Index 
Texts adopted
Wednesday, 8 June 2016 - StrasbourgFinal edition
Setting up of a Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion, its powers, numerical strength and term of office
 EU-Palau Agreement on the short-stay visa waiver ***
 EU-Tonga Agreement on the short-stay visa waiver ***
 EU-Colombia Agreement on the short-stay visa waiver ***
 Expansion of trade in Information Technology Products (ITA) ***
 Subjecting α-PVP to control measures *
 Ratification and accession to the 2010 Protocol to the Hazardous and Noxious Substances Convention with the exception of aspects related to judicial cooperation in civil matters
 Ratification and accession to the 2010 Protocol to the Hazardous and Noxious Substances Convention with regard to aspects related to judicial cooperation in civil matters
 EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (accession of Croatia) ***
 EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (Consent) ***
 EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (resolution)
 Macro-financial assistance to Tunisia ***I
 Rules against certain tax avoidance practices *
 Follow-up to the resolution of Parliament of 11 February 2015 on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA
 Space capabilities for European security and defence
 Space market uptake
 Situation in Venezuela
 Endocrine disruptors: state of play following the Court judgment of 16 December 2015
 Products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maizes
 Genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4)

Setting up of a Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion, its powers, numerical strength and term of office
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European Parliament decision of 8 June 2016 on setting up a Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion, its powers, numerical strength and term of office (2016/2726(RSO))
P8_TA(2016)0253B8-0745/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the request presented by 337 Members for a committee of inquiry to be set up to investigate alleged contraventions and maladministration in the application of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion,

–  having regard to the proposal by the Conference of Presidents,

–  having regard to Article 226 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Decision 95/167/EC, Euratom, ECSC of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission of 19 April 1995 on the detailed provisions governing the exercise of the European Parliament’s right of inquiry(1),

–  having regard to Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union,

–  having regard to Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Article 325 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 October 2005 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purpose of money laundering and terrorist financing(2),

–  having regard to Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC(3),

–  having regard to Directive 2013/36/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on access to the activity of credit institutions and the prudential supervision of credit institutions and investment firms, amending Directive 2002/87/EC and repealing Directives 2006/48/EC and 2006/49/EC(4),

–  having regard to Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011 on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation and repealing Directive 77/799/EEC(5),

–  having regard to Council Directive 2014/107/EU of 9 December 2014 amending Directive 2011/16/EU as regards mandatory automatic exchange of information in the field of taxation(6),

–  having regard to Directive 2014/91/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 23 July 2014 amending Directive 2009/65/EC on the coordination of laws, regulations and administrative provisions relating to undertakings for collective investment in transferable securities (UCITS) as regards depositary functions, remuneration policies and sanctions(7),

–  having regard to Directive 2011/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 8 June 2011 on Alternative Investment Fund Managers and amending Directives 2003/41/EC and 2009/65/EC and Regulations (EC) No 1060/2009 and (EU) No 1095/2010(8),

–  having regard to Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 231/2013 of 19 December 2012 supplementing Directive 2011/61/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council with regard to exemptions, general operating conditions, depositaries, leverage, transparency and supervision(9),

–  having regard to Directive 2009/138/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 November 2009 on the taking-up and pursuit of the business of Insurance and Reinsurance (Solvency II)(10),

–  having regard to Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 17 May 2006 on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts, amending Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC and repealing Council Directive 84/253/EEC(11),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 537/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 on specific requirements regarding statutory audit of public-interest entities and repealing Commission Decision 2005/909/EC(12),

–  having regard to Directive 2014/56/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Directive 2006/43/EC on statutory audits of annual accounts and consolidated accounts(13),

–  having regard to Directive 2013/34/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on the annual financial statements, consolidated financial statements and related reports of certain types of undertakings, amending Directive 2006/43/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and repealing Council Directives 78/660/EEC and 83/349/EEC(14),

–  having regard to Directive 2012/17/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 13 June 2012 amending Council Directive 89/666/EEC and Directives 2005/56/EC and 2009/101/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council as regards the interconnection of central, commercial and companies registers(15),

–  having regard to Commission Recommendation 2012/771/EU of 6 December 2012 regarding measures intended to encourage third countries to apply minimum standards of good governance in tax matters(16) and Commission Recommendation 2012/772/EU of 6 December 2012 on aggressive tax planning(17),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 28 January 2016 to the European Parliament and the Council on an External Strategy for Effective Taxation (COM(2016)0024),

–  having regard to Rule 198 of its Rules of Procedure,

1.  Decides to set up a Committee of Inquiry to investigate alleged contraventions, and maladministration in the application, of Union law in relation to money laundering, tax avoidance and tax evasion;

2.  Decides that the Committee of Inquiry shall:

   investigate the alleged failure of the Commission to enforce and of Member States to implement and to enforce effectively Directive 2005/60/EC, taking into account the obligation of timely and effective implementation of Directive (EU) 2015/849;
   investigate the alleged failure of Member States authorities to apply administrative penalties and other administrative measures to institutions found liable of serious breach of the national provisions adopted pursuant to Directive 2005/60/EC, as required by the Directive 2013/36/EU;
   investigate the alleged failure of the Commission to enforce and of Member States authorities to implement effectively Directive 2011/16/EU especially Article 9(1) thereof on spontaneous communication of tax information to another Member State in cases where there are grounds for supposing that there may be a loss of tax, taking into account the obligation of timely and effective implementation and enforcement of Directive 2014/107/EU; for this purpose and for investigations on other legal bases regarding alleged contraventions or maladministration mentioned, make use of access to all relevant documents, including to all relevant documents of the Code of Conduct Group which have been obtained by the TAXE 1 and TAXE 2 special committees;
   investigate the alleged failure of the Member States to enforce Articles 107 and 108 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, relevant to the scope of the inquiry provided for in this decision;
   investigate the alleged failure of the Commission to enforce and of Member States to implement and to enforce Directive 2014/91/EU;
   investigate the alleged failure of the Commission to enforce and of Member States to implement and to enforce Directive 2011/61/EU and Commission Delegated Regulation (EU) No 231/2013;
   investigate the alleged failure of the Commission to enforce and of Member States to implement and to enforce Directive 2009/138/EC;
   investigate the alleged failure of the Commission to enforce and of Member States to implement and to enforce effectively Directive 2006/43/EC, taking into account the obligation of timely and effective implementation of Regulation (EU) No 537/2014 and Directive 2014/56/EU;
   investigate the alleged failure of Member States to transpose Directive 2013/34/EU;
   investigate the alleged failure of the Commission to enforce and of Member States to implement and to enforce effectively Directive 2012/17/EU;
   investigate potential breach of the duty of sincere cooperation enshrined in Article 4(3) of the Treaty on European Union by any Member State and their associate and dependent territories in so far as it is relevant to the scope of the inquiry provided for in this decision; to that end, assess in particular whether any such breach may arise from the alleged failure to take the appropriate measures to prevent the operation of vehicles that allow their ultimate beneficial owners to be hidden from financial institutions and other intermediaries, lawyers, trust and company service providers or the operation of any other vehicles and intermediaries that allow the facilitation of money laundering, as well as tax evasion and tax avoidance in other Member States (including looking at the role of trusts, single-member private limited liability companies and virtual currencies), while also taking into account current ongoing work programmes that are taking place at Member State level which seek to address these issues and mitigate their effect;
   make any recommendations that it deems necessary in this matter, including on the implementation by Member States of the abovementioned Commission Recommendations of 6 December 2012 regarding measures intended to encourage third countries to apply minimum standards of good governance in tax matters and aggressive tax planning, as well as assess latest developments of the Commission’s External strategy for effective taxation and assess the links between the legal framework of the Union and Member States and the tax systems of third countries (e.g. Double Taxation Agreements and Information Exchange Agreements, Free Trade Agreements) as well as efforts made to promote, at international level (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, G20, Financial Action Task Force and United Nations), the transparency of beneficial ownership information;

3.  Decides that the Committee of Inquiry shall submit its final report within 12 months of the adoption of this decision;

4.  Decides that the Committee of Inquiry should take account in its work of any relevant developments within the remit of the Committee that emerge during its term;

5.  Decides that any recommendations drawn up by the Committee of Inquiry and by the TAXE 2 special committee should be dealt with by the relevant standing committees;

6.  Decides that the Committee of Inquiry shall have 65 members;

7.  Instructs its President to arrange for publication of this decision in the Official Journal of the European Union.

(1) OJ L 113, 19.5.1995, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 309, 25.11.2005, p. 15.
(3) OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, p. 73.
(4) OJ L 176, 27.6.2013, p. 338.
(5) OJ L 64, 11.3.2011, p. 1.
(6) OJ L 359, 16.12.2014, p. 1.
(7) OJ L 257, 28.8.2014, p. 186.
(8) OJ L 174, 1.7.2011, p. 1.
(9) OJ L 83, 22.3.2013, p. 1.
(10) OJ L 335, 17.12.2009, p. 1.
(11) OJ L 157, 9.6.2006, p. 87.
(12) OJ L 158, 27.5.2014, p. 77.
(13) OJ L 158, 27.5.2014, p. 196.
(14) OJ L 182, 29.6.2013, p. 19.
(15) OJ L 156, 16.6.2012, p. 1.
(16) OJ L 338, 12.12.2012, p. 37.
(17) OJ L 338, 12.12.2012, p. 41.


EU-Palau Agreement on the short-stay visa waiver ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Palau on the short-stay visa waiver (12080/2015 – C8-0400/2015 – 2015/0193(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0254A8-0177/2016

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (12080/2015),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Palau on the short-stay visa waiver (12077/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 77(2), point (a) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0400/2015),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0177/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Palau.


EU-Tonga Agreement on the short-stay visa waiver ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Tonga on the short-stay visa waiver (12089/2015 – C8-0374/2015 – 2015/0196(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0255A8-0179/2016

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (12089/2015),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the European Union and the Kingdom of Tonga on the short-stay visa waiver (12087/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 77(2), point (a) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0374/2015),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0179/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Kingdom of Tonga.


EU-Colombia Agreement on the short-stay visa waiver ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of the Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Colombia on the short-stay visa waiver (12095/2015 – C8-0390/2015 – 2015/0201(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0256A8-0178/2016

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (12095/2015),

–  having regard to the draft Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Colombia on the short-stay visa waiver (12094/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 77(2), point (a) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v), of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0390/2015),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2) and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0178/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of Colombia.


Expansion of trade in Information Technology Products (ITA) ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on conclusion, on behalf of the European Union, of an agreement in the form of the Declaration on the Expansion of Trade in Information Technology Products (ITA) (06925/2016 – C8-0141/2016 – 2016/0067(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0257A8-0186/2016

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (06925/2016),

–  having regard to the WTO Ministerial declaration of 16 December 2015, on the expansion of trade in information technology products (06926/2016),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with the first subparagraph of Article 207(4) and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a)(v) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0141/2016),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2), and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0186/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and to the World Trade Organization.


Subjecting α-PVP to control measures *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on subjecting the new psychoactive substance 1-phenyl-2-(1-pyrrolidin-1-yl) pentan-1-one (α-pyrrolidinovalerophenone, α-PVP) to control measures (15386/2015 – C8-0115/2016 – 2015/0309(CNS))
P8_TA(2016)0258A8-0175/2016

(Consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Council draft (15386/2015),

–  having regard to Article 39(1) of the Treaty on European Union, as amended by the Treaty of Amsterdam, and Article 9 of Protocol No 36 on transitional provisions, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8-0115/2016),

–  having regard to Council Decision 2005/387/JHA of 10 May 2005 on the information exchange, risk-assessment and control of new psychoactive substances(1), and in particular Article 8(3) thereof,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (A8-0175/2016),

1.  Approves the Council draft;

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

3.  Asks the Council to consult Parliament again if it intends to substantially amend the text approved by Parliament;

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

(1)OJ L 127, 20.5.2005, p. 32.


Ratification and accession to the 2010 Protocol to the Hazardous and Noxious Substances Convention with the exception of aspects related to judicial cooperation in civil matters
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the ratification and accession by Member States, in the interest of the European Union, to the Protocol of 2010 to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, with the exception of the aspects related to judicial cooperation in civil matters (13806/2015 – C8-0410/2015 – 2015/0135(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0259A8-0191/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13806/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 100(2) and Article 218(6) point (a) (v) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0410/2015),

–  having regard to Article 3(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014(1),

–  having regard to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (the ‘1996 HNS Convention’),

–  having regard to the Protocol of 2010 to the 1996 HNS Convention (the ‘2010 HNS Convention’),

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2015)0304),

–  having regard to Council decision 2002/971/EC of 18 November 2002 authorising Member States, in the interest of the Community to ratify or accede to the 1996 HNS Convention(2),

–  having regard to Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage(3) (the ‘Environmental Liability Directive’ or ‘ELD’),

–  having regard to the Statement by the Commission to the minutes of the Permanent Representatives Committee and of the Council of 20 November and of 8 December 2015(4),

–  having regard to the paper of 18 September 2015 of the shipping industry urging Member States to ratify or accede to the Protocol of 2010 to the HNS Convention soonest in line with the Commission’s proposed approach(5),

–  having regard to the final report prepared for the European Commission by BIO Intelligence Service, entitled ‘Study on ELD Effectiveness: scope and exceptions’ of 19 February 2014(6),

–  having regard to the note by the Legal Service of the Parliament of 11 February 2016 on the legal basis for the above mentioned proposal for a Council decision (SJ-0066/16) and the subsequent opinion in letter form on the appropriate legal basis for the said proposed decision adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs on 19 February 2016(7) and annexed to report A8-0191/2016,

–  having regard to Rule 99(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the interim report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0191/2016),

A.  whereas the aim of the 2010 HNS Convention is to ensure accountability and the payment of adequate, prompt and effective compensation for loss or damage to persons, property and the environment arising from the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea through the specialised International HNS compensation Fund;

B.  whereas therefore on the one hand it aims to provide for the ‘polluter pays’ principle and for the principles of prevention and precaution to the effect that preventive action should be taken in case of possible environmental damage, and thus falls within the Union policy and general principles regarding the environment, and on the other hand it aims to regulate issues arising from damage caused by maritime transport and to prevent and minimise such damage, and thus falls within the Union policy on transport;

C.  whereas according to the Commission proposal (COM(2015)0304), the conclusion of the 2010 HNS Convention would thus overlap with the scope of the rules of the Environmental Liability Directive;

D.  whereas the 2010 HNS Convention overlaps in scope with the Environmental Liability Directive in so far as environmental damage caused to the territory and marine waters under the jurisdiction of a state party, damage by contamination of the environment caused in the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) or equivalent area of a state party (up to 200 nautical miles from baselines) and preventive measures to prevent or minimise such damage are concerned;

E.  whereas the 2010 HNS Convention establishes strict liability of the shipowner for any damages resulting from the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea covered by the Convention as well as the obligation to take out insurance or other financial security to cover its liability for damage under the Convention, prohibiting for that purpose any other claim being made against the shipowner except in accordance with the said Convention (Article 7(4)(5));

F.  whereas there is thus a risk for a potential conflict between the ELD and 2010 HNS Convention, this risk can be averted via Article 4(2) of the ELD, which provides that the Directive ‘shall not apply to environmental damage or to any imminent threat of such damage arising from an incident in respect of which liability or compensation falls within the scope of any of the International Conventions listed in Annex IV, including any future amendments thereof, which is in force in the Member State concerned’;

G.  whereas the ELD thus excludes from its scope of application environmental damages or imminent threats of such damages which are covered by the 2010 HNS Convention once the latter enters into force, unless all Member States ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Convention within the same timeframe, there is a risk that a fragmented legal landscape will emerge with some Member States being subject to the 2010 HNS Convention and others to the Environmental Liability Directive; this will create a disparity for the victims of pollution, such as coastal communities, fishermen, etc. and would also be against the spirit of the 2010 HNS Convention;

H.  whereas the basic principles underlying International Maritime Organisation conventions also provide the basis for the 2010 HNS Convention, these principles being strict liability of the shipowner, mandatory insurance to cover damages to third parties, a right of direct recourse of persons suffering damages against the insurer, limitation of liability and, in the case of oil and hazardous and noxious substances, a special compensation fund that pays for damages when these exceed the liability limits of the shipowner;

I.  whereas it is in the interest of the Union as a whole to have a homogenous liability regime applicable to damage arising from the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances at sea;

J.  whereas it is not absolutely clear whether Article 4(2) of the ELD means that application of the ELD is barred in a Member State that has ratified the 2010 HNS Convention, or that the bar is limited to the extent to which liability or compensation falls within the scope of the said Convention;

K.  whereas the 2010 HNS Convention constitutes a compensation regime and is thus less far-reaching than the ELD in establishing a regime that requires operators, and directs competent authorities to require operators, to prevent or remediate an imminent threat of, or actual, environmental damage, respectively;

L.  whereas contrary to what is the case under the ELD, no compensation can be awarded under the 2010 HNS Convention for damage of a non-economic nature;

M.  whereas the ELD does not impose mandatory financial security on operators so as to secure that they have funding to ensure the prevention and remedying of environmental damage, unless a Member State has adopted more stringent provisions than the ELD;

N.  whereas the 2010 HNS Convention establishes a clear obligation for the owner to take out insurance or other financial security to cover his liability for damage under the Convention;

O.  whereas the other International Maritime Organisation Conventions contained in Annex IV of the ELD have proved effective, as they have managed to strike a balance between environmental and commercial interests through the clear channelling of liability whereby there is normally no uncertainty as to who the liable party is, as well as through the establishment of compulsory insurance and swift compensation mechanisms, which are not limited to environmental damage only;

1.  Asks the Council and the Commission to take into account the following recommendations:

   (i) Guarantee respect for the principle of conferral of Union competences under Article 5(1) TEU and the settled case law of the Court of Justice which provides that ‘the choice of legal basis for a Community measure must rest on objective factors amenable to judicial review, including in particular the aim and the content of the measure’(8);
   (ii) Embrace therefore the opinion in letter form of 19 February 2016 adopted by the Committee on Legal Affairs according to which:

‘since the proposed Council decision is aimed at authorising Member States to ratify, or accede to, on behalf of the Union, the 2010 HNS Protocol and subsequently to be bound by the 2010 HNS Convention and considering that the latter covers not only cases of environmental damage (giving effect to the principles that preventive action should be taken and that the polluter should pay), but also cases of non-environmental damage, both caused by carriage of certain substances by sea, Articles 100(2), 192(1) and 218(6)(a)(v) TFEU constitute the appropriate legal bases for the proposal.’

   (iii) Ensure that the uniformity, integrity and effectiveness of common Union rules will not be adversely affected by the international commitments undertaken by the ratification of or accession to the 2010 HNS Convention in accordance with the settled case law of the Court of Justice(9);
   (iv) Pay increased attention in this regard to the overlap between the Environmental Liability Directive and the 2010 HNS Convention in so far as environmental damage caused to the territory and marine waters under the jurisdiction of a state party, damage by contamination of the environment caused in the EEZ or equivalent area (up to 200 nautical miles from baselines) of a state party and preventive measures to prevent or minimise such damage (preventive measures, primary remediation, and complementary remediation) are concerned;
   (v) Ensure that the possibility for a conflict between the Environmental Liability Directive and the 2010 HNS Convention is minimised by taking all appropriate action to ensure that the exclusivity clause under Article 7(4) and (5) of the 2010 HNS Convention, whereby no other claim can be made against the shipowner except in accordance with the said Convention, is fully respected by the ratifying or acceding Member States in accordance with Article 4(2) and Annex IV of the Environmental Liability Directive;
   (vi) Ensure that the risk is diminished of creating and consolidating a competitive disadvantage for the states that are ready to accede to the 2010 HNS Convention, compared to those who might wish to delay this process and continue to be bound by the ELD only;
   (vii) Ensure the removal of the permanent co-existence of two maritime liability regimes – a Union-based one and an international one – which would result in the fragmentation of Union legislation and, moreover, compromise the clear channelling of liability and could lead to lengthy and costly legal proceedings to the detriment of victims and the shipping industry;
   (viii) Ensure in that regard that a clear obligation is imposed on Member States to take all necessary steps to achieve a concrete result, namely to ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Convention within a reasonable timeframe, which should be no longer than two years from the date of entry into force of the Council decision;

2.  Concludes that this resolution would be a further possibility for the Council and the Commission to address the recommendations set out in paragraph 1;

3.  Instructs its President to request further discussion with the Commission and the Council;

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

(1) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.
(2) OJ L 337, 13.12.2002, p. 55.
(3) OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 56.
(4) Item note 13142/15.
(5) Available online at: http://www.ics-shipping.org/docs/default-source/Submissions/EU/hazardous-and-noxious-substances.pdf
(6) Available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/environment/legal/liability/pdf/BIO%20ELD%20Effectiveness_report.pdf
(7) PE576.992.
(8) Judgment of the Court of Justice of 19 July 2012, European Parliament v Council of the European Union, C-130/10, ECLI:EU:C:2012:472, paragraph 42.
(9) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 19 March 1993, 2/91, ECLI:EU:C:1993:106, paragraph 25; Judgment of the Court of Justice of 5 November 2002, Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Denmark, C-467/98, ECLI:EU:C:2002:625, paragraph 82; Opinion of the Court of Justice of 7 February 2006, 1/03, ECLI:EU:C:2006:81, paragraphs 120 and 126; Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.


Ratification and accession to the 2010 Protocol to the Hazardous and Noxious Substances Convention with regard to aspects related to judicial cooperation in civil matters
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the ratification and accession by Member States, in the interest of the European Union, to the Protocol of 2010 to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, with regard to the aspects related to judicial cooperation in civil matters (14112/2015 – C8-0409/2015 – 2015/0136(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0260A8-0190/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (14112/2015),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Article 81 and Article 218(6) point (a) (v) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8‑0409/2015),

–  having regard to Article 3(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to Protocol No 22 on the position of Denmark annexed to the Treaties,

–  having regard to the opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014(1),

–  having regard to the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (the ‘1996 HNS Convention’),

–  having regard to the Protocol of 2010 to the 1996 HNS Convention (the ‘2010 HNS Convention’),

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision (COM(2015)0305),

–  having regard to Council decision 2002/971/EC of 18 November 2002 authorising Member States, in the interest of the Community, to ratify or accede to the 1996 HNS Convention(2),

–  having regard to the proposal for a Council decision authorizing the Member States to ratify in the interest of the European Community the International Convention on Liability and Compensation for Damage in Connection with the Carriage of Hazardous and Noxious Substances by Sea, 1996 (the ‘HNS Convention’) (COM(2001)0674),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1215/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 December 2012 on jurisdiction and the recognition and enforcement of judgments in civil and commercial matters(3) (the ‘recast of Brussels I Regulation’),

–  having regard to the Statement by the Commission to the minutes of the Permanent Representatives Committee and of the Council of 20 November and of 8 December 2015(4),

–  having regard to the paper of 18 September 2015 of the shipping industry urging Member States to ratify or accede to the Protocol of 2010 to the HNS Convention soonest in line with the Commission’s proposed approach(5),

–  having regard to Rule 99(3) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the interim report of the Committee on Legal Affairs (A8-0190/2016),

A.  whereas the aim of the 2010 HNS Convention is to ensure accountability and the payment of adequate, prompt and effective compensation for loss or damage to persons, property and the environment arising from the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea through the specialised International HNS compensation fund;

B.  whereas the basic principles underlying International Maritime Organisation conventions, including the 2010 HNS Convention, are strict liability of the shipowner, mandatory insurance to cover damages to third parties, a right of direct recourse of persons suffering damages against the insurer, limitation of liability and, in the case of oil and hazardous and noxious substances, a special compensation fund that pays for damages when these exceed the liability limits of the shipowner;

C.  whereas therefore on the one hand it aims to provide for the ‘polluter pays’ principle and the principles of prevention and precaution to the effect that preventive action should be taken in case of possible environmental damage, and thus falls within the Union policy and general principles regarding the environment, and on the other hand it aims to regulate issues arising from damage caused by maritime transport and to prevent and minimise such damage, and thus falls within the Union policy on transport;

D.  whereas the 2010 HNS Convention contains rules on the jurisdiction of courts of state parties over claims made by persons suffering damage covered by the convention against the owner or its insurer, or against the specialised HNS compensatory fund, also containing rules on the recognition and enforcement of judgments by courts in state parties;

E.  whereas according to the Commission proposal (COM(2015)0305), the conclusion of the 2010 HNS Convention would thus overlap with the scope of the rules of the recast of Brussels I Regulation;

F.  whereas the recast of Brussels I Regulation allows for multiple grounds of jurisdiction, when at the same time Chapter IV of the 2010 HNS Convention establishes a very restrictive jurisdiction, recognition and enforcement regime in order to ensure a level playing field for claimants and ensure uniform application of the rules regarding liability and compensation;

G.  whereas on the one hand the specific nature of the jurisdiction regime of the 2010 HNS Convention, which is aimed at ensuring that victims of accidents can benefit from clear procedural rules and legal certainty, thus leading to more effective claims before courts, and on the other hand the anticipated legal and practical difficulties involved in applying a separate jurisdiction regime with the Union as compared to that applying for other parties to the 2010 HNS Convention, justify an exception to the general application of the recast of Brussels I Regulation;

H.  whereas Denmark is exempt from the application of Title V of Part Three TFEU and does not take part in the adoption of the proposed Council decision with regard to aspects related to judicial cooperation in civil matters;

I.  whereas the overlap between the 2010 HNS Convention and the Union rules on judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters has formed the legal basis for decision 2002/971/EC, since the 2010 HNS Protocol amended the 1996 HNS Convention, the effect of the 2010 HNS Convention on Union rules should be assessed in the light of the scope and the rules of Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council (the ‘ELD’)(6) that has become part of the EU legal order since decision 2002/971/EC was adopted;

J.  whereas the ELD excludes from its scope of application environmental damages or imminent threats of such damages that are covered by the 2010 HNS Convention once the latter enters into force (Article 4(2) and Annex IV of the ELD);

K.  whereas the 2010 HNS Convention establishes strict liability of the shipowner for any damages resulting from the carriage of hazardous and noxious substances by sea covered by the Convention as well as the obligation to take out insurance or other financial security to cover its liability for damage under the Convention prohibiting for that purpose any other claim being made against the shipowner except in accordance with the said Convention (Article 7(4)(5));

L.  whereas unless all Member States ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Convention within the same timeframe, there is a risk that the shipping industry be subjected to two different legal regimes at the same time, a Union one and an international one, which could also create a disparity for the victims of pollution, such as coastal communities, fishermen, etc. and would also be against the spirit of the 2010 HNS Convention;

M.  whereas the other International Maritime Organisation Conventions contained in Annex IV of the ELD have proved effective, as they have managed to strike a balance between environmental and commercial interests through the clear channelling of liability whereby there is normally no uncertainty as to who the liable party is, as well as through the establishment of compulsory insurance and swift compensation mechanisms, which are not limited to environmental damage only;

1.  Asks the Council and the Commission to take into account the following recommendations:

   (i) Ensure that the uniformity, integrity and effectiveness of common Union rules will not be adversely affected by the international commitments undertaken by the ratification of or accession to the 2010 HNS Convention in accordance with the settled case law of the Court of Justice(7);
   (ii) Pay greater attention in this regard to the overlap between the recast of Brussels I Regulation and the 2010 HNS Convention in so far as rules of procedure applicable to claims and actions under the said Convention before courts of state parties are concerned;
   (iii) Ensure that the possibility for a conflict between the ELD and the 2010 HNS Convention is minimised by taking all appropriate action to ensure that the exclusivity clause under Article 7(4) and (5) of the 2010 HNS Convention, whereby no other claim can be made against the shipowner except in accordance with the said Convention, is fully respected by the ratifying or acceding Member States;
   (iv) Ensure that the risk is diminished of creating and consolidating a competitive disadvantage for the states that are ready to accede to the 2010 HNS Convention, compared to those who might wish to delay this process and continue to be bound by the ELD only;
   (v) Ensure the removal of the permanent co-existence of two maritime liability regimes – a Union-based one and an international one – which would result in the fragmentation of Union legislation and, moreover, compromise the clear channelling of liability and could lead to lengthy and costly legal proceedings to the detriment of victims and the shipping industry;
   (vi) Ensure in that regard that a clear obligation is imposed on Member States to take all necessary steps to achieve a concrete result, namely to ratify or accede to the 2010 HNS Convention within a reasonable timeframe, which should be no longer than two years from the date of entry into force of the Council decision;

2.  Concludes that this resolution would be a further possibility for the Council and the Commission to address the recommendations set out in paragraph 1;

3.  Instructs its President to request further discussion with the Commission and the Council;

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

(1) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.
(2) OJ L 337, 13.12.2002, p. 55.
(3) OJ L 351, 20.12.2012, p. 1.
(4) Item note 13142/15.
(5) Available online at: http://www.ics-shipping.org/docs/default-source/Submissions/EU/hazardous-and-noxious-substances.pdf
(6) Directive 2004/35/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 21 April 2004 on environmental liability with regard to the prevention and remedying of environmental damage (OJ L 143, 30.4.2004, p. 56).
(7) Opinion of the Court of Justice of 19 March 1993, 2/91, ECLI:EU:C:1993:106, paragraph 25; Judgment of the Court of Justice of 5 November 2002, Commission of the European Communities v Kingdom of Denmark, C-467/98, ECLI:EU:C:2002:625, paragraph 82; Opinion of the Court of Justice of 7 February 2006, 1/03, ECLI:EU:C:2006:81, paragraphs 120 and 126; Opinion of the Court of Justice of 14 October 2014, 1/13, ECLI:EU:C:2014:2303.


EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (accession of Croatia) ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the European Union and its Member States, of the Protocol to the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part, to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union (13085/2014 – C8-0009/2015 – 2014/0224(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0261A8-0148/2016

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (13085/2014),

–  having regard to the draft Protocol to the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part, to take account of the accession of the Republic of Croatia to the European Union (13082/2014),

–  having regard to request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 207 and 209 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0009/2015),

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2), and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0148/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the protocol;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of the Philippines.


EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (Consent) ***
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part (05431/2015 – C8-0061/2015 – 2013/0441(NLE))
P8_TA(2016)0262A8-0149/2016

(Consent)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (05431/2015),

–  having regard to the draft Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part (15616/2010),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 207 and 209 and Article 218(6), second subparagraph, point (a) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (C8-0061/2015),

–  having regard to its non-legislative resolution of 8 June 2016(1) on the draft decision,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), first and third subparagraphs, Rule 99(2), and Rule 108(7) of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the recommendation of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0149/2016),

1.  Gives its consent to conclusion of the agreement;

2.  Instructs its President to forward its position to the Council, the Commission and the governments and parliaments of the Member States and of the Republic of the Philippines.

(1) Texts adopted of that date, P8_TA(2016)0263.


EU-Philippines Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation (resolution)
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European Parliament non-legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Council decision on the conclusion, on behalf of the Union, of the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part (05431/2015 – C8-0061/2015 – 2013/0441(NLE)2015/2234(INI))
P8_TA(2016)0263A8-0143/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Council decision (05431/2015),

–  having regard to the draft Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation between the European Union and its Member States, of the one part, and the Republic of the Philippines, of the other part (15616/2010),

–  having regard to the request for consent submitted by the Council in accordance with Articles 207 and 209 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, and in conjunction with Article 218(6)(a) thereof (C8-0061/2015),

–  having regard to its legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft decision(1),

–  having regard to the diplomatic relations between the Philippines and the EU (at the time the European Economic Community (EEC)) established on 12 May 1964 with the appointment of the Philippines Ambassador to the EEC,

–  having regard to the EC-Philippines Framework Agreement for Development Cooperation, which entered into force on 1 June 1985,

–  having regard to the European Union’s Multiannual Indicative Programme for the Philippines 2014-2020,

–  having regard to Council Regulation (EEC) No 1440/80 of 30 May 1980 concerning the conclusion of the Cooperation Agreement between the European Economic Community and Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore and Thailand – member countries of the Association of the South-East Asian Nations(2),

–  having regard to the Joint Communication of the Commission and of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy of 18 May 2015 to Parliament and the Council entitled ‘The EU and ASEAN: a partnership with a strategic purpose’,

–  having regard to the 10th ASEM Summit, held in Milan on 16 and 17 October 2014,

–  having regard to the Interparliamentary meeting between the European Parliament and the Philippine Parliament of February 2013,

–  having regard to the 23rd meeting of the ASEAN-EU Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC), held in Jakarta on 4 February 2016,

–  having regard to its recent resolutions on the Philippines, in particular those of 14 June 2012 on the cases of impunity in the Philippines(3), of 21 January 2010 on the Philippines (following the Maguindanao massacre of 23 November 2009)(4), and of 12 March 2009 on the Philippines (on the hostilities between government forces and the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF))(5),

–  having regard to the Philippines’ status as a founding member of ASEAN following the signature of the Bangkok Declaration on 8 August 1967,

–  having regard to the 27th ASEAN Summit, held in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) from 18 to 22 November 2015,

–  having regard to the 14th Asia Security Summit (IISS Shangri-La Dialogue), held in Singapore from 29 to 31 May 2015,

–  having regard to the reports by the UN Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Hilal Elver (29 December 2015 – A/HRC/31/51/Add.1), the UN Special Rapporteur on the trafficking of persons, Joy Ngosi Ezeilo (19 April 2013 – A/HRC/23/48/Add.3), and the UN Special Rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, Philip Alston (29 April 2009 – A/HRC/11/2/Add.8),

–  having regard to the Second Universal Periodic Review by the UN Human Rights Council of May 2012, 66 of whose 88 recommendations were accepted by the Philippines,

–  having regard to the Philippine Plan of Action for Nutrition for 2011 to 2016, the Accelerated Hunger Mitigation Programme, the Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Plan of 1988 and the Fisheries Code of 1998,

–  having regard to Rule 99(1), second subparagraph, of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (A8-0143/2016),

A.  whereas in terms of international and national human rights legislation, the Philippines are a role model for other countries in the region, having ratified eight of the nine major human rights conventions, with the exception of the Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance (CPPED), as well as having ratified the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court in 2011;

B.  whereas in March 2014 the Philippine government agreed on a peace deal for the island of Mindanao with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), which involves creating an autonomous region (Bangsamoro) in the island’s Muslim south, but does not include the participation of other militia groups who oppose the peace process; whereas, however, the Philippine Congress failed to adopt the Bangsamoro Basic Law (BBL) in February 2016, and thus did not bring the peace negotiations to a successful conclusion;

C.  whereas the Philippines have received counter-insurgency, counterterrorism and intelligence training from the US army, in the context of the fight against militia groups that have potential links to regional (South-East Asian) and international terrorist groups such as al-Qaeda and ISIS;

D.  whereas in April 2015 the Philippines and the US signed the Enhanced Defence Cooperation Agreement (EDCA);

E.  whereas Japan and the Philippines signed a Memorandum on Defence Cooperation and Exchanges in January 2015;

F.  whereas Sino-Philippine relations have experienced a gradual deterioration since the 2008 corruption allegations regarding Chinese assistance, and more importantly following China’s growing assertiveness regarding its territorial claims in the South China Sea;

G.  whereas the Philippines initiated an arbitration case at the International Arbitral Tribunal of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) in January 2013, seeking clarification on its maritime entitlements under the UNCLOS and the validity of China’s ‘9-dash line claim’ over much of the South China Sea;

H.  whereas the Philippines have announced that they will open new navy and air base facilities with extensive access to the South China Sea and will make these facilities available to US, Japanese and Vietnamese ships;

I.  whereas the EU granted the Philippines GSP+ status in December 2014, as the first ASEAN country to enjoy such trade preferences; whereas this enables the Philippines to export 66 % of all its products tariff-free to the EU, including processed fruit, coconut oil, footwear, fish, and textiles;

J.  whereas the Philippines consists of thousands of islands, a conformation which poses challenges in terms of internal connectivity, infrastructure and trade;

K.  whereas the EU is a major foreign investor in and trade partner of the Philippines;

L.  whereas the EU is the Philippines’ fourth largest trading partner and fourth largest export market, accounting for 11,56 % of all Philippine exports;

M.  whereas the Philippines recently expressed their interest in joining the Trans-Pacific Partnership and are currently in consultation with the US on acceding to that agreement;

N.  whereas the EU more than doubled its financial allocation for development cooperation with the Philippines over the period 2014-2020, and has also provided significant humanitarian and emergency assistance to the victims of tropical storms;

O.  whereas the Philippines is the third most vulnerable developing country to climate change, a circumstance which will adversely affect the country’s agriculture and marine resources;

P.  whereas the devastating impact of Typhoon Haiyan, which in 2013 killed an estimated 6 000 people, is continuing to have adverse effects on the economy, and has notably exacerbated food insecurity and pushed an additional 1 million people into poverty, according to UN estimates;

1.  Welcomes the conclusion of the Framework Agreement on Partnership and Cooperation with the Philippines;

2.  Considers that the EU should continue providing financial support and capacity-building assistance to the Philippines for poverty alleviation, social inclusion, respect for human rights and the rule of law, the promotion of peace, reconciliation, security and judicial reform, and assisting the country in disaster preparedness, relief and recovery and the implementation of effective policies to tackle climate change;

3.  Encourages the Philippine government to continue fostering further progress in the elimination of corruption and the promotion of human rights;

4.  Commends the Philippines for having been part of the international counterterrorism coalition since 2001; expresses, however, its concern over the continued reports of severe human rights violations by the Philippine military in the conduct of counter-insurgency measures, in particular by paramilitary units;

5.  Points out that the Abu Sayyaf group is accused of carrying out the worst acts of terrorism committed in the Philippines, including deadly bombings such as the attack on a ferry in Manila in 2004 in which more than 100 people were killed;

6.  Stresses that there are growing concerns that ISIS will win over affiliated groups in South-East Asia, as it is spreading propaganda in the local languages and some extremists in the region have already pledged their allegiance;

7.  Appreciates the commitments made by the Philippine Government, and underlines the importance of achieving a peace process for Mindanao that is as inclusive as possible; notes the contribution made to the Mindanao agreements by the International Contact Group; deeply regrets the fact that the Mindanao Peace Agreement was not adopted by the Philippine Congress; calls for the continuation of the peace negotiations and for the adoption by Congress of the BBL;

8.  Condemns the massacre of 24 December 2015 of Christian farmers by separatist rebels in Mindanao; welcomes the initiative by the Philippine NGO PeaceTech of putting Christian and Muslim schoolchildren in touch with each other via Skype in an effort to foster contact between the two communities;

9.  Calls on the Philippine government to build capacity in the field of systematic data collection on human trafficking, and calls for the EU and its Member States to support the government, and notably the Inter-Agency Council against Trafficking (IACAT), in the efforts being made to enhance assistance and support for victims, to put into place efficient law enforcement measures, improve the legal avenues of work labour migration, and ensure decent treatment of Filipino migrants in third countries;

10.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to engage with the Philippines in order to exchange intelligence, cooperate and provide support for the government’s capacity- building in the international fight against terrorism and extremism in relation to fundamental rights and the rule of law;

11.  Notes that the Philippines are strategically located in the proximity of major international shipping and air traffic routes in the South China Sea;

12.  Recalls its serious concerns over the tension in the South China Sea; considers it regrettable that, contrary to the 2002 Declaration of Conduct, several parties are claiming land in the disputed waters; is particularly concerned at the massive scale of China’s current activities in the area, including building military facilities, ports, and at least one airstrip; urges all parties in the disputed area to refrain from unilateral and provocative actions and to resolve the disputes peacefully based on international law, in particular the UNCLOS, with impartial international mediation and arbitration; urges all parties to acknowledge the jurisdiction of both UNCLOS and the Court of Arbitration, and calls for respect for any eventual decision by UNCLOS; supports all steps that will enable the South China Sea to become a ‘sea of peace and cooperation’; also supports all endeavours to ensure that the parties agree on a code of conduct for the peaceful exploitation of the maritime areas in question, including the establishment of safe trade routes, and encourages confidence-building measures; believes that the EU should engage in bilateral and multilateral cooperation in order to effectively contribute to security in the region;

13.  Welcomes the agreement of May 2014 between the Philippines and Indonesia which clarified the issue of overlapping maritime boundaries in the Mindanao and Celebes Seas;

14.  Calls on the Philippines, as one of the countries having been granted GSP+ status by the EU, to ensure effective implementation of all the core international conventions relating to human and labour rights, the environment and good governance, as listed in Annex VIII to Regulation (EU) No 978/2012; recognises that the Philippines have strengthened their human rights legislation; calls on the Philippines to continue fostering further progress in the promotion of human rights, including the publication of the National Action Plan for Human Rights, as well as in the elimination of corruption; expresses particular concern with regard to the repression faced by activists who are peacefully campaigning to protect their ancestral lands from the impact of mining and deforestation; recalls that under the GSP+ beneficiaries will have to prove that they are implementing their obligations concerning human rights, labour, environmental and governance standards;

15.  Takes note of the GSP+ country assessment of the Philippines, particularly as regards the ratification of all seven UN human rights conventions relevant to the EU’s GSP+; highlights the work that still needs to be done for implementation; recognises the steps the government has taken and the progress achieved so far;

16.  Encourages the Philippines to continue improving the investment climate, including the FDI environment, by increasing transparency and good governance and implementing the UN guiding principles on business and human rights and further developing infrastructure, where appropriate through public-private partnerships; expresses concern over the effects that climate change will have on the Philippines;

17.  Encourages the government to invest in new technologies and the internet in order to promote cultural exchange and trade among the islands that make up the Philippines;

18.  Welcomes the agreement of 22 December 2015 to open negotiations on a Free Trade Agreement with the Philippines; considers it appropriate that the Commission and the Philippine authorities ensure high standards on human rights, labour and the environment; underscores that such an FTA should serve as a building block towards a region-to-region EU-ASEAN agreement on trade and investment which can be restarted in parallel;

19.  Takes note that 800 000 Filipinos are living in the EU and that Filipino seamen working on EU-registered ships send remittances to the Philippines amounting to EUR 3 billion per annum; considers that the EU should further develop people-to-people exchanges of students, academics and scientific researchers, as well as cultural exchanges;

20.  Bearing in mind that the majority of the crew on many non-Community flagged vessels calling at European ports are Filipino, as well as the harsh and inhuman working conditions in which many of these seafarers live, calls on Member States not to allow these vessels to be received in European ports when the working conditions on board contravene the labour rights and principles enshrined in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union; urges, likewise, non-Community flagged vessels to guarantee their crews’ working conditions in accordance with international legislation and the rules laid down by the ILO and the IMO;

21.  Calls for regular exchanges between the European External Action Service (EEAS) and Parliament, to allow Parliament to follow up on the implementation of the Framework Agreement and the achievement of its objectives;

22.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the European External Action Service, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and Parliament of the Republic of the Philippines.

(1) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0262.
(2) OJ L 144, 10.6.1980, p. 1.
(3) OJ C 332 E, 15.11.2013, p. 99.
(4) OJ C 305 E, 11.11.2010, p. 11.
(5) OJ C 87 E, 1.4.2010, p. 181.


Macro-financial assistance to Tunisia ***I
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Resolution
Text
Annex
European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the proposal for a decision of the European Parliament and of the Council providing further macro-financial assistance to Tunisia (COM(2016)0067 – C8-0032/2016 – 2016/0039(COD))
P8_TA(2016)0264A8-0187/2016

(Ordinary legislative procedure: first reading)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to Parliament and the Council (COM(2016)0067),

–  having regard to Article 294(2) and Article 212 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Commission submitted the proposal to Parliament (C8-0032/2016),

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

–  having regard to the undertaking given by the Council representative by letter of 1 June 2016 to approve Parliament’s position, in accordance with Article 294(4) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on International Trade (A8-0187/2016),

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

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

3.  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;

4.  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 June 2016 with a view to the adoption of Decision (EU) 2016/... of the European Parliament and of the Council providing further macro-financial assistance to Tunisia

(As an agreement was reached between Parliament and Council, Parliament's position corresponds to the final legislative act, Decision (EU) 2016/1112.)

ANNEX TO THE LEGISLATIVE RESOLUTION

JOINT STATEMENT BY THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND THE COUNCIL

This Decision is adopted without prejudice to the Joint Declaration adopted together with Decision 778/2013/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council providing further macro-financial assistance to Georgia, which is to continue to be regarded as the basis for all decisions of the European Parliament and Council providing macro-financial assistance to third countries and territories.


Rules against certain tax avoidance practices *
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European Parliament legislative resolution of 8 June 2016 on the proposal for a Council directive laying down rules against tax avoidance practices that directly affect the functioning of the internal market (COM(2016)0026 – C8-0031/2016 – 2016/0011(CNS))
P8_TA(2016)0265A8-0189/2016

(Special legislative procedure – consultation)

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Commission proposal to the Council (COM(2016)0026),

–  having regard to Article 115 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union, pursuant to which the Council consulted Parliament (C8-0031/2016),

–  having regard to the reasoned opinions submitted, within the framework of Protocol No 2 on the application of the principles of subsidiarity and proportionality, by the Maltese Parliament and the Swedish Parliament, asserting that the draft legislative act does not comply with the principle of subsidiarity,

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Economic and Monetary Affairs (A8-0189/2016),

1.  Approves the Commission proposal as amended;

2.  Calls on the Commission to alter its proposal accordingly, in accordance with Article 293(2) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union;

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

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

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

Text proposed by the Commission   Amendment
Amendment 1
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1
(1)  The current political priorities in international taxation highlight the need for ensuring that tax is paid where profits and value are generated. It is thus imperative to restore trust in the fairness of tax systems and allow governments to effectively exercise their tax sovereignty. These new political objectives have been translated into concrete action recommendations in the context of the initiative against Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In response to the need for fairer taxation, the Commission, in its Communication of 17 June 2015 sets out an Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the European Union3 (the Action Plan).
(1)  The current political priorities in international taxation highlight the need for ensuring that tax is paid where profits are generated and value is created. It is thus imperative to restore trust in the fairness of tax systems and allow governments to effectively exercise their tax sovereignty. These new political objectives have been translated into concrete action recommendations in the context of the initiative against Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). In response to the need for fairer taxation, the Commission, in its Communication of 17 June 2015 sets out an Action Plan for Fair and Efficient Corporate Taxation in the European Union3 (the Action Plan) in which it recognises that a fully-fledged Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB), with an appropriate and fair distribution key, would be the genuine "game changer" in the fight against artificial BEPS strategies. In light of this, the Commission should publish an ambitious proposal for a CCCTB as soon as possible, and the legislative branch should conclude negotiations on that crucial proposal as soon as possible. Due regard should be had to the European Parliament position of 19 April 2012 on the proposal for a Council directive on a Common Consolidated Corporate Tax Base (CCCTB).
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3 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on a Fair and Efficient Corporate Tax System in the European Union: 5 Key Areas for Action COM(2015) 302 final of 17 June 2015.
3 Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on a Fair and Efficient Corporate Tax System in the European Union: 5 Key Areas for Action COM(2015)0302 final of 17 June 2015.
Amendment 2
Proposal for a directive
Recital 1 a (new)
(1a)  The Union believes that combatting fraud, tax evasion and tax avoidance are overriding political priorities, as aggressive tax planning practices are unacceptable from the point of view of the integrity of the internal market and social justice.
Amendment 3
Proposal for a directive
Recital 2
(2)  Most Member States, in their capacity as OECD members, have committed to implement the output of the 15 Action Items against base erosion and profit shifting, released to the public on 5 October 2015. It is therefore essential for the good functioning of the internal market that, as a minimum, Member States implement their commitments under BEPS and more broadly, take action to discourage tax avoidance practices and ensure fair and effective taxation in the Union in a sufficiently coherent and coordinated fashion. In a market of highly integrated economies, there is a need for common strategic approaches and coordinated action, to improve the functioning of the internal market and maximise the positive effects of the initiative against BEPS. Furthermore, only a common framework could prevent a fragmentation of the market and put an end to currently existing mismatches and market distortions. Finally, national implementing measures which follow a common line across the Union would provide taxpayers with legal certainty in that those measures would be compatible with Union law.
(2)  Most Member States, in their capacity as OECD members, have committed to implement the output of the 15 Action Items against genuine base erosion and profit shifting, released to the public on 5 October 2015. It is therefore essential for the good functioning of the internal market that, as a minimum, Member States implement their commitments under BEPS and more broadly, take action to discourage tax avoidance practices and ensure fair and effective taxation in the Union in a sufficiently coherent and coordinated fashion. In a market of highly integrated economies, there is a need for common strategic approaches and coordinated action, to improve the functioning of the internal market and maximise the positive effects of the initiative against genuine BEPS strategies, whilst at the same time taking adequate care of the competitiveness of the companies operating within that internal market. Furthermore, only a common framework could prevent a fragmentation of the market and put an end to currently existing mismatches and market distortions. Finally, national implementing measures which follow a common line across the Union would provide taxpayers with legal certainty in that those measures would be compatible with Union law. In a Union characterised by very diverse national markets, an encompassing impact assessment of all anticipated measures remains crucial to ensure that this common line finds widespread support among Member States.
Amendment 4
Proposal for a directive
Recital 3 a (new)
(3a)  Given that tax havens can be classified as transparent by the OECD, proposals should be brought forward to increase the transparency of trust funds and foundations.
Amendment 5
Proposal for a directive
Recital 4 a (new)
(4a)  It is essential to give tax authorities the appropriate means to fight effectively against BEPS, and, in so doing, improve transparency in respect of the activities of large multinationals, in particular with regard to profits, tax paid on profits, subsidies received, tax rebates, numbers of employees and assets held.
Amendment 6
Proposal for a directive
Recital 4 b (new)
(4b)  To ensure consistency with regard to the treatment of permanent establishments, it is essential that Member States apply, both in relevant legislation and bilateral tax treaties, a common definition of permanent establishments in accordance with Article 5 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital.
Amendment 7
Proposal for a directive
Recital 4 c (new)
(4c)  To avoid inconsistent allocation of profits to permanent establishments, Member States should follow rules for profits attributable to permanent establishment which are in accordance with Article 7 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital and should align their applicable law and bilateral treaties to those rules, when such rules are reviewed.
Amendment 8
Proposal for a directive
Recital 5
(5)  It is necessary to lay down rules against the erosion of tax bases in the internal market and the shifting of profits out of the internal market. Rules in the following areas are necessary in order to contribute to achieving that objective: limitations to the deductibility of interest, exit taxation, a switch-over clause, a general anti-abuse rule, controlled foreign company rules and a framework to tackle hybrid mismatches. Where the application of those rules gives rise to double taxation, taxpayers should receive relief through a deduction for the tax paid in another Member State or third country, as the case may be. Thus, the rules should not only aim to counter tax avoidance practices but also avoid creating other obstacles to the market, such as double taxation.
(5)  It is necessary to lay down rules against the erosion of tax bases in the internal market and the shifting of profits out of the internal market. Rules in the following areas are necessary in order to contribute to achieving that objective: limitations to the deductibility of interest, basic defence measures against the use of secrecy or low tax jurisdictions for BEPS, exit taxation, a clear definition of permanent establishment, precise rules governing transfer pricing, a framework for patent box systems, a switch-over clause in the absence of a sound tax treaty of similar effect with a third country, a general anti-abuse rule, controlled foreign company rules and a framework to tackle hybrid mismatches. Where the application of those rules gives rise to double taxation, taxpayers should receive relief through a deduction for the tax paid in another Member State or third country, as the case may be. Thus, the rules should not only aim to counter tax avoidance practices but also avoid creating other obstacles to the market, such as double taxation. To correctly apply those rules, tax authorities in Member States must be properly resourced. Nevertheless, it is also necessary to urgently lay down a single set of rules for calculating the taxable profits of cross-border companies in the Union by treating corporate groups as a single entity for tax purposes, in order to strengthen the internal market and eliminate many of the weaknesses in the current corporate tax framework enabling aggressive tax planning.
Amendment 9
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6
(6)  In an effort to reduce their global tax liability, cross-border groups of companies have increasingly engaged in shifting profits, often through inflated interest payments, out of high tax jurisdictions into countries with lower tax regimes. The interest limitation rule is necessary to discourage such practices by limiting the deductibility of taxpayers’ net financial costs (i.e. the amount by which financial expenses exceed financial revenues). It is therefore necessary to fix a ratio for deductibility which refers to a taxpayer’s earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). Tax exempt financial revenues should not be set off against financial expenses. This is because only taxable income should be taken into account in determining up to how much of interest may be deducted. To facilitate taxpayers which run reduced risks related to base erosion and profit shifting, net interest should always be deductible up to a fixed maximum amount, which is triggered where it leads to a higher deduction than the EBITDA-based ratio. Where the taxpayer is part of a group which files statutory consolidated accounts, the indebtedness of the overall group should be considered for the purpose of granting taxpayers entitlement to deduct higher amounts of net financial costs. The interest limitation rule should apply in relation to a taxpayer's net financial costs without distinction of whether the costs originate in debt taken out nationally, cross-border within the Union or with a third country. Although it is generally accepted that financial undertakings, i.e. financial institutions and insurance undertakings, should also be subject to limitations to the deductibility of interest, it is equally acknowledged that these two sectors present special features which call for a more customised approach. As the discussions in this field are not yet sufficiently conclusive in the international and Union context, it is not yet possible to provide specific rules in the financial and insurance sectors.
(6)  In an effort to reduce their global tax liability, cross-border groups of companies have increasingly engaged in shifting profits, often through inflated interest payments, out of high tax jurisdictions into countries with lower tax regimes. The interest limitation rule is necessary to discourage such genuine BEPS practices by limiting the deductibility of taxpayers' net financial costs (i.e. the amount by which financial expenses exceed financial revenues). With respect to interest costs, it is therefore necessary to fix a ratio for deductibility which refers to a taxpayer's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA). Tax exempt financial revenues should not be set off against financial expenses. This is because only taxable income should be taken into account in determining up to how much of interest may be deducted. To facilitate taxpayers which run reduced risks related to base erosion and profit shifting, net interest should always be deductible up to a fixed maximum amount, which is triggered where it leads to a higher deduction than the EBITDA-based ratio. Where the taxpayer is part of a group which files statutory consolidated accounts, the indebtedness of the overall group should be considered for the purpose of granting taxpayers entitlement to deduct higher amounts of net financial costs. The interest limitation rule should apply in relation to a taxpayer's net financial costs without distinction of whether the costs originate in debt taken out nationally, cross-border within the Union or with a third country. It is generally accepted that financial undertakings, i.e. financial institutions and insurance undertakings, should also be subject to limitations to the deductibility of interest, perhaps with a more customised approach.
Amendment 10
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6 a (new)
(6a)  In the event of the funding of long- term infrastructure projects that are in public interest by debt to a third party, where that debt is higher than the threshold for exemption established by this Directive, it should be possible for Member States to grant an exemption to third party loans funding public infrastructure projects under certain conditions, as the application of the proposed provisions on interest limitation in such cases would be counterproductive.
Amendment 11
Proposal for a directive
Recital 6 b (new)
(6b)  Profit shifting into secrecy or low tax jurisdictions poses a particular risk to Member States' tax proceeds as well as to fair and equal treatment between tax avoiding and tax compliant firms, large and small. In addition to the generally applicable measures proposed in this Directive for all jurisdictions, it is essential to deter secrecy and low tax jurisdictions from basing their corporate tax and legal environment on sheltering profits from tax avoidance while at the same time not adequately implementing global standards as regards tax good governance, such as the automatic exchange of tax information, or engaging in tacit non-compliance by not properly enforcing tax laws and international agreements, despite political commitments to implementation. Specific measures are therefore proposed to use this Directive as a tool to ensure compliance by current secrecy or low tax jurisdictions with the international push for tax transparency and fairness.
Amendment 13
Proposal for a directive
Recital 7 a (new)
(7a)  Too often, multinational companies make arrangements to transfer their profits to tax havens without paying any tax or paying very low rates of tax. The concept of permanent establishment will provide a precise, binding definition of the criteria which must be met if a multinational company is to prove that it is situated in a given country. This will compel multinational companies to pay their taxes fairly.
Amendment 14
Proposal for a directive
Recital 7 b (new)
(7b)  The term 'transfer pricing' refers to the conditions and arrangements surrounding transactions effected within a multinational company, including subsidiaries and shell companies whose profits are divested to a parent multinational. It denotes the prices charged between associated undertakings established in different countries for their intra-group transactions, such as the transfer of goods and services. As the prices are set by non-independent associates within the same multinational undertaking, they might not reflect the objective market price. The Union must satisfy itself that the taxable profits generated by multinational undertakings are not being transferred outside the jurisdiction of the Member State concerned and that the tax base declared by multinational undertakings in their country reflects the economic activity undertaken there. In the interests of taxpayers, it is essential to limit the risk of double non-taxation which might result from a difference of opinion between two countries regarding the determination of the arm's length charge for their international transactions with associated undertakings. This system does not rule out the use of a range of artificial arrangements, in particular involving products for which there is no market price (for example a franchise or services provided to undertakings).
Amendment 101/rev
Proposal for a directive
Recital 7 c (new)
(7c)  Tax schemes linked to intellectual property, patents and research and development (R&D) are widely used across the Union. Several studies from the Commission have however clearly shown that the link between patent boxes and promotion of R&D is in many cases arbitrary. The OECD has developed the modified nexus approach in an effort to regulate the patent box system. This method guarantees that, under the patent box system, a favourable rate of tax is charged only on revenue directly linked to spending on research and development. However, the difficulty for Member States in applying the concepts of 'nexus' and 'economic substance' to their innovation boxes can already be seen. If, by January 2017, the Member States have still not fully implemented the modified nexus approach in a uniform manner in order to eliminate current harmful patent box regimes, the Commission should submit a new, binding legislative proposal under Article 116 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union to advance to 30 June 2017 the abolition of the old harmful regimes by shortening the period during which the grandfathering rule applies. The CCCTB should eliminate the issue of profit shifting through tax planning as regards intellectual property.
Amendment 16
Proposal for a directive
Recital 7 d (new)
(7d)  Exit tax should not be charged where the transferred assets are tangible assets generating active income. Transfers of such assets are an inevitable part of effective allocation of resources by an enterprise and are not primarily intended for tax optimisation and tax avoidance, and should therefore be exempt from such provisions.
Amendment 17
Proposal for a directive
Recital 8
(8)  Given the inherent difficulties in giving credit relief for taxes paid abroad, States tend to increasingly exempt from taxation foreign income in the State of residence. The unintended negative effect of this approach is however that it encourages situations whereby untaxed or low-taxed income enters the internal market and then, circulates – in many cases, untaxed - within the Union, making use of available instruments within the Union law. Switch-over clauses are commonly used against such practices. It is therefore necessary to provide for a switch-over clause which is targeted against some types of foreign income, for example, profit distributions, proceeds from the disposal of shares and permanent establishment profits which are tax exempt in the Union and originate in third countries. This income should be taxable in the Union, if it has been taxed below a certain level in the third country. Considering that the switch-over clause does not require control over the low-taxed entity and therefore access to statutory accounts of the entity may be unavailable, the computation of the effective tax rate can be a very complicated exercise. Member States should therefore use the statutory tax rate when applying the switch-over clause. Member States that apply the switch-over clause should give a credit for the tax paid abroad, in order to prevent double taxation.
(8)  Given the inherent difficulties in giving credit relief for taxes paid abroad, States tend to increasingly exempt from taxation foreign income in the State of residence. The unintended negative effect of this approach is however that it encourages situations whereby untaxed or low-taxed income enters the internal market and then, circulates – in many cases, untaxed - within the Union, making use of available instruments within the Union law. Switch-over clauses are commonly used against such practices. It is therefore necessary to provide for a switch-over clause which is targeted against some types of foreign income, for example, profit distributions, proceeds from the disposal of shares and permanent establishment profits which are tax exempt in the Union. This income should be taxable in the Union, if it has been taxed below a certain level in the country of origin and in the absence of a sound tax treaty of similar effect with that country. Member States that apply the switch-over clause should give a credit for the tax paid abroad, in order to prevent double taxation.
Amendment 96
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9
(9)  General anti-abuse rules (GAARs) feature in tax systems to tackle abusive tax practices that have not yet been dealt with through specifically targeted provisions. GAARs have therefore a function aimed to fill in gaps, which should not affect the applicability of specific anti-abuse rules. Within the Union, the application of GAARs should be limited to arrangements that are ‘wholly artificial’ (non-genuine); otherwise, the taxpayer should have the right to choose the most tax efficient structure for its commercial affairs. It is furthermore important to ensure that the GAARs apply in domestic situations, within the Union and vis-à-vis third countries in a uniform manner, so that their scope and results of application in domestic and cross-border situations do not differ.
(9)  General anti-abuse rules (GAARs) feature in tax systems to tackle abusive tax practices that have not yet been dealt with through specifically targeted provisions. GAARs have therefore a function aimed to fill in gaps, which should not affect the applicability of specific anti-abuse rules. Within the Union, the application of GAARs should be applied to arrangements put in place the main purpose or one of the main purposes of which is to obtain a tax advantage that defeats the object or purpose of the otherwise applicable tax provisions without preventing a taxpayer from choosing the most tax efficient structure for its commercial affairs. It is furthermore important to ensure that the GAARs apply in domestic situations, within the Union and vis-à-vis third countries in a uniform manner, so that their scope and results of application in domestic and cross-border situations do not differ.
Amendment 19
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 a (new)
(9a)   An arrangement or a series of arrangements can be regarded as non-genuine insofar as it leads to different taxation of certain types of income, such as those generated by patents.
Amendment 97
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 b (new)
(9b)  Member states should implement detailed provisions that clarify what is meant by non-genuine arrangements and other activities in tax matters subject to sanctions. Sanctions should be set out in a clear way in order not to create legal uncertainty and to provide a strong incentive for full compliance with tax law.
Amendment 21
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 c (new)
(9c)  Member States should have in place a system of penalties as provided for in national law and should inform the Commission thereof.
Amendment 22
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 d (new)
(9d)   In order to prevent the creation of special purpose entities such as letterbox companies or shell companies with a lower tax treatment, enterprises should correspond to the definitions of permanent establishment and minimum economic substance laid down in Article 2.
Amendment 23
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 e (new)
(9e)   The use of letterbox companies by taxpayers operating in the Union should be prohibited. Taxpayers should communicate to tax authorities evidence demonstrating the economic substance of each of the entities in their group, as part of their annual country-by-country reporting obligations.
Amendment 24
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 f (new)
(9f)   In order to improve the current mechanisms to resolve cross-border taxation disputes in the Union, focusing not only on cases of double taxation but also on double non-taxation, a dispute resolution mechanism with clearer rules and more stringent timelines should be introduced by January 2017.
Amendment 25
Proposal for a directive
Recital 9 g (new)
(9g)  Proper identification of taxpayers is essential for the effective exchange of information between tax administrations. The creation of a harmonised, common European taxpayer identification number (TIN) would provide the best means for this identification. It would allow any third party to quickly, easily and correctly identify and record TINs in cross-border relations and serve as a basis for effective automatic exchange of information between Member States tax administrations. The Commission should also actively work for the creation of a similar identification number on a global level, such as the Regulatory Oversight Committee's global Legal Entities Identifier (LEI).
Amendment 26
Proposal for a directive
Recital 10
(10)  Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules have the effect of re-attributing the income of a low-taxed controlled subsidiary to its parent company. Then, the parent company becomes taxable to this attributed income in the State where it is resident for tax purposes. Depending on the policy priorities of that State, CFC rules may target an entire low-taxed subsidiary or be limited to income which has artificially been diverted to the subsidiary. It is desirable to address situations both in third-countries and in the Union. To comply with the fundamental freedoms, the impact of the rules within the Union should be limited to arrangements which result in the artificial shifting of profits out of the Member State of the parent company towards the CFC. In this case, the amounts of income attributed to the parent company should be adjusted by reference to the arm’s length principle, so that the State of the parent company only taxes amounts of CFC income to the extent that they do not comply with this principle. CFC rules should exclude financial undertakings from their scope where those are tax resident in the Union, including permanent establishments of such undertakings situated in the Union. This is because the scope for a legitimate application of CFC rules within the Union should be limited to artificial situations without economic substance, which would imply that the heavily regulated financial and insurance sectors would be unlikely to be captured by those rules.
(10)  Controlled Foreign Company (CFC) rules have the effect of re-attributing the income of a low-taxed controlled subsidiary to its parent company. Then, the parent company becomes taxable to this attributed income in the State where it is resident for tax purposes. Depending on the policy priorities of that State, CFC rules may target an entire low-taxed subsidiary or be limited to income which has artificially been diverted to the subsidiary. It is desirable to address situations both in third-countries and in the Union. The impact of the rules within the Union should cover all arrangements of which one of the principal purposes is the artificial shifting of profits out of the Member State of the parent company towards the CFC. In this case, the amounts of income attributed to the parent company should be adjusted by reference to the arm’s length principle , so that the State of the parent company only taxes amounts of CFC income to the extent that they do not comply with this principle. Overlaps between CFC rules and the switch over clause should be avoided.
Amendment 27
Proposal for a directive
Recital 11
(11)  Hybrid mismatches are the consequence of differences in the legal characterisation of payments (financial instruments) or entities and those differences surface in the interaction between the legal systems of two jurisdictions. The effect of such mismatches is often a double deduction (i.e. deduction in both states) or a deduction of the income in one state without inclusion in the tax base of the other. To prevent such an outcome, it is necessary to lay down rules whereby one of the two jurisdictions in a mismatch should give a legal characterisation to the hybrid instrument or entity and the other jurisdiction should accept it. Although Member States have agreed guidance, in the framework of the Group of the Code of Conduct on Business Taxation, on the tax treatment of hybrid entities4 and hybrid permanent establishments5 within the Union as well as on the tax treatment of hybrid entities in relations with third countries, it is still necessary to enact binding rules. Finally, it is necessary to limit the scope of these rules to hybrid mismatches between Member States. Hybrid mismatches between Member States and third countries still need to be further examined.
(11)  Hybrid mismatches are the consequence of differences in the legal characterisation of payments (financial instruments) or entities and those differences surface in the interaction between the legal systems of two jurisdictions. The effect of such mismatches is often a double deduction (i.e. deduction in both states) or a deduction of the income in one state without inclusion in the tax base of the other. To prevent such an outcome, it is necessary to lay down rules whereby one of the two jurisdictions in a mismatch should give a legal characterisation to the hybrid instrument or entity and the other jurisdiction should accept it. Where such a mismatch arises between a Member State and a third country, proper taxation of such operation must be safeguarded by the Member State. Although Member States have agreed guidance, in the framework of the Group of the Code of Conduct on Business Taxation, on the tax treatment of hybrid entities4 and hybrid permanent establishments5 within the Union as well as on the tax treatment of hybrid entities in relations with third countries, it is still necessary to enact binding rules.
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4 Code of Conduct (Business Taxation) – Report to Council, 16553/14, FISC 225, 11.12.2014.
4 Code of Conduct (Business Taxation) – Report to Council, 16553/14, FISC 225, 11.12.2014.
5 Code of Conduct (Business Taxation) – Report to Council, 9620/15, FISC 60, 11.6.2015.
5 Code of Conduct (Business Taxation) – Report to Council, 9620/15, FISC 60, 11.6.2015.
Amendment 28
Proposal for a directive
Recital 11 a (new)
(11a)  A Union-wide definition and an exhaustive 'black list' should be drawn up of the tax havens and countries, including those in the Union, which distort competition by granting favourable tax arrangements. The black list should be complemented with a list of sanctions for non-cooperative jurisdictions and for financial institutions that operate within tax havens.
Amendment 29
Proposal for a directive
Recital 12 a (new)
(12a)  One of the main problems encountered by the tax authorities is the impossibility of gaining access in due time to comprehensive and relevant information about Multinational Enterprises' tax planning strategies. Such information should be made available, in order for tax authorities to react quickly to tax risks, by assessing those risks more effectively, targeting checks and highlighting changes required to the laws in force.
Amendment 30
Proposal for a directive
Recital 14
(14)  Considering that a key objective of this Directive is to improve the resilience of the internal market as a whole against cross-border tax avoidance practices, this cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States acting individually. National corporate tax systems are disparate and independent action by Member States would only replicate the existing fragmentation of the internal market in direct taxation. It would thus allow inefficiencies and distortions to persist in the interaction of distinct national measures. The result would be lack of coordination. Rather, by reason of the fact that much inefficiency in the internal market primarily gives rise to problems of a cross-border nature, remedial measures should be adopted at Union level. It is therefore critical to adopt solutions that function for the internal market as a whole and this can be better achieved at Union level. Thus, 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 Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective. By setting a minimum level of protection for the internal market, this Directive only aims to achieve the essential minimum degree of coordination within the Union for the purpose of materialising its objectives.
(14)  Considering that a key objective of this Directive is to improve the resilience of the internal market as a whole against cross-border tax avoidance practices, this cannot be sufficiently achieved by the Member States acting individually. National corporate tax systems are disparate and independent action by Member States would only replicate the existing fragmentation of the internal market in direct taxation. It would thus allow inefficiencies and distortions to persist in the interaction of distinct national measures. The result would be lack of coordination. Rather, by reason of the fact that much inefficiency in the internal market primarily gives rise to problems of a cross-border nature, remedial measures should be adopted at Union level. It is therefore critical to adopt solutions that function for the internal market as a whole and this can be better achieved at Union level. Thus, 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 Directive does not go beyond what is necessary in order to achieve that objective. By setting a minimum level of protection for the internal market, this Directive only aims to achieve the essential minimum degree of coordination within the Union for the purpose of materialising its objectives. However, overhauling the legal framework for tax in order to address practices which erode the tax base by means of regulation would have made it possible to secure a better outcome as regards guaranteeing equal conditions throughout the internal market.
Amendment 31
Proposal for a directive
Recital 14 a (new)
(14a)  The Commission should carry out a cost-benefit analysis and assess the possible impact of high levels of tax on the repatriation of capital from third countries with low tax rates.
Amendment 32
Proposal for a directive
Recital 14 b (new)
(14b)  All trade agreements and economic partnership agreements to which the Union is party should include provisions on the promotion of good governance in tax matters, with the aim of increasing transparency and of combating harmful tax practises.
Amendment 33
Proposal for a directive
Recital 15
(15)  The Commission should evaluate the implementation of this Directive three years after its entry into force and report to the Council thereon. Member States should communicate to the Commission all information necessary for this evaluation,
(15)  The Commission should put in place a specific monitoring mechanism to ensure the proper implementation of this Directive and the homogeneous interpretation of its measures by Member States. It should evaluate the implementation of this Directive three years after its entry into force and report to the European Parliament and the Council thereon. Member States should communicate to the European Parliament and the Commission all information necessary for this evaluation.
Amendment 34
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 1 a (new)
(1a)  'taxpayer' means a corporate entity within the scope of this Directive;
Amendment 35
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 4 a (new)
(4a)  'royalty cost' means costs arising from payments of any kind made as a consideration for the use of, or the right to use, any copyright of literary, artistic or scientific work, including cinematograph films and software, any patent, trade mark, design or model, plan, secret formula or process, or for information concerning industrial, commercial or scientific experience, or any other intangible asset; payments for the use of, or the right to use, industrial, commercial or scientific equipment shall be regarded as royalty costs;
Amendment 36
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 4 b (new)
(4b)  'secrecy or low tax jurisdiction' means any jurisdiction which, from 31 December 2016, meets any of the following criteria:
(a)  a lack of automatic exchange of information with all signatories of the multilateral competent authority agreement in line with the standards of OECD published on 21 July 2014 entitled 'Standard for Automatic Exchange of Financial Account Information in Tax Matters';
(b)  no register of the ultimate beneficial owners of corporations, trusts and equivalent legal structures at least compliant with the minimum standard defined in the Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council1a.;
(c)  laws or administrative provisions or practices which grant favourable tax treatment to undertakings irrespective of whether they engage in genuine economic activity or have a significant economic presence in the country in question.
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1a Directive (EU) 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 May 2015 on the prevention of the use of the financial system for the purposes of money laundering or terrorist financing, amending Regulation (EU) No 648/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council, and repealing Directive 2005/60/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council and Commission Directive 2006/70/EC (OJ L 141, 5.6.2015, p. 73).
Amendment 37
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 a (new)
(7a)  'permanent establishment' means a fixed place of business situated in a Member State through which the business of a company of another Member State is wholly or partly carried on; this definition covers situations in which companies which engage in fully dematerialised digital activities are considered to have a permanent establishment in a Member State if they maintain a significant presence in the economy of that Member State;
Amendment 38
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 b (new)
(7b)  'tax haven' means a jurisdiction characterised by one or several of the following criteria:
(a)  no or only nominal taxation for non-residents;
(b)  laws or administrative practices preventing the effective exchange of tax information with other jurisdictions;
(c)  laws or administrative provisions preventing tax transparency or the absence of requirement of a substantial economic activity to be carried out.
Amendment 39
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 c (new)
(7c)  'minimum economic substance' means factual criteria, including in the context of the digital economy, which can be used to define an undertaking, such as the existence of human and physical resources specific to the entity, its management autonomy, its legal reality and, where appropriate, the nature of its assets;
Amendment 40
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 d (new)
(7d)  'European tax identification number' or 'TIN' means a number as defined in the Commission's Communication of 6 December 2012 containing an Action plan to strengthen the fight against tax fraud and tax evasion;
Amendment 41
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 e (new)
(7e)  'transfer pricing' means the pricing at which an undertaking transfers tangible goods or intangible assets or provides services to associated undertakings;
Amendment 42
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 f (new)
(7f)  'patent box' means a system used to calculate the income deriving from intellectual property (IP) which is eligible for tax benefits by establishing a link between the eligible expenditure effected when the IP assets were created (expressed as a proportion of the overall expenditure linked to the creation of the IP assets) and the income deriving from those IP assets; this system restricts the IP assets to patents or intangible goods with an equivalent function and provides the basis for the definition of 'eligible expenditure', 'overall expenditure' and 'income deriving from IP assets';
Amendment 43
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 g (new)
(7g)  'letterbox company' means any type of legal entity which has no economic substance and which is set up purely for tax purposes;
Amendment 44
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 h (new)
(7h)  'a person or enterprise associated to a taxpayer' means a situation where the first person holds a participation of more than 25 % in the second, or there is a third person that holds a participation of more than 25 % in both;
Amendment 45
Proposal for a directive
Article 2 – paragraph 1 – point 7 i (new)
(7i)  'hybrid mismatch' means a situation between a taxpayer in one Member State and an associated enterprise, as defined under the applicable corporate tax system, in another Member State or a third country where the following outcome is attributable to differences in the legal characterisation of a financial instrument or entity:
(a)  a deduction of the same payment, expenses or losses occurs both in the Member State in which the payment has its source, the expenses are incurred or the losses are suffered and in the other Member State or third country (double deduction); or
(b)  there is a deduction of a payment in the Member State or third country in which the payment has its source without a corresponding inclusion of the same payment in the other Member State or third country (deduction without inclusion).
Amendment 46
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 2
2.  Exceeding borrowing costs shall be deductible in the tax year in which they are incurred only up to 30 percent of the taxpayer's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) or up to an amount of EUR 1 000 000, whichever is higher. The EBITDA shall be calculated by adding back to taxable income the tax-adjusted amounts for net interest expenses and other costs equivalent to interest as well as the tax-adjusted amounts for depreciation and amortisation.
2.  Exceeding borrowing costs shall be deductible in the tax year in which they are incurred only up to 20 % of the taxpayer's earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) or up to an amount of EUR 2 000 000, whichever is higher. The EBITDA shall be calculated by adding back to taxable income the tax-adjusted amounts for net interest expenses and other costs equivalent to interest as well as the tax-adjusted amounts for depreciation and amortisation.
Amendment 47
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  Member States may exclude from the scope of paragraph 2 excessive borrowing costs incurred on third party loans used to fund a public infrastructure project that lasts at least 10 years and is considered to be in the general public interest by a Member State or the Union.
Amendment 48
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 4
4.  The EBITDA of a tax year which is not fully absorbed by the borrowing costs incurred by the taxpayer in that or previous tax years may be carried forward for future tax years.
4.  The EBITDA of a tax year which is not fully absorbed by the borrowing costs incurred by the taxpayer in that or previous tax years may be carried forward for future tax years for a period of five years.
Amendment 49
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 5
5.  Borrowing costs which cannot be deducted in the current tax year under paragraph 2 shall be deductible up to the 30 percent of the EBITDA in subsequent tax years in the same way as the borrowing costs for those years.
5.  Borrowing costs which cannot be deducted in the current tax year under paragraph 2 shall be deductible up to the 20 % of the EBITDA in the five following tax years in the same way as the borrowing costs for those years.
Amendment 50
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 – paragraph 6
6.  Paragraphs 2 to 5 shall not apply to financial undertakings.
6.  Paragraphs 2 to 5 shall not apply to financial undertakings. The Commission must review the scope of this Article if and when an agreement is reached at OECD level and when the Commission determines that the OECD agreement can be implemented at Union level.
Amendment 51
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 a (new)
Article 4a
Permanent establishment
1.  A fixed place of business that is used or maintained by a taxpayer shall be deemed to give rise to a permanent establishment if the same taxpayer or a closely related person carries out business activities at the same place or at another place in the same State and:
(a)  that place or the other place constitutes a permanent establishment for the taxpayer or the closely related person under the provisions of this Article; or
(b)  the overall activity resulting from the combination of the activities carried out by the taxpayer and the closely related person at the same place, or by the same taxpayer or closely related persons at both places, is not of a preparatory or auxiliary character, provided that the business activities carried on by the taxpayer and the closely related person at the same place, or by the same taxpayer or closely related persons at both places, constitute complementary functions that are part of a cohesive business operation.
2.  Where a person is acting in a State on behalf of a taxpayer and, in doing so, habitually concludes contracts, or habitually plays the principal role leading to the conclusion of contracts that are routinely concluded without material modification by the taxpayer, and these contracts are:
(a)  in the name of the taxpayer;
(b)  for the transfer of the ownership of, or for the granting of the right to use, property owned by that taxpayer or that the taxpayer has the right to use; or
(c)  for the provision of services by that taxpayer,
that taxpayer shall be deemed to have a permanent establishment in that State in respect of any activities which that person undertakes for the taxpayer, unless the activities of such person are of auxiliary or preparatory character so that, if exercised through a fixed place of business, would not make this fixed place of business a permanent establishment under the provisions of this paragraph.
3.  Member States shall align their applicable legislation and any bilateral double tax treaties to this Article.
4.  The Commission is empowered to adopt delegated acts concerning the notions of preparatory or auxiliary character.
Amendment 52
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 b (new)
Article 4b
Profits attributable to permanent establishment
1.  Profits in a Member State that are attributable to the permanent establishment referred to in Article 4a are also the profits it might be expected to make, in particular in its dealing with other parts of the enterprise, if they were separate and independent enterprises engaged in the same activity and similar conditions, taking into account the assets and risks of the permanent establishments involved.
2.  Where a Member State adjusts the profit attributable to the permanent establishment referred to in paragraph 1 and taxes it accordingly, the profit and tax in other Member States should be adjusted accordingly, in order to avoid double taxation.
3.  As part of the OECD BEPS Action 7, the OECD is currently reviewing the rules defined in Article 7 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital dealing with profits attributable to permanent establishments and, once those rules are updated, the Member states shall align their applicable legislation accordingly.
Amendment 53
Proposal for a directive
Article 4 c (new)
Article 4c
Secrecy or low tax jurisdictions
1.  A Member State may impose withholding tax on payments from an entity in that Member State to an entity in a secrecy or low tax jurisdiction.
2.  Payments which are not directly made to an entity in a secrecy or low tax jurisdiction, but which can be reasonably assumed to be made to an entity in a secrecy or low tax jurisdiction indirectly, e.g. by means of mere intermediaries in other jurisdictions, shall also be covered by paragraph 1.
3.  In due course, Member States shall update any Double Tax Agreements which currently preclude such a level of withholding tax with a view to removing any legal barriers to this collective defence measure.
Amendment 54
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – introductory part
1.  A taxpayer shall be subject to tax at an amount equal to the market value of the transferred assets, at the time of exit, less their value for tax purposes, in any of the following circumstances:
1.  A taxpayer shall be subject to tax at an amount equal to the market value of the transferred assets, at the time of exit of assets, less their value for tax purposes, in any of the following circumstances:
Amendment 55
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point a
(a)  a taxpayer transfers assets from its head office to its permanent establishment in another Member State or in a third country;
(a)  a taxpayer transfers assets from its head office to its permanent establishment in another Member State or in a third country insofar as the Member State of the head office no longer has the right to tax the transferred assets due to the transfer;
Amendment 56
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  a taxpayer transfers assets from its permanent establishment in a Member State to its head office or another permanent establishment in another Member State or in a third country;
(b)  a taxpayer transfers assets from its permanent establishment in a Member State to its head office or another permanent establishment in another Member State or in a third country insofar as the Member State of the permanent establishment no longer has the right to tax the transferred assets due to the transfer;
Amendment 57
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 1 – point d
(d)  a taxpayer transfers its permanent establishment out of a Member State.
(d)  a taxpayer transfers its permanent establishment to another Member State or to a third country insofar as the Member State of the permanent establishment no longer has the right to tax the transferred assets due to the transfer.
Amendment 63
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 – paragraph 7
7.  This article shall not apply to asset transfers of a temporary nature where the assets are intended to revert to the Member State of the transferor.
7.  This article shall not apply to asset transfers of a temporary nature where the assets are intended to revert to the Member State of the transferor, nor to transfers of tangible assets transferred in order to generate income from active business. In order to benefit from the exemption, the taxpayer will have to prove to its tax authorities that the foreign income arises from an active business, for example through a certificate from the foreign tax authorities.
Amendment 64
Proposal for a directive
Article 5 a (new)
Article 5a
Transfer pricing
1.  In accordance with the OECD guidelines published on 18 August 2010 entitled ‘Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations’, the profits that would have been made by an enterprise but have not been made as a result of the following conditions may be included in the profits of that enterprise and taxed accordingly:
(a)  an enterprise of a State participates directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of the other State; or
(b)  the same persons participate directly or indirectly in the management, control or capital of an enterprise of one State and an enterprise of the other State; and
(c)  in either case, the two enterprises are linked, in their commercial or financial relations, by agreed or imposed conditions that differ from those that would be agreed between independent enterprises.
2.  Where a State includes in the profits of an enterprise of that State - and taxes accordingly - profits on which an enterprise of the other State has been charged to tax in that other State and the profits so included are profits which the enterprise of the first-mentioned State would have made if the conditions between the two enterprises had been those which would have existed between independent enterprises, then that other State shall make an appropriate adjustment to the amount of the tax charged on those profits. In determining such adjustment, due regard shall be had to the other provisions of this Directive and the tax authorities of the States shall, if necessary, consult each other.
Amendment 102
Proposal for a directive
Article 6 – paragraph 1
1.  Member States shall not exempt a taxpayer from tax on foreign income which the taxpayer received as a profit distribution from an entity in a third country or as proceeds from the disposal of shares held in an entity in a third country or as income from a permanent establishment situated in a third country where the entity or the permanent establishment is subject, in the entity’s country of residence or the country in which the permanent establishment is situated, to a tax on profits at a statutory corporate tax rate lower than 40 percent of the statutory tax rate that would have been charged under the applicable corporate tax system in the Member State of the taxpayer. In those circumstances, the taxpayer shall be subject to tax on the foreign income with a deduction of the tax paid in the third country from its tax liability in its state of residence for tax purposes. The deduction shall not exceed the amount of tax, as computed before the deduction, which is attributable to the income that may be taxed.
1.  Member States shall not exempt a taxpayer from tax on foreign income, that does not arise from active business, which the taxpayer received as a profit distribution from an entity in a third country or as proceeds from the disposal of shares held in an entity in a third country or as income from a permanent establishment situated in a third country where the entity or the permanent establishment is subject, in the entity's country of residence or the country in which the permanent establishment is situated, to a tax on profits at a statutory corporate tax rate lower than 15 percent. In those circumstances, the taxpayer shall be subject to tax on the foreign income with a deduction of the tax paid in the third country from its tax liability in its state of residence for tax purposes. The deduction shall not exceed the amount of tax, as computed before the deduction, which is attributable to the income that may be taxed. In order to benefit from the exemption, the taxpayer will have to prove to its tax authorities that the foreign income arises from an active business, supported by commensurate staff, equipment, assets and premises which justify the income attributed to it.
Amendment 68
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 1
1.  Non-genuine arrangements or a series thereof carried out for the essential purpose of obtaining a tax advantage that defeats the object or purpose of the otherwise applicable tax provisions shall be ignored for the purposes of calculating the corporate tax liability. An arrangement may comprise more than one step or part.
1.  Non-genuine arrangements, or a series thereof, which, having been put into place for the main purpose or one of the main purposes of obtaining a tax advantage that defeats the object or purpose of the otherwise applicable tax provisions, are not genuine taking into consideration all relevant facts and circumstances, shall be ignored for the purposes of calculating the corporate tax liability. An arrangement may comprise more than one step or part.
Amendment 103
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 3
3.  Where arrangements or a series thereof are ignored in accordance with paragraph 1, the tax liability shall be calculated by reference to economic substance in accordance with national law.
3.  Where arrangements or a series thereof are ignored in accordance with paragraph 1, the tax liability shall be calculated by reference to economic substance as defined in Article 2 in accordance with national law.
Amendment 70
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 3 a (new)
3a.  Member States shall allocate adequate staff, expertise and budget resources to their national tax administrations, in particular tax audit staff, as well as resources for the training of tax administration staff focusing on cross-border cooperation on tax fraud and avoidance, and on automatic exchange of information in order to ensure full implementation of this Directive.
Amendment 98
Proposal for a directive
Article 7 – paragraph 3 b (new)
3b.   The Commission shall establish a BEPS Control and Monitoring Unit within its structure as a strong tool against base erosion and profit shifting that will evaluate and advise on the implementation of this Directive and other forthcoming legislative acts addressing the issue of base erosion and profit shifting, in close cooperation with Member States. That BEPS Control and Monitoring Unit will report back to the European Parliament.
Amendment 104
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point b
(b)  under the general regime in the country of the entity, profits are subject to an effective corporate tax rate lower than 40 percent of the effective tax rate that would have been charged under the applicable corporate tax system in the Member State of the taxpayer;
(b)  under the general regime in the country of the entity, profits are subject to an effective corporate tax rate lower than 15 percent; that rate shall be revised each year in line with economic developments in world trade;
Amendment 73
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point c – introductory part
(c)  more than 50 percent of the income accruing to the entity falls within any of the following categories:
(c)  more than 25 percent of the income accruing to the entity falls within any of the following categories:
Amendment 74
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 1 – point c – point vii a (new)
(viia) income from goods traded with the taxpayer or its associated enterprises except such standardised goods that are regularly traded between independent parties and for which publicly observable prices exist.
Amendment 105
Proposal for a directive
Article 8 – paragraph 2 – subparagraph 1
2.  Member States shall not apply paragraph 1 where an entity is tax resident in a Member State or in a third country that is party to the EEA Agreement or in respect of a permanent establishment of a third country entity which is situated in a Member State, unless the establishment of the entity is wholly artificial or to the extent that the entity engages, in the course of its activity, in non-genuine arrangements which have been put in place for the essential purpose of obtaining a tax advantage.
2.  Member States shall apply paragraph 1 where an entity is tax resident in a Member State or in a third country that is party to the EEA Agreement or in respect of a permanent establishment of a third country entity which is situated in a Member State, unless the taxpayer can establish that the controlled foreign company has been set up for valid commercial reasons and carries on an economic activity supported by commensurate staff, equipment, assets and premises which justify the income attributed to it. In the specific case of insurance companies, the fact that a parent company reinsures its risks through its own subsidiaries shall be considered as non-genuine.
Amendment 77
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 – title
Hybrid mismatches
Hybrid mismatches between Member States
Amendment 80
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 – paragraph 2 a (new)
Member States shall update their Double Tax Agreements with third countries or negotiate collectively equivalent agreements in order to make the provisions of this Article applicable in cross-border relations between Member States and third countries.
Amendment 81
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 a (new)
Article 10a
Hybrid mismatches related to third countries
Where a hybrid mismatch between a Member State and a third country results in a double deduction, the Member State shall deny the deduction of such a payment, unless the third country has already done so.
Where a hybrid mismatch between a Member State and a third country results in a deduction without inclusion, the Member State shall deny the deduction or non-inclusion of such a payment, as appropriate, unless the third country has already done so.
Amendment 82
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 b (new)
Article 10b
Effective tax rate
The Commission shall develop a common method of calculation of the effective tax rate in each Member State, so as to make it possible to draw up a comparative table of the effective tax rates across the Member States.
Amendment 83
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 c (new)
Article 10c
Measures against tax treaty abuses
1.  Member States shall amend their bilateral tax treaties to include the following provisions:
(a)  a clause ensuring that both parties to the treaties commit that tax will be paid where economic activities are taking place and value is created;
(b)  an addendum to clarify that the objective of bilateral treaties, beyond avoiding double taxation is to fight tax evasion and tax avoidance;
(c)  a clause for a principal purpose test based general anti-avoidance rule, as defined in Commission recommendation (EU) 2016/136 of 28 January 2016 on the implementation of measures against tax treaty abuse1a;
(d)  a definition of permanent establishment, as defined in Article 5 of the OECD Model Tax Convention on Income and on Capital.
2.  The Commission shall make a proposal by 31 December 2017 for a "European approach to tax treaties" in order to set up a European model of tax treaty which could ultimately replace the thousands bilateral treaties concluded by each Member State.
3.  Member States shall denounce or refrain from signing bilateral treaties with jurisdictions not respecting minimum standards of Union agreed principles of good governance in tax matters.
__________________
1a OJ L 25, 2.2.2016, p. 67.
Amendment 84
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 d (new)
Article 10d
Good governance in tax matters
The Commission shall include provisions on the promotion of good governance in tax matters, with the aim of increasing transparency and of combating harmful tax practises, in international trade agreements and economic partnership agreements to which the Union is party.
Amendment 85
Proposal for a directive
Article 10 e (new)
Article 10e
Penalties
Member States shall lay down the rules on penalties applicable to infringements of national provisions adopted pursuant to this Directive and shall take all measures necessary to ensure that they are implemented. The penalties provided for shall be effective, proportionate and dissuasive. Member States shall, without delay, notify the Commission of those rules and of those measures and shall notify it of any subsequent amendment affecting them.
Amendment 86
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 – title
Review
Review and monitoring
Amendment 87
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 – paragraph 1
1.  The Commission shall evaluate the implementation of this Directive three years after its entry into force and report to the Council thereon.
1.  The Commission shall evaluate the implementation of this Directive three years after its entry into force and report to the European Parliament and the Council thereon.
Amendment 88
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 – paragraph 2
2.  Member States shall communicate to the Commission all information necessary for evaluating the implementation of this Directive.
2.  Member States shall communicate to the European Parliament and the Commission all information necessary for evaluating the implementation of this Directive.
Amendment 89
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 – paragraph 2 a (new)
2a.  The Commission shall put into place a specific monitoring mechanism to ensure the full and adequate transposition of this Directive and the correct interpretation of all definitions provided and actions required by Member States, in order to have a coordinated European approach on the fight against BEPS.
Amendment 90
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 a (new)
Article 11a
European tax identification number
The Commission shall present a legislative proposal for a harmonised, common European taxpayer identification number by 31 December 2016, in order to make automatic exchange of tax information more efficient and reliable within the Union.
Amendment 91
Proposal for a directive
Article 11 b (new)
Article 11b
Mandatory automatic exchange of information on tax matters
In order to guarantee full transparency and the proper implementation of the provisions of this Directive, the exchange of information on tax matters shall be automatic and mandatory, as laid down by Council Directive 2011/16/EU1a.
_______________
1a Council Directive 2011/16/EU of 15 February 2011 on administrative cooperation in the field of taxation and repealing Directive 77/799/EEC (OJ L 64, 11.3.2011, p. 1).

Follow-up to the resolution of Parliament of 11 February 2015 on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 11 February 2015 on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA (2016/2573(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0266B8-0580/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on European Union (TEU), in particular Articles 2, 3, 4, 6, 7 and 21 thereof,

–  having regard to the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union, in particular Articles 1, 2, 3, 4, 18 and 19 thereof,

–  having regard to the European Convention on Human Rights and the protocols thereto,

–  having regard to the relevant UN human rights instruments, in particular the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 16 December 1966, the Convention against Torture and other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment of 10 December 1984 and the relevant protocols thereto, and the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance of 20 December 2006,

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

–  having regard to the UN Human Rights Council report of the Special Rapporteur on torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, focusing on commissions of inquiry in response to patterns or practices of torture or other forms of ill-treatment,

–  having regard to the European Court of Human Rights judgments in cases Nasr and Ghali v Italy (Abu Omar) of February 2016, Al Nashiri v Poland and Husayn (Abu Zubaydah) v Poland of July 2014, and El-Masri v the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia of December 2012,

–  having regard also to pending and ongoing cases before the European Court of Human Rights (Abu Zubaydah v Lithuania and Al Nashiri v Romania),

–  having regard to the Italian court judgment that convicted and sentenced to prison terms in absentia 22 CIA agents, one air force pilot and two Italian agents over their role in the 2003 kidnapping of the Imam of Milan, Abu Omar,

–  having regard to the joint statement of the European Union and its Member States and the United States of America of 15 June 2009 on the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility and future counterterrorism cooperation, based on shared values, international law, and respect for the rule of law and human rights,

–  having regard to its resolution of 9 June 2011 on Guantánamo: imminent death penalty decision(1), to its other resolutions on Guantánamo, the most recent being that of 23 May 2013 on hunger strike by prisoners(2), to its resolution of 8 October 2015 on the death penalty(3) and to the EU Guidelines on the death penalty,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 July 2006 on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners, adopted midway through the work of the Temporary Committee(4), to its resolution of 14 February 2007 on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners(5), to its resolution of 11 September 2012 on alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA: follow-up of the European Parliament TDIP Committee report(6), and to its resolution of 10 October 2013 on alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA(7),

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 5 and 6 June 2014 on fundamental rights and the rule of law and on the Commission’s 2013 report on the application of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union,

–  having regard to its resolution of 27 February 2014 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2012)(8), and to its resolution of 8 September 2015 on the situation of fundamental rights in the European Union (2013-2014)(9),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 11 March 2014 entitled ‘A new EU Framework to strengthen the Rule of Law’ (COM(2014)0158),

–  having regard to its resolution of 11 February 2015 on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA(10),

–  having regard to the Brussels Declaration on ‘Implementation of the European Convention on Human Rights’, adopted in March 2015,

–  having regard to the closed inquiry pursuant to Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) considering illegal CIA detentions and transport of detainees suspected of terrorist acts, and to the request of the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe to all States Parties to the ECHR to provide him with information on past or ongoing investigations, relevant cases before domestic courts or other measures taken with regard to the matter of this inquiry by 30 September 2015(11),

–  having regard to the parliamentary fact-finding mission of its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs to Bucharest, Romania of 24 and 25 September 2015, and to the corresponding mission report,

–  having regard to the public hearing held by its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs on 13 October 2015 on ‘Investigation of alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA’,

–  having regard to the publication of the 2015 study for its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs entitled ‘A quest for accountability? EU and Member State inquiries into the CIA Rendition and Secret Detention Programme’,

–  having regard to the open letter of 11 January 2016 from human rights experts from the United Nations and the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe to the Government of the United States of America on the occasion of the 14th anniversary of the opening of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility,

–  having regard to recent resolutions adopted, and reports published, by the Inter‑American Commission on Human Rights in relation to the human rights of detainees at Guantánamo, including their access to medical care, to the 2015 report of the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE-ODIHR), and to the decisions of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention,

–  having regard to the questions to the Council and to the Commission on follow-up to the European Parliament resolution of 11 February 2015 on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA (O-000038/2016 – B8‑0367/2016 and O-000039/2016 – B8‑0368/2016),

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

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

A.  whereas the EU is founded on the principles of democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms, respect for human dignity and international law, not only in its internal policies but also in its external dimension; whereas the EU’s commitment to human rights, as reinforced by the entry into force of the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights and the process of accession to the European Convention on Human Rights, must be reflected in all policy areas in order to make the EU’s human rights policy effective;

B.  whereas, with the emphasis on the ‘War against Terrorism’, the balance between the various powers of the state has shifted dangerously in favour of broadening powers for governments, to the detriment of parliaments and judiciaries, and has given rise to an unprecedented level of invocation of state secrecy, which prevents public inquiries into alleged abuses of human rights;

C.  whereas Parliament has repeatedly called for the fight against terrorism to respect the rule of law, human dignity, human rights and fundamental freedoms, including in the context of international cooperation in this field, on the basis of the EU Treaties, the European Convention on Human Rights, national constitutions and fundamental rights legislation;

D.  whereas Parliament has strongly condemned the US-led Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) rendition and secret detention programme involving multiple human rights violations, including unlawful and arbitrary detention, abduction, torture and other inhumane or degrading treatment, violation of the non-refoulement principle and enforced disappearance through the use of European airspace and territory by the CIA, as an outcome of the work of its Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners;

E.  whereas accountability for those acts is essential in order to protect and promote human rights effectively in the internal and external policies of the EU, and to ensure legitimate and effective security policies based on the rule of law;

F.  whereas Parliament has repeatedly called for full investigations into the involvement of EU Member States in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme;

G.  whereas 9 December 2015 marked the one-year anniversary of the release of the US Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Programme and its use of various forms of torture on detainees between 2001 and 2006; whereas the study revealed new facts which reinforced allegations that a number of EU Member States, their authorities and officials and agents of their security and intelligence services had been complicit in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme, sometimes through corrupt means based on the provision of substantial amounts of money by the CIA in exchange for their cooperation; whereas the study did not lead to any kind of accountability in the USA for the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes; whereas the USA has regrettably failed to cooperate with European investigations into European complicity in the CIA programmes, and whereas no perpetrators have been held to account so far;

H.  whereas Mark Martins, Chief Prosecutor of Military Commissions at Guantánamo Bay, has stated that the events set out in the Summary of the SSCI study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Programme did in fact occur;

I.  whereas extensive new analysis has been conducted using the information contained in the SSCI Summary, confirming previous investigations in relation to the involvement of a range of countries – including EU Member States – and identifying new avenues for investigation;

J.  whereas the previous European Parliament, in its resolution of 10 October 2013, called on the current Parliament to continue to fulfil and implement the mandate given by the Temporary Committee on the alleged use of European countries by the CIA for the transportation and illegal detention of prisoners, and consequently to ensure that its recommendations were followed up, to examine new elements that might emerge and to make full use of, and develop, its rights of inquiry;

K.  whereas the recent resolutions adopted, and reports published, by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights in relation to the human rights of detainees at Guantánamo raise concerns that at least some detainees are not receiving adequate medical care or rehabilitation; whereas the 2015 OSCE-ODIHR report similarly expresses concerns in relation to human rights protection at Guantánamo, including the denial of fair trial rights, and whereas the decisions of the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention state that various Guantánamo detainees are being detained arbitrarily;

L.  whereas US President Barack Obama committed to closing the Guantánamo Bay detention facility by January 2010; whereas on 15 June 2009 the EU and its Member States and the USA signed a joint statement on the closure of the Guantánamo Bay detention facility and future counterterrorism cooperation, based on shared values, international law and respect for the rule of law and human rights; whereas on 23 February 2016 President Obama sent Congress a plan to close once and for all the military prison at Guantánamo Bay; whereas the assistance of EU Member States in resettling some of the prisoners has been limited;

M.  whereas none of the Member States implicated have conducted full and effective investigations with a view to bringing perpetrators of crimes under international and domestic law to justice, or to ensuring accountability in the aftermath of the release of the US Senate study;

N.  whereas it is regrettable that the members of the fact-finding mission to Bucharest of Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs were not able to visit the National Registry Office for Classified Information (ORNISS) building, reported to have been used as a secret CIA detention site;

O.  whereas Parliament’s resolution of 11 February 2015 on the US Senate report on the use of torture by the CIA instructed its Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, with the association of the Committee on Foreign Affairs, and in particular the Subcommittee on Human Rights, to resume its inquiry into alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA and to report to plenary within a year;

1.  Underlines the unique importance and the strategic nature of the transatlantic relationship at a time of rising global instability; takes the view that this relationship, which is based on common interests as well as shared values, needs to be further strengthened on the basis of respect for multilateralism, the rule of law and negotiated conflict resolution;

2.  Reiterates its strong condemnation of the use of enhanced interrogation techniques, which are prohibited under international law and which breach, inter alia, the rights to liberty, security, humane treatment, freedom from torture, presumption of innocence, fair trial, legal counsel and equal protection under the law;

3.  Expresses, one year after the release of the US Senate study, its serious concerns about the apathy shown by Member States and EU institutions with regard to recognising the multiple fundamental rights violations and torture which took place on European soil between 2001 and 2006, investigating them and bringing those complicit and responsible to justice;

4.  Welcomes the judgment of the European Court of Human Rights of 23 February 2016 in the case of Nasr and Ghali v Italy (44883/09), which found that the Italian authorities had been aware of the torture perpetrated against Egyptian imam Abu Omar, and had clearly made use of the principle of ‘state secrecy’ to ensure that those responsible were granted de facto impunity; calls on the Italian executive to waive the ‘state secrecy’ principle for the former head of the Intelligence and Military Security Service (SISMi) and his deputy, as well as three former SISMi members, in order to ensure that justice is carried out without obstacle;

5.  Regrets the fact that only one cross-party fact-finding mission to Romania was conducted in September 2015; calls for more fact-finding missions to be organised by the European Parliament in those Member States identified in the US Senate study on the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Programme as being complicit in that programme, such as Lithuania, Poland, Italy and the United Kingdom;

6.  Underlines the fact that transatlantic cooperation based on common values such as the promotion of freedom and security, democracy and fundamental human rights is, and must be, a key priority in EU foreign relations; reiterates the clear position taken in the US-EU statement of 2009 to the effect that joint efforts to combat terrorism must comply with obligations under international law, in particular international human rights law and humanitarian law, and that this will make our countries stronger and more secure; calls on the USA to make every effort, in this context, to respect the rights of EU citizens in the same way as those of US citizens;

7.  Believes that transatlantic cooperation on counterterrorism needs to respect fundamental rights, fundamental freedoms and privacy, as guaranteed by EU legislation, for the shared benefit of citizens on both sides of the Atlantic; calls for continued political dialogue between the transatlantic partners on security and counterterrorism matters, including the protection of civil and human rights, in order to combat terrorism effectively;

8.  Regrets the fact that, more than a year after the release of the US Senate study and the adoption of this Parliament’s resolution which called on the USA to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes, and to cooperate with all requests from EU Member States in connection with the CIA programme, no perpetrators have been held to account and the US Government has failed to cooperate with EU Member States;

9.  Repeats its call on the USA to continue to investigate and prosecute the multiple human rights violations resulting from the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes led by the previous US administration, and to cooperate with all requests from EU Member States for information, extradition or effective remedies for victims in connection with the CIA programme; encourages the US SSCI to publish its study of the CIA’s Detention and Interrogation Programme in full; underlines the fundamental conclusion reached by the US Senate that the violent and illegal methods applied by the CIA failed to generate intelligence that prevented further terrorist attacks; recalls its absolute condemnation of torture and enforced disappearance; further calls on the USA to comply with international law governing the investigation of current allegations of torture and ill-treatment at Guantánamo, including multiple requests from EU Member States for information regarding detainees formerly held at CIA secret prisons and from the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture regarding his mandate to inspect Guantánamo and interview the CIA torture victims;

10.  Regrets the closure of the inquiry conducted by the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe under Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights, given that investigations in a number of Member States remain outstanding and that further follow‑up is required in this connection; reiterates, to that end, its calls on Member States to investigate, ensuring full transparency, the allegations that there were secret prisons on their territory in which people were held under the CIA programme, and to prosecute those involved in these operations, including public actors, taking into account all the new evidence that has come to light (including the payments made as outlined in the SSCI Summary), and notes with regret the slow pace of investigations, the limited accountability and the excessive reliance on state secrets;

11.  Urges Lithuania, Romania and Poland to conduct, as a matter of urgency, transparent, thorough and effective criminal investigations into CIA secret detention facilities on their respective territories, having taken into full consideration all the factual evidence that has been disclosed, to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice, to allow the investigators to carry out a comprehensive examination of the renditions flight network and of contact people publicly known to have organised or participated in the flights in question, to carry out forensic examination of the prison sites and the provision of medical care to detainees held at these sites, to analyse phone records and transfers of money, to consider applications for status/participation in the investigation from possible victims, and to ensure that all relevant crimes are considered, including in connection with the transfer of detainees, or to release the conclusions of any investigations undertaken to date;

12.  Insists on the full and prompt execution of the European Court of Human Rights judgments against Poland and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, including compliance with urgent individual and general measures; reiterates the Council of Europe Committee of Ministers’ call for Poland to seek and receive diplomatic assurances from the USA concerning the non-application of the death penalty and an assurance of fair proceedings, and to undertake timely, thorough and effective criminal investigations, to ensure that all relevant crimes are addressed, including in relation to all victims, and to bring perpetrators of human rights violations to justice; welcomes, to that end, the intention of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to set up an ad hoc independent investigatory body, and urges its swift establishment with international support and participation;

13.  Recalls that the former director of the Romanian secret services, Ioan Talpes, admitted on record to the European Parliament delegation that he had been fully aware of the CIA’s presence on Romanian territory, acknowledging that he had given permission to ‘lease’ a government building to the CIA;

14.  Expresses concerns regarding the obstacles encountered by national parliamentary and judicial investigations into some Member States’ involvement in the CIA programme, and the undue classification of documents leading to de facto impunity for perpetrators of human rights violations;

15.  Recalls that the European Court of Human Rights has now expressly acknowledged – in its judgment of 24 July 2014 – that public sources and cumulative evidence which help to shed more light on Member States’ involvement in the CIA rendition programme are admissible evidence in judicial proceedings, especially where official state documents are barred from public or court scrutiny on the grounds of ‘national security’;

16.  Welcomes the efforts made so far by Romania, and calls on the Romanian Senate to declassify the remaining classified parts of its 2007 report, namely the annexes on which the conclusions of the Romanian Senate inquiry were based; reiterates its call on Romania to investigate the allegations that there was a secret prison, to prosecute those involved in these operations, taking into account all the new evidence that has come to light, and to conclude the investigation as a matter of urgency;

17.  Notes that the data collected during the Lithuanian Parliamentary Committee on National Security and Defence (Seimas CNSD) inquiry into Lithuania’s involvement in the CIA’s secret detention programme has not been made public, and calls for the release of the data;

18.  Express its disappointment that, despite several requests (a letter to the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Romania from the Chair of Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, and another request at the time of the fact-finding mission to the Secretary of State), the members of the fact-finding mission were not able to visit ‘Bright Light’, a building repeatedly – and officially – reported to have been used as a detention site;

19.  Calls on all Members of the European Parliament to fully and actively support the investigation into the involvement of EU Member States in the CIA’s secret detention and extraordinary rendition programme, especially those who held government positions in the countries concerned during the events under investigation;

20.  Calls on the Commission and the Council to report back to plenary before the end of June 2016 on the follow-up action taken on the recommendations and requests made by the European Parliament in its inquiry into the alleged transportation and illegal detention of prisoners in European countries by the CIA and in its subsequent resolutions, and on the findings of investigations and prosecutions conducted in the Member States;

21.  Calls for the regular, structured EU-US interparliamentary dialogue, in particular between the European Parliament Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs and its relevant counterparts in the US Congress and Senate, to be reinforced by using all the avenues of cooperation and dialogue provided by the Transatlantic Legislators’ Dialogue (TLD); welcomes, in this connection, the 78th meeting of the TLD between the European Parliament and the US Congress, to be held in The Hague on 26-28 June 2016, as an opportunity to reinforce that cooperation, given that counterterrorism cooperation will be an integral part of the discussion;

22.  Recalls that transparency is the absolute cornerstone of any democratic society, the sine qua non for a government’s accountability to its people; is therefore profoundly worried by the increasing trend for governments to unduly invoke ‘national security’ with the sole or primary aim of blocking public scrutiny by citizens (to whom the government is accountable) or by the judiciary (which is the guardian of a country’s laws); points to the great danger of deactivating any democratic accountability mechanisms, effectively absolving the government of its accountability;

23.  Expresses its regret at the fact that the US President’s undertaking to close Guantánamo by January 2010 has not yet been implemented; reiterates its call on the US authorities to review the military commissions system with a view to ensuring fair trials, to close Guantánamo and to prohibit in all circumstances the use of torture, ill-treatment and indefinite detention without trial;

24.  Regrets that the US Administration has not succeeded in achieving one of its key objectives of closing the detention facility at the US military base in Guantánamo Bay; encourages all further efforts to close this detention facility and to provide for the release of those detainees who have not been charged; calls on the USA to address concerns raised by international human rights bodies regarding the human rights of detainees at Guantánamo, including access to adequate medical care and the provision of rehabilitation for torture survivors; stresses that President Obama, in his State of the Union address of 20 January 2015, reiterated his determination to fulfil his 2008 campaign pledge to close down the Guantánamo Bay prison, and further welcomes the plan he sent to Congress on 23 February 2016; calls on the Member States to offer asylum to those prisoners who have been officially cleared for release;

25.  Reiterates its conviction that normal criminal trials under civilian jurisdiction are the best way to resolve the status of Guantánamo detainees; insists that detainees in US custody should be charged promptly and tried in accordance with the international standards of the rule of law or released; emphasises, in this context, that the same standards concerning fair trials should apply to all, without discrimination;

26.  Calls on the US authorities not to impose the death penalty on detainees at Guantánamo Bay;

27.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the governments and parliaments of the Member States, the US Convening Authority for Military Commissions, the US Secretary of State, the US President, the US Congress and Senate, the UN Secretary-General, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, the Secretary-General of the Council of Europe, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, and the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights.

(1) OJ C 380 E, 11.12.2012, p. 132.
(2) OJ C 55, 12.2.2016, p. 123.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0348.
(4) OJ C 303 E, 13.12.2006, p. 833.
(5) OJ C 287 E, 29.11.2007, p. 309.
(6) OJ C 353 E, 3.12.2013, p. 1.
(7) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0418.
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0173.
(9) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0286.
(10) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0031.
(11) http://website-pace.net/documents/19838/2008330/AS-JUR-INF-2016-06-EN.pdf/f9280767-bf73-44a1-8541-03204e2dfae3


Space capabilities for European security and defence
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on space capabilities for European security and defence (2015/2276(INI))
P8_TA(2016)0267A8-0151/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Title V of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Titles XVII and XIX of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the request by France of 17 November 2015 for aid and assistance under Article 42(7) TEU,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20 November 2015 on enhancing the criminal justice response to radicalisation leading to terrorism and violent extremism,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 18 December 2013 and of 25-26 June 2015,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 25 November 2013 and of 18 November 2014 on the common security and defence policy,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 20-21 February 2014 on space policy,

–  having regard to the progress report of 7 July 2014 by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR) and the Head of the European Defence Agency on the implementation of the European Council conclusions of December 2013,

–  having regard to the Commission’s report of 8 May 2015 on the implementation of its communication on defence,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 11 December 2013 by the VP/HR and the Commission entitled ‘The EU’s comprehensive approach to external conflicts and crises’ (JOIN(2013)0030), and to the related Council conclusions of 12 May 2014,

–  having regard to the statement made by North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO) Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg at the European Parliament on 30 March 2015 on closer EU-NATO cooperation,

–  having regard to the statements made by US Deputy Defence Secretary Bob Work on 28 January 2015 and 10 September 2015 on the third US Offset Strategy and its implications for partners and allies,

–  having regard to the joint communication of 18 November 2015 by the VP/HR and the Commission entitled ‘Review of the European Neighbourhood Policy’ (JOIN(2015)0050),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems(2),

–  having regard to Decision No 541/2014/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 establishing a Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support(3);

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

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the opinion of the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy (A8-0151/2016),

A.  whereas the security environment is becoming increasingly dangerous and challenging, both within and outside the Union, characterised by terrorist attacks and mass murder which affects all Member States and to which Member States must respond by adopting a joint strategy and a coordinated response; whereas those security challenges call for the strengthening of the EU’s security through the continued development and support of the EU Common Security and Defence policy to make it a more effective policy instrument and a real guarantee of the safety of EU citizens and the promotion and protection of European norms, interests and values as enshrined in Article 21 TEU;

B.  whereas the EU needs to increase its role as a security provider at home and abroad, ensuring stability in its neighbourhood and globally; whereas the Union needs to contribute to the fight against security challenges, in particular those arising from terrorism both at home and abroad, including by supporting third party countries in combating terrorism and its root causes; whereas the Member States and the Union need to work together on an effective and coherent border management system to secure external borders;

C.  whereas the Union needs to enhance its cooperation and coordination with the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and with the United States, which both remain warrantors of Europe’s security and stability, with the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the African Union, and other neighbours and regional partners;

D.  whereas the Union needs to address the root causes of the challenges to our security, of unrest and armed conflict in our neighbourhood, of migration, of the degradation of people’s livelihoods by state and non-state actors, and of the erosion of states and regional orders, including as a result of climate change and poverty, through a comprehensive rules- and values-based approach to managing crises both inside and outside the Union;

E.  whereas satellite capabilities could be used to better assess and identify the flow of illegal immigrants and their routes, and, in the case of those coming from Northern Africa, to identify the ship-boarding areas in order to engage with them faster and save more lives;

F.  whereas the European Council of June 2015, which focused on defence, called for the fostering of greater and more systematic European defence cooperation with a view to delivering key capabilities, including through the coherent and efficient use of EU funds and existing EU capabilities;

G.  whereas space policy is an essential component of the strategic autonomy which the EU must develop in order to safeguard sensitive technological and industrial capabilities and independent capabilities to carry out assessments;

H.  whereas space capabilities for European security and defence are important and, in some cases, even vital for a multitude of situations, ranging from day-to-day peacetime use to crisis management and more acute security challenges, including full-scale warfare; whereas the development of such capabilities is a long-term venture; whereas the development of future capabilities needs to be programmed when current capabilities are being deployed;

I.  whereas the proliferation of space technologies and the rising dependency of societies on satellites increase competition over space assets (paths, frequencies) and make satellites a critical infrastructure; whereas the development of anti-satellite (ASAT) technologies by a number of actors, including orbital weapons capabilities, signals the weaponisation of space;

J.  whereas in the area of defence and security the Union might act through, among others, such institutions as the European Defence Agency and the EU Satellite Centre;

K.  whereas European space assets have been developed over the last five decades thanks to the coordinated efforts of national space agencies and, latterly, the European Space Agency (ESA); whereas the Outer Space Treaty, the basic legal framework for international space law, was bought into force in October 1967;

L.  whereas developing and sustaining space capabilities for security and defence in Europe necessitates effective cooperation and synergy among Member States and with the European and international institutions;

M.  whereas the EU’s space capabilities should be compatible with the capabilities of NATO and the US, so they can be fully used as a network in the event of crisis;

N.  whereas research and development in space technology is a sector with a high investment return that also produces high-quality software and hardware by-products with various commercial use;

1.  Considers that space-based capabilities and services play an important role in, among other areas, the context of European security and defence; is convinced that current and future space-based capabilities and services will provide Member States and the Union with improved dual-use operational capacity for the implementation of the common security and defence policy and of other EU policies in areas such as external action, border management, maritime security, agriculture, the environment, climate action, energy security, disaster management, humanitarian aid and transport;

2.  Considers that further implementation of the CSDP is needed; reaffirms the need to increase the effectiveness, visibility and impact of the CSDP; reaffirms the importance and the added value of the Space Policy to the CSDP; considers that space should be included in future Union policies (e.g. internal security, transport, space, energy, research) and that synergies with space should be further strengthened and exploited; underlines that the use of space capabilities in the war against terrorism and terrorist organisations, through the ability to locate and monitor their training camps, is vital;

3.  Believes that national governments and the Union should improve access to space-based satellite communication, space situational awareness, precision navigation and Earth observation capabilities, and ensure European non-dependence as regards critical space technologies and access to space; considers that space situational awareness in particular will continue to play a vital role in military and civilian affairs; underlines the commitment to the non-militarisation of space; recognises that in order to achieve this goal, sufficient financial investment is needed; in this connection urges the Commission and the Member States to guarantee the autonomy of the EU as regards space structures, while providing the resources necessary for that purpose; takes the view that this aim is vitally important for civilian activities (in Western countries it is estimated that between 6 and 7 % of GDP is dependent on satellite positioning and navigation technology) and for security and defence; believes that cooperation should be initiated on an intergovernmental basis and through the ESA;

4.  Underlines the security dimension of the Copernicus programme, particularly its applications aimed at preventing and responding to crisis, humanitarian aid and cooperation, conflict prevention entailing the monitoring of compliance with international treaties, and maritime surveillance; urges the High Representative, the Commission and the Member States to strengthen the conflict prevention objective of space capabilities;

5.  Stresses that the EU’s space policy promotes scientific and technical progress, industrial competitiveness and the implementation of EU policies, in accordance with Article 189 TFEU, which includes security and defence policy; recalls that the two EU flagship programmes – Galileo and Copernicus – are civil programmes under civil control and that the European nature of Galileo and Copernicus has made these programmes possible and ensured their success; urges the Council, the VP/HR and the Commission to ensure that European space programmes develop civilian space-based capabilities and services with relevance for European security and defence capabilities, particularly through the allocation of adequate funds for research; believes that dual-use capacity of space capabilities is important in order to make the most effective use of resources;

6.  Stresses that space programmes have security and defence benefits that are technologically linked to civil benefits and highlights in this connection the dual-use capacity of Galileo and Copernicus; believes this capacity should be fully developed in the next generations, including for example better precision, authentication, encryption, continuity and integrity (Galileo); emphasises that high-resolution earth observation data and positioning systems are useful for applications in the civil and security domains, for instance in the areas of disaster management, humanitarian actions, refugee aid, maritime surveillance, global warming, energy security and global food security, and in the detection of and response to global natural disasters, notably droughts, earthquakes, floods and forest fires; notes the need for better interaction between drones and satellites; calls for sufficient provision in the mid-term review for all satellite systems’ future development;

7.  Considers that a holistic, integrated, long-term approach to the space sector at EU level is necessary; believes that the space sector should be mentioned in the new EU Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, bearing in mind the current development of EU dual-use space programmes and the need to further develop EU civil space programmes that can be used for both civil security and defence purposes;

8.  Welcomes the EU-sponsored multilateral initiative towards an International Code of Conduct for Space Activities as a way of introducing standards of behaviour in space as it seeks to achieve enhanced safety, security, and sustainability in space by emphasising that space activities should involve a high degree of care, due diligence and appropriate transparency, with the aim of building confidence in the space sector;

9.  Asks the Commission to come up swiftly with a definition of EU needs regarding the potential contribution of the space policy to the CSDP for all the main aspects: launching, positioning, imagery, communication, space weather, space debris, cyber security, jamming, spoofing and other intentional threats, security of the ground segment; considers that future space features of the current European systems should be set according to the CSDP requirements and covering all above related aspects;

10.  Calls for the necessary requirements for future systems, private or public, which contribute to safety-of-life applications (e.g. positioning, air traffic management (ATM)) to be defined with regard to protection against possible security attacks (jamming, spoofing, cyber attacks, space weather and debris); considers that such safety requirements should be certifiable and under the surveillance of a European entity (such as EASA);

11.  Underlines in this regard that the development of European space capabilities for European security and defence should follow two key strategic objectives: security on the planet through in-orbit space systems designed to monitor the earth’s surface or to provide positioning, navigation and timing information or satellite communications and security in outer space as well as space safety, i.e. security in orbit and in space through ground-based and in-orbit space situational awareness systems;

12.  Identifies the dangers of cyber warfare and hybrid threats for European space programmes, taking into account that spoofing or jamming can disturb military missions or have far-reaching implications for daily life on earth; believes that cyber security requires a joint approach by the EU, its Member States, and business and internet specialists; calls on the Commission, therefore, to include space programmes in its cyber security activities;

13.  Considers that the coordination of space systems deployed in a fragmented way by the various Member States for various national needs should be enhanced in order to be able to anticipate promptly the disruption of different applications (e.g. for ATM);

14.  Stresses that cooperation between the Commission, the European External Action Service, the GNSS Agency, the European Defence Agency, the European Space Agency and the Member States is crucial to improving European space capabilities and services; takes the view that the Union, namely the VP/HR, should coordinate, facilitate and support such cooperation in the area of space, security and defence through a specific operational coordination centre; express its conviction that the European Space Agency should play a significant role in the definition and implementation of a single European space policy which includes security and defence policy;

15.  Calls on the European Commission to present results of the established European Framework Cooperation for Security and Defence Research on space and asks for recommendations on how to develop it further; calls on the Commission to clarify how civilian-military research under Horizon 2020 served in the area of space capabilities the implementation of the Common Security and Defence Policy;

16.  Welcomes the Framework for Space Surveillance and Tracking Support; calls on the Commission to inform Parliament on the implementation of the framework and its impact on security and defence; calls on the Commission to set up an implementing road map covering the definition of the architecture envisaged;

17.  Stresses the strategic importance of stimulating space innovation and research for security and defence; acknowledges the significant potential of critical space technologies such as the European Data Relay System, which enables real-time and persistent earth observation, the deployment of mega-constellations of nanosats and, lastly, building up a responsive space capacity; underlines the need for innovative big data technologies to make use of the full potential of space data for security and defence; invites the Commission to incorporate these technologies in its Space Strategy for Europe;

18.  Calls for the development of the EU’s various diplomatic initiatives in space issues, in both a bilateral and a multilateral context, in order to contribute to the development of the institutionalisation of space and an increase in transparency and confidence-building measures; stresses the need to intensify work on the promotion of an International Code of Conduct for Outer-Space Activities; encourages the EEAS to consider the space component in negotiations in other areas;

19.  Encourages the Member States to carry out and finalise joint programmes and initiatives, such as the Multinational Space-Based Imaging System for Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Observation, the Government Satellite Communication (GovSatcom) and the Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) programmes, and to pool and share in the area of defence and security, and declares its support for such joint programmes and initiatives;

20.  Welcomes the ongoing project of the EDA and ESA on Governmental Satellite Communications (GovSatcom), which is one of the EDA’s flagship programmes identified by the European Council in December 2013; calls in this regard on the actors involved to set up a permanent programme and to use the European added value of the EDA for military satellite communication as well; welcomes the successful completion of the DESIRE I project and the launch of the DESIRE II demonstration project for the future operation of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) in non-segregated airspace by the EDA and the ESA;

21.  Considers that EU-US cooperation on future space-based capabilities and services for security and defence purposes would be mutually beneficial; considers that EU-US cooperation is more efficient and compatible when both parties are at the same technology and capacity level; calls upon any potential technological gap to be identified and addressed by the Commission; notes the work undertaken towards the third US Offset Strategy; urges the Union to take this development into account when preparing its own Global Strategy on Foreign and Security Policy, and to include space-based capabilities for security and defence within the remit of that strategy; believes that pre-existing bilateral relationships between Member States and the US could be utilised where appropriate; invites the VP/HR to discuss with defence ministers the strategic approach to be taken, and to inform Parliament as that debate unfolds;

22.  Believes that the EU should continue to facilitate the establishment of an international code of conduct on outer space activities, in order to protect space infrastructure while preventing a weaponisation of space; considers that the development of the space situational awareness (SSA) programme is vital to this; calls for the Union to work towards this objective in cooperation with the UN Committee on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space and other relevant partners;

23.  Recalls the necessary close cooperation between the EU and NATO in the area of security and defence; expresses its conviction that EU-NATO cooperation should cover the building of resilience by the two bodies, in conjunction with EU neighbours, as well as defence investment; considers that cooperation on space-based capabilities and services could offer prospects for improving compatibility between the two frameworks; is convinced that this would also strengthen NATO’s role in security and defence policy and in collective defence;

24.  Points out, however, that the EU must continue to try to ensure to the highest possible degree space-related and military autonomy; points out that in the long term the EU must have its own instruments establishing a Defence Union;

25.  Considers that the protection of space-based capabilities and services for security and defence against cyber-attacks, physical threats, debris or other harmful interference could offer prospects for EU-NATO cooperation that would result in the necessary technological infrastructure to secure assets, as otherwise the multi-billion investment of taxpayers’ money in the European space infrastructure could be wasted; acknowledges that commercial satellite telecommunications and their increasing use for military purposes put them at risk of attack; invites the VP/HR to keep Parliament informed as EU-NATO cooperation in this area evolves;

26.  Considers that the civilian EU programmes in the space domain provide a range of capabilities and services that are of potential use in many sectors including the next stages of evolution of the Copernicus and Galileo systems; notes the need to consider any security- and defence-related concerns from their inception; considers that space situational awareness / space weather, satellite communication, electronic intelligence and early warning are areas that could benefit from greater cooperation between the public and private sectors, additional EU-level support and continuous investment by, and support for, agencies in the space, security and defence fields;

27.  Notes the importance of Galileo’s Public Regulated Service (PRS) for navigation and guidance of military systems; calls on the High Representative and the EU Member States to increase their efforts regarding a possible revision of the 1967 Outer Space Treaty or to initiate a new regulatory framework that takes account of technological progress since the 1960s and aims to prevent an arms race in space;

28.  Notes that transparency and effective public awareness-raising among Europeans of the applications of EU space programmes that have a direct impact on users, such as Galileo and Copernicus services, are crucial to the success of the programmes; thinks that these programmes could be used to increase the effectiveness of strategy-making and operations, in the framework of CSDP; encourages the identification and development of security- and defence-related capacity needs for the next generations of the Galileo and Copernicus systems;

29.  Points out the existence of the Galileo Public Regulated Service (PRS), which is restricted to government-authorised users and is suitable for sensitive applications where robustness and complete reliability must be ensured; considers that the capacity of the PRS should be further developed in the next generations in order to respond to evolving threats; calls on the Commission to ensure that the operational procedures are as efficient as possible, particularly in the event of a crisis; stresses the need to continue developing and promoting applications based on Galileo capabilities, including the necessary ones for CSDP, in order to maximise the socio-economic benefits; recalls moreover the need to strengthen the security of the Galileo infrastructure, including the ground segment, and invites the Commission to take the necessary steps in this direction in cooperation with the Member States;

30.  Underlines the high level of security for the EU GNSS systems; emphasises the successful execution of tasks assigned to the European GNSS Agency, in particular through the Security Accreditation Board and the Galileo Security Monitoring Centres; calls, in this respect, for use to be made of the expertise and security infrastructure of the European GNSS Agency for Copernicus also; calls for this issue to be addressed in the mid-term review of Galileo and Copernicus;

31.  Notes in particular the operational need for very high resolution earth observation data under the Copernicus programme and invites the Commission to assess how this need could be met, taking into account CSDP requirements; highlights developments such as near real-time observation and video-streaming from space, and recommends the Commission to investigate how to take advantage of these, including for security and defence purposes; recalls moreover the need to strengthen the security of the Copernicus infrastructure, including the ground segment, and the security of the data, and invites the Commission to take the necessary steps in this direction in cooperation with the Member States; points in addition to the importance of considering how industry might become involved in the management of Copernicus operations;

32.  Draws attention to the need to improve the process of disseminating information from satellites to users, including by building the necessary technological infrastructure; notes the fact mentioned in the Commission communication that 60 % of electronics on board European satellites are currently imported from the US; calls for an initiative on how to protect sensitive and personal data in this context;

33.  Welcomes the work being done to provide the EU with autonomous access to governmental satellite communications (GovSatcom) and invites the Commission to continue to make progress on this file; recalls that the first step in the process was the identification of civil and military needs by the Commission and the European Defence Agency, respectively, and considers that the initiative should entail the pooling of demand and should be designed in a way that best meets the needs identified; calls on the Commission to make, on the basis of beneficiaries’ needs and requirements, a cost-benefit evaluation of different solutions:

   the provision of services by commercial operators,
   a system relying on current capabilities with the possibility of integrating future capabilities, or
   the creation of new capacities through a dedicated system;

invites in this regard the Commission to address the issue of ownership and liability; notes that, whatever the final decision, any new initiative should be in the public interest and benefit European industry (manufacturers, operators, launchers and other industry segments); considers that GovSatcom should also be considered as an opportunity to boost competitiveness and innovation by taking advantage of the development of dual technologies, in the extremely competitive and dynamic context of the SATCOM market; underlines the need to reduce the reliance on non-EU suppliers of equipment and services;

34.  Points to the development of Space Surveillance and Tracking (SST) as a good initiative in space cooperation and a step towards security in space; calls for the further development of its own SST capacities as a priority of the Union for the protection of the economy, society and citizens’ safety and in the area of space capabilities for European security and defence; considers that SST should become an EU programme with its own budget while ensuring that the funds for ongoing projects are not thereby reduced; believes in addition that the EU should develop a more holistic space situational awareness (SSA) capacity, with more predictive capabilities, involving the surveillance of space and the analysis and assessment of potential threats and hazards to space activities; invites the Commission therefore to build on SST, by developing a broader SSA concept that would also address intentional threats to space systems and, in cooperation with ESA, take account of space weather and near-Earth objects and the need for research into technological systems for the prevention and elimination of space debris; believes that a holistic coordination of space activities should be reached without hampering the freedom of using space; invites the Commission to examine the possibility of enabling the private sector to play an important role in further developing and maintaining the non-sensitive part of the SST system, for which the two-sided governance structure of Galileo could serve as an example;

35.  Underlines the need to develop policies and research capabilities in order to provide future applications and develop a competitive European industry, capable of commercial success based on a healthy economic environment; notices the increasing importance of private entities in the space market; underlines the need for, and the benefits flowing from, the involvement of SMEs in the processes of research, development and production connected to space technologies, particularly those that are relevant in ensuring security; remains cautious regarding the risks related to unregulated private initiatives with security and defence implications; stresses that the balance between risks and benefits may vary from segment to segment of space activities, and therefore needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, in particular in the light of its specific characteristics in terms of sovereignty and strategic autonomy; calls on the Commission and the VP/HR to provide the necessary means to contain those risks;

36.  Emphasises that where space is concerned, and given its strategic importance, the onus with regard to investment efforts must be on the public sector; takes the view that the high costs of developing space programmes and infrastructure mean that the only way of ensuring the viability of such projects is through decisive public sector efforts to channel private initiatives;

37.  Points out, as regards the future financing of European space programmes, that it would be desirable to determine when it might be possible to use forms of public-private partnership;

38.  Points out that the correct regulatory and policy frameworks must be established in order to give industry further impetus and incentives to pursue technological development and research into space capabilities; calls for the necessary funding for space-related research to be ensured in the domains mentioned above; notes the important role that Horizon 2020 can play in helping the EU reduce its dependence in terms of critical space technologies; recalls, in that connection, that the space part of Horizon 2020 falls within the ‘Industrial leadership’ priority, and in particular within the specific objective of ‘Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies’; takes the view therefore that Horizon 2020 should be used to support Europe’s space technology base and space industrial capabilities; calls on the Commission to provide sufficiently for critical space technologies for security and defence during the mid-term review of Horizon 2020;

39.  Believes that the EU could play a role in making European space capabilities and services more robust, resilient and responsive; is convinced that a rapid reaction capability to replace or restore damaged or degraded assets in space as a crisis unfolds should be developed effectively through multi-state partnerships, including at European level; commends the ESA’s work on developing a Space Situational Awareness (SSA) programme to detect and predict space debris or satellite collision; underlines the urgent need to reduce the risk of collision arising from the growing number of satellites and space debris; calls on the Commission and the Council to continue the funding of this capability after 2016; welcomes, therefore, the Commission’s initiative on a European space surveillance and tracking system (SST), which will secure EU non-dependence in space; questions whether appropriate governance structures are in place to manage PRS and other key space infrastructure in the event of an armed attack or other major security crisis;

40.  Encourages the Commission and the European agencies in the space, security, and defence fields to join forces to develop a White Paper on training requirements vis-à-vis the use of space-based capabilities and services for security and defence; takes the view that EU resources should be mobilised for pilot courses in those areas in which Member States and the competent European agencies have identified an imminent need;

41.  Believes that further financial and political support for the development and use of the EU launchers and of the Programme for Reusable In-Orbit Demonstrator in Europe (PRIDE) is of strategic importance, as the demonstrator is more cost-effective and provides independence in space access, as well as a plan for space crisis management;

42.  Expresses its concerns about the increased cost of the Copernicus and Galileo programmes far beyond the initial budgetary allocations; express its support for the further development of EU space capabilities, while asking for appropriate management of the financial resources;

43.  Calls on those Member States that have not ratified the Outer Space Treaty to do so, given its importance in maintaining law in space;

44.  Welcomes the process and plans for the development of new European launchers Ariane 6 and VEGA, and considers the development of these launchers to be crucial to the long-term viability and independence of the European space programmes that serve defence and security purposes; is firmly of the opinion that maintaining the predominant position of European launchers must be a strategic European objective at a time when new competitors are emerging that are strongly backed by competitive funding models; takes the view that in order to achieve that objective, appropriate structural, legislative and funding changes need to be made in order to foster the development of innovative, competitive projects at European level; advocates, among other things, innovation in the reuse of components, as this represents a significant step forward in terms of both efficiency and sustainability; believes that the EU should pay special attention to the impact of certain projects concerning the non-dependence of the EU, such as cooperation with Russia in sensitive areas like satellite launching with Soyuz rockets;

45.  Notes the strategic importance of independent access to space and the need for dedicated EU action, including with regard to security and defence, since this capacity would allow Europe to gain access to space in the event of a crisis; calls on the Commission, in collaboration with the ESA and the Member States, to:

   coordinate, share and develop planned space projects and European markets, so that European industry can anticipate demand (thereby boosting jobs and industry based in Europe) and also generate its own demand in terms of business-driven utilisation,
   support launch infrastructure, and
   promote R&D, including through the instrument of public-private partnerships, particularly in breakthrough technologies;

considers that these efforts are necessary to allow Europe to compete in the global launch market; considers in addition that the EU must ensure that it has a solid space technology base and the necessary industrial capabilities to allow it to conceive, develop, launch, operate and exploit space systems, ranging from technological autonomy and cyber-security to supply-side considerations;

46.  Considers that the Union should encourage all actors in the technology and know-how supply chains to turn their attention to space-based capabilities and dual-use technologies of relevance to security and defence, and should promote the development of innovative applications and new business ideas in this area, with a particular focus on small and medium-sized companies and on developing entrepreneurship in this sector; notes that continued financial investment is needed to sustain technological research and development; firmly believes that the public sector must provide incentives for the creation of specialist incubators and funds designed to provide financing for innovative start-ups, so as to ensure that the high costs of space research do not hinder the emergence of innovative projects; calls for a plan for the use of dual-use space technologies in the space sector, aimed at contributing to the development of the European defence industry and to greater competition;

47.  Stresses the need to support efforts to strengthen European cooperation in the sector in order to overcome the high level of fragmentation, especially with regard to the institutional demand side; is convinced that only a more cost-effective, transparent and consolidated European space industry can be internationally competitive; stresses that European space industrial policy must be further developed in coordination with the European Space Agency (ESA) in order to ensure complementarities;

48.  Recalls that in order to maintain and strengthen the security, defence and stability of Europe it is important to prevent the export of sensitive space technology to countries that endanger regional or global security and stability, pursue an aggressive foreign policy, directly or indirectly support terrorism or repress their people internally; urges the High Representative, the EU Member States and the Commission to make sure that the eight criteria of Council Common Position 2008/944/CFSP and the rules of the Dual-Use Regulation (EC) No 428/2009 are being fully respected as regards the export of sensitive space-related technology;

49.  Stresses the need for better coordination of EU space capacities, by developing the necessary system architectures and procedures to ensure a proportionate level of security, including data security; invites the Commission to draw up and promote a model of governance for each system providing security and defence related services; considers that, in order to provide an integrated service to end users, EU space capacities dedicated to security and defence should be managed by a specific operational service coordination centre (Command and Control Centre as referred to in the Horizon 2020 Work Programme 2014-2015); considers that, for reasons of cost efficiency, this should, if possible, be incorporated into one of the existing EU bodies, such as the European GNSS Agency, the EU Satellite Centre or the European Defence Agency, taking into account the capabilities already offered by those agencies;

50.  Considers that creating in the long term a legal framework permitting sustained EU-level investments in security and defence capabilities could foster greater and more systematic European defence cooperation with a view to delivering key capabilities; notes, therefore, the European Council conclusions of June 2015; urges the Council, the VP/HR and the Commission to develop the necessary framework for EU-level funding;

51.  Notes that the European space industry is deeply concentrated, with a high degree of vertical integration where four companies are responsible for more than 70 % of total European space employment and where 90 % of European space-sector manufacturing employment is located in six countries; stresses that the potential of countries with good track records in high-technology patent filings but lacking a tradition of space activities should not be overlooked, and calls for policies to encourage participation of these countries in the European space sector, using inter alia the tools of the ‘Horizon 2020’ programme;

52.  Believes also that research and development in the field of space technology and services should be strengthened within a consistent EU policy framework;

53.  Takes the view that an EU-level White Paper on security and defence could be the appropriate means of structuring future EU engagement in space-based security and defence capabilities; calls on the HR/VP to start a debate on defining the EU’s level of ambition in the overlapping fields of space capabilities and security and defence; takes the view that this could also allow coherent development across all capability domains in relation to peace-keeping, conflict prevention and strengthening international security, in accordance with the principles of the United Nations Charter; calls on the Commission to outline in the future European Defence Action Plan its plans on space activities in support of security and defence; recognises simultaneously the benefits of security-related international cooperation with the EU’s reliable partners in the area of space;

54.  Recalls that space debris is a growing problem for space security, and calls on the EU to support research and development in active debris removal (ADR) technologies; encourages the EU to invest in the establishment of an international agreement providing a legal definition of space debris, establishing rules and regulations concerning its removal, and clarifying liability issues; stresses the need for an enhanced global space situational awareness mechanism, and calls for the European SSA system to be linked up with partners such as the US, and for more confidence-building measures and information exchange with other counterparts;

55.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the European Council, the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Secretary-General of the United Nations, the Secretary-General of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the EU agencies in the space, security and defence fields, and the national parliaments.

(1) OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 44.
(2) OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(3) OJ L 158, 27.5.2014, p. 227.


Space market uptake
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on space market uptake (2016/2731(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0268B8-0739/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Article 189 of Title XIX of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union,

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 28 February 2013 entitled ‘EU space industrial policy’ (COM(2013)0108),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 4 April 2011 entitled ‘Towards a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens’ (COM(2011)0152),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 19 April 2016 entitled ‘European Cloud Initiative – Building a competitive data and knowledge economy in Europe’ (COM(2016)0178),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 14 June 2010 on an Action Plan on Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) Applications (COM(2010)0308),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 512/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 April 2014 amending Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 setting up the European GNSS Agency(1),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 377/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 3 April 2014 establishing the Copernicus Programme and repealing Regulation (EU) No 911/2010(2),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 912/2010 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2010 setting up the European GNSS Agency, repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 1321/2004 on the establishment of structures for the management of the European satellite radio navigation programmes and amending Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(3),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 1285/2013 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 December 2013 on the implementation and exploitation of European satellite navigation systems and repealing Council Regulation (EC) No 876/2002 and Regulation (EC) No 683/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) 2015/758 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 29 April 2015 concerning type-approval requirements for the deployment of the eCall in-vehicle system based on the 112 service and amending Directive 2007/46/EC(5),

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 165/2014 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 4 February 2014 on tachographs in road transport, repealing Council Regulation (EEC) No 3821/85 on recording equipment in road transport and amending Regulation (EC) No 561/2006 of the European Parliament and of the Council on the harmonisation of certain social legislation relating to road transport(6),

–  having regard to the relevant Council conclusions and to the ministerial ‘Declaration of Amsterdam’ of 14 April 2016 on cooperation in the field of connected and automated driving,

–  having regard to its resolution of 8 June 2016 on space capabilities for European security and defence(7),

–  having regard to its resolution of 10 December 2013 on EU Space Industrial Policy, releasing the Potential for Growth in the Space Sector(8),

–  having regard to its resolution of 19 January 2012 on a space strategy for the European Union that benefits its citizens(9),

–  having regard to its resolution of 7 June 2011 on transport applications of Global Navigation Satellite Systems – short- and medium-term EU policy(10),

–  having regard to the study of January 2016 on Space Market Uptake in Europe(11),

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

A.  whereas EU space activities are of major importance for scientific and technical progress, innovations, economic growth, industrial competitiveness, social cohesion, the creation of skilled jobs and enterprises, and new opportunities for both upstream and downstream markets;

B.  whereas satellite navigation, earth observation (EO) and satellite communication services could make a vital contribution to the implementation of a broad range of Union policies; whereas European citizens could benefit significantly from satellite navigation and EO services;

C.  whereas the implementation of space flagship programmes demonstrates the added value of cooperation at EU level; whereas the EU still lacks an integrated and coherent space policy;

D.  whereas autonomous access to space is of strategic importance for the EU; whereas highly reliable and accurate positioning and timing information and EO data are fundamental for strengthening European autonomy and whereas European GNSS and Copernicus programmes have a unique innovative approach to technology implementation; whereas the Union will invest more than EUR 11 billion in their infrastructure in the period up to 2020;

E.  whereas the European Geostationary Navigation Overlay Service (EGNOS), which augments the GPS signal, is already operational and Galileo will soon launch its initial services; whereas Copernicus is operational, and its core services are already available to users and the data are freely accessible worldwide;

F.  whereas the technologies developed in the framework of space research have high cross-fertilisation and spin-off effects on other policy areas;

G.  whereas the connection of existing infrastructure in the domains of data storage, networking and high-performance computing in Europe is necessary for developing the capacity to process and store large volumes of satellite data and is therefore important for facilitating a strong and competitive European downstream EO industry;

H.  whereas in the next two decades European GNSS is expected to generate economic and social benefits worth around EUR 60-90 billion; whereas the annual turnover potential of the EO downstream services market to be reached by 2030 is estimated at around EUR 2,8 billion, of which more than 90 % should stem from Copernicus;

I.  whereas the uptake of downstream applications and services based on space data has so far been below expectations; whereas in order to fully exploit the potential of the space data market, both public and private demand needs to be stimulated and it is necessary to overcome market fragmentation and any technical, legislative and other obstacles to the functioning of the internal market in the area of space-based products and services;

J.  whereas the Commission announced in its Work Programme for 2016 the intention to present a ‘Space Strategy for Europe’ and launched a public consultation in April 2016; whereas this resolution will provide input to the strategy;

Space strategy and market uptake

1.  Encourages the Commission to present a comprehensive, ambitious and forward-looking strategy, ensuring in the short, medium and long term Europe’s leading position in space technologies and services on global markets, ensuring independent access to space for Europe and ensuring a level playing field for the European space industry;

2.  Believes that one of the main elements of the strategy should be market uptake of space data, services and applications to maximise the socio-economic benefits of EU space programmes;

3.  Calls on the Commission to present a proposal for a clear European space industrial policy as part of the upcoming strategy;

4.  Highlights the fact that the future development of EU space programmes should be user-oriented and driven by public, private and scientific users’ needs;

5.  Acknowledges the broad range of stakeholders involved in implementing EU space policy, particularly the Commission, the European GNSS Agency (GSA), the European Space Agency (ESA), Copernicus service providers (Eumetsat, the European Environment Agency, the European Maritime Safety Agency, Frontex, the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts, the Joint Research Centre, Mercator Ocean), the Member States and industry; encourages them to further foster their cooperation, namely between the EU and the ESA; calls on the Commission to play a major role in developing the capabilities of European industry to improve data access, market uptake and competitiveness in the worldwide market;

6.  Underlines the need for a simplified institutional landscape for EU space activities to facilitate both public and private user uptake; asks the Commission to address this need in its strategy and to propose clear definitions of the roles of the different actors;

7.  Stresses the importance of the regional dimension; supports increased involvement of regional and local authorities in successful EU space policy; insists on the need to coordinate local initiatives at national level to avoid duplication between the Commission and Member States;

Technical barriers

8.  Welcomes the progress made in respect of both space flagship programmes, Galileo and Copernicus; believes that they should be considered as complementary programmes and that further synergies should be encouraged; urges the Commission to fulfil the timeline and to ensure fast and full operation of space and ground infrastructure and services provided by both flagship programmes; believes that avoiding further delays is key to maintaining the trust of the private sector; reiterates the global market opportunities of European GNSS linked with the extension of EGNOS coverage to south-eastern and eastern Europe, Africa and the Middle East;

9.  Supports the development of integrated applications using both EGNOS/Galileo and Copernicus;

10.  Considers that Copernicus data dissemination is too fragmented and that an EU approach is essential in order for European industry to take advantage thereof; underlines the fact that improved access to Copernicus EO data is a precondition for the development of a strong downstream industry sector; emphasises in particular the need for faster access to large sets of EO data, such as time series;

11.  Urges the Commission to ensure that Copernicus data are made available to independent ICT platforms, which would allow the storage, management, processing of and easy access to big data, and would make it easier to integrate data sets from as many sources as possible and bring them to the user; believes that such platforms should:

   aggregate demand, helping to overcome the current fragmentation and create an internal EO data market without the need for regulatory measures;
   guarantee open and non-discriminatory access to users;
   enable industry to provide whatever services they deem fit through the platforms;
   be complementary with other efforts by Member States, the ESA, industry and the Open Science Cloud;

12.  Recommends also that the Commission work closely with the Member States and the ESA on the creation of a properly integrated infrastructure system, with appropriate levels of data security;

13.  Highlights the fact that, without Galileo-enabled chipsets and receivers, Galileo market uptake will be severely hampered; welcomes, therefore, the amount set aside in the European GNSS budget for the ‘Fundamental Elements’ funding programme, which is managed by the GSA, to support their development; urges the Commission to examine in the mid-term review whether this amount should be increased;

14.  Calls on the GSA to continue to work with chipset and receiver manufacturers in order to understand their needs and to provide them with the necessary technical information and specifications to ensure that as much user equipment as possible is compatible with Galileo; believes that industry needs should be incorporated into the programme evolution process so that the system continues to meet market needs; invites the Commission to ensure that Galileo is included by industry as one of the reference constellations for multi-constellation receivers;

15.  Recalls that Galileo will have ‘differentiators’, that is, certain advantages not provided by other GNSS constellations, such as open service authentication and the very high precision and reliability of the commercial service; stresses that it is essential for these differentiators to be made available as soon as possible to help ensure that Galileo becomes a reference constellation and that advantages over its competitors can be promoted;

16.  Stresses the importance of ensuring that the necessary technical standards are in place to allow space data and services to be used; urges the Commission to set up thematic working groups with Member State experts in order to establish such standards;

Market barriers

17.  Considers that public sector activities, including those of entrusted European agencies, should be predictable in order to stimulate private sector investments; believes in the principle that future space services should be mainly provided by, and procured from, commercial enterprises unless there is a good reason not to do so, for example, because of tangible security risks; suggests that the mid-term evaluation of the Copernicus and Galileo regulations should be used to ensure a greater involvement of the private sector in the procurement of services;

18.  Urges the Commission, in relation to Copernicus data, to clearly define as soon as possible the role of the core public services (what products they provide within the open and free access policy, the procedures by which new products can be added) and what should be left to the downstream sector; invites the Commission to assess needs for very high resolution EO data for EU internal operational purposes; believes that such data should be procured from European commercial providers in order to put European industry in a strong position allowing it to sell on commercial markets worldwide; urges the Commission also to take measures to facilitate the procurement of space-based services by public authorities, including by encouraging pre-commercial procurement, in particular to support innovative SMEs;

19.  Calls for efforts to be stepped up to raise awareness of the potential of European space programmes amongst the public and private sector and end users and to encourage the use of space data in the public sector and in the business community; believes that a user-driven, problem-solving approach, where policy needs are matched with relevant operational satellite-based services, can be effective; recommends that the Commission encourage exchanges of best practices, such as the UK Space for Smarter Government Programme; considers that the Commission can play an important role in compiling public sector needs and helping to generate user demand;

20.  Appreciates various awareness-raising activities provided by the Commission, the GSA, the ESA, Copernicus service providers, national space agencies and other stakeholders; highlights as successful examples of best practice the Annual Conferences on European Space Policy, European Space Solutions conferences, Space Days, the European Space Expo, the Galileo Drawing Competition, the European Satellite Navigation Competition and the Copernicus Masters;

21.  Believes that more efforts should be made to promote and market the Copernicus programme;

22.  Encourages the GSA to continue its efforts in the area of promoting and marketing Galileo and EGNOS and providing information on users’ needs and developments on the satellite navigation market;

23.  Considers that the Commission should involve the network of regional Europe Direct centres in the Member States in spreading awareness of the advantages of space data from Copernicus and Galileo and also support public authorities in establishing their needs;

Space in EU policies

24.  Recommends that the Commission and the Member States ensure that the infrastructure of the European space programmes and their services are used in related policies and programmes; considers that the Commission should strengthen the links between EU space assets and activities in policy areas such as the internal market, industrial base, jobs, growth, investment, energy, climate, environment, health, agriculture, forestry, fisheries, transport, tourism, the digital single market, regional policy and local planning; believes that there is a huge potential in tackling challenges such as migration, border management and sustainable development;

25.  Presses, therefore, for the Commission to carry out a ‘space check’ on all existing and new policy initiatives, to make sure that the best use is made of EU space assets; urges the Commission to review existing EU legislation to assess whether any changes are necessary to stimulate the use of satellite data and services (GNSS, EO, telecommunications), to provide socio-economic and other benefits and to carry out a ‘space check’ of all new legislation;

26.  Encourages the Commission to investigate opportunities for deploying European GNSS and Copernicus in the Union’s neighbourhood and development policy and in negotiations on cooperation with non-EU countries and international organisations;

27.  Underlines the critical importance of European GNSS data for increased safety and efficient use of intelligent transport and traffic management systems; points to the eCall and digital tachograph regulations, which will help promote the adoption of Galileo and EGNOS; encourages the Commission to address other relevant application areas with benefits for EU citizens’ safety and security such as emergency call/message location; invites the Commission to take legislative measures in this respect to ensure the compatibility of GNSS chipsets with Galileo/EGNOS, in particular in the field of civil aviation and critical infrastructures;

28.  Emphasises the fact that space data and services can play an essential role in allowing Europe to take a lead in major technological trends such as the internet of things, smart cities, big data and connected/autonomous vehicles; welcomes in this regard the ‘Declaration of Amsterdam’ highlighting the role of Galileo and EGNOS;

Access to finance and expertise

29.  Stresses the need to strengthen funding for development of downstream applications and services and the downstream market in general; invites the Commission, at the time of the next MFF, to examine the desirability of setting aside for this purpose a greater proportion of the EU space budget;

30.  Stresses that the EU has a wide range of access to finance opportunities at its disposal to support the downstream space sector (Horizon 2020, ESIF, COSME, EFSI, etc.); urges the Commission to use these instruments in a coordinated and focused manner and, including by facilitating advisory and outreach services; encourages the Commission also to introduce innovative and flexible financing mechanisms and to address the insufficient availability of venture capital; highlights the need to pay particular attention to simplified access to finance for European start-ups, micro-, small and medium-sized enterprises particularly with a view to helping them succeed in the early phases of commercialisation;

31.  Urges the Commission to promote the internationalisation of space companies, including SMEs, through better access to finance and adequate support for the European space industry’s competitiveness, and also through dedicated EU action allowing Europe’s independent access to space;

32.  Recommends that there should be a stronger link between R&D and support to business development programmes; considers in particular that the innovation potential of Horizon 2020 should be better exploited for the space sector; calls for an appropriate dissemination strategy for the space-related research outcomes of Horizon 2020 to the business community and believes that it is necessary to promote closer collaboration between universities and private companies for developing applications and services;

33.  Is convinced that space industry clusters, incubators and similar initiatives help underpin market uptake, stimulate innovation and promote synergies between space and ICT and other sectors of the economy; welcomes the efforts of certain Member States in this field and also the ESA business incubation centres; believes that the Commission should build on those efforts to develop a coherent EU strategy to support space entrepreneurship and develop the means to link these with the wider economy; calls on the Commission to help to correct the geographical imbalance of such activities in which the Central and Eastern European countries are lagging behind; underlines the need to strengthen cooperation and exchange of information and best practices and the sharing of infrastructure capabilities;

34.  Considers that the EU and the Member States should, in cooperation with the private sector, step up their efforts to stimulate skills and entrepreneurship and to attract students of technical universities, young scientists and entrepreneurs towards the space sector; believes that this will help to maintain a leading space science capacity and to prevent a brain drain of highly educated and skilled experts to other parts of the world;

o
o   o

35.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council and the Commission.

(1)OJ L 150, 20.5.2014, p. 72.
(2)OJ L 122, 24.4.2014, p. 44.
(3)OJ L 276, 20.10.2010, p. 11.
(4)OJ L 347, 20.12.2013, p. 1.
(5)OJ L 123, 19.5.2015, p. 77.
(6)OJ L 60, 28.2.2014, p. 1.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0267.
(8) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2013)0534.
(9) OJ C 227 E, 6.8.2013, p. 16.
(10) OJ C 380 E, 11.12.2012, p. 1.
(11)Space Market Uptake in Europe, Study for the ITRE Committee, Directorate-General for Internal Policies, Policy Department A, 2016, ISBN 978-92-823-8537-1.


Situation in Venezuela
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on the situation in Venezuela (2016/2699(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0269RC-B8-0700/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to its numerous previous and recent resolutions on the situation in Venezuela, in particular those of 27 February 2014 on the situation in Venezuela(1), of 18 December 2014 on the persecution of the democratic opposition in Venezuela(2), and of 12 March 2015 on the situation in Venezuela(3),

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

–  having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, to which Venezuela is a party,

–  having regard to the Inter-American Democratic Charter adopted on 11 September 2001,

–  having regard to the Constitution of Venezuela, and in particular Articles 72 and 233 thereof,

–  having regard to the statement by the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights of 20 October 2014 on the detention of protesters and politicians in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statements of 7 December 2015 by the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy (VP/HR), Federica Mogherini, on the elections in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 5 January 2016 by the EEAS Spokesperson on the inauguration of the new National Assembly of Venezuela,

–  having regard to the statement of 12 April 2016 by the Spokesperson for the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Ravina Shamdasani,

–  having regard to the statement of 10 May 2016 by the VP/HR on the situation in Venezuela,

–  having regard to the letter of 16 May 2016 from Human Rights Watch to the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States, Luis Almagro, on the subject of Venezuela(4),

–  having regard to the statement of the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States of 18 May 2016,

–  having regard to the official communications from the Secretary-General of the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) issued on 23 May(5) and 28 May(6) 2016 on the exploratory meetings to launch a national dialogue between representatives of the Venezuelan Government and the MUD opposition coalition,

–  having regard to the G7 Ise-Shima Leaders’ Declaration of 26-27 May 2016(7),

–  having regard to the statement by US Secretary of State John Kerry of 27 May 2016 regarding his call with former Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero(8),

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

A.  whereas Venezuela’s opposition coalition, the MUD, won 112 seats in the 167-member unicameral National Assembly, a two-thirds majority, compared with 55 seats for the PSUV; whereas the Supreme Court subsequently blocked four newly elected National Assembly representatives, 3 of whom from the MUD, from taking office, which deprived the opposition of its two-thirds majority;

B.  whereas, in the five months during which the new National Assembly has been legislatively active, with the democratic opposition in the majority, the Supreme Court has handed down 13 politically motivated judgments in favour of the executive, all of which imperil the balance of power required in a state governed by the rule of law;

C.  whereas decisions such as those issuing and confirming the State of Exception and Economic Emergency Decree, removing the National Assembly’s powers to scrutinise policy, refusing to recognise the power conferred on the National Assembly by the constitution to revoke the appointment of Supreme Court judges, declaring the reform of the Central Bank of Venezuela Law unconstitutional and suspending the articles of the National Assembly’s Internal Debate Rules were taken, among others, in contravention of the legislative powers of the National Assembly, with no respect for the balance of power essential in a state governed by the rule of law;

D.  whereas there are around 2 000 people in prison, under house arrest or on probation for political reasons, including important political leaders such as Leopoldo López, Antonio Ledezma and Daniel Ceballos; whereas on 30 March 2016 the Venezuelan National Assembly passed a law that would give amnesty to the abovementioned prisoners, thus paving the way for dialogue towards national reconciliation; whereas this law is in line with Article 29 of the Venezuelan Constitution, in spite of the declaration of unconstitutionality issued by the Supreme Court; whereas Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, stated publicly that the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law was in line with international law and expressed disappointment at its rejection;

E.  whereas the rule of law and the principle of the separation of powers are not duly respected in Venezuela; whereas current facts point to government influence and control over judicial power and the National Electoral Council, which has a detrimental impact on the legislature and opposition powers, the cornerstones of any democratic system, in clear breach of the principle of independence and separation of powers that is characteristic of democratic states governed by the rule of law;

F.  whereas the democratic opposition has started a constitutionally recognised process that enables public officials to be removed from office through a recall referendum after having completed 50 % of their term; whereas the National Electoral Council received from the MUD 1,8 million signatures of Venezuelan citizens supporting this process, many more than the 198 000 initially required for the process to be legal and constitutionally accepted;

G.  whereas Venezuela is facing a serious humanitarian crisis, caused by shortages of food and medicine; whereas the National Assembly has declared a ‘humanitarian health and food crisis’ in view of the general lack of medicines, medical devices and supplies, and has asked the World Health Organisation (WHO) for humanitarian aid and a technical visit to certify the conditions described above;

H.  whereas, despite the lack of official data, according to ENCOVI (Encuesta de Condiciones de Vida), the poverty rate in Venezuela has doubled from 30 % in 2013 to 60 % in 2016; whereas 75 % of the medicines considered essential by the World Health Organisation are not available in Venezuela;

I.  whereas the government is preventing the entry of humanitarian aid into the country, and is boycotting the various international initiatives to assist civil society, as has happened with Caritas and other NGOs;

J.  whereas, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Venezuela’s economy is projected to contract by 8 % in 2016, following a contraction of 5,7 % in 2015; whereas, despite a 30 % increase in the minimum wage, the 180,9 % inflation rate hinders any prospects for basic commodities being affordable for Venezuelans; whereas the IMF forecasts an average inflation rate of 700 % by the end of 2016 and of 2 200 % in 2017;

K.  whereas the lack of foresight in basic infrastructure and inefficient governance have led to a major economic and social crisis, which is demonstrated by a long-running shortage of resources, raw materials, inputs, basic foodstuffs and essential medicines, with zero production, and whereas the country is on the verge of a major social upheaval and a humanitarian crisis with unpredictable consequences;

L.  whereas Venezuela’s very high crime rates and complete impunity have turned it into one of the most dangerous countries in the world, Caracas having the highest rate of violent crime in the world, with over 119,87 homicides per 100 000 people;

M.  whereas fights for control of illegal mines are common in the mineral-rich area near the borders of Guyana and Brazil; whereas on 4 March 2016 a massacre took place in Tumeremo, Bolívar state, in which 28 miners went missing and were then murdered; whereas a satisfactory answer is still due from the authorities, and whereas journalist Lucía Suárez, who had recently investigated the case, was shot dead on 28 April 2016 at her home in Tumeremo;

N.  whereas on 27 May 2016 the G7 countries issued a statement urging Venezuela ‘to establish the conditions for dialogue between the government and its citizens to resolve the increasingly serious economic and political crisis’, and whereas on 1 June 2016 the Permanent Council of the Organisation of American States (OAS) issued a statement on the situation in Venezuela;

O.  whereas, in the framework of UNASUR, exploratory meetings have recently been held in the Dominican Republic, led by former Prime Minister of Spain José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, former President of the Dominican Republic Leonel Fernández and former President of Panama Martín Torrijos, with the aim of initiating a national dialogue with representatives of the Government of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela and the opposition parties represented by the MUD;

P.  whereas a solution to the crisis can only be found through dialogue with all levels of government, democratic opposition and society;

1.  Expresses grave concern at the seriously deteriorating situation as regards democracy, human rights and the socio-economic situation in Venezuela, with an increasing climate of political and social instability;

2.  Expresses its concern also at the current institutional blockade impasse and the executive’s use of state powers to control the Supreme Court and the National Electoral Council with the aim of impeding the application of laws and initiatives adopted by the National Assembly; calls on the Venezuelan Government to respect the rule of law and the principle of the separation of powers; recalls that separation and non-interference between equally legitimate powers is an essential principle of democratic states guided by the rule of law;

3.  Calls on the Venezuelan Government to adopt a constructive attitude in order to overcome Venezuela’s current critical situation through a constitutional, peaceful and democratic solution based on dialogue;

4.  Welcomes the mediation efforts initiated at the invitation of UNASUR to launch a national dialogue process between the executive and the opposition represented by the majority components of the MUD;

5.  Takes note of the G7 Leaders’ Declaration on Venezuela; asks the June European Council to deliver a political statement on the situation in the country and to support the mediation efforts recently launched in order to allow democratic and political solutions to be agreed on for Venezuela;

6.  Urges the Venezuelan Government to release all political prisoners immediately; recalls that the freeing of political prisoners is a precondition set by the opposition for starting the negotiation talks, and calls on both sides to agree on a compromise solution aimed at supporting the mediation efforts currently in place; calls for the EU and the VP/HR to urge the release of the political prisoners and those arbitrarily detained, in line with the demands made by several UN bodies and international organisations and with the Amnesty and National Reconciliation Law;

7.  Requests that the authorities respect and guarantee the constitutional right to peaceful demonstrations; calls also on the opposition leaders to exercise their powers responsibly; calls on the Venezuelan authorities to guarantee security and the free exercise of rights for all citizens, in particular human rights defenders, journalists, political activists and members of independent non-governmental organisations;

8.  Calls on President Nicolas Maduro and his government to implement urgent economic reforms in cooperation with the National Assembly in order to find a constructive solution to the economic and energy crises, in particular the shortage of food and medicines;

9.  Expresses serious concern at the increasingly deteriorating social tension caused by the shortage of basic goods such as food and medicines; calls on the VP/HR to propose an assistance plan for the country and to urge the Venezuelan authorities to allow humanitarian aid into the country and to grant access to the international organisations that want to assist the most affected sectors in society with a view to addressing the population’s most urgent and basic needs;

10.  Urges the government and public authorities of Venezuela to respect the Constitution, including the legal and recognised mechanisms and procedures for activating the process laid down in the Venezuelan Constitution for impeaching the president before the end of 2016;

11.  Urges the VP/HR to cooperate with Latin American countries and regional and international organisations to ensure that mechanisms for dialogue, national reconciliation and mediation are put in place in Venezuela in order to support a peaceful, democratic and constitutional solution to the crisis the country is currently experiencing;

12.  Considers it an absolute priority to reduce the existing high levels of impunity, which increase and foster the growing violence and insecurity in the country, and to ensure respect for the existing legal system, which demands justice for the victims of kidnappings, murders and other crimes committed every day, and for their families;

13.  Calls on the Venezuelan authorities to investigate the Tumeremo massacre, in which 28 miners were murdered, with a view to bringing the perpetrators and instigators to justice, including those behind the recent murder of journalist Lucía Suárez, which took place in the same location and is suspected of being connected;

14.  Reiterates its request for a European Parliament delegation to be sent to Venezuela and to hold a dialogue with all sectors involved in the conflict as soon as possible;

15.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Commission, the Vice-President of the Commission/High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Government and National Assembly of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, the Euro-Latin American Parliamentary Assembly and the Secretary-General of the Organisation of American States.

(1) Texts adopted, P7_TA(2014)0176.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2014)0106.
(3) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0080.
(4) https://www.hrw.org/news/2016/05/16/letter-human-rights-watch-secretary-general-almagro-about-venezuela
(5) http://www.unasursg.org/es/node/719
(6) http://www.unasursg.org/es/node/779
(7) http://www.mofa.go.jp/files/000160266.pdf
(8) http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2016/05/257789.htm


Endocrine disruptors: state of play following the Court judgment of 16 December 2015
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on endocrine disruptors: state of play following the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 16 December 2015 (2016/2747(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0270RC-B8-0733/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2012 concerning the making available on the market and use of biocidal products(1),

–  having regard to the Commission roadmap for defining criteria for identifying Endocrine Disruptors in the context of the implementation of the Plant Protection Product Regulation and Biocidal Products Regulation(2),

–  having regard to the judgment of the General Court of the European Union of 16 December 2015 in Case T-521/14 (case brought by Sweden against the Commission, Sweden being supported by the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, Denmark, Finland, France and the Netherlands)(3),

–  having regard to Article 17(1) of the Treaty on European Union (TEU),

–  having regard to Articles 265 and 266 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU),

–  having regard to the letter of 22 March 2016 addressed by President Jean-Claude Juncker to the President of the European Parliament ((2016)1416502),

–  having regard to the UNEP/WHO report on the ‘State of the science of endocrine disrupting chemicals 2012’(4),

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

A.  whereas according to Article 5 of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, active substances which are deemed to have endocrine-disrupting properties that may cause adverse effects in humans, either on the basis of scientific criteria to be specified or, pending the adoption of those criteria, on the basis of interim criteria, shall not be approved, except if one of the derogations referred to in Article 5(2) is applicable;

B.  whereas Article 5(3) of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 states that the Commission, no later than 13 December 2013, shall adopt delegated acts specifying scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties of active substances and biocidal products;

C.  whereas the Commission has still not adopted delegated acts specifying scientific criteria, which are now more than two and a half years overdue;

D.  whereas the UNEP/WHO report called endocrine disrupters (EDCs) a global threat, and refers inter alia to the high incidence and the increasing trends of many endocrine-related disorders in humans, as well as noting the observation of endocrine-related effects in wildlife populations; whereas there is emerging evidence of adverse reproductive outcomes (infertility, cancers, malformations) from exposure to EDCs, and there is also mounting evidence of the effects of these chemicals on thyroid function, brain function, obesity and metabolism, and insulin and glucose homeostasis;

E.  whereas the General Court of the European Union declared in its judgment of 16 December 2015 in Case T-521/14 that the Commission breached EU law by failing to act to adopt delegated acts to specify scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties;

F.  whereas the Court ruled in its judgement that the Commission had a clear, precise and unconditional obligation to adopt delegated acts in order to establish the aforementioned scientific criteria no later than 13 December 2013;

G.  whereas on 28 March 2013 the Endocrine Disrupters Expert Advisory Group set up by the Commission and coordinated by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) adopted a report on the key scientific issues relevant to the identification and characterisation of endocrine-disrupting substances; whereas a fully-fledged proposal for scientific criteria was ready at the time after three years of work by the services;

H.  whereas the Court went on to state that no provision of Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 required an impact assessment of scientific hazard-based criteria, and even if the Commission considered that such an impact assessment was necessary, this would not exonerate it from respecting the deadline laid down in the regulation (paragraph 74 of the judgment);

I.  whereas the Court furthermore ruled that the specification of scientific criteria can only be carried out in an objective manner on the basis of scientific data related to the endocrine system, independently of any other consideration, in particular economic ones (paragraph 71 of the judgment); whereas the Court thus clarified that a socio-economic impact assessment is not appropriate for deciding on a scientific matter;

J.  whereas the Court furthermore ruled that the Commission, in the context of the application of the powers delegated to it by the legislator, cannot question the regulatory balance laid down by the legislator between the improvement of the internal market and the protection of both human and animal health and the environment (paragraph 72 of the judgment); whereas the Court thus clarified that it is inappropriate for the Commission to assess regulatory changes of sectorial legislation as part of the impact assessment related to the adoption of a delegated act;

K.  whereas the Court found that the interim criteria set in Regulation (EU) No 528/2012 cannot be seen as delivering a level of protection that would be sufficiently high (paragraph 77 of the judgment);

L.  whereas pursuant to Article 266 TFEU, the institution whose failure to act has been declared to be contrary to the Treaties shall be required to take the necessary measures to comply with the judgment of the Court of Justice of the European Union;

M.  whereas at Parliament’s plenary sitting of February 2016, Vytenis Andriukaitis, the Commissioner responsible for Health and Food Safety, announced that the Commission would nevertheless continue to conduct the impact assessment, considering it a ‘useful and even essential tool to guide its future decision on the criteria’;

N.  whereas the Commission is obliged to carry out impact assessments for legislative and non-legislative initiatives which are expected to have significant economic, environmental or social impacts to map out alternative solutions, meaning that impact assessments are valuable tools helping regulators to assess policy options, but not to determine scientific matters;

O.  whereas Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker confirmed in his letter of 22 March 2016 to Parliament President Martin Schulz the Commission’s intention to first seek the opinion of the Regulatory Scrutiny Board on the impact assessment before deciding on the scientific criteria, and then to adopt scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties by the end of June 2016;

P.  whereas there is therefore no doubt that the Commission has not yet taken action to comply with the judgment of the Court, but rather persists in its breach of EU law as declared by the Court, and is thus now also in breach of Article 266 TFEU;

Q.  whereas it is absolutely unacceptable for the Commission, as the guardian of the Treaties, not to comply with the Treaties;

1.  Condemns the Commission not only for its failure to comply with its obligation to adopt delegated acts pursuant to Regulation (EU) No 528/2012, but moreover for failing to comply with its institutional obligations as laid down in the Treaties themselves, notably in Article 266 TFEU;

2.  Takes note of the Commission’s political commitment to propose scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties before the summer;

3.  Stresses that the General Court ruled that the specification of scientific criteria can only be carried out in an objective manner on the basis of scientific data related to the endocrine system, independently of any other consideration, in particular economic ones, and that the Commission is not entitled to change the regulatory balance laid down in a basic act via the application of powers delegated to it pursuant to Article 290 TFEU, an issue that the Commission, however, evaluates as part of its impact assessment;

4.  Calls on the Commission to comply immediately with its obligations under Article 266 TFEU and to adopt immediately hazard-based scientific criteria for the determination of endocrine-disrupting properties;

5.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the President of the Council and the President of the Commission and to notify them of the result of the vote on it in plenary.

(1) OJ L 167, 27.6.2012, p. 1.
(2) http://ec.europa.eu/smart-regulation/impact/planned_ia/docs/2014_env_009_endocrine_disruptors_en.pdf
(3) http://curia.europa.eu/juris/document/document.jsf;jsessionid=9ea7d2dc30d51da24ab07e534c8a920ba78762970884.e34KaxiLc3qMb40Rch0SaxuTa3r0?text=&docid=173067&pageIndex=0&doclang=FR&mode=lst&dir=&occ=first&part=1&cid=717530
(4) http://www.who.int/ceh/publications/endocrine/en/


Products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maizes
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of the events Bt11, MIR162, MIR604 and GA21, and repealing Decisions 2010/426/EU, 2011/893/EU, 2011/892/EU and 2011/894/EU (D044931/01 – 2016/2682(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0271B8-0732/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21, and genetically modified maizes combining two or three of the events Bt11, MIR162, MIR604 and GA21, and repealing Decisions 2010/426/EU, 2011/893/EU, 2011/892/EU and 2011/894/EU (D044931/01),

–  having regard to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 September 2003 on genetically modified food and feed(1), and in particular Articles 7(3), 9(2), 19(3) and 21(2) thereof,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of 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 Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the fact that the Standing Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health referred to in Article 35 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 voted on 25 April 2016 not to deliver an opinion,

–  having regard to the opinion delivered by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 7 December 2015(3),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87705 × MON 89788 (MON-877Ø5-6 × MON-89788-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(4),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean MON 87708 × MON 89788 (MON-877Ø8-9 × MON-89788-1) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 3 February 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified soybean FG72 (MST-FGØ72-2) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(6),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 December 2015 on Commission Implementing Decision (EU) 2015/2279 of 4 December 2015 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize NK603 × T25 (MON-ØØ6Ø3-6 × ACS-ZMØØ3-2) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council(7),

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

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

A.  whereas on 9 February 2009 Syngenta France SAS submitted to the competent authority of Germany an application in accordance with Articles 5 and 17 of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 for the placing on the market of foods, food ingredients and feed containing, consisting of, or produced from Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21 maize;

B.  whereas the application also covers the placing on the market of genetically modified maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21 in products consisting of it or containing it for other uses than food and feed as any other maize, with the exception of cultivation;

C.  whereas on 5 July 2013 Syngenta extended the scope of the application to cover all sub-combinations of the single genetic modification events constituting Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21 maize (‘sub-combinations’), including Bt11 × GA21 maize, MIR604 × GA21 maize, Bt11 × MIR604 maize, and Bt11 × MIR604 × GA21, which are already authorised respectively by Commission Decisions 2010/426/EU(8), 2011/892/EU(9), 2011/893/EU(10) and 2011/894/EU(11);

D.  whereas, as described in the application, SYN-BTØ11-1 maize expresses the Cry1Ab protein, which confers protection against certain lepidopteran pests, and a PAT protein, which confers tolerance to glufosinate-ammonium herbicides;

E.  whereas, as described in the application, SYN-IR162-4 maize expresses the Vip3Aa20 protein, which confers protection against certain lepidopteran pests, and PMI protein, which was used as a selectable marker;

F.  whereas, as described in the application, SYN-IR6Ø4-5 maize expresses the Cry3A protein, which provides protection against certain coleopteran pests, and PMI protein, which was used as a selectable marker;

G.  whereas, as described in the application, MON-ØØØ21-9 maize expresses the Cry1Ab protein, which confers protection against certain lepidopteran pests, and the mEPSPS protein, which confers tolerance to glyphosate-based herbicides;

H.  whereas the International Agency for Research on Cancer – the specialised cancer agency of the World Health Organisation – classified glyphosate as probably carcinogenic to humans on 20 March 2015(12);

I.  whereas the draft Commission implementing decision was voted on in the Standing Committee on 25 April 2016, with no opinion being delivered;

J.  whereas on 22 April 2015 the Commission deplored, in the explanatory memorandum of its legislative proposal amending Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, the fact that, since the entry into force of Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003, authorisation decisions had been adopted by the Commission, in accordance with the applicable legislation, without the support of the opinions of Member State committees and that the return of the dossier to the Commission for the final decision, which was very much the exception for the procedure as a whole, had become the norm for decision-making on genetically modified (GM) food and feed authorisations;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision exceeds the implementing powers provided for in Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003;

2.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

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

(1) OJ L 268, 18.10.2003, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) EFSA GMO Panel (EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms), 2015.Scientific Opinion on an application by Syngenta (EFSA-GMO-DE-2009-66) for placing on the market of herbicide tolerant and insect resistant maize Bt11 × MIR162 × MIR604 × GA21 and subcombinations independently of their origin for food and feed uses, import and processing under Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003. EFSA Journal 2015;13(12):4297 (34 pp. doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4297).
(4) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0040.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0039.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2016)0038.
(7) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2015)0456.
(8) Commission Decision 2010/426/EU of 28 July 2010 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11xGA21 (SYN-BTØ11-1xMON-ØØØ21-9) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 199, 31.7.2010, p. 36).
(9) Commission Decision 2011/892/EU of 22 December 2011 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize MIR604xGA21 (SYN-IR6Ø4-5xMON-ØØØ21-9) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 344, 28.12.2011, p. 55).
(10) Commission Decision 2011/893/EU of 22 December 2011 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11xMIR604 (SYN-BTØ11-1xSYN-IR6Ø4-5) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 344, 28.12.2011, p. 59).
(11) Commission Decision 2011/894/EU of 22 December 2011 authorising the placing on the market of products containing, consisting of, or produced from genetically modified maize Bt11xMIR604xGA21 (SYN-BTØ11-1xSYN-IR6Ø4-5xMON-ØØØ21-9) pursuant to Regulation (EC) No 1829/2003 of the European Parliament and of the Council (OJ L 344, 28.12.2011, p. 64).
(12) IARC Monographs Volume 112: evaluation of five organophosphate insecticides and herbicides 20 March 2015, http://www.iarc.fr/en/media-centre/iarcnews/pdf/MonographVolume112.pdf


Genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4)
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European Parliament resolution of 8 June 2016 on the draft Commission implementing decision as regards the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4) (D044927/02 – 2016/2683(RSP))
P8_TA(2016)0272B8-0731/2016

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the draft Commission implementing decision as regards the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4) (D044927/02),

–  having regard to Directive 2001/18/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 12 March 2001 on the deliberate release into the environment of genetically modified organisms and repealing Council Directive 90/220/EEC(1), and in particular the first subparagraph of Article 18(1) thereof,

–  having regard to Articles 11 and 13 of 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 Member States of the Commission’s exercise of implementing powers(2),

–  having regard to the opinion published by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) on 15 December 2015(3),

–  having regard to the opinion delivered by EFSA on 10 November 2014(4),

–  having regard to the outcome of the vote of the Regulatory Committee on 25 April 2016,

–  having regard to the motion for a resolution of the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety,

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

A.  whereas in March 2013, a notification (reference C/NL/13/01) concerning the placing on the market of a genetically modified carnation (Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4) was submitted by Suntory Holdings Limited, Osaka, Japan, to the competent authority of the Netherlands;

B.  whereas the scope of notification C/NL/13/01 covers the import, distribution and retailing in the Union of cut flowers of the genetically modified (GM) carnation SHD-27531-4 for ornamental use only;

C.  whereas on 25 April 2016 the Regulatory Committee gave no opinion, with seven Member States representing 7,84 % of the population voting against the draft Commission implementing decision, six Member States representing 46,26 % of the population abstaining, eleven Member States representing 36,29 % of the population voting in favour and four Member States not being represented;

D.  whereas the EFSA opinion states that the EFSA GMO Panel is aware of a food habit in certain populations to intentionally consume carnation petals as garnish;

E.  whereas the EFSA GMO Panel did not, however, assess the possible consequences of the intentional consumption of GM carnations by humans;

F.  whereas both intentional and accidental oral intake of GM carnation flowers by animals were excluded from the EFSA opinion;

G.  whereas the carnation belongs to the species Dianthus caryophyllus of the widely cultivated genus Dianthus;

H.  whereas members of the genus Dianthus, including wild and domesticated species, are fairly diverse, as their origins range from southern Russia to Alpine regions of Greece and the Auvergne mountains of France; whereas Dianthus spp. are adapted to the cooler Alpine regions of Europe and Asia, and are also found in Mediterranean coastal regions; whereas D. caryophyllus is a widely cultivated ornamental plant in Europe, both in glasshouses and outdoors (i.e. in Italy and Spain), and is occasionally naturalised in some Mediterranean countries but appears to be restricted to the coastal Mediterranean regions of Greece, Italy, Sicily, Corsica and Sardinia(5);

I.  whereas the main carnation-producing countries are Italy, Spain and the Netherlands and whereas wild Dianthus caryophyllus are primarily found in France and Italy(6);

J.  whereas Cyprus objected to the notification and the EFSA GMO Panel agreed with Cyprus that the propagation of carnation SHD-27531-4 (for example rooting) by individuals could not be excluded; whereas EFSA considers that cut stems with vegetative shoots could be propagated by rooting or by micropropagation and released into the environment (for example in gardens);

K.  whereas in the wild, cross-pollination of Dianthus spp. is carried out by insect pollinators, in particular by Lepidoptera, which have probosces of sufficient length to reach the nectaries at the base of the flowers; whereas the EFSA GMO Panel is of the opinion that the potential spread of pollen of the GM carnation SHD-27531-4 by Lepidoptera to wild Dianthus species cannot be eliminated;

L.  whereas once their ornamental value is over, the genetically modified Dianthus caryophyllus L., line SHD-27531-4 will become waste that, according to circular economy principles, will possibly be managed through composting, but whereas EFSA did not analyse the impacts of such release into the environment;

M.  whereas in the event of escape into the environment via viable seeds, pollen or rooted plants, the EFSA GMO Panel considers that carnation SHD-27531-4 would not show enhanced fitness characteristics, except when exposed to sulfonylurea herbicides;

N.  whereas the genetically modified carnation contains the SuRB (als) gene coding for a mutant acetolactate synthase (ALS) derived from Nicotiana tabacum, which confers tolerance to sulfonylurea;

O.  whereas, according to PAN UK, ‘some herbicides are highly toxic to plants at very low doses, such as sulfonylureas, sulfonamides and imidazolinones. Sulfonylureas have replaced other herbicides which are more toxic to animals. Experts have warned that the wide-spread use of sulfonylureas “could have a devastating impact on the productivity of non-target crops and the make-up of natural plant communities and wildlife food chains”’(7);

P.  whereas sulfonylureas are common second-line options for management of type 2 diabetes and are associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular events compared with other antidiabetic drugs(8);

Q.  whereas creating a market for sulfonylurea-resistant plants will encourage the worldwide use of this medicine against diabetes as a herbicide;

R.  whereas using a medicine for a purpose other than public health which leads to its uncontrolled spread in the ecosystems can have worldwide detrimental effects on biodiversity and cause chemical contamination of drinking water;

1.  Considers that the draft Commission implementing decision does not fulfil the objective of health and environment protection provided for in Directive 2001/18/EC and therefore exceeds the implementing powers provided for in this Directive;

2.  Calls on the Commission to withdraw its draft implementing decision;

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

(1) OJ L 106, 17.4.2001, p. 1.
(2) OJ L 55, 28.2.2011, p. 13.
(3) GMO Panel (EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms), 2015. Scientific Opinion on a Part C notification (reference C/NL/13/01) from Suntory Holdings Limited for the import, distribution and retailing of carnation SHD-27531-4 cut flowers with modified petal colour for ornamental use. EFSA Journal 2015;13(12):4358, 19 p. (doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2015.4358).
(4) GMO Panel (EFSA Panel on Genetically Modified Organisms), 2014. Scientific Opinion on objections of a Member State to a notification (Reference C/NL/13/01) for the placing on the market of the genetically modified carnation SHD-27531-4 with a modified colour, for import of cut flowers for ornamental use, under Part C of Directive 2001/18/EC from Suntory Holdings Limited. EFSA Journal 2014; 12(11):3878, 9 p. (doi:10.2903/j.efsa.2014.3878).
(5) Tutin et al., 1993.
(6) http://gmoinfo.jrc.ec.europa.eu/csnifs/C-NL-13-01.pdf
(7) http://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/Issue/pn88/PN88_p4-7.pdf
(8) http://thelancet.com/journals/landia/article/PIIS2213-8587(14)70213-X/fulltext

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