Unie. Dezelfde criteria wijzen op Malta, Ierland, Nederland, Luxemburg. Dat zijn ook belastingparadijzen. Laten we het voor die belastingparadijzen niet leuker maar wel makkelijker maken: stel duidelijke grenzen.

(De spreker gaat in op een "blauwe kaart"-vraag (artikel 162, lid 8, van het Reglement))

 
  
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  David Coburn (EFDD), blue-card question. – I just want to ask a simple question. I do not see why the European Union should use its weight, casting about the world in some sort of neo-colonial way to tell other countries what their taxes should be and what their taxes should not be. I find this most unsatisfactory. I wonder why you think neo-colonialism is a good thing to bring back?

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D), blue-card answer. – There was a time when Great Britain thought about the global economic order and was an active participant. I am not sure what happened to your beautiful country, but it has turned inward and is not concerned at all with the global economic order. I think Europe is an economic superpower and should use this power in a political way, to push tax havens in the right direction and to make sure that everyone pays their fair share, including large corporates and the very rich.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D).(inicio de la intervención fuera de micrófono) ... de la máxima solvencia que ponen de manifiesto que la lista por la que tanto hemos trabajado en este Parlamento Europeo se elaboró con total opacidad y que en ella intervinieron decisivamente algunos países —el Reino Unido, Luxemburgo— para intentar sacar de esa lista a sospechosos habituales que, finalmente, no figuran. Ni siquiera está Panamá, que fue el origen del gran escándalo —donde fortunas europeas deseosas de evadir al fisco, también españolas, han conseguido la complicidad de un secreto fiscal y bancario—, ni paraísos fiscales que están en perfecto estado de salud.

Por tanto, es preocupante que finalmente estos países hayan maniobrado para aguar el trabajo tan duro que hemos desarrollado en la Comisión de Investigación sobre los paraísos fiscales y, más aún, que en la llamada «lista gris» se establezca un conjunto de países que son extraídos de la «negra» porque supuestamente han establecido compromisos para mejorar, sin que haya ninguna transparencia sobre la rendición de cuentas de esos compromisos.

Por tanto, va a haber que continuar denunciando esta situación y combatiendo los paraísos fiscales dentro y fuera de la UE.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, η φοροδιαφυγή και η φοροαποφυγή είναι στην ημερήσια διάταξη και το γνωρίζουμε από τις περιπτώσεις επιθετικού φορολογικού σχεδιασμού που γίνονται στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, στο Λουξεμβούργο, στην Ολλανδία, στην Ιρλανδία, στη Μάλτα. Σε παγκόσμιο επίπεδο, βεβαίως, οι φορολογικοί παράδεισοι αυξάνονται και φυσικά γνωρίζουμε από τα Panama Papers τι έχει συμβεί. Τώρα, ενώ είχε συνταχθεί ο κατάλογος των μη συνεργαζομένων χωρών για φορολογικούς σκοπούς, αφαιρούνται συγκεκριμένες χώρες. Αφαιρείται ο Παναμάς! Ποια τεράστια πλέον υποκρισία είναι αυτή η οποία διαμορφώνει τα πράγματα και τι δεσμεύσεις παίρνουν; Μια επιστολή έστειλαν, αυτή δεν είναι δεσμευτική, δεν δημοσιοποιείται καν η επιστολή, δεν παίρνουν νομοθετικές δεσμεύσεις. Ερωτώ, κυρία Panayotova, η απόφαση του Συμβουλίου ήταν τελικά ομόφωνη; Συμφώνησαν όλες οι χώρες για να βγει ο Παναμάς; Και αν δεν συμφώνησαν όλες οι χώρες, η Ελλάδα συμφώνησε να βγει ο Παναμάς από τον κατάλογο μη συνεργαζόμενων χωρών για φορολογικούς σκοπούς; Θέλουμε μια απάντηση. Θέλουμε διαφάνεια.

 
  
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  Paloma López Bermejo (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, nuevamente hay propuestas de movimientos en la reciente lista de países que no cooperan en materia fiscal; nuevamente, sin una información convincente sobre los criterios por los que unos países entran, salen o nunca han estado. Formar parte de la lista o no parece obedecer a un mecanismo de presión para que los terceros países implementen medidas liberalizadoras a nivel comercial, en vez de corregir las conductas fiscales opacas o directamente fraudulentas.

Nuestro Grupo ya expresó en el Pleno su objeción a la presencia en esta lista de algunos países como Túnez, donde precisamente la población lleva años echándose a la calle contra la asfixia de las políticas neoliberales. Tampoco estamos de acuerdo con la salida de la lista negra de Panamá o Barbados. Nada ha cambiado, salvo que crean que la tormenta de los papeles de Panamá ya ha pasado y que pueden lavar la cara de los «países paraísos» o pagar así los servicios bancarios tan lucrativos para unos pocos y tan costosos para la mayoría de la ciudadanía.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE). – Señora presidenta, yo creo que todos nos alegramos en diciembre cuando salió la lista, y la propuesta de lista fue un gran paso adelante, a pesar de que, evidentemente, no teníamos un régimen de sanciones como el que nos gustaría y a pesar de que no estaban señaladas determinadas jurisdicciones dentro de la Unión Europea; pero era un paso adelante.

Pero, ahora, con la decisión que se ha tomado de retirar esas ocho jurisdicciones y con la manera en que la han tomado, nos hemos pegado un tiro en el pie, porque el prestigio de esta lista ha quedado muy dañado.

La única manera de arreglar esto es explicar con plena transparencia cómo se han tomado esas decisiones, porque, si no, la sospecha evidente de esta casa, pero también de la opinión pública, es que las decisiones se han tomado de forma arbitraria basándose en los intereses de determinados Estados miembros que han actuado ahí dentro y no basándose en criterios objetivos.

Todos sabemos, por ejemplo, que Panamá sigue sin cumplir, y nadie nos explica por qué se ha retirado. O los cuatro regímenes fiscales que se le exige a Andorra que cambie... ¿cuándo y, exactamente, con qué calendario?

Por lo tanto, hagan públicas esas cartas y, por favor, que este ejercicio sea un ejercicio centrado exclusivamente en un análisis concreto de las exigencias que se hacen a cada Estado miembro y no un ejercicio puramente arbitrario en pleno oscurantismo.

 
  
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  Nicola Caputo (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, dei diciassette paesi figuranti nei mesi scorsi nella black list delle giurisdizioni non cooperative a fini fiscali, ben otto sono passati in poco tempo nella cosiddetta grey list. Già la prima stesura della lista nera lasciava non poche perplessità perché intaccata da forti pressioni politiche interne ed esterne, ma l'ulteriore operazione di riabilitazione da parte del Consiglio dell'Unione europea appare davvero opaca. L'Unione europea con troppa fretta sta eliminando paesi dalla lista nera, senza che sia ben chiaro quale impegno concreto abbiano assunto questi paesi, mentre non fa registrare alcun passo in avanti per risolvere le contraddizioni dell'esistenza dei paradisi fiscali, anche all'interno dell'Unione europea.

Occorre più trasparenza. Il processo ufficiale di black listing avviene nella più totale segretezza, lasciando i cittadini all'oscuro di tutto e permettendo ai paesi "paradisi" di sfruttare il proprio potere d'influenza politica ed economica. Il rischio è quello di ritrovarsi ad avere a che fare con un documento tanto vuoto quanto inutile ai fini della risoluzione di un problema così grave.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, we have long suspected that political pressure in the Council is undermining the strength and credibility of the tax haven blacklist. Some minutes recently fell into our hands that confirm these suspicions. They reveal that one member of the screening panel disagreed on the evaluation criteria for 11 jurisdictions, several of which have played a prominent role in recent tax scandals: for example, Bermuda, the British Virgin Islands, Guernsey and Jersey. So it does not take too much detective work to deduce that this one member was the UK, keen to protect some of its most notorious offshore tax havens.

To end this politicisation of the blacklist we need an open process, which is why my Green Group has written to the Council Presidency demanding greater transparency and accountability on the process of blacklisting. We will use the opportunity provided by Parliament’s new Special Committee on Tax Rulings to extend our role in scrutinising the blacklisting process.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, I think we need to remind ourselves about the progress that the Commission has made. The European Union list is historic. For the first time it gives us the leverage to put pressure on third countries that are publicly recognised as tax havens. 55 countries have already committed themselves to reforming their tax systems. This is an unexpected result. Of course, we’re not naive either, as commitments have been made and they must be kept, and there is a need to monitor the tax reforms of the grey list countries. Once the letters of commitment are published, Parliament will also follow their implementation. The work of the new TAXE 3 Commission will be fundamental in this sense.

As you know, it was the initiative of Commissioner Moscovici to invite Member States to publish the letters of commitment that allowed many jurisdictions not to be blacklisted for the time being. Currently, as I said, 55 jurisdictions are listed separately, since they promised to address the deficiencies identified within agreed timelines, and the Commissioner has asked for these promises to be made public.

Commissioner Moscovici has also been clear that Europe must apply to itself the same requirements of transparency that it requests of third countries. The publication of commitments made is in everybody’s interest, including the Member States, including the third countries which show good faith. These guarantee the credibility of the list, and for civil society it will be very important for them to be able to see all of these particular issues that constitute what is not and what is on the list.

To reiterate the point on the question of whether Member States should be on the list: this ignores the objective of the list. Member States have already adopted a large number of proposals to reform their tax systems, and other discussions are still ongoing. This list, on the other hand, is a tool of an external strategy aimed at promoting good fiscal governance in third countries, putting an end to tax dumping and creating a fairer international tax environment. At the end of this year, the Commission will assess the actual results of those commitments made.

 
  
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  Monika Panayotova, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, before concluding I will try to respond to your questions. There are many, but I will try to organise them and focus your attention on three groups of questions: those related to Panama; those related to the criteria; and those related to the inclusion of EU Member States in the EU list.

Concerning Panama, I would like to say that, like all other jurisdictions in Annex II of the Council Conclusions unanimously taken on 5 December last year, Panama made sufficient commitments at high political level to address the deficiencies identified by our experts, and this is a positive development. In any case, the delisting from Annex I does not mean that Panama is not monitored any more. It is simply not considered as non-cooperative any longer, but it continues to be under examination. At the end of this year, Ministers will discuss the results of the monitoring exercise for all countries concerned.

Concerning the criteria, the criteria as well as the sanctions are available in the Council Conclusions from December last year. This is a public document, because we also put high emphasis on transparency, credibility and accountability.

Concerning the monitoring of EU Member States, I have to say that the mandate for this exercise of the European Union list was to look at third countries, because Member States are already under permanent scrutiny as far as any harmful practices are concerned. Every six months, a report is made to the Ecofin Council by the Code of Conduct Group, and these reports cover both Member States and third countries. They are also publicly available on the Council’s website.

To conclude, I would like to assure you that the Council will regularly update the European Union list of non-cooperative jurisdictions. This does not mean that it will be shorter in the future. Jurisdictions that do not meet their commitment by the agreed deadline – the end of 2018 or 2019 – will be listed. The criteria and the geographical scope are likely to be subject to updates. The next Ecofin Council on 13 March will also return to this issue.

Work on further coordinated defensive measures will also continue in parallel. Some are in the tax area and concern Member States’ competences, but as you are aware, others are foreseen in various EU legislative initiatives.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 162 GO)

 
  
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  José Blanco López (S&D), por escrito. – La lista europea es paraísos fiscales es un gran logro en la lucha contra las jurisdicciones no cooperadoras. Sin embargo, el Consejo no debe desvirtuar esta herramienta, sacando de manera apresurada y sin suficiente justificación ocho jurisdicciones de la lista negra, al tiempo que es necesario ser transparente sobre los compromisos adquiridos y los plazos por parte de aquellos que están en la lista gris. La credibilidad de la lista puede verse afectada si se aplican criterios diplomáticos por encima de aquellos de carácter técnico. Los socialistas españoles creemos que hay que tener tolerancia cero con la evasión y la elusión fiscal, pues es un ataque inaceptable a la solidaridad y a la justicia social, además de ser ilegal. La lucha contra este fenómeno es para nosotros una prioridad absoluta.

 
  
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  Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D), por escrito. – La lista europea es paraísos fiscales es un gran logro en la lucha contra las jurisdicciones no cooperadoras. Sin embargo, el Consejo no debe desvirtuar esta herramienta, sacando de manera apresurada y sin suficiente justificación ocho jurisdicciones de la lista negra, al tiempo que es necesario ser transparente sobre los compromisos adquiridos y los plazos por parte de aquellos que están en la lista gris. La credibilidad de la lista puede verse afectada si se aplican criterios diplomáticos por encima de aquellos de carácter técnico. Los socialistas españoles creemos que hay que tener tolerancia cero con la evasión y la elusión fiscal, pues es un ataque inaceptable a la solidaridad y a la justicia social, además de ser ilegal. La lucha contra este fenómeno es para nosotros una prioridad absoluta.

 
  
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  Barbara Kappel (ENF), schriftlich. – Die EU-Liste der nicht kooperativen Länder und Gebiete wurde am 5. Dezember 2017 von den Mitgliedstaaten angenommen. Bereits am 23. Januar 2018 wurden acht Hoheitsgebiete wieder von dieser Liste gestrichen, nachdem von deren Seite Verpflichtungen eingegangen wurden, um EU-Bedenken auszuräumen. Barbados, Grenada, die Republik Korea, Macao, die Mongolei, Panama, Tunesien und die Vereinigten Arabischen Emirate befinden sich nun in einer separaten Kategorie von Hoheitsgebieten, die einer genauen Überwachung unterliegen. Der Rat stimmte zu, dass ein Delisting im Lichte einer Expertenbewertung der von diesen Ländern eingegangenen Verpflichtungen zur Behebung der von der EU festgestellten Mängel gerechtfertigt sei. Ziel der EU-Liste ist es, weltweit fairen Steuerwettbewerb zu forcieren und Bemühungen zur Bekämpfung von Steuervermeidung, Steuerbetrug und Steuerhinterziehung zu maximieren. Die Entscheidung, die Liste 49 Tage nach ihrer Veröffentlichung zu halbieren, wirft jedoch Bedenken hinsichtlich der Transparenz der „Gruppe Verhaltenskodex“ auf. Ich begrüße deshalb die Veröffentlichungen des Rates über die Verpflichtungsschreiben der betroffenen Länder, die zum Delisting geführt haben, bitte jedoch um weitere Maßnahmen zur Verbesserung der Rechenschaftspflicht und Transparenz.

 
  
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  Inmaculada Rodríguez-Piñero Fernández (S&D), por escrito. – La lista europea es paraísos fiscales es un gran logro en la lucha contra las jurisdicciones no cooperadoras. Sin embargo, el Consejo no debe desvirtuar esta herramienta, sacando de manera apresurada y sin suficiente justificación ocho jurisdicciones de la lista negra, al tiempo que es necesario ser transparente sobre los compromisos adquiridos y los plazos por parte de aquellos que están en la lista gris. La credibilidad de la lista puede verse afectada si se aplican criterios diplomáticos por encima de aquellos de carácter técnico. Los socialistas españoles creemos que hay que tener tolerancia cero con la evasión y la elusión fiscal, pues es un ataque inaceptable a la solidaridad y a la justicia social, además de ser ilegal. La lucha contra este fenómeno es para nosotros una prioridad absoluta.

 

26. Perspective și provocări pentru sectorul apicol din UE (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über den Bericht von Norbert Erdős im Namen des Ausschusses für Landwirtschaft und ländliche Entwicklung über die Perspektiven und Herausforderungen für den Bienenzuchtsektor in der EU (2017/2115(INI) (A8-0014/2018)).

 
  
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  Norbert Erdős, előadó. – Tisztelt Biztos úr, tisztelt Képviselőtársaim! A méhészet sajnos ritkán kerül szóba a Miniszterek Tanácsa és az Európai Parlament egyes ülésein, pedig kifejezetten jelentős ágazatról beszélünk. Az ágazat egyrészt az európai mezőgazdaság szerves része, több mint 620 ezer uniós polgár számára biztosít fő- vagy mellékjövedelmet. Másrészt a növényfajok 84 százaléka és az európai élelmiszergyártás 76 százaléka függ a méhek általi beporzástól. Az így előállított gazdasági érték – amelyet az EU-ban évi 14,2 milliárd euróra becsülnek – lényegesen felülmúlja a megtermelt méz értékét.

Sajnos az EU-ban nem ismerik el eléggé a beporzás jelentőségét, és ezt a szolgáltatást természetesnek veszik, miközben például az USA-ban évente 2 milliárd eurót költenek a mesterséges beporzásra. Ezért a jelentésem fő üzenete, hogy a méhészeknek és a méheknek az EU közös agrárpolitikájának a középpontjában kell állniuk. A jövő uniós agrárpolitikájának pedig a jelenleginél magasabb szintre szükséges emelnie a méhészet rangját és finanszírozását.

A legnagyobb problémát a hamisított méz EU belső piacán történő térnyerése jelenti. Emiatt a méz felvásárlási ára mostanra a felére esett a 2014-es áraknak. Ez reménytelen helyzetbe taszítja az európai méhészeket. A méz a világon a harmadik leghamisítottabb termék, élelmiszer, ezért ez ellen nem csak az uniós méhészek védelmében, hanem fogyasztóvédelmi, sőt közegészségügyi indokok miatt is harcolnunk kell.

A Közös Európai Kutatóközpont elvégzett vizsgálatának az eredménye szerint az EU külső határállomásain, az importőrök telephelyein vett minták 20 százaléka hamisított méz volt. A csalárd – többnyire kínai – gyártók a mézhamisítás nyomait, a méz gyantaszűrésével próbálják elfedni. Ezeket a szirupokat egyes mézkereskedők jó minőségű európai mézzel javítják fel és az „EU-s és EU-n kívüli mézek keveréke” jelölés felhasználásával hamis mézet adnak el.

Az Európai Parlament nevében ezért kérem a tagállamokat és a Bizottságot, hogy a csaló – főleg egyes kínai – mézelőállítókat és európai mézkereskedőket a jogszabályok betartatására kényszerítsék. Számos javaslatot tettem a jelentésben ennek elérése érdekében. Sarokköve a megoldásnak, hogy a csalást elősegítő „EU-s és EU-n kívüli mézek keveréke” jelölés helyett a címkéken azt tüntessék fel, hogy a végtermékben felhasznált mézek pontosan mely országból vagy országokból és milyen arányban származnak, méghozzá olyan sorrendben, ahogyan a végtermékben szereplő mézek aránya kinéz.

Másodszor, egyes növényvédőszer-hatóanyagok számos esetben veszélyeztetik a méhek egészségét. Kiemelten fontos, hogy az Európai Parlament egységes, tudományosan megalapozott és határozott álláspontot fogalmazzon meg erről. Emellett komoly problémákat okoznak különböző állatbetegségek is a méhészeknek. Ezek közül a legrosszabbal, a Varroa-atkával máig nem sikerült megbirkózni, hiszen nincsenek olyan gyógyszerek, amelyekkel hatékonyan lehetne elpusztítani a parazitát. Ezért felkérem a Bizottságot, hogy a kutatásokba minden érdekelt gyógyszergyártó céget vonjon be és hozzon létre egy közös informatikai platformot a legjobb megoldások és gyógyszerek az érdekeltekkel történő megosztása érdekében.

Harmadszor, a méhészek uniós támogatását is szükséges átgondolni. Míg 2004 és 2016 között az EU méhállománya 48 százalékkal nőtt, addig a méhészeti nemzeti programok költségvetése csak 12 százalékkal, évi 32-ről 36 millió euróra. Ez a KAP büdzséjének mindössze 3 ezreléke! Ezért a programok uniós költségvetését a jelenlegi összeg másfélszeresére kellene megemelni. Ez évente 54 millió eurót tenne ki, mely összeg még mindig a KAP büdzséjének 1 százaléka alatt maradna.

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, first of all I wish to thank the rapporteur, Mr Erdős, for his report on the apiculture sector, which clearly highlights the important issues that have been outlined in relation to the bee sector and which can certainly influence the discussions in the framework of the future common agricultural policy (CAP).

The Commission shares the view of the European Parliament with regard to the importance of bees as pollinators for our environment and for agriculture, as well as the role that beekeeping could have in certain rural areas. It is precisely for this reason that the CAP currently contributes 50% of the funding of our national apicultural programmes, which are drawn down by Member States with a total EU budget of EUR 36 million per year. The report suggests that this level of support should be increased. Of course, everyone will want to increase their budget, but these are matters for discussion in the context of the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) and the CAP reform.

The Commission is also developing an EU Pollinators Initiative to establish an integrated approach to tackle the decline of pollinators. The aim is to raise the political profile and increase the effectiveness of existing EU policies for pollinators. The main objective of the national apicultural programmes is to improve the conditions for the production and marketing of honey. Given the importance of bees, not just as honey producers but also as pollinators, the Commission supports them by other means as well. Under the first pillar of the CAP, 30% of the direct payments are linked to environment-friendly farming practices, while pillar II supports agri-environment climate measures which also contribute to improving the environment for bees.

While the report suggests stronger Commission involvement in various research and education projects in the EU, we should also keep in mind the value of the national programmes, which are adapted to the needs of specific Member States. Nevertheless, the Commission is closely involved in research activities in relation to apiculture, including the EU pilot project on breeding and selection program for research in the resistance against the Varroa mite. This was recently initiated by Parliament, and work was done by the Joint Research Centre on methods for detection of honey adulteration.

The Commission also established, and continues to cofinance, an EU reference laboratory for bee health, and it frequently liaises with the European Food Safety Authority for scientific advice on various areas such as pathogens or pesticides. The Commission is well aware of the concerns about adulteration of honey, in response to which the Directorate-General for Health and Food Safety (DG SANTE) launched an EU-wide coordinated control plan on honey quality in 2015. The preliminary results indicate that adulteration, for example by adding sugar, is not only a problem with imported honey but also takes place within the European Union itself. The Commission is committed to ensuring that honey put on the market complies with EU standards and it is currently analysing how best to do this, although the Commission is not convinced that new rules on origin labelling for honey could solve the problem.

The CAP also provides many possibilities for promoting honey. Member States can include in their national apicultural programmes measures such as market monitoring or enhancement of product quality, with a view to exploiting the potential of products on the market. In addition, the sector is eligible for most promotion topics in the internal market and in third countries, and honey can be promoted under the EU quality scheme, either because of a specific link to a certain region or because it is produced in a specific traditional manner.

The EU School Fruit, Vegetables and Milk Scheme that applies from 1 August 2017 gives Member States the possibility of including honey in educational measures to be carried out in order to reconnect children with agriculture. The scheme aims to promote healthy eating habits and requires Member States to ensure the appropriate involvement of their national authorities responsible for health and nutrition in drawing up the list of products to be provided to schoolchildren. Several Member States, namely France, Italy, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Lithuania, Austria, Romania and Slovenia, include honey in these educational measures.

Mr Erdős’ report accurately reflects the importance of the beekeeping sector, and I have outlined some of the issues on which we can do more together. Perhaps many people are not aware of these particular measures which can be exploited to even better potential by Member States than they are now, through the apicultural programmes. I think it is clear that the sector is already well integrated into the CAP through these measures and it also benefits from targeted, as well as general, measures. I acknowledge that the report suggests we can do more and provide additional support, so we welcome the constructive suggestions from Parliament and I am sure they will provide food for thought, and honey, as the Commission prepares its legislative proposals for the CAP post-2020.

 
  
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  Mireille D’Ornano, rapporteure pour avis de la commission de l’environnement, de la santé publique et de la sécurité alimentaire. – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Commissaire, en tant que rapporteure pour avis de la commission de l’environnement, de la santé publique et de la sécurité alimentaire, je tiens à remercier sincèrement M. le rapporteur Erdős pour son travail, qui va dans le bon sens en invitant la Commission et les États membres à interdire les néonicotinoïdes.

Le problème est que cette interdiction est conditionnée non seulement à des essais en laboratoire, mais également à des essais sur le terrain. Or, ces derniers sont jugés trop peu nombreux, ce qui a pour effet de retarder une interdiction globale pourtant nécessaire. Ce débat ressemble étrangement à celui sur le glyphosate, pour lequel on nous promet une interdiction qui est sans cesse reportée.

Par ailleurs, la Commission considère, dans sa réponse écrite du 1er septembre 2017, que les néonicotinoïdes utilisés dans les cultures en serre ne sont pas dangereux pour les abeilles et qu’ils ne sauraient donc être totalement interdits.

Or, ces substances, même utilisées en serre, sont persistantes dans les sols et également dans l’eau. Cela constitue donc un véritable danger quand on sait que ces néonicotinoïdes ne disparaîtront qu’après plusieurs années.

En 2015, l’EFSA confirmait que l’utilisation de ce type de pesticides sous forme de pulvérisation foliaire constituait un risque pour les abeilles. Aujourd’hui même, un rapport de l’EFSA particulièrement attendu confirme le risque jugé – je cite – «élevé» pour trois néonicotinoïdes actuellement soumis à des restrictions d’usage dans l’Union européenne.

Aussi, afin d’éviter toute utilisation détournée ou illégale de ces substances et dans le but de stopper le déclin des abeilles, l’interdiction générale constitue une urgence absolue. C’est précisément l’objet de mon amendement qui sera mis aux voix demain en plénière. Il en va de l’avenir de l’humanité.

 
  
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  Daniel Buda, în numele grupului PPE. – Doamnă președintă, în primul rând, aș dori să-l felicit pe domnul Erdős, dar și pe cei care și-au adus contribuția la finalizarea acestui raport. Sectorul apicol este unul dintre cele mai vulnerabile sectoare din agricultură, fie doar dacă avem în vedere fenomenele meteorologice extreme, invadarea pieței europene cu produse melifere falsificate sau utilizarea, de multe ori irațională, a pesticidelor. În condițiile în care 84 % din speciile de plante și 76 % din producția alimentară din Europa depind de polenizarea efectuată de albine, avem dimensiunea exactă a importanței acestui sector, nu doar pentru agricultură, ci pentru întreaga lume.

În acest context, apreciez că trebuie atinse următoarele obiective. Unu: continuarea sprijinului financiar al acestui sector și creșterea cuantumului acestuia după 2020. Promovarea și susținerea cultivării unor plante melifere care să beneficieze de un sprijin consistent, la fel ca plantele proteice. Combaterea eficientă a importurilor de miere din țările în care folosirea antibioticelor nu este reglementată, precum și a mierii contrafăcute. De asemenea, se impune intensificarea activităților de inovare și cercetare în vederea identificării unor pesticide care să asigure o agricultură sustenabilă, dar și protejarea eficientă a sectorului apicol. În cele din urmă, consider că statele membre trebuie să înțeleagă nevoia de a sprijini și de a încuraja formele asociative din acest sector, astfel încât apicultorii, prin eforturi comune, să își creeze propriile capacități de producție, de ambalare și de desfacere, dar în același timp, să se reducă povara administrativă aferentă acestor activități. Să nu uităm că, salvând albinele, salvăm omenirea.

 
  
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  Момчил Неков, от името на групата S&D. – Уважаеми колеги, днешният доклад е много важна стъпка за пчеларството в Европейския съюз. Всички над 600 000 европейци, които се грижат за пчели и се занимават с пчеларство, трябва да получат адекватна подкрепа и финансиране за грижите, които полагат.

Опрашването е основна функция на пчелите и е екологична услуга, която трябва да бъде възмездена. В новата ОСП това трябва да бъде факт.

По-рано днес EFSA излезе с ясно становище относно три неоникотиноида. Те вредят на пчелите и са една от сериозните причини за смъртност при тях. Призовавам компетентните органи в държавите членки и особено в България да се съобразят с тези факти. Сериозен проблем е и вносът от трети страни. Българските производители усетиха силен натиск от мед от Украйна и Китай. Европейските потребители имат право да знаят какви продукти консумират и откъде произхождат те.

В тази връзка се радвам, че предложението ми за обозначаване на произхода по страни, както и процентното съдържание от всяка, стана част от доклада. Докладът е добра основа на нова политика на Европа за пчеларството, затова аз ще го подкрепя.

 
  
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  Arne Gericke, im Namen der ECR-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin! Es gibt in Deutschland eine alte Redewendung, die heißt: Sterben die Bienen, dann sterben auch die Menschen. Das ist die Dramatik der laufenden Entwicklungen. Ich bin froh, dass wir uns heute intensiv mit den Perspektiven und Herausforderungen für den Bienenzuchtsektor in der EU beschäftigen. Ohne Bienen gäbe es keinen Honig; auch Obst und Gemüse würden zu Luxusgütern. Die Tiere bestäuben rund 80 % unserer Nutz- und Wildpflanzen.

Wenn es nicht gelingt, die Bienenbestände zu halten, und die Insekten aussterben, hätte dies fatale Folgen für den Menschen, und die Entwicklungen sind dramatisch. Wir müssen handeln und dürfen nicht länger die Augen verschließen. Wir müssen die Vielzahl möglicher Ursachen beleuchten, und wir müssen ehrlich sein: Pestizide auf Basis von Neonikotinoiden sind ein großes Problem für unsere Bienen und alle Insekten.

Ich fordere Maßnahmen, mit denen die Produktion, der Verkauf und die Verwendung aller Pestizide auf der Basis von Neonikotinoiden in der Union ausnahmslos und als vorrangige Maßnahme zum Schutz der Bienenpopulation untersagt werden. Es ist ein radikaler Schritt; wir werden ihn nur im engen Dialog mit den Landwirten gehen können. Es geht nicht darum, mit dem Finger auf einen Schuldigen zu zeigen. Nein, es geht darum, die Bienen als Grundlage unserer Umwelt zu erhalten und zu schützen. Es geht darum, unseren Kindern eine Umwelt zu hinterlassen, in der es summt und blüht. Dafür tragen wir die Verantwortung gemeinsam – heute.

 
  
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  Ulrike Müller, im Namen der ALDE-Fraktion. – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die große Bedeutung der Bienenvölker für die Kulturlandschaft und den Beitrag zur Erhaltung der biologischen Vielfalt ist uns allen bewusst. Mit der Bestäubungsleistung ist die Honigbiene ein wichtiges Bindeglied in vielen Lebensgemeinschaften. 84 % der landwirtschaftlichen Erträge sind erst durch die Bestäubung durch Insekten möglich.

Unser Bericht nennt schwierige Themen, zeigt aber auch Lösungen auf. Ich möchte sie schlagwortartig benennen: Die Forschung zur Bekämpfung der Varroamilbe ist wichtig. Lithiumchlorid ist leider noch nicht marktreif. Die Aus- und Weiterbildung unserer Jungimker ist aber genauso wichtig. Der Dialog mit den Landwirten ist für mich eine elementare Basis. Der Mähzeitpunkt und letztendlich auch der Pflanzenschutz am Abend und eine Bienen-App sind hier gute Vorgaben. Die Reduzierung des kontaminierten Wachses aus China, das die Bienengesundheit gefährdet; der Einsatz von Pflanzenschutzmitteln auf wissenschaftlicher Basis der EFSA.

Und letztendlich möchte ich noch sagen, dass wir im Omnibusverfahren ja tatsächlich auch Bienenpflanzen hier mit berücksichtigt haben und uns unserer Verantwortung bewusst werden.

 
  
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  Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez, em nome do Grupo GUE/NGL. – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Comissário, como já foi dito aqui, é de grande importância proteger as abelhas, os polinizadores selvagens e a apicultura europeia. Este relatório, que apoio, tem muitas medidas para isto e, mais ainda, com amplo consenso. Vou relatar algumas delas.

Proibir substâncias ativas perigosas nos pesticidas: os neocotinóides são também os inseticidas sistémicos. Apoio a proteção das abelhas contra as espécies invasoras como, por exemplo, a Vespa velutina.

Aumentar a proteção jurídica e o apoio financeiro aos ecótipos e às populações locais endémicas de abelhas melíferas em toda a União Europeia, incluindo também a proteção de zonas de conservação destas abelhas. Apoiar projetos-piloto sobre as abelhas e outros polinizadores, como indicadores da saúde ambiental e do habitat. Estabelecer a rotulagem com a indicação exata do país ou países de procedência dentro do combate contra o mel fraudulento.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, in 2013, when Greens were on the streets with environmentalists and beekeepers campaigning for a ban on all neonicotinoid pesticides due to their harmful effects on bees, it felt like we were banging our heads against a brick wall. Five years later, we find ourselves pushing against an open door, as there is widespread agreement about the negative effects of these substances and more and more people, including Michael Gove, are coming together to call for a ban. But insuring that our bees survive and thrive is not a single-issue matter. As noted in this report, intensive farming reduces the range of flowering crops for bees to feed on, and the heavy load of agricultural chemicals bees are exposed to weakens them, making them vulnerable to stresses like wet weather, a lack of nectar, diseases, and parasites. Bees are an essential part of our agricultural system, but the web of nature is delicate and complicated. We must promote a farming system that works with and not against nature if we are to give bees a chance.

 
  
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  Marco Zullo, a nome del gruppo EFDD. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, siamo tutti consapevoli del ruolo fondamentale che le api rivestono. L'abbiamo detto: l'84 % delle specie vegetali complessive e il 76 % della produzione alimentare dipendono dall'impollinazione delle api, per un valore economico complessivo stimato in 14,2 miliardi di euro.

Di fronte a questi numeri chiediamo che il Parlamento e la Commissione, con una presa di posizione chiara e netta, si ergano in difesa delle api e del settore che se ne prende cura. Chiediamo il divieto dell'utilizzo di tutte quelle sostanze per cui è provata la dannosità contro le api, come i famigerati neonicotinoidi, e una sospensione in via cautelativa delle sostanze che presentano sospetti. Chiediamo misure a sostegno della diversificazione delle colture, del recupero di aree ecologiche, della preservazione della diversità genetica delle popolazioni locali di api.

Chiediamo inoltre di garantire la salute dei cittadini che dei prodotti di questa filiera fanno consumo: dai paesi terzi vengono importati infatti sempre maggiori quantità di miele alterato o prodotto seguendo regole ben più permissive di quelle europee. Vogliamo controlli più stringenti sulle importazioni. Vogliamo un'etichetta chiara che ci informi se stiamo mangiando miele o miscele di altre sostanze artificiali; vogliamo un'etichetta obbligatoria sulla reale provenienza del miele. Non ci possiamo accontentare della sola indicazione "miele europeo" o "miele non europeo": vogliamo la completa tracciabilità.

 
  
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  Marijana Petir (PPE). – Gospođo predsjednice, čestitam kolegi Erdősu na izvješću koje je ključno za sektor pčelarstva u Europskoj uniji jer sveobuhvatno identificira probleme pčelarstva i oprašivanja te predlaže mjere kojima bi se na europskoj razini i na razini država članica trebalo poduprijeti napore za očuvanje pčela i drugih oprašivača.

Drago mi je da su usvojeni moji amandmani koje sam podnijela uz podršku kolega iz redova europskih pučana, u kojima je stavljen naglasak na zahtjev za povećanim financiranjem pčelarskog sektora, osiguravanje kvalitetnog meda za potrošače te zaštitu pčelinjih zajednica.

Za više od pola milijuna građana Unije pčelarstvo predstavlja izvor glavnog dohotka, dok proizvodnja hrane i očuvanje biološke raznolikosti ovise o oprašivanju koje obavljaju pčele. Pozivam stoga Europsku komisiju da poveća financiranje pčelarstva na način kojim bi se adekvatno poduprla važna ekološka usluga pčela kao oprašivača te da uključi novi sustav izravne potpore za pčelare po pčelinjoj zajednici. Također tražim da se izmijeni Direktiva o medu u pogledu označavanja meda kako bi europski potrošači znali točno porijeklo meda koji kupuju.

Na kraju, s ponosom mogu istaknuti kako je Hrvatska jedna od rijetkih država članica koja provodi mjere za zaštitu domaćih vrsta pčela te želim da se i druge države što prije u to uključe.

 
  
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  Jean-Paul Denanot (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, tout d’abord, je voudrais effectivement féliciter et remercier le collègue Erdős pour ce rapport, et saluer le travail effectué par Momchil Nekov, au nom du groupe socialiste, sur un sujet qui relève de la plus haute importance.

Les abeilles disparaissent à un rythme alarmant. Pourtant, la pollinisation, comme beaucoup l’ont dit, joue un rôle absolument incontournable dans notre sécurité alimentaire et la biodiversité. Les changements d’affectation des terres et les pratiques de l’agriculture intensive portent – me semble-t-il – une lourde responsabilité dans le déclin du cheptel apicole européen. Il est urgent de se tourner vers un modèle moins dépendant des pesticides et des insecticides et qui valorise davantage les services écosystémiques. Cette évolution passe par une réforme urgente de la PAC, que nous souhaitons davantage tournée vers l’agro-écologie. Nous devons aider à une meilleure structuration et professionnalisation des filières apicoles et augmenter la recherche afin de lutter contre les parasites comme le varroa destructor.

Enfin, j’appelle à ce que la future politique agricole identifie l’apithérapie comme une priorité et puisse valoriser les multiples propriétés médicales que comportent le miel et les pollens.

 
  
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  Thomas Waitz (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Die Europäische Behörde für Lebensmittelicherheit ist ja nicht unbedingt dafür bekannt, grüne Inhalte zu verbreiten. In diesem konkreten Fall aber hat die EFSA selbst empfohlen, den Einsatz von Neonikotinoiden im Freiland zu verbieten. Wenn wir gleichzeitig noch erkennen, dass die Vielfalt in unserer Landwirtschaft und das Arbeiten mit der Natur der Weg vorwärts ist, dann können wir die Lektion der Bienen lernen.

Ich darf Sie alle auffordern – als aktiver Landwirt und als aktiver Imker im Namen meiner Berufskolleginnen und Berufskollegen –, diesem Bericht zuzustimmen – für gesunde Lebensmittel, eine gesunde Landwirtschaft und für die Rettung der Bienen.

 
  
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  John Stuart Agnew (EFDD). – Madam President, I wonder how many MEPs have seen the disease in sugar beet called Virus Yellows? It is absolutely devastating. Aphids infect the young plant with this virus, and within weeks the leaves all go yellow, and yields can be as low as 25% of what you might reasonably expect. Neonicotinoid seed dressings have prevented this problem. The Green lobby wish to ban these dressings in the interest of bee health.

Sugar beet is a biennial crop. It is harvested in its first year before it flowers. Bees are not interested to visit it at this stage. If these seed dressings are banned by the EU, beet growers will be forced to apply repeated sprays of the insecticide called cypermethrin, with all the ground being covered each time. Seed dressings, on the other hand, affect less than 1% of the ground. We are already witnessing some resistance to cypermethrin insecticides. The more they are used, the worse this problem becomes.

Colony collapse disorder and verroa mite are the big enemy of bees, not sugar beet seed dressings. If they are to be banned, a viable alternative must be found, and for goodness sake, let us look at GM technology, which has a solution to this problem.

 
  
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  Czesław Adam Siekierski (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Dzisiaj EFSA opublikował swój długo oczekiwany raport w sprawie wpływu neonikotynoidów na zdrowie pszczół. Pierwszym krokiem w rozwiązywaniu tej kwestii powinno być pogłębienie dialogu między różnymi stronami w celu osiągnięcia jak najlepszych wyników w ramach obecnego systemu. To znaczy dalsze podnoszenie jakości stosowanych środków ochrony roślin, lepsze wybranie okresu, w jakim są one stosowane, i tym podobne działania. Jeśli rolnicy mają to osiągnąć, muszą mieć pewną wiedzę.

Jednocześnie przemysł powinien zwiększyć swoje fundusze badawcze i opracować bardziej przyjazne dla środowiska środki ochrony roślin oraz walczyć z przypadkami ich podrabiania. Powinniśmy być świadomi, że zakaz używania oficjalnych środków ochrony roślin doprowadzi do powstania czarnego rynku, na którym będą sprzedawane produkty wątpliwej jakości i o znacznie większej szkodliwości. Wtedy dopiero będzie tragedia. W związku z tym, narzucając dialog ograniczenia, powinno się dawać rolnikom także pewne alternatywy. Jedynie dialog i zrozumienie mogą pomóc nam w budowie zrównoważonego rolnictwa.

 
  
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  Pavel Poc (S&D). – Madam President, and of course congratulations to the rapporteur and shadows, indeed the result is not bad at all. I specially welcome paragraph 33 calling for a ban of some systemic plant production products, including neonicotinoids. EFSA has published an updated risk assessment today of three neonicotinoids – clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam – that are currently subject to restrictions in the EU because they pose a threat to bees. The Authority highlights that most studies show that neonicotinoids have a negative impact on bee health, from damaging their orientation capacity to impairing their reproductive ability. Given the scientific evidence that clearly proves those substances are harmful to pollinators, I expect the Member States to vote for a complete ban of neonicotinoids during the upcoming meeting of the PAFF Committee on 24 March this year.

 
  
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  Daciana Octavia Sârbu (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, apicultura este unul dintre cele mai importante sectoare ale agriculturii însă, din păcate, și unul dintre cele mai neglijate, atât de autoritățile naționale, cât și de cele europene. Sumele acordate prin programele apicole naționale sunt insuficiente pentru a putea răspunde provocărilor cu care se confruntă apicultorii. Albinele au o contribuție extrem de importantă la polenizare și la păstrarea biodiversității, de aceea mortalitatea albinelor - cauzată atât de schimbările climatice, precum și de insecticide - nu trebuie ignorată.

Sper că, în viitor, Comisia va reconsidera acordarea de derogări pentru folosirea acestor substanțe în zonele predominant apicole. Aș dori să cer, totodată, Comisiei să revizuiască Directiva privind informațiile pentru consumatori cât și Directiva privind mierea, pentru a garanta că doar produsele care conțin 100 % miere și nu amestecuri cu miere pot fi comercializate sub acest nume.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Ich habe sehr viele Wortmeldungen. Deswegen habe ich beschlossen, nur einen pro Fraktion zu nehmen. Bitte beschweren Sie sich nicht bei mir, sondern bei Ihren Kolleginnen und Kollegen, die sich nicht an ihre Redezeiten gehalten haben, was dazu geführt habt, dass wir schon sehr in Zeitverzug gekommen sind.

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Dieser Bericht spricht auch einen wichtigen Bereich an, nämlich die Marktverzerrungen für europäische Imkerbetriebe. Zum jetzigen Zeitpunkt lassen wir es zu – auch vollkommen rechtens –, dass Honigimporteure ihre Waren mit geringen Anteilen von europäischem Honig vermischen und dies dann einfach als Mischung von Honig aus EU-Ländern und Nicht-EU-Ländern deklarieren.

Ich fordere daher sehr klar: „EU“ darf nur draufstehen, wenn mindestens 50 % EU-Honig drinnen ist. Und ich fordere auch, dass der Anteil an Honig aus Nicht-EU-Ländern prozentmäßig deklariert ist. Das ist fair im Interesse der europäischen Imker, und es ist fair gegenüber dem Konsumenten. Wir brauchen keine täuschenden Herkunftsbezeichnungen, sondern klare: Wo EU drinnen ist, darf „EU“ draufstehen.

 
  
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  Maria Gabriela Zoană (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, la nivelul Uniunii există programele școlare de încurajare a consumului de fructe, legume și lapte, ceea ce permite statelor membre să includă în aceste programe și alte specialități locale, cum ar fi mierea. Având în vedere beneficiile nutriționale ale mierii, importanța apiculturii și încurajarea consumului de miere și produse apicole, recomand implicarea apicultorilor locali în aceste programe și consider necesară includerea unui nou sistem de sprijin pentru apicultori în PAC post-2020. Europa are nevoie de sisteme avansate de alertă timpurie partajată între agricultori și apicultori, silvicultori, oameni de știință și medici veterinari, cu privire la perioadele de pulverizare și alte forme de aplicare a insecticidelor, prevenirea și controlul bolilor, tehnologiilor care nu sunt dăunătoare pentru albine, precum și metodelor de protecție a plantelor care reduc la minimum calitatea polenizatorilor. Propun diversificarea programelor educaționale la nivel de bază și profesional în domeniul apiculturii, pentru a încuraja tinerii să aleagă profesia de apicultor, pentru a reînnoi generațiile în sectorul respectiv.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία πρόεδρε, η μελισσοκομία αποτελεί σημαντικό παράγοντα για τη στήριξη του βιοτικού επιπέδου των πληθυσμών σε ορεινές και απομακρυσμένες περιοχές. Απαιτείται η λήψη μέτρων για την προστασία των μελισσοκόμων και των καταναλωτών από τις αθέμιτες πρακτικές, μια και νοθευμένο μέλι έχει κατακλύσει την εσωτερική αγορά λόγω των αθρόων εισαγωγών από Τουρκία, Κίνα και Ουκρανία. Πρέπει να ληφθούν μέτρα που να επιβάλλουν διαδικασία ιχνηλασιμότητας, ετικετοποίησης και σήμανσης του μελιού το οποίο εισάγεται. Επιπλέον, χρειάζονται μέτρα για την αντιμετώπιση της αρρώστιας της βαρόασης, καθώς και εφαρμοσμένη έρευνα για την εξάλειψη αυτής της αρρώστιας και ενίσχυση των μελισσοκόμων με χρηματοδότηση για παραγωγή βασιλισσών και αγορά μελισσοσμηνών. Χρειάζονται επίσης χρηματοδότησή τους για την εποχιακή μετακίνηση, προγράμματα κατάρτισης τους και, τέλος, χαρακτηρισμός του μελιού ως Προϊόντος Ονομασίας Προέλευσης.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). – Gospođo predsjednice, htio bih se ovom prilikom prisjetiti kada smo prije dosta godina u Pazinu, u Istri, pokrenuli jednu manifestaciju koju smo nazvali Dani meda. Toliko entuzijazma, toliko ljubavi prema tom proizvodu i prema pčelama samima, zaista, mogu reći da u svojih dvadeset i sedam godina političke karijere nisam vidio. Toliko sreće i zadovoljstva što smo napravili takvu jednu manifestaciju i toliko zadovoljstva potrošača koji su došli na tu manifestaciju, zaista je rijetko bilo vidjeti.

Zato sam uvjeren da dvije teme o kojima se danas ovdje razgovaralo trebaju imati prioritet. Podrška proizvođačima meda, pčelarima i to kroz novu zajedničku poljoprivrednu politiku i, naravno, zaštita njihovog proizvoda. Bez zaštite njihovog proizvoda, opet ćemo lutati, opet nećemo znati što je na našem stolu, što jedemo i koliko je što zdravo.

Zato sam uvjeren da ovaj izvještaj i ono što je rekao gospodin povjerenik idu u tom pravcu i želim vjerovati da će pčelarstvo imati nakon 2020. novi status u Europskoj uniji.

 
  
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  Krisztina Morvai (NI). – Elnök Asszony! Szívből gratulálok honfitársamnak, Erdős Norbertnek, aki a raportőre ennek a nagyon fontos és szép jelentésnek, amiből szinte mindent megtudunk, amit mézről, méhekről, méhészetről tudni kell. Azért hagy kérdezzek rá, hogy jól értem-e, hogy ha valaki felelősségteljes mézfogyasztó szeretne lenni, a családjával együtt, akkor mondjuk magyarként – Magyarország egyébként ugye a három legfőbb európai méztermelő ország egyike – azt teszi, hogy piacról, vagy pedig közvetlenül a termelőtől szerzi be a mézet, tehát hogy a magyar ember magyar mézet fogyasszon lehetőség szerint.

Lehet, hogy ez itt különböző nacionalista vagy szélsőséges bélyeget ragaszt az emberre, de hagy mondjam, és akkor már hagy forduljak a biztos úrhoz, és hagy kérdezzek rá: hogy azt jól értem-e, hogy rengeteg hamisított méz érkezik Európába, főleg Kínából, és ezek között nagyon sok az egészségre is ártalmas. Hagy kérdezzek rá, hogy konkrétan mit csinálnak ez ellen a, ha jól értem, szervezett bűnözési forma ellen? Hangsúlyozom, ennek a káros hatásait akkor tudjuk leginkább elkerülni, ha helyben termelt, helyi mézet fogyasztunk. Gondolom én. Várom a raportőr megerősítését.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Phil Hogan, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, the report and this evening’s discussion have clearly showed that there is significant interest here in Parliament and broad support for the collective efforts that are being made to ensure a healthy apiculture sector in the European Union. It is also true to say that the importance of the sector is widely recognised and the value of the support already available under the CAP is appreciated.

Everybody believes that we should do more, and perhaps we can do more. It is worth noting that the budget in 2014 was doubled over the previous programming period, so there is already a recognition in the 2014-2020 programmes of the increasing importance of honey in the agricultural industry. While I cannot pre-empt what is going to happen in the next budget, it is certainly safe to say that the Members here that have spoken will be keeping a close eye on the financial programmes for the post-2020 period.

A number of Members expressed their concern at the use of neonicotinoids and referenced the updated risk assessments in relation to three particular neonicotinoids which EFSA has published today. Today’s conclusions will now be shared with the Commission and the Member States, and I am sure that my colleague who is the relevant Commissioner in this area, Commissioner Andriukaitis, will be taking note on, and a close interest in, this report. Today’s report does not make any reference in terms of a possible ban. The Commission and the Member States will now have to consider whether or not to introduce possible amendments to the current restrictions on the use of these pesticides.

I noted what Mr Agnew said in relation to the banning of some of these neonicotinoids in respect of sugar beet, and I agree with his analysis. He has certainly indicated very clearly what I believe to be the case in relation to sugar beet and the possible exemptions in relation to the application of neonicotinoids in relation to sugar beet.

I think it is also worth noting as well that this Parliament voted in very substantial numbers to approve a proposal from the Commission in relation to the banning in ecological focus areas of the use of pesticides, and this has made a major impact – a positive impact – in relation to the application of this new rule, in my view, in 2018 in terms of what will happen where more than 10% of the total arable area of the European Union will now have a ban on pesticides in these areas. I think this is a major step forward for which this House can be proud in terms of the vote that it expressed in 2017.

So in conclusion, I again want to reiterate my appreciation to Mr Erdős for his report. I think it has a sound basis for working together in order to improve the supports in the various ways that I have outlined in my initial contribution to the apiculture sector.

 
  
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  Norbert Erdős, előadó. – Elnök Asszony! Engedjék meg, hogy biztos úrnak, véleményadó asszonynak, az árnyék-jelentéstevőknek, és minden képviselőtársamnak nagy köszönetet mondjak. 486 módosító indítvány érkezett, ez extra sokat jelent, és ennek a 486-nak egyébként a 90 százalékát be tudtuk tolni egy kompromisszumba, 36 külön szavazás volt csak, úgyhogy tényleg nagyon-nagyon széles, nagy a támogatottsága ennek az ügynek. Nagyon szépen köszönöm mindenkinek a munkáját!

Kérem, engedjék meg, hogy megismételjem, sikeres méhészek és egészséges méhek nélkül nem lesz beporzás és méz Európában a jövőben, ezért ki kell állnunk egy olyan program mellett, amely garantálja a méhek és a méhészek megmaradását. Maguk a méhészek tollából fogant és az összes parlamenti képviselőcsoport aktív közreműködésével formált, a frakcióérdekek közötti, törékeny egyensúlyon alapuló, Önök előtt fekvő szöveg ez a program. A mézhamisítás elleni küzdelem, a méhek hatékony és azonnali megvédése a valóban káros vegyi anyagokkal szemben, a méhbetegségek elleni fellépés vagy a méhészek igazságosabb uniós támogatásának az igénye mind olyan kérdések, amelyekre az EU demokratikusan meghozott, határozott válasza nem halasztható tovább.

Ebből az egyik téma, a növényvédőszer-hatóanyagok kérdése az egyik legkényesebb téma ma az Európai Parlamentben. Amikor erről döntünk, a gazdák védelmét, a mezőgazdasági termelés visszaesésének elkerülését, valamint a környezet, az élőhelyek, őshonos növények és állatok védelmét egyforma súllyal kell figyelembe vennünk. A méz-jelentés előkészítése során hosszú és fáradtságos tárgyalások eredményeként sikerült egy kiegyensúlyozott és ésszerű megoldást beépítenünk a jelentésbe. A méhek egészségére bizonyítottan káros növényvédőszer-hatóanyagokat azonnal be kell tiltani. És azt hogy mi káros, tudományos alapon, az EFSA-nak kell kimondania! Ezt a megoldást minden frakció elfogadta. Kérem, hogy ennek alapján álljunk hozzá a beterjesztett módosítókhoz is.

A méz-jelentés megszavazásánál számítok a teljes támogatásukra. Kérem, a jövőben is álljanak mellém, amikor az európai méhészek és méhek érdekében lépek fel.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Die Abstimmung findet morgen, Donnerstag, 1. März 2018, statt.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 162 GO)

 
  
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  Michel Dantin (PPE), par écrit. – Par le biais de ce rapport d’initiative, le Parlement européen fait à nouveau preuve de leadership en matière de protection des abeilles et se place à la hauteur de l’enjeu. Le déclin des abeilles atteint des niveaux record en Europe et appelle à une approche coordonnée pour répondre aux multiples facteurs de mortalité des pollinisateurs.

Les initiatives locales en faveur des abeilles foisonnent mais les objectifs politiques européens et nationaux demeurent largement en dessous des attentes. Les budgets sont aujourd’hui ridicules comparés aux services agricoles et écologiques des pollinisateurs, tels que les abeilles.

En tant que président de la Semaine européenne des abeilles, la BeeWeek, je me réjouis que ce rapport s’appuie sur nos travaux engagés depuis 2012. Nous proposons des solutions concrètes pour répondre aux défis principaux de la filière de l’apiculture, en particulier sur la santé des abeilles, la lutte contre les parasites, les programmes de recherche, la protection des produits de la ruche, l’étiquetage ou la lutte contre le miel frelaté.

J’en appelle à la Commission européenne et aux États membres pour se saisir de ces propositions et présenter des objectifs politiques ambitieux pour le secteur de l’apiculture sans tarder.

 
  
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  Tamás Deutsch (PPE), írásban. – Magyarország a harmadik legnagyobb mézelőállító ország az Unióban, mintegy húszezer magyar méhésznek ez az ágazat jelenti fő megélhetését. A magyar méz 75%-a az Unió piacára kerül, azonban az Unión kívülről is nagy mennyiségű méz érkezik (például Kínából), melynek jelentős része hamisított. Fontos érdekünk tehát a mézhamisítás elleni küzdelem, a méhek hatékony védelme a ténylegesen káros vegyi anyagokkal szemben, a méhészek megfelelő uniós támogatása, a méh-betegségek elleni intézkedések.

Az Erdős Norbert képviselőtársam által jegyzett jelentés az EU méhészeti ágazata előtt álló kilátásokról és kihívásokról rendkívül időszerű. A magyar méhészek védelme érdekében egy uniós szintű, megbízható nyomon követési és termék-megjelölési rendszer bevezetésére van szükség, és Erdős Norbert mézjelentése meghatározó lépés ebbe az irányba.

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδάκης (NI), γραπτώς. – Και στον κλάδο του μελιού κουμάντο κάνουν μια χούφτα μονοπώλια. Με τις υπερσύγχρονες μεθόδους που έχουν αναπτύξει, μπορούν να αξιοποιούν κάθε προέλευσης μέλι, απαλλάσσοντας το από τυχόν αποτυπώματα της εντοπιότητάς του (πχ γυρεόκοκκους), και να το αναμιγνύουν με μέλι άλλης περιοχής, βαφτίζοντάς το όπως θέλουν. Οι ευρωενωσιακοί κανονισμοί τους το επιτρέπουν διότι δεν θεωρούν νοθεία την ανάμιξη του μελιού και η έκθεση δεν ζητάει καν την κατάργηση της. Στην Ελλάδα, όπου παράγεται μέλι εξαιρετικής ποιότητας, οι μικροί παραγωγοί εξοντώνονται από αυτή την κατάσταση που επιτείνεται και από την αντιλαϊκή πολιτική της κυβέρνησης, με τις ευλογίες της ΕΕ. Η όποια αυστηροποίηση των ευρωενωσιακών προδιαγραφών αξιοποιείται ως εργαλείο, ώστε να αποκτούν οι μεγάλοι όμιλοι προβάδισμα στον παγκόσμιο ανταγωνισμό. Δεν γίνεται με κριτήριο την ποιότητα του προϊόντος και τη δημόσια υγεία, αλλά το κέρδος των μεγάλων επιχειρήσεων. Το ΚΚΕ ζητάει άμεσα μέτρα, όπως ελάφρυνση στη φορολογία και μείωση κόστους παραγωγής, για την πραγματική ανακούφιση των μικρομεσαίων μελισσοκόμων.

 
  
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  Carolina Punset (ALDE), por escrito. – La protección del sector apícola no debe vincularse en exclusiva a la producción de miel, pues conlleva el importante aspecto de la polinización de los cultivos y de la conservación de la biodiversidad. Cerca del 80 % de las plantas cultivadas necesitan insectos para ser polinizadas. Sin embargo, asistimos sin advertirlo a una dramática reducción de las poblaciones de insectos a escala mundial. Gracias al sector apícola notamos este efecto. Aunque la modificación del territorio sea un importante factor de merma de las poblaciones de insectos, el uso de plaguicidas como los neonicotinoides, aplicados mundialmente desde los años 80 son la principal causa del descenso global de las poblaciones de abejas. Sus efectos perduran en el ambiente mucho tiempo después de usarlos. Aunque el uso de estos insecticidas se restringió en la UE en 2013, su prohibición es necesaria ya que las aplicaciones permitidas siguen siendo una agresión al medio natural que no nos podemos permitir.

 
  
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  Claude Rolin (PPE), par écrit. – Les abeilles jouent un rôle primordial dans la pollinisation des arbres et plantes. Mais leurs colonies sont aujourd'hui menacées. Il faut agir pour réduire la mortalité des abeilles, notamment en bannissant les pesticides qui sont dangereux pour leur santé. Élaborer un plan d'action européen pour protéger les abeilles, qui permettrait d'améliorer la résilience des colonies face aux acariens et autres sources de destruction n'est qu'un minimum. Celui-ci doit passer par une interdiction des pesticides les plus nocifs, au rang desquels les néonicotinoïdes. L'Europe doit tout mettre en œuvre pour éviter le désastre environnemental qui pourrait découler de la disparition des abeilles.

Je vous invite par conséquent à soutenir les amendements demandant à la Commission et aux États membres de mettre en place des mesures visant à renforcer la protection juridique et le soutien financier accordés aux écotypes d’abeilles domestiques dans l’ensemble de l’Union européenne, y compris par la mise en place de zones de conservation, protégées par la loi, des abeilles domestiques endémiques et demandant à la Commission de proposer de toute urgence une législation interdisant la production, la vente et l'utilisation de tous les pesticides à base de néonicotinoïdes dans toute l'Union, et ce sans dérogation possible, afin de protéger les populations d'abeilles.

 
  
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  Ivica Tolić (PPE), napisan. – Smatram da je važnost pčelarskog sektora u Europskoj uniji puno veća od samih statističkih pokazatelja ako dovoljno poznajemo značenje meda kao hrane i zdravstvene vrijednosti pčelinjih proizvoda. Pčelarstvo zaista mora biti u središtu europske poljoprivredne politike, stoga je važno povećati financiranje pčelarstva koje trenutno nije na razini značenja istoga za kvalitetu života građana EU-a.

Podržavam povećanje proračuna za godišnje programe sa sadašnjih 36 milijuna eura na 47 milijuna eura kako se predlaže u izvješću. Svakako treba pojačati promotivne aktivnosti zdrave prehrane i zdravstvene vrijednosti pčelinjih proizvoda, meda, propolisa i ostalih. Hrvatska, uz Bugarsku, Rumunjsku, Portugal, Španjolsku, Francusku i Mađarsku, spada u one zemlje Europske unije koje zbog svoje bio raznolikosti i tradicije pčelarstva mogu ponuditi najkvalitetniji med te se iz tog razloga svi skupa na razini Europske unije moramo uspješno suprotstaviti uvozu patvorenog meda iz Kine, radi zaštite potrošača i naših pčelara te općenito zdravlja ljudi.

Moramo se vrlo snažno založiti za europski pčelarski sektor, kvalitetan med za naše potrošače i bolje uvjete za naše pčelare, a protiv uvoza patvorenog meda, krivotvorenja skrivenog iza neodređenih etiketa bez potrebitih podataka o zemlji podrijetla i vrsti meda.

 

27. Intervenţii de un minut privind chestiuni politice importante
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgen die Ausführungen von einer Minute zu wichtigen politischen Fragen (Artikel 163 GO).

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Já chci upozornit na jeden závažný problém, který se týká ochrany životního prostředí v EU.

Nevím, jestli je všeobecně znám fakt, že každý rok ve Středomoří je zastřeleno 25 milionů volně žijících ptáků, a to často naprosto nelegálními prostředky. Na této činnosti se bohužel podílí i státy EU, nejvíce Itálie, Kypr a Řecko. Je třeba konstatovat, že tyto země porušují mezinárodní závazky, Bonnskou a Bernskou úmluvu, ale také evropské právo, konkrétně pak směrnici o ochraně volně žijících ptáků.

Vyzývám tedy Evropskou komisi, aby tento problém řešila, abychom opravdu jednali v souladu s evropským právem a hlavně abychom poskytli ochranu živočichů na území EU v souladu s tím, jaké směrnice jsme zde na půdě EP přijali.

 
  
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  Anna Záborská (PPE) – Vážená pani predsedníčka, to, že v mojej krajine bol úkladne zavraždený novinár a jeho partnerka, ma napĺňa smútkom, hanbou a hnevom. Som smutná, pretože vyhasli dva mladé životy.

Hanbím sa, pretože zverejnené odhalenia tohto novinára ukázali, že na Slovensku už roky žijú a podnikajú ľudia podozriví z prepojenia s medzinárodným zločinom. Majú kontakty na úrade vlády, na prokuratúre aj štátnych úradoch, dokonca čerpajú eurofondy. A som nahnevaná, že nikto z tých, ktorých prácou má byť boj proti mafii a korupcii, necíti zodpovednosť za tento stav.

Kolegyne a kolegovia, chcem vás dnes požiadať, aby ste sledovali situáciu na Slovensku. Ak by ste mali pocit, že je nad naše sily vyšetriť vraždu Jána Kuciaka a vyrovnať sa odhaleniami, ktoré priniesol, prosím vás, podajte nám pomocnú ruku.

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδάκης (NI). – Η αστική τάξη της Τουρκίας εντείνει την επιθετικότητά της με εισβολή και κατοχή, εκτός από την Κύπρο και σε Ιράκ, Συρία, αμφισβητώντας σύνορα κυριαρχικά δικαιώματα, Συνθήκη της Λοζάνης, εμβολίζοντας ελληνικό σκάφος και προκαλώντας στο Αιγαίο, με παρόντες τόσο το ΝΑΤΟ όσο και την Ευρωπαϊκή Συνοριοφυλακή. Στην Κυπριακή ΑΟΖ επίσης προκαλεί για τον έλεγχο της ενέργειας. Οι ανταγωνισμοί των μεγάλων συμφερόντων γεννάνε πολέμους και χύνεται το αίμα των λαών. Μία είναι η αλήθεια: ούτε η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση ούτε το ΝΑΤΟ προστάτευσαν και ούτε θα προστατεύσουν ποτέ σύνορα και κυριαρχικά δικαιώματα. Βγήκαν ψεύτες όσοι προέβλεπαν ότι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, Γαλλία, Ιταλία, επειδή έχουν μπίζνες στην περιοχή, θα τραβούσαν τάχα το αυτί της Τουρκίας. Χλιαρές εκκλήσεις και παραινέσεις υπαγορεύουν τα συμφέροντά τους. Οι λαοί λοιπόν να μην χύσουν το αίμα τους, να μην πιουν το δηλητήριο του εθνικισμού για τα συμφέροντα των ομίλων! Καμία αλλαγή συνόρων! Ο ελληνικός λαός να εναντιωθεί σθεναρά στα ιμπεριαλιστικά σχέδια Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και ΝΑΤΟ, αστικών δυνάμεων, κυβέρνησης ΣΥΡΙΖΑ-ΑΝΕΛ και στην εμπλοκή της Ελλάδας!

 
  
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  Δημήτρης Παπαδάκης (S&D). – Κυρία πρόεδρε, τη στιγμή που η Τουρκία εισβάλλει στη Συρία και σφάζει αμάχους και μικρά παιδιά, τη στιγμή που συνεχίζει τις απειλές κατά των νησιών της Ελλάδας, τη στιγμή που συνεχίζει να κατέχει παράνομα το 40% της Κυπριακής Δημοκρατίας, τη στιγμή που εισβάλλει στην Αποκλειστική Οικονομική Ζώνη ενός κράτους μέλους της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για να αποτρέψει την αξιοποίηση των κοιτασμάτων υδρογονανθράκων που θα ωφελήσουν ολόκληρη την Ευρώπη, κάποιοι πρέπει να σταματήσουν να σκέφτονται τα οποιαδήποτε σενάρια αναβάθμισης των σχέσεων Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης-Τουρκίας. Αρκετές εκπτώσεις έχουν γίνει στην προσπάθεια εξημέρωσης του θηρίου. Είναι ώρα κρίσης για την ίδια την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, που πρέπει να δείξει ότι δεν έλκεται από άλλου είδους συμφέροντα. Διαφορετικά, η υποκρισία και τα συμφέροντα θα επιβραβευτούν για άλλη μία φορά.

 
  
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  Branislav Škripek (ECR) – Vážená pani predsedajúca, dovoľte, aby som v tomto pléne Európskeho parlamentu vyjadril úprimnú sústrasť pozostalým zavraždeného novinára Jána Kuciaka a jeho snúbenice.

Ako viete, na Slovensku sa udiala vážna úkladná vražda novinára. Tento ohavný čin otriasol Slovenskom a vidím, že aj celou Európou a vzdialeným zahraničím. Hovorí sa o slobode slova, ktorú si všetci vážime, a je vždy nutné za ňu bojovať. Najavo začínajú vychádzať nemenej závažné podozrenia. Organizovaný zločin prestavoval v 90-tych rokoch pre viaceré stredoeurópske krajiny vážny problém. A ak sa ukáže, že za vraždou 27-ročného novinára je naozaj medzinárodná mafia, s možným prepojením na vysoké slovenské vládne posty, na poplach by mala byť celá Európa.

Možné mafiánske prepojenie na najvyššie slovenské vládne kruhy je silným sústom aj pre krajinu, ktorá sa zmieta vo vážnych korupčných škandáloch stále teraz posledných pár rokov. Chcem odkázať odtiaľto všetkým zainteresovaným a zvlášť postkomunistickým vládam, odmietame, aby sa vražda investigatívneho novinára novou normou. Patríme do civilizovaného sveta, kde organizovaný zločin nemá miesto a kde vrahovia musia byť za svoj čin chytení a potrestaní.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (ALDE). – Señora presidenta, la construcción europea integra la diversidad construyendo nuevas formas de ser Estado y nación. Ha creado soberanías compartidas y prácticas centradas en responder mejor a las necesidades y la voluntad de la ciudadanía.

Con esas mismas bases, mi partido ha presentado en el País Vasco una propuesta que, dentro de la ley, apuesta por el diálogo permanente, el respeto y el reconocimiento para actualizar la estructura de un Estado miembro que se dice plurinacional. Apostamos por una unión voluntaria de naciones que existen y quieren convertir en realidad principios constitucionales en vigor. Así aportamos estabilidad y soluciones.

Pido por ello a Bruselas y Estrasburgo que, para prevenir nuevos conflictos, protejan esta apuesta por la convivencia frente al mismo nacionalismo estatal y anticuado que critican por ser el peor enemigo de la construcción europea; que obliguen a quienes siguen atascados en conceptos del siglo XIX a que respeten leyes y acuerdos, a que dialoguen y construyan. Recuérdenles que arremeter contra gigantes cuando delante hay molinos es incompatible con nuestra Unión, porque así se alimenta el nacionalpopulismo en todo el continente.

 
  
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  Maria Lidia Senra Rodríguez (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, Carlos Santiago, Josep Pàmies, Nacho Carretero, Xavier Uriarte, Santiago Sierra têm em comum ser vítimas da censura nas últimas duas semanas no Estado espanhol. Um pregão de carnaval, umas conferências, um rap, um livro, uma exposição de fotos são assuntos censurados de diferentes maneiras mas todas correspondem ao autoritarismo do Partido Popular.

Esta tarde, a Comissária Jourová disse que a liberdade de expressão era intocável; deve ser respeitada independentemente das nossas opiniões.

Eu pergunto-lhe, Sr. Comissário, quantas denúncias mais devemos apresentar para que este Parlamento e a Comissão Europeia reajam para garantir que direitos humanos, como a liberdade de expressão, sejam respeitados no Estado espanhol.

 
  
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  Miroslav Mikolášik (PPE) – Vážená pani predsedajúca, Slovensko šokovala správa o úkladnej vražde mladého novinára a jeho snúbenice. Sú ňou dotknuté nielen ich rodiny, ale celá krajina.

Muž totiž ako žurnalista zbieral správy o korupcii a daňových únikoch, ktoré podľa jeho medializovaných zistení smerujú na najvyššie miesta. Demokracia na Slovensku bola touto úkladnou vraždou vážne podkopaná. Novinár Ján Kuciak pátral a nachádzal to, čo si mnohí želali nechať utajené. Pravdu hľadal kvôli Slovensku, nie kvôli sebe.

Vyzývam preto bezpečnostné zložky a prokuratúru, aby neodkladne prípad vyšetrili, zločincov odhalili a vrahov potrestali. A keby na tom mala aj padnúť vláda, o pomoc pri dokončení práce tohto statočného Slováka prosím a vyzývam aj Európske spoločenstvo. Nedovoľme, aby občan na Slovensku stratil vieru v spravodlivosť, poriadok a pravdu.

 
  
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  Rory Palmer (S&D). – Madam President, a recent report published by John Mann, a member of the British Parliament in my region of the UK, has evidenced a significant inequity and unfairness in the way arts, culture and sport are funded. London has received GBP 8 from the Arts Council in the UK for every GBP 1 received by former coalfield communities in my region. For Sport England it was GBP 4 to GBP 1. I suggest it is now time for all public funding for sport, the arts and culture – including EU funding – to be audited with regard to that geographic inequity and unfairness. Whether you live in a city, a rural village or a former industrial community, all young people and, indeed, all citizens have an equal right to access to the arts, culture and sport.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο της 23ης Φεβρουαρίου 2018 είχε την ευκαιρία να στείλει ένα αποφασιστικό μήνυμα στον Erdoğan και στην Τουρκία, στην Τουρκία η οποία απειλεί πλέον ανοιχτά με πόλεμο την Ελλάδα, στην Τουρκία η οποία παραβιάζει τα ελληνικά χωρικά ύδατα στο Αιγαίο, επιβάλλει παράνομο θαλάσσιο αποκλεισμό στα Ίμια και εμβολίζει σκάφος του Ελληνικού Λιμενικού, στην Τουρκία, η οποία ενεργώντας ως σύγχρονος πειρατής θέλει να αρπάξει τον υποθαλάσσιο πλούτο της κυπριακής ΑΟΖ, εκεί όπου βρίσκονται πλουσιότατα κοιτάσματα φυσικού αερίου και πετρελαίου. Το μήνυμα Tusk στον Erdoğan έπρεπε να είναι πιο αποφασιστικό και έπρεπε να συνδυαστεί με την επιβολή πολιτικών διπλωματικών, στρατιωτικών και οικονομικών κυρώσεων κατά της Άγκυρας. Έπρεπε ήδη να έχει επιβληθεί από πλευράς Ευρωπαϊκού Συμβουλίου πλήρης και ολοσχερής απαγόρευση πώλησης στρατιωτικού εξοπλισμού στην Άγκυρα καθώς και σειρά σκληρών οικονομικών κυρώσεων, διότι μόνο αυτή τη γλώσσα καταλαβαίνει ο Σουλτάνος. Όμως το Ευρωπαϊκό Συμβούλιο έμεινε στα λόγια και πέταξε την μπάλα στην εξέδρα.

 
  
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  Ivan Jakovčić (ALDE). – Gospođo predsjednice, na prošloj sjednici Parlamenta upozorio sam Komisiju o protivljenju regionalnih vlasti Primorsko-goranske županije i lokalnih vlasti otoka Krka, pogotovo općine Omišalj, dovođenju plutajućeg LNG terminala u Omišalj. To moram i ovom prigodom.

Nevjerojatno je da sa 101 milijunom eura financiramo projekt koji želimo nametnuti jednoj lokalnoj sredini. Građani i nevladine udruge se potpuno argumentirano protive plutajućem terminalu, ali prihvaćaju kopneni koji već ima sve potrebne dokumente, čak ima i lokacijsku dozvolu. Zašto ne prihvaćamo pruženu ruku s njihove strane?

Nije mi poznato gdje su u Europi lokalne sredine odlučile prihvatiti na konstruktivan način ovako teške, zahtjevne industrijske objekte. Potreban je otvoren, iskren dijalog bez fige u džepu.

Pa valjda za ukupnu energetsku strategije Europske unije nije presudno je li u Hrvatskoj LNG terminal na kopnu ili je on plutajući? Važno je da gradimo terminal koji svima odgovara.

 
  
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  Ángela Vallina (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, el próximo 8 de marzo las mujeres de todo el mundo estamos llamadas a hacer una huelga a nivel mundial para denunciar un sistema, el patriarcal, que invade todos los aspectos de la vida de la mujer —no solo la brecha salarial del 17 % en esta Unión o la marginalidad de los espacios políticos a las mujeres— y para hacer visibles esos trabajos invisibles.

Está en el sistema judicial y en las numerosas sentencias claramente contra la mujer en casos de ámbito familiar; está en la brecha de pensiones de cerca del 40 % en la Unión; está en la violencia que sufre una de cada tres mujeres a lo largo de su vida, y está en la carga de los cuidados, que sigue recayendo mayoritariamente en nosotras, las mujeres.

Está en la publicidad, en el tratamiento sexista de las noticias, en los medios de comunicación y en los medios digitales; está en el acoso sexual, está en la educación diferenciada y está en la división sexual del trabajo.

El patriarcado, para nosotras, es un monstruo contra el que debemos luchar, y la mejor herramienta es visibilizar que el mundo, si nosotras paramos, se para, y que sin políticas transversales de género, no hay ni habrá cambio posible.

 
  
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  Σωτήριος Ζαριανόπουλος (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, οι ιμπεριαλιστικοί ανταγωνισμοί Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και Πολωνικής Κυβέρνησης οξύνονται με πρόσχημα τη δικαιοσύνη. Πίσω τους βέβαια κρύβονται μεγάλα συμφέροντα. Την ίδια ώρα, δεν λένε κουβέντα όλοι αυτοί ότι αύριο, 1η του Μάρτη, θα συρθούν και πάλι στα δικαστήρια το Κομμουνιστικό Κόμμα Πολωνίας και τα στελέχη του με την κατηγορία της προπαγάνδας της κομμουνιστικής ιδεολογίας στην εφημερίδα Brzask και στην ιστοσελίδα του, με απειλές φυλάκισης δύο ετών. Στον αντικομμουνισμό βλέπετε, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και η Πολωνική Κυβέρνηση τα βρίσκουν και συμφωνούν. Καταδικάζουμε τα αντικομμουνιστικά μέτρα και τις διώξεις, καταδικάζουμε τις απαγορεύσεις των κομμουνιστικών συμβόλων και της διάδοσης των κομμουνιστικών ιδεών. Καταγγέλλουμε ότι την ίδια ώρα συνιστά μέγιστη πρόκληση η απόδοση τιμών στους συνεργάτες των Ναζί, η εξίσωση του τέρατος του φασισμού που είναι γέννημα θρέμμα του καπιταλιστικού συστήματος με τον κομμουνισμό. Απαιτούμε άμεση ανάκληση όλων των διώξεων σε βάρος του Κομμουνιστικού Κόμματος Πολωνίας, των μελών και των στελεχών του. Η κατάπνιξη της ιστορικής αλήθειας και ο αντικομμουνισμός δεν θα περάσουν.

 
  
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  Daniel Buda (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, recent am discutat cu zeci de fermieri din regiunea mea despre dificultățile pe care le întâmpină în desfășurarea activității lor. Problema majoră este determinată de importurile masive de produse alimentare, fapt care îi privează de o piață de desfacere pentru produsele autohtone. În 2017, potrivit INS, în România au intrat alimente în valoare de 5,1 miliarde de euro, în timp ce exportul a fost doar de câteva sute de milioane de euro.

Dificultățile acestora derivă din faptul că prețul produselor importate și comercializate în România este mult sub prețul de cost. Astfel, un fermier autohton care deține o fermă de porci, abator și spațiu propriu de comercializare trebuie să vândă kilogramul de carne la 3,5 Euro pentru a supraviețui pe piață. Carnea importată este vândută în supermarketuri la un preț de doar 2,5 euro, mult sub prețul de cost în orice parte a Europei.

Fără o combatere eficientă a concurenței neloiale, România riscă să ajungă o țară fără fermieri autohtoni și o imensă piață de desfacere pentru alimentele produse în alte țări, cu alte cuvinte, concurența neloială este o bombă atomică cu efect întârziat pentru fermierii din România.

 
  
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  Sergio Gutiérrez Prieto (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, esta foto que les enseño ilustra uno de los mayores incumplimientos de la Directiva Marco del Agua que se está produciendo en el día de hoy en la Unión Europea.

A la izquierda está el río Tajo —el río principal de la península ibérica—, con muy poca agua como consecuencia de los trasvases que se producen al Levante, y a la derecha está uno de sus afluentes, el río Jarama, con mucha más agua y totalmente contaminado por la mala depuración que se produce fundamentalmente en la Comunidad de Madrid.

Esta foto es la consecuencia de las malas políticas que se están haciendo en materia de agua por parte del Gobierno de España; que haya tan poca cantidad de agua impide que haya una buena dilución, lo que provoca una grave contaminación del río Tajo.

Señor comisario, le pido que traslade al Colegio de Comisarios, ahora que tienen que hacer la evaluación de los planes de cuenca —en este caso del río Tajo—, que corrijan este grave daño para el medio ambiente en uno de los principales ríos que tiene Europa.

 
  
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  Matt Carthy (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, tonight in Ireland there are 9 000 homeless people, thousands more are on housing waiting lists, and for a whole generation home ownership is an aspiration they will never realise. Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments have failed them, but they’ve never failed the banks. A decade ago, PTSB was bailed out with EUR 3 billion in Irish taxpayers’ money. Today that bank is planning to sell off 14 000 family homes with distressed mortgages to vulture funds, and other banks are following suit.

The vultures are gathering because people can’t repay their loans because the Irish banking cartel has implemented such high mortgage rates. The vulture funds are unregulated, aggressive and vicious in the pursuit of profits. Our government must rein in the banks and the vulture funds. The European Central Bank and the Commission too, so quick to burden the Irish people with 42% of Europe’s bank debt, cannot ignore a crisis that they have had a hand in creating. Banks should be prevented from selling distressed home mortgages to vulture funds: it’s as simple as that. For once and for all, it’s time to side with mortgage-holders and home-owners instead of banks.

 
  
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  Andrea Bocskor (PPE). – Elnök Asszony! Az Európai Parlamentben tegnap vitattuk meg az EU és Ukrajna jövőbeni kapcsolatait, Ukrajna teljesítményét a reformok és az európai integráció terén. Úgy vélem, hogy Ukrajna perspektíváit nagy mértékben befolyásolja a demokratikus jogok és szabadságok, beleértve a kisebbségi jogok szavatolása, a jogbiztonság és a társadalmi béke. Mindeközben Ukrajna legnyugatibb megyéjében, immár egy hónapon belül másodszor érte támadás a Kárpátaljai Magyar Kulturális Szövetség székházát Ungváron.

Ismeretlen tettes robbanószerkezetet helyezett el, mely robbanás következtében a székház alsó szintje teljesen kiégett. Ez a kárpátaljai magyarság direkt fenyegetésének, megfélemlítésének tekinthető, amit nem szabad szó nélkül hagynia az Európai Uniónak sem. Egyértelműen el kell ítélniük ezt a terrorcselekményt, és fel kell szólítanuk az ukrán hatóságokat, hogy mielőbb derítsék ki az elkövető személyét, a megrendelőket és az ügy motivációját. Bizonyos erők egyre inkább azon dolgoznak, hogy felborítsák a rendet és a békét az ország nyugati felében is, nemzetiségi konfliktust szítsanak, provokáljanak, amire az EU-nak mindenképpen reagálnia kell.

 
  
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  John Howarth (S&D). – Madam President, terrorism in Europe can be fought effectively only with close cooperation between national authorities. So I welcome Theresa May’s commitment to the UK’s continued participation in Europol and the European arrest warrant.

Ms May’s Munich speech was, from beginning to end, an argument against Britain leaving the European Union. But let’s take her at face value. She says the UK will respect the remit of the European Court of Justice when participating in the agencies, will continue to align its rules on data-sharing and will do all that is necessary to ensure that evidence gathered is admissible in court. It remains to be seen quite how she intends to sell that to the Brexit extremists in her party, who oppose the ECJ on ideological grounds and would be soft on terrorism.

I look forward to more of this pragmatism on Brexit and I believe the EU27 recognises that the UK is essential to intelligence against terrorism, and they should respond quickly and positively.

 
  
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  Paloma López Bermejo (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, las mujeres sufren la mayor temporalidad y trabajan menos horas en un empleo remunerado. Tanto en la Unión Europea como en España, el 30 % solo puede acceder a contratos de tiempo parcial; la brecha salarial es del 16 % en la Unión Europea y del 24 % en España, mi país. Esta situación de discriminación en el mercado laboral se refleja y se agrava al llegar a la jubilación, donde las pensiones de las mujeres son un 40 % inferiores a las de los hombres.

Las políticas de recortes, además, llevan el sello y la firma del patriarcado y una visión de la sociedad asimétrica y fragmentada en términos de género, lo que nos condena a la desigualdad permanente, a la subordinación y al enclaustramiento en el espacio privado.

Pero nosotras tenemos la firme convicción de acabar con este sistema, con el patriarcado inherente al capitalismo y, por eso, llamamos a la participación en la huelga feminista del 8 de marzo. Vamos a hacer del 8 de marzo una jornada histórica, porque si paramos nosotras, se para el mundo, porque nos queremos vivas, nos queremos libres y unidas.

 
  
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  Csaba Sógor (PPE). – Elnök Asszony! Az Európa Tanács nemzeti kisebbségek védelméről szóló keretegyezményének tanácsadó bizottsága jelentésében számos megoldatlan problémát tárt fel a Romániában élő nemzeti kisebbségek jogainak érvényesülésére vonatkozóan. Tételesen felsorolja azokat a jogsértéseket és hatósági vegzálásokat, amelyek a nemzeti kisebbségek mindennapjait jellemzik, külön kitérve a folyamatos magyarellenes uszításokra, amelyek a román nyelvű média és egyes politikusok részéről érkeznek.

Az ET megállapításai megfelelnek a valóságnak, és az elmúlt 10 évben a jelzett problémákra itt ebben a házban is felhívtuk a figyelmet. A jelentés kétségkívül rámutat a tényre: Romániában nem oldották meg a nemzeti kisebbségek problémáit és az ország távolról sem tekinthető mércének, ami a kisebbségi jogok érvényesülését illeti. Az ET jelentésének következményei kell legyenek. Itt az idő, hogy az uniós intézményrendszer is napirendre vegye a kérdést, hiszen nyilvánvaló: egy uniós tagállam durván megsérti a csatlakozáskor vállalt, a kisebbségek védelmére vonatkozó kötelezettségeit.

 
  
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  Maria Gabriela Zoană (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, egalitatea între femei și bărbați, principiul fundamental al Uniunii Europene, rămâne un subiect de importanță majoră, deoarece femeile suferă în continuare din cauza inegalității, se confruntă cu multiple forme de discriminare.

Astăzi aș dori să atrag atenția asupra rolului femeii în sectorul agricol. România ocupă primul loc în Uniunea Europeană la ponderea populației care lucrează în agricultură și locul al doilea în ceea ce privește ponderea femeilor în acest domeniu. De aceea, femeile fermier sunt cu atât mai mult de apreciat cu cât au reușit să aibă succes într-o lume a bărbaților. La nivelul Uniunii Europene, doar 4,4 % din populația activă lucrează în agricultură și doar 30 % din ferme sunt gestionate de femei.

Sunt necesare încă eforturi uriașe susținute pentru dezvoltarea antreprenoriatului feminin. Solicit instituțiilor europene să creeze pârghii legislative mai eficiente pentru a ne asigura că femeile și fetele din mediul rural beneficiază de sprijin pentru inițiativele lor antreprenoriale și inovatoare, care ar putea asigura venituri suplimentare pentru familiile lor.

 
  
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  Marijana Petir (PPE). – Gospođo predsjednice, Bokeljska mornarica nastala je prije više od 12 stoljeća, kada su kotorski mornari sudjelovali u preuzimanju moći sv. Tripuna. Ona je kulturno i duhovno naslijeđe Katoličke crkve i Hrvata, autohtonog naroda Boke kotorske.

Stoga nas je sve zatekla vijest da je Crna Gora odlučila Bokeljsku mornaricu, samostalno, bez Hrvatske, uvrstiti na UNESCO-ov popis nematerijalne kulturne baštine čovječanstva, tim više jer je ona upisana u nacionalni registar kulturnih dobara obiju zemalja.

Hrvatska traži zajedničku nominaciju kojom će se kroz kandidaturu Bokeljske mornarice vrednovati uloga Hrvata i značaj sv. Tripuna.

Negiranjem činjenice da je Bokeljska mornarica dominantno baština bokeljskih Hrvata zadire se u srž manjinskih prava Hrvata u Crnoj Gori i dio je trenda kojim se izravno ubrzava nestanak preostalih malobrojnih Hrvata na području Boke zatiranjem njihovog kulturnog identiteta.

Takav pristup Crne Gore, koja je kandidatkinja za članstvo u Uniji, spada u grubo kršenje prava hrvatske manjine i u suprotnosti je s temeljnim vrijednostima Europske unije.

 
  
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  Răzvan Popa (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, deși negocierile privind ieșirea Marii Britanii din Uniunea Europeană avansează, există încă semnale că situația cetățenilor din statele membre aflați în Regatul Unit nu este pe deplin clarificată. Incertitudinile persistă, chiar și în urma acordurilor la care s-a ajuns în ultimele luni. Sunt peste două milioane de cetățeni europeni a căror soartă se decide acum iar, dintre aceștia, cel puțin 200 000 sunt români. Vorbim despre oameni cu familii care și-au creat un viitor în Marea Britanie, sau care lucrează la construirea acestui viitor.

Dacă nu vor fi clarificate toate aspectele post-Brexit, riscăm să ne trezim cu un fenomen de exod forțat al acestora, cu consecințe dramatice în plan social și economic. Trag un semnal de alarmă către Comisia Europeană și Consiliul European, dar și către Marea Britanie, să nu sacrifice soarta a milioane de oameni în acest proces politic de ieșire din Uniunea Europeană. Vorbim despre cetățeni europeni care au contribuit mult la creștere economică, atât a Regatului Unit, cât și a Uniunii Europene.

 
  
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  László Tőkés (PPE). – Elnök Asszony! Zeid Raad al-Husszein, az ENSZ emberi jogi főbiztosa idegengyűlölettel és rasszizmussal rágalmazta meg Orbán Viktor miniszterelnököt. Tegnap, ettől függetlenül, egyik beszélgetőpartnerem nacionalistáknak minősítette a magyarokat. Határozottan visszautasítom ezeket és a hasonló, megalapozatlan vádaskodásokat. Nacionalista az, aki jogot sért, a patrióta viszont jogot véd. Orbán Viktor a saját és Európa nemzeteit védelmezi, tehát jó patrióta és jó európai. A migránsok invázióját pártoló politikusok ellenben saját népük és polgáraik rovására cselekszenek.

Az irántunk felerősödött magyarellenességgel szemben mi, külföldön élő kisebbségi magyarok is saját népünket védjük, példának okáért Ukrajnában, ahol február 4-én nacionalista terrortámadás érte magyar közösségünk ungvári székházát. Igaz hazafiakként közös erővel lépjünk fel Európa és népeink védelmében!

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec (PPE) – Vážená pani predsedajúca, na Slovensku sa v uplynulých dňoch udialo niečo, čo otriaslo celou Európou. Dvaja mladí ľudia – investigatívny novinár Ján Kuciak a jeho priateľka Martina Kušnírová – boli brutálne popravení vo svojom vlastnom dome.

Ján Kuciak bol odvážny novinár, ktorý sa nebál rozkrývať kauzy organizovaného zločinu, ktorého nitky siahajú až k socialistickým politikom. V poslednom nedokončenom článku dokonca poukázal na prepojenie talianskej mafie a strany Smer na čele vlády.

Tento ohavný čin nestačí len odsúdiť. Navrhujem spolu so svojim českým kolegom Luďkom Niedermayerom, aby sa prípadmi daňových podvodov, na ktorých pracoval zavraždený Ján Kuciak, venoval aj nový výbor proti finančným zločinom a daňovým podvodom. Pamiatku dvoch statočných ľudí si najlepšie uctíme tak, že prispejeme k odhaleniu pravdy. Vždy musíme urobiť všetko, aby slušní ľudia mali navrch.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Já bych chtěl hovořit dnes o sporu, který se může udát na pozadí výběru předsedy Evropské komise. Předseda Evropské komise by měl být hlavním hybatelem a spojovatelem a k tomuto tématu se v uplynulých dnech vyjádřili pan předseda Tusk, Juncker i český premiér Babiš.

EP prosazuje pojetí špičkových kandidátů, kteří by měli být ti relevantní pro navržení do funkce. Pro mě někdy EP tuto otázku prosazuje až nesmiřitelným způsobem. Evropská rada prosazuje své právo nominace, což odpovídá i textu platných Smluv. Podle mého názoru by se měly dodržovat platné Smlouvy a příčetná Evropská rada by měla navrhnout takového kandidáta, který dokáže získat právě se svou Komisí důvěru EP. Role členských států by měla být zásadnější. Předseda Evropské komise by měl být právě zvolen na základě volby členských států. Myslím si, že než absolvovat další spor, bylo by lepší respektovat naše primární právo.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Damit ist dieser Tagesordnungspunkt geschlossen.

 

28. Ordinea de zi a următoarei ședințe: consultaţi procesul-verbal
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29. Ridicarea ședinței
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(Die Sitzung wird um 23.12 Uhr geschlossen.)

 
Ultima actualizare: 13 aprilie 2018Notă juridică