Index 
Texts adopted
Tuesday, 8 March 2016 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Animal health ***II
 Aid scheme for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk in the educational establishments ***I
 Market access to port services and financial transparency of ports ***I
 Harmonised indices of consumer prices ***I
 Annual report 2014 on the Protection of the EU’s financial interests - Fight against fraud
 Gender mainstreaming in the work of the European Parliament
 The situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU

Animal health ***II
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Resolution
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 March 2016 on the Council position at first reading with a view to the adoption of a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on transmissible animal diseases and amending and repealing certain acts in the area of animal health ("Animal Health Law") (11779/1/2015 – C8-0008/2016 – 2013/0136(COD))
P8_TA(2016)0067A8-0041/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: second reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council position at first reading (11779/1/2015 – C8‑0008/2016),

–  having regard to the reasoned opinion submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Austrian Federal Council, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 10 December 2013(1),

–  after consulting the Committee of the Regions,

–  having regard to its position at first reading(2) on the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2013)0260),

–  having regard to Article 294(7) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Rule 76 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation for second reading of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0041/2016),

1.  Approves the Council position at first reading;

2.  Approves the joint statement by Parliament, the Council and the Commission annexed to this resolution;

3.  Takes note of the Commission statements annexed to this resolution;

4.  Notes that the act is adopted in accordance with the Council position;

5.  Instructs its President to sign the act with the President of the Council, in accordance with Article 297(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

6.  Instructs its Secretary-General to sign the act, once it has been verified that all the procedures have been duly completed, and, in agreement with the Secretary-General of the Council, to arrange for its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union;

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

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

Joint Statement by the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission on antimicrobial resistance and the use of veterinary medicinal products

The Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council entitled "Action plan against the rising threats from Antimicrobial Resistance" (COM(2011)0748) emphasises the preventive role of the Regulation on transmissible animal diseases (“Animal Health Law”) and the consequent expected reduction of the use of antibiotics in animals. In addition to the requirements of this Regulation, Member States are called upon to commit themselves to collect relevant, comparable and sufficiently detailed data on the actual use of antimicrobial medicinal products in animals and to send such data to the Commission in order to ensure a more prudent use of antimicrobial medicinal products in animals, hence contributing to the reduction of the risk of antimicrobial resistance.

Commission Statement on the regular reporting on the use of antimicrobial medicinal products in animals in the Union

The Commission undertakes to publish a regular report as regards the use of antimicrobial medicinal products in animals in the EU on the basis of data made available by the Member States.

Commission Statement on animal welfare

This Regulation lays down rules for the prevention and control of animal diseases which are transmissible to animals or to humans and does not contain provisions which regulate specifically animal welfare, albeit animal health and welfare are linked. The Union has a well-developed acquis regarding animal welfare covering different species (broilers, laying hens, pigs, calves) or activities (farming, transport, slaughter, research, etc.). This animal welfare legislation will necessarily continue to apply. The Commission is fully committed to paying full regard to animal welfare in accordance with Article 13 of the Treaty and within the limits set out therein, including ensuring full implementation and appropriate development of this legislation.

(1) OJ C 170, 5.6.2014, p. 104.
(2) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0381.


Aid scheme for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk in the educational establishments ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 March 2016 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulation (EU) No 1308/2013 and Regulation (EU) No 1306/2013 as regards the aid scheme for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk in the educational establishments (COM(2014)0032 – C7-0025/2014 – 2014/0014(COD))
P8_TA(2016)0068A8-0006/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0032),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 42 and Article 43(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C7‑0025/2014),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 9 July 2014(1),

–  having regard to the opinion of the Committee of the Regions of 7 October 2014(2),

–  having regard to its decision of 27 May 2015 on the opening of, and the mandate for, interinstitutional negotiations on the proposal(3),

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 16 December 2015 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 Agriculture and Rural Development (A8-0006/2016),

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 8 March 2016 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2016/... of the European Parliament and of the Council amending Regulations (EU) No 1308/2013 and (EU) No 1306/2013 as regards the aid scheme for the supply of fruit and vegetables, bananas and milk in educational establishments

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2016/791.)

(1) OJ C 451, 16.12.2014, p. 142.
(2) OJ C 415, 20.11.2014, p. 30.
(3) Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2015)0216.


Market access to port services and financial transparency of ports ***I
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Amendments adopted by the European Parliament on 8 March 2016 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing a framework on market access to port services and financial transparency of ports (COM(2013)0296 – C7-0144/2013 – 2013/0157(COD))(1)
P8_TA(2016)0069A8-0023/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a regulation
Title
Proposal for a
Proposal for a
REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
REGULATION OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL
establishing a framework on market access to port services and financial transparency of ports
establishing a framework for the organisation of port services and for financial transparency of ports
Amendment 2
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 1 a (new)
(1a)  Ports are able to contribute to the long-term competitiveness of European industries in world markets while adding value and jobs in all Union coastal regions. In order to address the challenges facing the maritime transport sector, such as inefficiencies in the sustainable transport and logistics chain, it is essential that the actions set out in the Commission's communication entitled 'Ports: an engine for growth' on administrative simplification be implemented in tandem with this Regulation. The complexity of administrative procedures for customs clearance, resulting in delays at ports, represents a major obstacle to the competitiveness of short sea shipping and the efficiency of Union ports.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 3 a (new)
(3a)  A high level of simplification of customs procedures can represent a major economic advantage for a port in terms of competitiveness. In order to avoid unfair competition of ports and to reduce customs formalities which might seriously harm the Union's financial interests, port authorities should adopt a proper and effective risk-based policy approach in order to avoid the distortion of competition. Member States and the Commission should effectively monitor these procedures on a regular basis, and the Commission should evaluate whether it is necessary to take appropriate measures to tackle unfair competition.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4
(4)  The overwhelming majority of Union maritime traffic transits through the seaports of the trans-European transport network. In order to achieve the aim of this Regulation in a proportionate way without imposing any unnecessary burden on other ports, this Regulation should apply to the ports of the trans-European transport network, each of which playing a significant role for the European transport system either because it handles more than 0.1% of the total EU freight or the total number of passengers or because it improves the regional accessibility of island or peripheral areas, without prejudice, however, to the possibility of Member States deciding to apply this Regulation to other ports as well. Pilotage services performed in the deep sea do not have a direct impact on the efficiency of the ports as they are not used for the direct entry and exit of the ports and therefore do not need to be included in this Regulation.
(4)  The overwhelming majority of Union maritime traffic transits through the maritime ports of the trans-European transport network. In order to achieve the aim of this Regulation in a proportionate way without imposing any unnecessary burden on other ports, this Regulation should only apply to the maritime ports of the trans-European transport network, each of which playing a significant role for the European transport system either because it handles more than 0.1% of the total EU freight or the total number of passengers or because it improves the regional accessibility of island or peripheral areas. However, this Regulation should give Member States the possibility to decide whether or not to apply this Regulation to maritime ports of the comprehensive trans-European transport network located in the outermost regions. Member States should also have the possibility of introducing derogations in order to avoid disproportionate administrative burdens for those maritime ports of the comprehensive trans-European transport network the annual traffic of which does not justify the full application of this Regulation. Pilotage services performed in the deep sea do not have a direct impact on the efficiency of the ports as they are not used for the direct entry and exit of the ports and therefore do not need to be included in this Regulation.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 4 a (new)
(4a)  This Regulation does not impose a specific port management model to the managing bodies of ports. Provided that rules relating to market access and financial transparency are respected, existing port management models established at national level in the Member States can be maintained in accordance with Protocol No. 26 to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 5
(5)  The objective of Article 56 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union is to eliminate restrictions on freedom to provide services in the Union. In accordance with Article 58 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be achieved within the framework of the provisions of the Title relating to transport, more specifically Article 100 (2).
deleted
Amendment 7
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 6
(6)  The self-provision of service which entails shipping companies or providers of port services to employ staff of their own choice and to provide themselves port services is regulated in a number of Member States for safety or social reasons. The stakeholders consulted by the Commission when preparing its proposal highlighted that imposing a generalised allowance of the self-provision of service at Union level would require additional rules on safety and social issues in order to avoid possible negative impacts in these areas. It appears therefore appropriate at this stage not to regulate this issue at Union level and to leave it to the Member States to regulate the self-provision of port services or not. Therefore, this Regulation should only cover the provision of port services for remuneration.
deleted
Amendment 8
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7
(7)  In the interest of efficient, safe and environmentally sound port management, the managing body of the port should be able to require that port service providers can demonstrate that they meet minimum requirements to perform the service in an appropriate way. These minimum requirements should be limited to a clearly defined set of conditions concerning the professional qualifications of the operators, including in terms of training, and the equipment required insofar as these requirements are transparent, non-discriminatory, objective and relevant for the provision of the port service.
(7)  In the interest of efficient, safe and environmentally sound port management, the managing body of the port should be able to require that port service providers can demonstrate that they meet minimum requirements to perform the service in an appropriate way. These minimum requirements should be limited to a clearly defined set of conditions concerning the professional qualifications of the operators, the equipment needed in order to provide the relevant port service, the availability of the service and the compliance with maritime safety requirements. These minimum requirements should also take into account environmental requirements as well as national social standards and the good repute of the port service provider.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7 a (new)
(7a)  All service providers, and especially those that are new market entrants, should demonstrate their ability to serve a minimum number of vessels with their own staff and equipment. Service providers should apply the relevant provisions and rules including applicable labour laws, applicable collective agreements, and quality requirements of the port concerned.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7 b (new)
(7b)  In determining whether a service provider has satisfied the requirement of good repute, the Member State should consider whether there are compelling grounds to doubt the good repute of the provider of port services, its manager, and any other relevant persons as may be determined by Member State, such as convictions or penalties in any Member States for serious offences or infringement of the applicable Union and national law, including in the following fields: social law, labour law, occupational safety law, health law and environmental law.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 7 c (new)
(7c)  In accordance with Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/921a and the judgment of the Court of Justice of 11 January 2007 in Case C-251/04, Commission v Hellenic Republic1b, according to which it cannot be inferred that towage can be assimilated to maritime transport service, it is possible for reasons of maritime safety and the protection of the environment for minimum requirements to stipulate that the vessels used for towage or mooring operations be registered in, and fly the flag of the Member State of the port concerned.
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1a Council Regulation (EEC) No 3577/92 of 7 December 1992 applying the principle of freedom to provide services to maritime transport within Member States (maritime cabotage)(OJ L 364, 12.12.1992, p. 7).
1b Judgment of the Court of Justice of 11 January 2007 in Case C-251/04, Commission v Hellenic Republic, C-251/04, ECLI:EU:C:2007:5.
Amendment 12
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10
(10)  Since ports are constituted of limited geographical areas, access to the market could, in certain cases, be subject to limitations relating to the scarcity of land or in case the land is reserved for certain type of activities in accordance with a formal development plan which plans in a transparent way the land use and with relevant national legislation such as those related to town and country planning objectives.
deleted
Amendment 13
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 10 a (new)
(10a)  The Union's port system is highly diverse and includes many different models for the organisation of port services. Accordingly, a single system would not be appropriate. The managing body of the port or the competent authority should be able to limit the number of providers of a port service, if circumstances so require.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 11
(11)  Any intention to limit the number of port service providers should be published in advance by the competent authority and should be fully justified, in order to give the interested parties the opportunity to comment. The criteria for any limitation should be objective, transparent and non-discriminatory.
(11)  Any intention to limit the number of port service providers should be published in advance by the managing body of the port or the competent authority. The criteria for any limitation should be objective, transparent and non-discriminatory.
Amendment 15
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 12
(12)  In order to be open and transparent, the procedure to select the providers of port services and its result should be made public and full documentation should be communicated to interested parties.
(12)  The procedure to choose providers of port services and its result should be made public and should be non-discriminatory, transparent, and open to all interested parties.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13
(13)  The selection procedure for providers of port service in the case the number of those providers is limited should follow the principles and approach determined in Directive ../../… [concession]7, including the threshold and method for determining the value of the contracts as well as the definition of substantial modifications and the elements related to the duration of the contract.
deleted
__________________
7 Proposal for a Directive on the award of concession contracts (COM 2011) 897 final
Amendment 17
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 13 a (new)
(13a)  In its interpretative communication of 1 August 2006 on the Community law applicable to contract awards not or not fully subject to the provisions of the Public Procurement Directives1, the Commission has provided a clear framework for the selection procedures which fall outside the scope of the Public Procurement Directives and are not awarded in the form of concessions.
________________________
1 OJ C 179, 1.8.2006, p. 2.
Amendment 18
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 14
(14)  The recourse to public service obligations leading to a limitation in the number of providers of a port service should only be justified for reasons of public interest in order to ensure the accessibility of the port service to all users, the availability of the port service all year long or the affordability of the port service to certain category of users.
(14)  The recourse to public service obligations leading to a limitation in the number of providers of a port service should only be justified for reasons of public interest in order to ensure the accessibility of the port service to all users, the availability of the port service all year long, the affordability of the port service to a certain category of users, or safe, secure or environmentally sustainable port operations.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 18
(18)  The competent authorities designated in a Member State should have the choice to decide to provide port services with public service obligations themselves or to entrust directly the provision of such services directly to an internal operator. In the case that a competent authority decides to provide the service itself, this may cover the provision of services through agents employed by the competent authority or commissioned by the competent authority. When such limitation is applied in all the TEN-T ports in the territory of a Member State, the Commission should be informed. In the cases where the competent authorities in a Member State prevail on such a choice, the provision of port services by the internal operators should be confined only to the port or ports for which those internal operators were designated. Moreover, in such cases, the port service charges applied by such an operator should be subject to supervision by the independent supervisory body.
(18)  The managing body of the port or the competent authorities designated in a Member State should have the choice to decide to provide port services themselves or to entrust directly the provision of such services directly to an internal operator. In the case that a competent authority decides to provide the service itself, this may cover the provision of services through agents employed by the competent authority or commissioned by the competent authority. When such limitation is applied in all the TEN-T maritime ports in the territory of a Member State, the Commission should be informed. In the cases where the competent authorities in a Member State provide a port service under public service obligations, the provision of port services by the internal operators should be confined only to the port or ports for which those internal operators were designated. Moreover, in such cases, the port service charges applied by such an operator should be subject to independent supervision.
Amendment 20
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19
(19)  Member States should retain the power to ensure an adequate level of social protection for the staff of undertaking providing port services. This Regulation shall not affect the application of the social and labour rules of the Member States. In cases of limitation of the number of port service providers, where the conclusion of a port service contract may entail a change of port service operator, it should be possible for the competent authorities to ask the chosen service operator to apply the provisions of Council Directive 2001/23/EC on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings, businesses or parts of undertakings or businesses11 .
(19)  Member States should retain the power to ensure an adequate level of social protection for the staff of undertaking providing port services. This Regulation should not affect the application of the social and labour rules of the Member States and should take into account Article 28 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union. Where the conclusion of a port service contract may entail a change of port service operator, the competent authority should, in case of transfer of staff, require the chosen service operator to apply the provisions of Council Directive 2001/23/EC of 12 March 2001 on the approximation of the laws of the Member States relating to the safeguarding of employees' rights in the event of transfers of undertakings, businesses or parts of undertakings or businesses11.
__________________
__________________
11 OJ L 82, 22.3.2001, p. 16.
11 OJ L 82, 22.3.2001, p. 16.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 a (new)
(19a)  In a highly complex and competitive sector, such as port services, training of new recruits and the lifelong training of staff are essential for ensuring port workers' health and safety, the quality of services and the competitiveness of Union ports. Member States should take the necessary measures to ensure relevant training is provided for every worker in the port sector. The EU-level Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports should be in a position to develop guidelines for the establishment of training requirements to ensure a high quality of education and training of port workers, to minimise the risk of accidents and to take account of the future needs of the sector in light of technological and logistical changes imposed by customers' demands.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 b (new)
(19b)  The European port sector is facing a number of challenges that are capable of having an impact both on its competitiveness and on its social dimension. Those challenges include the following: the increasing size of vessels, the competition from non-Union ports, increasing market power as a result of alliances between shipping lines, the need to negotiate, in a timely fashion, new working patterns and to provide adequate training for technological innovation, as well as to minimise its social impact, the growing volumes which are more and more clustered, the lack of adequate investments on hinterland infrastructures, the removal of administrative barriers to the internal market, the changing energy landscape and growing societal and environmental pressure. Member States, together with the social partners, should address these challenges and take measures with the aim of safeguarding both the competitiveness of the sector and of preventing precarious working conditions in ports, despite the fluctuations in demand for port labour.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 c (new)
(19c)  All models for the organisation of port labour that secure quality jobs and safe working conditions should be supported by the Commission and the Member States. Any necessary adjustments should only be promoted through negotiations between the social partners, and the Commission should duly take into account the results of such negotiations.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 19 d (new)
(19d)  Automation and technological innovation offer the opportunity to improve efficiency and safety of ports. Before introducing significant changes, employers and port workers´ unions should cooperate in order to guarantee the necessary training and re-training and to find shared solutions to reduce the negative effects of such progress on occupational health and safety and on employability.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20
(20)  In many ports, the market access for providers of cargo-handling and terminal passenger services is granted by means of public concession contracts. This type of contracts will be covered by the Directive ..../…[concessions]. Consequently, Chapter II of this Regulation should not apply to the provision of cargo-handling and passenger services, but Member States should remain free to decide to apply nevertheless the rules of this Chapter to these two services. For other types of contracts used by public authorities for granting market access to cargo handling and terminal passenger services, the Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed that the competent authorities are bound by the principles of transparency and non-discrimination when concluding these contracts. These principles are fully applicable as regards the provision of any port service.
(20)  Chapter II of this Regulation should not apply to the provision of cargo-handling and passenger services. For types of contracts, other than public concession contracts, used by public authorities for granting market access to cargo handling and terminal passenger services, the Court of Justice of the European Union has confirmed that the competent authorities are bound by the principles of transparency and non-discrimination when concluding these contracts. These principles are fully applicable as regards the provision of any port service.
Amendment 26
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 20 a (new)
(20a)  According to Resolution A.960 of the International Maritime Organization (IMO), each pilotage area needs highly specialised experience and local knowledge on the part of the pilot. Given that the IMO recognises the appropriateness of regional or local administration of pilotage, pilotage should not be subject to Chapter II of this Regulation.
Amendment 27
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 21 a (new)
(21a)  The Connecting Europe Facility provides that ports in the Trans-European Transport Network are able to benefit from Union subsidies during the ongoing 2014-2020 period. Furthermore, the Commission intends to set up a revised framework on state aid to ports and, given that Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council1a also establishes a new legislative framework for concession contracts which will also affect port services provided under a concession agreement, strict rules on the transparency of financial flows need to be introduced in this Regulation to prevent unfair competition between ports in the Union or dumping.
_______________
1a Directive 2014/23/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on the award of concession contracts (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 1).
Amendment 28
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22
(22)  It is necessary to impose on the managing body of the port which receives public funds, when it is also acting as a service provider, an obligation to keep separate accounts for activities carried out in their capacity as managing body of the port from those carried out on a competitive basis in order to ensure a level playing field, transparency in the allocation and use of public funds and to avoid market distortions. In any case compliance with the State aid rules should be ensured.
(22)  It is necessary to impose on the managing body of the port which receives public funds, when it is also acting as a service provider, an obligation to keep separate accounts for publicly funded activities carried out in their capacity as managing body of the port from those carried out on a competitive basis in order to ensure a level playing field, transparency in the allocation and use of public funds and to avoid market distortions. In any case compliance with the State aid rules should be ensured.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22 a (new)
(22a)  Maritime ports with a turnover below the threshold provided for in Commission Directive 2006/111/EC should meet the transparency obligations contained in Article 12 of this Regulation in a proportionate way, without being subjected to a disproportionate administrative burden.
Amendment 30
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22 b (new)
(22b)  With a view to ensuring fair competition and to reducing administrative burdens, the Commission should, in writing, clarify the notion of State aid with regard to the financing of port infrastructures, taking into consideration the fact that public access and defence infrastructure, whether maritime or on land , which is accessible to all potential users on equal and non-discriminatory terms, and infrastructure that is linked to the operation of Services of General non-economic Interest, have a non-economic nature since their goals are predominantly public in nature; such infrastructures fall within the State's responsibility to meet the general needs of the population.
Amendment 31
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 22 c (new)
(22c)  Moreover, the Commission should, in a timely manner and in consultation with the sector, identify which public investments in port infrastructure fall within the scope of Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 (General Block Exemption Regulation)1a.
_________________
1a Commission Regulation (EU) No 651/2014 of 17 June 2014 declaring certain categories of aid compatible with the internal market in application of Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty (OJ L 187, 26.6.2014, p. 1).
Amendment 32
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 23
(23)  Port service charges applied by providers of port services which are not designated in accordance with an open, transparent and non-discriminatory procedure entail a higher risk of price abuse given their monopolistic or oligopolistic situation and the fact that their market cannot be contested. The same is true for charges levied by internal operators in the meaning of this Regulation. For those services, in the absence of fair market mechanisms, arrangements should be established to ensure that the charges they levy reflect the normal conditions of the relevant market and are set in a transparent and non-discriminatory way.
(23)  Port service charges applied by providers of port services which are not designated in accordance with an open, transparent and non-discriminatory procedure and the charges applied by providers of pilotage services, which are not exposed to effective competition, entail a higher risk of price abuse. For those services, in the absence of fair market mechanisms, arrangements should be established to ensure that the charges levied are not disproportionate to the economic value of the services provided and are set in a transparent and non-discriminatory way.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 24
(24)  In order to be efficient, the port infrastructure charges of each individual port should be set in a transparent and autonomous way in accordance with that port's own commercial and investment strategy.
(24)  The role of the managing body of the port is, inter alia, to facilitate trade and to act as an intermediary between regional industry and transport operators. Therefore, in the interest of efficiency, the port infrastructure charges of each individual port should be set in a transparent and autonomous way in accordance with that port's own commercial and investment strategy.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 25
(25)  The variation of port infrastructure charges should be allowed in order to promote short sea shipping and to attract waterborne vessels having an environmental performance or energy and carbon efficiency of the transport operations, notably the off-shore or on-shore maritime transport operations, that is better than average. This should help to contribute to the environmental and climate change policies and the sustainable development of the port and its surroundings notably by contributing to reducing the environmental footprint of the waterborne vessels calling and staying in the port.
(25)  The variation of port infrastructure charges is an important tool for the managing body of the port and should be allowed. Port infrastructure charges may vary, for example, in order to promote short sea shipping and to attract waterborne vessels having an environmental performance or energy and carbon efficiency of the transport operations, notably the off-shore or on-shore maritime transport operations, that is better than average. This should help to contribute to the environmental and climate change policies and the sustainable development of the port and its surroundings notably by contributing to reducing the environmental footprint of the waterborne vessels calling and staying in the port.
Amendment 35
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 26
(26)  Adequate facilities should be in place to ensure that the users of the ports which are requested to pay a port infrastructure charge and/or a port service charge are regularly consulted when the port infrastructure charge and the port service charge are defined and changed. The managing bodies of the ports should also regularly consult other stakeholders on key issues related to the sound development of the port, its performance and its capacity to attract and generate economic activities such as the coordination of port services within the port area and the efficiency of the connections with the hinterland and of the administrative procedures in ports.
(26)  It should be ensured that the users of the ports which are requested to pay a port infrastructure charge and/or a port service charge are regularly consulted when the port infrastructure charge and the port service charge are defined and changed. The managing bodies of the ports should also regularly consult other stakeholders on key issues related to the sound development of the port, its performance and its capacity to attract and generate economic activities such as the coordination of port services within the port area and the efficiency of the connections with the hinterland and of the administrative procedures in ports. The managing body of the port should engage private investors, who make large significant investments in ports, in sustainable consultation regarding port development plans.
Amendment 36
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 27
(27)  In order to ensure the proper and effective application of this Regulation, an independent supervisory body, which could be an already existing body, should be designated in every Member State.
(27)  In order to ensure that an independent complaints mechanism is in place, one or more bodies providing independent supervision should be designated by each Member State. It should be possible for already existing bodies, such as competition authorities, courts, ministries or departments within ministries not linked to the managing body of the port, to be designated for this purpose.
Amendment 37
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28
(28)  The different independent supervisory bodies should exchange information on their work and cooperate in order to ensure a uniform application of this Regulation.
(28)  In cases concerning cross-border disputes and complaints, the different bodies providing independent supervision should cooperate with each other and exchange information on their work
Amendment 38
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 28 a (new)
(28a)  Port labour relations have a large influence on the functioning of the ports. The EU-level Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports therefore gives the social partners a framework to establish results regarding work organisation and working conditions, such as health and safety, training and qualifications, Union policy on low sulphur fuels, and the attractiveness of the sector to young workers and female workers.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 29
(29)  In order to supplement and amend certain non-essential elements of this Regulation and in particular to promote the uniform application of environmental charging, reinforce the Union-wide coherence of environmental charging and to ensure common charging principles in relation to the promotion of short sea shipping, the power to adopt acts in accordance with Article 290 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union should be delegated to the Commission in respect of common classifications of vessels, fuels and types of operations according to which to vary the infrastructure charges and common charging principles for port infrastructure charges. It is of particular importance that the Commission carry out appropriate consultations during its preparatory work, including at expert level. The Commission, when preparing and drawing-up delegated acts, should ensure a simultaneous, timely and appropriate transmission of relevant documents to the European Parliament and Council.
deleted
Amendment 40
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 30
(30)  In order to ensure uniform conditions for the implementation of this Regulation implementing powers relating to appropriate arrangements for the exchange of information between independent supervisory bodies should be conferred on the Commission. Those powers should be exercised in accordance with Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 February 2011 laying down the rules and general principles concerning mechanisms for control by the Member States of the Commission's exercise of implementing powers13.
deleted
__________________
13 OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
Amendment 41
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 30 a (new)
(30a)  The Commission is invited to submit a legislative proposal concerning Pilotage Exemption Certificates (PECs) in order to encourage their use in all Member States so as to improve efficiency in ports, and in particular to stimulate short sea shipping, where safety conditions allow it. The specific requirements on the basis of which PECs are to be issued should be defined by the Member States after a risk assessment and should take into account local conditions. The requirements should be transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate.
Amendment 42
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 31
(31)  Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely ensuring the modernisation of port services and the appropriate framework to attract necessary investments in all the ports of the trans-European transport network, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States because of the European dimension, international and cross-border nature of port and related maritime business and can therefore, by reason of the need for a European level playing field, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives.
(31)  Since the objectives of this Regulation, namely ensuring a framework for the organisation of port services and the appropriate framework to attract necessary investments in all the maritime ports of the trans-European transport network, cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States because of the European dimension, international and cross-border nature of port and related maritime business and can therefore, by reason of the need for a European level playing field, be better achieved at Union level, the Union may adopt measures, in accordance with the principle of subsidiarity as set out in Article 5 of the Treaty on European Union. In accordance with the principle of proportionality, as set out in that Article, this Regulation does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve those objectives. Union ports should be protected against third countries ports which are not subject to the same organisation and operation criteria of this Regulation.
Amendment 43
Proposal for a regulation
Recital 31 a (new)
(31a)  Port labour relations have a significant influence on the activities and functioning of the ports. Therefore the EU-level Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports should be able to provide the Union social partners with a framework for the possible adoption of common results regarding social issues related to port labour relations. The Commission should, where necessary, facilitate and support the negotiations, as well as provide technical assistance to them, while respecting the autonomy of the social partners. The Union social partners should have the possibility to report on any progress made, if they so wish, to enable that the Commission to take into account their outcomes when reporting on the effects of this Regulation.
Amendment 44
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  a clear framework for access to the market of port services;
(a)  a clear framework for the organisation of port services;
Amendment 45
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  common rules on the financial transparency and charges to be applied by managing bodies or providers of port services.
(b)  common rules on the financial transparency and charges to be applied by managing bodies or providers of port services covered by this Regulation.
Amendment 46
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  dredging;
deleted
Amendment 47
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 2 a (new)
In addition, Article 12(2) of this Regulation shall also apply to dredging.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 3
3.  This Regulation shall apply to all seaports of the trans-European transport network, as defined in Annex I of Regulation XXX [regulation on the TEN-T Guidelines].
3.  This Regulation shall apply to all maritime ports of the trans-European transport network, listed in Annex II of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and the Council1a.
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1a Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on Union guidelines for the development of the trans-European transport network and repealing Decision No 661/2010/EU (OJ L 348, 20.12.2013, p. 1).
Amendment 49
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  This Regulation is without prejudice to any port structure which respects the principles referred to in paragraphs 1(a) and 1(b).
Amendment 50
Proposal for a regulation
Article 1 – paragraph 3 b (new)
3b.  Member States may decide not to apply this Regulation to maritime ports of the comprehensive trans-European transport network located in the outermost regions as referred to in Article 349 TFEU. When Member States decide not to apply this Regulation to such maritime ports, they shall notify that decision to the Commission.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 2
2.  ‘cargo handling services' means the organisation and handling of cargo between the carrying waterborne vessel and the shore be it for import, export or transit of the cargo, including the processing, transporting and temporary storage of the cargo on the relevant cargo handling terminal and directly related to the transporting of the cargo, but excluding warehousing, stripping, repackaging or any other value added services related to the handled cargo;
2.  ‘cargo handling services' means the organisation and handling of cargo between the carrying waterborne vessel and the shore, be it for import, export or transit of the cargo, including the processing, lashing, unlashing, stowing, transporting and temporary storage of the cargo on the relevant cargo handling terminal and directly related to the transporting of the cargo, but excluding unless the Member State determines otherwise, warehousing, stripping, repackaging or any other value added services related to the handled cargo;
Amendment 52
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 2 a (new)
2 a.  ‘competent authority’ means any public or private body which, on behalf of a local, regional or national level, is entitled to carry out under national law or instruments activities related to the organisation and management of port activities, in conjunction with or alternatively to the managing body of the port;
Amendment 53
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 3
3.  ‘dredging’ means the removal of sand, sediment or other substances from the bottom of the waterway access to a port in order to allow waterborne vessel to have access to the port and comprises both the initial removal (capital dredging) and the maintenance dredging in order to keep the waterway accessible;
3.  ‘dredging’ means the removal of sand, sediment or other substances from the bottom of the waterway access to a port in order to allow waterborne vessel to have access to the port and comprises both the initial removal (capital dredging) and the maintenance dredging in order to keep the waterway accessible and is not a port service offered to the user;
Amendment 54
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 5
5.  ‘managing body of the port' means any public or private body which, whether or not in conjunction with other activities, has as its objective under national law or instruments the administration and management of the port infrastructures, port traffic, the coordination and, where appropriate, the control of the activities of the operators present in the port concerned;
5.  ‘managing body of the port’ means any public or private body which, whether or not in conjunction with other activities, has as its objective authorised by national law or instruments the administration and management of the port infrastructures and, where appropriate, the coordination carrying-out, organisation or control of the activities of the operators present in the port concerned, the administration of and management of port traffic and the development of the port area;
Amendment 55
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 6
6.  ‘mooring' means the berthing and un-berthing services required for a waterborne vessel being anchored or otherwise fastened to the shore in the port or in the waterways access to the port;
6.  ‘mooring’ means the safe berthing, un-berthing and shifting services required for a waterborne vessel;
Amendment 56
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 8
8.  ‘pilotage’ means the guidance service of a waterborne vessel by a pilot or a pilotage station in order to allow for a safe entry or exit of the vessel in the waterways access to the port;
8.  ‘pilotage’ means the guidance service of a waterborne vessel by a pilot or a pilotage station in order to allow for a safe entry or exit of the vessel in the waterways access to the port or safe navigation within the port;
Amendment 57
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 9
9.  ‘port infrastructure charge' means a fee collected for the direct or indirect benefit of the managing body of the port and paid by the operators of waterborne vessels or cargo owners for the use of facilities and services that allow vessels entry and exit in and out of the port, including the waterways giving access to those ports, as well as access to the processing of passengers and cargo;
9.  ‘port infrastructure charge’ means a fee collected for the direct or indirect benefit of the managing body of the port and paid by the operators of waterborne vessels or cargo owners for the use of infrastructures, facilities and services that allow vessels entry and exit in and out of the port, including the waterways giving access to the port, if such waterways fall within the legal competence of the managing body of the port, as well as access to the processing of passengers and cargo, but excluding land lease rates and charges having equivalent effect;
Amendment 58
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 12
12.  ‘port service contract' means a formal and legally binding agreement between a provider of port service and a competent authority whereby this body designates a provider of port service to provide port services following a procedure to limit the number of providers of port services;
12.  ‘port service contract’ means a formal and legally binding agreement between a provider of port service and the managing body of the port or a competent authority whereby that body or authority designates a provider of port service to provide port services following a procedure to limit the number of providers of port services;
Amendment 59
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 16
16.  ‘seaport' means an area of land and water made up of such works and equipment so as to permit, principally, the reception of ships, their loading and unloading, the storage of goods, the receipt and delivery of these goods and the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers; and any other infrastructure necessary for transport operators within the port area;
16.  ‘maritime port’ means a delimited area of land and water, managed by the managing body of the port and made up of infrastructures and facilities so as to permit, principally, the reception of ships, their loading and unloading, the storage of goods, the receipt and delivery of these goods and the embarkation and disembarkation of passengers and staff;
Amendment 60
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – point 17
17.  ‘towage’ means the assistance to a waterborne vessel by means of a tug in order to allow for a safe entry or exit of the port by providing assistance to the manoeuvring of the waterborne vessel;
17.  ‘towage’ means the assistance to a waterborne vessel by means of a tug in order to allow for a safe entry or exit of the port or safe navigation within the port by providing assistance to the manoeuvring of the waterborne vessel;
Amendment 61
Proposal for a regulation
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 18
18.  ‘waterway access to a port' means water access to the port from the open sea, such as port approaches, fairways, rivers, sea canals and fjords.
18.  ‘waterway access to a port’ means water access to the port from the open sea, such as port approaches, fairways, rivers, sea canals and fjords, if such a waterway falls within the legal competence of the managing body of the port.
Amendment 62
Proposal for a regulation
Chapter II – title
Market access
Organisation of port services
Amendment 63
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3
Article 3
deleted
Freedom to provide services
1.  Freedom to provide services in seaports covered by this Regulation shall apply to the providers of port services established in the Union under the conditions set out in this Chapter.
2.  Providers of port services shall have access to essential port facilities to the extent necessary for them to carry out their activities. The terms of the access shall be fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a regulation
Article 3 a (new)
Article 3 a
Freedom to organise port services
1.  With regard to this Regulation, the organisation of port services covered by this Chapter may be subject to:
(a)  minimum requirements to port service providers;
(b)  limitations of the number of providers;
(c)  public service obligations;
(d)  internal operators;
(e)  free open access to the market of port services.
2.  When organising port services as foreseen in paragraph 1 the conditions put forward in this Chapter shall be respected.
Amendment 65
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 1
1.  The managing body of the port may require that providers of port services comply with minimum requirements to perform the corresponding port service.
1.  Without prejudice to the possibility of imposing public service obligations, provided for in Article 8, the managing body of the port or the competent authority may require that providers of port services, including subcontractors, comply with minimum requirements to perform the corresponding port service.
Amendment 66
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  The minimum requirements provided for in paragraph 1 may only relate, where applicable, to:
2.  The minimum requirements provided for in paragraph 1 relate to:
Amendment 67
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point b
(b)  the equipment needed to provide the relevant port service in normal and safe conditions and the capacity to maintain this equipment at the appropriate level;
(b)  the equipment needed to provide the relevant port service in normal and safe conditions in a continuous manner and the technical and financial capacity to maintain this equipment at the required level;
Amendment 68
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point b a (new)
(ba)  the availability of the port service to all users, at all berths and without interruptions day and night, throughout the year;
Amendment 69
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point c
(c)  the compliance with requirements on the maritime safety or the safety and security of the port or access to it, its installations, equipment and persons;
(c)  the compliance with requirements on the maritime safety or the safety and security of the port or access to it, its installations, equipment, workers and other persons;
Amendment 70
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point d a (new)
(da)  the compliance with national social and labour legislation of the Member State of the port concerned, including the terms of collective bargaining agreements;
Amendment 71
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 2 – point d b (new)
(db)  the good repute of the port service provider, as determined by the Member State.
Amendment 72
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  Under no circumstances shall the implementation of this Regulation constitute grounds for a reduction in the level of minimum requirements for the provision of port services that have already been imposed by Member States or competent authorities.
Amendment 73
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 4
4.  Where the minimum requirements include specific local knowledge or acquaints with local conditions, the managing body of the port shall ensure that adequate access to relevant training exists, under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions, unless adequate access to such training is ensured by the Member State.
4.  Where the minimum requirements include specific local knowledge or acquaints with local conditions, the managing body of the port shall ensure that adequate access to information exists, under transparent and non-discriminatory conditions.
Amendment 74
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 5
5.  In the cases provided for in paragraph 1, the minimum requirements referred to in paragraph 2 and the procedure for the granting of the right to provide port services under those requirements shall have been published by the managing body of the port by 1 July 2015 or for minimum requirements being applicable after that date at least three months before the date on which those requirements would become applicable. Providers of port services shall be informed in advance of any change in the criteria and of the procedure.
5.  In the cases provided for in paragraph 1, the minimum requirements referred to in paragraph 2 and the procedure for the granting of the right to provide port services under those requirements shall have been published by the managing body of the port by ...* or for minimum requirements being applicable after that date at least three months before the date on which those requirements would become applicable. Providers of port services shall be informed in advance of any change in the criteria and of the procedure.
__________________
* 24 months after the entry into force of this Regulation
Amendment 75
Proposal for a regulation
Article 4 – paragraph 5 a (new)
5a.  In order to ensure maritime safety and the protection of the environment, the Member State or the competent authority may require that the ships used for towage or mooring operations are registered in and fly the flag Member State of the port concerned.
Amendment 76
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 1
1.  The managing body of the port shall treat providers of port services equally and shall act in a transparent manner.
1.  The managing body of the port or the competent authority shall treat providers of port services equally and shall act in a transparent, objective, non‑discriminatory and proportionate manner.
Amendment 77
Proposal for a regulation
Article 5 – paragraph 2
2.  The managing body of the port shall grant or refuse the right to provide port services on the basis of the minimum requirements established in accordance with Article 4 within one month from receiving a request for the granting of such a right. Any refusal shall be duly justified on the basis of objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria.
2.  The managing body of the port or the competent authority shall grant or refuse the right to provide port services on the basis of the minimum requirements established in accordance with Article 4. It shall do so within a reasonable time, and in any event not exceeding four months, from receiving a request for the granting of such a right and the necessary documents. Any refusal shall be duly justified on the basis of objective, transparent, non-discriminatory and proportionate criteria.
Amendment 78
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph -1 (new)
-1.  In the cases referred to in Article 9 of this Regulation, where the managing body of the port is not a contracting authority within the meaning of Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council1a, this Article shall not apply.
________________
1a Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement and repealing Directive 2004/18/EC (OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65).
Amendment 79
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  By way of derogation from Article 3, the managing body of the port may limit the number of providers of port service for a given port service for one or several of the following reasons:
1.  Without prejudice to the existing different models for the organisation of port services, the managing body of the port or the competent authority may limit the number of providers of port service for a given port service for one or several of the following reasons:
Amendment 80
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  the scarcity or reserved use of land provided that the managing body can demonstrate that the land constitutes an essential port facility to provide the port service and that the limitation is in accordance with the formal development plan of the port as agreed by the management body of the port and where appropriate any other public competent authorities according to the national legislation;
(a)  the scarcity or reserved use of land provided that the managing body can demonstrate that the land constitutes a port facility which is essential for the provision of port services and that the limitation is, where applicable, in accordance with decisions or plans agreed by the management body of the port and where appropriate any other public competent authorities in conformity with national legislation;
Amendment 81
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a a (new)
(aa)  the scarcity of waterside space, where this constitutes an essential element of the ability to provide the port service concerned in a safe and efficient way;
Amendment 82
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a b (new)
(ab)  the inability of the characteristics of the port traffic to enable multiple providers of port services to operate in economically satisfactory conditions in the port;
Amendment 83
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 1 – point a c (new)
(ac)  the need to ensure the provision of safe, secure or environmentally sustainable port operations;
Amendment 84
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  Any limitation of providers for a port service shall follow a selection procedure, which shall be open to all interested parties, non-discriminatory and transparent. The managing body of the port shall communicate to all interested parties all necessary information concerning the organisation of the selection procedure and the submission deadline, as well as all relevant award criteria and requirements. The submission deadline shall be long enough to allow interested parties to make a meaningful assessment and prepare their application, under normal circumstances the minimum limit shall be 30 days.
Amendment 85
Proposal for a regulation
Article 6 – paragraph 4
4.  When a managing body of a port provides port services itself or through a legally distinct entity which it directly or indirectly controls, the Member State may entrust the adoption of the decision limiting the number of providers of port services to an authority which is independent from the managing body of the port. If the Member State does not entrust the adoption of the decision limiting the number of providers of port services to such an authority, the number of providers shall not be less than two.
4.  When a managing body of a port provides port services itself or through a legally distinct entity which it directly or indirectly controls, the Member State shall take necessary measures to avoid conflicts of interest. In absence of such measures, the number of providers shall not be less than two, unless any of the reasons set out in paragraph 1 justifies a limitation to a single provider.
Amendment 86
Proposal for a regulation
Article 7
Article 7
deleted
Procedure for the limitation of the number of providers of port services
1.  Any limitation of the number of providers for a port service in accordance with Article 6 shall follow a selection procedure which shall be open to all interested parties, non-discriminatory and transparent.
2.  If the estimated value of the port service exceeds the threshold defined in paragraph 3, the rules on the award procedure, the procedural guarantees and the maximum duration of the concessions as set out in Directive …./…. [concession] shall apply.
3.  The threshold and the method to determine the value of the port service shall be those of the relevant and applicable provisions of Directive .…/…. [concession].
4.  The selected provider or providers and the managing body of the port shall conclude a port service contract.
5.  For the purposes of this Regulation, a substantial modification within the meaning of Directive …./… [concession] of the provisions of a port service contract during its term shall be considered as a new port service contract and shall require a new procedure as referred to in paragraph 2.
6.  Paragraphs 1 to 5 of this Article shall not apply in the cases referred to in Article 9.
7.  This Regulation is without prejudice to Directive …/… [concession]15 , Directive .…/….[public utilities]16 and Directive …/… [public procurement]17
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15 Proposal for a Directive on the award of concession contracts (COM 2011) 897 final
16 Proposal for a Directive on procurement by entities operating in the water, energy, transport and postal services sectors (COM/2011/0895 final)
17 Proposal for a Directive on public procurement (COM/2011/0896 final)
Amendment 87
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  Member States may decide to impose public service obligations related to port services on providers in order to ensure the following:
1.  The Member States shall designate the competent authority within their territory, which may be the managing body of the port, entitled to implement public service obligations related to port services on providers in order to ensure at least one of the following:
Amendment 88
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  the availability of the service to all users;
(b)  the availability of the service to all users, where appropriate on equal terms;
Amendment 89
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  the safety, security or environmental sustainability of ports operations;
Amendment 90
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point c b (new)
(cb)  the provision of adequate transport services to the public and territorial cohesion.
Amendment 91
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 3
3.  The Member States shall designate the competent authorities within their territory to impose such public service obligations. The managing body of the port may be the competent authority.
deleted
Amendment 92
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 4
4.  When the competent authority designated in accordance with paragraph 3 is different from the managing body of the port, that competent authority shall exercise the powers provided for in Articles 6 and 7 concerning the limitation of the number of providers of port services based on public service obligations.
4.  When the competent authority designated in accordance with paragraph 1 of this Article is different from the managing body of the port, that competent authority shall exercise the powers provided for in Article 6 concerning the limitation of the number of providers of port services based on public service obligations.
Amendment 93
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 5
5.  If a competent authority decides to impose public service obligations in all the seaports covered by this Regulation in a Member State, it shall notify these obligations to the Commission.
5.  If a Member State decides to impose public service obligations in all the maritime ports covered by this Regulation in a Member State, it shall notify these obligations to the Commission.
Amendment 94
Proposal for a regulation
Article 8 – paragraph 6
6.  In the event of a disruption of port services for which public service obligations are imposed or when an immediate risk of such a situation occurs, the competent authority may take an emergency measure. The emergency measure may take the form of a direct award so as to attribute the service to a different provider for a period up to one year. During that time period, the competent authority shall either launch a new procedure to select a provider of port service in accordance with Article 7 or shall apply Article 9.
6.  In the event of a disruption of port services for which public service obligations are imposed or when an immediate risk of such a situation occurs, the competent authority may take an emergency measure. The emergency measure may take the form of a direct award so as to attribute the service to a different provider for a period up to one year. During that time period, the competent authority shall either launch a new procedure to select a provider of port service or shall apply Article 9. Collective industrial action taking place in accordance with national legislation of the respective Member State and/or applicable agreements between the social partners shall not be considered a disruption of port services for which emergency measures may be taken.
Amendment 95
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 1
1.  In the cases provided for in Article 6 (1) (b), the competent authority may decide to provide a port service under public service obligations itself or to impose such obligations directly on a legally distinct entity over which it exercises a control similar to that exercised over its own departments. In such a case, the port service provider shall be considered as an internal operator for the purpose of this Regulation.
1.  The managing body of the port or the competent authority may decide to provide a port service itself or through a legally distinct entity over which it exercises a control similar to that exercised over its own departments, provided that Article 4 applies equally to all operators providing the service concerned. In such a case, the port service provider shall be considered as an internal operator for the purpose of this Regulation.
Amendment 96
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 2
2.  The competent authority shall be considered as exercising a control of a legally distinct entity similar to that exercised to its own departments only if it exercises a decisive influence over both the strategic objectives and the significant decisions of the controlled legal entity.
2.  The managing body of the port or the competent authority shall be considered as exercising a control of a legally distinct entity similar to that exercised to its own departments only if it exercises a decisive influence over both the strategic objectives and the significant decisions of the legal entity concerned.
Amendment 97
Proposal for a regulation
Article 9 – paragraph 3
3.  The internal operator shall be confined to perform the assigned port service only in the port(s) for which the assignment to provide the port service has been attributed to him.
3.  In the cases provided for in Article 8, the internal operator shall be confined to perform the assigned port service only in the port(s) for which the assignment to provide the port service has been attributed to him.
Amendment 98
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 2
2.  Without prejudice to national and Union law including collective agreements between social partners, the managing bodies of the port may require the designated provider of port services appointed in accordance with the procedure established by Article 7, in the case where this provider is different from the incumbent provider of port services, to grant staff previously taken on by the incumbent provider of port services the rights to which they would have been entitled if there had been a transfer within the meaning of Directive 2001/23/EC.
2.  Without prejudice to national and Union law, including representative collective agreements between social partners, the competent authority shall require the designated provider of port services to grant staff working conditions on the basis of binding national, regional or local social standards. In case of a transfer of staff due to a change of service provider, the staff previously taken on by the incumbent provider of port services shall be granted the same rights to which they would have been entitled if there had been a transfer within the meaning of Directive 2001/23/EC.
Amendment 99
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 – paragraph 3
3.  Where managing bodies of the port require providers of port services to comply with certain social standards as regards the provision of relevant port services, tender documents and port service contracts shall list the staff concerned and give transparent details of their contractual rights and the conditions under which employees are deemed to be linked to the port services.
3.  The managing bodies of the port or the competent authority shall require all providers of port services to comply with all social and labour standards as set out in Union and/or national law, as well as applicable collective agreements in accordance with national customs and traditions. When, in the context of the provision of relevant port services, a transfer of staff occurs, , tender documents and port service contracts shall list the staff concerned and give transparent details of their contractual rights and the conditions under which employees are deemed to be linked to the port services.
Amendment 100
Proposal for a regulation
Article 10 a (new)
Article 10 a
Training and labour protection
1.  The employer shall ensure that its employees receive the necessary training to acquire a sound knowledge of the conditions in which their work is conducted and that they are properly trained to tackle the hazards which the work may entail.
2.  In full respect of the autonomy of social partners, the EU-level Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports is invited to develop guidelines for the establishment of training requirements to prevent accidents and ensure the highest level of safety and health for workers. Such training requirements shall be regularly updated in order to reduce on an ongoing basis the occurrence of accidents at the workplace.
3.  The social partners are invited to develop models which ensure a balance between the fluctuation in the demand for port work and flexibility required by port operations, on the one hand, and continuity and protection of employment, on the other hand.
Amendment 101
Proposal for a regulation
Article 11
This Chapter and the transitional provisions of Article 24 shall not apply to cargo handling services and passenger services.
This Chapter, with the exception of Article 10a, and the transitional provisions of Article 24 shall not apply to cargo handling services, passenger services and pilotage.
Amendment 102
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 2 – introductory part
2.  Where the managing body of the port that receives public funds provides port services itself, it shall keep the accounts of each port service activity separate from the accounts of its other activities, in such a way that :
2.  Where the managing body of the port that receives public funds provides port services or dredging itself, it shall keep the accounts of that publicly funded activity or investment separate from the accounts of its other activities, in such a way that :
Amendment 103
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1 a (new)
When a managing body of the port, or an association of ports, carries out dredging itself and receives public funds for this activity, it shall not carry out dredging in other Member States.
Amendment 104
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 3
3.  The public funds referred to in paragraph 1 shall include share capital or quasi-capital funds, non-refundable grants, grants only refundable in certain circumstances, award of loans including overdrafts and advances on capital injections, guarantees given to the managing body of the port by public authorities, dividends paid out and profits retained or any other form of public financial support.
3.  The public funds referred to in paragraph 1 shall include share capital or quasi-capital funds, non-refundable grants, grants only refundable in certain circumstances, award of loans including overdrafts and advances on capital injections, guarantees given to the managing body of the port by public authorities or any other form of public financial support.
Amendment 105
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 4
4.  The managing body of the port shall keep the information concerning the financial relations as referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article at the disposal of the Commission and of the competent independent supervisory body as referred to in Article 17 for five years from the end of the fiscal year to which the information refers.
4.  The managing body of the port shall keep the information concerning the financial relations as referred to in paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article at the disposal of the Commission and of the body designated pursuant to Article 17 for five years from the end of the fiscal year to which the information refers.
Amendment 106
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 5
5.  The managing body of the port shall make available to the Commission and the competent independent supervisory body, upon request, any additional information that they deem necessary in order to complete a thorough appraisal of the data submitted and to assess compliance with this Regulation. The information shall be transmitted within two months from the date of the request.
5.  The managing body of the port shall, in the event of a formal complaint and upon request, make available to the Commission and to the body designated pursuant to Article 17 any additional information that they deem necessary in order to complete a thorough appraisal of the data submitted and to assess compliance with this Regulation. The information shall be transmitted within two months from the date of the request.
Amendment 107
Proposal for a regulation
Article 12 – paragraph 7 a (new)
7a.  Member States may decide that paragraph 2 of this Article shall not apply to their ports of the comprehensive network which do not meet the criteria in point (a) or point (b) of Article 20(2) of Regulation (EU) No 1315/2013 in case of disproportionate administrative burdens, provided that any public funds received, and their use for providing port services, remain fully transparent in the accounting system. Where the Member States so decide, they shall inform the Commission thereof before their decision takes effect.
Amendment 108
Proposal for a regulation
Article 13 – paragraph 1
1.  The charges for the services provided by an internal operator as referred to in Article 9 and the charges levied by providers of port service, in cases of limitation of the number of providers which have not been designated on the basis of procedures which are open, transparent and non-discriminatory, shall be set in a transparent and non-discriminatory way. These charges shall reflect the conditions on a competitive relevant market and shall not be disproportionate to the economic value of the service provided.
1.  The charges for the services provided by an internal operator under a public service obligation, the charges for pilotage services that are not exposed to effective competition and the charges levied by providers of port services, referred to in point (b) of Article 6(1), shall be set in a transparent and non-discriminatory way. These charges shall, as far as possible, reflect the conditions on a competitive relevant market and shall not be disproportionate to the economic value of the service provided.
Amendment 109
Proposal for a regulation
Article 13 – paragraph 3
3.  The port service provider shall make available to the competent independent supervisory body as referred to in Article 17, upon request, information on the elements serving as a basis to determine the structure and the level of the port service charges that falls under the application of paragraph 1 of this Article. This information shall include the methodology used for setting the port charges with regard to the facilities and services to which these port service charges relate to.
3.  The port service provider shall, in the event of a formal complaint and upon request, make available to the body designated pursuant to Article 17, information on the elements serving as a basis to determine the structure and the level of the port service charges that falls under the application of paragraph 1 of this Article. This information shall include the methodology used for setting the port charges with regard to the facilities and services to which these port service charges relate to.
Amendment 110
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 3
3.  In order to contribute to an efficient infrastructure charging system, the structure and the level of port infrastructure charges shall be defined in an autonomous way by the managing body of the port according to its own commercial strategy and investment plan reflecting competitive conditions of the relevant market and in accordance with State aid rules.
3.  In order to contribute to an efficient infrastructure charging system, the structure and the level of port infrastructure charges shall be defined in an autonomous way by the managing body of the port according to its own commercial strategy and investment plan in accordance with State aid and competition rules.
Amendment 111
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 4
4.  Without prejudice to paragraph 3, port infrastructure charges may vary in accordance with commercial practices related to frequent users, or in order to promote a more efficient use of the port infrastructure, short sea shipping or a high environmental performance, energy efficiency or carbon efficiency of transport operations. The criteria used for such a variation shall be relevant, objective, transparent and non-discriminatory and in due respect of the competition rules. The resulting variation shall in particular be available to all relevant port service users on equal terms.
4.  Without prejudice to paragraph 3, port infrastructure charges may vary in accordance with the port's economic strategy and the port's spatial planning policy related, inter alia, to certain categories of users, or in order to promote a more efficient use of the port infrastructure, short sea shipping or a high environmental performance, energy efficiency or carbon efficiency of transport operations. The criteria used for such a variation shall be fair, non-discriminatory as to nationality and shall comply with State aid and competition rules. The managing body of the port may take into account external costs when setting the charges. The managing body of the port may vary the infrastructure charges in accordance with commercial practices.
Amendment 112
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 5
5.  The Commission shall be empowered to adopt, where necessary, delegated acts in accordance with the procedure referred to in Article 21 concerning common classifications of vessels, fuels and types of operations according to which the infrastructure charges can vary and common charging principles for port infrastructure charges.
deleted
Amendment 113
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 6
6.  The managing body of the port shall inform port users and the representatives or associations of port users about the structure and the criteria used to determine the amount of the port infrastructure charges, including the total costs and revenues serving as a basis to determine the structure and the level of the port infrastructure charges. It shall inform users of the port infrastructures of any changes in the amount of the port infrastructure charges or in the structure or criteria used in order to determine such charges at least three months in advance.
6.  The managing body of the port shall inform port users and the representatives or associations of port users in a transparent manner about the structure and the criteria used to determine the amount of the port infrastructure charges. It shall inform users of the port infrastructures of any changes in the amount of the port infrastructure charges or in the structure or criteria used in order to determine such charges at least three months in advance. The managing body of the port shall not be required to disclose differentiations in the charges that are a result of individual negotiations.
Amendment 114
Proposal for a regulation
Article 14 – paragraph 7
7.  The managing body of the port shall make available to the competent independent supervisory body and to the Commission, upon request, the information referred to in paragraph 4 and the detailed costs and revenues, serving as a basis to determine the structure and the level of the port infrastructure charges and the methodology used for setting the port infrastructure charges with regard to the facilities and services to which these port charges relate to.
7.  The managing body of the port shall, in the event of a formal complaint and upon request, make available to the body designated pursuant to Article 17 and to the Commission, the information referred to in paragraph 4 of this Article and the level of the port infrastructure charges and the methodology used for setting the port infrastructure charges with regard to the facilities and services to which these port charges relate to.
Amendment 115
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 1
1.  The managing body of the port shall establish a committee of representatives of operators of waterborne vessels, cargo owners or other port users which are requested to pay an infrastructure charge or a port service charge or both. This committee shall be called the ‘port users' advisory committee‘.
deleted
Amendment 116
Proposal for a regulation
Article 15 – paragraph 2
2.  The managing body of the port shall consult on an annual basis prior to the setting of port infrastructure charges the port users' advisory committee on the structure and level of such charges. The providers of port services as referred to in Article 6 and in Article 9 shall consult on an annual basis prior to the setting of port service charges the port users' advisory committee on the structure and level of such charges. The managing body of the port shall provide adequate facilities for such consultation and shall be informed of the results of the consultation by the providers of port services.
2.  The managing body of the port shall ensure that adequate mechanisms for the consultation of port users, including relevant interconnected transport operators, are in place. It shall consult port users in the event of substantial changes to port infrastructure charges. The providers of port services shall provide port users with adequate information about the structure of port service charges and the criteria used to determine them. Internal operators providing services under a public service obligation and the providers of port services as referred to in Article 6 (1b) shall consult port users on an annual basis and prior to the setting of port service charges on the structure and level of such charges. The managing body of the port shall provide adequate mechanisms for such consultation and shall be informed of the results of the consultation by the providers of port services.
It shall be possible to impose the obligations mentioned in this paragraph to bodies, including those with a distinct composition, that are already established within the port.
Amendment 117
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  The managing body of the port shall regularly consult stakeholders such as undertakings established in the port, providers of port services, operators of waterborne vessels, cargo owners, land transport operators and public administrations operating in the port area on the following:
1.  The managing body of the port shall regularly consult the relevant stakeholders operating in the port area as well as public administrations responsible for transport infrastructure planning, where appropriate on the following:
Amendment 118
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 1 – point c a (new)
(ca)  the consequences of planning and of spatial planning decisions in terms of environmental performance;
Amendment 119
Proposal for a regulation
Article 16 – paragraph 1 – point c b (new)
(cb)  measures to ensure and improve safety in the port area, including health and safety of port workers and information on access to training of port workers.
Amendment 120
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – title
Independent supervisory body
Independent supervision
Amendment 121
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 1
1.  Member States shall ensure that an independent supervisory body monitors and supervises the application of this Regulation in all the seaports covered by this Regulation on the territory of each Member State.
1.  Member States shall ensure that effective mechanisms are in place to handle complaints for all the maritime ports covered by this Regulation on the territory of each Member State. To that end, the Member States shall designate one or more bodies.
Amendment 122
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 2
2.  The independent supervisory body shall be legally distinct from and functionally independent of any managing body of the port or providers of port services. Member States that retain ownership or control of ports or port managing bodies shall ensure an effective structural separation between the functions relating to the supervision and monitoring of this Regulation and the activities associated with that ownership or control. The independent supervisory body shall exercise its powers impartially and transparently and with due respect to the right to freely conduct business.
2.  The independent supervision shall be carried out in a manner which excludes conflicts of interest and is legally distinct from and functionally independent of any managing body of the port or providers of port services. Member States that retain ownership or control of ports or port managing bodies shall ensure that there is effective structural separation between the functions relating to the handling of complaints and the activities associated with that ownership or control. The independent supervision shall be impartial and transparent and shall duly respect the right to freely conduct business.
Amendment 123
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 3
3.  The independent supervisory body shall handle the complaints lodged by any party with a legitimate interest and the disputes brought before it arising in connection with the application of this Regulation.
3.  Member States shall ensure that port users and other relevant stakeholders are informed of where and how to lodge a complaint, including an indication of the bodies authorised to handle complaints referred to in Articles 12(5), 13(3) and 14(7).
Amendment 124
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 4
4.  In the event that the dispute arises between parties established in different Member States, the independent supervisory body of the Member State of the port where the dispute is presumed to have its origin shall have competence to solve the dispute.
4.  In the event that the dispute arises between parties established in different Member States, the Member State of the port where the dispute is presumed to have its origin shall have competence to solve the dispute. The Member States concerned shall cooperate with each other and exchange information concerning their work.
Amendment 125
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 5
5.  The independent supervisory body shall have the right to require managing bodies of the ports, providers of port services and port users to submit information needed to ensure monitoring and supervision of the application of this Regulation.
5.  In the event that a formal complaint is lodged by any party with a legitimate interest, the relevant body providing independent supervision shall have the right to require managing bodies of the ports, providers of port services and port users to submit the necessary information.
Amendment 126
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 6
6.  The independent supervisory body may issue opinions at the request of a competent authority in the Member State on any issues in relation to the application of this Regulation.
deleted
Amendment 127
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 7
7.  The independent supervisory body may consult the port users' advisory committee of the port concerned when dealing with the complaints or disputes.
deleted
Amendment 128
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 8
8.  The decisions of the independent supervisory body shall have binding effects, without prejudice to judicial review.
8.  The decisions of the relevant body providing independent supervision shall have binding effects, without prejudice to judicial review.
Amendment 129
Proposal for a regulation
Article 17 – paragraph 9
9.  Member States shall notify to the Commission the identity of the independent supervisory bodies by 1 July 2015 at the latest and subsequently any modification thereof. The Commission shall publish and update the list of the independent supervisory bodies on its website.
9.  Member States shall notify to the Commission mechanisms and procedures put in place to comply with paragraphs 1 and 2 of this Article by ...* and shall notify it without delay of any subsequent modification thereof. The Commission shall publish and update the list of the relevant bodies on its website.
__________________
* 24 months after the entry into force of this Regulation.
Amendment 130
Proposal for a regulation
Article 18
Article 18
deleted
Cooperation between independent supervisory bodies
1.  The independent supervisory bodies shall exchange information about their work and decision-making principles and practices in order to facilitate a uniform implementation of this Regulation. For this purpose, they shall participate and work together in a network that convenes at regular intervals and at least once a year. The Commission shall participate, coordinate and support the work of the network.
2.  The independent supervisory bodies shall cooperate closely for the purposes of mutual assistance in their tasks, including in carrying out investigations required to handle complaints and disputes in cases involving ports in different Member States. For this purpose, an independent supervisory body shall make available to another such body, after a substantiated request, the information necessary to allow that body to fulfil its responsibilities under this Regulation.
3.  The Member States shall ensure that the independent supervisory bodies shall provide the Commission, after a reasoned request, with the information necessary for it to carry its tasks. The information requested by the Commission shall be proportionate to the performance of those tasks.
4.  Where information is considered confidential by the independent supervisory body in accordance with Union or national rules on business confidentiality, the other national supervisory body and the Commission shall ensure such confidentiality. This information may only be used for the purpose which it was requested.
5.  Based on the experience of the independent supervisory bodies and on the activities of the network referred to in paragraph 1, and in order to ensure efficient cooperation, the Commission may adopt common principles on the appropriate arrangements for the exchange of information between independent supervisory bodies. Those implementing acts shall be adopted in accordance with the examination procedure referred to in Article 22(2).
Amendment 131
Proposal for a regulation
Article 19 – paragraph 1
1.  Any party with a legitimate interest shall have the right to appeal against the decisions or individual measures taken under this Regulation by the competent authorities, by the managing body of the port or by the independent supervisory body to an appeal body which is independent of the parties involved. This appeal body may be a court.
1.  Any party with a legitimate interest shall have the right to appeal against the decisions or individual measures taken under this Regulation by the competent authorities, by the managing body of the port or by the body designated pursuant to Article 17 to an appeal body which is independent of the parties involved. This appeal body may be a court.
Amendment 132
Proposal for a regulation
Article 20 – paragraph 1
Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. Member States shall notify those provisions to the Commission by 1 July 2015 at the latest and shall notify it without delay of any subsequent amendment affecting them.
Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of the provisions of this Regulation and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for must be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. Member States shall notify those provisions to the Commission by ...* and shall notify it without delay of any subsequent amendment affecting them.
__________________
* 24 months after the entry into force of this Regulation.
Amendment 133
Proposal for a regulation
Article 21
Article 21
deleted
Exercise of the delegation
1.  The power to adopt delegated acts is conferred on the Commission subject to the conditions laid down in this Article.
2.  The power to adopt delegated acts referred to in Article 14 shall be conferred on the Commission for an indeterminate period of time.
3.  The delegation of power referred to in Article 14 may be revoked at any time by the European Parliament or by the Council. A decision of revocation shall put an end to the delegation of the power specified in that decision. It shall take effect the day following the publication of the decision in the Official Journal of the European Union or at a later date specified therein. It shall not affect the validity of any delegated acts already in force.
4.  As soon as it adopts a delegated act, the Commission shall notify it simultaneously to the European Parliament and to the Council.
5.  A delegated act adopted pursuant to Article 14 shall enter into force only if no objection has been expressed either by the European Parliament or the Council within a period of 2 months of notification of that act to the European Parliament and the Council or if, before the expiry of that period, the European Parliament and the Council have both informed the Commission that they will not object. That period shall be extended by 2 months at the initiative of the European Parliament or the Council.
Amendment 134
Proposal for a regulation
Article 22
Article 22
deleted
Committee procedure
1.  The Commission shall be assisted by a committee. That committee shall be a committee within the meaning of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011.
2.  Where reference is made to this paragraph, Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 182/2011 shall apply.
Amendment 135
Proposal for a regulation
Article 23
No later than three years after the entry into force of this Regulation, the Commission shall present a report to the European Parliament and the Council on the functioning and effect of this Regulation, accompanied, if appropriate, by relevant proposals.
For the purpose of evaluating the functioning and effect of this Regulation, periodic reports shall be presented to the European Parliament and the Council. By …*, the Commission shall present a first report and periodic reports every three years thereafter accompanied, if appropriate, by relevant proposals. The reports of the Commission shall take into account any progress achieved by the EU-level Sectoral Social Dialogue Committee for Ports.
________________
* Four years after the date of entry into force of this Regulation.
Amendment 136
Proposal for a regulation
Article 25
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
This Regulation shall enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.
It shall apply with effect from 1 July 2015.
It shall apply with effect from ...* .
__________________
* 24 months after the entry into force of this Regulation.

(1) The matter was referred back to the committee responsible for reconsideration pursuant to Rule 61(2), second subparagraph (A8-0023/2016).


Harmonised indices of consumer prices ***I
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Resolution
Text
European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 March 2016 on the proposal for a regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised indices of consumer prices and repealing Regulation (EC) No 2494/95 (COM(2014)0724 – C8-0283/2014 – 2014/0346(COD))
P8_TA(2016)0070A8-0313/2015

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2014)0724),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 338(1) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8‑0283/2014),

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

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Central Bank of 13 March 2015(1),

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 18 December 2015 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 Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0313/2015),

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 8 March 2016 with a view to the adoption of Regulation (EU) 2016/... of the European Parliament and of the Council on harmonised indices of consumer prices and the house price index, and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 2494/95

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Regulation (EU) 2016/792.)

(1) OJ C 175, 29.5.2015, p. 2.


Annual report 2014 on the Protection of the EU’s financial interests - Fight against fraud
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European Parliament resolution of 8 March 2016 on the Annual Report 2014 on the Protection of the EU’s Financial Interests – Fight against fraud (2015/2128(INI))
P8_TA(2016)0071A8-0026/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 325(5) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to its resolutions on previous annual reports of the Commission and of the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 31 July 2015 entitled ‘Protection of the European Union’s financial interests – Fight against fraud – 2014 Annual Report’ (COM(2015)0386) and the accompanying staff working documents (SWD(2015)0151, SWD(2015)0152, SWD(2015)0153, SWD(2015)0154, SWD(2015)0155 and SWD(2015)0156),

–  having regard to the OLAF annual report 2014,

–  having regard to the 2014 Activity Report of the OLAF Supervisory Committee,

–  having regard to the annual report of the Court of Auditors on the implementation of the budget concerning the financial year 2014, together with the institutions’ replies,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 8 October 2015 entitled ‘Protection of the EU budget to end 2014’ (COM(2015)0503),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 16 September 2015 entitled ‘Fighting corruption in the EU: meeting business and civil society concerns’ (CCMI/132),

–  having regard to the Commission report of 3 February 2014 entitled ‘EU anti-corruption report’ (COM(2014)0038),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 250/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 establishing a programme to promote activities in the field of the protection of the financial interests of the European Union (Hercule III programme) and repealing Decision No 804/2004/EC(1),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 17 July 2013 for a Council regulation on the establishment of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office (COM(2013)0534),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 September 2013 concerning investigations conducted by the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and replacing Regulation (EC) No 1073/1999 of the European Parliament and of the Council and Council Regulation (Euratom) No 1074/1999(2),

–  having regard to the Commission proposal of 11 July 2012 for a directive of the European Parliament and of the Council on the fight against fraud to the Union’s financial interests by means of criminal law (COM(2012)0363),

–  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(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 15 September 2011 on the EU’s efforts to combat corruption(4), its declaration of 18 May 2010 on the Union’s efforts in combatting corruption(5) and the Commission communication of 6 June 2011 entitled ‘Fighting Corruption in the EU’ (COM(2011)0308),

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EC, Euratom) No 2988/95 of 18 December 1995 on the protection of the European Communities’ financial interests(6),

–  having regard to the 2015 Report on the VAT Gap commissioned by the European Commission,

–  having regard to the special report of the European Court of Auditors on public procurement in EU cohesion expenditure,

–  having regard to the judgment of the European Court of Justice in Case C-105/14, Taricco and Others,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Budgetary Control and the opinions of the Committee on International Trade, the Committee on Regional Development, the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and the Committee on Constitutional Affairs (A8-0026/2016),

A.  whereas the Member States and the Commission have shared responsibility for implementing approximately 80 % of the Union’s budget; whereas Member States are primarily responsible for the collection of own resources, inter alia in the form of VAT and customs duties;

B.  whereas sound public spending and the protection of the EU’s financial interests should be key elements of the EU’s policy to increase the confidence of citizens by ensuring that their money is used properly, efficiently and effectively; whereas this sound financial management should be combined with a ‘best use of every euro’ approach;

C.  whereas achieving good performance involves inputs, outputs, results and impacts which are regularly assessed through performance audits;

D.  whereas the diversity of legal and administrative systems in the Member States presents a challenging environment in which to overcome irregularities and combat fraud, and whereas the Commission should therefore step up its efforts to ensure that the fight against fraud is implemented effectively and produces more tangible and more satisfactory results;

E.  whereas the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) has responsibility for protecting the Union’s financial interests by investigating fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities; whereas its Supervisory Committee was established in order to reinforce and guarantee OLAF’s independence by regularly monitoring the implementation of its investigative function; whereas, in particular, the Supervisory Committee monitors developments as regards the application of procedural guarantees and the duration of investigations in the light of the information supplied by the Director-General in accordance with Article 7(8) of Regulation (EU, Euratom) No 883/2013;

F.  whereas corruption affects all Member States and costs the EU economy around EUR 120 billion per year, as stated in the Commission’s first report on the EU’s anti‑corruption policy, published in February 2014;

G.  whereas corruption can help to finance the activities of organised crime or terrorism networks in Europe; whereas corruption also undermines citizens’ trust in institutions and democratic processes;

H.  whereas, in addition to the civilisational assumption based on ethical principles inherent in the rule of law, combating fraud and corruption contributes to the Union’s competitiveness in the global economy;

1.  Takes note of the Commission report entitled ‘Protection of the European Union’s financial interests – Fight against fraud – Annual Report 2014’; asks that the Commission, in its annual reports on the protection of the EU’s financial interests (PIF reports), respond to Parliament’s requests in a more timely manner;

Detection and reporting of irregularities

2.  Notes that all the irregularities reported involve a total amount of around EUR 3,24 billion; emphasises that the overall financial impact of fraudulent and non‑fraudulent irregularities reported in 2014 is 36 % greater than in 2013, while the number of such irregularities increased by 48 %; emphasises that EUR 2,27 billion of the reported irregularities relates to expenditure, representing 1,8 % of total payments;

3.  Stresses that 1 649 out of a total of 16 473 irregularities reported to the Commission in 2014 were fraudulent, involving an amount of EUR 538,2 million; notes that fraudulent irregularities related to expenditure involved EUR 362 million, representing 0,26 % of total payments, and that those related to revenue involved EUR 176,2 million, representing 0,88 % of the gross amount of traditional own resources (TOR) collected in 2014;

4.  Emphasises that the overall financial impact of non-fraudulent irregularities reported in 2014 is 47 % greater than in 2013, while their number decreased by 5 %; also notes that non-fraudulent irregularities related to expenditure affected 1,54 % of total payments, and that those related to revenue affected 3,66 % of TOR collected in 2014;

5.  Urges the Commission to assume full responsibility for the recovery of funds unduly paid from the EU budget, as well as for the better levying of own resources, and to establish uniform reporting principles in all Member States for the purpose of collecting appropriate, comparable and accurate data;

6.  Emphasises that non-fraudulent irregularities are often linked to insufficient knowledge of complex rules and requirements; believes that the simplification of rules and procedures by the Member States and the Commission will decrease the number of such irregularities; considers that the fight against irregularities, including fraud, requires awareness among all institutional bodies at the European, national, regional and local levels and among the general public; notes that the establishment of a culture conducive to preventing and combating fraud is of vital importance in all the institutions and bodies involved in implementing the Funds, and calls on the Member States to encourage exchanges of good practices;

7.  Recalls that, with the objective of bringing finances onto a more sustainable footing, Member States are involved in ongoing fiscal consolidation and restraint, and firmly believes that all available resources are needed for investment in the Member States with the objective of stimulating sustainable economic growth; believes that all necessary steps must be taken to prevent and stop any fraudulent activities in the field of trade policy and its associated appropriations, combining all relevant policy instruments (such as criminal investigations, the development of reliable analysis models, and efforts to tackle shortcomings and failures related to deficient Commission policy); calls on the Member States to put even more effort into ensuring that money from the EU budget is used correctly for projects that contribute to growth and jobs in Europe, and into recovering customs debt following the discovery of fraud; stresses, more generally, that the fight against illicit trade and illicit financial flows should remain a high priority for the EU as well as for the Member States;

8.  Welcomes the adoption by the Commission of a multiannual anti-fraud strategy which is helping to correct significant differences in the number of irregularities notified by each Member State;

Revenue – own resources

9.  Notes with concern that the amount of TOR affected by fraud in 2014 was 191 % higher than in 2013, and the amount affected by non-fraudulent irregularities was 146 % higher in 2014 than in the previous year;

10.  Is concerned that the average TOR recovery rate per Member State for both fraudulent and non-fraudulent irregularities for 2014 is, at 24 %, at its historic lowest point; urges the Member States to recover the amounts due more quickly, and especially urges those Member States which need to recover the largest amounts to improve their recovery;

11.  Is concerned about the VAT gap and the estimated losses on VAT collection, which amounted to EUR 168 billion in 2013; underlines the fact that in 13 of the 26 Member States examined in 2014, the average estimated VAT loss exceeded 15,2 %; points out that the Commission does not have access to the information exchanged between Member States with a view to preventing and combating so-called ‘carousel’ fraud; calls on all the Member States to participate in all of Eurofisc’s fields of activity so as to facilitate the exchange of information with the aim of helping to combat fraud; reiterates that the Commission has the competence to control and supervise measures taken by the Member States; calls on the Commission to make full use of its executive powers in order to both control and help the Member States in their fight against VAT fraud and tax avoidance; acknowledges that since 2013 the Commission has been using the Quick Reaction Mechanism to deal with massive and sudden VAT fraud;

12.  Encourages the Commission to develop a mechanism that would motivate companies to pay regular taxes rather than avoiding them;

13.  Notes the increasing number of coordination centres supported by Eurojust and Europol; welcomes the results of cross-border operations Vertigo 2 and 3 and the efficient cooperation between law enforcement and judicial authorities in Germany, Poland, the Netherlands, the UK, Belgium, Spain, the Czech Republic and Switzerland, leading to the neutralisation of criminal networks responsible for defrauding approximately EUR 320 million in tax revenues, including VAT;

14.  Expresses concern with regard to customs inspections and the related collection of customs duties, which are one of the own resources under the EU budget; points out that it is the customs authorities of the Member States that conduct inspections to check that importers are complying with the rules on tariffs and imports, and stresses that the Court of Auditors has found the quality of those inspections to vary from one Member State to another; calls on the Commission to update the Customs Audit Guide, published in 2014, in order to eliminate the shortcomings detected by the Court of Auditors, such as the issues surrounding the handling of imports cleared through customs in another Member State;

Expenditure

15.  Notes with concern that the number of irregularities related to expenditure reported as fraudulent in 2014 dropped by only 4 %, after a 76 % increase in 2013; urges the competent authorities to take all necessary measures to decrease the number of fraudulent irregularities, although not at the expense of control standards;

16.  Is concerned by the steady increase in the number of reported non-fraudulent irregularities related to directly managed EU funds, in terms of both the number of cases and the sums involved; is surprised that the number of fraudulent irregularities reported in 2014 quadrupled compared with the previous year, and asks the Commission to provide detailed explanations and to take the necessary action to counter this trend;

17.  Is concerned, therefore, that in 2014 the rural development sector accounted for the largest number of reported fraudulent irregularities, showing the biggest increase in comparison with 2013; points out that about 71 % of the total number of fraudulent irregularities notified for natural resources (agriculture, rural development and fisheries) came from Hungary, Italy, Poland and Romania;

18.  Acknowledges that the Member States’ recovery rate for the European Agricultural Guarantee Fund (EAGF) is below the overall average, and that fewer than half of the irregularities detected in 2009 had been recovered by the end of 2014; points to significant differences in the ability of Member States to recover sums in respect of irregular payments detected under the Common Agricultural Policy, and urges Bulgaria, France, Greece and Slovakia to improve their results significantly; acknowledges that the clearance mechanism (the 50/50 rule) provides a strong incentive for Member States to recover undue payments under the EAGF from beneficiaries as quickly as possible; regrets that 2014 was the third consecutive year marked by growth in the number of cases of fraudulent irregularities in respect of the EAGF, and the fourth consecutive year marked by growth in the number of fraudulent cases reported in respect of rural development; stresses the need for faster recovery of funds;

19.  Notes that the irregularities linked to the Common Fisheries Policy in 2014 returned to a level comparable to 2012 after a one-year peak in 2013; notes that the most frequently detected category of irregularity during the 2010-2014 period was ‘Non-eligibility for aid of the action/project’, followed by ‘Infringements of public procurement rules’;

20.  Notes that in respect of the 2007-2013 cohesion policy programming period the number of irregularities reported as fraudulent decreased by 5 % in 2014 compared with 2013, with 306 cases reported; is seriously concerned about the increase of over EUR 115 million (76 %) in the amounts affected by fraudulent irregularities in 2014 compared with 2013, which is due mainly to a sharp increase (660 %) in the amounts involved under the Cohesion Fund; notes that out of 74 cases of established fraud in respect of cohesion policy between 2008 and 2014, 61 (82 %) were reported by three Member States – Germany (42 cases), Poland (11 cases) and Slovenia (8 cases); expresses concern that 14 Member States have an established fraud ratio of 0 % for that period, which may raise questions as to the efficiency of their control systems;

21.  Is worried, furthermore, that the overall time lapse in the cohesion field between the occurrence of an irregularity, its detection and its final reporting to the Commission has increased to 3 years and 4 months; recalls that further procedures kick in once an irregularity has been detected (recovery orders, OLAF investigations, etc.); urges the Commission to work with Member States to improve the efficiency of their detection and reporting;

22.  Welcomes the overall drop in reported irregularities in Pre-Accession Assistance (PAA); regrets the steadily increasing trend concerning irregularities related to the Instrument for Pre-Accession (IPA) since 2010, in terms of both amounts and the number of cases, with Turkey being the main contributor to this negative development, and calls on the Commission to do everything it can to improve the situation, in particular in the context of the upcoming efforts to enhance EU-Turkey cooperation;

Problems identified and measures required

Better reporting

23.  Notes with concern that, despite the numerous calls from Parliament for the establishment of uniform reporting principles in all Member States, the situation remains highly unsatisfactory and there are still significant differences in the number of fraudulent and non-fraudulent irregularities reported by each Member State; considers that this problem creates a distorted picture of the real situation regarding the level of infringements and the protection of the EU’s financial interests; urges the Commission to make serious efforts to resolve the problem of differing approaches by Member States to detecting irregularities, and non-homogeneous interpretations when applying the EU legal framework;

24.  Welcomes the Commission’s commitment to publish an EU Anti-Corruption report biannually, and looks forward to reading the next report in early 2016; asks the Commission to add a chapter on the performance of the EU institutions in fighting corruption, with further analysis being carried out at the level of the EU institutions as to the policies implemented, in order to identify inherent critical factors, vulnerable areas and risk factors conducive to corruption;

25.  Calls on the Commission to harmonise the framework for the reporting of ‘suspected fraud’ and to establish rules on the reporting of all judicial action undertaken in the Member States in relation to potential fraudulent use of EU resources, requiring the reporting to indicate specifically the judicial actions taken on the basis of OLAF’s judicial recommendations;

26.  Invites the Commission to develop a system of strict indicators and easily applicable, uniform criteria, based on the requirements set out in the Stockholm Programme, to measure the level of corruption in the Member States and evaluate the Member States’ anti-corruption policies; is concerned about the reliability and quality of the data coming from the Member States; calls on the Commission, therefore, to work closely with the Member States to guarantee the provision of comprehensive, accurate and reliable data, keeping in mind the goal of full implementation of the Single Audit Scheme; invites the Commission to develop a corruption index in order to categorise the Member States;

27.  Calls on the Commission, as part of the annual evaluation of the results achieved in the fight against corruption, to give the Member States precise guidelines as to how to facilitate the gradual and continuous implementation of the obligations taken on by each Member State as regards combating corruption;

28.  Reiterates its call on the Commission to swiftly promote legislation on the minimum level of protection for whistle-blowers in the EU; calls on the European institutions to amend the Staff Regulations to ensure that these not only formally oblige officials to report irregularities, but also lay down adequate protection for whistle-blowers; calls on those European institutions that have not done so, and on other bodies, to implement Article 22(c) of the Staff Regulations without delay; calls firmly for all EU institutions to adopt internal rules concerning whistle-blowing by employees and the obligations of the latter, focusing on protection for whistle-blowers; believes that these rules should be explicitly extended to whistle-blowers who reveal fraud in respect of international agreements, including trade agreements;

29.  Underlines the importance of access to information and the transparency of lobbying, and of using EU funding to support the work of independent organisations in this area;

30.  Believes that the level of transparency could be raised through the creation of a legislative footprint for EU lobbying, with the objective of switching from a voluntary to a mandatory EU register for all lobbying activities vis-à-vis any of the EU institutions;

31.  Urges the Commission to maintain its strict policy on interruption and suspension of payments in accordance with the relevant legal basis; welcomes the fact that the Commission has adopted a new decision on the Early Warning Mechanism (EWS); looks forward to the creation of a comprehensive system of early detection and exclusion to be proposed by the Commission; calls on the Commission to better inform the Member States and local authorities about the implementation of its policy, bearing in mind that this process should not be undermined by political considerations;

32.  Calls, therefore, for Article 325 TFEU to be implemented right across the spectrum of EU policies, and for action not just in response to cases of fraud but also to prevent them; calls for compliance with Article 325 TFEU, and particularly with paragraph 5 on annual reports, which is currently facing a year’s delay; calls for simplification, especially, of the way in which EU subsidies are used in cohesion policy; calls for adherence to agreed procedures and for the ratification of the agreements on combating fraud at regional and international level which have been concluded between the Union and third countries or third-party organisations; calls for follow-up to the recommendations for an action plan set out in Parliament’s resolution of 23 October 2013 on ‘organised crime, corruption and money laundering: recommendations on action and initiatives to be taken’(7), especially recommendation 130 on the visibility of measures by the Member States to combat organised fraud and crime, and paragraph 131 on a general action plan for the 2014‑2019 period to eradicate organised crime, corruption and money laundering (points i-xxi); calls for the initial results of the implementation of the Currency Counterfeiting Directive to be made available; calls, furthermore, for more information to be provided about the anti-corruption instruments used by OLAF and about the coordination of Member States’ procedures for recovering monies disbursed as a result of fraud;

33.  Calls for the EU to apply for membership of the Council of Europe Group of States against Corruption (GRECO);

34.  Welcomes the fact that in 2014 there were 48 agreements in place that encompassed mutual administrative assistance, covering 71 countries, with another 49 countries in negotiations, including major trading partners such as the USA and Japan, and asks that Parliament be kept constantly informed of developments in these negotiations; emphasises that the top priority in terms of protecting the EU’s financial interests and combating fraud effectively is to ensure that legislation is applied and that all parties observe the relevant international agreements, including relevant anti-fraud and anti‑corruption clauses providing for sanctions; encourages the Commission to continue to cooperate with other countries on anti-fraud measures and to establish new administrative cooperation arrangements; invites the Commission to continue to include anti-fraud and anti-corruption provisions in all EU international agreements so as to pave the way for enhanced cooperation in combating organised crime, trafficking and other illegal or illicit trade;

35.  Welcomes the key role played by the EU’s macro-financial assistance (MFA) programme in encouraging reform on the part of the EU’s closest trading partners; requests that the Commission continue to report to Parliament and the Member States with a view to ensuring that all funds are spent in full compliance with the basic regulation and in a manner consistent with regional cohesion and the promotion of regional stability, thereby limiting the risk of misuse of repayable loans; requests a long-term assessment of the effect of MFA programmes on efforts to tackle corruption and fraud in recipient countries;

36.  Reiterates its call for each Member State’s court of auditors to make public national declarations accounting for the spending of EU funds;

37.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to develop, at their respective levels, interlinked databases on irregularities in the area of cohesion policy, including those arising from public procurement, as such databases are able to provide a basis for meaningful and comprehensive analysis of the frequency, seriousness and causes of irregularities, and of the amounts involved in fraudulent irregularities; emphasises the need for the Member States to ensure that accurate and comparable data are provided to the Commission in an appropriate and timely manner, without a disproportionate increase in administrative burden;

Better controls

38.  Emphasises the complex nature of irregularities; takes the view that the Commission and the Member States must take firm action against fraudulent irregularities; believes that non-fraudulent irregularities should be tackled by means of administrative measures, and in particular through more transparent and simpler requirements, more technical assistance from the Commission to the Member States, and enhanced exchanges of good practices and lessons learned; believes that the methodology for calculating error rates must be harmonised at EU and Member State level;

39.  Welcomes the fact that the ex-ante and ex-post ‘Community Controls’ are detecting more and more cases of irregularities, and considers, therefore, that these controls should be further promoted;

40.  Calls on the relevant authorities in the Member States to perform better controls and to use all available information to avoid errors and irregular payments involving EU funds;

41.  Encourages the Commission to further enhance its supervisory role through audit, control and inspection activities, remedial action plans and early warning letters; calls on the Member States to intensify their efforts and to tap their potential to detect and correct errors prior to claiming reimbursement from the Commission; underlines, in this regard, the particular value of preventive action in forestalling disbursements and thus eliminating the need for subsequent action to recover misappropriated funds;

42.  Repeats its call on the Commission to develop a system for the exchange of information among the competent authorities so as to enable the cross‑checking of accounting entries between two or more Member States in order to prevent transnational fraud in respect of the Structural and Investment Funds, hence ensuring a cross-cutting approach to the protection of the EU’s financial interests;

43.  Welcomes the fact that all of the Commission’s services developed and implemented their anti-fraud strategies in 2014; invites the EU agencies, executive agencies and joint undertakings to do the same; emphasises the role of the Anti-Fraud Coordination Services (AFCOSs) in fighting fraud; welcomes the adoption of national anti-fraud strategies by Bulgaria, Greece, Croatia, Malta and Slovakia, and calls on the Member States concerned to submit their national anti-fraud strategies (NAFSs) as soon as possible; calls on the Commission to monitor closely the implementation of the NAFSs;

44.  Is eager, in addition, to see closer cooperation between the Member States and the Commission on the ways funds are managed; asks for comprehensive training to be provided for staff of the authorities involved in managing the funds, in particular staff of the AFCOSs, so that they can develop their own national anti-fraud strategies;

45.  Welcomes the positive results of the first annual overview of the Hercule III programme; expresses concern that the budget reserved for it may be insufficient; requests additional performance-based information, in particular on the contribution of the 55 conferences and training sessions to the effectiveness of the actions taken by Member States to counter fraud, corruption and any other illegal activities affecting the EU’s financial interests;

46.  Reiterates that, according to Article 325(2) TFEU, Member States ‘shall take the same measures to counter fraud affecting the financial interests of the Union as they take to counter fraud affecting their own financial interests’; is of the opinion that this provision is not met in the EU; is of the opinion that the Commission should develop a horizontal policy on the fight against fraud and corruption; emphasises that the Commission is also responsible for the effective spending of funds, and calls, therefore, on the Commission to put in place internal performance requirements;

47.  Considers that greater involvement of EU citizens is necessary at the programming and control stages, through easily accessible information tools, especially where major infrastructure is being financed; calls on the Commission to consider the idea of participatory budgeting in order to involve citizens in monitoring the spending of EU funds, and to establish an accessible electronic desk for reporting cases of fraud;

48.  Notes that the definition, classification and detection of, and reporting on, irregularities continue to vary between and within Member States, mainly on account of differing definitions of irregularities; takes the view that further harmonisation is necessary, and welcomes, in this context, the Commission delegated regulation of 8 July 2015 on the reporting of irregularities, which supplements the Common Provisions Regulation; calls on the Commission and the Member States to establish coherent strategies for the treatment of irregularities and for the fight against fraud in cohesion policy; highlights the preventive and corrective measures taken by the Commission to avoid fraudulent irregularities, including the interruption of 193 payments under cohesion policy;

49.  Recalls that the Common Provisions Regulation requires managing authorities to put in place effective and proportionate anti-fraud measures, which should be embedded in national anti‑fraud strategies; calls on the Commission to reinforce its preventive action; welcomes, in this connection, the establishment of a system for the early detection of risks, and calls in particular for the technical and administrative capacities of managing authorities to be strengthened so as to ensure more robust control systems that are able to reduce the risks of fraud and increase detection capacity, including in less developed regions, without imposing undue financial and administrative burden; stresses that prevention should involve constant training and support for staff responsible for the management and control of funds within the competent authorities, as well as exchanges of information and best practices; recalls the crucial role of local and regional authorities and partners in fighting fraud, ensuring transparency and preventing conflicts of interest;

50.  Appreciates the Commission’s decision to carry out a mid-term assessment in 2018 in order to establish whether the new regulatory architecture for cohesion policy further prevents and reduces the risk of irregularities, including fraud, and looks forward to receiving detailed information on the impact of the new rules on management and control systems, both as regards the risk of irregularities and fraud and as regards the general implementation of the policy;

51.  Calls for the Commission and the Court of Auditors to facilitate the transparency of audit data by releasing more detailed information as regards the best- and worst-performing Member States in each policy area and sector, so as to allow actors to identify the areas in which help is most needed and to design actions accordingly;

PIF directive and EPPO regulation

52.  Welcomes the Commission’s statement in its 2014 annual report on the protection of the EU’s financial interests (PIF report) that both the PIF directive and the European Public Prosecutor’s Office regulation (EPPO regulation) ‘would complement and strengthen the legal framework and would considerably reinforce the fight against fraud’; reiterates its view that there is an urgent need to adopt the PIF directive, which should include VAT in its scope and set out a clear definition of PIF offences, minimum rules for maximum applicable imprisonment penalties, and minimum rules on the statute of limitations, as soon as possible; recalls the Taricco case, in which the Court of Justice draws attention to the fact that VAT fraud is indeed included in the 1995 PIF Convention’s definition of PIF fraud;

53.  Stresses that the EPPO regulation should also be adopted swiftly, and demands that the Council explain its reasons for delaying the negotiations;

Public procurement

54.  Notes that the level of irregularities due to non-compliance with public procurement rules remains high; calls on the Member States to transpose rapidly into national law Directive 2014/24/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 February 2014 on public procurement(8), which makes e-procurement mandatory and introduces monitoring and reporting obligations to curb procurement fraud and other serious irregularities; calls on the Commission to make it compulsory to publish all documentation relating to beneficiaries, and in particular to subcontractors;

55.  Asks the Commission to apply strictly the measures pertaining to discretion and exclusion in respect of public procurement, with proper background checks being carried out in every instance, and to apply the exclusion criteria in order to debar companies in the event of any conflict of interest, this being essential to protect the credibility of the institutions;

56.  Emphasises that failure to comply with public procurement rules was a significant source of error for the 2007-2013 programming period, including the avoidance of public procurement by splitting contracts into smaller tenders in order to avoid exceeding thresholds, and the use of inappropriate procedures; points out that the new public procurement directives have to be implemented by April 2016; emphasises that reducing the incidence of irregularities requires correct implementation of the directives by the Member States; calls on the Commission, therefore, to work out guidelines for the proper implementation of the directives; calls on the Commission to monitor closely the implementation of the directives; believes that ex-ante conditionalities have the potential to improve public procurement; emphasises the need for transparent and accessible rules;

57.  Expresses its concern about the lack of full transparency concerning the financing of large infrastructure projects; calls on the Commission to consider submitting a proposal that would make compulsory the publication of all financial reports and projects relating to major public works, including documentation on subcontractors;

58.  Asks the Commission to make public all documentation relating to the Lyon-Turin high-speed rail project and its funding;

59.  Calls on the Commission to develop a database on irregularities that is capable of providing a basis for meaningful and comprehensive analysis of the frequency, seriousness and causes of public procurement errors; calls on the relevant authorities in the Member States to develop and analyse their own databases on irregularities, including those arising in public procurement, and to cooperate with the Commission in order to provide such data in a form and at a time that facilitates the Commission’s work;

60.  Questions the non-fraudulent nature of the increasing number of serious errors made in the context of public procurement procedures, and asks the Commission to be particularly vigilant in this regard, not only by engaging in a dialogue with Member States with a view to better application of existing and new public procurement directives, but also by submitting relevant cases to OLAF for further consideration;

61.  Points out that in emergency situations, such as the use of funds for refugees, there are often exemptions from normal procurement procedures, involving direct access to funds; regrets that, for this reason, there have often been cases of misconduct; calls on the Commission to supervise more effectively the use of such exemptions and the widespread practice of splitting procurement contracts so as not to exceed the thresholds, thereby avoiding regular procurement procedures;

62.  Notes that, in its Special Report No 10/2015 entitled ‘Efforts to address problems with public procurement in EU cohesion expenditure should be intensified’, the Court of Auditors analyses procedures connected with public procurement; notes that failure to comply with public procurement rules leads to errors, which may result in implementation delays and financial corrections; calls on the Commission and the Member States to ensure full compliance with the ex-ante conditionality regarding effective application of public procurement law by the end of 2016; calls on the Member States to ensure appropriate and quick transposition of the 2014 package of public procurement directives;

63.  Urges the Member States and the Commission to exploit fully the opportunities afforded by information technology (IT) tools in public procurement, including tools for e‑procurement, the exchange of good practices and preventive risk-scoring; appreciates the web‑based fraud alert tool Arachne developed by the Commission, which is aimed at identifying the most risky projects on the basis of a set of risk indicators, and calls on the Member States to use this tool;

Performance-based budgeting and the ‘value for money’ approach

64.  Stresses the importance of leading by example, and warmly welcomes the interinstitutional approach to implementing performance-based budgeting; calls on the Commission to adopt the planning, implementation and control phase of the multiannual financial framework in accordance with the principle of performance-based budgeting;

65.  Notes the importance of further and continuous measures to avoid fraudulent irregularities, but also reiterates its call for the adoption of a new methodology focused on performance rather than on the formalistic evaluation of programmes, in line with the principle of an EU budget focused on results; calls on Commission to reinforce its activities in relation to applying efficiency and effectiveness indicators in all its programmes, and not to concentrate only on the error rate; calls on the Commission, furthermore, not to work only on the three main categories – economy, efficiency and effectiveness – but to start focusing also on the new triptych (ecology, equality and ethics);

66.  Calls for the mandatory inclusion of ex-ante assessments of environmental, economic and social added value in the process for selecting projects for funding, both within and outside the Union, and for the results of those assessments and the indicators used to be made public and to be fully accessible;

67.  Notes that reporting on performance is still weak, and that there is a need to assess regularly input parameters (the financial, human, material, organisational or regulatory means needed to implement a programme), outputs (the programme’s deliverables), results (the programme’s immediate effects) and impacts (long-term changes in society);

68.  Welcomes the setting-up of a network of Member State National Contact Points and the incorporation of anti-corruption objectives into the European Semester process of economic governance;

69.  Urges the Commission to publish immediately its assessment of all agreements with tobacco companies, with a view to establishing their efficiency in combating fraud and counterfeiting activities, which affect the financial interests of the EU, and to evaluate the appropriateness of renewing these kinds of agreement;

70.  Emphasises the role of the Court of Auditors, the Supreme Audit Institutions (SAIs), the Commission and the Managing Authorities in controlling the regularity and performance of public spending; calls on the Court of Auditors and the Commission to further improve their cooperation with SAIs in Member States in order to broaden the scope and proportion of funds and projects audited;

Tobacco smuggling and counterfeit goods

71.  Is worried about the finding by the European Ombudsman(9) that, with the exception of DG Health, the Commission was ‘not fully implementing UN WHO rules and guidelines governing transparency and tobacco lobbying’; is of the opinion, therefore, that the Commission’s credibility and seriousness have been endangered;

72.  Urges all the relevant EU institutions to implement Article 5(3) of the WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) in accordance with the recommendations contained in the guidelines thereto; urges the Commission to publish immediately its assessment of agreements with tobacco companies and an impact assessment on the implementation of the FCTC; calls on the Commission to provide complete transparency concerning agreements on tobacco and their possible renewal, and urges the Member States to report regularly on expenditure incurred in respect of the funds received as a result of such agreements;

73.  Welcomes the successful outcomes of numerous joint customs operations (JCOs) involving the cooperation of OLAF and Member States with various third-country services, which have resulted in the seizure of, inter alia, 1,2 million counterfeit goods, including perfumes, vehicle spare parts, electronic devices and 130 million cigarettes; underlines the fact that the smuggling of heavily taxed goods causes significant losses of revenue to the budgets of the EU and the Member States, and that direct losses in customs revenue as a result of cigarette smuggling alone are estimated at more than EUR 10 billion a year; points out that trafficking in counterfeit goods inflicts damage on the revenue of the EU and its Member States and on European companies;

74.  Is very concerned about the increasing incidence of smuggling, trafficking and other forms of illegal and illicit trade, which not only have an impact on Member States’ collection of customs duties and consequently on the EU budget, but are also strongly associated with organised international crime, threats to consumers and negative effects on the functioning of the single market, and which undermine a level playing field for all competing companies, particularly SMEs; requests, therefore, better coordination between OLAF, customs authorities and market surveillance authorities in order not only to combat these problems but also to curb the trade in products that infringe intellectual property laws in the EU;

75.  Stresses the importance of distinguishing between legitimate generic medicines and fraudulent counterfeit drugs so as to avoid interrupting the production and legitimate trade of generic medicines, and invites, once again, all those Member States which have signed but not yet ratified the UN Protocol to Eliminate Illicit Trade in Tobacco Products to complete the ratification process as soon as possible;

Investigations and the role of OLAF

76.  Notes OLAF’s role within different JCOs in preventing losses for the EU budget, and asks OLAF to include in its future annual reports more information and concrete figures concerning its contribution to protecting the revenue side of the EU budget;

77.  Welcomes the annual interinstitutional meetings between the Council, the Commission, Parliament, OLAF and its Supervisory Committee; insists on the presidency rotating between the three European institutions; invites the Commission to support Parliament’s initiative, and urges the Council to reconsider its negative position on this matter;

78.  Reiterates its call relating to the Annual Report 2013 on the Protection of the EU’s Financial Interests(10) for a speedy resolution of the remaining issues between OLAF and its Supervisory Committee; reiterates that neither OLAF nor its Supervisory Committee can fulfil their legal duties effectively under the conditions of their current limited cooperation; notes with concern the lack of progress, and thus considers the current situation unacceptable; calls on the Commission to play its role fully and to work actively on a long-term solution to be put in place without delay;

79.  Is of the opinion that the Supervisory Committee should, as a matter of consistency with its mandate, have autonomous staff who are detached from the OLAF administration and enjoy financial autonomy; calls on OLAF to grant the Supervisory Committee access to documents that the Supervisory Committee deems necessary in order to fulfil its task in accordance with its remit; urges the Commission to put forward a proposal to change the OLAF Regulation accordingly;

80.  Notes that there is a discrepancy between the information collected by OLAF from public and private sources in the Member States concerning fraud (OLAF Report 2014) and the highly uneven financial recovery recommended by OLAF to the Member States; calls on the Commission to support initiatives aimed at increasing the recovery rate in fraud cases;

81.  Urges the Commission to provide full transparency regarding all requests by national prosecutors to lift the immunity of OLAF staff, including its Director-General;

82.  Welcomes the proven effectiveness of OLAF’s origin investigations concerning the eligibility of preferential tariff measures, and calls on the Member States to give consideration to these findings and to take all necessary and appropriate measures in accordance with the provisions of EU customs legislation; calls on the Commission, with a view to preventing losses from the EU budget arising from the import of goods not entitled to preferential tariff treatment under preferential trade agreements (PTAs), to continue to verify that Member States improve the effectiveness of their risk management systems and control strategies on the basis of the mutual assistance communications; asks the Commission, furthermore, to follow up on its commitment to carrying out ex-post evaluations of PTAs with significant economic, social and environmental impact, including a periodic system of reporting by beneficiary countries on their management and control of preferential origin;

83.  Notes that the comprehensive prosecution of crime, including fraud, corruption, money laundering, related organised crime and other illegal activities affecting the financial interests of the EU, is a conditio sine qua non for the effective functioning of the EU; emphasises the need for systemic follow-up to OLAF recommendations; is of the opinion that following up those recommendations requires procedural rights for OLAF in national legislations to make sure that recommendations are respected and taken into account by national authorities;

84.  Calls for the Commission to clarify the main reasons that Member States are not following up alleged cases of fraud affecting the EU’s financial interests, as submitted to them by OLAF;

o
o   o

85.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission, the Court of Justice of the European Union, the European Court of Auditors, the European Anti-Fraud Office (OLAF) and the OLAF Supervisory Committee.

(1) OJ L 84, 20.3.2014, p. 6.
(2) OJ L 248, 18.9.2013, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 298, 26.10.2012, p. 1.
(4) OJ C 51 E, 22.2.2013, p. 121.
(5) OJ C 161 E, 31.5.2011, p. 62.
(6) OJ L 312, 23.12.1995, p. 1.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0444.
(8) OJ L 94, 28.3.2014, p. 65.
(9) http://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/en/press/release.faces/en/61027/html.bookmark
(10) Texts adopted of 11 March 2015, P8_TA(2015)0062.


Gender mainstreaming in the work of the European Parliament
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European Parliament resolution of 8 March 2016 on Gender Mainstreaming in the work of the European Parliament (2015/2230(INI))
P8_TA(2016)0072A8-0034/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 2 and Article 3(3), second subparagraph, of the Treaty on European Union (TEU) and Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms (ECHR),

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

–  having regard to the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW),

–  having regard to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 1995, to the subsequent outcome documents adopted at the United Nations Beijing +5 (2000), Beijing +10 (2005) and Beijing +15 (2010) special sessions and on the outcome document of the Beijing +20 review conference,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 26 May 2015 on Gender in Development,

–  having regard to the joint staff working document of 21 September 2015 entitled ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment: Transforming the Lives of Girls and Women through EU External Relations 2016-2020’ (SWD(2015)0182), and the Council conclusions of 26 October 2015 on the Gender Action Plan 2016-2020,

–  having regard to Article 3 of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, which defines ‘gender’ as ‘the socially constructed roles, behaviours, activities and attributes that a given society considers appropriate for women and men’,

–  having regard to the European Pact for Gender Equality (2011-2020), adopted by the European Council in March 2011,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 5 March 2010 entitled ‘A Strengthened Commitment to Equality between Women and Men: A Women’s Charter’ (COM(2010)0078),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 21 September 2010 entitled ‘Strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015’ (COM(2010)0491),

–  having regard to the Commission staff working document entitled ‘Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019’ (SWD(2015)0278),

–  having regard to the Commission’s research report entitled ‘Evaluation of the strengths and weaknesses of the strategy for equality between women and men 2010-2015’,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe’s Gender Equality Strategy 2014-2017,

–  having regard to European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) study on ‘Advancing women in political decision-making – Way forward’, published in 2015,

–  having regard to the conclusions and recommendations of EIGE’s report on ‘Gender-Sensitive Parliaments: A Global Review of Good Practice’, published in 2011,

–  having regard to its resolutions of 10 February 2010 on equality between women and men in the European Union – 2009(1), of 8 March 2011 on equality between women and men in the European Union – 2010(2), of 13 March 2012 on equality between women and men in the European Union – 2011(3), and of 10 March 2015 on progress on equality between women and men in the European Union in 2013(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2003 on gender mainstreaming in the European Parliament(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 18 January 2007 on gender mainstreaming in the work of the committees(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 22 April 2009 on gender mainstreaming in the work of its committees and delegations(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 May 2009 on gender mainstreaming in EU external relations and peace-building/nation-building(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2012 on women in political decision-making – quality and equality(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2015 on the EU Strategy for equality between women and men post 2015(10),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the new Strategy for Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in Europe post-2015(11),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 21 February 1996 entitled ‘Incorporating equal opportunities for women and men into all Community policies and activities’ (COM(1996)0067) committing itself to ‘[promoting] equality between women and men in all [its] activities and policies at all levels’, effectively specifying the gender mainstreaming principle,

–  having regard to the study entitled ‘Evaluation of the Strategy for Equality between women and men 2010-2015 as a contribution to achieve the goals of the Beijing Platform for Action’, published in 2014 by European Parliament Policy Department C,

–  having regard to the study entitled ‘Gender Mainstreaming in Committees and Delegations of the European Parliament’, published in 2014 by European Parliament Policy Department C,

–  having regard to the study entitled ‘The EU Budget for Gender Equality”, published in 2015 by European Parliament Policy Department D,

–  having regard to the note entitled ‘Guidance on the development of gender equality and the empowerment of women policies’, published by UN Women in May 2014,

–  having regard to the paper entitled ‘Advances in EU Gender Equality: Missing the mark?’ published in 2014 by the European Policy Institutes Network,

–  having regard to the Human Resources Annual Report 2014 published by the European Parliament’s Directorate-General for Personnel,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0034/2016),

A.  whereas Article 8 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFUE) lays down gender mainstreaming as a horizontal principle and Article 2 of the Treaty on European Union (TUE) lays down the principle of gender equality as a value of the Union;

B.  whereas the Charter of Fundamental Rights contains specific provisions on the horizontal principle of gender equality, and Article 6 TEU recognises that the Charter has the same legal values as the Treaties;

C.  whereas achieving gender equality is central to the protection of human rights, the functioning of democracy, respect for the rule of law, and economic growth, social inclusion and sustainability;

D.  whereas progress in achieving gender equality in the EU is stagnating and at this pace will not be achieved for some time yet;

E.  whereas, in the Strategic engagement for gender equality 2016-2019, the Commission undertook to continue gender mainstreaming actions, including through evaluation and monitoring exercises; whereas the Commission has downgraded its strategic engagement for gender equality post 2015 to a staff working document;

F.  whereas the fifth objective of the Sustainable Development Goals is the achievement of gender equality by 2030;

G.  whereas gender mainstreaming means ‘the integration of a gender perspective into every aspect of EU policy – preparation, design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, legal measures and spending programmes – with a view to achieving equality between women and men’(12);

H.  whereas gender mainstreaming must include the rights, perspectives and well-being of LGBTIQ people and people of all gender identities;

I.  whereas gender mainstreaming should be a proactive and reactive tool to achieve gender equality;

J.  whereas gender mainstreaming is not a policy goal in itself, but a key means of achieving gender equality, always in combination with other specific actions and policies targeted at advancing gender equality;

K.  whereas one of the competences of the committee responsible is to contribute to the implementation and further development of gender mainstreaming in all policy areas;

L.  whereas the majority of parliamentary committees generally give importance to gender mainstreaming (e.g. in their legislative work, in their working relations with the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and when drawing up action plans on equality), while some committees exhibit little or no interest in this matter;

M.  whereas, since the previous parliamentary term, the committee responsible has developed a practice of making focused contributions to the reports of other committees through ‘gender mainstreaming amendments’ (GMAs); whereas according to a study published in 2014(13), 85 % of the GMAs tabled between July 2011 and February 2013 have been incorporated in the final reports adopted by lead committees; whereas further data from February 2013 onwards is necessary for an updated assessment to be made of the gender mainstreaming situation in Parliament;

N.  whereas, following the 2003 resolution on gender mainstreaming, each parliamentary committee appoints one of its members as responsible for gender mainstreaming, thus establishing ‘the gender mainstreaming network’; whereas subsequent resolutions on this topic called for the continuous development of this network and for a similar network to be established in the interparliamentary delegations; whereas the network is supported by a network at staff level in the committee secretariats;

O.  whereas a questionnaire was filled in by members of the network in order to assess the state of play of gender mainstreaming in their respective policy areas;

P.  whereas the MFF (multiannual financial framework) is accompanied by a joint declaration by the three institutions, which agreed that ‘the annual budgetary procedures applied for the MFF 2014-2020 will integrate, as appropriate, gender-responsive elements, taking into account the ways in which the overall financial framework of the Union contributes to increased gender equality (and ensures gender mainstreaming)’; whereas, despite this, the actual commitment to continuing gender mainstreaming and empowering women needs to be bolstered, since existing policies have only been implemented to a modest extent and insufficient budgetary resources have been allocated specifically for gender matters;

Q.  whereas gender budgeting has not been consistently applied by any of the EU institutions;

R.  whereas the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE) has been established to contribute to and strengthen the promotion of gender equality, including gender mainstreaming in all EU policies and the resulting national policies; whereas EIGE has developed a Platform on Gender Mainstreaming and a Gender Equality Glossary and Thesaurus to support decision makers, the staff of the EU institutions and governmental bodies with the integration of a gender perspective in their work;

S.  whereas gender mainstreaming involves both integrating a gender perspective into the content of the different policies and addressing the issue of the representation of women, men and people of all gender identities in the given policy areas; whereas both dimensions need to be taken into consideration in all phases of the policy-making process;

T.  whereas all internal and external EU policies should be designed to benefit boys and girls, and men and women, as well as all other gender identities equally;

U.  whereas the implementation of gender mainstreaming is listed among the main weaknesses in the Commission’s evaluation of the gender equality strategy 2010-2015;

V.  whereas a gender-sensitive parliament has a crucial role to play in redressing gender imbalances, promoting parity of economic, social and political participation for women and men and expanding the gender equality policy framework;

W.  whereas gender mainstreaming training for MEPs and Parliament staff, particularly those in management positions, is key to promoting a gender perspective in all policy areas and stages;

X.  whereas insufficient funds and human resources are being allocated to ensure real progress in gender mainstreaming of Parliament’s activities;

Y.  whereas the systematic and periodic collection of gender-disaggregated data and statistics in policy impact assessments and in the policy-making process is indispensable for analysing the advancement of gender equality; whereas more qualitative research must be carried out within Parliament in order to establish the significance and impact of gender mainstreaming tools on policy outcomes, resolutions and legislative texts;

Z.  whereas female representation in key decision-making positions at political and administrative level, including within Parliament’s political groups, remains low; whereas women tend to chair the committees which are less connected to resource allocation and economic decision making; whereas in order to improve the quality of decisions made, Parliament needs to ensure that the allocation of decision-making positions is evenly spread between genders; whereas men must commit to promoting gender equality in all areas and at all levels and male MEPs must be encouraged to engage with gender mainstreaming in their work;

AA.  whereas Parliament has the organisational structure in place to promote gender mainstreaming within its activities, and this structure must be better coordinated, reinforced and expanded, with fresh political and administrative will, in order to achieve a higher degree of gender mainstreaming;

AB.  whereas greater interinstitutional cooperation on gender mainstreaming between Parliament, the Council and the Commission is needed in order to ensure that gender perspectives can be introduced at all stages of the policy cycle, which would facilitate Parliament’s own gender mainstreaming work;

AC.  whereas input from external stakeholders, such as civil society organisations, grassroots women’s rights and gender equality groups, international institutions, academia and national parliaments, is important in improving Parliament’s gender mainstreaming processes, and in fostering reciprocal exchanges to promote best practice;

AD.  whereas Parliament’s gender mainstreaming resolution, adopted in 2007, called for an assessment to be conducted every two years on gender mainstreaming in its work;

General assessment of the existing institutional framework

1.  Takes the view that, in order to integrate a gender perspective into a policy process, different aspects should be considered: the content of the policy and gender representation in the administration and in decision making; also notes that clear data on the impacts of policy are vital to the continuing improvement of gender equality;

2.  Notes that within the Parliament’s organisational structure different bodies are in charge of developing and implementing gender mainstreaming both at policy and working life level:

   the High-Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity, which is responsible for promoting full equality between women and men in all aspects of working life in Parliament’s Secretariat;
   the committee responsible for specific action aimed at integrating a gender perspective into the work of the other committees and delegations;
   the gender mainstreaming network;
   the services responsible for the successful implementation of balanced gender representation with regard to all posts in the organisation chart;

3.  Regrets that the activities of these different bodies responsible for gender mainstreaming are not being coordinated or integrated within Parliament or with other institutions (no interinstitutional cooperation mechanism for gender mainstreaming); undertakes to establish effective cooperation between all actors in this institutional framework, based on specific mechanisms such as monitoring and performance feedback;

4.  Reiterates its commitment to regularly adopt and implement a policy plan for gender mainstreaming within Parliament, with the overall objective of promoting gender equality through effective incorporation of the gender perspective in policies and activities, including decision-making structures and the administration;

5.  Calls for ongoing development of the gender mainstreaming network, representing committees but also interparliamentary delegations, and its full involvement in regular monitoring of the state of play of gender mainstreaming across policy areas; notes the need for greater and active participation by MEPs in the network and calls for substitute MEPs to be added to the network in order to increase participation, as is the case for committees and delegations;

6.  Stresses that, according to the aforementioned 2014 study on this issue, the most effective tool for including a gender equality perspective in the policy process has been the use of procedures involving cooperation with other committees; emphasises the need for the other committees to support the gender mainstreaming work and to implement it in their activities;

7.  Invites the services responsible to continue working on specific measures to promote work life balance; regrets that among EP officials women remain in the majority in the assistants’ function group (AST); calls for a yearly analysis of the state of play of gender equality within Parliament, based on gender disaggregated data, at all levels of staff and political bodies, including parliamentary assistants, and for this reporting to be made public;

8.   Calls for the structural barriers to be addressed, and for the creation of an enabling environment for women to take part in decision-making positions at all levels, such as measures for the reconciliation of work and private life and positive action measures, through which the number of the underrepresented gender can be increased in positions which are dominated by either women or men; calls for political parties to recognise their responsibility in the promotion of women, as the power to recruit, select and nominate candidates is in the hands of these parties;

9.  Deplores the fact that the targets for gender balance at senior and middle management level adopted by the Bureau in 2006 (Kaufmann report) were not reached by the 2009 deadline, nor have they been reached to date; notes that these targets have been subsequently confirmed by the High Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity for the subsequent years; urges for effective, corrective and far-reaching measures to be taken so as to reach these gender equality targets within the shortest possible time frame;

10.  Notes that the High Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity is responsible for adopting an Action Plan for the Promotion of Equality and Diversity in Parliament and ensuring its implementation; calls on the high level group, with the support of the competent services, to submit a comprehensive gender equality roadmap indicating how to increase the representation of women in middle and senior management positions to 40 % by 2020; invites the Directorate-General for Personnel and the political groups to consider proposing both a woman and a man for Head of Unit positions when posts are vacant;

11.  Recommends that the standing rapporteur on gender mainstreaming, once that post has been established, should work together with the High Level Group to ensure that gender mainstreaming targets for Parliament’s secretariat and staff are met;

12.  Invites the political groups to consider proposing both a woman and a man for the position of Chair in committees and groups;

13.  Notes that equal gender representation in each committee is desirable, to the extent that circumstances allow; invites the political groups to consider nominating MEPs from the underrepresented gender in each committee, in a coordinated fashion; invites the political groups to nominate an equal number of male and female MEPs as members and substitutes of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality, in order to encourage the involvement of men in gender equality policy;

Gender mainstreaming tools

14.  Stresses that the practice of using GMAs has proved to be more effective than opinions as they are more concise, can be more rapidly submitted and relate to key, specific and delimited issues; reiterates its call on the competent committee to include this practice of GMAs in the Rules of Procedure, taking into account the specific role of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in gender mainstreaming as a horizontal principle; calls for closer cooperation among committees and for effective coordination between the gender mainstreaming network and the competent committee at both political and administrative levels, aimed at bringing a substantial gender dimension into the reports; highlights the importance of the role of the network members in each committee in facilitating effective input from the competent committee through GMAs and opinions, and calls for effective coordination between the responsible members of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality and the network members in the GMA procedure; reiterates the need for close coordination between the competent committee and lead committees on GMAs and opinions, to ensure optimal scheduling and planning for effective input into the lead committee report;

15.  Regrets that despite the interinstitutional declaration on ensuring gender mainstreaming annexed to the MFF, no measures concerning gender budgeting have so far been taken; underlines, in this connection, the need to closely monitor how the principles of the joint declaration have been implemented as regards annual budgetary procedures, and calls for the committee responsible to be given a formal role in the MFF revision;

16.  Stresses that gender-responsive budgeting in the form of planning, programming and budgeting that contributes to the advancement of gender equality and the fulfilment of women’s rights is one of the key tools used by policy-makers to tackle the gender gaps; deplores that the gender budgeting exercise has revealed that the gender perspective is far from being assumed in all policies, at all levels and at every stage of the policy-making process; notes that, in this context, it is particularly crucial to build up in-house capacity on gender-responsive budgeting in order to enhance Parliament’s scrutiny role on these matters; notes that the implications of spending and revenue decisions have an extremely different impact on women and men and underlines that MEPs on the relevant committees should take these different effects into consideration in the design of budgets; stresses that gender-responsive budgeting promotes accountability and transparency in respect of Parliament’s commitment to gender equality;

17.  Takes note that the Commission has undertaken to continue gender mainstreaming by incorporating gender-equality considerations in impact assessments and evaluations in line with the Better Regulation principles and is considering issuing a report on gender mainstreaming in the Commission in 2017;

18.  Reaffirms the need for sufficient allocation of resources also at Parliament level in order to develop gender impact assessments and gender-based analysis; calls on the Commission to perform systematic gender impact assessments on new legislative or policy proposals, on the basis of its reinforced assessment of their impact on fundamental rights and in order to guarantee that the EU is upholding women’s rights; emphasises that such analyses and the data collection methods used need to be sensitive to the experiences of LGBTIQ persons; underlines that committees are to be encouraged to take advantage of internal expertise as well as the external expertise of other institutions and bodies from the public or private sector which are active in promoting gender mainstreaming;

19.  Calls on EIGE to regularly submit information to every committee in order to underline the gender perspective in every sector of policy making and to make available the data and tools it has developed, such as the gender mainstreaming platform, as part of a broader capacity-building exercise, addressed also to staff and parliamentary assistants; calls on the Research Service to carry out regular detailed qualitative and quantitative research on the progress of gender mainstreaming in Parliament and the functioning of the organisational structure dedicated to it;

20.  Regrets that, at present, EIGE does not have sufficient resources to conduct all the work it is asked to perform, and therefore stresses that there is a need to ensure that EIGE’s budget is amended in accordance with its broad mandate;

21.  Notes that, in the replies to the questionnaires on the state of gender mainstreaming in the parliamentary committees, specific tools were highlighted as being effective in integrating a gender perspective in the work of committees, including:

   distribution of key documents and inclusion of gender equality issues in the terms of reference of studies commissioned;
   focusing attention on the use of specific terminology and definitions in relation to gender equality issues;
   promoting ex-ante and ex-post assessment of draft proposals for legislation and for future agreements;
   training and awareness-raising activities for Members, staff, political advisers and assistants;

and strongly recommends the further development and implementation of these tools in the work of Parliament;

22.  Recalls that gender mainstreaming evaluations and programmes also require an effective follow-up measure to be conducted in order to address the effectiveness and possible problems of each action; underlines that it is important to implement corrective measures where needed, and to develop gender mainstreaming if lack of progress is detected after the implementation of corrective measures;

23.  Recommends that Parliament’s Directorate-General for Communication include a stronger gender perspective in its reporting of Parliament’s policy-making;

24.  Expresses its full support for developing targeted and regular gender mainstreaming training, with adequate resources and tailor-made for Parliament specific needs, addressed to all Parliament staff working in policy fields, with more extensive training provided for middle and senior management, specifically Heads of Unit; calls for gender mainstreaming training to be made available for MEPs, parliamentary assistants and political group staff; calls for leadership training to be organised for women, and for women to be offered experience of leadership positions; recommends that training sessions include information on the multiple and intersectional forms of discrimination; highlights the need to ensure that all its services are aware of their responsibilities in implementing gender mainstreaming, including those in charge of human resources, security and facilities; suggests the introduction of specific human resources guidelines effectively implementing gender mainstreaming in order to improve the well-being of all staff, including LGBTIQ people, in the workplace;

Gender mainstreaming in the work of committees

25.  Reiterates the call for the commitment to delivering a biannual report on gender mainstreaming in the work of Parliament to be met; is aware of the role that the gender mainstreaming network plays in assessing the state of play of gender mainstreaming in each policy area and recommends that the questionnaire that serves as a basis for the aforementioned report become an annual monitoring method;

26.  Notes that, in their answers to the questionnaires, the members of the network generally replied that, in their specific policy area, gender-specific needs were taken into account in various activities such as reports, amendments on gender equality, studies, hearings, missions and exchanges of views;

27.   Welcomes the specific initiatives taken by several parliamentary committees in this field; regrets that a large majority of the committees have neither adopted nor discussed an action plan on gender equality for their work; stresses how important it is for the competent bodies to work with all committees and delegations in order to share best practices, including through the gender mainstreaming network, and to establish a clear procedure, to be incorporated into Parliament’s Rules of Procedure, on the adoption of a gender action plan by each committee and delegation; recommends that each committee hold a hearing on gender mainstreaming in its policy area once every two years, to coincide with the drafting of the gender mainstreaming report;

28.  Underlines the need to thoroughly assess the functioning of the GM network and identify ways of ensuring closer involvement of and greater awareness among the network members; recommends that members and substitutes of the gender mainstreaming network be committed to gender equality, but points out that they do not necessarily have to be members of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality as this would allow a larger pool of MEPs to work on gender mainstreaming; recommends regular contact and exchanges between the committee responsible and the network;

29.  Recommends that the gender mainstreaming network be co-chaired by the committee responsible with another member of the network, the latter being appointed on a rota basis from among the different committees in order to signal that gender mainstreaming involves all the committees;

30.   Takes the view that an internal monitoring body needs to be created in order to follow up and evaluate ex-post the implementation of tools and actions; calls for the formulation of specific job descriptions for members of staff responsible for gender mainstreaming in committees; calls on the competent authorities to evaluate the progress of gender mainstreaming in the committees and delegations biannually;

Interinstitutional cooperation to support gender mainstreaming

31.  Believes that stronger interinstitutional relations will improve the gender balance in EU policy-making; notes that no structured cooperation on gender mainstreaming has yet been established with other institutional partners, such as the Commission, the Council and EIGE; calls on the Commission to propose an appropriate framework for establishing interinstitutional gender mainstreaming cooperation and also involving other stakeholders in this field;

32.  Calls on the Commission to follow up on the results of the public consultation and the positions of Parliament and of the Council by immediately adopting a communication on a new Strategy for Gender Equality and Women’s Rights post-2015 which addresses gender equality issues in line with the international agenda;

33.  Recommends that data be provided annually by the European Ombudsman to Parliament’s High Level Group on Gender Equality and Diversity, as regards complaints about maladministration relating to gender equality in Parliament, with due respect for the Decision of the European Parliament on the regulations and general conditions governing the performance of the Ombudsman’s duties;

34.  Believes that the exchange of best practice with other organisations will strengthen Parliament’s capacity building and effectiveness in the implementation of gender mainstreaming; calls for exchanges of best practice to be organised at all levels with other institutions and organisations such as UN Women, the Council of Europe, the EU institutions and stakeholders involved in promoting gender equality, such as gender equality bodies, the social partners and NGOs; encourages participation in the specific capacity-building programmes of other international organisations and in gaining their support for organising tailor-made gender mainstreaming programmes;

35.  Requests that the Directorate-General for Personnel exchange gender equality and diversity best practices and technical assistance, for instance with the US Congress and national equality bodies, on promoting underrepresented racial and ethnic minority communities in short-term recruitment procedures and EPSO competitions; calls for a focus on trainees, and for developing initiatives and programmes dedicated to promoting youth traineeships for young people, particularly women, from underrepresented racial and ethnic minority groups;

36.  Underlines the need to have an open and ongoing dialogue with national parliaments in order to establish regular exchanges of views, exchange new techniques and report back on policy impact assessments, with a view to promoting a shared approach and further developing best practices in advancing gender mainstreaming; recommends organising regular interparliamentary meetings on gender mainstreaming;

o
o   o

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

(1) OJ C 341 E, 16.12.2010, p. 35.
(2) OJ C 199 E, 7.7.2012, p. 65.
(3) OJ C 251 E, 31.8.2013, p. 1.
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0050.
(5) OJ C 61 E, 10.3.2004, p. 384.
(6) OJ C 244 E, 18.10.2007, p. 225.
(7) OJ C 184 E, 8.7.2010, p. 18.
(8) OJ C 212 E, 5.8.2010, p. 32.
(9) OJ C 251 E, 31.8.2013, p. 11.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0218.
(11) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0042.
(12) SWD(2015)0278.
(13) ‘Gender Mainstreaming in Committees and Delegations of the European Parliament’, European Parliament Policy Department C.


The situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU
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European Parliament resolution of 8 March 2016 on the situation of women refugees and asylum seekers in the EU (2015/2325(INI))
P8_TA(2016)0073A8-0024/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 2 and Article 3(3), second subparagraph, of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Article 8 and Article 78 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to Article 23 of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to the 1951 Convention and the 1967 Protocol relating to the Status of Refugees,

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

–  having regard to the 1979 UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and to General Recommendation No 32 of the CEDAW Committee on the gender-related dimensions of refugee status, asylum, nationality and the statelessness of women of 14 November 2014,

–  having regard to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention),

–  having regard to the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action adopted by the Fourth World Conference on Women on 15 September 1995, and to the subsequent outcome documents adopted at the United Nations Beijing +5, Beijing +10, Beijing +15 and Beijing +20 special sessions,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 13 May 2015 entitled ‘A European Agenda on Migration’ (COM(2015)0240),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 27 May 2015 entitled ‘EU Action Plan against migrant smuggling (2015-2020)’ (COM(2015)0285),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions on migration of 12 October 2015, and particularly the commitment expressed therein to the human rights of women and girls,

–  having regard to Directive 2011/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 5 April 2011 on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims and replacing Council Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA,

–  having regard to Directive 2012/29/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime, and replacing Council Framework Decision 2001/220/JHA,

–  having regard to Directive 2013/33/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection,

–  having regard to Directive 2008/115/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 December 2008 on common standards and procedures in Member States for returning illegally staying third-country nationals,

–  having regard to Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council establishing an EU common list of safe countries of origin for the purposes of Directive 2013/32/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection, and amending Directive 2013/32/EU (COM(2015)0452),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 July 2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or a stateless person,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions entitled ‘Gender Action Plan 2016-2020’ of 26 October 2015,

–  having regard to the joint staff working document of the Commission and the High Representative of the European Union for foreign affairs and security policy of 25 March 2015 entitled ‘Implementation of the European Neighbourhood Policy in 2014’ (SWD(2015)0076),

–  having regard to United Nations Security Council resolutions (UNSCR) 1325 and 1820 on women, peace and security,

–  having regard to its resolution of 2 December 2015 on the Special Report of the European Ombudsman in own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning Frontex(1),

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality (A8-0024/2016),

A.  whereas an unprecedented and increasing number of men, women and children are seeking international protection in the EU as a result of ongoing conflicts, regional instability and human rights violations, including gender-based violence and rape as a weapon of war;

B.  whereas there is a great degree of gender inequality for asylum applicants across the European Union; whereas women account on average for one third of people who apply for asylum; whereas between the start of 2015 and November of the same year, some 900 000 people crossed the Mediterranean to reach Europe’s coasts, and women and children accounted for around 38 % of the total; whereas the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has reported that, as of January 2016, women and children account for 55 % of those reaching Greece to seek asylum in the EU; whereas too many people have already lost their lives during these journeys of hope and many of them have been women;

C.  whereas women and LGBTI people are subject to specific forms of gender-based persecution, which is still too often not recognised in asylum procedures;

D.  whereas UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women, peace and security has not achieved its primary objective of protecting women and substantially increasing their participation in political and decision-making processes;

E.  whereas an estimated 20 000 women and girls from countries of origin practising female genital mutilation (FGM) seek asylum in EU Member States every year according to the UNHCR; whereas a significant number of women presenting an asylum claim are doing so based on a fear of FGM;

F.  whereas the UNHCR has estimated that 71 % of female EU asylum applicants from FGM-practising countries are survivors of FGM; whereas the European Court of Human Rights has issued rulings halting the expulsion of girls in danger of being forced to undergo genital mutilation, in view of the irreparable harm likely to be done to their physical and psychological health;

G.  whereas women and girls seeking asylum have specific protection needs and different concerns from men which require that the implementation of all asylum policies and procedures, including the assessment of the asylum claims, be gender sensitive and individual; whereas violence-related asylum claims should be dealt with in a way that protects women from secondary victimisation during the asylum process;

H.  whereas the integration process and rights of women and girls are undermined when their legal status is dependent upon their spouse;

I.  whereas the relevant acts making up the Common European Asylum System must be transposed and implemented in accordance with the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and other relevant instruments;

J.  whereas the treatment of women and girls seeking asylum across Member States differs hugely, and very significant shortcomings remain;

K.  whereas women refugees and asylum seekers are often subjected to multiple forms of discrimination and are more vulnerable to sexual and gender-based violence in their countries of origin, transit and destination; whereas unaccompanied women and girls, women heads of household, pregnant women, people with disabilities and the elderly are particularly vulnerable;

L.  whereas women refugees not only face threats to their personal safety (long and dangerous journeys into exile, harassment, official indifference and, frequently, sexual abuse and violence, even once they have reached a place that seems safe and the resulting social stigmatisation), but are also responsible for the physical safety, welfare and survival of their families;

M.  whereas many refugees who have arrived in Europe live in makeshift conditions in camps or on the streets, and women and girls are especially vulnerable;

N.  whereas criminal networks are taking advantage of the lack of safe passage into the EU for asylum seekers and refugees, regional instability, conflict and the vulnerability of women and girls trying to flee, in order to exploit them through trafficking and sexual exploitation;

O.  whereas women who are subjected to violence and trafficking are more exposed to the risk of sexually transmitted diseases;

P.  whereas the Office of the UNHCR has reported instances of violence and abuse, including sexual violence, against refugee women and children, throughout their journey and including in overcrowded reception centres in the EU;

Q.  whereas women and girls seeking refuge in the EU often flee from regimes that are oppressive towards women, do not recognise women’s equality with men, tolerate violence against women, abuse, and child, early and forced marriages;

R.  whereas very often, reception hubs do not contain any internal areas that are suitable for mothers housed there who have to support and look after their children; whereas, in addition, legal assistance facilities do not give adequate support in providing information and helping in the search for family members;

S.  whereas the most basic needs to prevent gender based violence, which are separate bathrooms, showers and sleeping arrangements for women, are not met in reception nor transit facilities across the European Union;

T.  whereas girls fleeing conflict and persecution are at a heightened risk of child, early and forced marriage, rape, sexual and physical abuse, and prostitution;

U.  whereas separation from family members, including when detained, exposes women and children to greater risks;

V.  whereas family reunification, although a basic human right, is systematically delayed and even violated, and whereas women and children are the first victims of this right being denied or delayed;

W.  whereas women are often forced to accept undeclared work in degrading conditions so that they can stay in their country of arrival;

X.  whereas the Beijing Platform for Action highlighted the need to increase the participation of women in conflict resolution at decision-making levels and the need for refugee, displaced and migrant women to be appropriately involved in decisions that affect them;

Y.  whereas Sustainable Development Goal No 5 seeks to achieve gender equality and improve living conditions for women by 2030;

1.  Believes that, to improve the security and safety of women and girl refugees, safe and legal routes to the EU must be made available for those fleeing conflict and persecution, and that gender should be taken into account; stresses in particular that more Member States should participate in the EU Resettlement Programmes; believes that legislation and policies relating to irregular migration should not prevent access to EU asylum procedures; stresses that the right to asylum is enshrined in Article 18 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights;

2.  Emphasises the urgent need to immediately open safe and legal asylum routes, in order to counter smuggling networks and to increasingly enable women, children, the elderly and people with disabilities to seek refuge without risking their lives; is deeply concerned about deaths, pushbacks and grave human rights violations at the EU external borders; takes the view that responsibilities and costs and benefits should be shared by all 28 Member States and not just by the countries of first arrival; regrets the lack of solidarity among Member States;

3.  Emphasises the importance of women refugees being registered individually and issued with the documents which guarantee their personal safety, freedom of movement and access to essential services, as required by the UNHCR;

4.  Stresses that the principle of gender parity should be observed in coordination committees and any other kind of body representing refugees, whether in urban or rural areas, and in the refugee camps, including in areas to which refugees are returned, so as to ensure that the rights of women refugees and asylum seekers are upheld and their needs are met;

5.  Reiterates its call for all Member States and the European Union to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women (Istanbul Convention);

6.  Asks all Member States, in collaboration with the EU, to guarantee specialised trauma counselling and psychosocial care for women who have experienced gender-based harm, with the direct involvement of qualified women who are specialists in the field, and which is available at all stages of the asylum process;

7.  Expresses its deep concern at reports that women and children are engaging in survival sex to pay smugglers to continue their journey to seek asylum in the EU; reemphasises that safe and legal routes to Europe are key to effectively preventing this reality;

8.  Urges the EU to include a gender-sensitive perspective when establishing a complaint mechanism within the office of the Frontex Fundamental Rights officer and to address human rights violations committed by Frontex, Member States and officers of third countries when cooperating with Frontex, as called for in Parliament’s resolution of 2 December 2015 on the Special Report of the European Ombudsman in own-initiative inquiry OI/5/2012/BEH-MHZ concerning Frontex;

9.  Calls for targeted measures to ensure the full integration of women refugees and asylum seekers, by preventing all forms of exploitation, abuse, violence and trafficking;

10.  Stresses that all EU migration and asylum policies and measures should take into account gender in their design, implementation and evaluation;

Gender dimension of refugee status determination

11.  Calls for a new, comprehensive set of EU-wide gender guidelines to be adopted as part of wider reforms to migration and asylum policy, which take full account of the social, cultural and political dimensions of persecution and include reception and integration measures;

12.  Underlines that, even in countries deemed safe, women may suffer gender-based persecution, while LGBTI people may also be subjected to abuse, and thus have a legitimate request for protection; calls on all Member States to adopt asylum procedures and endeavour to develop training programmes which are sensitive to the needs of women with multiple marginalised identities, including LGBTI women; urges all Member States to combat harmful stereotypes about the behaviour and characteristics of LGBTI women and to fully apply the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights in respect of their asylum claims; stresses the need for LGBTI-sensitive reception facilities across all Member States; highlights that violence against LGBTI individuals is common in reception facilities;

13.  Highlights that gendered forms of violence and discrimination, including but not limited to rape and sexual violence, FGM, forced marriage, domestic violence, so-called honour crimes and state-sanctioned gender discrimination, constitute persecution and should be valid reasons for seeking asylum in the EU and that this should be reflected in new gender guidelines;

14.  Calls on the Commission to gather thorough statistics on migration and international protection with a view to adding more gender disaggregated data categories, particularly in relation to stages in the asylum process after an initial decision has been made;

15.  Urges the Commission to develop interpretative guidelines on FGM which give full consideration to the UNHCR Guidelines on gender-based persecution and Guidance Note on FGM and which clearly outline Member States’ obligations, with a particular focus on identifying and communicating with vulnerable asylum seekers; stresses that FGM survivors may have difficulty in expressing their trauma from FGM; calls on the Member States to take measures to ensure that all forms of violence against women, including FGM, can be recognised as a form of persecution and that the victims can thus avail themselves of the protection offered by the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, in line with Article 60 of the Istanbul Convention;

16.  Calls on the Member States to ensure that asylum procedures at borders comply with the UNHCR Guidelines on International Protection, in particular with regard to gender-related persecution, and with the UNHCR Guidelines on Claims to Refugee Status based on Sexual Orientation and/or Gender Identity, which clearly outline the Member States’ obligations;

17.  Calls on the Commission, in view of the situation described, to review the increased funding for and wider scope of the Daphne and Odysseus programmes and to assess whether these programmes could be adapted to the current situation, in order to protect women refugees;

18.  Notes the Commission’s proposal to establish a common EU list of safe countries of origin; demands that all appropriate steps be taken to ensure that this approach is consistent with the principle of non-refoulement and that the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups are not undermined; calls for gender differentiation to be applied; believes that any list of safe countries of origin should not result in less favourable procedural treatment for women whose claims for asylum are based on fear or experience of gender-based violence; stresses the need to avoid hasty decisions which do not take due account of the dangers, and even the threat of death, facing women who have suffered gender-based violence if their application is rejected and they are forced to return to their own country;

19.  Calls for more objective and gender-sensitive approaches to credibility assessment in all Member States, and enhanced training on credibility assessment for decision-makers which incorporates a gender dimension; highlights that credibility assessments can never be completely accurate and should not be used as the only basis for a negative asylum decision; recommends that when assessing asylum claims from women, cultural, social and psychological profiles including cultural background, education, trauma, fear, shame and/or cultural inequalities between men and women should be taking into account;

20.  Calls on the Member States to give reasons for positive asylum decisions in order to make available useful data on the consideration given to gender-based violence and to ensure transparency as to the grounds on which asylum claims have been granted under the Convention;

21.  Urges the Member States to provide women with information on asylum procedures, their rights and the specific services available to women applying for asylum; underlines the right of women to lodge a claim for asylum independent of their spouse as key to women’s empowerment and the principle of non-refoulement; urges the Member States to inform all women of their right to make an independent claim for asylum, thus enabling women to apply for and maintain the status of refugee or asylum seeker regardless of the situation of other members of their family;

22.  Calls on the Member states to fully implement Directive 2011/36/EU on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims and Directive 2012/29/EU on establishing minimum standards on the rights, support and protection of victims of crime;

23.  Takes the view that prompt action should be taken in terms of humanitarian assistance whenever gender-based violence is suspected, given the extremely high exposure of vulnerable groups such as women and children to forms of physical violence and moral coercion along illegal migration routes, where all kinds of rights are denied;

24.  Stresses that women and girls are particularly vulnerable to exploitation by smugglers; calls therefore on Member States to increase their police and judicial cooperation, including with Europol, Frontex, Eurojust and the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) in order to effectively combat smuggling and trafficking of migrants;

25.  Stresses the crucial importance of providing childcare and care for dependants during screening and asylum interviews, in order to ensure a fair opportunity to make an asylum claim;

Needs of women in asylum procedures

26.  Urges the Member States to duly inform women seeking asylum about their rights and in particular about the right to request a female interviewer and interpreter and to have a personal interview separately from any third parties; urges the Member States to deliver comprehensive and mandatory training for interviewers and interpreters on sexual violence, trauma and memory; urges the Member States to ensure that these rights are being respected; urges the Member States to comply with Article 15(3) of the Asylum Procedures Directive;

27.  Notes with concern that many asylum case workers in the EU are not familiar with FGM; calls on the Member States to work at national level with their asylum authorities to establish better procedures to help support and assist women and girls who have undergone or who are at risk of FGM;

28.  Urges all Member States to provide up to date and accessible information about the asylum process, rights and entitlements specific to women seeking asylum;

29.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to guarantee full access to sexual and reproductive health and rights, including access to safe abortion, and to allocate additional resources to healthcare provision as a matter of urgency;

30.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to guarantee women’s protection and assistance during their stay in refugee camps, at border controls and of course after entering into the EU;

31.  Urges all Member States to sign and ratify the Council of Europe Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence and to apply Article 59 thereof, which clearly states that the parties should take the necessary measures to suspend expulsion proceedings and/or to grant an autonomous residence permit in the event of a dissolution of marriage to those women migrants whose residence status depends on their spouse;

32.  Calls for women asylum seekers and migrants to be granted an independent legal status from that of their spouse, in order to avoid exploitation, decrease vulnerability and achieve greater equality;

33.  Stresses that undocumented migrant women and girls should have full access to their basic fundamental rights and that channels for legal migration should be developed;

34.  Stresses the need for family reunification procedures to afford individual rights to women and girls joining their families in the EU, so that they do not have to depend on a possibly abusive relationship with the male family member for access to health, education or work;

35.  Strongly condemns the use of sexual violence against women as a weapon of war; considers that special attention should be given to migrant women and girls abused in conflicts by ensuring access to medical and psychological support;

36.  Welcomes the development of a new training module on Gender, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation by the EASO; calls for the full incorporation of gender mainstreaming and gender budgeting into the work of the EASO through gender focal points and formal liaison with the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE); calls for country of origin information which includes the situation of women, both legally and de facto, including information about the persecution of women, or threat thereof, by non-state actors;

37.  Encourages all Member States to make full use of the Dublin Regulation to ensure that families are able to be together and have their asylum claims processed by the same authorities;

Reception and detention

38.  Calls for all detention of children in the EU to stop, and for parents to be able to live with their children in appropriate tailored facilities while awaiting their asylum decision;

39.  Underlines that the detention of asylum seekers should be avoided, and can only be applied where it pursues a legitimate purpose and has been determined to be both necessary and proportionate in each individual case, and can never be justified in the case of anyone under 18 years of age; considers that respecting the right to seek asylum entails instituting open and humane reception arrangements for asylum seekers, including safe, dignified and human-rights-compatible treatment; stresses the need to develop alternatives to detention, including engagement-focused approaches which meet the needs of vulnerable groups;

40.  Highlights that many women asylum seekers and refugees have experienced extreme violence and that detention may exacerbate their trauma; highlights that detention of asylum seekers for mere administrative convenience violates the right to liberty as enshrined in Article 6 of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights; calls for an immediate end, in all Member States, to the detention of children, pregnant and nursing women and survivors of rape, sexual violence and trafficking, and for appropriate psychological support to be made available;

41.  Urges all Member States to reduce the maximum limits on the duration of detention prior to removal to below the limit stipulated in the Return Directive; considers that prolonged detention disproportionately harms vulnerable groups;

42.  Urges that women asylum seekers in detention who have been subjected to sexual abuse receive appropriate medical advice and counselling, including in cases resulting in pregnancy, and be provided with the necessary physical and mental health care, support and legal aid; demands that the Commission and the Member States take immediate measures to ensure that reception, transit and detention conditions are safe, humane and adequate, with separate accommodation and sanitation facilities for women and families; points out that the provision of appropriate basic hygiene kits for all women and girls should be standard practice in assistance programmes;

43.  Points out that involving women refugees directly and indirectly in managing the distribution of food and non-food items will ensure that the goods in question are distributed and controlled directly by adult women members of households, thereby guaranteeing that they are distributed fairly;

44.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to equip reception hubs for refugees and asylum seekers with appropriate areas enabling them to support and look after their children;

45.  Calls on the Member States to implement or strengthen mechanisms to monitor overcrowded reception centres in the EU, in which minimum standards to mitigate gender-based violence do not necessarily apply, in order to prevent the harassment of women and children from continuing also in the country of arrival;

46.  Stresses that the needs of vulnerable people such as women victims of violence and girls, in particular unaccompanied girls, should be prioritised in the reception procedures;

47.  Highlights the importance of equipping reception facilities with appropriate legal assistance for women in order to provide them with valuable support in terms of information and the search for family members;

48.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to take measures to prevent forced marriages from being imposed on women and girls once they have obtained refugee status by men hoping to secure safe access for themselves and who would otherwise not be entitled to such access;

49.  Stresses the urgent need for independent investigations into all allegations, including sexual abuse and gender-based violence, at places of immigration detention or at the borders, and for access to be granted to journalists and appropriate civil society organisations;

50.  Considers that, when women asylum seekers are detained, facilities and materials are required to meet women’s specific hygiene needs, the use of female guards and warders should be promoted and all staff assigned to work with women detainees should receive training relating to the gender-specific needs and human rights of women;

51.  Is of the opinion that women asylum seekers in detention who report abuse are to be provided with immediate protection, support and counselling, and their claims must be investigated by competent and independent authorities, with full respect for the principle of confidentiality, including where women are detained together with their husbands/partners/other relatives; considers that protection measures should take into account specifically the risks of retaliation;

52.  Calls on the Commission, the Member States and local authorities to work together with civil society and human rights organisations to alleviate the plight of refugees surviving in makeshift conditions, particularly in respect of vulnerable women and girls;

Social inclusion and integration

53.  Calls on the Member States to develop and implement specific measures to facilitate labour market participation of women refugees and asylum seekers, including language classes, literacy programmes, lifelong learning and training; calls on the Commission, the Member States and local authorities to guarantee the right of refugee girls to access statutory education; highlights the importance of informal and non-formal education and cultural exchange in including and empowering young women and girls; stresses the importance of widening access to higher education for women refugees; calls for robust and transparent procedures for recognising qualifications obtained abroad;

54.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States to make funding and other resources available for civil society and human rights organisations that provide assistance, promote inclusion, and monitor the situation of refugees and asylum seekers in the EU, particularly in respect of addressing the barriers and vulnerabilities experienced by women and girls;

55.  Calls on the Member States and the Commission to give women leaders who were persecuted in their countries of origin and are now refugees assurances that they can carry on their political and social activities in favour of women’s rights and gender equality in safety in the EU;

56.  Highlights the critical importance of accessible, high-quality childcare and care for other dependants in enabling the economic and social empowerment of women refugees;

57.  Encourages the Member States to make use of the Structural and Investment Funds in addition to the Asylum, Migration and Integration Fund to promote refugees’ integration into the labour market, with a particular focus on childcare;

58.  Calls for swifter, more efficient family reunification procedures and the collection of gender-disaggregated data on decisions relating to family reunification; stresses the importance of access to legal aid in family reunification cases;

59.  Believes that mutual recognition of positive asylum decisions would enable better opportunities for jobs, integration and family reunification;

60.  Stresses that full access to the right to free public quality education, healthcare services, especially sexual and reproductive health and rights, employment that matches the needs and abilities of refugee women, and housing that meets the needs of refugee women and girls, should be guaranteed by the host countries; emphasises that welfare policies are key to integration;

61.  Calls for comprehensive and adequately resourced programmes to address the unmet short- and long-term health needs of women refugees, including psychosocial and trauma counselling;

62.  Emphasises the important positive role that social enterprises and alternative business models such as mutuals and cooperatives can play in economically empowering women refugees and integrating them into labour markets, as well as the social and cultural spheres;

63.  Encourages the sharing of best practice among Member States as regards the involvement of grassroots community-based organisations and the direct participation of refugees, in representing the views of refugee and asylum-seeking women to policymakers;

64.  Takes the view that local and regional authorities play a vital role in the inclusion of women refugees and asylum seekers, especially with regard to their inclusion in the labour market; encourages those authorities to foster dialogue and debate between women refugees and local women;

o
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65.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission and the UNHCR.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0422.

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