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Dezbateri
Marţi, 23 octombrie 2018 - Strasbourg Ediţie revizuită

17. Necesitatea unui mecanism cuprinzător pentru democrație, statul de drept și drepturi fundamentale (dezbatere)
Înregistrare video a intervenţiilor
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sulla necessità di un meccanismo globale in materia di democrazia, Stato di diritto e diritti fondamentali (2018/2886(RSP)).

 
  
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  Karoline Edtstadler, President-in-Office of the Council. – Thank you President, we appreciate that Parliament has given the Council the opportunity to participate in this debate. This Parliament has indeed always shown great dedication to protection of the rule of law, of democracy and of fundamental rights in our Union.

The protection and promotion of our core values as stated in Article 2 of the Treaty of the European Union is a constant challenge. This challenge requires unwavering attention and effort across all institutions and all policy areas. Democracy, freedom, equality, the rule of law and human rights are the cornerstones of the European Union. Each Member State must therefore respect, protect and promote them.

The Austrian Presidency, and indeed all of us, agree that protection of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in our Union cannot be taken for granted. To address this challenge, the Council and a Member State established a meeting within the Council, the so-called ‘annual rule of law dialogue’. The last rule of law dialogue was organised by the Estonian Presidency in October 2017 on media pluralism and the rule of law in a digital age. The next rule of law dialogue will be organised in November by the Austrian Presidency. It will deal with the issue of trust in public institutions and rule of law.

From the beginning we were aware that the Council’s response to rule of law issues needed to be reviewed at a regular pace and if needed, improved or adapted to current challenges. The last evaluation in 2016 showed, among others, that the preparation of dialogues should be more systematic and include the organisation of other accompanying events. This would provide for the possibility to assemble broad input at expert level, including the involvement of other EU institutions or other institutional organisations.

The Estonian Presidency and now our Presidency have followed these recommendations and included experts in the preparation of the annual ministerial dialogue. By the end of 2019 the Council will conduct a re—evaluation of the rule of law dialogue and consider ways to further strengthen it. In the meantime, the Council must task it with conducting two Article 7 procedures, on Poland and Hungary. Since the procedure was triggered, every General Affairs Council meeting has discussed the situation in Poland and in Hungary.

Of course, the Council is not acting alone in these matters of fundamental importance. The Presidency notes with interest the commitment of this Parliament and its legislative initiative report on the establishment of an EU mechanism on democracy, rule of law and fundamental rights. In addition, the Commission plays a vital role in monitoring developments in this field across the Union.

We also wish to highlight the role played by the Council of Europe and the Venice Commission in these questions and I note that in its working programme 2019, the Commission indicated that it would come up with a further strengthening of the 2014 rule of law framework.

Let me conclude by stressing that safeguarding democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights goes to the heart of our commitment to this Union. The success of this political project will be measured by its ability and determination to uphold these core values. We will play our part.

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, when we discussed – I think it was exactly two years ago – the issue of stepping up our mechanism to strengthen democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, I said on behalf of the Commission that we fully support Parliament’s objectives underlying the resolution adopted in 2016. Like Parliament, the Commission is deeply committed to ensuring that our common European values, including in particular democracy and the rule of law, are respected. I believe the actions of the Commission over the past four years leave no grounds for any doubt on that matter. So we agree on the end, and the discussion between us is about identifying the best means.

The developments which have occurred over the past two years have only made the Commission more convinced of the importance of using the instruments we already have to uphold EU values in the most effective way. The diversity of challenges we are facing requires a diversity of responses at EU level. Among these developments, the deterioration of the situation with the rule of law in Poland led the Commission, in December 2017, to initiate the procedure set out in Article 7 of the Treaty on the European Union. Last month Parliament decided to initiate the same procedure as regards Hungary. These are unprecedented steps in the history of our Union.

The Commission has recently launched a number of values-related infringement proceedings, and with regard to the Polish Law on the Supreme Court we have also invited the Court of Justice to impose interim measures. In addition, we have used other instruments, including audits and investigations relating to the use of EU funds, as well as measures through the European Semester to monitor justice reforms in Member States.

The Commission has used its powers as initiator of legislation to propose, as a key component of our next Multiannual Financial Framework, a regulation on protecting the Union’s budget in the event of generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law in the Member States. The rules we propose would allow the Union to suspend, reduce or restrict access to EU funding when generalised deficiencies as regards the rule of law impair or threaten to impair sound financial management or the Union’s financial interest.

These actions show the Commission’s determination to use all of the instruments at its disposal to address value-related concerns. In each case the Commission uses the instruments that we consider can be most effective. However, this does not mean there is no need to improve the EU’s capacity to promote and uphold our common values. On the contrary, we need to make better use of the enforcement toolbox at our disposal. Parliament’s 2016 resolution contained a number of ideas that the Commission supports: for example, setting up an interparliamentary dialogue between the European Parliament and national parliaments. The national parliaments are involved in many of the problems related to the rule of law that we have witnessed recently in some Member States. Such interparliamentary dialogue could, as a first step, discuss the various options and the means currently on the table to ensure that our common values are respected and enforced. The Commission will be ready to contribute to such a dialogue.

The Commission also supports the aim of making the variety of existing data and reports more accessible and visible including a national level. The EU Agency for Fundamental Rights has a role to play in this respect.

There are other elements in the resolution which continue to raise questions. For example, the Commission maintains its strong doubts about the need for and the feasibility of an annual report and a policy cycle on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights, prepared by a committee of experts. The central role attributed to an independent expert panel raises serious questions of legality, institutional legitimacy and accountability. Furthermore, the recent developments show that the problem we have is not a lack of reporting mechanisms in Europe, but rather a lack of capacity to act and enforce the rule of law and uphold our values in an effective manner.

We know the facts. We need to act. For this reason, as was also announced in the letter of intent which accompanied Jean-Claude Juncker’s State of the Union speech and which was just today confirmed by the Work Programme, the Commission intends to present an initiative on further strengthening the 2014 Rule of Law framework. The initiative will draw lessons from the experiences of recent years. It will also take due account of the work of the European Parliament, including your resolution on democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights mechanism, and the discussion that has ensued.

To conclude, I can assure you that the Commission is ready to continue the discussion with you to determine how best the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights can be promoted and upheld. This is an objective we share, and one which goes to the very heart of what our European Union is.

 
  
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  Frank Engel, au nom du groupe PPE. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Secrétaire d’État, Monsieur le premier Vice-président, je vous félicite et vous remercie pour les progrès qui ont été accomplis en matière de sauvegarde des droits fondamentaux et de l’état de droit, mais je dois vous dire encore et toujours que cela n’est pas suffisant et vous le savez.

Nous ne sommes pas en désaccord sur les déficiences que nous constatons en la matière parce qu’elles sont nombreuses et elles deviennent de plus en plus envahissantes. Le nombre d’États qu’il faudrait maintenant énumérer si l’on dressait la liste des États dans lesquels l’état de droit n’est pas ce qu’il devrait être, ne cesse d’augmenter.

Au lieu de revenir à ce que nous avons exigé dans une résolution, il y a quelques années déjà, j’aimerais simplement rappeler le principal constat et le principal problème à mon sens. Nous ne sommes hélas pas d’accord en Europe sur la façon de gouverner. Et ce que nous devons entendre quand nous allons en Hongrie ou ailleurs, en Pologne, en Roumanie, à Malte, en Slovaquie – la liste s’allongera sans doute encore – ne correspond pas à ce à quoi nous pourrions nous attendre dans d’autres parties de l’Europe. Et je vous rappelle que le Parlement a fait ce constat en disant précisément, pour cette raison, qu’il faut que nous ayons une interaction permanente les uns avec les autres, représentants de l’ensemble des États membres, sur la façon dont on peut gouverner légitimement et sur ce que nous ne devons pas faire en Europe si nous voulons nous réclamer des valeurs communes, des principes communs, d’une base de gouvernance commune.

Il faut poser cette base parce qu’elle n’est hélas pas là. Nous ne nous y attendions pas quand nous formulions les traités. Il serait temps de l’instaurer.

 
  
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  Josef Weidenholzer, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Vor zwei Jahren hat dieses Haus mit großer Mehrheit die Kommission aufgefordert, einen niedrigschwelligen interinstitutionellen Mechanismus zur Garantie der Grundrechte einzurichten.

Die Kommission hat leider keinen besonderen Eifer gezeigt, diesen Vorschlag aufzugreifen, im Gegensatz zu manchen Mitgliedstaaten, wo eine sehr positive Rückmeldung gekommen ist. Ein solcher Mechanismus – auch DRF-Paket genannt – würde uns helfen, eine effektivere und nachhaltigere Sicherung der demokratischen Grundrechte sicherzustellen.

Der Ausgangspunkt ist einfach. Zwar gibt es mit den Kopenhagener Kriterien eine klare Hürde, Mitglied der Union zu werden. Ist diese einmal geschafft, dann sind kaum adäquate Mittel vorhanden, eine Nichtbeachtung oder willentliche Verletzung zu ahnden. Die bestehenden Instrumente sind oft zu heftig und zu wenig zielgerichtet, um bedrohliche Entwicklungen schon in einem frühen Stadium zu beeinflussen.

Wenn die Probleme einmal auf EU-Ebene thematisiert werden, dann wird Kritik von den betroffenen Mitgliedstaaten meist als Bedrohung von außen stilisiert und eine Problemlösung sehr schwer. Das haben wir in den letzten Jahren immer wieder feststellen müssen.

Der neue Mechanismus schlägt hingegen eine Verzahnung bereits vorhandener Instrumente vor, setzt in einem frühen Stadium an und stellt alle Mitgliedstaaten – die alten und die neuen – auf eine gleiche Grundlage.

Mit einem democracy scoreboard wird ähnlich der Venedig-Kommission ein Format entwickelt, das Vergleichsmöglichkeiten eröffnet und in einem frühen Stadium ansetzt. Die Schaffung eines derartigen Mechanismus – so glaube ich – würde neue Handlungsfähigkeit bringen und die Debattenkultur versachlichen.

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! W jednym zgadzam się z tymi, którzy proponują stały mechanizm sprawdzania demokracji praworządności i praw podstawowych, mianowicie w krytyce dotychczasowej praktyki instytucji unijnych w tym zakresie. Działania podejmowane przez Komisję oraz Parlament Europejski miały charakter wybiórczy, arbitralny i skrajnie upolityczniony. Na przykład nawet „najwięksi przyjaciele” (w cudzysłowie) mojego kraju przyznawali w kuluarach, że przedmiotem ich troski mogłoby być także inne państwo członkowskie.

I tak właśnie jest. I nie dotyczy to bynajmniej na przykład Malty tu wspomnianej przez kolegę. Otóż weźmy na przykład kraj, który uchodzi za wzór liberalnej demokracji. Mam na myśli Niemcy. Od dziesięcioleci środowiska sędziowskie w Niemczech domagają się przeprowadzenia reform urzeczywistniających w pełni zasadę demokracji, trójpodziału władz i niezawisłości sędziowskiej w niemieckim wymiarze sprawiedliwości. Apele o reformę sądownictwa były podnoszone przed wyborami do Bundestagu w 2017 r. Na przykład Neue Richtervereinigung wystosował tzw. apel berliński, w którym znalazło się następujące stwierdzenie, cytuję: „Republika Federalna Niemiec jako członek Unii może żądać w sposób wiarygodny przestrzegania podmiotowych zasad przez podmioty trzecie, jeżeli sama się w ten sposób zorganizuje. Dlatego domagamy się zaangażowania na rzecz tego, by niemiecki system sądownictwa odpowiadał zasadom podziału władzy, co należy od dawna do standardu europejskiego.” Te postulaty nie zostały jednak do dziś spełnione, a Deutscher Richterverbund 11 września 2018 r. opublikował swoje stanowisko w tej sprawie zatytułowane „Trzecia władza musi się rządzić sama”, w którym stwierdza między innymi, że sądownictwo oraz prokuratura w Niemieckiej Republice Federalnej są uzależnione od władzy wykonawczej, a wielu krajach związkowych o zatrudnieniu i awansie sędziów i prokuratorów decyduje samodzielnie minister sprawiedliwości. W związku z tym postuluje się podejmowanie decyzji personalnych w ramach samorządu sędziowskiego. To jest postulat sędziów.

Ostatnio, jak Państwo wiedzą, opinię publiczną w Niemczech bulwersuje sprawa obsadzania stanowisk sędziów w Trybunale Konstytucyjnym w Brandenburgii, gdzie, jak zwykle, poszczególne miejsca dzielone są między duże partie polityczne. Tym razem SPD postanowiła mianować między innymi zaangażowaną politycznie pisarkę bez doświadczenia sędziowskiego, która była na tyle rozsądna, że zapisała się do tej partii przed rokiem. Ja mógłbym mnożyć te przykłady. Podobnie jest w wielu innych krajach, gdzie sędziowie mogą być członkami partii politycznej. Wszędzie jest wpływ polityczny na wybór sędziów.

Wobec tego pytam się, zwracam się z do pana Timmermansa: dlaczego więc Komisja Europejska nie podjęła działań mających na celu przestrzeganie przez Niemiecką Republiką Federalną wartości wymienionych w art. 2 Traktatu o Unii Europejskiej. Można odpowiedzieć: bo Niemcy to są Niemcy, a Polska to jest Polska. Ale takie myślenie doprowadzi prędzej czy później do katastrofy Unii, a może i Europy.

Ale do tej katastrofy może doprowadzić także przekonanie, że to urzędnik Komisji Europejskiej lub Parlament Europejski miałby decydować o praworządności czy konstytucyjności w jakimś kraju. Nic zresztą nie byłoby większym pogwałceniem zasady konstytucyjności i praworządności, a proponowany mechanizm sprawdzania demokracji i praworządności byłby jej zaprzeczeniem.

 
  
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  Sophia in 't Veld, on behalf of the ALDE Group. – Mr President, in today’s EU, independent judges are being dismissed, journalists are threatened and even murdered, NGOs are harassed and intimidated. In the last two years alone, since we adopted the proposal for the DRF Pact, two Article 7 procedures have been launched: one by Parliament and one by the Commission. The Commission has also launched infringement cases and took a Member State to court. The Council organised hearings on the rule of law in that same Member State, and Parliament created the rule of law monitoring group for two other Member States, as well as a plenary debate on yet another Member State.

So a lot is being done – and I have to commend the Commissioner for his actions – but it is piecemeal and erratic. It is too little and, too often, too late. We need a pan-European mechanism for democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in the EU that is comprehensive and not fragmented; evidence based, not politicised; one that monitors all Member States annually and is not ad hoc or incident-driven.

Exactly two years ago in this House, we adopted such a proposal: the DRF Pact. We proposed a fully—fledged interinstitutional agreement that we could have agreed on today. So why have the Commission and the Council so far failed to act on our proposal? You work on the rule of law, but your refusal to agree the comprehensive DRF Pact means that forces that demolish our way of life are always ahead of us. So it’s time to act because, Commissioner, I don’t agree with you. The toolkit that we currently have at our disposal is visibly not enough. So, as the Commission and Member States drag their feet, Parliament should move ahead anyway. I propose that we start our own annual DRF cycle, including country reporting and a debate on the state of democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights in Europe, in tandem with national parliaments, and we don’t wait until the Council and Commission are ready.

Because in conclusion, democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights cannot defend themselves. We have to stand up for them or they will perish.

 
  
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  Judith Sargentini, namens de Verts/ALE-Fractie. – Voorzitter, ik zie het pleidooi van collega Krasnodębski over Duitsland eigenlijk als een aanvulling, als een ondersteuning voor wat het Parlement vraagt, namelijk niet wachten tot het kalf verdronken is, niet acht jaar lang sleuren om dan eindelijk een tweederdemeerderheid te krijgen om een artikel 7—procedure te kunnen beginnen voor Hongarije, maar gestructureerd, jaarlijks, als een soort van visitatiecommissie, zoals dat bij universiteiten plaatsvindt, te kijken wat de staat van de rechtsstaat, de democratie en de grondrechten is in iedere lidstaat.

Het is leuk dat de Raad elk jaar een onderwerp pakt en dan besloten met elkaar gaat praten, maar het is typisch dat de Raad er nog steeds voor terugschrikt om gewoon het Europees Parlement uit te nodigen om het verslag over Hongarije te komen toelichten. Want meer is het niet. Zo lang wij ons voor het maken van verslagen, zoals het mijne over Hongarije, moeten richten op instellingen van buiten, namelijk de Raad van Europa, de VN, de OVSE, en ons eigen Bureau voor de grondrechten niet de ruimte geven om echte analyses per land te maken, blijven we dus eigenlijk wegkijken van de problemen in onze eigen regio.

 
  
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  Barbara Spinelli, a nome del gruppo GUE/NGL. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, da qualche tempo il tema del rule of law è riemerso con forza nel dibattito europeo. Di per sé il fatto è positivo, visto che l'Unione poggia su un concetto di rule of law che non si riduce all'applicazione della legge ma include i diritti umani.

Condivido l'idea di istituire un meccanismo preventivo che funga da argine contro possibili violazioni e rappresenti in modo chiaro un contraltare obiettivo, neutrale e soprattutto non punitivo rispetto agli attuali strumenti.

Ciò a maggior ragione a fronte del rischio che la questione del rule of law si trasformi in un terreno di contesa elettorale o tra Stati, che venga chiamata in causa in maniera selettiva sulla base di considerazioni partitiche, conducendo di fatto a uno svuotamento dello stesso rule of law.

Non credo che l'agire di Frans Timmermans sia parziale. Proprio per questo penso che potrebbe apprezzare un meccanismo che è animato da un bisogno così grande, continuativo e profondo di expertise imparziali.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ENF. – Monsieur le Président, une Europe authentiquement démocratique devrait respecter la souveraineté de chacune des nations européennes qui la composent, or l’Union européenne ne le fait pas. Elle s’immisce de façon scandaleuse dans les affaires intérieures de certains de ses États membres comme la Hongrie, la Pologne ou maintenant la Roumanie. Chose encore plus grave, le Parlement européen a imaginé, dans sa résolution du 25 octobre 2016, le vade-mecum de la mise sous tutelle politique des États membres. Il recommande de confier à un panel d’experts, élus par personne et sortis d’on ne sait où, le pouvoir de noter les États comme des enfants sur le respect de différents principes. La séparation des pouvoirs, la liberté d’expression ou encore l’indépendance de la justice.

En hommage involontaire au poète français, Jacques Prévert, qui en aurait bien ri, la résolution charge ce panel d’experts de donner des notes de couleur aux États. Vert aux gentils, orange aux suspects et rouge aux méchants. Pour les États qui obtiennent une note rouge, la sanction se veut terrible, c’est l’activation de l’article 7 du traité sur l’Union européenne qui débouche sur la suspension du droit de vote de l’État fautif au sein du Conseil. Tout cela n’est pas sérieux et je regrette qu’on ressorte ces vieilles lunes aujourd’hui.

Le Parlement européen gagnerait en crédibilité s’il écoutait un peu plus les aspirations des peuples au lieu de se poser en éternel donneur de leçons.

L’Europe des nations, que j’appelle de mes vœux, traitera les États européens avec respect et non avec la morgue de cette indigne résolution.

 
  
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  Roberta Metsola (PPE). – Mr President, if there is one thing that has been so violently exposed in the last year in Europe it is the need for a concrete mechanism that will monitor the state of the rule of law, democracy and fundamental rights in every Member State. It is clear that we need to close the gaps between the rights we demand as EU citizens and the tools that are currently available for their protection.

Having such a mechanism would be a huge step forward and would go some way in allaying the fears of so many citizens in Europe from different States who look to us when their rights are in danger, or when their institutions cannot be relied on or when the promise that is Europe is under threat.

This is not about going after any single state or government. It is about making the protection of the rights we have future—proof. Our focus must be on protection, about building up systems, about helping people and not about punishment.

Having this mechanism will mean that every Member State will be subjected to the same level of scrutiny. It will remove the politics from that equation and create equality among States. It will mean that governments who think that they have carte blanche to do as they please after winning an election will be in for a surprise. It will give Europe the tools to act.

We are not interested in going after one country. We want to change the entire system, and this could very well be the game changer that we need to address this generational challenge facing our Union.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes (S&D). – Mr President, it could well be a game changer to have the encapsulation of the 2016 resolution, which is a less crisis-driven, more systematic, rule of law mechanism and we have talked about it endlessly within our committee and it is something that we very much want.

I have two points that I want to make. One is that, in reaching this objective, we must not dismiss what we are currently doing, and not give an excuse to anyone to diminish the work that has been done, either by the Commission or by Members of Parliament here on these fundamental rights mechanisms under Article 7. To do so would be to diminish the key work that has been done and that will also happen when we have this other mechanism that is less crisis-driven, because what I mean by that is the capacity to act in case of a breach, the capacity to uphold the rule of law, and indeed human rights, will be difficult in this mechanism also. It will be difficult to monitor every Member State, and to act when there is something wrong there, so please, bear this in mind.

So, to ensure that we complete the work that we are doing currently, but then in the future we look at this mechanism, and yes, hopefully we fulfil the 2016 resolution. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Ensure that we preserve the very tough work that we are currently undertaking and then get to this new fundamental rights mechanism.

 
  
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  Birgit Sippel (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Warum ein Rechtsstaatsmechanismus? Artikel 2 des Vertrags beschreibt die Werte, auf denen unsere Union gründet: Achtung der Menschenwürde, Freiheit, Demokratie, Gleichheit, Rechtsstaatlichkeit, Achtung der Menschenrechte. Und mit ihrer Unterschrift haben sich alle Mitgliedstaaten verpflichtet, diese zu wahren und zu respektieren. Aber wenn Regierungen die Gewaltenteilung missachten, Obdachlose kriminalisiert werden oder regierungskritische Medien diskreditiert werden, dann bringt das Gefahren – für Einzelne und die Union insgesamt.

Wie können wir Vertrauen in Demokratie und Staat erwarten, wenn Regierungen Verträge, Gesetze und Gerichtsurteile nach Gutdünken auslegen oder gar schlicht ignorieren? Der Rechtsstaatsmechanismus ist notwendig, um Freiheit und Demokratie überall in Europa zu schützen.

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

 
  
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  Zdzisław Krasnodębski (ECR), pytanie zadane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. – W nawiązaniu do swojej wypowiedzi, gdzie podawałem przykłady z Niemiec, chciałem się Panią spytać, czy Pani jest gotowa zastosować to, co Pani powiedziała, do swojego kraju i do swojej partii?

 
  
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  Birgit Sippel (S&D), blue-card answer. – I think it is very clear that this mechanism should be fit for all Member States and, from time to time, we will check everything in all the Member States. I think this has been clear from the very beginning.

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Pane předsedající, jako bývalý ministr spravedlnosti podporuji obhajobu principu právního státu a je dobře, že zde máme mechanismy v současné Lisabonské smlouvě. Ale musím říci, že můj postoj k případným změnám je zdrženlivý, stejně jako to vyjádřila Komise ve své zprávě z roku 2017. Zkrátka a dobře, pokud bychom nyní sáhli ke změně Lisabonské smlouvy a posílili kontrolní mechanismy i v podobě každoročních preventivních zpráv, tak já vnímám, že třeba v mé zemi, v České republice, by to vedlo k tomu, že by populisté takovéto změny zneužili k boji proti myšlenkám evropské integrace a zneužili by to proti Evropské unii jako takové. A to si myslím, že jako reální politici bychom také měli vnímat. Zkrátka posilovat pozici EU v této otázce, otázce ochrany právního státu, proti vůli občanů a proti vůli některých členských států se může otočit proti samotné myšlence evropské integrace. Byl bych tedy zdrženlivý.

 
  
 

Procedura "catch the eye"

 
  
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  Doru-Claudian Frunzulică (S&D). – Domnule președinte, vreau să vă spun un lucru - Uniunea Europeană se află actualmente la o răscruce de drumuri și observăm o schimbare a regulilor în timpul jocului. Țările care au aderat la Uniunea Europeană trebuiau să îndeplinească niște condiții politice - criteriile de la Copenhaga. Trebuie să țineți cont, stimați colegi, de un fapt foarte important - instituțiile în diferite state membre sunt diferite. Fiecare țară ar trebui judecată în funcție de instituțiile pe care le are. Iar aici s-au spus niște lucruri foarte importante - că toate țările membre ale Uniunii Europene ar trebui judecate în același mod. Pentru asta însă trebuie să avem instituții comune, aceleași instituții care să facă aceleași lucruri pentru cetățenii europeni.

Sunt perfect de acord cu doamna in 't Veld de la ALDE, care spunea că un mecanism trebuie să se aplice tuturor țărilor într-un mod coerent, ținând cont de instituțiile pe care țările respective le au. Din păcate, constatăm că - și acest lucru s-a mai spus - s-au găsit probleme, în general în țările din Europa Centrală și de Est. Ținând cont de situația unde ne aflăm acum cu Uniunea Europeană, cred eu că ar fi o mare eroare să continuăm pe acest drum. Trebuie să avem o poziție echilibrată față de țările membre pentru că cetățenii noștri s-ar putea simți discriminați și discriminarea crește în Europa Centrală și de Est.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, in my country, the UK, racist and anti-democratic forces led a campaign for us to leave the European Union and won by breaking the electoral law and telling lies. In Poland and Hungary, governments are making serious attacks against the rule of law and preventing civil society from playing its crucial role, required for any functioning democracy. In several other EU countries, helping migrants and refugees is now criminalised.

Whilst I was relieved to see this Parliament take action against Orbán’s Government recently, I remain worried that the EU is not doing enough to support democracy, human rights and the rule of law. The drifting situation in several Member States should call for much stronger reactions. It’s our moral and historical responsibility. We must rise against fascism and fight against those who attack our common values. So I fully support Sophia in 't Veld’s proposal for a comprehensive EU mechanism that would help us respond to the breaches. In the meantime, we must continue to use the tools at our disposal against illiberal governments.

 
  
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  Maria Gabriela Zoană (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule vicepreședinte al Comisiei Europene, sunt avocat și de peste 15 ani predau dreptul penal, criminalistica și alte materii anexe studenților de la facultatea de drept. Personal, nu cred că există vreun cetățean de bună-credință în Europa care să fie de acord cu corupția. Spunem „nu” clar corupției.

Însă mă îngrijorează, în același timp, dublul limbaj de la nivelul instituțiilor europene. Dialogul sincer, cred eu, că este singura soluție. De aceea, în contextul Brexitului și a unui buget european viitor firav, mă tem, domnule președinte, că unele state puternice - și vreau să mă asigur pe această cale - că acestea nu vor folosi abuziv nerespectarea statului de drept pentru a lua banii europeni de la statele mai puțin puternice, cum sunt cele din estul Europei. Juridic vorbind, nu există în prezent nicio definiție clară a statului de drept și nici criterii clare care să identifice încălcarea statului de drept. Singura autoritate în măsură să decidă asupra încălcării statului de drept este Curtea Europeană de Justiție, nu Comisia, nu Consiliul și nu Parlamentul European. În caz contrar, domnule președinte, riscăm aplicarea discreționară a regulilor europene și, desigur, în urma unor decizii exclusiv politice, pedepsirea anumitor state.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule comisar și stimați colegi, cred că în orice țară dacă mergem pe stradă să întrebăm cetățenii „vreți să fie stat de drept la dumneavoastră? Vreți să vi se respecte drepturile?”, evident că vor răspunde „da”. Problema care este și care a fost atinsă de foarte mulți colegi aici - cum definim statul de drept? Pentru că avem constituții, avem constituții - și un coleg din Cehia spunea „voința poporului, democrația, până la urmă, e voința poporului” - dacă constituția este respectată, dacă Curtea Constituțională din acel stat aprobă, verifică și atestă toată legislația care e votată în Parlament - o instituție votată tot de popor - atunci este respectat statul de drept. Sigur că sunt de acord și eu ca să fie verificate toate statele, nu așa cum avem noi, România și Bulgaria, MCV și nu mai scăpăm de el.

Problema care se pune este să cunoaștem instrumentele, modul cum se măsoară și nu poate totuși Comisia, care este un organism numit, să facă tăiere de fonduri, de exemplu, pentru că e o condiționalitate care nu este cuprinsă în tratat și nu cred că modificăm tratatul.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señor presidente, señor Timmermans, para recuperar en Europa la confianza mutua y en el futuro de la Unión Europea, es imprescindible reforzar el Estado de Derecho, sí, pero también luchar contra la corrupción y que desaparezcan del mapa esos referendos contrarios a los valores europeos y a la convergencia en derechos europeos, como los que pretenden decir no a las cuotas de refugiados o prohibir en la Constitución los matrimonios del mismo sexo.

Este Parlamento pidió hace años un mecanismo estructurado frente al actual paisaje fragmentario y errático donde florecen el nacionalpopulismo y la democracia iliberal que explotan el miedo al malestar, pero también el deterioro del imperio de la ley. Y es imprescindible que haya un mecanismo permanente de desarrollo del artículo 2 del Tratado de la Unión Europea y del artículo 7, para que no sea posible que una minoría de países pueda bloquear hasta hacer imposible la imposición del respeto al imperio de la ley.

Tenemos la última oportunidad para establecer ese mecanismo permanente y estructurado de respeto a la regla del Derecho, ¡no la desaprovechen! Vicepresidente Timmermans, Comisión, ¡háganlo!

 
  
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  Răzvan Popa (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, pe de o parte, evaluări ale respectării drepturilor fundamentale, a democrației și a statului de drept ar trebui să fie făcute periodic în toate statele membre ale Uniunii Europene și sunt chiar binevenite. Pe de altă parte, trebuie să fim foarte atenți cu astfel de evaluări bazate pe noțiuni și criterii uneori subiective și arbitrare, mai ales atunci când încercăm introducerea lor ca și condiționalități în acordarea fondurilor europene. Există o bază legală pentru introducerea unui astfel de mecanism? Știm în ce măsură încalcă sau interferează cu tratatele în vigoare? Sunt câteva întrebări la care trebuie să găsim răspunsuri clare și să discutăm despre noțiuni clare, nearbitrare și, doar mai apoi, să punem în discuție un astfel de mecanism, pe care cu toții ni-l dorim, dar, sigur, nimeni nu își dorește să fie un instrument politic.

 
  
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  Claudiu Ciprian Tănăsescu (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimate domnule Timmermans, ați afirmat aici mai devreme că problema cu care se confruntă Comisia nu constă în a primi informațiile necesare, ci în modul de a acționa pe baza acestora. Permiteți-mi, cu tot respectul cuvenit, să vă contrazic. Din acest lanț ați omis etapa de mijloc, cea a analizării și a evaluării informațiilor primite și aceasta este adevărata problemă cu care ne confruntăm aici. Din lipsa unei analize corecte și aprofundate, uneori au existat poziții și declarații care nu au reflectat realitatea și care au dus la folosirea unui dublu standard în evaluarea unor situații-cheie.

 
  
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  Claudia Țapardel (S&D). – Domnule președinte, dragi colegi, am să mă adresez dumneavoastră astăzi nu în calitate de membru al Parlamentului European, ci în calitate de cetățean european și de susținător al tuturor principiilor ce stau la baza construcției europene: unitate, solidaritate, coeziune economică și socială, dezvoltare echilibrată a tuturor regiunilor europene. Și din această calitate, îmi exprim dezacordul total față de orice instrument sau mecanism care poate bloca dreptul statelor membre de a accesa fondurile europene. Nu uităm că statele membre au nevoie de aceste fonduri europene pentru a avea o dezvoltare echilibrată a tuturor regiunilor noastre.

Dragi colegi și domnule Timmermans, vă reamintesc că aici, la nivelul Uniunii Europene, toți avem aceleași drepturi și obligații. Și dacă avem totuși aceleași drepturi și obligații și vorbim de instaurarea unui astfel de mecanism, mă întreb de ce oare nu instaurați un mecanism de cooperare și verificare la nivelul tuturor statelor membre, și nu numai la nivelul României și al Bulgariei? Aveți grijă, pentru că vom instaura niște mecanisme care interferează cu tratatele europene și care vorbesc despre un dublu limbaj și despre un dublu standard la nivelul Uniunii Europene și acest lucru va afecta foarte grav unitatea și dezvoltarea viitoare a acestei construcții importante.

 
  
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  Νότης Μαριάς (ECR). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, ο μηχανισμός για τη δημοκρατία, το κράτος δικαίου και τα θεμελιώδη δικαιώματα είναι σημαντικός για τη λειτουργία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και στηρίζεται βεβαίως στο άρθρο 7. Βασική όμως προϋπόθεση, κύριε Timmermans, για τη λειτουργία του άρθρου 7 είναι ότι ο μηχανισμός αυτός πρέπει να λειτουργεί εντός των αρμοδιοτήτων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και όχι σαν μηχανισμός υφαρπαγής αρμοδιοτήτων των κρατών μελών. Γνωρίζουμε ότι βάση λειτουργίας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης είναι το άρθρο 5, δηλαδή η αρχή των δοτών εξουσιών, δηλαδή ότι η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και τα όργανά της έχουν τόσες αρμοδιότητες όσες της απονέμουν οι ίδιες οι Συνθήκες.

Επομένως, δεν μπορεί να αξιοποιείται ο μηχανισμός αυτός, προκειμένου να παρεμβαίνει σε θέματα που δεν άπτονται της αρμοδιότητας της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης και το θέμα της συγκρότησης της ίδιας της λειτουργίας της δικαστικής εξουσίας ενός κράτους μέλους είναι αποκλειστική αρμοδιότητα. Διαφορετικά, εάν δεν τηρηθεί αυτή η αρχή, εάν δεν τηρηθεί η αρχή της διάκρισης των εξουσιών, τότε εύκολα πολλές πλευρές εδώ θα κατηγορούν την Κομισιόν ότι κάνει πολιτικό παιχνίδι. Μπορείτε να ενεργείτε και πρέπει να ενεργείτε όταν υπάρχει παραβίαση του κοινοτικού δικαίου και όταν έχετε αρμοδιότητα να παρέμβετε στο θέμα αυτό. Αν το πεδίο αρμοδιοτήτων σας είναι εκτός, τότε κινδυνεύετε να υποστείτε κριτική από αυτούς που δεν τηρούν τη δημοκρατία πολλές φορές, αλλά που θα πατούν στο γεγονός ότι ενεργείτε εκτός των αρμοδιοτήτων της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης. Σε κάθε περίπτωση, το Δικαστήριο της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης μπορεί να κρίνει το πεδίο αρμοδιοτήτων και αν έχετε δίκιο.

 
  
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  Jordi Solé (Verts/ALE). – Señor presidente, coincido con la mayoría de ustedes en la necesidad de tener un mecanismo sistemático ambicioso y, sobre todo, más coherente para proteger la democracia, el Estado de Derecho y los derechos fundamentales en Europa. Pero permítanme una reflexión: el Estado de Derecho se puede desvirtuar de muchas formas, también a través del abuso del propio Estado de Derecho. Por lo tanto, este mecanismo también debería monitorizar los casos de abuso o, si ustedes prefieren, de uso arbitrario del Estado de Derecho, que también pueden llevar a situaciones de conculcación de derechos fundamentales.

Por ejemplo, solo desde esta perspectiva se puede analizar la dramática realidad de que hoy en el Estado español la expresidenta del Parlamento de Cataluña lleve meses en prisión preventiva por no haber prohibido en la Cámara catalana determinados debates y determinadas votaciones. Solo así se puede analizar la dramática realidad de tener a presos políticos acusados absurdamente de rebelión, cuando lo único que han hecho ha sido promover la democracia y el debate, nunca la violencia ni la subversión.

Señor Timmermans, el abuso del Estado de Derecho también pone en peligro la democracia y los derechos fundamentales y, por mucho que usted lo niegue, esto es lo que está pasando en el Estado español.

 
  
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  Ana Miranda (Verts/ALE). – Senhor Presidente, Senhor Comissário, gostaria muito de saber por que não respondem às nossas perguntas parlamentares quando falamos da vulneração de direitos fundamentais no Estado espanhol e, em particular, gostaria muito de focar essas perguntas relativas à Fundação Franco. Sabe que a Fundação Franco faz a apologia do fascismo no Estado espanhol?

Temos uma oportunidade única neste Parlamento, hoje, e mulheres relatoras deste Parlamento, e olho para algumas presentes, conseguimos uma resolução conjunta para lutar contra o neofascismo na Europa, que terá o apoio de cinco grupos parlamentares.

Com base nesta resolução que se vai votar na quinta-feira, teremos também novos mecanismos para uma maior coordenação na defesa dos direitos fundamentais. Mas gostaria, Sr. Comissário, que respondesse às nossas perguntas. São perguntas para a defesa do Estado de Direito também e que esteja presente nessa votação que vai ser também uma porta aberta a essa luta contra a intransigência e contra o fascismo ainda presente em muitos Estados—Membros.

 
  
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  Victor Boştinaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, domnule prim-vicepreședinte, dintr-o perspectivă afirmativă, cred că acest instrument trebuie să fie, în primul rând, bazat pe un temei juridic foarte clar, care să prevină ambiguități și conflicte cu alte instrumente sau prevederi ale altor mecanisme.

Al doilea rând, în privința garanției aplicabilității, acest mecanism trebuie să fie aplicabil în mod explicit tuturor statelor membre fără excepție și acest lucru trebuie stipulat expressis verbis, așa cum evaluarea privind presupusele încălcări sistematice trebuie să fie rezultatul unui proces neutru și obiectiv și acceptat ca atare din momentul instituirii mecanismului.

Apoi, rolul Consiliului este esențial, domnule prim-vicepreședinte, Consiliul cu mecanismul de două treimi previne ceea ce Curtea de Conturi a Uniunii Europene spunea - arbitrarul și discreționarul potențial în mâinile Comisiei, ca și aprobarea de către Parlament a unei decizii astfel adoptate.

În sfârșit, adoptarea ar putea fi finalizată, dacă propunerea este echilibrată și justă, cu ocazia viitoarei președinții rotative, având însă garanțiile pe care le-au cerut și alți colegi aici în Parlament - neutralitatea, obiectivitatea, no moving targets and no double standards.

 
  
 

(Fine della procedura "catch the eye")

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, the most ridiculous thing I’ve seen today is a tweet just put on Twitter by Ms in 't Veld where she writes: ‘EU Commission Vice President @TimmermansEU sees no need for a comprehensive mechanism for safeguarding the rule of law in Europe. Apparently everything is just fine’.

I can stand a bit of political rhetoric, but here you just make yourself ridiculous. Have you not seen what we’ve done over the last couple of years? Have you not had the time to look – even glance over – the Commission Work Programme, where we announced that we will take these measures, and still you come up with that tweet? Have you not had a debate with me on these issues so many times over the last couple of years, and still you come up with that tweet? How can I take that seriously? And by the way, do I really have to explain to this Chamber what the Cooperation and Verification Mechanism is, where that comes from?

Do I really have to explain that Article 2 is binding on every Member State and that, as a result of Article 2, the separation of powers is an essential element of the working of the rule of law in the Member States? Do I really have to explain that to you, Mr Marias, still, after all these years? I think not, frankly speaking. And do I still have to hear, every time a country is criticised: ʻOh, you shouldn’t be criticising us – double standards – look somewhere elseʼ. Is that the nature of this debate? I hope not.

I hope we can find a mechanism that is more structured. I hope we can improve the rule-of-law mechanism. But be very careful that you don’t give an excuse to those who don’t want to be under scrutiny, who want to have the freedom to do whatever they like with the rule of law, that they can say, you know: ʻAs long as there’s no mechanism, don’t look at us’. The Commission takes its responsibilities extremely seriously, and we have done that over the last four years. It’s not always been easy, but we will continue to do that.

This is our responsibility. This is what we take seriously. Article 7 is a very concrete measure. The lists of infringement procedures are very concrete measures. Asking the European Court of Justice for interim measures to safeguard the independence of the Supreme Court in Poland is a very concrete measure, and the Court of Justice has acted on that request of the Commission in a very concrete way. This is what we are doing very concretely, and I would not want what we are doing concretely to be relativised by saying: but we need a more comprehensive mechanism. There could be very good arguments for a more comprehensive mechanism, but it’s not an alternative for what we’re doing; it’s additional to what we’re doing and it should not weaken what we’re doing.

Finalement, une remarque, parce que j’ai entendu M. Lebreton citer Jacques Prévert, ce qui m’a un peu étonné étant donné l’orientation politique de Jacques Prévert et celle de M. Lebreton. Je voudrais donc le confronter avec quelques lignes de Jacques Prévert qui représentent pour moi aussi l’accomplissement de l’intégration européenne depuis la Seconde Guerre mondiale. C’est aussi une très belle réponse à ceux qui croient que le nationalisme proposerait un futur pour l’Union européenne. Et je cite Jacques Prévert: «Soyez prévenus vieillards, soyez prévenus chefs de famille, le temps où vous donniez vos fils à la patrie comme on donne du pain aux pigeons, ce temps-là ne reviendra pas, prenez-en votre parti, c’est fini, le temps des cerises ne reviendra plus», Jacques Prévert.

 
  
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  Karoline Edtstadler, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, as background to this discussion, let me assure you once again that the Austrian Presidency and the Council as a whole attaches great importance to upholding democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. They are at the heart of our concerns, as has been mentioned a few times today. I agree with Commissioner Timmermans when he stated that we should seek a better use of the given instruments. Of course, this does not prevent us from constantly reviewing and improving these instruments.

However, let me say a word regarding the doubts about the efficiency of these instruments and, in particular, regarding the Article 7 procedure, which were raised, directly or indirectly, by several Members of the Parliament. I would not describe it only as piecemeal; on the contrary, it is a very important instrument, which has several stages to tackle the issue at stake in different ways, starting with the dialogue and hearings, peer reviews and recommendations, up to sanctioning. In any case, it would be premature at this stage to draw negative conclusions about this very complex procedure, which is being used, as you know, for the first time.

To conclude: we, the Council, will continue to follow this debate closely, and I can assure Members that I have paid particular attention to the views expressed here today during this debate.

 
  
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  Presidente. – La discussione è chiusa.

La votazione si svolgerà durante la prossima tornata.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 162)

 
  
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  Christine Revault d’Allonnes Bonnefoy (S&D), par écrit. – Notre débat est de la plus grande importance car il permet de remettre les pendules à l’heure. J’entends ceux qui dénoncent la prétendue impuissance du Parlement à répondre aux dérives autoritaires en Europe. Mais nous avons des solutions outre la procédure de l’article 7. En octobre 2016, il y a 2 ans, cette assemblée a voté un mécanisme pour l’État de droit, la démocratie et les droits fondamentaux. Nous avons exhorté la Commission à en faire une proposition législative mais notre demande est restée lettre morte. Pourtant, les violations graves n‘ont fait que se multiplier ces deux dernières années. Ce mécanisme comporterait un tableau de bord indiquant en permanence la situation dans tous les États. Le Parlement et le Conseil débattront annuellement de recommandations par pays. C’est une surveillance systématique et complète, qui permet à l'Europe de réagir avant qu’il ne soit trop tard. Cette proposition existe déjà en ce qui concerne notre gouvernance économique. L’Union s’est dotée ici d’une base législative solide pour scruter les règles économiques et fiscales. Nous demandons simplement la même intransigeance et fermeté quand il s’agit de nos valeurs fondamentales, quand il s’agit des droits fondamentaux de nos citoyens.

 
  
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  Alfred Sant (S&D), in writing. – Assessing whether democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights are being breached systemically depends on analysis of the available facts, duly proven. It also frequently depends on subjective points of views adopted for political and other reasons that filter into the assessments being made. Unless this is recognized, there can be no worthwhile approach to spotlighting and correcting breaches. Mutual trust among Member States and their legal systems underpins what the EU stands for. Yet the ideological consensus that used to prevail among Member States seems to be breaking down. The risk has increased that allegations of breaches of our fundamental values get instrumentalised from within polities for partisan reasons. They are then promoted at European levels to foment criticism directed at the government of the day. I have seen this happening for my country Malta. And in this House. I cannot rule out that it might be happening for other Member States. We cannot allow procedures by which allegations of breaches in fundamental values are investigated to be politicised and made suspect. The urgency therefore is to construct a mechanism that can be accepted by all as objective, fair, transparent and deliberate in correcting any such breaches.

 
Ultima actualizare: 11 ianuarie 2019Notă juridică