Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 17 December 2014 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Non-objection to a delegated act: arrangements for products originating in certain ACP-States
 Autonomous trade preferences for the Republic of Moldova ***I
 Tariff treatment for goods originating from Ecuador ***I
 Mobilisation of the Contingency Margin in 2014
 Draft amending budget No 3/2014: Revenue from fines, interest payments, reimbursements and repayments – Payment appropriations – Establishment plans of the Commission, the Committee of the Regions and the European Data Protection Supervisor
 Draft amending budget No 4/2014: Traditional own resources (TOR), VAT and Gross National Income (GNI) bases
 Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: Floods in Italy - Earthquake in Greece - Ice in Slovenia - Ice and floods in Croatia
 Draft amending budget No 5/2014: Floods in Italy (Sardinia) in 2013 – Earthquake in Greece – Ice in Slovenia – Ice followed by floods in Croatia in 2014
 Draft amending budget No 6/2014: Revision of the forecast of traditional own resources, VAT and GNI contributions
 Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: Floods in Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria
 Draft amending budget No 7/2014: Floods in Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria
 Draft amending budget No 8/2014: Surplus resulting from the implementation of the budget year 2013
 Union own resources – adjustment of Member States' national contributions *
 Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: Regions affected by disasters
 Mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument – financing of the Cypriot Structural Funds programmes
 New general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015
 Classification of serious infringements in road transport
 Renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy
 Recognition of Palestine statehood
 Steel sector in the EU: protecting workers and industries
 Situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration

Non-objection to a delegated act: arrangements for products originating in certain ACP-States
PDF 105kWORD 49k
European Parliament decision to raise no objections to the Commission delegated regulation of 14 November 2014 amending Annex I to Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements (C(2014)08355 – 2014/2954(DEA))
P8_TA(2014)0085B8-0346/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission delegated regulation (C(2014)08355) ,

–  having regard to the Commission’s letter of 26 November 2014 asking Parliament to declare that it will raise no objections to the delegated regulation,

–  having regard to the letter of 5 December 2014 of the Committee on International Trade to the Chair of the Conference of Committee Chairs,

–  having regard to Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 of 20 December 2007 applying the arrangements for products originating in certain states which are part of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States provided for in agreements establishing, or leading to the establishment of, Economic Partnership Agreements(1), and in particular to Articles 2(2) and 24a(6) thereof,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 527/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 May 2013 amending Council Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007 as regards the exclusion of a number of countries from the list of regions or states which have concluded negotiations(2),

–  having regard to the recommendation for a decision by the Committee on International Trade,

–  having regard to Rule 105(6) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the fact that no objections have been raised within the period laid down in the third and fourth indents of Rule 105(6) of its Rules of Procedures, which expired on 16 December 2014,

A.  whereas, pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 527/2013, Kenya ceased as of 1 October 2014 to be covered by the market access arrangement permitted under Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007;

B.  whereas Kenya, the European Union and its Member States concluded negotiations on an Economic Partnership Agreement on 16 October 2014;

C.  whereas on 14 November 2014 the Commission adopted a delegated act to reinstate Kenya in Annex I of Regulation (EC) No 1528/2007;

D.  whereas the Commission has stressed that a decision not to raise objections would limit Kenya’s potential trade diversion and loss of exports into the EU, reducing harm to the tuna, horticulture and cut flower sectors;

1.  Declares that it has no objections to the delegated regulation;

2.  Instructs its President to forward this decision to the Council and the Commission.

(1) OJ L 348, 31.12.2007, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 165, 18.6.2013, p. 59.


Autonomous trade preferences for the Republic of Moldova ***I
PDF 207kWORD 48k
Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 55/2008 introducing autonomous trade preferences for the Republic of Moldova (COM(2014)0542 – C8-0128/2014 – 2014/0250(COD))
P8_TA(2014)0086A8-0053/2014

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0542),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 207(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0128/2014),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 10 December 2014 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade and the opinion of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0053/2014),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading, taking over the Commission proposal;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 17 December 2014 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No …/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Council Regulation (EC) No 55/2008 introducing autonomous trade preferences for the Republic of Moldova

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 1383/2014.)


Tariff treatment for goods originating from Ecuador ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the tariff treatment for goods originating from Ecuador (COM(2014)0585 – C8-0172/2014 – 2014/0287(COD))
P8_TA(2014)0087A8-0056/2014

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0585),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 207(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0172/2014),

–  having regard to Article 294(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 10 December 2014 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0056/2014),

1.  Adopts its position at first reading hereinafter set out;

2.  Calls on the Commission to refer the matter to Parliament again if it intends to amend its proposal substantially or replace it with another text;

3.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

Position of the European Parliament adopted at first reading on 17 December 2014 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) No .../2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the tariff treatment for goods originating in Ecuador

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) No 1384/2014.)


Mobilisation of the Contingency Margin in 2014
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the Contingency Margin, in accordance with point 14 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (COM(2014)0328 – C8-0020/2014 – 2014/2037(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0088A8-0068/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0328 – C8-0020/2014),

–  having regard to the Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(1) (MFF Regulation), and in particular Article 13 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, cooperation in budgetary matters and sound financial management(2), and in particular point 14 thereof,

–  having regard to the joint statement on payment appropriations by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission, as agreed in the joint conclusions of 12 November 2013(3),

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, as definitively adopted on 20 November 2013,

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 3/2014, which the Commission adopted on 15 April 2014 (COM(2014)0329),

–  having regard to the position adopted by the Council on 12 December 2014 on Draft amending budget No 3/2014 (16740/2014 – C8-0289/2014),

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0068/2014),

A.  Whereas the implementation of the MFF 2014-2020 started with a huge backlog in payments, with unpaid bills amounting to some EUR 23,4 billion at the end of 2013 for Cohesion policy only, and a level of outstanding commitments (RAL) reaching EUR 221,7 billion at the same date, i.e. EUR 41 billion above what was originally foreseen when the MFF 2007-2013 was agreed; whereas this situation is unacceptable and requires urgent measures, having recourse to the flexibility mechanisms included in the MFF Regulation, with a view to not jeopardising the delivery of Union policies and programmes, as unanimously agreed in the MFF, but also to limiting the claims for interest on late payments and avoiding unduly increasing the economic exposure and vulnerability of beneficiaries of the Union budget;

B.  Whereas, in the framework of the budgetary conciliation for 2014, the Parliament, the Council and the Commission jointly agreed, in light of the need to ensure an orderly progression of payments and avoid any abnormal shift of the RAL onto the 2015 budget, to have recourse to the various flexibility mechanisms contained in the MFF Regulation, including the Contingency Margin;

C.  Whereas, after having examined all other financial possibilities to react to unforeseen circumstances, the Commission had proposed to mobilise the full amount of the Contingency Margin available to complement the payment appropriations in the general budget of the Union for the financial year 2014, above the payment ceiling;

D.  Whereas the Council does not share Parliament's and Commission's interpretation that the EUR 350 million in payment appropriations mobilised in 2014 in respect of the Special Instruments provided for in the MFF Regulation should be counted outside the payments ceiling, thus leaving a margin of EUR 711 million to be exhausted before having recourse to the Contingency Margin; whereas, accordingly, the decision remains open as to whether and to what extent the amount of EUR 350 million should be offset against the MFF margins for payments for current or future financial years;

E.  Whereas it has been agreed, in the framework of the negotiations on the 2014-2015 budgets package, to mobilise the Contingency Margin for an amount of EUR 2 818,2 million plus EUR 350 million, i.e. EUR 3 168,2 million;

F.  Whereas this mobilisation is not likely to sustainably address the recent payment shortages and the growing amount of outstanding commitments, but only to limit the increase in outstanding bills rolled over to the following year, which has grown by more than 50 % every year since 2010;

G.  Whereas, incidentally, the financing of this mobilisation can take place at virtually no cost to national budgets due to other unexpected additional revenues for the year 2014;

H.  Whereas, moreover, the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin in 2014 does not entail any increase in the global ceiling for payment (EUR 908 billion in 2011 prices) of the MFF 2014-2020, as clearly set out in Article 13(4) of the MFF Regulation, since it is offset against the margins of future financial years, as set out in Article 13(3) of the MFF Regulation;

1.  Agrees with the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin for 2014, as presented in the annex;

2.  Underlines that the mobilisation of this instrument, as foreseen in Article 13 of the MFF Regulation, evidences, once more, the crucial need for the Union budget to be increasingly flexible;

3.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

4.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/435.)

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(2) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(3) Texts adopted, 20.11.2013, P7_TA(2013)0472.


Draft amending budget No 3/2014: Revenue from fines, interest payments, reimbursements and repayments – Payment appropriations – Establishment plans of the Commission, the Committee of the Regions and the European Data Protection Supervisor
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European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 3/2014 of the European Union for the financial year 2014, Section III – Commission (16740/2014 – C8-0289/2014 – 2014/2036(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0089A8-0069/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(1), and in particular Article 41 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, as definitively adopted on 20 November 2013(2),

–  having regard to the joint statement on payment appropriations by the Parliament, the Council and the Commission (joint statement of 12 November 2013), as agreed in the joint conclusions of 12 November 2013(3), as well as the European Parliament and Commission statement on payment appropriations, as agreed in the same joint conclusions,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(4) (MFF Regulation),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(5) (IIA),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(6),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 3/2014, which the Commission adopted on 28 May 2014 (COM(2014)0329),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to mobilise the Contingency Margin in 2014, adopted on 28 May 2014 (COM(2014)0328),

–  having regard to the joint conclusions approved by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the position on Draft amending budget No 3/2014, which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 and forwarded to Parliament on the same day (16740/2014 – C8-0289/2014),

–  having regard to Rules 88 and 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Foreign Affairs,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Development,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

–  having regard to the letter of the Committee on Culture and Education,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets and the opinion of the Committee on Regional Development (A8-0069/2014),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget (DAB) No 3/2014 to the 2014 general budget as originally presented by the Commission proposed to increase both the forecast of revenue stemming from fines and penalties, and other revenue by EUR 1 568 million and the payments appropriations by EUR 4 738 million across headings 1a, 1b, 2, and 4 of the multi-annual financial framework (MFF), with the aim of meeting payment needs until the end of the year by covering obligations stemming from past and current commitments;

B.  whereas the implementation of the 2014-2020 MFF started with a huge backlog in payments, with unpaid bills amounting to some EUR 23 400 million at the end of 2013 for Cohesion policy only, and a level of outstanding commitments (RAL) reaching EUR 221 700 million at the end of 2013, i.e. EUR 41 000 million above what was originally foreseen when the MFF 2007-2013 was agreed;

C.  whereas out of the total of DAB No 3/2014, only EUR 99 million is meant to cover 2014-2020 programmes under the cohesion policy, the rest relating to the closure of the 2007-2013 programmes (EUR 3 296 million) and payment needs stemming from other headings (EUR 1 340 million);

D.  whereas the Parliament, the Council and the Commission committed themselves through the joint statement of 12 November 2013 to ensure that the Union has the financial means available to cover its legal obligations in 2014 by safeguarding an orderly progression of payments and by having recourse to the various flexibility mechanisms included in the MFF Regulation, including Article 13 (the contingency margin);

E.  whereas some delegations in the Council expressed reservations as to the use of the contingency margin in DAB No 3/2014, which is considered by the Parliament to be an unsubstantiated concern and in contradiction with the spirit of the MFF Regulation and the IIA;

1.  Takes note of DAB No 3/2014 as proposed by the Commission;

2.  Endorses the joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014 with the view to provide for reinforcements in payments, in the 2014 budget, on a number of budget lines up to a level of EUR 4 246 million, of which EUR 3 168 million will be mobilised through the Contingency Margin for 2014;

3.  Welcomes in particular the increases in the payment appropriation for Heading 1a and Heading 4, which have been largely preserved in the final compromise depicted in the Joint conclusions of 8 December 2014;

4.  Welcomes the increase in payment appropriations for Heading 1b which is the main area affected by the shortage of payments in the Union budget in general; considers nevertheless that this is the bare minimum to cover the actual needs until the end of 2014 and will not be sufficient to solve the recurrent snowball effect of unpaid bills that has been expanding since the 2010 budget; recalls, in particular, that the bulk of invoices under heading 1b are traditionally submitted by Member States towards the end of each financial year in order to prevent possible de-commitments due to the application of N+2 and N+3 rules;

5.  Supports the proposal for the mobilisation of the Contingency margin and underlines its interpretation of Article 3(2) of the MFF Regulation that payments related to special instruments must be counted over and above the ceilings; believes that any other interpretation undermines the basis for the political agreement on the 2014-2020 MFF, namely the understanding that specific and maximum flexibility should be implemented to allow the Union to fulfil its obligations;

6.  Recalls that the adoption of DAB No 3/2014, DAB No 4/2014, DAB No 6/2014 and DAB No 8/2014 will reduce the share of the GNI contribution from Member States to the Union budget by a total of EUR 8 688 million and will therefore fully compensate the additional payment needs requested in DAB No 3/2014 as agreed in the Joint conclusions of 8 December 2014;

7.  Approves the Council position on Draft amending budget No 3/2014;

8.  Instructs its President to declare that amending budget No 2/2014 has been definitively adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 51, 20.2.2014, p. 1.
(3) Texts adopted of 20 November 2013, P7_TA(2013)0472.
(4) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(5) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.


Draft amending budget No 4/2014: Traditional own resources (TOR), VAT and Gross National Income (GNI) bases
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European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 4/2014 of the European Union for the financial year 2014, Section III – Commission (16741/2014 – C8-0290/2014 – 2014/2053(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0090A8-0076/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(1), and in particular Article 41 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, as definitively adopted on 20 November 2013(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(5),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 4/2014, which the Commission adopted on 9 July 2014 (COM(2014)0461),

–  having regard to the Amending letter No 1 to the Draft amending budget No 4/2014, which the Commission presented on 16 October 2014,

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the position on Draft amending budget No 4/2014 which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 and forwarded to Parliament on the same day (16741/2014 – C8-0290/2014),

–  having regard to Rules 88 and 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0076/2014),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget (DAB) No 4/2014 concerns a revision of the forecast of Traditional Own Resources (TOR, i.e. customs duties and sugar sector levies), VAT and Gross National Income (GNI) bases, the budgeting of the relevant corrections concerning the United Kingdom, and a revision of the forecast of other revenue arising from fines, thereby resulting in a change in the level and distribution between Member States of their own resources contributions to the Union budget;

B.  whereas DAB No 4/2014 also reduces budgetary commitment and payment appropriations for the European Data Protection Supervisor by EUR 248 460 and proposes some modifications to the nomenclature of the European Regional Development Fund to reflect the adopted legal basis;

C.  whereas this DAB is crucial to avoid cash shortages that could lead to an implementation deficit in 2014;

1.  Takes note of DAB No 4/2014, as amended by Amending letter No 1 to DAB No 4/2014, which provides for a revision of the forecast of Traditional Own Resources (TOR, i.e. customs duties and sugar sector levies), on the basis of the Commission’s best estimates and certain other developments, as well as the further revision of the forecast of other revenue, arising from a series of fines that have become definitive and can therefore be budgeted;

2.  Notes that the drop in TOR, forecast by some EUR 646,1 million, and in the VAT based own resource, by EUR 192,4 million, is compensated for by the above-mentioned fines for a cumulated amount of EUR 2 433 million and thus mechanically reduces the need for additional GNI contributions by EUR 1 594,5 million;

3.  Notes that DAB No 4/2014, including Amending letter No 1 to it, provides for an overall decrease in the requirements for additional own resources, mainly due to the budgeting of fines and interests on late payments that have become definitive, amounting to EUR 2 433 million;

4.  Notes that DAB No 4/2014 proposes a reduction in both commitment and payment appropriations for the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) of EUR 248 460 due to the delay in the appointment of the new EDPS and Assistant EDPS;

5.  Endorses the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014 with the view to approve DAB No 4/2014 as originally proposed by the Commission, and amended by Amending letter No 1 to DAB No 4/2014, with the inclusions of the commitment appropriations from DAB No 6/2014 related to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the reserve for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements, as well as the redeployment of the amount of EUR 248 460 of available payment appropriations identified in the line for the EDPS to the Humanitarian aid budget line 23 02 01;

6.  Recalls that the adoption of this DAB will reduce the need for additional own resources for the Union budget by EUR 2 433 million and will therefore, together with the reduced shares of the GNI contribution from Member States to the Union budget resulting from DAB No 3/2014, DAB No 6/2014 and DAB No 8/2014, fully compensate for the additional payment needs requested in DAB No 3/2014, as agreed in the Joint conclusions of 8 December 2014;

7.  Approves the Council position on Draft amending budget No 4/2014;

8.  Instructs its President to declare that amending budget No 3/2014 has been definitively adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 51, 20.2.2014, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.


Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: Floods in Italy - Earthquake in Greece - Ice in Slovenia - Ice and floods in Croatia
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with point 11 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (floods in Italy, earthquake in Greece, ice in Slovenia and ice and floods in Croatia) (COM(2014)0565 – C8-0137/2014 – 2014/2072(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0091A8-0073/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0565 – C8‑0137/2014),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund(1),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2), and in particular Article 10 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3), and in particular point 11 thereof,

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the letter from the Committee on Regional Development,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0073/2014),

1.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/436.)

(1) OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Draft amending budget No 5/2014: Floods in Italy (Sardinia) in 2013 – Earthquake in Greece – Ice in Slovenia – Ice followed by floods in Croatia in 2014
PDF 216kWORD 49k
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 5/2014 of the European Union for the financial year 2014, Section III – Commission (16742/2014 – C8-0291/2014 – 2014/2073(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0092A8-0078/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(1), and in particular Article 41 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, as definitively adopted on 20 November 2013(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 5/2014, which the Commission adopted on 8 September 2014 (COM(2014)0564),

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the position on Draft amending budget No 5/2014 which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 and forwarded to Parliament on the same day (16742/2014 – C8-0291/2014]),

–  having regard to Rules 88 and 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0078/2014),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget No 5/2014 relates to the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) for an amount of EUR 46 998 528 in commitment and payment appropriations in relation to the floods in Italy (Sardinia) during November 2013, an earthquake in Greece (Kefalonia), ice storms in Slovenia, and the same ice storms, followed by floods in Croatia, at end January / beginning February 2014;

B.  whereas the purpose of Draft amending budget No 5/2014 is to formally enter this budgetary adjustment into the 2014 budget;

1.  Takes note of Draft amending budget No 5/2014, as submitted by the Commission;

2.  Stresses the urgent need to release financial assistance through the EUSF to the countries affected by these natural disasters;

3.  Underlines that the shortage of payment appropriations for 2014, which was the underlying reason for the presentation of Draft amending budget No 3/2014 and the accompanying proposal by the Commission to mobilise the Contingency Margin, excludes a priori the possibility of finding the resources for Draft amending budget No 5/2014 through redeployment;

4.  Endorses the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014 with the view to approving the additional commitment appropriations amounting to EUR 47 million in budget 2014 and shifting the corresponding payment needs to the 2015 budget;

5.  Approves the Council position on Draft amending budget No 5/2014;

6.  Instructs its President to declare that amending budget No 4/2014 has been definitively adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 51, 20.2.2014, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Draft amending budget No 6/2014: Revision of the forecast of traditional own resources, VAT and GNI contributions
PDF 218kWORD 51k
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 6/2014 of the European Union for the financial year 2014, Section III – Commission (16743/2014 – C8-0288/2014 – 2014/2162(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0093A8-0074/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(1), and in particular Article 41 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, as definitively adopted on 20 November 2013(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 6/2014, which the Commission adopted on 17 October 2014 (COM(2014)0649),

–  having regard to Amending letter No 1/2014 to the Draft amending budget No 6/2014, which the Commission adopted on 3 December 2014 (COM(2014)0730),

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the position on Draft amending budget No 6/2014, which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 and forwarded to the Parliament on the same day (16743/2014 – C8-0288/2014),

–  having regard to Rules 88 and 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0074/2014),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget (DAB) No 6/2014 relates to the revision of the forecast of traditional own resources, VAT and GNI contributions, a reduction in the budgetary appropriations for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the reserve for Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements, as well as an increase in the budgetary appropriations for the European Ombudsman;

B.  whereas the overall impact of this DAB on revenue, following the adoption of Amending letter No 1/2014 to DAB No 6/2014, is a decrease in the requirements for own resources of an overall amount of EUR 4 095,5 million, comprising a reduction in Member States' GNI contributions of EUR 4 515,5 million and an increase in the amount of Traditional Own Resources of EUR 420 million;

C.  whereas the purpose of DAB No 6/2014 is to formally enter these budgetary adjustments into the 2014 budget;

1.  Takes note of DAB No 6/2014, as submitted by the Commission and as amended by the Amending letter No 1/2014;

2.  Notes that the decrease in budgetary appropriations related to the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the reserve for Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements amounts to a total decrease of EUR 76,3 million in commitment appropriations and of EUR 6,2 million in payment appropriations, mainly resulting from the later adoption of the legal basis for the Fund and the updated assessment of the status of negotiations linked to the previously mentioned Fisheries Agreements;

3.  Welcomes the proposal to use EUR 6,2 million of the savings in payment appropriations referred to in paragraph 2 to help finance possible humanitarian aid crises by the end of the year;

4.  Underscores that the overall impact of DAB No 6/2014 on GNI contributions is a reduction of EUR 4 515,5 million and an increase of EUR 420 million in the forecasts for Traditional Own Resources;

5.  Endorses the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014 with the view of accepting DAB No 6/2014 as amended by its Amending letter , including a shift of the expenditure side to DABs No 3/2014 and No 4/2014;

6.  Recalls that the adoption of DAB No 6/2014 will reduce the need for Member States' GNI contributions by EUR 4 515,5 million and therefore, together with the reduced shares of the GNI contribution from Member States to the Union budget resulting from DAB No 3/2014, DAB No 4/2014 and DAB No 8/2014, will fully compensate for the additional payment needs requested in DAB No 3/2014 as agreed in the Joint conclusions of 8 December 2014;

7.  Approves the Council position on Draft amending budget No 6/2014;

8.  Instructs its President to declare that amending budget No 5/2014 has been definitively adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

9.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 51, 20.2.2014, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: Floods in Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria
PDF 211kWORD 48k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with point 11 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (Floods in Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria) (COM(2014)0648 – C8-0223/2014 – 2014/2161(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0094A8-0075/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0648 – C8‑0223/2014),

–  having regard to the Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund(1), and in particular Article 4(3) thereof,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2), and in particular Article 10 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3), and in particular point 11 thereof,

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0075/2014),

1.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/437.)

(1) OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Draft amending budget No 7/2014: Floods in Serbia, Croatia and Bulgaria
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European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 7/2014 of the European Union for the financial year 2014, Section III – Commission (16744/2014 – C8-0292/2014 – 2014/2163(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0095A8-0072/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(1), and in particular Article 41 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, as definitively adopted on 20 November 2013(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 7/2014, which the Commission adopted on 17 October 2014 (COM(2014)0650),

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the position on Draft amending budget No 7/2014 which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 and forwarded to the Parliament on the same day (16744/2014 – C8-0292/2014),

–  having regard to Rules 88 and 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0072/2014),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget No 7/2014 relates to the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund (EUSF) for an amount of EUR 79 726 440 in commitment and payment appropriations in relation to the floods in Serbia and Croatia in May 2014 and the floods in Bulgaria in June 2014;

B.  whereas the purpose of Draft amending budget No 7/2014 is to formally enter this budgetary adjustment into the 2014 budget;

1.  Takes note of Draft amending budget (DAB) No 7/2014, as submitted by the Commission;

2.  Stresses the urgent need to release financial assistance through the EUSF to the countries affected by these natural disasters;

3.  Underlines that the shortage of payment appropriations for 2014, which was the underlying reason for the presentation of DAB No 3/2014 and the accompanying proposal by the Commission to mobilise the Contingency Margin, excludes a priori the possibility of finding the resources for DAB No 7/2014 through redeployment;

4.  Endorses the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014 with the view of approving the additional commitment appropriations amounting to EUR 80 million in budget 2014 and shifting the corresponding payment needs to the 2015 budget;

5.  Approves the Council position on Draft amending budget No 7/2014;

6.  Instructs its President to declare that amending budget No 6/2014 has been definitively adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 51, 20.2.2014, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Draft amending budget No 8/2014: Surplus resulting from the implementation of the budget year 2013
PDF 215kWORD 51k
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the Council position on Draft amending budget No 8/2014 of the European Union for the financial year 2014, Section III – Commission (16745/2014 – C8-0293/2014 – 2014/2225(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0096A8-0079/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(1), and in particular Article 41 thereof,

–  having regard to the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2014, as definitively adopted on 20 November 2013(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for years 2014-2020(3),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities' own resources(5),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 2/2014, which the Commission adopted on 15 April 2014 (COM (2014)0234),

–  having regard to Draft amending budget No 8/2014, which the Commission adopted on 27 November 2014 (COM (2014)0722),

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the position on Draft amending budget No 8/2014, which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 and forwarded to the Parliament on the same day (16745/2014 – C8-0293/2014),

–  having regard to Rules 88 and 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0079/2014),

A.  whereas Draft amending budget (DAB) No 8/2014 was presented by the Commission because the Conciliation Committee could not reach an agreement on Draft amending budget No 2/2014, which had the exact same purpose and content as DAB No 8/2014;

B.  whereas DAB No 8/2014 aims to enter in the 2014 budget the surplus from the 2013 financial year, amounting to EUR 1 005 million;

C.  whereas the main components of that surplus are a positive outturn on income of EUR 771 million, an under-spending in expenditure of EUR 276 million, and a negative exchange rate difference of EUR 42 million;

D.  whereas on the income side the increase comes mainly from fines and interest on late payments (EUR 1 331 million), while the amount of own resources actually collected as compared to those budgeted is decreasing (- EUR 226 million) and revenue from surpluses, balances and adjustments is also in decline (-EUR 360 million);

E.  whereas on the expenditure side the under-implementation of appropriations for 2013 (EUR 107 million) and for 2012 (EUR 54 million) did not result from decreased absorption capacity but actually all available indicators point to the fact that there was a shortage of payment appropriations in both 2012 and 2013 budgets;

F.  whereas Article 18 of the Financial Regulation provides that this amending budget shall be devoted solely to any discrepancy between the provisional accounts and the estimates and that any such surplus shall be entered in the Union's budget through this amending budget;

1.  Takes note of DAB No 8/2014 devoted solely to the budgeting of the 2013 surplus, for an amount of EUR 1 005 million, in accordance with Article 18 of the Financial Regulation, as submitted by the Commission and of the Council's position thereon;

2.  Notes that DAB No 8/2014 was presented by the Commission because the Conciliation Committee could not reach an agreement on DAB No 2/2014, which had the exact same purpose and contents, and which the Council had approved in its reading of 17 July 2014, while the Parliament had introduced an amendment to it in its position adopted on 22 October 2014 in order to maintain its political and procedural link with DABs No 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7/2014;

3.  Points out that the Conciliation Committee could not reach an agreement on the adoption of DAB No 2/2014 because of the differences in positions between the Parliament and the Council on the outstanding payment needs for 2014 and the package of DABs No 2 -7/2014 , and not on the contents of DAB No 2/2014 per se;

4.  Recalls that the adoption of this DAB No 8/2014 will reduce the share of the GNI contribution from Member States to the Union budget by EUR 1 005 million and will therefore partly compensate for their contribution to the financing of DABs No 3, 5 and 7/2014;

5.  Approves the Council position on Draft amending budget No 8/2014;

6.  Instructs its President to declare that amending budget No 7/2014 has been definitively adopted and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 51, 20.2.2014, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(5) OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.


Union own resources – adjustment of Member States' national contributions *
PDF 239kWORD 56k
European Parliament legislative resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a Council regulation amending Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000 implementing Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom on the system of the European Communities' own resources (COM(2014)0704 – C8-0250/2014 – 2014/0332(NLE))
P8_TA(2014)0097A8-0066/2014

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2014)0704),

–  having regard to Article 322(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8-0250/2014),

–  having regard to the letter from the Committee on Budgetary Control,

—  having regard to Rule 59 of its Rules of Procedure,

—  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0066/2014),

A.  Whereas in the light of latest statistical revisions agreed by the Member States, it appeared that a number of Member States underpaid their due contributions to the Union budget over a number of years, while others overpaid theirs; whereas these deviations were driven by the major statistical changes notified by Member States;

B.  Whereas the rules currently in force, as unanimously agreed within the Council, would have resulted in the prompt correction of those under- and over-payments;

C.  Whereas, as a general rule, Member States have paid in the past without significant delay the full amounts of their GNI and VAT based contributions to the Union budget, even in times of crisis and severe fiscal strain;

D.  Whereas certain Member States which had benefited from past underestimation of their GNI expressed their reluctance to pay by the legal deadline the additional amounts due;

E.  Whereas the Council called on the Commission to present a proposal to accommodate that situation by changing the concerned rules and allowing the deferral and payment by instalments of amounts due;

F.  Whereas, in accordance with the on-going legislative revision, seven Member States decided not to enter in the EU account their respective GNI and VAT balances on the first working day of December 2014; whereas the Commission revised subsequently the amounts entered initially in the DAB No 6/2014, taking into account the amounts effectively made available on this date;

G.  Whereas this takes place just after the institutions have completed a legislative process, which started in 2011, for the revision of the Own Resources legislation, and even before that new legislative package has entered into force;

H.  Whereas this proposal is part of the wider negotiation package concerning the 2014 amending budgets and the 2015 Budget;

I.  Whereas, for the sake of transparency, a report on the calculations and underlying data for VAT and GNI balance adjustments should be presented to the Parliament every year in the context of the budgetary procedure, allowing sufficient time for its consideration, and the Member States' decision as to the dates and level of instalments should be notified to the Parliament;

J.  Whereas Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000 should therefore be amended accordingly;

1.  Underlines that this proposal to amend Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000 finds its origin in the one-off consequences of the application of that Regulation for certain Member States;

2.  Deplores that the issue of the deferral of national contributions adjustments took precedence, within the Council, over finding a negotiating position on the 2014 and 2015 budgetary negotiations, which was only established on the final day of the 21-day conciliation period provided for in Article 314 TFEU and contributed to the failure of the Conciliation Committee to reach an agreement;

3.  Stresses that flexibility and urgency, which the Council unanimously calls for when it comes to the timing of Member States' contributions to the Union budget, are rejected by a number of its delegations when it comes to the smooth implementation of the MFF 2014-2020 and, in particular, the timely delivery of payments to beneficiaries of the Union budget;

4.  Is concerned by the proposed larger discretion left to Member States as to the timing of their additional contributions resulting from GNI adjustments to the Union budget; stresses that this creates a precedent that could have an impact on the Commission's treasury, the timing of payments to the beneficiaries of the Union budget and, ultimately, the credibility of the Union's budget;

5.  Underlines the fact that this proposal makes the Own Resources system even more complex and is aimed at amending legislation that will soon be replaced, retroactively, by already agreed pieces of legislation; stresses, against this background, the crucial role of the High Level Group on Own Resources in delivering proposals for overcoming the deficiencies of the current system;

6.  Acknowledges nevertheless the exceptionally high amounts of 2014 adjustments in the VAT- and GNI-based Own Resources, which may represent a high financial burden for certain Member States;

7.  Emphasizes that the Commission proposal is part of a wider negotiation package including the 2014 amending budgets and 2015 Budget and, therefore, refrains from rejecting it;

8.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

9.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, in accordance with Article 293(2) of the TFEU and Article 106a of the Euratom Treaty;

10.  Calls on the Council to notify Parliament if it intends to depart from the text approved by Parliament;

11.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the Commission proposal;

12.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council and the Commission.

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 2
Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000
Article 10 – paragraph 7 a –subparagraph 2
Member States may only apply the first subparagraph if they have informed the Commission before the first working day of December of their decision, and of the date or dates of entry of the amount of the adjustments in the account referred to in Article 9(1) of this Regulation.
Member States may only apply the first subparagraph if they have informed the Commission before the first working day of December of their decision, and of the date or dates of entry of the amount of the adjustments in the account referred to in Article 9(1) of this Regulation. The Commission shall notify the European Parliament and the Council of any such decision, including the concerned Member States, the number of instalments, the amount of each instalment and the dates of entry in the accounts.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 2 a (new)
Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000
Article 10 – paragraph 8

Paragraph 8 is replaced by the following:
'8. The operations referred to in paragraphs 4 to 7 constitute modifications to revenue in respect of the financial year in which they occur.'
'8. The operations referred to in paragraphs 4 to 7 constitute modifications to revenue in respect of the financial year in which they occur. The Commission shall report to the European Parliament and the Council on the modifications of revenue under this Article.'

Mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund: Regions affected by disasters
PDF 211kWORD 50k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund, in accordance with point 11 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (COM(2014)0348 – C8-0021/2014 – 2014/2038(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0098A8-0077/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0348 – C8‑0021/2014),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002 of 11 November 2002 establishing the European Union Solidarity Fund(1),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(2), and in particular Article 10 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(3), and in particular point 11 thereof,

–  having regard to the Joint conclusions agreed by the Parliament and the Council on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0077/2014),

A.  Whereas, in line with Regulation (EU) No 661/2014 which amended Regulation (EC) No 2012/2002, an amount of EUR 50 000 000 is made available for the payment of advances through appropriations in the general budget of the Union;

1.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

2.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

3.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the European Union Solidarity Fund

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/422.)

(1) OJ L 311, 14.11.2002, p. 3.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(3) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.


Mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument – financing of the Cypriot Structural Funds programmes
PDF 216kWORD 52k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council on mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument, in accordance with point 12 of the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management (COM(2014)0349 – C8-0022/2014 – 2014/2039(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0099A8-0071/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the European Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0349 – C8‑0022/2014),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(1) (MFF Regulation), and in particular Article 11 thereof,

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(2), and in particular point 12 thereof,

–  having regard to the new draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, which the Commission adopted on 28 November 2014 (COM(2014)0723),

–  having regard to the position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 and forwarded to Parliament the same day (16739/2014 – C8-0287/2014),

–  having regard to its position adopted on 17 December 2014 (3) on the 2015 draft general budget,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0071/2014),

A.  whereas after having examined all possibilities for re-allocating commitment appropriations under sub-heading 1b, it appears necessary to mobilise the Flexibility Instrument for commitment appropriations;

B.  whereas the Commission has proposed to mobilise the Flexibility Instrument, over and above the MFF ceilings, to complement the financing in the general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015 for EUR 79,8 million in commitment appropriations in relation to the additional allocation from the Structural Funds to Cyprus, by a total amount of EUR 100 million for the year 2015;

1.  Notes that, despite contained reinforcements in commitment appropriations on a limited number of budget items, the 2015 ceiling of sub-heading 1b does not allow for an adequate financing of important and urgent political priorities of the Union;

2.  Agrees therefore with the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument and amends the Commission proposal to finance the additional allocation for the Cypriot Structural Funds programmes under sub-heading 1b up to the amount of EUR 83,26 million;

3.  Reiterates that the mobilisation of this instrument, as foreseen in Article 11 of the MFF Regulation, evidences, once more, the crucial need for the Union budget to be flexible;

4.  Reiterates its long-standing view that, without prejudice to the possibility for payment appropriations to be mobilised for specific budget lines through the Flexibility Instrument without prior mobilisations in commitments, the payments stemming from commitments previously mobilised through the Flexibility Instrument can only be counted over and above the ceilings;

5.  Approves the decision annexed to this resolution;

6.  Instructs its President to sign the decision with the President of the Council and arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

7.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution, including its annex, to the Council and the Commission.

ANNEX

DECISION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL

on the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument

(The text of this annex is not reproduced here since it corresponds to the final act, Decision (EU) 2015/421.)

(1) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(2) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0100.


New general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015
PDF 544kWORD 208k
Resolution
Annex
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the Council position on the new draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015 (16739/2014 – C8-0287/2014 – 2014/2224(BUD))
P8_TA(2014)0100A8-0067/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 314 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 106a of the Treaty establishing the European Atomic Energy Community,

–  having regard to Council Decision 2007/436/EC, Euratom of 7 June 2007 on the system of the European Communities’ own resources(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 966/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on the financial rules applicable to the general budget of the Union and repealing Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1605/2002(2),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 1311/2013 of 2 December 2013 laying down the multiannual financial framework for the years 2014-2020(3) (MFF Regulation),

–  having regard to the Interinstitutional Agreement of 2 December 2013 between the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on budgetary discipline, on cooperation in budgetary matters and on sound financial management(4) (IIA of 2 December 2013),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2014 on general guidelines for the preparation of the 2015 budget, Section III - Commission(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 17 April 2014 on Parliament’s estimates of revenue and expenditure for the financial year 2015(6),

–  having regard to the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, which the Commission adopted on 24 June 2014 (COM(2014)0300),

–  having regard to the position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, which the Council adopted on 2 September 2014 and forwarded to Parliament on 12 September 2014 (12608/2014 – C8‑0144/2014),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 October 2014 on the Council position on the draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015(7),

–  having regard to the fact that the Conciliation Committee did not agree on a joint text within the twenty-one days referred to in Article 314(6) of Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the new draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, which the Commission adopted on 27 November 2014 (COM(2014)0723), in accordance with Article 314(8) TFEU,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the budgetary trilogue on 8 December 2014,

–  having regard to the position on the new draft general budget of the European Union for the financial year 2015, which the Council adopted on 12 December 2014 (16739/2014 – C8‑0287/2014) and forwarded to Parliament on the same day,

–  having regard to Rules 88 and 91 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgets (A8-0067/2014),

1.   Recalls that the "draft package", as set out in the annex, which was agreed after difficult negotiations, by representatives of Parliament and Council during the trilogue of 8 December 2014 consists of three elements: Draft Amending Budgets No 3-8/2014 for an overall amount of EUR 49,8 million in commitment appropriations and an additional EUR 3 529,6 million from fresh money in payment appropriations, the Union budget for the year 2015 set at a level of EUR 145 321,5 million and EUR 141 214,0 million in commitment and payment appropriations respectively, and six joint statements as well as three unilateral statements;

2.  Underlines that, while enabling the Commission to respond to the most urgent payment needs in 2014, the level of additional payment appropriations brought to the 2014 budget will not be sufficient to solve the recurrent snowball effect of unpaid bills in 2015; hence, puts the emphasis on the joint statement on a payment plan which accompanies the agreement package on budget 2014 and budget 2015;

3.  Is convinced, however, that efforts need to be stepped up in the coming years with a view to reducing the level of unpaid bills to a sustainable level, with a particular focus on cohesion policy; stresses, in this respect, the joint commitment of the three Union Institutions to consider any possible means to reduce the level of those bills, as set out in the joint statement on a payment plan accompanying this year’s budgetary agreement;

4.  Welcomes the increase of EUR 244,2 million in the overall level of commitment appropriations compared to the original position of the Council of 2 September 2014; is satisfied with the fact that the EUR 521,9 million of cuts by the Council in commitments have been fully reversed and that a further EUR 170,7 million of commitments have been added, including the full package of pilot projects and preparatory actions and EUR 95 million for Horizon 2020, COSME, ERASMUS and humanitarian aid;

5.  Regrets however that the Council was once again not willing to complement its political declarations with sufficient budgetary resources regarding the support for jobs and growth and the Union's international commitments, which it demonstrated by not agreeing to budgeting up to the MFF ceiling in Headings 1a and 4; is pleased that the increases obtained in the negotiations correspond to Parliament's political priorities; regrets however, in this context, that the Council seems to not have any political priorities anymore and is solely interested in horizontally limiting the expenses as much as possible;

6.  Welcomes the fact that, thanks to further assigned revenues identified in the Common Agricultural Policy after the presentation of the Commission's Amending letter No 1/2015, a solution has been found to finance EUR 273,6 million of emergency measures in response to the Russian food import ban without mobilising from the outset the reserve for crises in the agricultural sector;

7.  Welcomes that the overall level of payment appropriations agreed for 2015 is an increase of 1,6 % compared to budget 2014, and is EUR 1 217,1 million above the initial Council reading; is particularly pleased that, thanks to a redeployment of EUR 448,5 million and the extra assigned revenues identified in the abovementioned amending letter, the payment levels obtained in Headings 1a and 4 are above the initial Draft Budget of 24 June 2014;

8.  Notes however that, particularly with regard to payments, the budgetary negotiations have become more and more difficult over the past years, mainly due to the uncompromising position of the Council; underlines once again its position that the main function of the budgetary procedure should be to agree on the political priorities in budgetary commitments, whereas payments should simply be considered as a technical follow-up to honour these commitments; reminds the Council of the definitions of the type of appropriations in Article 10(3) of the Financial Regulation applicable to the general budget of the Union and its rules of application, stating that "payment appropriations shall cover payments made to honour the legal commitments entered into the financial year or preceding financial years";

9.  Welcomes the fact that Council, in the end, agreed to the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin in 2014, even though to a lower amount than needed; welcomes furthermore the overall reinforcement of payments in the 2014 budget, on a number of budget lines up to a level of EUR 4,2 billion, of which EUR 3 168,2 million will be mobilised through the Contingency Margin for 2014, as well as the fact that the increases proposed in DAB No 3/2014 in payment appropriations for Heading 1a and Heading 4 have been largely preserved in the final compromise; notes that the reinforcements mainly target sub-heading 1b, where the bulk of the problem of unpaid bills at year-end currently lies; recalls that the Parliament, in its reading on the budget 2014, already envisaged the greater need for payment appropriations (the final agreement was EUR 983 million lower than the adopted Parliament position); calls on the Council not to try to artificially cut the Union budget every year;

10.  Disapproves however of the Council’s position of not using the full amount of the extra revenue from fines to cover outstanding payment needs; is of the opinion that until the payment crisis is resolved, all windfall revenue should be fully used to address this problem; recalls that the draft package has been reached because it was meeting the Parliament's demand to stabilise the outstanding payments problem; underlines however that a genuine solution to the Union payment crisis requires an adequate limit of unpaid bills;

11.  Deplores that the issue of the deferral of national contribution adjustments took precedence within the Council over finding a negotiating position on the 2014 and 2015 budgetary negotiations, which position was only established on the final day of the 21-day conciliation period provided for in Article 314 TFEU and contributed to the failure of the Conciliation Committee to reach an agreement;

12.  Recalls that, according to Article 310 TFEU, the revenue and expenditure shown in the Union budget shall be in balance;

13.  Attaches the highest political importance to the joint statements agreed between the Parliament, the Council and the Commission, in particular on the payment plan and on the use of special instruments; insists on the payment plan being finalised as soon as possible and in any event before the adoption of the 2016 Draft Budget by the Commission; underlines once more that its approval of the MFF was based on the understanding that all special instruments in payments are accounted for over and above the ceilings and that any other interpretation would automatically trigger a re-opening of the MFF agreement;

14.  Reiterates its long-standing position that the payments of special instruments should be calculated over and above the MFF ceilings, as is the case for commitments; regrets that, once more, it has not been made possible to reach an agreement with the Council on this point; stresses, however, that all efforts need to be made towards a definite agreement on this point at the earliest possible date;

15.  Reaffirms its position that an in-depth reform of the system of own resources is vitally needed to get out of the current impasses in budgetary negotiations and therefore attaches the highest importance to the work of the High-Level Group on Own Resources, under the chairmanship of Mario Monti;

16.  Regrets the unwillingness of both the Council and the Commission to provide Union agencies with the necessary resources, especially with regard to staff, to fulfil the mandates they were given by the legislative authority and underlines that the present agreement does not imply an acceptance by Parliament of the Commission's redeployment pool concept; furthermore, highly regrets the staff cuts in fee-financed agencies and considers them unjustified as far as the respective posts are not financed from the Union budget;

17.  Welcomes the reinforcement of appropriations for the new nine Judges to the Court of Justice; reiterates that all necessary measures shall be taken in order to complete the legislative procedure by 1 October 2015 allowing for an effective increase in their number; urges therefore the Council to find without any delay an agreement on the repartition of posts for the new Judges; requests a timely and up to date evaluation of the additional financial needs for new judges and their staff to be presented by the Court to the Council and Parliament; reiterates that the need for additional staff corresponding to the nomination of new Judges should be evaluated in a prudent way;

18.  Welcomes the implementation of the first phase of the cooperation agreement between the Parliament and the European Economic and Social Committee and Committee of the Regions; believes that this agreement is a good example of finding synergies between the institutions which will increase efficiency and generate savings; expects the second phase of that agreement to be completed by July 2015;

19.  Welcomes the budgetary neutral transfers of "common administrative costs" for Commission staff in delegations from Section III (Commission) to Section X (EEAS) of the budget; reiterates that this transfer will respond to the simplification in the management of the administrative expenditure of the Union delegations and should not have any other impact on the administrative appropriations of the Commission nor on the working conditions of Commission staff in delegations; insists that the transfer be implemented through good cooperation between the EEAS and Commission;

20.  Regrets, in general, the Council's inability to find a common position, especially during the 21-day conciliation period and with regard to the adoption of the Draft Amending Budgets, and invites the Council and the Commission to agree jointly, at the beginning of 2015, on ways to improve the budgetary procedure with the aim of facilitating the adoption of the 2016 Union budget which should be the starting point of a new structural approach to the Union budget as to avoid unnecessary, returning conflicts as much as possible and to enhance the understanding among the interlocutors of the extent to which Union expenditures contribute to the shared commitment of growth and jobs for the Union;

21.  Approves without amendment the Council position on the new draft budget for 2015 as well as the joint statements annexed to this resolution;

22.  Instructs its President to declare that the budget has been definitively adopted and to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

23.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the other institutions and bodies concerned and the national parliaments.

ANNEX

DRAFT PACKAGE

2015 budget – Joint conclusions

This draft package covers the following sections:

1.  2015 budget

2.  2014 budget – Draft amending budgets No 3/2014 to 8/2014

3.  Joint statements

SUMMARY OVERVIEW

A.  2015 budget

According to the draft package:

—  the overall level of commitment appropriations in the 2015 budget is set at EUR 145 321.5 million. Overall, this leaves a margin below the MFF ceilings for 2015 of EUR 1 760.1 million in commitment appropriations;

—  the overall level of payment appropriations in the 2015 budget is set at EUR 141 214.0 million. This includes an amount of EUR 126.7 million which relates to the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund linked to draft amending budgets No 5/2014 and 7/2014;

—  the Flexibility Instrument for 2015 is mobilised for an amount of EUR 83.3 million in commitment appropriations;

—  the 2015 payment appropriations related to the mobilisation of the Flexibility Instrument for additional assistance to Cyprus in 2014 and 2015 are estimated by the Commission at EUR 11.3 million.

B.  Budget 2014

According to the draft package:

—  draft amending budgets No 3/2014 to 8/2014 are accepted as proposed by the Commission, with the exceptions set out in section 2;

—  as a consequence, the level of commitment appropriations in the 2014 budget is increased by EUR 49.8 million, due to the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund (amounting to EUR 126.7 million) linked to draft amending budgets No 5/2014 and 7/2014, which is partly compensated by the EUR 76.9 million reduction in commitment appropriations in draft amending budgets No 3/2014, 4/2014 and 6/2014 (mostly related to fisheries);

—  as a consequence, the level of payment appropriations in the 2014 budget is increased by EUR 3 529.6 million;

—  the Contingency Margin for 2014 is mobilised for an amount of EUR 2 818.2 million plus EUR 350 million in payment appropriations, in line with the joint statement on special instruments as set out in section 3.3 below.

1.  BUDGET 2015

1.1.  "Closed" lines

Unless stated otherwise below in these conclusions, all budget lines not amended by either the Council or the European Parliament, and those for which the European Parliament accepted the Council's amendments during their respective reading are confirmed.

For the other budget items, the European Parliament and the Council have agreed on the conclusions included in sections 1.2 to 1.7 below.

1.2.  Horizontal issues

a)  Decentralised agencies

The EU contribution (in commitment appropriations and in payment appropriations) and the number of posts for all decentralised agencies are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the new Draft Budget (DB):

Increases of establishment plan posts and the related appropriations as compared to the original DB:

—  European Banking Authority (EBA): +9 posts and + EUR 585 000;

—  European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority (EIOPA): +3 posts and +EUR 195 000;

—  European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA): +4 posts and +EUR 260 000;

—  European Asylum Support Office (EASO): +4 posts and +EUR 260 000; and

—  European Police Office (EUROPOL): +5 posts, combined with a reduction of -EUR 600 000);

For FRONTEX, an increase in operational expenditure of EUR 20.0 million in commitment appropriations and in payment appropriations.

b)  Executive agencies

The EU contribution (in commitment appropriations and in payment appropriations) and the number of posts for executive agencies are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the new DB.

c)  Pilot Projects/Preparatory Actions

A comprehensive package of 59 Pilot Projects/Preparatory Actions (PP/PA) is agreed, as proposed in the new DB, both for commitment and payment appropriations. When a PP or a PA appears to be covered by an existing legal basis, the Commission may propose the transfer of appropriations to the corresponding legal basis in order to facilitate the implementation of the action.

This package fully respects the ceilings for PP and PA provided for in the Financial Regulation.

d)  Common administrative costs of EU Delegations

The transfer of "Common administrative costs of EU Delegations" from the Commission section to the EEAS section of the budget, as proposed in the new DB, is agreed.

1.3.  Expenditure by headings of the financial framework - commitment appropriations

After taking into account the above conclusions on "closed" budget lines, agencies and pilot projects and preparatory actions, the European Parliament and the Council have agreed on the following:

a)  Sub-heading 1a

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the new DB to reflect the priority of contributing to enhancing access to finance through the EU budget, especially for the small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs):

(in EUR 1,000)

Budget line

Name

Reinforcements of commitment appropriations

2015 DB

New 2015 DB

Difference

02 02 02

Improving access to finance for small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the form of equity and debt

162 791,7

174 791,7

12 000,0

04 03 02 03

Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship – Facilitating access to finance for entrepreneurs, especially those furthest from the labour market, and social enterprises

24 957,0

26 457,0

1 500,0

08 02 02 02

Enhancing access to risk finance for investing in research and innovation

337 534,7

342 534,7

5 000,0

Total

18 500,0

Moreover, the following reinforcements of commitment appropriations as compared to the new DB are accepted:

(in EUR 1,000)

Budget line

Name

New 2015 DB

2015 budget

Difference

02 02 01

Promoting entrepreneurship and improving the competitiveness and access to markets of Union enterprises

106 561,8

108 561,8

2 000,0

02 04 03 02

Fostering secure European societies

148 235,9

153 235,9

5 000,0

08 02 01 01

Strengthening frontier research in the European Research Council

1 631 723,2

1 650 723,2

19 000,0

08 02 02 01

Leadership in nanotechnologies, advanced materials, laser technology, biotechnology and advanced manufacturing and processing

498 592,7

503 592,7

5 000,0

08 02 03 05

Achieving a resource-efficient and climate change resilient economy and a sustainable supply of raw materials

291 719,4

297 719,4

6 000,0

09 04 02 01

Leadership in information and communications technology

819 154,4

824 154,4

5 000,0

09 04 03 02

Fostering inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies

41 725,8

43 725,8

2 000,0

15 02 01 01

Promoting excellence and cooperation in the European education and training area and its relevance to the labour market

1 336 476,0

1 348 476,0

12 000,0

15 02 01 02

Promoting excellence and cooperation in the European youth area and the participation of young people in European democratic life

161 745,0

165 245,0

3 500,0

734 668,4737 668,43 000,015 02 03

Developing the European dimension in sport

20 439,0

20 939,0

500,0

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions — generating, developing and transferring new skills, knowledge and innovation

15 03 01 01

Total

63 000,0

As a consequence, and after taking into account pilot projects, preparatory actions and the transfer of the common costs of EU delegations to the EEAS section, the agreed level of commitments is set at EUR 17 551.7 million, leaving a margin of EUR 114.3 million under the expenditure ceiling of sub-heading 1a.

b)  Sub-heading 1b

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed in the new DB (pilot projects under sub-heading 1b).

Taking into account pilot projects and preparatory actions, the mobilisation of EUR 83.3 million from the Flexibility Instrument for additional assistance to Cyprus, the agreed level of commitments is set at EUR 49 230.3 million.

c)  Heading 2

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the new DB.

Based on the new elements that have emerged since the presentation of letter of amendment (LA) No 1/2015, notably the information on the actual uptake of the emergence measures taken since August 2014 to respond to the Russian food import ban, the final EAGF surplus for 2014 and the updated forecast of financial corrections to be collected in 2015, the emergency measures referred to above (including those related to the dairy sector in the Baltic States, for which the Commission adopted a further package on 26 November 2014, as well as for Finland once the conditions are met), can be financed within the appropriations requested in LA No 1/2015 without having recourse to the agricultural crisis reserve, thanks to this additional assigned revenue.

As a consequence, and after taking into account pilot projects, preparatory actions and the transfer of the common costs of EU delegations to the EEAS section, the agreed level of commitments is set at EUR 58 808.6 million, leaving a margin of EUR 790.4 million under the expenditure ceiling of heading 2.

d)   Heading 3

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the new DB, in particular as regards the increase in operational expenditure of FRONTEX, which is offset by a corresponding decrease of budget item 18 02 01 01 (Support of border management and a common visa policy to facilitate legitimate travel).

As a consequence, and after taking into account pilot projects and preparatory actions, the agreed level of commitments is set at EUR 2 146.7 million leaving a margin of EUR 99.3 million under the expenditure ceiling of heading 3.

e)  Heading 4

Commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the new DB, in particular as regards the transfer of common administrative expenditure of EU delegations to the EEAS section of the budget.

Moreover, the following reinforcements of commitment appropriations as compared to the new DB are accepted:

(in EUR 1,000)

Budget line

Name

New DB 2015

Budget 2015

Difference

21 03 01 04

Support to peace process and financial assistance to Palestine and to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA)

264 500,0

286 500,0

22 000,0

23 02 01

Delivery of rapid, effective and needs-based humanitarian aid and food aid

872 446,0

882 446,0

10 000,0

Total

32 000,0

However, the transfer of the EU Special Representatives from heading 4 to heading 5 (EEAS section) as proposed in the new DB is not accepted. Consequently, the commitment and payment appropriations on budget line 19 03 01 07 (EU Special Representatives, heading 4) are restored as proposed in the original DB.

As a consequence, and after taking into account pilot projects, preparatory actions and the transfer of the common costs of EU delegations to the EEAS section, the agreed level of commitments is set at EUR 8 408.4 million, leaving a margin of EUR 340.6 million under the expenditure ceiling of heading 4.

f)   Heading 5

The number of posts in the establishment plans of the Institutions and the commitment appropriations are set at the level proposed by the Commission in the new DB:

—  the respective readings of the European Parliament and the Council, for their own sections of the budget;

—  the reading of the European Parliament for the Court of Justice;

—  the reading of the European Parliament for the European Court of Auditors, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions; and

—  For the European External Action Service, the level of appropriations proposed by the Commission in the DB increased to take account of the budgetary-neutral transfer of appropriations related to the "common administrative costs of EU Delegations" (as set out in Annex 1) from the Commission to the EEAS section of the budget. However, the transfer of the EU Special Representatives from heading 4 to the EEAS section under heading 5 as proposed in the new DB is not accepted. Consequently, no appropriations for this purpose are included in the EEAS section of the budget.

Altogether, compared to the original DB, these changes lead to:

—  a net reduction of 35 establishment plan posts, due to a reduction of 47 posts for the European Parliament which is partly offset by an increase of 12 posts for the Court of Justice;

—  a net reduction in appropriations of EUR 0.6 million, due to a reduction of EUR 1.4 million for the European Court of Auditors, EUR 1.4 million for the European Economic and Social Committee and EUR 0.4 million for the Committee of the Regions, which is partly offset by an increase of EUR 2.6 million for the Court of Justice;

—  the increase of EUR 71.5 million for the EEAS reflects the budgetary‑neutral transfer of the "common administrative costs of EU Delegations", which is completely offset in the Commission section in sub‑heading 1a (EUR 0.6 million), heading 2 (EUR 0.1 million), heading 4 (EUR 45.7 million) and 5 (EUR 25.2 million). Overall, these transfers result in a net increase in appropriations under heading 5 of EUR 46.3 million.

In addition, as compared to the new DB the following budgetary neutral transfer of posts and commitment appropriations from the Council to the Pay Master's Office is agreed, to take account of the transfer as of 1 January 2015 of the determination and management of pension rights of active and retired Council staff members to the PMO: an increase of 6 AST 7 establishment plan posts as well as an increase of EUR 504 000 in commitment appropriations in the Commission (section III) is completely offset by a reduction of 6 AST 7 establishment plan posts as well as a reduction of EUR 504 000 in commitment appropriations in the Council (section II).

As a consequence, taking into account pilot projects, preparatory actions as well as the transfer of the common costs of EU delegations to the EEAS section, the agreed level of commitments is set at EUR 8 660.5 million, leaving a margin of EUR 415.5 million under the expenditure ceiling of heading 5.

1.4.  Payment appropriations

The overall level of payment appropriations in the 2015 budget is set at EUR 141 214 040 563.

This includes an amount of EUR 126.7 million which relates to the mobilisation of the EU Solidarity Fund linked to draft amending budgets No 5/2014 and 7/2014, as well as an amount of EUR 440 million which relates to the shift of payment appropriations for the Youth Employment Initiative from the 2014 budget to the 2015 budget.

The distribution of the overall level of payment appropriations in the 2015 budget takes into account the following steps:

a)  payment appropriations for non-differentiated expenditure as set out above, in particular under headings 2 and 5; and

b)  payment appropriations for the package of pilot projects and preparatory actions as set out above, are calculated as follows: payment appropriations for all new pilot projects and preparatory actions are set at 50 % of the corresponding commitments or at the level proposed by the European Parliament, whichever is lower; in the case of extension of existing pilot projects and preparatory actions the level of payments is the one defined in the DB plus 50 % of the corresponding new commitments, or at the level proposed by the European Parliament, whichever is lower;

c)  the EUR 123.3 million reduction in payment appropriations compared to the new DB is spread proportionally across all budget lines with differentiated appropriations which are not affected by step b) above, with the exception of the following budget lines, for which the level of payment appropriations is set at the level of the new DB:

—  expenditure for sub-heading 1a (Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs) and heading 4 (Global Europe);

—  Budget lines 04 02 17, 04 02 60, 11 06 12, 13 03 16 and 13 03 60 for the Convergence objective; and

—  International Fisheries Partnership Agreements.

Based on the results obtained in step c) above, the following final adjustments are made:

—  an amount of EUR 100 million is added to budget line 13 04 02 (Completion of Cohesion Fund (2007-2013)), offset by:

—  a reduction of EUR 50 million on budget line 13 03 18 (Completion of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) – Regional competitiveness and employment); and

—  a reduction of EUR 50 million spread across budget lines with differentiated appropriations which are not affected by step b) above, for expenditure sub-heading 1 (Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs) and heading 4 (Global Europe), with the exception of budget line 23 02 (Humanitarian aid, food assistance and disaster preparedness), for which the amounts set in the new DB are retained.

1.5.  Budgetary remarks

As regards budgetary remarks, the new DB is approved, thus integrating amendments introduced by the European Parliament or the Council, except for budget lines 04 03 01 03 and 19 03 01 06, with the understanding that these amendments cannot modify or extend the scope of an existing legal base, or impinge on the administrative autonomy of institutions.

1.6.  New budget lines

The budget nomenclature as proposed by the Commission in the new DB will remain unchanged.

1.7.  Reserves

No amount is placed on conditional reserves for the Commission section.

2.  2014 BUDGET

a)  The additional commitment appropriations (EUR 126.7 million) requested for the EU Solidarity Fund in DABs No 5/2014 and 7/2014 are approved. The corresponding payments are shifted to the 2015 budget.

b)  DAB No 3/2014 is approved as proposed by the Commission, with a reduction of payment appropriations as follows:

—  Rural development: EUR 90 million for the completion of rural development programmes 2007-2013 is not accepted taking into account the lower than expected declaration of payments submitted by Member States in November 2014. Moreover, a reduction of EUR 20 million on the new programmes is agreed;

—  Youth Employment Initiative: a reduction of EUR 420 million for the Youth Employment Initiative is agreed. However, an amount of EUR 440 million of payment appropriations for the Youth Employment Initiative is added to the 2015 budget, as set out in section 1.4 above;

—  A further reduction of payment appropriations of EUR 648.1 million is agreed, distributed across the budget lines reinforced from the Contingency Margin while keeping unchanged the requested amounts for budget lines 13 03 16 (ERDF Convergence), 04 06 01 (FEAD), and 21 03 02 01 and 21 03 03 03 (Support for Ukraine).

Redeployment of payment appropriations:

—  the redeployment proposed by the Commission in the "global transfer" (DEC 31/2014) is accepted;

—  the redeployment proposed by the Commission for the Commission section in DAB No 6/2014 is accepted; however, the payment appropriations available for redeployment from the EMFF (administrative support expenditure) and the reserve for International Fisheries Partnership Agreements (in total EUR 6 150 900) are redeployed to Humanitarian aid (budget line 23 02 01);

—  taking into account the current state of budget implementation and the outlook for year-end, a further redeployment amounting to EUR 30.4 million is agreed. This concerns the following budget lines:

—  Article 01 03 02 (Macro-financial assistance): EUR 5 million;

—  Article 04 03 02 (PROGRESS): EUR 10.0 million;

—  Article 12 02 01 (Internal market): EUR 1.2 million;

—  Article 17 03 51 (Public Health): EUR 0.7 million;

—  Item 18 02 01 02 (Prevention of and fight against crime): EUR 2.3 million;

—  Item 21 09 51 01 (DCI Asia): EUR 2.5 million;

—  Article 33 02 02 (Promoting non-discrimination and equality): EUR 2.2 million; and

—  Articles 29 02 01 and 29 02 51 (Statistics): EUR 6.5 million.

The table below shows the resulting reinforcements and reductions of payment appropriations in DAB No 3/2014 (including redeployment through the "global transfer", DAB No 6/2014 and the latest update of the state of play of budget implementation) as approved along the lines set out above:

Budget lines

Name

DAB No 3/2014

Adopted

01 03 02

Macro-financial assistance

-28 960 000

01 04 51

Completion of programmes in the field of small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) (prior to 2014)

12 000 000

02 02 02

Improving access to finance for small and middle-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the form of equity and debt

4 540 126

02 05 01

Developing and providing global satellite-based radio navigation infrastructures and services (Galileo) by 2019

70 000 000

04 02 64

Youth Employment Initiative

-420 000 000

04 03 02 01

Progress — Supporting the development, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of Union employment and social policy and working conditions legislation

-2 950 000

04 03 02 03

Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship — Increasing access, and the availability of, financing for legal and physical persons, especially those furthest from the labour market, and social enterprises

-7 114 776

04 06 01

Promoting social cohesion and alleviating the worst forms of poverty in the Union

99 000 000

05 02 10 02

Promotion measures — Direct payments by the Union

-308 029

05 04 60 01

Promoting sustainable rural development, a more territorially and environmentally balanced, climate-friendly and innovative Union agricultural sector

-20 000 000

05 06 01

International agricultural agreements

-3 784 411

05 08 77 06

Preparatory action — European farm prices and margins observatory

-612 329

05 08 77 09

Preparatory action — Union plant and animal genetic resources

-600 000

05 08 77 10

Pilot project — Agropol: development of a European cross-border Agribusiness Model Region

-600 000

05 08 77 11

Pilot project — Agroforestry

-350 000

05 09 03 01

Securing sufficient supplies of safe and high quality food and other bio-based products

-1 666 954

07 02 77 03

Preparatory action — Strategic environmental impact assessment on the development of the European Arctic

356 052

08 02 01 01

Strengthening frontier research in the European Research Council

24 970 695

08 02 02 02

Enhancing access to risk finance for investing in research and innovation

4 540 126

08 02 51

Completion of previous research framework programme — Seventh Framework Programme — EC indirect action (2007 to 2013)

50 000 000

08 04 01

Construction, operation and exploitation of the ITER facilities – European Joint Undertaking for ITER – Fusion for Energy (F4E)

-8 800 000

08 04 51

Completion of European Joint Undertaking for ITER — Fusion for Energy (F4E) (2007 to 2013)

-71 200 000

09 02 01

Definition and implementation of the Union’s policy in the field of electronic communication

-271 200

09 02 05

Measures concerning the digital content, and audiovisual and other media industries

-592 000

09 02 77 03

Pilot project — European Centre for Press and Media Freedom

-456 508

09 03 03

Promoting interoperability, sustainable deployment, operation and upgrading of trans-European digital service infrastructures, as well as coordination at European level

-1 898 831

09 03 51 01

Completion of the Safer Internet programme (2009 to 2013)

-450 000

09 04 03 02

Fostering inclusive, innovative and reflective European societies

2 784 852

09 04 51

Completion of the Seventh Framework Programme (2007 to 2013)

105 000 000

11 01 04 01

Support expenditure for maritime affairs and fisheries — Non-operational administrative and technical assistance

-774 900

11 01 06 01

Executive Agency for Small- and Medium-sized Enterprises — Contribution from European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF)

-809 000

11 03 01 (reserve)

Establishing a governance framework for fishing activities carried out by Union fishing vessels in third country waters

-69 567 000

11 06 12

Completion of European Fisheries Fund (EFF) — Convergence objective (2007 to 2013)

69 540 126

12 02 01

Implementation and development of the internal market

-1 170 000

12 02 77 03

Preparatory action — Single Market Forum

-150 000

12 03 51

Completion of previous activities in the field of financial services, financial reporting and auditing

-669 803

13 03 16

Completion of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) — Convergence

2 400 700 000

13 03 18

Completion of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) — Regional competitiveness and employment

227 006 319

13 03 19

Completion of European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) — European territorial cooperation

179 334 992

13 03 77 09

Preparatory action on an Atlantic Forum for the European Union Atlantic Strategy

-433 000

13 05 63 02

Cross-border cooperation (CBC) — Contribution from Heading 4

-12 338 481

14 02 01

Supporting the functioning and modernization of the customs union

7 500 000

14 03 01

Improving the proper functioning of the taxation systems

2 500 000

15 02 01 01

Promoting excellence and cooperation in the European education and training area and its relevance to the labour market

138 119 479

1 600 00015 03 01 01

Marie Skłodowska-Curie actions — generating, developing and transferring new skills, knowledge and innovation

40 861 137

16 03 01 04Information outlets

16 03 01 03

Communication of the Commission Representations and ‘Partnership’ actions

1 000 000

16 03 02 03

Online and written information and communication tools

2 900 000

17 02 01

Safeguarding consumers’ interest and improving their safety and information

-1 449 000

17 03 10

European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control

-2 000 000

17 03 12 01

Union contribution to the European Medicines Agency

-7 602 918

18 02 01 01

Support of border management and a common visa policy to facilitate legitimate travel

-7 446 000

18 02 01 02

Prevention and fight against cross-border organised crime and better management of security related risks and crisis

-9 236 000

18 03 51

Completion of operations and programmes in the field of return, refugees and migration flows

19 431 000

19 02 01

Response to crisis and emerging crisis

50 765 835

19 05 51

Completion of actions in the field of relations and cooperation with industrialised third countries (2007 to 2013)

3 600 000

20 02 01

External trade relations, including access to the markets of third countries

1 181 809

20 02 03

Aid for trade — Multilateral initiatives

1 000 000

21 02 07

Food and nutrition security and sustainable agriculture

6 000 000

21 02 40

Commodities agreements

20 000

21 02 51 01

Cooperation with third countries in the areas of migration and asylum

4 000 000

21 02 51 02

Cooperation with developing countries in Latin America

23 000 000

21 02 51 03

Cooperation with developing countries in Asia, including Central Asia and the Middle East

44 000 000

21 02 51 05

Non-State actors in development

2 000 000

21 02 51 06

Environment and sustainable management of natural resources, including energy

2 000 000

21 03 02 01

Eastern Partnership — Human rights and mobility

210 000 000

21 03 03 03

Support to other multi-country cooperation in the neighbourhood

40 000 000

21 03 51

Completion of actions in the area of European Neighbourhood Policy and relations with Russia (prior to 2014)

3 000 000

21 04 51

Completion of the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (prior to 2014)

3 000 000

21 05 51

Completion of actions in the area of global threats to security (prior to 2014)

2 000 000

21 09 51 01

Asia

-2 500 000

22 02 51

Completion of former pre-accession assistance (prior to 2014)

45 000 000

23 02 01

Delivery of rapid, effective and needs-based humanitarian aid and food aid

256 150 900

23 03 51

Completion of programmes and actions in the field of civil protection within the Union (prior to 2014)

-500 000

24 01 07

European Anti-fraud Office (OLAF)

-10 000

24 02 01

Preventing and combating fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting the Union’s financial interests

942 750

24 04 01

Supporting mutual assistance in customs matters and facilitating secure electronic communication tools for Member States to report irregularities

680 612

26 01 09

Publications Office

-22 000

26 01 23 01

Office for Infrastructure and Logistics in Luxembourg

-13 000

26 02 01

Procedures for awarding and advertising public supply, works and service contracts

-250 000

26 03 01 01

Interoperability solutions for European public administrations

10 000 000

29 02 01

Providing quality statistical information, implementing new methods of production of European statistics and strengthening the partnership within the European Statistical System

-11 294 249

29 02 51

Completion of statistical programmes (prior to 2013)

-9 872 560

32 02 52

Completion of energy projects to aid economic recovery

65 000 000

33 02 01

Ensuring the protection of rights and empowering citizens

-2 000 000

33 02 02

Promoting non-discrimination and equality

-5 177 700

34 02 01

Reducing Union greenhouse gas emissions

6 000 000

34 02 04

Contribution to multilateral and international climate agreements

-74 969

34 02 51

Completion of former climate action programmes

2 903 358

XX 01 01 01 01

Remuneration and allowances

-317 000

SEC 7 - 1 2 0 0

Remuneration and allowances

-10 992

SEC 9 - 1 1 0 0

Remuneration and allowances

-5 843

Total

3 529 620 715

The resulting additional payment appropriations for DAB No 3/2014 are EUR 3 529.6 million, of which EUR 2 818.2 million plus EUR 350 million concern the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin, in line with the joint statement on special instruments as set out in section 3.3 below.

c)  DAB No 4/2014, as modified by its letter of amendment, is approved as proposed by the Commission, with the inclusion of the commitment appropriations from DAB No 6/2014 related to administrative support expenditure for the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund and the reserve for the Sustainable Fisheries Partnership Agreements in the Commission section). The amount of EUR 248 460 of available payment appropriations identified in DAB No 4/2014 (European Data Protection Supervisor) are redeployed to Humanitarian aid (budget line 23 02 01). The request for additional commitment and payment appropriations related to the European Ombudsman (section VIII) in DAB 6 is withdrawn, as set out in the letter of amdment to DAB No 6/2014.

d)  DAB No 6/2014, as modified by its letter of amendment, is approved as proposed by the Commission, as regards own resources.

e)  DAB No 8/2014 (= new DAB No 2/2014) concerning the 2013 surplus is approved as proposed by the Commission.

3.  JOINT STATEMENTS

3.1.  Joint statement on draft amending budget (DAB) 6/2014 (own resources) and amendment of Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) 1150/2000

"The European Parliament and the Council agree to adopt Draft Amending Budget 6/2014 as amended by Amending Letter 1/2014.

In light of the Commission proposal to amend Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 1150/2000 implementing Decision 2007/436 (EC, Euratom) on the system of the European Communities' own resources presented by the Commission on 12 November 2014, the European Parliament commits to provide its opinion to the amended Regulation 1150/2000 in time to ensuring its adoption in the EP plenary session of December 2014 and the Council to adopt it as part of the overall package."

3.2.  Joint statement on the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin

"2014 has seen an unprecedented high amount of outstanding payments for structural and cohesion funds at the beginning of the financial framework, while a number of new programmes have been significantly frontloaded. Given this unique and exceptional situation which cannot be accommodated within the payment ceiling for 2014, the three institutions agree that the Contingency Margin will be mobilised for the financial year 2014 as a last resort.

The institutions recall that Article 13 of the MFF-regulation stipulates that "Amounts made available through the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin shall be fully offset against the margins in one or more MFF headings for the current or future financial years".

The institutions agree to do their utmost to find appropriate solutions so that the exceptionally high level of outstanding payments of the structural and cohesion funds of the 2007-2013 period should not persist beyond 2014 and that, therefore, all efforts will be undertaken to ensure that the Contingency Margin will not be mobilised to finance outstanding commitments stemming from programmes for structural and cohesion funds in the financial years 2015-2020."

3.3.  Joint statement on special instruments

"The institutions recall that the Contingency Margin is a last resort instrument which should therefore not be mobilised if there are still financial possibilities left. In the framework of the general budget for 2014 there is disagreement as to whether an amount of EUR 350 million in payment appropriations covering other special instruments is still available in the unallocated margin.

The institutions agree that it is of major importance to find an agreement in principle on the mobilisation of other special instruments for payments as quickly as possible.

However, as it has not been possible to reach such an agreement in the context of the negotiations of the package covering draft amending budgets for 2014 and the general budget for 2015 the institutions agree, so as to ensure a timely adoption of that package:

—  The amount of EUR 350 million in payment appropriations is added to the Contingency Margin;

—  To endeavour to find a rapid agreement on whether and to what extent other special instruments may be mobilised over and above the MFF ceilings for payments with a view to determining whether and to what extent the amount of EUR 350 million should be offset against the MFF margins for payments for current or future financial years;

—  To accompany – as appropriate – the above by the necessary modifications of the decision mobilising the Contingency Margin for the budget year 2014, or by any other legally necessary actions required to ensure full respect of the MFF Regulation and notably its Article 13(3)."

3.4.  Commission statement on pre-financing of Operational Programmes in 2014 and the Youth Employment Initiative

"In the context of the timely and effective implementation of the 2014-2020 MFF, the European Commission confirms the pre-financing, in 2014, of Operational Programmes which have been formally submitted in 2014 and which meet the necessary conditions set in the corresponding legal acts.

Moreover, the Commission confirms that the Youth Employment Initiative remains a high political priority and that the transfer of the related payment appropriations from 2014 to 2015 will not delay its implementation."

3.5.  Joint statement on the financing of the emergency measures in response to the Russian food import ban

"Following the Russian food import ban, a series of emergency measures has already been adopted in August and September 2014, and a further package targeted to the dairy sector in the Baltic States has been approved on 26 November 2014. As soon as the conditions respecting the objective criteria required for eligibility are met, the Commission may propose another package targeted to the dairy sector in Finland.

In its Amending Letter (AL) 1/2015, the Commission announced its intention to finance, if needed, these measures through the reserve for crises.

Since the presentation of the AL 1/2015, the following three new elements have emerged, which allow the financing of those emergency measures without using the crisis reserve:

—  According to the declarations of the Member States on the actual uptake of the measures adopted in August and September, the cost is reduced from the initially estimated EUR 344 million to some EUR 234 million.

—  The final surplus of the EAGF exercise 2014 is some EUR 230 million higher than anticipated in the AL 1/2015, which was still based on estimates.

—  The financial corrections to be collected in 2015 are expected to be higher than initially expected last October."

Based on these three new elements, the emergency measures referred to above (including those related to the dairy sector in the Baltic States, and for Finland once the conditions are met) can be financed within the appropriations requested in the AL 1/2015 thanks to this additional assigned revenue without having recourse to the crisis reserve."

3.6.  Joint statement on payment appropriations

"The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission recall their shared responsibility, as laid down in Article 323 of the Treaty on the Functioning the European Union (TFEU), that ‘the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission shall ensure that the financial means are made available to allow the Union to fulfil its legal obligations in respect of third parties’.

The European Parliament and the Council recall the need to ensure, in the light of implementation, an orderly progression of payments in relation to the appropriations for commitments so as to avoid any abnormal level of unpaid invoices at year-end.

The European Parliament and the Council agree to set the level of payment appropriations for 2015 at EUR 141 214 040 563. They ask the Commission to initiate any necessary action, on the basis of the provisions of the MFF Regulation and the Financial Regulation, to cover the responsibility assigned by the Treaty and, in particular, after having examined the scope for reallocation of the relevant appropriations, with particular reference to any expected under-implementation of appropriations (Financial Regulation Article 41§2) to request additional payment appropriations in an amending budget to be presented as soon as it appears that appropriations entered in the 2015 budget are insufficient to cover expenditure.

The European Parliament and the Council will take position on any draft amending budget as quickly as possible in order to avoid any shortfall in payment appropriations. The European Parliament and the Council undertake to process swiftly any possible transfer of payment appropriations, including across financial framework headings, in order to make the best possible use of payment appropriations entered in the budget and align them to actual execution and needs.

The European Parliament, the Council and the Commission will, throughout the year, actively monitor the state of implementation of the 2015 budget, in particular under subheading 1a (Competitiveness for Growth and Jobs), sub-heading 1b (Economic, social and territorial cohesion) and rural development under heading 2 (Sustainable Growth: Natural Resources). This will take the form of dedicated inter-institutional meetings, in accordance with point 36 of the Annex of the Interinstitutional Agreement, to take stock of payment implementation and revised forecasts.

These meetings should take place at least three times in 2015 (in spring at the time of the presentation of the draft budget, in July ahead of the Council reading on the 2016 draft budget and in October before the beginning of the Conciliation) and be at political level in the presence of Members of the European Parliament, Members of the Council and the Commission Vice-President for Budget and Human Resources. The meetings should aim at reaching a joint assessment of the required level of payment needs, based on a thorough analysis of existing bills that have to be legally honoured and estimates for the rest of the year N and the year N+1."

3.7.  Joint statement on a payment plan

"The institutions agree to the objective to reduce the level of unpaid bills, with a particular focus on cohesion policy, at year-end down to its structural level in the course of the current MFF.

In order to reach this objective:

—  the Commission agrees to present, along with the joint conclusions on Budget 2015, a most up to date forecast of the level of unpaid bills by end 2014; the Commission will update these figures and provide alternative scenarios in March 2015 when a global picture of the level of unpaid bills at the end of 2014, for the main policy areas, will be available;

—  on this basis, the three institutions will endeavour to agree on a maximum target level of unpaid bills at year-end which can be considered as sustainable;

—  on this basis and while respecting the MFF Regulation, the agreed financial envelopes of the programmes as well as any other binding agreement, the three institutions will engage to implement, as of 2015, a plan to reduce the level of unpaid bills corresponding to the implementation of the 2007-2013 programmes to the commonly agreed level by the mid-term review of the current multiannual financial framework. Such a plan will be agreed by the three institutions in due time before the presentation of the draft budget 2016. Given the exceptionally high level of unpaid bills, the three institutions agree to consider any possible means to reduce the level of those bills.

Every year, the Commission agrees to accompany its draft budget by a document evaluating the level of unpaid bills and explaining how the draft budget will allow for the reduction of this level and by how much. This annual document will take stock of the progress made so far and propose adjustments to the plan in line with updated figures."

3.8.  Statement of the European Parliament on the mobilisation of the Contingency Margin as a last resort

"The European Parliament regrets that the Council does not share its interpretation that the EUR 350 million in payment appropriations mobilised in 2014 in respect of the Special Instruments provided for in the MFF Regulation should be counted outside the payments ceiling, thus leaving a margin of EUR 711 million to be exhausted before having recourse to the Contingency Margin.

The European Parliament recalls that, in accordance with Article 13(1) of the MFF Regulation, the Contingency Margin is a last-resort instrument. Therefore, it is necessary to exhaust fully all other financial possibilities before having recourse to the Contingency Margin. In the context of the dispute between the European Parliament and the Council regarding the calculation of the available margin below the payments ceiling in 2014, it was not possible to reach a political agreement on the exhaustion of an available margin of EUR 350 million before having recourse to the Contingency Margin.

Recalling that the MFF Regulation is based on the principle of “specific and maximum possible flexibility” in order to allow the Union to fulfill its legal obligations in compliance with Article 323 TFEU (Recital 4 to the MFF Regulation), the Parliament considers that the interest of making available additional appropriations to honour outstanding legal commitments through a mobilisation of the Contingency Margin is paramount. Therefore, the Parliament accepts a mobilisation of the Contingency Margin, notwithstanding its interpretation that EUR 350 million remains available under the payments ceiling.

The European Parliament invites the Commission to carry over the unused margin of EUR 350 million in its 2015 technical adjustment of the global margin for payments under Article 6(1)(d) of the MFF Regulation."

3.9.  Council statement on the mobilisation of the special instruments

"The Council recalls that the special instruments can only be activated to cater for genuinely unforeseen circumstances.

It recalls that the Contingency Margin shall not result in exceeding the total ceilings of commitment and payment appropriations.

As regards other special instruments, the Council recalls that Article 3(2) of the MFF Regulation states that commitment appropriations may be entered in the budget over and above the ceilings of the relevant headings.

The Council invites the Commission, in calculating the global margin, to act in accordance with the MFF Regulation and without undermining the agreement reached between the three institutions on a Joint Statement on special instruments (3.3)."

(1) OJ L 163, 23.6.2007, p. 17.
(2) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 884.
(4) OJ C 373, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(5) Texts adopted of that date, P7_TA(2014)0247.
(6) Texts adopted of that date, P7_TA(2014)0450.
(7) Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2014)0036.


Classification of serious infringements in road transport
PDF 220kWORD 54k
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the draft Commission regulation supplementing Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to the classification of serious infringements of the Union rules, which may lead to the loss of good repute by the road transport operator and amending Annex III to Directive 2006/22/EC of the European Parliament (D034120/02 – 2014/2859(RPS))
P8_TA(2014)0101B8-0325/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission regulation (D034120/02),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 establishing common rules concerning the conditions to be complied with to pursue the occupation of road transport operator and repealing Council Directive 96/26/EC(1), and in particular Article 6(2) thereof,

–  having regard to Directive 2006/22/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 15 March 2006 on minimum conditions for the implementation of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3820/85 and (EEC) No 3821/85 concerning social legislation relating to road transport activities and repealing Council Directive 88/599/EEC (2), and in particular Article 9(3) thereof,

–  having regard to the opinion delivered on 30 June 2014 by the committee referred to in Article 18(1) of Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85(3),

–  having regard to Article 5a(3)(b) of Council Decision 1999/468/EC of 28 June 1999 laying down the procedures for the exercise of implementing powers conferred on the Commission(4),

–  having regard to Rule 106(2), (3) and (4)(c) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the aim of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 is the completion of an internal market in road transport with fair conditions of competition, which requires the uniform application of common rules on admission to the occupation of road haulage operator or road passenger transport operator;

B.  whereas such common rules will contribute to the achievement of a higher level of professional qualification for road transport operators, the rationalisation of the market, and an improved quality of service, in the interests of road transport operators, their customers and the economy as a whole, together with improvements in road safety;

C.  whereas Article 6 provides a non-exhaustive list of EU rules relevant to assessing good repute, which includes: rules on driving and working time of drivers; use of tachographs; maximum weights and dimensions of commercial vehicles used in international traffic; qualification and training of drivers; the roadworthiness of commercial vehicles; access to the market in international road haulage or, as appropriate, access to the market in road passenger transport; safety in the carriage of dangerous goods by road; the installation and use of speed-limiting devices; driving licences; admission to the occupation; and animal transport;

D.  whereas under Article 6(2) of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 the Commission is required to draw up a list of categories, types and degrees of seriousness of serious infringements of these Community rules, which, in addition to those set out in Annex IV, may lead to the loss of good repute;

E.  whereas Member States are required to take into account information on those infringements, including information received from other Member States, when setting the priorities for checks pursuant to Article 12(1);

F.  whereas under Article 6 of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009 the Commission, when preparing these measures, is required to lay down the categories and types of infringement which are most frequently encountered;

G.  whereas, taking into consideration the basic legal act, the measure to be adopted by the Commission was expected to include a full list of both harmonised infringements and harmonised degree of seriousness which may lead to the loss of the good repute by the road transport operator;

H.  whereas the Commission, when preparing these measures, must define the degree of seriousness of infringements according to their potential to create a risk of fatalities or serious injuries;

I.  whereas the list to be prepared by the Commission could only consider those infringements which could create a risk of fatalities or serious injuries, while serious infringements of Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 October 2009 on common rules for access to the international road haulage market(5) have an important impact on working and living conditions which certainly may have a high potential to create a risk of fatalities or serious injuries;

J.  whereas the list has failed to include a complete list of serious infringements of Regulation (EC) No 1072/2009, since point 10 of Annex 1 to the draft Commission regulation does not include illegal cabotage, which, given its negative impact on drivers, should clearly be regarded as a serious infringement;

K.  whereas other rules related to illegal cabotage, e.g. relating to the performance of cabotage in a form not in line with national requirements relating to social legislation applicable to the contract, should be included in the list as serious infringements, in view of their potential to create a risk of fatalities or serious injuries;

L.  whereas the list of categories, types and degrees of seriousness of serious infringements that has been added uses very ordinary words such as ‘in accordance’ or ‘valid’, and this further complicates the interpretation by the competent authorities of the types and degrees of serious infringements;

M.  whereas the existing regulations already include clear provisions regarding the responsibility of carriers, drivers and the company in charge with respect to the transport of dangerous goods;

N.  whereas the liability and responsibilities of the different actors regarding the transport of dangerous goods can be undermined, in regard to the groups of infringements against Directive 2008/68/EC as in point 9 of Annex 1 to the proposed measure;

O.  whereas, therefore, the draft measure submitted by the Commission should not be considered compatible with the aim or content of the basic legislative act;

1.  Opposes adoption of the draft Commission regulation;

2.  Considers that the draft Commission regulation is not compatible with the aim and content of Regulation (EC) No 1071/2009;

3.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw the draft regulation and submit to the committee a new list of serious infringements of the Union rules which may lead to the loss of good repute by the road transport operator;

4.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) OJ L 300, 14.11.2009, p. 51.
(2) OJ L 102, 15.3.2006, p. 35.
(3) OJ L 370, 31.12.1985, p. 8.
(4) OJ L 184, 17.7.1999, p. 23.
(5) OJ L 300, 14.11.2009, p. 72.


Renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy
PDF 138kWORD 58k
European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy (2014/2918(RSP))
P8_TA(2014)0102B8-0350/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Articles 2, 3, 6, 7 and 21 of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and to Articles 4, 16, 20, 67, 68, 70, 71, 72, 75, 82, 83, 84, 85, 86, 87 and 88 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 6, 7, 8, 10(1), 11, 12, 21, 47-50, 52 and 53 thereof,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 June 2014 on the final implementation report of the EU Internal Security Strategy 2010-2014 (COM(2014)0365),

–  having regard to Europol's EU Terrorism Situation and Trend Report (TE-SAT) for 2014,

–  having regard to Europol's Internet Organised Crime Threat Assessment (iOCTA) for 2014,

–  having regard to Europol's EU Serious and Organised Crime Threat Assessment (SOCTA) for 2013,

–  having regard to Opinion 01/2014 of the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party on the application of necessity and proportionality concepts and data protection within the law enforcement sector,

–  having regard to the resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on 24 September 2014 on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts (Resolution 2178 (2014)),

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 April 2014 on the mid-term review of the Stockholm Programme(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 March 2014 on the US NSA surveillance programme, surveillance bodies in various Member States and impact on EU citizens' fundamental rights(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 February 2014 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2012)(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 12 September 2013 on the second report on the implementation of the EU Internal Security Strategy(4),

–  having regard to the EU Internal Security Strategy, as adopted by the Council on 25 February 2010,

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on renewing the EU Internal Security Strategy (O-000089/2014 – B8‑0044/2014 and O‑000090/2014 – B8‑0045/2014),

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the Treaty of Lisbon laid the foundations for the development of an EU security policy that is closely shared by the EU and its Member States, is based on the rule of law, respect for fundamental rights, and solidarity, and is subject to democratic oversight at European and national level, while upholding the principle of subsidiarity; whereas the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty made Parliament a fully fledged actor in the field of security policy so as to ensure democratic control, thus entitling it to participate actively in determining priorities in this field and to engage with all relevant actors at EU and national level in order to achieve a comprehensive, targeted and effective EU security policy;

B.  whereas the security situation in Europe has changed dramatically in recent years owing to new conflicts and upheavals in the EU’s immediate neighbourhood, the rapid development of new technologies, and growing radicalisation that is leading to violence and terrorism; whereas many of today’s security challenges are cross-border and cross‑sectoral in nature, going beyond the capacity of any individual Member State to respond effectively to them, and whereas this calls for a common European approach;

C.  whereas the EU and its Member States have a common responsibility to ensure the safety and freedom of European citizens; whereas freedom, security and justice are objectives that must be pursued in parallel, and whereas, in order to achieve freedom and justice, security measures should therefore always be evidence-based, in accordance with the principles of necessity, proportionality and respect for fundamental rights and on the basis of proper democratic oversight and accountability;

D.  whereas special attention should be paid to supporting and protecting all victims of crime across the EU;

E.  whereas the Internal Security Strategy (ISS) for the 2010-2014 period is coming to an end and a new ISS for the 2015-2019 period is being prepared;

1.  Welcomes the preparation of a new ISS for the coming four years; points out that new security threats have emerged since the establishment of the current ISS, while others call for a different policy response; reiterates, furthermore, that the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty incorporated the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights into EU law; believes, therefore, that the current ISS should be thoroughly assessed, updated and revamped;

2.  Believes that essential prerequisites for an effective ISS include a thorough analysis of the security threats to be addressed, to be performed by Europol in close cooperation with other relevant EU bodies and the Member States;

3.  Regrets the fact that the Commission's communication does not contain an evaluation of the current instruments and a corresponding assessment of remaining gaps; calls as a matter of urgency on the Commission to perform such a stock‑taking exercise and to focus its efforts on the proper implementation and better use of existing legislation and instruments before proposing the creation of new ones; specifically, calls on the Council, in cooperation with the Commission, to comprehensively evaluate the implementation of the measures adopted in the area of internal security before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, making use of the procedure provided for in Article 70 TFEU;

4.  Calls for the new ISS to be forward-looking and strategic, and easily adaptable to evolving situations, by focusing not only on existing security threats but also on emerging ones and taking an integrated, comprehensive and holistic approach to priority areas such as cybersecurity, trafficking in human beings and counter-terrorism, and to interlinked issues such as organised crime, money laundering and corruption;

5.  Notes with concern the rapidly rising number of EU nationals who travel to conflict areas to join terrorist organisations and subsequently return to EU territory, presenting new types of risks to EU internal security; intends to address this worrying trend with a multi‑dimensional approach, including by (i) comprehensively addressing underlying factors such as radicalisation, intolerance and discrimination by promoting political and religious tolerance, developing social cohesion and inclusiveness and facilitating reintegration, (ii) analysing and counterbalancing incitement to perform terrorist acts motivated by extremism and departures to join terrorist organisations, (iii) preventing and stemming recruitment and engagement in conflict, including the actual travel of foreign fighters to conflict areas, within the appropriate legal frameworks, (iv) disrupting financial support to terrorist organisations and individuals aiming to join them, and (v) providing for legal prosecution where appropriate;

6.  Points out that security threats have become more varied, international, multiple and asymmetrical, requiring closer cross-border and inter-agency cooperation; calls for more effective operational cooperation among Member States through greater use of valuable existing instruments, such as joint investigation teams, and more expeditious and efficient sharing of relevant data and information, subject to the appropriate data protection and privacy safeguards; in this connection, underlines the utmost importance of the swift adoption of the proposed data protection directive in order to provide a comprehensive legal framework for the sharing of data in the law enforcement field; points out that, in order to further promote operational cooperation among Member States, additional trust-building measures are necessary; supports, therefore, the strengthening of European training and exchange programmes for national practitioners in order to further foster a European law enforcement culture;

7.  Reminds the European Council of its obligation under Article 222 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to conduct a regular EU threat assessment, and invites the Commission to come forward with concrete proposals on how best to implement this obligation, drawing together the current fragmented and narrowly focused threat and risk assessments at EU and national level;

8.  Calls for the right balance to be sought between prevention policies and repressive measures in order to preserve freedom, security and justice; stresses that security measures should always be pursued in accordance with the principles of the rule of law and the protection of all fundamental rights; calls on the Commission, therefore, when devising and implementing the new ISS, to take due account of the recent Court of Justice ruling on the data retention directive, which requires all instruments to comply with the principles of proportionality, necessity and legality, and to include the appropriate safeguards of accountability and judicial redress;

9.  Considers it regrettable that the ISS still lacks a proper ‘justice dimension’; recalls that, in line with the Stockholm programme, mutual trust must be strengthened by progressively developing a European judicial culture based on the diversity of legal systems and traditions, through European cooperation and legislation in this area and, specifically, the development of judicial cooperation in criminal matters;

10.  Points out that proper implementation of the new ISS is of critical importance, that a clear division of tasks between the EU level and the national level is necessary, and that both the European Parliament and the national parliaments need to be part of this monitoring process; intends, therefore, to perform regular monitoring exercises, in close cooperation with national parliaments, on the proper implementation of the ISS;

11.  Underlines the importance of coherence between the internal and external aspects of security; believes that synergies between the common foreign and security policy and justice and home affairs (JHA) tools, including information exchange and police and judicial cooperation with third countries, especially through the use of mutual legal assistance agreements, should be maximised, in full compliance with the principles laid down in Articles 2, 3, 6 and 21 TEU; stresses in this context that all relevant actors, including the EU Counter-terrorism Coordinator and the EU Anti-Trafficking Coordinator, should work closely together, integrating the internal and external aspects;

12.  Stresses the need to provide for appropriate financial resources for the proper implementation of the measures set out in the ISS, and in particular to ensure that EU agencies such as Europol and Eurojust are sufficiently equipped to fulfil the tasks assigned to them; acknowledges, in this connection, the important role that research and innovation can play in developing tools to help tackle terrorism and serious and organised crime;

13.  Points out that, in practice, the ISS also has consequences in terms of prioritising the operations of European agencies and European funding in the JHA field, in which Parliament is a co-legislator; urges the Council, therefore, to take due account of Parliament’s input into the new ISS before adopting the new strategy;

14.  Intends to further elaborate its position on priorities and actions in the field of internal security, including on the basis of the expected Commission communication on the new ISS, and to enter into a fruitful dialogue with the Council and the Commission on this issue in the spirit of the Treaty of Lisbon;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission and the Council, and to the parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0276.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0230.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0173.
(4) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0384.


Recognition of Palestine statehood
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European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on recognition of Palestine statehood (2014/2964(RSP))
P8_TA(2014)0103RC-B8-0277/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the Middle East peace process,

–  having regard to the conclusions of the Foreign Affairs Council on the Middle East Peace Process of 17 November 2014,

–  having regard to the statements of the High Representative/Vice-President on the attack in the Har Nof synagogue of 18 November 2014, on the terrorist attack in Jerusalem of 5 November 2014, and to the statement by the Spokesperson of the EU High Representative on the latest developments in the Middle East of 10 November 2014,

–  having regard to the announcement of the Swedish government on the recognition of the State of Palestine of 30 October 2014, as well as the earlier recognition by other Member States before joining the European Union,

–  having regard to the motions on the recognition of the State of Palestine approved in the House of Commons of the United Kingdom on 13 October 2014, the Irish Senate on 22 October 2014, the Spanish Parliament on 18 November 2014, the French National Assembly on 2 December 2014, and the Portuguese Assembly on 12 December 2014,

–  having regard to International Law,

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas the EU has repeatedly confirmed its support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable State of Palestine living side by side in peace and security and called for the resumption of direct peace talks between Israel and the Palestinian Authority;

B.  whereas finding a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, has been a key concern for the international community, including the European Union, for more than half-a-century;

C.  whereas direct peace talks between the parties are stalled; whereas the EU has called on the parties to pursue actions conducive to an environment of confidence necessary to ensure meaningful negotiations, to refrain from actions that undermine the credibility of the process and to prevent incitement;

D.  whereas in its resolution of 22 November 2012, the European Parliament stressed that peaceful and non-violent means are the only way to achieve a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians, called for the creation of the conditions for the resumption of direct peace talks between the two parties, supported, in this connection, Palestine’s bid to become a UN non-member observer, considered this an important step in making Palestinian claims more visible, stronger and more effective, and called on, in this connection, the EU Member States and the international community to find an agreement in this direction;

E.  whereas the United Nations General Assembly decided on 29 November 2012 to grant Palestine non-member observer state status in the UN;

F.  whereas the recognition of the State of Palestine falls in the competence of the Member States;

G.  recalling the commitment of the PLO to recognise the state of Israel since 1993;

1.  Supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced;

2.  Supports the efforts of President Abbas and the Palestinian national consensus government; stresses again the importance of consolidating the authority of the Palestinian consensus government and its administration in the Gaza Strip; urges all Palestinian factions, including Hamas, to accept the commitments of the PLO and end internal divisions; calls for continued EU support and assistance for Palestinian institutional capacity-building;

3.  Expresses grave concern at the growing tensions and increasing violence in the region; condemns in the strongest terms all acts of terrorism or violence, and extends its condolences to the families of the victims; warns about the risks of further escalation of violence involving holy sites, which could transform the Israeli-Palestinian conflict into a religious conflict; calls on political leaders from all sides to work together through visible actions to de-escalate the situation and stresses that non-violent means and respect for human rights and humanitarian law are the only way to achieve a sustainable solution and a just and lasting peace between Israelis and Palestinians; underlines that any violent action can only fuel extremism on both sides; urges all parties to refrain from any action that would worsen the situation by way of incitement, provocation, excessive use of force or retaliation;

4.  Stresses also that actions, which call into question stated commitments to a negotiated solution must be avoided; underlines that settlements are illegal under international law; calls on both parties to refrain from any action which may undermine the viability and the prospects of the two-state solution;

5.  Reiterates its strong support for the two-state solution on the basis of the 1967 borders, with Jerusalem as the capital of both states, with the secure State of Israel and an independent, democratic, contiguous and viable Palestinian State living side by side in peace and security on the basis of the right of self-determination and full respect of international law;

6.  Welcomes the recent visit of the High Representative/Vice-President to Israel and to Palestine and her commitment to engage proactively in a positive process aimed at breaking the circle of the conflict and creating the conditions for genuine progress in the peace process; believes that the European Union should take its responsibility and become a genuine actor and facilitator in the Middle East peace process, also with a view to the need of the resumption of the peace talks, including through a common approach and a comprehensive strategy for a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; reiterates that a diplomatic approach under the auspices of the Middle East Quartet is necessary and recalls the importance of the Arab Peace Initiative;

7.  Calls on the HR/VP to facilitate a common EU position in this regard;

8.  Underlines the need for a comprehensive peace, ending all claims and fulfilling the legitimate aspirations of both parties, including those of Israelis for security and those of Palestinians for statehood; stresses that the only possible solution to the conflict is the coexistence of two States, Israel and Palestine;

9.  Decides to launch a “Parliamentarians for Peace” initiative aiming to bring together cross-party Members of European, Israeli and Palestinian Parliaments to help advance an agenda for peace and to complement EU diplomatic efforts;

10.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Middle East Quartet Envoy, the Knesset and the Government of Israel, the President of the Palestinian Authority and the Palestinian Legislative Council.


Steel sector in the EU: protecting workers and industries
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European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the steel sector in the EU: protecting workers and industries (2014/2976(RSP))
P8_TA(2014)0104RC-B8-0352/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, which is the root of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 October 2011 entitled ‘Industrial policy: reinforcing competitiveness’ (COM(2011)0642),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 10 October 2012 entitled ‘A stronger European industry for growth and economic recovery – Industrial policy communication update’ (COM(2012)0582),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 11 June 2013 entitled ‘Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable steel industry in Europe’ (COM(2013)0407),

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 February 2014 on the Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable steel industry in Europe(1),

–  having regard to its previous resolutions on the steel industry, and on the restructuring, transfer and closure of companies in the EU,

–  having regard to its resolution of 25 November 2014 on the employment and social aspects of the Europe 2020 strategy(2),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 January 2013 with recommendations to the Commission on information and consultation of workers, anticipation and management of restructuring(3),

–  having regard to the question to the Commission on the steel plant Acciai Speciali Terni (AST) in Italy (O-000087/2014),

–  having regard to Rule 123(2) and (4) of its Rules of Procedure,

General challenges

A.  whereas the European steel sector has played a historically significant role in the European integration process and forms the basis for the generation of European industrial added value;

B.  whereas the steel sector plays an essential role in Europe’s economy and industry and is currently suffering from a substantial drop in demand, leading to a continuous loss of jobs and competitiveness which does not bode well for the necessary recovery of the European economy;

C.  whereas the EU should promote a policy of developing industrial production in all the Member States in order to safeguard jobs within the EU and should strive towards its indicative objective of raising the share of GDP coming from industry to 20 % by 2020;

D.  whereas one of the EU’s objectives is to support the steel industry, to remove obstacles and threats to its competitiveness and to make it responsive to changing European and non‑European market conditions;

E.  whereas in recent years the steel industry has faced severe challenges in terms of restructuring and industrial mergers, with corresponding social costs, and also in terms of new requirements to meet the EU’s climate targets;

F.  whereas a number of large steelmakers, in particular, have been pursuing strategies focusing on short-term financial returns to the detriment of innovation, investments in R&D, employment and skill renewal;

G.  whereas the European steel industry is facing an investment crisis which is endangering its own future, while at the same time steel materials are expected to play a crucial role in providing sustainable industrial solutions for urbanisation, mobility and demographic change;

H.  whereas a limited increase in demand will see Europe shift from being a net exporter to a net importer of steel, especially flat products and high-added-value products;

I.  whereas according to the Commission plant closures have led to 60 000 job losses since 2007, and production dropped from 210 million tonnes in 2007 to 166 million tonnes in 2013(4);

Competitiveness and trade

J.  whereas reconciling the need for high environmental performance with increased global competitiveness while alleviating carbon leakage concerns and improving access to raw materials remain fundamental challenges for the steel sector, taking into account the fact that different competitors are bound by differing standards;

K.  whereas energy costs have to be taken into account in a global approach to the steel industry, and whereas energy prices for industrial consumers in the EU could have a direct impact on competitiveness;

L.  whereas further improvements in energy and resource efficiency could equate to further cost savings and emission reductions for the industry;

M.  whereas demand from the automotive sector is limited on account of structural over‑capacity, while other sectors, such as renewable energy and energy infrastructure, represent real opportunities for the sector (for example, one 3mW wind turbine represents the equivalent of 500 cars);

Social aspects

N.  whereas high unemployment rates in the EU correlate with its shrinking industrial and manufacturing production base, and whereas the current crisis has generated deep social hardship for the workers and regions affected;

O.  whereas the EU steel industry is a major employer, accounting for more than 350 000 direct jobs and several million more in related industries, including the recycling supply chain;

P.  whereas the situation of some steel plants in Europe is causing serious concern to workers and to national and local authorities;

Q.  whereas companies involved in restructuring should act in a socially responsible manner, experience having shown that socially and economically sustainable restructuring requires sufficient social dialogue, with a special focus on informing and consulting workers, as outlined in Parliament’s aforementioned resolution of 15 January 2013;

R.  whereas comprehensive involvement of the social partners at all levels and the strengthening of social dialogue at EU level are crucial in order to safeguard the interests of both steel companies and their employees;

S.  whereas numerous plants, representing 20 million tonnes of capacity, have been temporarily idled for more than three years; whereas, at the same time, the workforces of many plants in Europe are characterised by ageing skilled workers who have nearly reached retirement;

R&D/technology

T.  whereas high-technology industries – for instance in the steel sector – have been used as a model of technological know-how that must be protected, and whereas immediate action is necessary to avoid these industries being outsourced outside the EU;

U.  whereas R&D is strategic for an industry which must find a way to reduce its emissions, especially (but not exclusively) of CO2;

Challenges

1.  Stresses that European economic recovery is highly dependent on a strong manufacturing industry, with the steel industry playing a key role, and that manufacturing depends on domestic demand and growth;

2.  Reaffirms the need to preserve the know-how and expertise developed in important industrial districts which will ensure diversification, environmental safeguards and innovative products;

3.  Urges the Commission to speed up its preparation of the industrial policy roadmap announced for the first part of 2015 in order to revive European industry vis-à-vis the global market with a view to guaranteeing an effective level playing field while ensuring high social and environmental standards in the EU and working towards reciprocity in third countries;

4.  Considers an ambitious approach to reindustrialisation in the context of the mid-term review of the Europe 2020 strategy to be of paramount importance for achieving a genuine EU industrial policy and relaunching the EU’s industrial competitiveness at the global level;

5.  Calls on the Commission to study the European steel industry’s strategic position in the world, steelmaking being considered to be strategic in a large number of countries, and to specifically develop a clear roadmap for the medium- and long-term initiatives it intends to propose to support the steel industry in Europe; emphasises that such a roadmap must entail the comprehensive and early involvement of the social partners at all levels; considers that, given the continuation of the crisis, an annual report on the implementation of the steel action plan should also be presented in order to build on the positive achievements of this past year and not to lose momentum;

6.  Asks the Commission to establish an in-depth steel market analysis instrument which could provide precise information on the European and global steel supply-demand balance, distinguishing between structural and cyclical components of the development of this market; believes that monitoring the steel market could contribute significantly to the transparency of steel and scrap markets and provide valuable inputs to corrective and proactive measures, which are inevitable given the cyclical nature of the steel industry; asks the Commission to use this market analysis instrument to anticipate risks and to investigate how plant closures are affecting the sector’s recovery;

7.  Requests that the Commission provide in the short term a report on the major challenges facing the steel industry in Europe, including social, economic and environmental aspects; recalls in this connection that, following the expiry of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community, the Commission is entitled to address the economic and social impact of developments in the European steel industry; calls on the Commission to take on board positive experience, in particular as regards the tripartite strategic considerations and research;

8.  Asks for the urgent relaunching of the High Level Group on Steel in the context of the newly elected College of Commissioners, with the full participation of Parliament, and for the setting-up of a meeting within that framework to inform relevant stakeholders of the progress made in implementing the 40 actions set out in the Commission action plan for steel; calls on the Commission to hold, wherever appropriate or possible, High Level Group meetings at suitable times so that its work can feed into Competitiveness Council discussions; calls on the Commission to organise thematic meetings once a year with other energy-intensive industries on competition, trade, energy or climate policies, given that some of the steel sector’s concerns are also relevant to other energy-intensive industries;

9.  Considers it essential for regional and local authorities and trade unions representing the areas in which steel plants are located to be closely involved, so as to promote cooperation and exchanges of information and best practice among major stakeholders in the Member States;

10.  Highlights the need to study how the investment crisis can be addressed in order to transform European industry into a sustainable and profitable industry, bearing in mind that investments in the steel industry are characterised by long-term returns; urges the Commission, therefore, to consider dedicating part of its investment package to viable long‑term infrastructure projects, and to innovation in respect of large-scale industrial projects, including energy efficiency and low-carbon projects, which could also give a significant boost to demand for steel in the EU;

11.  Encourages, furthermore, the use of other innovative financial instruments such as risk‑sharing finance facilities which prioritise steel industries in crisis; calls on the European Investment Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development to design a long-term financing framework for steel projects;

12.  Stresses that support for the steel sector is crucial, including the strategic development of new key steel-using sectors, for instance in the energy sector (generation and distribution of renewable energy), the transport sector and resource-efficient construction projects, thereby creating incentives for efficient production processes, strengthening the internal market and incentivising skills development;

13.  Calls for the application of the ‘life cycle assessment’ approach in order to evaluate environmental impacts and reduced use of resources across all life cycle stages, which include raw material extraction and conversion, followed by manufacture and distribution, through to use and/or consumption, in order to foster reuse, recycling of materials and energy recovery and to reduce ultimate disposal;

14.  Calls on the Commission to check whether the application of competition rules has led to unfair solutions in the European steel market, with potential adverse effects on its efficiency, and, should that be the case, encourages the Commission to present corrective measures and to prevent such situations in the future; stresses that Commission decisions or remedies in the field of competition law should not jeopardise the economic viability of individual steelmaking sites, especially in the context of increased global competition; adds that the Commission should also act to protect key industrial infrastructure and production capacity from asset-stripping ventures;

15.  Urges the Commission to ensure that the current scheme of State aid for energy-intensive industries does not generate distortions in the internal market, and thereby to secure a level playing field for companies; takes the view that energy-intensive industries need a stable framework for their investments in order to guarantee a high level of employment;

Trade and competitiveness

16.  Encourages the Commission to place greater importance on industrial policy by adopting measures that will enable the revival of the European industry’s competitiveness in a global market, and to ensure an effective level playing field for all economic actors;

17.  Calls on the Commission to tackle, in a timely and effective manner, steel imports into the EU market which have been illegally subsidised and dumped, and to use, where appropriate, the EU trade remedy instruments in line with existing EU law;

18.  Asks the Commission to examine the feasibility of a border carbon adjustment (payment of ETS allowances for steel coming from outside the EU ) with a view to creating a level playing field in terms of CO2 emissions, thus eliminating the phenomenon of carbon leakage;

19.  Calls on the Commission to ensure that future trade agreements include provisions which significantly improve export opportunities and market access for European steel and steel‑based products; stresses that fair trade in steel products can only work on the basis of compliance with basic employment rights and environmental standards, and points out that imports at dumping price levels lead to unfair competition, in particular for stainless steel producers in Europe; emphasises the urgent need to modernise the EU’s trade defence instruments, and calls on the Commission to encourage the Member States to take concrete action to bring forward this modernisation process, thereby ensuring fair competition and enabling the EU to take swift and proportionate measures in the fight against unfair trading practices;

20.  Believes that the positive measures proposed herein would allow the steel industry to become more competitive internationally, showing that EU steel products meet higher social, environmental and economic standards than those from anywhere else, and highlighting the quality of EU steel producers, which would at the same time improve consumer perceptions;

21.  Emphasises that high European standards of climate and environmental protection could become worldwide standards, thereby ensuring fair conditions of competition;

22.  Notes the difficulties facing the steel sector in many Member States, driven in part by a significant fall in global demand, a rise in energy costs and increasing offshoring of European manufacturing; calls on the Commission, therefore, to fully implement the Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe (COM(2011)0571) and the European Resource Efficiency Platform policy recommendations;

23.  Believes that waste legislation should be improved to sustain the functioning of the EU steel scrap market, for instance through a revision of the End-of-Life Vehicles Directive; recalls the importance of a well-functioning scrap market, which should be further enhanced and stimulated in the light of the strategy for an EU circular economy, in order to prevent excessive price increases as a result of the presence of non-EU industries in the EU market; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to consider applying export duties on the EU scrap market in order to prevent the environmental dumping that normally occurs;

Social aspects

24.  Recalls the need to invest in workers’ education and training, and stresses the relevance of careful monitoring by the Commission of ongoing developments in order to safeguard the industrial heritage and the workforce concerned;

25.  Asks the Commission to take steps to ensure that Member States are not played off against one another when a large steelmaker running plants in several countries announces restructuring; furthermore, given the importance of coordinating policies to ensure a sustainable, resource-efficient and competitive steel industry which is responsive to changing European and non-European market conditions, calls for a pan-European solution which safeguards and creates good jobs and industrial activity in Europe’s regions;

26.  Stresses the need for industry, the social partners and local authorities to anticipate the training requirements stemming from a possible reboot of the temporarily idled plants;

27.  Advocates the promotion of a know-how transfer programme to allow skilled older workers to transmit their knowledge and skills to newcomers in European steel plants;

28.  Stresses that EU standards of corporate social responsibility and employee participation should also be implemented by European companies in third countries;

29.  Stresses that involving workers in innovation and restructuring measures is essential in order to drive economic success, and calls on the Commission, therefore, to create a platform including the social partners to advise on, implement and monitor the European steel action plan;

30.  Calls for the social partners of steel plants that are in a critical economic situation to consider options for collectively reducing working time in order to respond to crisis situations and avoid dismissals and job losses;

31.  Calls on the Commission to streamline relevant EU funds, such as the European Globalisation Adjustment Fund (EGF) and the European Social Fund (ESF), and policy instruments in order to alleviate the social costs of adjustment and ensure that the relevant skills are retained and developed for the future competitiveness of the industry;

32.  Proposes that the product of companies’ sale of their free allowances should be entirely reinvested in the low-carbon economy (equipment, technologies, R&D and workforce formation);

33.  Believes that future severe changes in the steel and other industrial sectors should be anticipated; considers, in this connection, that the Member States should align education and training policies more closely with labour market needs so as to be able to cope with similar situations and promote the appeal of the technical and scientific fields, in order to ensure that there are specialised professionals in the steel sector to drive innovation;

34.  Stresses the need for qualified and skilled people to cope with the transition towards more sustainable production processes and products, and calls for a European training and education strategy; welcomes the Greening Technical Vocational Education and Training project for the steel sector, whereby steel companies, research institutes and the social partners jointly investigated skill needs for environmental sustainability; calls on the Commission to further support the implementation of the project findings;

R&D/technology

35.  Recognises the need to develop and disseminate the best available technologies (BATs) across the EU, supporting – where possible – the replacement of minerals with ferrous scraps, as well as increasing the use of electric arc furnaces (EAFs) and replacing coke coal by gas;

36.  Calls for investment to be oriented towards technologies which maximise the utilisation of energy input, for instance by optimising the use of process gases and waste heat for steam and electricity production;

37.  Urges the Member States to ensure adequate social protection, working conditions and decent wages, by means of either law or collective agreements, and effective protection against unfair dismissal;

38.  Stresses the need for investment in research and innovation as crucial aspects for the relaunching and renewal of the European economy in general, and of the steel industry in particular, which is based on long life cycles and great recycling potential; mentions, in this connection, the existing and new hydrogen-base iron-ore reduction technologies, which have the potential to reduce or eliminate large amounts of carbon dioxide emissions; calls for the establishment and promotion of a trademark for fair steel products ‘made in Europe’;

39.  Believes that joint research and development efforts will promote low‑carbon and low‑impact steelmaking, thus favouring a more sustainable and competitive industry;

40.  Underlines, in this connection, the crucial importance of the Horizon 2020 and Sustainable Process Industry through Resource and Energy Efficiency (SPIRE) programmes, together with the need for European Investment Bank and future NER400 financing of the most risky innovation and research programmes;

41.  Calls on the Commission to implement an ambitious innovation policy which clears the way for the development of high-quality, energy-efficient and innovative products and processes enabling the EU to hold its own in the face of ever more severe global competition; emphasises that innovation in new products, such as mass steel products, including high-strength, high-resistance steel sheets for car production as well as high‑alloyed steels with different physical and chemical properties, and new production processes, especially hydrogen metallurgy and re-melt metallurgy, hold the key to improving the competitiveness of the European steel industry vis-à-vis third-country suppliers, and that this area should receive particular support;

42.  Recalls that innovation must be encouraged by supporting not only research and development and knowledge transfer but also market introduction and innovation clusters, through the promotion of public-private partnerships in strategic sectors such as the steel industry in order to mobilise more private capital;

43.  Supports the financing of industrial pilots to reduce CO2 emissions with a view to meeting the urgent need for a transition to a sustainable, decarbonised economy with energy efficiency, renewables and smart infrastructure forming its backbone, and to transform the ultra-low CO2 steelmaking (ULCOS) technology into an energy-efficient and environmentally efficient industrial policy tool;

44.  Believes that abatement options, in particular for the steel industry sectors, will heavily depend on new technologies, and therefore emphasises the important role that EU-funded research and innovation programmes could play in boosting the European economy through Horizon 2020, as well as their role in ensuring the competitiveness of the European steel sector and the high quality of its production; recalls that research and innovation are important driving forces for economic growth and competitive industry;

45.  Calls on the Commission to implement the SustSteel initiative, as proposed in the steel action plan and which is fully supported by Parliament, the Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions, and to do so as soon as possible;

o
o   o

46.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Commission, the Council, and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0069.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0060.
(3) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0005.
(4) Commission staff working document entitled ‘State of play on implementation of the Commission Communication Action Plan for a competitive and sustainable steel industry in Europe of 11 June 2013 (COM(2013)0407)’ (SWD(2014)0215).


Situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration
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European Parliament resolution of 17 December 2014 on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration (2014/2907(RSP))
P8_TA(2014)0105B8-0362/2014

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948,

–  having regard to the Geneva Convention of 1951 and the additional protocol thereto,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 October 2013 on EU and Member State measures to tackle the flow of refugees as a result of the conflict in Syria(1),

–  having regard to its resolution of 23 October 2013 on migratory flows in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa(2),

–  having regard to the speech held by the President of the European Parliament during his visit to Lampedusa on 2 and 3 October 2014, to mark the anniversary of the tragedy of 3 October 2013,

–  having regard to the reports of its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on the visits by its delegations to Lampedusa in November 2011, to Jordan on refugees from Syria in February 2013, and to Bulgaria on the situation of asylum seekers and refugees, in particular from Syria in January 2014,

–  having regard to the debates in the European Parliament plenary sessions held on 9 October 2013, on EU migratory policies in the Mediterranean, with particular attention to the tragic events off Lampedusa,

–  having regard to the debates held, since the beginning of the current legislature, in the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 22 July 2014 on the Implementation of the Communication on the Work of the Task Force Mediterranean; on 4 September 2014 on Frontex Activities in the Mediterranean and on the Task Force Mediterranean; on 24 September 2014 on the Commission 5th Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum (2013)(3) and on EASO Annual report on the situation of Asylum in the European Union (2013),

–  having regard to the Commission Communication on the work of the Task Force Mediterranean of 4 December 2013(4),

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 20 December 2013,

–  having regard to the Commission working document of 22 May 2014 on the implementation of the Communication on the work of the Task Force Mediterranean(5),

–  having regard to the conclusions adopted by the European Council at its meeting of 26-27 June 2014, in which it defined the strategic guidelines for legislative and operational planning for the coming years within the area of freedom, security and justice(6),

–  having regard to the Political Guidelines for the next European Commission, presented by President Juncker at the European Parliament’s plenary on 15 July 2014,

–  having regard to the Opinion of the European Economic and Social committee on European immigration policies of 11 September 2014(7),

–  having regard to the commitments made by the Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Mr Avramopoulos, at his hearing in front of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, on 30 September 2014,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on ‘‘Taking action to better manage migratory flows’’ adopted on 10 October 2014,

–  having regard to the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) April 2012 report ‘Lives lost in the Mediterranean Sea’,

–  having regard to the annual reports of the UN Special Rapporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants, in particular the report, published in April 2013, on the management of the EU’s external borders and its impact on the human rights of migrants, and the report published in April 2014, on Labour exploitation of migrants,

–  having regard to the Address by His Holiness Pope Francis during His visit to the European Parliament on 25 November 2014,

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration (O-000078/2014 – B8-0037/2014 and O-000079/2014 – B8-0038/2014),

–  having regard to the Debate on the situation in the Mediterranean and the need for a holistic EU approach to migration, held in the European Parliament on 25 November 2014,

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs,

–  having regard to Rules 128(5) and 123(2) of its Rules of Procedure,

A.  whereas in the first nine months of 2014 at least 3072 persons have died in the Mediterranean sea according to the International Organisation for Migration(8), pointing once more to the need to do everything possible to save the lives of people in danger and to the need for Member States to abide by their international sea-rescue obligations;

B.  whereas about 500 migrants were reportedly murdered after the boat carrying them from Egypt to the European Union was apparently rammed and deliberately sunk by traffickers; whereas smugglers and human traffickers exploit irregular migration and whereas those networks pose a serious risk to the lives of migrants and a challenge for the EU;

C.  whereas the ‘Mare Nostrum’ patrolling, rescue and surveillance operation launched by Italy to enhance the humanitarian rescue activities in the Mediterranean, has during 364 days rescued 150 810 migrants(9); whereas the Italian Government has announced its intention to phase out its Mare Nostrum;

D.  whereas the joint operation ‘Triton’ coordinated by Frontex has become fully operational on 1 November 2014 and it is unclear as to what contributions will be made by Member States in the future;

1.  Recognises that it is important to develop a holistic approach to migration;

2.  Reiterates the need for the EU to step up fair sharing of responsibility and solidarity towards Member States which receive the highest numbers of refugees and asylum seekers in either absolute or proportional terms (in compliance with Article 80 TFEU); recalls the obligations deriving from Art. 78 and 79 TFEU;

3.  Regrets the tragic loss of life in the Mediterranean; urges the European Union and the Member States to do everything possible to prevent further loss of life at sea; is aware of the need to ensure that search and rescue obligations are effectively fulfilled and therefore that they are properly funded in the medium- and long-term;

4.  Considers it necessary to reflect on the strengthening of border policy and security and on how to improve the future role of Frontex and EASO; calls on Member States to continue to show solidarity and commitment by making sufficient contributions to these agencies’ budgets and operations;

5.  Recalls that Member States should lay down strong criminal sanctions against human trafficking and smuggling both into and across the EU, and also against individuals or groups exploiting vulnerable migrants in the EU, and set up wide-ranging information campaigns to raise awareness of the kinds of risks faced by those who put their lives into the hands of smugglers and those who are the victims of human trafficking;

6.  Considers that further avenues of legal migration should be explored;

7.  Considers the need to explore future initiatives that follow good examples of resettlement, including the voluntary resettlement programme laid down in Article 17 of the Regulation establishing the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund; recalls that EU funding offers assistance to those Member States who are willing to implement resettlement programmes;

8.  Stresses the need to examine the overall strategy on cooperation with third countries, including Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa and the Middle East, as regards humanitarian, financial and political assistance, including in the field of law enforcement where appropriate; furthermore seeks clarification on the role of regional protection, resettlement and returns policies, including migration management agreements of both countries of origin and transit countries, in order to address the root causes of migration; stresses the need for third countries to respect international law with regard to saving lives at sea, and to ensure the protection of refugees and respect for fundamental rights;

9.  Should consider the possibility of swift processing in collaboration with third countries of transit and origin and of return for those who do not qualify for asylum and protection in the EU, ensuring that resources are best utilised for those who require protection; stresses the need to encourage voluntary return policies, while guaranteeing the protection of rights for all migrants and ensuring safe and legal access to the EU asylum system;

10.  Considers that an analysis should be carried out on how Home Affairs Funds are spent in this context including emergency funds, in particular for actions in the field of migration and asylum, border control, fighting smuggling and trafficking and returns, as well as an analysis of funds relating to EU foreign and development policy;

11.  Expresses concern about how to ensure an effective implementation of the CEAS - including where necessary and if required the launching of the Mechanism for early warning, preparedness and crisis-management (Art. 33 of Regulation (EU) No 604/2013) or by infringement procedures where EU legislation is not properly implemented - and how to guarantee effective common standards for reception, procedures and qualification throughout the EU protecting the most vulnerable and encouraging the social inclusion of refugees;

12.  Instructs its competent committee to assess the various policies at stake, with additional resources such as resources for conducting hearings and ad hoc delegations, develop a set of recommendations and to report to Plenary in the form of a strategic initiative report before the end of 2015;

13.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to Council, Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0414.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0448.
(3) COM(2014)0288.
(4) COM(2013)0869.
(5) SWD(2014)0173, Parts 1 and 2.
(6) EUCO 79/14.
(7) REX/414.
(8) Fatal Journeys: Tracking Lives Lost during Migration, IOM, 2014.
(9) http://www.marina.difesa.it/EN/operations/Pagine/MareNostrum.aspx

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