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Torek, 14. januar 2020 - Strasbourg Začasna izdaja
1. Otvoritev seje
 2. Predstavitev programa z dejavnostmi hrvaškega predsedstva (razprava)
 3. Izvajanje in spremljanje določb o državljanskih pravicah v sporazumu o izstopu (razprava)
 4. Nadaljevanje seje
 5. Sprejetje zapisnika predhodne seje: gl. zapisnik
 6. Načrt za trajnostne naložbe, sklad za pravičen prehod in časovni načrt za socialno Evropo (razprava)
 7. Razmere v Iranu in Iraku po nedavnem zaostrovanju razmer (razprava)
 8. Članstvo v političnih skupinah: gl. zapisnik
 9. Letno poročilo za leto 2018 o človekovih pravicah in demokraciji v svetu ter politiki Evropske unije na tem področju (razprava)
 10. Letno poročilo o izvajanju skupne zunanje in varnostne politike - Letno poročilo o izvajanju skupne varnostne in obrambne politike (razprava)
 11. Sestava odborov in delegacij: gl. zapisnik
 12. Nadaljevanje seje
 13. Razmere v Libiji (razprava)
 14. Razmere v Venezueli po nezakonitih volitvah novega predsednika in novega predsedstva nacionalne skupščine (parlamentarni državni udar) (razprava)
 15. Sprejetje zapisnika seje: gl. zapisnik
 16. Dnevni red naslednje seje: gl. zapisnik
 17. Zaključek seje


PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

1. Otvoritev seje
Video posnetki govorov
 

(La seduta è aperta alle 9.11)

 

2. Predstavitev programa z dejavnostmi hrvaškega predsedstva (razprava)
Video posnetki govorov
MPphoto
 

  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sulla presentazione del programma di attività della Presidenza croata (2019/2959(RSP)).

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, predsjedatelj Vijeća. – Poštovani predsjedniče, potpredsjednici i zastupnici Europskog parlamenta, poštovana predsjednice Europske komisije, poštovani kolege, izuzetno mi je zadovoljstvo biti danas u Europskom parlamentu i predstaviti prioritete prvog hrvatskog predsjedanja Vijećem Europske unije.

Za Hrvatsku i sve moje sugrađane ovo je povijesni trenutak. Tek prije 30 godina, u Hrvatskoj su održani prvi slobodni izbori. Time je nakon devet stoljeća, hrvatski narod ponovno stekao svoju suverenost, a Hrvatska se vratila na političku kartu svijeta.

Drago mi je da upravo danas – uoči 28. obljetnice međunarodnog priznanja Hrvatske, kada su tadašnje članice Europske zajednice priznale Hrvatsku – imam priliku govoriti u Europskom parlamentu. Priznanje smo stekli u teškim okolnostima ratne agresije. Hrvatska se, zahvaljujući svojim braniteljima, obranila, i prije 25 godina oslobodila, nakon čega se obnovila i krenula naprijed putem razvoja, demokracije i europske integracije. I prije šest i pol godina postala je članicom Europske unije, kojoj je danas prvi put za kormilom.

Na tom putu, europska integracija Hrvatske bila je čvrst i jasan putokaz u svim naporima i u svim reformama koje smo poduzimali. Veselim se uspješnoj suradnji s Europskim parlamentom u sljedećih šest mjeseci, u želji da našim građanima pokažemo da od Europske unije imaju opipljive koristi.

Nekoliko je važnih zadaća pred nama.

First, an agreement on the new Multiannual Financial Framework: a timely agreement on the entire financial framework for the next seven years is our priority. In this, the MFF should meet the expectations of all our citizens in all our Member States.

So it must continue to finance cohesion and agricultural policies, but also be able to address the many new challenges the European Union is facing. It must ensure our togetherness and unity, while respecting all of our differences – economic, social and demographic. It must also make Europe more effective and visible on the global stage.

To achieve this, we must act fast. We cannot allow delays in the implementation of our EU programmes, as of 2021. Otherwise, we would be disappointing our citizens. Together with the President of the European Council, who is continuing the MFF talks at the highest political level, we will spare no effort to achieve a breakthrough during our presidency. This would enable us to finalise the entire legislative package under the MFF and we count on close and efficient cooperation with all the Parliament’s committees and rapporteurs in this endeavour.

We hear and understand all your concerns, messages and expectations, but we find it of crucial importance to continue the talks and negotiations at all levels and to advance all the files. In this we are united by a common goal, as our failure would only strengthen those who do not want a strong Europe. And we cannot allow that.

Second, the end of the process of orderly withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union: after ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement by the United Kingdom, we have to finalise the ratification procedure on the EU side. In this, the crucial step is the consent of the European Parliament.

The Croatian Presidency will, in accordance with the declaration on the future relationship and the guidelines of the European Council, work on the swift adoption of a comprehensive Council mandate for negotiations, on the basis of the proposals by the European Commission.

Though we will be sad to see a Member State leaving, the European Union and the United Kingdom share a long history. So this should be a new starting point for building close partner relations in the future, based on mutual interest, respect and a level playing field, especially in the areas of trade, security and other sectorial policies.

However, the transition period of 11 months is extremely short, and it will take a lot of goodwill and a lot of work to bring these negotiations to an end in that period and to reach a good agreement for both sides.

Mesdames et Messieurs, troisièmement, l’organisation du sommet de Zagreb entre l’Union et les Balkans occidentaux et l’ouverture des négociations d’adhésion avec la Macédoine du Nord et l’Albanie. Nous ne cachons pas notre ambition d’essayer d’obtenir le soutien des États membres pour l’ouverture de négociations d’adhésion avec ces deux pays.

Le prochain rapport de la Commission européenne et ses propositions pour améliorer la méthodologie des négociations d’adhésion seront importants. Pour la crédibilité de la politique de l’élargissement, il est important de maintenir les principes du respect des critères politiques, des critères de référence et des progrès individuels de chaque pays candidat sur la base de ses résultats, l’adhésion à l’Union demeurant l’objectif ultime des négociations. Cela doit rester l’axe central de la politique de l’élargissement. Nous sommes heureux que le Parlement européen ait adopté une résolution en octobre dernier en faveur de l’ouverture des négociations avec l’Albanie et la Macédoine du Nord, soulignant l’importance de l’élargissement tant pour les pays candidats que pour l’Union européenne. Ce faisant, le Parlement européen a réaffirmé son attachement à une politique d’élargissement crédible de l’Union. Le sommet de Zagreb en mai se tiendra 20 ans après le premier sommet de Zagreb, qui a ouvert la perspective européenne aux pays de l’Europe du Sud-Est et ouvert la voie aux accords de stabilisation et d’association. Parmi ces pays figurait la Croatie qui entretemps est la seule à avoir adhéré à l’Union européenne. Qui plus est, aujourd’hui elle préside le Conseil de l’Union européenne. Notre exemple donne au prochain sommet de Zagreb une valeur symbolique supplémentaire. C’est pourquoi, lors du sommet de Zagreb, nous souhaitons envoyer un message fort à nos partenaires d’Europe du Sud-Est, qui sont toujours dans une sorte d’antichambre européenne et leur dire: si vous poursuivez toutes les réformes et remplissez tous les critères d’adhésion, votre perspective européenne n’est pas remise en cause et vous êtes les bienvenus. Dans le même temps, l’Union vous aidera à atteindre votre objectif grâce à la participation à des projets européens, à l’intégration à des réseaux d’infrastructures via un dialogue politique régulier au plus haut niveau et par la promotion des valeurs et principes européens.

Quatrièmement, la mise en place de la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe. Nous aborderons cette tâche rapidement afin que, sur la base de la position du Conseil, nous puissions conclure des accords interinterinstitutionnels dès que possible et assurer le démarrage rapide de la conférence. Il est important que le Conseil, le Parlement et la Commission s’approprient les objectifs de la conférence et y soient représentés sur un pied d’égalité. La conférence doit aussi garantir l’engagement de tous les États membres, des parlements nationaux et une large participation des citoyens, en particulier des jeunes. Elle doit être inclusive et ouverte, et son débat axé sur les questions découlant du programme stratégique de l’Union européenne, sur les orientations politiques de la présidente de la Commission européenne et, surtout, sur les sujets qui préoccupent ou intéressent le plus les citoyens. Nous nous réjouissons que ce soit la commissaire croate Dubravka Šuica, qui soit chargée à la Commission européenne de préparer la conférence. La conférence est une nouvelle occasion de rapprocher l’Europe des citoyens et de mieux appréhender par le dialogue ce qui lui est reproché; de comprendre les raisons d’une désaffection croissante des citoyens envers l’Europe; de comprendre ce qui a conduit au Brexit et pourquoi beaucoup d’Européens dans d’autres États membres développent le même scepticisme; de comprendre les causes du renforcement du populisme et du ressentiment anti-européen et de voir ensemble ce que nous devons changer et améliorer. C’est aussi l’occasion de donner la parole aux citoyens pour qu’ils nous disent quelle Europe ils veulent afin que nous puissions mieux répondre à leurs attentes.

Dame i gospodo, Hrvatska ulazi u predsjedanje Vijećem uz četiri bloka prioriteta, a oni su:

Europa koja se razvija. Naš je glavni cilj osigurati ujednačen, održiv i uključiv rast Unije koji uzima u obzir posebnosti i potrebe svih država članica i njihovih regija. To zahtijeva daljnji razvoj politika koje stvaraju kvalitetnije radne i životne uvjete te pridonose očuvanju okoliša i borbi protiv klimatskih promjena.

Posebnu pažnju posvetit ćemo Europskom zelenom planu o kojemu će Vijeće raspravljati u nekoliko formacija, s obzirom na širinu i domet, pri čemu je važno osigurati odgovarajuće financiranje njegove provedbe. O tome smo detaljno razgovarali prigodom posjeta kolegija Europske komisije u Zagrebu prošloga tjedna. Zajedno trebamo raditi na dosezanju klimatske neutralnosti Europske unije do 2050.

Produbljivanje jedinstvenog tržišta i poticanje digitalizacije, ulaganje u inovacije i istraživanje, kvalitetno i cjeloživotno obrazovanje te razvijanje vještina prilagođenih poslovima budućnosti ulog su u jačanje konkurentnosti Unije. A upravo je konkurentnost ključna sastavnica osiguranja njezina rasta.

Zbog toga je važan i razvoj tržišta rada koje je prilagođeno vremenu digitalne revolucije, novim globalnim izazovima te demografskim promjenama.

Naša glavna misao vodilja mora uvijek biti poboljšanje kvalitete života svih građana Unije, ali i utvrđivanje poticajnih demografskih mjera koje će izgraditi vitalnije društvo.

Europa koja povezuje. Rast i razvoj Europske unije uvelike ovisi o umreženosti njezina gospodarstva i punom iskorištavanju njezinih infrastrukturnih i ljudskih potencijala. Povezivost je jedna od najvažnijih pretpostavki za postizanje socijalne, ekonomske i teritorijalne kohezije među državama članicama. Stoga ćemo se snažno zalagati za dodatni razvoj prometne, energetske i digitalne infrastrukture, na dobrobit naših građana.

Pritom ćemo kao Predsjedništvo snažan naglasak staviti na zbližavanje građana kroz obrazovanje, kulturu i sport. Te su veze osobiti odraz naše snage i našeg zajedništva.

Third is a Europe that protects. Only a safe Europe can provide a peaceful environment for its citizens. In this regard, the efficient protection of the EU’s external borders – as well as increased resilience to external threats and hybrid and cyber threats – are of vital importance. Achieving a comprehensive solution for sustainable and effective migration and asylum policies is our joint objective. We will remain focused on further developing our Union as an area of freedom, security and justice, based on the shared values of democracy and the rule of law. Therefore, the adoption of the new strategic guidelines in the area of freedom, security and justice will be one of our priorities. The rule of law is a core value and a fundamental principle of our Union’s functioning. We will pursue a comprehensive approach to the protection and promotion of the rule of law, while strengthening dialogue and the unity of the Member States.

Fourth is an influential Europe. No single Member State of the Union is able to address the international challenges on its own. Our unity is our biggest strength. Europe should speak with one voice more often and more loudly, confirming its global role in today’s multipolar world. It is crucial to maintain an open dialogue with our North American partners and allies. Our ambition as a global actor should be supported by further development of capabilities and instruments for joint action, including our defence, albeit in complementarity with NATO.

It is also important to maintain Europe’s relationship with China, Russia, India and Japan – and other big powers – on the basis of mutual respect, while continuing to develop multilateralism and an international rules—based order. In a wide range of policy areas, from climate change and trade to nuclear proliferation, our Union has a unique ability to achieve necessary compromises and resolve crises. Tensions in the Middle East, the highly complex political and security situation in Iran and Iraq, old and new challenges in the Gulf region: all this requires our constant, active and creative engagement, and strong leadership. As a staunch supporter of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and the world’s biggest donor of development assistance, we have a special responsibility towards African, Caribbean and Pacific nations. During the Croatian Presidency, an Eastern Partnership summit will be held as well.

The European Union is facing, as we all know, many challenges. Every day the world is getting more complex and our tasks are more numerous. Too many actors offer easy answers and instant solutions, often unfounded or based on false information. The expectations of our citizens are growing. We must get closer to our citizens. We must listen and provide appropriate answers to their concerns. We cannot miss any opportunity to do more for the sake of our citizens. To meet the challenge, we need to promote equality, inclusivity and solidarity, while strengthening Europe’s democracy as our core value on the global scene. Therefore, as our programme says, we need a strong Europe in a world of challenges.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Mr President, it is such a pleasure, Prime Minister, to see you again at the start of the Croatian Presidency. It’s just a few days ago that the College of Commissioners were treated to the very famous and outstanding finest Croatian hospitality. We spent a wonderful 24 hours there. We saw some of the very rich culture, traditional folklore, diversity, all that which Croatia has brought to the Union. It was a phenomenal ceremony at the opening of the Presidency in the National Theatre, which showed the energy and the enthusiasm Croatia brings to the Union, so thank you very much for that.

It’s also a very special moment to sit here and to listen to the Prime Minister speak about the Presidency here in the home of European democracy, because I know, Andrej, that this House is a place that is very dear to your heart. There are not many who can say that they have been a European Parliament trainee, then, later on, an MEP, and then come back to Strasbourg as a Prime Minister chairing the EU Presidency. Chapeau and respect for that.

(Applause)

In some ways, your story mirrors the remarkable journey your country has taken. As you have just said, in the space of only three decades, Croatia has gone from bitter bloodshed to being here today at the beating heart of our Union. Tomorrow you will celebrate the ‘Day of International Recognition’, marking 28 years since the European Community recognised Croatia. But no one could have imagined then how far and how fast this country has grown. That is down to the will of your people, to the sacrifice they made, to their commitment to European values, and to their determination to join our union of peace, progress and prosperity.

Over the next six months, we will need all that determination, that unity and energy that Croatians are famous for. We will need that determination to find common solutions to issues that have divided us in the past like, for example, migration, which will be one of the tasks we will be tackling. We will need that unity to handle Brexit and budget negotiations and deal with the pressing international issues you just mentioned, and we will need that energy to ensure that Europe can shape the digital and climate transitions. This is the task ahead of us and I am delighted that the Croatian Presidency reflects this fully in the four pillars the Prime Minister just mentioned.

The Presidency’s motto says we need a strong Europe in a world of challenges, and indeed, it’s true that the challenges around us are becoming louder and more dangerous and more intensive by the day. I think it is now for the constructive force to help push back on the world’s destructive tendencies. And it’s always the same. As long as there’s violence taking place, it’s very loud and dominant, but the violence only ends if the talks start again. Here is the strength of the European Union – because the European Union has an enormous amount of diplomatic strength. It is able to focus on de-escalation dialogue because we have good relations with many, many actors in that region and partners in the region. We have relations that are time tested, relations that are reliable, that are trusted. We’ve played an enormous role and still do play in the stabilisation of Iraq, and the same goes for brokering the nuclear agreement with Iran.

But beyond conflict resolution, now is also the time for Europe to be more assertive on the global stage, to strengthen our position as the trading power of the world, to deepen, as you’ve said, our relationship with NATO and to take on more responsibility ourselves, and to build an alliance with Africa that can stand the test of time and help boost both our economies. We will have the college-to-college meeting with Africa and will be preparing the EU-Africa Summit. In this spirit, we will present our comprehensive strategy with Africa during your Presidency.

The next six months will be crucial for our relationship with the Balkans. You mentioned it, Andrej. Croatia knows better than most the power of European perspective. It’s a matter of perspective to have it, a true perspective, and Croatia knows better than most how far it can take countries in transforming their systems and economies. Croatia knows the good Europe can do by engaging and investing in the region. It is now particularly important that we keep up this momentum before the Zagreb Summit on the Western Balkans later this year. If we want the Western Balkans Summit in Zagreb to be a success, we have to do our homework now. That’s a reason why we will put forward our enlargement methodology in a few weeks, so that we can discuss the modernisation that is necessary, but the most important part is to give our friends in the Western Balkans a perspective for beginning the accession talks with North Macedonia and with Albania. They’ve done the homework which we’ve asked them to do, so it’s time to give them a real perspective to move on now.

Croatia’s leadership will also be essential when it comes to negotiations on our future budget. Over the next weeks, the Presidency, supported by President Michel, will look to make headway so that we can reach an agreement. We need a balanced budget, yes, we need a fair budget, yes, but most of all we need a modern budget. The next seven years are different from the seven years we’ve just gone through, so it is of utmost importance that the modernisation part – that’s what people expect us to do, that’s the area where all the Member States keep asking the European Union to move forward, be active, be visible – receives a decent budget. If we want to deliver on these topics, we need a decent budget for modernisation. Thank you for fighting for that. This is crucial for us.

Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, les six mois de la présidence croate seront également cruciaux pour réussir la transition climatique et écologique. Nous n’avons plus besoin de parler de l’urgence et de l’obligation d’agir. Nous devons passer maintenant à l’action et mettre en œuvre notre pacte vert pour l’Europe. Le travail commence aujourd’hui. À l’issue de ce débat, le collège discutera du plan d’investissement pour le pacte vert et du mécanisme pour une transition juste. Avec ce nouveau mécanisme nous donnerons la priorité aux secteurs et aux régions qui seront confrontés aux plus grands défis et qui doivent fournir de plus grands efforts. Je sais que c’est un point important pour la Croatie et pour beaucoup d’autres. Dès que les propositions seront approuvées par le collège, les vice-présidents Timmermans et Dombrovskis seront ici en plénière pour vous présenter tous les détails.

Je compte sur la présidence croate pour avancer sur ce dossier et sur tous ceux qui suivront dans les semaines et les mois à venir.

Meine Damen und Herren Abgeordnete! Ich möchte abschließen mit den Worten einer kroatischen Schriftstellerin, die als erste Frau professionelle Journalistin in Kroatien war, Marija Zagorka. Sie schrieb einmal: „Wo Einheit ist, ist Freiheit.“ Und das war schon immer so in Europa. Wo es Einheit gibt – und die europäische Besonderheit ist, dass es freiwillige Einheit ist –, da gibt es Freiheit, und da gibt es auch Kraft. Ich bin davon überzeugt, dass die kroatische Präsidentschaft eine Präsidentschaft der Einheit sein wird, eine Präsidentschaft der Stärke für Europa sein wird, eine Präsidentschaft, die unsere Institutionen voranbringen wird bei dem Aufbau – wie ihr es in eurem Präsidentschaftsmotto nennt – eines stärkeren Europas in einer herausfordernden Welt.

(Beifall)

 
  
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  Manfred Weber, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, welcome Andrej Plenković and welcome Croatia in the European Parliament. it is good to have you here, and having listened to Ursula von der Leyen’s explanation describing your story, the Plenković story in a way, I think it is great to hear and for a lot of MEPs here in this room it is a strong motivation to hear this story.

I want to add another story because we have a Vice—President of the European Commission sitting next to Ursula von der Leyen, the Croatian Commissioner who has a similar story: being elected as a Member of the European Parliament and now sitting in such an important role. So, that is a great symbol for what the Croatian Presidency means for the European Union and also for us as Members of the European Parliament.

The Croatian Presidency is a great start for this decade because Croatia is the youngest member of the European Union. And first of all, the Croatian people showed that being a member is in the interest of the country. So that is what you showed them the last years as a member of the European Union.

For example, after 2013 the country came out of a long recession, and almost 70% of all Croatia’s exports go to the European Union and almost 3 000 Croatian SMEs can now benefit from the EU investment plan. So there are a few examples of this success story and that’s why it is great to have Croatia now in the lead.

We see in Croatia also see the beauty of Europe: on the one hand the Roman heritage in Split, the Austrian Hungarian Empire’s influence in Zagreb, the Venetian architecture in Dubrovnik. So Croatia is in a way a good mirror for the European culture. And probably what the prime minister underlined in his speech: the most important thing for today is that Croatia is today an independent nation, not anymore part of any kind of Empire. Today Croatia is an independent nation, part of a family, respected as an equal partner on the European level.

This strong European vision is also reflected in your programme. A Europe that gives an answer to the world’s challenges. This is your motto, and in today’s political and social turmoil, no single Member State stands a chance alone. The Croatian programme pinpoints all the critical challenges: climate change, transport, connectivity, enlargement, global relevance, digital revolution and the safety of our citizens.

The key to face these challenges is in front of us, and that means unity. It was already also mentioned by Ursula von der Leyen. And I want to describe a little bit what we mean with unity. Unity for us means no first and second—class citizens in the European Union. So, for example, if Croatia wants to join the Schengen area, if Croatia wants to be a member of the euro area, then they have the full support of us as the European People’s Party.

Unity means to give a European perspective to the Western Balkans, several times already mentioned. We are aware that the decision of the European Council was a short—sighted decision to not opening the accession talks with Albania and North Macedonia.

I, as an EPP representative, am proud that all EPP governments in Council are supporting it and that’s why I hope that Socialists will speak with the Danish friends and our Renew colleagues will speak with the Dutch and also with the French colleagues to open this path for North Macedonia and Albania to become members of the European Union.

Unity means for us, ‘one for all, all for one’ on the global stage. We experienced in the last two weeks, the developments in the Middle East and we were close to a real military escalation in the last days. And – yes – the weapons were extremely loud in these days, but we can show together we speak louder than any weapon if we activate the strength of the whole European Union.

And for us the first two weeks of this decade are a kind of a wakeup call that we have to strengthen now systematically the capacity of the European Union. To go further with a military pillar for the European Union and we have to put an end to unanimity in the decision—making process in the field of foreign affairs. We have to come to a majority making decisions; we have to bring the European voice to the global level.

Unity means for us also on Brexit: our club, our rules. Andrej, you referred to the Eurosceptic parties in all our Member States. Nobody wants to punish our British friends in any way, some would say so, but it must be clear when you are not any more a member of the European Union, you’re losing the advantages of the club. If this is not clear then we will face a lot of problems to convince our citizens that it is better to stay inside of the European Union. That is a challenging development ahead of us, but we have to be clear.

And finally on the MFF, the budget must deliver. First, let’s talk about tasks. If we establish a strong border protection then Europeans as a whole will be safer. And if we invest in research and innovation, then it will be better for all Europeans.

So, let’s stop the debate about net—payers and contributors and so on. Let’s talk about the task which we have ahead of us and new tasks means for us also fresh money for the European Union.

These are the challenges for the Croatian Presidency ahead of us. But it is time now that the youngest member will show the lead, that not only the old – and probably big – countries will show leadership. Now the youngest country can give us the proof that there is a future. And you know you can always count on your EPP Group to say it, in Croatian, svi smo s vama.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señor presidente, señor Plenković, nos alegra darle de nuevo la bienvenida en el Parlamento Europeo y le deseamos que su experiencia pasada en esta Cámara contribuya al éxito de la Presidencia croata. Somos conscientes de que atravesamos un periodo convulso y lleno de retos.

A raíz de los recientes acontecimientos en Oriente Próximo, valoramos positivamente su compromiso con el fortalecimiento del multilateralismo y su intención de trabajar de manera estrecha con el alto representante para garantizar que la Unión Europea hable con una sola voz en la arena internacional. Además, apoyamos su compromiso con la política de ampliación y con la apertura de las negociaciones de adhesión con Macedonia del Norte y Albania.

Entre las prioridades de su programa una de ellas lleva por título «Una Europa que proteja», y bajo esta rúbrica habríamos deseado un enfoque más amplio, que reconozca la oportunidad que la migración representa para hacer frente al reto demográfico y al mantenimiento del Estado del Bienestar.

Sí, señor Plenković, necesitamos una Europa que proteja. Pero una Europa que proteja también significa una Europa que proteja la solidaridad y el Estado de Derecho. Una Europa que proteja también tiene que abordar con humanidad la integración de los refugiados y de los migrantes en nuestras sociedades. Una Europa que proteja también significa proteger a los ciudadanos y ciudadanas de la Unión contra la exclusión, el desempleo o la discriminación por razones de género. Por ello, le vamos a pedir una mayor ambición para construir la Europa social que necesitamos.

Seamos honestos, señor Plenković. Solo con la organización de conferencias no podremos abordar cuestiones como la brecha salarial entre hombres y mujeres, la violencia de género y la pobreza infantil. Estamos de acuerdo en que es necesario potenciar la competitividad, la innovación, la productividad y el aprendizaje permanente, pero necesitamos un verdadero plan de acción para implementar el pilar social europeo y los derechos sociales. Por esta razón, lamentamos que su programa no mencione explícitamente el salario mínimo, la garantía infantil o un verdadero plan de lucha contra la pobreza y esperamos y ofrecemos nuestra cooperación para poder incluir estas acciones durante su presidencia.

Con respecto a la reforma de la unión monetaria, también pensamos que la no inclusión del seguro de desempleo entre las prioridades no es aceptable. Se trata de un instrumento clave, que nos permite proteger a los ciudadanos y ciudadanas en periodos de crisis. Aprendamos de las lecciones de las últimas crisis y no nos resignemos a legislar en las áreas donde es posible legislar. Su compromiso para lograr un acuerdo sobre el nuevo marco financiero cuenta con nuestro apoyo, pero permítame que sea clara. Esperamos que su Presidencia presente una propuesta a la altura de la propuesta que ha hecho este Parlamento Europeo. Lo hemos dicho muchas veces: no podemos hacer más con menos.

Lo hemos dicho. Y queremos cumplir con los objetivos de nuestra ambiciosa agenda. Necesitamos un enfoque triangular, una mayor contribución de la renta nacional bruta al presupuesto comunitario, una propuesta de recursos propios y la promoción de inversiones nacionales con una reforma de las reglas fiscales. Para esto último defenderemos la incorporación de una nueva regla de oro en el Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento que estimule las inversiones sostenibles en los Estados miembros. No podemos frustrar las expectativas de la ciudadanía europea con promesas vacías.

Proyectos con la ambición del Pacto Verde Europeo requieren una financiación adecuada. Por ello, no quiero ocultarle la decepción de nuestra familia por la ausencia en su programa del plan de inversiones sostenibles y el fondo de transición justa. Asimismo, el programa ignora el compromiso adquirido por la Comisión Europea para incluir los objetivos de desarrollo sostenible en el Semestre Europeo.

No es tarde, señor Plenković. La familia socialdemócrata espera que su Presidencia despliegue la misma ambición que el programa de trabajo de la Comisión Europea, y la misma ambición que esta Cámara, ante los retos que tenemos por delante. Si tiene voluntad, podrá contar con el apoyo de nuestro Grupo para trabajar por el cambio ecológico, social y económico que Europa necesita.

 
  
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  Dacian Cioloş, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, dear Prime Minister Plenković, this will be Croatia’s first Presidency of the Council since joining the European Union in 2013. It is a proud moment for you, Prime Minister, and for your country, but it’s also a challenge. I saw that you have already brought such energy and a fresh approach to your first Presidency. I fully understand that you want to be, as soon as possible, in our Union’s inner circle in the Schengen area and also in the euro zone. I think that any country willing to integrate into the Schengen area and to share our common currency should be able to do so as soon as all criteria are fulfilled. Our priority is not only to make sure Europe is renewed so it works for our citizens, but we must make sure that the European Union continues to be an appealing organisation for new members to join. The conference on the future of Europe will play a key role, giving also a new prospective for enlargement in a renewed Europe. I am confident that, over the coming months, the EU will send a positive message to the Western Balkans and the Zagreb Summit should play a key role in this and should be the signal.

Colleagues, the migration crisis of 2015 and 2016 has had a deep impact on many of our countries. We discovered our migration and asylum systems are not fit for purpose. We need to move forward. Today, my Group, the Renew Europe Group, will launch a plan with some new ideas in order to fix the system for the next decade. It is time to make progress without waiting for the next crisis and I hope, Mr President, that your Presidency will be inspired by our ideas. Prime Minister, I know you will agree with me that immigration and the demographic challenges need greater recognition and actions. I am pleased to have raised this issue in your Presidency.

Regarding the Multiannual Financial Framework (MFF), the Croatian Presidency will be critical in the process leading to the adoption of MFF and own resources packages. I hope you hear the message of Parliament for a strong budget and especially for a new approach regarding own resources. We need a strong budget that matches our political priorities. In addition, I would like to thank you and Mr Charles Michel in particular, for your work on Libya and the situation in Iraq and Iran. We need to be alert and actively contribute to the peaceful settlement of tensions and conflicts. We really need a strong European voice in the world and you take up your responsibilities at a time when our role is clearly challenged in this area. A common position and unity is key if you are to put our future into our own hands.

Mr Prime Minister, I wish you all the best for your Presidency and you can be assured that, in taking up these challenges, you will have a partner in Renew Europe.

 
  
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  Ska Keller, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Mr President, I’m very happy that Croatia is taking its first ever Presidency and I wish you a lot of success for it and also many happy returns. This Presidency comes at a very crucial moment, when the new Parliament and the new Commission will enter into full legislation mode and make sure to make all the promises that were given throughout the election campaign and afterwards reality. There is lots to do. We face a huge climate crisis that impacts everyone and we need to act now, both at EU level and also in the Member States. The European Commission has already made some promises in that regard, which we applaud, but it also needs the Member States and too many of them have been blocking environmental progress in the past. This needs to change. We need the Member States along, active and pushing when it comes to climate action. It will be your task to ensure this, and that is a big responsibility as well. To fill this role, we also encourage you and your government to implement your own fair and ecological transition in Croatia.

Another area where we would like to see more action from the Member States is rule of law and human rights, and I’m very glad that you mentioned that. It needs some more peer pressure from governments to bring Member States back on track. Rule of law, fundamental rights and freedoms are pillars of the European Union and should not be weakened and that goes for all Member States. Here, Prime Minister, I’m concerned about the reports about the Croatian police disregarding international law and procedures in their treatment of refugees and migrants. There are even reports of systematic violence and abuse, such as destruction of property, humiliation, beatings and even the use of firearms. These abuses have been repeatedly pointed out by NGOs and have been widely reported in the media, but the Croatian government has so far neither stopped nor investigated those reports. Prime Minister, that is not acceptable in any EU country, but in any country anywhere, refugee rights are human rights, and I urge you to ensure that those rights are being respected. The Croatian borders are European borders and what happens there is a responsibility for all of us, so we will not turn a blind eye.

Croatia is a beautiful country and the youngest member of our family. This Presidency is a big chance for your country and your government to show the rest of Europe what your visions and your ideas for our common future are, but the Presidency will also turn a spotlight on Croatia and how much your global words are met with local action, both on human rights as well as on climate justice. You can count on our support for bringing forward climate justice, social equality and rule of law, but you can also count on us to call out any human rights violation, no matter where, no matter by what government.

 
  
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  Nicolas Bay, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, Monsieur le Premier ministre Plenković, notre débat d’aujourd’hui est en quelque sorte la prolongation des premiers échanges que nous avons eus à Zagreb, lorsque vous avez accueilli la Conférence des présidents au début du mois de décembre.

Vous nous présentez aujourd’hui les trois priorités de la présidence croate, mais au-delà de l’espoir qu’elles peuvent légitimement susciter chez vous, elles peuvent aussi comporter un vrai risque: le risque de trois fuites en avant.

D’abord, en matière d’élargissement, vous nous dites que vous voulez accélérer les processus d’adhésion de la Macédoine du Nord et de l’Albanie, alors que tout le monde voit bien la vérité, à savoir que ces pays, même si ce sont des pays alliés et amis avec lesquels nous devons travailler, sont encore aujourd’hui largement gangrenés par la corruption et largement infestés par les différents courants islamistes, qu’ils soient saoudiens ou turcs, et que, évidemment, aucune des conditions n’est réunie aujourd’hui pour qu’ils adhèrent à l’Union européenne. Emmanuel Macron avait d’ailleurs opposé un veto de la France en novembre et Jean-Claude Juncker avait parlé d’erreur historique. Et puis entretemps, après la bravade, nous avons la reddition et malheureusement Emmanuel Macron nous explique qu’il est prêt à accueillir successivement l’Albanie, la Macédoine du Nord, sans doute demain aussi la Bosnie et le Kosovo. Tout cela, le fait de passer de 27 à 29, peut-être de 29 à 31 après-demain ne va pas aboutir à renforcer l’Union européenne mais à l’affaiblir encore davantage.

Vous avez évoqué également le cadre financier pluriannuel. Dans quelques jours, avec le Brexit, l’Union européenne va perdre plus de 10 % de sa population. Cela devrait aboutir à nous reconcentrer sur les domaines où on peut utilement organiser à l’échelle continentale des coopérations entre les nations, en respectant les prérogatives des États nations et non pas à nous engager dans une fuite en avant budgétaire, c’est-à-dire aller toujours plus loin dans des contributions toujours plus lourdes où tout serait dirigé à Bruxelles. Certains dans cet hémicycle évoquent la possibilité de ressources propres de l’Union européenne: il s’agirait en pratique de la première étape vers une fiscalité européenne, évidemment une très mauvaise nouvelle pour nos contribuables, qui auront l’obligation de payer toujours davantage pour avoir en contrepartie toujours moins.

Vous évoquez également la conférence sur l’avenir de l’Europe. Ce devrait être un vrai débat, un débat sans tabou sur le fonctionnement et sur les orientations de l’Union européenne, mais je crains que certains veuillent l’utiliser uniquement pour aller encore plus loin dans l’intégration, pour remettre en cause le principe des décisions à l’unanimité pour passer à la majorité qualifiée, c’est-à-dire aller encore plus loin dans ce qui ne fonctionne pas. Or, force est de constater que l’Union européenne telle qu’elle est aujourd’hui est incapable de protéger ses frontières contre l’immigration, incapable de se protéger économiquement face aux grandes puissances mondiales, impuissante aussi sur la scène internationale, absente en Libye, absente en Syrie, absente en Iraq ou en Iran. Aujourd’hui nous nous limitons finalement à donner des leçons de droits de l’homme au monde entier et des leçons d’état de droit à nos États membres. Est-ce satisfaisant? Évidemment pas.

Et puis enfin, le Brexit. C’est un vrai enjeu, un vrai défi: Boris Johnson va défendre pied à pied les intérêts britanniques et il va négocier des accords commerciaux avec le monde entier. Nous ne devons pas accepter que demain le Royaume-Uni se transforme en une sorte de porte d’entrée de tous les produits, et donc de la concurrence déloyale, sur le marché européen. Nous devons bien sûr traiter le Royaume-Uni avec respect, puisque c’est une grande puissance amie, alliée et voisine, mais nous devons défendre nos intérêts, c’est-à-dire être capables enfin d’établir de vraies protections économiques; c’est ce que les peuples attendent.

 
  
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  Ruža Tomašić, u ime kluba ECR. – Poštovani predsjedniče, Republika Hrvatska nakon šest i pol godina članstva prvi put predsjeda Vijećem Europske unije. Pri pristupanju Uniji bilo je jasno da smo kao država u mnogim segmentima nepripremljeni i da put transformacije u razvijenu demokraciju koja drži do demokratskih principa, vladavine prava i tržišnog gospodarstva tu nije završio.

Bilo je ovo izazovnih šest i pol godina, ne samo za Hrvatsku, nego i za Europsku uniju. Migrantska kriza u dobroj je mjeri pojačala socijalni bunt koji je nastao kao posljedica teške financijske krize, a razlike u razvijenosti članica i dalje su velike. Mijenja se politička slika Unije, a Brexit nam je dao do znanja da se, nastavimo li okretati glavu od problema, i njezin teritorijalni obujam lako može promijeniti.

Činjenica je da nove i manje članice imaju veće šanse staviti neke svoje prioritete na dnevni red predsjedanja u manje izazovnim vremenima, kad su glavna pitanja Unije riješena, što sada, nažalost, nije slučaj. No Hrvatska je i kroz svoju povijest više puta pokazala da je spremna podmetnuti leđa za Europu u izazovnim vremenima.

Očekujem od hrvatske vlade da ovih šest mjeseci ne prođe u revijalnom tonu, već da bude dobro iskorišteno u svrhu reformiranja europskih instrumenata, osvježavanja zastarjelih europskih politika i boljeg pozicioniranja Hrvatske u Europskoj uniji.

Iako je nekada i previše slušala tuđe naputke i zanemarivala činjenicu da je punopravna članica koja bi trebala imati autentičnu politiku, Hrvatska sad ima priliku pokazati da je ambiciozna, da ima viziju i da je spremna predvoditi Europu u određenim područjima. Nadam se da će Vlada Republike Hrvatske iskoristiti ovu priliku.

Poštovani predsjedniče hrvatske Vlade, Vama, Vašim ministrima i svima uključenima u projekt hrvatskog predsjedništva želim puno uspjeha u sljedećih šest mjeseci.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Bevor ich den Blick auf das neue Jahr und die Aufgaben des kroatischen Ratsvorsitzes richte, möchte ich kurz auf den bereits angesprochenen Konflikt zwischen dem Iran und den USA eingehen. Es ist gut, dass die europäischen Außenministerinnen und Außenminister in der letzten Woche noch mal bekräftigt haben, weiterhin zum Atomabkommen mit dem Iran zu stehen. Dabei handelt es sich um einen der großen diplomatischen Erfolge der jüngeren Vergangenheit. Der Austritt der USA aus diesen Abkommen vor anderthalb Jahren hat eine Eskalation in der Golfregion ausgelöst, die uns jetzt leider wieder in den Abgrund eines großen Krieges blicken lässt. Die EU muss in dieser Situation alles in ihrer Macht Stehende unternehmen, um diesen drohenden Krieg zu verhindern als Vermittlerin, die ohne Wenn und Aber und ohne falsche Gefolgschaft Völkerrecht und Menschenrechte verteidigt. Die einzige Gefolgschaft, die es zu leisten gilt, gilt dem Frieden und dem internationalen Recht. Deshalb dürfen europäische Militärbasen auch nicht für den drohenden Krieg genutzt werden, und die europäischen Soldatinnen und Soldaten müssen aus der Region abgezogen werden.

Aber, Herr Ministerpräsident, 2020 wird ein richtungsweisendes Jahr für die EU. Sie haben die digitale Revolution angesprochen. Hinzu kommt der Klimawandel, und ich möchte sagen: Wir stehen vor der größten gesellschaftlichen Herausforderung seit der industriellen Revolution. Diese Umwälzung sozial gerecht und demokratisch zu gestalten, geht nur mit den entsprechenden finanziellen Mitteln. Also lassen Sie uns über den MFR reden. Bislang wird ja im Zusammenhang mit dem mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen eher über Kommastellen gestritten als über politische Richtungsentscheidungen geredet. Die Kürzungen in der Kohäsionspolitik, die Kürzungen in der Kohäsionspolitik zugunsten von Aufrüstung und Militarisierung halte ich, hält meine Fraktion für grundsätzlich falsch. Wer will, dass Europa wirtschaftlich und sozial zusammenwächst, der muss auch in die Regionen, der muss auch in den sozialen Zusammenhalt unserer europäischen Gesellschaft investieren.

Ein letzter Punkt: Die EU hat Recht und Menschenrecht auch an ihren eigenen Grenzen zu respektieren. Leider erreichen uns immer wieder Nachrichten, die zeigen, dass es zu schweren Menschenrechtsverletzungen an den Außengrenzen der Europäischen Union, aber auch an den kroatischen Grenzen kommt. Hier steht Ihre Regierung beispielhaft in der Pflicht, sich in den nächsten sechs Monaten für eine dem Menschenrecht und dem Grundrecht auf Asyl verpflichtete Reform der europäischen Migrationspolitik einzusetzen. Dabei und bei den anderen Vorhaben wünsche ich Ihnen viel Erfolg.

 
  
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  Mislav Kolakušić (NI). – Poštovani predsjedniče, poštovani kolege, Europska unija se nalazi pred izuzetno zahtijevnom financijskom situacijom.

Višegodišnji financijski okvir je omogućavao do sada manjim državama poput Republike Hrvatske da gubitak u gospodarstvu, koji je primjerice u Republici Hrvatskoj od ulaska samo u poljoprivedi 4,5 milijarde eura, da dobiju određenu kompenzaciju kroz pristup fondovima pa je Hrvatska u plusu bila u odnosu na neto dobit odnosno neto uplatu 1 700 000 000 eura.

Sada se približavamo situaciji kada Ujedinjeno Kraljevstvo izlazi iz Europske unije, a Ujedinjeno Kraljevstvo je uplatilo samo u proteklih deset godina 69 milijardi eura više nego što je povuklo sredstava. U situaciji proširenja koja nam predstoji ponovno će ući u Europsku uniju države koje su slabije gospodarske moći, koje će također trebati pomoć.

Potrebno je razmisliti o drugačijem načinu financiranja odnosno povišenju iznosa koji trebaju platiti gospodarski razvijene države.

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, I would first of all like to thank all the leaders of the political groups in the European Parliament for their reactions to the presentation of the programme of the Croatian Presidency. I will make a few points on some of the items you have raised.

First of all, I very much look forward to working in synergy with you, Ursula, and with your Commission. We said in Zagreb that your first months will be efficient as possible. We in the Council will help you to be propulsive and pass the proposed legislation as much as we can. In that respect, since migration was mentioned, we look forward to the new initiatives regarding the Dublin package. I think there is a lot of expectation that we will finally be able to create a balance between responsibility and solidarity, but in an upgraded and refurbished fashion.

When it comes to Schengen and the euro, which you mentioned, this is clearly a little bit of a Croatian hat. I deliberately didn’t want to mention them at the beginning, but it’s true. My Government has two major objectives. One is to join the Schengen area – I thank the Juncker Commission for the green light when it comes to technical conditions and Ursula von der Leyen’s Commission for the forwarding of the proposal to the Council – and, after our Presidency, we will continue to push for that objective. On the strategy to adopt the euro, we are in the process of working and fulfilling the action plan for the Exchange Rate Mechanism too. We intend to complete this exercise – just – at the end of our Presidency and then a decision is at the Eurogroup level.

When it comes to multilateralism and humanitarian aspects, as well as the social pillar, which were mentioned by Ms García Pérez, I think that, when you read the entire programme carefully – and it has been distributed to all of you – you will see a lot on social inclusion, equality and non—discrimination. This is an integrative part of our programme and, when it comes to migration and the protection of the Croatian border, let me be very clear on this. The migratory and refugee crisis of 2015 and 2016 has, without any doubt, after the fall of the Berlin Wall, been the most important phenomenon that has occurred and had political ramifications, not only on the political debate of the EU institutions, but also on the national debates and policies in all of our countries. Therefore, the solution to this issue is to strengthen the external border of the European Union. We should do this with a comprehensive set of tools – foreign policy, security, development, trade, state—building, humanitarian aid – in all the crisis areas around the world as much as we can, but we must also strengthen the external border, notably the one between Greece and Turkey. This is where the problem on the eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkans route arises.

Croatia will not allow itself to become a country that would be an informal hotspot. This is clear. We haven’t opted, unlike some other Member States, to erect barricades and fences, and to create barbed wire. On the contrary, we are protecting our border, with 6 500 police guarding the Croatian border, guarding the future Schengen border and guarding the European Union border. In that respect, we shall apply our law, European standards and international conventions. Any allegations that there were any misdemeanours will be investigated and sanctioned, but none of these allegations should be taken per se as a fact. This is what I’m telling you, as someone who has visited the area of the north—western border between Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and fully understands the terrain and the conditions. On that, we need to cooperate, use the activities of Frontex and help each other in order to address the issue adequately.

When it comes to the issue of enlargement, which was mentioned by Mr Bay, I will simply say one thing. There is no fuite en avant. There is a careful, responsible logic for those who are European states and those who are surrounded by European Union states because, let’s be clear: the countries of south—east Europe have nowhere else to go. They will not become members of the United States, China, Russia or whoever else. The only way forward is Europe. It’s our policy to structure that relationship in a serious manner. If we perennially have the policy of leaving them the impression that they’ll be part of the antichambre forever, it will not be good. They will derail, they will walk away from the objectives and they will lose momentum in the reforms. Opening negotiations doesn’t mean accession tomorrow. It means a long, cumbersome, technical and stringent process. Therefore, the modification of the methodology and progress of the two countries will hopefully come to a conducive situation so that, at the Zagreb Summit, we can have a successful declaration, paving the way for the next ten years. This is our objective.

Ms Tomašić, thank you for your suggestions. I really am grateful that you want success for Croatia. We will work with you to enable this. This will not be an exercise, as you said, almost in a protocol sense. We are working hard. We have been preparing hard. We are in the fourth year of our mandate. The people who are dealing with this have been dealing with it – unlike many other actors in my country today who dare to speak on Europe – every single hour of their working, political and professional life to understand Europe, to work for Croatian membership and to make our role in Europe relevant and successful, and this is how we approach it.

Finally, on the funds that Mr Kolakušić mentioned, I will just make two points. The balance between traditional policy and modernisation is not a simple equation to be solved. Had this been such a simple exercise, we would probably already have seen an agreement in the previous composition of the Parliament. We all have a lot of responsibility. Positions are pretty distant, but we all need to concede a little bit in order for all of us to gain for our countries and our citizens. This will be the guiding prescient principle for these negotiations in the months to come. Thank you for this part of the intervention.

 
  
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  Karlo Ressler (PPE). – Poštovani predsjedniče Parlamenta, poštovani predsjedniče Vlade, kolegice i kolege, Hrvatska povijesno i kulturno pripada Europi.

Međutim, ne tako davno, još za generacije mojih roditelja, sloboda, demokracija, ali i puna pripadnost europskoj obitelji bili su samo daleka i neizvjesna težnja. Zato hrvatsko predsjedanje Vijećem Europske unije predstavlja još jedan simbol u velikoj preobrazbi Hrvatske. Od teške borbe za samostalnost i neovisnost koja je počela prije tri desetljeća, kada sam i ja rođen, do uspješne države članice Europske unije.

Danas na početku novog i institucionalnog ciklusa imamo zajedničke ciljeve, ali i zajedničke izazove, koji su prepoznati i u hrvatskim prioritetima predsjedanja. Jedno od ključnih pitanja bit će svakako pitanje višegodišnjeg proračuna Europske unije.

Uz modernizaciju Europe, ne smijemo nikako zanemariti niti tradicionalno uspješne temeljne politike Europske unije koje su usmjerene na smanjivanje regionalnih razlika koje, nažalost, još uvijek postoje.

Uvjeren sam da Hrvatska sa svojom jedinstvenom perspektivom može pridonijeti rješavanju novih i zanimljivih okolnosti, gospodarskih, demografskih i tehnoloških promjena.

Uvjeren sam da će ovo biti uspješno predsjedanje, za cijelu Europsku uniju, za snažnu Europu u svijetu punom izazova!

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

 
  
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  Biljana Borzan (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, Hrvatska preuzima vodstvo Europske unije u izazovnim vremenima. Bez obzira na razlike među nama, kvaliteta života naših građana treba biti prioritet. Na zajedničkom europskom tržištu nitko ne smije biti građanin drugog reda. Tržište rada treba biti otvoreno za sve koji od svoga rada žele pošteno živjeti. Moramo dati novi zamah jamstvu za mlade, olakšati poduzetnicima koji žele pregogranično širiti posao, ali i osigurati minimalne europske plaće. Rad svakog građanina u Europskoj uniji vrijedi jednako i mora biti jednako i plaćen. Što smo mi, ako ne zajednica ravnopravnih?!

Svi ekonomski instrumenti trebaju biti promišljeni dugoročno. U okviru novog zelenog sporazuma moramo poticati razgovor s industrijom koja mora vidjeti dalje od profita i preuzeti društvenu odgovornost. Moramo zaštiti potrošače koji su slabija strana na tržištu.

Sigurna, ali i zdrava hrana trebaju biti prioritet članica Europske unije, pogotovo s obzirom na epidemiju pretilosti i debljine te s time povezanih bolesti. Pozdravljam najavu zalaganja za veću kvalitetu proizvoda te za istu razinu sigurnosti hrane za sve građane Europske unije. Prvi korak je provedba nove europske regulative o inspekcijama u prehrambenom sektoru s kojom Hrvatska kasni točno mjesec dana.

Na kraju, želim nam svima sreću u izgradnji bolje Europe za naše građane!

 
  
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  Valter Flego (Renew). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, poštovani predsjedniče Vlade Republike Hrvatske, upravljanje Vijećem Europske unije svakako je vrlo izazovno razdoblje za najmlađu državu članicu Europske unije.

Iz tog razloga želim da to predsjedanje bude uspješno i korisno i nemojte dozvoliti da bude zapamćeno samo po tome što je jedna država članica napustila Europsku uniju, već idemo svi zajedno raditi na tome da osiguramo europsku perspektivu našim susjedima.

Osim toga, mislim da je to idealno vrijeme za nove ideje, za nove iskorake. Mislim da u svemu što danas ovdje čujemo fali riječ obrazovanje koja je, nažalost, podzastupljena. Naime, nakon bolonjske deklaracije treba nam hitno novi iskorak prema srednjoškolskom obrazovanju. Zato predlažem i konkretno nudim proširenje bolonjskog procesa na srednje škole kako bi onda imali i usklađenije i konkurentnije znanje naših srednjoškolaca. To oni u svakom slučaju i zaslužuju i s pravom očekuju.

 
  
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  Sven Giegold (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, Prime Minister it’s a pleasure to see you again in your new role. I would just like to bring up two issues. First, the European Commission has presented a proposal for public tax transparency for large multinational companies. Small and medium-sized companies and ordinary citizens pay taxes. Some large multinationals do not pay the taxes due. You have the chance, Prime Minister, to put that issue back on the agenda of the European Council. So far there’s no meeting foreseen, therefore I call on you to put the issue back on the agenda and finish what the Finnish Presidency started in order to find a majority in Council.

And second, like the European Parliament, the Finnish have also started to publish all the minutes of the lobby meetings of their permanent representation. The Germans have now said they will do the same, but unfortunately the Croatian representation does not do so yet. Please follow the Finnish in this regard – they set a good example.

 
  
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  Rosanna Conte (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, desidero innanzitutto augurare buon lavoro ai nostri vicini croati, un popolo con il quale noi italiani condividiamo uno splendido mare.

Il mare Adriatico ci offre tanto buon pesce, ma in questi ultimi anni è stato il bersaglio di dure politiche restrittive da parte dell'Unione europea, non da ultimo le TAC in vigore dal 1° gennaio 2020, e altre riduzioni, come il taglio del 10 % delle giornate in mare dei pescatori a strascico, che rischia di ridurre del 40 % la sola produzione ittica italiana.

Tutto questo per mano della Commissione europea che, invece di consultare il Parlamento in un'ottica di codecisione, ha preferito bypassarlo e agire in sede di Commissione generale per la pesca nel Mediterraneo.

Per questo è importante rafforzare il collegamento tra i nostri Stati e presentarci compatti contro questo tentativo di delegittimazione del Parlamento, che è la voce dei cittadini. L'impegno di Italia, Croazia e Slovenia per la pesca deve essere congiunto, per difendere e tutelare i pescatori in un'ottica di buoni rapporti di vicinato.

Auspico quindi che questo semestre presidenziale possa fare tanto e bene per tutelare il comparto ittico europeo, iniziando a sostenere l'ammodernamento delle imbarcazioni e le misure socioeconomiche del nuovo FEAMP.

Vista poi la presenza della Commissione chiedo, e mi aspetto una risposta chiara, se intendono iniziare i negoziati o ritirare la proposta relativa al piano pluriennale per i piccoli pelagici dell'Adriatico, arenato ormai da troppo tempo.

Solo con politiche più efficaci, semplici e accessibili potremo garantire sviluppo e crescita economica di cittadini e imprese europee. Rafforziamo quindi anche i programmi di cooperazione regionale tra Stati, promuovendo ad esempio Interreg.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidente, presidente Plenković, enhorabuena. Quiero darle la enhorabuena a Croacia por su Presidencia. A mí me emociona especialmente, porque, cuando hace un cuarto de siglo yo estaba como periodista metido en las trincheras y casas destruidas de Osijek o de Karlovac, en la Eslavonia o la Krajina, esto era realmente un sueño que parecía inalcanzable.

Precisamente por lo inmensamente bella que ha sido la reunificación de los europeos, desde Tallin hasta Cádiz, desde Zagreb a Ámsterdam, no podemos permitir que fracase. La Presidencia croata puede ayudar, advirtiendo a todos aquellos que están intentando secuestrar Europa para un superestado, de una ideología concreta socialdemócrata, que ignore y al final destruya naciones y la democracia.

Deberían pedir sentido común contra proyectos irracionales ideológicos o esa Conferencia sobre el Futuro de Europa, tan sospechosa, que parece querer engañar a los Estados europeos con un federalismo por la puerta de atrás, que ni todos los Estados ni, por supuesto, todos los europeos desean.

 
  
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  Malin Björk (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, I would say to Prime Minister Plenković that his Presidency says that they want to focus on the rule of law and humane migration management, but after I read the reports I went to the areas that he talked about in the north of Bosnia and south of Croatia. Making a careful estimate, we have seen 10 000 illegal push—backs in 2018 and 25 000 in 2019. 10 000 of them were chain push—backs. Having read the reports on the brutality of the Croatian border police, I must say that the stories I heard were sometimes even worse: dog wounds, wounds by Tasers and the brutality that they had witnessed and that they had been subject to was horrendous. Also, civil society organisations trying to show solidarity with refugees are being targeted. I think the message here has to be clear. There is no Member State that should behave in this way at their borders, no matter where, as was said by colleagues earlier. We need to see a stop to this. We need to see an independent monitoring mechanism being put in place and we also need to be clear, there can be no Schengen membership unless this situation stops.

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

 
  
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  Tomislav Sokol (PPE), pitanje postavljeno podizanjem plave kartice – Draga kolegice, zbog čega govorite neistine? Izvješća koja ste spomenuli nisu nikakva izvješća nadležnih ustanova koje se time bave, nego, nažalost, pokušaj difamiranja hrvatske vlasti i hrvatske države od pojedinih organizacija koje nemaju apsolutno nikakav legitimitet niti imaju relevantne resurse niti informacije da bi mogli govoriti o takvim stvarima.

Hrvatska poštuje sve propise Europske unije, Hrvatska poštuje međunarodno pravo te vas molim da se doista suzdržimo od ovakvih neprovjerenih informacija i njihova širenja u Europskom parlamentu.

 
  
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  Malin Björk (GUE/NGL), blue-card answer. – Excuse me, but this is ridiculous. You have read the reports, I have seen it with my own eyes. I was there for a very short time and I witnessed a push—back myself – 20 people being pushed back by Croatian border police. I saw the dog wounds. I saw the wounds. I’ve heard stories of people having to stand 30 minutes in cold water up to their chest before being forced back to Bosnia, so don’t come and say that it is not true. Say what you will do instead. Will you have an independent monitoring mechanism? Will you make sure that EU law and international law and fundamental rights are respected? Today, they are not.

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, ovom prilikom treba reći kako izgleda Hrvatska za vrijeme predsjedanja gospodina Plenkovića i vladavine njegove vlasti, a karakteriziraju je dvije stvari: to je bezakonje i korupcija.

Ilustrirat ću to na jednom osobnom primjeru, a tiče se prava na pristup informacijama. Još kao zastupnik u Hrvatskom saboru prije dvije godine poslao sam upit, a to je javni podatak, da mi se dostavi informacija tko je na određene dane ulazio u zgradu hrvatske Vlade, u svetu zgradu hrvatske Vlade, jednu od glavnih hrvatskih institucija. Do dana danas, nakon dvije godine, niste odgovorili na moj upit. Ako se tako odgovara zastupniku, što tek može očekivati građanin? Rok Vam je bio dva tjedna, zakon Vam kaže dva tjedna, ured povjerenika je donio odluku da morate odgovoriti jer je to javni podatak, imate odluku Ustavnog suda i Vi još uvijek ništa nista odgovorili. Toliko o Vašoj transparentnosti! Omotnica stoji u zgradi Vlade, 100 m od zgrade Hrvatskog sabora, odbijete dati poštu, primiti poštu! Tako se ne ponaša državnik niti premijer, tako se ponaša sitni prevarant!

A zašto sve to radite? Da zaštite svoje prijatelje koji su se ilegalno, potajno sastajali u zgradi Vlade i pisali zakon kojim su sebi dodijelili poslove od 500 milijuna kuna. Sukob interesa za hrvatske primjere bez presedana!

 
  
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  Angelika Niebler (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, verehrte Frau Kommissionspräsidentin, Herr Ratspräsident! Wir stehen am Anfang eines neuen Jahres, eines neuen Jahrzehnts, eines neuen Ratsvorsitzes. Es heißt ja so schön: „Jedem Anfang wohnt ein Zauber inne.“ Jeder Anfang ist auch mit großen Erwartungen verbunden, und gerade in Richtung des kroatischen Ratsvorsitzes sind die Erwartungen sehr, sehr groß. Das, verehrter Herr Ratspräsident, was Sie jetzt als Programm aufgezeigt haben, stimmt uns sehr, sehr positiv, dass Sie auch die großen Herausforderungen, die großen Fragen beherzt angehen.

Ich möchte noch mal auf das Thema Migration zu sprechen kommen. Wir arbeiten ja hier in der Europäischen Union seit 2015 an gemeinsamen Lösungen, und ich kann Ihnen sagen: Viele Veranstaltungen finden zu Beginn des Jahres ja bei uns, in meiner Region in Bayern, zurzeit statt. Die Menschen haben eine hohe Erwartungshaltung, dass wir das Thema Migration hier auf europäischer Ebene gemeinsam lösen, dass wir die Situation in den Griff bekommen. Bitte setzen Sie sich dafür ein, dass uns unter Ihrem Ratsvorsitz der Durchbruch gelingt, dass wir zu gemeinsamen Asylregeln kommen, dass gemeinsam von den Mitgliedstaaten auch Verantwortung für die große Herausforderung der Migration übernommen wird. Wir brauchen eine Kombination aus sicheren europäischen Außengrenzen, geordneter Migration und der Bekämpfung von Fluchtursachen.

Ich freue mich, dass Sie auch in Ihrer Replik auf die ersten Kollegenäußerungen hier auf das Thema Schengen und die Fragen der Migration eingegangen sind. Die Situation ist nach wie vor kritisch, wenn ich nur die griechischen Kollegen höre, wie die Situation auf den griechischen Inseln ist. Also bitte: Bei all den anderen Herausforderungen – MFR und der Grüne Deal und vieles andere sind angesprochen worden –: Das Thema Migration brennt nach wie vor, und ich bitte Sie wirklich, auch während Ihres Ratsvorsitzes ganz konzentriert vor allem unter den Mitgliedstaaten beherzt an Lösungen zu arbeiten.

 
  
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  Kati Piri (S&D). – Madam President, Prime Minister, it is very good to see you in this House again. The crisis in Libya and the escalation of the conflict between the US and Iran underline how the strengthening of our role in the neighbourhood and beyond are more crucial than ever. We must back our calls for diplomacy and multilateralism with clear commitments, and this is why we welcome the Croatian Presidency’s commitment to a strong Europe in a world of challenges. But Prime Minister, being a global player, as you know, is not possible if the EU fails to deliver on its commitments, and this is even more crucial for our closest partners: the Western Balkans. We must guarantee the credibility of the process and open accession negotiations with North Macedonia and Albania in March, before the Zagreb Summit.

Finally, our Union cannot be strong if we allow our democracies to fail. Poland and Hungary require firm and unified action by the Council, and so does the threat to disinformation and election interference posed to our democratic systems. On all these issues, my Group stands ready to work with this Presidency.

 
  
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  Valerie Hayer (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, nous en sommes à la cinquième présidence qui s’attaque à cet épineux dossier du futur budget de l’Union européenne. Espérons que cette fois, ce sera la bonne.

Le Conseil a mandaté Charles Michel pour trouver un accord. Néanmoins, la présidence croate aura un rôle fondamental à jouer: celui de l’impulsion, car il est urgent d’avancer. Plus les décideurs tardent, plus ce sont nos agriculteurs, nos chercheurs, nos régions, nos porteurs de projets qui doutent. La majorité des programmes n’est pas encore bouclée, les moyens qui seront alloués sont encore inconnus. Je vous le demande: côté bénéficiaires, comment planifier des projets dans une telle incertitude, et côté Parlement, comment négocier sérieusement sur nos actions futures sans connaître nos moyens?

Monsieur le Premier ministre, notre avenir est commun car nos défis sont communs. La lutte contre le changement climatique ne se fera pas à l’échelle du Luxembourg, la gestion des migrations ne sera pas uniquement grecque, la défense de notre continent ne saurait être réservée à l’Estonie, notre souveraineté alimentaire ne pourra pas être assurée par la France ou l’Allemagne seule. Et si le problème après tout n’est que comptable, alors la solution est simple: dotons l’Union de nouvelles ressources propres.

 
  
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  Erik Marquardt (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Herr Premierminister, erst mal möchte ich Ihnen viel Erfolg für den Ratsvorsitz wünschen. Sie haben ja wichtige Prioritäten vorgelegt, auch die Priorität „ein Europa, das verbindet“. Ich glaube, dass es wichtig ist, dass wir uns in diesem Kontext auch klarmachen, dass es immer wieder Vorwürfe an Politikerinnen und Politiker gibt, dass sie das eine sagen und das andere machen. Ich glaube, wir müssen auch schauen, wie wir denn das, was wir machen, mit dem verbinden, was wir sagen. Ich glaube, wir werden und wir können hier auch in den nächsten Monaten unterschiedliche Meinungen zur Asylpolitik austauschen, ich glaube aber, dass wir diesen wichtigen Austausch auf der Grundlage stattfinden lassen sollten, dass wir ehrlich zueinander sind. Ich sehe mit Sorge, dass wir hier immer wieder auf der einen Seite sehen – ich habe mir das selbst in Kroatien angeschaut –, dass es so viele Nachweise von Push-backs, so viele Nachweise von Menschenrechtsverletzungen an den Außengrenzen gibt, dass wir aber auf der anderen Seite sehen, dass dort eben nicht gesagt wird: „Das stimmt, wir werden es aufklären“, sondern dass gesagt wird: „Es findet nicht statt.“ Ich glaube, wenn Sie ein Europa haben wollen, das schützt, dann müssen wir ein Europa haben, das auch Menschenrechte an den Außengrenzen schützt, und ich hoffe, dass Sie auch dabei erfolgreicher sein werden.

 
  
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  Jordan Bardella (ID). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, sur fond de prise de conscience populaire en Croatie, le gouvernement chrétien démocrate croate entre donc en fonction dans le cadre de la présidence tournante du Conseil de l’Union.

Immigration massive, dérégulation commerciale et concurrence intracommunautaire, ingérence dans le fonctionnement même d’États souverains, faiblesse diplomatique et technologique face aux leaders de la mondialisation, les présidents se succèdent mais les politiques menées se ressemblent.

En dépit du sentiment des Européens toujours plus critique à l’égard de l’Union européenne – comme l’ont souligné les derniers scrutins électoraux en France, en Italie, en Espagne, sans parler du Royaume-Uni récemment –, les partisans de l’Europe fédérale avancent tête baissée vers plus d’intégration, plus d’élargissement, moins de liberté, moins d’identité, moins de souveraineté nationale.

L’entrée de la Croatie en 2013 dans l’Union, en pleine crise institutionnelle, eut des conséquences majeures pour des pans entiers de l’économie croate, comme pour les ouvriers de la construction navale, grande spécialité industrielle du littoral qui a dû faire face aux règles de la concurrence prétendument libre et non faussée.

Vous ne pouvez donc, Monsieur le Premier Ministre, sciemment ignorer les défis qui sont désormais devant vous. Le programme que vous nous présentez ici n’a rien de révolutionnaire et je crains qu’il ne change rien dans le quotidien des peuples d’Europe.

Rassurez-vous, chers collègues, le président Macron finira par plier devant les injonctions de la Commission et le feu vert sera donné pour la poursuite du processus d’adhésion de l’Albanie, en dépit de facteurs migratoires et sociaux que nous sommes les seuls à dénoncer dans cette enceinte. Dans six mois, Mme Merkel reprendra la main et la Croatie, comme la Finlande ou la Roumanie avant elle, pourra contempler l’inertie d’une gouvernance européenne à la dérive.

 
  
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  Eugen Jurzyca (ECR). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, dôležitou úlohou chorvátskeho predsedníctva bude posun v rokovaniach o dlhodobom európskom rozpočte. Odchodom Veľkej Británie nám na strane príjmov vzniká diera, ktorú treba reflektovať v znížení výdavkov. Nepovažujem za šťastné, že niektoré štáty chcú namiesto toho výpadok príjmov nahradiť novými európskymi daňami a vyššími príspevkami členských štátov. To, čo potrebujeme, je zlepšenie hospodárenia s tým, čo máme. Slovensko, ktoré reprezentujem, je čistým príjemcom európskych peňazí. Náš volič ale veľmi dobre chápe, že menej európskych príjmov znamená aj menej európskych výdavkov. To, čo však nechápe, je, prečo sa eurofondy míňajú roky podľa rovnakého kľúča, keď sú často sprevádzané neefektivitou. Vyzývam preto Radu, aby si pri rokovaniach jasnejšie zadefinovala ciele svojich politík a kriticky zhodnotila efektívnosť programov, ktorými ich dosahuje.

 
  
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  Δημήτριος Παπαδημούλης (GUE/NGL). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, κυρία von der Leyen, ας λέμε αλήθειες εδώ μέσα. Στην κρίση της Λιβύης και στην κρίση μεταξύ Ιράν και Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση είναι απούσα, είναι ουραγός. Είμαστε ένας οικονομικός γίγαντας αλλά ένας πολιτικός νάνος. Κύριε Plenković, αν θέλουμε μια πιο ισχυρή Ευρώπη και στη διεθνή σκηνή, που να παίζει ρόλο συντελεστή ειρήνης, με πολιτικές και διπλωματικές λύσεις, πρέπει να αλλάξουν πολλά πράγματα. H προεδρία σας δεν θα κριθεί από τα ωραία λόγια. Θα κριθεί από το αποτέλεσμα στο τέλος του εξαμήνου. Θα μπορέσετε να συμβάλετε στο να εγκριθεί ο νέος πολυετής προϋπολογισμός με βάση τις προτάσεις του Ευρωπαϊκού Κοινοβουλίου, έτσι ώστε να μην έχουμε περικοπές στα κονδύλια της Συνοχής ή στα κονδύλια για την περιφερειακή ανάπτυξη ή την καινοτομία; Θα συμβάλετε στο να ξεκινήσουν οι ενταξιακές διαπραγματεύσεις για τη Βόρεια Μακεδονία και την Αλβανία τον Μάρτιο; Θα μπορέσετε να εγκρίνετε τον φάκελο για τη μεταρρύθμιση των πολιτικών ασύλου που έχουν ετοιμάσει εδώ και δύο χρόνια το Κοινοβούλιο και η Επιτροπή, και έχει μπλοκάρει στο Συμβούλιο; Από αυτά θα κριθείτε.

 
  
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  Ignazio Corrao (NI). – Madam President, I wish good morning to Ms von der Leyen and welcome Mr Plenković back to the European Parliament.

Mr Plenković, we listened very carefully to your priorities and we endorse your ambitions for there to be a stronger connection to promote the role of the European islands in the clean energy transition. I would really appreciate a general major focus on the Mediterranean islands during this Presidency. You previously mentioned the importance of encouraging digitalisation, investment in research and innovation, with the development of new skills adjusted to jobs. This is one of the most important challenges and opportunities for us in this new green era and in this context, speaking of the green era and therefore of the European Green Deal, why are we not pushing for a real exclusion of green investment from fiscal constraints? We all know, of course, that setting ambitious targets is only part of the job. The real job is transforming those targets into concrete and effective measures that start to change life for European citizens right now. Good luck with your first ever Presidency.

 
  
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  Andor Deli (PPE). – Madam President, I will speak about enlargement because I am truly happy that the Council President put this topic so high on the agenda. The task is enormous and twofold. First, you need to convince the opposing Member States with a new, fresh approach. Second, you need to rebuild the trust in the Western Balkan candidate countries that joining the EU is not just a distant carrot on a very, very long stick.

In all of these countries, the public polls show that a huge majority of the people are staunch supporters of EU integration. People love and support the European idea, in spite of the fact that recently the EU behaved like a mean stepmother. Hopefully, with the new Commission and with you in the Council, this will change.

The Hungarian delegation of the EPP is ready to help you as much as possible because Hungary, and we Hungarians, we want a stable and prosperous neighbourhood with the new EU Member States as soon as possible. Because I am convinced that without them Europe cannot become strong enough to bear the pressure of global politics. So all our eyes are on you now, Mr President.

 
  
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  Ismail Ertug (S&D). – Madam President, I welcome the Prime Minister to the Parliament once again and wish him good luck for the Presidency. I want to start with praise because of your strategy on the connectivity of the European Union. This is of crucial importance – I think this is clear. We still have areas and regions in the European Union with a limited connection or even no connection to the Internet. We have the situation that this is affecting, in particular, rural areas and regions suffering from depopulation. European citizens should benefit from safe and accessible digital infrastructure and 5G is not just a buzzword. I think 5G is the basis for applications and, in particular, business models in transport, health and energy, and so the current patchwork that we have for the moment in the European Union is not acceptable. Therefore, Ms von der Leyen, I want to look into your side as well. We have to do something in order to prevent and to avoid this patchwork in the European Union and we have to design a strategic and united approach to roll out 5G, an approach which leaves nobody behind and which avoids a race to the bottom when it comes to labour and social standards. Once again, good luck and thank you very much.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Madam President, dear Croatian friends, we often say that the EU is at a crossroads and now is your chance to decide which road we collectively take. As you take on this massive role at such a crucial time, your decision could not be more important. The climate crisis, burning inequalities, Brexit, our long-term budget and also the growing problems with the rule of law in certain countries are all issues that have long-term consequences for our European family. I urge the Croatian Presidency not to underestimate the importance of the ongoing rule of law procedures, because it’s not about Poland or Hungary, it’s about us as a community and whether we, as the European Union, have the self-respect to do something when our rules and values are being neglected. I wish and I hope that you will give us back our self-respect because right now, very often, it is painfully missing. I hope you have the courage and confidence to act as a true champion of the rule of law and also progress with the Article 7 procedure that has been deliberately halted in the past. Please use this unique opportunity to lead by example and to leave a legacy that we can all build upon in the future.

 
  
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  Tineke Strik (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I would like to welcome the Croatian Presidency to the European Parliament and wish it all the very best in achieving its goals. One of the goals of the new Commission is to find an agreement on the new pact on asylum, based on the principles of solidarity and the right to asylum. The adoption of this new legislation may take years but, fortunately, we already have a lot of rules in place, which, if they were implemented correctly, would already harmonise our system. I would like to know what the Presidency will do to promote compliance with the current asylum acquis by all the Member States. You know, one of the core violations taking place at the moment is push—backs, allegedly taking place at many borders of the EU Member States. I investigated these practices as a rapporteur for the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe and, in that regard, I also visited the Croatian border with Bosnia. I was really overwhelmed by the number of well—documented cases and complaints about the brutal violence taking place and also the structural denial of access to an asylum procedure. Do you admit that this is taking place and what steps does the Croatian Government intend to take in order to achieve a complete ban of these practices and combat these practices in all other Member States as well? (The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Gianantonio Da Re (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, ringrazio il premier Plenković. "Un'Europa forte in un mondo di sfide": questo è il motto scelto dalla Croazia.

La Croazia ha una grande occasione, e una grande sfida da affrontare è avvicinare i cittadini alle istituzioni europee e dimostrare che l'Europa non è quella dei grandi interessi economici e finanziari ma è l'Europa dei cittadini, che può e deve dare molto di più per le nostre piccole realtà locali.

Non sarà un semestre semplice: grandi sono le sfide da affrontare – come la Brexit, la stesura del quadro finanziario pluriennale, la gestione dei flussi migratori – e ambiziose le priorità – dare all'Europa più infrastrutture, più sviluppo, più sicurezza e maggiore influenza sulla scelta globale.

Ma non solo, gli altri punti in agenda non sono meno importanti: il sostegno alle aree rurali, all'agricoltura, all'aumento della competitività delle piccole e medie imprese, la promozione del turismo sostenibile, nonché il potenziamento della cooperazione macroregionale.

Sul fronte della cultura e dell'istruzione sono certamente condivisibili gli obiettivi dell'aumento della mobilità degli studenti e dei ricercatori, la promozione del patrimonio culturale europeo, nonché l'utilizzo dello sport quale strumento di inclusione sociale.

Essendo io della regione del Veneto e viste le similitudini storiche e culturali tra la mia regione e la Croazia, darò una mano il più possibile affinché gli obiettivi vengano realizzati, augurando alla Presidenza un buon lavoro e confermando quindi il mio supporto e la massima collaborazione. Grazie al Presidente, il premier Plenković.

 
  
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  Geert Bourgeois (ECR). – Voorzitter, mijnheer de eerste minister, namens de Vlaamse delegatie focus ik op drie van uw heel belangrijke prioriteiten.

Eén, kies voor een begroting van de toekomst, niet voor een begroting van de 20e eeuw. Zet dus in op innovatie, op onderzoek en ontwikkeling, op digitalisering. De wereld wacht echt niet op ons. Twee, bescherm inderdaad de burger. U vermeldt terecht de rechtsstaat, maar zet ook in op grensbewaking, versneld, niet wachten tot 2024.

Ten tweede, een brexit met zo weinig mogelijk barrières en een zo hecht mogelijke samenwerking met onze Britse vrienden.

Tot slot, akkoord met uw perspectief voor de Westelijke Balkan. Ik denk dat het nieuwe mechanisme waar de Commissie aan werkt een goede basis kan bieden, mét clusters, mét een dynamisch proces, merits-based.

Ik wens u alle succes met uw voorzitterschap.

 
  
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  Alexandra Lesley Phillips (NI). – Madam President, I saw Ms von der Leyen leaving her hotel this morning, complete with a three-car cavalcade and police escort, and I wonder if tomorrow whether you’d like to give me a lift. I mean, it doesn’t seem very environmental not to offer a colleague a lift to the same building.

Welcome, Prime Minister. The vision for the EU over the next six months is simply astonishing: more cash to prop up weaker economies; open borders with two more countries – Albania and North Macedonia; and an ambition to keep the UK shackled to EU rules. Why on earth would we want to do that? If those policies were not bonkers enough, you want Croatia to also join the failing single currency. You would be locking your country and your people inside an economic prison and only the ECB would have the keys to set you free. The euro is the EU’s poster—child for weak growth, high unemployment and stagnant wages. Don’t do it. Keep the kuna.

As Brexit has shown, citizens want freedom, not being dictated to by a faceless superstate. The UK is leading the way out of this fanatical, democratically—bankrupt project – and I’m telling you, unless the EU can show the will to reform and repeal its Gordian knot of regulations and directives, many brave nations will follow.

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Señora presidenta. Bienvenido a casa, Andrej. Que el Estado miembro más joven de la Unión ocupe esta Presidencia es un ejemplo de que la ampliación es el único camino a seguir para la Unión Europea. Los mensajes ambiguos sobre la ampliación tienen que terminar. Confunden a nuestros amigos y aliados, reducen nuestra credibilidad y abren la puerta para que otras potencias con intereses oscuros ocupen nuestro lugar. El día que Europa cierre la puerta a los Balcanes habrá empezado la deconstrucción de la Unión Europea.

Me ha gustado el plan presentado para la Conferencia sobre el Futuro de Europa. Después del dolor que el Brexit va a producirnos, es verdad, debemos señalar con el dedo a los enemigos de Europa, debemos señalar con el dedo a los nacionalistas, a los separatistas y a los separadores. El nacionalismo es el enemigo de la paz. Y sí, es verdad ―como has planteado Andrej―, debemos defender el Estado de Derecho con todas nuestras fuerzas. Debemos respetar la independencia de jueces y tribunales. Debemos atender y respetar las resoluciones de jueces y tribunales. Y este Parlamento tiene que aceptar las resoluciones de jueces y tribunales, y si quiere reconocer que respeta el Estado de Derecho tiene que atender a las peticiones de los jueces y tribunales.

Deseo que bajo tu Presidencia el Brexit sea la última vez que ocurra; que el Brexit sea el último divorcio de Europa; que el Brexit sea la última victoria del nacionalismo.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, poštovani gospodine predsjedniče hrvatske Vlade, prije svega, veliko je zadovoljstvo u ovoj dvorani raspravljati o prvom hrvatskom predsjedanju Vijećem Europske unije. Iznimno mi je drago da program hrvatskog predsjedanja obuhvaća i otoke jer su, na primjer, dokazali kako mogu biti predvodnici europske energetske tranzicije. Pitam Vas kako Hrvatska kao zemlja s preko 1000 otoka planira ojačati ovaj proces?

Jedan od dobrodošlih prioriteta je i obnova politike proširenja te održavanje summita u Zagrebu za koji imam obvezu napisati preporuke u ime Europskog parlamenta. Nedavno odbijanje otvaranja pregovora sa Sjevernom Makedonijom i Albanijom vratilo je ovu temu u fokus europskih institucija. Sugestija: mislim da bi u rad Konferencije o budućnosti Europe bilo dobro uključiti i zemlje zapadnog Balkana.

Hrvatska kao najmlađa članica ima najsvježije iskustvo pregovaranja o članstvu. Dobro znamo kako je kompleksan taj proces, pogotovo u slučaju blokada zemalja članica. Pariz daje naslutiti određene pozitivne pomake. Pitam Vas, dolaze li takvi signali i iz ostalih članica koje dijele stajališta Francuske?

 
  
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  Илхан Кючюк (Renew). – Г-н министър-председател, добре дошъл отново във Вашия дом, в Европейския парламент. Искам да поздравя хърватското председателство с амбициозната програма, и по-специално в частта за Западните Балкани. Новата година започна амбициозно и за г-жа фон дер Лайен, която от Загреб каза, че има зелена светлина, или би трябвало да има зелена светлина за Република Северна Македония и Република Албания.

Точно заради това обаче, заради тази амбиция, искам да припомня уроците от миналата година. А те са: първият и най-важен — не трябва да обещаваме неща, които не могат да бъдат изпълнявани или не могат да бъдат изпълнени. Второ — днес глобалните реалности са такива, че не може да си позволим повече да държим страните от Западните Балкани в задния двор на Европа. Те трябва да бъдат интегрална част от Европейския съюз.

Предстоят много важни инициативи през следващите седмици. Първата е да се подготви и представи новата методология за присъединяване на страните от региона към Европейския съюз. Тук е нужна консултация с тях. В противен случай обричаме процеса на неуспех още от самото начало. Второто нещо, за което говори г-н Пицула, конференция за бъдещето на Европа. Всяка страна, която придобие статут на кандидат-член на Европейския съюз, трябва да има роля и място в конференцията за бъдещето на Европа.

 
  
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  Maximilian Krah (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, Herr Premierminister! Heute vor 28 Jahren ungefähr wurde Kroatien von den meisten EU-Ländern als unabhängiger Staat anerkannt, und nun sitzen Sie hier und führen den Vorsitz. Dazu zunächst meinen Glückwunsch! Ich muss aber zugeben, dass ich beim Durchlesen Ihres Programms etwas enttäuscht war. Sie sprechen vom Beitrittskandidaten Türkei, Sie wollen das Kosovo in die EU aufnehmen. Ich glaube nicht, dass Ihr Gründungspräsident und Parteigründer Franjo Tuđman eine solche Politik unterstützt hätte, ich kann mir nicht vorstellen, dass die Mehrheit der Menschen in Kroatien eine solche Politik unterstützt. Und ich kann Sie nur davor warnen, hier als Europäer erster Klasse zu meinen, eine Politik betreiben zu müssen, die den Interessen Ihres Volkes widerspricht. Schauen Sie sich an, wie viele Menschen Kroatien verlassen, wie die Jugend Ihr Land verlässt. Und wenn Sie sich dann Franjo Tuđman nehmen und sein Buch „Kroatien und die Nationalitätenfrage in der heutigen Zeit“, dann werden Sie darin bessere Antworten auf die Herausforderungen Europas finden als das, was die Kommission und dieses Parlament tun.

Die Europäische Union zurzeit ist der große globale Wirtschaftsraum mit der niedrigsten Wachstumsleistung, sie hat die niedrigste Investitionskraft, will aber drei Billionen Euro für Klimawandel ausgeben, was nicht unbedingt eine Zukunftstechnologie ist, auch wenn die Mehrheit das hier anders sieht. Insofern: Die Lösung der Frage von Europa finden Sie eher bei Tuđman als in Brüssel.

Ich habe mir von Kroatien erhofft, dass es den Geist der 90er-Jahre hierher trägt, damit wir Partner sind in einer Regionalisierung und einer Rückkehr zum gesunden Menschenverstand. Große Staaten, supranationale Gebilde bringen nichts – das wissen Sie als Kinder von Jugoslawien besser als die meisten hier.

 
  
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  Evžen Tošenovský (ECR). – Paní předsedající, pane premiéra, v programu priorit Vašeho předsednictví jste se v kapitole doprava, telekomunikace a energetika zmínili mimo jiné také o klimaticky neutrální EU a s tím související implementaci energetické unie. Chtěl bych Vás požádat o zvýšení pozornosti při aplikaci již nastavených cílů – které jsou komplikované jak technicky, tak ekonomicky. Mám obavu, že sotva jsme dali průmyslu signál s cílovými hodnotami, už je na pořadu dne jejich zvyšování.

Jsem přesvědčen, že v této chvíli bychom měli síly zaměřit především na posílení programu Horizon Europe. Takto velké téma se bez adekvátního přispění nových vědeckých poznatků nedá bez neúměrně velkých ekonomických nákladů vyřešit. Věřím, že díky chorvatskému předsednictví se podaří dohodnout a navýšit finance pro Horizon Europe. Pane premiére, přeji Vám hodně úspěchů v chorvatském předsednictví.

 
  
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  Carles Puigdemont i Casamajó (NI). – Madam President, Prime Minister, it’s a pleasure to welcome the Croatian Presidency of the European Union, a state that gained its independence recently, but has shown it has been a reliable Member of the European Union.

I thank Prime Minister Plenković for endorsing dialogue between Catalonia and Spain. Catalonia is today a European internal affair and will be present during the Croatian Presidency. Therefore, a political solution must be found, through dialogue and negotiation. The EU must advance to find a common democratic mechanism for self—determination. Repression cannot be an acceptable solution.

Now it’s time for European politicians to speak up and show to the world that it is the better way: that the right of self-determination is the best and the most democratic way to solve territorial conflicts, not only in Europe, but all around the world.

(The speaker declined to take two blue-card questions from Luis Garicano and Dolors Montserrat)

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to welcome back Prime Minister Plenković to the European Parliament. It’s great to see Croatia leading the European Union for six months. You are now a model for the whole Western Balkans region. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Plenković, Croatia has reached economic stability. You aim to join the euro area in the foreseeable future and Croatia fulfils all the conditions for joining the Schengen area.

Croatia can be a model for the whole Western Balkans. We need two things. Firstly, we need other Western Balkan countries to deliver on reforms, and secondly, we, the European Union, need to respect our promises to the Western Balkans. We need to say loud and clear to Western Balkan countries, ‘you are part of Europe, you belong to the European Union, and we want to help you on your way to the European Union’. Any contribution that the Croatian Presidency can make in this direction will be of historic importance. Prime Minister Plenković, you know the European Parliament very well and you will have an opportunity to show this in the negotiations that we will have on the European budget, and the philosophy of the European Parliament for the budget negotiation is the following: we want to finance properly old priorities and new priorities. Old priorities have been priorities for decades because they are important, not because they are outdated, and we agree together that we need to do more on new priorities: border protection, combating climate change and protecting the environment.

So please stand with Parliament and tell your colleagues in the European Council that fresh priorities require fresh funding. Tell your colleagues in the European Council to put their money where their statements are, and please assure them that we are doing a lot to make sure that the EU budget is well spent. Thank you very much. Good luck for your Presidency.

 
  
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  Johan Danielsson (S&D). – Fru talman! Tack för ordet och tack till premiärministern för presentationen av ordförandeskapsprogrammet.

Det är en viktig tid vi har framför oss. Det är nu vi sätter riktningen för de kommande fem åren. För mig som socialdemokrat är det helt avgörande att vi sätter fokus på att skapa trygghet för vanligt folk. Här har EU en viktig roll att spela, inte minst vad gäller hälsa och säkerhet på arbetsplatsen.

I dag har vi en situation där 4 000 européer varje år mister sitt liv på arbetet, en situation där 80 000 européer varje år avlider i cancer på grund av exponering i sitt arbete. Det här är ju i grunden helt sjuka siffror, och därför var jag glad när rådet i december beslutade sig för att kräva en ny arbetsmiljöstrategi med en nollvision för både dödsolyckor och arbetsrelaterad cancer.

Så låt oss arbeta tillsammans de kommande sex månaderna för att se till att det här blir verklighet. För även om det inte var en del som ni prioriterade i ert öppningsanförande, hoppas jag att det kroatiska ordförandeskapet sätter arbetsmiljöfrågorna högt på dagordningen, och inte minst ser till att vi får en ny arbetsmiljöstrategi. Europas arbetstagare förväntar sig att vi levererar i den här frågan.

 
  
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  Mara Bizzotto (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, siamo stanchi. Siamo stanchi delle chiacchiere inutili e delle false promesse di questa Europa: abbiamo la guerra alle porte di casa, in Libia, e l'Europa dorme. Ci sono e ci saranno nei prossimi mesi ondate di immigrati clandestini pronti a sbarcare in Italia, e l'Europa fa finta di nulla. Abbiamo terroristi islamici e potenze straniere che minacciano la nostra sicurezza, e l'Europa regala miliardi di euro alla Turchia del dittatore islamico Erdoğan.

Sembra un film di fantascienza e invece è tutto maledettamente vero, con tanto di applausi alla Merkel, a Macron e anche a Lei, Presidente von der Leyen. Cos'altro deve succedere? Cosa state aspettando? Perché state seduti in attesa che la barca chiamata Europa affondi? O vi svegliate o questa Europa farà la fine del Titanic.

 
  
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  Robert Roos (ECR). – Voorzitter, de Europese Unie wil fossiele brandstoffen uitfaseren, omdat zij CO2 een probleem vindt. Dat kan niet met zonne- en windenergie alleen. Kernenergie is dan nodig in de energiemix. In een Nederlandse krant van 9 januari jongstleden zei commissaris Timmermans over kernenergie dat het te duur is en niet duurzaam. Dat is onzin, want juist windturbines en zonnepanelen leveren over 20 jaar een berg afval op waar we geen oplossing voor hebben.

Frankrijk heeft een aandeel van meer dan 70 % kernenergie. De kWh-prijs ligt daar bijna op de helft van die van Duitsland, waar inmiddels voor 200 miljard euro in hernieuwbare energie is geïnvesteerd. Windturbines en zonneparken slopen de natuur vanwege het ruimtebeslag, kunnen niet zonder fossiele back-up en de inpassing op het elektriciteitsnet is zeer complex. Onze investeringen moeten economisch verantwoord zijn en energie moet betaalbaar zijn om de competitie met de Verenigde Staten en China bij te kunnen houden, want anders verliezen we werkgelegenheid.

Ik doe een dringend beroep op het Kroatisch voorzitterschap om kernenergie op de agenda te zetten.

 
  
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  Herbert Dorfmann (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Geschätzter Herr Ministerpräsident, Herr Ratspräsident, Frau Kommissionspräsidentin! Herzliche Gratulation zu diesem ambitionierten Programm für Ihren ersten kroatischen Ratsvorsitz. Ich möchte darauf hinweisen, dass es wichtig ist, dass auch die Landwirtschaft und die Landwirtschaftspolitik im Programm zentral bleiben, vor allem auch dann, wenn es um den mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen geht. Wir brauchen in Europa lebendige, zukunftsfähige ländliche Räume, und damit wir solche Räume haben, braucht es Bäuerinnen und Bauern, die auf dem Land arbeiten und das Land bevölkern. Und heute wird von den Bäuerinnen und Bauern oft gefordert, aber es wird oft vergessen, dass wir halt auch Einkommen auf Höfen brauchen, das heißt, dass die Betriebe auch wirtschaftlich fit sein müssen. Denn nur, wenn sie wirtschaftlich fit sind, dann werden die Menschen auch im ländlichen Gebiet bleiben, sie werden auf den Höfen bleiben und werden diese auch bearbeiten. Wir brauchen auch wieder eine Politik, die stärker auf die Familienbetriebe schaut, die nicht so sehr auf die großen Investoren schaut, sondern die jene unterstützt, die wirklich draußen arbeiten und die wirklich mit ihren Familien das Land bearbeiteten. Ich denke mit Ihrem Vorsitz, mit dem mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen und mit der Entscheidung für die Gemeinsame Agrarpolitik können Sie hier Zukunft gestalten.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, ik wil graag beginnen met een felicitatie aan de premier, om hem te feliciteren met het eerste voorzitterschap van zijn land sinds de toetreding. Het wordt een cruciaal jaar. Meerdere mensen hebben het al gezegd, maar we weten dat de brexit snel dichterbij komt. Ik denk dat we niet mogen vergeten dat de brexit heeft kunnen plaatsvinden omdat gewone mensen zich niet gesteund voelden.

We moeten grote stappen maken om tot een duurzame, sociale en ambitieuze meerjarenbegroting te komen. Helaas lopen de onderhandelingen nog niet al te soepel. Van het Kroatisch voorzitterschap wil ik daarom weten hoe het gaat zorgen voor voldoende middelen om de sociale pijler, ook genoemd door de premier in zijn bijdrage, te implementeren. Zeker nu het voorzitterschap inzet op sociaal verduurzamen, omdat niemand mag achterblijven.

Europa moet streven naar sociale vooruitgang en ik wens u in uw nieuwe rol heel veel succes.

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhor Primeiro-Ministro, Senhora Presidente da Comissão, em primeiro lugar queria saudar a Presidência croata e saudar em particular o Primeiro—Ministro Plenković, não apenas porque a Croácia é o mais recente dos membros, mas porque o Primeiro-Ministro Plenković é um dos políticos europeus mais comprometidos com o projeto europeu que eu conheço, e portanto tenho a certeza que esta Presidência dará grandes passos na integração europeia.

Queria saudar também a abertura aos Balcãs, e em particular ao apoio às reformas nos países balcânicos que querem aceder à União. Há uma coisa que é certa: não haverá Europa e não há Europa sem a integração dos países dos Balcãs.

Queria também saudar a prioridade dada à coesão e ao quadro financeiro plurianual, e queria finalmente saudar o empenho na Conferência sobre o Futuro da Europa, porque havia dúvidas sobre se o Conselho queria mesmo avançar com esta conferência. Com a Presidência croata o Conselho vai apoiar claramente a Conferência sobre o Futuro da Europa.

 
  
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  Carlos Zorrinho (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, uma Europa forte num mundo de desafios: é com esta divisa que a Croácia se propõe assumir a sua primeira presidência rotativa da União Europeia. Desejo as maiores felicidades a esta missão.

Uma Europa forte tem que ser uma Europa capaz de agir e de avançar. Uma Europa em desenvolvimento é uma Europa capaz de avançar com um ambicioso programa plurianual de financiamento para promover a convergência e a coesão e reforçar os recursos próprios da União.

Uma Europa que liga é uma Europa capaz de recuperar os seus cidadãos para o extraordinário projeto de paz, de liberdade, de solidariedade e de democracia que constitui, promovendo as alianças necessárias para o reforçar.

Uma Europa que protege é uma Europa que tem a justiça e a tolerância como referências e não deixa ninguém para trás num tempo de transições disruptivas.

Uma Europa influente é uma Europa que se afirma e se prestigia, não apenas por aquilo que partilha como valores mas, sobretudo, por aquilo que faz em concreto e serve de inspiração para os outros povos e para os outros territórios.

A Presidência escolheu bem as suas prioridades. Agora é tempo de as concretizar.

 
  
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  Luděk Niedermayer (PPE). – Madam President, so, first of all welcome back Prime Minister, it is great to have you here again. At the beginning of your speech you have mentioned three topics. The first one is MFF, the second, Brexit and the last, enlargement.

I consider these topics as being well chosen, as the most important as a matter of time urgency. First of all we need to create stability in European finances. Second we shouldn’t miss the opportunity to negotiate as good a deal with the UK as possible, and last, we should avoid the destabilisation of your region of the Balkans.

But there is something even bigger. The President of the Commission, Ms von der Leyen, and has mentioned the energy of your Presidency. She also has mentioned, together with Manfred Weber, your experience. And I guess all this is needed to do something even bigger than the files: to build a sense of cooperation, to build an agreement and make our unity of the European Union stronger. I wish you all the best in this.

 
  
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  Tanja Fajon (S&D). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Spoštovani premier, pred vami je zahtevna in odgovorna naloga, zato pozdravljam vaše ambicije in podpiram agendo. Nujno pa moramo povrniti zaupanje v vladavino prava, preprečiti korupcijo in utaje davkov, zagotoviti njihovo varnost ljudi in kakovost življenja, osvoboditi se moramo predsodkov in sovražnega govora ter urediti migracije.

Od tega bo prihodnost odvisna tudi za schengenski prostor. V našem interesu je seveda, da Hrvaška čim prej vstopi v schengen, vendar je prav tu pred vami težka naloga: vrniti zaupanje v vladavino prava in spoštovanje danih zavez, zagotoviti varne zunanje meje in urediti schengen, da bo spet deloval.

Pričakujem vašo aktivno podporo vstopanju držav Zahodnega Balkana v Evropsko unijo ter pozitivne premike že v marcu, ko gre za vprašanje Severne Makedonije in Albanije. Tudi najini državi, Hrvaška in Slovenija, morata preprosto narediti veliko več. Spoštovani predsednik. Zmoremo, če se tako odločimo seveda in srečno.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Madam President, I would like to say to the Prime Minister that, coming from Lithuania, it is a special pleasure to congratulate him and also the people of Croatia on their first Presidency. Your Presidency is also very important because of its very high symbolic value. Just 25 years after the War of Independence ended, Croatia is leading the whole European Union. Croatia is a most convincing example of the European miracle and power to bring stability and prosperity into its neighbourhood through enlargement. The Commission President was absolutely right in saying that the EU promise of enlargement is a most powerful incentive for countries to reform themselves. The Croatian example and the Croatian Presidency is a great inspiration to their neighbours in the Western Balkan region. The success of the Western Balkans’ integration is also a great inspiration for the Eastern Partnership region. I hope that the Eastern Partnership Summit, during the Croatian Presidency, will also be ambitious in delivering an inspiring regional strategy for the next ten years. Good luck, Mr Prime Minister.

 
  
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  Aurore Lalucq (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, Monsieur le Premier ministre, chers collègues, notre modèle économique est aujourd’hui à bout de souffle. S’il nous a permis de sortir des milliards de personnes de la pauvreté, il est aussi à l’origine de la situation environnementale dramatique dans laquelle nous nous trouvons aujourd’hui, alors qu’il ne parvient plus à améliorer de manière significative la situation sociale sur notre continent.

Pourtant, malgré ce constat, nous avons du mal à faire évoluer notre modèle économique, nous avons du mal à nous défaire de l’obsession du PIB ou du niveau d’endettement public, comme si nous avions un attachement irrationnel à ces indicateurs, alors que, rationnellement, ils ne peuvent rien nous dire sur l’état des inégalités, sur l’état de l’environnement ou sur l’état de la pauvreté.

Puisque vous avez choisi de faire de votre présidence celle d’une Europe forte qui fait face à ces défis, le plus grand défi auquel vous devez vous confronter c’est celui de changer nos indicateurs de richesse afin de réorienter nos politiques publiques. En d’autres termes, changer le logiciel intellectuel de l’Union européenne.

Nous vous souhaitons bonne chance et nous comptons sur vous.

 
  
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  Romana Tomc (PPE). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Spoštovani predsednik vlade, gospod Plenković, dragi Andrej. Imam izkušnje s predsedovanjem in vem, kako je, ko predsedovanje dobi nova država članica, zato vam seveda želim vse dobro na tej poti.

Izmed vaših prioritet bi izpostavila Evropo, ki se razvija. Uravnotežen razvoj je pomemben, kohezijska sredstva so pomembna, ne le za tiste države, ki ta sredstva dobijo, ampak za vse članice. Če bodo vse države članice okrepile svojo konkurenčnost, bomo seveda bolj močni tudi kot Unija.

Dotaknila pa bi se še demografije in njenih izzivov, ki so v tem trenutku bolj pomembni in močnejši na vzhodnem delu naše Evropske unije. Zato si želim več poudarka glede problematike reševanja starejše populacije v povezavi, seveda, s šibko rodnostjo in v povezavi z odhajanjem mladih v tujino. Glede na to, da to področje vodi vaša komisarka, gospa Dubravka Šuica, sem prepričana, da boste tu zelo aktivni. Srečno.

 
  
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  Robert Hajšel (S&D). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, silná Európa vo svete vízie: ja si myslím, že to je naozaj veľmi dobré heslo vášho predsedníctva, pretože Európa má svoje silné stránky a musí sa naučiť vedieť ich využívať čo v najúčinnejšej forme. Musí sa naučiť využívať svoju ekonomickú silu. Naozaj sa musí naučiť využívať aj svoju príťažlivosť, to dokumentuje záujem kandidátskych krajín vstupu do Európskej únie, ale  musí sa naučiť aj hovoriť hlasnejšie, a to jedným alebo jednotným hlasom. Myslím si, že z vašich výziev, ako nastavenie stropov pre rozpočty pre jednotlivé politiky, je táto výzva asi jednou z najsilnejších a my musíme zabezpečiť, a hlavne vy musíte zabezpečiť, aby sa zosúladili záujmy tých, ktorí chcú platiť menej, lebo sú čistými platcami, záujmy Európskeho parlamentu, ktorý chce navyšovať rozpočet, a zároveň aj záujmy tých, ktorí sú závislí od kohéznych fondov, čiže aj štáty, ako sú Chorvátsko alebo môj štát – Slovensko.

 
  
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  Λευτέρης Χριστοφόρου (PPE). – Κυρία Πρόεδρε, αγαπητέ φίλε πρωθυπουργέ της Κροατίας, θα ήθελα πραγματικά να σας ευχηθώ από καρδιάς καλή επιτυχία. Είμαι πεπεισμένος, γνωρίζοντας τις ικανότητες και τις δυνατότητές σας, ότι μπορείτε να ισχυροποιήσετε την Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση και να δημιουργήσετε μια πιο αναβαθμισμένη εικόνα στους ευρωπαίους πολίτες. Για να καταστεί τούτο δυνατό, όμως, χρειάζεται ισχυρή οικονομία και απαιτείται ένα ισχυρό πολυετές δημοσιονομικό πλαίσιο, με την αύξηση της συνεισφοράς των χωρών μελών. Απαιτείται ισχυρή άμυνα και ασφάλεια. Συμφωνώ μαζί σας ότι δεν μπορεί να υπάρξει Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση χωρίς διασφάλιση των συνόρων μας και χωρίς αυστηρή προσήλωση σε αρχές και αξίες. Όμως η Ευρωπαϊκή Ένωση δεν μπορεί να καθίσταται παρατηρητής είτε στη Λιβύη είτε στη Συρία, και δεν μπορεί να αφήνει χώρες όπως την Τουρκία, ουσιαστικά, να δημιουργούν αποσταθεροποίηση στην περιοχή αλλά και να απειλούν χώρες μέλη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, όπως η Κύπρος και η Ελλάδα. Συμφωνώ απόλυτα με την αγαπητή Πρόεδρο της Ευρωπαϊκής Επιτροπής ότι, όπου υπάρχει ενότητα, υπάρχει πραγματικά ελευθερία. Θα προσθέσω ότι, όπου υπάρχει αλληλεγγύη, υπάρχει και ενότητα, υπάρχει και ελευθερία. Αυτή τη στιγμή, αγαπητή κυρία Πρόεδρε, δύο χώρες μέλη της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης —η Κύπρος και η Ελλάδα— ζητούν έμπρακτα την αλληλεγγύη σας απέναντι σε μια χώρα-τρομοκράτη, όπως είναι η Τουρκία, που δημιουργεί αστάθεια στην περιοχή.

 
  
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  Alessandra Moretti (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Presidente Plenković, Presidente von der Leyen, il mondo intorno a noi è sconvolto da guerre e tensioni e l'Europa spesso sembra immobile e irrilevante nello scenario internazionale.

Manca il coraggio di scelte nette e decise, ma sono convinta che avere una Presidente donna come Ursula von der Leyen possa contribuire a un importante cambio di passo.

Innanzitutto due scelte, secondo me, sono decisive: per quanto riguarda il quadro finanziario pluriennale, deve essere adeguato alle sfide e la proposta della Presidenza finlandese è molto al di sotto del necessario e non consentirebbe di realizzare il programma di lavoro dell'Unione europea per la quale questa ha ottenuto il nostro voto favorevole.

Il Parlamento non potrà dare il suo consenso al quadro finanziario pluriennale senza un accordo parallelo sulla riforma del sistema delle risorse proprie dell'Unione.

Il New green deal dovrà determinare una rivoluzione non solo ecologica, ma anche sociale ed economica, un grande piano di sviluppo che crei crescita sostenibile senza lasciare indietro nessuno.

Ma chiedo alla Presidenza croata di insistere sulla necessità di ... (la Presidente toglie la parola all'oratrice).

 
  
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  Sunčana Glavak (PPE). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, poštovani gospodine predsjedniče hrvatske Vlade, Hrvatska je kroz povijest pokazala da se ne boji izazova i predsjedanje Hrvatske prilika je da pokaže odgovornost, prije svega za svoje djelovanje prema građanima.

Stoga i želimo Europu koja se razvija uz jasnu poruku da i manji i veći, i bogati i siromašni moraju imati jednake mogućnosti. Sigurna sam da će upravo Hrvatska biti snažan zagovornik u pravednoj raspodjeli proračunskih sredstava u donošenju višegodišnjeg financijskog okvira, ali i ono važno, vratiti povjerenje građana u stari kontinent, Europu koja mora biti korektiv i snaga za nove izazove.

Za sve one koji izražavaju sumnju u moju domovinu, a uopće je ne poznaju, ne poznaju prilike u njoj, ne znaju koliko je Hrvatska gospodarski uspješna, snažna poruka: Ako se pitate jesmo li spremni za ove izazove, jesmo li spremni za njih? Kažem vam, Hrvatska će pokazati da jesmo!

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Enikő Győri (PPE). – Elnök Asszony, Miniszterelnök Úr! Minden bizodalmam megvan, hogy a horvát elnökség józan irányba fogja terelni a jogállamiságról szóló, évek óta húzódó vitát. Abban bízom, hogy véget vetnek a kettős mércének és egyes tagállamok kipécézésének. Kérem, tegyen meg mindent annak érdekében, hogy ezt az értéket ne járathassák le többé, azaz ne lehessen a jogállamiság politikai játszmák tárgya. Kérem továbbá, hogy minden tagállamot egyenlően mérjenek, amikor azt vizsgálják, az alapvető jogok és szabadságok miként érvényesülnek az Unió egyes szegleteiben. Vessenek véget annak, hogy egyeseknek minden belpolitikai történésükről, amelyeknek egyébként nincs köze az uniós politikának, vagy nem hatáskör, számot kelljen adniuk uniós intézményeknek vagy egymásnak. Legyen bölcsességük ahhoz, hogy ne akarjanak döntőbírát játszani. Ráadásul ma ott tartunk, hogy sokszor pont a jogállamiság leghangosabb hívei és legelszántabbak ... (az elnök megvonja a szót a felszólalótól)

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, começaria por agradecer ao Primeiro—Ministro polaco, peço desculpa, ao Primeiro-Ministro croata ter-nos apresentado aqui nas suas prioridades a aprovação do Quadro Financeiro Plurianual.

E é com enorme satisfação que eu ouvi essa afirmação, da mesma forma que é com enorme satisfação que ouvi referir a importância de se manter no Quadro Financeiro Plurianual o valor da política de coesão e da política agrícola comum.

Temos em cima da mesa uma proposta da Comissão Europeia, proposta que a Comissão Europeia vem reforçar dizendo que 7,5 mil milhões de dinheiro fresco serão afetados ao Just Energy Transition Fund. Mas temos também as Nego Boxes apresentadas pela Presidência finlandesa.

Portanto, a minha questão ao Senhor Primeiro-Ministro é exatamente qual é a sua... (A Presidente retira a palavra à oradora)

 
  
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  Irena Joveva (Renew). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Gospod Plenković, vam pa hvala za predstavitev prioritet hrvaškega predsedovanja. Prevzemate ga v res pestrih časih v obdobju velikih sprememb, kjer bodo, hočete nočete, nekatere teme pač v ospredju.

Brexit, proračun, prihodnost Evrope, okoljska zakonodaja, spet druge teme ste si zadali sami, med katerimi še posebej pozdravljam naslavljanje problemov demografskih sprememb, širitev Unije na regijo Zahodnega Balkana in tudi spoštovanje glavnih vrednot Unije, kot je vladavina prava.

Vaša država, Hrvaška, in moja država, Slovenija, sta sosedi, zato verjamem, da bomo v tem duhu dobro sodelovali, ampak tudi ravno zato, gospod Plenković, računam na to, da ne boste ostali samo pri besedah, da boste torej spoštovanje vladavine prava zares udejanjali in da boste spoštovali tudi človekove pravice in pravice na splošno vseh, tudi migrantov. Srečno.

 
  
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  Clare Daly (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, the Prime Minister mentioned a priority being securing Europe’s borders, but I have to question how Croatia can lead the European Union in areas of best practice in terms of human rights compliance in relation to migration and asylum when there are so many issues to be addressed regarding the documented violation by Croatian security forces of vulnerable migrants and the illegal push—backs at the Bosnia-Herzegovina borders. These are clearly a flagrant disregard of European Union asylum law, the Charter of Fundamental Rights, the Refugee Convention. It was highlighted obviously in the disgraceful arrest of two Nigerian athletes in Zagreb. You know, the most concerning part for me is that when we raise these issues at the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE Committee), the European Commission said that EUR 6 million of taxpayers’ funds were used for a monitoring mechanism in this area, to the UNHCR and the Croatian Law Society. It turned out these organisations ... (The President cut off the speaker)

 
  
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  Franc Bogovič (PPE). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Andrej Plenković, bivši kolega, lepo pozdravljen, lepo te je zopet videti v Evropskem parlamentu.

Dovoli, da na začetku takoj čestitam Hrvaški ob prevzemu predsedovanja in izrazim želje po veliko uspeha v naslednjega pol leta.

Pred Evropo je cela vrsta izzivov in sam bi se predvsem osredotočil na večletni finančni okvir. Želim, da kot nova članica, država, ki točno ve, kaj pomenijo kmetijska sredstva, kaj pomenijo kohezijska sredstva, da velik poudarek tudi temu, da bomo s politikami, s katerimi zagotavljamo enakomeren razvoj Evrope, s katerimi zaustavljamo notranje migracije v Evropski uniji, lahko nadaljevali tudi v naslednjih letih.

Sam delam tudi na projektu pametne vasi, s katerim želimo ravno razviti in povezati digitalizacijo, okoljske izzive, gospodarske izzive in omogočiti to, da bodo ljudje imeli delo tam, kjer so se rodili. Želim veliko uspeha in tudi se sam javim za sodelovanje z vami.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, primer ministro Plenković, efectivamente, es la primera vez que Croacia va a ejercer la Presidencia semestral de la Unión Europea, y le damos la bienvenida con los mejores deseos. Pero, al mismo tiempo, subrayamos que es una ocasión, que no puede desperdiciar, de marcar la diferencia con respecto de los malos pronósticos que el marco financiero plurianual anuncia respecto de la política regional y de cohesión, que no debe dejar de ser una prioridad absoluta, compatible con el Green Deal.

Y le subrayo también la importancia que tiene en el marco del Brexit, que va a consumarse bajo su Presidencia —la primera que coincide con una Comisión plenamente efectiva desde su investidura—, que asegure los derechos de ciudadanía, con reciprocidad, y recupere la importancia que merece el espacio de libertad, justicia y seguridad. Porque es cierto que el Reino Unido practicó el opt-out con respecto de muchas políticas. Pero es imprescindible definir en el acuerdo futuro cuál va a ser el papel del Reino Unido en materia de cooperación, en materia de seguridad, de protección de datos —porque se han producido quiebras del principio de conservación de la protección de datos por parte del Reino Unido, transfiriéndolo a países terceros—, al mismo tiempo que en Schengen, restableciendo el principio de que, sin duda ninguna, los países de reciente adhesión, entre ellos el suyo, tienen pleno derecho a ser parte de la libre circulación de personas.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
  

PRESIDENZA DELL'ON. DAVID MARIA SASSOLI
Presidente

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Mr President, I want to refer to the three topics that have been raised the most here. The first one is our budget and the MFF, the second one is Brexit and the third one is the Western Balkans.

First of all, where the budget is concerned, I think, dear Prime Minister, it is very important that Croatia and the Presidency convinces the Council to stick to its own strategic agenda, because – and I’m emphasising this – we need the modernisation of the budget, why this? The budget we have right now was agreed in 2013. You remember the year 2013 because it was the year when Croatia joined the European Union. The world was completely different. In the year 2013, we did not have any idea of Daesh. It existed already but we didn’t know anything of it. There hadn’t been the migration crisis yet. Russia had not annexed Crimea and had not yet started the hybrid war in the Ukraine. At that time, we had no Paris climate agreement. We were not speaking of 5G or artificial intelligence. These few highlights show that the world is completely different and that we do need a completely different budget – that means modernisation. One message from my part, and I think I have the support of the Parliament on this: if the overall ceiling is too low, if the budget in itself is too small, the only way out is our own new resources at European level.

(Applause)

There is an opportunity to introduce that with an emission trading system. The revenues of the emission trading system will grow, so we will not take anything away from the Member States. On the contrary, they’ll have more. But we can also allocate at European level the revenues from the emission trading system to serve the European Green Deal.

The second topic is Brexit. Your Presidency comes at a crucial time for the Brexit negotiations because we have to make enormous progress. This is decisive until the summer, until the end of your Presidency, and here we have to decide on – or it’s the UK’s choice to decide on – how close or how distant they want to be from the European Union, but that also means from the single market. In other terms, you cannot have no free movement for people and then expect to have free movement for goods, capital and services. It’s either all four have free movement or none of this is possible. You cannot accept to have a level playing field if there’s a huge divergence in taxation or social standards or environmental standards. So it is the choice of the UK how far they want to align or diverge, but this is decisive for how good access to the single market will be or not. In short, it’s the old proverb: you cannot have your cake and eat it at the same time.

And the very last point, the Western Balkans.

Ich glaube, beim Thema des Westbalkans dürfen wir eines nicht unterschätzen: Es ist in unserem strategischen Interesse, dass der Westbalkan so nah wie möglich bei uns ist. Wir sollten nicht unterschätzen, wie stark China bereits präsent ist, wie stark Russland dort präsent ist, wie stark die Türkei dort präsent ist – alle mit der Intention, den Westbalkan und die Staaten des Westbalkans so stark wie irgendwie möglich auf ihre Seite zu ziehen.

Es ist in unserem Interesse, sie so nah wie möglich an uns heranzuführen, und deshalb mit dem Blick auf Nordmazedonien und Albanien: Wir haben viel von ihnen verlangt. Nordmazedonien musste seinen Namen wechseln, um die Möglichkeit zu haben, die Beitrittsgespräche mit der Europäischen Union zu eröffnen. Und ich glaube, wir können es schaffen, einerseits den Beitrittsprozess zu modernisieren, aber andererseits auch treu im Wort zu bleiben zu dem, was wir Nordmazedonien und Albanien gesagt haben. Es ist in unserem Interesse, und in diesem Sinne wünsche ich Ihnen alles Gute für den Vorsitz.

 
  
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  Andrej Plenković, President-in-Office of the Council. – Mr President, first of all thank you for the many reactions, many suggestions, many different points of view on the current priorities of the Croatian Presidency, but also on some ideas how you believe we should tackle the most important political and legislative dossiers which are on the agenda.

Let me say a few points at the end in order to try to collectively touch on some of the matters that you have raised.

First of all, what is the philosophy of our first ever Presidency of the Council? We are a bit of a symbol and a signal, as I said at the beginning. Only 30 years of democracy, 28 years of international recognition, seventh year of membership. Still catching up with those who are more developed; those who were in the Union from the start, or those who joined, like our neighbours from Central and Eastern Europe, in 2004 and 2007.

One of the MEPs, Mr Krach, I think, mentioned the first Croatian President Tuđman, and tried to interpret his doctrine. I dare to say that I might know a little bit better what is the legacy of the first Croatian President, and what he wanted for Croatia once we gained our sovereignty for the future and the perspective. It was actually he, 30 years ago on 30 May in the first democratically—composed Croatian Parliament, who said that European integration is the way to go, and everything we have done in the last three decades has been the implementation of this objective.

We know what sovereignty means. We know what it means unlike any other country which is present in this hemicycle. What it means to have occupied territory. What it means to have a war on your territory. What it means to have more than 16 000 people killed in your own country, almost at the end of the 20th Century.

That experience remains vivid and we know that Europe is a project of peace and cooperation and reconciliation. That’s how we address our political responsibility today. This is very important to know.

Second, we have taken into account the strategic agenda, the trio programme, the programme of the new Commission and our own programme. Everything that we have put as priorities is very realistic. Therefore, on some of the items, we know that climate change and the climate neutral objective until 2015 will be the driver of our economic transformation. It will become for our economy what embedded human rights are for our foreign policy. This is what we agreed with the Commission in Zagreb last week.

We should help to address this issue so as to take into account the different state of play of our industries, our financial capability, our budgetary capabilities, in order to go in the same direction but not to have negative economic consequences.

Secondly, on the dossier of migration, which many of you have mentioned, I will say once again – and repeat this with full understanding – that this is crucially what we must do in the months ahead of us.

We had the arrangement with Turkey that has managed to put down the numbers of illegal migration on the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkans route, compared to 2015-2016 data, by 98% – 98% down. These are the numbers we have now compared to 5 years ago, to only 2%. How should we tackle this? Jointly.

We speak about a Frontex of ten thousand border police. My country proportionally perhaps has more border police than any other – 6 500. I hear some statements and allegations, which in the reports you read, or the rumours you hear, are almost to become effect. They are not. Whenever there was an allegation, there was an investigation. There were some disciplinary measures. There is strong surveillance within our police to prevent any violation of human rights, or any behaviour which would contravene our own law, European standards or international conventions. This is how we should behave.

But I repeat, once again, unlike many other Member States, we have said no barbed wire between two friendly, neighbouring countries such as Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and we will not erect fences between nations which are friendly, which will always be together as we were together in the past. Moreover we said clearly we will not erect fences between parts of the Bosnian Herzegovina border where Croats live as constituent people in Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croats on the other side of the border. This will simply not happen. This is our policy and we will stay behind it. But what we want to do is jointly address the problem either at the source, or at the first point of entry. The Croatian—Bosnian Herzegovina border is not the first point of entry of migratory waves. Let’s be very clear about it. This is important to note.

On the budget, the stakes are high. We understood the message ‘we can’t do more with less finance available’. That’s very clear. But we need to find a common consensus if we are to embark on the new own resources. By many analysis, by many reports by very able people in a number of years behind us, this might seem the only way to address, as Ursula says, the modernisation expectations of what we can finance jointly – this is key.

On demography, if there is one political element which I would like to leave as a legacy of Croatia in this six months – and also together with the Commission, given that Dubrovka has this portfolio for first time ever in the history of the European Union – it is this, which we feel to be an existential question for the European Union. For almost half of our Member States who have negative natural growth, such as my country, I think there is a need for a set of tools with the great sensitiveness of the President of the Commission who knows in her previous roles how important this issue is, how we can combine policy measures which have proved to be efficient in other countries, how we can offer them to those that have difficulty.

This is the idea – the population is moving from less developed countries to more developed, from rural areas to urban areas. These are our common problems and we should address them jointly.

On the Western Balkans and the issue of enlargement, we are not naive. We are not unrealistic. I know more perhaps than anybody, since I’ve been dealing with this issue for almost 30 years, that the level of enthusiasm that the West with open hands offered to the Central and Eastern European countries in the 90s will never happen again, to those who would like to join.

But what we need to do, is intelligently to structure the process for the next ten years. To steer this process, to pilot it. To give an ambitious agenda for those who want to reform, transform and attain the standards that we have in the European Union. This is the idea behind the summit that we want to organise in Zagreb, and therefore I say for those who are afraid of saying ‘yes’ to the opening of the intergovernmental conference with Albania and North Macedonia, we know it’s a complex legal process with so many possibilities to either suspend or to reverse or to ask more or to build another requirement of this exercise. It is just a start of a marathon. It’s not a senseless fuite en avant.

We have to be clear about it. Enlargement doesn’t happen overnight, it happens after years of long reform process and careful scrutiny by the Commission and the input of the Member States.

In that respect I don’t want any of the countries in our neighbourhood to be forgotten, especially Bosnia-Herzegovina which is strategic for my country. I will also mention Ukraine, because you mentioned it Ursula now. I think in the context of the Eastern Partnership and everything we dealt with from 2013 and 2014 until now, we should adequately address their own ambitions for territorial integrity, but also for reforms in the European perspective which we should support.

One word on Brexit. I see that Michel is here and this topic is just after our debate. I think the most important element in the last three and a half years, was the unity of the 27. We remain united with full solidarity extended especially to the most concerned countries such as Ireland. In the 11 months ahead of us, with an intelligently drafted and crafted negotiated framework, I think we can attain a good agreement as a starting point for future relations. We should not pretend that in an unprecedented situation we can solve with the first contractual relations everything we’d like to do in the future, after the divorce that is happening literally in three weeks’ time. Therefore we will help you, as the Council, on the proposal of the Commission, to find the right balance for completion in the months to come.

Finally, I just want to reiterate that all of our services, all of our ministers, government, MEPs who are here – and I thank them for their contributions – will be at your disposal to have a good dialogue together and to reach compromises.

This is one of the objectives of European democracy. This is the role of the European Parliament. This is the role of the Member States within the Council and also the facilitating and leadership role that the European Commission has.

I thank you very much, Mr President, for this opportunity and for having been with you here today in Strasbourg. As many of you have said, my friends, this Parliament is a very dear institution to me.

(Loud applause)

 
  
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  Presidente. – Grazie al primo ministro Plenković. Auguri per il suo lavoro e auguri a tutta la sua squadra di governo per questo periodo così importante per l'Unione europea.

La discussione è chiusa.

Dichiarazioni scritte (articolo 171)

 
  
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  Vilija Blinkevičiūtė (S&D), raštu. – Noriu pasveikinti Kroatiją su pirmuoju pirmininkavimu ir palinkėti, kad ateinantis pusmetis būtų sėkmingas ir produktyvus. Tai bus įtemptas ir ganėtinai sudėtingas laikas. Artėjantis „Brexit’as“ ir, žinoma, svarbiausias laukiantis uždavinys – daugiametė finansinė perspektyva. Kroatija, kaip 2013 m. ir mano šalis Lietuva, pirmininkavimą pradeda su dideliu iššūkiu – rasti susitarimą dėl ateinančios daugiametės finansinės perspektyvos. Laiko yra nedaug, o pozicijos labai skirtingos, todėl bus būtina tęsti konstruktyvias derybas su valstybėmis narėmis, kad bendro Europinio intereso ir solidarumo vardan susitartume dėl socialiai atsakingo biudžeto, kuris būtų pajėgus atsakyti į vis didėjančius iššūkius. Socialinė Europa ir žmonės privalo tapti biudžeto prioritetu. Noriu priminti, jog šiandien jau ir dirbantys žmonės vis dažniau patenką į skurdo riziką, nekalbant apie per 20 milijonų skurde gyvenančių vaikų. Reikės pakankamo finansavimo naujoms ir labai svarbioms iniciatyvoms, kaip Europinei vaiko garantijai, Jaunimo garantijai, kad galėtume realiai prisidėti prie skurdo mažinimo bei suteikti jauniems žmonėms galimybes dirbti ir užsidirbti. Labai tikiuosi, jog Kroatijos pirmininkavimo metu sugebėsime susitarti dėl ambicingo ir socialiai atsakingo biudžeto.

 
  
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  Jarosław Duda (PPE), na piśmie. – Bardzo się cieszę, że prezydencja chorwacka wiele uwagi poświęciła kwestiom społecznym. Chciałbym, aby zajmując się tak kluczowymi zagadnieniami jak eliminacja ubóstwa, zwiększenie dostępu do rynku pracy i budowanie wysokiej jakości, włączających systemów edukacji, prezydencja uwzględniła działania mające poprawić sytuację osób z niepełnosprawnościami. Ta ponad stumilionowa grupa obywateli na co dzień boryka się z barierami ograniczającymi dostęp do edukacji i zatrudnienia, mobilność, prowadzenie możliwie niezależnego, aktywnego życia. Przygotowanie nauczycieli i trenerów do wspierania pełnego rozwoju dzieci i młodzieży z niepełnosprawnościami jest kluczowe dla ich przyszłego życia społecznego i zawodowego, dlatego też mam nadzieję, że ta kwestia zostanie uwzględniona w konkluzjach Rady o nauczycielach i trenerach dla przyszłości Europy.

Z uznaniem przyjmuję też deklarację prezydencji dotyczącą wyzwań demograficznych. Wzrastająca populacja starszych obywateli Europy wymaga wielowymiarowej strategii obejmującej zarówno wspieranie aktywności zawodowej i społecznej, mobilności, dobrego zdrowia, jak i dostęp do usług i opieki zdrowotnej oraz przeciwdziałanie wszelkim przejawom dyskryminacji ze względu na wiek. Jestem też przekonany, że prezydencja chorwacka będzie orędownikiem silnej, ambitnej polityki spójności na kolejne lata. Mam także nadzieję , że determinacja prezydencji przyczyni się do wysłania pozytywnego sygnału w kwestii przyszłej integracji państw Bałkanów Zachodnich z Unią Europejską.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D), în scris. – Doresc să urez succes Croației pentru programul ambițios pentru cele 6 luni de președinție. Dați-mi voie să adaug câteva puncte! M-a surprins că nu ați vorbit nimic despre Schengen. Concret, ce veți face? Veți susține ca România, Bulgaria și Croația să intre în spațiul Schengen, având în vedere că întrunesc toate condițiile tehnice?

Ați vorbit despre o dezvoltare a pieței unice, dar nu ați vorbit nimic despre criminalitatea economică care o macină și o sărăcește. Ce veți face pentru eliminarea rețelelor de criminalitate? Vorbiți de o Europă puternică, dar acest lucru nu poate fi realizabil dacă nu vor fi toate statele puternice. Ce veți face pentru eliminarea dublului tratament al statelor membre? Ce veți face cu pachetul de mobilitate în Consiliu, care va exclude transportatorii din Est și care va fragmenta piața internă și va discrimina întreprinzătorii europeni?

Și, nu în ultimul rând, nu pot să nu vă întreb ce vă propuneți pentru Parteneriatul estic? Așa cum Balcanii de Vest sunt importanți, tot așa sunt importante statele membre și Parteneriatul estic. Vă doresc succes și sper și susținerea unor măsuri care să aducă coeziune, securitate și unitate în UE.

 
  
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  Karol Karski (ECR), na piśmie. – Grupa ECR popiera przedstawione przez prezydencję chorwacką kierunki działań mających na celu dalsze pogłębianie rynku wewnętrznego. Doceniam uwzględnienie w priorytetach prezydencji chorwackiej odniesienia do usług i gospodarki cyfrowej oraz ich roli w zwiększaniu globalnej konkurencyjności UE. W mojej opinii, szczególnie w sektorze transportu drogowego, zauważalne są tendencje odchodzenia od idei liberalizacji rynku wewnętrznego.

Absolutnie zgadzam się z priorytetem prezydencji chorwackiej dotyczącym ochrony interesów finansowych UE i państw członkowskich. Jako przykład aktywności w tym zakresie należy wskazać Polskę, która niezwykle skutecznie walczy z oszustwami w zakresie VAT. Inicjatywą polskiego rządu jest stworzenie na poziomie UE koalicji na rzecz zwalczania oszustw podatkowych.

Popieram również plany prezydencji chorwackiej dotyczące przyspieszenia procesu rozszerzenia wobec państw Bałkanów Zachodnich i utrzymania wiarygodności UE w tym regionie. Oczekuję pozytywnej decyzji w sprawie otwarcia negocjacji akcesyjnych z Albanią i Macedonią Północną podczas marcowego posiedzenia RE.

Jednocześnie z zadowoleniem przyjmuję fakt, że Chorwacja w swoich priorytetach wspomina o Partnerstwie Wschodnim. Będę zabiegać o ambitną agendę dla Partnerstwa Wschodniego zarówno w wymiarze politycznym, jak i finansowym.

 
  
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  Mihai Tudose (S&D), în scris. – Doresc să atrag atenția Președinției croate a Consiliului UE asupra faptului că Nord Stream 2 nu este doar un proiect economic, ci și unul cu implicații grave asupra securității energetice europene. Sancțiunile impuse de SUA companiilor participante la construcția gazoductului sunt un avertisment serios în privința riscurilor care privesc Uniunea în ansamblul său, prin creșterea dependenței de o singură sursă de aprovizionare cu gaz. Cu siguranță, Nord Stream 2 va aduce profit - dacă și când va fi finalizat - investitorilor săi.

Cred însă că va dăuna unei Uniuni Europene prinse în menghina gazoductelor Nord Stream - Turk Stream, cu precădere țărilor din flancul estic. Constatăm, la București și în celelalte capitale eliberate acum trei decenii de comunism, că apetitul pentru business al unor state membre primează asupra principiului solidarității, ce stă la temelia unității europene, precum și asupra securității energetice comune.

Consider, în aceste condiții, că se impune o analiză urgentă a compatibilității Nord Stream 2 cu normele și interesele UE. Avem nevoie, totodată, de diversificarea surselor de aprovizionare cu energie și de negocieri coordonate ale Uniunii cu statele terțe pentru un răspuns mai eficient la provocările geopolitice pe care le presupune accesul la resursele de petrol și gaz.

 
  
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  Loránt Vincze (PPE), írásban. – Üdvözlöm az év elején kezdődött horvát elnökség programját és annak prioritásait. Számos olyan elképzelés található benne, amely számomra, mint a romániai magyar közösség EP-képviselője, biztatóan hangzik. Itt említem meg a demográfiai kihívásokra szükséges válaszokat, a régiók felzárkóztatását, európai kulturális örökségünk megőrzését, az alapvető jogok és a jogállamiság megfelelő közös európai keretbe helyezését, és nem utolsó sorban az Európa jövőjéről szóló diskurzus elindítását.

Örülök annak, hogy a megfogalmazott féléves program tárgyilagos és lényegre törő. Kivételes az elnökség helyzete abból a szempontból, hogy az új ötéves európai döntéshozatali ciklus elején vagyunk. Mindez lehetőséget ad arra, hogy újra gondoljuk, a polgárokkal közösen, melyek azok a témák, amelyek rendezésében uniós szinten adósai vagyunk még az európaiaknak.

Egy ilyen téma annak a nagyjából 10-15 százaléknyi európai polgár helyzetének az orvoslása, akik az őshonos, nemzeti közösségek valamelyikéhez tartoznak és regionális vagy kisebbségi nyelveket beszélnek. Itt a Parlamentben ismét megalakult az őshonos kisebbségekkel foglalkozó frakcióközi munkacsoport, annak tagjai örömmel együttműködnek a horvát elnökséggel. Bízom benne, hogy a horvát elnökség programjában helyet találhat az őshonos kisebbségek európai védelme az egyenlőség garantálása, diszkrimináció tilalma, alapvető jogok védelme és jogállamiság elvei mentén.

 
  
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  Bettina Vollath (S&D), schriftlich. – Herr Präsident, sehr geehrter Herr Ministerpräsident Plenković! Ich danke Ihnen für die Einblicke in die Ziele des kroatischen Ratsvorsitzes und wünsche Ihnen nun auch viel Umsetzungskraft! Aber ich habe auch eine Bitte: Sie haben ausdrücklich die Notwendigkeit der Sicherheit unserer Außengrenzen und kurz danach die unverzichtbare Notwendigkeit der Gewährleistung von Rechtsstaatlichkeit angesprochen. Also müssen auch Sie davon überzeugt sein, dass diese beiden Notwendigkeiten miteinander zu vereinbaren sein müssen. Allerdings ist es leider so, dass es mittlerweile seit über zwei Jahren eine Vielzahl von sehr glaubwürdigen Berichten darüber gibt, dass an der kroatisch-bosnischen EU-Außengrenze illegale Rückführungen stattfinden, sogar unter Anwendung von Gewalt und der Beraubung von Migrantinnen und Migranten. Jetzt kann man natürlich sagen: Wo ist der Beweis – ich weiß von nichts. Wenn es allerdings so viele gleichlautende Berichte gibt, wenn es Menschen gibt, die mit einschlägigen Verletzungen und ausgeraubt im bosnischen Grenzraum aufgefunden werden – ist das nicht Grund genug für die kroatische Regierung, genau hinzuschauen, welche Praktiken denn nun tatsächlich beim kroatischen Grenzschutz angewandt werden? Genau darum ersuche ich Sie dringend: Machen Sie diese Vorwürfe zur Chefsache und kümmern Sie sich darum, damit nicht von Beginn an dieser Makel an Ihrem Ratsvorsitz haftet und als dunkler Schatten über ihr schweben bleibt.

 

3. Izvajanje in spremljanje določb o državljanskih pravicah v sporazumu o izstopu (razprava)
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  Presidente. – L'ordine del giorno reca la discussione sulle dichiarazioni del Consiglio e della Commissione sull'attuazione e il monitoraggio delle disposizioni relative ai diritti dei cittadini nell'accordo di recesso (2020/2505(RSP)).

 
  
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  Nikolina Brnjac, President-in-Office of the Council. – President, honourable Members, as we are about to see the Withdrawal Agreement enter into force, basically unchanged from its 2019 version, except for the provisions regarding Ireland, we should be pleased, in retrospect, with our decision not to accept a carve-out of the provisions on citizens’ rights, as many have requested.

Indeed, having done so would have led to a level of protection far weaker than we have at present, with part two of the agreement dealing with citizens’ rights fully embedded in the whole agreement and with various remedies foreseen should the UK not deliver adequately in implementing these provisions.

This does not mean that we should rest on our laurels and I’m grateful to the European Parliament for having scheduled this debate today.

I also welcome the draft resolution tabled as it lists a number of concerns regarding the preservation of citizens’ rights, the administrative procedure in relation to residents’ rights, the limited assistance offered to citizens in this respect or the effectiveness of the UK independent authority due to oversee the implementation of these provisions.

This does not necessarily mean that everything is rosy on the EU side. It is important, as you note in your resolution, to encourage the Member States to adopt a generous attitude regarding the rights of UK citizens having decided to settle in the European Union.

We should also insist that both the Commission and a UK independent authority are rigorous in their monitoring of the implementation of part two of the agreement.

There is also more that can be done regarding the awareness of citizens on both sides of the channel, however protective the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. They would be of little use to citizens, especially vulnerable ones, if they are not aware of them, nor of the administrative steps needed to benefit from them.

And certainly, Parliament can also play a role in reaching out to citizens and contributing to their information.

Of course all these provisions – even though their effect will last beyond the transition period – will not cover citizens who would consider settling at a later stage. Although we are well aware that the line of the UK Government is to put an end to the free movement of persons, we should make sure that the future relationship that will be negotiated shortly will be ambitious enough in terms of mobility.

This will have to be accompanied with the preservation of certain rights for the citizens concerned.

Let me conclude by noting the large degree of convergence that exists between your positions on citizens’ rights as developed in your various resolutions and the priorities of the Council. This is a clear illustration of the commonality of purposes of our two institutions as regards Brexit.

Our common efforts should help to ensure that the provision on citizens’ rights in the Withdrawal Agreement allows EU citizens and UK nationals, as well as their family members, to continue to live, work or study in their host countries, as they have chosen to do.

 
  
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  Ursula von der Leyen, President of the Commission. – Mr President, last week I was in London and I had the opportunity to speak to students about the future of the relationship between the United Kingdom and the European Union. After I had finished the speech, as always the floor was opened to the students and the audience and the very first question that came was not about trade, it was not about financial services, it was not about security, as important as these topics are.

It was of course about citizens’ rights. And the same question came back time and again with different personal twists. One came from a young man who came from Benelux living in the UK who was of course worried about his future. Another came from a British lady who has an Italian husband and who was worried about his status, what’s going to happen with him. And while the questions may have been subtly different, the reason for asking them were always the same.

People want certainty about their lives and their future and certainty about the future of their loved ones. And I am speaking here about 3.5 million citizens in the UK who come from a European Union Member State, and about the roundabout one million British people living elsewhere in the European Union.

Now these are large numbers but behind each of these numbers are people with their very own personal stories. Some are citizens from another European Union country but they are born in the United Kingdom. Others have arrived later. Many have married, have children, have gone to university, have started their careers, and they work in the UK and respectively in the European Union. They teach children, they treat patients, they care for the elderly, they work in farms or factories, they have started their own businesses and provide a living to many more.

So whatever their own personal story is, they all have one thing in common, and that is they want to have peace of mind. They want to have a plan for their futures and the future of their families. And all they want is to feel at home in the place they call home.

Therefore, protecting these citizens’ rights has always been our top priority from the moment the referendum result became clear. Thanks to the excellent work of Michel Barnier and his negotiating team, the Withdrawal Agreement provides comprehensive guarantees for these citizens.

It gives them the protection and the certainty they need. It allows them to stay where they live today, under the same conditions, for as long as they want and without any discrimination based on their nationality. This Withdrawal Agreement and with what we have agreed on, puts clear obligations on the United Kingdom and on the European Union to safeguard these rights.

It is one thing is to put them on paper, another thing is to implement them. So once the House has ratified the Withdrawal Agreement our top priority will be to implement our shared obligations, both in letter and in spirit. And for me this is a legal issue with a moral imperative.

The good news is that the United Kingdom has already begun implementing

the European Union Settlement Scheme. To date, about 2.5 million European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom have already applied for residence status. Most of these people have now received proof of their right to remain.

This is good news. But you also know that there are cases where some have not and many more are yet to apply, and there is a number of concerns that have also been raised. There are the famous cases of the French bakers and the Polish chefs that shine a light on some of the issues. But, seriously, there are many other cases where people are confused or unable to apply for whatever reasons. Or others have received requests for more proof, despite having lived in the country for 40 years or more.

So, we are in close contact with the citizens and the UK authorities on these issues. We need to avoid any discrimination or added complexity during the application process. We need to ensure that all citizens – especially the most vulnerable – are fully supported throughout the process. And we need the guarantee that the Independent Monitoring Authority can act in full independence to deal with complaints. This is of utmost importance.

From our side, the Commission will keep a close and vigilant eye on the implementation. We are ready to help European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom to ensure they are properly informed and supported. And of course we will do the same when it comes to British citizens living in the European Union.

All these questions I have been speaking about I raised with Prime Minister Johnson last week when I visited London. We will closely cooperate with the United Kingdom to make sure that we can get this right and that we can solve any problems as swiftly as possible.

Finally, the good news is that there will be continuity for the European Union citizens living in the United Kingdom and vice versa for the British citizens living in the European Union at the end of the transition period. But, after the end of the transition period, the United Kingdom will be a third country. And Brexit will mean changes to those who will want to make their future life on either side of the Channel.

We will have to negotiate a new way forward, and we are getting ready to formulate the mandate for those negotiations ahead of 1 February. We have, as we have done in the past, also made in these negotiations citizens’ rights our main priority. And we will always negotiate in good faith to build a new comprehensive partnership with our British friends. As I said to those students in London, it is the good old story about old friends and new beginnings.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Danuta Maria Hübner, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Mr President, in this House, throughout the Brexit process, we have had many meetings with EU citizens, including British nationals. We have listened to their stories and understood better the consequences of Brexit for their rights as European citizens. Their concerns have become ours.

In all its resolutions, the European Parliament dealt with citizens’ rights, but still today we see risks to the sustainability of commitments agreed in the withdrawal agreement – hence this new resolution. The lack of proper and full implementation of legal solutions on citizens’ rights would have a massive impact on people’s lives and their life choices. The implementation of the withdrawal agreement matters because it provides a minimum of legal certainty that people need.

We regret that in spite of the option presented in Article 18(4) of the withdrawal agreement, the UK has chosen to use the application approach for a settled status scheme. I regret, also, that only half the Member States seem to use the approach based on the declaration. We also deeply regret that the UK Government has announced its intention to end free movement of people under the future framework for cooperation. EU citizens, including British nationals, have greatly benefited from the free movement of people and I still hope that the British Government changes its mind on this issue. It will, further, be crucial that we find a way towards mutual recognition of qualifications, that it will be possible for citizens to participate in local elections, that there will be good cooperation in the field of family law on the basis of relevant provisions in international law and that potential regulatory divergence will not affect citizens’ rights.

I appreciate the assurances given to us by the UK Government with regard to the functioning of the independent monitoring authority. The European Parliament will nevertheless keep a watchful eye on the implementation process. As we have pointed out in our resolution, the shortened transition period means that there is less time to operationalise governance of the withdrawal agreement regarding citizens’ rights and that an awareness-raising campaign will also be a matter of priority.

Ultimately, the proper and full implementation of citizens’ rights would help to build the trust needed for successful negotiations on the future.

 
  
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  Pedro Silva Pereira, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, our first duty as the European Parliament, elected directly by the European citizens, is to defend those we democratically represent. That explains why our top priority in terms of Brexit has always been citizens’ rights, not only the rights of EU citizens living in the UK, but also the rights of British citizens living all over the European Union. Listening to the serious concerns expressed by so many citizens and NGOs, we simply cannot ignore that people are extremely worried about the high degree of uncertainty and other damaging implications of Brexit in their lives and legitimate expectations. That is why we are here today to discuss and approve a political resolution tabled and supported by the leaders of many political groups in this Parliament and designed to convey a strong political message. The UK Government can do more and should do more to ensure full protection of citizens’ rights in the context of Brexit. We certainly acknowledge the efforts made on such a difficult issue, but the truth is that the EU settlement scheme currently in operation in the UK could easily be more user friendly and would largely benefit if additional assistance were provided to older and more vulnerable citizens.

On the other hand, as many applicants are only getting pre-settled status, it would be better to take this procedure as declaratory in nature and to ensure proper review by a truly independent authority. Moreover, a physical document would help to give additional legal certainty and a sense of certainty for the future, not only for citizens, but also for employers and landlords. We hope to get a positive response from the UK Government regarding citizens’ rights.

 
  
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  Guy Verhofstadt, on behalf of the Renew Group. – Mr President, the first thing that I want to do is to thank the President of the Commission, Ms von der Leyen, and also Michel Barnier, naturally, for their strong and continued support on citizens’ rights.

I hope that this House, when we vote – I think it’s tomorrow we vote – on this resolution gives it a huge majority, a huge majority that gives us a mandate for the final discussions with the UK authorities, which will happen on Thursday. I have been invited by the Secretary of State, Mr Barclay, and by the new Minister for European Affairs, Mr Pincher. It’s important that this resolution has massive support so that it gives us strength on Thursday and Friday because there are still concerns that need to be addressed. If they are not addressed now, before the end of the month, they will be on the table before the end of the year. I cannot imagine that the European Parliament will agree, for example, on the free-trade agreement (FTA) without solving the problems and the concerns of the EU citizens and the UK citizens, including freedom of movement.

These concerns have already been mentioned by my two colleagues. First of all, the automatic recognition of citizens’ rights. There is a Tory Government and Tory governments always say that they want less bureaucracy. Well, OK, let’s make less bureaucracy and the best way to do it is automatic recognition so that you don’t need all this. The second is a physical document. Why is it necessary? The UK authorities are telling us that, ‘yes, but it’s not necessary – they have an email’. But can you imagine a case where a woman goes to see her parents on the continent, comes back and at the border they ask, ‘where is your email?’ – ‘I don’t have my email, there is no energy anymore in my battery’ – or maybe she deleted the mail, so she cannot enter the UK. We need a physical document. In a normal world, you have a document. That’s the second concern.

The third concern is the Independent Monitoring Authority. My proposal is simple: why not put a few representatives of the 3million organisation in the Independent Monitoring Authority? Then we are sure that both sides are there, so it solves the problem. These things need to be addressed and I hope that they will be on Thursday and Friday.

Maybe, to finish on a lighter note, I can ask Prime Minister Johnson for a little bit of flexibility. Maybe he can follow the Queen’s example – because yesterday the Queen gave Harry and Meghan a transition period to leave, so maybe some flexibility on Mr Johnson’s side could also be very useful.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Philippe Lamberts, au nom du groupe Verts/ALE. – Monsieur le Président, on présente souvent l’Union européenne comme un vaste projet principalement économique, attaché à la promotion des intérêts des détenteurs de capitaux. C’est un peu vrai mais ce n’est pas que cela l’Union européenne et les trois millions de citoyens de l’Union européenne qui vivent au Royaume-Uni et les quelque 2 millions de Britanniques qui vivent dans l’Union européenne le savent bien. La liberté de circuler, la liberté de s’établir pour étudier, pour travailler, pour prendre sa retraite, une liberté octroyée à tous les citoyens de l’Union européenne, est probablement l’une des perles, l’une des réalisations les plus importantes de l’Union européenne. C’est évidemment cela que tous ces citoyens risquent de perdre avec le retrait désormais inéluctable du Royaume-Uni de l’Union européenne. En effet, ce Parlement et les négociateurs européens au premier rang desquels Michel Barnier, nous nous sommes employés à tout faire pour limiter au strict minimum les dégâts – parce que dégâts il y a – occasionnés par le retrait du Royaume-Uni de l’Union européenne. Je pense que ce qui a été mis dans l’accord de séparation est satisfaisant, mais il est vrai que nous avons un problème de confiance avec le Royaume-Uni: il est vrai que nous nous inquiétons des difficultés administratives qui sont mises en place ou de cette menace qui est écrite noir sur blanc dans la transposition en droit britannique de l’accord de séparation et qui prévoit la possibilité pour le gouvernement britannique de supprimer purement et simplement l’autorité indépendante qui veillera à l’application de l’accord de séparation en termes de respect des droits des citoyens. Plus inquiétantes encore, les déclarations de certains proches du ministère de l’intérieur britannique qui en viennent presque à présenter les citoyens européens résidant au Royaume-Uni comme des menaces à la sécurité de l’État. Mon message au gouvernement du Royaume-Uni est donc le suivant: si vraiment vous considérez l’Union européenne comme une puissance amie du Royaume-Uni, faites en sorte que par votre attitude vis-à-vis des citoyens européens, vous confirmiez tout simplement ce statut d’amis. Veillez à traiter les citoyens européens au Royaume-Uni comme vous souhaitez que les citoyens britanniques dans l’Union européenne soient traités.

 
  
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  Gunnar Beck, on behalf of the ID Group. – Mr President, dear colleagues, especially those who are here for the last time, the EU-UK Withdrawal Agreement is a salutary example of belated political realism. The resolution debated today accepts this verdict. Three points, however, deserve mention.

First, the agreement states that in future, the parties may decide no longer to accept national identity cards without a biometric identification chip. Such a rule is not unlawful, but there seems no obvious legal, economic or security reason for it. Data protection and privacy were once subjects of fierce political debates. Sadly in our rights-obsessed political climate today, such basic rights seem forgotten.

Second, the agreement freezes EU citizens’ rights as they are being interpreted on Brexit day, while assigning future interpretation to the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). The CJEU is, in effect, asked to develop two parallel bodies of case—law: one for citizens’ rights within the EU27 and another for the UK based on pre-Brexit EU law. How realistic, I ask, is this?

Finally, clause 18 of the resolution bemoans the UK Government’s intention to end free movement of persons next year. The motion claims that all four freedoms are interlinked and that any comprehensive EU-UK trade deal should be conditional on the UK agreeing to generous free movement of persons rules. This demand is against the UK’s and the EU’s own interests. Free trade agreements – indeed, most EU trade agreements – generally say nothing about free movement of persons. The EU in 2018 had a very large trade surplus with the UK. It’s therefore in the EU’s interests, just as Britain’s, to negotiate a comprehensive trade deal.

If this House is serious about citizens’ rights, then EU and UK citizens have a right that their economic interests be taken seriously by this House.

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, I know that the new Commission President had a very good meeting with the British Prime Minister in London last week. They got on extremely well. The atmosphere was very positive. This is the right approach. Now we need to make rapid progress on the future relationship between Britain and the European Union, but first of all we have to get the Withdrawal Agreement out of the way.

As you know, the House of Commons passed by a majority of 99 votes the third reading of the Withdrawal Agreement last week. It has now moved to the House of Lords. It’s the duty of this House to give its assent to the Withdrawal Agreement so that it can take effect on 31 January, and I trust that will happen smoothly.

Of course, control of our own borders was a key factor in the vote to leave the European Union. I say to Ms Hübner we should bear that in mind. On the subject of citizens’ rights, this is an area where both the British Government and the EU have been more or less in agreement from the start. I like the first paragraph of the resolution: ‘believes that part two of the Withdrawal Agreement is fair and balanced’. The resolution, quite frankly, should stop there. I feel sure the resolution is designed to be helpful in spite of its misconceptions and some nit—picking. I sincerely hope so, but I am sure some role will be found for Mr Verhofstadt in the future. Historically, of course, no country equals the United Kingdom in terms of protecting the rights, freedoms and liberties of the individual.

Mr President, may I say the resolution focuses disproportionately on the future status of EU citizens in the EU but pays scant attention to British citizens in the remaining 27 countries of the European Union. One paragraph out of 22! The UK is in an advanced stage of preparation but hardly any of the remaining Member States have published plans as to how the system will work for British citizens resident in their countries. Just as the British authorities will look after those within their jurisdiction, I very much hope in future, in the absence of British MEPs, that this Parliament, along with national parliaments will be rigorous in ensuring that British citizens in EU countries are properly treated.

 
  
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  Martin Schirdewan, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Wir müssen heute über die Rechte derjenigen reden, die ihren Anteil am Wohlergehen und auch am Wohlstand in der britischen Gesellschaft leisten, sei es in der Pflege, in der Forschung oder auch als Selbständige. Auch wenn wir der Entscheidung Großbritanniens, die Europäische Union Ende dieses Monats zu verlassen, natürlich nicht im Wege stehen, so werden wir uns doch jedem Versuch in den Weg stellen müssen, die Bürgerinnen und Bürger, sowohl die britischen als auch die Bürgerinnen und Bürger der EU, dafür zahlen zu lassen. Diese Debatte ist deshalb notwendig geworden, weil es die begründete Sorge gibt, dass die Übereinkunft bezüglich der Bürgerrechte und der damit zusammenhängenden sozialen Rechte im Zuge des Scheidungsprozesses zwischen der Europäischen Union und Großbritannien nicht eins zu eins umgesetzt wird.

Dies betrifft vor allem die Regelung zum Aufenthaltsstatus, etwa von selbstständigen Dienstleistern, ebenso wie die Anwendbarkeit dieser Regelung für schutzbedürftige Personen oder Ältere.

Dennoch müssen wir auch jetzt schon an die zukünftige Beziehung zwischen der Europäischen Union und Großbritannien denken. Dabei geht es, wie wir alle wissen, um weit mehr als um ein Handelsabkommen. Es geht um die Regelung jedes einzelnen politischen, wirtschaftlichen, aber auch ökologischen Aspekts, der das Zusammenleben dies- und jenseits des Kanals zukünftig mitbestimmen wird.

Angesichts der Komplexität und der Vielzahl der politischen Aspekte, die von der Scheidung betroffen sind, ist doch allen klar, dass es nicht gelingen kann, etliche internationale Abkommen in nur elf Monaten miteinander auszuverhandeln. Wer etwas anderes behauptet, streut den Leuten wissentlich Sand in die Augen. Deshalb ist es notwendig, dass die Regierung von Boris Johnson meiner Ansicht nach rechtzeitig eine Verlängerung der Übergangsphase beantragt, damit eben die Bürgerrechte geschützt werden können und damit ihm und uns die Zeit gegeben wird, die es braucht – nicht mehr und nicht weniger. Geschieht dies nicht – das muss man hier auch noch mal ausdrücklich betonen –, steht noch immer die Gefahr eines harten Brexits mit all seinen negativen Konsequenzen im Raum.

Meine Fraktion hat sich in den zurückliegenden Jahren immer dafür eingesetzt, den Friedensprozess in Nordirland zu sichern und die sozialen Rechte der Betroffenen zu schützen. Das werden wir auch in Zukunft tun. Es darf zu keiner Senkung von Standards kommen, weil die Regierung in Großbritannien eventuell auf die schlechte Idee kommt, dass sich mit einem Dumpingwettbewerb wirtschaftliche Wettbewerbsvorteile erschleichen lassen. Das ist nicht hinnehmbar, weder in sozialen Fragen noch in der Steuerpolitik, weder in ökologischen Fragen noch beim Verbraucherschutz.

Abschließend möchte ich die Gelegenheit dieser Debatte im Namen meiner Fraktion nutzen, den britischen Kolleginnen und Kollegen zu danken, mit denen wir in der Vergangenheit konstruktiv für ein besseres Europa gearbeitet und auch gestritten haben. Ihr werdet uns fehlen!

 
  
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  Alexandra Lesley Phillips (NI). – Mr President, the UK has opened its EU settlement scheme. We’ve made plain now for three years that those who have made Britain their home should have the right to remain on equal terms with all of those who live in my welcoming and wonderful nation, but not with super rights: no freedom of movement, fairness not favouritism. In elevating Europeans to the top of the pile, what you are suggesting is that the Africans, the Asians, the Americans and the Antipodeans who also call the UK home are somehow second—class citizens and that is something that my nation will not abide. Now I’m actually quite reassured listening to what’s been a constructive debate so far today, but I do want to suggest other politicians here who I’ve heard previously become sanctimonious and sobbing and scaremongering about the future rights of EU citizens that Britain is a kind, welcoming and open country. Do not give misinformation to people and make them fearful that they will not have residency. Let’s work together because we are going to become an independent nation, with an independent immigration policy and we are prepared to work with you to make sure that everybody is protected.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Esteban González Pons (PPE). – Mr President, I want to speak in English because I want to be heard in English. British people must know that despite Brexit, despite all the things that happened during these last four years, they will always be welcome in the European Union because Europe is not about where you come from; it’s about where you want to go. Countries can be separated; families cannot. Today, there is more than one million Britons living in other EU countries – lots of them in my own country, in Spain. I want to address them directly today. Many of you have built your lives here, in Europe. Many of you have married here. Some of you have children that were born here. We are neighbours. Most of all we are friends. We are relatives. There is something that we cannot and will not forget. That is why I want to tell you: no matter what happens after 31 January, you will always belong to Europe, and as long as it’s your wish to stay with us, the European Union will always be your home. So from the bottom of my heart, I won’t say goodbye, I won’t say see you soon, I’ll only say: stay with us, the European Union is your home.

(Applause)

 
  
  

IN THE CHAIR: MAIREAD McGUINNESS
Vice-President

 
  
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  Jude Kirton-Darling (S&D). – Madam President, in the Committee on Petitions, we’ve heard the voices of citizens from across Europe desperate about what will happen to their rights, their lives, their jobs, their families. Most of these citizens – whether EU27 nationals in the UK or UK citizens in the rest of the EU for longer than 15 years – had no voice or vote in the decision that most acutely affects their lives. They are the children of this great continental peace project, taking up the dreams of the original founders of these institutions and building lives based on the common rights that we share. We have, above all, a moral duty towards those who had no vote and are being further disenfranchised. We have consistently stated that guaranteeing citizens’ rights is a red line for any Brexit deal. We must stick to that. We know the outstanding problems and we have to be brave and see action before we vote on that deal in a few weeks.

 
  
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  Caroline Voaden (Renew). – Madam President, Emmanuelle is a teacher. She has taught her beautiful language to thousands of teenagers over 20 years of work in British schools in my constituency. She has paid her taxes, married a British man and has children who are British.

Recently she filled in an 85-page form to apply for settled status, giving her permission to stay in a country she chose to make her home, where she has worked, paid her taxes and volunteered in her community, and she was initially refused settled status. Securing the rights of the 3 million EU 27 citizens in the UK is a fundamental issue.

This is not about freedom of movement. This is about securing their right to call it their home, mutual recognition of professional qualifications is an absolute must going forward.

There is no logical reason why the UK Government can’t use a declaratory process to give this status with a suitable accompanying physical document and guaranteeing the continued independent monitoring of this process. By failing to do this our government is shaming our country. And doing it properly will encourage the EU Member States to reciprocate generously with British citizens living in the EU Member States.

Mr Johnson, if you want a close, respectful working relationship with the EU after 31 January, why don’t you start by respecting the rights of the 3 million and avoiding the possibility of us having another Windrush generation?

(Applause)

(The speaker declined to take a blue card question from Geoffrey Van Orden)

 
  
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  Christian Allard (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I am one of the EU citizens, an EU national who has been asked to apply for this settled status. I lived in Scotland for more than 35 years. I came because of freedom of movement.

I don’t understand how we ended up there. This UK settled scheme is not fit for purpose. How can this Parliament protect its own citizens, the three million EU nationals like me living in the UK?

Let me remind you that this issue was one of the EU red lines for any agreement. We learnt today whether the European Court of Justice will be the ultimate arbiter and that the UK courts will have to comply. How much is this promise worth, particularly if it expires after eight years? We see what’s happening with the Court with this week. I have my doubts. I’m very, very worried of what’s going to happen next.

The UK settlement scheme is not fit for purpose. I won’t apply to be denied my right to live in my own home. The application process must be scrapped and our rights must be automatically protected.

As for Scotland, the people living in Scotland made it very clear: Scotland must remain in the EU. Ce n’est qu’un au revoir, nous nous retrouverons.

 
  
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  President. – Mr Allard, Mr Van Orden is going to try again to ask a question. Will you accept a question from Mr Van Orden? Non? Merci beaucoup. If you refuse a third time I give up, but let’s see what happens. I am in a jolly mood, so let’s listen to Mr Van Orden’s point of information.

(Applause)

I worry when you applaud me!

 
  
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  Geoffrey Van Orden (ECR). – Madam President, thank you for your indulgence. I just want to say to the last two colleagues that have spoken: there are 2.6 million people who have applied for settled status. Only five – only five – have been refused, on grounds of criminality.

 
  
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  Christian Allard (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I will respond to it, because we heard that before that most people who have applied have managed to have settled status. Forty-seven per cent of the people who applied have been denied settled status and need to reapply.

If you apply for something and it is refused, of course, it is refused: all those people have been refused settled status. This is not on. Go back to London and tell Boris Johnson.

 
  
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  Hermann Tertsch (ECR). – Señora presidenta, con respecto al Brexit, la verdad es que un poquito más de tolerancia por parte de cierta gente quizá hubiera mantenido a los británicos dentro de la Unión Europea. Quizá este tipo de matonismo explica muchas cosas.

Con el Brexit, el 31 de enero se cumple la voluntad del pueblo británico. Esta decisión británica debería haber llevado a la Unión Europea a una reflexión autocrítica, y ha sido al contrario. En vez de debatir las causas se atacó furiosamente a quien se va.

Nosotros lamentamos el Brexit. Los británicos tienen dos grandes virtudes: el coraje y el amor a la libertad. Las necesitamos aquí, desde dentro, los que hacemos frente a las hegemonías, a las tendencias hegemónicas ideológicas y los sueños federalistas contra las naciones.

En España viven 250 000 británicos, en el Reino Unido 180 000 españoles. Los derechos de unos y de otros han de ser garantizados por igual. Por eso, por tanto, tenemos muchas razones para ser exquisitos con la reciprocidad. Las relaciones con Londres parecen ser más fáciles desde las capitales europeas que desde Bruselas, porque desde Bruselas parece haber un espíritu de revancha que lo dificulta todo.

 
  
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  Sira Rego (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, sabemos que el próximo 31 de enero se producirá la salida del Reino Unido de la Unión Europea. Por supuesto, respetamos la decisión democrática del pueblo británico, pero en España creemos que sigue habiendo incógnitas que debemos abordar. Como sabrán, el caso de Gibraltar tiene una singularidad. Hablamos de la situación de los más de 13 000 trabajadores transfronterizos que cada día cruzan la valla. Sus políticas neoliberales han convertido al Campo de Gibraltar en una de las zonas más empobrecidas de Europa. Se trata de un problema estructural, que genera un paro del 27 % que, en el caso de los más jóvenes, alcanza el 70 %. Y aunque el artículo 24 del acuerdo de salida supone algún avance respecto a la situación, no resuelve ni concreta ninguna medida que garantice que las personas trabajadoras desplazadas no pierdan derechos como las prestaciones por desempleo o incluso las pensiones. Con este acuerdo ya han garantizado los beneficios de las élites económicas. Ahora nosotras reclamamos su firme compromiso para que nuestros trabajadores y nuestras trabajadoras no se quedan atrás.

 
  
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  Ann Widdecombe (NI). – Madam President, I’d like to focus please on paragraph 18 of the document, which says that the Parliament regrets that the EU has announced the principle of free movement will end.

I have to say very clearly that the ending of free movement was a massive factor in the British public’s decision to leave the EU. It was one of the biggest driving forces. And yet there appears to be within this Parliament today political myopia towards that. You’re actually trying to tell Britain that we should not have an application process, it should have just been the declaratory. We shouldn’t dare to ask for proof in order to back up statements in an application.

The British people expect the British Government to end free movement and to do it in a way which is effective, not merely nominal. And the sooner that this Parliament wakes up to that, the sooner we will actually get the right sort of dialogue.

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

 
  
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  Sophia in 't Veld (Renew), blue-card question. – Ms Widdecombe, I hear you say, ‘the British people want this or that’, but isn’t it true that only 43% of the people voted for your political agenda and it’s only because of your electoral system that Mr Johnson has a majority of seats in parliament? The majority of the British people actually did not vote for a Brexit party. Isn’t that true, Ms Widdecombe?

(Applause)

 
  
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  Ann Widdecombe (NI), blue-card answer. – 17.4 million people, in the biggest democratic turnout in British history, voted to leave. We ended up in the European elections as the single biggest party in this Parliament. Why? Why did Boris Johnson get such a massive majority in the last election? Because his basic promise was ‘Get Brexit Done’.

(Applause from certain quarters)

 
  
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  Paulo Rangel (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, ao Conselho e também à Comissão, e nomeadamente ao Sr. Michel Barnier, queria dizer o seguinte: Portugal, o país que eu aqui represento, tem a mais velha aliança do mundo, em termos de Tratado ainda vigente, com o Reino Unido, que é de 1386 e foi invocada várias vezes ao longo do séc. XX, estando, portanto, totalmente em vigor.

Poucos países lamentarão tanto a saída do Reino Unido como nós, mas também poucos desejarão tanto que os laços se mantenham o mais próximos possível, o mais estreitos possível entre o Reino Unido e a União Europeia. E por isso devo dizer que a situação dos cidadãos é para nós decisiva e que ainda há muito a fazer. E devo também aqui criticar o Governo britânico, porque às vezes parece que a União Europeia está mais preocupada com a situação dos britânicos no continente europeu do que o próprio Governo britânico.

E por isso queria apelar ao Governo do Senhor Johnson para que ponha rapidamente em aplicação todas as disposições acordadas de forma a que os cidadãos de um e de outro lado do Canal possam viver numa firme e sã cooperação e amizade.

 
  
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  Claude Moraes (S&D). – Madam President, as Michel Barnier very well knows, both the EU and the UK worked very hard on the settlement scheme. It was a shared moral and legal responsibility. But we are here because this resolution fires more than one warning shot and people are concerned. That’s why the Commission President, when she asked for questions, heard the concerns of people on citizens’ rights. Why? I give you one example: the Prime Minister, just recently, in his decision to revise the Withdrawal Agreement Bill to delegate the powers of the Independent Monitoring Authority (people talk about Windrush), which is responsible for overseeing UK policies towards EU citizens, to other bodies. Instead of strengthening the independent body, given the history of our immigration and nationality system, given the injustices, given the shared moral and legal responsibility, this is the direction we were moving in.

Let’s be clear: these are genuine concerns of EU citizens and I say to the Council, we have genuine concerns of UK citizens in the rest of the European Union. If we don’t get this right, this will be a deep scar and continuing injustice that will define what happens in the future agreements. Of course it will be for many years to come. So when people talk about the physical document or they talk about the declaratory system, they’re not talking about details – they’re talking about a system that may create injustice that would go on for years, that would have no independent resolution and that would be part of the jurisprudence and moral narrative that is built. That is why Michel Barnier and others made citizens’ rights so important in the first place, and that is why this resolution fires the warning shot, which must be heard.

 
  
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  Pascal Durand (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, juste un mot pour dire la raison pour laquelle cette résolution est aussi importante.

J’avais le sentiment, comme un grand nombre de mes collègues avant cette intervention d’aujourd’hui, de savoir que la question des citoyens devait être prioritaire et au cœur des négociations qui viennent. Je voulais que M. Michel Barnier, dont je sais le travail qu’il a déjà fait, ait conscience que le Parlement sera derrière lui, de manière unanime, pour rappeler qu’il n’y aura pas d’accord possible dans le futur si on n’intègre pas le droit des citoyens. Je suis plus que jamais persuadé de ce que je dis maintenant, de la nécessité de cette résolution et de la nécessité que nous la votions très largement. Je trouve honteux que les représentants de l’extrême-droite britannique viennent aujourd’hui, après tous les mensonges qu’ils ont prononcés pour obtenir une victoire scandaleuse du Brexit, quémander un accord commercial avec l’Union européenne, tout en ne respectant pas les droits des citoyens! Et je leur dis clairement en face: il n’y aura pas d’accord si vous ne respectez pas le droit des gens; c’est une règle que ce Parlement vous imposera de gré ou de force.

 
  
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  Terry Reintke (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, this is probably going to be the most difficult speech that I’m going to give as a Member of this Parliament. I ran to be an MEP to fight for more rights for citizens in the European Union. And now millions of European citizens are going to lose rights, and there is absolutely no way for me to talk this positive in any way. But I would like to end – and we are approaching the Brexit date – with two positive messages.

The first one is that all EU citizens in the UK have to be absolutely sure about the fact that there are dozens and hundreds of MEPs working here in this Parliament to keep this your Parliament as well. We will work tirelessly to defend your rights here in this Parliament.

And the second one, and this goes out to all the people in the UK who are heartbroken right now. And I know that even with this movement that is unique in European history, it has not been possible to put this decision back to the people.

But these demonstrations and all the signs and all the tweets and all your votes there were not in vain. You built something absolutely beautiful over the past years and this is the largest pro-European citizens’ movement that we have seen, and we will build on that. And trust me, one day I will see British MEPs being re-elected to this Chamber.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Carlo Fidanza (ECR). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, con buona pace di politici e commentatori mainstream, il popolo britannico ha una volta di più espresso la sua volontà. Può piacere o no – a noi dispiace – ma si chiama democrazia.

Ora siamo tutti chiamati a costruire una nuova e positiva cooperazione tra l'Unione europea e il Regno Unito: la tutela dei diritti dei cittadini dell'UE residenti nel Regno Unito è certamente uno degli aspetti più sensibili, ma dobbiamo riconoscere che si stanno facendo passi avanti positivi, anche se certamente bisogna migliorare le procedure burocratiche per consentire, a chi ne ha diritto, di fare per tempo la richiesta di residenza permanente.

Nel Regno Unito vivono circa 700 000 italiani, moltissimi dei quali sono giovani di recente emigrazione; a loro non dobbiamo soltanto garantire la tutela dei diritti di permanenza ma dobbiamo restituire la speranza di poter tornare a casa in Italia e costruirsi lì una nuova vita: anche questo è un loro diritto fondamentale.

 
  
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  Jeroen Lenaers (PPE). – Madam President, more than three million European citizens in the UK were told by Boris Johnson and Michael Gove that nothing would change: they would get the automatic right to remain and they would be treated no less favourably than before Brexit.

They heard our colleague Daniel Hannan, who is not here today, say that it was irresponsible to scare EU nationals in the UK by hinting that their status might change after Brexit. And we even heard from Nigel Farage, saying that they could stay and enjoy the same rights as UK citizens because, he said, to row back on that would class you as a banana republic.

Yet here we are today. Automatic rights and favourable treatment have quickly transformed into talk of deportations and a hostile environment. The British Government seems to have learned absolutely nothing from the Windrush scandal. And a system is put in place that will probably never reach all the citizens that need it and, by its design, puts many vulnerable citizens at risk of losing rights.

The consequence is uncertainty and anxiety for EU citizens in the UK. Because, regardless of Mr Van Orden’s semantic point before, many people have already experienced loss of their rights.

If the UK wants to become a banana republic, of course that is its choice after Brexit. But those three million citizens in the UK are our responsibility now. And we need to stand up for them and make sure that they will not be the biggest victims of this Brexit.

This has been the Parliament’s consistent position ever since the referendum and it is now the time to make crystal clear how serious we are about that.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, 31 januari nadert met rasse schreden. Dan gaan de Britten ons verlaten en in januari 2021 moet de scheiding rond zijn. Hopelijk zijn er dan afspraken over de toekomstige relatie, maar mijn zorgen bij deze scheiding gaan over mensen, over de werknemers die een grote prijs betalen bij deze scheiding.

Zowel de scheiding als de toekomstige relatie moeten sociaal zijn. Sociale standaarden moeten we overeind houden. Wij willen geen Singapore aan de Theems voor onze deur. Het Verenigd Koninkrijk moet ook zijn sociale verplichtingen blijven nakomen, zoals de uitkering van pensioenen, ook aan EU-burgers die daaraan hebben bijgedragen. Onze toekomstige relatie mag niet ten koste gaan van de arbeidsomstandigheden van Britse en Europese burgers. De brexit is geen excuus voor een race naar beneden, maar ik moet zeggen: ik houd mijn hart vast.

 
  
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  Billy Kelleher (Renew). – Madam President, just to say at the outset, I’m speaking primarily in the context of the island of Ireland and Irish citizens living on the island of Ireland and also UK citizens living on the island of Ireland.

In that context, I think we have to accept that we can’t negotiate or compromise on citizens’ rights. We can compromise on financial services, on agricultural products, on trade and commerce, but the very essence of the European Union and the very essence of the Irish Republic is citizens’ rights, and we have to ensure they are upheld and maintained.

We have a common travel area between the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and the Republic. But, Mr Barnier, what I need to ensure is that when the UK becomes a third country, that citizens’ rights are protected and maintained. Very simple examples: the mutual recognition of qualifications, for example, could have profound implications on the island of Ireland, people unable to work in one jurisdiction on the island.

So, for all these reasons, we have to ensure that citizens’ rights are an integral part of this Withdrawal Agreement and the future relationship. There can be no compromises on people’s rights and entitlements.

 
  
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  Scott Ainslie (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, as a councillor in south London I’ve seen first hand the UK Government’s cruel treatment of the Windrush generation, who came to our shores to help keep Britain great. I have seen these people denied citizenship. People who have lived in the UK for their entire lives suddenly find themselves denied work, homes and access to health care. Instead of scrapping the policies which have driven these gross injustices, this UK Government is working to expose those of the three million EU citizens in the UK who fall through the cracks to exactly the same broken, heartless system. One million of these EU citizens live in my constituency of London.

I am their MEP and I refuse to sit back while their rights are torn up and they are plunged into imminent danger. We can’t trust this British Government to protect citizens’ rights, so I plead with all MEPs who are lucky enough to remain in this Chamber for another four years – please, do not stop fighting for the rights of EU citizens in the UK and British citizens in your countries. Help us hold our own reckless government to account.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Bogusław Liberadzki (S&D). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Ostatnie słowa premiera Plenkovicia zabrzmiały następująco: „zostańmy zjednoczeni –remain united”. Potem wystąpienia Rady, Komisji, grup politycznych pokazały, że jesteśmy zjednoczeni, czyli pierwszą troską byli ludzie, mieszkańcy, obywatele Unii Europejskiej mieszkający w Wielkiej Brytanii i Brytyjczycy mieszkający na terenie Unii Europejskiej. To jest również 1 milion Polaków. Mówiła też o tym pani przewodnicząca Ursula von der Leyen, wspominając o sprawie polskiego kucharza. Pozostaje nam zjednoczonych 440 milionów obywateli Unii Europejskiej. Ja bym chciał bardzo prosić o to, żebyśmy niezależnie od tej walki o interesy pamiętali o tych 440 milionach obywateli Unii Europejskiej. Ja chcę też pamiętać o 38 milionach obywateli mieszkających w Polsce. Zatem w tym procesie rozwodowym to my, jako Unia Europejska, jesteśmy jednak silniejszą stroną. Wykorzystajmy tę przewagę.

 
  
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  Sophia in 't Veld (Renew). – Madam President, one question of course is if the arrangements are going to be adequate, but another question is how it will be implemented and do we trust the Johnson government to do that properly? I have to say that the signs so far are no reason for confidence. And if I hear the sounds coming out of the Brexit corner of this House, I am really incredibly worried because it’s not warm and welcoming, as they say.

I’ve been asking myself who benefits if we strip five million people of their rights? What is the purpose of leaving five million citizens in limbo? Why do they have to be penalised? What is their crime? And the point is: there is no purpose, there is no reason, nobody benefits. It’s a stupid vindictive campaign against people who have done nothing wrong, who didn’t even have a vote.

Now, no democracy should treat its citizens this way. No government has the right to just remove citizens’ rights or to retroactively impose new requirements, because citizenship is a right. It is not a privilege that can be removed at a whim, at the simple stroke of a pen. So we’ll stand up for all five million EU citizens.

(Applause)

(The speaker declined to take a blue-card question from Robert Rowland)

 
  
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  President. – I am sorry, Mr Rowland, you have been refused.

Ms Widdecombe is waving her blue card, but Madam, you have already had the floor so I will move immediately to the next speaker on my list which is Ms Dowding for one minute.

 
  
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  Gina Dowding (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, to put this debate in context today, the latest poll in the UK says that the majority of UK voters would prefer to remain in the European Union by 52% to 48% – the very same margin that won the Brexit referendum three years ago but is now reversed.

With over 3 million EU citizens in the UK, thousands of Europeans who made my constituency in the north-west of England their home, who are valued by their employers and neighbours and friends, we absolutely need to ensure that citizens’ rights are properly protected and people are treated fairly and lawfully.

Right now, critical issues are arising for citizens who are currently applying for settled status. Reports by lawyers indicate that, despite the UK government claiming that the process should take one to four days, some people are waiting months, leaving them without essential status documentation and rendering them unable to get jobs or rent a home.

This is not a demonstration of a system offering kindness and consideration. We call upon everyone here in the European Parliament to ensure that the UK Government upholds its commitments to protect EU citizens’ rights. Because that is also what will surely determine the reciprocal arrangement by the UK for UK citizens in the EU.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Richard Corbett (S&D). – Madam President, this Parliament is right to debate this today ahead of its vote in two weeks’ time on the Brexit Withdrawal Agreement. It’s right to do so because from the very start of this process, the Conservative Government has made things difficult for citizens of other EU countries in Britain. First it used them as bargaining chips in the negotiations, and now it is unwilling to provide a system that gives them full guarantees. Let me take just one example: the refusal to give a physical document. That seems designed to make it difficult for citizens to prove their status to prospective employers or to landlords. It seems designed to make life difficult for them. And now, Boris Johnson has an increased majority, won, let us recall, on only 43% of the vote. Won despite 53% voting for parties offering a new referendum on Brexit. But he will use this majority to harden his Brexit. We have already seen him put in British law a refusal to extend the negotiating period beyond a year. The UK Government wants the shortest possible transition period, making it impossible, frankly, to solve the plethora of problems that Brexit will throw up, this included. Instead, the UK Government must listen to this Parliament and remember that the European Parliament also needs to approve the Withdrawal Agreement and, above all, it should use the transition period to reflect again on the question of freedom of movement and let another generation enjoy the rights that our generation had the privilege to have.

(The speaker declined a blue-card question from Robert Rowland)

 
  
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  Lucy Nethsingha (Renew). – Madam President, the UK joined the European Community before I was born. For 47 years, EU citizens have been confident of their rights in the UK.

A friend of mine who moved to the UK 40 years ago thought she would never have to choose between her birth country and the UK. Her rights have been changed hugely by Brexit, and that is a very different situation from all those who moved to the UK from the rest of the world. My friend married, brought up her children, divorced, worked for decades as a chaplain supporting the most vulnerable in her community. Now in her late 70s she is razor sharp and fully aware of the impact Brexit has on her and her rights.

But there are many like her, elderly women who moved to the UK with their husbands over 40 years ago, who are not so able. Many who have dementia or other health issues, which make it even harder to prove their right to remain – just as importantly their rights to access critical services such as health and social care.

The current application process is not easy, particularly for those who are unaccustomed to filling in online forms. The information that only a tiny proportion are refused is yet another example of why so many do not trust the Conservatives. Millions have applied and not been granted settled status. They remain in legal limbo with status neither granted nor refused and their rights not guaranteed.

We fear for another Windrush scandal, and the sick and the vulnerable will be most at risk.

 
  
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  Ellie Chowns (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I say to the House: this debate reminds us that Brexit will not be done on 31 January. It’s not a ready-meal as Mr Johnson would have us believe. It’s a complex dish that’s never been cooked before, has no recipe, two chefs in different kitchens, it’ll cost us a fortune and it risks giving us all indigestion for many years to come.

I jest, but citizens’ rights are no laughing matter. As we have heard in today’s debates there are real problems with the EU settlement scheme in the UK. Unreasonable demands for additional evidence, lack of support for vulnerable people, threats of deportation, the risk of another Windrush scandal on an even bigger scale and erosion of the independent monitoring authority. These must be addressed.

It’s a bitter irony that Members of this European Parliament will have more of a say over the future UK-EU relationship than members of Parliament in the UK. Because Boris Johnson has removed any capacity for the UK parliament to have a say over negotiations or powers of scrutiny.

Our UK political system is broken. The challenges of the next 11 months are enormous. There’s much to negotiate, little time, the risks of no deal remain high. In the UK, I and my colleagues will be doing everything we can to fix our failing democracy and scrutinise our government’s actions.

Colleagues, please stand with us, together let us defend our shared European values, standards and citizens’ rights.

(Applause)

 
  
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  President. – Ms Chowns, Mr Rowland is on his third attempt at a blue-card question. Will you accept?

 
  
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  Ellie Chowns (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I see no reason why I should give further airtime to the childish bigotry and behaviour of the Brexit Party.

(The speaker declined a blue-card question from Robert Rowland)

 
  
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  President. – Mr Rowland, I think that is a ‘no’.

 
  
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  Luis Garicano (Renew). – Madam President, I, like some of my colleagues previously, want to draw the attention of Mr Barnier to the settled status issue and the physical proof. I’ve interacted several times with Spanish citizens in the UK. I’ve gone to London, to Oxford, to several places to see them. They tell me that the system is unnecessarily cruel and that it leads to a lot of uncertainty. The basic issue is that they get a PDF by email, which they can print as a PDF, which anybody could fake, which says that they have been granted settled status. That is all. They don’t get any card they can use when they travel. They don’t get any card that they can use when they go to work. They don’t know if the next time they come to the UK, somebody might not find their status. There is a very easy solution to that, which is a card with your photo which they could get, like you get in the US when you’re a permanent resident. Our citizens are being subjected to an unnecessarily cruel system and I think that it should be a priority in negotiating with the UK authorities that, as our resolution says in point 10, this physical proof should exist and be given via a certain and simple process.

 
  
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  Sheila Ritchie (Renew). – Madam President, the big issue today breaks into two parts: the rights of EU citizens in the United Kingdom and the rights of British citizens in the EU 27 countries. But the underlying problem is the same: right—wing, dictatorial, nationalistic populism.

Notwithstanding Mr Van Orden’s fine words, we fear a bonfire of our human rights. We Europeans in Britain will fight tooth and nail to protect those whose status our Home Office threatens.

My postbag is crammed with pleas from Brits desperate not to lose their European rights. You have the power to protect them, to protect us. Please do not require a quid pro quo but be generous to us. I – to paraphrase Socrates – am not only a citizen of Scotland and Britain, but of Europe and the world. And I don’t want to lose any of those identities.

(Applause)

 
  
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  President. – Ms Ritchie, Mr Rowland is requesting a question to you. Will you accept?

 
  
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  Sheila Ritchie (Renew). – I refer to Ms Chowns’ response.

(The speaker declined to take a blue-card question from Robert Rowland)

 
  
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  President. – I am sorry, Mr Rowland, but you have been refused again.

 
  
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  Irina Von Wiese (Renew). – Madam President, I am one of three million EU citizens who were denied the vote in the 2016 referendum. I now have a British passport, but it cost me nearly GBP 1 500.

Many simply cannot pay this fee, even if they qualify. This deliberate tax on voting is part of the UK Government’s hostile environment for unwanted residents. I have long called on our government to lower the fee for becoming British.

But cost is only one hurdle. Losing EU citizenship is another. EU members should allow UK residents to retain their original citizenship, whether they become British during the transition period or after. It is crucial for them to know that they will not lose their rights as EU citizens.

Finally, I call on the EU to create an associate EU citizenship for those UK nationals who, like many of my constituents, wish to remain close to our European neighbours and continue to enjoy the freedoms under the EU Treaty.

This is good for the UK, for UK citizens, it is good for the EU, who will benefit from inward investment, and it is good for the continuation of a friendly relationship we so urgently need.

(The speaker declined to take a blue-card question from Robert Rowland)

 
  
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  President. – It’s another ‘no’. I’m sure it’s not personal, but the lady says ‘no’.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Seán Kelly (PPE). – Madam President, whether we like the first-past-the-post system or not, that is the system in the United Kingdom, and with the motto ‘get Brexit done’, Boris Johnson won an overwhelming majority. Brexit will be done in 17 days’ time. No country will regret it more than my country, Ireland. We have a shared history, we are very close neighbours, we get on better now than ever before, and we have very close economic ties. So I would like to thank all the MEPs from the United Kingdom who’ve been great friends of ours for many, many years in the European Parliament. Reality, though, must be accepted by everybody, so we must move on now to the next stage and it should be about ‘get the free trade agreement (FTA) done’. That means goodwill on all sides, and as Guy Verhofstadt said, unless citizens’ rights are properly addressed, it is hard to see how Parliament could accept an FTA. So that means that we sit down in a mature way, forget about the sound bites and get the FTA done properly. That will bring results.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, I and millions of British and European citizens are about to have many of our rights ripped away from us as a result of a highly flawed poor—quality democratic process subject to foreign interference, misinformation and even illegality that saw a shameful narrowing of the franchise worthy of a tin-pot dictatorship rather than a mature Western democracy. This means that the three groups of people who are most impacted by Brexit had no say in their future. I’m speaking of all the young people whose lives will be limited in opportunity, not to mention the child refugees that the Conservatives refused to consider. Then there’s millions of EU27 citizens who live, study, work and pay into the tax economy in the UK, and British citizens in the EU, including the elderly, who may find themselves isolated, without healthcare and social protection. We can never legislate for the changing complexities of individual family life. This is a future Windrush waiting to happen.

And finally, a word about freedom of movement. As things stand, it looks as if a tin of meat will have more rights than a human being as it crosses the border between the EU and the UK, so shame on the Brexiteers for reducing us to dead meat.

 
  
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  President. – Madam, Mr Rowland would like to ask you a question. Will you accept?

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, I see no purpose in giving these people any right to speak here when they don’t turn up to the committees to do their actual job of work. Let’s see them in the committees first. Let’s see them actually earning their money, rather than being in here spreading hate and division.

(The speaker declined to take a blue-card question from Robert Rowland)

 
  
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  Barbara Ann Gibson (Renew). – Madam President, I rise to speak on citizens’ rights, on behalf of citizens who are losing important rights that they’ve relied upon for decades. Promises were made. People changed their homes, changed their lives, got married, had children, made plans for the future, and now because of self—serving politicians and a broken electoral system, those promises are being broken. Now citizens who live, work, study, pay taxes and are deeply embedded in their communities are being treated as outsiders. They’re being forced to prove where they were and what they were doing for a matter of years when they were never supposed to save those documents. They’re living with uncertainty. This is wrong. No one is standing up for their rights. This Parliament is uniquely able to send an unmistakable message to the UK Government, to the Council and the Commission. Please send the message that the European Parliament stands up for all its citizens.

 
  
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  Joachim Stanisław Brudziński (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Szanowni Państwo! Chciałoby się poprosić pana Barniera, aby dyskutując z rządem Wielkiej Brytanii, nie kierował się emocjami, które panują zarówno po lewej, jak i po prawej stronie sali. Gdybyśmy mieli traktat o wyjściu Wielkiej Brytanii z Unii Europejskiej pisać w oparciu o panujące tu emocje i padające tu niepotrzebne słowa, to ten milion moich rodaków, o których wspominał pan poseł Liberadzki, Polaków budujących dzisiaj potęgę ekonomiczną Anglii nie chciałby wracać. Dla mnie jako przedstawiciela rządu polskiego, kiedy wielokrotnie rozmawiałem z moimi partnerami w Wielkiej Brytanii, nie było większej satysfakcji niż usłyszeć z ust moich rodaków posiadających prawa do wykonywania różnych zawodów, nie tylko kucharzy, ale również policjantów: „my chcemy wrócić do Polski”. Zdajemy jednak sobie sprawę, że nie tylko ten bez mała milion moich rodaków, ale również pozostałe miliony innych obywateli Unii Europejskiej w Wielkiej Brytanii zostaną. I dlatego trzeba kierować się tylko i wyłącznie zdrowym rozsądkiem i spokojem, a nie złymi emocjami. I na koniec panu Verhofstadtowi chciałem tylko powiedzieć, że książę Harry i księżna Megan wybrali jednak Kanadę, a nie Unię Europejską.

 
  
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  João Ferreira (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, o acordo de saída alcançado entre a União Europeia e o Reino Unido não nos descansa no que toca aos direitos dos cidadãos dos Estados-Membros que vivem, trabalham e estudam no Reino Unido, e bem assim os cidadãos do Reino Unido que vivem e trabalham nos Estados—Membros, sejam aqueles que o fazem já hoje, nalguns casos há muitos anos, sejam aqueles que o pretendam vir a fazer.

A aplicação transitória do acervo da União Europeia não nos descansa porque o próprio acervo da União Europeia é insuficiente no que toca a esses direitos. Lembramo-nos bem da interpretação e da clarificação que foi oferecida ao Senhor Cameron, à época Primeiro—Ministro britânico, aquando do referendo.

Consideramos, por isso, que é necessário aprofundar e melhorar salvaguardas no que toca aos direitos dos trabalhadores e outros direitos sociais, incluindo o direito de residência, o direito a um tratamento não discriminatório, o direito de acesso aos serviços públicos, de saúde e de educação, a portabilidade dos benefícios em termos de segurança social, o direito à reunificação familiar e o reconhecimento mútuo das qualificações académicas e profissionais, apenas para referir alguns exemplos, seja isto no plano da discussão que vai prosseguir entre a União Europeia e o Reino Unido, seja também no plano da necessária discussão e das negociações bilaterais entre cada um dos Estados—Membros e o Reino Unido para o estabelecimento de um quadro de relações bilaterais futuras mutuamente vantajoso.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Michel Barnier, Chef de la task-force pour les relations avec le Royaume-Uni. – Madame la Présidente, Madame la Ministre Brnjac, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, devant votre assemblée et au-delà, j’ai toujours tenu un langage de vérité sur les conséquences innombrables du Brexit dans tous les domaines. Vous pouvez me donner acte de ce langage de vérité et nous savons bien, Mesdames et Messieurs, que parmi toutes les raisons du Brexit, celles qui ont motivé les brexiteurs eux-mêmes, il y en a deux fondamentales. D’abord, retrouver la capacité de diverger sur les règles sociales, environnementales, fiscales qui sont au cœur même du marché unique européen en tant qu’écosystème. Ensuite, cela a été rappelé avec beaucoup de clarté tout à l’heure, c’est la suppression de la liberté de circulation des hommes et des femmes, qui est au cœur même du projet européen depuis le début.

Voilà la volonté à laquelle nous avons à faire face et cela a des conséquences considérables pour l’avenir. Cela a été dit par plusieurs d’entre vous et nous en parlerons dans les futures négociations avec des conséquences concrètes, s’agissant des différentes suppressions, à partir de la fin de la période de transition, le 31 décembre de cette année, sur le plan de l’économie, des qualifications professionnelles ou des capacités d’installation en matière de sécurité. Personne des deux côtés – je dis bien des deux côtés, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés – ne doit sous-estimer les conséquences directes de la suppression de la liberté de circulation, qui est au cœur du Brexit. Cela pour la future négociation qui va commencer au début du mois de mars.

Pour l’instant, nous parlons des droits des citoyens, qui ont été la priorité de votre Parlement et du négociateur européen qui s’exprime devant vous et je veux vous en remercier. Cela a été aussi la priorité de tous les États membres que vous représentez. Je veux moi aussi remercier Guy Verhofstadt et tous vos collègues pour cette résolution extrêmement claire, qui vous est soumise demain, et qui exprime bien votre vigilance et votre solidarité à l’égard de tous les citoyens concernés par les conséquences directes du Brexit. Je pense que Guy Verhofstadt pourra s’appuyer sur ce vote, que je souhaite le plus clair possible, dans les entretiens qu’il aura cette semaine à Londres.

Comme l’a évoqué tout à l’heure notre présidente Ursula von der Leyen, les citoyens ont besoin de certitudes quant à leur avenir et à l’avenir de leur famille. Ils ont besoin de savoir ce que le Brexit signifie pour eux dans la vie quotidienne. Objectivement, je pense que l’accord de retrait que vous avez sur votre table fournit ces certitudes pour les citoyens britanniques établis dans l’un des 27 États membres et les droits qu’ils auront acquis avant la fin de la période de transition, c’est-à-dire avant la fin de l’année qui vient de commencer. Ils pourront ainsi continuer à vivre leur vie comme avant dans leur pays de résidence et c’est évidemment le cas pour près de 3 millions et demi de citoyens européens qui sont établis au Royaume-Uni et qui participent à l’économie et aux progrès du Royaume-Uni. Tous ces citoyens doivent pouvoir continuer à vivre, à étudier, à travailler, à percevoir des allocations ou encore à faire venir leur famille, et ce pour la durée de leur vie.

Voilà ce qui est dans le traité et nous parlons bien d’un traité avec toute la force juridique qui s’y attache, dès l’instant où il est ratifié de part et d’autre. Nous devons veiller maintenant à la bonne exécution de ces droits et nous n’accepterons aucune demi-mesure et aucune forme de discrimination déguisée. Puisque ma responsabilité et celle de mon équipe est de veiller, sous l’autorité de la présidente de la Commission et des commissaires, à la bonne exécution de cet accord de retrait après sa ratification, j’aurais évidemment aussi souvent que vous le souhaiterez, Mesdames et Messieurs les députés, à venir faire rapport devant le Parlement du déroulement de la bonne exécution de ce traité. Nous continuerons à défendre les intérêts de nos citoyens, et je veux à cet égard remercier pour leur engagement les 27 ambassades de nos pays membres de l’Union à Londres, qui travaillent avec la Commission en prodiguant leur aide et leurs conseils.

So we will continue to defend the interests of our citizens. And we will do everything in our power to ensure the full implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement. The Commission will do its utmost to ensure that the rights of one million British citizens living in the 27 Member States are guaranteed, that each and every one of them is properly informed and supported and we will watch closely to ensure that the UK Government does the same for the 3.5 million EU citizens residing in the UK.

Indeed, the early implementation of the EU settlement scheme by the UK has already led to the identification of a series of concerns, raised in particular by citizens’ organisations, but also today by many of you. As the personal case of Emmanuelle mentioned by Caroline Voaden of this House. The Commission will be particularly alert to EU citizens encountering difficulties in obtaining the new residents status.

We expect the UK to help EU citizens to meet administrative requirements, as well as to accept requests failing to meet the deadline for good reasons. We are already in regular contact with our UK counterparts on these issues. And I have held a number of constructive exchanges with Stephen Barclay, the UK Secretary of State for Exiting the EU on this matter.

I have, and I will continue to insist in particular on the importance of the UK putting in place a strong independent monitoring authority, mentioned by Claude Moraes a few minutes ago, an authority that must be able to act rapidly and fairly when faced with complaints from Union citizens and their family.

Let me just conclude with a few words on the bigger picture regarding this agreement that has now been approved by the House of Commons and will be submitted to you for your approval on 29 January.

In addition to citizens’ rights, there are many, many other topics where we must remain vigilant included in this withdrawal agreement. And I am thinking in particular about the protocol on Ireland and Northern Ireland, which guarantees an integrated single market but also preserves the whole island economy and prevents the return of a hard border.

I just want to say that the implementation of this protocol foresees checks and controls for goods entering the island of Ireland. I look forward to a constructive cooperation with the UK authorities to ensure that all the provisions set out in this agreement are respected and made operational.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Nikolina Brnjac, President-in-Office of the Council. – Madam President, while we might welcome that we are soon to move to another, more positive, step in the Brexit process, we will have to remain vigilant as regards the preservation of citizens’ rights, be it during the transition period or under any future relationship with the United Kingdom.

The vigilance will rely on careful monitoring of how part two of the Withdrawal Agreement will be implemented in the United Kingdom, as well as in the EU—27 Member States, so that the life choices made by citizens and their family members on the basis of free movement are protected. We will therefore count on your cooperation in this respect as well.

Thank you very much once again for your attention.

 
  
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  President. – I have received one motion for a resolution tabled in accordance with Rule 132(2) of the Rules of Procedure.

The debate is closed.

The vote will take place on Wednesday, 15 January 2020.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Carmen Avram (S&D), în scris. – Ieșirea Marii Britanii din Uniunea Europeană va aduce schimbări radicale, multe la care, probabil, nici măcar nu ne așteptăm. Singurele pe care nu ni le putem permite sub nicio formă sunt cele referitoare la respectarea drepturilor celor 3 milioane de cetățeni europeni care se află acum pe teritoriul Regatului Unit. Comunitatea cu cea mai mare migrație din ultimii doi ani a fost cea românească, ajunsă astăzi la peste 400 000 de cetățeni, prima ca pondere în Londra, și a doua la nivel național, după polonezi.

Comisia trebuie să se asigure că acești oameni nu vor suferi discriminări în procesul de selectare a angajaților, că nu vor fi refuzate împrumuturile guvernamentale acordate azi studenților, că nu le vor fi majorate taxele în universități și că nu li se va îngrădi dreptul de a lucra în Marea Britanie după absolvire. În ultimele decenii, comunitatea provenită din restul Uniunii a contribuit masiv la dezvoltarea Marii Britanii, inclusiv la bugetul țării. Pentru toți acești oameni, anularea acestor drepturi ar fi o nedreptate, iar pentru Marea Britanie, o pierdere atât umană, cât și economică.

 
  
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  Robert Hajšel (S&D), písomne. – Nastavenie vzťahov medzi Európskou úniou a Spojeným kráľovstvom Veľkej Británie a Severného Írska po brexite sa odrazí na úrovni práv takmer troch miliónov Európanov žijúcich v Británii a viac ako milióna Britov nachádzajúcich sa v EÚ. Na britských ostrovoch pracuje, podniká, študuje, alebo jednoducho žije aj viac ako 70 tisíc slovenských občanov a mnohí z nich pretrvávajú v neistote, aký osud ich na obdobie po brexite čaká. Mnohí Slováci, ale aj Poliaci sa už z Británie vrátili domov. Preto sa musíme snažiť zabezpečiť, aby sa aj po odchode Londýna z EÚ podarilo zachovať čo najvyššiu úroveň základných občianskych práv, najmä pokiaľ ide o voľný pohyb osôb, čo v praxi znamená možnosť aj naďalej žiť, pracovať, podnikať alebo študovať, či už na ostrovoch alebo na kontinente. Som presvedčený, že najmä britské úrady mohli doteraz prejaviť viac ústretovosti v procese povinnej registrácie občanov zo štátov EÚ, najmä pokiaľ ide o transparentnosť a jasné pravidlá. Ale ani na strane našich členských štátoch nie sme stopercentní a musíme sa snažiť poskytnúť našim občanom kvalitné informácie a britským občanom umožniť, aby ich proces registrácie u nás bol čo najmenej byrokratický.

 
  
  

(The sitting was suspended at 13.21)

 
  
  

PRZEWODNICTWO: EWA KOPACZ
Wiceprzewodnicząca

 

4. Nadaljevanje seje
Video posnetki govorov
 

(Posiedzenie zostało wznowione o godz. 15.03)

 

5. Sprejetje zapisnika predhodne seje: gl. zapisnik
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6. Načrt za trajnostne naložbe, sklad za pravičen prehod in časovni načrt za socialno Evropo (razprava)
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  Przewodnicząca. – Kolejnym punktem porządku dziennego jest oświadczenie Komisji w sprawie planu zrównoważonych inwestycji, sprawiedliwej transformacji i planu działania na rzecz Europy socjalnej (2019/3014(RSP)).

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, honourable Members, it’s just last month – ten days into office – that the Commission was in this Parliament to present the Green Deal for Europe: our answer to the millions of citizens who demand action on the climate and our proposed roadmap to make Europe the first climate-neutral bloc in the world by 2050.

Now, only four weeks later, we are here again with a financial package to back that goal – a European Green Deal investment plan for all the opportunities that the green transition offers and a Just Transition Mechanism, which is our pledge of solidarity and fairness for those who face the deepest challenge to make this journey with us.

Valdis will talk about the European Green Deal investment plan. But let me start with the Just Transition Mechanism. What we’re doing here is sending a message to coal miners in Asturias, western Macedonia or Silesia, to peat harvesters in the Irish midlands, Baltic regions reliant on oil shale and many more. We know that you face a steeper path towards climate neutrality and we know that the prospect of a different future – a cleaner one – might be a welcoming prospect in general, but the road to it looks daunting today.

This Just Transition Mechanism, of at least EUR 100 billion, is a pledge that the European Union stands with you in this transition. We propose three pillars to do this: first EUR 7.5 billion of fresh European money on top of what the Commission proposed for the future EU budget in our Just Transition Fund. This will generate EUR 30 to 50 billion of investment – money that can be used for workers to learn new skills for jobs of the future, support for businesses to bring new employment opportunities, investments in clean energy and repurposing of industrial facilities to prepare the ground for new activities.

Second, we will offer dedicated access to Europe’s investment programme, InvestEU, especially for the Just Transition. This will mobilise private funds for a total up to EUR 45 billion to help regions bring new sustainable businesses to replace the polluting ones and put new skills to use.

Wherever industries want to contribute to climate neutrality, we will help with investments to move to new technologies and preserve jobs.

And thirdly, special loans from the EIB (the European Investment Bank), backed by the EU budget, for local authorities’ regions and public agencies to fund green projects – to help people insulate their homes, for instance. Affordable loans will even help bring modern heating services to the most vulnerable families who rely on coal or wood to keep themselves warm in winter.

We know that the most affected regions are searching for good ideas and need extra help with projects, so we will deliver project support and bring all regional experiences together in our Just Transition platform.

Today’s proposal is very urgent. This Parliament knows it as it is the auctor intellectualis of this idea. You have come up with the idea of a Just Transition Fund. We also expect the Council to accommodate it in the negotiations on the next seven-year budget for Europe and call for a swift adoption.

We invite Member States to identify the regions that need the money and our practical support and to work with the Commission on a concrete plan for change. This will be a collective effort involving regions, local governments, social partners, industries and civil society. Everyone must be involved. This change will be locally owned so that our citizens can support it.

We know that these EUR 100 billion are a start. Fairness goes far beyond this mechanism alone. Climate change will touch the social foundations of our society. Renewable energy, green jobs, clean air to breathe and fresh water to drink. These are the wealth items of tomorrow.

Everyone, especially the most vulnerable, should reap benefits from this change. Fairness will inspire all our proposals under the Green Deal. We want cars that are clean and affordable, help for people to insulate their homes and green jobs with the minimum wage for a decent living. We want to cut the unacceptable 400 000 premature deaths from the poisonous fumes in our cities and regions.

We have the skills, brains and technology to deliver our Green Deal. Today, we renew our pledge to do that with our heart and leave no one behind.

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Madam President, the European Green Deal sets out our ambition to make Europe the first climate—neutral continent by 2050. We have no choice. We must succeed. This is something we owe to our citizens and to the next generations.

The Sustainable Europe Investment Plan or European Green Deal Investment Plan, adopted by the Commission today, fills this commitment with life and with much—needed financing. The strength and novelty of this plan is that it brings together new policy initiatives and existing instruments. We are sending a clear signal to public authorities, companies and investors that we need to think green when we invest.

Let me outline the three pillars of our plan. First comes funding. The plan will mobilise at least EUR 1 trillion of sustainable investments over the next decade. The EU budget, with its 25% climate mainstreaming target, will add up to around half of this amount. We will also use leverage. Through InvestEU, we will mobilise some EUR 279 billion of public and private funds for climate- and environmentally—friendly investments, so the greener budget EU will lead by example.

National co—financing for green projects accounts for another EUR 114 billion. As Frans has just explained, the Just Transition Mechanism will aim to reach EUR 100 billion over the next MFF. Beyond the EU budget, we will also tap the innovation and modernisation funds under the Emission Trading Scheme. I would also outline the EIB financing, which aims to raise its share of sustainable financing from 25% to 50% by 2025.

Second, we are putting forward conditions to enable public authorities and private operators to invest sustainably. Clear rules are a powerful incentive. With your support, we recently agreed on taxonomy as a tool to identify our green financial and economic activities. We will now explore how taxonomy can be used not only in the private but also in the public sector. Later this year, we will follow it up with a renewed sustainable finance action plan. We will also propose legislation on green public procurement and revise state aid rules in the light of the Green Deal.

Third, it’s not all about funds; it’s also about concrete projects. We will provide national administrations and project promoters with expertise to design quality projects and implement them. We will work with the EIB and other institutions to align their activities with the Green Deal objectives.

Moving to the second part of our debate, which is a roadmap on social Europe, I would like to emphasise, as the Executive Vice—President responsible for economies that work for people, that our green and digital transitions must be just and inclusive. Social considerations remain centre stage. Both you and the European Council have underlined the need to implement the European Pillar of Social Rights. We are committed to it.

Today’s communication on a strong social Europe for just transition is our roadmap to turn the pillar into reality. However, we know that many actions will be taken at national or stakeholder level. That’s why we’re launching the broader debate: to seek views on what more can be done. We want to hear what efforts all partners can commit to in order to make the pillar a reality.

Today, we are starting to consult our social partners on the needs and possible directions on the EU action for a fair minimum wage. The Commission has pledged to present a legal instrument to ensure that workers earn enough to support themselves. To be clear, it’s neither about setting a uniform European minimum wage nor about obliging countries to introduce a statutory minimum wage. National traditions of collective bargaining will be respected.

Putting economic, environmental and social sustainability at the heart of policy requires a change of mindset. We have taken an important step towards achieving this today.

 
  
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  Siegfried Mureşan, on behalf of the PPE Group. – Madam President, I would like to welcome Executive Vice-President Timmermans and Executive Vice-President Dombrovskis to the European Parliament and thank them for presenting these initiatives to us today.

On behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party, I would like to welcome the proposals that you have made today. And I believe that the Just Transition Mechanism and all of the projects that you presented today are essential for the success of two of the most important programmes of the European Commission this year: the European Green Deal and the negotiations on the Multiannual Financial Framework.

This is why my call is: let’s work fast and let’s agree fast in the next month, in the first half of this year, on the Just Transition Mechanism. Because this will unleash the potential of the MFF negotiations and it will also enable the success of the European Green Deal. We have seen in December at the European Council that the European Green Deal will stand or fall with its financing, and my group wishes the European Green Deal to succeed. That’s why we need to clarify the Just Transition Mechanism as soon as possible.

How should the Just Transition Mechanism be? Firstly, it should be robust. In terms of volume, there should be enough resources there to really make a difference, to really alleviate the effects of the transition upon the regions the most affected. Secondly, it should not affect existing policies: neither cohesion nor agriculture nor research nor innovation. it is an additional priority. It should be financed on top.

Thirdly, it should have a long-lasting positive impact upon the regions the most affected. This is why, particularly from the Just Transition Fund, I say: let’s invest in economic development, let’s support entrepreneurs, let’s support SMEs, let’s not just repeat the professional re-qualification courses which have not had long lasting effects in the past.

My last point is the conditions. We should allocate money to the countries, to the regions in conditions so that they are accessible to them. We should learn from the experience of EFSI and InvestEU from the past.

 
  
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  Iratxe García Pérez, en nombre del Grupo S&D. – Señora presidenta, el pasado diciembre la Comisión Europea nos presentó la propuesta del nuevo Pacto Verde Europeo, una propuesta ambiciosa que plantea la neutralidad climática para 2050. Y no hay ninguna duda de que este colosal proyecto necesita una real, una verdadera transformación de nuestros sistemas socioeconómicos, y también de nuestro modo de vida.

La credibilidad y el éxito del Pacto Verde Europeo dependerán de los planes de financiación. Pero también dependerán de cómo seamos capaces de gestionar el impacto que esta transformación va a tener en nuestras regiones, con unos modelos industriales energéticos que requieren una modernización, más costosa. Los planes de la Comisión suponen un primer paso importante. Se aspira a movilizar un billón de euros durante la próxima década, para garantizar que Europa se convierta en el primer continente en lograr la neutralidad climática. Y, además, este conjunto de propuestas persigue que los sectores públicos y privados aúnen esfuerzos para estimular las inversiones.

Sin embargo, la propia Comisión reconoce que la cifra del billón de euros que espera movilizar no es más que una mínima parte de la inversión requerida para hacer esa transformación ecológica. Por tanto, los cálculos de la Comisión nos obligan a reflexionar con rigor y con coherencia. Y, en este sentido, el primer gran desafío hace imprescindible un debate sobre la obtención de nuevos ingresos para afrontar esa gran transformación social, ecológica y económica.

Los socialdemócratas tenemos una posición muy firme al respecto. Pedimos que el marco financiero plurianual destine al menos el 30 % a la lucha contra el cambio climático. Pero además necesitamos hablar de los recursos propios que incluyan los residuos de embalaje de plásticos no reciclados, el régimen de comercio de derechos de emisión de la Unión Europea, una tributación equitativa del sector digital, un impuesto sobre las transacciones financieras y la base imponible consolidada común del impuesto de sociedades. Es necesario hablar de esos recursos propios.

Y, por otro lado, reivindicamos que los Estados miembros se beneficien de un margen de maniobra más amplio en sus presupuestos nacionales para estimular las inversiones sostenibles. Y, para hacer realidad esto último, proponemos una reforma de las reglas fiscales para que las inversiones sostenibles estén exentas en el cálculo del déficit de la deuda en el marco del Pacto de Estabilidad y Crecimiento.

Y el segundo gran desafío es una transición justa, en la que nadie se quede atrás. Y que nadie se quede atrás no es solo un eslogan. Significa dotar al fondo de transición justa de recursos financieros adicionales para no reducir la política de cohesión y la política agrícola común; significa potenciar unas habilidades de aprendizaje que permitan a las futuras generaciones afrontar con éxito la transformación ecológica y digital; y significa también garantizar unas condiciones laborales dignas para erradicar la brecha salarial y luchar contra la pobreza infantil.

Señorías, tenemos la oportunidad de situar a Europa en la vanguardia de la lucha contra el cambio climático, pero necesitamos trabajar y comprometernos también desde el punto de vista financiero.

 
  
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  Dragoş Pîslaru, în numele Grupului Renew. – Doamnă președintă, de mult prea multe ori, Uniunea Europeană a fost criticată pentru faptul că adoptă strategii, dar nu are instrumente să le pună în aplicare. În alte ipostaze, are instrumente variate, dar nu există o viziune prin care să înglobeze aceste instrumente și să le îndrepte către un scop mai mare. Astăzi începem anul 2020 punând cap la cap, într-o dezbatere, instrumente diferite, dar care servesc aceluiași scop, pentru o viziune pe termen lung, ambițioasă, legată de pactul ecologic, de Green Deal, care este clar orientată spre cetățeni.

Mesajul pe care grupul politic pe care îl reprezint, Renew Europe, îl susține este acela că cetățenii trebuie să rețină, după această dezbatere, că Uniunea Europeană propune să transformăm provocările legate de mediu și de schimbările climatice în oportunități de dezvoltare ale unei societăți incluzive cu competențe noi, locuri de muncă mai bune și creștere economică.

Îmi îndrept atenția în mod special către cetățenii din regiunile vulnerabile, cum ar fi Valea Jiului sau Gorj, cele mai importante zone de minerit din România, care vor ieși din zona de sărăcie și vor avea o societate modernă și prosperă, o industrie digitalizată și o economie circulară curată prin această tranziție echitabilă.

O tranziție echitabilă înseamnă că reușim să creăm locuri de muncă și oportunități, că punem la punct Garanția pentru tineret, că statele membre vor investi în metode de educație și formare pentru calificare și recalificare, că implicăm actorii din mediul privat și întreprinderile mici și mijlocii, pentru a sprijini tehnologiile digitale și învățământul vocațional.

Avem peste 100 de miliarde de euro în acest scop și nu văd de ce ne-am opri în a realiza această tranziție cu adevărat justă, pentru a îndeplini foaia de parcurs a Pactului ecologic. Fac apel la Guvernul României și al tuturor statelor membre din Uniunea Europeană să folosească aceste instrumente și să se concentreze pe investiții în cea mai importantă resursă a continentului european: cetățenii. Doar așa vom face primii pași pentru o foaie de parcurs cu adevărat pentru o Europă socială.

 
  
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  Niklas Nienaß, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, I wish to thank everyone in the Commission who contributed to this proposal for a Just Transition Fund (JTF), in particular Commissioner Ferreira and Mr Timmermans.

I do sense the underlying spirit of a social just transition. People take centre stage and not companies, also a clear ‘no’ for subsidies for fossil fuels and nuclear power is just what the future needs.

This proposal for a JTF is a good starting point to help particular regions to cope with the transition. However, what I’m missing in the proposal is a clear commitment to European level climate targets. The people and the economy need a clear date when the last European coal plant will get off the grid. We need commitments by every single region to individual coal phase-out plans.

This must be a binding condition in order to receive support from the JTF, because funding a transition without the actual happening of a transition is pointless. And of course we have to talk about the money: EUR 7.5 billion, seven years, 108 coal regions. This roughly comes down to 10 million per region, per year. Is that enough to make the transition just for everyone?

And in your calculation you then add co-financing from other cohesion funds. But this can be very dangerous because we don’t want to shift money from one region in need to another one in need. You then multiply the JTF with potential private investments, but Mr Timmermans please: we both know that there is not 100 billion in that just transition mechanism, but 7.5 billion.

When street magicians try to trick their audience in such a way, we call that a sleight of hand. I’m sure the Commission doesn’t want to be seen a street magicians. So please come clear and let us fight together for a better consistent funding from own EU resources, so that coal workers are not at the mercy of MFF negotiations every seven years. We can support this proposal, though, if it stands for a clear and just transition with concrete phase-out plans for all coal regions.

 
  
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  Gianantonio Da Re, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mille miliardi per i prossimi dieci anni: questo è il piano di investimenti della Commissione per portare l'Europa alla neutralità climatica entro il 2050.

Di questo piano di investimenti conosciamo il budget, mille miliardi, mentre non ci è ancora chiaro da dove verranno attinte le risorse per raggiungere tale cifra. Verranno forse ridotti i fondi previsti per gli altri programmi europei? E se sì, quali subiranno una diminuzione?

Importanti sono gli altri due nodi da sciogliere: i criteri dei beneficiari e la modalità di distribuzione di questi fondi. Per raggiungere l'obiettivo della neutralità climatica la Commissione prevede la possibilità di allentare le regole sugli aiuti di Stato? Perché non farlo anche per le altre politiche?

Si parla di un Fondo per una transizione energetica giusta; ci auguriamo che l'equità non sia solo uno slogan ma si traduca in azioni concrete, soprattutto a beneficio delle nostre piccole e medie imprese, delle quali nulla si dice in questo piano di investimenti.

 
  
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  Johan Van Overtveldt, namens de ECR-Fractie. – Voorzitter, heren commissarissen, u hebt net bevestigd wat ik als vrees geuit heb in december: de Green Deal is een voluntaristisch plan met een prijskaartje van 1 000 miljard euro. Maar er is toch wel enige spraakverwarring, want is deze 1 000 miljard dezelfde als de 1 000 miljard waar ik van de EIB over hoor? Ook de extrapolatie van de middelen, dan weer over zeven jaar, dan weer over tien jaar, zorgt voor onduidelijkheid. U neemt bovendien ook een voorschot op de meerjarenbegroting. Deze onderhandelingen lopen nog, en ook een akkoord is absoluut nog niet in zicht. Ook de eigen middelen lijken niet duurzaam, want uiteraard, een plastictaks is bijna per definitie een aflopende opbrengst. Vervolgens legt u een zware last op de schouders van de EIB. Er is uiteraard een groot verschil tussen geld mee mobiliseren en zelf financieren. Het is essentieel dat de EIB haar AAA-status behoudt en ik roep de EIB dan ook op haar solide positie te bewaken.

Ook inzake het transitiemechanisme hinkt de Commissie op twee benen. Enerzijds staat het fonds open voor alle lidstaten, anderzijds is het duidelijk de bedoeling om de lidstaten die op de rem staan met geld over de streep te trekken. Het fonds dreigt al zo’n gevaarlijke grabbelton te worden die de lidstaten verdeelt. We zijn absoluut voor een circulaire economie, maar tegen het recycleren van beloftes en geld. We lopen niet warm voor creatieve boekhouding en zeker niet voor financiële avonturen. We willen inzetten op innovatie en concrete, werkbare actie.

 
  
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  Younous Omarjee, au nom du groupe GUE/NGL. – Madame la Présidente, Messieurs les Vice-présidents, depuis la révolution industrielle, l’essor de l’Europe s’est fondé sur l’exploitation des énergies fossiles, et la construction de l’Union européenne elle-même avec la CECA est adossée à l’économie charbonnière. Cela veut dire que le charbon a structuré l’économie européenne et a largement contribué au développement régional. Des millions d’emplois en dépendaient, des centaines de milliers d’emplois continuent d’en dépendre. C’est donc une véritable révolution que de vouloir sortir de ce modèle, à condition effectivement de se fixer comme objectif de fermer la dernière centrale à charbon. Mais c’est une révolution que de sortir d’un modèle devenu périmé à l’aune du défi climatique. Ce que je veux vous dire, c’est que nous devons nous fixer deux priorités.

D’abord, amortir le coût social, ensuite accompagner les régions dans cette juste transition et en tant que président de la commission du développement régional, je veux vous dire que nous sommes pleinement mobilisés pour accomplir notre travail législatif.

 
  
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  Rosa D'Amato (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, uno studio sulla riconversione della mia città, Taranto, sede dell'acciaieria più grande e più inquinante d'Europa, dice che il ciclofossile si sta chiudendo, lasciando nei mari, nella falda, nell'aria e nei terreni il decadimento lento e subdolo di una vita altrove normale, accompagnata da disgregazione sociale e senza alcun paracadute.

Sono i siti industriali come questo a cui il just transition fund deve dare risposte, avendo come priorità la salvaguardia della salute dei cittadini. Non sarà una giusta transizione, ma l'ennesima beffa, se modernizzare gli impianti vorrà dire usare il gas, fonte fossile e climalterante, soprattutto senza una valutazione dell'impatto sanitario.

L'importanza strategica del green new deal è nel ripensare l'economia, i trasporti, l'energia, trasformare l'Europa in fonte di ispirazione, leader nella lotta contro il riscaldamento globale.

Attenzione, però: questo Fondo non deve sottrarre risorse alla politica di coesione ma, semmai, essere in sinergia.

Infine la proposta: il sistema ETS avrebbe potuto destinare ad azioni per il clima ben 48 miliardi negli ultimi tre anni, quindi si utilizzino i ricavi provenienti dall'ETS per finanziare il just transition fund.

 
  
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  Andrey Novakov (PPE). – Madam President, I say to the First Vice-President and Executive Vice-President: I am not an automotive engineer but I know that our industry is probably the best engine ever built. So when it runs it needs fine tuning to keep running and deliver employment and well-being for millions of families and societies across Europe.

So, if we try to overload that engine for a very short period of time, it will cut out, it will break down, that’s for sure. And knowing this we should debate on the Green Deal and the JTF.

So, I believe that we should support the European Commission and its initiative to secure the future of our children and a good environment. I know the future belongs to policies, which deliver without harming the environment. I know the future belongs to policies, which are not harming the future of our kids. But I believe we could achieve that without killing whole sectors. I believe we can achieve that without leaving millions of people without jobs.

So let’s work in a way to fine-tune this. My concerns are that if we have big and new initiatives, we need new and big funding, and the proper time to deliver those results.

It’s a great idea, but we have to pay attention to the details and not make families, industries and whole sectors of our economy pay for this.

 
  
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  Biljana Borzan (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća, pozdravljam Europski plan za održiva ulaganja kao ključni dio Novog zelenog sporazuma. Njegov cilj je omogućiti financiranje Zelenog sporazuma, ali i potaknuti druge vrste financiranja, prije svega privatna ulaganja i javno financiranje na nacionalnim razinama kroz reformu fiskalne politike.

Ne smijemo zaboraviti da i države članice moraju sudjelovati u ovom projektu stvaranja socijalno i ekološki osviještenije Europe. Pozdravljam reformu Europskog semestra kroz ciljeve održivog razvoja. Isto tako, moramo osigurati implementaciju preporuka dobivenih od Komisije na nacionalnoj razini kako bi uistinu postigli ambiciozne održive ciljeve koje smo si zadali.

Fond za pravednu tranziciju treba iskoristiti kako bi se umanjile regionalne nejednakosti u Europskoj uniji i pomoglo najugroženijima, a Europska investicijska banka mora značajno povećati financiranje klimatskih projekata.

Pravila koja smo postavili u Direktivi o taksonomiji trebaju biti temelj svih tih promjena.

I na kraju, ne smijemo zaboraviti na građane. Pravedna tranzicija nije moguća bez dijaloga s društvenim akterima i zajednicama na koje tranzicija utječe.

 
  
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  Sylvie Brunet (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, Messieurs les Commissaires, je suis convaincue qu’il ne pourra y avoir de juste transition écologique et numérique sans anticipation et accompagnement social.

Premièrement, il faut donc impérativement aider les travailleurs européens à acquérir les compétences dont ils auront besoin pour passer des secteurs en déclin aux secteurs en expansion, en renforçant leur employabilité. D’ailleurs, il sera utile de partager nos connaissances sur ces besoins en compétences et en emplois en Europe, dont nous n’avons pas de vision.

Deuxièmement, la transition doit être juste sur le plan social et ne laisser personne de côté. N’oublions pas les mesures de lutte contre la précarité énergétique et la mise en place de solutions abordables pour les personnes touchées par les mesures de tarification du carbone. Nous devons donc impérativement garantir l’acceptabilité sociale de la transition vers une économie plus durable et climatiquement neutre. Comment? En renforçant le dialogue social pour anticiper et gérer les changements et en luttant contre toutes les formes d’inégalités et d’exclusion.

 
  
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  Katrin Langensiepen (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Umwelt-, Wirtschafts- und Sozialpolitik zusammen zu denken ist eine der größten Herausforderungen. Sie anzunehmen wird darüber entscheiden, ob Maßnahmen zum ökologischen Wandel fair gestaltet und gesellschaftlich akzeptiert oder ob bestehende Ungerechtigkeiten in Europa verschärft werden.

Der Vorschlag der Kommission zum Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang ist im Grundsatz richtig. Insbesondere die ärmeren, am stärksten ausgegrenzten Menschen sehen sich mit den negativen Auswirkungen des Klimawandels konfrontiert. Unsere Aufgabe muss es sein, diese Menschen zu schützen und sie sozial abzusichern. Die vorgeschlagenen finanziellen Unterstützungen, beispielsweise zur Umschulung von Arbeitssuchenden, sind zu begrüßen, werden aber bei Weitem nicht reichen. Um sozialer Ausgrenzung umfassend entgegenzuwirken, müssen wir auch die Menschen berücksichtigen, die nicht auf dem Arbeitsmarkt aktiv sind. Ziel der Agenda für nachhaltige Entwicklung ist es da, Armut in allen ihren Dimensionen bis 2030 zu beseitigen und sie eben nicht noch weiter zu verstärken.

Der Weg, um klimaneutral zu wirtschaften, muss ein gemeinsamer integrativer Prozess sein, der Diskriminierung jeglicher Art weitestgehend ausschließt. Deshalb müssen die Mitgliedstaaten bei der Ausarbeitung, Umsetzung und Bewertung ihrer regionalen Pläne unbedingt die Zivilgesellschaft und Sozialpartner mit einbeziehen. Außerdem ist es unabdingbar, dass wir soziale Absicherungsmechanismen schaffen. Nur so können wir Armut verhindern und Menschen im Wandel begleiten. In diesem Kontext muss die Europäische Kommission dringend eine Rahmenrichtlinie für ein Mindesteinkommen vorschlagen.

 
  
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  Laura Huhtasaari (ID). – Arvoisa puhemies, EU ostaa vihreän diilinsä taakse ne jäsenmaat, jotka ovat yhä riippuvaisia fossiilisista energialähteistä. Jos reilun siirtymän rahaston koko asettuu arvioituun sataan miljardiin, se ilmeisimmin kanavoidaan Itä—Eurooppaan.

Vihreä diili ei tule kalliiksi vain paljon kivihiiltä käyttäville EU-maille, kuten Puolalle. Ilmastoesimerkilliset Suomen kaltaiset maat, joutuvat oman teollisuutensa kilpailukyvyn menettämisen uhalla vähentämään päästöjään radikaalisti lisää. Suomi, joka omalla kustannuksellaan on tehnyt ja tekee päästövähennyksiä, maksaa nyt muidenkin päästövähennyksiä. Suomella on pitkät etäisyydet, kylmä talvi ja pienet sisämarkkinat, joten haasteita riittää ihan ilman EU:n tuomaan lisätaakkaa. Vihreän diilin avulla vedätetään kansallisvaltiot harjoittamaan suunnitelmataloutta. Markkinatalouden kanssa tällä ei ole mitään tekemistä.

 
  
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  Elżbieta Rafalska (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! W zielonej transformacji bardzo ważną kwestią jest problem zatrudnienia, problem pracowników, koszty ludzkie, skutki społeczne tych zmian. W zaprezentowanym przez Komisję planie bardzo niewiele miejsca poświęcono tym pracownikom, którzy zagrożeni są utratą pracy. Ten problem szczególnie boleśnie dotknie pracowników z wieloletnim stażem pracy, a więc pracowników z grupy wiekowej 50 i 60+, tych którzy mają za sobą 30 i więcej lat stażu pracy. Dotknie też całe regiony w Polsce. Będzie to dotyczyło Dolnego i Górnego Śląska, Małopolski czy Wielkopolski. Co im zaproponuje Komisja Europejska? Na ile fundusz sprawiedliwej transformacji uwzględnia tę sytuację? Czy ci pracownicy nie będą ofiarami Zielonego Ładu? Czy te skutki społeczne zostały uwzględnione? Tu nie wystarczą same bezpłatne szkolenia, przekwalifikowania i kursy. To stanowczo za mało. O tych zagrożeniach musimy mówić, bo jeżeli będzie się to wiązało ze wzrostem bezrobocia, utratą zatrudnienia, upadkiem całych branż, nikt nie powie, że jest to transformacja sprawiedliwa, tylko transformacja społecznie uderzająca w pracowników.

 
  
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  Silvia Modig (GUE/NGL). – Arvoisa puhemies, oikeudenmukaisen siirtymän rahasto on elintärkeä osa vihreää sopimusta. On varmistettava, että siirtymän kustannukset eivät kaadu jo valmiiksi heikossa asemassa olevien kannettaviksi. Niiden ehtojen, joilla me tuemme niitä alueita, joihin siirtymä voimakkaimmin vaikuttaa, on oltava hyvin tarkat, jotta yhtään euroa ei päädy väärään osoitteeseen. Tuen on oltava vahvasti ehdollinen todellisille ja vaikuttaville ilmastoteoille, ja kohteen on aidosti tuettava kyseisen alueen ihmisiä, jotta siirtymä on todella sosiaalisesti oikeudenmukainen. Tällaisia ovat muun muassa energiatehokkuuden parantaminen, ilmastoteko, joka parhaimmillaan alentaa asumisen kustannuksia, hiilestä työllistyneiden uudelleenkoulutus ja aidosti ilmastokestävien työpaikkojen suora luominen.

Ja tästä päästään siihen, että kaikkien ratkaisujen on tuettava ja vahvistettava sosiaalisen pilarin hyviä periaatteita. Kaikilla tulee olla tasavertainen mahdollisuus päästä koulutukseen ja osallistua työmarkkinoille, koska jos huomioimme sosiaalisen oikeudenmukaisuuden kaikissa ilmastoratkaisussa, pystymme uudistamaan yhteiskuntaamme paitsi hiilineutraaliksi myös sosiaalisesti paremmaksi kaikille eurooppalaisille.

 
  
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  Piernicola Pedicini (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, io vorrei riprendere il tema del green deal a livello del bilancio nazionale, perché tanto dalla Commissione europea quanto dalla BCE abbiamo sentito più volte parlare dello spazio fiscale che viene consentito ai governi e questo vuol dire che ci sono governi, quelli che hanno un basso rapporto debito pubblico/PIL, che possono fare gli investimenti, mentre quei governi che hanno un più alto rapporto debito/PIL non possono fare investimenti, tantomeno verdi.

Questa è una grande assurdità macroeconomica: primo, perché tutti i paesi debbono contribuire a eliminare le loro emissioni; secondo, perché proprio quei paesi che hanno più difficoltà economiche hanno bisogno di investire in quel senso e i loro moltiplicatori di investimento sono più efficaci. Se noi investiamo in questi paesi un punto di PIL otteniamo l'effetto di tre punti di PIL sulle loro economie e quindi sulla loro capacità di abbattere le emissioni.

La nostra soluzione è lo scorporo degli investimenti verdi dai vincoli di bilancio, nell'attesa e nella speranza di eliminare proprio i vincoli di bilancio e l'intera politica di austerità.

 
  
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  Markus Ferber (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, meine Herren Exekutiv-Vizepräsidenten, liebe Kolleginnen, liebe Kollegen! Die Europäische Union hat sich selbst ehrgeizige Klimaziele gesetzt. Diese Klimaziele werden sich aber nicht von selbst verwirklichen lassen, sondern bedürfen hoher Investitionen, und dieses Geld muss irgendwo herkommen. Deswegen ist es richtig, dass die Kommission heute einen Vorschlag vorgelegt hat und über dieses Thema nachdenkt.

Der Plan für nachhaltige Investitionen ist aber nicht der erste Investitionsplan, mit dem wir uns hier in diesem Haus beschäftigen. Erst in der vergangenen Wahlperiode haben wir uns ja mit dem sogenannten Juncker-Fonds auseinandergesetzt, und der Juncker-Fonds gibt uns wertvolle Lektionen, wo wir aufpassen müssen. Ich will da nur drei Stichworte ganz kurz nennen: Erstens: Wir müssen sicherstellen, dass es eine ausgewogene Verteilung gibt. Beim Juncker-Fonds haben wir doch festgestellt, dass Geld überproportional dort hingeflossen ist, wo die findigsten Antragsteller saßen.

Zweitens: Wir müssen auf die Zusätzlichkeit achten. Wir brauchen keine Neudefinition oder Umdefinition von Investitionen, sondern wir müssen zusätzliche Investitionen auslösen. Es nützt nichts, wenn am Ende ganz viele Projekte das Label „nachhaltige Investition“ haben, damit die Kommission ihre Zielmarke erfüllt, wir aber unterm Strich nicht mehr gemacht haben.

Und drittens ist mir auch ganz wichtig: Der Privatsektor macht den Unterschied. Es geht auch darum, so attraktiv zu sein, dass auch private Investoren bereit sind, mit einzusteigen. Und das wollen wir auch als Parlament jetzt in der Gesetzgebung sicherstellen.

 
  
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  Heléne Fritzon (S&D). – Fru talman! Tack till våra kommissionärer Timmermans och Dombrovskis för mycket ambitiösa inledningar.

Många av Europas invånare känner i dag en stor rädsla inför framtiden och de utmaningar som vi står inför, och jag delar den oron. Inte minst kring den stora och viktiga klimatutmaningen.

Kommissionens meddelande om ett starkare socialt Europa är därför mycket viktigt. Vi socialdemokrater har varit drivande för den sociala pelaren – arbetet startade faktiskt i Sverige i Göteborg 2017 –, och pelaren blir ett viktigt steg på vägen för ett mer socialt Europa. Nu måste vi nämligen höja ambitionerna med jobb för både kvinnor och män, jobb med goda arbetsvillkor, utbildning och socialt skydd. Vi måste ha löner i hela EU som människor faktiskt kan leva på. Vi måste ha anständiga löner, och även om jag som svensk allra helst ser att vi utvecklar den nordiska modellen i hela EU, så kommer vi att följa det här arbetet.

Vi ser framför oss ett rättvisare och mer socialt Europa. Det är kärnan i att göra människors vardag bättre. Så låt oss börja det arbetet nu genast.

 
  
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  Katalin Cseh (Renew). – Madam President, if there is one thing we have to make absolutely clear about a Just Transition Fund is that citizens need to be in the centre of it, not governments: not large and polluting companies, but ordinary people.

We have to ensure that a just transition reaches the poorest and neediest regions of Europe. We need to concentrate funds where EU assistance means a difference between being warm and freezing to death during winter. Solidarity has to be in the heart of a just transition process.

There is, however, one thing that I am not a fan of and that is corrupted and greedy governments. Some EU Member States will see this new fund as another opportunity to rob beneficiaries of EU money while enriching a small circle of loyal cronies.

We cannot repeat the mistakes of managing the Cohesion Fund. A just transition fund has to operate in the most transparent way, equipped with the right tools to prevent mismanagement of money. Solidarity and transparency must guide the implementation process. Turning a climate emergency into climate neutrality won’t be easy, but with the right tools it can just be made possible.

 
  
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  Bas Eickhout (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, when the Commission presented the Green Deal in December it was very clear this is a change.

This is really a new Commission with a new focus and new priorities, and that we fully support and we are really standing behind that, but then of course the big question is going to be: will there be investment? Because we all know this is not a minor change, this is a change, this is a transition in all the sectors, in all the regions, in all the countries of Europe. And that also desires investment, and there I have to say – and I can’t fully judge yet because I haven’t seen the final proposal, but of course we’ve seen earlier versions – but is now the real Green Deal, with a new policy, really matched by new policies on investments?

Until now, I don’t think so.

First of all, it seems like the same old discussion on the European budget that was started by the previous Commission, and secondly, when we are talking about a sustainable investment plan, I sincerely hope it’s not just another Juncker investment plan 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, where are we now?

We really have to look at additionality and changes of the EIB there. So this really desires fundamental change. That’s possible. It’s possible when we are looking at green public procurement there we can really make a change. But also we need to address changes in fiscal policies, and if then in the draft we see that you are planning a debate, and the outcome of that debate will form the basis for any possible future just steps – including how to treat sustainable investment – that doesn’t read like the change that we need also in our fiscal policies. So I hope the final version will be better.

 
  
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  Ivan David (ID). – Paní předsedající, léčit nemocnou planetu na části jednoho kontinentu s obrovskými náklady a chabou účinností se značnými nežádoucími účinky je bizarní nápad. Paní von der Leyenová údajně vystudovala lékařství. První přikázání lékaře zní primum non nocere (především neškoď). Obávám se, že projekt Green Deal ani zdaleka není připraven tak, aby mohl být odpovědně realizován. Máme se zabývat návrhem, jak finančními injekcemi spravedlivě léčit škody způsobené společnosti budoucí realizací chimérických ambiciózních projektů. Máme sebrat peníze všem a léčit nejvíce poškozené. Slyšíme samé – mělo by se, musí se. Ale víme, jak to dopadá s ambiciózními plány bez dořešených předpokladů a ignorovaných důsledků. Vaše projekty jsou v mlze. Společnost řízená ideologií vždycky dopadne špatně.

 
  
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  Evžen Tošenovský (ECR). – Paní předsedající, páni komisaři, závazky, které EU v oblasti energetiky přijala, jsou jasně dané a velmi vysoko nastavené. Na cestě k udržitelnější budoucnosti by ovšem neměl být opomenut žádný region, který bude muset měnit základy své ekonomiky.

Jsem velmi rád, že Komise přišla s návrhem na fond, který by těmto regionům pomohl přetransformovat svou ekonomiku na zcela jiné oblasti. Jsem poměrně skeptický k výpočtům od stolu, ale je jasné, že se bude jednat o potřebu miliard EUR v rámci celé EU. Důležité proto bude zpracování dopadové studie, která prokáže, co bude tato změna znamenat pro ten který region. Jako problematické pro oblast střední a východní Evropy vidím úzké propojení s kohezními fondy. Mám obavu, že vznikne velké pnutí nejen mezi členskými zeměmi, ale také mezi jednotlivými regiony.

 
  
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  Nikolaj Villumsen (GUE/NGL). – Fru formand! I de seneste år har vi oplevet, hvordan EU-Domstolen og krisepolitikken fra EU har svækket fagbevægelsen og retten til kollektive overenskomster. Derfor er det selvfølgelig godt, at EU-Kommissionen nu endelig anerkender, at der er et kæmpe problem med voksende ulighed.

Men forslaget om at gennemtvinge en lovbestemt mindsteløn rammer helt ved siden af. Jeg frygter, at en lovbestemt mindsteløn vil være endnu et slag imod fagbevægelsen.

I stedet for er der behov for at styrke de kollektive overenskomster. Lad os få en social protokol, der sætter lønmodtagernes rettigheder over hensynet til EU’s indre marked. Lad os gøre det muligt for kommuner at fravælge fusker-selskaber, når de laver offentlige udbud. Og lad os styrke fagbevægelsen, så vi kan sikre lige vilkår for lige arbejde og stoppe den grove udnyttelse af vores udenlandske kolleger.

 
  
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  Robert Rowland (NI). – Madam President, we have now reached a tipping point where we see clear evidence of job destruction across Europe due to the insane green policies of the EU. The promised job creation is an illusion propagated by our masters in the Commission who roll out their seven year Soviet—era Gosplan in the misguided belief they know how to create economic wealth. Most of these career bureaucrats have never created a business in their life, and certainly don’t have any understanding of what they’re doing to the industrial base of Europe. This is not Schumpeter’s ‘creative destruction’ – this is a made-in-Europe version of destructive destruction. The German automotive industries already announced over 40 000 job losses due to forced conversion to electric vehicles. The promise of green new jobs reminds me of the American Major in the Vietnam War who said ‘to save a village, you first have to destroy it’.

The same economically illiterate logic is used by the EU Commission. They think they have the power to magically create new jobs once they have destroyed existing ones. The unJust Transition Fund budget of just over EUR 30 billion is meant to assist countries such as Poland and the Czech Republic. My prediction is that the number will triple as the Commission pays for the folly of the Green New Deal and is forced to rescue large swathes of Europe’s obsolete industrial base that has been intentionally destroyed.

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

 
  
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  Niklas Nienaß (Verts/ALE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Vielen Dank für Ihr Auftreten heute. Ich kann ja verstehen, dass Sie nicht ganz zufrieden sind, weil Ihre eigene Regierung ihre eigenen Menschen im Stich lässt. Aber müssten Sie nicht eigentlich in Großbritannien sein? Wenn Sie erst einen Austritt hier durchjagen, warum kommen Sie dann noch hierher? Also ich meine: Bleiben Sie gerne, wo Sie sind.

 
  
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  Robert Rowland (NI), blue-card answer. – I’m not sure there was a question there, but it gives me a wonderful opportunity just to reiterate. I will give you an example in the UK. Ex-Chancellor Hammond said the cost of the net zero target for 2050 was GBP 1 trillion. We have not had an impact assessment in the UK. I would urge everyone in this Chamber, before they sign off on this Green New Deal, to ask the Commission, Mr Timmermans, what the impact assessment is on everyday jobs. For example, in the UK, we currently pay GBP 12 billion a year in renewable obligation certificates and other forms of green levies that go directly on household bills. It is a regressive tax and the poorest pay it.

 
  
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  Dennis Radtke (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Herren Vizepräsidenten! Vielen Dank für den Einblick, für den Auftakt, den Sie hier heute gemacht haben. Allerdings muss man sagen: Viel mehr ist es auch noch nicht. Und deswegen sage ich mit Blick auf die Herausforderungen, die wir jetzt vor der Brust haben: Wir müssen jetzt auch herauskommen aus diesem Überschriftenmodus, wir müssen jetzt auch mal herauskommen aus diesem wolkigen und blumigen Modus. Denn der Wahlkampf ist vorbei – auch für Sie, Herr Timmermans! Und deswegen ist es einfach so wichtig, dass wir jetzt nicht nur immer im Ungefähren bleiben, sondern ganz konkret machen, wohin es gehen soll, auch in Sachen soziales Europa.

Ich will mit Blick auf den Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang, den ich ausdrücklich begrüße, in aller Klarheit sagen, was nicht passieren darf. Was nicht passieren darf, ist, dass bestehende Haushaltstitel einfach umgeschichtet werden und dass wir jetzt auf einmal anfangen, zum Beispiel Mittel aus dem ESF in den Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang zu packen. Dann haben wir nämlich einen Effekt, dass wir die Menschen, die in Industrien arbeiten, die in ihrer Existenz durch die Transformation im Rahmen des Klimawandels bedroht sind, zum Beispiel gegen Langzeitarbeitslose ausspielen, die ganz andere Probleme haben. Wir dürfen doch nicht die Betroffenen gegen die Schwachen in unserer Gesellschaft ausspielen, sondern wenn wir es ernst meinen und sagen: „Klimawandel und die Bekämpfung des Klimawandels darf nicht zu disruptiven Entwicklungen und zu Strukturbrüchen führen“, dann müssen wir zusätzliches Geld generieren und nicht das Geld einfach nur von der linken Tasche in die rechte Tasche schaufeln.

 
  
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  Miriam Dalli (S&D). – Madam President, from what we are hearing today, there is still scepticism from people on whether climate change and inequalities can be addressed together. I think the fact that we are discussing precisely this point today – a Just Transition and a sustainable investment plan – is proof that, yes, climate change and inequalities can be addressed together if there is the will to do so.

With the European Green Deal, we want to make Europe a front—runner in climate—friendly industries but, at the same time, I am sure that climate action benefits the most vulnerable and does not leave low—income households behind. Yes, we recognise that workers in carbon—intensive activities need the required protection to be able to benefit from this transition because, ultimately, the jobs of tomorrow will require different skills and we need to make sure that our current workforce adapts, while the future workforce is prepared for these jobs.

At the same time, green practices, goods and services should never be out of reach for the least well-off. I believe that we require an inclusive Just Transition based on three main pillars: participation, support and creation. Participation of affected workers and communities in planning and advancing climate action; support through targeted financial programmes and capacity building that prioritises the most vulnerable; and creation of high-quality and sustainable jobs and strong social measures, including reskilling and upskilling of workers. This is the opportunity that we have in front of us. Given the right financing and the right policies, this will be our opportunity to create new jobs in a new economic reality.

 
  
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  Clotilde Armand (Renew). – Doamnă președintă, nu cred că există o barieră în atitudinea Estului față de Pactul Verde European. Din multe puncte de vedere, societățile din estul Europei sunt bine plasate pentru a vorbi despre ecologie. Aceste societăți au păstrat o legătură cu natura mai puternică, au menținut circuite scurte de aprovizionare, au trecut prin faza de dezindustrializare în multe regiuni. Lupta împotriva despăduririlor și exploatărilor miniere poluante este, de exemplu, în România extrem de mobilizatoare pentru societatea civică.

Multe țări din Est au făcut eforturi pentru a-și atinge obiectivele la ponderea energiei din surse regenerabile. Din cele 14 state membre care depășesc media comunitară, 7 state sunt din estul Europei. E o dovadă că putem avea obiective ecologice clare, dar trebuie să găsim formula potrivită: finanțare, asistență pentru implementarea proiectelor, recunoașterea importanței mixului energetic. Trebuie să luăm virajul ecologic în mod inteligent și să nu alimentăm poziții eurosceptice.

 
  
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  Ville Niinistö (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the Green Deal is most ambitious plan that Europe has had for decades. It has to be that: the climate demands it, the youth on the streets demand it, but also business leadership demands it.

This is a chance for Europe to modernise and take global leadership also when it comes to the economy and business and create a circular economy in Europe and export that knowledge abroad.

But this is not happening if we don’t show that we can also deliver. The risk with the financing that you are proposing is that it’s still quite hazy. We have EUR 7.5 billion, which is on paper. Everything else is a bit unclear as to whether it is actually additional. Also, on those EUR 7.5 billion: we have to be very clear that it is additional action, not just something that legislation would demand anyway.

When it comes to the EIB, we also have to be very, very clear that that’s something that creates additional movement towards low carbon economy, and not just financing something that the public sector does anyway. So this is something that the Commission now has to work on: deliver stringent conditions for getting rid of fossil fuels and actually finance solutions that are viable in the long term, not just interim solutions. Good luck with that.

 
  
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  Guido Reil (ID). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Der Grüne Deal ist das unsozialste Projekt in der Geschichte der Europäischen Union, und wer glaubt, den Niedergang von Kohleregionen mit Geld, mit Strukturhilfen verhindern zu können, der hat aus der Geschichte und aus der Vergangenheit nichts gelernt. Also ich habe zufällig ein bisschen Ahnung davon, ich habe die letzten 33 Jahre im Bergbau im Ruhrgebiet gearbeitet – bis zu meinem Einzug ins Europäische Parlament. Es gibt da keinen Bergbau mehr, und meine Heimat, das Ruhrgebiet, ist heute das Armenhaus Deutschlands. In meiner Geburtsstadt Gelsenkirchen gibt es die höchste Arbeitslosenquote in Deutschland, es gibt die meisten armen Kinder, und es gibt die meisten armen Alten. In den ehemaligen Kohleregionen in Belgien, in Frankreich und in England sieht es genauso aus, da müssen wir uns doch nichts vormachen, guckt es euch an! In Polen wird es ganz genauso laufen. 100 000 Arbeitsplätze werden verloren gehen, es wird eine Katastrophe für Schlesien geben.

Wir reden nicht nur über den Bergbau. Der Motor der deutschen Wirtschaft ist die Automobilindustrie, und es schätzen heute Berater der Bundesregierung, dass 410 000 Arbeitsplätze verloren gehen! Das wird uns das Rückgrat brechen. Lasst uns diesen Wahnsinn beenden!

 
  
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  Grzegorz Tobiszowski (ECR). – Szanowna Pani Przewodnicząca! Szanowni Państwo! Troska o klimat to wielkie i odpowiedzialne zadanie. Aby Zielony Ład mógł sprawnie funkcjonować i spełnić swoje założenia, musimy wiedzieć, na jakich fundamentach został oparty. Dlatego też kieruję pytanie do komisarzy, czy Komisja Europejska konsultowała lub ma zamiar konsultować się z państwami członkowskimi w sprawie środków, nakładów inwestycyjnych, konkretnych pieniędzy, jakich będą potrzebować, aby skutecznie przeprowadzić transformację energetyczną, nie tracąc przy tym na bezpieczeństwie energetycznym każdego z krajów i Europy. Czy Komisja Europejska wie, ile czasu zajmie tzw. zazielenienie gospodarek poszczególnych krajów, znając dzisiejszy dostęp do technologii, które mają wesprzeć ten proces?

W Polsce szacujemy, że dodatkowe koszty transformacji w latach 2020–2050 wyniosą średnio od 2,6% do 4,3% PKB. To ponad 500 mld euro. Jest to obciążenie o 1,7 do 2,3 razy wyższe niż średnia Unii Europejskiej. Proszę pamiętać, że w Polsce mamy też region śląski, który jest związany z sektorem wydobywczym, a w tym sektorze i wokół niego pracuje 200 tys. osób. Natomiast stworzenie jednego miejsca pracy w tym sektorze kosztuje 250 tys. euro. Dane te pochodzą z ośrodków akademickich tego regionu.

(Mówca zgodził się odpowiedzieć na pytanie zadane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki (art. 171 ust. 8 Regulaminu))

 
  
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  Petros Kokkalis (GUE/NGL), blue-card question. – Does the honourable colleague have an understanding of the cost of the percentage of GDP that adaptation will cost in the case of temperatures rising over the Paris Agreement?

 
  
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  Grzegorz Tobiszowski (ECR), odpowiedź na pytanie zadane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Tego nie kwestionowałem w moim wystąpieniu, zauważając, że troska o klimat to wielkie i odpowiedzialne zadanie. Aby zadaniu temu sprostać, trzeba stanąć w prawdzie, dokonując właściwych analiz, żeby na wyzwania i troskę o klimat odpowiedzieć racjonalnie, pamiętając o ludziach i miejscach pracy. A więc nie mówię w sprzeczności do programu, ale chciałbym, żebyśmy jako Europa, która chce być światowym liderem troski o klimat, byli prawdziwym liderem, a nie tylko rozmawiali o tym, że mamy dobry plan, dobre założenia.

 
  
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  José Gusmão (GUE/NGL). – Senhora Presidente, concordamos com as declarações da Comissão Europeia quando diz que o fundo para a transição energética deve ser justo e que o Green New Deal deve ser social. Mas isso não é possível se os objetivos sociais e ambientais tiverem que competir por um pacote financeiro que sofreu cortes e se continuarmos a trabalhar sobre este duplo truque financeiro que consiste em mexer o mesmo dinheiro de um lado para o outro, anunciando novas prioridades, novas siglas, novos fundos, nova propaganda, mas disponibilizando o novo dinheiro só para a obsessão militarista e securitária. Nem com o truque de anunciar 100 mil milhões de euros, dinheiro que não vai ser investido pela União Europeia e que a União Europeia não sabe se outros irão investir.

Também não podemos dizer que o Green New Deal vai ser social se viermos a excluir do fundo para a transição justa e de todas estas políticas regiões da coesão e regiões que estão na primeira linha das consequências das alterações climáticas.

 
  
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  José Manuel Fernandes (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, caros Comissários, caras e caros Colegas, estamos no bom caminho com este plano de investimentos para a sustentabilidade, com este fundo para a transição justa. No Parlamento Europeu sempre dissemos que prioridades novas têm de ter recursos adicionais e é muito positivo que o Fundo para a Transição Justa tenha 7,5 mil milhões de euros adicionais.

A minha pergunta é: porquê 7,5 mil milhões de euros? Serão suficientes? É algo que o Parlamento vai ter de estudar e de verificar. Para além disso, a complementaridade também é positiva com a política de coesão, mas é necessário que a política de coesão não seja desvirtuada: a transição justa nunca poderá ocorrer contra a coesão territorial, económica e social.

Para além disso fica aqui um apelo: os Estados—Membros têm de definir os seus planos de investimento, têm de saber o que é que querem para as suas regiões. Caso contrário, depois de definidos os montantes para cada região vão queixar-se, vão dizer que a culpa é de Bruxelas e vão dizer que afinal o dinheiro não chega, quando ainda não disseram sequer aquilo que pretendiam. E é urgente que cada Estado—Membro, que cada região, faça também o seu trabalho de casa neste domínio.

 
  
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  Simona Bonafè (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mille miliardi di investimenti per la svolta sostenibile dell'Europa nei prossimi dieci anni: questo è l'obiettivo importante che la Commissione presenta oggi per un'Europa che nel 2050 raggiunga la neutralità climatica e che sia sempre più socialmente inclusiva.

Sono sicuramente tante risorse, ma se vogliamo affrontare con successo i cambiamenti profondi che queste sfide richiedono dobbiamo prendere l'impegno di mettere a disposizione più risorse nei prossimi anni.

Torno alle proposte della Commissione: ne voglio sottolineare due che contengono novità significative. In primo luogo, finalmente un fondo con risorse dedicate a rendere la transizione socialmente equa, perché noi dobbiamo aggredire il cambiamento climatico ma anche evitare di lasciare indietro qualcuno, soprattutto nei settori che affronteranno importanti riconversioni industriali, perché la sostenibilità deve convenire a tutti per essere realizzata.

In secondo luogo, va colto l'esplicito riferimento nel piano di investimenti all'apertura di una discussione sullo scorporo dal calcolo del deficit, nel patto di stabilità, degli investimenti sostenibili negli Stati membri. Non mi sfugge la timidezza con cui il riferimento è inserito nel testo ma voglio ribadire, come ha già fatto qualche collega, che il tema va affrontato con determinazione per mettere in condizione anche gli Stati membri di dare il loro contributo essenziale a questa sfida.

Ecco, questa è la strada che l'Europa deve percorrere: tenere alto il livello di ambizione su tematiche essenziali come la sostenibilità ambientale e, parallelamente, tendere una mano a chi rischia di rimanere indietro nella società. Puntare su sostenibilità ambientale e inclusività sociale sono le chiavi per tornare a far appassionare i cittadini europei.

 
  
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  Jordi Cañas (Renew). – Señora presidenta, señores comisarios, durante la crisis tenía un amigo economista y le dije: «Detrás de las medidas macroeconómicas que se adoptan hay personas». Y me dijo: «Pues que se aparten».

La sostenibilidad es un principio, es un objetivo. Pero la sostenibilidad, igual que las crisis, las pagan siempre los más débiles; no puede ser que la sostenibilidad y el camino hacia ella, la transición y los cambios, los vuelvan a pagar los más débiles y los más vulnerables, porque estamos aquí para hacer una Europa más sostenible, pero también más justa. Y hay algunos que, delante de la sostenibilidad, ponen algunos conceptos y algunas ideas que se olvidan de que hay personas detrás. Por lo tanto, necesitamos fondos, sí, pero necesitamos también objetivos, y valores. Y ese valor es desarrollar la política social, el pilar social europeo. Porque ese desarrollo no solo son fondos: son objetivos concretos para garantizar a nuestros ciudadanos que nunca más ni las crisis, ni los cambios, ni las transiciones se cebarán en los más débiles, en los más vulnerables.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun (Verts/ALE). – Señora presidenta. Gracias, señor vicepresidente, por presentarnos hoy el plan de inversiones sostenibles y el Fondo de Transición Justa. Creo que son dos instrumentos esenciales para el Pacto Verde Europeo. Dos comentarios al respecto.

Con respecto al Fondo de Transición Justa ―lo han dicho mis compañeros―, creo que debemos estar seguros de que, efectivamente, va a generar una transición. Y, por lo tanto, ese criterio de condicionalidad, de salir del carbón y realmente comprometerse con la neutralidad climática debe ser un componente esencial. Así que, en primer lugar, me gustaría pedirle que eso fuera incorporado al Fondo de Transición Justa, que es un elemento central. No podemos dejar a nadie atrás en eso. Y, por ello, creo que es un acierto ponerlo como una auténtica prioridad.

Y luego, sobre el plan de inversiones, de lo que sabemos me da la sensación de que nos falta un poco de ambición a la hora de obtener recursos para esa inversión. Me parece una especie de Plan Juncker 3.0 un poco refrito con contribuciones nacionales. Y creo que ahí necesitamos ir un poco más allá. Necesitamos nuevas fuentes de recursos para poder acometer un plan que es extremadamente ambicioso. Dudo que con lo que nos ha llegado, lo que tenemos encima de la mesa, podamos llegar a ese billón de euros. Por lo tanto, mi segundo mensaje sería: pongámosle, por favor, más ambición a la obtención de recursos para que ese plan sea una auténtica herramienta transformadora.

 
  
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  Paolo Borchia (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, mezzo milione di lavoratori interessati, 160 000 posti di lavoro a rischio in tutta Europa, cinquanta regioni coinvolte: questi sono i numeri verosimili di quella che potrebbe essere la prossima crisi occupazionale.

Secondo il vangelo del neoliberismo più spinto, pare che la Commissione europea stia proponendo una strategia di decarbonizzazione nella consapevolezza che aggraverà il problema della disoccupazione, il tutto all'insegna del fatalismo, perché sembra che vi siate rassegnati a deindustrializzare l'Europa, il continente dove è nata la rivoluzione industriale.

Io chiedo di che risorse verrà dotato questo fondo, visto che avete parlato di mille miliardi che ad oggi non esistono, e soprattutto pensate di risolvere qualcosa mandando dei disoccupati di cinquant'anni a fare dei corsi di formazione?

Se la strada è quella di scippare i fondi di coesione o il Fondo europeo di sviluppo regionale, allora non ci siamo. Io a questo punto chiedo l'aiuto degli interpreti, perché in italiano, in questi casi, si dice che la toppa è peggio del buco!

 
  
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  Anna Zalewska (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panowie Komisarze, nie wiem, czy Panowie zauważyli, ale nawet Wasi zwolennicy mówią „tak, ale”. Mówią „ale”, ponieważ przedstawiony plan jest bardzo powierzchowny. Nie wystarczy powiedzieć „chcemy”, „obiecujemy”. Tym bardziej że zaufanie do Komisji zostało już nadwyrężone, bo przecież wszystkie kraje zgodziły się w 2014 r. na dążenie do obniżenia emisji o 40%, a te wszystkie cele, które zostały Komisji przedstawione, za moment wyrzucimy do kosza.

Ale mam oczywiście bardzo konkretne pytania do tych powierzchownych liczb, bo niektóre wymykają się logice, matematyce, a już na pewno ekonomii. Skąd 7,5 mld nowych pieniędzy? Trzeba by wprowadzić nowe podatki. Jeżeli tak, to jakie? Jak dojść od tych 7,5 mld do 100 mld obiecywanych przez Komisję? Jeżeli nowe inwestycje, to jakie? Proszę o precyzyjną informację. Jeżeli mamy pozyskać prawie 300 mld euro od prywatnych inwestorów, to w jaki sposób Komisja chce to zrobić? I wreszcie na koniec pytanie: kiedy będziemy mieć nową ustawę klimatyczną? Zostało niecałe sześćdziesiąt dni.

 
  
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  Peter Liese (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, sehr geehrte Vizepräsidenten, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich halte es für eine großartige Vision, dass wir in Europa klimaneutral werden. Die alte Kommission hat schon 2018 aufgezeigt, wie wir das schaffen können: mit zusätzlichen Arbeitsplätzen und zusätzlichem Wirtschaftswachstum. Aber dazu brauchen wir gute Rahmenbedingungen, und einige Regionen müssen sich halt mehr umstellen als andere. Deswegen ist es gut, dass wir durch den Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang diese Menschen mitnehmen. Ich betone: Das müssen wir in allen Regionen in Europa tun. Wir können nicht die alten Kriterien anwenden für dieses neue Ziel. Auch in reicheren Regionen sind die Menschen vor Herausforderungen gestellt, die wir ohne Kohleausstieg nicht hätten. Und deswegen müssen wir da etwas tun.

Wir sollten auch nicht die Illusion haben, dass Europa das alleine schaffen kann. Wir brauchen auch nationale Unterstützung, und die Kommission muss das beihilferechtlich genehmigen. Wir müssen auch über Eigenmittel aus dem EHS sprechen. Auch deshalb ist meine Fraktion dafür, das EHS auch auszuweiten. Ich bedaure, dass wir hier immer noch sehr viel Widerstand haben, aber ich hoffe, dass wir uns da einigen können.

Zum Schluss möchte ich einen Kollegen würdigen, der hinter mir sitzt und der erst nach mir redet, was eigentlich falsch ist, denn er ist der Erfinder des Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang. Ohne ihn würden wir diesen Vorschlag heute nicht haben und hätten nicht so viel Unterstützung dafür. Vielen Dank, Jerzy Buzek, für dein Engagement, und wir kämpfen, dass wir das am Ende auch wirklich schaffen.

 
  
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  Dan Nica (S&D). – Doamnă președintă, domnule vicepreședinte Timmermans, vreau să salut anunțul dumneavoastră privind alocarea sumei de 7,5 miliarde de euro pentru fonduri pentru o tranziție justă și, în același timp, vreau să salut și ceea ce ați anunțat în această dimineață, și anume faptul că Banca Europeană de Investiții se va implica în a susține proiectele care sunt necesare pentru decarbonizare la nivelul Uniunii Europene.

În cazul României, este vitală prezența Băncii Europene de Investiții pentru că necesarul de investiții pe care eu l-am văzut într-un studiu prezentat în luna decembrie este de 80 de miliarde de euro pentru următorii zece ani, adică 4 % din PIB, care ar trebui cheltuiți în fiecare an începând din acest an; este o sumă enormă și, fără sprijinul Băncii Europene de Investiții, pentru noi va fi foarte greu, și sper ca acest lucru să se întâmple pentru că în trecut Banca Europeană de Investiții a sprijinit mai mult țările care sunt cele mai bogate din Uniunea Europeană și puțin sau deloc pe cele care aveau nevoie mai mare de ajutor.

În același timp, domnule vicepreședinte, vreau să vă rog să insistați ca proiectele care sunt necesare pentru regiunile afectate de decarbonizare să înceapă imediat, precum și proiectele sociale pentru aceste regiuni, care sunt vitale pentru foarte mulți oameni: doar în cazul României, sunt 170 000 de oameni care sunt afectați.

 
  
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  Pascal Canfin (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, je viens d’un pays, la France, où les citoyens ont porté un gilet jaune pour nous dire que la transition écologique devait être juste et c’est pour cela qu’il est essentiel qu’aujourd’hui, le premier acte politique qui est posé par la Commission européenne, après avoir présenté son pacte vert européen, soit précisément le fonds de transition juste, pour qu’aucun citoyen ou territoire européen ne soit laissé de côté, pour qu’on transforme des risques en opportunités.

Je voudrais dire aux collègues d’extrême droite qui se succèdent les uns après les autres pour pousser des cris, en disant «c’est insupportable, cela va nous coûter beaucoup trop cher»: allez demander aux habitants de Venise s’ils trouvent que c’est très cher de lutter contre le dérèglement climatique, si on en fait beaucoup trop ou si au contraire on n’en fait pas assez. Allez demander aux Australiens, aujourd’hui, s’ils trouvent qu’on en fait beaucoup trop au niveau mondial contre le dérèglement climatique ou si au contraire le fait de ne rien faire ou de ne pas en faire assez coûte énormément d’argent et est en train de détruire leur continent. C’est ça la réalité. Arrêtez de regarder dans le rétroviseur, regardons l’avenir, faisons-le ensemble, ne fléchissez pas à la Commission européenne, mettez l’argent nécessaire sur la table, vous avez le soutien du Parlement et des citoyens européens.

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

 
  
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  Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR), pytanie zadane przez podniesienie niebieskiej kartki. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie pośle, Pan jest posłem z Francji. Jestem zdumiona Pana wypowiedzią. Od wielu miesięcy na ulice Francji wychodzą żółte kamizelki przeciwko polityce klimatycznej. Proszę zwrócić uwagę, że państwa mix energetyczny tylko w 2 % oparty jest na węglu. Polski mix energetyczny w blisko 80 %, zatem jakie koszty będzie generowała ta polityka klimatyczna, tak restrykcyjna dla polskiego narodu? Czy sprawiedliwa transformacja klimatyczna ma polegać na tym, że rządzący będą lekceważyć głos narodu?

 
  
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  Pascal Canfin (Renew), réponse «carton bleu». – Précisément, c’est très important qu’il y ait ce fonds de transition juste et nous le soutenons. Je le soutiens particulièrement parce que dans des pays comme la Pologne, le point de départ est différent, et j’ai salué le fait que la Pologne n’ait pas bloqué l’objectif de neutralité carbone en Europe en décembre. Votre gouvernement aurait pu le faire, il ne l’a pas fait, et donc c’est important aujourd’hui que nous ayons une solidarité européenne pour accompagner la transition juste, en Pologne et partout ailleurs en Europe, mais particulièrement chez vous.

Ne me prêtez donc pas de fausses intentions: je soutiens ce plan de transition justement parce qu’il permet de ne laisser personne au bord du chemin dans toute l’Europe et particulièrement dans les pays qui en ont plus besoin, notamment la Pologne.

 
  
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  Rasmus Andresen (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! (Beginn des Redebeitrags bei ausgeschaltetem Mikro) ... muss Antworten liefern – für den 50-jährigen polnischen Kohlearbeiter, für die 20-jährige dänische Klimaaktivistin, aber auch für 26 Millionen EU-Bürger, die an Asthma erkrankt sind.

Wir freuen uns über den Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang für Kohleregionen. Aber ansonsten haben Sie bisher zu wenig geändert. Es reicht nicht aus, die alten Zahlen zu recyceln. Sie bleiben bei 25 % Klimainvestitionen und bei dem alten Entwurf für den Finanzrahmen von Herrn Juncker und Herrn Oettinger.

Machen wir uns nichts vor: Sie setzen vor allem auf privates Geld, aber mit privaten Investitionen allein werden wir den Grünen Deal nicht finanzieren können. Konzerne wie Siemens oder RWE werden nicht dafür sorgen, dass 55-jährige Kohlearbeiter eine Zukunft haben, unsere Luft wieder sauber wird oder Züge auch in kleinen Orten halten werden. Wir brauchen öffentliche Investitionen, und wir brauchen mehr eigene Einnahmen für den EU-Haushalt. Wir wollen, dass Google und Amazon in den EU-Haushalt einzahlen, und wir wollen, dass klimaschädliche Importe aus anderen Ländern CO2-bepreist und besteuert werden.

Lassen Sie uns gemeinsam nachlegen mit dem mehrjährigen Finanzrahmen, nur dann werden wir erfolgreich.

 
  
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  Izabela-Helena Kloc (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Dla szeregu państw członkowskich węgiel i gaz pozostają jedynymi nośnikami energii na drodze do neutralności klimatycznej. Przypomnę, że porozumienie paryskie opiera się na zasadzie wykorzystania własnych zasobów do realizacji celów porozumienia. Poza tym nie ma możliwości zachowania bezpieczeństwa energetycznego bez dalszego wykorzystania paliw kopalnych. Przypomnę również, że specyfika Polski została potwierdzona przez przewodniczącą Komisji Europejskiej. Dlatego też domagamy się przede wszystkim elastyczności technologicznej i czasowej w dochodzeniu do neutralności klimatycznej. Dla nas osiągnięcie neutralności klimatycznej będzie w rzeczywistości możliwe dopiero w 2070 r.

I teraz istotny przykład. Eksperci wskazują, że sztywna polityka klimatyczna doprowadzi do potężnego blackoutu w Europie już w 2050 r. Czy w sytuacji bezpośredniego zagrożenia żywotnego interesu państw i obywateli nie jest zasadne dalsze wykorzystanie węgla jako stabilnego paliwa zapewniającego bezpieczeństwo energetyczne, a co za tym idzie, również inwestycje w modernizację bloków węglowych? Już dziś polskie elektrownie węglowe ratują niemieckich obywateli w przypadku mniejszej produkcji energii elektrycznej przez wiatraki.

Szanowni Państwo! W dążeniu do neutralności klimatycznej bądźmy odpowiedzialni, sprawiedliwi, a przede wszystkim uczciwi wobec obywateli.

 
  
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  Maria da Graça Carvalho (PPE). – Senhora Presidente, Senhores Comissários, a União Europeia assumiu, e bem, uma posição ambiciosa em relação à transição climática e ao ambiente. No entanto, para a concretizar temos de garantir à partida dois aspetos essenciais.

Em primeiro lugar, que as políticas europeias estejam alinhadas com estas prioridades.

Em segundo lugar, é preciso que os investimentos sejam equivalentes à ambição das metas propostas e não sejam feitos à custa do bolo orçamental já existente. Especial atenção deve ser dada à conclusão das redes de energia transfronteiriças e desenvolvimento de tecnologias limpas.

No que toca ao fundo de transição, este terá que estabelecer um sistema simples e flexível de ajudas de Estado. Deve adaptar-se às questões específicas de cada região e ter especialmente em conta aquelas zonas onde a transição será mais difícil. Nenhum setor da economia deve ser deixado para trás, muito menos aqueles que dizem respeito diretamente às pessoas. As pessoas devem estar sempre no centro das nossas estratégias.

 
  
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  Jonás Fernández (S&D). – Señora presidenta, en primer lugar, me gustaría dar la bienvenida a los vicepresidentes de la Comisión y agradecerle al señor Timmermans la referencia a mi región, Asturias, una región en el norte de España que sufre desde hace décadas; primero ya, en la década de los ochenta, hicimos frente al ajuste necesario después de la crisis del petróleo de los años setenta, y en estos momentos afrontamos un nuevo reto para dar una respuesta a la lucha contra el cambio climático.

En mi región, como en toda Europa, somos conscientes de la necesidad de luchar contra el cambio climático, pero también lo somos, como socialistas, de que ese proceso tiene que ser un proceso pautado, equilibrado y que garantice la igualdad de todos los ciudadanos en Europa. Y por eso la propuesta que hoy hace la Comisión para empezar a negociar es muy bienvenida. Quiero agradecer esta propuesta para —como digo— empezar las discusiones, en la que aún quedan, obviamente, muchos temas en el aire que tenemos que definir en el proceso legislativo. Y me gustaría pedir a la Comisión la misma celeridad para tener un ajuste en frontera para el carbono cuanto antes mejor.

 
  
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  Moritz Körner (Renew). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Ich möchte der Kommission danken für diesen Vorschlag für den Grünen Deal und den Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang. Wir müssen den Kampf gegen den Klimawandel endlich mutig, optimistisch angehen, und zwar mit neuen Ideen, mit Unternehmergeist, mit Innovationen und eben nicht mit Planwirtschaft, Verboten und Verzicht. Denn wir werden das nur schaffen, wenn wir tatsächlich die Wirtschaft in diese Richtung entwickeln. Und dazu müssen wir auch privates Kapital, so wie das ja vorgesehen ist, mobilisieren. Wir werden es nicht schaffen, wenn wir daraus nicht ein Geschäftsmodell machen, wenn wir nicht tatsächlich auch die privaten Investitionen mobilisieren. Dafür müsste die Europäische Investitionsbank auch endlich besser ausgestattet werden. Das muss auch mein Land, Deutschland, endlich einsehen und dafür sorgen.

Ich will aber auch etwas sagen, was der Kollege Reil eben hier zum Ruhrgebiet gesagt hat – jetzt ist er leider nicht mehr da. Aber mir liegt das als Abgeordneter aus Nordrhein-Westfalen auch am Herzen: Das Ruhrgebiet ist eine völlig andere Situation als die, über die wir gerade sprechen. Im Ruhrgebiet ist der Kohleabbau schon seit Jahrzehnten nicht mehr wirtschaftlich möglich gewesen, und er wurde über Subventionen jahrzehntelang vor sich hingeschleppt. Genau da hätte man anders herangehen müssen. Man hätte viel früher schon die Menschen mitnehmen müssen in neue Jobs, in die Zukunft. Genau das muss an dieser Stelle passieren, denn am Klimawandel kommen wir nicht mehr vorbei. Wir müssen tatsächlich die Jobs der Zukunft schaffen.

 
  
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  Petra De Sutter (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the European Green Deal is the urgent and necessary response of the EU to climate change. It needs to be fair and just. And I want to thank the Commission for including the road map on social Europe in the present communication for that.

But, most importantly, it needs to be financed. The Just Transition mechanism is meant to help regions which are having problems in transitioning because they are still very dependent on fossils. I just hope it will not serve to pay off regions which have simply been unwilling to take necessary measures so far, even if they perfectly well could have done so.

Vice-Presidents, you are brokering a difficult deal with sometimes unwilling Member States, but do not give up. You will have our full support. Most importantly, and, in conclusion: make the funding conditional. Member States which receive money should deliver. We need phase-out plans and binding national energy and climate plans.

 
  
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  Jadwiga Wiśniewska (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Dziś poznaliśmy mgliste i niestety bardzo ogólne plany Komisji Europejskiej, jeśli chodzi o fundusz sprawiedliwej transformacji. Proponowana kwota absolutnie nie jest wystarczająca. Czy zatem fundusz sprawiedliwej transformacji będzie sprawiedliwy tylko i wyłącznie z nazwy? Pan komisarz Frans Timmermans na wysłuchaniu w Komisji Środowiska, pytany o przyszłość polskich regionów górniczych, powiedział, że jako wnuk dwóch górników wie, że będzie boleć. Jak to się ma do sprawiedliwej transformacji? Ona nie może, Panie komisarzu, odbywać się kosztem pracowników regionów górniczych. Ona nie może odbywać się kosztem gospodarek opartych na węglu, takich jak moja ojczyzna Polska. Przed chwilą jeden z posłów chwalił europejski system handlu emisjami, a czy on jest oparty na sprawiedliwej transformacji, skoro mamy zróżnicowany mix energetyczny? Panie komisarzu, czy Komisja ma wyliczenia kosztów transformacji klimatycznej? Ile to będzie kosztować Polskę, której mix energetyczny w 80 % oparty jest na węglu? Na jakie środki możemy liczyć? Potrzebujemy czasu i pieniędzy, jako Polska, by osiągnąć neutralność klimatyczną. Ursula von der Leyen mówiła, że polityka klimatyczna nie może nikogo zostawiać. Dotrzymajcie słowa.

 
  
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  Isabel Benjumea Benjumea (PPE). – Señora presidenta, al hablar del Pacto Verde Europeo debemos partir de una concepción de base incuestionable. Los acuerdos políticos alcanzados en favor de la protección del medio ambiente no pueden causar un daño irreparable a nuestra economía ni a los ciudadanos. Si se han alcanzado unos acuerdos políticos por los cuales se pretende alcanzar la descarbonización plena en Europa, ahora corresponde adoptar las medidas que permitan a los Estados miembros seguir siendo competitivos y seguir creando oportunidades para los ciudadanos y las empresas.

Por lo tanto, es lógico que las regiones europeas afectadas por la descarbonización y la inevitable deslocalización de empresas e industrias exijan medidas compensatorias. España y sus regiones mineras se encuentran entre ellas. Y recalco el caso de España porque no sería lógico que un Estado miembro que ha cumplido a rajatabla la normativa de la Unión Europea en este campo se viera ahora afectado por haber hecho los deberes.

El debate ha de centrarse en el cómo y en el para qué. La finalidad del Fondo de Transición Justa es ayudar a las regiones afectadas por el cierre obligado de una actividad económica a seguir siendo competitivas. Ayudarlas a reciclarse y a convertirse y a ofrecer a sus ciudadanos otras herramientas con las que construir su futuro. Nunca debe ser una ayuda a fondo perdido que limpie conciencias. No busquemos comprar la paz social.

En conclusión, dichos fondos han de ir acompañados de una evaluación exhaustiva de su destino, su productividad y sus resultados. Planes y programas concretos que apuesten por la formación, el empleo, la innovación y la búsqueda de otro modo energético competitivo.

 
  
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  Agnes Jongerius (S&D). – Voorzitter, vooruitgang mogelijk maken, ook sociale vooruitgang, dat is onze inzet, en dat moet nu gerealiseerd worden via het routeplan naar een socialer Europa. Nog niet alles van dat routeplan is glashelder, maar de intentie is dat in ieder geval wel. Niemand mag achterblijven. We weten dat door globalisering, door technologie, door energietransitie, het werk verandert en we zullen dus met nieuwe fondsen moeten investeren in nieuwe banen. We hebben meer middelen nodig voor een eerlijke verduurzaming, bijvoorbeeld uit het landbouwbudget. Werknemers moeten overal een eerlijk salaris kunnen verdienen, overal, ook als ze via een platform werken. Ik verwachtte dan ook van de Commissie naast een voorstel over minimumloon ook een voorstel over de eerlijke werkomstandigheden van platformwerkers. Ik ben blij dat de Commissie aangeeft klimaatarmoede tegen te willen gaan. Het is namelijk moeilijk groen te doen als je rood staat, en laten we nou van hieruit zeggen: regeringsleiders en ministers, er zijn zoveel plannen. Kom over de brug met geld, investeer in mensen, ook voor een sociaal Europa.

 
  
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  Jan Huitema (Renew). – Voorzitter, de bosbranden in Australië maken weer pijnlijk duidelijk dat actie gewoon ontzettend hard nodig is tegen klimaatverandering. En de Europese Green Deal werkt alleen als die ook gedragen wordt door mensen en bedrijven en als wij hun zorgen ook serieus nemen, want het heeft geen zin als mensen inderdaad hun rekeningen niet meer kunnen betalen of dat elk jaar de regels voor ondernemers veranderen of dat innovaties niet kunnen uitgroeien tot betaalbare klimaatoplossingen.

Dus ik ben er groot voorstander van dat we duidelijk beleid maken voor de langere termijn en waar nodig ook financiële steun geven. Dat kan inderdaad in de vorm van leningen, of via de Europese begroting. Maar in plaats van gelijk naar de belastingbetaler toe te gaan en te vragen om meer geld, vind ik dat we politiek het lef moeten hebben om te kijken waar we kunnen gaan bezuinigen op oude prioriteiten en zo geld vrij kunnen maken in de bestaande Europese begroting. Datzelfde geldt ook voor de Europese lidstaten. Landen moeten eerst zorgen dat ze optimaal hun Europese financieringen kunnen gaan benutten voordat ze vragen om nieuw geld. De Europese Unie is simpelweg geen geldautomaat.

 
  
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  Caroline Roose (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, la présentation du fonds sur la transition juste est une bonne nouvelle car la transition ne peut réussir que si elle est menée de manière équitable et sociale.

Toutes les régions européennes ne partent pas du même point. Celles marquées par des industries qui émettent beaucoup de gaz à effet de serre, comme par exemple l’industrie du charbon, ont besoin d’une réponse politique et d’un soutien fort de l’Union européenne.

Dans ces régions, les activités polluantes sont souvent centrales dans l’économie, elles sont une source importante d’emplois et de revenus. Il ne faut pas abandonner ces travailleurs, nous devons leur offrir des opportunités d’emplois durables et sûrs. Il faut les former à de nouveaux métiers pour leur permettre de travailler dans le secteur des énergies renouvelables ou dans l’économie circulaire. Nous devons donc concentrer le soutien européen vers les grandes communautés locales des régions qui devront subir une grande transformation pour atteindre les objectifs des accords de Paris.

Je voudrais aussi ajouter qu’il est important de mettre en place une conditionnalité stricte pour accéder aux ressources du fonds de transition. Par exemple, il ne serait pas acceptable que le fonds serve à subventionner indirectement d’autres énergies fossiles comme le gaz. Le débloquement de ce fonds est crucial pour la réussite du pacte vert européen, nous serons donc vigilants quant à sa mise en œuvre.

 
  
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  Cristian-Silviu Buşoi (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, finanțarea durabilă reprezintă fundamentul Pactului ecologic european. Inițiativa de a înființa Fondul de tranziție justă a fost inițial propusă de comisia ITRE, Președintele Buzek și ceilalți colegi, pentru a reduce impactul socioeconomic asupra comunităților afectate negativ de tranziția de la dependența de cărbune la decarbonizare.

În calitate de președinte actual al comisiei ITRE, subliniez importanța sprijinirii adecvate a tranziției sectorului energetic, industrial și digital, începând cu cele 41 de regiuni dependente de producția de cărbune, printre care se află și regiunea Oltenia și Valea Jiului din România.

Avem nevoie cu adevărat de resurse financiare adecvate pentru tranziția către producerea și utilizarea de energie regenerabilă, dezvoltarea de noi modele economice, crearea de noi locuri de muncă și recalificarea personalului existent. Este esențial ca banii din Pilonul 1 să fie bani noi, fără a afecta Politica de coeziune sau alte programe.

 
  
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  Constanze Krehl (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Ich begrüße den Vorschlag zum Grünen Deal und damit auch den Vorschlag zum Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang außerordentlich. Ja, wir müssen den betroffenen Regionen stärker und zusätzlich helfen. Zwei Punkte kommen mir allerdings in dem Vorschlag doch etwas zu kurz oder zu schwammig herüber.

Der erste Punkt: die Frage der Finanzierung. Jenseits der Frage, ob 7,5 Milliarden Euro für den Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang nun genug sind oder nicht, darf das kein altes Geld zulasten der Kohäsionspolitik sein, sondern wir brauchen neues, frisches Geld. Wir dürfen Regionen, die unsere Unterstützung brauchen, durch den Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang keinen Schaden zufügen, indem wir ihnen das Geld wegnehmen. Ich wünsche uns allen gute Verhandlungen zum neuen MFR, denn das, was die Mitgliedstaaten im Moment vorschlagen, unterbietet ja noch den Kommissionsvorschlag.

Zum Zweiten brauchen wir eine Änderung und eine Anpassung des Beihilferechts, weil auch größere Unternehmen sich auf diesen Übergang vorbereiten müssen und wir nicht erst Arbeitslose unterstützen wollen, sondern schon vorher neue Perspektiven für die Beschäftigten eröffnen möchten.

 
  
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  Mauri Pekkarinen (Renew). – Arvoisa puhemies, siirtymärahaston resurssien turvaaminen on haastava mutta mahdollinen tehtävä. Rajallisen uuden rahan ohella tähän tarkoitukseen on todellakin kyettävä käyttämään myös olemassa olevia rahoitusinstrumentteja, kuten EIP:tä ja Invest Europea, niiden rahoja.

EU:n budjetista kolmannes käytetään tällä hetkellä alue- eli koheesiopolitiikkaan. Myös näitä rahoja, murtamatta koheesiopolitiikan tavoitteita, on voitava käyttää tähän tarkoitukseen, kestävään siirtymään. Rahaston resurssit tulee kohdentaa ensi sijassa niille alueille, joille hiilestä, miksei turpeistakin, luopuminen tuottaa eniten aineellisia ja sosiaalisia ongelmia.

Rahastosta tulisi rahoittaa myös teollisten prosessien uudistamista vähähiilisiksi ja ilmaston kannalta kestäviksi prosesseiksi. Tätä edellyttää myös eurooppalaisen teollisuuden hiilivuodon estäminen.

 
  
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  Michael Bloss (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin! Sehr geehrter Herr Timmermans, Herr Dombrovskis! Echten Klimaschutz gibt es nicht ohne Gerechtigkeit. Deshalb ist es gut, dass Sie diese Dimension mitdenken. Wir müssen alle in die Zukunft mitnehmen, in neue Berufe investieren; ein klimafreundliches und ein gerechtes Europa brauchen wir so zügig wie möglich. Doch was Sie bisher vorlegen, das ist zu wenig. Statt neues Geld in die Hand zu nehmen, wollen sie alte Mittel umdeklarieren. Sie stellen Investitionen in Aussicht, ohne sie an die Bedingung des Kohleausstiegs zu knüpfen. Das darf nicht sein! Der Ausstieg aus der Kohle muss zur Bedingung für den Erhalt von europäischen Geldern werden.

Aber auch die deutsche Bundesregierung muss Verantwortung übernehmen. Sie will Klimaschutz, ohne dafür zusätzliches Geld zur Verfügung zu stellen. Das wird nicht funktionieren. Klimaschutz gibt es nicht zum Nulltarif, mit blumigen Worten werden keine neuen europäischen Schnellzüge, Windräder oder die Autos von morgen entwickelt und gebaut. Wir brauchen Klimaschutz und Gerechtigkeit, aber dazu müssen Sie und die deutsche Bundesregierung konsequenter werden.

 
  
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  Adam Jarubas (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Koleżanki i Koledzy! Przyjmujemy na siebie wielkie, pionierskie w skali świata zobowiązanie dotyczące neutralności klimatycznej w perspektywie 2050 r. Wiąże się to również z podniesieniem ambicji klimatycznych ustalonych na 2030 r. Taka zmiana będzie pociągała za sobą głęboką transformację całej gospodarki, nie tylko transformację energetyczną, a co za tym idzie, daleko idące skutki społeczne i gospodarcze. Dlatego konieczne jest, by ta transformacja była sprawiedliwa. Temat ten był już dyskutowany przy ostatniej reformie ETS, a materializuje się dzisiaj. Z zadowoleniem przyjmujemy więc powstanie funduszu i mechanizmu sprawiedliwej transformacji. Fundusz ten powinien być skierowany przede wszystkim do państw i regionów, przed którymi stoją największe wyzwania związane z transformacją energetyczną i które proporcjonalnie do swojego PKB będą ponosiły największe koszty. Cieszy fakt, że fundusz w propozycji Komisji otrzymuje większe finansowanie, niż proponował to Parlament. Wierzymy, że fundusz sprawiedliwej transformacji odniesie sukces i będzie to tylko początek, natomiast w przyszłości środki zostaną zwiększone proporcjonalnie do potrzeb. Dlatego apeluję o to, by fundusz był traktowany priorytetowo, jeśli pojawią się nowe środki, jak na przykład wpływy z ceł węglowych czy opłaty za dostęp do wspólnego rynku.

 
  
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  Margarida Marques (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, Senhores Vice-Presidentes, Senhora Comissária, começo por congratular a Comissão Europeia por apresentar simultaneamente estes três documentos numa estratégia global. As alterações climáticas geram desigualdades económicas e sociais e a União Europeia tem de o reconhecer e agir no combate a essas desigualdades. Aguardamos as respetivas iniciativas legislativas.

As regiões da União estão em diferentes estados em matéria de emissões de CO2. Estados-Membros e regiões têm vindo a investir de forma desigual na transição energética. Portugal, por exemplo, está hoje bem posicionado em matéria de energias renováveis porque priorizou esta ambição e tem investido aqui significativamente.

É preciso continuar a apoiar todas as regiões na transição energética, promovendo a modernização das suas economias e a requalificação das pessoas.

 
  
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  Pär Holmgren (Verts/ALE). – Fru talman! Givetvis behöver vi en rättvis omställning. Det finns mycket bra i det här förslaget. Det gäller bara att det inte händer om 25–30 år utan faktiskt här och nu, under detta årtionde.

Det finns också ett par saker i förslaget som måste bli mycket, mycket tydligare. För det första: i förslaget om en fond för en rättvis omställning finns det inget egentligt krav på att länder som får bidrag verkligen ställer upp på EU:s klimatmål. Ekonomiskt stöd till kolberoende regioner, till exempel i Polen, måste naturligtvis leda till en utfasning av det fossila bränslet och till en tydlig övergång till förnybar energi.

För det andra, och minst lika viktigt: människorna måste vara i centrum för omställningen. En rättvis omställning handlar om att skapa nya arbeten och säkra en hållbar utveckling för de människor som på sikt kommer att förlora sina nuvarande jobb när det fossila bränslet fasas ut. Om vi inte sätter människorna i centrum för klimatpolitiken kommer vi aldrig att lyckas med klimatomställningen, vare sig till 2030 eller till 2050.

 
  
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  Jerzy Buzek (PPE). –Pani Przewodnicząca! Panowie wiceprzewodniczący Komisji! Chciałem wyrazić ogromne zadowolenie, że mamy oto propozycję Komisji dotyczącą konkretnych rozwiązań, jeśli chodzi o wsparcie tych regionów, które tego najbardziej potrzebują, że mamy ją na stole. Możemy nad nią dyskutować. Tu padło tyle pomysłów, że nie chciałbym się do żadnego z nich odnosić. Do wielu, mogę powiedzieć, będzie bardzo pozytywne nastawienie większości w Parlamencie Europejskim. Będziemy mieli czas na sprawozdanie, na dyskusję, także w trylogu. Ja chciałem powiedzieć o pewnej rzeczy ogólnej. Mianowicie fundusz jest po to, żeby nasi mieszkańcy, ci z tych regionów najbardziej zagrożonych, mieli przekonanie, że neutralność klimatyczna 2050 będzie osiągnięta z nimi, dla nich, a nie w jakiś sposób obok nich lub przeciwko nim. Oryginalnie powstał dla regionów górniczych, bo pomysł padł w Katowicach, w stolicy COP24, ale dzisiaj przy tym rozszerzeniu funduszu, który mamy na stole, powinniśmy myśleć o znacznie większych, dodatkowych środkach. Apeluję do panów wiceprzewodniczących, aby się zastanowić, jak te dodatkowe środki, nie z innych polityk, można by w tym budżecie wieloletnim zapisać.

 
  
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  Mounir Satouri (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, au moment où on parle de fonds de transition et de justice sociale, je regrette l’absence du commissaire Schmit. Santé environnementale, sécurité au travail, protection des services publics, logements, lutte contre la précarité énergétique, revenu universel, réduction du nombre de sans-abri, tous ces sujets sont les conditions d’une transition juste et nécessaire. Partout en Europe, les inégalités s’aggravent. Le réchauffement climatique accélère ces inégalités et celles-ci participent à renforcer les arguments de l’extrême droite et à déstabiliser notre Europe.

Nous attendons beaucoup plus d’engagement sur la justice sociale, et je souhaite vous réaffirmer ici que nous, écologistes, nous attendons mieux et ferons tout pour que la construction de ce pilier social devienne une réalité concrète pour tous nos concitoyens partout en Europe.

 
  
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  Franc Bogovič (PPE). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Evropa se je odločila, da odgovori na podnebne razmere, podnebne spremembe in to je naš zeleni dogovor.

Zeleni dogovor ima svojo ceno in danes vidimo in imamo pred sabo sklad za pravični razvoj. Podpiram, da smo do ljudi pošteni, korektni in da jim pomagamo, ker bodo prišli v stisko. Rešujemo predvsem rudarski sektor. Tudi v Sloveniji, iz katere prihajam, še vedno proizvedemo približno tretjino električne energije iz premoga oz. iz lignita, zato je prav, da pomagamo tem regijam.

Ne bodo pa te regije edine, ki bodo plačale ceno zelenega dogovora, zato je prav, da v luči prihajajočega finančnega okvira zelo konkretno predvidimo tudi ostale potrebe in ukrepe, povezane tako z novo energetsko infrastrukturo, s transformacijo sektorjev, kot je avtomobilski sektor, kakor pa tudi ostali jeklarski sektor in podobno.

Prav je, da tudi ne pozabimo na ostale politike, zato pričakujem v okviru sprejemanja večletnega finančnega okvira, da imamo celotno ceno zelenega dogovora na mizi in da najdemo tudi kvalitetne vire za pokritje tega računa.

 
  
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  Othmar Karas (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, meine Herren Vizepräsidenten! Wir setzen uns richtige und notwendige Ziele und wissen noch gar nicht, ob sie ehrgeizig genug sind. Wir wissen auch, dass es keine Einzelmaßnahme gibt, die uns diese Ziele umsetzen lässt. Wir müssen an vielen Baustellen die Schrauben drehen und mehr Geld in die Hand nehmen. Daher ist es wichtig, dass wir wissen, dass wir 260 Milliarden Euro pro Jahr an neuen Investitionen benötigen. Daher begrüße ich auch, dass wir 1 000 Milliarden Euro in den nächsten zehn Jahren mobilisieren wollen.

Dabei wissen wir, dass wir mehr in Forschung investieren müssen, damit wir die Technologieführerschaft erreichen. Daher ist es richtig, dass wir einen Fonds schaffen für den gerechten Übergang, weil es benachteiligte Gebiete gibt. Wir wissen auch, dass es zu sozialen Problemen kommen kann. Wenn wir den sozialen Zusammenhalt in dieser Umstrukturierung erreichen und stabilisieren wollen, dann müssen wir die soziale Säule in der Europäischen Union durchsetzen.

Wir haben viel zu tun, aber wir müssen uns dieser Herausforderung stellen.

 
  
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  Herbert Dorfmann (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin! Herr Vizepräsident, ich glaube, wir sind uns alle einig, dass wir einen Energieübergang brauchen, dass wir weniger endliche Rohstoffe brauchen, dass wir mehr nachwachsende Rohstoffe brauchen und dass wir auch weniger CO2-Ausstoß brauchen. Aber ich glaube, die Gefahr, die wir laufen – und das haben mir auch viele meiner Kolleginnen und Kollegen hier gesagt – ist, dass wir letztendlich als Europäische Union als die dastehen, welche die Kohleminen geschlossen haben, welche den ländlichen Raum entvölkert haben und letztendlich dazu beigetragen haben, dass Arbeitsplätze verloren gegangen sind.

Und in diese Falle dürfen wir nicht tappen, denn einem Arbeitnehmer, der über Jahrzehnte in der Kohlemine gearbeitet hat, dem wird es relativ egal sein, dass wir neue Möglichkeiten schaffen. So einfach ist es für den nicht. Und deshalb müssen wir unbedingt einen zukunftsorientierten Ansatz finden. Wir müssen Biotechnologien fördern, wir müssen nachwachsende Rohstoffe fördern, und wir müssen dafür sorgen, dass dieser Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang nicht zu einem Fonds wird, der für Abschalten steht, der für Aufgeben steht und der für Entvölkern steht, sondern zu einem Fonds, der für neue Technologien steht, für Zukunft, für Biotechnologien und letztendlich für ländliche Landschaften.

 
  
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  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Sama nazwa Fundusz na rzecz Sprawiedliwej Transformacji sugeruje, że środki powinny być dzielone efektywnie, ale także sprawiedliwie. Sprawiedliwie to znaczy proporcjonalnie do społecznego ciężaru, jaki dźwigają regiony, które uwalniają się od węgla i energetyki węglowej. A tu mapa Europy jest bardzo zróżnicowana. Z przyczyn historycznych rzadko to jest przewina społeczeństwa, częściej przewina rządzących. I dlatego o Zielonym Ładzie trzeba mówić mądrze: „tak, ale”. Dlatego że Europa ma być nie tylko zielona, ale także konkurencyjna. Dlatego że jeśli Europa ma przewodzić całemu światu, to musi odnieść sukces, a nie ponieść porażkę. To zaś wymaga bardzo solidnej osłony finansowej dla wielu regionów europejskich. I ta osłona dopiero się wyłania. Na razie jest mglista. Jeżeli będą przekonujące konkrety, to wszyscy jednym głosem powiemy „jest weekend”.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: OTHMAR KARAS
Vizepräsident

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Ich möchte Sie nur rechtzeitig darüber in Kenntnis setzen, dass ich im Moment 35 spontane Wortmeldungen habe und das angesichts der Zeitverzögerung unter keinen Umständen machbar ist. Ich werde maximal acht Wortmeldungen annehmen können, um halbwegs im Zeitplan zu bleiben.

 
  
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  Μαρία Σπυράκη (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, Αντιπρόεδρε Timmermans, Αντιπρόεδρε Dombrovskis, σας ευχαριστούμε που είστε σήμερα εδώ για να παρουσιάσετε τον Μηχανισμό για τις βιώσιμες επενδύσεις και τη δίκαιη μετάβαση. Έχει ιδιαίτερη σημασία να λάβουμε υπόψη ότι, για να πετύχει o Μηχανισμός Δίκαιης Μετάβασης, οφείλουμε να καθορίσουμε άμεσα τα κριτήρια επιλεξιμότητας με γνώμονα τη συνεισφορά της παραγωγής του άνθρακα στο Ακαθάριστο Εγχώριο Προϊόν της περιοχής αλλά και την ταχύτητα της απομάκρυνσης από τον άνθρακα. Στην Ελλάδα, η κυβέρνηση, μέσω του σχεδίου για την ενέργεια και το κλίμα, έχει ήδη ανακοινώσει ότι επιχειρεί να κλείσει τις μονάδες του άνθρακα έως το 2023, και πάντως το ενεργειακό μείγμα της Ελλάδας δεν θα προέρχεται από τον άνθρακα το 2028. Είναι ή όχι η ταχύτητα της απανθρακοποίησης ένα στοιχείο για την επιλεξιμότητα στο Ταμείο Δίκαιης Μετάβασης; Αντιπρόεδρε Timmermans, σας άκουσα να αναφέρεστε στους πολίτες της Δυτικής Μακεδονίας. Περιμένουν από εμάς εδώ, στο Στρασβούργο και στις Βρυξέλλες, να τους δώσουμε μια δίκαιη προοπτική. Να αντικαταστήσουμε την αγωνία τους με μια βιώσιμη δουλειά. Δουλειές που τους ταιριάζουν, δουλειές για τη βιομηχανία, δουλειές για την ενέργεια. Περιμένουμε τις απαντήσεις σας.

 
  
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  Edina Tóth (PPE). – Elnök Úr! Üdvözlöm az Európai Tanács decemberi döntését arról, hogy az EU klímasemlegessé váljon 2050-re. Fel kell készülni viszont arra, hogy ez az átállás jelentős gazdasági és társadalmi változással fog járni, amelynek magas költsége és beruházásigénye lesz. Támogatni kell az alacsonyabb jövedelmű tagállamokat, különösen a legkevésbé fejlett régiókat és azon ágazatokat, ahol az átalakulás munkahelyek megszűnéséhez vezet majd. Úgy kell kialakítani a méltányos átállási alapot, hogy annak következtében ne emelkedjenek az energia- és az élelmiszerárak. Egyetlen tagállamot, régiót sem szabad hátrahagyni. Meg kell teremteni a feltételeit egy társadalmilag igazságos átállásnak. Szeretném kiemelni, hogy a méltányos átállási alap létrehozásához nem szabad a hagyományos uniós politikák támogatásából elvenni, mint például a kohéziós alap vagy a közös agrárpolitika. Az Unió többéves költségvetési keretén felüli pénzügyi forrásból, friss pénzből kell ezt kialakítani. Végezetül felhívnám a figyelmet arra, hogy a támogatások hatályát nem lehet csak azon tagállamokra korlátozni, ahol a szén kivezetése nagy problémát jelent.

 
  
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  Tomislav Sokol (PPE). – Poštovani gospodine podpredsjedniče, klimatske promjene su stvarnost i to vidimo doista svaki dan i one ugrožavaju mnoge dijelove Europe, uključujući, među ostalim, i moju državu Republiku Hrvatsku, a pogotovo naše obalne gradove kao što su Zadar, Split, Dubrovnik, koji su pravi dragulji povijesne baštine koje svakako treba zaštititi. Međutim, s druge strane, isto tako potrebno je uzeti u obzir one posljedice koje će tranzicija i Zeleni sporazum imati na našu industriju, na naše društvo, i u tom bih smislu naglasio četiri načela.

Prvo, kad govorimo o zaštiti okoliša i Zelenom sporazumu, treba provesti jaku i preciznu procjenu učinaka propisa koja treba biti utemeljena na znanosti, a ne na ideologiji.

Drugo, mora biti jasno definirano na koji će se način pomoći najpotrebitijima i tu je Fond za pravednu tranziciju od izuzetne važnosti.

Treće, sredstva kojima će se financirati tranzicija ne smiju biti na štetu kohezije. Kohezija je jedna od najuspješnijih europskih politika koja utjelovljuje upravo ono načelo solidarnosti na kojem se Europska unija zasniva i upravo zbog toga treba biti sačuvana i u ovom kontekstu.

I četvrto, pravila iz kojih će se sredstava financirati i kome i pod kojim kriterijima će se sredstva dodjeljivati moraju biti jasna i precizna što trenutno nažalost nije do kraja slučaj.

 
  
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  Lídia Pereira (PPE). – Senhor Presidente, caros colegas, os objetivos do Green Deal são termos uma Europa mais evoluída e mais saudável, travando a perda da biodiversidade e a poluição, e inverter a nossa gestão de bens e resíduos com uma economia circular enquanto promovemos a competitividade e o crescimento.

Não tenhamos dúvidas que esta transição é tanto uma necessidade ambiental como uma oportunidade económica. O plano europeu de investimento sustentável é o pilar do investimento para dar corpo a esta ambição, colocando cerca de 25% de todo o orçamento comunitário ao serviço desta mudança.

As contribuições públicas e privadas, a definição de investimentos sustentáveis e a promoção de ligações entre investidores e novas ideias e tecnologias são parte de uma estratégia para colocar a Europa como líder global numa economia sustentável e em crescimento.

Considero fundamental uma aposta sólida nas energias renováveis, em particular na energia solar, que esta Comissão considere o hidrogénio como uma possibilidade séria de descarbonização e da mobilidade e que trabalhe para resolver de uma vez por todas o problema das conexões energéticas entre a Península Ibérica e o resto da Europa.

 
  
 

Spontane Wortmeldungen

 
  
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  Στέλιος Κυμπουρόπουλος (PPE). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, εδώ και μήνες γίνεται λόγος για τον Μηχανισμό Δίκαιης Μετάβασης και τις προσδοκίες που υπάρχουν για αυτόν. Σήμερα ακούσαμε στοιχεία και αυτό είναι πολύ αισιόδοξο. Θα ήθελα να σας υπενθυμίσω πως, στην Ελλάδα, περισσότεροι από 5 000 εργαζόμενοι θα πληγούν από το κλείσιμο των μονάδων στην περιφέρεια Δυτικής Ελλάδας και τον δήμο Μεγαλόπολης. Στην Ελλάδα, δεν αρκούμαστε σε ένα απλό Grecovery από την απερχόμενη, όπως όλα δείχνουν κρίση, αλλά στοχεύουμε σε μια μεγάλη ελληνική πράσινη έκπληξη. Δεν αρκεί να λέμε σε έναν οργανισμό ή σε μια περιφέρεια να «πρασινίσει». Πρέπει να δείχνουμε τον τρόπο και να παρέχουμε τα εργαλεία, χωρίς να αποδυναμώνουμε επιτυχείς δράσεις που στοχεύουν στην κοινωνική συνοχή. Θα πρέπει στην πραγματικότητα ο Μηχανισμός να είναι όχι μόνο δίκαιης αλλά και αποτελεσματικής μετάβασης. Θα πρέπει να αποδείξουμε στους ανθρώπους που θα αλλάξουν αντικείμενο εργασίας ότι δεν θα χάσουν τις δουλειές τους και ότι υπάρχει ένα όχι μόνον εθνικό ή τοπικό αλλά και ευρωπαϊκό σχέδιο που θα διαφυλάξει τις επενδύσεις, τις επιχειρήσεις και το ανθρώπινο δυναμικό σε κάθε περιοχή.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Mr President, in my remote northern England region, in a proud community, generations of men and boys slaved underground, mining for coal, and worked in iron and steel foundries, forging component parts for railways, factory ships and a thousand other products that helped to build our national infrastructure and generate trade, so I know exactly what happens when, with one fell swoop, an industry disappears, with no thought as to what might replace it. In post-industrial Britain, under Thatcher’s government, the skilled ironmasters and steelworkers of County Durham were offered little more than precarious low-paid work on a factory production line, putting potato crisps into packets eight hours a day, five days a week, for example. These men – strong, decent, proud – became broken beings, emasculated, their loss of dignity obvious in their dull eyes and their spreading girth. What a difference it would have made to these men, to my community, if we had had a Just Transition Fund. Decent work confers a sense of dignity, of self-worth.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Jetzt muss ich einmal etwas sagen: Sie wissen, dass wir die Zeit überzogen haben. Es haben sich 35 Personen gemeldet, und jede zweite Person, die ich aufrufe, ist nicht da. Das werden wir notieren, weil ja sonst die gesamte Ordnung, auch die Aufrufe durcheinandergeraten. Wir vergeuden nur Zeit, wenn ich ständig danach fragen muss, wer da ist und wer nicht da ist.

 
  
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  Susana Solís Pérez (Renew). – Señor presidente, gracias, señor comisario, por su presentación hoy. El Fondo de Transición Justa es fundamental para que las regiones europeas puedan financiar la descarbonización. Estamos hablando de 100 000 millones de euros en diez años y nos preocupa muchísimo cómo se van a distribuir esos fondos. Usted, señor Timmermans, durante su presentación, nombró a los mineros de Asturias, mi región. Pero tanto Asturias como Castilla y León, como Aragón, son regiones de España que ya han cerrado todas sus minas, que ya han hecho los deberes y que están ahora cerrando las últimas centrales térmicas que dependen del carbón. Y estas regiones están sufriendo muchísimo en términos de empleo y esto está afectando mucho al problema de la despoblación. Por eso, lo que hoy le queremos pedir es que se tenga en cuenta a estas regiones, a las regiones que ya han hecho los deberes, en este Fondo de Transición Justa. Porque, como usted decía, se trata de no dejar a nadie atrás y es fundamental que estas regiones no pierdan más empleo y no pierdan más población.

 
  
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  Bogdan Rzońca (ECR). – Panie Przewodniczący! W trylogu na temat taksonomii udało się pozostawić otwartą furtkę dla gazu i atomu, tej ostatecznej regulacji. Niestety te aktywności będą tylko aktywnościami przejściowymi. Tak to zapisano. Mam więc pytanie do Panów komisarzy: jak Panowie rozumiecie tę przejściowość dla gazu i atomu? Jestem trochę pokrzepiony tym, co powiedział wczoraj szef EBI, bo mówił, że nie będzie takiego topora nad tymi inwestycjami, które są w toku, ale chciałbym także poznać Panów zdanie na ten temat, bo uważam, że sprawa jest istotna. Wiem, że gaz nie jest neutralny klimatycznie, ale jest pewnym źródłem energii i trzeba by było pomyśleć pozytywnie na jego temat.

 
  
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  Marc Botenga (GUE/NGL). – Monsieur le Président, j’ai regardé la présentation avec beaucoup d’intérêt mais il y a quelques points qui m’interpellent.

Tout d’abord, si on veut une transition juste, la question des services publics est fondamentale. Or, sur les services publics, vous dites que vous allez soutenir les autorités locales, mais je me demande alors pourquoi ne pas rompre avec l’austérité tout de suite: cela permettrait des investissements publics dont nous avons besoin pour éviter que les petites gares ferment.

Ensuite, la question du dumping social. Si vous sortez de cette enceinte et que vous discutez avec les gens, la première question sera le dumping social. Je vois que, dans la communication, vous promettez simplement d’appliquer les règles européennes actuelles. Pensez-vous vraiment que pour les gens c’est suffisant? Je ne pense pas.

Enfin, en matière d’emploi, vous dites que vous allez soutenir surtout de grandes entreprises, si j’ai bien compris. Or, le problème c’est qu’on fait cela depuis des années. On leur donne des subsides, on leur donne des aides en échange d’emplois, et que font-elles? Elles empochent et elles s’en vont. Pourquoi cela changerait-il?

 
  
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  Antonius Manders (PPE). – Voorzitter, commissarissen, de Green Deal is een enorme uitdaging. Iedereen vraagt meer geld, maar ik zou willen voorstellen om er een verdienmodel van te maken, zodat wij in de nabije toekomst van de Green Deal een Europees exportproduct kunnen maken waar de Europese economie aan kan verdienen. Het promoten van een gezonde levensstijl is van groot belang. De helft van de bevolking van Europa is 50+, en de andere helft wil het heel graag worden.

Het zou goed zijn om een gezonde levensstijl te promoten, bijvoorbeeld door de btw naar 0 te brengen op verse Europese groente en fruit – en niet alleen biologische – en dat we wat minder vlees gaan eten, maar wel Europees vlees. Vervolgens zou het goed zijn om de verkeersstromen te verminderen, bijvoorbeeld het woon-werkverkeer, en ik verzoek de Commissie met technische middelen te komen om dat mogelijk te maken. Het zou een heel goed voorbeeld zijn als dit Parlement het mogelijk maakt dat de leden vanuit Brussel deze vergadering kunnen bijwonen, waardoor we minder op en neer hoeven te rijden en daarmee een goed voorbeeld geven.

 
  
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  Maria Grapini (S&D). – Domnule președinte, stimați comisari, sigur, tranziția către o economie neutră ne-am asumat-o, noi, Uniunea Europeană, prin Acordul de la Paris. Mă bucur însă că a venit propunerea din partea Parlamentului și Comisia și-a însușit-o, pentru a avea un fond de tranziție. Folosiți cuvântul echitabil. Evident că nu știm prea multe lucruri și sper, domnule Timmermans, că veți veni cu clarificări, pentru că am avut experiența Fondului Juncker, în care criteriile nu au fost cele mai bune și s-au concentrat fondurile în câteva state care au avut capacitatea administrativă de scriere a proiectelor.

Este nevoie să avem, într-adevăr, investiții și trebuie să ținem cont ca investițiile în sursele energetice cu emisii scăzute de carbon să nu fie discriminate și, apoi, decarbonizarea din sistemul energetic ajută la decarbonizarea altor domenii și, de aceea, cred că trebuie studii de impact, așa cum s-a spus. Și închei prin a spune că în tot ce decidem, trebuie să nu uităm și să ținem cont de contextul fiecărui stat în parte și că mixul energetic este prevăzut în tratat ca subsidiaritate.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Im Laufe des Grünen Deals rechnen wir mit über 50 Initiativen der Kommission in nächster Zeit, sodass wir eigentlich jede Plenarwoche eine Debatte zu diesem Thema haben werden, wo dann die verschiedensten Aspekte in den Wortmeldungen noch eingebracht werden können.

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Frans Timmermans, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, very briefly, if we do not limit the increase in temperature to 1.5 degrees, we are no longer masters of our own destiny. Things will get out of control, we will reach tipping points and the effects for humanity will be disastrous. If we do not shape the fourth industrial revolution that is happening right now at breakneck speed, others will shape it for us and I believe that some will be big winners, but many will lose out.

So that’s the writing that we see on the wall. If you see writing on the wall, you can react in three ways. You can just ignore it and continue as is – as some seem to advocate here – you can be afraid and hide under the bed – which I would not advocate – or you can start acting. This is what the Commission is doing with the Green Deal. This is what we are doing with the Just Transition Fund. To those who say it’s not enough, you’re right, it isn’t. More efforts will be necessary. But it is a first step in the right direction and any journey starts with a first step. We will start discussing the elements with you in the next months and years so that we get it right.

I want to explicitly thank President Buzek for having made this proposal. It’s his idea and we worked on this, and I say this on the day – and he will allow me to say this – that I want just to recall that, exactly one year ago, a courageous mayor, Paweł Adamowicz, my friend, was murdered. He stood for something I believe in, which is freedom, openness and dialogue. I really would like just to mention his name here today because he deserves that and we should never forget him.

Let me end on one thing. Yes, as it was said, I am a grandson of coal miners. That’s right. But I also know the writing is on the wall for coal. There is no future in coal and, if you want to ignore that reality, you can continue subsidising mines for years and years to come, at great expense, but how are you then going to explain to people who suffer from bad air quality that more than 400 000 people in Europe die prematurely because of bad air quality and you do nothing?

Do you really believe that our children and grandchildren are looking forward to a job in a coal mine? I think they’re looking forward to other jobs and the Just Transition Fund should help bring about those other jobs in those regions that in the future will no longer be coal regions.

This is the very idea of what we’re doing and ignoring the writing on the wall – as you do – is not an option. Nor will the British Government do that and I’m absolutely sure that in the future the European Union and the British Government will be working hand in hand to make the Green Deal happen.

 
  
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  Valdis Dombrovskis, Executive Vice-President of the Commission. – Mr President, first of all, I’d like to thank everyone for this lively and inspiring debate. I think it shows that we share the same goal, the same sense of urgency, and the same aspiration for the economic transformations we are facing to be just and inclusive.

Our target is set. Now we need to work together towards a green and socially sustainable European economy. But we cannot do this alone. We can steer the policy but we need to bring European citizens and businesses along with us. We have the funding to move forward and to make sure that everybody can stay on board. We have enabling rules to guide us through this transition and we have the technical assistance to ensure that there is a strong pipeline of sustainable projects.

Coming back to some of the questions which were raised in today’s debate, there were many questions raised on the overall impact of this green transition on the European economy and whether a sustainable European investment fund and the Just Transition Mechanism are enough to deal with this. First of all, I would like to emphasise that our studies are actually showing a moderately positive impact on the economy from transition to the carbon—neutral economy. Yes, there will be jobs which will disappear like the ones in the coal industry, but the green economy will be creating many new jobs. So our task is to take this opportunity, but, at the same time, support the people and regions most affected. That’s why we have the Just Transition Mechanism and the Just Transition Fund, and yes, that’s exactly what the Commission proposed. This was also a question which was raised a number of times. We proposed the Just Transition Fund as fresh money, so EUR 7.5 billion on top of the current MFF proposal. We believe we have everything we need to reach our goal, so let’s work together to make this a reality.

 
  
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  Der Präsident. – Die Aussprache ist geschlossen.

Schriftliche Erklärungen (Artikel 171)

 
  
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  Marek Belka (S&D), na piśmie. – Szanowni Państwo! Reprezentuję województwo łódzkie, na którego terytorium znajduje się Elektrownia Bełchatów. Jest to największa na świecie elektrownia węglowa wytwarzająca energię elektryczną z węgla brunatnego. Jest to jednak też, niestety, największy w Polsce emitor dwutlenku węgla. Nie chciałbym jednak, by nasi partnerzy patrzyli na mój kraj tylko przez pryzmat „komina” Europy. Dlatego też w wielkim wzburzeniem przyjąłem wiadomość, że Rząd mojego kraju nie chce podjąć wszelkich aktywnych działań Nowego Zielonego Ładu, zaproponowanego przez Komisję. Od licznych przywódców Europy słyszymy, że tylko państwa aktywnie działające w ramach Zielonego Ładu będą miały dostęp do środków pochodzących z Funduszu na rzecz Sprawiedliwej Transformacji. Dlaczego rząd PiS chce odebrać pieniądze na restrukturyzację zakładów takich jak Bełchatów lub liczne kopalnie na Śląsku? Dlaczego nie chce zapewnić świeżego powietrza Polakom? W tym kontekście więc, w razie zreflektowania się rządu PiS, że transformacja energetyczna jest Polakom i Europie niezbędna, zwracam się do Komisji o przeznaczenie znaczących środków z tego funduszu na regiony, które ich najbardziej potrzebują - czyli Bełchatów oraz Śląsk.

 
  
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  Tudor Ciuhodaru (S&D), în scris. – Să nu uităm că în spatele Pactului ecologic se află oameni. Întotdeauna ei sunt cei mai importanți. Vorbesc de un ucigaș tăcut și invizibil. Poluarea! Sunt medic și tratez în fiecare zi oameni afectați de poluare. Este nevoie de o Revoluție verde, noi politici de sănătate publică și sociale aplicate la nivel european asigurate prin Fondul pentru o tranziție justă.

Am propus azi un mecanism care să permită acest lucru. Mai exact: 1. asigurarea finanțării corespunzătoare bazate pe studii de impact; 2. asistență europeană în implementarea acestor proiecte; 3. finanțarea prioritară a României de către Banca Europeană de Investiții - regiunile cele mai vulnerabile (Valea Jiului și Oltenia); 4. introducerea salariului minim european; 5. suplimentarea fondurilor de coeziune atât de necesare pentru dezvoltare.

Și, nu în ultimul rând, două soluții mai puțin costisitoare dar extrem de eficiente: 1. interzicerea defrișării la nivel european pe durata acestui mandat. Proiectul meu de lege ce prevede același lucru este pe ordinea de zi a Camerei Deputaților în Parlamentul României și nu văd de ce nu ar putea fi adoptat; 2. introducerea educației ecologice la nivel european. Unitate în diversitate, deviza Uniunii Europene, trebuie să însemne și sănătate și solidaritate pentru toți cetățenii europeni.

 
  
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  Andor Deli (PPE), írásban. – A zöld átállás érinteni fogja az életünk minden szegmensét, ezek közül is az egyik legnagyobb kihívásokkal szembenéző ágazat a közlekedés. A közúti- és tömegközlekedés, fuvarozás a mindennapi életünk szerves részét képezik, ezért nem jelentéktelen kérdés, hogy milyen változásokon fognak átmenni ezek a területek az elkövetkező évtizedekben. A légszennyezés egyik legnagyobb elszenvedői a városokban és urbánus részeken élő lakosság. A tömegközlekedés modernizálása és dekarbonizálása nagyban hozzájárulhat a probléma megoldásához. Az Európai Uniónak segíteni kell a Tagállamokat úgy pénzügyi és más eszközökkel is, hogy olyan tömegközlekedést biztosítsunk a polgárok számára, amely tiszta, könnyen elérthető és megfizethető is.

Egy másik fontos kérdés az alternatív üzemanyagokhoz való hozzáférés az Európai Unió egészében. Az alternatív, tiszta üzemanyagok infrastruktúrájának fejlesztése és kiépítése a Tagállamokban, előfeltétele a méltányos zöld átállásnak a közúti közlekedés területén. Külön hangsúlyt kell fektetnünk a lemaradt, kevésbé fejlett régiókra, hogy a zöld átállás ne eredményezzen újabb törésvonalakat a kevésbé fejlett és a fejlett régiók között. Végezetül pedig fontos elmondani, hogy a zöld átállás csak akkor lehet méltányos, ha nem engedjük, hogy ez csak az európai polgárok, adófizetők terhére történjen. A terhek nagy részét a legnagyobb szennyezőknek kell állniuk.

 
  
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  Cindy Franssen (PPE), schriftelijk. – Het voorstel voor Europese minimumlonen, gekoppeld aan een nieuw “sociaal actieplan”, is een belangrijke stap vooruit. Eén op de tien werknemers balanceert op de rand van de armoede. Dat cijfer stijgt al tien jaar. Om het vertrouwen van de burger te herwinnen, moet Europa meer zijn dan een markt. Nooit eerder waren meer mensen aan de slag in Europa: 241 miljoen. Toch worstelen te veel werknemers om maandelijks rond te komen. De lage lonen én het grote verschil tussen de EU-landen, van 1,62 euro per uur in Bulgarije tot 11,97 euro per uur in Luxemburg, duwen miljoenen werkende Europeanen in de armoede, maar zorgen ook voor wrevel over loonconcurrentie en sociale dumping binnen de Europese markt. Een Europees minimumloonkader moet de sociale partners centraal stellen en rekening houden met de situatie in elke lidstaat. Dat betekent dat niet voor elke werknemer in de EU hetzelfde minimumloon moet gelden. Wel moet er een jaarlijks traject komen in het Europees semester, met de sociale partners, naar waardigere lonen en minder ongelijkheid binnen Europa. Zo slaat Europa twee vliegen in een klap: het sociaal overleg wordt versterkt, mét respect voor de nationale loonvorming en tradities.

 
  
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  Nicolás González Casares (S&D), por escrito. – La transición ecológica es una necesidad que entraña oportunidades, pero también desafíos: regiones como la mía, con empresas intensivas en energía necesitan el sostén europeo para cambiar su modelo productivo y hacerlo de manera justa, sin dejar a nadie atrás. La ciudadanía necesita certezas de que el coste de la transición no lo van a pagar los de siempre. En Galicia y España sabemos bien de lo que hablamos porque hemos cerrado la minería del carbón con grandes costes: paro, pérdida de tejido productivo, despoblación. Es necesaria la solidaridad europea para quienes deben cerrar sus minas ahora, desde luego. Pero también para quienes afrontamos graves consecuencias por haberlo hecho mucho antes. Nuestras regiones también necesitan inversión para relanzar su industria. Y competencia leal tanto en el mercado interior como con terceros países. No puede ser que las regiones más pobres acaben financiando la factura de la transición del carbón a países ricos que no han hecho sus deberes. Creemos en la solidaridad hacia quien más lo necesita. Pero no nos podemos permitir que este proceso abra nuevas brechas. Necesitamos un Fondo de Transición Justa. Y justicia en su diseño.

 
  
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  András Gyürk (PPE), írásban. – A Méltányos Átállási Alap nem kevesebbet tűz ki célként, mint a társadalmi igazságosság fenntartását a klímavédelmi erőfeszítések során. Nagy feladat ez, aminek a megoldásához vezető úton a Bizottság nyilatkozata fontos lépés. Azonban ez a javaslat nem tartja szem előtt a kihívás összetettségét, ezért javításra szorul. Egy társadalmilag valóban igazságos átmenet finanszírozásához ambiciózusabb pénzügyi eszközökre van szükség. A Méltányos Átállási Alap a javaslatban szereplő nagysága erre nem alkalmas. A megfelelő támogatás hiánya a fogyasztói energiaárak ugrásszerű emelkedéséhez vezethet, ami számomra elfogadhatatlan. Szintén szembe megy a méltányosság elvével, ha a klímavédelemre a strukturális alapokból csoportosítunk át pénzügyi eszközöket. Ennek szellemében a Méltányos Átállási Alap keretösszegének forrása kívül kell, hogy essen ezeken.

Továbbá érdemes felülvizsgálni a javaslatban szereplő kötelező nemzeti társfinanszírozás mértékét is. Végül a jelenlegi helyzetben nem rendelkezünk azzal a luxussal, hogy bizonyos technológiákat előnyben részesítsünk, másokat pedig megbélyegezzünk. A sikeres átmenethez kivétel nélkül az összes alacsony szén-dioxid kibocsátású megoldásra szükségünk van. Ezért a nukleáris energiát, mint olcsó, kibocsátásmentes és biztonságos energiaforrást, is elérhetővé kell tenni a pénzügyi támogatások számára.

 
  
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  Krzysztof Hetman (PPE), na piśmie. – Unia Europejska postawiła sobie bardzo ambitne cele klimatyczne i sądzę, że dziś już prawie nikt nie kwestionuje konieczności podejmowania działań mających na celu zatrzymania zmian klimatu. Należy jednak pamiętać, że obciążenie w sprostaniu owym celon klimatycznym jest dla poszczególnych regionów niezwykle odmienne i dlatego też część z nich wymagają dodatkowego wsparcia. Cieszę się zatem, że Komisja Europejska wyszła z propozycją utworzenia Mechanizmu Sprawiedliwej Transformacji. Jest jednak kwestią fundamentalną, by utworzenie tego mechanizmu opierało się na zasadzie nowe cele nowe pieniądze. Chciałbym więc dowiedzieć się, jakie ma być źródło pochodzenia proponowanych przez Komisję 7,5 miliarda euro przeznaczonych na Fundusz Sprawiedliwej Transformacji. Podkreślam przy tym, że polityka spójności, której częścią ma być Fundusz Sprawiedliwej Transformacji jest najważniejszą polityką inwestycyjną Unii Europejskiej i jej przyszłość pod żadnym pozorem nie może być zagrożona.

 
  
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  Marian-Jean Marinescu (PPE), în scris. – Salut faptul că după mai bine de 2 ani, propunerea Parlamentului European de a înființa un Fond pentru tranziția echitabilă a zonelor miniere este pusă în aplicare de către Comisia Europeană.

Este un prim pas și este bine că avem de unde începe munca pentru protejarea celor mai vulnerabili cetățeni în fața schimbărilor aduse de trecerea la neutralitatea climatică.

Propunerea Comisiei Europene va trebui însă considerabil îmbunătățită de către Parlamentul European.

Consider că cel mai critic aspect este suprapunerea financiară dintre Fondul pentru tranziția echitabilă și politică de coeziune. Deși CE a anunțat un buget de 7,5 miliarde euro pentru acest fond, de fapt CE se bazează pe fondurile din politica de coeziune. Propunerea CE de a transfera între 1,5 și de 3 ori mai multe fonduri din programele ERDF și ESF+ decât alocarea pentru Fondul pentru tranziția echitabilă dezavantajează exact regiunile cele mai slab dezvoltate din UE și care vor avea și cel mai mult de suferit, așa cum este și cazul Olteniei.

 
  
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  Manuel Pizarro (S&D), por escrito. – A história da Europa e do mundo encontra-se marcada por transformações do modelo de desenvolvimento que geraram riqueza e emprego mas também resultaram no desaparecimento de milhões de postos de trabalho, em exclusão social e marginalização. Ao longo das últimas décadas, a expansão e aperfeiçoamento do modelo social europeu foi essencial para mitigar os impactos negativos dessas transformações estruturais na vida das pessoas. Pela primeira vez na história, o drama das alterações climáticas faz com que a próxima mutação do modelo de desenvolvimento - de uma economia baseada nos combustíveis fósseis para uma economia descarbonizada e sustentável - seja uma mutação inevitável e programada. Por isso mesmo, o dever da União Europeia é criar mecanismos que reduzam ao mínimo o impacto negativo que a transição ambiental e climática vai ter nas regiões e setores mais dependentes de atividades de elevada intensidade carbónica. O Fundo para a Transição Justa, o Plano de Investimento para uma Europa Sustentável e o Pilar Europeu dos Direitos Sociais constituem uma tríade importante para procurar que a União Europeia do futuro seja uma União social e sustentável, capaz de romper o velho ciclo que, a cada novo salto do modelo de desenvolvimento, criava vencedores e perdedores.

 
  
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  Rovana Plumb (S&D) in writing. – Our citizens urge for immediate action on climate emergency. Having people at heard of transition is the responsible way forward to a net-zero greenhouse gas economy. For that, we need innovative solutions, good cooperation between the EU, the Member States and the local and regional authorities. This will have a transformative impact over all the European economy as well the lifestyle, including of the consumption habits – climate neutral in order that no one is left behind. A just and fair transition policy framework and a sustainable investment plan with a visible positive impact on employment will create the conditions to better align EU climate targets for 2030 and 2050. The Just Transition Fund, composed by private and public money, should approach the problems facing workers in regions that are economically dependent on the sectors in the frontline of decarbonisation. This means providing technical assistance and supporting all efforts to transform these economies and diversify their industries. Regional development based on a carefully planned restructuring process, to which renewable energy plays central role, will create also new employment opportunities. Just Transition is not just another transition, it is a new revolution!

 
  
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  Evelyn Regner (S&D), schriftlich. – Die ambitionierten Ziele des europäischen Grünen Deals und der Fonds für einen gerechten Übergang stehen außer Diskussion – Klimaneutralität bis 2050, die Wirtschaft der EU nachhaltiger und die Gesellschaft gerechter und wohlhabender zu machen, sind ehrgeizige Ziele und jene Pfeiler, die das Fundament des Grünen Deals ausmachen. Diese Pfeiler müssen jedoch nachgebessert und noch weiter gestärkt werden: Die Verteilung des Wohlstands fällt in Europa immer weiter auseinander. Jeder zehnte Arbeitnehmer ist in der EU von Armut bedroht! Und trotzdem werden die Ziele für nachhaltige Entwicklung nicht ambitioniert verfolgt. Und wir wissen, dass der Schlüssel für sozialen Frieden und Stabilität soziale Inklusion und Gerechtigkeit ist! Ein magisches Vieleck, das ökologische, soziale und wirtschaftliche Indikatoren verbindet, muss die Grundlage für den New Green Deal bilden. Die erste Säule – die Finanzierung des European Green Deals – muss dahingehend gestärkt werden, dass über zusätzliche finanzielle Eigenmittel, dazu zählt auch eine faire Steuerpolitik, sowie über einen höheren Beitrag durch den EU-Haushalt und eine „Golden Rule“ für öffentliche Investitionen nachgedacht werden muss, um die Umstellung für alle gerecht bewältigen zu können!

 
  
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  Андрей Слабаков  (ECR), в писмена форма. – Г-жо председател, впечатлен съм от изказванията тук днес. Наистина, те са в тон със Зелената сделка на Комисията - представляват единствено пожелания, като в една лоша коледна картичка. „Обещаваме всичко, без да знаем как да го постигнем“. Слагате магарето пред каруцата. Предлагате мерки, които гадаят какъв ще е икономическият ефект от прехода.

Обещавате повече от 7 милиарда евро, за да се погрижим за тези, чието работно място ще бъде закрито. Не закрито, защото няма работа, а защото е взето политическо решение. И откъде ще дойдат тези милиарди? С данъци, разбира се. Взети от тези, които току-що са останали без работа. Нека не се лъжем, тук става дума за цяла Европа, която разчита на изкопаеми горива и на тежки индустрии. Нивото на технологиите за „зелена“ енергия и икономика изобщо не могат да компенсират този обем. Зелената сделка и нейните поддръжници се държат като млади болшевики, които вярват безрезервно, че от миньори могат да направят компютърни специалисти за шест месеца. Тук сме, за да решим проблемите на европейските граждани, а не да създаваме нови! Благодаря!

 

7. Razmere v Iranu in Iraku po nedavnem zaostrovanju razmer (razprava)
Video posnetki govorov
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  Der Präsident. – Als nächster Punkt der Tagesordnung folgt die Aussprache über die Erklärung des Vizepräsidenten der Kommission und Hohen Vertreters der Union für Außen- und Sicherheitspolitik zur Lage in Iran und Irak nach der jüngsten Eskalation (2020/2506(RSP)).

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Mr President, first of all, let me thank this Parliament for its ongoing concern about the situation in the two countries that feature in this debate, as well as in the wider region. It’s not an understatement to say that the recent tensions in Iraq and in the surrounding region have the potential to erase the hard-won progress of recent years, thereby affecting the lives of millions of people.

Allow me to begin this debate by stating one thing very clearly. I am committed, as High Representative, and, as the European Union, we are all committed to working to stop the current cycle of violence in Iraq, which must cease before it spirals out of control once again.

This is also why I convened an extraordinary Foreign Affairs Ministers Council on Friday – coming back from Croatia sooner than expected – from which I received a strong mandate to carry out all necessary diplomatic efforts to contribute to de—escalation in the region, support political dialogue and promote a political regional solution. These are the precise words of the conclusions of the Council. The President of the European Council and the President of the European Commission have also been fully engaged in these de—escalation efforts and this is how it should be.

During the past six weeks – in fact already since last year – we have seen an increasing escalation of tension in Iraq, which culminated in the killing of Iranian General Soleimani by a US drone attack, followed by attacks by Iran against bases in Iraq housing troops fighting Daesh, which thankfully did not harm anyone. While it may appear as if, for the moment, the current situation will not escalate further, we, and I personally, have since the very beginning of this crisis been active in urging calm, restraint and de—escalation to all of the relevant parties inside and outside the region, from Iran to Iraq, the UAE, the United States, Turkey, Russia, China and others. We want to ensure that everyone with influence uses this influence to good effect and that we reach a temporary calm.

Why are we so concerned about the current crisis and how it can affect the region? Well, the current situation in Iraq and the risk of further military escalation could jeopardise the substantial achievement in stability and, in particular, the fight against Daesh in recent years. The current situation could generate a number of dangerous consequences. The resumption of Daesh would have a catastrophic humanitarian impact, possibly leading to a dramatic increase in the number of displaced persons. We must avoid that at all costs. For this to occur, preserving the achievements the global coalition has won collectively in the fight against Daesh is imperative. Such a situation would also risk diverting attention from the necessary political reforms that Iraq must undertake, starting with government formation – there is still a caretaker government – and the need to tackle essential social challenges, including fighting corruption.

We have already invested significantly in Iraqi stability, reconstruction and development with the financial support of more than EUR 1.2 billion since 2014. This has focused on humanitarian aid, support for internally displaced persons, stabilisation in the liberated areas, civilian security sector reform through the CSDP EU assistance mission and supporting good governance and job creation.

We need to make sure, with our continued support, that the reforms legitimately demanded by the Iraqi citizens are delivered promptly, also bearing in mind the global commitments taken in Kuwait in February 2018 at the reconstruction conference held there. On this the EU is fully delivering on the pledges we made, with over EUR 400 million mobilised in the last two years to support governance reforms and promote sustainable job creation.

The situation in Iran is also something that we continue to follow closely. We have had a number of tragic incidents, such as the Ukraine International Airlines plane crash on 8 January with 176 people on board, including a high number of EU citizens. Iran has now taken responsibility for this crash. As I said in my statement on 11 January, this was a deplorable tragedy and, once again, I want to send my condolences to the victims’ families. We expect that Iran will continue to cooperate fully and undertake a comprehensive and transparent investigation. In the same week, 59 people died in a stampede during the funeral ceremonies for General Soleimani on 6 January, and 20 individuals lost their lives on 9 January in a bus accident close to Tehran. In this case also, I convey my deepest condolences to all of them.

In the current tense situation, it is more important than ever to keep hold of the instruments that are serving to promote security and, in this context, the JCPOA remains crucial for non—proliferation purposes. A failure to preserve the deal will only add to tensions in the region. Imagine for a second what the situation would be today if Iran had nuclear weapons – and without the JCPOA they would have been able to obtain those.

On 5 January, Iran announced its fifth and, according to its own announcement, final step in the reduction of its nuclear commitments under the deal. This is a worrisome announcement, but it is important to see what the International Atomic Energy Agency reports on how Iran implements this step. As coordinator of the JCPOA, I have been in touch with all the participants on the diplomatic way forward, seeking to preserve unity in the group.

You will have heard that, earlier today, the Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and the United Kingdom invoked paragraph 36, the so-called dispute resolution mechanism, and informed me, in my capacity as coordinator, because they believe that Iran is not meeting its nuclear commitments, referring to the five steps that Iran has taken so far. As coordinator, I will guarantee that the dispute resolution mechanism provides an opportunity to address the issues indicated by France, Germany and the UK and I will oversee this process. I will be in touch with all the participants on the next steps.

I want to underline here that the dispute resolution mechanism is, first and foremost, a process to resolve issues related to the deal’s implementation. The objective of the dispute resolution mechanism will therefore be to find solutions and return to full compliance within the framework of this deal. It is not a matter of imposing sanctions, as some newspapers have been claiming since this morning.

All the remaining participants in the agreement have been clear about their determination to preserve the JCPOA. This unity is crucial and I intend to work hard to preserve it. The European Union position is clear: without this deal, we would lose a crucial element of the international non—proliferation architecture and an important contribution to regional security. A failure to preserve the deal can only add further tensions to the regions.

The time is running out. To reach de—escalation we have to witness this as a broader regional dimension. Tensions in Iraq reflect several of the region’s fractures and have the potential to affect difficult situations elsewhere in the region, from Syria to Lebanon, to Yemen and beyond. In short, the stakes are extremely high for Iraq, for the region as a whole, for the world and, of course, for us. In this context, there have already been calls for months for the European Union to play a bigger role, given that we speak to all – all means all – and we are not, as a group, perceived as having a hidden agenda. Our partners see us as standing for dialogue and peaceful and negotiated resolutions of disputes.

As I mentioned at the beginning, last Friday I convened an extraordinary meeting of the Foreign Affairs Council. During the meeting, we once again reaffirmed our call for urgent de-escalation and maximum restraint. We also reaffirmed our steadfast support for Iraq’s unity, independence and territorial integrity, and underlined our commitment to our partnerships with Iraq and to our continued support for the stability and reconstruction of this country. We also underlined our joint determination to preserve the JCPOA, which we strongly believe to be in all our shared interests and the interest of the region for peace and security.

We were also very clear that a durable solution to the ongoing crisis can only be regional and that we would continue to explore the role that the European Union can play in that. So, with the strong backing of the Council and the Commission, I will personally continue to remain engaged in all of these issues, as I said, talking with everybody and travelling everywhere. I am looking forward to working with you to promote safety, security and prosperity in the region, which is strongly and dangerously jeopardised by the latest events.

(Applause)

 
  
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  Michael Gahler, im Namen der PPE-Fraktion. – Herr Präsident! Herr Vizepräsident, vielen Dank für Ihre Ausführungen. Ich teile sie im Wesentlichen.

Wir Europäer müssen unsere Rolle als ehrliche Makler in der Region noch aktiver wahrnehmen. Nachdem sich die Ereignisse in Bagdad und Teheran ohne unser Zutun in den letzten Tagen überschlagen haben, haben wir durch eine Vielzahl von Gesprächskontakten mit zu einer Deeskalation beitragen können. Zu der angeordneten Tötung des Chefs der Qods-Brigaden hat der amerikanische Verteidigungsminister Mark Esper seine fachliche Stellungnahme abgegeben, was die Einschätzung der konkreten Gefährdung amerikanischer Personen und Einrichtungen betrifft. Ich habe dem nichts hinzuzufügen.

Im Irak ist der Kampf gegen den IS nicht beendet. Auch hierfür brauchen wir einen funktionierenden irakischen Staat, dessen Regierung keine Marionette Teherans ist. Ich würde es begrüßen, wenn Mitgliedstaaten der EU im NATO-Rahmen oder bilateral ihre Unterstützung der irakischen Streitkräfte fortsetzen könnten. In diesem Sinne sollten Sie auch Ihre Kontakte in den Irak nutzen und vor allem auch dadurch unsere umfangreiche zivile Wiederaufbauhilfe langfristig sichern helfen.

Im Iran sind die Menschen auch über den Abschuss des ukrainischen Flugzeugs empört, insbesondere darüber, dass das Regime sich drei Tage mit der Wahrheit Zeit gelassen hat. Immerhin hat der Iran jetzt die Wahrheit akzeptiert. Daran sollte sich Russland im Hinblick auf den Abschuss von MH17 in der Ostukraine ein Beispiel nehmen.

Aber Iran hat allen Anlass, Abbitte zu leisten. Der beste Weg zu tätiger Reue wäre, offiziell wieder die Verpflichtungen aus dem Atomabkommen zu akzeptieren. Das würde uns in die Lage versetzen, die Möglichkeiten des Zahlungsmechanismus Instex endlich umzusetzen und zusätzliche Sanktionen zu vermeiden. Ich hoffe, im Rahmen des aktivierten Disputklärungsmechanismus kommen wir da zu einer Lösung.

 
  
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  Kati Piri, on behalf of the S&D Group. – Mr President, once again we Europeans are put before a fait accompli. The American administration and Iran are playing with global security and, as the EU, we are faced with the possible security risks.

The assassination of Iranian General Soleimani is the latest in a long series of provocations by the United States since the withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear agreement. This has created a very dangerous spiral of instability in the region. It is crucial to support the efforts of the High Representative, to de-escalate tensions and to save the nuclear deal with Iran. This is even more important since the triggering of the dispute resolution mechanism earlier today, but we must also acknowledge the diverging interest with the current US administration and the American withdrawal from the region. This for us can only mean one thing: that the time has come for a realistic debate on Europe’s strategic autonomy to safeguard our own security and interests.

We offer, of course, our condolences to the families of the victims of the Ukraine International Airlines flight and urge the Iranian authorities to allow international observers to undertake a full and transparent investigation. Iran must also refrain from the use of force, as happened during the last weeks, against peaceful demonstrators who took to the streets protesting against the mismanagement and authoritarianism of the regime.

Finally, the EU must continue its engagement for unity and democracy in Iraq and, if necessary, step up our support.

 
  
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  Hilde Vautmans, namens de Renew-Fractie. – Voorzitter, mijnheer de hoge vertegenwoordiger, dit debat gaat natuurlijk over veel meer dan de uitschakeling van Soleimani. Dit debat moet gaan over hoe Europa – en dan heb ik het ook over de leiders in de Raad – compleet afwezig is in het Midden-Oosten. De terugtrekking van de Amerikanen uit Syrië, de Russen die het overnemen, de uitschakeling van Soleimani: Europa stond erbij en keek ernaar. Wij vernemen telkens via de pers wat onze belangrijkste bondgenoot Amerika uitvreet. We moeten maar raden naar een exacte motivering en de timing. En wanneer er dan lukraak lijnvluchten uit de lucht geschoten worden, dan houdt elke Europese burger terecht zijn hart vast.

Mijnheer Borrell, u heeft het terecht fel opgenomen voor de nucleaire deal met Iran. Iran mag nooit een kernmacht worden en ik wil u dan ook heel hartelijk bedanken voor uw snelle positie-inname. Maar dit volstaat niet. Irak dreigt in een nieuwe chaos verzeild te raken, en IS dreigt opnieuw vrij spel te krijgen in die chaos. Mijnheer Borrell, u bent iemand met het juiste gut instinct. Gebruik dat dus, en zorg ervoor dat Europa één stem, een rol heeft in het Midden-Oosten. Als we niet willen dat de Commissie-Von der Leyen opnieuw het slachtoffer wordt van een grote migratiecrisis, dan moeten we er volop voor gaan. En u zegt: “Ik heb een mandaat gekregen.” Wel, ik zou u heel graag op een vliegtuig willen zien vertrekken richting Teheran, richting Washington, om daar met één stem het Europese standpunt in te nemen, te gáán bemiddelen. Want weet u, de Europese belangen lopen niet samen met de Amerikaanse of de Russische. Als er één iemand is die de Europese belangen moet verdedigen, dan bent u het, dan zijn wij het. Ga ervoor. U heeft onze steun.

 
  
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  Ernest Urtasun, en nombre del Grupo Verts/ALE. – Señor presidente, señor alto representante. La verdad es que la acción norteamericana asesinando al general Soleimani ha estado a punto de generar un descalabro en toda la región. Ahora, en estos momentos, parece claro, la Administración norteamericana quiere terminar con lo que ha sido una creación europea, que es el acuerdo nuclear con Irán, que es el único que nos permite mantener la región en situación de paz, que no se produzca una escalada nuclear y que, también —quiero recordarlo—, es el marco que nos permite hablar con Irán de derechos humanos. Que todos estamos de acuerdo en que debemos hacerlo, pero también el JCPOA es esencial para ello.

Hemos leído hoy que se ha decidido activar el mecanismo de resolución. Eso puede tener una doble lectura. Algunos probablemente lo han activado porque quieren llevarlo al Consejo de Seguridad y matar el acuerdo. Pero yo creo que debemos intentar utilizarlo como una oportunidad para discutir de todo. Para que Irán cumpla sus compromisos, pero también para hablar de las sanciones reimpuestas, que en estos momentos están dañando de una manera muy importante a la población iraní y poniendo en jaque el acuerdo político.

Por lo tanto, le apremio ⸻como sé que está haciendo⸻ a que el acuerdo sea defendido con uñas y dientes, porque es nuestra vecindad la que está en juego.

 
  
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  Jérôme Rivière, au nom du groupe ID. – Monsieur le Président, la communauté internationale s’inquiète légitimement de la récente hausse des tensions en Iraq et dans la région après l’attaque de l’ambassade américaine à Bagdad, la frappe américaine qui a tué le général Soleimani et la mort tragique de 176 passagers étrangers au conflit tués par un missile iranien.

Dans cette période de tensions qui nous rappelle combien le fondamentalisme islamiste, qu’il soit sunnite ou chiite, menace la stabilité du monde, l’Union européenne a montré son inutilité en matière de diplomatie, comme d’ailleurs en matière de défense, et c’est normal. En effet, c’est aux nations qu’il appartient de conduire une politique étrangère au service des intérêts de leurs citoyens.

Si je me réjouis par ailleurs que la voix du Parlement européen n’ait pas été entendue – surtout quand on lit le message de la présidente de la sous-commission sécurité et défense, exonérant l’Iran de sa responsabilité dans la mort des passagers du vol vers l’Ukraine –, je regrette que celle de la France n’ait pas été entendue. La voix de la France aurait dû rappeler les trois axes fondamentaux de notre diplomatie comme puissance d’équilibre et de médiation: le respect de l’intégrité territoriale des États, la lutte contre le fondamentalisme islamiste, qu’il soit chiite ou sunnite – et cette lutte est plus large que de combattre le terrorisme–, et enfin le soutien aux des minorités chrétiennes et leur protection dans cette région, ces communautés servant de véritables ponts civilisationnels avec nous.

 
  
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  Anna Fotyga, on behalf of the ECR Group. – Mr President, in addressing the High Representative / Vice-President, let me start from another point. The freezing of funds, a result of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), did not improve the lives of ordinary people. Kleptocracy and military build-up prevailed; thus mass demonstrations and a brutal crack-down on protesting Iranians. There were also matters of concern: meddling in the region, financing of terrorism and support of terrorist organisations, and the development of the ballistic missiles programme, not to mention the recent testing of this in terms of middle-range missiles shot on an anti-Daesh basis and the downing of the Ukrainian airplane.

Despite all of this, I also, like yourself, High Representative, hope for de-escalation and I think that triggering the mechanism is the least you can do, and we can do, the least of all things. I hope that we have our other tools as well.

 
  
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  Cornelia Ernst, im Namen der GUE/NGL-Fraktion. Herr Präsident! Ich möchte im Grunde heute nur eines sagen: Die Menschen in beiden Ländern sind nicht nur unzufrieden mit ihren Regierungen, weil die wirtschaftliche und soziale Lage so schwierig ist, brutale Gewalt gegen Demonstranten angewendet wird und sie auch Angst vor neuen Kriegen haben. Nein, die Menschen haben auch gewissermaßen die Nase voll vom Dirigismus des Westens, und wenn man das mal insgesamt hochrechnet seit ungefähr einem Jahrhundert, führt das dazu, dass Stabilität und Selbstbestimmung der Völker in diesen Ländern verhindert werden – erst aus kolonialen Gründen, später aus strategischer Einflussnahme, und was heute ansteht, wissen wir alle selbst.

America First, das ist, glaube ich, nicht erst eine Erfindung von Donald Trump, das kennen wir schon seit Langem. Und ich finde, es wird Zeit, auf die Menschen zu hören, die dort in diesen beiden Ländern leben, sie zu respektieren und nicht politische Morde zu begehen und verlogene Solidaritätstweets auf Persisch zu versenden. Ehrliches Mitgefühl sieht wirklich anders aus.

Wenn nun das irakische Parlament beispielsweise verlangt, dass ausländische Truppen abgezogen werden sollen, dann ist das ein Ruf nach Unabhängigkeit und danach, endlich die Geschicke in die eigenen Hände zu nehmen. Dafür sollten wir Unterstützung gewähren.

 
  
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  Κωνσταντίνος Παπαδάκης (NI). – Κύριε Πρόεδρε, καταδικάζουμε την επίθεση των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών στο Ιράκ, με θύματα, μεταξύ άλλων, Ιρανούς και Ιρακινούς στρατιωτικούς. Καταγγέλλουμε το σχέδιο το Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών να κηρυχθεί η Μέση Ανατολή επικράτεια του ΝΑΤΟ. Η επικίνδυνη εμπλοκή της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης, στο πλαίσιο κλιμάκωσης των ανταγωνισμών για έλεγχο της ενέργειας, έχει ως στόχο να επωφεληθεί η ίδια. Επικαλείται τα ίδια προκλητικά προσχήματα δικαιολόγησης πολέμων, όπως στη Γιουγκοσλαβία, στη Συρία, στο Ιράκ, στη Λιβύη και στο Αφγανιστάν, που καταδικάζουν τους λαούς σε προσφυγιά και δυστυχία. Εκφράζουμε την αλληλεγγύη μας στις οικογένειες των θυμάτων της αεροπορικής τραγωδίας με το ουκρανικό αεροπλάνο, για την οποία έχει τεράστια ευθύνη η ιρανική κυβέρνηση. Τονίζουμε ότι η απροκάλυπτη στήριξη της ελληνικής κυβέρνησης στην πολιτική των Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών και η διαχρονική τεράστια ευθύνη όλων των ελληνικών κυβερνήσεων που έχουν μετατρέψει την Ελλάδα σε αμερικανο-νατοϊκό στρατόπεδο θέτουν τον ελληνικό λαό σε μεγάλο κίνδυνο. Να ενταθεί λοιπόν η λαϊκή πάλη για να ακυρωθεί η επικείμενη συμφωνία Ελλάδας-Ηνωμένων Πολιτειών, για να κλείσει τώρα η βάση της Σούδας και όλες οι βάσεις.

 
  
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  Sara Skyttedal (PPE). – Mr President, Qasem Soleimani was, in every sense of the word, a terrorist and I believe no one at this plenary is mourning. However, it is hard to fully comprehend the potential consequences of the strike. The responses during the upcoming weeks and months will determine which direction this already fragile region will take in the near future.

Prior to the strikes, protesters from Beirut to Baghdad filled the streets due to their frustration with the Iranian Islamist regime meddling in their internal affairs, wishing that they could determine their own nation’s destiny. Iraq remains the country most affected by Iranian meddling and it needs our support. Mostly, it needs stability through sovereignty, and as the Chair of the Delegation to Iraq, I would ask you, Mr Borrell, to provide us with details on future EU initiatives regarding Iraq and on how the External Action Service intends to proceed with our current commitments in the region.

 
  
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  Domènec Ruiz Devesa (S&D). – Señor presidente, gracias, señor alto representante, por sus palabras, que yo y mi grupo compartimos plenamente. Es evidente que hay que reducir la tensión en la región, que el asesinato del general Soleimani ha podido tener consecuencias mucho peores de las que hemos visto. Hay que tratar de mantener —como la Unión Europea está intentando— el acuerdo nuclear, que es fundamental para nuestra seguridad. Quizás, en esa perspectiva, habría que tratar de hacer operativo el mecanismo del Instex para poder comerciar con Irán más allá de las sanciones extraterritoriales de los Estados Unidos. La activación del mecanismo de resolución de controversias es lógica en el marco de los incumplimientos y de los anuncios de futuros incumplimientos, pero, en todo caso, no podemos olvidar tampoco que Irán es un régimen autoritario, que ha asesinado a manifestantes y que financia y patrocina milicias en países como Irak, Líbano, Siria y Yemen. Deben (palabras inaudibles) también a Irán para que cese estas conductas.

 
  
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  Martin Horwood (Renew). – Mr President, I thank Mr Borrell for his statement and echo his words on all the recent lives lost, including those on Flight 752. The E3 initiation of the JCPOA dispute process deserves cautious welcome. Rules-based diplomacy is always better than random insults and threats on Twitter. But was the EU consulted beforehand on this important initiative by three of its own Member States?

Can I check that the British Government, in particular, did not play Brexit with Middle East peace by blocking higher level EU involvement? You cannot trust the current British Government to stand up to Trump’s dangerously unpredictable approach to this region, so desperate are they for a US trade deal. Indeed our clueless Prime Minister has just called for the replacement of the current Iran peace deal with a Trump deal, contradicting his own Foreign Secretary, who says the UK is still committed to the JCPOA.

I hope we all are, and that the EU will now play a more active role in de-escalating tensions and particularly encouraging understanding on all sides of the need for parliamentarians and protesters in both Iran and Iraq to have their say, without fear of disproportionate reprisals and response.

 
  
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  Hannah Neumann (Verts/ALE). – Mr President, the EU should use the dispute resolution mechanism to save the Iran deal, and we urgently need to step up our efforts: mediate between the USA and Iran, include other regional actors and help to further de—escalate the situation. This has been addressed already, so let me add another important aspect. The killing of Soleimani threatened to overshadow the voices of those protesters who had been calling for political reforms in both Iran and Iraq for months. But since Friday, they are back in the streets, despite mounting threats, again and they are even louder. And I also want to see EU action on this – to protect them from violence and killing, to fill the void that a withdrawal of US forces would leave in Iraq and to use all diplomatic ways to send a clear message to the Iranian regime. Yes, we need to deal with the big power politics, but there will never be peace in the region if the voices of those in the streets are silenced once more.

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID). – Mr President, first of all I want to thank the previous speaker because she told us very serious things, but they are true. We have to understand that the Islamic regime has been very totalitarian and hardly Islamic for the last 40 years, so we have tried to negotiate with Iran for several years to protect human rights, rule of law, all our values that we are promoting all the time, but as we have seen it is not very successful. And now, if the Americans have eliminated one of the leading guys from Iran who was responsible for paying for terrorist organisations, for murders, for attacks in Israel, in Yemen and Lebanon, I’m hearing a lot of Europeans saying, ‘Oh, it is unacceptable, we have to punish the Americans for that’.

We have to remember that the Americans in this case are our allies, so in this case there is a very simple question: do we show up to support the Americans, to hold stability? And in the first week we see it has been successful because Iran has been afraid of America. We should support them more.

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

 
  
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  Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL), blue-card question. – So I would like to ask you, when there is no state of war, killing somebody – an official of one country in another country – is against international law. Are you in favour of respecting international law or not?

 
  
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  Jaak Madison (ID), blue-card answer.(Start of speech off mic) […] Is it against foreign international law if you eliminate one of the leading terrorists? Is it really breaking international law? I don’t think so. In Baghdad there were attacks against the US embassy. That is an attack against a country and Iran has never said that they were not responsible for these attacks. So if I speak now about international law, I would say that they were exactly following international law, protecting their own country in Baghdad where they were allowed to be.

 
  
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  Assita Kanko (ECR). – Mr President, the Iran crisis is the first test of the new geopolitical Commission. The jury is out on whether it has passed. We all agree that General Soleimani will be missed as much as toothache. His death came after years of brutal action and weeks of Iranian escalation. However, since his death, the United States has probably avoided a war through chance rather than through strategy.

The EU was right to seek de—escalation and to push the Iranian response to be limited. Unfortunately, 176 innocent people became victims of this situation.

The EU’s role right now is critical. While Europe’s actions must never be driven by Iranian intimidation, we should continue to de—escalate, we should get Iran back to the table and prevent its nuclear ambitions and work with Iraq to maintain the anti—ISIS coalition.

We have stepped back from the brink of war but getting everyone around the table will require solid European leadership, and I’m not seeing it right now.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Mr President, the crazy decision of the US to carry out the illegal assassination of Qasem Soleimani and Abu Mahdi al-Muhandis, and others, is just the most recent testament to the fact that the US is the most reckless, destabilising and dangerous political and military force on the planet at the moment.

The US and their allies claim to be fighting a war on terror whenever they drop bombs and kill people. Here they have taken out some of the people who have done more to fight ISIS than anyone else that we know. They have been asked to get out of Iraq, are they going to get out of it? Are they going to recognise the democratic decision? They claim to have brought democracy to Iraq; are they going to respect it now?

Commissioner, do you not agree that this region will be a safer place when the Americans are not in it? You talk about Iran not respecting the nuclear agreements; do you ever ask any questions of Israel? What in God’s name, why won’t Europe show a bit of courage and stand up to the terrorism of America?

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signor Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, il nuovo anno si è aperto con una crisi dai risvolti potenzialmente drammatici.

L'uccisione mirata, da parte del Pentagono, del generale Soleimani, alto ufficiale iraniano e probabile erede dell'ayatollah Khomeini, è stata un'azione unilaterale, irresponsabile e illecita dal punto di vista del diritto internazionale, peraltro attuatasi all'interno del territorio di uno Stato terzo, l'Iraq.

Ciononostante pensare che dietro l'azione di Trump non ci sia una ben definita strategia è tanto erroneo quanto ingenuo: si tratta di una strategia muscolare, spregiudicata, basata sui rapporti di forza e quindi finalizzata a soddisfare gli obiettivi strategici americani.

Quale può essere il nostro ruolo europeo di fronte a un'agenda che conta di piegare il governo iraniano tramite azioni di forza mirate e un uso massiccio di sanzioni economiche, che stanno mettendo in ginocchio la popolazione iraniana?

Vista la risposta militare ponderata di Teheran abbiamo di fronte a noi un importante spiraglio negoziale. Credo che come Unione sia necessario rispondere positivamente all'apertura del ministro Zarif, assurgendo al ruolo di mediatori in modo chiaro, trasparente ed equilibrato, campioni del multilateralismo ripartendo dall'accordo sul nucleare per ampliarlo e, se necessario, difenderne fortemente l'essenza.

 
  
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  Radosław Sikorski (PPE). – Mr President, I rather side with those who think that the United States was within its rights to eliminate General Soleimani, who was an unashamed organiser of terror all over the region for many years. In fact, General Soleimani is the embodiment of the problem that we have with Iran, namely that it is both a country and a cause; a cause of spreading the 20th century’s third utopia, which is to say theocracy.

This is the problem that we have with Iran: while we sometimes have to deal with the regime, its nature prevents Iran from becoming like a normal responsible stakeholder.

The Iranian people are protesting again, they would like to live in a normal country. Yes, we should do whatever we can to help, but we should not exaggerate what we can do for them. Because there is very little we can do, particularly when we act on a national basis.

This is a high-stakes game. In the short term at least, it looks like President Trump has prevailed, but it needs a united approach from all of Europe and a loyal support for you, High Representative, of the Member States.

 
  
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  Sven Mikser (S&D). – Mr President, over the past two years we have seen Iran and the US climb up a very dangerous ladder of escalation that has led to the killing of Soleimani and the downing by Iran of the Ukrainian airliner.

I want to make two points here. First, no one can deny that Soleimani played a hugely destructive role in the region and, indeed, had the blood of innocent people on his hands. And second, I do believe that Europe needs a US that is fully engaged in international affairs and is ready to take on tyrants and bullies on the global scene.

However, I believe it is also absolutely critical that the US play that global role in a responsible manner fully consistent with international law and international norms. Moreover, when it takes action that is bound to have such monumental consequences, these actions had better be part of a comprehensive and realistic strategy.

Another violent conflict spiralling out of control in a region that is already turbulent and unstable is the very last thing we need. We as the EU need to fully use what few levers we have at our disposal to de-escalate this extremely explosive situation. And we should put our confidence in the efforts of the High Representative to work towards that end, including by trying to keep the JCPOA alive.

 
  
  

PŘEDSEDNICTVÍ: DITA CHARANZOVÁ
místopředsedkyně

 
  
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  Nathalie Loiseau (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, depuis des décennies, l’Iran est au cœur des crises du Moyen-Orient, mais depuis quelques mois, la tension s’est considérablement aggravée et on voit mal quel est le chemin d’une sortie de crise.

Face à un régime iranien qui semble surtout préoccupé par sa survie, quel qu’en soit le prix, la politique américaine de pression maximale n’a pas rendu la région plus sûre. L’accord de Vienne se défait, la guerre au Yémen se poursuit, le mécontentement des peuples en Iraq comme en Iran se heurte à une répression brutale, le Liban est dans la tourmente. Il est temps de revenir à la diplomatie. Il est temps que l’Europe fasse entendre sa voix, la voix de la raison, et qu’elle rappelle quelles sont ses priorités: la non-prolifération nucléaire et la lutte contre Daech, qui sont les laissées pour compte de la crise actuelle.

Ces priorités, nous les partageons tous, alors agissons et cessons d’observer impuissants une poudrière à nos portes. Nous comptons sur vous, Monsieur le Haut représentant.

 
  
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  Catherine Rowett (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, as Aristotle recognised, we can be blamed only for what is up to us. But what exactly is up to us? The unfolding situation in Iran invites us to reflect on this puzzle.

Once again, Ukraine finds itself the tragic recipient of collateral damage that was hardly foreseeable, but how enthusiastically should we side with the citizens of Iran challenging their regime and its military and holding them responsible for targeting a passenger plane?

For sure, human error might seem like a partial excuse, but equally, human error could, and should, have been foreseen and precautions taken. On the other hand, some actions are neither accidental nor excusable, and where aggression precedes self-defence we should not hesitate to apportion blame, especially if the perpetrator was once our ally.

The obligation for de-escalating a crisis must fall to the aggressor and not just to those tempted to retaliate.

 
  
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  Thierry Mariani (ID). – Madame la Présidente, je n’ai aucune sympathie particulière pour le régime iraquien renversé en 2003, ni pour le régime iranien d’aujourd’hui, mais il est évident que l’Occident porte aujourd’hui une terrible responsabilité dans le chaos que les États-Unis, avec le soutien de la majorité des pays européens, ont déclenché en renversant en 2003 le régime iraquien, en invoquant ce que l’on n’appelait pas encore à l’époque les fake news, des prétendues armes de destruction massive. Il est évident qu’aujourd’hui, en ayant dénoncé l’accord nucléaire avec l’Iran, alors que rien ne prouvait que cet accord n’était pas respecté, les États-Unis ont ouvert une nouvelle période d’incertitude. Dans cette nouvelle période d’incertitude, l’Europe se révèle une fois de plus incapable de mener une politique indépendante. Comment demander à l’Iran de respecter ses obligations de l’accord de Vienne, alors que les sanctions pèsent toujours sur ce pays et durement sur sa population?

Si vous voulez la désescalade, alors mettons en place un vrai système qui permette à l’Europe de commercer avec ce pays et de détourner les sanctions. Si vous voulez la désescalade, alors que les États-Unis respectent le vote du Parlement iraquien et se retirent de ce territoire.

Il y a pire que la dictature, il y a l’anarchie: c’est ce que nous avons installé dans cette région. Nous en payons aujourd’hui le prix en récoltant le terrorisme islamiste.

 
  
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  Jan Zahradil (ECR). – Paní předsedající, vidíme Íránce protestovat proti teokratické diktatuře, která vraždí vlastní lidi, stejně jako jsme viděli předchozí generace Íránců protestovat proti diktatuře někdejšího šáha. My toto volání po svobodě musíme slyšet. A vidíme také režim ajatolláhů, který usiluje o regionální hegemonii, o převrácení mocenské rovnováhy v celém regionu, o vytvoření koridoru z Teheránu až po Středozemní moře ovládnutím Iráku, Sýrie i Libanonu. Generál Sulejmání byl vojenskou tváří této strategie. A tyto ambice Íránu ohrožují samu bezpečnost Evropy. Je na čase učinit tomu přítrž, je na čase opustit politiku appeasementu, je na čase opustit politiku paní Mogheriniové, je na čase vůči Íránu přitvrdit a odkázat jej do patřičných mezí.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL). – Señora presidenta, el asesinato político del general Soleimani por parte de los Estados Unidos ha provocado una espiral de violencia, no solo en Irán e Irak sino en toda la región, y ha dado inicio a lo que podríamos denominar un nuevo tipo de guerra fría, incluidas esas guerras proxy que algunas potencias mundiales están dispuestas a jugar también en la zona.

Queremos instar a la Comisión y a este Parlamento a apoyar y facilitar con recursos el diálogo y la recuperación económica de la zona por medio de un programa de asistencia y queremos insistir en que hay que huir de las llamadas al embargo, que históricamente solo han servido para castigar a los sectores sociales más desprotegidos, y, además, pensamos que hay que promover la actividad económica con Irak y los países de la zona.

Hay que urgir a los Estados Unidos y a los países europeos que también tienen tropas en Irak a que se retiren, tal y como ha exigido el Parlamento iraquí, y pedir respeto a la legalidad internacional, flagrantemente violada con el asesinato del general Soleimani.

Este proceso de despegue económico y democrático de la zona que nombraba se deberá hacer sin injerencias externas y respetando los derechos humanos y esto ⸻pensamos⸻ exige acabar con todo tipo de intervencionismo, estadounidense pero también europeo.

(El orador acepta responder a una pregunta formulada con arreglo al procedimiento de la «tarjeta azul» (artículo 171, apartado 8, del Reglamento interno)).

 
  
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  Isabel Benjumea Benjumea (PPE), pregunta de «tarjeta azul». – Señora presidenta, el señor Barrena, aquí sentado, es un señor que fue condenado por la Audiencia Nacional en el año 2016 por pertenencia a la banda terrorista ETA, una banda que acabó con la vida de más de ochocientas personas en España, y que tiene trescientos crímenes todavía sin resolver. Yo le pregunto al señor Barrena si él condena o no el terrorismo de ETA, si condena la violencia de ETA, violencia de la que él fue protagonista también. Le pregunto ante este Parlamento si la condena o no. Y además quiero decir que el señor Barrena es miembro del partido Bildu, que ha hecho posible la investidura de Sánchez en España.

 
  
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  Pernando Barrena Arza (GUE/NGL), respuesta de «tarjeta azul». – Señora Benjumea, le escucho hablar y parecería que nada ha cambiado en el País Vasco en los últimos diez años.

ETA ya no existe, no hay violencia política ⸻al menos por la parte vasca⸻ y la sociedad está empeñada en cerrar ese ciclo con el reconocimiento de todas las víctimas y el fin de los encarcelamientos por razones políticas.

Permítame decirle que su posición está muy lejos del entendimiento y la reconciliación.

Todavía usted y su partido se encuentran en posiciones de venganza, y le invito a que aporte positivamente al proceso de paz y normalización política para que esto sea una realidad consolidada, como desea la sociedad vasca en su conjunto.

 
  
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  Ivan Vilibor Sinčić (NI). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća.

zadnji događaji u Iranu i Iraku pokazuju svu bahatost, svu aroganciju američke vanjske politike.

Arogantno je napasti generala zemlje s kojom niste u ratu. Arogantno je napasti ga u trećoj zemlji zbog čega je irački parlament dao rezoluciju o odlasku stranih vojnika, doduše neobvezujuću. Arogantno je da su stradali civili, Amerika ne bi odgovarala. Kad je Amerika i za što odgovarala? Arogantno je lagati da se ide u napad zbog neposredne opasnosti od strane Mikea Pompea da bi se već za nekoliko dana ta laž sama demantirala. A zašto je to napravljeno? Zato da se izbjegne rasprava u Kongresu, da se izbjegne rasprava u Kongresu. Također, vjerodostojnost nije jača strana američke vanjske politike, sjetimo se WMD (weapons of mass destruction) i Georgea Busha. Arogancija je osuđivati Europu jer ne želi pomoći u tom napadu.

I konačno, vrhunac arogancije je reći da su kulturna dobra u Iranu legitimne vojne mete. Amerika ima 650 milijardi dolara vojni proračun godišnje i nažalost moraju ga negdje iskoristiti i konstantno biti u ratu.

 
  
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  Andrius Kubilius (PPE). – Madam President, we need to see that Iran and Iraq are part of a broader picture, which is developing in the regions surrounding the EU. We see more totalitarian regimes which are becoming more aggressive or we see more meddling and destabilisation.

We see it in the south in Libya and Syria, in the Middle East in Iran and Iraq, and in the north east next to Russia. Some of those regimes imagine that their power is increasing and that the power of the West in the region is diminishing. That feeling is a temptation for them to become more aggressive.

We also need to see that the US is diminishing its presence in the region and invites NATO and the EU to be more present. Until now, we in the EU are better at speaking about our strategic autonomy than we are able to show the strength of our real strategic autonomy in the neighbourhood of the EU. This is the way to have more instability and chaos in our neighbourhood.

Mr Vice—President, during the hearing procedures in the Committee on Foreign Affairs, you spoke very convincingly, saying that, if the EU wants to be globally significant, it needs to be powerful enough to bring stability to its neighbourhood. It’s time to implement your vision.

 
  
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  Isabel Santos (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, o início deste ano no Médio Oriente ficou marcado pela ação unilateral e irresponsável dos Estados Unidos que redundou na execução extrajudicial do General Soleimani.

Um erro monumental em linha com a denúncia do acordo nuclear com o Irão. Poderíamos perguntar porquê e para quê, mas isso não é o mais urgente.

O abate, aparentemente acidental, pelo Irão do avião ucraniano e os incidentes no Iraque levaram ao crescimento das tensões na região.

Cabe agora à União Europeia o esforço da promoção do diálogo no sentido do desanuviamento das tensões e da defesa dos direitos humanos, exigindo-se que o Irão pare com a repressão contra aqueles que protestam nas suas ruas pedindo reformas.

A delicadeza e a relevância geopolítica do momento não admitem hesitações. Por isso, saúdo a decisão da passada sexta-feira de reforçar o mandato do Alto Representante, bem como a de tentar salvar o acordo nuclear com o Irão.

Este foi um acordo que demorou demasiado tempo a ser posto em prática e que é fundamental para a região e para o mundo. Exige-se da União Europeia a unidade e a determinação necessárias para o defender.

 
  
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  Malik Azmani (Renew). – Madam President, yes, recent events in Iraq and Iran show us how fragile the stability in the world is, and an escalation is never far away. Moreover, we have to realise that the EU must combine its strengths to protect our global interest. We need to speak more with one voice, backed up with serious military capacities.

It’s good that the EU wants to keep the nuclear deal alive, but we also have to warn Iran: the Iranian demonstrators are not to be harmed. As the EU we have to be firm to protect the universal rights of demonstration by Iranian people. And I call upon the High Representative to redouble her efforts in initiating a dialogue between the US and Iran. That’s the only way forward out of this hazardous situation.

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I say to the High Representative: let me start with a note of realism: our European hand is weak in this conflict, our role is small. But if we want to take our responsibility seriously we have to stick together, and we have to coordinate well. And the coordination should be in the hands of the Vice—President / High Representative as it is his responsibility.

We want to defend the JCPOA but at the same time, we also must push back very clearly against Iranian aggression in other dimensions of its foreign policy. How can we keep the JCPOA alive? Not if we don’t insist on building the Instrument in Support of Trade Exchanges (INSTEX) and making it functional. And the Commission should join INSTEX and put capital into INSTEX and become a partner.

And the last note that I want to strike here is this: there are many dark clouds, there is one signal of hope and that’s the engagement of Iranian citizens, and just recently also Iraqi citizens. And I think it is our duty as the EU to show effective solidarity with them.

 
  
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  Georg Mayer (ID). – Frau Präsidentin! Was wir hier erleben, denke ich, ist doch ein Ego-Schauspiel beider Seiten, und zwar ein gefährliches Ego-Schauspiel – zugegebenermaßen. Beide Seiten verfolgen im Wesentlichen innenpolitische Gründe, warum sie sich benehmen, wie sie sich benehmen. In den USA kritisieren nicht einmal die Demokraten die Tötung dieses vermeintlichen Terroristen. Im Iran wiederum muss das Regime schauen, dass die Menschen auf der Straße ruhig bleiben, und das ist ihm natürlich auf der anderen Seite mit dem Angriff der Amerikaner auch gut gelungen. Das Pech, das die Iraner inzwischen hatten, ist, dass sie vermeintlich unwissentlich und unabsichtlich dieses Passagierflugzeug abgeschossen haben.

Aber was sehen wir? In den USA etwa sieht Trump eine Wahl im November auf sich zukommen, und die Amerikaner lieben diese Art von starker Hand und lieben diese Art von Aktionismus, wenn es gegen Terroristen geht. Das sollten auch wir tun, denn Terroristen sind mit harter Hand zu verfolgen. Das iranische Regime braucht auf der anderen Seite die Solidarität seiner Menschen, denn sonst wird dieses undemokratische Regime nicht mehr lange aufrechterhalten bleiben können.

(Der Redner ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ gemäß Artikel 171 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
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  Reinhard Bütikofer (Verts/ALE), Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Herr Mayer! Sie haben gerade im Zusammenhang mit dem Abschuss des ukrainischen Flugzeugs von „Pech“ gesprochen. Sind Sie bereit, sich bei den zivilen Opfern und diesem Haus für diesen Wortgebrauch zu entschuldigen? Man kann einen solchen Akt nicht als Pech bezeichnen, das ist extrem zynisch.

 
  
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  Georg Mayer (ID), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Herr Bütikofer! Sie sollten vielleicht einmal lernen, sinnerfassend zuzuhören. Denn das Pech oder, sagen wir mal, das Unglück, das hat ja Iran behauptet, dass das ein zufälliger Abschuss war. Insofern das Pech. Also bitte instrumentalisieren Sie hier nicht die Opfer für Ihr billiges Klein-Klein.

 
  
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  Beata Kempa (ECR). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Sytuacja jest poważna, ale to nie jest tak, że mamy tutaj w Parlamencie krzyczeć o arogancji, o ignorancji, tak jak do tej pory. Ten poziom debaty nie napawa optymizmem. Unia Europejska ma bardzo dużo instrumentów, ma bardzo dużo możliwości, nie tylko dyplomatycznych, ale również możliwości związanych z pomocą nie tylko humanitarną, ale i rozwojową. Ta sytuacja pokazuje, że skupianie się przede wszystkim na Iraku i wołanie o to, aby misje wojskowe, szczególnie NATO i sojuszników, opuściły ten kraj, jest delikatnie mówiąc bardzo nieodpowiedzialne. Ten kraj wymaga pomocy i stabilizacji. Po wojnie z państwem islamskim nadal ta sytuacja jest bardzo trudna. Wiele tutaj w Parlamencie mówiliśmy, jeszcze w poprzedniej kadencji mówiliście Państwo o sytuacji Jezydów i przyjmowaliście rezolucje na ten temat. Sytuacja chrześcijan jest również trudna. W tej sytuacji jeśli są wojska, które rozminowują góry Sindżar, gdzie mają wrócić Jezydzi, mówienie o tym, żeby wycofać te wojska, popieranie tego typu rezolucji, uchwał, jest po prostu nie na miejscu. Myślę także, że jest to wielkie zadanie dla Unii Europejskiej, dlatego że Rosja ma na Bliskim Wschodzie bardzo rozległe wpływy.

 
  
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  Marc Botenga (GUE/NGL). – Madame la Présidente, Donald Trump, le président des États-Unis, fait peur et en premier lieu à nos concitoyens en Europe. Vous rendez-vous compte que sur Twitter, le mot-dièse #troisième guerre mondiale a été une tendance pendant quatre jours? Et vous n’arrivez pas à condamner les actions illégales de ce président américain? Franchement, je ne comprends pas.

En outre, j’entends des appels pour que l’Europe fasse davantage. Vous n’êtes pas sans savoir que les États européens sont intervenus en Iraq, en Afghanistan, en Syrie et en Libye. Vous avez vu le succès que c’est, ou plutôt le désastre que c’est? Vous voulez davantage de cela, davantage de désastre? Soyons un peu sérieux, vous avez vécu sur quelle planète? Si vous voulez vraiment rassurer nos concitoyens, prenons-nous en à l’OTAN, qui nous entraîne dans cette logique guerrière de Trump. Si vous voulez aider les Iraquiens, respectons la décision de leur parlement qui demande que les troupes étrangères quittent le pays. Et finalement, si vous voulez aider les Iraniens, arrêtez les sanctions contre ce pays qui détruisent la santé, l’économie et les droits sociaux de ces populations.

 
  
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  Matthew Patten (NI). – Madam President, before Christmas I told this Parliament that the nuclear agreement with Iran, the JCPOA, was dead and we urgently needed a plan B. Mr Borrell, High Representative, it gives me no pleasure to say this but it is true, and the EU needs to wake up.

The JCPOA is not sustaining peace and security. it is now starting to do the opposite. America has left the agreement, Iran has restarted its uranium centrifuges, Germany, France and the UK have triggered the dispute mechanism, Iran has threatened reprisals against EU Members.

The only way to keep nuclear weapons out of Iran, restore trade, free political prisoners and support human rights is to restore friendships in Washington, not Tehran. As well as turning the centrifuges off and thinking again about human rights, plan B has to include Iran’s agreement to stop supporting its proxy attacks against the US. Then, in return, the EU can do what it does best, namely trade.

The EU needs to recognise that only the US has the resource, the relationships and the firepower to underpin the successful alternative to the JCPOA and peace in the region.

 
  
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  Tomas Tobé (PPE). – Fru talman! Höga representanten! Förra onsdagen sköt Iran ner ett ukrainskt passagerarflygplan. Alla 176 människor ombord omkom. Våra tankar går till offren och deras familjer i denna svåra stund. Sjutton av de omkomna var hemmahörande i mitt hemland Sverige.

Jag förutsätter att EU mer kraftfullt fördömer attacken och ställer krav på att nedskjutningen utreds grundligt med full internationell insyn – i synnerhet från de drabbade länderna – och att de ansvariga ställs inför rätta. De anhöriga har rätt att få veta vad som hände, och de har rätt till kompensation.

Och låt mig dessutom vara tydlig: när nu protesterna mot regimen i Iran sprider sig i landet, behöver EU mer resolut stödja landets demokratiska krafter och reformer.

 
  
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  Jytte Guteland (S&D). – Fru talman! Höga representant! Säkerhetsläget i Iran och Irak förändras från dag till dag, och det står nu och väger mellan allvarlig konflikt och fullskaligt krig.

Relationen mellan USA och Iran är extremt allvarlig, och EU måste inta en tydlig roll för avspänning och utveckla en egen politik gentemot Iran, där vi markerar att det vi vill se är en annan framtid, en fredlig framtid, en framtid där vi står upp för demokrati och mänskliga rättigheter och där vi respekterar kärnavtalet.

Förra veckan sköts ett plan av misstag ner, och 176 människor dog. Det går inte att förneka att det i grunden är den upptrappade konflikten och de ökade spänningarna mellan USA och Iran som är orsaken till den här tragedin. Sjutton av de människor som dog hade anknytning till mitt hemland och var svenskar, däribland ungdomar och barn.

Jag stämmer in i kraven om att vi måste kräva full insyn i utredningen. De medlemsländer som är berörda måste få den insynen. De anhöriga måste få veta exakt vad som har hänt, få rätt till kompensation och veta att vi står på deras sida i den fruktansvärda sorg som har drabbat dem.

 
  
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  Luisa Porritt (Renew). – Madam President, I say to Commissioner Borrell: amid ongoing tensions between Iran, the US and the UK, the EU must step up as a mediator. Any discussions you have with your Iranian counterpart should prioritise the protection of EU citizens.

A number of EU nationals are being held illegally in Iran, including my constituent, Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, who has spent almost four years in prison. Her treatment is part of a pattern of hostage diplomacy by Iran and must be taken seriously. Nazanin’s husband, Richard, is here at Parliament today and tomorrow, and I am urging you to accept my invitation to meet with the two of us. He and the other families of unlawfully detained EU citizens want to see you put their loved ones first.

Human rights cannot simply be a ‘nice to have’, they are non-negotiable. It must be safe to travel, and this has to form part of any current or future agreement worked out with Iran.

 
  
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  Markéta Gregorová (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, the Iranian regime has killed peaceful protesters and is supporting violent terrorist groups in its neighbourhood. That is undisputed. Oppressing one’s citizens and funding terror groups cannot come without international consequences.

If history is a guide, the US strategy of regime change – we currently see it unfold – will not, however, change that. Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan: the list of failed interventions goes on. Regime change via military action is the worst possible choice. We Europeans must make this clear to our American counterparts. Hellfire missiles do not stabilise regions, diplomatic dialogue and enforceable economic and security agreements do.

Mr Borrell, make this clear to the United States: Europeans will not support military intervention in Iran. We support peaceful protesters and we support economic and security cooperation with Iran, based on human rights and freedoms.

 
  
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  Silvia Sardone (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, sulla crisi tra Stati Uniti e Iran e sulle violenze in Iraq l'Europa si è mostrata disunita. A volte ha espresso persino posizioni vicine all'Iran, solo per fare dispetto a Trump.

Siamo arrivati al paradosso: per giorni il generale Soleimani è stato santificato come un eroe anche in Europa, e invece abbiamo assistito a un totale silenzio di fronte all'abbattimento di un aereo civile che ha provocato la morte di 176 persone.

Ricordiamoci che la crisi nasce dall'assalto voluto dall'Iran all'ambasciata USA a Baghdad. Ci dimentichiamo qui le proteste contro il regime iraniano negli ultimi mesi: stiamo parlando di 1 500 morti e più di 10 000 feriti, migliaia di arresti, torture, 100 donne impiccate, accessi a internet censurati, proteste oscurate sui media.

Di fronte a un regime violento che finanzia il terrorismo non abbiamo bisogno di un'Unione europea "modello Mogherini", che due anni fa si è presentata in Iran con il velo da sottomessa senza denunciare la dittatura e l'inferno che ci sono lì. Abbiamo bisogno di posizioni nette, coraggio e ritorno della democrazia!

 
  
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  Stelios Kouloglou (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, I would like to say to Mr Borrell: I was a little bit surprised by your speech because you forgot some things: who first withdrew from the nuclear agreement? Mr Trump. Who assassinated Mr Soleimani? Mr Trump. Who is reinforcing, with the assassinations and these actions, the hardliners in Tehran? Mr Trump.

I have the pleasant privilege to come from a country with the only prime minister in the European Union who supported openly the assassination, besides Mr Johnson and of course Mr Netanyahu.

So what I want to say to you is: of course we have to pressure Iran to respect the deal and to give democratic freedoms? But also we have to pressure and criticise the United States, otherwise Mr Trump is taking us for granted, Mr Borrell.

 
  
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  Lukas Mandl (PPE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Vier kurze Gedanken in dieser Minute. Der erste ist: Was unterscheidet die USA und den Iran? Was ist der Iran? Welche Bedeutung hat der Atom-Deal für uns heute? Und was kann die Europäische Union machen?

Die USA sind eine uralte Demokratie, die funktioniert. Der Iran ist ein totalitäres Regime, das sich immer und immer wieder Menschenrechtsverletzungen schuldig macht. Ich bin daher überrascht darüber, dass das auch in diesem Haus von den linken und rechten Populisten gleichgesetzt wird.

Der Iran ist aber auch ein Völkerrechtssubjekt, mit dem wir einen Vertrag haben, den Atom-Deal. Der Atom-Deal ist wichtig, um den Iran daran zu hindern, Atomwaffen zu entwickeln, und gerade jetzt bietet er einen Streitschlichtungsmechanismus, den wir in Anspruch nehmen müssen.

Wir müssen darauf achten, dass die Europäische Union das macht, was der österreichische Außenminister, Alexander Schallenberg, vorgeschlagen hat, nämlich eine Pendeldiplomatie zwischen den USA und dem Iran zu ermöglichen, denn Sprechen ist besser als Schießen. Und Wien bietet sich als Ort für Verhandlungen an. Herr Außenkommissar Borrell, ziehen Sie das in Betracht und stärken Sie die Europäische Union in ihrer Wirksamkeit in dieser Frage für unsere Sicherheit!

 
  
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  Dietmar Köster (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Hauptverantwortlich für die derzeitige Lage im Nahen Osten ist die Ajatollah-Diktatur. Der Qods-Kommandeur Soleimani hat viele Terroranschläge geplant und durchführen lassen. Er war verantwortlich für die gewaltsame Niederschlagung der Proteste mutiger Iranerinnen und Iraner, die im letzten Jahr für Freiheit und Demokratie sowie für eine bessere Sozial- und Wirtschaftspolitik auf die Straßen gegangen waren. Das iranische Regime ist homophob und antisemitisch. Die Vernichtung des Staates Israel ist sein ausdrückliches Ziel. Dem müssen wir als Europäer entschieden entgegentreten.

Die Tötung von Soleimani ist völkerrechtlich fragwürdig und hat die Kriegsgefahr erhöht. Frieden kann nur durch die Beachtung des internationalen Rechts gesichert werden. Jetzt ist die Stunde der Diplomatie. Das Atomabkommen muss gerettet werden. Die Trump-Regierung muss Konflikte multilateral regeln.

Wir stehen an der Seite der Demonstrantinnen und Demonstranten, die für einen säkularen Iran und für Demokratie und Menschenrechte ihr Leben riskieren.

 
  
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  Bernard Guetta (Renew). – Madame la Présidente, avant de nous demander «que faire?», voyons la nouvelle réalité proche-orientale. Le régime iranien est désormais aussi contesté sur son sol qu’au Liban et qu’en Iraq et la tragédie du Boeing ukrainien a parallèlement accru son discrédit jusqu’à l’intérieur de ses frontières. Le recul de cette théocratie affaiblit à son tour le régime syrien et la Russie se retrouve ainsi bien seule au Proche-Orient, à l’heure même où elle se disperse en Libye.

Alors que peut faire l’Europe? Elle ne convaincra ni la Russie, ni l’Iran, ni les États-Unis de changer de cap. Sans défense ni diplomatie communes, elle ne peut pas résoudre cette crise, mais elle doit en revanche faire entendre à chacun qu’il ne faut pas laisser mourir le compromis nucléaire, à Bachar Al-Assad qu’il court à sa perte s’il ne recherche pas un compromis politique, à la Russie qu’à défaut d’œuvrer à un compromis régional, elle finira par s’enliser en Méditerranée.

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn (Verts/ALE). – Frau Präsidentin, liebe Kolleginnen und Kollegen! Menschen gezielt zu töten, das ist schlichtweg Barbarei. Auch Kulturstätten zu zerstören oder die Androhung davon. Die Tötung von General Soleimani verstößt gegen internationales Recht, und das muss auch noch mal ganz klar gesagt werden. Wir Europäer wurden von Kriegsexperten zu Friedensexperten, auch gerade dank der USA. Und wir wissen in Europa aus Erfahrung: Politik scheitert, wenn sie Werte außen vor lässt. Eine positive, konstruktive Antwort, um das besser zu machen, gibt das Völkerrecht, geben internationale Organisationen, Vereinbarungen und Verträge, gerade auch beim Nahostkonflikt, gerade auch jetzt beim JCPOA, der Atomvereinbarung mit dem Iran.

Was zählt, ist nicht America First und nicht Europe First, was zählt, ist: we all together – gemeinsam und jetzt. Wir haben keine Zeit, längst Gelerntes wieder zu vergessen, wir brauchen peace rooms statt war rooms, wir brauchen eine gemeinsame transatlantische, europäische Politik, eine, die Kraft und Ressourcen bündelt und sich auf gemeinsame Werte besinnt, allermindestens auf gemeinsame Ziele. Bei geostrategischen Fragen, bei Umwelt und Klima, denn bei allem tickt die Uhr, und nur gemeinsam sind wir stark. Das gilt für Europa, für die EU und für die transatlantischen Beziehungen.

(Die Rednerin ist damit einverstanden, eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“ gemäß Artikel 171 Absatz 8 der Geschäftsordnung zu beantworten.)

 
  
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  Eugen Tomac (PPE), Întrebare adresată conform procedurii „cartonașului albastru”. – Doamnă Hahn, ați spus că asasinarea lui Soleimani reprezintă un act barbar. Considerați că este prea puțin pentru a lichida un terorist? Este un terorist, după dumneavoastră, Soleimani sau nu?

 
  
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  Henrike Hahn (Verts/ALE), Antwort auf eine Frage nach dem Verfahren der „blauen Karte“. – Vielen Dank für Ihre Frage. Ich bin der Meinung, dass dieser Akt gegen internationales Recht verstößt. Und ich glaube, dass wir hier im Plenum nicht die Rolle einer Judikative einnehmen sollten; das steht uns hier nicht zu. Das ist etwas, was ich mich in dieser Diskussion heute auch immer gefragt habe. Es verstößt gegen internationales Recht, und das ist ganz klar auch so auszubuchstabieren.

 
  
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  Teuvo Hakkarainen (ID). – Arvoisa puhemies, kiihkoislamistien johtama Iran on alueen suurin uhkatekijä. Iran on vuosien kuluessa levittänyt sotilaitaan, käytännössä sisararmeijoitaan, ympäri Lähi-itää aiheuttaen sekasortoa ja hävitystä. Iranilla on kaksi suurta päämäärää: ydinaseen kehittäminen, josta maa ei ole missään vaiheessa luopunut, ja Israelin lopullinen tuhoaminen. Tästä syystä ydinaseen käyttökynnys on matalin juuri Lähi-idässä.

Israel, Lähi-idän ainoa demokratia, ei varmaankaan jää kädet ristissä odottamaan tuhoaan. Viisainta kaiketi olisi, jos Eurooppa voisi millään lailla olla puuttumatta tämänhetkiseen tilanteeseen. Se ei vain taida olla mahdollista. Kun öljy joskus loppuu noilta alueilta, edessä on siirtyminen kamelikauteen.

 
  
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  Željana Zovko (PPE). – Madam President, during the first week of the new year we all experienced an unexpected chain of events that strongly increased tensions in the Middle East and far beyond with around 3 000 soldiers from 19 European Member States deployed in Iraq. The events also affect the security of the European Union directly. The situation in Iraq and in Iran is highly worrisome and all peaceful de—escalation efforts should be welcomed.

Therefore, I call upon all parties involved to show restraint and make space for dialogue. Next to encouraging and assisting our partners to open diplomatic channels, it is important for the European Union to protect the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action and to convince Iran that it is also in their benefit to adhere to this agreement.

Also in our relations with Iraq we should remain stable and productive. After having heavily suffered under the destructive passage of ISIS, the country is being reconstructed. Last year I was there with the Committee on Foreign Affairs in Baghdad and it’s really making me feel sad to see how all the fragile peace is gone. We should help through diplomatic channels and I call upon you, High Representative, to make the utmost effort and to show the European Union as a mediator in this really worrisome situation.

 
  
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  Jackie Jones (S&D). – Madam President, yet again, Donald Trump’s lack of forethought and sketchy understanding of geopolitics has kick—started a dangerous chain of events, following the US air strike which killed General Qasem Soleimani in Iran. Hopes of tensions calming have been dashed by the shooting-down of the Ukrainian passenger plane. And my heart goes out to the families and friends of those who have been killed.

These incidents have ignited a tinderbox, and we’ve now seen days of protests and strong language on all sides, including from the UK’s Prime Minister today. The US should not have withdrawn from the Iran nuclear deal.

I certainly disagree with Johnson, who wants to replace it with a Trump deal. This situation is highly dangerous. For the sake of the protection of everyone’s human rights across the globe, but especially those who are the most vulnerable – that always includes women and children – we must try to defuse the situation, and I call on you to do so.

 
  
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  Klemen Grošelj (Renew). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Zaostrovanje med Iranom in ZDA bi lahko ogrozilo ne le regionalno, ampak tudi globalno stabilnost. Ne glede na verjetne ali manj verjetne scenarije krize, bode v oči neopaznost Evropske unije.

Evropska unija mora nujno okrepiti vlogo pri reševanju krize in napore za ohranitev jedrskega sporazuma. Kakršenkoli že bo razplet, bo ta vplival na nas. Ob sicer malo verjetni nadaljnji eskalaciji, bo pomemben del Evropske unije znotraj dosega iranskih raketnih sistemov. Hkrati pa bomo soočeni s povečanim begunskim oziroma migracijskim tokom na zunanjih mejah.

A tudi v primeru popuščanja napetosti, še posebej, ko bodo stekli, posredni ali neposredni pogovori med ZDA in Iranom, mora imeti Evropska unija pri tem ustrezno vlogo. Kakršenkoli dogovor bo imel vpliv na energetsko varnost Evropske unije, zakaj tako ZDA kot Iran želita postati pomembna dobavitelja zemeljskega plina.

Ta pa bo imel pomembno vlogo pri doseganju našega strateškega cilja – do leta 2050 postati brezogljična družba. Zato torej mora Evropska unija postati akter, ki bo odločilno sooblikovala rešitve v tej krizi.

 
  
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  Elena Lizzi (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, signor Vicepresidente, l'ondata di instabilità innescata dalla morte del generale Soleimani ha messo in evidenza, ancora una volta, l'inadeguatezza delle politiche estere dell'Unione europea, ridimensionandola a un consorzio di buona volontà, spesso inefficace e poco incisivo nelle situazioni che contano.

Signor Borrell, non riguarda la Sua persona o la Sua professionalità, riguarda il contesto in cui l'Unione europea deve muoversi e quindi il quadro giuridico: l'economia iraniana al collasso, l'ammissione – in ritardo – dell'abbattimento del Boeing ucraino in cui hanno perso la vita 176 persone, il caso diplomatico dell'arresto dell'ambasciatore britannico. Si rischia un'escalation di nuovi scontri e manifestazioni di piazza, con la conseguente reazione violenta del regime.

Dov'è la Commissione geopolitica promessa dalla Presidente von der Leyen? In che modo in questi periodi si è cercato di limitare l'escalation? Abbiamo parlato a novembre di Iraq e Iran. Si continua a invitare ad abbassare i toni, e lo faccio anch'io, all'uso del dialogo e della diplomazia, alla ricerca di una soluzione politica, e lo faccio anch'io. Ma poi non succede nulla e tutto si risolve in una dichiarazione congiunta.

La prima nota della Presidente von der Leyen sulla morte di Soleimani è arrivata solo giorni dopo. L'Unione europea rischia ancora una volta di... (la Presidente toglie la parola all'oratrice)

 
  
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  Janusz Lewandowski (PPE). – Pani Przewodnicząca! Układ nuklearny z Iranem był zwycięstwem cierpliwej dyplomacji, sztuką tego, co możliwe. Wojna, ofiary, zniszczenia to jest zawsze porażka dyplomacji. Ten układ mógł być filarem globalnej strategii nierozprzestrzeniania broni jądrowej zbudowanej wedle prostej zasady, że łatwiej jest zatrzymać czyjeś zbrojenia, niż rozbroić posiadacza bomby atomowej. Ale prezydent Trump, niezrażony doświadczeniem z Koreą Północną, wybrał inną drogę. Tak więc im mniej przewidywalna jest prezydentura Stanów Zjednoczonych, tym większa nasza odpowiedzialność za bezpieczeństwo własne i całego regionu.

Często słyszę, że Iran to jest kraj terrorystów. To jest kraj 80 milionów ludzi. Bardzo młode społeczeństwo, które poznałem w ciągu 5 lat, kiedy przewodniczyłem delegacji Parlamentu Europejskiego ds. Iranu. Ci ludzie chcą żyć własnym życiem, niekoniecznie wedle wskazań ajatollaha. I to jest wielki rezerwuar pokojowej współpracy, który powinien być strategicznym celem naszej dyplomacji.

 
  
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  Brando Benifei (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, la de-escalation tra Iran e Stati Uniti dopo l'altissimo livello di tensione per l'uccisione del generale Soleimani è una buona notizia, ma i nodi da sciogliere restano molti.

L'accordo sul nucleare ha rappresentato il maggior risultato della politica estera europea degli ultimi anni, riportando il paese nell'alveo degli interlocutori politici e commerciali dell'Occidente dopo anni di rapporti tesissimi. Trump lo considera morto, ma per noi rimane invece la base dei nostri migliorati rapporti e deve essere rispettato, come Lei giustamente ha ribadito, signor Alto rappresentante, a margine del Consiglio "Affari esteri" straordinario di venerdì.

Al contempo non dimentichiamo il popolo iraniano, che da mesi scende in piazza in prima istanza per via delle difficili condizioni economiche, anche per le sanzioni americane, e che finora ha incontrato una dura repressione. Gli eventi dei giorni scorsi, compresa la tremenda vicenda dell'aereo abbattuto, hanno ulteriormente aggravato la situazione.

Teheran cessi dunque le violenze e ascolti le istanze del suo popolo verso un cammino di democratizzazione e di tutela dei diritti umani, che auspichiamo e che è parte del nostro dialogo con le autorità iraniane.

 
  
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  Anna Bonfrisco (ID). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, egregio Alto rappresentante, un desiderio si agita nel cuore degli iraniani e degli iracheni, che prescinde dalle differenze di etnia e di religione e dai loro deprecabili governi autoritari:

prende il nome di sicurezza, di benessere, di pace, e a gridarlo sono le voci delle proteste come quelle iraniane che, già da novembre, spesso nell'indifferenza di tanti di noi e della comunità internazionale, hanno provocato centinaia e centinaia di morti.

È il più alto livello di scontro dal 1979, ed è questo lo Stato di diritto che noi intendiamo difendere? E quel miliardo e più di euro, direttamente provenienti dall'Europa, che hanno cercato di sostenere umanitariamente queste persone, dove sono finiti se non nelle mani di governi che sono marionette di Teheran?

Perché forse presto capiremo che l'eliminazione di Soleimani, il più grande leader del fondamentalismo islamico, servirà a liberare chi combatte per la libertà e noi dovremmo ringraziare, signor Alto rappresentante, chi ci ha liberato dal più grande terrorista del mondo, contro Israele e contro di noi, ... (la Presidente toglie la parola all'oratrice)

 
  
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  Pierfrancesco Majorino (S&D). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, quanto è accaduto in Iraq e in Iran è grave, preoccupante e pericoloso.

Come Unione europea dobbiamo essere uniti e determinati e per questo alcune cose vanno dette con grande chiarezza. L'uccisione del generale Soleimani da parte degli Stati Uniti è stata un atto folle, da condannare, un atto spregiudicato, che rafforza i nemici della democrazia.

Oggi quello che noi non dobbiamo fare, l'errore che non dobbiamo compiere, è gettare l'accordo sul nucleare. Esso, ancor più di prima, è importante, come ha sottolineato l'Alto rappresentante: per noi è un vero e proprio banco di prova.

Infine, sia in Iraq che in Iran c'è una società civile che chiede trasparenza e sviluppo democratico. Dobbiamo ripartire dal sostegno a quelle donne e a quegli uomini per sostenere la via diplomatica e politica e per evitare un'escalation ancora non scongiurata.

 
  
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  Tonino Picula (S&D). – Poštovana predsjedavajuća,

prije svega želim izraziti sućut obiteljima žrtava stradalih u rušenju ukrajinskog putničkog aviona u Iranu. Tragičan je to podsjetnik kako izolirani incidenti mogu ugroziti opću sigurnost.

Podržavam potpuni pristup istrazi istražiteljima svih zemalja čiji su državljani žrtve ove tragedije. Temeljna poruka treba biti poziv na deeskalaciju sukoba i suzdržavanje od jednostranih akcija jer imaju multiplicirajući utjecaj na regionalnu, ali i na globalnu sigurnost. Ubojstvo generala Soleimanija, bez obzira na njegovo djelovanje povezano sa zločinima s brojnim žrtvama, otvorilo je Pandorinu kutiju s nesagledivim posljedicama. Nadolazeći izbori u Iranu i SAD-u nažalost predstavljaju dodatni izazov. Nadam se da najnoviji prijepor o povlačenju američkih trupa iz Iraka neće izazvati nove sukobe i žrtve. Jednako tako, puna podrška iranskom nuklearnom sporazumu podrazumijeva realizaciju preuzetih obveza, uključujući INSTEX, posebice u kontekstu humanitarne trgovine. Europska unija treba proaktivnu politiku, predlaganje diplomatskih rješenja koja za cilj moraju imati iransko poštovanje nuklearnog sporazuma. Tako se zaista doprinosi očuvanju mira i promicanju sigurnosti. Iran svakako treba zaustaviti nasilje nad prosvjednicima o čemu svjedočimo zadnjih dana.

Zaključno, držim kako je vrijeme da u narednim zasjedanjima raspravimo i transatlantsku suradnju u značajno izmijenjenim okolnostima. To je neizostavan dio formule za globalnu sigurnost i mir.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Milan Zver (PPE). – Spoštovana predsedujoča. Že leta spremljam prizadevanja iranske opozicije, njen boj za demokracijo in pa svobodo. Tudi v Evropskem parlamentu smo jim večkrat zadnja leta namenili nekaj pozornosti, vendar visoka služba Evropske unije za varnostno in zunanjo politiko ima nekoliko drugačen odnos do njih.

Jaz sem prepričan, da bi morala Evropska unija bolj se jasno postaviti na stran evro-atlantskega zavezništva, ne pa da poskuša nekako posredovati med ZDA in pa Iranom, med državo demokracije in svobode in na drugi strani državo, ki je lani v protestih ubila 1.500 ljudi, 12.000 jih je zaprla, zadnje dni je prav tako zelo nasilna proti protestnikom, medtem je še napadla ameriška oporišča, sesula ukrajinsko letalo in tako naprej.

Tukaj nimamo kaj izbirati ali biti posrednik med dvema akterjema, ampak pozivam gospoda Borella, da Evropska unija redefinira odnos do Irana.

 
  
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  Robert Hajšel (S&D). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, našou snahou teraz naozaj musí byť upokojiť situáciu a prispieť k tomu, aby sa znížilo napätie, ktoré eskalovalo jednostranným, povedal by som selektívnym a asi nerozumným zabitím iránskeho generála Sulejmáního – o ktorom si môžeme myslieť, čo chceme, ale určite to neprispelo k upokojeniu situácie, ale naopak, čomu dáva za pravdu nasledujúci vývoj, ktorý nastal po tomto jednostrannom akte. My musíme byť schopní povedať Spojeným štátom aj kritické slová, sú náš spojenec v rámci NATO, ale musíme sa správať ako partneri, ako kredibilní, aby sme si zachovali svoju kredibilitu aj voči iným krajinám. Teraz ide naozaj o to, aby sme vynaložili všetko naše úsilie, naše schopnosti aj naše dobré vzťahy jednak aj s Američanmi, ale aj do istej miery dobré vzťahy v rámci možností s Iránom, aby sme zachovali jadrovú zmluvu, lebo jej ohrozenie by ohrozilo aj nás, a nejaké ďalšie vyostrovanie napätia v tejto oblasti, prípadne vojenský konflikt, by určite spôsobili ďalší influx migrantov a ľudí, ktorí boli presídlení, a porušovanie ľudských práv.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (Renew). – Madam President, the Iranian regime deserves a full range of sanctions for its bloody actions against its own people who went into the streets to protest, as well as for a war crime which led towards the shooting down of the Ukrainian civil aircraft.

The EU should apply effectively a full range of sanctions against the Iranian regime and provide support to the country’s civil society and opposition. Staying silent and inactive, we will promote the Iranian regime to commit further crimes and bring more instability to the region. Let’s admit some mistakes the EU made towards Iran in once having too optimistic expectations and exercise a more comprehensive policy line.

 
  
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  Kateřina Konečná (GUE/NGL). – Paní předsedající, musíme si zde na půdě Evropského parlamentu uvědomit, že mezinárodní politika není o fandění ve fotbalovém zápase. Nemusíme mít svého favorita, kterému budeme tolerovat všechny fauly, a na jeho protivníka opovržlivě pískat. Pokud ctíme v prvé řadě pravidla, respektive mezinárodní právo, musíme všem měřit stejným metrem. Nesmíme se bát kritizovat kohokoliv, kdo pravidla poruší. USA svými nedávnými činy v Iráku jasně porušilo mezinárodní právo. To je neoddiskutovatelné. Íránské sestřelení letadla je taktéž obrovským faulem, který je třeba odsoudit.

My zde na půdě Evropského parlamentu nemáme za úkol milovat USA či bránit Írán. My máme za úkol se jasně vymezit proti porušování mezinárodního práva. Rok 2020 nezačal dobře, a pokud nebude obnovena důvěra ve fungování a platnost mezinárodního práva, nemusí ani dobře skončit. Ano, kolegové, jsme na křižovatce, ale nikoliv mezi USA a Íránem, ale mezi mezinárodním právem a chaosem. Vyberme si.

 
  
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  Milan Uhrík (NI). – Vážená pani predsedajúca, prvom rade by som sa chcel sťažovať vedeniu Parlamentu, že nám zakázali mať v pléne vlajočky, s bizarným vysvetlením, že sa jedná o bannery. Toto je naozaj nehoráznosť.

No a čo sa týka Iránu, objektívne treba uznať, že jadrová dohoda, s ktorou Irán súhlasil, je dobrým výsledkom európskej diplomacie, ale rozhodne treba tiež povedať, že za všetko zlo, ktoré sa na Blízkom alebo Strednom východe deje, môže agresívna politika Spojených štátov amerických, ktoré už teraz úplne otvorene ignorujú medzinárodné právo, páchajú teroristické útoky na vybraných činiteľov druhých cudzích štátov.

Žiadam, aby Európska únia odsúdila tento americký teroristický útok, rovnako ako odsudzuje všetky ostatné teroristické útoky iných krajín, a aby sa držala čo najďalej od týchto nebezpečných krvavých dobrodružstiev Spojených štátov.

 
  
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  Traian Băsescu (PPE). – Doamnă președintă, cu privire la disputa iraniano-americană, trebuie să plecăm de la adevăr. Adevărul este că generalul Soleimani a fost unul dintre organizatorii atacului împotriva ambasadei de la Teheran și a fost executat pe teritoriu irakian, acolo unde a produs actul terorist.

În ceea ce ne privește, este un curent general că trebuie să facem orice pentru a menține Acordul nuclear. Vreau să exprim punctul meu de vedere: Iranul nu va respecta Acordul nuclear, iar noi vom rămâne solidari cu o putere teroristă de la Teheran.

Mizăm pe solidaritatea noastră. Nu știu dacă vom reuși să rămânem solidari până la sfârșit, în condițiile în care un guvern terorist este partenerul nostru în acest Acord nuclear.

 
  
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  Juan Fernando López Aguilar (S&D). – Señora presidenta, alto representante Borrell, las 176 víctimas mortales del avión derribado por un misil tierra-aire iraní la semana pasada son el corolario trágico de una espiral de acción-reacción. La tragedia solo empeora cuando sabemos que las autoridades iraníes reconocen la verdad después de que el primer ministro canadiense la haya hecho pública, conforme a sus propios servicios de inteligencia. Pero puede empeorar todavía más. Dieciocho víctimas mortales eran europeos, decenas eran canadienses, pero la mayoría eran iraníes, de modo que estamos ante la probabilidad cierta de que haya manifestaciones iraníes reprimidas duramente con centenares de muertos, como hemos visto en los últimos meses, y exclusión de internet. Y aún más: la amenaza de cancelar definitivamente el acuerdo nuclear de 2015. No nos lo podemos permitir ante el riesgo de una guerra inminente en la región. Por eso, lo que podemos hacer desde el Parlamento Europeo es apoyar los esfuerzos diplomáticos —que usted dirige— de la diplomacia europea, para que la Unión Europea haga cuanto pueda hacer —y ni un segundo más tarde lo haga— para evitarlo.

 
  
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  Александър Александров Йорданов (PPE). – Г-жо Председател, г-н Борел, ако разумният подход не успее, ако деескалацията не успее, имаме ли визия за действие? Време е, очевидно, да подготвим и план Б.

Не е достатъчно да се изрази съболезнование за загиналите след престъпната атака срещу украинския самолет. Трябва да заявим на този авторитарен и терористичен режим, че ако продължава своята агресивна политика в региона, ще има и друг отговор, ще има нова Пустинна буря. Не е ли парадокс, че самите иранци реагират по-остро срещу режима на аятоласите, отколкото това правим ние?

Време е да подкрепим хората, които протестират срещу този режим. И още нещо, колеги: антиамериканизмът, който и в тази зала прозвуча в определен смисъл, не е само заплаха за САЩ, той е заплаха и за нас, за Европа. И в тази ситуация ние трябва да бъдем заедно със Съединените щати.

 
  
 

(End of catch-the-eye procedure)

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, vice-président de la Commission et haut représentant de l’Union pour les affaires étrangères et la politique de sécurité. – Madame la Présidente, cela a été tout un ensemble de points de vue, tous très intéressants mais très différents. S’il fallait que je décrive à quelqu’un la position du Parlement après vous avoir écoutés, je ne saurais pas l’exprimer parce que ça va du blanc-blanc au noir-noir, et les points de vue sont très différents à propos d’une crise qui est très dangereuse pour nous tous, vous en avez tous convenu.

D’abord, je voulais vous dire que personne n’a abandonné l’accord sur le nucléaire iranien.

Nobody has abandoned it. It’s not me who believes that the JCPOA is essential for our security and has to be kept; it’s the Foreign Affairs Council and it is also the three Ministers of the E3 who share this point of view.

I know that there is a certain contradiction between the letter that I received signed by the Foreign Affairs Minister of the United Kingdom, and the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom saying something which looks quite different from the letter I have read, but what counts for me is the letter, which is an official document which has to follow my action. The British Minister says that the action they are proposing is not to abandon the deal and substitute the Obama deal with the Trump deal. It says that they want to keep the deal alive and what they want is to use this mechanism, this process, in order to have leverage in regard to Iran.

No, nobody has abandoned the deal. The International Atomic Energy Agency continues to monitor and inspect Iran’s nuclear activities, and let’s not forget that the JCPOA is embodied in a United Nations Security Council resolution. It’s not something that we Europeans wrote one night here together. It took 10 years to reach this deal and it was approved by a United Nations resolution, which nobody has cancelled. It is still alive. So don’t blame me and say, ‘Mr Borrell, you have to change your mind’. I’m coming here to explain not my mind – that too – but mainly what the Foreign Affairs Council, after a long debate, has decided and what the letter from the three Ministers says. We are certainly strongly committed to defending Iraq’s sovereignty, its territorial integrity and the importance of Iraqi ownership of the country’s internal political reform process.

When my colleagues in the Foreign Affairs Council give me a mandate to do whatever I can, to use all the tools of diplomacy and to talk with everybody – everybody means, I say it again, everybody – in order to look for a regional political solution, I understand that it is an invitation to keep in touch with the Iraqi Government. Well, for the time being, the Iraqi Government is a caretaker government, but immediately afterwards – this meeting was on Friday – I kept in touch with the Iraqi Government, even if it is a caretaker government, and on Monday, the Vice—Minister for Foreign Affairs of Iraq was here having political consultations with the Secretary—General of the European External Action Service, and we agreed that we have to do more.

Someone asked me who can do more and how. Well, just by developing the Association Agreement that we signed, which was ratified and entered into force in 2018, just doing that is a lot of things. It is a lot of work and a lot of possibilities. We have a mission there and we can reinforce this mission. This Association Agreement opens the door to a lot of relationships on trade, economics and security, and certainly we have to decide what we are going to do from the point of view of the foreign, defence and security policy with the mission that we have there.

The soundest thing would be to reinforce it in order to help the Iraqi Government to avoid the country falling apart in any way because, after listening to all of you, I understand that all of you are completely aware of the very dramatic consequences that could come for our security if we have a crisis in Iraq similar to the one we have been witnessing in Syria.

That is why in the next days and weeks I will be engaged in a diplomatic consultation with the Iraqis and will offer our support and our help in order to continue the reform process in this country and avoid losing all the process and progress that has been made in the last years.

We can have a lot of discussions about what the future will be, but for the time being one thing is clear: Iran is not a nuclear power today thanks to the JCPOA and I don’t see how we can build an alternative agreement. I really don’t see it. Everybody talks about this deal. Some of you have been curious enough to have a look at it. It is a book like this, thick like this, full of technicalities, which it took 10 years to agree on.

I really don’t believe that it’s going to be easy to build another agreement with the same complexity, dealing, in a much more complex and conflictual environment, with the current situation. So that is why I have to insist that for us Europeans – and I am talking on behalf of the Foreign Affairs Council – we have to do whatever we can in order to make this deal survive, and for that we clearly have to push and influence the Iranians in order to fulfil all their commitments.

But let me tell you one thing that I think I already told you at the beginning. The Americans withdrew unilaterally from this deal and the Iranians have respected their obligation for 14 months without any kind of contretemps. Now they have certainly said that they don’t feel bound by the constraints of this agreement, but it is one thing not to feel bound and another to go over to the other side. There only the International Atomic Energy Agency can tell us how much and when it has happened. That’s why you have to rely on the reports from this Agency that, until now, has been a wise testimony of what is happening there. More engagement with Iraq and try to deal with all parts of the nuclear deal in order to keep it alive.

I can certainly also talk about the Ukrainian plane. I can talk and try to answer all the many interesting issues that you have raised during your interventions, but unhappily it would take too long. Let me just say thank you for your contributions. I am sure we will continue to have to deal with this issue in this Parliament.

 
  
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  President. – The debate is closed.

Written statements (Rule 171)

 
  
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  Sandra Pereira (GUE/NGL), por escrito. – O que se passou recentemente no Irão e no Iraque é mais um passo na escalada de tensão, provocação e agressão protagonizada pelos EUA e Israel no Médio Oriente, tendo por objetivo impor a hegemonia do imperialismo norte-americano em toda a região. A ação levada a cabo pelos EUA que levou à morte do general Soleimani e de representantes de movimentos políticos do Iraque e do Líbano constitui um inequívoco acto de guerra, cujas consequências poderão conduzir a um conflito de proporções imprevisíveis. Estranhamente, ou talvez não, este acto de guerra não mereceu condenação pelos Estados-Membros ou pela própria UE. Rejeitamos a estratégia de desestabilização da região promovida pelos Estados Unidos e seus aliados. É fundamental cumprir o direito internacional e o respeito pela soberania dos povos, condenando esta agressão e a escalada de provocação no Médio Oriente. É fundamental acabar com a ocupação militar do Iraque. É fundamental defender a Paz e rejeitar a guerra.

 
  
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  Sergei Stanishev (S&D), in writing. – Three years after Trump’s stepping into office, US foreign policy is starting to look less bound to a coherent strategy and more like a victim of erratic impulses. His latest reckless actions in the Middle East are the pinnacle of a long series of provocations starting with US withdrawal from the Nuclear Deal in 2018. Without a doubt, no tears should be shed for General Soleimani, whose imprints remain all over conflict zones in the Middle East. Yet the dangerous escalation, brought by Soleimani’s assassination in violation of international law, pushed the region in a spiral of tragic events and led to hundredths of innocent victims. Instead of giving hope to moderation and normalisation, Trump’s ‘fire and fury’ strategy plays into the hands of emboldened military leaders and extreme hardliners. It’s no wonder they are now even more convinced in the need of a nuclear deterrent. We must now stand united in support of EU High Representative Borrell’s efforts to revert all parties to dialogue, calm and restraint and to harness the Nuclear Deal. For the EU, the time for reflection for bigger strategic autonomy has come. Dialogue and diplomacy will always be Europe’s ways, and not tweets and bombs.

 

8. Članstvo v političnih skupinah: gl. zapisnik
Video posnetki govorov

9. Letno poročilo za leto 2018 o človekovih pravicah in demokraciji v svetu ter politiki Evropske unije na tem področju (razprava)
Video posnetki govorov
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  President. – The next item is the report by Isabel Wiseler-Lima, on behalf of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, on human rights and democracy in the world and the European Union’s policy on the matter – annual report 2018 (2019/2125(INI)) (A9—0051/2019).

 
  
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  Isabel Wiseler-Lima, rapporteure. – Madame la Présidente, le Parlement européen a la responsabilité de parler d’une voix forte, claire et surtout unie quand il s’agit de droits de l’homme.

Aussi, me suis-je efforcée tout au long des négociations de trouver les consensus qui nous permettraient aujourd’hui de présenter au vote un rapport qui serait l’expression de toutes nos batailles, de toutes nos convictions et qui serait porté par une très large majorité. Cette voix unie n’est pas une fin en soi mais permet, dans un contexte où nous aspirons à l’universalité, d’affirmer notre profond respect commun de la démocratie et des droits de l’homme. La dignité humaine, l’affirmation de celle-ci, encore et toujours doit dans notre Parlement européen dépasser les frontières des groupes politiques, être une valeur partagée qui nous permet d’être crédibles quand nous demandons toujours et encore dans nos relations internationales le respect des droits de l’homme. Surtout que cette voix européenne, avec d’autres voix démocratiques de par le monde, est plus que nécessaire au vu du contenu du rapport sur l’état de la démocratie et des droits de l’homme dans le monde.

Le rapport exprime, en effet, sa profonde préoccupation devant les attaques contre la démocratie et l’état de droit. Un point qui me préoccupe particulièrement est la montée de l’autoritarisme en tant que projet politique. Il ne s’agit toutefois pas non plus de tomber dans le pessimisme forcené et le rapport se félicite, par ailleurs, du fait que dans un certain nombre de pays, les processus de paix et de démocratisation sont mis en œuvre, ainsi que des réformes constitutionnelles et judiciaires.

Je tiens également à souligner que la société civile et son engagement pour la démocratie et les droits de l’homme ont aujourd’hui, bien plus qu’hier, une visibilité encourageante. Nous soutenons ceux qui élèvent leurs voix pour défendre les valeurs démocratiques. Un point reste toutefois particulièrement noir pour l’humanité: le fléau des conflits et des attaques militaires, visant notamment au nettoyage ethnique, continue à faire des morts parmi les civils et à provoquer des déplacements massifs. Souvent, ces lieux de violence extrême et de non-loi laissent la place à l’expression de l’inhumanité dans laquelle peuvent tomber les hommes. Ces lieux deviennent alors un espace où cruauté et horreur se vivent au quotidien. Nous sommes dans l’innommable. Chacun de nous, tous, nous sommes dans l’obligation humaine de dénoncer cela haut et fort, et en tant que membres de ce Parlement, nous sommes dans l’obligation politique de provoquer l’action contre cette misère humaine.

Le rapport souligne également la question des droits des populations indigènes, qui souvent sont bafoués, alors même que des lois nationales et internationales les protègent. Il souligne l’importance de faire progresser l’égalité des sexes et les droits des femmes et des filles dans le monde. Des femmes et des enfants sont dans des environnements fragiles et sont les plus susceptibles d’être victimes de violences, les plus exposés aux abus et à l’exploitation éhontée.

Le rapport accorde une attention particulière à la liberté de parole et d’expression, ainsi qu’au pluralisme des médias, qui sont au cœur des sociétés véritablement démocratiques. Il déplore l’injustice à l’égard des personnes défendant les droits de l’homme, notamment des universitaires, des journalistes et des responsables politiques. Il dénonce les meurtres commis ainsi que l’application de la peine de mort, la persécution et l’emprisonnement arbitraire.

Le rapport souligne que le commerce et les droits de l’homme peuvent et doivent se renforcer mutuellement et insiste sur la responsabilité des entreprises. Il soutient pleinement les dialogues sur les droits de l’homme avec les pays tiers dans la promotion et la protection des droits de l’homme.

Enfin et surtout, il souligne que le droit à la liberté de pensée, de conscience, de religion et de conviction doit être garanti dans le monde entier et préservé sans conditions.

Je tiens, à la fin de ma présentation, à remercier très sincèrement l’ensemble des rapporteurs fictifs et des équipes pour l’esprit dans lequel tous ont travaillé.

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, once again I have to thank the European Parliament for its continued monitoring of the human rights and democracy situation around the world and today I have to welcome your comprehensive Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy in the World, which provides many useful recommendations. Thank you to the rapporteur, Ms Isabel Wiseler—Lima, for her work.

I have to start by saying that human rights and democracy are and must remain at the heart of our work. It’s part of our DNA. At the very first Foreign Affairs Council meeting I chaired in December, we discussed with all EU foreign ministers our collective efforts to protect and promote human rights and democracy, taking into account the worrying trends, including shrinking space for civil society and increasing attacks on human rights defenders. The ministers agreed on the political appropriateness of establishing an EU global human rights sanction regime, and work on this is being taken forward in the Council and we hope to move forward as quickly as possible. This global human rights sanction regime is one of the targets, one of the purposes, objectives that we, all together, have to try to achieve as soon as possible.

On my second day in office, I engaged with grassroots environmental human rights defenders from around the world at the Human Rights Forum, focusing on how to build a fair environment for the future. Many of the issues that you address in your Annual Report on Human Rights and Democracy, which was adopted in May last year, were already addressed in this report. And we delivered and streamlined a report using concrete country—specific examples. We are fully aware of the strong interlinkages between the two reports and for the next EU annual report, covering 2019, we are aiming for a timely adoption this spring.

Your report calls for a more effective EU human rights foreign policy. It’s a welcome contribution to the ongoing work on the new Action Plan on Human Rights and Democracy. This will be a roadmap setting the EU level of ambition and priorities for the next five years and it will reflect the transition to a digital world and the changing geopolitical dynamics.

Human rights and democracy are and should continue to be at the centre of our relations with third countries. The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is the largest financial instrument in the world dedicated specifically to human rights and democracy and payments for EUR 135 million were made under this flagship in 2018. Let me give some examples: the 2018 global call for proposal led to the selection of five projects on LGBTI rights and there was EUR 70 million to spend on that. They cover such difficult countries on this subject like Russia, Malawi, Zimbabwe, Guatemala, Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Colombia and Peru. This project supported capacity—building of specialised NGOs and offered legal aid to victims of LGBTI—related human rights violations and to human rights defenders.

Beyond development cooperation, your report correctly points out that trade and economic policies should be linked to political dialogue and that human rights violations should be fully taken into consideration in any action that the European Union is undertaking. You are very well aware of our human rights guidelines, the regular dialogues and a strong public diplomacy. We have a special representative for human rights that has reached out to governments and civil society globally and his leadership has already raised considerably the profile of the European Union human rights policy.

In particular, the European Union has contributed to moving forward on rights of the child and, together with a group of Latin American and Caribbean countries, we have been tabling three resolutions on the right of the child. Two were presented during the March session of the Human Rights Council. One concerned the 30th anniversary of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and the second focused on empowering children with disabilities so that they can enjoy their human rights, including the right to inclusive education.

Your report also correctly draws attention to the rising backlash against women’s rights worldwide. The EU remains strongly committed to the full enjoyment of human rights by all. Our broad commitment to gender equality and women’s empowerment is demonstrated, in particular, by our Spotlight Initiative on ending violence against women and girls, signed in September 2017 in New York. This initiative is backed by a substantive EUR 500 million investment over the period 2018—2024. Two pillars were implemented: the Latin American pillar against the gender—motivated killing of women and the sub—Saharan pillar to prevent and eliminate sexual and gender—based violence and harmful practices. These need to remain at the forefront of our efforts, particularly in view of the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Women and the Beijing Declaration.

Also, your report welcomes the Council conclusions on democracy of last October and highlights the significance of transparent, inclusive and credible elections. This requires me to thank the Member States – and also the Members of this Parliament – who have joined our election observation missions. This election observation mission structure is a good example of how our institutions are working efficiently together. I don’t want to read the whole list of those missions, but I just want to point out some of them: Salvador, Kosovo, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Senegal, Sri Lanka and Tunisia. I am sorry that we were not in the last elections in Bolivia. We are going to mend that and will continue to do such important work in order to defend the basis of the human rights, which is an efficient democracy.

Let me say that this exchange of views was very useful. In the end, I will say I am sure that when I heard you, Ms Rapporteur, I found in your works the same aim that motivates the service I have responsibility for in order to work together on this issue. Thank you very much for your work. I am sure that now I can have more information about what you ask the External Action Service to do to defend human rights all over the world because you, European Parliamentarians, and us, people working on our missions all over the world, are trying to fight for the same purpose.

 
  
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  Eugen Tomac, în numele Grupului PPE. – Doamna președintă de ședință, domnule vicepreședinte Borrell, vreau și eu să o felicit pe colega noastră raportor. Este un raport foarte bun și arată foarte clar că Uniunea Europeană depune eforturi considerabile pentru a apăra drepturile omului și democrația în întreaga lume. Aș vrea să mă limitez la un drept fundamental pe care societățile noastre îl respectă puternic și care ne face unici și extrem de influenți în lume, și anume dreptul la libera exprimare.

Domnule vicepreședinte Borrell, cer Serviciului de Acțiune Externă să facă mai mult pentru a apăra libertatea de exprimare în statele aflate în imediata noastră vecinătate. Este inadmisibil ca, în continuare, într-un stat vecin nouă, Turcia, sute de instituții media să fie închise, mii de jurnaliști, concediați, unii dintre reținuți și arestați pe nedrept. Este important să acționăm pentru că dreptul la libera exprimare este un drept fundamental într-o democrație.

 
  
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  Andrea Cozzolino, a nome del gruppo S&D. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, non è rituale, né un atto burocratico, l'appuntamento di oggi con la relazione del Parlamento sui diritti umani. Semmai, come è già stato ricordato, il voto e l'approvazione avvengono con troppo ritardo: più di un anno e mezzo di ritardo.

Il lavoro unitario che abbiamo fatto ci ha consentito soprattutto di mettere l'attenzione su tanti temi, e i colleghi e le colleghe del gruppo socialista che interverranno segnaleranno le novità della relazione.

A me preme segnalare soprattutto un tema: il fatto che abbiamo posto molto l'accento su come rendiamo più efficace la politica europea per la difesa e la salvaguardia dei diritti umani nel mondo.

E qui il tema dell'impunità è un tema cruciale, decisivo, che abbiamo cercato di mettere al centro, per affrontare un tema più di fondo: di fronte alla sfida della salvaguardia dei diritti umani e della difesa dei diritti umani, come contrastare l'impunità anche attraverso nuovi strumenti, nuovi poteri, in grado di ridurre la diffusione dell'impunità.

Questo è il nostro impegno e la nostra responsabilità, e sarà compito delle prossime relazioni entrare ulteriormente nel merito, fare di questo un tema cruciale della nostra identità, senza se e senza ma, per vincere davvero la sfida nel mondo sui diritti umani, facendo anche scelte forti – mi immagino al prossimo G20 di Riyadh – per condizionare la nostra partecipazione a quell'appuntamento per porre il tema dei diritti umani anche in un grande paese come l'Arabia Saudita.

 
  
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  Charles Goerens, au nom du groupe Renew. – Madame la Présidente, la discussion annuelle que nous avons sur le rapport des droits de l’homme contient un risque: celui de voir la routine s’installer dans nos débats quand ils portent sur le respect des droits de l’homme dans le monde. On court le risque de faire les mêmes constats, de recourir à des formules qui se ressemblent d’une année sur l’autre et de renouveler toujours les mêmes espoirs.

Aujourd’hui, c’est différent. Cette inquiétude est vite balayée. Nous avons devant nous un rapport bien réfléchi, bien structuré, aussi précis que possible. Le rapport que nous a présenté Mme Wiseler-Lima est une référence incontournable pour les semaines, les mois et peut-être les années à venir en matière de discussion sur les droits de l’homme. Elle aborde pratiquement tous les sujets sans trop se perdre dans les détails. Elle aborde aussi les tendances lourdes qui conditionnent le respect des droits de l’homme dans le monde et parmi ces tendances lourdes, elle regrette bien entendu le recul du multilatéralisme. Qui dit recul du multilatéralisme dit trahison d’une méthode qui a fait ses preuves et abandon d’un acquis en matière de respect des droits de l’homme. On constate que certains pays de l’Union européenne, du Conseil de l’Europe et au sein de l’Alliance atlantique se sont laissé conduire dans cette dérive. Il est particulièrement fâcheux de trouver parmi eux des membres mêmes de l’Union européenne.

Pour terminer, comme j’ai peu de temps, j’aimerais demander à la Commission quelles sont les suites qu’elle entend réserver à nos propositions. J’avais, l’année passée, présenté un rapport sur l’interdiction des mariages forcés et des mariages de mineurs et nous avons, en tant que Parlement européen, voté majoritairement pour faire de l’interdiction du mariage des mineurs et des mariages forcés un élément de conditionnalité dans notre démarche en matière de relations extérieures. J’ose espérer que le dernier mot en la matière n’a pas encore été dit.

 
  
  

VORSITZ: NICOLA BEER
Vizepräsidentin

 
  
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  Hannah Neumann, on behalf of the Verts/ALE Group. – Madam President, the human rights situation is worsening globally. That is why it is important that we hold all those accountable who violate human rights. But it is even more important that we start using the leverage that we as the European Union, with all its Member States and its economic strengths, have. That we use it to protect all those fighting for democracy and human rights.

Why is it that trade deals can protect business but not humans? Why do European companies still make a fortune selling weapons to warmongers? Why can’t so many human rights defenders still not come to the EU if they need protection? And why is it that European companies still destroy the livelihoods of so many indigenous people, only to mine coal?

Mr Borrell, with this report, we want to change those things. It is a strong report, carried by a very large majority in this House. I hope it will guide your work for the next five years. Thank you, Isabel Wiseler-Lima for your great work on this.

 
  
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  Simona Baldassarre, a nome del gruppo ID. – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, oggi sono qui per chiedervi e pregarvi di non essere complici di un business vergognoso da quasi sei miliardi di dollari, la maternità surrogata, fenomeno in allarmante espansione in tutto il mondo, dove ricchi acquirenti occidentali sfruttano donne dei paesi poveri, come un'insidiosa forma di colonizzazione o, peggio, una nuova schiavitù.

Lavoriamo uniti contro questa pratica vergognosa che viola i diritti umani, la dignità della donna e ne mercifica il corpo. Bambini innocenti, strappati alle madri, diventano un mero oggetto contrattuale, calpestando lo stesso articolo 7 della Convenzione sull'infanzia.

Questo Parlamento si è già espresso nel 2011 e nel 2015 contro lo svilimento del corpo femminile e lo sfruttamento delle ragazze vulnerabili. Oggi chiedo che la tanto sbandierata tutela della donna non rimanga una parola vuota. È imprescindibile che l'Unione europea, che si proclama primo difensore dei diritti umani, adotti ogni misura contro la maternità surrogata, perché le donne non sono incubatrici e i bambini non sono una merce di scambio.

Donne e uomini di questo Parlamento, oggi chiedo il vostro aiuto!

 
  
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  Ryszard Czarnecki, w imieniu grupy ECR. – Pani Przewodnicząca! Panie Komisarzu! Przez dwie trzecie Pańskiego wystąpienia na naszych monitorach była informacja, że przemawia Pan w debacie na temat Iranu i Iraku. Cieszę się, że w tej chwili jest już informacja aktualna, choć już dostawałem w tej sprawie sygnały na moją komórkę. To jest sytuacja dosyć dziwaczna. Ja powiem w ten sposób: bardzo się cieszę, że my w Parlamencie Europejskim mamy poczucie, że jesteśmy tą instytucją, która pokazuje, jakie są standardy demokratyczne na całym świecie. My chcemy tych standardów pilnować. I dobrze! Byłem obserwatorem wyborów w przeszło dwudziestu różnych krajach i wiem, że te nasze misje mają sens. Natomiast prawdę mówiąc, to jest tak, że my sami musimy dbać o pewne standardy demokratyczne. Ja nie rozumiem sytuacji. Przed chwilą miałem informację, że mam tylko osiem sekund. Pani Przewodnicząca, zwróciłem uwagę na błąd, który się pojawił. Nie chciałbym, żeby traktować to jako zemstę z Państwa strony, Pani Przewodnicząca, więc kończę. Niezrozumiała jest dla mnie sytuacja, w której wczoraj Parlament Europejski odmówił debaty na temat tego, co działo się w Paryżu.

 
  
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  Miguel Urbán Crespo, en nombre del Grupo GUE/NGL. – Señora presidenta, 2018 fue un año marcado por el auge de la intolerancia, el odio y la discriminación. Fue el año del aumento de la violencia política contra las defensoras de derechos y del medio ambiente, que, como Marielle Franco, fueron asesinadas. Todavía hoy seguimos exigiendo justicia.

Pero fue también el año en que las mujeres, ante el avance de la extrema derecha, salieron masivamente a las calles a recordarnos que la revolución será feminista o no será.

Y, un año más, este informe sobre los derechos humanos se niega a mirar a Europa, en donde también, señorías, hay que recordar que se violan los derechos humanos. Y, si no, miremos a nuestras fronteras, a campos de refugiados como Moria, a los centros de internamiento ⸻auténticos Guantánamos europeos⸻, o a la rampante desigualdad que campa por nuestras calles.

Dejemos de exigir hipócritamente a otros países que garanticen los derechos humanos mientras nosotros, o nuestras multinacionales, los seguimos violando.

Tenemos que cambiar esta política. Hay que dejar de violar los derechos humanos. También en Europa, y también por los países, los Gobiernos y las multinacionales europeas.

 
  
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  Fabio Massimo Castaldo (NI). – Signora Presidente, onorevoli colleghi, domani voteremo la relazione annuale 2018 sui diritti umani e la democrazia. In questa prima relazione della legislatura è estremamente importante, ancora una volta e ancora più assertivamente, confermare l'importanza di quei valori fondamentali sui quali si basa l'esistenza stessa dell'Unione: il multilateralismo, la centralità dei diritti umani, la difesa delle minoranze.

Solo ricordandoci chi siamo possiamo fare in modo che la nostra azione sia coerente con questi principi e non smarrire la rotta.

Voglio ringraziare la relatrice, Isabel Wiseler-Lima, per l'eccezionale lavoro svolto nel concertare le differenti visioni all'interno delle varie commissioni coinvolte.

In questo documento strategico emerge la profonda preoccupazione condivisa per la contrazione della democrazia, dei diritti umani e dello Stato di diritto. Il 2019 è stato un anno in cui sono emersi sempre più allarmanti tendenze autoritarie e un sempre minor ricorso ai fora internazionali multilaterali per la risoluzione delle controversie tra Stati.

In questo momento più che mai urge che l'Unione si ponga come esempio per la comunità internazionale. Ritengo quindi prioritario concentrarsi, in questa legislatura, sul porre l'avanzamento sui diritti umani al centro di qualsiasi azione dell'Unione europea, caro Alto rappresentante, ed esigere che tutti i nostri alleati rispettino appieno le regole condivise.

 
  
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  Peter van Dalen (PPE). – Voorzitter, ik wacht even want ik zie dat de heer Borrell erg druk is met zijn telefoon en het is misschien wel goed dat hij zijn koptelefoon op zet. Het is namelijk helaas nodig dat in het verslag dat we nu op tafel hebben liggen aandacht wordt besteed aan de vrijheid van godsdienst en levensovertuiging in de wereld. Immers, voor miljarden op deze aarde is hun geloof het allerbelangrijkste. Ze willen dat vrij kunnen belijden en uit kunnen spreken. Helaas worden velen vanwege hun geloof onderdrukt, stelselmatig gepest of zelfs omgebracht, en dat niet alleen door andere mensen maar ook door overheden. Denk aan onderdrukkingen van en moorden op mensen in landen als Iran, India, Nepal, Nigeria, Saudi-Arabië en Somalië, en ik hoop dat mijnheer Borrell dat inmiddels ook in zijn telefoon zet.

Het Europese beleid is dubbelhartig. Enerzijds veroordeelt de hoge vertegenwoordiger vrijwel wekelijks al dit soort aanslagen, en terecht. Anderzijds blijft de Europese Unie onverkort handeldrijven met dit soort landen, en dan ontbreken concrete daden. Mooie woorden zonder concrete daden klinken als holle vaten. Neem maatregelen tegen dat soort landen alsjeblieft.

 
  
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  Isabel Santos (S&D). – Senhora Presidente, a apresentação deste relatório não é o mero cumprimento de um qualquer ritual burocrático, é o resultado de uma reflexão profunda e de um árduo trabalho de concertação e de diálogo que exige uma tradução prática na vida de milhares de pessoas.

E, por isso, dirijo um cumprimento especial à Deputada relatora Isabel Wiseler-Lima e também ao relator-sombra do nosso grupo político, o Deputado Andrea Cozzolino. Muito haveria a dizer, mas por uma questão de tempo reduzo-me a destacar os seguintes pontos do relatório que votaremos amanhã.

A relevância dada à sociedade civil num período de crescente compressão do seu espaço de intervenção; o sublinhar da importância da promoção da liberdade de expressão e da democracia num período de grandes desafios; a referência à necessidade de fortalecimento da luta contra a impunidade; a menção à necessidade de proteção dos povos indígenas cada vez mais expostos a todo o tipo de ameaças; o destaque dado aos deslocados à força num ano em que ultrapassaram os 70 milhões; a relevância dada à igualdade de género.

Em matéria de direitos humanos, é muito mais aquilo que nos une do que aquilo que nos divide. Façamos disso a força motriz do trabalho que temos de fazer no Parlamento Europeu.

 
  
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  Irina Von Wiese (Renew). – Madam President, colleagues, do you know where your Christmas cards were made? In December, a young girl in the UK found a message in one of her charity Christmas cards pleading for help. It was not from the sender, it was from the person who was forced to make the card in a Chinese prison cell in inhumane conditions.

Consumers in the richest countries of the world enjoy cheap throw—away products and turn a blind eye to the real cost. Manufacturers and retailers, including many European household brands, do not know and do not want to know what happens at the bottom of their supply chains. We must act urgently to have EU—wide legislation that makes supply chain due diligence mandatory. Companies must ensure that the low price of their products is not at the expense of human rights or the environment.

 
  
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  Heidi Hautala (Verts/ALE). – Madam President, I want to highlight the strong call by this Parliament for a legislation on human rights due diligence for European enterprises, because of course enterprises must take their share of addressing global challenges. It’s wonderful to see that more and more responsible companies call for mandatory due diligence legislation, especially at the European level, because they want a level playing field and they don’t want to be competed out from the market by irresponsible companies. So we have to make sure that we encourage responsibility and not irresponsibility.

It is very important to guarantee access to remedy for victims of cooperate misconduct, and may I just remind you that this is the so-called third pillar of the United Nations guiding principles on business and human rights. And the EU has done very, very little, if anything, on this one. So 2020 must be the year of action, and when the EU acts the impact reaches far beyond the EU’s borders.

 
  
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  Bert-Jan Ruissen (ECR). – Voorzitter, het voorliggende verslag laat zien dat mensenrechten in veel landen nog steeds met voeten worden getreden. Inzet voor mensenrechten moet daarom een belangrijk speerpunt blijven van ons buitenlands beleid. Ik denk aan de bescherming van de rechten van het kind en van personen met een handicap. Ik denk aan het tegengaan van de vervolging van en geweld tegen mensen om welke reden dan ook: of het nu is vanwege het geloof, vanwege etniciteit of vanwege seksuele geaardheid.

Ondertussen zijn wereldwijd christenen de meest vervolgde religieuze groep. Daarom de vraag: hoe staat het in dit verband met de speciale EU-gezant voor godsdienstvrijheid? Deze moet opnieuw worden ingesteld en versterkt. Graag verneem ik daarom, en dat is een concrete vraag aan de hoge vertegenwoordiger, wat de status is van het mandaat van deze EU-gezant voor de godsdienstvrijheid.

 
  
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  Antoni Comín i Oliveres (NI). – Madame la Présidente, chers collègues, Madame la rapporteure, nous sommes tous d’accord, je crois, que la puissance de l’Union européenne sur la scène internationale doit être fondée sur la défense des droits humains. Mais comment l’Union peut avoir l’autorité morale d’exiger le respect des droits humains aux États du monde s’il y a des États dans l’Union qui ne sont pas capables de respecter ces mêmes droits sur son territoire? Les droits humains, ce sont les droits économiques et sociaux, bien sûr, mais aussi les droits civils et les droits politiques. Oriol Junqueras n’est pas assis ici aujourd’hui parce que l’Espagne ne respecte pas ses droits politiques, et moi-même je suis aujourd’hui exilé en Belgique parce que l’Espagne ne respecte pas les droits humains des leaders indépendantistes catalans. La Turquie, la Russie et la Chine ont dit dernièrement qu’elles suivaient les normes espagnoles. Quand l’Union européenne regarde ailleurs lorsqu’un État membre viole de façon évidente les droits humains, elle perd toute capacité de demander aux autres de respecter ce que ses États ne sont pas capables de respecter.

(L’orateur refuse une question «carton bleu» de Dolors Montserrat)

 
  
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  Arba Kokalari (PPE). – Fru talman! Vi ser med oro på att demokratin globalt är på tillbakagång, att förtrycket mot fria medier och oliktänkande har ökat och att våld mot kvinnor är den vanligaste kränkningen i världen. Samtidigt flyttar Kina och Ryssland fram sina positioner. Då behövs EU och Europa mer än någonsin.

Jag vill att EU-kommissionen prioriterar tre viktiga saker: att skyndsamt införa sanktioner mot de individer som begår grova brott mot de mänskliga fri- och rättigheterna; att demokratikraven i EU ska vara höga för dem som vill gå med i EU, men att vi samtidigt ger dem hopp om att deras framtid är i EU och inte någon annanstans; att EU tar ett större ansvar för att stärka kvinnors och flickors rättigheter runt om i världen.

EU byggdes en gång i tiden av idéer om att skydda de mänskliga fri- och rättigheterna och demokratin. Låt oss då alltid agera och visa att vi alltid kommer att ta det på allvar, för det är inget som vi kan ta för givet.

 
  
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  Maria Arena (S&D). – Madame la Présidente, 70 ans après la déclaration universelle des droits de l’homme, nous vivons dans un monde où le respect de ces droits est plus que jamais en danger.

Les nombreux rapports des défenseurs des droits de l’homme sont alarmants: les conflits aux quatre coins du monde privent des millions de personnes de leurs droits fondamentaux. La globalisation sauvage qui place le business au-dessus des droits humains sacrifie des populations entières sur l’autel du profit de quelques entreprises et de quelques actionnaires, sans parler de la montée des régimes autoritaires qui charrient leur lot de répression, de discrimination et de repli sur soi au nom d’une prétendue identité nationale.

L’Europe n’est pas épargnée, et pourtant elle reste le territoire représentant cette valeur des droits humains, mais pour combien de temps encore? Il y va de notre devoir, il y va de notre responsabilité, de notre crédibilité, d’être le moteur mondial de la défense des droits de l’homme, de manière cohérente, bien sûr, c’est-à-dire dans toutes nos politiques: qu’elles soient commerciales, diplomatiques, qu’elles soient dans nos accords d’association, nous devons mettre en priorité la question des droits de l’homme.

Les droits de l’homme doivent rester le marqueur politique européen. Monsieur Borrell, vous pouvez compter sur nous pour vous soutenir dans cette tâche difficile mais ô combien noble qui vous est donnée aujourd’hui.

 
  
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  María Soraya Rodríguez Ramos (Renew). – Señora presidenta, señor Comín, en las democracias, como en mi país, en España, los derechos humanos valen lo que valen sus garantías, y el cumplimiento de la ley y el respeto a los tribunales, que respetan los derechos de los ciudadanos, es la mejor garantía. Cuando su compañero de escaño vulneró el ordenamiento jurídico, atentó contra la Constitución y contra el estado de Derecho en España, atentó y vulneró los derechos de los ciudadanos catalanes, cuya obligación como presidente de esa comunidad tenía obligación de respetar y proteger. Hoy, fugado de la Justicia española para no responder ante sus actos, se sienta en ese escaño, amparándose en el ordenamiento jurídico y del estado de Derecho que él desconoció, buscando impunidad, que no inmunidad. Esa es la defensa que hacen las democracias dentro de la Unión Europea de los derechos humanos.

 
  
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  Saskia Bricmont (Verts/ALE). – Madame la Présidente, merci aux collègues de la commission des droits de l’homme pour l’excellent rapport qu’ils nous présentent aujourd’hui et qui sera, je l’espère aussi, voté à une large majorité dans cette assemblée. Il consacre la liberté de parole et d’expression et le pluralisme des médias comme cœur de nos sociétés démocratiques qui ne peuvent être limités au nom d’arguments comme la lutte contre le terrorisme, la sécurité d’État ou le maintien de l’ordre. Il se caractérise aussi par l’opposition aux détentions arbitraires et indique que nous devons promouvoir et continuer à promouvoir les droits de l’homme et la démocratie dans le monde au travers de notre politique extérieure, bien évidemment, et ne pas renforcer par inadvertance les régimes autoritaires.

La crédibilité à laquelle vous appelez cette assemblée aujourd’hui risque d’être mise à rude épreuve dès le mois prochain, puisque nous devrons ratifier l’accord commercial avec le Viêt Nam. Le Viêt Nam qui, aujourd’hui, connaît un large recul en matière de droits humains, de trop nombreux prisonniers politiques et un renforcement de cette situation problématique en 2019. Le Service européen pour l’action extérieure a appelé à une réaction face aux arrestations de journalistes et de blogueurs. Comment agir de manière unie? En étant cohérents entre nos politiques en matière de droits de l’homme et nos politiques commerciales.

 
  
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  Frances Fitzgerald (PPE). – Madam President, first of all I want to congratulate the rapporteur, Isabel Wiseler-Lima, on this report. Because as colleagues have said, this is a most comprehensive report, it’s gold standard in terms of human rights. The question is: how will it be responded to how, will it be implemented? It has been sent to a whole variety of important organisations and individuals.

Let’s make sure that governments and ourselves implement the very best practice when it comes to human rights. Many human rights are under threat with the rise of authoritarianism. And we must also call out the macho leadership that we’re seeing around the world. Women’s rights are in danger.

Let’s look to home, make sure that the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women that seven countries have not ratified is actually ratified. And let’s take a lead role in eliminating FGM around the world. Let’s hear all our political leaders speak out around this. And let’s make sure that we talk about what is happening to human rights defenders and take action in Europe to protect them.

 
  
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  Dietmar Köster (S&D). – Frau Präsidentin! Im Artikel 2 der EU—Verträge heißt es „Die Werte, auf die sich die Union gründet, sind die Achtung der Menschenwürde, Freiheit, Demokratie, Gleichheit, Rechtsstaatlichkeit und die Wahrung der Menschenrechte“. Diese Menschenrechte gelten eben nicht nur für EU-Bürgerinnen und EU-Bürger, sondern ausnahmslos für alle.

Doch was nutzen sie einem Flüchtling, der in Bosnien und Herzegowina festsitzt und der bereits zum x-ten Mal von den kroatischen Grenzschutzbehörden widerrechtlich zurück nach Bosnien gepusht wurde und dabei verprügelt, misshandelt und bestohlen wurde? Sein Menschenrecht wird buchstäblich mit Füßen getreten.

In der Europäischen Union werden Menschen- und Flüchtlingsrechte zunehmend zur Disposition gestellt und die Außen- und Entwicklungspolitik dem Primat der Flüchtlingsabwehr unterworfen. Das untergräbt das Wertefundament der EU und ihre Glaubwürdigkeit im weltweiten Einsatz für Menschenrechte und Demokratie. Deswegen müssen wir Position beziehen: für das unveräußerliche Recht auf Asyl und die Achtung der Menschenrechte von Flüchtlingen in der Europäischen Union und in der Welt.

 
  
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  Nacho Sánchez Amor (S&D). – Señora presidenta, como el colega Comín no ha tenido la gallardía de aceptar la blue card que se le ha propuesto, me permito recordarle que este documento que estamos examinando se refiere a asuntos de derechos humanos en el mundo. Eso no quiere decir que no haya asuntos que tratar sobre derechos humanos en Europa. Por ejemplo, lo que sucedió en el Parlamento catalán el 6 y el 7 de diciembre de 2017, cuando los derechos de las minorías o de la oposición fueron pisoteados. El mismo estado de Derecho que tiene al señor Comín hoy sentado aquí. El mismo estado de Derecho que tiene al señor Comín sentado aquí y que todos los que estamos en esta sala respetamos cuando nos da la razón y cuando no nos da la razón.

Lamento solo poder referirme al gran trabajo de la colega Wiseler-Lima diciendo a los colegas: queridos colegas, no se es un actor global dando Premios Sájarov. No se es un actor global solo dando Premios Sájarov.

O tenemos la capacidad política para proteger a la gente a la que ponemos en la diana, y tenemos capacidad para influir en la vida política de esos regímenes, o sencillamente estamos haciendo un enorme brindis al sol. Por tanto, nuestra capacidad de seguridad y defensa tiene que estar reforzada para que nuestra política de promoción de los valores sea acompañada por una política efectiva de defensa de esos defensores de valores humanos en los regímenes en que son atacados.

 
  
 

Catch-the-eye procedure

 
  
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  Jiří Pospíšil (PPE). – Paní předsedající, pane vysoký představiteli, já chci dodat k té debatě jednu poznámku. Doktrína lidských práv je zde naplno v Parlamentu velmi často debatována. Debatujeme velmi často o tom, jak jsou lidská práva v jednotlivých zemích světa pošlapávána a porušována. Já mám jedinou prosbu. Tato zpráva, která zítra bude přijata, nechť je pro Vás vodítkem k tomu, jaké praktické kroky máme v zahraniční politice EU činit. Pořád zde voláme po tom, aby k těm režimům, kde jsou porušována lidská práva a svobody občanů, jsme byli více tvrdí, neposkytovali jim takovou ekonomickou pomoc a chovali se k nim jinak než k partnerům, k státům, kde jsou lidská práva ctěna a respektována. Moc prosím, ať tento materiál, tento dokument se promítne do Vaší reálné činnosti, ať se promítne do zahraniční politiky EU a ať dáváme peníze a ekonomickou podporu pouze těm, kteří jsou ochotni lidská práva respektovat.

 
  
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  Julie Ward (S&D). – Madam President, this report reiterates and supports the European Parliament’s resolution passed on 3 May 2018 with regard to the protection of migrant children. Last week in the UK, the House of Commons rejected proposals to maintain protections for child refugees in the redrafted EU Withdrawal Agreement Bill. It is a betrayal of Britain’s long-standing commitment to humanitarian support, especially to the most vulnerable. I’d like to pay tribute to Labour Lord Alf Dubs, himself a Jewish refugee, who led the campaign on this issue, and I hope the House of Lords rectifies what has been a huge mistake made by the government.

If this is what Global Britain looks like post-Brexit, it sends out all the wrong messages as to who we are and who we want to be as a nation. Whether in or out of the EU, we must not abandon our commitment to human rights and internationalism, and as a child rights campaigner I ask all those in positions of power to remember Alan Kurdi and all the other child refugees who died whilst we turned our backs.

 
  
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  Petras Auštrevičius (Renew). – Madam President, despite many efforts, the human rights situation in the world is not improving. The scale of crimes and atrocities committed against children, women, ethnic minorities and religious groups, among others, are difficult to grasp even for those with extensive years of work in the field of human rights promotion and protection. The question of whether our assessments, reaction and response to the violations that have occurred are the best possible remains open. For example, we’re too slow to react to the worsening situation in Cambodia, where attacks on the political opposition, civil society groups and independent media have intensified. Human rights violations also take place by our borders: in Belarus, we see no improvement in political processes, including freedom of assembly and association, free speech, and independent media. The political opposition remains suppressed, and civil society is sidelined from ongoing negotiations towards losing the countries’ sovereignty to Russia.

 
  
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  Mick Wallace (GUE/NGL). – Madam President, people say that human rights are under threat. Yes, there is an element of truth to that, but sadly we have lost our moral authority to be talking about human rights the way we used to. The very fact that we ignore the rule of law so often around the world today does not do anything for our credibility to talk about human rights; the very fact that we don’t oppose US sanctions in places like Iran, Syria and Venezuela – because those sanctions hurt the poorest people in those countries the most and Europe should stand up against it.

We talk about trade and human rights being mutually enhancing; well in Saudi Arabia they cut off heads on a regular basis but I don’t see Europe having any problem trading with them. I don’t see us having much of a problem dealing with Israel despite the breach of human rights and international law in Palestine on a regular basis. We are not being consistent in how we behave.

 
  
 

(Ende der spontanen Wortmeldungen)

 
  
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  Josep Borrell Fontelles, Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. – Madam President, human rights is an endless issue. So many questions. Let me start by answering a very concrete question about our Special Envoy for Freedom of Belief: yes, we have a special envoy – Ján Figeľ. President Juncker created the function and appointed Ján Figeľ in May 2016. He supports implementation of the European Union Guidelines on promoting and protection of freedom of belief, as the name of his mandate says. He is engaged in visiting countries where the freedom of belief is at risk, engaging with national authorities and institutions, human rights organisations and religious leaders and communities. He participates in dialogue with them and promotes respect for diversity. It is a little bit of a reiteration – I’m saying the same thing in different ways – but that is what he’s doing, and he also serves as Special Adviser to the Commissioner for Development Cooperation. I cannot remember who asked the question – they are no longer here – but this is the answer I can provide to him: I will review the job, the mandate, of this special envoy and see how we can improve it, and what is the justification of this job. The subject requires for sure for someone to take care of it, but I will learn more about it; to tell the truth, I was not aware of the existence of this Special Envoy for the Protection of Freedom and Belief. Maybe next time I will be able to give more information.

The other big issue that has been raised is business and human rights. It is a big issue for sure, and someone has been saying that Western consumers are very happy to consume cheaper goods without paying a lot of attention to the way these lower costs have been obtained. Why is it cheaper? Is the production procedure more efficient, or is it because the human rights of the workers are not respected as we require them to be respected in our economic system?

The European Union is maybe the most engaged organisation in the world on this issue – to address human rights abuses connected to the activities of business entities. We have binding schemes in areas such as trade in diamonds and other conflict minerals, export controls on torture goods, and schemes against trade in lethal injections and the work of the child. I can give you examples of what we have been doing: we have some agreements with Asia-Pacific for close cooperation on business and human rights in Asia, where we have been investing more than EUR 5 million on this programme, and we have a similar project ongoing in Latin America. But we need to do more. We need to build up the necessary consensus. I don’t have a mandate to work more on that, so I count on the right of initiative of Parliament – you have it, use it – to help me in this task, in which I am very interested. You have capacities: use these capacities, because, as you know, I am only the representative of a set of people who very often don’t agree on every issue. In order to have a mandate, it would be very useful if Parliament used its right of initiative in order to build a European Union binding treaty. I think this is a very important issue – maybe the most important one worldwide.

What other issues have been pointed out by you? Many of them. Due diligence legislation: yes, we have called for further EU due diligence legislation during the previous mandate, and some Member States such as France and Netherlands have adopted their own national legislation, but others have not done this. Once again, when you deal with a subject which is highly divisive, and when you don’t have an agreement among Member States, it is difficult to advance in something even if you are strongly convinced that this is needed. Here again, we can build an alliance between Parliament and the High Representative in order to push things that I, myself, do not have enough capacity to develop. I think this part-session could be a good start to our work together in order to advance human rights defence all over the world.

 
  
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