Index 
Debates
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Wednesday, 9 October 2019 - Brussels Provisional edition
1. Resumption of the session
 2. Opening of the sitting
 3. Tribute
 4. Statements by the President
 5. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
 6. Composition of committees and delegations : see Minutes
 7. Negotiations ahead of Council's first reading (Rule 72): see Minutes
 8. Announcement by the President: see Minutes
 9. Corrigenda (Rule 241): see Minutes
 10. Signing of acts adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (Rule 79): see Minutes
 11. Documents received: see Minutes
 12. Delegated acts (Rule 111(2)): see Minutes
 13. Order of business
 14. Preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019 (debate)
 15. Greening the European Investment Bank (debate)
 16. Preventing conflicts of interests in the EU (debate)
 17. US tariffs on European goods following WTO's decision on the Airbus dispute (debate)
 18. Situation in Northern Syria (debate)
 19. Situation in Ukraine (debate)
 20. Authorization of GMOs (debate)
 21. Fight against cancer (debate)
 22. One-minute speeches on matters of political importance (debate)
 23. Agenda of the next sitting : see Minutes
 24. Closure of the sitting


PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

1. Resumption of the session
Video of the speeches
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  Presidente. – Dichiaro ripresa la sessione del Parlamento europeo interrotta giovedì 19 settembre 2019.

 

2. Opening of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(La seduta è aperta alle 15.14)

 

3. Tribute
Video of the speeches
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  Le Président. – C’est avec beaucoup d’émotion que j’ai appris le décès de M. Jacques Chirac, président de la République française. Homme attaché à son pays, à la ville de Paris, il était aussi un grand européen. Eurodéputé de la première heure, il a toujours prôné la paix, la tolérance et la démocratie, valeurs fondatrices de l’Europe. Toute notre sympathie va à sa famille et au peuple français. Je souhaiterais que le Parlement lui rende hommage.

 

4. Statements by the President
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  Presidente. – Vorrei intervenire brevemente anche per ricordare coloro che hanno perso la vita nel recente naufragio vicino alle coste di Lampedusa. Siamo all'ennesimo naufragio. Mi piacerebbe, ma so che è anche il vostro sentimento, non dover più intervenire in quest'Aula per parlare delle morti nel Mediterraneo, ma solo per discutere di misure concrete per porre fine a questa drammatica situazione.

Vorrei con voi essere vicini alla polizia tedesca, al popolo tedesco, alla comunità ebraica tedesca. La polizia tedesca conferma che almeno due persone sono state uccise oggi ad Halle, una delle più importanti città della Sassonia nell'est del paese, e che l'aggressore è in fuga. La situazione non è ancora chiara. I nostri pensieri sono con le famiglie, gli amici delle vittime e i cittadini tedeschi.

Per questi motivi vi invito a osservare un minuto di silenzio.

(Il Parlamento, in piedi, osserva un minuto di silenzio per rendere omaggio alle vittime e in memoria di Jacques Chirac)

 

5. Approval of the minutes of the previous sitting
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  Presidente. – Il processo verbale e i testi approvati dalla seduta del 19 settembre 2019 sono disponibili.

Vi sono osservazioni?

 
  
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  Ivan David (ID).(začátek vystoupení mimo mikrofon)..., aby k bodu 4 „Situace v severní Sýrii“ byla přijata rezoluce, která by mohla být hlasována na druhé říjnové plenární schůzi.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Allora non vi sono osservazioni al processo verbale e ai testi approvati.

(Il processo verbale della seduta precedente è approvato)

 

6. Composition of committees and delegations : see Minutes
Video of the speeches

7. Negotiations ahead of Council's first reading (Rule 72): see Minutes
Video of the speeches

8. Announcement by the President: see Minutes
Video of the speeches

9. Corrigenda (Rule 241): see Minutes
Video of the speeches

10. Signing of acts adopted in accordance with the ordinary legislative procedure (Rule 79): see Minutes
Video of the speeches

11. Documents received: see Minutes

12. Delegated acts (Rule 111(2)): see Minutes

13. Order of business
Video of the speeches
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  Presidente. – Il progetto definitivo di ordine del giorno, fissato dalla Conferenza dei presidenti, ai sensi dell'articolo 157 del regolamento, nella riunione di giovedì 19 settembre 2019 è stato distribuito.

Vi sono alcune richieste di modifica. Ho ricevuto una richiesta di applicazione della procedura d'urgenza a norma dell'articolo 163 del regolamento. La richiesta è stata presentata dalla commissione per i trasporti e il turismo e riguarda la proposta di regolamento per garantire i collegamenti di base per il trasporto di merci su strada e la connettività aerea – i periodi di applicazione. La votazione su tale richiesta si terrà domani, giovedì 10 ottobre, all'inizio del turno di votazioni.

A seguito di consultazioni con i gruppi politici, desidero sottoporre all'Aula le seguenti proposte di modifica del progetto definitivo di ordine del giorno.

Mercoledì

Le dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sul “Quadro finanziario pluriennale 2021-2027 e risorse proprie: è il momento di rispondere alle attese dei cittadini” sono spostate come primo punto a giovedì mattina. Tali dichiarazioni sono sostituite dalla dichiarazione della Commissione sull'ecologizzazione della Banca europea per gli investimenti, che è spostata da giovedì a mercoledì.

Sempre per quanto riguarda l'ordine del giorno di mercoledì, è aggiunta come terzo punto una dichiarazione della Commissione sui dazi imposti dagli Stati Uniti sui prodotti europei in seguito alla decisione dell'OMC sul caso Airbus.

Sempre per quanto riguarda l'ordine del giorno di mercoledì, è aggiunta come quarto punto una dichiarazione del Vicepresidente della commissione/Alto rappresentante dell'Unione per gli affari esteri e la politica di sicurezza sulla situazione nella Siria settentrionale.

Giovedì

Le dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sul “Quadro finanziario pluriennale 2021-2027 e risorse proprie: è il momento di rispondere alle attese dei cittadini” sono spostate come primo punto a giovedì mattina.

La relazione dell'on. De Lange sulle politiche economiche della zona euro nel 2019 è cancellata dall'ordine del giorno.

Inoltre, cinque obiezioni a norma dell'articolo 112 del regolamento sono state approvate dalla commissione ENVI e saranno aggiunte direttamente alle votazioni: sostanze attive, sostanze attive compreso il clorotoluron, granturco geneticamente modificato, soia geneticamente modificata e granturco geneticamente modificato ecc.

Su tutte queste modifiche vi sono obiezioni?

 
  
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  Tilly Metz (Verts/ALE). – Thank you Mr President, together with our coordinator we believe that it is the right time for a debate on authorisations of GMOs – as some colleagues will know, in its last sitting Parliament adopted...

(The President interrupted the speaker)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Su tutto quello che abbiamo detto vi sono obiezioni? Se non vi sono obiezioni, le modifiche che vi ho proposto e che sono state proposte dai gruppi politici sono approvate.

(Il Parlamento approva le modifiche)

Mercoledì

Per quanto riguarda mercoledì, il gruppo dei Verdi ha chiesto che venga aggiunta una dichiarazione della Commissione sull'autorizzazione degli OGM come ultimo punto del pomeriggio prima degli interventi di un minuto. Do ora la parola all'on. Metz per presentare la richiesta a nome del gruppo dei Verdi.

 
  
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  Tilly Metz, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Thank you Mr President and sorry for starting too early before.

Together with our coordinator, we believe that it is the right time for a debate on authorisations of GMOs. As some colleagues will know, in its last sitting Parliament adopted 36 objections to GMO authorisations.

The resolutions outlined concerns we have surrounding health risks due to gaps in safety assessment, and they also highlighted the Commission’s lack of respect for democracy in the decision-making process.

The Commission continues to authorise GMOs despite lack of support from Member States, and Parliament’s objections.

Tomorrow, the Parliament will vote on three new objections and the new Commission will shortly start its mandate.

This is therefore a good moment for this new Parliament and the Commission to exchange views on this issue. I hope colleagues can support this request.

 
  
 

(Il Parlamento accoglie la richiesta)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Per quanto riguarda mercoledì, il gruppo GUE e il gruppo dei Verdi hanno chiesto che le dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione su come evitare i conflitti d'interesse nell'Unione europea siano aggiunte come terzo punto nel pomeriggio, dopo la dichiarazione della Commissione sull'ecologizzazione della Banca europea per gli investimenti.

Do la parola all'on. Aubry per presentare la richiesta a nome del gruppo GUE.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, alors que s’achève la séquence d’auditions des commissaires européens, qui, dans cet hémicycle, peut se satisfaire du bilan de la procédure d’examen des conflits d’intérêt?

Qu’on le veuille ou non, le doute s’est installé, il suffit pour cela de voir le nombre de questions émanant de tous les groupes politiques qui ont été consacrées à l’éthique et à l’intégrité pendant les auditions.

L’expérience de ces deux dernières semaines illustre toutes les failles de la procédure actuelle, qui manque cruellement de moyens, de temps et d’indépendance pour être suffisamment robuste et crédible.

Alors que la confiance des citoyens européens dans leurs institutions s’effrite, il est temps de mettre en place les dispositifs à même de garantir pleinement l’intégrité de nos dirigeants européens.

C’est pourquoi nous vous proposons un débat sur la prévention des conflits d’intérêt dans les institutions européennes. Ce moment d’échange, que nous proposons sans résolution à ce stade, pour obtenir le soutien le plus large possible de notre hémicycle, doit tous nous réunir. Le vote sur ce débat, que nous demandons avec un appel nominal, ajouté comme troisième point à l’ordre du jour, est une chance unique de montrer aux citoyens que nous préférons l’éthique plutôt que le fric.

 
  
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  Karen Melchior (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, merci de l’opportunité de continuer le débat que nous avons eu en commission JURI ces dernières semaines. C’est un peu dommage de tenir un débat en plénière, sans avoir vraiment eu le temps de nous pencher sur le fond au sein des commissions, qui sont le lieu des débats intensifs dans ce Parlement. Mais je suis favorable à un débat en plénière, que nous pourrons peut-être poursuivre davantage sur le fond en commission JURI où Mme Aubry siège aussi.

 
  
 

(Il Parlamento accoglie la richiesta)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Per quanto riguarda l'ordine del giorno di mercoledì, il gruppo PPE ha chiesto che una dichiarazione della Commissione sulla lotta contro il cancro sia aggiunta come ultimo punto nel pomeriggio prima degli interventi di un minuto. La discussione si concluderà con una risoluzione che sarà votata domani.

Do la parola all'on. Liese per presentare la richiesta del gruppo PPE.

 
  
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  Peter Liese, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, the intention of the European People’s Party (EPP) is that we establish a non-permanent committee on the fight against cancer. Cancer is a disease that still kills too many Europeans, and, during the campaign, we learned how important this issue is for our citizens. We know that the new Commission also wants to make it a priority. Europe cannot solve the problem alone, but without Europe we will not solve the problem. I ask you to support this request, especially as coordinator of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (ENVI).

ENVI is responsible for public health, but we have many other issues, for example, the Green Deal. We also need to work together with the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), the Committee on Employment and Social Affairs (EMPL) and colleagues from other committees. That’s why I think this non-permanent committee would be a good opportunity.

I understand that some groups are not prepared to support the resolution this week, because they need some fine-tuning on the text. Our compromise proposal is therefore to have a debate today and then, in two weeks’ time, we will have the resolution for the exact mandate of this non-permanent committee. Please support us in the fight against cancer.

 
  
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  Jytte Guteland, för S&D-gruppen. – Herr talman! Självklart stöder vi från S&D-gruppen att vi ska göra allt vi kan för att bekämpa cancer. Vi vill inte att några familjer ska behöva gå igenom det lidande och den smärta som det innebär att se den man älskar bli sjuk och i värsta fall ryckas ifrån en. Vi är många som har upplevt detta och som har minnen av vad det innebär. Vi tycker att det är viktigt att vi kan ta debatten om detta i plenum och visa att vi vill göra detta arbete grundligt.

Däremot är det viktigt att separera frågan och se till att resolutionsarbetet görs på bästa möjliga sätt. Vi vill därför ha en separat omröstning om att vi ska ha debatten här i plenum. Samtidigt ska vi göra resolutionen på rätt sätt. Då vill jag säga till Peter Liese och PPE att göra det grundligt handlar om att gå tillbaks till miljöutskottet och hälsoutskottet och se till att fajten mot cancer tas där. Med alla de experter som finns, alla de ledamöter som har den kompetens som krävs, så är det där vi ska arbeta förebyggande mot cancer på bästa sätt. Det bästa sättet att bekämpa sjukdomarna är nämligen att förebygga de bakomliggande orsakerna till att människor blir sjuka.

Kolleger, det är viktigt att detta arbete görs på rätt sätt. Europas medborgare förtjänar bara det bästa. Alla i detta parlament har ansvar för att göra det vi kan för att hjälpa till. Då får det inte vara något hafsverk. Det ska inte ske på fel nivå. Det ska ske i ENVI-utskottet, och det ska ske tillsammans med alla dem som har kompetensen att se till att vi kommer fram till hur vi bäst förebygger dessa sjukdomar.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Grazie on. Guteland. Abbiamo ascoltato l'on. Liese. Io proporrei di tenere la discussione adesso e di procedere alla votazione sulla risoluzione in una tornata successiva. Credo che questo sia nello spirito dell'intervento di Liese e nello spirito dell'intervento di Guteland.

(Il Parlamento accoglie la richiesta)

Mercoledì

Il gruppo ID ha chiesto che la discussione sulla dichiarazione del Vicepresidente della Commissione/Alto rappresentante dell'Unione per gli affari esteri e la politica di sicurezza sulla situazione nella Siria settentrionale si concluda con una risoluzione che sarà votata nella tornata di ottobre II.

Do la parola all'on. Ivan David per presentare la richiesta del gruppo ID.

 
  
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  Ivan David, za skupinu ID. – Pane předsedající, vhledem k tomu, že v současné době dochází k agresivnímu jednání Turecka v oblasti severní Sýrie, a vzhledem k tomu, že tuto situaci pokládáme za mimořádně vážnou a domníváme se, že EP by se jí měl zabývat, navrhujeme, aby tento bod byl ukončen rezolucí, která by byla hlasována na druhém říjnovém plenárním zasedání.

 
  
 

(Il Parlamento respinge la richiesta)

 
  
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  Presidente. – A seguito alle modifiche adottate e in accordo con i gruppi politici, propongo di estendere la seduta di oggi dalle 21.00 alle 23.00 perché abbiamo inserito nell'ordine del giorno molte discussioni. Spero che non ci siano obiezioni.

(L'ordine dei lavori è così fissato)

 

14. Preparation of the European Council meeting of 17 and 18 October 2019 (debate)
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sulla preparazione del Consiglio europeo del 17 e 18 ottobre 2019 (2019/2711(RSP)).

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić (ECR). – Poštovani predsjedniče, tegljač „Bourbon Rhode“ u vlasništvu francuske brodarske kompanije potonuo je 26. rujna na Atlantiku, 2000 km od francuskog otoka Martinique. Rezultat dosadašnje potrage je pronalazak trojice preživjelih te tijela četvorice poginulih pomoraca. Još uvijek se traga za 7 pomoraca, uključujući i kapetana broda Dina Miškića.

Ovim putem apeliram na čelnike svih 28 država članica Unije koji na bilo koji način mogu pomoći pri lociranju i spašavanju tih 7 pomoraca, da to i učine. Sama bit Europske unije leži upravo u međusobnoj solidarnosti individualnih država članica, koja ovoj zajednici i njenim građanima može ponuditi istinsku dodatnu vrijednost.

Teško mi se pomiriti s objavom francuskog kriznog stožera Cross s Martiniquea da se od potrage odustalo s takvom lakoćom, posebice kada se zna da su neki ljudi spašeni čak nakon više od 50 dana na moru.

Dragi kolegice i kolege, uvjerena sam u to da svaki od nas čak ni zamisliti ne može ovaj osjećaj (predsjedavajući je govorniku oduzeo riječ)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Onorevole Tomašić, stiamo iniziando un dibattito. Stiamo iniziando un dibattito molto importante. Per le comunicazioni, per cortesia, chiedete la parola prima, ma non quando ho già iniziato a discutere di un ordine del giorno.

Io invito anche i colleghi che se ne stanno andando magari a rimanere un attimo perché questo dibattito è davvero importante. Stiamo parlando della preparazione della riunione del Consiglio europeo del 17 e 18 ottobre. Ringrazio il Presidente Juncker, il signor Barnier e la ministra Tuppurainen per essere presenti oggi con noi.

Però ho anche bisogno di farvi alcune considerazioni, proprio in apertura di questo dibattito. Come sapete, ieri sono stato invitato dal Primo ministro Johnson a Londra per un colloquio con lui. Ci tengo a informare l'Aula perché ho portato al Premier Johnson la posizione che il Parlamento europeo ha votato nell'ultima plenaria sulla questione della Brexit. Nonostante una certa fiducia e speranza, ho dovuto constatare che non ci sono al momento molti progressi.

Come è noto, qualsiasi accordo raggiunto tra Unione europea e Regno Unito deve ottenere non solo il voto della Camera dei Comuni ma anche l'approvazione del Parlamento europeo. Pertanto, è fondamentale per il Primo ministro conoscere la nostra posizione.

Il nostro approccio è molto semplice: pensiamo che una Brexit ordinata, un'uscita del Regno Unito con un accordo, sia di gran lunga il risultato migliore. Come ho spiegato al Primo ministro Johnson, il Parlamento europeo non accetterà però un accordo a tutti i costi. Non accetteremo nulla che possa minare l'accordo del Venerdì Santo e il processo di pace o compromettere l'integrità del nostro mercato unico, come è stato ampiamente chiarito nella nostra risoluzione nel settembre scorso.

Abbiamo esaminato le proposte presentate dal Regno Unito ultimamente, come alternativa al back stop originale. La nostra valutazione al Premier Johnson è stata che esse non costituiscono, al momento, una base per poter arrivare a un accordo. Sono delle idee, ma non sono delle proposte che sono attuabili, immediatamente attuabili.

Ci sono due alternative a un accordo in questo momento: l'estensione o nessun accordo. Il Parlamento naturalmente è aperto alla possibilità di un'estensione, qualora vi siano validi motivi o obiettivi precisi. Ma richiedere l'estensione è una responsabilità e una prerogativa del Regno Unito.

Per quanto riguarda l'ipotesi di mancato accordo, sono stato molto chiaro sul fatto che si tratterebbe di un risultato fortemente negativo, che comporterebbe serie conseguenze economiche per entrambe le parti, ma in particolare per il Regno Unito e i suoi cittadini. Un mancato accordo sarebbe chiaramente, però, responsabilità del governo britannico.

Quanto ai cittadini, ho ribadito al Premier Johnson che il Parlamento europeo continuerà a garantire che i loro diritti vengano tutelati, qualsiasi scenario si produca. Stamani ho anche avuto un proficuo incontro con lo Speaker della Camera dei Comuni John Bercow. Gli ho espresso la mia visione sul fatto che un'eventuale richiesta da parte delle istituzioni del Regno Unito di estensione del termine di recesso dovrebbe servire a ridare la parola ai cittadini britannici – come ha detto quest'Aula – tramite referendum o elezioni generali.

Con John Bercow c'è stata piena consonanza sull'importanza del ruolo dei nostri Parlamenti nella gestione della Brexit e vi è la comune consapevolezza che un'uscita disordinata del Regno Unito dall'Unione europea sarebbe contro gli interessi dei cittadini britannici ed europei. Spero vivamente che un'uscita senza accordo alla fine venga evitata, anche se in tal caso l'Unione europea ha adottato tutte le misure necessarie per prepararsi e affrontare le conseguenze.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council.Grazie President, honourable Members of the Parliament, next week’s Council comes at a crucial point. At the upcoming European Council meeting, leaders will be discussing some of the most pressing issues for the Union.

Let me start with the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF) on which the leaders will have the first substantial discussion. You will recall that the June European Council conclusions expressed the ambition to aim for an agreement before the end of the year. The Presidency has pursued work in line with that ambition. During the past months we have consulted and had extensive discussions with Member States in order to identify their priorities and where the so—called room for negotiation lies. We have now prepared a presidency paper to frame discussions at the October European Council. I believe it will be a good starting point for the leaders to provide further strategic guidance and indications for the Presidency’s MFF work.

The European Council will also discuss the strategic agenda, which leaders adopted in June. After four months they are keen to know how it’s been implemented within the Council, but also, crucially, how it is reflected in the future work of the other institutions, particularly in the Commission work programme. This is why Commission President—elect Ursula von der Leyen will attend the European Council and expand on this point with leaders. It is reassuring to see the largely similar objectives of the strategic agenda and Ms von der Leyen’s political guidelines. Of course, the exchange of views between the leaders and the President of the European Parliament will also be the perfect opportunity to hear the views of the Parliament.

Beyond the discussion on the strategic agenda, leaders on this occasion will also formally appoint Christine Lagarde as the President of the European Central Bank.

Now, the next topical issue on the agenda is climate change, an existential threat that has been, and still is, at the centre of attention, not least after the discussions in New York. We, as a Union, need to help raise global ambition and continue to lead the way on climate action. This is because we may soon reach a tipping point where we can only mitigate the effects of climate change instead of reversing them. But it is only with concerted global efforts that we can successfully tackle this global phenomenon. So, at the meeting in October, leaders will focus on the international aspects of climate change. They will discuss the outcome of the United Nations’ efforts at the climate summit in New York and they will prepare for the upcoming COP25 in Santiago de Chile in December. I cannot exclude, however, that during the discussion leaders may touch upon the EU’s climate objectives, too.

Under external relations, it is likely that the leaders will discuss Turkey in light of its continued drilling activities in the eastern Mediterranean and take into account also broader EU—Turkey relations, including cooperation in migration. The recent developments related to Syria are likely to come up in this context as well and we have just received very worrisome news today.

Leaders will also discuss enlargement where the General Affairs Council discussions on the 15th October will be crucial in relation to Albania and North Macedonia.

And, honourable Members, finally, Brexit is an issue that is likely to steal the limelight. As you know, on 2nd October the UK submitted proposals to overcome the extremely thorny backstop issue. These proposals do not yet provide a basis for concluding an agreement, but the EU remains fully committed to work with the UK and avoid a no—deal Brexit. Although we are prepared to face it, it would be irresponsible for both sides to ever claim that a no—deal scenario is an attractive option. This would have serious consequences on our borders, our customs, our trade, on our citizens’ rights, all fundamental issues for both the EU and the UK. And yet, the UK crashing out is a dangerously realistic scenario, given the constantly evolving situation, leaders will have to take stock of the very latest developments and decide how best to proceed.

So, thank you very much for your attention and I look forward to our discussions.

 
  
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  Jean-Claude Juncker, Präsident der Kommission. – Herr Präsident, Frau Ratspräsidentin, meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Ich fasse mich kurz, weil wir heute Nachmittag relativ spät in die Gänge gekommen sind und die Frau Ratspräsidentin Wesentliches zu der Tagesordnung des Europäischen Rates gesagt hat, deshalb macht es keinen Sinn, sich hier in überflüssigen Wiederholungen zu ergehen. Als ich vor fünf Jahren hier antrat, habe ich ein Versprechen abgegeben, und das Versprechen war, dass die Kommission bis zum letzten Moment versuchen wird, konkrete Ergebnisse im Interesse der europäischen Bürger vorzulegen. Ich stehe zu diesem Versprechen und hoffe, dass der Europäische Rat und der Ministerrat dies auch tun, denn die beiden haben ein ähnliches – wenn nicht sogar dasselbe – Versprechen abgegeben, und vieles, das auf dem Tisch das Hauses liegt – des Rates, teilweise des Parlaments –, muss in Angriff genommen werden. Wir müssen jetzt die Grundlagen für ein stabiles, handlungsfähiges Europa der kommenden Jahre schaffen, und dies setzt voraus, dass wir dringend die Verhandlungen zum mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen voranbringen bzw. abschließen. Dies setzt voraus, dass wir uns mit aller Entschlossenheit im Kampf gegen den Klimawandel bewähren, und dies setzt voraus, dass wir uns für die Stabilität unserer Region und darüber hinaus einsetzen.

Sehr wichtig ist eine Einigung über den mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen. Der Gipfel nächste Woche muss hier wirklich wesentliche Fortschritte erzielen, weil sich die Menschen in Europa auf die politische Führung in der Europäischen Union verlassen können müssen. Ich bin missvergnügt, wenn ich dieses Geplänkel zwischen Mitgliedstaaten, zwischen Mitgliedstaaten und Kommission, zwischen Mitgliedstaaten, Kommission und Parlament beobachte. Wir sind nicht auf der Höhe unserer Aufgabe. Wir sollten jetzt weniger reden und endlich zu Beschlüssen kommen, weil es sehr darauf ankommt, dass wir sicherstellen, dass europäische Forscher ihre Projekte fortsetzen können, es kommt darauf an, dass junge Menschen ihr Erasmus-Jahr pünktlich starten können; und es kommt darauf an, dass die geplanten Infrastrukturprojekte vorankommen. Deshalb müssen wir das Budget – den budgetären Rahmen – schnell beschließen.

Die Kommission hat relativ früh – meiner Erinnerung nach im März, April, Mai 2018 – ihre Vorschläge zur mehrjährigen Finanzplanung vorgelegt. Anderthalb Jahre Debatte ohne erkennbare Fortschritte! Wir haben nicht noch einmal anderthalb Jahre Zeit. Wenn wir nicht zu Potte kommen vor Ende dieses Jahres, spätestens Anfang nächsten Jahres, wird es nicht möglich sein, die Projekte, die Programme, die Absichten, die Initiativen, die geplant sind, in die Tat umzusetzen. Machen wir nicht noch einmal den Fehler, den wir bei der letzten mehrjährigen Finanzplanung gemacht haben, bei der wir uns erst einen Monat vor Inkrafttreten des Finanzrahmens geeinigt haben, was zur Folge hatte, dass wir zwei wertvolle Jahre verloren haben – von 2014 bis 2016 –, um das zu tun, was wir den Menschen versprochen hatten. Es reicht jetzt! Wir müssen uns beeilen, denn es geht nicht um uns, es geht nicht um die Institutionen, sondern es geht um die Menschen in Europa.

Ähnliches gilt für die Herausforderungen, die im direkten Zusammenhang mit der Migrationsproblematik stehen. Auch hier hatte die Kommission im Frühjahr 2015 Vorschläge vorgelegt. Die wurden mit qualifizierter Mehrheit im Rat angenommen, die werden aber nicht umgesetzt. Ich hätte gerne, dass der Europäische Rat sich diesem Thema wieder voll zuwendet und dafür sorgt, dass hier Fortschritte erzielt werden.

Migration ist wichtig, der Haushaltsrahmen ist auch wichtig. Ich sage hier, was ich gestern gesagt habe und was ich übermorgen wiederholen werde – also solange ich hier noch herumspuken kann: Wer denkt, dass europäische Aufgaben der Zukunft innerhalb eines Finanzrahmens von 1 % des kollektiven Reichtums der Europäischen Union erledigt werden können, irrt sich fundamental! Ich sage dies dem Parlament, ich sage dies dem Ratsvorsitz, und ich werde dies auch dem Europäischen Rat noch einmal eindringlich in den Hörkanal einfließen lassen.

Monsieur le Président, il est évident que le changement climatique est un des défis majeurs qui nous attendent. Nous avons été la première grande économie au monde à nous être engagés au titre de l’accord de Paris, lequel n’aurait pas vu le jour sans l’Union européenne.

Il faut maintenant mettre en place un cadre législatif, des règles et pas seulement des mots, afin d’atteindre tous les objectifs de cet accord, en stimulant les investissements et la justice sociale, qui n’est pas le moindre des problèmes dans les secteurs en transition. Il est évident que la neutralité climatique doit être atteinte au plus tard en 2050. Il est non moins évident que la transition mondiale pour atteindre les objectifs de l’accord de Paris doit s’accélérer.

C’est dans cet esprit que les multiples accords commerciaux de l’Union européenne, que nous avons conclus ces dernières années et qui sont juridiquement contraignants, continueront de contenir des engagements spécifiques sur la mise en œuvre de l’accord de Paris, à l’instar de notre accord avec le Japon et aussi de l’accord paraphé avec le Mercosur, qui ne trahit pas les objectifs de l’accord de Paris.

Et même si on peut douter de la bonne volonté de ceux qui sont supposés les mettre en œuvre, il reste que, pour la première fois dans l’histoire de l’Union européenne, et donc pour la première fois dans l’histoire des accords commerciaux, nous avons insisté sur les normes environnementales ET sur les normes sociales. Nous disposons donc d’un instrument que nous pouvons actionner pour amener les plus récalcitrants, les plus réticents, à faire ce qu’ils ont promis de faire.

Je dirai, Monsieur le Président, un ou deux mots sur l’élargissement. J’avais dit en début de mandat qu’il n’y aurait pas de nouvel élargissement ni de nouvelles adhésions pendant la législature. Certains d’entre vous en ont été attristés et cela a également provoqué l’indignation dans la région des Balkans occidentaux.

Mais il est clair que pour être responsable, il fallait être sincère. Il était absolument évident qu’il n’y aurait pas d’élargissement entre 2014 et 2019. Mais s’il est juste et justifié d’être sincère, il faut aussi être sincère à l’égard de ceux qui veulent adhérer.

La Macédoine du Nord et l’Albanie ont fait des progrès substantiels. C’est la raison pour laquelle le Président Sassoli, le président Tusk, la présidente élue von der Leyen et moi-même avons écrit une lettre aux États membres pour les inviter à tenir les promesses qui avaient été faites aux pays des Balkans occidentaux, notamment à la Macédoine du Nord et à l’Albanie.

Quand l’Europe se dote d’une volonté forte, il y a toujours un chemin pour arriver aux objectifs communément admis. Je prends pour exemple l’accord de Prespa entre la Macédoine du Nord et la Grèce. Le cadre européen et la perspective européenne ont permis de régler un conflit qui durait depuis des décennies. Les réformes que l’Albanie a entreprises avec courage nous permettent d’envisager, d’une façon non pas généreuse mais favorable, l’ouverture des négociations avec l’Albanie et la Macédoine du Nord.

Mais l’élargissement n’est pas une fin en soi. Il ne suffit pas d’élargir. Il ne suffit pas d’élargir à gogo: ça non! Il s’agit aussi d’approfondir la construction européenne en prenant appui sur les valeurs qui nous sont communes, et qu’il ne faut pas délaisser au moment d’adhérer à l’Union européenne.

– I would like to add some words on Turkey, which is characterised by relations with the European Union which are as complex and as important as ever. Turkey is, of course, a key partner for the European Union, not least when it comes to cooperation on migration. My full commitment, and that of the Commission – and, hopefully, that of our Union – to the implementation of the EU-Turkish statements of 2016 remains clear. The facility for refugees in Turkey continues to deliver concrete results on the ground, and this should not be forgotten. There are other issues on which I cannot be so complimentary when it comes to Turkey’s illegal drilling operations in the eastern Mediterranean. I have to repeat that in this respect (in others too, but mainly in this respect), I’m a Cypriot, and I will remain in full solidarity with Cyprus.

Turkey has security concerns at its border with Syria. However, I call on Turkey, as well as on the other actors, to act with restraint and to stop operations – already, as we are speaking, on their way. This military action is not leading to a good result, and we have to bring this to the attention of our Turkish friends. And I have to say, if the Turkish plan involves the creation of a so-called safe zone, don’t expect the European Union to pay for any of it. A sustainable solution to the Syrian conflict and only be reached through a genuine political transition.

President, dear honourable Members, as the European Union moves forward, we must also deal with the departure of a Member State. That was the choice of the British people, not a choice of few European Union – although we are respecting that choice. As it stands, we remain in discussions with the United Kingdom on the terms of its departure. And personally, I don’t exclude a deal. Michel and myself are working on a deal, and we are not accepting this blame game which started in London. We should not be blamed. But we’ll see in the coming days how things will develop. My friend Michel Barnier will elaborate on this.

I would like to repeat, for the attention of our British friends, that there is not only a parliament in Westminster which has to agree; there is a Parliament here. Without the agreement of the European Parliament, nothing will be possible.

I promised to be brief. As always, I didn’t keep my promises.

 
  
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  Michel Barnier, négociateur en chef. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la Ministre, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, avec votre permission, Monsieur le Président, quelques mots en complément de ce que vient de dire le président Juncker.

Les négociateurs britanniques nous ont donc fait part de leurs propositions et avec leur propre équipe, qui est une équipe compétente et professionnelle – je veux le dire – ils s’efforcent de nous expliquer, de clarifier – nous-mêmes, nous posons beaucoup de questions au cours de toutes les réunions techniques qui ont eu lieu depuis quelques jours.

Et pour dire les choses simplement et franchement, avec objectivité, au moment où je vous parle, nous ne sommes pas au point d’envisager et de trouver un accord, comme vous l’avez d’ailleurs vous-même, Monsieur le Président Sassoli, rappelé avec beaucoup de clarté, beaucoup de force – et je vous en remercie au nom du Parlement – hier au premier ministre Johnson.

Et pourtant le temps presse, Mesdames et Messieurs. Nous sommes désormais à une semaine du Conseil européen et à quelques jours de cette date du 31 octobre, qui a été agréée avec le précédent gouvernement pour la sortie du Royaume-Uni de l’Union européenne dans une forme ordonnée qui vaut beaucoup mieux, vous l’avez dit, qu’une sortie désordonnée. Pourquoi nous n’y sommes pas? Parce que les propositions britanniques soulèvent trois problèmes majeurs.

D'abord sur la question de la frontière et du contrôle sur les biens sur l’île d’Irlande. Le premier ministre Johnson a rejeté dès son arrivée – nous le savons – le backstop, qui est une sorte d’assurance ou de filet de sécurité sur lequel nous nous étions entendus avec le gouvernement de Theresa May C’est un fait. Dans le même temps, le premier ministre Johnson reconnaît qu’un alignement réglementaire pour les biens est indispensable entre l’Irlande du Nord et l’Union européenne et nous sommes évidemment d’accord sur ce point.

En revanche, pour résoudre le problème des contrôles douaniers, le Royaume-Uni propose tout simplement que nous prenions ensemble, dans le traité international qui nous liera, un engagement juridique pour éviter, en toute circonstance, des contrôles douaniers ou réglementaires et toute infrastructure physique à la frontière entre l’Irlande et l’Irlande du Nord. Évidemment, nous partageons cet objectif, qui est l’un des objectifs du backstop: qu’il n’y ait pas de frontière, ni d’infrastructure. Mais ce qui nous est demandé, en réalité, c’est d’accepter un système qui n’est pas développé, qui n’est pas testé, de contrôles dispersés sur l’île d’Irlande et cela reposerait largement sur des exemptions, des dérogations au code douanier européen, des technologies qui restent à développer, des changements au droit international qui est prévu par la common transit Convention et enfin un système de compliance nouveau mais sans les garanties qui sont prévues par le protocole.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, nous avons besoin à chacune des limites du marché unique et de notre union douanière, nous avons besoin à chacune de ces limites de contrôles douaniers, de contrôles réglementaires sérieux et rigoureux partout, à l’extérieur, à la frontière externe de ce marché unique. En Irlande, comme partout ailleurs, nous avons besoin de contrôles opérationnels, de contrôles réels, de contrôles crédibles. C’est la crédibilité du marché unique qui est en cause et donc la crédibilité vis-à-vis des consommateurs, des entreprises et aussi, nous ne les oublions pas, des pays tiers avec lesquels nous négocions des accords. Voilà le premier point de désaccord.

Le deuxième point concerne l’exigence qui nous paraît légitime de trouver des solutions juridiquement opérationnelles. Avec le protocole, nous avons établi un filet de sécurité qui clarifie le régime applicable sur l’île d’Irlande et ce filet de sécurité est juridiquement opérationnel puisqu’il s’appliquerait jusqu’à ce que nous trouvions until and unless une solution alternative. En proposant de supprimer ce filet de sécurité, de supprimer le backstop et de chercher des solutions alternatives pendant la période de transition, c’est-à-dire plus tard, la proposition britannique ne nous donne pas la sécurité du protocole.

Un exemple: il n’y a pas dans ces propositions britanniques de solution réelle pour les petites et moyennes entreprises, sauf de proposer une dérogation générale.

Deuxième exemple: que se passerait-il si le joint committee, auquel les Britanniques veulent renvoyer toutes les questions sans réponse pour l’instant, ne trouvait pas d’accord pendant la transition? Selon les projections britanniques, la solution dépendrait alors de l’adoption de mesures unilatérales à prendre par le Royaume-Uni ou par l’Union européenne. Il y aurait alors, évidemment, un risque significatif pour l’intégrité du marché unique, puisque les propositions britanniques nous engageraient en même temps à ne jamais prévoir de contrôle à la frontière entre l’Irlande et l’Irlande du Nord, qui deviendront deux juridictions différentes.

Le troisième point de désaccord, au moment où je vous parle, c’est évidemment celui de la proposition britannique sur le consent. Nous avons toujours regretté l’absence de Stormont depuis deux ans et demi pour donner une voix solide et forte nord-irlandaise dans nos négociations. Dans le protocole existant, nous avons prévu avec les Britanniques, des mécanismes qui permettent la représentation de l’Irlande du Nord. Nous sommes prêts à examiner à nouveau des idées nouvelles pour un rôle plus important pour les institutions nord-irlandaises dans la mise en œuvre du protocole dans le respect du Good Friday Belfast agreement.

Mais aujourd’hui, la proposition britannique, telle qu’elle est sur la table, consiste simplement à conditionner la mise en œuvre du protocole à une décision unilatérale des institutions d’Irlande du Nord, qui pourraient alors décider unilatéralement, dès le départ, au lendemain de la ratification par votre assemblée et par la Chambre des communes de l’accord de retrait, de ne pas activer du tout la solution proposée pour l’Irlande du Nord. Et puis, si elle était quand même activée, les autorités nord-irlandaises pourraient décider tous les quatre ans de la remettre en cause.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, la proposition du gouvernement britannique aujourd’hui telle qu’elle est – et que nous ne pouvons pas accepter – remplacerait une solution opérationnelle, pratique, légale, par une solution hypothétique et provisoire.

Enfin, il y a un quatrième point qui nous pose réellement des problèmes, qui ne concerne pas l’accord de retrait mais la déclaration politique, qui est à côté de l’accord de retrait et qui est très importante, parce qu’elle décrit ce qui va se passer après le Brexit, avec un accord, je l’espère, et même sans accord, ce n’est pas une destination, il faudra bien reconstruire avec le Royaume-Uni, tout ce qui aura été détricoté – 44 années d’intégration et de coopération –, il faudra reconstruire une relation dans tous les domaines: du commerce, de la sécurité, des universités, de la pêche, de l’aviation, de la coopération policière et judiciaire, de la défense et de la sécurité. Et nous décrivons avec le gouvernement britannique le cadre de cette future relation dans cette déclaration politique.

Aujourd’hui, M. Johnson nous demande de nous concentrer pour l’avenir de notre relation économique seulement sur un accord de libre-échange basique et pas sur d’autres options, que nous avions laissées ouvertes dans la déclaration politique. Il nous demande aussi de supprimer les références agréées avec Theresa May sur un point très important qui est le level playing field, c’est-à-dire une règle du jeu de base, un socle de loyauté et de règles du jeu en matière fiscale, d’aides d’État, de droits sociaux, de droits environnementaux, de droits des consommateurs. Voilà et donc, nous sommes face à cette demande.

(Applaudissements)

Nous sommes face à cette demande, qui laisse entrevoir le risque pour nous, avec un accord de libre-échange basique, d’avoir à faire face à une compétition réglementaire, voire même à un risque de dumping fiscal, social ou environnemental, que nous n’accepterons pas. Voilà pourquoi je dis, sur ce point, que l’ambition et le niveau de notre futur accord de libre-échange avec le Royaume-Uni – parce qu’il y aura un accord de libre-échange – seront proportionnels au niveau des engagements pris par les autorités britanniques durablement pour une règle du jeu commune.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, Monsieur le Président, personne à Londres ou ailleurs ne doit s’étonner que l’Union européenne s’attache, dans cet accord de retrait, à obtenir des solutions opérationnelles juridiquement solides et durables. Pourquoi? Pour une raison extrêmement simple, c’est que le Brexit, lorsqu’il se produira, sera durable. Parce que le Brexit aujourd’hui crée – nous le savons bien et je le dis depuis trois ans – des problèmes concrets, précis, graves, notamment, et d’abord en Irlande et par rapport à des problèmes concrets, précis, graves, immédiats que crée le Brexit, nous avons besoin aujourd’hui et pas demain de solutions opérationnelles légalement contraignantes pour les deux parties et qui soient précises.

Dans le moment grave et important où nous sommes, nous resterons, Monsieur le président, Mesdames et Messieurs, – comme nous l’avons toujours été – calmes, vigilants et constructifs en même temps que nous resterons, nous, respectueux du Royaume-Uni et de ceux qui le dirigent. C’est dans cette attitude-là et avec cette attitude-là des deux côtés que nous pouvons avoir l’ambition d’aboutir à un accord qui fonctionne pour les deux côtés.

Nous resterons donc avec notre équipe, qui est votre équipe, en permanente coopération avec le Parlement européen, avec le Brexit steering group – et je remercie ses membres et notamment Guy Verhofstadt –, avec l’ensemble des États membres, nous resterons disponibles 24 heures sur 24, dans les jours qui viennent, pour parvenir à un accord. C’est dans cet esprit que je rencontrerai demain à nouveau le ministre britannique Steve Barclay.

Je veux simplement dire que, dans le respect scrupuleux du mandat qui nous a été confié par le Conseil européen, dans le respect des résolutions – vous avez vous-même parlé de votre dernière résolution, Monsieur le Président –, celles du Parlement européen, qui sont très importantes pour moi, nous allons continuer à travailler. Je pense pouvoir dire aujourd’hui que, même si c’est très difficile – pour les raisons que je viens d’indiquer –, s’il y a une bonne volonté des deux côtés, un accord reste possible avec les Britanniques.

(Applaudissements)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident Sassoli, Präsident Juncker, Herr Barnier, sehr geehrte Ratsvertreter, meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren! Ich möchte mich zunächst bei Ihnen bedanken für die Solidarität mit den Opfern von Halle, die Sie heute zum Ausdruck gebracht haben. Herr Präsident, es hat einen Angriff auf jüdisches Leben auf deutschem Boden gegeben, und das ist für jeden, vor allem für mich als Deutschen, ein Schock. Deswegen danke dafür. Dieses scheußliche Verbrechen, das stattgefunden hat, muss verurteilt werden. Ich möchte mich auch bei der Polizei bedanken. Antisemiten und all diejenigen, die die Freiheit des Glaubens in Frage stellen, sind nicht nur unsere Gegner, sie sind unsere Feinde. Wir alle sind gefordert, aufzustehen und „Nein“ zu Antisemitismus zu sagen.

(Beifall)

Herr Präsident, wir bereiten den Europäischen Rat vor, und da möchte ich zunächst anknüpfen an die wichtigen Grundbotschaften von Jean-Claude Juncker. Die Menschen erwarten von uns jetzt klare Antworten auf die Aufgaben unserer Zeit. In diesen Stunden, in diesen Tagen sind viele Bürgermeister, regionale Minister in Brüssel, weil der Ausschuss der Regionen tagt. Und sie erwarten sich Antworten: Wie geht es mit der Finanzierung der Regionalförderung weiter, mit dem MFR? Können wir weiter unsere Projekte vor Ort finanzieren, ja oder nein? Es hängen viele an diesen MFR-Planungen dran und deswegen erwarten auch wir von der EVP, dass es bei diesem Gipfel endlich zu Fortschritten kommt. Ich möchte mich bei der finnischen Ratspräsidentschaft bedanken für die Fortschritte in der Sache, aber die Chefs müssen sich jetzt auch darum kümmern. Ich möchte eines für uns klarstellen, nämlich, dass die MFR-Diskussion zunächst mal keine Diskussion um Prozentzahlen ist, sondern um die politischen Projekte, die wir umsetzen wollen. Und wenn bestimmte Länder in der Europäischen Union weiter darauf beharren, nur Prozentdiskussionen zu führen, dann müssen wir entgegenhalten, dass man mit diesen angesagten Prozenten eben die Aufgaben, die vor uns stehen, nicht bewältigen wird können. Wir werden keinen Masterplan für Afrika machen können. Wir werden Frontex nicht stärken können. Wir werden die Forschungsaufgaben im Kampf gegen Krebs nicht anpacken können und, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, wir werden auch bei der Fragestellung, wie wir unsere Regionen fördern, Abstriche machen müssen. Mit all diesen Aufgaben brauchen wir jetzt Klarheit, und deswegen hoffe ich, dass der Rat hier zu Ergebnissen kommt.

Ich möchte als Zweites natürlich auf das wahrscheinliche Topthema – den Brexit –eingehen. Und mir geht es da zunächst mal weniger um die Inhalte, weil wir da Jean-Claude Juncker und Michel Barnier voll unterstützen und wir uns für die Arbeit bedanken, Europa zusammenzuhalten, klare Verhandlungslinien zu beschreiben. Dass er dabei auf unsere Unterstützung zählen kann, ist bekannt. Was uns mehr umtreibt, was mich mehr umtreibt, ist der Stil, der in der Debatte mittlerweile eingezogen ist. Wenn gestern ein Telefonat zwischen Boris Johnson und Angela Merkel stattfindet und anschließend genau dieses blame game praktiziert wird, dass wir uns gegenseitig beschuldigen, dass wir in den Gesprächen nicht vorankommen, dann müssen wir uns die Frage stellen, was passiert ist. Was passiert da eigentlich in den Grundfesten, wenn leider Gottes Parteipolitik offensichtlich wichtiger ist als das Interesse des Landes, um das es bei diesen Verhandlungen eigentlich gehen soll? Für mich ist es ein Zeichen, dass die Ideen von Boris Johnson nicht bei einer Plenardebatte im britischen Unterhaus, auch nicht bei Gesprächen mit Jean-Claude Juncker vorgestellt worden sind, sondern dass die Initiativen von Boris Johnson zur Zukunft der Brexit-Verhandlungen auf dem Tory-Parteitag vorgestellt wurden. Das zeigt doch schon sehr deutlich, dass es offensichtlich nicht um verlässliche, vernünftige Verhandlungen geht, sondern um Parteipolitik, und das muss man auch brandmarken, man muss auch sagen, dass für einen seriösen Politiker, für vernünftige Politik das Zusammenführen von Interessen wichtig ist und nicht das Spalten eines Landes.

Meine sehr verehrten Damen und Herren! Ein Thema, das uns als EVP noch umtreibt, ist die Handelspolitik. Ich möchte da nur ansprechen, dass wir ja jetzt WTO-Entscheidungen haben, und ich hoffe, dass wir uns jetzt zwischen den Vereinigten Staaten und Europa klug verhalten, nämlich einen gemeinsamen Weg finden, der nicht zu einem Handelskrieg führt. Ein Handelskrieg würde anderen Freude bereiten, aber nicht Europa und auch nicht Amerika, und deswegen brauchen wir die ausgestreckte Hand zu den Amerikanern, um diese Konflikte jetzt zu lösen.

Und zu guter Letzt noch einen Gedanken zur Türkei-Frage, die uns ja auch bewegen wird. Die Liste ist mittlerweile lang: Die illegale Migration nimmt wieder zu, und sie wird offensichtlich durch türkische Behörden nicht unterbunden. Wir haben das Bohren in zypriotischem Gewässer, offensichtlich illegale Tätigkeiten. Wir haben die Tatsache, dass über die türkisch besetzten Gebiete in Zypern jetzt eine Art Backstop-Lösung praktiziert wird, unreguliert Produkte auf den europäischen Markt kommen. Wir haben die Militäraktivitäten, die sehr besorgniserregend sind, wo wir wissen, dass die Kurden Partner im Kampf gegen den IS waren und uns dort auch geholfen haben, und die generelle Frage der Werte der Pressefreiheit in der Türkei. Und deswegen hoffe ich, dass die Türkei als Partner den partnerschaftlichen Ansatz der Europäischen Union weiter ernst nehmen will. Andererseits müssten wir auch die Frage stellen, ob die guten wirtschaftlichen Beziehungen zwischen der Europäischen Union und der Türkei dauerhaft so erhalten bleiben können, wenn wir mit der Türkei leider Gottes einen Partner haben, der eher auf Aggressivität denn auf Partnerschaft setzt. Wir sind in all diesen Bereichen zur Partnerschaft bereit, aber die Türkei muss auch wissen, dass, wenn die Partnerschaft nicht praktiziert wird, es dann auch Konsequenzen haben wird.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señorías, el próximo debate del Consejo Europeo de los próximos 17 y 18 de octubre tiene previsto debatir un conjunto de desafíos clave para el futuro de la Unión Europea: el marco presupuestario para 2021—2027, las prioridades de la Unión para los próximos cinco años, el Brexit y el cambio climático.

Nuestra aspiración de una Europa de los pueblos estrechamente unida solo se hará realidad si somos capaces de acordar un presupuesto sólido. Con la Resolución que esta Cámara va a disponerse a votar mañana reafirmamos nuestro firme compromiso con las prioridades y las partidas incluidas en el informe provisional sobre el marco financiero plurianual 2021—2027, que aprobaremos en noviembre del 2019. Es imprescindible un respaldo financiero adicional para sacar adelante los compromisos adquiridos por la presidenta electa de la Comisión Europea y, en particular, para una transición ecológica justa.

Llevamos esperando desde noviembre poder entablar negociaciones con el Consejo, lo que significa que hemos desperdiciado casi un año. Por ello, pedimos al Consejo que comiencen las negociaciones para el próximo marco presupuestario y le recordamos, además, que este marco presupuestario se decide por codecisión; es decir, no toleraremos ningún intento por parte del Consejo de socavar las prerrogativas de este Parlamento. De la misma manera que no aprobaremos el próximo presupuesto plurianual si antes no se alcanza un acuerdo sobre la reforma del sistema de recursos propios de la Unión Europea. Porque solo con un presupuesto ambicioso podrá la Unión cumplir las prioridades de la Agenda Estratégica para los años 2019—2024.

En el marco de la Agenda Estratégica, los jefes de Estado y de Gobierno tienen la responsabilidad de cumplir con carácter urgente las siguientes prioridades: el desarrollo del pilar europeo de derechos sociales, que es una prioridad absoluta para poder avanzar en una Europa más justa; la reforma del sistema de Dublín en materia de asilo e inmigración; la incorporación de los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible en el Semestre Europeo, y el objetivo de una Europa climáticamente neutra de aquí a 2050; la combinación de la unión bancaria y fiscal y la lucha contra el fraude fiscal para garantizar una contribución justa al fortalecimiento de la Europa del bienestar.

Solo si damos respuesta a estas prioridades podremos erradicar el discurso populista que ferozmente asola nuestro continente; un discurso que solo entiende el patriotismo como un arma contra el otro y no como la defensa de un bien común. Se trata del mismo discurso que arrincona al primer ministro Boris Johnson y que conduce a su país, que ha sido faro de la democracia y de la ilustración, a las tinieblas de la ignorancia y la sinrazón.

Por este motivo, no aceptaremos la propuesta de su gobierno de reemplazar el Protocolo de Irlanda del Norte por un nuevo protocolo que no contempla el denominado backstop. Seamos claros: los socialdemócratas solo apoyaremos una propuesta que impida una frontera entre Irlanda del Norte y la República de Irlanda. Cualquier solución debe evitar poner en riesgo el proceso de paz y proteger la integridad de nuestro mercado único, en defensa de los consumidores y de las empresas.

Nuestra familia política se manifiesta firme, como ya lo hicimos en el pasado Pleno en el que aprobamos la Resolución. Estamos dispuestos a apoyar una prórroga del artículo 50 para evitar un Brexit sin acuerdo porque nos perjudicaría a todos —tengámoslo claro—, a todos, a Europa, al Reino Unido, a la ciudadanía en su conjunto.

Y también hablamos de cuestiones que en estos momentos son fundamentales en la Agenda: la lucha contra el cambio climático. En este contexto, la reciente Cumbre sobre la Acción Climática de Nueva York ha puesto de manifiesto que solo la Unión Europea puede ejercer el liderazgo que se necesita en esta materia. La lucha contra el cambio climático y el cumplimiento del Acuerdo de París y los Objetivos de Desarrollo Sostenible tienen una importancia vital para que la Unión Europea y los países en desarrollo afronten las devastadoras consecuencias económicas, sociales y medioambientales provocadas por la actividad humana. Una aplicación coherente de las diferentes políticas externas e internas de la Unión y un marco financiero robusto, destinado a la aplicación de medidas de adaptación y mitigación son clave para reducir el impacto del calentamiento global.

Los días 17 y 18 de octubre se abre ante los líderes del Consejo Europeo una ventana de oportunidad para solucionar los problemas de la ciudadanía. Este Parlamento está preparado. En sus manos está.

 
  
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  Dacian Cioloş, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, the Council will have the Brexit issue on the agenda again. I welcome the fact that the UK Government finally produced some proposals last week, but I am also very concerned about their content. We have always been open to workable and legally operable solutions, but let’s be clear: as they currently stand, they cannot be the basis of an agreement. As they currently stand, we will not and cannot support them. Any new UK proposals need to respect the Good Friday Agreement, protect our citizens and the integrity of the single market. We have grave concerns about the UK proposal, not least fuelled by the latest recriminations arriving from London. This is not and should never be a blame game. We still have time to avoid a no-deal situation that would be catastrophic.

En parlant maintenant du budget, qui est lui aussi aussi au programme des débats du Conseil, nous devons avoir des perspectives claires sur la direction que nous voulons donner à l’Europe. Le budget européen est lié à la direction politique que nous donnons à l’Europe, ce ne sont pas seulement des chiffres. N’oublions pas que nos électeurs et nos citoyens attendent de nous que nous mettions en œuvre le programme sur lequel nous nous sommes engagés en juillet.

Nous avons besoin de perspectives politiques, mais aussi de perspectives budgétaires. Le budget européen, ce ne sont pas que des chiffres, c’est aussi une vision politique, une vision de la valeur ajoutée de l’europe. C’est le moment de prouver que nous assumons, de fait, ce projet européen. Un vrai budget européen devrait disposer de ressources propres. Nous devons avoir le courage d’aborder ce sujet, de ne pas l’éviter, et de trouver comment faire pour partager la charge de ce budget entre la contribution des États membres et les ressources propres, pour avoir une vision claire sur ces perspectives budgétaires.

Monsieur le Président Sassoli, devant le Conseil, vous aurez à porter, en notre nom, une ambition forte pour le budget, car le Parlement a une ambition forte pour l’Europe et l’Europe a besoin du budget.

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, so goes the story: a good-willed British Prime Minister is honestly seeking a balanced solution to the Brexit conundrum. But he is confronted with a hostile and antagonistic, inflexible European Union, conspiring with traitors back home, concentrated in the British Parliament and the judiciary, whose sole aim would be to frustrate the will of the people and surrender to the enemy. This is the story that Prime Minister Johnson wants to tell.

The reality is that Prime Minister Johnson does not want a deal. Listen, if we were to sign the British proposals, we would commit – forever – to keeping a 500 km stretch of EU external border, with no controls – forever – without any firm guarantee that goods crossing that border would meet EU regulatory standards – notably, safety and security standards – and with no guarantee that customs tariffs would be paid. That is the kind of blank cheque that Prime Minister Johnson wants us to sign. No jurisdiction in the world would ever accept this, especially from a neighbour whose stated intention, as has been repeatedly said, is to undercut the European Union’s social and environmental taxation standards. No one would accept this.

But you understand: these proposals are not there to be accepted. They are meant to lead the country to a no—deal Brexit for which the EU27 could be blamed. It’s not hard to read into Prime Minister Johnson’s game. And it now depends on all responsible women and men within the British Parliament to prevent this from happening and to muster their collective strength to put the interests of the country front and centre.

Now, dear friends, I will just say one thing. We are all Members of Parliament here and we are proud of this. I listened to Prime Minister Johnson’s speech at the Tory Party Conference the other day. A few days after having illegally attempted to close down his Parliament, that Prime Minister was openly mocking, humiliating and deriding Parliament – the Parliament from which his own legitimacy derives. Dear friends, when chiefs of the executive – in any country – trample like this on parliaments, what is at stake is democracy.

 
  
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  Nicolas Bay, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le président, monsieur Juncker, Monsieur Barnier, s’agissant du Brexit, vous dites à la fois non à la proposition de Boris Johnson, et non à une sortie sans accord.

Vous refusez la proposition du gouvernement britannique, alors qu’il s’agit à l’évidence d’une position équilibrée en ce qu’elle permet à la fois la sortie de la Grande-Bretagne de l’Union européenne et de l’union douanière, ce qui est la volonté exprimée démocratiquement par les Britanniques il y a maintenant plus de trois ans, et qu’elle respecte les accords du vendredi Saint.

Vous présentez le backstop négocié entre vous et Theresa May (mais contre l’avis des Britanniques) comme un «filet de sécurité». Mais vous savez très bien qu’il est beaucoup plus que cela. En réalité, il consiste à maintenir la Grande-Bretagne dans tous les dispositifs de l’Union européenne, avec la même contribution financière, et cette situation pourrait durer tant que le problème épineux de la frontière irlandaise n’est pas résolu.

Vous savez très bien que la position que vous défendez est inacceptable pour les Britanniques, inacceptable pour la majorité à la Chambre des communes, et qu’elle aboutit à une situation de blocage total dont vous porterez la responsabilité.

S’agissant du cadre financier pluriannuel, qui sera au cœur des débats du prochain Conseil, il y a deux écueils sur lesquels nous serons très vigilants. Le premier, c’est l’inflation des dépenses, l’augmentation du budget, des dépenses toujours plus grandes de l’Union européenne, toujours plus éloignées aussi des préoccupations des citoyens et notamment de ce qu’ils ont exprimé aux dernières européennes.

L’autre écueil, c’est évidemment l’idée des ressources propres: une fiscalité européenne qui ne remplacerait pas les fiscalités nationales mais s’y ajouterait, rendant la pression fiscale dans nos États toujours plus importante.

Et, enfin, j’ai vu Monsieur Macron parmi les chefs d’État, Monsieur Timmermans parmi les commissaires européens, s’exprimer récemment pour conditionner les Fonds structurels de l’Union européenne au respect du prétendu état droit, ciblant évidemment la Pologne, la Hongrie et un certain nombre d’autres pays.

Il faudrait quand même qu’ils se souviennent qu’aux dernières élections européennes, le parti Droit et Justice en Pologne, le Fidesz de Viktor Orbán en Hongrie, sont les partis qui, tous pays confondus, tous partis politiques confondus, ont obtenu les meilleurs résultats. Ce sont ceux qui ont la plus grande légitimité démocratique.

Ça devrait inciter la Commission européenne à les respecter, car la Commission n’aura jamais la légitime démocratique qu’ont ces chefs d’État et de gouvernement. Alors même que l’Union européenne refuse de conditionner les aides financières accordées aux pays africains à la maîtrise de leurs flux migratoires, elle voudrait dans le même temps, à l’intérieur de l’Union européenne, mettre des pays au ban et les priver des ressources financières auxquelles ils peuvent légitimement prétendre sous prétexte qu’ils ne respecteraient pas un prétendu état de droit qui est en réalité devenu une arme politique contre eux.

 
  
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  Raffaele Fitto, a nome del gruppo ECR. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io ho ascoltato con molta attenzione gli interventi di chi mi ha preceduto, anche del Presidente Juncker e degli altri rappresentanti.

Partirei da un dato. Io mi auguro che, per quanto importante, si parli molto poco di allargamento e molto più dei temi concreti e reali che ci riguardano, tra i quali mi sembra ci siano delle emergenze e delle urgenze molto gravi. Ho ascoltato delle posizioni politiche, anche delle lezioni di stile e di comportamento da un Parlamento nel quale, per esempio, nella scorsa legislatura e nello Steering group, che si richiama come l'elemento di equilibrio per una proposta comune del Parlamento, ci sono dei gruppi parlamentari che sono stati volutamente e immotivatamente esclusi senza che ce ne fosse una ragione, per poter costruire delle posizioni che sono artatamente di parte.

Allora io penso che, prima di dare delle lezioni, bisognerebbe cercare di partire da questo atteggiamento e soprattutto partire da un dato. Al di là delle posizioni, la trattativa è difficile, lo ha spiegato in modo specifico l'incaricato Barnier, ma certamente c'è un dato dal quale non si può prescindere, che è quello della necessità di trovare un accordo perché con il Regno Unito noi dovremo continuare ad avere un rapporto fondamentale dal punto di vista economico, commerciale e dei rapporti. Ed è per questo che è inaccettabile l'idea che si possa continuare ad insultare quello che può anche non piacerci, ma è il Primo ministro di un paese. La si può anche non condividere la sua posizione, bisognerà trovare con difficoltà l'accordo, ma bisogna trovare l'accordo, perché il tema è che quel paese ha un governo, che può in quest'Aula non piacere ad alcuni gruppi politici, ma è un governo che, fino a prova contraria, quando ci saranno nuove elezioni, è legittimato a trattare le sue posizioni e merita il rispetto anche di questo Parlamento e dei componenti di questo Parlamento.

Per quanto riguarda il Quadro finanziario pluriennale, vorrei dire molto chiaramente che sarebbe necessaria una forte accelerazione e, soprattutto, sarebbe altrettanto importante cercare di mettere in campo e in calendario delle soluzioni che non abbiano un'idea di un aumento della pressione fiscale, ma che possano dare delle risposte anche sui temi di carattere generale che riguarderanno il futuro della nuova Commissione.

Si è parlato anche qui, e si è parlato molto in questo periodo, delle battaglie e delle politiche sul clima. Io penso che sia indispensabile partire non con l'estremismo della posizione, ma partendo dalla necessità di modificare e adeguare il sistema produttivo, economico e commerciale del nostro continente a delle necessità che sono indiscutibili.

In ultimo vorrei richiamare, visto che non è stato citato in nessun modo, il tema dell'immigrazione. Nei giorni scorsi i ministri dell'Interno a Malta hanno annunciato tante cose, sulle quali non mi soffermo, e pochi giorni dopo, proprio ieri, abbiamo verificato che alle parole, come al solito, non sono seguiti in alcun modo i fatti. Io mi auguro che il Consiglio possa iniziare ad affrontare e dare delle risposte precise su questi temi.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Wir werden heute Nachmittag hier im Haus ja auch auf Antrag meiner Fraktion über den Angriff der Türkei auf Syrien debattieren. Ich denke, dieses Parlament wird ein klares Signal gegen den gerade begonnenen völkerrechtswidrigen Angriffskrieg der Türkei gegen die Kurdinnen und Kurden in Nordsyrien senden.

Aber nun lassen Sie mich zu dem anderen derzeit drängenden politischen Thema kommen – dem Brexit. Die Linksfraktion schätzt sehr die signalisierte Bereitschaft des Rates, einer Verlängerung – sollte sie beantragt werden – gemäß Artikel 50 zuzustimmen. Wir erwarten von der britischen Regierung, dass sie geltendes britisches Recht einhält und einen solchen Antrag stellen wird, sollte es zu keiner Übereinkunft in den kommenden Tagen kommen. Und wir erwarten das nicht um unserer selbst willen, wir erwarten das, weil ein crash out, ein harter Brexit, die schlimmsten politischen Konsequenzen für alle Beteiligten bedeuten würde und weil die für uns entscheidenden politischen Fragen, nämlich der Schutz des Friedensprozesses in Nordirland und der Schutz der sozialen Rechte von Millionen Europäerinnen und Europäern, bislang nicht hinreichend beantwortet wurden. Im Übrigen würde vielleicht die Frage der irischen Wiedervereinigung die eine oder andere jetzt aufgeworfene Frage beantworten können.

Aber, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen, es passieren ja in der britischen Politik auch erfreuliche Dinge: Quasi ein Exportschlager greift gerade um sich. Bevor Sie sich jetzt quälen und sich von mir auf die Folter spannen lassen, sage ich Ihnen, worum es sich handelt: um Extinction Rebellion. Wir erleben gerade deren Klimaproteste in Berlin, in Amsterdam, in London, in Paris und in vielen weiteren europäischen Städten. Ich darf Ihnen im Vorfeld der COP25, die in Santiago de Chile stattfindet, sagen, dass wir als Linke hier im Europäischen Parlament eine Politik für notwendig halten, die den Klimanotstand entschieden bekämpft. Unser Auftrag an die Kommission und an den Rat ist es, ab jetzt sofort und zukünftig die Politik der EU an den Zielen für nachhaltige Entwicklung der Vereinten Nationen und des Pariser Klimaschutzabkommens auszurichten, ohne Wenn und Aber.

Und ein kleiner Themenwechsel: Der Rat wird sich auch mit dem mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen auseinandersetzen. Um es kurz zu fassen: Geld muss her, damit es für sinnvolle Projekte ausgegeben werden kann. Herr Juncker, ich unterbreite Ihnen jetzt vielleicht eine verrückt anmaßende oder anmutende Idee: Lassen Sie uns doch die Steuerschlupflöcher schließen! Mit dem eingenommenen Geld erhöhen wir den EU-Etat und investieren in den sozial-ökologischen Umbau. Wir brauchen Investitionen in gute Jobs, beim notwendigen digitalen Strukturwandel, im Kampf gegen die soziale Ungleichheit, im Kampf gegen den Klimanotstand und nicht für die militärische Aufrüstung der EU. Dann können Sie auch Ihre Versprechen zukünftig halten.

 
  
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  Belinda De Lucy (NI). – Mr President, let me make this very clear, Mr Sassoli, you have no right to go and speak with the UK speaker, having conversations that are directly interfering into our domestic politics. It exposes your intentions to intervene at all levels to stop Brexit. It is immoral. Shame on you.

And Mr Barnier, I note throughout your speech, sir, you kept referring to the ‘British negotiators’ as just ‘British’. We are the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and that will never change. Brexit was not a rejection of Europe or our wonderful European friends. It was a rejection of the anti—democratic nature of EU institutions and you confirm to us every day it was right to leave.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, I understand that the political situation in the UK is, to say the least, challenging. However, it must be clear that the proposal that came from the United Kingdom, long awaited by the EU, that might lead to an orderly Brexit, has not met our expectations. We hoped to see a legally operational alternative to the backstop that would deliver on all its objectives. As Michel Barnier has rightly said, the proposal raises fundamental concerns. Here in this House, we will not accept a return to a hard border on the island of Ireland. We will not accept distortions to the all—island economy. We will not accept risks to the integrity of the single market and we cannot, either, accept replacing the legally operational backstop with a vision of a solution that might or might not come at the end of the transition period.

We regret the lack of transparency at this stage of the negotiations on the British side in a moment when the third Brexit deadline is around the corner. The negotiating team has shown an enormous amount of flexibility over the last few years and is prepared to work around the clock to find a deal, so there is still a chance, but a significant movement from our British friends is needed. But I’m not convinced anymore, as many of us here are not, that the UK Government wants a deal.

Let me finish by underlining that this unprecedented political process of Brexit continues to have a massive negative impact on citizens’ lives and, in this context, let me say that negotiating the future relationship should not be allowed to start before citizens’ rights are legally guaranteed.

 
  
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  Simona Bonafè (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, si è molto parlato di Brexit, come è giusto che sia, ma voglio ricordare che tra i punti in discussione alla riunione del prossimo Consiglio europeo ci sarà anche il tema del cambiamento climatico, proprio nel contesto degli accordi internazionali, tema su cui vorrei concentrarmi io.

Dopo il recente summit di New York delle Nazioni Unite, ci avviciniamo alla COP25 che si terrà fra qualche mese, a dicembre, a Santiago. Noi abbiamo salutato con successo l'accordo di Parigi, con l'impegno globale di mantenere ben al di sotto della soglia critica di due gradi percentuali l'aumento della temperatura. Tuttavia, oggi, è bene dirlo, noi siamo lontani dall'arrivarci. È lo stesso Consiglio "Ambiente" ad aver affermato che, con gli impegni attuali e con l'attuale evoluzione delle emissioni di gas serra, non saremo in grado di realizzare gli impegni che abbiamo preso a Parigi.

Quindi, da una parte, siamo ben consci che il contrasto ai cambiamenti climatici per poter essere efficace deve essere coordinato a livello internazionale e, ahimè, il quadro non è proprio rassicurante. All'atteggiamento già noto dell'amministrazione di Trump hanno fatto seguito le preoccupanti prese di posizione del Presidente Bolsonaro sul fenomeno della deforestazione in Amazzonia.

D'altro canto, dobbiamo però confermare e rafforzare la nostra leadership, la leadership europea esercitata in questi anni per fronteggiare l'emergenza climatica. I dati dimostrano, inequivocabilmente, che crescita economica e diminuzione delle emissioni possono camminare di pari passo. Si tratta di un cambiamento importante e impegnativo che possiamo realizzare e che dobbiamo realizzare in modo equo, inclusivo, sostenibile e, devo dire, anche adeguando i nostri sistemi produttivi. Ecco, le scelte che i capi di Stato intendono prendere da qui ai prossimi mesi saranno quindi decisive.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew). – Madam President, I want to start by responding to Ms De Lucy, who was attacking this Parliament, saying that we are undemocratic while they are here, elected here and they are not elected in the British parliament. So who is more democratic, do you think? Who is more democratic? In your own country, neither in UKIP before Brexit has one representative in the British parliament and here you have more than, I don’t know, too many representatives. You’re saying that we are not democratic. This is crazy.

But that said, I will be less diplomatic than Mr Michel Barnier. I think that the proposal that Boris Johnson put forward exactly one week ago, was not serious at all. Not serious at all because it was, in fact, I call it a virtual proposal. It was not a real proposal. It gives a veto to the DUP in a number of issues. It is putting custom facilities, not on the border between Northern Ireland and the Irish Republic, but in all the other parts of the island of Ireland that we don’t know yet. And finally, the proposal is to downgrade the political declaration and the future relationship by undercutting, in fact by making a sort of Singapore at the sea, at the North Sea – these 20 behind me like that – , but by in fact destroying the ecological, social and labour standards. I have to tell that to Mr Richard Corbett because he’s a Labour representative. I can never understand that today there are 20 or so Labour MPs thinking to vote together with the government of the UK for such a deal. That’s the contrary of all the things that Labour has always defended in the past. I hope that this is not happening.

The real reason why this is all happening is very simple. It’s a blame-game. A blame-game against everybody, a blame-game against the Union, against Ireland, against Ms Merkel, against the British judiciary system, against Labour, against the Lib Dems, even against Mrs May. The only person who has not been blamed is Mr Johnson himself, apparently, but all the rest are the source of our problems. That is what is happening today. All those who are not playing his game are traitors or a collaborator or have surrendered. Well in my opinion, the real traitor is he or she who will risk bringing disaster upon his country, its economy and its citizens by pushing Britain out of the European Union. That’s, in my opinion, a traitor.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Martin Edward Daubney (NI), blue-card question. – Mr Verhofstadt, I would like to ask you why you don’t respect democracy. You claim to respect democracy; you just said you don’t think that the Labour party should be allowed to vote with our Conservative Party. Why not?

That is their democratic right.

And do you remember how you opposed the fact that Turkey wanted to throw a new election because you didn’t agree with the first one. Yet you want us to throw a second referendum in the UK.

Mr Verhofstadt, you do not believe in democracy, except when it suits you and except when you win, and when you lose – as you did in the European referendum and in the Brexit referendum, you just don’t like it, do you.

I'm afraid you’ve lost, my friend. Goodbye.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew), blue-card answer. – Democracy you can change your mind. And I have a small impression that, in the meanwhile, the majority of the British citizens have changed their minds.

(Shouts of ‘rubbish’ from certain parts of the Chamber)

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  President. – Sorry colleagues, please listen to the answer and try not to holler. There’s no need for it.

Mr Corbett, I think in fairness I will ask: will you accept a question, Mr Verhofstadt? You’re in demand from Mr Corbett.

(Mr Verhofstadt agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

Ok, go ahead Mr Corbett: 30 seconds.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett (S&D), blue-card question. – Curiously Madam President, Mr Verhofstadt asked me a question during his speech about a small number of Labour MPs who have written to President Tusk, urging a deal and compromise, which they might vote for – not this deal by Mr Johnson.

But another way to stop Mr Johnson, of course, would be to vote ‘No Confidence’ in the House of Commons and put Jeremy Corbyn in Number 10.

But it’s the Liberal Democrats who are opposed to that.

They say they’ll do anything to stop Brexit, but they won’t even put Jeremy Corbyn in Downing Street as a temporary government ...

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  President. – I’m sorry, Mr Corbett, it wasn’t a question. I’m not sure, Mr Verhofstadt: can you make a question out of a statement?

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt (Renew), blue-card answer. – I can make it into a question, but I don’t think that it is in this House that we have to discuss the internal affairs of the Labour Party and the British Parliament.

(Shouting)

 
  
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  President. – OK, you have succeeded in irritating both sides of the House, Mr Verhofstadt, so it’s a balance. Although I have to say... (inaudible)

As I said, indeed, that was my remark: incredibly balanced. So calm down to my right, please.

Our next speaker for one minute is Ms Chowns.

 
  
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  Ellie Chowns (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, colleagues, let’s focus on common ground, shall we?

For the third time this year, my country is looking over the cliff of a no-deal Brexit. But the difference is that this time our own UK Prime Minister is trying to drag us – kicking and screaming, – over that cliff, against the wishes of the large majority of UK citizens, and while trying to place the blame on anybody but himself.

But nobody is fooled – not in this House and not back home. We know that the EU has been bending over backwards, actually.

(The President interrupted the speaker)

 
  
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  President. – Excuse me Madam, really, just a second. Can I just say to my right Honourable friends: could you stop the tittering and giggling and pay respect to the speech, even if you disagree with it? Because it’s really very childish, the behaviour at the moment. So Madam, will you please continue? And I hope you will get the respect of the House.

 
  
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  Ellie Chowns (Verts/ALE). – We know that the problem is not in the EU, but in Number 10 Downing Street. UK citizens are now raising their voices loud and clear. Young people, especially, are calling on us to remember – all of us – that it is their futures that hang in the balance here. We must hear their voices.

We are all tired of Brexit, but we know Brexit will not be over if there’s no deal. It will just be the start of more years of painful negotiations, because we have to have a deal one way or the other, in the end. There is a way forward. We need more time so that when the Brexiteers finally agree among themselves on what the deal is, that deal goes back to the people, so that they can have the final say in a people’s vote.

 
  
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  Jörg Meuthen (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Kommissionspräsident Juncker, Herr Barnier! Lassen Sie mich einen anderen Aspekt beleuchten. Ich bin entsetzt über das, was über das Telefonat zwischen Frau Merkel und dem britischen Premier Johnson berichtet wird. Ich beginne mal mit dem Besten daran: Merkel hat wohl gesagt, dass Deutschland ohne Probleme die EU verlassen könne. Immerhin eine Option, wenn auch keine schöne. Doch für das Vereinigte Königreich gelten nach Ansicht der Kanzlerin wohl andere Regeln. Das Vereinigte Königreich, sagt sie, kann gehen, wenn es Nordirland in der Zollunion mit der EU zurücklässt – auf immer.

Frau Merkel will offenbar für den Fall des Brexits Großbritannien faktisch teilen. Was für eine Arroganz der Macht! Aus dem Vereinigten Königreich soll dann also ein geteiltes Königreich werden. Ich finde das unfassbar von Frau Merkel, die selbst in einem geteilten Land aufgewachsen ist. Wie können Sie es wagen! Oder auf Britisch: „How dare you!“. Sie müssten wissen, was das heißt. Im Grunde hat Frau Merkel gesagt, ein Deal ist unmöglich, ohne die Souveränität Großbritanniens anzutasten. Wenn Sie sich mit der zukünftigen Grenze zwischen Irland und Nordirland befassen, dann werfen Sie doch mal einen Blick auf die Grenze zwischen Norwegen und Schweden. Das geht auch. Auf weitere Verhandlungen wie auf eine weitere Verlängerung gemäß Artikel 50 kann man unter diesen Voraussetzungen getrost verzichten.

Machen Sie sich hier im Hause doch endlich einmal ehrlich und geben Sie zu, dass die EU-Institutionen restlos alles tun, um dem Vereinigten Königreich einen geordneten Austritt zu verwehren und zu verunmöglichen. Und Sie tun politisch geschickt immer das Gleiche, nämlich dem Vereinigten Königreich dann den Schwarzen Peter zuzuschieben. Großbritannien sollte nun die Reißleine ziehen, es wird zu den EU-Bedingungen keinen geordneten Brexit geben, die Erde wird sich weiter drehen, der ökonomische Schaden wird kleiner sein als prognostiziert. Politisch wird es für die Briten eine Befreiung.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidenta, realmente la superioridad moral, la arrogancia que estamos viendo por parte del consenso socialdemócrata da mucho miedo, incluso a aquellos que somos firmes partidarios de la Unión Europea, que creemos en la subsidiariedad, que creemos en la soberanía, pero que creemos en una Unión Europea.

Estamos asustados ante actitudes como las del señor Verhofstadt, que realmente no respeta nada las opiniones de todos aquellos que discrepan. Cómo es realmente esa prepotencia que se está dando permanentemente cuando se habla de un Estado que ha hablado, de una nación que ha tenido una opinión y que ha pedido irse de aquí.

Otra arrogancia que preocupa mucho, hablando del clima, hablando del medio ambiente, es la superioridad moral que existe ya entre ciertos grupos radicales, que son agitados por los medios y por la propia Unión Europea también, para coaccionar a los ciudadanos en su vida cotidiana: cómo se bloquean calles, cómo se coacciona a la gente en la vida cotidiana. Es un peligro de radicalización, que se está alimentando desde la Unión Europea. Y tenemos que tener mucho cuidado, pensando en radicalizaciones anteriores.

 
  
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  Martina Anderson (GUE/NGL). – On 29 April 2017, the European Council sent a strong message to the people of Ireland. EU heads of state said, ‘in accordance with international law, the entire territory of such a united Ireland would not be part of the European Union in the event of Irish unification. The constitutional set—up in the north of Ireland rests on continued consent.’ Opinion poll after opinion polls shows that Brexit has evaporated the consent for the North to remain connected to Britain. The British Secretary of State has both the discretion and the duty to call a unity referendum if it appears the majority would likely vote for Irish unity. Every recent opinion poll shows that there is a majority favouring reunification. Tonight in this Parliament, Professor Colin Harvey and Barrister Mark Bassett will launch a report at 19.00 on the role of the EU and Irish unity, planning and preparing for constitutional change in Ireland. This is the sensible solution to the Brexit mess, both for Europe and for Ireland.

 
  
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  Ιωάννης Λαγός (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, είναι αναφαίρετο δικαίωμα του κάθε λαού να αποφασίζει τι θέλει. Απορώ πραγματικά με την επιμονή πάρα πολλών από εσάς —και σε αυτή την αίθουσα αλλά και γενικότερα— να αλλάξετε ένα δημοψήφισμα και μια δεδομένη άποψη των ανθρώπων. Τα ίδια κάνατε και τα ίδια συνέβησαν και στην πατρίδα μου, την Ελλάδα, όταν οδηγήσατε τους ανθρώπους εκεί σε δημοψήφισμα και το αποτέλεσμα του δημοψηφίσματος έδειξε ότι δεν θέλαμε άλλο την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και δεν θέλαμε τα μνημόνια. Όμως εσείς, όλοι οι ταγοί του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου και της Κεντρικής Τράπεζας, οδηγήσατε τη χώρα μου στην καταστροφή· και έχουμε μετά τις δηλώσεις του Mario Draghi, τις δηλώσεις της Christine Lagarde και του Poul Thomsen, που παραδέχονται ότι έχουν γίνει πάρα πολλά λάθη. Ποιος θα τα πληρώσει τα λάθη αυτά που κάνατε εσείς; Στην πατρίδα μου τα έχουν πληρώσει χιλιάδες οικογένειες οι οποίες αυτή τη στιγμή πεινάνε· έχουν αυτοκτονήσει πάρα πολλοί άνθρωποι και εσείς όλοι εδώ αναπτύσσετε απλά θεωρίες χωρίς να γνωρίζετε τι γίνεται.

Αφήστε λοιπόν τον βρετανικό λαό να αποφασίσει όπως θέλει, για να μην περάσει αυτά που πέρασε η πατρίδα μου. Επίσης, θέλω να τονίσω εδώ τη μεγάλη υποκρισία εκ μέρους των περισσότερων από εσάς όσον αφορά το κυρίαρχο ζήτημα των ημερών: την επέλαση της Τουρκίας στη Συρία. Από πού και ως πού οι Τούρκοι έχουν το δικαίωμα να επιτίθενται και να βομβαρδίζουν αυτήν τη στιγμή αθώους ανθρώπους; Εσείς κάθεστε εδώ και απλά συζητάτε. Οι Τούρκοι έχουν πάρει απύθμενο θράσος από την ανοχή που τους δείχνετε, εδώ και πάρα πολλές δεκαετίες. Πρέπει να τελειώσει το παιχνίδι αυτό με την Τουρκία, πρέπει να ξεκαθαριστεί ότι η Τουρκία δεν έχει καμία θέση στην Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και να σταματήσει αμέσως η ενίσχυση που της παρέχετε.

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

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D), Întrebare adresată conform procedurii „cartonașului albastru”. – Doamna președintă, stimate coleg, sigur, pot să fiu de acord că statele membre trebuie să-și decidă soarta, dar cetățenii au drepturi. Ieri am asistat, dacă știți ultimele sondaje din Marea Britanie, vizavi de poziția cetățenilor și de faptul că au fost induși în eroare și că au fost mințiți că nu li se întâmplă nimic după Brexit, că rămân aceleași drepturi fără obligații.

Vă rog să-mi răspundeți dacă cunoașteți ultimele sondaje din Marea Britanie?

 
  
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  Ιωάννης Λαγός (NI), απάντηση "γαλάζια κάρτα". – Θεωρώ ότι ο κόσμος στη Βρετανία δεν έχει αλλάξει άποψη· έχει την ίδια που είχε και προηγουμένως. Όμως, δεν καταλαβαίνω πότε έχει αξία για εσάς ένα δημοψήφισμα και πότε όχι. Το δημοψήφισμα αυτό έχει γίνει εδώ και κάποια χρόνια. Γιατί μέχρι τώρα λοιπόν δεν έχει υλοποιηθεί αυτό το πράγμα; Θα περιμένουμε πότε θα αλλάξει ίσως —με όλες τις πιέσεις που θα ασκηθούν— η άποψη του βρετανικού λαού; Έως τότε τι θα γίνει; Λοιπόν, το δημοψήφισμα έγινε, η απόφαση ήταν συγκεκριμένη και βάσει των δημοκρατικών σας ευαισθησιών πρέπει αυτό να γίνει αποδεκτό.

(χειροκροτήματα)

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (PPE). – Három gondolatot szeretnék megfogalmazni, három témakörben, kimondottan nem brexit-specifikusan. Az első a többéves pénzügyi keretre vonatkozó javaslat: úgy lehetne megfogalmazni, hogy ami az asztalon van, kevesebb pénzt, több célra, nehezített feltételrendszer mellett. Szeretném felhívni a finn elnökség figyelmét arra, hogy ez azért így elég nonszensznek tűnik.

A mostani ötletroham, hogy milyen feltételekhez kössük a pénz elköltését, ellehetetlenítené a normális működést. Kérem, hogy csak objektív, teljesíthető, mindenkire egyaránt vonatkozó feltételeket emeljenek be a rendszerbe.

A második a klímavédelem. Nem gondolom, hogy volna józan európai polgár, aki ne tartaná fontosnak a zöld gazdaságra való áttérést. A nemzeti klímavédelmi tervek összegzése alapján lehet majd eldönteni, hogy milyen reális célkitűzésünk lehet a kibocsátáscsökkentés terén. Tehát józanul fogalmazzuk meg a vállalásokat, ne menjünk bele egy bajnokságba, hogy ki tud megalapozatlanul nagyobb számot mondani.

Végezetül a bővítés kapcsán – Juncker Elnök Úrnak mondom, aki közben sajnos elment – nagy hiba volt azt mondani öt éve, hogy nem lesz bővítés. Nem lehetünk büszkék egy ki nem tűzött cél teljesítésére. A perspektíva elvétele a stabilitást és a prosperitást fenyegeti. Abban bízom, hogy igenis lesz döntés még októberben a csatlakozási tárgyalások megkezdéséről Albániával, Észak-Macedóniával.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira (S&D). – Madam President, the proposal made by Mr Johnson is really not a convincing basis for an agreement. In a way, it looks like Mr Johnson is trying to sell us a very nice house with a swimming pool – the only problem is that it might not have a swimming pool after all. In fact, the proposal offers regulatory alignment of Northern Ireland with the single market. But is it a real offer? No. In fact, it depends on unilateral consent given by the assembly of Northern Ireland before the entry into force and thereafter every four years. Then the proposal says that Northern Ireland will be out of the customs union, but still, we will have an open border based on alternative arrangements. But are those proposals workable? Are we, in fact, before a real offer? No. The truth is that those alternative arrangements would still have to be arranged by a joint committee. So the proposal itself is unworkable. It’s not a basis for an agreement. And so, now that we are approaching the Council meeting, our resolution adopted here in the European Parliament remains valid. If no agreement is reached then we, the European Parliament, will support an extension of Article 50.

 
  
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  Lucy Nethsingha (Renew). – Madam President, as a proud British citizen, I am ashamed of our government and the way it is treating both its citizens and democracy. Boris Johnson has misled the entire country, including our Queen. He is not to be trusted by anyone in this Parliament or in the Commission.

The EU has shown great patience already, for which I am grateful, and now British politics is being recast. Boris Johnson has lost his majority in parliament. The European election results and every opinion poll show a majority for remain. Once Britain has an extension, a cross-party majority in the House of Commons will eject Johnson from office. We would ask you for as long an extension as possible so that a new government will be able to hold a new referendum and the UK will find a solution.

If Boris Johnson and the Brexit Party are so confident the British people have not changed their minds, why are they opposing such a confirmatory vote? The British people do not deserve to be punished for the duplicity of their current Prime Minister, and I ask you to give us as much time as possible so that we can fix this mess.

(Applause)

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Alexandra Lesley Phillips (NI), blue-card question. – I just want to ask my colleague from the United Kingdom a question. She was talking about how she thinks that our Prime Minister can’t be trusted, but in 2017 her party stood on a manifesto of respecting the referendum result. Without any recourse to the general public, they have changed that to revoking Article 50 and stopping Brexit. Hypocrisy!

 
  
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  Lucy Nethsingha (Renew), blue-card answer. – In response to that, I would like to say that there is no clarity – and never was – about what type of leave was on the referendum. When we have clarity about whichever type of leave is to be put to a second referendum, the people should have a choice. And in response to the revoke thing, that would be after a general election and therefore after a clear vote to remain.

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  Claire Fox (NI), blue-card question. – If you are so confident in your politics, why don’t you let us have a general election? Why do you, the Lib Dems, refuse and vote against ordinary voters in the country going to the polls? You’ve said you won’t let them do it until you’ve taken something off the table that you decided on their behalf, anti—democratically. You are neither liberal nor democratic, and you say you’re ashamed of the Parliament; I’m ashamed that you’re a British MEP.

 
  
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  President. – And that, Madam, is not a question but it’s a statement. I’ll allow you to answer that because I dare say you’ll have a good answer.

 
  
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  Lucy Nethsingha (Renew), blue-card answer. – I’m very ashamed at some of the things that have been put out recently by Leave.EU.

On the point of our Parliament, I think our Parliament is well overdue for a general election, but to remove the UK – to crash out during the course of that election, when there seems to be a majority in the UK for remain – would be an appalling travesty of democracy.

So we must secure the extension before we have the election and then bring it on. And we will win far more MPs – and always have done – than the Brexit Party.

 
  
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  Magid Magid (Verts/ALE). – Friends, As-Salaam-Alaikum. As we all already know, Boris Johnson is a liar, a charlatan, a racist, a national disgrace, an enemy of democracy, a selfish saboteur, a puppet to an unelected bureaucrat. And as the grandma even in his own constituency says, a filthy piece of toe-rag. So to Juncker and Mr Barnier and the other EU leaders: give Boris nothing and give the British people everything, especially the young. Give them your solidarity, your unwavering support and your sincere promise that you won’t ever abandoned them to the fantasies of the insecure, delusional, tiny British elite that is summed up by Boris Johnson. And Madam Chair, I have constantly and frequently criticised the EU on countless occasions, and believe me, that’s not going to change. But our future is here, in this Parliament. This is a parliament, this is the European Union that turned ash, smoke, hate, horror, death and destruction into an Ode to Joy. My name is Magid Magid and I’m proud to be a British, Somali, African and a European.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR). – Madam President, I’m very happy to listen to colourful parliamentary language but not unparliamentary language, and I think we heard a string of adjectives there against the British Prime Minister totally unwarranted and which should be withdrawn. They’re not suitable for use in this House.

 
  
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  President. – I am reminded, colleagues, that we do have a rule – it’s called Rule 10 – and we try and have mutual respect between Members and respect for the dignity of Parliament, maintenance of security and order on our premises. So I do try and ask people to be respectful to one another, even where you have a difference. So perhaps our next speakers will try and live by that code.

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID). – Mr Barnier, of course, I think the next speakers are more respectful of this House.

Three weeks ago we had a similar debate to this in Strasbourg. It’s like a déjà-vu feeling now here again. But anyway, the time runs and soon there is a European Council, and we still know that the legal basis for reaching an agreement is clear.

Article 50 of the Treaty of the European Union is clear, and it reads as follows and I quote: ‘Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’.

The effects of further extending the deadlines or of a ‘no-deal’ will result in a lose-lose situation for all sides. Not only will it create serious problems for the Multiannual Financial Framework for the next period, but it will almost certainly result in a hard border in Ireland.

The latest deal put forward by Mr Johnson includes major concessions on the part of the UK. The EU should now show the UK the same courtesy.

The EU is like a jealous lover, using useless tactics to prevent the other party from leaving. But in reality, these antics only drive the ex-lover further away.

I would therefore like to remind the EU of the age-old saying: ‘If you love something, set it free, please’.

 
  
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  President. – How very thoughtful.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR). – Madam President, may I, first of all, just say to our colleague Richard Corbett: the first duty of any good democrat is to ensure that the likes of Mr Jeremy Corbyn, an unreconstructed Marxist, should never become Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.

May I also say that when President Sassoli spoke at the beginning of this debate, he was not correct when he said that there were just two options. He said extension or no—deal. In fact, of course, there is a third option, and that is getting the deal done before 31 October. There is effectively a week left to conclude a suitable deal between the European Union and the UK. The British Prime Minister wants a deal, he’s put very reasonable proposals on the table and he has shown great flexibility. I’m not sure we’ve seen the same flexibility from Dublin or indeed from the EU and it’s not too late. Michel Barnier tells me, there is a way. I hope and trust that this involves new thinking by the European Union. Unfortunately, over many months, the European Union has been distracted by noises offstage, unhelpful voices, often coming from the UK, and we’ve heard some of that this afternoon. These have given a totally false impression of the attitude of the British people and our determination to get Brexit done.

 
  
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  President. – If I may refer to President Sassoli, my interpretation of his comments was that, in the event of no agreement being reached, there were two choices. I think the President was quite clear.

 
  
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  Diane Dodds (NI). – Madam President, on 31 October, the United Kingdom is scheduled to leave the European Union. We must leave as one nation. This means that Northern Ireland will leave the single market and the Customs Union with the rest of the United Kingdom. Prime Minister Johnson’s blueprint means that the consent of the elected representatives of Northern Ireland is rightly required to opt into some of the rules, which would make trading with our neighbours in the Republic of Ireland easier for businesses and farmers: a sensible, pragmatic way forward, honouring the UK’s referendum result.

This has been met with complete negativity by EU leaders. It appears that no proposal other than tying Northern Ireland to the EU’s single market and Customs Union is acceptable to this House, the Irish Prime Minister or even the German Chancellor. So let’s be clear, again: Northern Ireland is an integral part of the United Kingdom through the consent of the people of Northern Ireland. We will not be torn out of its internal market and Customs Union, and we are not the EU’s bargaining chip in this negotiation.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Presidência finlandesa, Senhor Barnier, Comissário Carlos Moedas, dois temas vão dominar o Conselho.

Um tem a ver com o orçamento no longo prazo e, em particular, com o MFF e, aí, devo dizer que estou muito preocupado porque a proposta desta Comissão é uma má proposta. É uma proposta que serve os países ricos e não serve os países pobres, que não é uma proposta para a coesão. E estou muito preocupado porque vejo que a nova comissária responsável por esta área não tem nenhuma vontade de mudar isso; não mostrou nenhuma vontade de tomar a iniciativa na Comissão no sentido de aumentar o orçamento e de poder, com isso, ter uma política de coesão.

Segunda questão é a questão do Brexit e, aí, é claro que o senhor Boris Johnson está apenas, neste momento, num jogo de passa-culpas; está a procurar fazer com que a União Europeia passe pela instância culpada de não haver acordo. Ora, nós não podemos ceder a essa chantagem e devemos dizer o seguinte a todos os ingleses e a todos os britânicos: os europeus estão totalmente disponíveis para um acordo, estamos disponíveis para um acordo no curto prazo de uma semana, mas estamos disponíveis para conceder uma extensão. A questão é que haja boa-fé e vontade de fazer um verdadeiro acordo por parte do Reino Unido.

 
  
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  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, Minister, colleagues, there are also other items on the agenda of the European Council than Brexit. It will decide on the start of the accession negotiations between the EU and Northern Macedonia and Albania. Only last week, President Tusk, President Juncker, President Sassoli and President-elect von der Leyen issued a joint letter on the opening of accession talks. Their wording was strong and their message was crystal clear. North Macedonia and Albania did what we asked them to do. The time has come to open accession talks with both countries. This is a test about the Union’s ability to deliver on its promises and look to the future.

The assessment for these two countries is, of course, different. These are two separate systems with different political contexts and distinct challenges, and every country must be judged on its own merits. But what I want to underline is that this decision is not about EU membership; it’s the start of accession negotiations, which is based on an assessment made on clear benchmarks and clear deliverables. Both North Macedonia and Albania are ready to start working on further difficult but necessary reforms in the years ahead. And let me remind you that this decision has already been delayed for one year. So let’s not miss this opportunity to make our enlargement policy once again credible and predictable.

 
  
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  Naomi Long (Renew). – Madam President, the support of the EU for Northern Ireland and the Good Friday Agreement throughout this Brexit crisis is hugely appreciated by those in Northern Ireland. We need that support to continue now. More than anywhere in Europe, Northern Ireland needs a deal if Brexit proceeds. A deal that creates no new border infrastructure within our islands, protects our economy and respects the Good Friday Agreement in both letter and spirit – a point reinforced powerfully by Tony Blair, Bertie Ahern and John Bruton at my recent Brexit event here in Brussels. The UK Government’s proposals do none of that. Instead of avoiding a border, they create two. Instead of protecting business, it creates more barriers to trade and places business in ‘Brex-eternity’: an unending four—year cycle of uncertainty as to their position in the single market. Instead of protecting the Good Friday Agreement, it places the future of the Northern Ireland Assembly – already suspended for three years – in further jeopardy. These are not serious proposals. The UK Government wants a no—deal Brexit but wants to lay the blame with the EU for its consequences. It is crucial that strategy does not succeed. It is vital that a no—deal Brexit is avoided. Northern Ireland’s people, prosperity and peace depend upon it.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Paolo Borchia (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, visto che il prossimo Consiglio europeo si occuperà, tra gli altri argomenti, anche degli sviluppi più recenti in ambito di politica estera, suggerirei caldamente che venissero fatte delle valutazioni molto attente in merito alla Turchia, in merito ai suoi comportamenti, in merito al suo ruolo all'interno del negoziato con l'Unione europea. Mi riferisco all'incursione navale che è stata effettuata in acque territoriali cipriote per l'ennesima violazione della Convenzione delle Nazioni Unite sul diritto del mare.

A questo punto, visto che il Consiglio di luglio aveva comminato alcune sanzioni, tra l'altro definite irrilevanti dal ministro degli Esteri turco, io mi chiedo se il Consiglio europeo, alla luce della manifesta insufficienza delle misure finora applicate e alla luce del poco rispetto dimostrato dalla Turchia nei confronti dell'Unione, intenda sospendere tutti gli strumenti di assistenza finanziaria che, per il Quadro finanziario pluriennale, hanno superato i 4 miliardi.

Infine, concludo signora Presidente, alla luce dell'aperta ostilità adottata da Ankara nei confronti dell'Unione, mi chiedo se non sia il caso di sospendere, una volta per tutte, il processo di adesione.

 
  
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  Nigel Farage (NI). – Madam President, we are not dealing with people acting in good faith. Yes, that means you, Mr Barnier. You’re not looking for solutions. You’re looking to put obstacles in our way. You may have conned a very weak and gullible Mrs May into signing up into a new treaty from which there was no escape, but you’re not conning us.

We don’t want your treaty in any form, even with Mr Johnson’s proposed amendments. The referendum was very clear. We voted to leave the institutions of the European Union and to be free and, you know, we’ve had enough of being talked down to by you, insulted by Messrs Tusk and, indeed, Juncker, and we will never accept a German Chancellor attempting to annex a part of our nation. We simply won’t have it. The good news is your wretched treaty is off the table. Support for a clean-break Brexit is growing and it will be the winning ticket at the next general election.

(Applause)

(The speaker agreed to take a blue-card question under Rule 171(8))

 
  
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  President. – I didn’t think we were discussing the UK’s next general election; I thought we were discussing Brexit. You have, of course, provoked some reaction from colleagues. Will you accept a blue-card question? Ms Bunting.

 
  
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  Judith Bunting (Renew), blue-card question. – Yes, the country voted – the UK voted – to leave the EU, but they didn’t know what they were voting on and they were misled.

(Loud protests from certain quarters)

(President: ‘Would you ask a question. I don’t want a statement. I’m really sorry, I need a question.’)

Yes, I would like Nigel Farage to account for why he stood in front of that poster with refugees that had nothing to do with the European Union. I would like to ask why they supported erroneous statistics and inaccurate facts. They know …

(The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Nigel Farage (NI), blue-card answer. – You patronising snuck—up snob. How dare you you tell people they didn’t know what they were voting for? They knew exactly what they were voting for. They were voting against 50 years of people like you lying to them. They did it, you promised you’d enact it, and you – the Lib Dems and others – have betrayed the greatest democratic exercise in the history of our nation.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  President. – Let that settle for a moment. Just let that settle.

I am taking a decision not to have two more questions put to Mr Farage. I think that is the correct decision.

 
  
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  Kris Peeters (PPE). – Voorzitter. Het is duidelijk dat de top van volgende week heel belangrijk zal zijn voor het brexitdossier en ik hoop dat het gezonde verstand van onze vrienden uit het Verenigd Koninkrijk alsnog naar boven komt. Het is natuurlijk zo dat heel wat ondernemingen, zowel kleine als grote, zich grote zorgen maken. Als u de gesprekken en toelichtingen hebt gevolgd, weet u dat de situatie er niet goed uitziet.

Ik wil graag ingaan op de kwestie van transport. Er is heel veel voorbereidend werk verricht op het gebied van spoor-, lucht- en scheepsverkeer, maar ik wil graag de kwestie van wegtransport aan de orde stellen. We zijn namelijk zeer bezorgd dat dit, zeker in het geval van een harde brexit, grote verkeerschaos met zich mee zal brengen – zeker in België en met name in Vlaanderen, dat op dit vlak zeer kwetsbaar is. België heeft samen met de Europese Commissie en met Nederland en Frankrijk het initiatief genomen om wegtransporteurs te informeren over de problemen die zich op 31 oktober zullen voordoen. Mijn vraag luidt: is dit voldoende of moeten we aanvullende initiatieven nemen om verkeerschaos in onder meer België en Vlaanderen te voorkomen?

 
  
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  Birgit Sippel (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich wende mich an den Rat: Auf der nächsten Ratssitzung wird Migration nicht als großes Thema auf der Tagesordnung stehen und das, obwohl die Innenminister sich gestern noch nicht einmal auf eine kleine Übergangslösung für das zentrale Mittelmeer einigen konnten.

Was Rat und Kommission tatsächlich äußern, ist aber erschreckend: lobende Worte über die libysche Küstenwache und ihre Anstrengungen, Menschen zu retten. Ich finde, das ist zynisch. Denn die Menschen werden dann zurückgebracht, zu Erpressung, Gewalt und Folter. Ist das für Sie auch Teil unserer europäischen Lebensweise?

Beenden Sie endlich diese Form der Zusammenarbeit mit der libyschen Küstenwache! Hören Sie auf, private Seenotretter zu bestrafen! Denn was wir tatsächlich brauchen, sind sichere Wege, effektive Asylverfahren und eine nachhaltige Zusammenarbeit mit den Herkunftsländern auf Grundlage unserer Werte. Das ist Ihre Verpflichtung.

 
  
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  Fabienne Keller (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, chère Madame la ministre Tytti Tuppurainen, Monsieur le négociateur en chef, cher Michel Barnier, vous avez magnifiquement démontré, cher Michel Barnier, que les propositions de Boris Johnson ne tiennent pas la route.

Je m’associe pleinement aux inquiétudes formulées par ma collègue, Naomi Long, sur le futur de l’Irlande du Nord. Nous avons besoin d’un accord, mes chers collègues, mais pas à n’importe quel prix pour les 27 autres États membres. C’est seulement l’intérêt ultime de nos concitoyens qui doit prévaloir. Et je me souviens, cher Monsieur Nigel Farage, de votre démission, de votre liquéfaction au lendemain du référendum.

Je voudrais saluer le travail de la Commission pour maintenir la cohésion de notre Europe, une Europe unie, ouverte au dialogue mais ferme dans ses intentions.

Je voudrais souligner, alors que la date du 31 octobre approche, qu’il est aussi temps de réfléchir à la nature de la relation future entre l’Union européenne et le Royaume-Uni. Nous respectons profondément le peuple britannique.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: OTHMAR KARAS
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Presidente, Ministra Tuppurainen, Senhor Barnier, não quero desvalorizar o Brexit, antes pelo contrário, mas os europeus esperam que haja mais vida para além do Brexit.

Falarei do Quadro Financeiro Plurianual 21-27. Estamos numa corrida contra o tempo. Não podemos defraudar as expetativas dos cidadãos que em nós confiaram.

O Parlamento está pronto para negociar o orçamento plurianual. Sejamos claros, o Conselho ainda não tem posição. Tem aqui uma janela de oportunidade para redefinir, com realismo, a dimensão e o financiamento do orçamento. A proposta da Comissão é insuficiente.

Precisamos de um orçamento robusto e de um acordo político até ao final de 2019. A nossa posição é clara. Novos recursos próprios são necessários. O financiamento de novos desafios não pode ser feito à custa das políticas ditas tradicionais. Para novas iniciativas, dinheiro novo. É preciso modernizar as políticas tradicionais para que estas estejam aptas a apoiar um modelo económico sustentável e neutro em carbono.

Na próxima semana, todos os olhos estarão voltados para o Conselho Europeu. Contamos com uma decisão.

 
  
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  Richard Corbett (S&D). – Mr President, the British Prime Minister is indeed playing the blame game. He has tabled a proposal which he knows is unworkable, hoping that the EU will reject it so that he can blame the EU for doing so. But actually, we don’t need to take the EU’s word for it. Take Northern Ireland, the very territory it is supposed to help. There, the manufacturers’ association, the retailers’ organisation, the farmers, the trade unions and every political party other than the DUP has said this proposal is unworkable for them. So we are going to come to a no-deal situation and under British law, Johnson has to ask the European Council for an extension. I urge you to grant that extension. Not just to avoid the catastrophe of no deal but to give time to the British democratic processes, be that a general election or a referendum or both, to take place over the next few months, and they will lead. Let’s not forget now: we have a minority government. Every single opposition party in the House of Commons now wants another referendum on Brexit. That will lead to the public having a final say on the actual Brexit deal on the table and you will see: the outcome may be the right one.

 
  
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  Javier Moreno Sánchez (S&D). – Señor presidente, señorías, como dije en mi última intervención, los británicos aún están a tiempo de enderezar el timón y volver al puerto europeo. Ahora bien, el señor Johnson debe aclararse y dejar de marear la perdiz. ¿Qué quiere? ¿Quedarse, alcanzar un acuerdo de salida in extremis o irse a las bravas, lo que sería dañino para todos?

Nosotros estamos preparados para enfrentarnos a una ruptura sin acuerdo. La Comisión lleva meses preparándose y mi Gobierno ha tomado medidas para paliar los efectos de la salida del Reino Unido y preservar los derechos e intereses de los ciudadanos y las empresas españolas.

Esperamos que en los próximos días se alcance una salida pactada, pero nuestra agenda política no puede detenerse. Tenemos mucho trabajo. Debemos desarrollar la nueva Agenda Estratégica y acordar un marco financiero plurianual ambicioso conforme con las expectativas de los ciudadanos y los compromisos políticos de la Unión. Y, por último, afianzar la determinación de Europa de liderar la lucha contra la amenaza climática y acelerar la aplicación de los Acuerdos de París.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señor presidente, sobre la cuestión del Brexit, hago mías las palabras de la presidenta de mi grupo y de los otros colegas que han intervenido, en particular, Javier Moreno, justo antes que yo.

Yo quería señalar con respecto a otro tema, en el que se va a centrar el Consejo Europeo, el próximo marco financiero plurianual, aprovechando que está aquí la representante del Consejo, la ministra, que hay una serie de programas que son muy importantes a la hora de crear y reforzar la ciudadanía europea. Me refiero al Erasmus+, al Cuerpo Europeo de Solidaridad, al programa Europa para los Ciudadanos y también al programa Europa Creativa. Es importante que estos programas, en ese nuevo marco financiero plurianual, reciban la financiación adecuada, lo que quiere decir que debe ser superior a la que han recibido hasta ahora.

Sobre la cuestión de la ampliación, a la que se ha referido el presidente de la Comisión, debo decir que, en efecto, tenemos que hacer una profunda reflexión sobre si podemos continuar con este proceso sin antes reformar los actuales Tratados.

 
  
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  Christian Allard (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, c’est en fait M. Allard, vous avez tout à fait raison puisque je suis français et que je représente l’Écosse, l’une des nations du Royaume-Uni, ici dans ce Parlement.

Monsieur Michel Barnier, je vais en profiter pour vous remercier pour le travail que vous avez fait jusqu’à maintenant. Je tiens particulièrement à vous remercier pour votre respect, pour votre courtoisie et aussi pour votre flegme, un mot très britannique et une des valeurs que nous avons peut-être perdue, maintenant, en Grande-Bretagne et qu’il est peut-être bon qu’un Français nous rappelle.

Je voulais simplement dire que le Brexit, ce n’est pas seulement les droits de douane, c’est aussi, et là je continuerai en anglais...

especially about people, it’s about people like myself, it’s about people living in Northern Ireland, in the Republic of Ireland, it is people who are married to EU citizens who live in the UK, it’s about British people who are living across the EU, who are married to other people. So please remember this, should anything happen, secure our rights.

 
  
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  Dinesh Dhamija (Renew). – Mr President, I just want to make clear that, in the UK, we live in a parliamentary democracy, and that means that when a referendum result comes out, it is then advised to the parliamentarians, the MPs in parliament, who then try and administer that result. Fortunately or unfortunately, there is no Brexit majority in the UK Parliament. I’m a Lib Dem. As far as the Lib Dem manifesto goes, we have never ever said that we will be putting the Brexit result and we will want to do it. We were just told that we’d put it in our manifesto. It’s not true.

The other thing is I would very much like Boris Johnson to carry on in government with a majority of -43, and whatever we want to do, it’s like a fish hanging on a line, and we will do what we can until 2022 to not have a Brexit.

 
  
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  Geert Bourgeois (ECR). – Voorzitter. Ik wil zeggen dat ik het eens ben met wat Michel Barnier en Commissievoorzitter Juncker hebben gezegd. Het huidige voorstel inzake de brexit voldoet niet als alternatief voor de backstop en biedt onvoldoende garanties, onder meer wat een gelijk speelveld voor de toekomst betreft. Een brexit zonder akkoord is echter het slechtste scenario en het Britse parlement heeft zich hier dan ook tegen verzet. Zoals de heer Corbett al zei, moeten we er alles aan doen om een brexit zonder akkoord te vermijden. Ik wil eraan herinneren dat het niet bereiken van een akkoord volgens de resolutie die wij hebben goedgekeurd de voornaamste reden is voor uitstel. Ik wil de Raad er daarom toe oproepen er alles aan te doen om de brexit uit te stellen indien geen akkoord wordt bereikt, zodat het Britse volk zich kan uitspreken over de toekomstige relaties, en ik wil dat dit, zoals de heer Barnier al zei, gebeurt met respect en op basis van een dialoog.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, I’m an Irish citizen. I don’t want to see a hard border and I want to see the Good Friday Agreement respected but every time I listen to Mr Verhofstadt, I see the arrogance of the EU institutions displayed in a manner which I find incredibly unhelpful.

In any case, the European Council meeting is going to be discussing the strategic agenda for the next five years, and I have to hand it to you for the no—holds—barred approach taken to the section promoting Europe’s interests and values in the world. Our government, where neutrality is incredibly important to our citizens, like to say that this is kind of about peace and apple pie, that we join up to the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) and it doesn’t really mean anything but, actually, your strategic agenda is very clear about the imperial direction in which the EU is going. Talking about defending the interests of the EU, the need to be more assertive, to exercise our influence, work with NATO, enhance our defence investment capability. Is it any wonder that the arms industry say they are our partners, not our vendors? This is an absolute disgrace. If we want to deal with the problems of the world, stop interfering and helping cause them.

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, vreau să spun că în acest Brexit nu este vorba despre stânga, despre dreapta sau despre politicieni. Este vorba în primul rând despre oameni, iar eu vin din Iași, România, unde mulți colegi de ai mei de la Spitalul de Urgență lucrează în Marea Britanie și știu cât de grea poate fi viața atunci când regulile sunt impuse din altă parte. Eu cred că suntem aleși democratic aici, în Parlamentul European, pentru a-i proteja pe cetățenii care ne-au trimis aici. De aceea, cer tuturor celor care sunt astăzi aici să găsească soluțiile de a prelungi acest articol 50 așa încât să fie bine pentru toată lumea.

Dincolo de revendicări politice, cred că unitatea în diversitate trebuie să rămână lucru care ne ghidează în Europa, iar dacă vorbim despre cadrul financiar multianual, permiteți-mi să am mari rezerve că este soluția necesară pentru Europa în acest moment. Sunt multe inegalități, sunt multe disparități, îmi doresc ca și în țara mea să fie autostrăzi și spitale regionale, să existe fonduri pentru infrastructură, și cred că actualul buget nu rezolvă această problemă. Dar tocmai pentru că cetățenii europeni ne-au trimis aici sunt convins că împreună putem găsi și aici soluții pentru că unitate în diversitate trebuie să rămână soluția sănătoasă pentru toți. Vă mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Richard Tice (NI). – Mr Barnier, would you please explain to this Chamber, and indeed the citizens of Europe, why you refuse to adopt the recommendations of your own expert, Lars Karlsson, in his report ‘Smart Borders 2’ – his excellent 48-page report produced in November 2017, confirming that using existing technologies, existing best practices around the world, that actually you could have a friction-free border in Ireland.

Why, sir, do you continue to reject that recommendation?

May I put it to you? The reason is that you want to handcuff the European Union to regulatory alignment and to the Customs Union because you don’t want us to succeed as a high-growth, low-tax, smartly-regulated country off Europe.

(Applause from various quarters)

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, thank you for your very intensive debate. Many of you addressed the issue of Brexit, which is understandable, but also many of you made remarks and comments in regard to the upcoming European Council. I will convey these messages and remarks to the President of the European Council. Thank you very much.

In terms of our work ahead, now that the strategic agenda has been adopted, it is time to look at how it can effectively be implemented and how we can work together to achieve our common goals. It is crucial for the EU to move ahead in key areas, particularly in terms of its future budget and on climate change, one of our most urgent threats. In addition, it is clear that Brexit is a pressing issue for leaders next week.

If you allow me, Mr President, on the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), I would just like to remind you that tomorrow, in this very plenary, we are going to have a debate on the next Multiannual Financial Framework, so we will have a perfect opportunity to exchange views on MFF tomorrow morning.

Finally, on Brexit, I regret to reiterate that the UK proposal is not operational. There is therefore some serious work to do if one is to achieve a deal. But a no-deal cannot be the preferred choice of the Union, because of the significant consequences on citizens and businesses – even though we are well prepared. So, ladies and gentlemen, if requested by the UK for a good reason, an extension will be considered.

However urgent the Brexit issue is, we do have other issues on the Council agenda and we do concentrate on our work. Thank you very much for your attention and for this lively debate.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Wir bedanken uns herzlich bei Ihnen und wünschen Ihnen für die Sitzungen am 17. und 18. Oktober mit Michel Barnier alles erdenklich Gute.

Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), raštu. – Gerbiamas Komisijos Pirmininke, Pirmininke, kolegos, iš kitos savaitės Vadovų Tarybos susitikimo tikimės daug. Tikimės, jog pagaliau bus pasiektas susitarimas dėl ateinančių septynerių metų biudžeto. Europos Parlamentas savo rezoliucijoje aiškiai išdėstė prioritetus, jog kita finansinė perspektyva turi būti labiau socialiai orientuota ir gebanti tinkamai finansuoti sritis, kurios liečia labiausia pažeidžiamus mūsų žmones. Privalome išlaikyti 6 milijardų eurų finansavimą Europinei vaiko garantijai, kas leis sutelkti pajėgas nacionaliniu ir europiniu mastu kovojant su vaikų skurdu. Privalome išlaikyti padidintą finansavimą jaunimo garantijai ir Erasmus + programai. Kalbant apie strateginius Komisijos prioritetus, tikimės, jog naujoji Komisijos Pirmininkė išlaikys pasižadėjimą skirti ypatingą dėmesį Europos socialinei politikai ir visiškai įgyvendinti Europos socialinių teisių ramstį. Socialinė Europa negali būti ta vieta, kurioje vis daugiau dirbančių žmonių atsiduria skurdo rizikoje, kur vaikų skurdas išlieka nepateisinamai didelis, o jauni žmonės negali rasti darbo.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D), în scris. – Schimbările climatice și noul cadru financiar multianual despre care vorbim astăzi au mare legătură. Nu putem să ne atingem țintele privind schimbările climatice dacă nu facem investiții și nu asigurăm protecția socială.

Din păcate, Comisia Europeană care tocmai își încheie mandatul nu și-a făcut lecția la capitolul buget. Curtea de Conturi a prezentat săptămâna aceasta un raport în cadrul Comisiei IMCO în care arată că, lângă propunerea de buget și a noului cadru financiar multianual, Comisia nu a pus și o strategie pe termen mediu și lung. Nu pot înțelege cum se poate face un buget fără strategie. Solicit Comisiei să pregătească o strategie cu măsuri concrete care să asigure creștere economică și siguranță socială.

Legat de Brexit, doresc să spun că instituțiile europene au obligația să asigure, în primul rând, protecția cetățenilor europeni, atât a celor din Marea Britanie cât și a cetățenilor din alte state membre care trăiesc în Marea Britanie.

 
  
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  Christine Schneider (PPE), schriftlich. – Ich unterstütze die Ausführungen der Kommission. Es geht darum, eine Lösung zu finden, die den Menschen die Unsicherheiten und Ängste nimmt, wie es nach einem Brexit weitergehen soll. Schuldzuweisungen haben hier nichts verloren. Ich hoffe, dass nächste Woche tatsächliche Lösungen gefunden werden können, die den Erhalt des Friedens in Nordirland und den Schutz unseres europäischen Binnenmarkts garantieren.

 

15. Greening the European Investment Bank (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Kommission zum Thema „Die Europäische Investitionsbank stärker ökologisch ausrichten“ (2019/2835(RSP)).

Bevor wir die nächste Aussprache eröffnen, möchte ich Sie nochmals davon in Kenntnis setzen, dass wir nach wie vor das neue System ausprobieren, mit dem Mitglieder spontane Wortmeldungen und blaue Karten elektronisch anmelden können. Ich sage aber hinzu, ich habe die blauen Karten, die während der spontanen Wortmeldungen aufgerufen wurden, nicht drangenommen, weil wir die blauen Karten als Teil der Debatte sehen und nicht als zusätzliche Wortmeldung bei den spontanen Wortmeldungen. Ich habe bei den spontanen Wortmeldungen diejenigen nicht aufgerufen, die in der Debatte bereits ihre blaue Karte abgegeben hatten, weil sie sich damit schon einmal zu Wort gemeldet haben. Wer wann drankommt und ob, ist die Entscheidung des Präsidiums im Sinne des Ablaufs einer geordneten Debatte. Sie haben per E-Mail Informationen über die Nutzung dieses Systems erhalten und die Anleitungen liegen auf dem Tisch. Sie brauchen zur Einreichung eines Antrags auf eine Wortmeldung nicht auf das Ende der Sitzung zu warten, sondern sie können die Funktionstasten auf Ihrer elektronischen Abstimmungsanlage nutzen, wenn Sie die Stimmkarte dabeihaben, sie ist die Voraussetzung für die Nutzung des Systems. Nehmen Sie sie bitte daher mit. Wenn Sie eine spontane Wortmeldung anmelden möchten, können Sie das ab sofort tun, Sie brauchen nicht bis zum Ende der Aussprache zu warten. Wer das elektronische System noch nicht nutzen will, der kann die üblichen Hilfsmittel, die weiße und die blaue Karte, benutzen. Das nur zur Einleitung und zur nochmaligen Erklärung.

Ich heiße den Präsidenten der Europäischen Investitionsbank, Werner Hoyer, und den Kommissar für Forschung, Wissenschaft und Innovation, Carlos Moedas, sehr herzlich willkommen.

 
  
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  Carlos Moedas, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, dear Members, dear President of the EIB, Werner Hoyer, first of all a word for the people of Germany. My heart is with the Jewish community. Today is the holiest day of the Jewish calendar, Yom Kippur, and so my heart is with those that are victims of that horrendous attack. I’m here representing my colleague, the Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis, in this debate about greening the European Investment Bank.

During the past years the Commission has interacted a lot with the EIB, notably in the context of the Investment Plan for Europe, and in particular in the context of the European Fund for Strategic Investments, as a core part of the plan.

The cooperation with the European Commission and the EIB under the Investment Plan has been a great success, and as a Commissioner for Research and Science, I am the witness to that. In particular, I’m so happy to see that 25% of the projects funded are related to research and innovation. The European Fund for Strategic Investment is a dedicated investment support instrument with an EU budget guarantee, and it allows the Bank to move to more risky investments in areas such as renewable energy, energy efficiency, but also innovation and to support smaller companies. It was one of the flagship priorities of our Commission.

So now, five years later, it is clear that the Investment Plan for Europe and our cooperation with the EIB is delivering, and the question is: why was it such a success? And I think that, first, because we are close to reaching our goal: 500 billion of investment mobilised by the Fund.

Second, because we were helping more than one million SMEs across Europe that benefited from the financing, that created jobs, that strengthened our economy.

And third, because we have helped 30 million people to get better health services, and then we helped seven million households to get renewable energy.

Therefore the EIB is instrumental in mobilising financing for our common political priorities.

Honourable President, Members, we have achieved a lot, but a lot more has to be done to achieve the 2030 climate and energy targets and our long-term goal of carbon-neutral Europe by 2050. Our investments in climate and environmental projects in the next decade will need to grow considerably. We need up to 290 billion of additional investments per year, from energy efficiency to cleaner transport in the infrastructure. Those investments are to a large extent of private nature, and we need to mobilise private finance for those investments.

So on the one hand we need to create a supportive framework, but on the other hand, we can also use our EU budget to mobilise private capital. So we will continue doing it with the future InvestEU programme, maintaining our crucial partnership with the European Investment Bank.

President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, in her speech in this House back in July, proposed a sustainable Europe investment plan under the European Green Deal, aiming to mobilise one trillion of investment over the next decade. This plan will aim to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent in 2050 and will broaden our strategic environmental agenda beyond climate.

Furthermore, the two EU-ETS funds, the Innovation Fund and the Modernisation Fund, will also contribute to the much needed mobilisation of climate investments. Support to investments will go hand in hand with our strategy for green and sustainable financing, to ensure complementarity between the Commission’s regulatory and investment actions.

So, honourable President and Members, today the EIB is the largest multilateral provider of climate finance worldwide, committing at least 25% of its investment to climate change mitigation. Already in 2007, the EIB issued the first World Green Bond, labelled the Climate Awareness Bond, and in September 2018, the first sustainable awareness bond. The EIB, the largest issuer of Green Bonds, has raised 23 billion across 11 countries, of which 4 billion was raised last year alone.

So what am I saying? I’m saying that de facto, Mr President, you are the European Union’s climate bank. You are already that. The Commission welcomes the EIB announcement to achieve full alignment with the Paris Agreement by 2020. Scaling up investments in climate action and environmental sustainability will have to go hand in hand with building up capacity and expertise of project developers, for which technical assistance and advisory services will be warranted to build up a robust pipeline of sustainable investment projects.

The Commission will need to discuss with the EIB and with Member States, as the EIB shareholders, how such an increasing financing for climate and environmental investments could be made in the most effective and efficient way, also to serve the objective of a just transition.

The Commission takes the view that this increased focus on the climate and environment does not require a major institutional change. The EIB mandate is broad enough to accommodate a more ambitious, sustainable focus within the statutory mandate, combining eventually its own resources operations and operations under the backing of the EU budget.

I look forward to hearing your views.

 
  
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  Werner Hoyer, President EIB. – Mr President, Members of the European Parliament, let me, first of all, thank you very much for this opportunity to, together with Commissioner Moedas, address the issue of greening the EU bank.

The cooperation between the European Parliament and the EIB has always been very close and the EP has been crucial in guiding our financing activities as the EU bank. So, discussing the future steps is a very welcome opportunity, for which I thank Mr President and the Members of the European Parliament.

Humanity is at a crossroads. We must act immediately and swiftly if we want to ensure a sustainable transition to a net—zero emissions economy, and if we have listened to the European voters in the election to the European Parliament this spring, we have seen that European citizens are sometimes ahead of the public sphere.

According to the special Eurobarometer on climate change published last month, 93% of respondents think climate change is a serious problem and 79% think it is a very serious problem. We would not have achieved these results even one year ago; now it’s there. A majority of respondents in 19 countries think climate change is one of the most serious problems facing the world today. These numbers speak for themselves. Citizens in the EU and beyond are asking us to stand up to the challenge.

The accumulation of greenhouse gases has caused average temperatures to rise by almost 1 °C globally above pre—industrial levels. Two thirds of this increase has occurred since 1975. If business continues as usual, we will have stoked a rise in global average temperatures of 4 °C by the end of this century. That might not sound too much, and in a city like Brussels today, you might think 4 degrees more isn’t such a bad idea, but our climate is fragile, very fragile, and small changes in surface temperature have a significant impact. For instance, the last time average temperatures lay 4 °C below pre—industrial levels, Brussels lay buried beneath several kilometres of ice. You can imagine, then, what 4 degrees hotter might mean. Under such a scenario, heatwaves would become the norm. An average July day in Europe would see temperatures in excess of 40°C, so drought, forest fires, crop failures, food shortages and disease pandemics would become commonplace events, potentially displacing millions of people.

We should remember that the past – or present – wave of migration in the Middle East, marked as it has been by human suffering and death, had its origins in drought and other climate—related problems.

Since 2012, we have provided EUR 150 billion of finance, supporting EUR 550 billion of investment in climate action and environmental sustainability, making the EU bank group one of the world’s largest multilateral providers of finance for climate and environment projects – as a matter of fact, the largest one.

Since we first set ourselves a climate action finance target in 2010, our ambition has been increasing. In 2015, we were the driving force behind the multilateral development banks (MDB) in the Paris process and at the United Nations Summit on the Sustainable Development Goals. In this context, we pledged to provide USD 100 billion for climate action projects in the five—year period to 2020. We’re delivering on that target. Indeed, since 2016, we have invested approximately USD 71 billion into climate action projects and last year alone, USD 16 billion again.

Having said that, the EIB can and is ready to become even greener. We have listened to the conclusions of the European Council in June, which requested the EU bank to step up its climate action activities. We have listened to the very clear message by President—elect Ursula von der Leyen in her address to you at the European Parliament and we have listened to you, the European Parliament, and your very vocal international calls for action.

The EIB is expected to be ambitious, and this is the reason why I believe we should not disappoint and make proposals to our shareholders which are ambitious. We are presently finalising our increased ambition for 2030 climate action and environmental sustainability, and our approach builds around three pillars: one, an increase in our own financing. Last year, nearly 30% of the EIB’s new commitments worldwide were dedicated to climate and environmental goals. I would like the EIB to be much bolder and aim for 50% for these activities by 2025.

Secondly, a commitment to growing sustainable finance from billions to trillions. By working with our public and private partners, we aim to help unlock at least EUR one trillion of investment by 2030. This would include a marked increase in support for climate adaptation and resilience. But, as the Commissioner just said, Mr President, these objectives are never achievable with taxpayers’ money alone. We need to leverage the possibilities that the European Union is giving us by drawing in the private sector into the financing of these projects. That’s what we are there for.

Thirdly, building on our 2015 climate strategy, we will align all the EIB group’s financing activities with the Paris principles and goals by the end of 2020. This is extremely important because it would be counterproductive if we finance 50% not in greenwashing but in real climate projects, and then with the rest of our projects, the other 50%, we destroy exactly what we have just achieved by financing dirty stuff. This will not happen.

Alignment with the Paris Agreement will determine a change in the EIB Group’s policies and actions, starting with a pledge to phase out energy projects that depend on fossil fuels. This is my proposal. It is difficult. The new EIB energy lending policy, which is currently under discussion by the EIB Board, will be an important step in this regard. With a very strong focus on energy efficiency, renewable energy, power grids and research and development, the EIB believes the proposed energy lending policy is well aligned with EU priorities and funding. We will, again, achieve this only if another condition is being met beyond attracting the private sector – and that is via strengthening innovation.

This builds on our 2015 climate strategy, which committed us to mainstreaming climate change considerations in everything we do. Science tells us that transitioning to a carbon—neutral economy entails ending the use of fossil fuels as soon as possible. Thanks to our emissions performance standard, we have not supported any coal—fired power projects for almost a decade: the first MDB to do so. In addition, we will position the EIB as an incubator for climate finance and expertise to mobilise others, helping our societies and economies transform to a low—carbon level.

But we must not forget that some countries are further advanced than others on the road to a low—carbon economy, and that some areas, communities and sectors will be more deeply affected than others by this transition. So, while stepping up our role as climate bank, we further commit to working closely with Member States, the Commission and Parliament to ensure a just and fair transition. We are fully aware that different Member States have different needs and we are committed to ensuring that no one is left behind. It is not just about energy efficiency, energy supply and energy security; it is also about jobs and growth. For instance, we note that 41 regions in the EU are mining coal, providing jobs to 250 000 people, most of whom have limited opportunities to find alternative employment. You cannot simply take a coal miner and turn her or him into an IT specialist overnight. We have seen the detrimental effects on communities and regions in the past when a transition is not fair and just.

I’m confident that the EIB group can greatly contribute to implementing the ambitious vision of the European Green Deal, thanks to our proven ability to mobilise investment and support for EU priorities on climate action and environmental sustainability. And, as requested by Vice—President Timmermans yesterday before Parliament, you can count on the EIB to be a key partner in the implementation of the Sustainable Europe Investment Plan. We stand ready to work with you and develop new products and ideas to make this vision a reality.

Despite overdrawing my time account, Mr President, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the Commissioner, my friend Carlos Moedas, firstly, for the serious words he said at the beginning of his intervention, and I share the grief and the deep horror that went along with receiving this message this afternoon. And secondly, thank God on a more positive side, I would like to thank the Innovation Commissioner for outstanding cooperation with our institution. Thank you very much.

 
  
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  Sirpa Pietikäinen, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, first of all, I would like to congratulate the European Investment Bank on taking a very active stand on the sustainable finance issue, because we know what is the challenge in climate change and the circular economy. We do have the technologies and yes, we do have the money, but a big part of the money is on sunk investments at the moment, on both public and private funding. This is what the sustainable finance initiative is trying to correct. The direction is right, but I would like to raise the bar much faster and much higher. Yes, of course, you could be very proud and you should be proud of the fact that over 20% – almost 30% – of the investments are climate-neutral and sustainable, but let’s take it the other way. That means that over 70% of the investments are not, and that is the ambition level. When we are using the public’s scarce resources, be it the EU budget, be investEU, be it the European Investment Bank, the finance should be only for sustainable, greening initiatives that turn our infrastructures in the lines of the Green Deal and that turn our economies to circular economy, climate-neutral and a future orientation on the logics of backcasting. Look what is the challenge. It’s a marathon and not just walking a bit more. A lot of courage and higher ambition level is what I’m looking forward to from the upcoming Commission and the European Investment Bank.

 
  
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  Jonás Fernández, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, yo creo que hemos debatido en esta Cámara, en muchas ocasiones, la necesidad de mejorar la rendición de cuentas democrática del Banco Europeo de Inversiones. Y yo creo que el día que el señor Hoyer se siente al lado del comisario eso sea probablemente una señal clara de que este Parlamento tiene una capacidad de control explícita del Banco Europeo de Inversiones.

En cualquier caso, yo creo que toda la Unión, todas las instituciones tienen que estar perfectamente alineadas por lo que respecta al objetivo de cumplir, obviamente, con el Acuerdo de París. Pero, en ese proceso, tenemos que prestar una especial atención a aquellas regiones que —como decía el presidente del BEI— pueden sufrir en el proceso de descarbonización, y, por lo tanto, la transición tiene que ser una transición justa. Y, para ser justa, necesitamos el esfuerzo del BEI para mejorar la financiación de proyectos renovables, de proyectos de mejora de eficiencia energética. Y tengan muy presente también el equilibrio territorial por lo que respecta aquellas regiones que necesitan el apoyo del BEI para afrontar esa transición.

 
  
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  Pascal Canfin, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, j’ai fait campagne en France avec le président de la République, Emmanuel Macron, pour la transformation de la Banque européenne d’investissement en une banque du climat au niveau européen. Donc, je suis très satisfait de voir les engagements et les décisions que vous êtes sur le point de prendre.

Tout d’abord, 50 % de votre activité pour le climat, cela veut dire autour de 15 milliards d’euros de prêts, chaque année, en plus pour des infrastructures vertes, des énergies renouvelables, l’isolation des bâtiments, des choses très concrètes pour les citoyens et les entreprises européennes. Cela veut dire aussi l’alignement – et vous l’avez dit – de l’ensemble de l’activité de la banque sur l’accord de Paris. Cela ne signifie pas «je fais 50 % de vert et pour le reste du temps, je ne regarde pas», cela veut dire que la totalité de mon activité est compatible avec l’accord de Paris.

Et en faisant cela, vous serez peut-être la première banque non seulement à prendre cet engagement, mais à le tenir. Donc vous avez la possibilité d’écrire pour toutes les autres institutions bancaires – exactement comme la BEI l’a fait il y a une dizaine d’années sur les Green bonds – la grammaire de ce que cela signifie pour une banque d’être alignée avec l’accord de Paris. Et c’est très bien que la Banque européenne d’investissement joue ce rôle d’établir des standards pour l’ensemble du monde financier.

Maintenant, j’insiste sur la notion de transition juste. Il faut faire très attention à ce que cet engagement soit compatible avec le fait d’emmener l’ensemble du continent européen. Donc c’est très important que, dans les engagements que vous allez prendre, dans les décisions que vous allez prendre dans les prochains jours, vous puissiez garantir aux pays qui ont le plus de besoins de transition, et notamment en Europe centrale, le fait que verdir la BEI, faire de la BEI la Banque européenne du climat, cela ne veut pas dire plus de financement à l’ouest et moins de financement en Europe centrale, cela veut au contraire peut-être dire plus de financement en Europe centrale et à l’Est de l’Europe, parce que c’est là que les besoins sont les plus criants, et c’est ainsi que nous emmènerons l’ensemble du continent pour le bien des Européens et de la planète.

 
  
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  Bas Eickhout, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, first of all, the full support of the Greens to make from the EIB a climate bank. As Greens we fully support that direction. But we are getting a bit concerned if the Commission is saying: well, you are already a climate bank. This is totally inconsistent with your own plans for sustainable investment for the future. This is totally inconsistent with your plans on a carbon-neutral economy. We need a huge investment, and the EIB needs to play a role. The EIB wants to play a role, but then we also need a Commission that is serious about changing the EIB into a climate bank. And I see the Commission looking surprised, but if we are looking at the first litmus test, it’s going to be the energy lending policies, and there the Commission is playing a role. And we want to see that no money from a public investment bank is going to fossil fuels. None. And the Commission is not on that line. For example, on gas, you are promoting an exception for low-carbon gas. Have you not learnt of CCS-ready coal? That was a joke. The coal came and the CCS-ready never worked. If you are serious about a climate bank, you should be serious about the energy lending policies: no financing to fossil fuels.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Sylvia Limmer, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Gestern konnten wir bereits der verqueren Logik des sogenannten green deal direkt aus dem Munde des dafür zuständigen Chefideologen und Kommissionskandidaten Frans Timmermans lauschen. Mit Schlagworten wie Klimaneutralität, emissionsfreie Autos, Null-Verschmutzung-Strategie und Biodiversität will man antreten, um das Klima zu retten. Aber alles beruht auf der nach wie vor wissenschaftlich sehr umstrittenen Hypothese von CO2 als alleinigem Klimatreiber, und so löst eine unbewiesene Annahme eine nicht enden wollende Kette von politischen Fehlentscheidungen aus. Machbarkeit, Kosten, die drohende Deindustrialisierung, die Millionen Arbeitsplätze in den EU-Mitgliedstaaten kosten wird, überhaupt Fakten sind bei der Umsetzung des green deal einfach nur lästig.

Nun soll also zur Umsetzung dieser mindestens fragwürdigen Politik die Europäische Investitionsbank in eine Klimabank zur Finanzierung der Klimarettung umgewandelt werden. Bis 2030 sollen Investitionen von einer Billion Euro getätigt werden. Bravo, kann ich da nur sagen! Das Narrenschiff der EU-Kommissionspolitik hat volle Fahrt aufgenommen und macht sich nun unter dem Deckmantel einer angeblich grünen Politik daran, den Rest wirtschaftlicher Mechanismen abzuschaffen.

 
  
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  Alexandr Vondra, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I would like to bring our debate, just for a minute, from the paradise of a non-carbon society into the reality of our current times. I am from Prague. You certainly know the beautiful city in the centre of the continent through which the roads connecting Paris and Warsaw, Berlin and Vienna cross. Right now, Prague is on the verge of a transportation collapse because of EU trucks and lorries. We have not yet completed the highway rings, neither the internal nor the external, and just yesterday, the City of Prague Council, led not by my party, but by the pirates who are part of the Green coalition here, promised to the Czech citizens to get an EIB loan to cover 50% of the construction costs. So here is my question: the rings will certainly not contribute to CO2 reduction. It has nothing to do with the Paris Agreement, but if finished, they will make the quality of the air for my citizens in Prague substantially better. Will the EIB be allowed to finance the issues like this after the transformation?

 
  
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  José Gusmão, em nome do Grupo GUE/NGL. – Senhor Presidente, aplaudimos o aumento da meta para investimentos verdes do Banco do Dubai. Gostávamos que fosse mais ousada, mas, sobretudo, preocupa-nos que ela não seja inteiramente direcionada para o investimento público, para o investimento em infraestruturas para a transição energética, em sistemas de transportes, em eficiência energética e que seja abandonada a mecanismos de mercado, que já provaram não estarem à altura da emergência climática a que temos que dar resposta.

Preocupa-nos, porque, se a Comissão quer continuar a falar de Green New Deal, então tem que ser consistente com o espírito desse programa e isso significa cortar realmente todo o financiamento aos combustíveis fósseis. Aplaudimos essa proposta, aplaudimos essa decisão, e lamentamos a postura vergonhosa da Comissão Europeia que, enquanto cá fora continua a falar do Green New Deal, nos corredores vai pressionando o Banco Europeu de Investimentos para continuar a manter essas linhas de financiamento, que nos últimos quatro anos direcionaram para os combustíveis fósseis 7 500 milhões de euros de financiamento. Tem de acabar.

 
  
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  Ben Habib (NI). – Mr President, I find this debate hilarious. Here we are standing in this Chamber debating the virtues of going green and look around you: at a cost of around EUR 30 million by my estimates, we’ve flown in, trained in and driven in MEPs from across Europe to not attend this debate. We’re here to talk about green matters, but we’ve burnt half the flipping planet getting here. I find it hilarious. I used to be a Eurosceptic. But I must now declare that I am in contempt of the European Union. I hold the European Union in contempt in equal measure to the contempt it has shown my country and its people over the last three years, and particularly in the last couple of months. When we leave – and we will leave –, we will deregulate our banking sector, we will cut our taxes, we will deregulate our businesses and we will take the European Union on. And so I’m delighted when I see this empty Chamber wasting hot air on a subject over which it has absolutely zero control and to which it contributes nothing positive.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (PPE). – Tisztelt Képviselőtársaim! A zöld gazdaságra való áttérés eltérő kihívás elé állítja az egyes tagállamokat, ezt Hoyer Elnök Úr is elismerte. Az Európai Fejlesztési Banknak pedig tekintettel kell lenni ezekre a sajátosságokra, és ennek megfelelően kell alakítania finanszírozási politikáját az energiaprojektek terén.

Az EIB által most tervezett változások nehézséget okoznának a kohéziós országok számára. Az új, ..... politika is, ahogy hallottuk, kivezetné a fosszilisenergia-projekteket 2020 végétől. Ezt az átmenetet én pedig csak hosszabb átmeneti idő alatt tartom elképzelhetőnek. Minden tagállam eltérő lehetőségekkel rendelkezik ugyanis, földrajzi elhelyezkedéséből, hagyományaiból kifolyólag is, és mindennek az a következménye, hogy eltérő az energiaszerkezet. Egyelőre nem mondhatunk le a gázról, ami kisebb szén-dioxid-kibocsátású energiaforrás, ahogy a kibocsátás szempontjából tiszta atomenergiáról sem.

A racionalitást kérem az EIB-től. Vegye figyelembe, hogy az energiamix kialakítása nemzeti hatáskör. Legyen a tagállamok segítségére a zöldítés nekik megfelelő módjának és ütemének kialakításában.

 
  
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  Joachim Schuster (S&D). – Herr Präsident! Wer den Klimawandel stoppen will, muss investieren, und zwar viel investieren. Schätzungen gehen davon aus, dass bis zu 1 000 Milliarden Euro jährlich nötig sind, und davon sind etwa 300 Milliarden zusätzlich nötig, also nicht Investitionen, die schon geplant werden. Und ich glaube, da liegt es nahe, dass wir sagen, dass die Europäische Investitionsbank sich zu einer green bank weiterentwickeln und dabei auch eine zentrale Rolle bei einer nachhaltigen Investitionsstrategie der EU einnehmen soll. Für uns Sozialdemokraten ist dabei wichtig: Wir brauchen eine strikte Fokussierung auf erneuerbare Energien, wir brauchen eine Förderung der Energieeffizienz in der Industrie, im Verkehrssektor und im Gebäudebestand. Bei all dem muss auch die soziale Dimension des damit einhergehenden Strukturwandels berücksichtigt und entsprechend unterstützt und gefördert werden. Und schließlich fordern wir, dass ein Umbau zu einer green bank auch mit einer Veränderung der Rechtsgrundlagen und der Strukturen der EIB einhergeht, damit das Europäische Parlament substanzielle Mitspracherechte bei dieser Investitionsstrategie erhält.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Mr President, just first and foremost, I welcome the opportunity to speak on this particular issue. I primarily want to speak about it from an Irish context and, in particular, in the area of agricultural greening. You know that we have a challenged banking system in Ireland. It is still sheltered, with two major banks, and they will be the banks that will be making the applications and making the decisions about the disbursement of European Investment Bank funds. Of course, I would have grave concerns about there being no independent adjudication system on that particular issue. Because we have a sheltered banking system, farmers and others cannot go to other banks to seek funding. So I would just be a little concerned that that sheltered approach would allow Irish banks to disseminate and disburse the funds in their own interests, rather than in the interests of the client and, more importantly, in what we’re trying to achieve around the whole issue of greening, a just transition, and making sure that industry and agriculture can respond to the policy directives here. So I would ask the European Investment Bank to look at the impartiality of the adjudication system of the Irish banks in disbursing the funds.

 
  
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  Molly Scott Cato (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, so what does the exciting idea of turning the EIB into a climate bank mean in practice? We need to rapidly increase funding for activities that are Paris aligned, such as large—scale home insulation programmes, electrification of services currently provided by fossil fuels and improvement of low—carbon infrastructure, but we also need climate transition loans for projects that can provide evidence that they are committed to decarbonisation. The sustainability transition will be marked by trial and error and learning by doing, so it’s important that the Bank relaxes its normal low—risk approach and makes loans for activities where financial returns are lower or may be volatile, but where climate impact is guaranteed. Finally, the Bank can work to ensure that the new round of European Central Bank (ECB) asset purchases ensures a massive inflow of money into sustainability sectors and businesses. By issuing green bonds and especially by bundling small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) loans and community projects into these bonds, the EIB could facilitate the use of quantitative easing (QE) money to fund small-scale community initiatives in response to the climate crisis.

 
  
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  Joëlle Mélin (ID). – Monsieur le Président, la prise de conscience généralisée des obligations environnementales qui sont les nôtres, à titre politique, mais aussi citoyen, est maintenant acquise: il n’y a plus à tenter de convaincre à coups de prétextes catastrophiques ou catastrophistes pas toujours étayés par les scientifiques. Il faut privilégier le réalisme et cela en urgence.

Ainsi, la BEI, par son outil de soutien financier, doit favoriser des projets et des actions, qui, non seulement, préservent l’environnement, mais permette la création de richesse, en particulier par l’intermédiaire de nos industries. Ce n’est pas la mort des industries à coups de normes, ou de délais d’application insupportables car beaucoup trop idéologiques, qui réglera le problème.

Donnons donc du temps à toutes nos entreprises européennes pour se décarboner, elles sont capables de le faire; et en même temps, limitons au maximum les échanges mondialisés qui, eux, polluent gravement la planète.

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Mr President, I welcome this debate on the role of the European Investment Bank. I think it’s a very exciting time for the Bank and I want to thank you for your work in Ireland, which has been very constructive and productive and important to us. I think 25% is just the beginning. I think this is part of a wider debate that is needed in terms of the financing of the Green Deal, the green agenda and climate change. We need to be talking much more in public and have greater political discussion on the role of public and private investment, of the scale of the investment that is needed. If you look at the scale of the investment that is needed for the Sustainable Development Goals, for the Green Deal, the trillion investment fund that Ursula von der Leyen is speaking about, this is a very broad challenging issue for us here in the European Parliament and I really am glad to see it centre stage. I do think we have to focus on a just transition as well. We saw what happened in the economic crisis, how our citizens felt left behind. Most citizens cannot afford retrofitting at present. We need to be looking at practical issues, the kind of instruments that we can develop to make sure that we reach out to citizens.

 
  
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  Aurore Lalucq (S&D). – Cher Président, chers collègues, merci beaucoup pour ce débat.

En juillet 2019, à travers sa première proposition, la BEI avait présenté un projet très ambitieux, salué par toutes les ONG. Malheureusement, force est de constater que dans sa seconde proposition, elle à rétropédalé, vraisemblablement sous la pression de la Commission, mais aussi celle des industries du gaz. Désormais, ces industries pourront être utilisées en tant que vecteur d’investissement pour sortir du charbon, ce qui est un non-sens écologique.

Compte tenu de l’urgence sociale, de l’urgence environnementale et de l’état du débat démocratique, il me semble urgent de ne pas céder aux pressions des lobbies et des industries. C’est pourquoi je vous demande, et je demande à mes collègues, de soutenir la première proposition de la BEI et non pas la seconde.

J’appelle également à plus de cohérence au sein des investissements et des financements de la BEI. On ne peut pas, d’un côté, verdir la politique énergétique et, de l’autre côté, ne pas verdir celle des transports et continuer à soutenir la construction, par exemple, d’aéroports. Le «Green New Deal» a besoin de cohérence, la BEI aussi.

 
  
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  Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, chers collègues, comme mon collègue Bas Eickhout l'a indiqué, nous nous réjouissons de la volonté de la Banque européenne d'investissement de devenir peut-être la première institution européenne à cesser les investissements dans les énergies fossiles et de devenir la banque du climat.

Cependant, la décision qui sera prise le 15 octobre ne nous amènera pas à cette banque du climat que nous appelons de nos voeux, car 15 à 20 pour cent du portefeuille de la BEI contiennent encore des projets d'investissements dans les transports polluants. En effet, vous avez renoncé à sortir définitivement des fossiles en 2020 et vous continuez à financer les infrastructures de gaz. 40 pour cent de vos lignes de crédit sont encore sous- traités par des banques qui financent les énergies fossiles.

Quand cesserez-vous de financer les banques qui contribuent à détruire le climat? Et quand cesserons-nous, nous États membres et Conseil, Commission, BEI et parlementaires, de recevoir les lobbyistes des énergies fossiles? Quand interdirons-nous l'accès de Shell, BP, Exxon Mobil, Chevron ou Total à nos institutions, à nos responsables politiques ou à nos sommets du climat? L'heure n'est plus aux demi-mesures, la démocratie, les droits humains et la préservation du climat sont en jeu.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Mr President, we all saw the citizens of Europe at the European elections come out and vote in high numbers, particularly the youth, and demanding us to combat climate change, to improve our energy efficiency and to protect our environment. This is why I see that there is now a wide majority here in the European Parliament committed to doing this. We need to start by establishing the principles and then we need to work out the details. When it comes to the principles, the first thing that I need to say is: everybody needs to contribute to tackling climate change. That’s the first principle. The second principle: there will be regions and countries on which the burden will be bigger. We need to help them more. A study by the European Commission says that when it comes to reaching our 2030 CO2 emissions targets, particularly countries with lower income will be affected more. Thirdly, one-size-fits-all from the side of the EIB, after you review your energy lending policy, will not work. We need a tailored approach. You will need to work with authorities in respective Member States to see exactly where they need investment, and on the way to a green economy, we should make sure that we stay competitive and that we strengthen European industry and economy, not weaken it.

 
  
  

PRESIDÊNCIA: PEDRO SILVA PEREIRA
Vice-Presidente

 
  
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  Paul Tang (S&D). – Mr President, I welcome that Mr Hoyer comes here with ambition. That’s welcome in this European Parliament and I ask you for even more ambition because this European Parliament has pushed for and embraced the initiative of sustainable finance for private financial institutions. There are two key elements. First of all, we always see sustainability as broad. It’s not just about green, it’s about other risks. It’s not just about environmental risks, but also about social and governmental risks. Second, we urge finance institutions to do due diligence – to identify, prevent or mitigate sustainability risks.

So, my question to Mr Hoyer is: will you be really ambitious, set the example for the other financial institutions and become a leader in sustainable finance, defined as I just have?

 
  
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  Maria Spyraki (PPE). – Mr President, I would like to welcome the proposed leading policy of the EIB for energy projects, which includes extra financing for less—developed Member States, a bigger focus on renewable sources, and the phase-out of fossil fuels by 2020. It is an important step forward, especially concerning Member States like my home country Greece, lacking in energy efficiency of buildings, but actually willing to address EU goals on tackling climate change. The four components of the EIB’s energy lending policy – unlocking energy efficiency, decarbonised energy supply, supporting innovation in new energy infrastructure and securing the enabling infrastructure – need a huge amount of investment to become everyday—life reality. For example, energy efficiency investments in building and industry represents approximately three quarters of the total investments required in the period 2021-2030, equal to EUR 281 billion per year. It is also of paramount importance to support the 41 regions dependent on coal – in Greece, we have Western Macedonia – by encouraging the transformation of their economy and also reskilling and upskilling workers. So, an active transformation of the EIB into a climate bank is not only the way to accelerate addressing our climate goals. It is also a strong and clear message to the whole world that here in the EU, we are determined to maintain leadership on tackling climate change by creating jobs and growth.

 
  
 

Intervenções “catch the eye”

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señor presidente. Muchas gracias al presidente del Banco Europeo de Inversiones por estar aquí hoy con nosotros. Doy la bienvenida a su planteamiento, con todo entusiasmo y, solamente le quería plantear cuatro cuestiones concretas rápidamente.

Yo creo que debemos transformar el Banco Europeo de Inversiones, en un Banco Europeo de Inversiones Sostenibles; quiere eso decir, que todas las inversiones del Banco, tengan en cuenta el criterio de neutralidad climática, esto probablemente, en el marco de un proceso gradual.

En segundo lugar, para poder financiar el Pacto Verde que ha propuesto la Comisión, seguramente habrá que ampliar la emisión de los bonos verdes del Banco Europeo de Inversiones. ¿Puede decir algo al respecto? Yo sé que el BEI ya es el primer ente del mundo, pero quizás podemos ir más allá.

En tercer lugar, una cuestión más concreta: la posibilidad de financiar el campo de las bioindustrias, en los proyectos que reciban una calificación positiva de la Empresa Común para las Bioindustrias (BBI) pero que no haya financiación disponible.

Y, por último, si puede decir algo de los posibles usos de los beneficios del Banco Europeo de Inversiones.

 
  
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  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Herr Präsident! Die Debatte hat uns gezeigt, dass wir uns einig sind, dass wir froh sind, dass die neue Kommission sowohl eine Strategie für die grüne Finanzierung als auch einen Investitionsplan für ein zukünftiges Europa vorlegen will und dass wir die Europäische Investitionsbank noch stärker zur Klimabank mit einem neuen Namen machen. Nur kommt es nicht auf den Namen an. Es kommt auf die Rechtsgrundlagen, auf Projekte, auf die Beteiligung des Europäischen Parlaments, auf die Ziele, das Auswahlverfahren und die Governance-Struktur an.

Wir haben ja viel gelernt im Zusammenhang mit dem Juncker-Plan I, EFSI 1, EFSI 2 und nun EU-Invest, wo wir bis 2027 bereits 1 200 Milliarden Euro – private und öffentliche Gelder – mobilisieren, mit mehr als 330 Milliarden für die Erreichung der sustainable goals und der Klimaziele. Das heißt, wir müssen aus dieser Erfahrung die Weiterentwicklung machen. Wir müssen die Beteiligung des Parlaments, die Rechtsgrundlage, die Projekte, die Ziele und die Governance-Struktur übernehmen. Voneinander lernen, miteinander besser werden – das ist unser Ziel.

 
  
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  Robert Rowland (NI). – Mr President, the real scandal in Teresa May’s surrender treaty was Philip Hammond, our clueless ex-chancellor, giving the EIB EUR 7.5 billion of taxpayer’s money and leaving Britain exposed to a toxic time bomb of EUR 37 billion in callable capital should the EIB require more money, not to mention leaving us exposed to a further EUR 450 billion of guarantees to loan notes if the economies of the eurozone collapse. The scale of incompetence is staggering. It’s either ineptitude on an industrial scale or wilful malfeasance. The EIB has made over EUR 5 billion of profit in the last two years and Britain has not received a single penny. Despite 16% of the equity, the British economy only gets 8% of the loans and now we learn the EIB is going to risk half its lending on the EU’s green agenda, the biggest transfer of wealth to the climate industrial complex. It’s crony capitalism and central planning on a scale not since seen since the Soviet five-year plans.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, the European Investment Bank’s revised draft energy lending policy, released at the end of September, had some worrying changes. The original policy document contains much that should be welcomed. However, the revised draft policy contains a devastating new turn as far as Ireland is concerned. The original draft states in Section 3 that the Bank will no longer originate fossil fuel energy projects after the adoption of the policy and stop lending to fossil fuel energy projects by 2020. As natural gas is a fossil fuel, logically natural gas, according to the original draft lending policy, would not be exempted. But the revised lending policy rewrites this subsection, so that it now states that to manage phasing-out of lending to fossil fuel energy projects smoothly, the Bank will continue to approve gas infrastructure projects already firmly under appraisal until the end of 2020. Now it means, for example, that the EIB will pump money into the planned liquid natural gas project on the Shannon Estuary. This will lock Ireland in to the use of fracked gas, into fossil fuel, for years to come. This is not a good way forward. It should not happen. Why was the change made? Please tell me.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, the European Investment Bank proposed in July to end its overlong fossil fuels financing, sending an important signal to financial markets and institutions around the world and initiating a change of direction in global financial flows. Adopting the proposal in its original form would effectively turn the EIB into the real EU climate bank. Not only would the EIB become the first public international financial institution aligned with the Paris Agreement, such an unprecedented move would also stimulate the much—needed energy transition in Central and Eastern Europe, where governments are resistant to this change. But a watered-down and weakened version of this proposal will go to the vote on 15 October and this revised version is unacceptable.

Colleagues, the climate emergency is already here. We cannot and will not tolerate leaders who treat climate protection as a secondary issue and I was proud, therefore, to have joined more than 7 million other people in 150 countries on 20 September as part of the global strike for the climate.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). – Senhor Presidente, o Banco Europeu de Investimentos tem na energia e nos transportes sectores que concentram uma muito significativa porção da sua carteira de investimentos. Tal confere ao BEI um papel relevante no financiamento de projetos suscetíveis de promover a sustentabilidade ambiental e a luta contra as alterações climáticas.

Ora, ao longo dos anos, nem sempre os investimentos do BEI foram consentâneos com as proclamações da União Europeia nestes domínios.

São necessários mais investimentos em domínios como a eficiência energética, as energias renováveis, os sistemas multimodais de transporte público de baixas emissões, entre outros, mas é necessário mais do que isto. É necessário mais investimento público, menos instrumentos de mercado.

Em lugar de concentrar recursos em grandes corporações, o BEI deve utilizá-los como um instrumento para uma efetiva promoção da coesão económica, social, territorial, para promover a convergência real das economias, a cooperação, o emprego, a justiça social.

Não separamos estas dimensões: as políticas serão tanto mais verdes quanto mais vermelhas forem também.

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, evident că investind în verde investim în viitor, dar haideți să nu fim ipocriți – pentru a se concretiza aceste lucruri trebuie criterii clare, nu putem neglija nicio realitate în care 250 000 de cetățeni europeni trăiesc din această industrie și că trebuie alocate fonduri suplimentare tocmai pentru a se găsi soluțiile necesare.

Eu lucrez în Iași într-un spital de urgență în care văd efectele poluării, ale unei infrastructuri deficitare, și cred că trebuie stabilite criterii clare, poate de către Parlamentul European, în așa fel încât aceste obiective ecologice, pe care le dorim cu toții, să aibă șanse de a fi finalizate. Cer astăzi Parlamentului European, suntem foarte mulți oameni care își doresc ca energia verde și transportul ecologic să fie soluția sănătoasă pentru viitor, să venim cu criterii clare și cu investiții suplimentare, mai ales în acele zone ale Europei care au nevoie real de a face aceste transformări în zonele sărace care vor accepta cu mai mare ușurință să se alinieze la aceste cerințe europene. Haideți să dăm o șansă verde Europei și să venim și cu criterii clare. Vă mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, στην ανατολική Μεσόγειο —αλλά και γενικότερα στη Μεσόγειο— οι επιπτώσεις της κλιματικής αλλαγής είναι ήδη εμφανείς. Γι’ αυτό, στηρίζουμε τη δέσμευση με τη συμφωνία του Παρισιού αλλά και την πολιτική της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης για καθαρή ενέργεια για όλους, με ανανεώσιμες πηγές ενέργειας.

Όμως, δεν μπορεί να ισχύσει το μοντέλο «one size fits all». Ειδικά για κράτη απομονωμένα και νησιωτικά, όπως η Κύπρος, το φυσικό αέριο θα έχει άμεσα αποτελέσματα στη μείωση της μόλυνσης του περιβάλλοντος σε σύγκριση με άλλα καύσιμα, όπως το πετρέλαιο. Επίσης, παρέχει ευελιξία για προσαρμογή, ώστε οι στόχοι μας —κύριε Πρόεδρε— να είναι εφικτοί. Αυτή η ευελιξία είναι απόλυτα αναγκαίο να διατηρηθεί και από την Ευρωπαϊκή Τράπεζα Επενδύσεων και τονίζω ότι η διασφάλιση της ενεργειακής ροής είναι κορυφαία προτεραιότητα για την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση στο σύνολό της.

 
  
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  Karen Melchior (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, je voudrais m’adresser à mes collègues qui ont dit, pendant ce débat, que ce Parlement n’a pas d’influence. Vous avez tort. Ce débat lui-même vous montre que vous avez une voix, que cette institution est un forum pour vous exprimer, même si je ne suis pas d’accord avec vos opinions.

Il y a aussi des commissions dans cette maison qui sont en train de faire la taxonomie de ce qu’est un investissement vert, de définir quels sont les investissements durables. C’est donc au sein de cette assemblée, de l’Europe, qu’on va définir quels sont les investissements verts pour l’avenir et j’espère que le Royaume-Uni y prendra part, après le 31 octobre et dans l’avenir.

 
  
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  June Alison Mummery (NI). – Mr President, we hear a great deal about the environmental and ecology credentials of the European Union. This EU ecowarrior myth has become so dominant among the remain-minded that I wouldn’t be surprised if Commission representatives were not among the climate emergency mob blockading London streets. But for such an eco-friendly organisation, please answer me this. Why is the EU’s own common fisheries policy allowing a super trawler, 14 times the size of the average British vessel, to fish in an area of the English Channel that is thought to be a breeding area for seabass, a species the EU has banned British fishers from catching due to their scarcity? This vessel has already destroyed fishes off West Africa, been banned from Australian waters and caused controversy in Chile. This supertrawler is known to have horrific bycatch rates which endanger species such as bluefin tuna, John Dory and common dolphins in that area. Can you also tell me when the EU will learn that this type of fishing factory ship is not the way forward and start taking the environmentally friendly small-scale fishing fleet more seriously?

 
  
 

(Fim das intervenções “catch the eye”)

 
  
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  Werner Hoyer, President EIB. – Mr President, I leave this Parliament encouraged for the big challenges we have ahead in the next days and weeks because I feel strong support. I didn’t expect from the beginning that I would get support from everybody, but the overall feeling here in this Parliament seems to be that we better take climate change issues seriously, and this is exactly what we are going to do.

Sustainable finance is one of the key issues here because, as I said before, we will never achieve the Sustainable Development Goals nor the climate goals without mobilising private money. This requires – what has just been named – a taxonomy that requires more than just green principles, which we have developed over the last 10 years and we were the leader on that effort. But it is necessary to demonstrate also to investors, who trust us with their private money in order to achieve a green project. You cannot simply tell them, ‘I take a piece of white paper, paint it green and then it’s a green bond’. No, you need to have reliability and accountability for what you’re doing with the money that investors give you and the money that you give us. This is why we put a lot of emphasis on the sustainable finance issue and the activities of the European Commission to arrive at taxonomy in this context.

I heard several Members of the European Parliament with great joy and listened to their enthusiasm about the 50% that we are targeting now. A very, very, very ambitious objective – I can tell you – because don’t make the other projects that the EIB is financing smaller than they are. It’s clear that we have said Paris alignment, so the climate must be in everything we do. We must not undermine our climate objectives by financing 50% green and the rest dirty. No, that’s not the idea. But I wonder what the Innovation Commissioner would say if our bank comes to a conclusion that says, ‘okay, the talks with Mr Gates today about malaria research and vaccines and different diseases cannot be continued anymore because it is not demonstratively a green project’. So we also have other issues and I’ll tell you: the European Union has huge climate challenges, but a few other challenges as well. Let me just take very, very few.

Number one, we are losing competitiveness day by day because we do not invest enough in innovation, research and technology. Therefore, we support wholeheartedly the activities of Commissioner Moedas to bring the European Union into first position when it comes to innovation and productivity growth.

Secondly, we have only just begun to think development big. If you look at what challenges are ahead in the next decades, when by the end of this century, Africa will have four billion citizens from now – a little bit over one and a half billion – and they will all need jobs. So we need to support leapfrog development in Africa and we need to think development big in order to produce economic perspectives. And then, of course, the climate issue. The climate issue is well spelled out, but the devil is in the detail as soon as we get to the regions where it’s going to be really, really difficult, and it’s better to get your people in these regions on board on this, and therefore we have to be very attentive there. Not by hiding behind the transition needs. Some people believe ‘let’s hide behind the transition needs and perpetuate the use of fossil fuels’. That is not the solution. But giving perspectives for jobs and growth in these regions via innovation: this is the right thing. By the way, it is also the reason why I believe we should overcome the dichotomy between innovation and cohesion. You can see clearly all around the European Union and beyond the European Union that those regions who are very open—minded on innovation are the best when it comes to cohesion policies. So, from that point of view, I’m quite optimistic.

There are many questions that have been posed that I cannot respond to right here now spontaneously. I promise we will all come back to this with our colleagues here in Brussels, so that from agriculture in Ireland to all kinds of other things, we will not shy away from responding to these questions.

The risk inclination of investors. That’s a real issue. We have many problems also in the context of climate policies where the risk situation is so difficult that the commercial markets will not service that and, therefore, we are so happy about the cooperation with the European Commission and the European Parliament and the Council – because only with the risk coverage by EU guarantees we can serve it. And you know we are going to come to the close of the Juncker Plan very soon. And I’ll tell you, in my view, this is the greatest legacy of President Juncker when he leaves his office – because that has been a smashing success and we need to celebrate that and learn from it for the financing of our ambitious projects for the future.

 
  
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  Presidente. – Senhor Presidente, obrigado pela sua intervenção e pelo trabalho do Banco Europeu de Investimento, que é muito importante para o projeto europeu. Tenho agora o prazer de dar a palavra ao Senhor Comissário Carlos Moedas, aproveitando para o cumprimentar pelo excelente serviço prestado ao projeto europeu no exercício das suas funções como Comissário.

 
  
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  Carlos Moedas, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, dear Members, dear President Werner Hoyer, dear Verner, thank you so much. My words are your words, what you just said. I think that this was a very good debate, and from this debate I really draw three conclusions.

The first is the sense of urgency. We all have this sense of urgency. We have to act now, and that’s something that we all understand and we all share around this Parliament, and I’m very proud of the European project for that matter.

The second is the acknowledgment that the EIB is one of our best allies. The EIB is an ally of the European project, and I remember – I think there’s very few bankers that in their speeches as you do, talk so much about innovation, about science, about the future. Because one thing is sure: if we want to solve the problem, we have to do it with science and innovation, and there’s very few people in your domain, and your experience, that understand that. So Werner, thank you so much.

And finally, I think that to the Members on the right, you know, you cannot solve this issue alone. You cannot solve this issue with your country alone; you have to solve together. We have to be together to solve and to tackle climate change.

So thank you so much to all of you, and I will transmit the message to my successors, and I’m sure they will deliver on your expectations.

 
  
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  Presidente. – O debate está encerrado.

Declarações escritas (artigo 171.º)

 
  
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  Caterina Chinnici (S&D), per iscritto. – Lo sviluppo delle energie rinnovabili rappresenta un'opportunità fondamentale per l'economia europea, per creare una occupazione di qualità e per garantire un futuro sostenibile alle nuove generazioni.

Apprezzo, pertanto, che la Banca europea per gli investimenti (BEI) intenda porre al centro della propria strategia climatica e della propria politica dei prestiti la decarbonizzazione del settore energetico e lo sviluppo di fonti rinnovabili e verdi, in linea con gli obiettivi per lo sviluppo sostenibile delle Nazioni Unite e l'accordo di Parigi.

È positivo, parimenti, che tale strategia, con equilibrio ed equità, preveda misure a supporto della riconversione energetica quali l'energy transition package: in un settore strategico come quello dell'energia, infatti, innovazione e sostenibilità non possono prescindere dal mantenimento della sicurezza energetica e dalla tutela della dimensione sociale ad essa connessa.

Ritengo, infine, importante l'attenzione riservata dalla BEI alle piccole e medie imprese (PMI) e allo sviluppo di progetti di energia verde su piccola scala e diffusi. Occorre, infatti, rimuovere gli ostacoli che le PMI ancora incontrano nella realizzazione della propria efficienza energetica, per via della natura frammentaria degli investimenti e dell'accesso limitato a strumenti di finanziamento in tale settore. La BEI, in tale ambito, potrà indubbiamente fornire un fondamentale contributo.

 

16. Preventing conflicts of interests in the EU (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Presidente. – Segue-se o debate sobre as declarações do Conselho e da Comissão sobre como “Evitar conflitos de interesses na UE” (2019/2853(RSP)).

Gostaria de recordar que vamos continuar a testar, neste debate, o novo sistema que permite aos Senhores Deputados registarem-se por via eletrónica, quer para os procedimentos “catch the eye”, quer para o “cartão azul”. As informações sobre a utilização deste sistema foram enviadas a todos por correio eletrónico e encontram-se também disponíveis nos vossos lugares. Para apresentarem os seus pedidos de intervenção, podem utilizar os botões das funções apropriadas dos vossos dispositivos eletrónicos.

Chamo, todavia, a atenção para que permanece ainda a possibilidade de utilizar paralelamente o sistema tradicional, em que os Senhores Deputados sinalizam através de uma folha de papel ou se inscrevem pessoalmente para o efeito.

Solicito, portanto, que utilizem o vosso cartão eletrónico para proceder à inscrição pretendida.

Aqueles que pretendam, eventualmente, inscrever-se para o procedimento “catch the eye”, façam-no a partir de agora sem aguardar o final do debate para podermos gerir os pedidos de “catch the eye”.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members of the Parliament, thank you for this opportunity to discuss the issue of the prevention of conflicts of interest in the EU. You will understand that we did not have a lot of time to prepare this discussion on an important subject; therefore, I will be short. I ask you to understand that.

The Council fully recognises the importance of preventing conflicts of interest and the highest ethical standards in the EU. On this subject, the ethical framework in the EU institutions was recently subject to a special report by the Court of Auditors, published in July this year. As is the case for all special reports from the Court of Auditors, the Council has been carefully examining it and will adopt conclusions on this special report before the end of the year.

The Presidency takes note of a suggestion for an independent EU ethics body expressed by President—elect von der Leyen in her political guidelines.

Accordingly, the Presidency welcomes the commitment of the Commissioner—designate for Values and Transparency, Ms Jourová, expressed in her answers to the European Parliament to engage in a dialogue with other institutions on this matter. At this stage, no proposal has yet been tabled by the Commission. Consequently, the Council is yet to formulate a view.

The Council will await with interest any proposal in this important area and, in the meantime, listen with attention to your debate, honourable Members of the Parliament. Thank you very much for your attention.

 
  
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  Carlos Moedas, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, Minister, honourable Members of the European Parliament, I’m pleased to have the opportunity to present the position of the current Commission on the prevention of conflict of interests in the EU institutions and an independent ethics body in plenary today.

Let me start by reminding the honourable Members that this Commission that I’m proud to be part of has constantly striven to preserve and promote the highest standards with regard to ethics and integrity for its members.

First, the ethical frameworks for both the Members of the Commission and the staff that are solid and represent a strong set of ethical values, principles and rules. These include, notably, the prevention and handling of conflict of interests. A new financial regulation entered into force in 2018 and sets out strict rules on conflict of interest and financial matters. Amendments to the EU’s Staff Regulation in 2014 strengthened the rules on conflicts of interest for staff of all EU institutions. This Commission completely overhauled the Code of Conduct for its Members in January 2018. The new Code, as you know, sets the standard at the top of the class in Europe and makes it possible to address all possible situations. These rules are more comprehensive than the rules of most of our Member States. That’s the reality, and often stricter than the rules of other EU institutions. They contain, for the first time, a clear definition of conflict of interest and sets out a detailed procedure on how such a situation needs to be addressed. I’d like to stress, in this regard, that the Court of Auditors of the European Union has only recently largely confirmed that the ethical framework of the Commission is adequate.

Second, the Commission is convinced of the importance of having a body that advises the Commission and its President independently on ethical issues of all kinds, and this is why the Commission has already set up an independent ethical body, the Independent Ethical Committee, which is composed of three independent external high-level personalities. A renowned former Vice-President of the European Parliament, Ms Dagmar Roth-Behrendt, a renowned former judge of the European Court of Justice, Mr Allan Rosas, and a widely recognised former Director-General of several Commission departments, Mr Heinz Zurek. This committee has delivered, for example, an opinion on the ethical guidelines for Commissioners who participate in the European elections. This opinion is public. Moreover, the committee is closely involved in the evaluation of the post—term of office activities of the Commissioners. So the Commission decisions on these activities and the related opinions of the Independent Ethical Committee will be public and, therefore, also be open to public scrutiny.

Third, I would like to recall that there have been discussions in the past about a joint ethical body for all the institutions. The Commission already proposed the creation of an advisory group on standards in public life back in the year 2000. This proposal did not fail because of the Commission, but due to concerns of other institutions.

Lastly, you are aware that the President-elect, Ms Ursula von der Leyen, has called in her political guidelines for an independent ethics body common to all EU institutions. Ensuring trust in the European Union and its institutions with regard to ethics, transparency and their independence must remain a cornerstone of our actions.

I’m looking forward to hearing the views of the honourable Members.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová, za skupinu PPE. – Pane předsedající, děkuji za přednesenou zprávu pana komisaře. Chtěla bych říci, že střet zájmů u politiků na místní, národní i evropské úrovni je samozřejmě velmi rizikový, protože snižuje důvěru občanů v demokracii, v politiku. V ČR bohužel máme takový případ i na té nejvyšší úrovni.

Samozřejmě čelit střetu zájmů v situaci, kdy se spojuje veliká politická i ekonomická moc, je velmi obtížné, a proto mohu říci i z naší zkušenosti, že je velmi důležité, že právě na evropské úrovni vznikají pravidla, která nastavují společný standard. Pan komisař se tady o tom zmiňoval.

My všichni si přejeme, aby evropské prostředky, naše společné prostředky byly využívány co nejefektivněji a transparentně. Díky novele finančního nařízení z roku 2018 dopadlo toto opatření právě i na našeho českého premiéra a my věříme, že EU v tomto bude důsledná.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, the Socialist Group supports the suggestion to introduce this topic on the agenda. New evidence and some important leftovers from the previous term show that preventing conflicts of interest will be crucial in this term. We express our support to Commissioners—designate Šefčovič and Jourová, who will play an important role in this topic.

We need a horizontal and holistic approach. Several committees will be involved in the ongoing reflection. We will be called upon to touch on this matter in several political and parliamentary forms: by improving and readapting our Rules of Procedure; by reopening interinstitutional negotiations; by asking for new and ambitious legislative files, like the Staff Regulations; and by enhancing the regulations on EU funds.

A more pragmatic and flexible approach is also necessary, taking into account lessons from the recent past. We need to be firm in stressing again the ambitious EP proposals set in the transparency register negotiations, as well as in finally finding a way to achieve stronger transparency in all the EU institutions, notably in the Council. We, therefore, look with attention at the ethics body announced by President—elect von der Leyen. We will be ready to assess it, bearing in mind that we believe that ordinary legislative proposals or proposals under the ordinary legislative procedure, for instance, on the issue of revolving doors, are the key instruments to really push the transparency of the institutions.

 
  
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  Stéphane Séjourné, au nom du groupe Renew. – Monsieur le Président, Madame la ministre, Monsieur le Commissaire, je voudrais être assez concret pour vous expliquer pourquoi nous vous avons convoqués sans beaucoup de préparation à ce débat et de manière assez unanime sur les bancs de cet hémicycle.

D’abord, parce que cette démarche est issue d’un retour d’expérience sur le travail mené ensemble par tous les groupes, de l’expérience de la commission des affaires juridiques qui a dû analyser les déclarations d’intérêts et les déclarations faites par les commissaires et puis d'une conviction peut-être personnelle, qui est aussi partagée par l’ensemble de mon groupe et sûrement au-delà des groupes politiques.

D'abord, si je lis les compétences de JURI aujourd’hui, je constate ceci. La commission des affaires juridiques est chargée de vérifier si le contenu de la déclaration est exact – nous ne savons pas comment faire –, si elle est complète – nous ne savons pas comment faire –, si on peut supposer des conflits d’intérêts – nous n’avons pas les moyens de le vérifier.

Premier constat: les parlementaires aujourd’hui n’ont pas les moyens d’exercer leur travail, en tout cas pour ce qui est de la commission JURI et du travail qu’on nous demande pour analyser les déclarations d’intérêts des commissaires.

Deuxième constat: peut-être un élément de conviction personnelle, on marche à l’envers. Nous sommes les parlementaires, nous légiférons mais nous n’avons pas légiféré sur la transparence et le degré de transparence qu’on souhaite pour les institutions européennes – je dis bien les institutions européennes parce qu’il s’agit aussi des hauts fonctionnaires, qui sont en contact avec des lobbies, qui prennent des décisions tous les jours avec des groupes d’intérêt. Et évidemment on nous demande de faire le travail d’une administration indépendante, c’est-à-dire en gros d’évaluer – et nous n’en avons absolument pas le pouvoir – si les déclarations sont complètes.

Donc, on marche à l’envers. C’est pourquoi ce débat est intéressant, Monsieur le Président, car il doit nous permettre d’aboutir dans le mandat à remettre les choses à l’endroit et permettre aux parlementaires de légiférer sur la transparence et, éventuellement, à une autorité administrative indépendante de faire le travail administratif.

 
  
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  Daniel Freund, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Korruption ist ein riesiges Problem in der Europäischen Union. In mehreren Mitgliedstaaten hat sie die höchste Ebene der Politik erreicht. Viktor Orbán hat Ungarn im Grunde in einen Mafiastaat umgebaut, in dem Hunderte von Millionen Euro aus der Zentralbank oder aus EU-Geldern verschwinden. Andrej Babiš bereichert sich ebenfalls an EU-Geldern. In Spanien wurden im Fall „Gürtel“ in Dutzenden Fällen Scheinaufträge vergeben und dadurch die Steuerzahler betrogen.

Wenn die Europäische Union den Kampf gegen Korruption glaubwürdig anführen will, dann muss sie selbst natürlich mit gutem Beispiel vorangehen. Deshalb brauchen wir ganz dringend Institutionen, die frei sind von Korruption, frei von Interessenkonflikten, frei von Drehtüren, durch die Politiker direkt in gut bezahlte Lobbyjobs wechseln. 50 % der Kommissare der Barroso-Kommission arbeiten heute für Organisationen, die im EU-Lobbyregister eingetragen sind. In den letzten fünf Jahren haben wir hier im Europäischen Parlament 24 Fälle gehabt, in denen gegen die Ethikregeln verstoßen wurde. Nicht einer davon ist sanktioniert worden. Und Transparency International hat gerade gezeigt: 48 Abgeordnete dieses Hauses verdienen mehr Geld außerhalb als durch ihr Gehalt hier im Europäischen Parlament. Wie sollen wir uns da noch sicher sein, dass sie die Interessen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger vertreten und nicht die von einem Unternehmen? Ich verstehe nicht, wie das sein kann, und man kann das keinem Bürger, keiner Bürgerin draußen erklären.

Das Parlament hat jetzt zu Recht zwei korrupte Kandidaten für die neue Kommission abgelehnt. Das ist erstmal ein großer Erfolg für dieses Haus, aber ich glaube, wir müssen noch weitergehen und jetzt diese unabhängige Ethikbehörde schaffen. Ich habe das Ursula von der Leyen vorgeschlagen. Ich bin sehr froh darüber, dass sie das ins Arbeitsprogramm aufgenommen hat, denn wir müssen es endlich aus der Hand der Kommissare und aus der Hand der Abgeordneten nehmen, ob Ethikverstöße bestraft werden oder nicht. Ich hoffe, Sie können mich dabei unterstützen.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, au sein du Parlement européen, c'est la commission des affaires juridiques qui est chargée de repérer les éventuels conflits d'intérêts des futurs commissaires. Force est hélas de constater qu'elle s'acquitte très mal de cette mission. J'en parle d'expérience car j'en suis membre.

Elle vient de se déshonorer à deux reprises, d'abord en opposant son veto au candidat hongrois, dont le seul tort était d'avoir appartenu au gouvernement de Viktor Orbán, ensuite en refusant de s'opposer à la candidature de Mme Sylvie Goulard, dont les liens de subordination financière à un lobby américain, l'Institut Berggruen, constituent à l'évidence un conflit d'intérêts.

La commission des affaires juridiques n'a même pas voulu interroger madame Goulard à ce sujet. J'ai immédiatement quitté la séance en signe de révolte, je poursuis ma révolte aujourd'hui en demandant la création d'une autorité indépendante qui serait chargée d'examiner à sa place les conflits d'intérêts des futurs commissaires. Externalisons le contrôle de l'éthique puisque nous avons échoué à l'assurer.

(L’orateur accepte de répondre à une question «carton bleu» (article 171, paragraphe 8, du règlement))

 
  
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  Irène Tolleret (Renew), question "carton bleu". – Je voulais réagir à l'intervention de monsieur Lebreton. Nous sommes dans un État de droit, donc ce n'est pas la rumeur qui doit décider de comment on choisit ou pas les commissaires, c'est la commission JURI, avec les moyens qu'on lui donne. Qu'est-ce que vous proposez, qui reste dans l'État de droit et pas la rumeur?

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton (ID), Réponse "carton bleu". – Chère collègue, vous ne m'avez pas écouté, manifestement. Je propose la création d'une autorité indépendante. Vous devriez être ravie, ce sera de nature à faire triompher enfin l'état de droit et nous en avons bien besoin dans cet hémicycle.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Monsieur le Président, ce débat arrive dans un contexte assez particulier, puisque demain aura lieu la seconde audition de la commissaire candidate Sylvie Goulard. Ne nous voilons pas la face: les doutes qui subsistent concernent bien son intégrité. Cela est la preuve que notre procédure initiale d’examen des conflits d’intérêts ne suffit pas à lever les zones d’ombre.

C’est la députée nouvellement élue que je suis qui vous parle et qui est surprise de voir que l’examen de l’indépendance des candidats à la Commission fait l’impasse sur les comptes bancaires ou sur les procédures judiciaires en cours à l’encontre des candidats.

Je suis surprise, aussi, de voir que nous n’avons aucun moyen de vérifier ces informations que nous devons prendre pour argent comptant, même quand ces déclarations sont complètement vides.

Je suis surprise, enfin, de voir que les mêmes normes ne s’appliquent pas à tous. Pourquoi n’avons-nous pas demandé à Josep Borrell de vendre son demi-million d’actions dans des grandes entreprises multinationales, comme Bayer, alors que nous en avons fait la demande à d’autres?

Tirons-en les leçons avant que la confiance des citoyens dans les institutions européennes soit définitivement ébranlée.

Nous vous faisons des propositions concrètes qui sont ici, dans ce document, et que je serais ravie de vous remettre, Madame, pour que cela fasse suite.

Deux propositions concrètes. Travaillons d’abord ensemble à la création d’une autorité indépendante à l’image de la Haute autorité pour la transparence de la vie publique en France. Dotons-la de temps et de moyens suffisants pour effectuer un véritable contrôle des conflits d’intérêts, avant, pendant et après le mandat des commissaires.

Permettons également à cette commission d’évaluer des cas comme celui de Sylvie Goulard, qui a été rémunérée plus de 10 000 euros par mois par un think tank américain en plus de ses indemnités de députée. Et comment accepter que plus d’un tiers des députés ici soient rémunérés plus de 1 000 euros par mois en plus de leurs indemnités et qu’ils rendent ainsi des comptes aux intérêts privés plutôt qu’aux seuls électeurs? Leur confiance a été suffisamment trahie. À nous de la rétablir en montrant, une bonne fois pour toutes, que nous préférons l’éthique au fric.

(L’oratrice accepte de répondre à une question «carton bleu» (article 171, paragraphe 8, du règlement))

 
  
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  Jordi Cañas (Renew), pregunta de «tarjeta azul». – Señor presidente, me gustaría que, antes de formular insinuaciones tendenciosas sobre el señor Borrell en esta Cámara, le preguntase, por ejemplo, a su representante en la audiencia por qué no se lo preguntó. Porque yo estuve en la audiencia y yo no le escuché preguntarle sobre eso. Por lo tanto, si usted estaba tan preocupada por esos importes —que usted no sé de dónde los ha sacado—, debería haber insistido al representante de su formación en la audiencia para que lo preguntase. ¿Sabe lo que pasó? Que no lo hizo.

 
  
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  Manon Aubry (GUE/NGL), réponse «carton bleu». – C’est précisément tout le problème. Ce n’est pas le rôle de nos auditions sur le fond, qui sont censées porter sur le fond, et je pense que nous serons tous d’accord pour dire que c’est le rôle en amont de l’examen des conflits d’intérêt, qui doit être fait de manière indépendante. Sachez que je siège à la commission des affaires juridiques, que j’ai demandé à ce qu’on lui demande de vendre ses actions dans Bayer mais aussi dans BBVA, la banque par exemple, ou alors aussi dans la grande entreprise gazière. La commission des affaires juridiques ne l’a pas fait, je le regrette. Cela prouve bien tout l’enjeu et tout le problème et la nécessité de revoir nos procédures.

 
  
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  Tiemo Wölken (S&D). – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Was ist der höchste Wert, den wir als Politikerinnen und Politiker haben? Es ist Integrität. Es ist das Vertrauen der Bürgerinnen und Bürger in die Institutionen der Europäischen Union. Das Vertrauen darin, dass wir hier nach bestem Wissen und Gewissen entscheiden und keine Interessenkonflikte haben. Deswegen ist es so unfassbar wichtig, dass wir innerhalb der Europäischen Union für alle Institutionen – für das Europäische Parlament, für die Kommission, aber insbesondere auch für den Rat – die gleichen Regeln haben. Es kann nicht sein, dass Institutionen unterschiedlich transparent sind, dass wir unterschiedliche codes of conduct haben.

Wir haben im Rechtsausschuss – ich war auch mit dabei – das große Problem gehabt, dass wir eine neue Geschäftsordnung hatten, die vorher noch niemand angewendet hat, und es keine klaren Spielregeln gab für das Verfahren, das wir im Rechtsausschuss durchgeführt haben. Das können wir doch den Bürgerinnen und Bürgern dann nicht als ein sauberes Verfahren verkaufen. Deswegen müssen wir uns die Zeit nehmen, das Verfahren zu verbessern und zu diskutieren, wie wir das Vertrauen wiederherstellen können, das jetzt hier an manchen Stellen vielleicht verspielt wurde. Da ist der unabhängige ethics body sicherlich eine gute Idee, aber nicht die einzige. Wir könnten die Erklärungen der Kommissare früher öffentlich machen, es könnte OLAF eine stärkere Rolle bekommen. All das müssen wir in Ruhe diskutieren, und wir sind es den Europäerinnen und Europäern schuldig, dass wir eine Kommission haben, die sauber ist, und dafür müssen wir in den nächsten Jahren arbeiten.

 
  
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  Karen Melchior (Renew). – Hr. formand! En særlig tak til Kommissionen og Rådet for deres deltagelse her i dag. De europæiske institutioner har oftest højere etiske standarder for åbenhed og for at modvirke interessekonflikter end de fleste af vores medlemslande. Det bør fortsætte. Så når kommissærkandidater afvises, selvom landenes normer og lovgivning har været fulgt, så er det korrekt. Hvis vi ser på deltagerne i denne debat her til aften, så er syv af medlemmerne fra Retsudvalget og to af medlemmerne er fra Udvalget om Konstitutionelle Anliggender. Det vil sige, at det er ni ud af ti af de medlemmer, som har været her i dag.

Det har været en frustrerende proces, som mange har nævnt. Der har været mangel på tid, der har været mangel på ressourcer, og der har været mangel på at få fremskaffet viden om, hvad det er, der foregår. Der har også været mangel på åbenhed, hvilket har været kritiseret af flere parlamentarikere, som ikke sidder i udvalget. Men den frustration omkring processen bør aldrig foranledige, at man som parlamentariker bryder den tavshedspligt, man har, og udleverer fortrolige dokumenter og oplysninger til medier og til andre parlamentarikere, som vi har set det ske i løbet af processen. Høringer i JURI (Retsudvalget) ser på interesseerklæringerne, og høringer i fagudvalgene er bredere.

Jeg vil opfordre til, at vi går tilbage til vores udvalg her i Parlamentet og opsøger viden om, hvordan man har etableret myndigheder i de enkelte medlemslande, for at revidere vores egne procedurer her i Europa-Parlamentet, og at vi ser på, hvordan man har det med ombudsmænd og med revisionsretter i andre lande. Derudover skal vi følge det arbejde, som Kommissionen allerede har startet, og som den kommende Kommission vil fortsætte, med at få oprettet en uafhængig etisk organ. Tusind tak for debatten i dag og tak til Rådet og Kommissionen. Jeg håber ikke, vi har spildt jeres tid alt for meget.

 
  
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  Marie Toussaint (Verts/ALE). – Monsieur le Président, opacité, corruption, impunité: voilà le triangle des Bermudes dans lequel l’Union européenne se trouve enfermée. Comment demander, dès lors, aux citoyens de nous faire confiance?

Grâce aux écologistes, nous avons conditionné la nomination de commissaires à l’examen de leurs conflits d’intérêts. Grâce aux écologistes, il est interdit aux parlementaires d’exercer une activité de lobbying visant directement les activités de l’Union européenne. Mais ces deux avancées notables ne sont que des rustines sur une blessure bien plus profonde.

Pour traiter le mal, encore faut-il le prendre à la racine. Nous avons besoin de pouvoirs renforcés pour la commission des affaires juridiques afin qu’elle puisse investiguer au-delà des déclarations d’intérêts volontaires. Nous avons besoin d’un nouveau code de conduite qui puisse établir une parfaite transparence sur les activités et les revenus des commissaires et des responsables politiques et de nouvelles règles concernant les personnalités concernées par des mises en examen.

Comme les écologistes le réclament depuis longtemps, nous avons besoin d’une haute autorité de la transparence et de l’éthique afin d’en finir avec les amours interdites qui tuent l’Europe à petit feu.

 
  
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  Lara Wolters (S&D). – Voorzitter, de nieuwe voorzitter van de Europese Commissie wil de hoogste standaard van transparantie hanteren en dat is goed nieuws, want de staat van dienst van de Europese Commissie is gemengd. De gedragscode is nu dan wel herzien, maar veel kiezers herinneren zich natuurlijk nog de draaideur van meneer Barroso, die voor Goldman Sachs ging werken, of de absurde flitspromotie van meneer Selmayr. Het is goed dat de lat nu hoger wordt gelegd, maar we zijn er nog niet en daarom wil ik me nu ook richten tot het Finse voorzitterschap. Ik hoor de mooie woorden van uw kant, maar wil u oproepen tot een heel concrete daad. Het Raadsvoorzitterschap wordt doorgaans namelijk gesponsord door private partijen. Zo heeft Finland bijvoorbeeld honderd auto's geaccepteerd van een grote autofabrikant – en dat net in een jaar dat de Europese uitstootnormen voor personenauto's worden herzien. Dat lijkt mij nou een zuiver voorbeeld van belangenverstrengeling. Mijn concrete vraag luidt daarom: is ook het voorzitterschap bereid om de standaard te verhogen en met richtlijnen te komen met betrekking tot deze sponsorschappen?

 
  
 

Intervenções “catch the eye”

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimați colegi, o dezbatere foarte importantă, poate că trebuia să o avem mai demult. Vorbim aici de prevenția în conflictul de interese, integritate, etică și constatăm că există extrem de mare diferență între instituțiile europene. Consiliul spune că nu este încă pregătit să aibă vreo discuție pe tema aceasta. Comisia are alte reguli, Parlamentul European alte reguli. Fiecare stat are alte reguli.

S-a vorbit aici de standarde comune și eu aș mai adăuga: da, sunt de acord să avem acel organism, dar spunea un coleg aici – trebuie să facem într-o ordine cronologică coerentă aceste analize. Cum, de exemplu, să anunțe Președinta Comisiei echipa și după aceea să constatăm că nu-i bună echipa. Adică aceste verificări de integritate pentru propuneri de comisar, un lucru concret pe care îl avem acum, trebuiau făcute înainte. Și da, doresc să fie o singură unitate de măsură, pentru că este foarte important nu numai să avem un Cod și să avem măsuri, ci și cum le punem în practică este foarte important. De aceea cer și Comisiei și noi, Parlamentul, să ne gândim, și Consiliului, să avem o unitate de măsură unică pentru analiza integrității celor care lucrează, nu numai a membrilor Parlamentului European, nu numai a comisarilor ci și a funcționarilor. Mulțumesc.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). – Senhor Presidente, sejamos claros e diretos. A promiscuidade entre o poder político e o poder económico é, assim, uma espécie de marca de água da União Europeia.

Os conflitos de interesses que aqui discutimos estão presentes no dia a dia das instituições. O anterior Presidente da Comissão Europeia, quando depois da crise financeira provocada pelos bancos entendeu promover um novo quadro regulatório do sector financeiro, foi chamar representantes dos megabancos para avançarem com as linhas com que se ia coser essa regulação.

Sabemos como acabou a história: sabemos onde está hoje o ex-Presidente da Comissão, vários membros do seu Colégio seguiram caminho idêntico. Agências especializadas capturadas, procedimentos de aprovação da colocação de novos produtos no mercado que assentam em análises de risco feitas pela indústria que desenvolve os produtos, portas giratórias entre o sector privado e as instituições... Enfim, a lista é longa e não há códigos de ética e de conduta que, por si só, sejam capazes de resolver esta situação.

É necessária uma mudança fundamental, estrutural, sistémica, das políticas, uma mudança que as oriente para a defesa do interesse público e não dos interesses dos grupos económicos e financeiros.

 
  
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  Radan Kanev (PPE). – Mr President, we are obviously all committed to the prevention of conflicts of interest. But how do we achieve this goal? Do we really need new paperwork? Do we really need endless new regulations? Do we need to impede, to hamper, I would even say, often, to suffocate small businesses with new bureaucratic requirements? Let alone, do we really need new bureaucratic bodies? Does such an approach deliver good results? Unfortunately, my answer is no, it does not. What we really need is the strong and comprehensive enforcement of the existing clause on conflict of interest and corruption. What we really need is severe and effective sanctions in cases of breaches of the existing clause. What we really need is a working European Prosecutor’s Office and a comprehensive European judicial system.

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, discuțiile din seara aceasta m-au îngrozit. Am văzut că există criterii subiective, criterii politice în aprecierea integrității celor care trebuie să fie în anumite funcții publice, iar eu ca cetățean european îmi doresc să existe aceleași criterii pentru toți, indiferent de funcția publică sau indiferent de instituția europeană în care se află acel individ. Dacă trei dintre membrii Comisiei juridice au ridicat semne de întrebare, eu vreau să vă spun în această seară că avem nevoie de norme foarte clare și de un organism independent care să aprecieze aceste lucruri, pentru că dacă există conflicte politice într-un stat, ele s-ar putea transpune în evaluarea dintr-o oarecare comisie și va exista întotdeauna un semn de întrebare dacă aprecierile au fost corecte sau umbrite de un interes politic.

Eu vreau integritate pentru fiecare politician european, și de aceea vă cer astăzi să găsim acea soluție ca un organism independent să evalueze de fiecare dată, pentru toate instituțiile europene, pentru toate categoriile de funcționari, integritatea celor care sunt acolo. Altfel, degeaba spunem, e o ipocrizie. Trei dintre membrii Comisiei juridice au ridicat mari semne de întrebare în această seară și evident și eu îmi pun aceleași întrebări. Vă mulțumesc.

 
  
 

(Fim das intervenções “catch the eye”)

 
  
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  Carlos Moedas, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, let me tell you something. I’m really very proud that I am part of this Commission and I’m very proud of what President Juncker did. We really strengthened the rules on conflicts of interest, the code of conduct of the Commissioners. So, when you compare what we did in this Commission to other institutions, to other Member States, we did an amazing job of strengthening the rules of transparency, of trust with the citizens, and we really are very, very keen on telling this not just to this House but to the European people. I think that that, for me, is essential as a message of tonight on this debate.

Secondly, trust and transparency, as you’ve said, so many of you, are crucial in the times that we live in, the times of the digital technology, exactly because without that there is no democracy. And we all agree on that. But there’s one thing that I think was very clear from the President-elect: we need to have an independent body for all EU institutions. I think that the political guidelines for the next Commission are very clear on that.

Thank you very much for the debate and for the ideas. I think that it is crucial to really discuss this point and so I’m very happy to be here today as a Commissioner and to be present at this debate which is crucial for the future of Europe.

 
  
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  Tytti Tuppurainen, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, honourable Members, ladies and gentlemen, to conclude, I wish to thank you for this very useful debate. The issue of preventing conflicts of interest is an important one. Regarding the creation of a possible body to examine ethical issues at this stage, no proposal has yet been delivered by the Commission and, consequently, as I said, the Council is yet to formulate a view. We are open to dialogue with the Commission and the European Parliament and are waiting with interest for possible further developments in this area.

As regards the question concerning corporate sponsorship, I would like to answer that we do not expect to have any discussions about corporate sponsorship of the EU presidencies with other Member States because this is a matter that falls within the remit of each Member State.

But during our Presidency, we are enhancing transparency in many ways. For instance, we keep an open list of our EU-related ministerial meetings. You can find the list openly on our Presidency website. Now, transparency is a joint effort. Let’s work together towards that goal.

Thank you very much once again for your very important remarks and for this useful discussion.

 
  
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  Presidente. – O debate está encerrado.

 

17. US tariffs on European goods following WTO's decision on the Airbus dispute (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Presidente. – Segue-se o debate sobre a declaração da Comissão sobre “Direitos aduaneiros dos EUA sobre bens europeus na sequência da decisão da OMC no litígio relativo à Airbus” (2019/2846(RSP)).

Antes de abrir o debate, recordo que vamos, mais uma vez, utilizar o sistema eletrónico de inscrição para os procedimentos “catch the eye” e “cartão azul”. Os Senhores Deputados sabem que ainda podem utilizar a via tradicional, embora sejam convidados a utilizar o novo sistema eletrónico.

 
  
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  Carlos Moedas, Member of the Commission. – Minister, honourable Members of the European Parliament, notwithstanding our efforts to find a negotiated solution in the aircraft files, the US has announced that it intends to avail itself of the full the rights awarded to it by the WTO.

The US decision follows the WTO arbitrators finding on the level of possible US countermeasures, establishing that level to be up to USD 7.5 billion, which is EUR 6.9 billion. The US tariffs will apply as of 18 October, after the WTO dispute settlement body has formally authorised the US to impose the countermeasures. The meeting of the DSB is scheduled for 14 October.

Let’s be clear: we regret deeply the US decision to go ahead with the imposition of tariffs. While authorised by the WTO, it will only inflict damage on businesses and citizens on both sides of the Atlantic.

The US product list mainly targets new civil aircraft produced by Airbus. The product list also includes a range of agricultural and industrial goods exported by different EU Member States. The additional duties are at rates of 10% on civil aircraft and 25% on a range of agricultural and industrial products.

The US will impose 25% duties on a number of agricultural and manufactured goods. Some EUR 4.3 billion in exports to the US will be affected.

So we’re talking about 60% of the total value of the list, including iconic EU products like French wine, Scotch whisky, Italian parmigiano, Irish butter, Spanish olive oil, German household machinery, Greek peaches and Dutch cheeses.

The main burden of these additional duties will fall on products exported by the four Airbus Member States – France, Germany, UK and Spain. So that will be 87% of the total value of the list. Other Member States, like Italy and Ireland, will also be affected, although to a lesser degree.

We’ve noted that the iconic products such as Italian wine or olive oil and pasta, as well as Irish whiskey, have been spared from tariffs. The published rates of 10% to 25% will allow trade to continue, even if in reduced quantities. But many companies and workers will be affected negatively.

While we regret the US decision to go ahead with the imposition of tariffs, we have to remember that the US have followed all the steps prescribed by the WTO in a dispute that has been ongoing for 15 years. So we should avoid overreaction and respect our international obligations.

An arbitrator will in some months decide, in the parallel Boeing case, what level of countermeasures the EU will be entitled to apply on US imports. The Commission made a serious offer to settle the aircraft disputes in July, and so we remain open to reach a negotiated outcome, in which we would notably agree on new rules on subsidies that could apply also to other plane-makers around the world.

We must bear in mind that new highly-subsidised competitors from China and Russia are preparing to enter these market and may seriously disrupt it if we don’t take urgent action. It remains to be seen whether, with the tariffs in place, the US will now start to give more positive signals about a negotiated solution to the dispute. In the press release accompanying the list, it explicitly said that it is ready to do so. We are ready to negotiate even with tariffs in place, provided that the US is ready to agree on a balanced solution, which will also need to end the subsidies provided to Boeing.

There have been calls for a compensation mechanism for farmers, and I would only comment that we must try to settle this dispute in the next months and put an end to a self-defeating cycle of tariffs and countermeasures and counter-tariffs. This is the greatest service we could provide to those negatively affected by the US measures.

Our common interest is probably best served by exploring a fair and balanced outcome with the US as rapidly as practicable.

 
  
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  Christophe Hansen, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, last week’s WTO Airbus ruling is not a ‘nice victory’, as US President Trump tweeted, but proof that multilateral dispute settlement delivers. The US administration should, therefore, also not forget this when it comes to appointing new members to the WTO Appellate Body.

We respect the WTO ruling, but we regret the US decision to choose tariffs over talks, especially in the light of the Boeing ruling expected for early 2020. It, equally, makes no sense for our farmers, companies and workers to foot the bill for a dispute over aircraft subsidies. Our hands remain extended to find a negotiated settlement in the case where both the EU and the US were found guilty of illegal aircraft subsidies. Should the US, however, decide to trigger more tariffs then we will have no choice but to respond in kind. My group, and I believe, this House will support the Commission in a firm response if needed.

 
  
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  Bernd Lange, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Diesmal sind die Zölle von Herrn Trump legal. Das ist das Besondere an dem Verfahren. Ansonsten scheut er sich ja auch nicht, illegale Zölle auf Stahl, auf Aluminium, auf spanische Oliven zu verhängen. Diesmal ist es legal. Und wir akzeptieren das natürlich auch, weil wir als Europäische Union, wir als Europäisches Parlament uns zu den Regeln der WTO bekennen. Aber es ist schon ein Treppenwitz der Geschichte, dass dieser Präsident, der nun auf diese legalen Zölle baut, im gleichen Atemzug verhindert, dass die Gerichtsbarkeit der WTO weiter bestehen kann.

Im Dezember werden wir nur noch einen Richter am Berufungsgericht der WTO haben, und dann wird es eben keine Urteile mehr geben, die Konflikte lösen, und er kann die illegalen Zölle weiter bestehen lassen. Das ist ein Skandal und deswegen: Ja, wir müssen verhandeln, wir müssen eine Lösung finden, denn eine Eskalationsstufe – die verhängen Zölle, wir verhängen Zölle – hilft keinem. Deswegen: Ja, verhandeln, auch wenn es mit Herrn Trump sicherlich schwerfällt.

 
  
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  Liesje Schreinemacher, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, this debate is called ‘US tariffs on European goods following WTO’s decision on the Airbus dispute’. But today, what we’re really talking about is our Dutch cheese manufacturers, our Scottish distillers and our French winemakers. These, and other European businesses, will be hit if the US tariffs are put into force on 18 October. They are the ones that suffer the consequences when their products become more expensive on the US market, as will American businesses, should Europe decide to retaliate after the WTO ruling in the Boeing case next spring. Our US-EU trade relations go back many years and form one of the most important pillars to our transatlantic partnership, a partnership that is built on our shared values such as democracy, the rule of law and fundamental rights. Our free trade has brought us prosperity. It has created jobs and made businesses throughout Europe flourish. I believe that in times where free trade is increasingly challenged worldwide, our transatlantic partnership should be strengthened rather than undermined. We cannot allow ourselves to be dragged into a vicious circle of tariff after tariff. It is not too late to avoid the harmful consequences of the USD 7.5 billion worth of tariffs.

I therefore urge not only the Commissioner but also the US administration and my colleagues in the US Congress to work with us towards an agreement. It is only by working together that we can resolve this situation and citizens and businesses on both sides of the Atlantic can continue to enjoy the benefits of free trade.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, to say that we regret the decision of the US administration without saying first that we regret the mistakes that we made years ago is hypocritical. I believe we should not get all worked up. As the Boeing case has not been adjudicated fully, it will not be possible at this moment to square it off against the Airbus case.

But let’s not get distracted from the real issue. The real issue is that we have a basic conflict between this House and the European Union on one hand and the US administration on the other and, hopefully, some of our American colleagues would be on our side of this conflict over multilateralism in the global trade order. And I believe we can use this particular experience to argue very simply: ‘the WTO works, let’s not destroy it’.

 
  
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  Danilo Oscar Lancini, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, con la condanna del consorzio Airbus da parte dell'OMC gli Stati Uniti potranno imporre 7,6 miliardi di dollari in nuovi dazi alle merci europee. Nonostante l'Italia non faccia parte di Airbus, a farne le spese saranno i suoi vari settori, in particolare il lattiero-caseario, che con l'aeronautica non hanno nulla a che vedere.

Oggi gli Stati Uniti hanno il coltello dalla parte del manico e per fermare i loro dazi non basteranno certamente i richiami allo spirito di collaborazione euroatlantico. Il fantomatico interesse europeo è una pia illusione. Merkel e Marcon sono attenti solo al proprio interesse nazionale, esattamente quanto Trump. In questa Unione europea i guai dell'Italia, come l'invasione migratoria, li deve pagare l'Italia, mentre i problemi dell'asse franco-tedesco, delle banche e di Airbus, in definitiva vengono pagati da tutti i paesi europei. Perché la Commissione, tanto severa in altre situazioni, questa volta non ha vigilato sugli aiuti irregolari? Come intende attivarsi per porre rimedio ai danni che saranno arrecati a un settore, quello agroalimentare, già più volte colpevolmente sacrificato nei trattati di libero scambio con paesi extra UE?

 
  
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  Mazaly Aguilar, en nombre del Grupo ECR. – Señor presidente, la comisaria de Comercio Malmström dijo hace unos días a la prensa que la Unión Europea tenía muy poco que hacer y muy poco margen de maniobra. ¿Cómo puede decir eso? No es verdad. Ha habido otros casos, como, por ejemplo, cuando el presidente Juncker salió corriendo hacia la Casa Blanca para pedirle al presidente Trump que no perjudicara a los coches alemanes. Cuando el veto ruso, la Unión Europea fue tan diligente que, a la semana, ya había un reglamento con compensaciones. ¿Qué pasa? ¿Acaso hay ciudadanos de primera y ciudadanos de segunda?

Desde el mes de abril, la Unión Europea sabe que estos aranceles de los Estados Unidos, iban a entrar en vigor, y poco o nada se ha hecho al respecto para tranquilizar al sector agrícola. Señores, no podemos entrar en guerra con los Estados Unidos de Norteamérica, porque nuestra agricultura no lo podría soportar, dada la situación precaria en la que se encuentra. Si no conseguimos llegar a un acuerdo satisfactorio para ambas partes, lo que hay que hacer es exigir a esta Unión Europea responsabilidad, que aporte soluciones al sector agrícola español ⸺al que yo represento⸺ y que sea tan diligente como lo ha sido en otras ocasiones.

 
  
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  Helmut Scholz, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Die Zölle in Höhe von 7,5 Milliarden Dollar sind für Trump vor allem ein Instrument seiner Wahlkampfstrategie. Besonders perfide finde ich übrigens 25 % Zoll auf alle Bücher aus Deutschland und Großbritannien, auch wenn es WTO-konform ist. Das Beispiel macht deutlich, dass wir als EU eben nicht, bei Boeing dann, mit gleicher Münze heimzahlen sollten. Ich bin gegen einen Handelskrieg.

Wir müssen uns vielmehr in der WTO und mit unseren Partnern darüber verständigen, wann staatliche Beihilfen sinnvolle Industriepolitik sind und deshalb zulässig sein sollten. Denn seien wir ehrlich: Ohne Subventionen hätten weder Boeing noch Airbus Erfolg gehabt. Wenn wir Klimaschutz und das Erreichen unserer UNO-Nachhaltigkeitsziele bis 2030 ernsthaft zum übergeordneten Politikziel machen wollen, dann werden dafür in allen Ländern staatliche Beihilfen nötig sein. Bei der Reform der WTO müssen wir in diesem Sinne umdenken.

 
  
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  Brian Monteith (NI). – Mr President, free trade brings prosperity; it lifts all our boats. Protectionism through subsidies and tariffs is the enemy of free trade and prosperity. Subsidies and tariffs are doomed to fail: they make us all poorer. Singapore, without any natural resource except for its people, did not bargain away its tariffs; it unilaterally abolished them. Now its prosperity is the envy of the world.

US tariffs are a response to EU subsidies in European steel and aviation. The EU introduced 25% tariffs on American whiskey and bourbon. Now the US is levying 25% tariffs on Scotch malt whisky. The way to respond is not to retaliate with new or higher tariffs, but to end the state subsidies and unilaterally reduce tariffs. Instead, the UK has been dragged into a tariff war not of our making.

These are the UK’s tariff proposals for when we leave the EU. They are substantially lower than the EU’s. Thanks to Brexit, tariffs on US whiskey and bourbon will be reduced – they will be abolished. I expect Donald Trump to do the same for the Scotch malt whisky. Thank goodness we have a lifeboat.

 
  
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  Dolors Montserrat (PPE). – Señor presidente, señor comisario, la amenaza de los injustos y perjudiciales aranceles de Trump pone en peligro a multitud de sectores, productos, trabajadores, ganaderos, agricultores y miles de familias en España y en Europa.

España es uno de los países más afectados. La Unión Europea debe dar una respuesta firme, para defender la libertad económica y la unidad de mercado frente a los aranceles, las barreras y las imposiciones. No podemos dejar la respuesta solo en manos de cada país. Hace falta una respuesta unitaria europea.

España, lamentablemente, se encuentra con un Gobierno socialista que, en vez de estar en funciones, está de vacaciones. Y con las guerras comerciales perdemos todos. Y Trump pretende castigar a unos países más que a otros, para romper justamente nuestra unidad de mercado y castigar a aquellos sectores en los que somos líderes mundiales. No caigamos en su trampa de no ir unidos.

Señor comisario, le pedimos: unidad, solución, ayudas a los sectores y países afectados y más relación transatlántica.

 
  
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  Kathleen Van Brempt (S&D). – Voorzitter, commissaris. Gisteren, bij de opening van het publieke forum van de Wereldhandelsorganisatie, zei de welbekende en befaamde Amerikaanse econoom Jeffrey Sachs dat het absoluut de bedoeling is van de regering-Trump om het wereldhandelssysteem van de Wereldhandelsorganisatie, dat gebaseerd is op gezamenlijke waarden en regels, compleet onderuit te halen. En hij doet dat ook. We zijn op de hoogte van alle problemen omtrent de Appellate Body van de Wereldhandelsorganisatie en het is dus bijzonder bizar en bijzonder cynisch dat net diezelfde regering de uitspraak van de Wereldhandelsorganisatie gebruikt om extra tarieven op te leggen.

De tweede bizarre vaststelling is uiteraard de aard van de tarieven: het is goed te merken dat het absoluut de bedoeling is om Europa te verdelen op de verschillende tarieven in de verschillende lidstaten. Mijn boodschap aan u, commissaris, en ook aan de nieuwe Commissie is dus heel duidelijk: laten we niet verdeeld raken. Laten we één gezamenlijk standpunt innemen en niet naïef zijn. Onderhandelen is goed, maar als het tot niets leidt, zal Europa ook straf uit de hoek moeten komen.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: KATARINA BARLEY
Vizepräsidentin

 
  
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  Jordi Cañas (Renew). – Señora presidenta, señor comisario, en los últimos días he recibido multitud de muestras de preocupación de agricultores, productores y trabajadores españoles acerca de la decisión del Gobierno de Trump de aumentar un 25 % aranceles a productos tan significativos como el vino, el aceite y el queso. Y me preguntaban qué culpa tenían ellos, porque ellos ni habían recibido subvenciones a empresas aeronáuticas, ni las habían dado, ni habían litigado durante quince años de una forma interminable, ni habían distorsionado ningún mercado. Sin embargo, sus productos tenían que asumir ahora, directamente, el coste de unos aranceles y el coste de una penalización.

Y, entonces, le escucho a usted y dice: «Lo lamentamos». Está muy bien lamentar, es fenomenal, pero ¿qué más, aparte de lamentar, van a hacer? Dice: «No hay que exagerar la reacción». También fenomenal. Pero, ¿y qué más van a hacer? Porque los agricultores, los productores y los trabajadores con esto no tienen suficiente.

¿Piensa la Comisión evaluar y decidir implementar un plan de contingencia que dé una respuesta adecuada a las necesidades de los ciudadanos, de los trabajadores y de los agricultores? Porque esa es su obligación, además de negociar convenientemente, dar una solución real e inmediata a esos ciudadanos, a esos sectores, a esos productores que van a tener un impacto directo, siendo rehenes de una situación que ellos no han provocado.

Por lo tanto, el empleo, el futuro de la agricultura y, sobre todo, la credibilidad de la Unión, dependen de ustedes y de su buen hacer.

 
  
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  Tiziana Beghin (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, negoziare una guerra commerciale è la nostra priorità. Ma l'obiettivo maggiore, a questo punto, deve essere aiutare le nostre imprese prima che i dazi americani si abbattano su di loro, perché tra i tanti prodotti nel mirino – salumi, frutti, formaggio – ci sono proprio le eccellenze alimentari dei nostri territori. Per questo vorrei chiedere alla Commissione come intende supportare finanziariamente le aziende colpite e se può prendere l'impegno di destinare loro fondi specifici nell'ambito della politica agricola comune.

La Commissione ha già trovato un miliardo di euro per l'accordo con il Mercosur. È urgente fare altrettanto per i dazi americani e rimodulare l'uso del Fondo di assistenza alla globalizzazione per aiutare le imprese. Questa crisi deve essere una grande opportunità per dimostrare che soltanto un approccio coordinato ed europeo ci permetterà di fare fronte a questa minaccia. Questo è il momento di dimostrare a tutti, e soprattutto agli Stati Uniti, quanto è forte l'Europa quando è unita e quando difende le sue eccellenze.

 
  
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  Herve Juvin (ID). – Madame la Présidente, je voudrais insister auprès de mes collègues et les inviter à ne pas tomber dans le piège américain.

Le piège américain est celui qui a consisté à instituer des droits de douane et des tarifs sur des produits qui n’ont rien à voir avec l’aéronautique. De toute évidence, il s’agit de diviser les pays européens, de conduire les pays pour lesquels l’agroalimentaire est important à négliger le secteur aéronautique, d’amener les pays pour lesquels l’automobile est le secteur premier à négliger l’aéronautique et, quelque part, de diviser pour affaiblir cette industrie de souveraineté qu’est l’aéronautique européenne et, en particulier, Airbus.

Je voudrais également attirer l’attention de mes collègues sur les impacts sur le tissu de PME qui forment la chaîne d’approvisionnement d’Airbus. L’avionneur a toute capacité à répercuter les 10 % de tarifs supplémentaires sur la chaîne d’approvisionnement, ce qui signifie qu’on va affaiblir le tissu des PME, en fragiliser certaines et, peut-être, en conduire certaines à de graves difficultés économiques.

J’estime qu’il est important d’attirer l’attention de mes collègues et de la Commission sur l’importance de la chaîne d’approvisionnement aéronautique.

 
  
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  Άννα-Μισέλ Ασημακοπούλου (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, προφανώς εμείς σεβόμαστε την απόφαση του Παγκόσμιου Οργανισμού Εμπορίου για τις κρατικές ενισχύσεις της Airbus. Εξάλλου, εμείς εδώ στην Ευρώπη θέλουμε να συνεχίσει να λειτουργεί ο Παγκόσμιος Οργανισμός Εμπορίου —και μάλιστα αποτελεσματικά. Η θέση του Ευρωπαϊκού Λαϊκού Κόμματος είναι απολύτως ξεκάθαρη: παραμένουμε ανοιχτοί στο να βρούμε μία δίκαιη και ισορροπημένη λύση. Μία λύση που δεν θα εμπλέκει άδικα —σε μια διαμάχη που αφορά τα αεροπλάνα— το ελαιόλαδο, τη φέτα και τα κονσερβοποιημένα ροδάκινα που εξάγονται από την Ευρώπη στις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες, ούτε το βοδινό κρέας που εισάγεται στην Ευρώπη από τις Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες. Δεν έχουμε λόγο να ανοίγουμε θέματα που έχουν κλείσει.

Ας περιορίσουμε, λοιπόν, τη συζήτηση στον συγκεκριμένο τομέα και ας καθίσουμε στο τραπέζι των διαπραγματεύσεων το συντομότερο δυνατόν, για να εντοπίσουμε μαζί αυτά τα οποία με αμοιβαίο όφελος στις οικονομίες μας, στις επιχειρήσεις μας, στους παραγωγούς μας και στους πολίτες μας, μπορούν να αποφέρουν καρπούς σε μια εποχή που πολλοί θέλουν να απομακρυνθούμε ο ένας από τον άλλον.

 
  
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  Paolo De Castro (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, le nostre esportazioni sono sotto attacco e lo sono ancora di più le nostre produzioni agroalimentari che, dopo la crisi dovuta all'embargo russo, devono pagare ancora una volta il conto di rappresaglie commerciali decise da altri.

Signor Commissario, non possiamo farci cogliere impreparati. Quale strategia ha previsto la Commissione al fine di evitare una crisi di mercato che colpirebbe gravemente il nostro parmigiano, il nostro olio, il nostro vino? Dobbiamo dimostrare di essere al fianco dei nostri cittadini e delle nostre imprese e ottenere, come primo passo, un periodo di transizione sufficientemente lungo prima dell'eventuale applicazione dei dazi, scongiurando shock commerciali immediati per i nostri produttori.

Ma questo non può essere sufficiente. Chiediamo di avviare subito le procedure necessarie all'attivazione della riserva di crisi, che è prevista dalla politica agricola comune per far fronte a queste situazioni. Lo stesso commissario designato Wojciechowski ce l'ha detto in sede di commissione per l'agricoltura.

E poi è necessario rafforzare il pacchetto promozione per dare una mano ai nostri agricoltori. Servono scelte ambiziose, caro Commissario, per proteggere adeguatamente produzioni strategiche dal punto di vista economico e sociale.

 
  
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  Marco Campomenosi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, compensazioni e periodi di transizione sono tutte soluzioni che però non vanno al centro del problema. Se siamo qui questa sera è perché la Commissione europea ha perso al WTO. Siamo qui questa sera perché era previsto, si sapeva, da due anni attendevamo questa sentenza. La Commissione europea non è stata in grado di negoziare e di transare prima con la controparte americana.

Parliamo di un tema, Airbus, per cui ci sono Francia, Germania, Gran Bretagna e Spagna. Non si capisce perché l'Italia debba pagare come gli altri e per certi settori anche più degli altri. L'Italia non centra, l'Italia non prende soldi da Airbus, l'Italia non mette soldi in Airbus. Ma abbiamo già capito che né la Malmström, che oggi non è qui, né il suo successore Hogan hanno voglia di occuparsi di questo tema.

Sarebbe stupido non pensare al fatto che se le nostre aziende devono esporsi così sui mercati dei paesi terzi, esponendosi quindi a shock di sistema esterni che non sono condizionati da noi, lo dobbiamo anche al fallimento del mercato interno dell'Unione europea. Quindi, si facciano politiche per far sì che anche all'interno dell'Unione europea vi sia consumo dei nostri prodotti e che le nostre aziende non debbano lavorare solo sui mercati dei paesi terzi.

Questa Commissione europea non riesce a far sì, per diverse ragioni, che i nostri prodotti vadano in Russia, negli Stati Uniti, in Cina. Provi ad aprire un negoziato di libero scambio con Marte e forse saranno un po' più fortunati.

 
  
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  Jörgen Warborn (PPE). – Fru talman! USA:s åtgärder med ökade tullar på flera olika europeiska varor är ett allvarligt problem för unionens export. Trots detta så är de fullt legala, eftersom de kommer från ett beslut i domstolen i Världshandelsorganisationen. Då måste vi respektera detta.

Trots att detta är negativt för EU, är det faktiskt ett bevis på att tvistelösningssystemet inom Världshandelsorganisationen fungerar. Det borde ju ge USA en anledning att tänka om gällande framtiden för appellationsdomstolen. I dag utser USA inga nya domare till domstolen, vilket gör att den riskerar att sluta fungera. Det finns dock naturligtvis fortfarande en chans att lösa blockeringen i appellationsdomstolen, och EU måste utnyttja alla möjligheter att göra det.

Vi behöver ett regelbaserat handelssystem i världen. Därför måste vi försöka dämpa konfliktnivån med USA. Vi i Europa, och särskilt i mitt hemland Sverige, är beroende av goda handelsrelationer med omvärlden. Genom frihandelssystemet skapar vi förutsättningar för nya jobb, för konkurrenskraft och för välstånd.

 
  
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  Massimiliano Salini (PPE). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Commissario, l'Europa su Airbus ha perso e probabilmente vincerà tra pochi mesi invece su Boeing. La domanda principale è: qual è la strategia della Commissione per tentare di recuperare il danno che stiamo subendo?

Gira voce che parte forte della strategia della Commissione sia quella di individuare, nella reazione su Boeing, una strategia chirurgica per andare a colpire con dazi gli Stati federali che dovrebbero essere strategici per la rielezione di Trump. Ma siamo sicuri che sia questa la strategia corretta? E se poi Trump dovesse ancora vincere le elezioni, quale sarà il nostro atteggiamento? Avremo il nemico dei nemici, costruito e corroborato dalla nostra strategia. No. Rivediamo le regole di funzionamento del WTO, creiamo le condizioni perché si dialoghi con il nostro alleato naturale, cioè gli Stati Uniti, e non compensiamo sussidiando i nostri imprenditori. Non gli serve questo. Diamogli la possibilità di rimanere nel mercato più interessante per noi europei, che è quello statunitense.

 
  
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  Angelika Winzig (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, geschätzte Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Protecting the European Way of Life setzt voraus, dass Europa weiterhin eine starke Handelsgemeinschaft bleibt, zur Sicherung von Beschäftigung, zur Sicherung unseres Wohlstandes. Wir wissen alle, dass unsere Handelslandschaften international gesehen fragil sind, zumal ja auch die politischen Alphawölfe dieser Welt kein Interesse an einem wirtschaftlich starken Europa haben. Wir befinden uns in einer Sandwichposition zwischen China und den USA, und ich halte auch ein gegenseitiges Hochlizitieren von Strafzöllen nicht für sinnvoll. Es ist teurer und schafft auch eine Menge Bürokratie.

Deutschland wird am stärksten betroffen sein von diesem Handelsdisput. Man rechnet mit einem Exportverlust in der Höhe von bis zu 2 Milliarden Euro. Das ist relativ schlimm für die umliegenden Nachbarländer, die Zulieferer für Deutschland sind, und es besteht die Gefahr, dass es eine Kettenreaktion auslöst. Es kann und darf nicht sein, dass ein Streit zwischen zwei Flugzeugherstellern auf dem Rücken unserer KMU und unserer Agrarwirtschaft ausgetragen wird. Ich appelliere daher an die Kommission, sowohl im Rahmen der WTO Klarheit zu schaffen als auch intensive Gespräche mit den USA zu führen, um eine Win-win-Lösung herbeizuführen im Sinne unserer Wirtschaft, im Sinne unserer Beschäftigung und im Sinne unseres Wohlstandes.

 
  
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  José Manuel García-Margallo y Marfil (PPE). – Señora presidenta: un cuento.

Prometió un genio a un viajero darle lo que pidiera, con una sola condición. Daría a su peor enemigo el doble de lo que él eligiese. Eligió quedarse tuerto. Es lo que ha hecho Trump. Trump, que nunca ha creído en la OMC, se ha apresurado a anunciar represalias contra muchos productos europeos. En el caso español: aceite, aceitunas, vino, jamón, queso y frutas.

Nosotros podríamos hacer lo mismo. Podríamos pedir que se nos compensara por los daños causados por las sociedades de exportación, foreign sales corporations, «dopadas» con más de 24 000 millones de dólares. Podremos también pedir que se penalicen los productos americanos por valor de 10 000 millones de dólares, que es el valor de las desgravaciones concedidas a Boeing por el Estado de Washington.

Pero en esta estrategia, aquí los únicos que ganarían serían los abogados y China. La única solución es reconocer que hemos pecado los dos. Perdonarnos mutuamente y sentarnos en una mesa para establecer las reglas del futuro. Pero para llevar a los americanos a la mesa, ¿cree la Comisión qué es mejor la prudencia alemana o la firmeza francesa?

Y en otro orden de cosas, ¿piensa la Comisión tirar del Fondo Europeo de Adaptación de Gobernación para compensar a los sectores agredidos por los aranceles americanos?

 
  
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  Annie Schreijer-Pierik (PPE). – Voorzitter, de wereldwijde handelsspanningen escaleren. Wederzijdse importheffingen en sancties zullen uiteindelijk slechts verliezers opleveren – aan beide kanten van de oceaan. De uitspraak over Boeing moet namelijk nog volgen. De industrie heeft het niet alleen in Europa, maar ook in de Verenigde Staten moeilijk. Waarom moeten onze boeren en mosselvissers door de Amerikanen worden bestraft voor een oud conflict over vliegtuigsubsidies? Over maar liefst 39 miljoen euro aan Nederlandse kazen, worst en varkensvlees dreigen strafheffingen. Dat is niet zomaar iets.

We moeten daarom samen met de Amerikanen de spanningen wegnemen en in onderhandeling gaan om tot een oplossing te komen. Dat is het beste voor zowel Amerika als Europa. Maar als de Amerikanen ons treffen, zullen helaas Europese tegenmaatregelen moeten worden genomen.

Wij reiken als Europa onze hand uit voor een eerlijke onderhandelingsoplossing. Internationale handel op basis van regels is de sleutel tot onze welvaart en is in ons aller belang. Dat geldt niet alleen voor Europa, maar ook zeker voor Amerika.

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner (PPE). – Madam President, colleagues, I agree with Commissioner Malmström that Airbus-linked tariffs are short—sighted and counter—productive. We repeatedly said that we were ready to find a fair and balanced solution to this 15-year-old legal battle. Also, a year ago Presidents Juncker and Trump agreed not to escalate trade disputes. I can only hope that, like Commissioner Malmström, also Phil Hogan, will spare no effort to engage deeply with the US on this. I understand also that negotiations are planned, and we should exploit fully a chance to find a solution before the tariffs become effective.

But in more general terms, let me say that we should be worrying actually that in our Transatlantic relations it is getting hard to find anything working well. We didn’t manage to convince the American Administration that trade deficit is not a good measure of how we benefit from trade. The elections next year will make it also very difficult to move toward a positive EU-US trade agenda, but we should seriously think of a new, comprehensive reset between the European Union and the US.

I think Europe needs it, but I dare say also the global economy needs it.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Juan Ignacio Zoido Álvarez (PPE). – Señora presidenta, comisario, «una victoria muy bonita». Así es como el señor Trump calificó la semana pasada la imposición de 7 500 millones de dólares en aranceles a los agricultores europeos. Dudo mucho que sea una victoria para nadie, pero es indudable que supone una grave derrota para los agricultores y productores europeos, muy especialmente para los españoles. De aprobarse, perderemos un mercado clave para las exportaciones; las empresas sufrirán pérdidas millonarias y miles de puestos de trabajo estarán en peligro. Pero, frente a estos injustos ataques de Trump, la Unión Europea debe estar a la altura de las circunstancias, y los agricultores y ganaderos están esperando que se tomen medidas para amortiguar el daño.

Voy a poner encima de la mesa tres medidas: la cobertura de los costes de almacenaje y financieros, en el caso del aceite de oliva; el apoyo a campañas de promoción de los productos españoles que vengan a paliar la pérdida de cuota de mercado; y, por último, la activación de medidas excepcionales de la OCM para apoyar a los productores en casos graves de desequilibrio del mercado, como ya ocurrió con la crisis con Rusia.

 
  
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  Clara Aguilera (S&D). – Señora presidenta, señor Moedas. Le ha caído a usted esta cosa, en nombre de la comisaria Malmström. Yo quiero trasladarle que sabemos que la Comisión se ha preocupado y se ha ocupado.

El sector agrario solo pide la misma energía que cuando los afectados son otros sectores industriales. El sector agrario no puede ser moneda de cambio en los acuerdos comerciales, ni puede ser la víctima de una guerra comercial, como los cuatro años que llevamos con el veto ruso. Esto no puede ser. Por tanto, se necesitan... hay que solucionarlo. Hay que ver la posibilidad de un periodo transitorio y resolver el problema con energía. Eso espero yo de la Comisión ya saliente.

Sabemos que la situación es difícil, pero también que este sector está sufriendo mucho. Mañana hay una gran movilización en mi país, en España. Una manifestación por el aceite de oliva, en Madrid, porque venía (palabras incomprensibles) los precios. Necesitamos que se active el almacenamiento privado para el aceite de oliva español y necesitamos que se tomen otro tipo de medidas para el vino. Importantísimo.

Una cosa muy breve, ¿sabe usted que a una bodega española con un volumen de exportación a los Estados Unidos de 300 000 euros le han exigido el viernes pasado que pague 80 000 euros ya por (palabras incomprensibles) de aranceles? Esa es la realidad, no es justo que padezca este sector.

 
  
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  Klemen Grošelj (Renew). – Gospa predsednica, spoštovani! Seveda razumem stališče Evropske komisije v konkretnem primeru in pozdravljam zavezanost k multilaterizmu in svobodni trgovini.

A ne delajmo si iluzij o tem, o kakšni politiki carin pravzaprav govorimo. Gre za politiko, katere cilj je zmanjševati konkurenčnost evropskega gospodarstva in doseči pravzaprav preselitev delovnih mest iz Evrope v druge dele sveta, ne glede na pravno upravičenost tega početja.

Zato pozivam, da Evropska komisija v okviru zavezanosti k multilaterizmu in svobodni trgovini sprejme ukrepe, ki bodo zaščitili evropsko industrijo. Še posebej si to zaščito zaslužijo razvejane dobavne verige, katere tvorijo mala in srednja podjetja, ki so najinovativnejši in najštevilčnejši del te evropske industrije, predvsem pa so del industrije, ki ima pomembne socialne in družbene učinke v primeru težav.

 
  
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  Izaskun Bilbao Barandica (Renew). – Señora presidenta, quiero expresar mi acuerdo con el modelo de negociación y gestión de la comisaria Cecilia Malmström.

No queremos una guerra comercial, sino un acuerdo de fondo sobre la industria aeronáutica. La negociación es siempre mejor que el enfrentamiento. El proteccionismo perjudica a todos. Por eso, abogo por persistir en el diálogo y aprovechar para ello las habilidades adquiridas y las relaciones y redes tejidas mientras se negociaba el ATCI.

Denuncio, como truco de mal gobernante, enfrentar con esta amenaza el golpe que ha supuesto para la aviación estadounidense el problema con el Boeing B737 MAX, sin el cual creo que no estaríamos en esta situación. Defiendo poner en valor los estándares europeos ambientales y sociales, que son el mejor aval para nuestros productos ante los consumidores.

Finalmente, espero que los planes para socorrer a los sectores afectados, como las producciones agroalimentarias vasconavarras de gran calidad, cuenten con la aportación de todos los actores públicos y privados que pueden contribuir a su diseño, desarrollo y ejecución.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Carlos Moedas, Member of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, thank you so much for the discussion and for the lively debate. On behalf of my colleague, Cecilia Malmström, let me recall our position: we really regret the US decision to go ahead with the imposition of the tariffs, but we have to remember that this time is very different from the ‘232’ steel measures and other unilateral actions. The US has really followed all the steps of the WTO in this case, and as the Member said, it is paramount for the European Union to respect and to cherish multilateralism. Hopefully, the US announcement that they are willing to find a negotiated solution will be followed by deeds, and, as indicated before, both sides should have an interest in finally closing this long-standing dispute – also in the light of new entrants on the aircraft markets.

Finally, let me conclude by stressing the words of Dolors Montserrat: the point here is unity. We have to be united. Without unity, we’re not strong – another proof of the importance of the European project. So the key to negotiating a good solution is really to be united. President, if you allow me, I will switch to Portuguese just for 30 seconds.

– É a minha última vez neste plenário.

Gostava de vos dizer que foi um grande privilégio, um privilégio dos últimos cinco anos, talvez o maior privilégio da minha vida, poder estar aqui e, por isso, quando os meus colegas me pediram se os podia substituir, aceitei na hora, porque adoro este espaço.

Gostava de agradecer a todos os membros do Parlamento, mas gostava também de agradecer àqueles que fazem um trabalho extraordinário que estão ali atrás, os intérpretes, a todos aqueles que estão aqui, os huissiers, o pessoal administrativo, que fazem desta casa algo de mágico.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Herzlichen Dank, Herr Kommissar, für diese persönlichen Worte. Ich hatte jetzt nicht das Vergnügen, mit Ihnen zusammenzuarbeiten, aber ich bin sicher, dass das Haus die guten Wünsche erwidert.

Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Dita Charanzová (Renew), in writing. – The US has always been an important trading partner, and continues to be so even in these more challenging times. While we may have differences, we must do everything we can to find negotiated solutions with our partner. The WTO has made a ruling regarding Airbus subsidies, and we respect this. But as we are all well aware, a similar ruling against Boeing will very likely be made in the months to come, and I regret that we were not able to come to a mutual agreement to prevent escalating trade tensions through tariffs.

If the US decides to go through with these tariffs, the EU must respond back. Entering a cycle of tariff after tariff is harmful for both sides, to our producers, to our consumers, and to our overall relations. Time is running out, but it is not too late yet for the US and the EU to find an agreement before 18 October and de—escalate.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew), in writing. – The ongoing trade dispute between the United States and Europe has the potential to hit farmers and primary producers hard. They will be the collateral damage of trading blocs being unable to reconcile differences without the outdated use of tariffs. The targeting of high-value dairy products with an additional duty of 25%, following a WTO ruling, will make many Irish food products prohibitively expensive in the United States.

The US is Europe’s number one market for dairy exports with 133 000 tonnes exported every year. In 2018, there were EUR 250 million of Irish dairy exports to the US alone, including 78.5 million bottles of Irish whiskey and Irish cream liqueur. Kerrygold, a major job creator in Ireland, is the United States’ second best—selling brand of butter – this will see its price rise from USD 3.50 to close to USD 4.50 Too many people see this as an ideological issue. However, the implications of continuing trade battles for ordinary people is profound. Jobs will be lost in communities where agri—food jobs are the main economic driver and where other forms of well—paying jobs are rare. If we are to protect jobs in Europe and ensure the viability of farming, then common sense needs to prevail.

 
  
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  Marie-Pierre Vedrenne (Renew), par écrit. – Je déplore cette nouvelle escalade dans les tensions commerciales entre l’Union européenne et les États-Unis. Malgré les demandes répétées de l’UE, les États-Unis refusent de parvenir à une solution à l’amiable et ciblent des secteurs stratégiques avec l’imposition de nouveaux droits de douane: le secteur aéronautique demeure un fleuron de notre industrie européenne et l’Union européenne est le premier exportateur mondial de produits agroalimentaires. Dans ce contexte, l’Union européenne devra réagir avec fermeté. En effet, elle devrait à son tour en avoir l’occasion dans quelques mois, lorsque l’OMC rendra sa décision dans l’affaire Boeing et pour laquelle l’UE est d’ores et déjà autorisée à imposer des mesures de rétorsion. Plus généralement, ces mesures de rétorsion n’ont aucun intérêt ni pour l’UE, ni pour les États-Unis, au moment où les concurrents étrangers d’Airbus et Boeing, notamment la Chine, continuent à développer à toute vitesse leur industrie aéronautique. Enfin, nous devrions rappeler aux États-Unis qu’ils utilisent ici l’OMC à leur avantage alors même qu’ils tentent de mettre fin à son fonctionnement en bloquant le renouvèlement des juges du mécanisme d’appel de l’organe de règlement des différends.

 

18. Situation in Northern Syria (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Vizepräsidentin der Kommission und Hohen Vertreterin der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zur Lage in Nordsyrien (2019/2847(RSP)).

Bevor wir in die Diskussion eintreten, möchte ich Sie noch kurz davon in Kenntnis setzen, dass wir nach wie vor ein neues System erproben, mit dem Mitglieder spontane Wortmeldungen und blaue Karten auch elektronisch nutzen können. Sie haben per E-Mail bereits Informationen zur Nutzung dieses Systems bekommen und die Anleitung befindet sich auch noch einmal auf Ihrem Tisch. Zur Einreichung eines Antrags auf eine Wortmeldung können die Mitglieder die Funktionstasten auf ihren elektronischen Abstimmungsanlagen nutzen. Ich möchte Sie deshalb höflich daran erinnern, Ihre Stimmkarte mitzubringen, damit Sie dieses System auch nutzen können. Bitte nehmen Sie zur Kenntnis, dass parallel zur Nutzung des elektronischen Systems auch eine Standardanmeldung, also durch Hochheben eines weißen Blatts Papier oder durch Ihre persönliche Anmeldung zu Beginn der Aussprache bei den Kollegen vom Plenum für spontane Wortmeldungen und durch Hochheben einer blauen Karte für das Verfahren der blauen Karte möglich ist. Wenn Sie eine spontane Wortmeldung anmelden möchten, können Sie das ab sofort tun. Sie brauchen nicht bis zum Ende der Aussprache zu warten.

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, the Turkish operation in north—east Syria can open a new dramatic chapter in the already very dark history of the Syrian war. The potential consequences of such military action are clear to everyone – at least are very clear to us. The repercussions can be extremely serious and far—reaching in humanitarian, military, political and strategic terms. For all these reasons, we call upon Turkey to immediately stop its unilateral military action.

New armed hostilities in the north—east will first of all exacerbate civilian suffering and provoke further displacements. This new escalation adds yet another obstacle to the UN—led political process, after the positive news just a fortnight ago of an intra—Syrian agreement on constitutional committee.

Turkey’s unilateral action also threatens the progress achieved by the Global Coalition to defeat Daesh, of which Turkey is a member. Military action will undermine the security of the Coalition’s local partners – namely the Kurdish forces – and risk protracted instability in north—east Syria, providing fertile ground for the resurgence of Daesh. Let us not forget that Daesh still remains a significant threat to regional, international and European security.

We are also aware of Turkey’s intention, in the medium—term, of settling Syrian refugees along the border. It is highly unlikely that a so—called ‘safe zone’ in north—east Syria, as envisaged by Turkey, would satisfy international criteria for refugee return as laid down by the UNHCR. It is difficult to imagine how such returns could be either safe, voluntary or in any way dignified. Mass resettlement on the scale suggested by Turkey would also profoundly destabilise an already fragile area. Any attempt at demographic change would be unacceptable for us.

We have always supported Turkey for hosting three million Syrian refugees, providing them with shelter, assistance and services. But as President Juncker made very clear just a few hours ago in this Chamber, there can be no question of the European Union financing the infrastructure to receive hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees in north—east Syria. The European Union will not provide stabilisation or development assistance in areas where the rights of local populations are ignored – or even worse, violated.

Beyond the serious humanitarian and security implications, the Turkish incursion might also prevent the constitutional committee from beginning its work. Just two weeks ago we were in New York at the General Assembly, where we received the encouraging announcement that the regime and the opposition in Syria had reached their first agreement since the beginning of the war, thanks to the UN mediation that we have supported over all these years.

We made it clear back then and over all these days, that this is just the first step, but a very important one – a real first step to allow the whole country a potential political resolution of the conflict. We were looking forward to the first meeting of the committee in Geneva – and I would like to say that we are indeed looking forward to the first meeting of the committee in Geneva – possibly even before the end of October. We hope that the Turkish attack will not delay the first meeting of the constitutional committee, and yet we cannot exclude this eventuality.

We ask Turkey to execute an immediate cessation of hostilities. A destabilised north—east Syria, with new ethnic tensions and a resurgent terrorist threat, is certainly not in Turkey’s interest.

We have always shared the goal of ending violence, defeating Daesh and promoting peace and security in Syria and in the wider region. Turkey has always been in this a key partner for the European Union and a critically important actor in the Syrian crisis and in the region. But Turkey’s legitimate security concerns should be addressed through political and diplomatic means, not through military action, in accordance with international humanitarian law. We urge all to ensure always the protection of civilians and unhindered, safe and sustainable humanitarian access throughout Syria. Our goal remains to help the Syrian people build a united, sovereign, democratic and inclusive Syria.

A sustainable solution to the Syrian crisis will not come through military means. I think this is very clear to all – at least this is very clear to us Europeans. The only way to achieve peace and security in Syria is full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 2254 under UN auspices. So our immediate goal is now to avoid renewed armed hostilities in the north—east of Syria, to stop them, and to do everything in our power to support the UN—led political process. This is why I have invited the UN Special Envoy for Syria, Mr Pedersen, to join us at the next Foreign Affairs Council next Monday in Luxemburg to discuss together the way forward in this critical moment.

The Syria conflict will not be ended by weapons. This war can only be ended by mediation and true reconciliation within Syrian society. The conflict can only be ended through a genuine political transition, negotiated by the Syrian parties under UN auspices.

The whole European Union is united behind this goal, and today I have issued – more or less one hour ago – a clear declaration on behalf of all 28 Member States to confirm and make extremely clear our common position. The five EU Member States of the UN Security Council coordinating have now officially asked to bring the issue in front of the Security Council, and I understand that this will happen tomorrow.

We will also continue to be in touch with our partners, and to update obviously the European Parliament on any relevant developments and to discuss together – and I am looking forward to our exchanges tonight – the way forward in this moment. I think our position has been clear from the very beginning – just a few days ago – of these developments and we must see how we can make this call effective and with impact on the ground.

 
  
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  Željana Zovko, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, as we speak, Turkish forces are entering the north—east of Syria in an offensive against a reliable Western partner which played a crucial role in stabilising Syria. Yes, that partner – the Syrian Kurds – is being abandoned. The impulsive decision to leave this ally raises deep concerns. Due to the increased Turkish involvement in north—east Syria, we fear that ISIS will benefit and seize the opportunity to regroup. Furthermore, we share Kurdish fears of a massacre, as was already the case in the past in Afrin. Not only will the West lose its reliable partner in the fight against terrorism, but we may be a witness to human suffering and destruction.

The European Union is the biggest contributor to the UN multilateral system that establishes the instruments to prevent genocide, massacres and human catastrophes. Therefore, it is important that the Security Council take appropriate action as soon as possible. A possible displacement of people, no matter how small it is, calls for international resistance. Turkey is using the pretext of creating a safe zone. We saw a similar situation 25 years ago in Srebrenica and Bihać. We know the consequences of the first, and the cost of reinstating its status in the case of the second.

The Commission President, Jean—Claude Juncker, has said that if the plan involves the creation of a so—called safe zone, don’t expect the EU to pay for it. In this case we certainly hope the EU shall go a step further. Europe must play its part.

 
  
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  Kati Piri, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, High Representative, on Sunday night US President Trump gave President Erdogan carte blanche to invade north-east Syria – which Turkey just did today.

The Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces have always been the international community’s closest ally in the fight against Islamic State. They are the ones who fought the battle on the ground, and more than 10 000 of them gave their lives for the peace and security of us all. And what for – if now the jihadis use Turkey’s invasion to reorganise and to continue their horrific violence in Syria and across the world?

Turkey claims it wants to establish a so-called safe zone, but what they are in fact creating is a war zone. After all the killings, displacement and horrors of the Islamic State era, the citizens of north-east Syria are now facing new violence and, on top of that, abandonment by their international allies.

Ankara’s security concerns cannot and will not be resolved by force.

High Representative, my Group not only urges you strongly to condemn Turkey’s illegal military operation but we also call on you to use all the instruments and punitive measures at your disposal to pressure Turkey to start respecting international law Immediately. Backstabbing our Kurdish allies – after the huge sacrifices they have made for our security – is simply not an option.

 
  
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  Irina Von Wiese, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, the withdrawal of US troops from northern Syria is creating a dangerous power vacuum. I am very concerned about reports that Turkish troops have launched offensives in areas of Syria controlled by Kurdish forces. We call upon the Turkish Government to cease these actions. The focus now must be on defeating the UN-listed terrorist organisations, to play a constructive role in the Syrian conflict, abide by international law, and in particular the United Nations Security Council Resolution 2254 in order to find a solution to the Syria conflict.

The opening of new fronts in Syria is not in the interest of Turkey’s security. This intervention adds a new dimension to the conflict in Syria and raises serious concerns about the impact on the delicate internal balance in Syria. The conflict has already resulted in a high number of civilian casualties and now many more civilian lives are at risk. It is vital that we avert a further deterioration in the country’s humanitarian crisis.

We must keep at the forefront respect for international law, including the protection of civilians. We acknowledge the solidarity demonstrated by Jordan, Lebanon and Turkey in light of the Syrian refugee crisis, and call for EU and Member State financial support aimed at addressing the urgent needs of refugees and their host communities to be stepped up.

We call for responsibility-sharing, allowing refugees fleeing Syrian war zones to find protection beyond the immediate neighbouring region, including through resettlement and humanitarian admission schemes. We stress that Syria is currently not safe for refugee returns and that the EU must not support such returns.

Finally, it is evident that there can be no effective conflict resolution or sustainable peace in Syria without accountability for the crimes committed. We call for the adoption of an EU accountability strategy towards the atrocities committed in Syria.

 
  
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  Alice Kuhnke, för Verts/ALE-gruppen. – Fru talman! Turkiets invasion i norra Syrien bryter mot internationell folkrätt. Risken för en humanitär katastrof är stor. Civila liv på båda sidor av gränsen står på spel. Människor – många barn – kan tvingas på flykt.

President Trumps gröna kort till president Erdoğan är ännu ett av USA:s alla svek mot kurderna. IS hade inte kunnat bekämpas om det inte var för kurderna. EU kan inte acceptera – vi får inte acceptera – det som nu faktiskt sker.

Fru Mogherini, kommer du att verka för att EU använder alla medel som står till buds för att stoppa övergreppet och förhindra ännu en humanitär katastrof? År 2017 sålde EU vapenlicenser till Turkiet för mer än 2,8 miljarder euro. Kommer du att verka för att EU:s medlemsländer stoppar vapenexporten till Turkiet?

Erdoğan vill flytta 2 000 000 syriska flyktingar till den region som han nu har invaderat. Han vill bygga en mänsklig sköld mot Syrien. Kommer du, fru Mogherini, att verka för att EU stoppar utbetalningen av de återstående 3 miljarderna, som EU har lovat betala till Turkiets migrationshantering?

Vi gröna kräver att EU använder alla medel som vi har. Vi måste stå upp för det kurdiska folket.

 
  
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  Thierry Mariani, au nom du groupe ID. – Madame la Présidente, la réalité du jour est simple: la Turquie envahit un État qui s’appelle la Syrie et nous regardons cela, nous allons voter une motion et vous savez très bien que nous ne ferons rien.

Nous avons semé dans cette région le chaos, qui s’ajoutait au chaos déjà existant, nous y ajoutons aujourd’hui le déshonneur. Le déshonneur de laisser tomber nos alliés, qui nous ont aidés dans la lutte contre le terrorisme. Ce déshonneur, nous l’avions déjà connu à Afrine, nous le connaîtrons aujourd’hui dans exactement les mêmes conditions.

Madame la Haute-représentante, nous cessons d’adresser des louanges à la Turquie – vous avez rappelé, il y a quelques minutes, que c’était notre alliée, et j’imagine que M. Borrell fera de même –, mais les Turcs sont des alliés sûrs au printemps et se métamorphosent en danger à l’automne. Vous savez comme moi qu’aujourd’hui, les Turcs sont les premiers soutiens des combattants qui sont dans la poche d’Idlib, Idlib que le rapport des Nations unies, en juillet dernier, décrivait – je cite en français – comme le plus grand dépotoir de combattants terroristes de la planète.

Ma question est simple: que comptons-nous faire de concret, à part adopter une résolution? Et vous me permettrez une autre question: une véritable épuration ethnique va s’engager dans les deux villes chrétiennes d’Hassaké et Qamichli, que fera l’Europe?

 
  
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  Assita Kanko, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger. Worden de Koerden eens te meer de speelbal van de geschiedenis? Het ziet er vandaag, na de Turkse inval in het noorden van Syrië, zo naar uit. Nadat de Koerdische milities de [...] leverden om het eerste kalifaat te helpen opdoeken, laat de VS hen nu vallen. De Turkse autocraat Erdogan krijgt zo vrij spel om de Koerdische autonomie in het gebied ongedaan te maken. Zijn plan om Syrische vluchtelingen te hervestigen in de noordelijke strook van Rojava, waar zich de grootste steden van de Syrische Koerden bevinden, zal daar voor langdurige instabiliteit zorgen. Het Turkse offensief dreigt het herstel van het gebroken land bijna onmogelijk te maken.

Eind vorige maand werd dankzij VN-bemiddeling een constitutioneel comité opgericht waarin de Syrische regering en oppositie constructief zouden overleggen. Erdogan begraaft nu in feite deze dialoog. Deze inval kan de IS-terroristen een tweede adem geven, zowel in Europa als in de Sahel-regio. Daar is deze situatie acuut en precair, zoals mijn geboorteland Burkina Faso jammer genoeg aantoont. IS zal in kampen zoals Al-Hol wellicht vrij spel krijgen. We mogen ook een vluchtelingencrisis verwachten. Onverantwoord dus, dit Turkse optreden in Syrië. Daarom moet Europa de betrokken partijen dringend tot maximale terughoudendheid aanmanen. Mevrouw de hoge vertegenwoordiger, maak hen dringend duidelijk dat het bloed van de bevolking gespaard moet worden bij militaire operaties en dat massaverplaatsingen van bevolkingen vermeden moeten worden.

Ik vraag om het democratisch Koerdisch zelfbestuur te beschermen. Laten we alstublieft de heropleving van jihadistische terreur effectief tegengaan.

 
  
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  Nikolaj Villumsen, for GUE/NGL-Gruppen. – Fru formand! Erdogans angreb på vores prodemokratiske og kurdiske allierede i kampen mod Daesh er fuldstændig uacceptabel. Vi må ikke svigte de modige kurdiske mænd og kvinder, der kæmpede i forreste række mod terroristerne og Assadregimet. Den tyrkiske invasion er en katastrofe. Det er en katastrofe, der vil jage titusinder af civile på flugt, og som vil åbne døren for Daesh til Mellemøsten og Europa. Fru Mogherini, mens vi taler bombes civile lige nu af tyrkisk militær. Civile ligger døde i gaderne! Fru Mogherini, det er tid til handling. EU skal sige fra over for Erdogan og Trump. EU skal smække kassen i for Erdogan. Vores allierede døde for os, nu er det tid til, at vi står op for dem!

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Herzlichen Dank, auch für die zeitliche Punktlandung. Ich möchte darauf hinweisen, dass wir schon eine Vielzahl von Anfragen für spontane Wortmeldungen haben, und da wir schon zeitlich im Verzug sind, werde ich aus Respekt für diejenigen, die noch nach uns kommen, und auch im Interesse der Übersetzer nur fünf Wortmeldungen auswählen. Es macht jetzt also keinen Sinn mehr, sich weiter zu melden.

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, καταδικάζουμε τη νέα —τρίτη κατά σειρά— εισβολή της νατοϊκής Τουρκίας, του στρατηγικού εταίρου της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, στο έδαφος της Συρίας, η οποία αντιμετωπίζει ήδη τις τραγικές συνέπειες του οκτάχρονου πολέμου, στο πλαίσιο των σφοδρών ιμπεριαλιστικών ανταγωνισμών. Οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες άναψαν το πράσινο φως για την τουρκική επίθεση κατά του συριακού λαού και του κουρδικού πληθυσμού της περιοχής. Η εξέλιξη αυτή αποστομώνει την κυβέρνηση της Νέας Δημοκρατίας και όσους στην Ελλάδα προέβησαν σε πανηγυρισμούς για τη δήθεν προστασία που θα παρέχουν οι Ηνωμένες Πολιτείες στην Ελλάδα για την επικίνδυνη συμφωνία για τις βάσεις, που υπογράφηκε στην πρόσφατη επίσκεψη του Αμερικανού υπουργού Εξωτερικών, Pompeo, στην Αθήνα. Η εμπλοκή της Ελλάδας —και κάθε χώρας— στους σχεδιασμούς των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, του ΝΑΤΟ και της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης βάζει σε μεγάλες περιπέτειες τον λαό μας και τους άλλους λαούς, που σήμερα μπορούν να διδαχθούν από τις εξελίξεις, να δυναμώσουν την κοινή πάλη και να υπερασπιστούν τα δικά τους συμφέροντα. Κάτω τα χέρια από τον συριακό λαό!

 
  
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  Peter van Dalen (PPE). – Voorzitter, de terugtrekking van de Amerikaanse troepen is een keiharde slag in het gezicht van de Koerden en we zien meteen de gevolgen. Dictator Erdogan heeft zijn troepen losgelaten op Ras al-Ain en Tell Abyad. Reken erop dat het ISIS-gespuis nu weer uit zijn hol tevoorschijn zal komen. En wat gebeurt er met de ISIS-gevangenen die nu in kampen zitten? Komen die weer vrij? Het desastreuze besluit van Trump is echter ook wake-upcall voor de Europese landen. Trump bekritiseren zonder zelf militairen in te zetten, is immers niet eerlijk. Dit kan bijvoorbeeld door de Amerikanen te ontlasten in Irak, zodat ze hun capaciteit kunnen inzetten in Syrië. Koerden en christenen in de regio kopen niets voor mooie Europese statements en tranentrekkende verklaringen.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, ova rasprava nažalost koincidira s početkom vojne intervencije Turske na sjevernu Siriju. Pridružujem se svima koji izražavaju duboku zabrinutost zbog toga. Bez obzira na obrazloženje Ankare ova akcija neće doprinijeti ni miru ni stabilnosti u regiji.

Dok turski predsjednik tvrdi kako je svrha operacije eliminacija sigurnosnih prijetnji i omogućavanje povratka sirijskih izbjeglica iz Turske nakon uspostavljanja sigurne zone na tom području, pravi motivi su drugačiji. Erdoganova vojna ofenziva na sjever Sirije otkriva u kojoj ga mjeri pritišću domaći problemi zbog loših ekonomskih rezultata i slabljenja podrške njegovoj politici. Posebno je nedopustivo da turski predsjednik poistovjećuje Kurde s militantima Islamske države. Ovaj napad je pokušaj obračuna s onima koji su najviše doprinijeli porazu Islamske države. Nadam se trajnom, a ne privremenom.

Europska unija treba nastaviti s preispitivanjem odnosa s Turskom, ali do kraja odbaciti iluzije o podudarnosti vanjske politike američkog predsjednika Trumpa s vrijednostima koje mi nastojimo promovirati u međunarodnim odnosima.

 
  
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  Ivan David (ID). – Paní předsedající, EP dnes většinově odmítl přijetí jakékoli parlamentní rezoluce k turecké agresi na severu Sýrie obývaném Kurdy.

Slyšeli jsme dojemné řeči o zásluhách Kurdů, ale jejich masakrování těmto demokratům nevadí ani tolik, aby veřejně souhlasili s návrhem účinných akcí proti vraždění. Zdá se, že jejich největší evropskou hodnotou je pokrytectví a lidským právem planě žvanit.

Český spisovatel Karel Čapek ve 30. letech parafrázoval postoj evropského politika slovy: „My sice odsuzujeme násilí, ale jsme ochotni dodávat zbraně.“ Ano, evropské zbrojovky dodávají zbraně Turecku.

Slyšel jsem od pana Junckera, jak jim prý vadí, že Turecko neplní dohody o přistěhovalcích, těží ropu v Egejském moři a Tureckem okupovaný Severní Kypr narušuje evropský obchod. Tzv. evropští demokraté ustupovali Hitlerovi a nakonec s ním podepsali Mnichovskou dohodu, kterou mu předali průmyslové české pohraničí a tím celé Čechy. Churchill o tom řekl: „Chtěli volit mezi hanbou a válkou, zvolili hanbu a mají válku.“ Dnes Erdoganovi přenechávají zatím pohraničí, pak všechno, co bude chtít. To je ten mírový projekt EU.

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Г-жо Председател, уважаеми колеги, уважаема г-жо Върховен представител Могерини, това, че турският президент Ердоган нападна днес кюрдите в Сирия, не е изненада. Ние говорим за това с Вас повече от пет години. Предупреждаваме, настояваме и казваме: „Този човек е диктатор, този човек не се интересува от човешки права“. Той напада, окупира както кюрдите в Сирия, така и Кипър днес е окупирал, така застрашава и Гърция, така застрашава и България.

Тук въпросът е какво прави Европейският съюз (и във Ваше лице – Вие сте върховен представител). Трябва да бъдат взети мерки. Трябва да бъдат спрени всички финансови потоци от Европейския съюз към Турция. Трябва да бъде прегледано намерението на голямата германска автомобилна фирма, която се опитва да премести своя завод в Турция, защото Турция не спазва човешките права, защото Турция напада и убива цивилни хора, защото Турция на Ердоган е окупатор и агресор и не можете повече да си заравяте главата в пясъка. Трябва да вземете решение.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, vi ricordate quando nel 2015 ci impegnavamo a sostenere i combattenti curdi a Kobane nella lotta contro Daesh? Quando si parlava dell'incredibile modello Rojava, della sua innovazione sociale, dell'attenzione ai diritti umani e ai diritti delle donne, della laicità del loro sistema di governo? Ebbene, questo modello sta per svanire. Trump twitta ed Erdogan esulta. Dopo le operazioni "Scudo dell'Eufrate" e "Ramoscello d'ulivo", effettuate sotto il pretesto del terrorismo, il ritiro statunitense diventa un vero e proprio semaforo verde per Ankara, con un clamoroso voltafaccia verso un popolo intero che ha lottato senza quartiere contro Daesh. Mentre noi discutiamo, gli aerei turchi stanno già bombardando e si parla dei primi inevitabili morti tra i civili. Non è solo una tragedia umanitaria terribile, ma anche un incomprensibile assist a Daesh.

Colleghi, non possiamo tacere. Ogni leva negoziale deve essere utilizzata per dissuadere la Turchia da questo possibile sterminio. La Turchia continua a essere formalmente candidata all'adesione, uno status chiaramente non più compatibile con il suo atteggiamento aggressivo che lede il diritto internazionale, calpesta i diritti delle popolazioni coinvolte e che, ancora una volta, destabilizza una regione già martoriata.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signora Alto rappresentante, è di queste ore il terribile e purtroppo atteso annuncio dell'attacco militare turco nelle zone a maggioranza curda della Siria del Nord. Un attacco che avviene col complice disimpegno americano e che pone l'Europa davanti a tutti i suoi limiti. Erdogan sembra pensare di potersi ormai permettere tutto, anche di colpire i nostri alleati nella coalizione internazionale anti Isis, fondamentali con la loro eroica resistenza nella sconfitta dello Stato islamico.

È giunto il momento di parlare di azioni straordinarie e di sanzioni economiche mirate agli interessi dell'oligarchia legata ad Erdogan e di ritorsioni politiche ben più forti della mera sospensione del negoziato di adesione e della riduzione dei fondi. Se non lo faremo ora, se staremo ancora una volta a guardare per paura, allora davvero l'Europa avrà tradito tutti i suoi valori. Li ho conosciuti da vicino, in questi anni. Ho conosciuto l'audacia degli uomini e delle donne curde. Migliaia sono morti per la nostra sicurezza. Non meritano oggi la nostra indifferenza. Dimostriamo che l'Europa c'è o non ci sarà una seconda occasione.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Paní předsedající, to, čeho jsme se obávali, se stalo skutečností a Turecko zaútočilo.

Myslím, že nemůžeme čekat. Pokud bude tato situace pokračovat, pak samozřejmě EP musí přijmout své stanovisko v podobě rezoluce, ale dnes musí reagovat především výkonné orgány, a proto: Já bych opravdu chtěla slyšet od vysoké představitelky, co udělá dnes, co udělá zítra pro to, aby se zastavil turecký útok na Kurdy v severní Sýrii?

Tady není možné čekat. Víme, že se svolává Rada bezpečnosti OSN, teď v těchto chvílích, a EU nemůže čekat. Je to obrovské násilí, obrovské bezpráví, kterého jsme svědky, a Turecko, jak zde již bylo řečeno, má asociační dohodu s EU, která zatím nebyla zcela přerušena. My máme páky a tlak na Turecko a musíme jich 100% využít. Prosím o odpověď paní vysokou představitelku.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, the war-mongering chants from Ankara and the build-up of Turkish firepower on the Turkish-Syrian border is a sure sign that President Erdoğan is preparing to attack the peaceful enclave of Rojava, where Kurdish women have been rebuilding society through a new model of grassroots democracy, following the defeat of Daesh by the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) and their allies. It is they who liberated the Yazidi women from their mountaintop prison in Sinjar, eventually opening the way for a sustainable peace process. More than 11 000 men and women from the SDF gave their lives to liberate this region from Daesh. Twenty-two thousand more were wounded in the campaign. I visited the graves of the YPG and the YPJ martyrs in Kobane as part of a women’s peace mission in May 2018, and I paid tribute to their bravery. The West’s abandonment of the Kurds is a stain on all of us. I am proud to be a true friend to the Kurds, and that means telling the truth about the fascist dictator Erdoğan.

 
  
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  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the occupation of Turkey in North Syria is not only a slap in the face of the Kurdish forces who have fought ISIS and are now in imminent danger; it is also extremely dangerous for the two million refugees that Erdoğan threatens to send back to Syria. Despite this threat, Commissioner Avramopoulos talked with Turkey about refreshing the EU-Turkey deal only last week. It’s high time to show that this deal doesn’t hold a grip over the EU’s foreign policy. I’m happy to learn that the High Commissioner is urging Turkey to refrain from military occupation and to refrain from the deportation of refugees. But what will be the repercussions if President Erdoğan refuses to do so? Is the EU prepared to step up its resettlement efforts?

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, the aggression of the Turkish forces is a clear violation of international law and of the sovereignty of Syria’s borders. In the light of the betrayal of the Americans and the apparent genocidal attitude of the Turkish Government towards the Kurds, it should be condemned in the harshest of terms. We should now support the Russian Foreign Minister’s call for dialogue between the Syrian Government and the Kurds on the current situation. This suggestion has been welcomed by the Kurds and they look to Russia having a role in the talks.

Ms Mogherini said that Turkey is a key partner of the EU and Syria, and do you know what, Ms Mogherini, you’re actually right. And sadly you were partners with them. Sadly, you too were part of the American and a Saudi effort to destabilise Syria. You armed the jihadists. The lies that have been told of what’s happened in Syria is too bad and, but for Russia and Iran, things would be so much worse there. Why don’t you just lift the sanctions against Syria and create a facility where it would be more possible for refugees to return home. You said the Syrian conflict cannot be ended with weapons; well why the God damn did Europe keep pumping weapons into the place? Tell me that!

 
  
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  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Madam President, dear Ms Mogherini, the war is on again. You were talking mostly about Turkey, but what do you think about the fact that the US practically left behind the Kurds to the aggression of Turkey? This could, of course, cause a new influx of immigrants also into Europe. Isn’t this also a warning for European countries: that we shouldn’t rely on an alliance with the US, because one day we could also be left behind when we need it the most? Shouldn’t European countries rely more on their own defences instead?

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, first of all, I am glad to see, beyond some nuances or differences in tone, the same kind of analysis across the Chamber on the fact that this military intervention which Turkey has started in the north—east of Syria has to be stopped. I see that this unites the Chamber, as it has united the European Union Member States.

I am often asked here to make sure that the European Union speaks with one voice, and a clear voice and on time. In this case, I believe we have been speaking clearly – extremely clearly – and early. As I said, we first reacted immediately after the news of the telephone call between President Trump and President Erdoğan came out, during my visit to Jordan, and today we have reacted again with the clear and official position of the 28 Member States, which I stated just a few hours ago.

So: first we are expressing a clear, united position in time for it to be effective at least as a call; and second, we are coordinating with partners – partners in the region, partners beyond the region and other international organisations including, obviously, the United Nations. I’m glad that we managed, on the initiative of the European Union Member States sitting on the Security Council, to have this point on the agenda there, because it is there that it should be addressed. Furthermore – something that has not been raised here so far and I am surprised about that – you might have seen that NATO Secretary General Stoltenberg intends to have contact with one of the NATO Allies, namely Turkey, on this issue. I believe that we need to at least exchange views and opinions with them as well, to try and avoid this military intervention going on.

That is, I believe, the urgency at the moment, and I feel the same sense of frustration, urgency and sorrow that many of you have expressed about what is happening today: not only for the civilians who once again are victims, not only for the already internally displaced people in that area who are suffering again, but also for the Kurdish forces who have been fighting in the coalition against Daesh.

I very much agree with what some of you have said: the priority today is to focus on the UN-listed terrorist organisations. That means Daesh, first and foremost, and definitely not the Kurdish forces.

Turkey has a different reading on this. We have had discussions several times in a very open manner with Ankara about this. For the European Union, these forces are definitely not to be defined as terrorist organisations.

The other thing that we will put in place is a discussion with the Foreign Ministers, on Monday. That is already being prepared now. Today we had preparatory meetings and in the coming days these will continue – to see what other actions or reactions we can take from now to then, and to prepare for the European Council that will take place just a couple of days later.

Some of you have raised other issues and elements on which you have asked me to act. The honourable Members know very well that it is not in the hands of the High Representative to take decisions which ultimately lie, in some cases, with the European Parliament itself – on the allocation of funding, for example – and, in some cases, with individual Member States – on the export of arms, perhaps – or the Council, as with the possibility of introducing targeted measures or sanctions or stopping financial flows. I want to say one thing here though: I believe we have to be careful not to mix things up in a way that can be dangerous.

Some of you referred to the controversial, but ongoing, support that we are giving to Turkey – and not only to Turkey but also to other countries that are hosting Syrian refugees in the region. I want to name here Jordan and Lebanon and also Iraq and Egypt. We are giving this financial support not to those countries but to international organisations, starting with the UN agencies that are helping the Syrians in those countries. I believe the Syrians would be the victims – not twice or three times but four times over – if we had to think about stopping that financial support, because it is thanks to the European Union financial support that the Syrian refugees are being helped. And the EU support is going to those international organisations in those hosting countries – among them Turkey, yes, but the money doesn’t go to Turkey. I’ve said that in this Chamber many times, but it was in a different parliamentary term so I will repeat it today. That money, the money that supports the Syrian refugees in Turkey, as well as in other countries of the region, is not going to the Turkish authorities. It’s not going to Turkey. It’s going to international agencies, it’s going to international NGOs, and it’s going to the UN agencies for the Syrian people. I believe it would be a mistake to make them suffer – on top of what they’re suffering already – for the current situation as well.

Having said that, you can count on my full determination not only to ensure we do everything we can to protect civilians at this time – and to join forces with those with whom we can join forces to protect civilians – but also, most importantly and beyond that, to stop this military intervention. It is a mistake from so many points of view, and most of you have said that: from a humanitarian perspective; from the perspective of our achievements against Daesh; and – I’m surprised none of you mentioned this but I want to insist on it – in terms of the possibility of it seriously undermining the relaunch of the political process under UN auspices.

Two weeks ago we were hosting, as we do every year at the UN, the event on Syria. There, together with Geir Pedersen, we were saying that maybe this is the beginning of a new possibility for the political process to start, and it’s the first time in years that there has been a tiny step forward on the possibility of achieving a political solution. Now, two weeks later, we have this, which has also put at risk that very limited sign – but a sign nonetheless – of hope for the possibility of starting the political process. Obviously, it is also a mistake for all the other reasons that have been mentioned here, including with regard to regional balances.

So I really hope that we will manage to join forces with others. I really hope that this issue can be addressed properly in the UN Security Council tomorrow. You can count on me personally and on the European Union’s institutions, the Council and Commission, to do what we can, and obviously I count on you, the Parliament, to try and use these hours to apply maximum pressure, and try to stop this intervention that is definitely not going to bring anything good.

 
  
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  Die Präsidentin. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga (ECR), na piśmie. – Z wielką uwagą śledzę sytuację w północnej Syrii. Obawiam się, że rozwój wydarzeń w tym skomplikowanym regionie może mieć poważne konsekwencje geopolityczne. Doceniam rolę Kurdów w walce z terrorystami z ISIS. Rozumiem także wieloletnie ogromne obciążenie Turcji w związku z problemem uchodźców oraz dostrzegam zagrożenia dla bezpieczeństwa tego kraju.

Niestety dziś jeszcze wyraźniej widać błędy i zaniechania popełnione przez Zachód w decydujących momentach wojny w Syrii, takie jak brak decyzji o zakazie lotów wojskowych. Brakuje nam konsekwentnie realizowanej strategii. Obawiam się, że utworzenie strefy, do której przesiedli się uchodźców – w znacznej mierze sunnickich, od wielu lat przebywających na terenie Turcji – spowoduje jeszcze większe zachwianie równowagi w regionie. Niepokoi mnie ewentualny wzrost znaczenia graczy takich jak Iran i Rosja, których dotychczasowe działania, także w wymiarze globalnym, nie służyły stabilizacji.

 
  
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  Κώστας Μαυρίδης (S&D), γραπτώς. – Το 1974, παιδί ακόμα, έζησα την εισβολή της Τουρκίας στην Κύπρο. Γλύτωσα όμως και υποσχέθηκα να μην σιωπώ μπροστά σε παρόμοια εγκλήματα κατά της ανθρωπότητας. Σήμερα, ακούω τα ίδια ψέματα, την ίδια βρώμικη προπαγάνδα, και τα ίδια εγκλήματα κατά της ανθρωπότητας διαπράττονται από τον γνωστό εγκληματία της Άγκυρας, όπως και τότε. Ο εγκληματίας ονόμασε την εισβολή στη Συρία «ειρηνευτική επιχείρηση» και την εθνοκάθαρση και μετακίνηση πληθυσμών για σκόπιμο εποικισμό δήθεν «δημιουργία ασφαλούς ζώνης». Ο εγκληματίας που χρηματοδότησε και στήριξε το Ισλαμικό Κράτος, τη σύγχρονη μάστιγα κατά της ανθρωπότητας, τώρα επιχειρεί να εξαλείψει τους Κούρδους, τον κύριο σύμμαχο του πολιτισμένου κόσμου ενάντια στη βαρβαρότητα του Ισλαμικού Κράτους. Ως Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση, μπορούμε να επιβάλουμε εμπάργκο πώλησης όπλων, να συντρίψουμε την οικονομία του Ερντογάν και να κατανέμουμε κονδύλια ανθρωπιστικής βοήθειας προς τον κουρδικό πληθυσμό αντί προς την Τουρκία. Ωστόσο, συμφέροντα και εξαρτήσεις επιβάλλουν σε αξιωματούχους της ΕΕ να συνεχίσουν να ονομάζουν «στρατηγικό εταίρο» τον εγκληματία. Δεν προσδοκώ πολλά από όσους μιλούν δημόσια για αξίες αλλά εφευρίσκουν επιχειρήματα ώστε ο εγκληματίας να εγκληματεί. Σήμερα, απευθύνομαι στους Κούρδους μαχητές για να τους διαβεβαιώσω ότι η συνείδηση της Ευρώπης δεν είναι οι εξαρτημένοι αξιωματούχοι. Η συνείδηση της Ευρώπης είναι μαζί τους, ενάντια στον εγκληματία.

 
  
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  Leszek Miller (S&D), na piśmie. – Zdecydowanie negatywnie oceniam turecką operację wojskową przeciwko Kurdom w północno-wschodniej Syrii. Przez ostatnie lata Unia Europejska ściśle współpracowała z Syryjskimi Siłami Demokratycznymi przeciwko Państwu Islamskiemu. Dzięki tej współpracy oraz poświęceniu wielu tysięcy Kurdów, którzy zginęli w walce, udało się osiągnąć rzeczywiste wyniki w walce z terroryzmem.

Niestety teraz w wyniku niezrozumiałej decyzji administracji amerykańskiej tysiące radykalnych bojowników i popleczników ISIS przetrzymywanych w syryjskich więzieniach trafi na wolność, by ponownie stanąć do walki. Horror, którego z rąk dżihadystów ISIS doświadczyli mieszkańcy północno-wschodniej Syrii, może się zatem powtórzyć.

W obliczu porzucenia sił kurdyjskich przez amerykańskich sojuszników Unia Europejska powinna niezwłocznie podjąć działania dyplomatyczne, by doprowadzić do jak najszybszego rozwiązania kryzysu. Należy wykorzystać wszelkie formy nacisku na Turcję, by odstąpiła od ofensywy przeciwko Kurdom. Powinniśmy również rozważyć natychmiastowe skierowanie w rejon objęty działaniami wojskowymi niezbędnej pomocy humanitarnej i rzeczowego wsparcia, by w jak najbardziej ograniczyć skalę cierpienia ludności cywilnej.

 
  
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  Bettina Vollath (S&D), schriftlich. – Die türkische Regierung hat heute, 9. Oktober 2019, ihren Krieg gegen Minderheiten unter dem zynischen Titel „Operation Friedensquelle“ begonnen. Damit hat Erdoğan endgültig klar gemacht, dass er für die EU kein verlässlicher Partner ist. Die Invasion bedeutet eine humanitäre Katastrophe. Vertreibung und neue Fluchtbewegungen werden die Folge sein. In der Region leben bereits jetzt viele Angehörige von Minderheiten, die vor dem IS geflohen sind und dort Sicherheit gefunden haben. Die Bevölkerung ist schon jetzt in hohem Maße auf humanitäre Hilfsmittel angewiesen. Damit droht die gesamte Situation in der Region wieder zu eskalieren. Die türkische Invasion stellt einen Bruch des internationalen Völkerrechts dar. Die EU hat die Möglichkeiten, wirtschaftliche und diplomatische Sanktionen zu verhängen und sollte diese auch nützen.

Auch die Waffenverkäufe einzelner europäischer Mitgliedstaaten an die Türkei sind völlig falsch. Wir wissen, dass diese Waffen gegen Minderheiten eingesetzt werden. Wir haben den syrischen Streitkräften die Befreiung von ISIS zu verdanken. Die niederländische S&D-Abgeordnete Kati Piri hat in der Aussprache betont: „They were the ones who were fighting on the ground.“ Wenn wir Menschenrechte ernst nehmen, dann liegt es jetzt an uns, alle erforderlichen Maßnahmen zu ergreifen und den Krieg gegen Rojava zu verhindern.

 

19. Situation in Ukraine (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  Die Präsidentin. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung der Vizepräsidentin der Kommission und Hohen Vertreterin der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zur Lage in der Ukraine (2019/2834(RSP)).

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, in these five years, the citizens of Ukraine have been calling for change in their country. I say five years because, when I started as High Representative, Ukraine was almost the only issue on our foreign policy agenda.

In one sense I am worried that this is slipping away, as if problems were disappearing, and I am grateful to the European Parliament for putting this issue on the agenda. This will also be on the agenda of the Foreign Affairs Council next Monday, exactly because I want to make sure that the attention does not get lower at this moment on the situation in Ukraine. 

The citizens of Ukraine in these five years have been calling for change in their country, they have been working for change in their country. They have asked for reforms that would improve their lives, with more transparency, more honesty and no corruption. They have asked for a fully sovereign country, free from war and from foreign interference. And they have asked for a strong and close partnership with the European Union. They have not only asked for these things, they have also worked for these things.

Since our first debate on Ukraine five years ago, Ukraine has come a very long way. This has been possible first and foremost thanks to the determination of the citizens of Ukraine, their constant work for a better country. Throughout these years, the European Union has always stood at the side of the Ukrainian people.

After 2014 we put together for Ukraine the biggest support package in the history of the European Union, with over EUR 15 billion. We have invested more in Ukraine than in any other country in the world. No other partner has invested in Ukraine as much as we have done.

Our Association Agreement – which has now entered into force – is the most ambitious agreement that the European Union has ever developed with any other partner. It has already delivered an impressive increase, for instance, in our trade by almost 50%. Our support and our cooperation are having a very tangible impact on people’s lives. We have supported the creation of thousands of new jobs and helped deliver, through decentralisation, higher quality services for the citizens.

We have accompanied the reform of the security sector. And two years ago, we made travelling to the European Union easier for the people of Ukraine, thanks to visa liberalisation.

I have always believed that the best we could do for the people of Ukraine was to be there for them, was to accompany this quest for change, this quest for reform and this work that they have done themselves to change their country profoundly and to give our full support to this work for change. And I believe that the people of //!!Europe!! Ukraine// understand and appreciate and know very well how close we have become in these years.

After his election, President Zelenskyy chose Brussels as the destination of his first foreign visit, and he hosted the EU-Ukraine Summit in Kyiv/Kiev? in July – I was honoured to be there for an excellent meeting that we had. I met Foreign Minister Prystaiko two weeks ago in New York and he will be with us at the Foreign Affairs Council on Monday in Luxembourg.

The simple and powerful message that I will be proud to pass, I think I would say both of us, together, on Monday is this: the European Union and Ukraine have never been closer. This is something we say about other partners, but for Ukraine – if you look at five years ago – this was definitely not to be taken for granted. I believe this is an achievement that we can celebrate together. 

The new government has taken a bold approach to reforms. Expectations in public opinion are very high. The number of legislative acts adopted since this summer is unprecedented, and we are ready and willing to support the government in ensuring that this wave of legislation truly delivers in practical terms. For instance, we are ready to work with the government as it seeks to review some of the reforms in the judicial field. The citizens of Ukraine expect to see the first results of this push to make their country more transparent and fair for all.

Another extremely important area continues to be the fight against corruption. Improving the business and investment climate and tackling the oligarchic structures is also crucial to unleash Ukraine’s economic potential, but I would say for having a healthy environment in the country altogether.

We also continue to engage on energy sector reform, and we look forward to the unbundling of gas transmission from production and supply, which should happen by the end of this year. We are also working with Ukraine and Russia through our dialogue to conclude a new gas transit contract. It is essential to use the current momentum in the best possible way, respecting all democratic procedures and in constant consultation with the country’s vibrant civil society.

Thanks to these reforms and to our concrete support to these reforms – from the creation of the Anti-Corruption Court to security sector reform – Ukraine is today a much stronger country than it was five years ago. That is clearly visible today.

 

Our neighbours’ strength and resilience is obviously a core interest of the European Union. At the same time, we should never forget that Ukraine is still suffering a violation of its sovereignty and territorial integrity. Crimea is Ukraine, Donbas is Ukraine, and the European Union will continue to keep this position in the most unequivocal and united manner.

 

Through the years, we have never stopped working for the full implementation of the Minsk agreements. We have always managed to keep our unity on this, and I can tell you that five years ago, there were many that were betting on this: in the first place for it not to be possible; and then for it not to be possible to keep it.

 

We have always managed to keep our unity on this, and I am proud of it because this was and still is the right thing to do, and I am sure that we will continue to keep our unity in the years to come.

 

In recent weeks, we have witnessed some important developments in the Normandy format and in the Trilateral Contact Group. The outcome of the Trilateral Contact Group meeting in Minsk on 1 October, on the so-called Steinmeier formula, is a step that could hopefully lead to some progress towards the full implementation of the Minsk agreements by all parties.

 

It should be clear that the Minsk agreements remain central to reaching a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict in eastern Ukraine, to end the fighting and the suffering of so many people. It is crucial to sustain the progress in disengagement and constructing the bridge in Stanytsia Luhanska. And we need a lasting ceasefire, towards the ultimate goal of restoring Ukraine’s control of its whole territory.

 

We have never stopped supporting the work of the Normandy format, the Trilateral Contact Group, and the OSCE. And we will continue to do so until Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity are fully restored.

 

In the meantime, we have welcomed and we welcome the recent exchange of prisoners between Ukraine and Russia. That included the crew of the Ukrainian vessels detained by Russia last November in the Kerch Strait – a situation that we have discussed with Parliament several times – and Oleh Sentsov, whom you have awarded with the Sakharov Price. This is good news, and we will always encourage any step that can bring us closer to a solution.

 

We continue to call on Russia to release all illegally detained Ukrainians, and to ensure free passage through the Kerch Strait in accordance with international law. We are also investing in the infrastructure and security of the south-eastern regions of Ukraine that are affected by the situation in the Kerch Strait.

We should never forget or underestimate these immense challenges that Ukraine is still facing. And at the same, I believe we should always continue to believe in the immense potential of Ukraine and its people and invest in it.

After five years of work, I am proud of the progress we have achieved together in these years, in extremely difficult circumstances. And I am sure that – with this Parliament’s support – we will continue to stand at Ukraine’s side, as the country’s closest friend.

 
  
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  Sandra Kalniete, PPE grupas vārdā. – Cienītā sēdes vadītāja! Ukraina ir piekritusi Šteinmeiera formulas īstenošanai konflikta risinājumam Austrumukrainā.

Taču pamatots ir jautājums, kas ir mainījies kopš 2016. gada, kad šī formula tika piedāvāta. Gandrīz nekas.

Gribētos ticēt, ka šī vienošanās ir solis miera virzienā, bet tomēr ir šaubas. Jo patiesībā izskatās, ka no šīs vienošanās ieguvēja būs Krievija, jo, noturot vēlēšanas Doņeckas un Luhanskas apgabalos, separātisti iegūtu leģitimitāti. Un tieši tā Krievijai ir vajadzīga, lai atgrieztos starptautiskajā sabiedrībā.

Klīst pat runas, ka par savu pielaidību Krievija varētu pretī saņemt solījumu apturēt Ukrainas tuvināšanos Eiropas Savienībai un NATO.

Bez tam Ukrainā jau sākas protesti pret šo uzspiesto vienošanos. Tie var destabilizēt sabiedrību un valsti. Un arī tas ir Krievijai izdevīgi, tāpēc mums, Ukrainas draugiem, ir ļoti uzmanīgi jāseko notikumu attīstībai, lai nepieļautu, ka Donbasa problēma un Krimas aneksija pazustu no starptautiskās dienas kārtības. Paldies!

 
  
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  Kati Piri, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Madam President, over the past years, Ukraine has undergone a difficult political transition. The results of the presidential and parliamentary elections have given President Zelensky a clear mandate: the citizens of Ukraine demanded peace and higher living standards, as well as resolute action against corruption, and accountable public institutions with a modern judicial system at their core.

With the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, despite the progress made, the risk for political instability in Ukraine is still high. Some countries are trying to take advantage of such instability: the latest scandal involving the President of the United States is a showcase. Renewed momentum for diplomatic efforts is welcome and should be supported, but while we understand the context within which negotiations between Russia and Ukraine are taking place, the handover of a key suspect of the MH17 tragedy to Russia is, and remains, unacceptable. It is an offense to the victims and their relatives, and they deserve those responsible to be brought to justice.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Madam President, the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement and our partnership with the Ukraine is delivering positive results, based on the comprehensive framework agreed in 2014. Ms Mogherini, I completely agree with your assessment in this regard.

We expect the new Government of Ukraine to embark on an ambitious and timely pace of continuous reforms, especially in large-scale privatisation, land reform, energy, healthcare and, of course, the fight against corruption. The transformation process in Ukraine, as well as in other Eastern Partnership countries, will take time, and it’s important to maintain not only their ambition and strategic focus, but also ours. We are entering the next generation partnership with Ukraine, dominated by the principle ‘more for more’, and it should lead towards a gradual opening of the EU single market to Ukraine’s economy. Furthermore, it is of utmost importance to involve Ukraine and other Eastern partners in major EU initiatives on digitalisation, migration, social inclusion, sustainable energy and climate change.

Ending Russian aggression and achieving lasting peace is a shared European and Ukrainian hope. We are seeking peace and the EU should not create illusions, especially ones undermining the legitimate interests of Ukraine, and should avoid fake agreements such as the former Budapest Memorandum. Our actions within the soon-to-be-resumed peace negotiations need to be firm and reflect our commitment to a sovereign Ukraine and its people’s choice. We should help to achieve the eventual removal of all armed groups from the occupied territories of Ukraine, and Ukraine regaining full control of its border with Russia. Recent rallies in Kiev stand as a reminder that no agreement is possible unless accepted by everyone. I call on the Commission to elaborate and support a package for Ukraine’s macro-economic stability, including a social-stability package for the population of the occupied territories of Ukraine.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: MARCEL KOLAJA
místopředseda

 
  
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  Viola Von Cramon-Taubadel, im Namen der Verts/ALE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Die Menschen in der Ukraine haben am 21. Juli bei der Parlamentswahl mit ihrer Wahlentscheidung eine Revolution an der Urne vollzogen. Mehr als 80 % der Abgeordneten in der Rada sind neu. Das ist Chance und Herausforderung für die ukrainische Demokratie zugleich. Es muss deshalb in unser aller Interesse liegen, diese junge Demokratie in der Ukraine weiter nach Kräften zu unterstützen. Auch wenn die globalen Krisen – wie wir eben gehört haben – natürlich täglich zunehmen, darf die Situation in der Ukraine dadurch nicht aus unserem Fokus geraten. Denn auch die Ukraine steckt im Osten des Landes immer noch in einem echten Krieg, und auch dort gibt es fast 3 Millionen Binnenvertriebene.

Gleichzeitig sollten wir uns ehrlich machen und ebenso das Land einer kritischen Begleitung unterziehen. Wir müssen den Kampf gegen Korruption und gegen die Oligarchie ernster nehmen. Das schulden wir den jungen ukrainischen Bürgerinnen und Bürgern, insbesondere der jungen Generation. Unter der alten Regierung wurden wichtige Reformen angestoßen: Die Dezentralisierung, die Gesundheitsreform und das öffentliche Beschaffungswesen sind hier zu nennen. Diese Reformen in die nächste Phase zu überführen und damit die sozialen Standards vor allem in den Regionen zu verbessern, wäre ein wichtiges Signal, um Vertrauen in die Politik und die Institutionen zu stärken. Der Erfolg der Reformen in der Ukraine wird deshalb auch davon abhängen, ob und wie wir von Brüssel aus die neuen Kolleginnen und Kollegen im ukrainischen Parlament begleiten, unterstützen und gleichzeitig auch in die Verantwortung nehmen.

 
  
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  Lars Patrick Berg, im Namen der ID-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrte Hohe Vertreterin! Vor wenigen Wochen habe ich an einer Wahlbeobachtungsmission zu den Parlamentswahlen in der Ukraine teilnehmen dürfen. Ich bin nach wie vor beeindruckt von dem Engagement der Menschen, vor allem der jungen Menschen, in der Ukraine und ihrem Einsatz für Demokratie und Rechtsstaatlichkeit, und ich glaube fest an die territoriale Integrität des ukrainischen Staates. Ich freue mich daher, dass als Ergebnis der Minsker Gespräche die Abhaltung von Kommunalwahlen in der Ostukraine steht, an denen Beobachter der Organisation für Sicherheit und Zusammenarbeit in Europa teilnehmen, um sicherzustellen, dass die Wahlen frei und fair ablaufen. Noch mehr freue ich mich, dass diese Wahlen erst stattfinden können, wenn sich Truppen aus dem Gebiet zurückgezogen haben. Deeskalation ist in jedem Fall zu begrüßen. Dies ist ein mutiger Schritt von Präsident Selenskyj und allen anderen beteiligten Konfliktparteien, und ich hoffe aufrichtig, dass wir diese Initiative unterstützen können.

 
  
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  Witold Jan Waszczykowski, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, recently several new Ukrainian affairs have captured media attention. They do not give us a chance to forget about the conflict. One was the so—called Steinmeier Formula – a proposal to hold local elections in Donbas under OSCE and other supervision. The agreement does not however mention any military solution in Donbas. The proposal is in line with the Russian concept to federalise Ukraine, which may lead to autonomy of the regions, weakening of the central government and increased Russian influence.

I understand the search for a compromise solution. The democratic Ukrainian leadership has a full mandate to try to solve these terrible dilemmas in its own way. However, I should signal cautious behaviour, to be careful not to fall into another one of Putin’s traps.

Only relying on the Normandy format has not led to a solution of the conflict. It seems that some do not want to resolve the conflict in favour of Ukraine. They want to get rid of the problem and to return to business relations with Moscow. Warsaw, therefore, reminds European capitals and Kiev that solutions to this international dispute must be based on current international law and respect for victims’ rights.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace, on behalf of the GUE/NGL Group. – Mr President, in February 2014 Ukraine replaced its democratically elected government with a strongly anti-Russian government. It wasn’t a revolution; it was a coup. It was organised by the US, as exposed by the taped phone conversations of Victoria Nuland, Obama’s central agent there at the time. I think the advancements made by Zelensky and the Russians towards peace in eastern Ukraine are to be warmly welcomed. People who are highlighting or voicing resistance to the deal made with Russia should ask: what do the Ukrainian people want? Zelensky won over 70% of the vote on a pro-peace platform: that’s what the Ukrainians want. In Ukraine, the opposition to the prospect of peace is mainly coming from neo-Nazi groups, which played a terrible role back in 2014 and since. There’s also opposition by people who have a vested interest in filling the place with arms still. Ukraine has many challenges: millions have left the place; 80% of employment is in the black market; they need independence. They should be independent of Russia and of the West, but whether Zelensky has the power to bring that about, we only have to wait and see.

 
  
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  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Vážený pán predsedajúci, vážení kolegovia. Ak chceme dopomôcť mieru na Ukrajine, tak v prvom rade si treba otvorene povedať, že ako to celé začalo. Že tajné služby a mimovládne organizácie, financované aj odtiaľto z Bruselu, ale hlavne z Washingtonu, využili frustráciu bežných Ukrajincov, frustráciu z oligarchie, z korupcie a zorganizovali najprv majdan a potom sa rozpútala aj občianska vojna. Že po piatich rokoch konfliktu, po tisíckach mŕtvych ľudí, po miliardách vynaložených eur a dolárov je situácia na Ukrajine horšia ako kedykoľvek predtým a mier je v nedohľadne. A prečo? Ja vám to poviem bez cenzúry. Jednoducho preto, že Ukrajinci v tomto konflikte nikoho nezaujímajú. Ide tu len o to, aby západné firmy získali nové trhy a aby sa oslabila pozícia Ruska v Európe. Ak chce Európska únia Ukrajine naozaj pomôcť, tak najlepšie to spraví tak, keď nechá Ukrajincov rozhodovať samých o sebe, keď bude s Ukrajinou komunikovať, obchodovať, pretože Ukrajinci vedia o sebe sami rozhodovať, oni nie sú hlupáci.

 
  
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  Traian Băsescu (PPE). – Domnule președinte, deși minoritățile din Ucraina și-au pus speranțe în promisiunile electorale ale președintelui Zelensky, potrivit noului ministru al Educației, citez, școlile minorităților naționale care vorbesc într-o limbă a Uniunii Europene, din septembrie 2023, vor trece la predarea în limba ucraineană.

Kievul trebuie să înțeleagă faptul că minoritățile de pe teritoriul Ucrainei, fie că sunt etnici români, maghiari sau ruși, au dreptul să-și păstreze limba, obiceiurile și cultura, prin aceasta contribuind la îmbogățirea patrimoniului de valori culturale al Ucrainei. Fac precizarea că în Cernăuți, Odessa și Transcarpatia trăiesc peste o jumătate de milion de vorbitori de limbă română. Soluția pentru încetarea acestui contencios social între minoritățile de pe teritoriul Ucrainei...

(Președintele a întrerupt vorbitorul)

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Mr President, I believe that all efforts to support Ukraine’s reform agenda and sustainable peace in Ukraine deserve to be commended. However, it is not just peace that is missing: we should not forget that Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity continue to be violated. I very much agree with the High—Representative that we should stick to the measures which were put in place following Russia’s aggression against Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea until such time as Russia has fully complied with its international obligations.

Furthermore, I believe that our efforts to achieve sustainable peace in Ukraine must be driven neither by our desire to return at any cost to business as usual with Russia, nor by the Ukraine fatigue in our capitals, but rather by a very strong commitment to making sure that the wrongs done by the aggressor are righted and Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as its legitimate aspirations, are honoured by all.

 
  
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  Bernard Guetta (Renew). – Monsieur le Président, l’échange de prisonniers entre l’Ukraine et la Russie permet de reprendre espoir. Il semble que M. Poutine ait enfin compris qu’il s’embourbait dans le Donbass et que la Chine était certainement plus menaçante que l’Union européenne ne l’est pour son pays.

Nous savons ce qu’il aurait à faire pour mettre fin aux hostilités. Tant qu’il ne s’y sera pas résolu, l’Union devra maintenir ses sanctions économiques, mais il faut être deux pour revenir à la raison. L’Ukraine est la victime mais elle a aussi des gestes à faire et M. Zelensky doit compter avec moins sage que lui.

N’est-il donc pas temps, Madame la Haute Représentante, de rappeler à l’ensemble des Ukrainiens que nous leur avons apporté ces dernières années une assistance financière de plus de 15 milliards d’euros, que nous nous tenons à leurs côtés sur le front politico-diplomatique et qu’ils se doivent, en conséquence, de nous aider à les aider en faisant front avec leur président?

 
  
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  Ангел Джамбазки (ECR). – Уважаема г-жо Върховен представител, уважаеми колеги, както и в предишния дебат, който засягаше Турция, и тук ще обърна Вашето внимание върху нуждата от по-дръзка и по-организирана политика на върховното представителство на Европейския съюз по отношение на правителството на Република Украйна. Да, там има проблеми, които трябва да бъдат и могат да бъдат решени.

Но искам да Ви обърна внимание на факта, че в Украйна има признати няколко големи групи национални малцинства. Те са румънско, унгарско, българско (да не пропусна някое). И когато се преговаря с правителството на Украйна и с новия президент Зеленски, трябва ясно да се поставят въпросите за правата на тези малцинствени групи. Това са малцинства на държави от Европейския съюз. И ние трябва да насърчаваме Украйна да се присъединява към Европейския съюз колкото може по-бързо, но запазвайки правата и законовите интереси на тези групи от население. А това е във фундамента, в основите на нашите учредителни договори.

 
  
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  Nathan Gill (NI). – Mr President, Article 19 of the UN Declaration of Human Rights states that everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression. This includes the right to receive and impart information and ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers.

Every dictatorship and repressive regime immediately seeks to close down the freedom of the press and media, thinking foolishly that they can silence opposition. Ukraine’s previous President, Petro Poroshenko, tried, using legal process, to silence media that did not act as his mouthpiece. This was condemned and it failed. Ukraine has a new President, Volodymyr Zelensky, who is following the same old tired pattern. Despite claiming to be different, he has used legal process to strip TV stations of their licences and is threatening those he does not like.

Ms Mogherini, are you content to remain silent and allow this repression of freedom? Or are you going to use your influence with President Zelensky to protect the freedom of the press?

 
  
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  Radosław Sikorski (PPE). – Mr President, Ms Mogherini, for the record, I’m confident I don’t have to tell you how important this is, and that the principle that borders should not be changed in Europe by force is sacrosanct with this House. Therefore, if we were to find a solution in the Crimea Donbass, the people’s will should be freely expressed there – not under the barrel of a Russian gun. But I would also like to remind you that this should be a European issue: Ukraine is under Russian aggression because they chose to have an association agreement with us. They wanted their country to be more European. Therefore, I think the Geneva process – the EU, you, the United States, Ukraine and Russia – is perhaps a better formula for resolving this issue, rather than Member States freelancing on their own. Good luck.

 
  
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  Kosma Złotowski (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Pokój jest w relacjach międzynarodowych jedną z najcenniejszych wartości, to oczywiste. Szczerze życzymy nowym władzom w Kijowie, aby wojna, która od 2014 roku wykrwawia Donbas, zakończyła się jak najszybciej. Siadając jednak do rozmów z Rosją, należy pamiętać, że dla Moskwy każdy sygnał gotowości do kompromisu jest oznaką słabości, która zostanie bezwzględnie wykorzystana. Takie doświadczenia historyczne ma nie tylko Polska, ale także sama Ukraina. Trzeba wspomnieć tutaj ugodę perejasławską z XVII w. i jej skutki dla Ukrainy właśnie.

Formuła Steinmeiera może stać się dla Władimira Putina trwałą gwarancją bezkarności i rozgrzeszeniem jego agresywnej polityki. Będzie to również wygodny pretekst dla Francji i Niemiec, aby zacząć mówić o zniesieniu sankcji unijnych, choć nie ma dla takiego kroku żadnego uzasadnienia. Widzą te zagrożenia także obywatele Ukrainy, którzy coraz liczniej przeciwko temu rozwiązaniu protestują, nazywając je wprost kapitulacją. Warto wziąć te głosy pod uwagę.

 
  
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  Miroslav Radačovský (NI). – Vážený pán predsedajúci. Je mi cťou, že môžem sedieť v prítomnosti veľkých Britov, ktorí sa rozhodli byť slobodní a nezávislí od Európskej únie. Hovorím to preto, že som Slovan a som brat tak veľkého ruského národa, ako aj veľkého ukrajinského národa. Toto je národ, ktorý obýva jednu šestinu sveta. Môžem vám odporučiť, ako vec vyriešiť. Prestaňte zasahovať týmto veľkým národom do ich problémov. Oni si ich vyriešia sami. A takto budete konať najlepšie. To nie sú maličké národy, sú to hrdinské veľké národy, tisíc rokov spolu žili. Prestaňte zasahovať do záležitostí Slovanov. Slovania nie sú hlupáci. Slovania sú takisto hrdí, ako sú hrdí Briti, a my si vyriešime svoje problémy sami. To je všetko.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Mr President, we all know that Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression because they made the choice of European integration. Ukraine is also a victim of the West’s inability to stop such behaviour from Russia. We see the new leadership of Ukraine seeking solutions, which would help to bring peace, security and integrity of their territory, despite the fact that the key to peace is not in Kiev but in the Kremlin. So we need to praise the Ukrainian leadership for their will to seek peace, but we cannot push them into implementation of some unrealistic formulas. Ukraine deserves our much more serious support in their reforms and attempts to bring stability. Unfortunately, for the time being, it looks like Ukraine is only becoming a victim of the US presidential campaign.

But peace is not only the business of Ukraine. That is why I propose to establish a special steering group in the European Parliament which would take care of the peace process in Ukraine, just as we have a special steering group for Brexit.

 
  
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  Beata Mazurek (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! Ukraina jest tym europejskim państwem, które najboleśniej doświadczyło przemocy, a które równocześnie nie uzyskało skutecznego wsparcia ze strony demokratycznej Europy. Ukraina zdecydowała się zmierzać ku Zachodowi i oparła się agresji Rosji. Zbudowała armię i stara się przeprowadzić niezbędne reformy. Społeczeństwo Ukrainy w większości zaakceptowało dążenie do członkostwa w NATO i w Unii Europejskiej. Aby ten kurs utrzymać, Ukraina potrzebuje jasnej deklaracji ze strony państw Zachodu, że jej przystąpienie jest realne. Potrzebuje też jasnej deklaracji, kiedy i na jakich warunkach może to nastąpić. W przeciwnym razie znów przewagę zyskają zwolennicy zbliżenia z Rosją, a Ukraina oddali się od Europy. Nowe władze Ukrainy starają się utrzymać społeczne poparcie i nie zawieść zaufania, jakim obdarzono je w wyborach. Równocześnie część terytorium Ukrainy jest okupowana. Od nas, Europy, zależy, czy ukraiński kryzys uda się rozwiązać w drodze pokojowej. Konieczna jest jednak stanowcza i solidarna postawa Unii Europejskiej oraz polityczne i ekonomiczne wsparcie, które pozwoli nowym władzom utrzymać proeuropejski kurs i przeprowadzić reformy konieczne do wzmocnienia państwa i ugruntowania demokracji.

 
  
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  Александър Александров Йорданов (PPE). – Уважаема г-жо Могерини, г-н Председател, не мислите ли, че формулата „Щайнмайер“ окуражава постоянно г-н Путин, окуражава го да продължава своя план за Украйна? Не създава ли тази формула предпоставки за дългосрочно блокиране на всяко суверенно решение на институциите в Киев? Не е ли всъщност това формула за по-малко Украйна в Украйна?

И още един въпрос: корупцията. В Украйна тя е дело главно на бизнесмени и политици, свързани с Кремъл. Тя е руски продукт в Украйна. В този смисъл, не Ви ли прави впечатление, че всяка отстъпка пред Кремъл се възприема като успех на политиката на Путин? А там, където той постига успех, бъдете сигурни, че Европа губи. И мнението ми е, че отдавна е време някои европейски лидери да спрат да флиртуват с г-н Путин.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Andrea Bocskor (PPE). – Tisztelt Főképviselő Asszony! Áprilisban új elnököt, júliusban új parlamentet és kormányt választottak Ukrajnában. Fontos, hogy az EU már a kezdetektől figyelmet fordítson az új kormány tevékenységére, segítse az ország európai szemléletű átalakulását, a vállalt reformok teljes és megfelelő végrehajtását.

Az előző kormányzat Ukrajna megreformálását sok esetben az alapvető demokratikus emberi és kisebbségi jogok megszüntetésével vagy csorbításával valósította meg. Itt gondolok elsősorban az oktatási és nyelvtörvényre, vagy a magyar kisebbség elleni hangulatkeltésre. Egy Önhöz intézett írásbeli kérdésemben is felhívtam a figyelmet erre, hogy milyen atrocitások és állami zaklatások érték a kárpátaljai magyar vezetőket, szervezeteket. Az elnökváltás után ez valamelyest megszűnt, azonban továbbra is zajlik a magyar közösségi vezetők, szervezetek zaklatása, megfélemlítése, különösen az előrehozott parlamenti választások során. Továbbra sem teljesítik a nemzetközi kisebbségvédelmi kötelezettségvállalásokat, amiket szigorúbban számon kellene kérni a társulási tanácsok során.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, le notizie sulla famosa, anzi famigerata, chiamata di Trump al presidente Zelensky hanno parzialmente distolto l'attenzione da un altro evento fondamentale. Mosca e Kiev hanno infatti raggiunto un accordo che prevede elezioni nelle regioni di Donetsk e Luhansk, da tenersi secondo la Costituzione ucraina, sotto l'osservazione dell'OSCE e senza la presenza dei militari. Successivamente è prevista, peraltro, anche l'adozione di uno statuto speciale per il Donbass. Questa svolta arriva dopo un promettente scambio di prigionieri Ucraina-Russia e porterà a un summit del formato Normandia nel prossimo futuro, al quale spero potrà aggiungersi anche l'Alto rappresentante.

Della telefonata di Trump mi sono rimasti impressi i passaggi, durissimi, nei quali il Presidente americano accusava l'UE e i suoi Stati membri di non fare abbastanza per l'Ucraina. Il presidente Zelensky confessava di essere d'accordo. Per questo credo che l'Europa abbia un doppio importante compito: supportare fermamente la decisione del presidente Zelensky, nonostante tutti i comprensibili dubbi e le necessarie cautele, e vigilare affinché la Russia rispetti pienamente i termini dell'accordo. Cinque anni di conflitto hanno portato a 13 000 vittime, un milione e mezzo di persone senza casa e 40 000 feriti. Per quanto imperfetto, questo accordo...

(Il Presidente interrompe l'oratore)

 
  
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  Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL). – Pane předsedající, na Ukrajině je ohrožena svoboda médií. Podle samotných ukrajinských novinářů je ukrajinský mediální trh k nezávislým médiím a svobodě slova nepřátelský.

Důvodem je, že Ukrajinu ovládají oligarchové, jejichž média určují pravidla hry. Média, která se snaží působit skutečně nezávisle, jsou pak nucena v zájmu přežití porušovat i své vlastní principy. Neinformují o všech závažných tématech a své zaměstnance přetěžují a najímají je protiprávním způsobem.

Národní rada Ukrajiny pro televizní a rozhlasové vysílání neprodlužuje licence či se snaží licence soudně odebrat subjektům, které se snaží o vyvážené zpravodajské vysílání. Zástupci ukrajinské mediální sféry proto vyzývají i nás k připojení k boji za skutečnou svobodu slova a nezávislost ukrajinských médií. Otázkou je, jestli je EP vyslyší a připojíme se k nim. Měli bychom, protože jindy, zvláště v těchto tématech, jsme velmi aktivní a všichni získávají podporu.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señor presidente, queridos colegas, en primer lugar, quería aprovechar esta oportunidad — porque no sé si la tendré más adelante —para felicitar a Federica Mogherini por su excelente trabajo y su compromiso estos cinco años. También quiero desearle lo mejor y que, de ahora en adelante, siga ayudando a las instituciones europeas.

Sobre la cuestión de Ucrania, yo creo que no debemos olvidar que este debate nos afecta a todos los países de la Unión Europea, porque quizás se tiene la tendencia a pensar que es un problema que solo afecta a nuestros amigos de la Europa Central y Oriental. De la misma manera que, por ejemplo, la gestión de los flujos migratorios no debe ser solamente una cuestión por la que se preocupen los países de la frontera sur. Es importante que pensemos en Europa, en el marco de solidaridades cruzadas.

Este debate es muy importante también para salvaguardar la estabilidad política de toda la región, mantener una política de vecindad sólida y permitir que, si Ucrania quiere realmente tener una perspectiva europea, pueda democráticamente avanzar en esta dirección.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Federica Mogherini, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, I will do my part to contribute to your time management. I know it is very late and you still have a debate, so I would just like to take this opportunity to thank you for the input on different topics and maybe say just a few words on the fact that, for sure, the protection of minorities and media freedom inside Ukraine is part of our constant work with the institutions and also with civil society. This is an issue that I didn’t raise in my introductory remarks, so I want to add that, because some of you have rightfully raised this issue. This constitutes a constant attention that we have. I also want to guarantee to you that all suggestions and input on different topics, be it on the kind of support we can give to the reform process inside the Ukraine or to the Minsk Agreement implementation and the resolution of the conflict, will be reflected in our discussions with the 28 foreign ministers of the Member States on Monday, but also – and mainly – with our Ukrainian counterparts, as the Foreign Minister will be joining us on Monday.

As this might well be my last debate in this Parliament, I would also like to thank the Parliament – this mandate and the previous mandate – for an excellent cooperation, not only on the issue of Ukraine, but also on all foreign and security and defence issues in which the Parliament has played a crucial role over these five years. For me, it has been a real pleasure to share this work with you.

(Applause)

 
  
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  President. – Thank you, Ms Mogherini, for coming to Parliament at this very late hour.

The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Attila Ara-Kovács (S&D), írásban. – Támogatandók az Ukrajnában elkezdődött, demokratikus irányba ható reformok, amik az átláthatóság növelését, egy igazságosabb ország megteremtését és a korrupció legyőzését szolgálják. Miközben Ukrajna épp az oligarcha rendszer felszámolásán fáradozik, folyamatos külső fenyegetettséggel kénytelen szembenézni, szuverenitása és területi integritása továbbra is sérül az oroszok által.

Ukrajna stabilitása az EU érdeke is, többek között ezért kell támogatni a NATO-hoz való csatlakozási törekvéseit. Ez különösen fontos most, amikor az oroszok már uniós tagállamok választásaiba is beavatkoznak, és az EU-nak folyamatos kiberfenyegetésekkel és dezinformációs kampányokkal kell megküzdenie. Az pedig, hogy az EU-n belül még mindig van olyan kormány, amely hazája érdekei elé helyezi Oroszországét, eladósítja hazáját orosz hitellel (Paks 2) és orosz kémeket enged az Európai Unióba az orosz befolyás alatt álló Nemzetközi Befektetési Bankon keresztül, teljes mértékben elfogadhatatlan!

 
  
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  Marek Paweł Balt (S&D), na piśmie. – Ukraina, jeden z najważniejszych sąsiadów UE, jest ofiarą agresji militarnej, w wyniku której straciła część swego terytorium. Unia Europejska zapowiedziała pomoc Ukrainie, lecz ta nasza pomoc nie jest wystarczająca. Musimy bardziej się zaangażować i zwiększyć skuteczność tych działań, tak by obywatele Ukrainy odczuli, że ich wspieramy. Władzom Ukrainy powinniśmy przekazać pomoc techniczną niezbędną przy reformowaniu państwa. Doświadczenia państw członkowskich z Europy Środkowej są bezcennym przykładem dla naszego wschodniego sąsiada, ponieważ potrafiły one zrobić to, czego powinna dokonać Ukraina. Pomoc ze strony UE musi być zatem skuteczniejsza, a przede wszystkim natychmiastowa.

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR), na piśmie. – Obserwujemy sytuację, jaka ma miejsce na Ukrainie, w państwie bezpośrednio sąsiadującym ze wschodnią granicą Unii Europejskiej i będącym bardzo istotnym partnerem naszej wspólnoty. Te obserwacje budzą często mieszane uczucia. Z jednej strony cieszą nas gesty dobrej woli jak obustronna wymiana jeńców rosyjskich i ukraińskich. Z drugiej strony znów znaleźliśmy się w sytuacji, w której granice pomiędzy dwoma krajami zostały zmienione w sposób siłowy. Tego nie możemy zaakceptować ani u naszych sąsiadów, ani w żadnym innym miejscu na mapie świata.

Jako Parlament Europejski powinniśmy opowiedzieć się jasno i stanowczo za tym, by również na terenach objętych konfliktem respektowano prawo międzynarodowe, by szanowano prawa mniejszości narodowych, by wszyscy mieli prawo do informacji i wolności wypowiedzi. Miejmy nadzieję, że tzw. formuła Steinmeiera nie zostanie odebrana przez Rosję jako oznaka słabości i potraktowana jako ustępstwo wobec jej polityki. Oby nie była ona zachętą do dalszych agresywnych działań, mniej lub bardziej zakamuflowanych, jak miało to miejsce do tej pory.

Wkrótce odbędzie się posiedzenie Rady, na którym ma być też obecna delegacja Ukrainy. Liczę, że jej prace przybliżą nas do pokojowego rozwiązania konfliktu na wschodzie Ukrainy zgodnie z prawem międzynarodowym.

 
  
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  Urmas Paet (Renew), kirjalikult. – Ukraina kannatab juba alates 2014. aastast Venemaa agressiooni all pärast Krimmi annekteerimist Venemaa poolt ning vaenutegevuse algust Donbassis. Alates Krimmi okupeerimisest on Venemaa suurendanud seal oluliselt sõjalist kohalolekut ning repressioone nende suhtes, kes ei pea okupatsioonivõime seaduslikuks. Euroopa Liit on rakendanud Venemaa suhtes erinevaid meetmeid, sealhulgas sanktsioone, et survestada Venemaad järgima rahvusvahelise õiguse põhimõtteid. Samas on viimasel ajal üha enam hakanud kostma soove Euroopa Liidu ja Venemaa vaheliste suhete soojendamiseks. Selge näide sellest on näiteks Venemaa delegatsiooni õiguste taastamine Euroopa Nõukogu Parlamentaarsel Assambleel. Samas on oluline siiski, et EL välis- ja julgeolekupoliitika jätkaks üksmeelselt ka Venemaa ja Ukraina küsimuses ning seisaks selle eest, et sanktsioone ei leevendataks ega kaotataks enne, kui kaovad nende kehtestamise aluseks olnud põhjused.

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – Muito foi dito no debate sobre a situação na Ucrânia, mas poucas foram as vozes que recordaram o papel e a responsabilidade da União Europeia na situação que hoje se vive naquele país. O apoio que foi dado ao golpe de estado de 2014 abriu a porta a uma junta de natureza fascista.

O que sucedeu desde aí é conhecido: a multiplicação, o reforço e a legitimação institucional de milícias fascistas, a reabilitação e o elogio histórico do fascismo, a guerra civil, a fuga de milhões de ucranianos para países vizinhos, as perseguições a organizações e ativistas, nomeadamente ao Partido Comunista Ucraniano, cujo processo de ilegalização continua em curso e que está impedido de participar em eleições.

A recente eleição de um novo presidente não alterou o cenário político do país; prossegue o discurso anticomunista, reacionário, xenófobo e nacionalista. A tudo isto a União Europeia fechou os olhos, atribuindo mesmo 15 mil milhões de euros em apoios para reformas desde 2014. Também por isso, a UE tem responsabilidades na situação atual do país.

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec (PPE), písomne. – Za päť rokov, odkedy sa situácia na Ukrajine vyhrotila a tento náš sused bol napadnutý Ruskom, bola Európska únia tým partnerom, ktorý Ukrajine pomohol najviac. Nielen rekordnými pôžičkami, ale aj otvorením trhu, zavedením bezvízového styku, ale aj odborným poradenstvom pri riešení najpálčivejších problémov, ako je reforma súdnictva, boj proti korupcii, energetika alebo iné oblasti. Európska únia nie je vojenský pakt a naša pomoc môže byť len civilná. No rovnako dôležitá ako boj proti agresorovi je aj reštrukturalizácia fungovania štátu, kde sa za posledných takmer 30 rokov nerobili žiadne reformy. Naši ukrajinskí partneri túto pomoc veľmi oceňujú a prináša výsledky. Jedným z nich je aj to, že tento rok prebehlo pokojné odovzdanie moci a nová vláda chce pokračovať v proeurópskom smerovaní krajiny. Pani Mogherini má na týchto úspechoch výraznú zásluhu. Naša snaha by sa teraz mala sústrediť na to, aby na Ukrajine konečne zavládlo prímerie, Rusko stiahlo svoje jednotky a začal sa proces pripojenia separatistických regiónov späť k územiu Ukrajiny. Zaráža ma však, že sa takmer úplne prestalo hovoriť o Kryme, ktorý bol Ukrajine protiprávne odňatý. V tomto smere by mala Európska únia hovoriť oveľa jasnejším hlasom a otvárať tento problém pri každom rokovaní s ruskou stranou.

 

20. Authorization of GMOs (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the Commission statement on authorisation of GMOs (2019/2849(RSP)).

 
  
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  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, thank you for giving me the opportunity to contribute to this debate. This discussion is timely as tomorrow this House will vote on draft resolutions objecting to the authorisation of two new genetically modified maize varieties and the renewal of an authorisation for a genetically modified soya bean, all for food and feed use.

First let me state clearly: the European Union authorisation system for authorisation of genetically modified organisms has been established by European Union law. Through such legislation the Commission has received from the Council and Parliament a delegation of power to implement the system, but with little or no margin for manoeuvre.

The Commission is bound to apply the law and Parliament can only expect the Commission to respect European Union law. Respect for the rule of law is a guarantee of fundamental rights and freedom within the EU and no institution should be blamed for abiding by the law.

This does not mean that the Commission does not hear or listen to concerns and it is important to understand all of them, as some are very important. This is why at the beginning of this mandate this Commission proposed to the Council and Parliament to change the legislation on GMOs, in particular in light of the numerous objections voted on by the European Parliament. Unfortunately the last Parliament rejected the Commission’s proposal, without suggesting any amendment. This was clearly a lost opportunity and at the same time a clear instruction to the Commission to continue applying the existing law. This is what we have done.

Second, the existing European Union law establishes a system which is science-based and relies on a scientific assessment performed by the European Food Safety Authority, independently of the Commission. Both the quality and the independence of the European Food Safety Authority ensure that human and animal health and the environment are protected within the European Union at a high level with little equivalent worldwide.

The Commission only proposes to authorise genetically modified organisms when the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) has confirmed their safety for humans, animals and the environment. In relation to the authorisations to be voted on tomorrow, EFSA has concluded that they are as safe as their non-genetically modified comparators with respect to the potential effects on human and animal health and the environment.

As foreseen in European Union law, the Member States voted in these proposals for authorisation in the Standing Committee. However, the vote showed no qualified majority in favour of or against the approvals. In accordance with the rules on comitology, as adopted by the co-legislators, Parliament and the Council, and the Regulation on genetically modified food and feed, the Commission presented the draft decisions to the Appeal Committee, where again no opinion was reached.

I would like to make it clear here that, under European Union law, without such an opinion the Commission needs to take a decision alone. It does not have the luxury of having no opinion. It is not the Commission’s possibility. What is also sometimes frustrating is that Member States vote behind closed doors and the Commission is not entitled to disclose individual Member State’s vote. Here again, this Commission has considered the situation where Member States hide behind the Commission as very disappointing and unsatisfactory.

For that reason, the Commission has proposed to both the Council and Parliament to modify European Union legislation on comitology, so as to ensure more transparency. Unfortunately, little progress has been made on this proposal and I regret this situation because making the Commission a scapegoat can be harmful to Europe.

Overall, I hope I have demonstrated that the Commission has processed the applications for these GMOs in full compliance with the procedures set out by the co-legislators and that the Commission has fulfilled its duty.

Allow me to recall that the right of scrutiny of the European Parliament concerns the questions of whether the draft implementing act exceeds the implementing powers provided for in the basic acts. This is clearly not the case. The Commission has faithfully implemented the EU law, and therefore I fail to see the legal assessment that would justify the planned objectives. I would be interested to hear on which legal grounds the objection could be based.

Finally, let me conclude by stating the obvious. Genetically modified organisms are a sensitive issue. Citizens and Members of this Parliament have very strong and diverse views, not based solely on science. Some have concerns: there is a real and serious need to discuss which concerns can be considered as legitimate. Legitimate concerns are a very important area and it would be good to know from Parliament’s side, what does it mean by ‘legitimate concerns’.

At the same time, European Union agriculture is highly dependent on imports of genetically modified feed and this is simply a fact that cannot be ignored or dismissed, and we know that Member States that always abstain, they know that. It is important, therefore, to move away from sterile fights. Blame-games between EU institutions can only fuel Euroscepticism.

I would call for an open, honest and genuine discussion on our agricultural model, including its sustainability. I genuinely hope this can happen in the future, perhaps as part of the Green Deal and as a new Farm to Fork strategy.

 
  
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  Jessica Polfjärd, för PPE-gruppen. – Herr ordförande! Vi vill alla i detta parlament att vi ska minska utsläppen och att vi ska värna miljön och klimatet. Då behöver vi också fundera på hur odling kan bli mer effektiv. I detta sammanhang kommer växtförädlingen att spela en viktig roll, oavsett vad våra politiska motståndare tycker.

Jag kan bara konstatera att Efsa har gjort en riskbedömning av dessa grödor och kommit fram till att de inte är farligare än sina konventionella motsvarigheter. Det är den bedömning som kommissionen har lyssnat på, och därför har man inte heller överträtt sitt mandat.

Den centrala frågan är: Ska vi lyssna på vetenskapen eller ska vi inte lyssna på vetenskapen? Då måste jag fråga dem som är emot detta förslag: Vad är det då vi ska lyssna på om vi inte tror och tilltror den vetenskap och det utlåtande som Efsa har gjort?

Jag kan inte annat än beklaga att man verkar strunta i det. Vi tycker att detta fortsatt är en viktig fråga för klimatet och hur vi ska kunna odla i framtiden.

 
  
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  Günther Sidl, im Namen der S&D-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Für mich ist es grundsätzlich unverständlich, dass man gentechnisch veränderte Produkte nach Europa importieren lässt, wo ein Gesundheitsrisiko für unsere Bürgerinnen und Bürger nicht völlig ausgeschlossen werden kann. In diesen konkreten Fällen handelt es sich ja um Futtermittel aus herbizidresistenten Pflanzen, die oftmals mit viel zu viel Unkrautbekämpfungsmittel behandelt wurden.

Die heutige Diskussion bietet außerdem die Gelegenheit, sich nochmals auf die Aussagen der Kommissionspräsidentin Von der Leyen zu berufen, die auch von der designierten Gesundheitskommissarin bekräftigt wurden, nämlich dass Entschließungen, die eine Mehrheit dieses Parlaments finden, in den künftigen Entscheidungen der Kommission berücksichtigt werden. Ich bin gespannt, ob diese Aussagen Gültigkeit haben, sollten wir morgen und in Zukunft Gentechnikimporte hier im Haus ablehnen. Das wäre ein echter Fortschritt.

 
  
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  Jan Huitema, namens de Renew-Fractie. – Voorzitter, geachte Commissaris, wij als nieuwe Renew-Fractie zijn helemaal niet tegen ggo’ als techniek. In sommige gevallen zijn we juist voor het gebruik van ggo’s. We willen binnenkort dan ook een grote inhoudelijke discussie hebben over de toepassing van ggo’s, de risico's en de mogelijke potentie van het gebruik van ggo's. Ikzelf ben het ook niet eens met dit bezwaar omdat ik vind dat de Europese Commissie haar werk helemaal niet verkeerd gedaan heeft. Vindt u dat de uitkomst anders zou moeten zijn, dan is dat de taak van de wetgever – onder andere wij hier – om de wetgeving aan te passen en de Commissie een andere opdracht te geven.

Hoeveel bezwaren hebben we nu al gehad hieromtrent? Misschien al wel 40. Ik vind dat een inflatie van dit politieke instrument. Waar ik me zorgen over maak is dat de conclusies van EFSA steeds in twijfel getrokken worden. En waarom maak ik me daar zorgen over? Omdat ik het heel belangrijk vind dat we een objectieve scheidsrechter hebben die wetenschappelijk gaat kijken of iets gevaarlijk is of niet. Dat hebben we als politici juist besloten om te voorkomen dat we hier in dit Parlement een politiek welles-nietesspelletje krijgen over bijvoorbeeld chemische bestrijdingsmiddelen en ggo’s.

Ik zou jullie als collega’s dus graag willen oproepen om het negatief beoordelen van een scheidsrechter maar op een voetbalveld te doen, maar er echt voor te zorgen dat we een hele betrouwbare Europese Voedsel- en Warenautoriteit hebben omdat we anders gewoon helemaal niet meer met zaken vooruit komen.

 
  
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  Tilly Metz, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I would like to thank the Commissioner for his speech. We have heard these points many times, but the fact is that these crops are not safe. The three GMO crops we are objecting to have been modified to be tolerant to several herbicides, one of which is toxic for reproduction and no longer authorised in the European Union. This means ever increasing quantities of herbicide during cultivation, and a higher level of residues on the imported crops. This is dangerous and a vicious circle that is simply ignored by the European Food Safety Association (EFSA) and the Commission.

The same goes for the devastating impact on health and biodiversity in the countries of cultivation. We finally need to stop this insanity, not support it through new authorisation. The last Parliament said ‘no’ to GMOs 36 times; tomorrow this new Parliament will hopefully adopt a strong ‘no’. The crucial question is this: will the Commissioner hear us for his decision?

 
  
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  Silvia Sardone, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, in questi anni abbiamo visto davvero di tutto: carne agli ormoni, alimenti provenienti da OGM nocivi e tutti i tipi di schifezze varie. A questi, ovviamente, vanno aggiunti tutti i prodotti taroccati: il finto parmigiano, i finti salumi, le finte mozzarelle dalle dubbie provenienze. Per il vantaggio economico di pochi si rischia di penalizzare la salute alimentare di tutti. Penso che la sicurezza alimentare e la coltivazione di prodotti di qualità debbano essere sempre una priorità, soprattutto per noi, qua in Europa, e per questo mandato.

Ritengo però assurdo che la nuova Commissione gestisca in questo modo il tema. In generale non ritengo corretto che ventinove persone in una stanza decidano per più di 500 milioni di cittadini. Che cosa succede? Il Parlamento dice di no ad un OGM, la commissione ENVI dice di no, il comitato di esperti degli Stati membri non produce alcun parere e alla fine che cosa succede? La Commissione se ne frega e l'OGM continua ad essere utilizzato in maniera opaca. In pratica, un burocrate a Bruxelles, chiuso in un ufficio di una Direzione generale Agricoltura o Salute decide per tutti. È davvero assurdo!

 
  
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  Anthea McIntyre, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, Greta Thunberg’s message on climate change is ‘I don’t want you to listen to me. I want you to listen to the scientists’. And everyone agrees: listen to the science. When we see a falling—off in the number of parents having their children vaccinated, we say ‘protect your children; listen to the science’. But when it comes to GM maize or GM soya bean, the objectors are saying ‘ignore the science’. These three objections call for us to ignore science. They make spurious assertions about the excessive use of glyphosate, but EFSA’s GMO panel in all three cases found no safety concerns for human consumption. In line with scientific evidence, both EFSA and ECHA produced favourable opinions.

The draft measures are in accordance with the legal processes specified in Regulation No 1829/2003. These processes ensure that approved GM products are as safe as their conventional counterparts. We are in danger of undermining the legitimacy of the entire EU regulatory system by continually questioning the objectivity and authority of scientific evidence; by continually rubbishing the science. GM for food use is limited, but there is EU—wide dependency on GM for protein crops for use in animal feeds. We need to get this done. The EU has to decide whether we accept science or not.

(Applause in some quarters)

 
  
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  Anja Hazekamp , namens de GUE/NGL-Fractie. – Voorzitter, terwijl de Amazone in brand staat, wil de Commissie opnieuw genetisch gemanipuleerde mais- en sojavarianten toestaan. Ironisch, want het regenwoud wordt juist gekapt om plaats te maken voor precies deze genetisch gemanipuleerde mais en soja. Alleen maar om de Europese honger naar veevoer te stillen. Deze mais- en sojavarianten zijn bestand tegen het landbouwgif glyfosaat en glufosinaat. Glyfosaat is volgens de wetenschap waarschijnlijk kankerverwekkend. Glufosinaat is in Europa verboden, omdat het de voortplanting schaadt. Beide zijn ronduit funest voor de biodiversiteit. Door deze mais en soja te importeren brengt de Commissie de gezondheid van mensen en ecosystemen in de exporterende landen in gevaar.

Stop deze toelatingen! U hoeft de multinationals niet langer hun zin te geven. Uw verantwoordelijkheid is niet naar Bayer, Syngenta en Dow Chemicals, maar naar de burgers en de toekomst van de planeet.

Voorts ben ik van mening dat de Europese landbouwsubsidies moeten worden afgeschaft.

 
  
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  Marco Dreosto (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quella contro gli OGM non è solo una battaglia salutista ed ambientalista, ma anche etica, cara collega. La salvaguardia dei prodotti tipici delle colture tradizionali e storiche potrà, da un lato, preservare le biodiversità e, dall'altro, dare al mondo agricolo e rurale una nuova energia economica e fonte di reddito. La coltivazione di colture OGM favorisce poi lo sviluppo di un'agricoltura industriale, basata sulle monocolture, dove specie viventi stanno scomparendo ad un ritmo di mille volte superiore a quello naturale.

Il Parlamento europeo nell'ultima legislatura – lo abbiamo detto – ha approvato circa 36 obiezioni agli OGM e nonostante ciò la Commissione continua ad autorizzarli, pur non avendo nessun obbligo di farlo. La nuova Commissione europea, attiva sul Green Deal, dimostrerà il suo impegno con atti concreti solamente se ascolterà fin da subito questo Parlamento, non autorizzando l'importazione di prodotti contenenti OGM che comporterebbero, come in questo caso, lo abbiamo detto, un maggiore uso di erbicidi e di conseguenza una maggiore quantità di residui nel raccolto.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, primum non nocere, în primul rând nu fă rău, este un vechi dicton medical, iar eu sunt medic, medic de urgență, așa că atât timp cât ne găsim în fața unui produs care nu este verificat și ridică mari semne de întrebare în ceea ce privește eficiența și siguranța alimentară, lucrurile sunt mai presus de orice fel de dubiu. Mi se pare de altfel ipocrită compararea cu vaccinurile, soluții medicamentoase folosite de zeci de ani care și-au dovedit eficacitatea în contextul unor epidemii preexistente, cu ceva nou introdus pe piață, pe care nu-l știe nimeni, nu l-a verificat nimeni și care nu previne nicio catastrofă în acest moment. Sau poate îmi spuneți mie, este vreo epidemie legată de insecticide?

În aceste condiții, cred că trebuie mare prudență în ceea ce vrem să facem. Criteriile etice, criteriile medicale ne spun să ne uităm cu foarte mare atenție pentru ca acel pact ecologic să nu rămână doar o vorbă goală și o Europă verde să nu fie doar istorie. Vă cer să analizăm cu mare atenție și astfel de soluții să nu treacă niciodată, pentru că atât timp cât există vreun risc pentru viața cetățenilor europeni, noi, cei trimiși aici în mod democratic, trebuie să ne opunem. Vă mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Eleonora Evi (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sul tema degli OGM in Europa non c'è democrazia e questo Parlamento lo ha denunciato più volte nelle sue 36 risoluzioni votate a larghissima maggioranza nella scorsa legislatura. Lo diceva anche il Presidente Juncker, che cinque anni fa aveva promesso di rivedere il processo decisionale. Una promessa mancata, visto che nulla è cambiato.

Gli Stati non si mettono d'accordo, non decidono né sì né no. Quelli per il no sollevano dei dubbi legittimi sulla sicurezza degli OGM per la salute umana e per l'ambiente. La palla però passa alla Commissione che, stando alle regole attuali, procede sempre ad autorizzare nuovi OGM, calpestando però di fatto la volontà di questo Parlamento e quella di milioni di cittadini contrari agli OGM e calpestando il principio di precauzione, per l'ennesima volta.

Signor Commissario, così facendo noi stiamo mettendo a dura prova la tenuta delle istituzioni europee e la fiducia dei cittadini. Lo ha detto anche lei. Ma è compito della Commissione europea, che ha l'iniziativa legislativa, rendere finalmente trasparente e democratico questo processo.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, honourable Members, colleagues, I am very happy to listen to you, and especially let me react to the last speech by Madame Evi.

As you know, Jean—Claude Juncker’s promise was realised. The Commission proposed changes in GMO law to the European Parliament twice, and Parliament decided to reject it – not showing a willingness to cooperate and see which amendments would be better.

Now you are once again repeating the situation on what was delivered by the Commission. The proposals offer the possibility to change the rules on standing committees – speaking about transparency and democracy and, of course, the rule of law.

We are all obliged under the rule of law.

Now, I’m listening to Amazon issues, to different views. OK. But these are not about the substance and, concretely speaking, about the authorisation of cases which are under strict rule of law conditions.

The Commission has no chance to deviate from the rule of law.

Thank you once again. I only want to reiterate a few important points of principle.

EU institutions should look for common approaches and solutions, not fight each other. This will only help to fuel – as I mentioned before – conflicts in society, and Euroscepticism.

GMOs are a most difficult and very decisive topic, but the Commission today has no choice but to implement existing European Union legislation. The Commission proposed to modify this legislation. I fully regret the situation now, but this is Parliament’s responsibility, because Parliament decided to reject our proposal.

You cannot fully ignore science in our decisions on human health, environmental protection and food safety. We should base our decisions on science, not only on public opinion. I know – speaking about legitimate concerns – that it’s very important to discuss these issues, but we need to know what ‘legitimate concerns’ mean, and not only to put the blame on the Commission.

I invite you all to reflect about a sustainable future for European Union agriculture in the light of concerns for the environment, but also on the importance of having fresh, nutritious and healthy food produced in Europe at affordable prices.

European Union food should not be reserved only for its wealthiest citizens. We need to understand, social, economic, and other consequences. We need to be very careful.

I once again see only one way: to follow the law, to follow science and to really create a good environment in our debates about legitimate concerns, describing what legitimate concerns mean. Then maybe we will see how we can continue in changing our laws, and so on.

The law is the law and the Commission will follow the law as it is.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Edina Tóth (PPE), írásban. – Az elmúlt években nagymértékben fejlődtek és egyre nagyobb teret kapnak az új biotechnológiai eljárások, többek között a gén- és genomszerkesztés. Ezzel párhuzamosan a világon mindenhol elterjedtek a géntechnológiával módosított takarmánynövények, amelyek hatással lehetnek a biodiverzitásra, nagyban hozzájárulnak a növényvédőszer-rezisztenciához és a genetikailag módosított organizmusok bekerülnek a természetes környezetbe. Fontos kiemelni, hogy az Eurobarometer jelentése szerint az európai lakosok több mint fele az ismeretlen kockázatok miatt jelentős aggodalmat táplál a génmódosított élelmiszerekkel szemben. Úgy gondolom, az Európai Unió számára kiemelten fontos kell, hogy legyen a jövő nemzedéke számára az egészséges alapanyagokhoz való hozzáférés biztosítása.

Magyarország számára stratégiai kérdés a géntechnológiával módosított szervezetekkel kapcsolatos tevékenységek szabályozása. Hazánk GMO-mentes stratégiájával, az Alaptörvénnyel, valamint az elővigyázatosság elvével összhangban kívánjuk megőrizni Magyarország genetikailag módosított előlényektől mentes mezőgazdaságát, így biztosítva a jó minőségű, biztonságos és egészséges élelmiszerek előállítását.

 

21. Fight against cancer (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the debate on the Commission statement on the fight against cancer (2019/2852(RSP)).

Before I open the debate, please let me remind you that we are running really late, we are running over time. Therefore, I cannot afford to accept blue-card requests, and catch-the-eye is limited, so I cannot promise that I will be able to grant all requests for the floor. Also, the electronic system is not working at the moment, so please ask for the floor for the catch-the-eye procedure in a standard way.

 
  
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  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, Honourable members. It has been 22 days since I last addressed the plenary about cancer. In that time, many people’s lives have been turned upside down by a cancer diagnosis. Hundreds have had cancer treatment, and many patients have walked out of hospital and returned to their daily lives with cancer in remission. Some have also sadly died. My point is that cancer affects nearly all of our lives. I know very well the physical and emotional consequences of this disease, not only as a medical doctor, but also as someone who lost three brothers to this disease.

So I’m happy to stand before you again to reiterate the importance of Europe coming together to beat cancer. We already know that 40% of cancer cases could be prevented by avoiding key risk factors like smoking, alcohol, physical inactivity and excess body weight.

I would like to highlight once again how important it is to grasp this fact and turn it into action. However, this is difficult to achieve when we are only spending three percent of health system resources on prevention. This is simply not enough; this is a drop in the ocean. If we want to succeed, we need to increase this amount and make sure that what we do spend is spent effectively.

I will not go again through all that the EU has so far achieved on cancer, but I would like to proudly recall: EU legislation that has been upgraded on chemicals, pesticides and exposure to carcinogens, including at work. Tobacco consumption fell through legislation and anti-smoking campaigns. The European Code Against Cancer, which is spreading the word on prevention. The continuous improvement in coverage and quality of national screening programmes for breast, cervical and colorectal cancer. Twenty—four European Union reference networks, of which four are dealing specifically with rare and complex cancers, especially in children.

This list is not finished; they have more to do. Dear Members, we all agree that we should grasp technological and scientific developments when it comes to cancer prevention, treatment and care. It is essential that this innovation and these developments reach the patients who need them. As you know, investment in research and innovation has been a long-standing priority of the Commission, and this will continue. With its proposal for Horizon Europe, the Commission has introduced a mission approach, which would help to build a coalition to address the most pressing global and European challenges.

One of the first mission areas identified for Horizon Europe is action on cancer to mobilise a broad spectrum of actors, including citizens, patients and all those who care for them. It is a relentless disease, but science is also a relentless, and so is our collective determination to fight this disease.

Thank you for your insistence, determination and commitment to put cancer on the EU agenda. I am pleased to see that my successor has been given the privilege to present a European plan against cancer with a holistic approach. This means it will look at prevention, diagnosis, treatment, palliative care and survivorship. I’m sure that, together with you and the Member States, the next Commission will be able to forge a strong alliance to prevent cancer, promote innovation and improve treatment and care in the interests of all.

 
  
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  Peter Liese, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident, Herr Kommissar, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Warum diskutieren wir innerhalb von drei Wochen jetzt zum zweiten Mal über Krebs? Weil es wichtig ist, weil wir aber auch ganz konkret als EVP den Vorschlag unterbreiten möchten, dass wir im Europäischen Parlament einen Sonderausschuss Krebs errichten. Ich glaube, über das Ziel, dass wir Krebs bekämpfen, besteht Gott sei Dank Einigkeit.

Wir haben ja zwei Seiten der Subsidiarität: Subsidiarität heißt, dass die niedrigere Ebene das machen muss, das man dort besser machen kann. Manche Dinge können wir von Europa aus nicht regeln. Subsidiarität heißt aber auch, dass dort, wo die Mitgliedstaaten alleine nicht erfolgreich handeln können, Europa mehr tun muss, und das ist bei Krebs definitiv der Fall. Ich nenne mal nur das Beispiel der personalisierten Medizin. Wir haben ja immer kleinere Untergruppen von Patienten, von Krankheiten, und nur, wenn wir europäisch zusammenarbeiten, können wir gute Forschung und gute Medizin machen.

Warum aber jetzt ein Sonderausschuss? Die Kollegin Kopacz, ehemalige Premierministerin Polens, hat diesen Vorschlag innerhalb der EVP unterbreitet. Ich habe zunächst gedacht: Ist das nicht was, was der ENVI-Ausschuss machen muss? Ich habe mich aber überzeugen lassen. Erstens hat der ENVI-Ausschuss mit dem green deal sehr viel zu tun, und dieses Thema Krebs sollten wir nicht in einem Ausschuss nebenbei behandeln, sondern das muss Priorität mit einem eigenen Ausschuss haben. Wir brauchen ja auch die Zusammenarbeit. Wir brauchen die Expertise aus der Forschung vom ITRE-Ausschuss, Schutz am Arbeitsplatz, soziale Rechte auch von Krebspatienten – das macht der EMPL-Ausschuss. Das alles muss zusammenkommen, damit wir gemeinsam für die Patienten erfolgreich sein können.

Deswegen bitte ich die anderen Fraktionen – wenn wir dann die konkrete Entscheidung treffen, hoffentlich in Straßburg in der nächsten Plenarsitzung –, diesen umfassenden Ansatz zur Bekämpfung von Krebs zu unterstützen. Ich bedanke mich schon im Voraus dafür und danke Ihnen für die Aufmerksamkeit.

 
  
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  Nicolás González Casares, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor Liese, estamos de acuerdo en debatir sobre el cáncer, pero yo creo que, a día de hoy, este Parlamento tiene suficientes herramientas, como la Comisión ENVI, donde todos los grupos estamos representados y donde se tratan los temas de salud. Estoy de acuerdo con los enfoques integrales y con debatir sobre el cáncer, pero yo creo que tenemos suficientes herramientas para trabajar sobre él.

Hay que debatir sobre el cáncer, hay que debatir sobre la segunda causa de muerte en Europa, hay que debatir sobre una enfermedad que produce 3,7 millones de nuevos casos al año. Claro que hay que debatir sobre ello, pero, sobre todo, hay que luchar contra el cáncer día a día, con políticas que demuestren que tenemos una voluntad decidida.

Desde luego, tenemos programas de investigación como Horizonte Europa —la continuación de Horizonte 2020 en los próximos años— que deben ser la punta de lanza en la lucha desde aquí, desde la Unión Europea, contra el cáncer. Pero no olvidemos, desde el Partido Popular Europeo, que a veces se nota cierta mala conciencia. El comisario lo ha dicho: el gasto público en sanidad pública, en salud pública, es importante. El recorte en gasto público y en sanidad pública produce muertes o, en todo caso, también disminuye la reducción de la mortalidad.

Por lo tanto, está bien debatir sobre ello, pero debatamos desde un punto de vista integral. Que las investigaciones sobre el cáncer, que los avances en prevención lleguen a todos los ciudadanos de la Unión Europea, sin importar el rincón en que ellos vivan.

 
  
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  Petra De Sutter, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, we just heard the figures. I won’t repeat them, but I just want to say that in Europe we account for more than 20% of global cancer cases and deaths, whereas we only have 9% of the global population, so something is particularly wrong in Europe. We know that this leads to considerable direct health and indirect social and economic costs, and of course it should be a priority for this Parliament, so I very much welcome the initiative, the debate of today.

However, in light of the ‘health in all policies’ approach, I want to stress that we really should invest much more in prevention because all Europeans are exposed daily to several substances that we know are proven to be carcinogenic or pro—carcinogenic. Banning these should be a key priority because we don’t only need to fight against cancer but also against its causes, and this would perfectly fit in the zero-pollution ambition of the incoming Commission.

 
  
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  Joanna Kopcińska, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Panie Przewodniczący! Panie Komisarzu! Obecnie w Polsce realizowane są projekty tworzenia kompleksowych sieci onkologicznych mających na celu zapewnienie równego dostępu wszystkim pacjentom. I tak jak w Polsce podjęte działania dotyczą scalenia sfragmentaryzowanej opieki medycznej i połączenia ich w jedno skoordynowane działanie, tak samo w Europie powinniśmy połączyć siły i stworzyć plan wspólnego i konkretnego działania bez wykluczania kogokolwiek.

Dlatego jeżeli rzeczywiście mamy działać tu, w Parlamencie Europejskim, to podejmijmy kroki w kierunku stworzenia skoordynowanej opieki zdrowotnej, aby optymalnie wykorzystać wiedzę, którą mają już państwa członkowskie. Wymieniajmy doświadczenia, aby leczenie miało cechy nie przypadkowego i fragmentarycznego działania, ale działania, w którym liczy się prosta zasada głosząca, że dobro pacjenta jest najważniejsze. Niech miejsce urodzenia, zamożność czy reforma ubezpieczeń zdrowotnych nie będą czynnikiem, który pozbawia europejskich pacjentów nadziei w chorobie nowotworowej. Niech nasze działania połączy przysłowiowa polska solidarność, ponieważ w obliczu choroby wszyscy możemy stanąć solidarnie z pacjentami, których wyzwaniem jest walka z chorobą.

 
  
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  Ewa Kopacz (PPE). – Panie Przewodniczący! W Komisji Europejskiej od wielu lat toczą się prace związane z walką z rakiem. Zrobiono wiele, ale to wciąż za mało. Europa potrzebuje skutecznej strategii walki z rakiem. Europejczycy zasługują na kompleksowy i horyzontalny program wypracowany z udziałem najlepszych specjalistów. Wprowadzenie jednolitych standardów we wszystkich krajach członkowskich oraz wzmocnienie warunków sprzyjających realizacji indywidualnych potrzeb pacjentów jest niezbędne i konieczne. Ten szczególny wyścig z czasem wygramy tylko wtedy, kiedy ponadpartyjnie zabierzemy się do pracy w ramach komisji specjalnych. Jednego, czego teraz potrzebujemy, to woli politycznej, a może po prostu dobrej woli. Liczę na państwa wsparcie. Nasi obywatele spoglądają z nadzieją w kierunku Brukseli. Nie możemy ich zawieść.

 
  
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  Sara Cerdas (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, num programa europeu de luta contra o cancro, vejo um foco muito grande no diagnóstico precoce e no tratamento, que são, sem dúvida, de elevada importância, mas quero aqui recordar que 30 a 50% dos casos de cancro poderiam ser evitados através da redução de fatores de risco e com a implementação de estratégias preventivas baseadas em provas.

É fundamental, assim, um trabalho mais articulado entre o Parlamento Europeu através da sua Comissão Parlamentar ENVI, a Comissão Europeia e o Conselho, eliminando, assim, a duplicação de esforços, com melhor uso dos recursos disponíveis de forma a dar uma resposta eficiente aos nossos cidadãos.

Não basta estarmos em debates, precisamos de agir e implementar medidas. Os cidadãos querem resultados concretos e eficazes, querem um maior investimento na investigação para o cancro e no desenvolvimento de novas tecnologias de diagnóstico e tratamento, bem como um melhor acesso aos fármacos.

Quais são as estratégias concretas que a Comissão irá adotar para reduzir os fatores de risco determinantes para o desenvolvimento de doença oncológica?

Quero aqui reforçar que a intervenção nestes determinantes deverá contribuir para a redução do desenvolvimento de outras doenças, nomeadamente, outras doenças não transmissíveis e relembro ainda que esta é a principal causa de morte dos cidadãos europeus.

 
  
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  Dolors Montserrat (PPE). – Señor presidente, ¿por qué es de vital importancia crear una Comisión Especial sobre la Lucha contra el Cáncer en este Parlamento? Porque el cáncer va camino de convertirse en la primera causa de muerte en Europa. Este año 2019, 1,4 millones de europeos van a fallecer a causa del cáncer. Ello nos lleva a reaccionar, a actuar y a convertirlo en una de nuestras máximas prioridades.

El Plan Europeo de Lucha contra el Cáncer y esta Comisión nos ayudarán a aunar esfuerzos, a mejorar las alianzas, a mejorar las soluciones, a tener un enfoque integral para mejorar la prevención, la detección precoz, a aumentar la inversión en investigación. Es necesario también un plan concertado de ayuda no solo para los que sufren cáncer, sino también para sus familias; políticas sociales y ayudas sociales a sus familias.

Por tanto, en el Partido Popular lideramos y estamos decididos en constituir esta comisión y en poner en marcha este Plan Europeo de Lucha contra el Cáncer. Nos lo piden los europeos.

 
  
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  Μαρία Σπυράκη (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, σύμφωνα με τις στατιστικές, στην Ευρώπη εντοπίζεται το 1/4 των παγκόσμιων περιστατικών καρκίνου: 3,91 εκατομμύρια περιστατικά για το 2018 και 1,93 εκατομμύρια θάνατοι εξαιτίας του καρκίνου, για το ίδιο έτος. Οφείλουμε, λοιπόν, να προχωρήσουμε πολύ γρήγορα και γι’ αυτό ζητήσαμε σήμερα αυτό το debate. Ζητήσαμε αυτό το debate για να ετοιμαστούμε, ως πολίτες πρώτα απ’ όλα και ως μέλη οικογενειών, για την αντιμετώπιση του καρκίνου. Ζητήσαμε αυτή τη συζήτηση για να κοιτάξουμε τον καρκίνο στα μάτια, να ζητήσουμε ενημέρωση, να ζητήσουμε πρόληψη και —εν τέλει— να ζητήσουμε θεραπεία. Δεν νοείται, όταν έχουμε το 25 % των περιστατικών καρκίνου, να δαπανούμε μόλις το 3 % των διαθέσιμων πόρων. Δεν νοείται τα κράτη μέλη να μην αξιοποιούν τη χρηματοδοτούμενη έρευνα από ευρωπαϊκούς πόρους, όπως τα 24 ευρωπαϊκά δίκτυα αναφοράς για την παρακολούθηση σπάνιων καρκίνων.

Επιτρέψτε μου εδώ να ζητήσω και από τη χώρα μου, την Ελλάδα, να ενταχθεί και να στηρίξει αυτή την πρωτοβουλία, καθώς δεν έχουμε την πολυτέλεια να μένουμε απ’ έξω. Τέλος, θέλω να απευθύνω έκκληση σε όλους μέσα σε αυτή την αίθουσα, αλλά και σε όλους τους συναδέλφους που δεν είναι σήμερα —τόσο αργά— εδώ: ας κάνουμε την αντιμετώπιση της νόσου προσωπική μας υπόθεση!

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, de 25 de ani lucrez în Spitalul Clinic de Urgență „Nicolae Oblu” din Iași și am văzut că cele mai multe cancere sunt diagnosticate tardiv, când nu se poate face mare lucru.

Așa că din punctul meu de vedere, două bariere sunt împotriva depistării precoce și tratamentului corespunzător, și nu vorbesc doar despre cancer, despre orice patologie care afectează un cetățean european.

În primul rând este cea educațională, pentru că încă de la școală ar trebui să deprindem acele cunoștințe, deprinderi, abilități, reguli de viață sănătoasă, în așa fel încât să adoptăm un stil de viață sănătos și să avem primele semne care să ne orienteze spre un diagnostic.

Dar cea mai importantă este bariera economică, și vorbim despre banii pe care îi investim în sănătate, pentru că de multe ori mulți nu au acces la astfel de tehnici inovatoare, la metodele de screening, la diagnostic precoce și cu atât mai puțin la tratament. Vorbim de bani, de aceea v-am zis că mă nemulțumește și bugetul de anul acesta, cel multianual, buget alocat pentru aceste spitale regionale, pentru metodele de tratament și diagnostic precoce. Poate ar trebui să lucrăm aici, și nu neapărat la înființarea unor noi comisii.

Și nu în ultimul rând, gândiți-vă că unitate în diversitate înseamnă același standard european de calitate în sănătate, să fii tratat la fel: la Iași, la Bruxelles, la Viena, la Budapesta, la Berlin. Vă mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton (ID). – Monsieur le Président, mon groupe politique Identité et Démocratie a voté en faveur de l’inscription à l’ordre du jour de ce débat sur le cancer. J’estime qu’il est important que nous montrions aux millions de victimes de cette maladie que nous pensons à elles et que nous faisons tout notre possible pour vaincre cette maladie.

Monsieur le Commissaire, votre témoignage m’a ému quand vous avez évoqué vos trois frères qui sont décédés du cancer. Comme vous l’avez vous-même indiqué, nous sommes tous victimes de ce fléau. Moi-même, je tiens à rappeler que j’ai perdu un ami très cher, qui s’appelait Édouard Ferrand et qui était eurodéputé. C’était l’un de nos collègues lors de la législature précédente; il a été emporté en quelques mois par un cancer foudroyant.

Heureusement, on fait déjà beaucoup pour lutter contre ce fléau. On a évoqué la lutte contre le tabac, la lutte contre l’exposition des personnes aux produits cancérigènes, beaucoup de programmes de dépistage, mais je pense qu’il est important de dire qu’il faut aller plus loin. Il faut aider les États à lutter contre ce fléau et je suis heureux de vous avoir entendu parler d’un plan européen de lutte contre le cancer, que nous appuierons bien sûr de toutes nos forces, car ce n’est pas un sujet... (le Président retire la parole à l’orateur)

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Vytenis Povilas Andriukaitis, Member of the Commission. – Mr President, I see here all like-minded friends, and I see different political colours can join forces to really address issues on beating cancer. Cancer is a major disease in Europe and it is a common challenge affecting a large number of citizens in our own Member States.

You know, I always repeat four ‘P’s: prevention, promotion, protection. But prevention, promotion, protection of health first of all – healthiness: we need to invest more. But of course the fourth ‘P’ – participation – is very important and we need to invite all actors to participate in those issues because this is so important.

Prevention measures are common to all Member States, but this is not enough. We need to do much more at EU level, using preventative measures to address challenges related to cancer, because national initiatives will not always be able to achieve goals, because sometimes in the single market you can see a lot of risk factors that are acting in the whole of Europe, of the European Union. We need more Europe in prevention.

Europe is committed to implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. This includes reducing premature mortality from chronic diseases such as cancer by one third by 2030. We are in 2019 now. We have only 11 years to act in a more energetic way, really to reduce in one shot all cases. It’s a big task and of course people will be very happy if the European Parliament, the Council and Member State governments do more in this case.

I assure you that the Commission will continue its efforts on cancer prevention and control. The proposal for a new cancer plan for the EU, as envisaged by President-elect Ursula von der Leyen, offers a major opportunity to take the next big step forward towards beating cancer in Europe. Together our work will benefit patients, their families, and healthcare and cure services, and of course public health services, in this way to really achieve big progress in this very sensitive area.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

The vote will take place at a future part-session.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Josianne Cutajar (S&D), in writing. – The present consensus of this Parliament and the incoming Commission on the need for Europe to embark on a widespread process of digitalisation and technological innovation is very positive and raises optimism, including in our collective determination to fight cancer, which has killed too many of us. Innovation can only be successful if it is human—centred, and if it is human—centred it has to be a tool – if not the best tool we have – to improve treatment provided to cancer patients. It is also the key to improving our prevention strategies.

The platforms to spur research and innovation are already set, especially through the Horizon Europe programme, which we are committed to keep bolstering robustly for years to come. Within a mission approach, this programme already puts thrust behind projects aiming to mobilise citizens and improve the tools at our disposal, both in prevention and in cure. However, if we are to ever win this fight, we have to fight it effectively, and that will require this Union to strengthen legislation against toxic chemicals, pesticides and emissions, while truly boosting our investment of resources.

 
  
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  Janina Ochojska (PPE), na piśmie. – W maju tego roku zdiagnozowano u mnie raka piersi. Ze względu na publiczną informację o mojej chorobie zgłasza się do mnie wielu pacjentów. Na podstawie ich relacji coraz wyraźniej widzę, że lecznictwo w Polsce zmaga się z głębokimi problemami systemowymi.

Zacznę od informacji pozytywnej: w Polsce nie brakuje sprzętu do leczenia. Ale brakuje personelu, który mógłby ten sprzęt obsługiwać. Brakuje lekarzy, gdyż na 1000 mieszkańców mojego kraju średnio przypada zaledwie 2,4 lekarza (średnia całej Unii wynosi 3,8). Wielu lekarzy wyjechało lub porzuciło zawód ze względu na złe warunki pracy. Ci, którzy pozostali, pracują po godzinach, wielu ponad swoje siły. Brakuje pielęgniarek (średni wiek pielęgniarek w Polsce to 52 lata), specjalistów laboratoryjnych i techników.

Musimy wykształcić lub przyjąć tysiące nowych wykwalifikowanych pracowników do pracy w tym sektorze. Brakuje opieki psychologicznej dla pacjentów i ich rodzin. Trzeba zbudować wsparcie psychologiczne. Pula badań i terapii jest niewystarczająca. Niejednokrotnie pacjenci nie mogą pozwolić sobie na czekanie w kilkumiesięcznych kolejkach do badań i leczenia. Terapie przewidziane w przypadku ich chorób są nierefundowane. Są zmuszeni sami płacić za badania i leczenie. Potrzebujemy efektywnych programów leczenia. Wszystkie te braki wynikają z ogromnego niedofinansowania służby zdrowia, dlatego oprócz utworzenia komisji ONCO musimy zagwarantować środki na walkę z nowotworem.

 
  
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  Rovana Plumb (S&D), in writing. – With more than 3.7 million new cancer cases and 1.9 million deaths each year, Europe accounts for 23.4% of cancer cases and 20.3% of cancer deaths globally. Cancer will remain one of the main challenges European citizens will face and it is important for both national and EU policymakers to act towards the implementation of stronger cancer control.

We can speak of EU action, but at national level the reality is very different. In some countries, cancer patients do not even get any screening, while in others people die from cancer without even knowing they have the disease. However, this is difficult to achieve when we only spending around 3% of health system resources on prevention. This is not enough! If we want to succeed, we need to increase this amount and spend it effectively.

Even more, we should not forget those cancer survivors who are left unchecked and not followed up on properly after the end of the acute treatment phase. It is important to develop national plans to ensure that the healthcare system can fully support cancer survivors’ needs. The survivors can be reintegrated into the workforce and be supported to have a proper working environment according to their needs.

 

22. One-minute speeches on matters of political importance (debate)
Video of the speeches
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  President. – The next item is the one—minute speeches on matters of political importance (Rule 178(2)).

 
  
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  Gheorghe Falcă (PPE). – Domnule președinte, la această oră, 23.00, vreau să vorbesc despre pesta porcină. În regiunea mea au apărut foarte multe focare și vreau să înțelegem că nu putem aștepta ca intervenția națională să rezolve o astfel de problemă. Un focar de pestă porcină nu înseamnă un incendiu unde să vină un pompier, ci înseamnă un focar cu mare risc pentru o zonă mult mai mare decât un județ sau o țară. De aceea ar trebui să lucrăm legat, Comisie cu statele membre, pentru că acolo unde există un focar, unde afectăm proprietarii mici dar și fermele mari, să avem o acțiune foarte rapidă. Mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D). – Domnule președinte, dacă tot am rămas la sănătate, voi continua cu sănătatea, pentru că, parafrazând un mare scriitor român, dacă dragoste nu e, nimic nu e. Eu vă spun astăzi că dacă sănătate nu e, nimic nu e, așa că eforturile noastre financiare în viitorul cadru al Uniunii Europene ar trebui să se concentreze pe acest lucru.

Eu vin dintr-un oraș, Iași, la granița Uniunii Europene, din România. Șase milioane de locuitori din Moldova au nevoie de spital regional de urgență, și am ajuns în Parlamentul European să cer acest lucru, să fie finanțată corespunzător sănătatea, pentru că am ajuns în situații de negândit în care un pacient este plimbat între spitale sau pe cerul Europei pentru că nu are soluția medicală adecvată.

Vă cer astăzi în Parlamentul European să ne gândim la această unitate în diversitate și să facem tot ce este posibil ca și în aceste țări standardul european de calitate în sănătate să fie implementat și să avem spitale regionale de urgență și, bineînțeles, voi spune, în primul rând la Iași. Vă mulțumesc.

 
  
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  Phil Bennion (Renew). – Mr President, Boris Johnson is playing a dangerous game, but nothing can hide the fact that there is no mandate for no deal, no prospect of a different deal before Council, and no recent opinion polls which give a majority to leave. Be in no doubt: Johnson is absolutely desperate to avoid a second referendum, because he thinks he will lose it. It is a travesty of democracy. He wants to crash us out to please his hedge fund backers who are betting on Britain’s economic decline. My message and the message from the majority of UK MEPs is that we need your patience. We need your help. We need your support in this crisis. We can turn this around, but only if we have a long enough extension for an election and to organise a referendum. Please keep the door open for the British people, especially those who were too young to have voted in 2016. We are fighting. We are determined. We can win for this generation and the next.

(Applause in some quarters)

 
  
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  Catherine Rowett (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, colleagues, yesterday we celebrated the magnificent campaign to end the ‘cage age’. European citizens have spoken. They want the EU to outlaw the caging of farm animals and to do so not in the next century, but next week.

Yet even now, my constituents from the loveliest parts of Suffolk and Norfolk write in desperation, as permission is granted for yet more monstrous prison farms, yet more horrendous poultry processing factories. Neither the UK Government nor the local authorities are moving in the right direction towards eliminating this scourge. We urgently need EU regulations.

These factories run counter to all current thinking on animal welfare, human health and environmental protection. They serve no purpose other than the obscene profits for investors, who blithely defile countryside and rivers with the stinking excrement of animals whose lives are too appalling to contemplate. It’s time to heed the cries of both humans and animals.

 
  
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  Anna Bonfrisco (ID). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, si moltiplicano in queste ore gli appelli alla Turchia, affinché cessi l'aggressione brutale alla Siria, un paese che ha già sofferto duramente e che di certo non può subire ulteriori sofferenze.

Noi ci aspettiamo una ferma condanna. Il gruppo ID chiede una ferma condanna dell'Unione europea, che ha persino finanziato il governo di Erdogan con i soldi dei contribuenti europei, nel tentativo, ahimè invano, di proteggere quei profughi siriani che scappavano dall'Isis e dalla guerra civile. Oggi probabilmente è anche grazie a quei soldi che la Turchia può bombardare la Siria.

L'Unione europea troppo spesso è mossa da un ingenuo ottimismo e quello della Turchia ne è l'emblema. È evidente che qualcosa di profondo va rivisto nel progetto europeo. Ma la verità è che oggi ci troviamo con le mani legate, in una situazione internazionale complessa perché, a cuor leggero, l'Unione europea dell'epoca accettò la domanda di adesione della Turchia, anziché respingerla. Dovevamo respingerla allora, Presidente, per non trovarci oggi in questa tragica situazione.

 
  
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  Jorge Buxadé Villalba (ECR). – Señor presidente, colegas, los datos de Eurostat para el año 2017 indican que la Unión perdió 200 000 habitantes por la diferencia entre nacimientos y fallecimientos.

Los medios de comunicación y los grupos de presión económica y social, sirviendo a sus propios intereses económicos, amedrentan a la población con imágenes apocalípticas sobre el fin del mundo climático, mientras avalan y financian procesos migratorios —en ocasiones incluso ilegales— a Europa con la excusa poblacional.

En Europa, en general, y en especial en mi país —España— existe una auténtica emergencia social en materia de natalidad, pero, al parecer, a las grandes corporaciones globalistas solo les interesa que los europeos sigamos consumiendo, gastando y pagando impuestos.

Sin natalidad, sin familias fuertes, si las naciones europeas no inician procesos y planes de natalidad con ayudas económicas, descuentos impositivos, bonificaciones fiscales; si no tomamos la decisión de dejar de vaciar los bolsillos de las familias europeas para que puedan estos hacerlas más grandes, todo el progreso social y económico que se trabaja en este Parlamento se va a convertir en un vil engaño.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL). – Señor presidente, estas últimas semanas se han producido episodios que vulneran gravemente los derechos lingüísticos de ciudadanos del Estado español. La semana pasada, en Navarra, sendas sentencias del Tribunal Superior han despreciado el desconocimiento de la lengua vasca como mérito —no como requisito, como mérito—, mientras considera que lenguas como el inglés o el alemán sí deben ser valoradas. También, hace diez días, a la consejera de Cultura del Gobierno del Principado de Asturias se le impidió hablar en lengua asturiana en la propia Junta General del Principado de Asturias, hecho insólito donde los haya.

Estas actuaciones no son conformes con la Carta de los Derechos Fundamentales de la Unión Europea, que, en su artículo 21, establece que se prohíbe toda discriminación ejercida por razón de lengua, por lo que, tal y como ya hizo el Comité de Ministros del Consejo de Europa, es necesario seguir instando al Estado español a aplicar la Carta Europea de las Lenguas Minoritarias y la Resolución de este Parlamento sobre diversidad lingüística.

La pluralidad de Europa se defiende desde la identidad y la lengua de cada uno de los europeos; y estamos hablando de derechos, no de escoger la lengua más potente, porque entonces, solo nos quedaríamos con una, que es precisamente, la que se va de la Unión —parece— el día treinta y uno.

 
  
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  Martin Sonneborn (NI). – Herr Präsident, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich habe hier einen offenen Brief, den 10 000 verrückte Wissenschaftler, darunter neunzehn Nobelpreisträger, an Frau von der Leyen geschrieben haben. Leider unfrankiert, deshalb hat er sie vermutlich gar nicht erreicht – also ein zweiter Zustellversuch auf diesem Wege.

Von der Leyens Berater haben versehentlich die Bereiche Wissenschaft und Bildung aus dem Portfolio der EU-Kommission gestrichen. Und sie hat das gar nicht gemerkt, weil sie gerade die Raufasertapete aussucht für das neue Penthouse, das sie sich im Kommissionsgebäude einbauen lässt. Jetzt werden diese Inhalte dem seltsamen Bereich Innovation and Youth zugeordnet. In einer Zeit, in der Schüler jeden Freitag auf die Straße gehen mit der Forderung, die Erkenntnisse der Wissenschaft doch endlich einmal zur Kenntnis zu nehmen. Ich fände es innovativer und jünger, geradezu funky und übrigens auch zukunftsträchtiger, wenn die Alte den krassen Quatsch wieder rückgängig machen würde. Smiley.

 
  
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  Радан Кънев (PPE). – Г-н Председател, в България предстои избор на главен прокурор с практически безконтролни правомощия, със седемгодишен мандат без възможност за предсрочното му прекратяване. Единственият кандидат за тази позиция в своята програма атакува принципа на разделение на властите и заплашва независимостта на съда.

Не по-малко тревожни са тенденциите на натиск върху медиите. Натиск, един път, да представят единствено обвинителната точка по конкретни дела и по този начин да се превръщат в страна в наказателния процес. И втори път, натиск върху медиите да уволняват критични към прокуратурата български журналисти. Натиск, който доведе до безпрецедентно събитие за последните сто години: спиране на излъчването на българското национално обществено радио.

Такъв избор ще бъде знак за институционна криза. И аз съм силно разтревожен, че това ще отприщи вълна на беззаконие в моята родина. Проблем, който не е мой, не е само български, а е общоевропейски.

 
  
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  Alicia Homs Ginel (S&D). – Señor presidente, la quiebra de Thomas Cook ha tenido graves consecuencias para el sector turístico en Europa y, en especial, para las islas de España —Baleares y Canarias— y ha afectado a miles de trabajadores, turistas y empresarios. Sus consecuencias más inmediatas han sido un final de temporada adelantado en muchos hoteles, lo que ha causado que los trabajadores de temporada vieran sus previsiones salariales acortadas entre uno y tres meses, situación que afecta de manera directa y negativa a muchas familias.

Dicho esto, creo que hay que poner en valor la rápida actuación del Gobierno de España y en especial del Gobierno de mi región, las Islas Baleares, que, después de las Islas Canarias, ha sido la segunda región más afectada por la quiebra. Soluciones reales y directas para problemas de gran magnitud son el tipo de ayuda que la ciudadanía espera de las instituciones. En este sentido, las instituciones europeas debemos ponernos las pilas. La quiebra de Thomas Cook, por desgracia, no solo afecta a España, y no todos los Estados tienen la misma capacidad, sobre todo económica, para hacer frente a este tipo de situaciones.

Necesitamos soluciones comunes para problemas comunes y así demostrar el valor añadido del proyecto europeo.

 
  
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  Antony Hook (Renew). – Mr President, I have important economic news. Between now and Saturday, 19 October 2019, sales of walking shoes are rocketing, because on that day in London will be a people’s march to demand a people’s vote – from Park Lane to Parliament Square – for the majority who want to stop Brexit.

Some Brexiteers want Britain to sleepwalk into a no-deal Brexit. They confuse with lies, they use money from hedge funds, the values of Trump and Twitter bots in Russia, but we are wide-awake, full of hope and free from fear.

We will not let Brexit wreck our economy, damage our NHS or pollute our environment. We will not let Johnson or Farage tell their lies again, because on 19 October, we march for our children’s future.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Gilles Lebreton (ID). – Monsieur le Président, Facebook a décidé de créer sa cryptomonnaie, le libra, avec 28 partenaires dont VISA et MasterCard ainsi que les plateformes internet Uber et Booking. Le conseil d’administration de cette association Libra sera désigné à Genève le 14 octobre. Trois dangers découlent de la création de cette cryptomonnaie.

Premier danger: elle constitue un risque pour la stabilité du système financier et pour les souverainetés monétaires. Avec plus de 2 milliards d’utilisateurs, Facebook va porter une rude concurrence aux monnaies nationales, ainsi qu’à l’euro – d’autant plus que le libra est d’une totale souplesse d’utilisation puisqu’il n’est régi par aucun code monétaire et financier.

Deuxième danger, cette souplesse fera aussi du libra un instrument idéal du blanchiment d’argent, comme la Banque centrale américaine n’a pas manqué de le signaler.

Enfin, troisième danger, le libra n’offrira aucune protection fiable des données personnelles des utilisateurs.

Pour ces trois raisons, je mets en garde le Parlement européen contre la complaisance dont fait preuve Mme Lagarde, directrice de la BCE, à l’égard de cette nouvelle monnaie. Il faut combattre le libra qui n’est rien d’autre qu’une monnaie privée cherchant à supplanter les monnaies publiques.

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira (GUE/NGL). – Senhor Presidente, a acentuação das assimetrias regionais é inegável. Lamenta-se o despovoamento e a desertificação do interior de um país como o meu, Portugal, mas temos de assumir que o envelhecimento, e empobrecimento e o despovoamento do interior não têm causas naturais.

A explicação reside nas políticas contrárias ao desenvolvimento equilibrado do país e ao interesse das populações, como, por exemplo, a desindustrialização, a falta de apoio à agricultura familiar, a ausência de incentivos à fixação das populações. Encerram-se escolas, centros de saúde, serviços públicos, em nome de imposições orçamentais e limita-se o investimento público por causa do garrote do défice.

É claro para nós que as políticas de valorização do interior têm necessariamente de passar por um outro orçamento e Quadro Financeiro Plurianual que reforce e não corte os fundos de coesão e melhore a absorção destes fundos, por uma profunda modificação da PAC, que proteja e valorize a agricultura local e familiar, pela valorização da produção nacional e pelo apoio aos sectores produtivos, pela modernização e valorização do transporte ferroviário e da rede viária e pelo reconhecimento das pessoas que, apesar das adversidades, continuam a resistir e a viver no interior.

 
  
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  Rupert Lowe (NI). – Mr President, Nicholas Kaldor presciently predicted, of the Mitterrand-inspired Werner Plan in 1969, that rather than bringing Europe together, the single currency would tear Europe apart. Floating currencies allow appreciation and depreciation to adjust smoothly for differing economic and cultural circumstances. Borrowing is kept proportionate in weaker economies.

Only quantitative easing, or as I prefer to call it ‘getting high on your own supply’, keeps the euro alive. It will continue to grind the weaker economies into poverty, causing unnecessary hardship for millions of Europeans. The sleep of reason produces monsters. Europe has created a true monster in its desire for a post-war European super-state. Anti-capitalist negative interest rates will turn the coming economic downturn into a catastrophe. Britain must leave this failing project before the roof falls in and show other European countries how they can save themselves.

 
  
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  Ivan Štefanec (PPE). – Vážený pán predsedajúci. Dámy a páni. Občania Veľkej Británie v roku 2016 vyjadrili svoju vôľu opustiť Európsku úniu. Je to ich právo. Úlohou britských štátnych inštitúcií ale je, aby túto vôľu vykonali, a ako vidíme, nedarí sa im to. Obe vlády, ktoré po referende vznikli, neboli schopné túto dohodu priniesť na stôl. Chcem zdôrazniť, že sme vždy pripravení s Veľkou Britániou rokovať a ak vláda v Londýne nie je na odchod pripravená, môžeme s ňou uzatvoriť dohodu o odklade. Potrebujeme však počuť jasné stanovisko. Buď odídeme, alebo ostaneme, alebo si vypýtame čas na rozmyslenie. To sa nám ale, žiaľ, z Londýna nedostáva. V každom prípade budeme vždy chrániť práva našich občanov, ktorí v Británii pracujú, študujú, žijú. Nech dopadne brexit akokoľvek, naše zásady zostanú jasné. A verím, že aj napriek súčasnému chaosu vo Veľkej Británii je v obojstrannom záujme, aby sme v každej situácii hľadali cestu k sebe a nie od seba.

 
  
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  Jonás Fernández (S&D). – Señor presidente, la compañía británica Vesuvius ha anunciado recientemente el cierre de dos de sus plantas en España, una de ellas en mi región, Asturias, y despedido a más de cien trabajadores. Una decisión difícil de entender, cuando estas plantas operan con beneficios, tienen unas relaciones laborales flexibles y no hay indicadores objetivos que puedan explicar esta decisión.

Yo quiero recordar a Vesuvius que, en Europa, existe la economía social de mercado y que las decisiones empresariales tienen que estar basadas en la lealtad mutua entre los trabajadores y la empresa.

And for that reason I would like to send a direct message to Vesuvius: ‘You should open negotiations now with the workers and with the public administration. Otherwise I will be here in the European Parliament following all of your activities and studying all of your requests for European money.’

 
  
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  Yana Toom (Renew). – Mr President, ‘United in Diversity’ is probably the most famous European slogan. Diversity has many dimensions – one of them is linguistic diversity – of which we also pretend to take care.

But we’re systematically overlooking the fact that some Member States are making efforts to assimilate their minorities. During the accession period of my native Estonia and neighbouring Latvia, we received a list of recommendations concerning the Russian-speaking population. The main focus was on better integration of these people. However, 15 years later, the ruling coalition in Latvia is preparing for a full transition to the Latvian language in education, starting next year – but with 30% of the population being Russian speakers – despite the protests, and despite the fact that forced assimilation is clearly forbidden by international law.

We’re not in the accession process anymore, so we can violate the rights of national minorities and nothing will happen. Europe has more important issues to solve. But colleagues, violation of human rights is violation of human rights, even if it takes place in the European Union. Before we go and strongly condemn somebody, let’s look in the mirror.

 
  
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  Claire Fox (NI). – Mr President, on the 70th anniversary of the Chinese regime, it’s difficult to celebrate, with the backdrop of hundreds of thousands of heroic democracy protesters in Hong Kong facing ever-escalating repression. Yet still they march, because they believe in sovereignty and democratic rights. Many MEPs here cheer on these democratic warriors, and rightly so.

And yet the EU itself thwarts democratic spirit closer to home: look at the brutal and violent treatment meted out to the gilets jaunes at the behest of President Macron. Here, there’s not a murmur of outrage at France or emergency debates, and it’s ignored by the European mainstream media. And, closer to my heart: the EU cheers on Hong Kong democrats, and yet millions of UK citizens use their democratic vote to leave the EU and reclaim their sovereignty and this Parliament – too many in here – traduce, insult and demonise those voters, and even try to block their democratic decision. Well, just as the Hong Kong authorities are fought back against, we’ll will fight back too. Just as the Hong Kong authorities blocked the Umbrella Revolution, you block us. You can talk the talk, but you need to walk the walk. I show solidarity with the Hong Kong protesters, the gilets jaunes, and, of course, Brexit voters.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  Traian Băsescu (PPE). – Domnule președinte, Marea Mediterană a devenit cimitir pentru mii de oameni. Este inadmisibil ca Uniunea Europeană să nu ia măsuri pentru protejarea vieții oamenilor, mulțumindu-se doar să facă statistici cu mii de copii, femei, bărbați pe care apele Mării Mediterane îi înghit în fiecare an. Trebuie să dobândim cunoaștere și să neutralizăm rețelele de traficanți din țările de origine și din țările de ambarcare pe nave a migranților ilegali. Trebuie să utilizăm mijloace navale de care dispun statele membre ale Uniunii pentru întoarcerea ambarcațiunilor având la bord migranți ilegali încă de la limita apelor teritoriale a statelor de ambarcare.

Solicit Comisiei Europene ca în regim de urgență să elaboreze și să prezinte Parlamentului un plan de acțiune, dar și o propunere de reglementare în domeniul migrației ilegale din statele terțe, propunere care prin adoptare să devină aplicabilă pe întreg teritoriul Uniunii.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, this week is European Week of Action for Girls, when we call on EU Member States and institutions to better protect and champion the rights of girls. It’s our duty to ensure that every single girl – not only in the EU, but around the world – has access to quality education, healthcare and job opportunities, and is able to enjoy a life where they are truly equal. But sadly, these are universal rights that millions are still denied. We must demand that gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls continues to be a top priority in the EU’s international cooperation and development policies. We must dismantle patriarchal social norms that have been formed and cemented over generations, as well as challenging and changing discriminatory laws. We must recognise that intersectionality and structural inequalities are significant factors that impact negatively on the economic, social and political lives of girls and women and their meaningful participation. I stand with all feminist brothers and sisters who are fighting for true equality.

 
  
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  Irena Joveva (Renew). – Gospod predsednik, kolegij komisarjev naj bi tik pred koncem mandata odločal o predlogu za vstop Hrvaške v Schengen.

Sicer se ta datum zdaj spet zamika, morda tudi to kaj pove, ampak ne bom špekulirala, seveda ne morem vnaprej napovedati odločitve, za razliko od nekaterih, ki že razlagajo, kako jim je Juncker obljubil zeleno luč svoje odhajajoče Komisije in kako jim bo Slovenija potem blokirala pot in kako je to narobe.

O tem pa se sploh še ni odločalo na tej ravni. Zdaj je na mestu predvsem zelo upravičeno vprašanje, ali je Hrvaška res tehnično usposobljena in brezhibna za zavarovanje zunanje meje Unije. Ob tem, da nima urejenih meja z večino sosed, naj vas spomnim, meja s Slovenijo je določena in urejena z arbitražo.

Še enkrat: Slovenija podpira širitev Schengna ob pogojih, da so izpolnjene vse varnostno-tehnične zahteve, da to ne predstavlja varnostne grožnje za Unijo, da se spoštujejo demokratični in pravni standardi.

 
  
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  Michaela Šojdrová (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já v tento den, tedy ještě stále 9. října, vystupuji proto, abych připomněla to, co se odehrálo před 30 lety.

Přesně v těchto říjnových dnech se začala hroutit Berlínská zeď. 7. října, kdy někteří soudruzi v NDR oslavovali 40 let od vzniku socialistického Německého demokratického státu, tak tisíce jejich spoluobčanů odcházely přes pražskou ambasádu Spolkové republiky Německo do Západního Německa. V podstatě byl to ten začátek, kdy se Berlínská zeď otřásala v základech. Byla to vlastně taková malá migrační vlna o 15 000 lidech.

12. října tento EP v roce 1989 schválil rezoluci, ze které si dovolím citovat. „EP vyzývá vládu, aby zahájila demokratizační proces a ukončila policejní represe proti vlastním obyvatelům.“ Již tehdy EP pamatoval na lidská práva a my také musíme pamatovat i dnes. Je to naše povinnost, náš odkaz.

 
  
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  Milan Brglez (S&D). – Gospod predsednik, želim opozoriti na nevarnost določene normalizacije ideje o zaščiti evropskega načina življenja.

Ta domneva, da ga ogroža nekdo od zunaj in da ga je potrebno braniti pred tujci. Posledice so že vidne – poteka varovanje mej z grobimi kršitvami azilnega prava in človekovih pravic. Onemogočeno je vlaganje prošenj, prihaja do verižnega vračanja in policijskega nasilja.

Švica je celo ustavila vračanje beguncev in migrantov v kandidatko za pridružitev schengenskemu območju zaradi sodno potrjenih kršitev človekovih pravic. Evropski voditelji pa so ob tem tiho.

Toda kršenje mednarodnega prava in človekovih pravic ni in ne sme postati evropski način življenja. Tega določajo vrednote iz drugega člena Pogodbe o Evropski uniji. Tudi te vrednote pa bi morali izpostaviti kot pomembne pri poimenovanju področij dela evropskih institucij, vključno s Komisijo, ter kot ključni politični kriterij za članstvo v Schengnu.

 
  
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  Stanislav Polčák (PPE). – Pane předsedající, já jsem si na svou jednu minutu vybral téma lesnictví a stavu lesů v Evropě. Tváří v tvář klimatické změně podceňujeme lesy, které nemají pouze hospodářskou funkci, ale také funkci environmentální.

Ovšem lesy nejsou v Evropě v dobré kondici. Bohužel nám chybí ucelená celoevropská strategie právě pro lesy, kterou by členské státy naplňovaly. Samozřejmě základní odpovědnost za stav lesů mají členské státy, ostatně primární právo vlastně o lesnictví vůbec nehovoří.

EU by měla členským státům rychle pomoci řešit aktuální situaci, např. s kůrovcem, samozřejmě pohromy, motivovat k zalesňování a obecně motivovat k dobré správě lesů. Ve spolupráci s členskými státy musíme lesům dát jednoznačně prioritu, protože lesy jsou naše budoucnost.

 
  
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  Петър Витанов (S&D). – Г-н Председател, ние като Европейски парламент би следвало да сме последователни в подкрепата си за европейската перспектива на страните от Западните Балкани, тъй като процесът по присъединяването е ключов двигател за реформи и стабилност в региона. Ето защо приветствам препоръката на Европейската комисия за започване на предприсъединителни преговори както с Република Северна Македония, така и с Република Албания.

През последните няколко години фокусът на Европа се измести от интеграция в сигурност, което превръща региона в обект на противоборство. По този начин се рискува да се получи борба за Западните Балкани вместо интеграция на Западните Балкани. Стартирането на преговорите представлява достоверен импулс за Република Северна Македония и Албания, който ще спре ерозирането на най-големия ни ресурс, а именно ангажимента на Европейския съюз към тези държави, и ще затвори пътя към други геополитически фактори в района.

Същевременно обаче започването на преговорите трябва да се разглежда като гаранция за членство и като движеща сила за ускоряване на реформите, укрепването на върховенството на закона и поддържането на добросъседските отношения. Напредъкът към членство в Европейския съюз зависи най-вече от индивидуалните

(Председателят отнема думата на оратора)

 
  
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  Mónica Silvana González (S&D). – Señor presidente, es muy importante cumplir con el compromiso y desarrollar la Convención Internacional de los Derechos de las Personas con Discapacidad y hacer cumplir a todos los Estados miembros, pero también a los gobiernos regionales, su obligación que tienen, como responsables, de garantizar estos derechos a todas las personas en condiciones de igualdad.

En la Comunidad de Madrid, una de las comunidades más ricas de toda Europa y más competitivas de toda Europa, pero también más desigual, cientos de alumnos sordos han comenzado el curso sin intérprete de lengua de signos, lo que es imprescindible para asegurar la escolarización en condiciones de igualdad. Es una clara falta de inclusión en el sistema educativo. Pero también muchas personas sordas no pueden acceder a la asistencia sanitaria, ni pueden ir a hacer gestiones administrativas porque no está garantizado este servicio de intérpretes, y esto se debe a la precariedad laboral del servicio y a los impagos del Gobierno del Partido Popular de la Comunidad de Madrid.

La inclusión de las personas con discapacidad debe estar garantizada en cada rincón de Europa. Trabajemos para ello.

 
  
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  Isabel Carvalhais (S&D). – Senhor Presidente, muito obrigada a todos os resistentes e em especial aos intérpretes que aqui se aguentam. Sinto-me “me, myself and I”.

No dia 2 de outubro, o arquipélago dos Açores, em Portugal, foi severamente atingido pelo furacão Lorenzo que deixou um rasto de destruição em várias ilhas. Apesar dos enormes esforços locais, os prejuízos materiais, públicos e privados, são muito elevados. Os danos são extensos, atingindo seriamente portos, vias de comunicação costeiras, habitações privadas, entre outras infraestruturas.

Esta ocorrência assume uma particular relevância, considerando o carácter insular e arquipelágico desta região. Recordo que os Açores são uma das regiões ultraperiféricas especificamente mencionadas no artigo 349.º do Tratado de Funcionamento da União Europeia, em virtude dos seus constrangimentos estruturais.

É preciso, pois, garantir solidariedade e apoio europeus à região neste momento difícil, apoiando as autoridades locais nos seus esforços de reconstrução e no auxílio às populações locais, um apoio que deverá ser ágil, efetivo e eficiente.

 
  
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  President. – That concludes the item.

 

23. Agenda of the next sitting : see Minutes
Video of the speeches

24. Closure of the sitting
Video of the speeches
 

(The sitting closed at 23.29)

 
Last updated: 20 November 2019Legal notice